Most Referenced Movie Moments

Referenced Moments

Everyone ends up quoting an iconic scene one day. Sometimes it is just one phrase others, a specific movement that cements it in the minds of everyone as an iconic movie moment. So without further ado, here are 10 most referenced endings or scenes!

Referenced Movie Moments
Photo credit: Warner Brothers

10. Risky Business — Dance Sequence

Tom Cruise in his underwear and socks makes for great referencing in this iconic dance number. In fact, the shot of him sliding in his socks has been copied so many times I bet many people have never known there was an original. The shot is simple and injects personality onto the screen in seconds without any lines needed.

Everything from Furry Business 2 to Scrubs has slid in their socks for this one but Scrubs has the edge for making the scene interesting in its own right.

Referenced Movie Moments
Photo Credit: Lucasfilms

9. Star Wars Episode V Empire Strikes Back — Luke’s Dad Revealed

It’s the most misquoted line of all time and the most referenced. It has turned up in everything from Toy Story 2 to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The original is such a drama-packed line filled with shock and intrigue that it survives even the worst references. Using this line gives an audience something to latch on to and remember. Plus as it is such a moment of Drama it makes for almost too easy spoofing for lazier moments.

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures

8. Jaws — “We’re gonna need a bigger boat!”

Jaws is subject to two different references. The famous music and the “need a bigger boat line”. Such a brilliant piece of music and memorable line works well being recycled from one film to the next due to its initial impact. What’s most
interesting about this reference is that it has been done in such a variety of different genres from “Clerks” to “Doctor Who”. It seems this one can feature in almost anything.

Photo credit: Miramax
Photo credit: Miramax


7. Pulp Fiction — Dance Sequence

The coolest dance sequence has unsurprisingly been referenced in everything. The original was painstakingly thought out to convey everything needed to make the scene as highly interesting and entertaining. There is an argument to be said that the copies of it just will never measure up. However, the striking scene has been used in everything from Gilmore Girls to Antz.



6. Say Anything — The Boombox

If you haven’t Say Anything it probably doesn’t matter as you have seen at least a version of a person holding a boombox aloft. John Cusack may have started it but seems others are more than willing to keep it going. Its most recent revival was seen in the movie that made Emma Stone a sensation, Easy A. It has even featured in TV shows such as Lost, House MD, and Arrested Development. It’s easy to see why this would be copied, it’s simple and looks great on the screen.

Photo credit: TCM


5. From Here to Eternity – Beach kiss scene

This one is practically infamous. The couple kissing in the surf has been parodied to death and referenced even more. The over the top romantic gesture translates perfectly in comedies and always makes for a very effective laugh. It has featured in everything from Shrek 2, Airplane to The Simpsons. It seems some scenes are just better when done for laughs.

Photo Credit: Paramount


4. Mean Girls — Most of the movie

From hair being filled with secrets to Fetch simply not happening, Mean Girls has reached mythical levels of saturation. Its huge popularity makes it a valuable mine for writers and directors to dig into. To this day it has been referenced in big biopics like Marie Antoinette as well as the standard sitcom fair such as Awkward. It really has stood the test of time.

Photo credit: Paramount
Photo credit: Paramount


3. Psycho — The Shower Scene

The ultimate in scary scenes the brutal murder of Marion in the shower is still spine-chilling. The brilliant mix of music combining with everything else makes it still one of the most shocking moments in cinema. So it’s no wonder that it has been referenced in a lot of things. Recently Jamie Lee Curtis took up the scene for Ryan Murphy’s new show Scream Queens but it has been used in much more. From movies like Blood Feast all the way through to Seed of Chucky. It really does crop up anywhere.

Photo credit: Warner Bros
Photo credit: Warner Bros


2. The Matrix — Bullet Time

The Matrix was revolutionary in a lot of ways but the most visually appealing was “Bullet Time”. Seeing Neo moving through the bullet shot by the agent gave birth to a technique involving cameras with computer-guided tracks. This gives an incredible visual that many other actions and superhero films have used and abused over the years. Most recently in Deadpool as well as Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and Watchmen.

Photo credit: Warner Bros
Photo credit: Warner Bros


1. Casablanca — Here’s Looking at You Kid

Another iconic line that seems to turn up absolutely everywhere Casablanca’s Here’s looking at you Kid” really makes a great impact. Voted as one of the AFI’s top 100 movie quotes it’s instantly quotable and truly brilliant. Rick’s parting line to Ilsa is perfect for referencing and it has been. Used an awful lot in TV (as seen in a great episode of House) it also featured in the movie Brazil and is still as effective now as it was back when Casablanca came out.

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