“Where do you get your ideas?” is a question many artists of various types get throughout their career, whether they made a painting, a movie, a television show, a song, a book, or even just a joke. Writers, musicians, filmmakers, and other artists create amazing worlds that are straight out of their imaginations. As it turns out, though, sometimes they build imaginary worlds based on their own realities. As a result, iconic works of art are just filled with subtle (and not-so-subtle) references to their creators' own lives. After all, a common suggestion for creatives is “write what you know.”

Who would have thought that a bestselling horror novel was inspired by a school janitor seeing a tampon machine. Or that an imaginary friend of a director would spark a sci-fi classic? Or that a film franchise was born when a writer wondered if he'd be friends with his dad in high school?

Thanks to Cracked readers, especially Burritomouth, we can know learn about how some of your favorite creators were able to craft such worlds in their work.

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EATING PIZZA INSPIRED CREATOR TORU IWATANI TO MAke THE GAmE PAC-MAN IWATANI SAYS He GOT THE IDEA WHILE STARING DOwN AT A PIZZA WITH TWO SLices missi

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