References and parodies of Indiana Jones

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Since its debut in 1981, the Indiana Jones franchise has become part of American popular culture. References have been made in television series, movies, music and other material since the original film was released.

While many sources will simply reference the characters, some of the most frequently referenced (and parodied) scenes include:


  • DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp: As well as the utilizing the same font as the Indiana Jones films, promotional material - including one by Indiana Jones movie poster artist Drew Struzan - shows Scrooge McDuck sporting a fedora and carrying a rope over one shoulder similar to Jones and his bullwhip which does not occur in the feature itself.
  • Fanboys: While the plot of the movie concerns a group of Star Wars fans breaking into Skywalker Ranch to see a rough cut of Episode I in 1998, Indiana Jones items are seen and mentioned as being part of the ranch's prop collection. Lines from the movies are quoted and the three theatrical posters sit on the wall of George Lucas's office.
  • The Hangover: When his bag is dismissed as a purse, one character insists it is a satchel like Indiana Jones carries.
  • Howard the Duck: A duck themed variation of Richard Amsel's Raiders of the Lost Ark movie poster can be seen on the titular Howard's wall named Breeders of the Lost Stork.
  • Paul: The titular alien can be seen giving Steven Spielberg movie tips out of Hangar 51 while Short Round is later mentioned near the close of the movie.
  • Shrek 2: In one scene Puss reaches under a closing door to retrieve his hat.
  • UHF: The opening scenes parody the Temple scenes with "Weird Al" Yankovic attempting to swipe an Oscar statue from the temple, and then is chased by a boulder through various locations.
  • Chicken Run - Giner reaches under a closing door to retrieve his hat.


  • American Dad: One scene from the series sees Stan Smith and his son parody the Map Room sequence, however their stand-in for the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra burns their paper map. Another scene has Smith and his alien companion Roger tied back to back like Indiana Jones and his father were. To get out of their predicament, Roger gets the idea to copy a scene he saw in a movie and simply kicks over a gas lamp to set the room on fire similar to what occurred at Castle Brunwald.
  • The Big Bang Theory: "The Precious Fragmentation" has the main characters returning from a garage sale with a box of random television and movie collectibles. Included is an Indiana Jones connect-the-dots book.
  • The Chipmunks Go To The Movies had an entire episode dedicated to spoofing Raiders of the Lost Ark entitled Daytona Jones and the Pearl of Wisdom.
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: The show was originally pitched starring Kit Colby, "an Indiana Jones type of guy, complete with the leather jacket and the fluffy collar" before he was turned into Chip in the final version and given an Indiana Jones fedora on top of Colby's outfit.[1]
  • Doctor Who character River Song is said to be inspired by Indiana Jones, being an adventurer with a doctorate in archaeology. Especially in the episode The Pandorica Opens, a secret passage opening under Stonehenge mirrors various scenes in the films.
  • EastEnders: The episode broadcast on 27 December 2011 has a character in hospital remarking that "This sort of thing never happened to Indiana Jones." The 19 June 2012 edition depicted a family watching an undisclosed film which had The Raiders March playing over it.
  • The Fairly OddParents: "The Big Bash" — Timmy (dressed like Indy), Cosmo, and Wanda search for Peruvian coffee beans in a temple, much like in the opening scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Family Guy: "Fifteen Minutes of Shame" — Peter and Meg Griffin paraphrase Indiana Jones and Lao Che's exchange about the antidote to the poison.
  • Family Guy: "Stuck Together, Torn Apart" — A parody of Raiders of the Ark's Map Room scene occurs when Peter Griffin affixes the Headpiece to the Staff of Ra to a stick in the attic and uses the window to create the beam of light.
  • Family Guy: "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" — The episode includes a cutaway to a parody of Indiana Jones trying to claim the golden idol.
  • Family Guy: "Blind Ambition" — Peter Griffin's fight with a giant chicken climaxes on an airport and the pair brawl around the Flying Wing.
  • Family Guy: "Peter's Got Woods" — The episode includes a crate being stored at Hangar 51.
  • Family Guy: "Jungle Love" — Peter, Lois and Chris Griffin with Jock Lindsey escape from angered villagers the same way as Indiana Jones fleeing the Hovitos. The sequence keeps the music intact, and Meg Griffin is left behind to suffer a death like Barranca.
  • Family Guy: "The Courtship of Stewie's Father" — Rescuing child slaves from a Disney World attraction involves Peter and Stewie Griffin reenacting the Temple of Doom minecart sequence, including Michael Eisner trying to take Peter's heart like Mola Ram.
  • Family Guy: "Stewie B. Goode" — Stewie Griffin, as Short Round, recalls being in India with Indiana Jones and Willie Scott. When Scott starts screaming as the Temple of Doom roof spikes close in, Griffin makes an aside that she's only there because she's sleeping with the director.
  • Family Guy: "Road to Germany" — A sequence in which Brian and Stewie Griffin, and Mort Goldman exit their crashing plane mimics the same situation from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom complete with raft, "We're not sinking, we're crashing!" quote and Slalom on Mt. Humol from the movie's score.
  • Family Guy: "Hannah Banana" — A spoof of the "Love you" student occurs when Chris and Peter are feuding at the breakfast table. Chris closes his eyes to reveal the words "Hate You" written on his eyelids.
  • Fanboy and Chum Chum: Season 2, Episode 24; "Microphonies" Fanboy receives a box with a microphone in the mail. As he opens it, he reaches into the box by making a hole, and says "Kali Ma......". Chum Chum then follows and says "Omnomshiba, Omnomshiba".
  • FlashForward: In "Revelation Zero Part 1", FBI agent Mark Benson visits a therapist who has several Mighty Muggs figures from various franchises on her windowsill. The Arab Swordsman is amongst them.
  • Friends: "The One with the Cooking Class" — A store clerk flirting with Ross Geller claims that, as a paleontologist who works out, he is like Indiana Jones. Ross agrees, and later likens himself to Jones again prior to his date with the clerk, telling her that he'll grab his whip.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys: In the Season 4 premiere, "Beanstalks and Bad Eggs", Hercules (Kevin Sorbo) and Autolycus (Bruce Campbell) break into the booby-trapped home of a warlord to steal a pouch. The whole scene is an homage to the opening of Raiders, with Hercules playing the Satipo role (Sorbo even mimicks Alfred Molina's greedy hand gestures) and Autolycus filling in for Indy.
  • I Want My Own Room: "Bird Hide" sees a buried item that looks like it could be a Second World War bomb, prompting one of the hosts to claim they need a hero. This cues The Raiders March, and when the 'bomb' is discovered to simply be a bottle, the graphic "Indiana Elliot and the Bottle of Doom" appears on-screen.
  • Lost: Of Sawyer's nicknames for Walt Lloyd, Short Round is included in the first season's eighteenth episode.
  • Magnum, P.I.: "Legend of the Lost Art" is a parody of Raiders as well as a reference to Tom Selleck being selected for the Indiana Jones role before it was prevented by his commitments to do Magnum, P.I.
  • Midsomer Murders: The observer of a fight between an archaeologist's son and another man comments that it is "better than Indiana Jones".
  • Mongrels: The show's documentary opens with "The Map Room: Dawn" playing. Also in the series pilot, neutered cat Marion attempts to lower himself into a veterinary hospital to retrieve his testicles, observing that the situation reminds him of Indiana Jones. The camera cuts to a tank of snakes below and Marion's companion asks if he means Raiders of the Lost Ark but the cat points out that he was actually referring to the latest movie, which he saw as "a massive pile of bollocks" and the camera shows various animal testicles gathered in a heap.
  • MythBusters contains many famous experiments about the franchise.[2]
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic There are several allusions to the Indiana Jones franchise in the episode "Read It and Weep": The harp plucking that plays when Daring Do first enters the temple bears a strong resemblance to the music that plays in the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indiana Jones casually brushes spiders off of his back. The sunlight shining into the chamber is a reference to the map room scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the sunlight shines on a crystal at the center of the room. The way Daring Do makes her way to the Sapphire Stone's pedestal mirrors a scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, where the titular hero navigates a trap floor by only stepping on the correct tiles. The scene where Daring Do retrieves the Sapphire Stone mirrors a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, in which Indiana Jones retrieves an idol statue from a pedestal.
  • The One Show: The magazine program included a segment called Raider of the Lost Archive featuring a parody of the boulder chase in the title sequence with reporter Gyles Brandreth dressed as Indiana Jones managing to escape through a closing door with a film reel in hand. The title also uses the same font as Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Outnumbered: The third episode of the fourth series features an argument between father and son Pete and Jake Brockman about whether the game of Subbuteo they're playing is a more realistic recreation of an actual association football match compared to the FIFA video game series. Seeing the size of the ball next to the players for the first time, Jake exclaims that "It's like the ball that chases Indiana Jones".
  • Phineas and Ferb: The episode "Phineas and Ferb and the Temple of Juatchadoon" depicts the show's characters in an Indiana Jones parody. After locating and retrieving the Amulet of Juatchdoon, adventuring archeologist duo Ohio Flynn (Phineas) and Rhode Island Fletcher (Ferb) set off to Central America to help Isabella find the Lost Temple of Juatchadoon and her missing mother. However, Dr. Doofenshmirtz has other plans for the amulet – to awaken the evil corn colossus to give him the power to destroy the world.
  • QI: "Series E" of the quiz show featured an episode focused on exploration in which a contestant's buzzer noise was the Raiders March. The boulder scene was mentioned as part of a clue to the cleaning method of Paris's sewers. "Series F"'s episode on film also utilised the theme as a buzzer. The franchise was referenced for a second time in the same episode with a question concerning the Wilhelm scream, and sound producer Ben Burtt mentioned.
  • Quantum Leap: "A Portrait For Troian" sees Sam Beckett, in the body of Dr. Timothy Mintz, rescue Troian Claridge from her collapsing family crypt. She calls out to him as Tim but when rescued she reverts to calling him Dr. Mintz prompting Sam to ask "Will I have to play Indiana Jones again to get you to call me by my first name?"
  • Quantum Leap: "Another Mother" depicts Kevin Bruckner lying about his reasons for leaving the house by claiming that he and his friends are going to see Raiders again. He also mentions that if he doesn't leave, he's going to miss "the rock rolling out of the cave".
  • Regular Show: Season 3, Episode 57; "Eggscellent" Mordecai tries to win a hat for Rigby who is in coma. He is sent into an underground chamber with hats, and only one of them is a true hat. There is a knight down there who is dressed quite similarly to the Grail Knight, and tells him he'd die if he chose the wrong one. He chooses the most generic-looking hat.
  • Robot Chicken: "Metal Militia" contains a segment called "Young Indy" in which a young Indiana Jones finds adventure on the playground at elementary school, recreating different scenes from Raiders of the Lost Ark, with a boy in a large plastic bubble playing the role of the Chachapoyan boulder trap, and the teacher taking the Staff of Ra.
  • Scrubs: "My Quarantine" has Doctor John "JD" Dorian imagining his colleague's wife as escaping the quarantine lockdown being put into effect like Indiana Jones does when evading the spike trap in Temple of Doom. She rolls under the descending wall and her hand reaches back in quickly to grab her hat before it closes.
  • Scrubs: "My Missed Perception" includes JD picturing his surgeon friend performing exploratory surgery as Indiana Jones. The sequence parodies the escape from the Chachapoyan temple with the removal of a "golden tumor" and the surgeon lamenting "Colon? Why did it have to be colon?" when he enters.
  • The Simpsons has a VHS and DVD home video collection of episodes entitled Raiders of the Lost Fridge featuring Homer Simpson fleeing a giant rolling donut in Indiana Jones attire.
  • The Simpsons: "Little Orphan Millie" includes the character of Milhouse's uncle, Norbert Van Houten, who dresses like Indiana Jones and flies a biplane. A cue from "The Raiders March" is also played.
  • South Park: "Free Hat", the four main characters try to stop George Lucas and Steven Spielberg from re-editing Raiders of the Lost Ark, adding Ewoks. The movie premiere of the special edition of Raiders has Spielberg dress up like Belloq at the Ark opening scene.
  • South Park: "Meet the Jeffersons": The Ark of the Covenant lies among the wealthy Mr. Jefferson's possessions within his son's bedroom.
  • South Park: "200": George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are among the celebrities looking for revenge for being made fun of by the titular town. With them is Indiana Jones wearing a leash and ballgag.
  • Total Drama: Revenge of the Island features Mike, a teen with multiple personalities. One of his personalities is an adventurous treasure hunter called Manitoba Smith, who is a direct parody of Indiana Jones, from their first names being locations, to the fedora both characters wear.
  • Stargate SG-1: The episode "Moebius, Part 1" sees archaeologist Daniel Jackson approached at a funeral by the niece of the deceased. She explains that her aunt always talked about him, admitting that she had "always used to picture some Indiana Jones type."
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look: One sketch sees a man counter his soccer enthusiast companion's gloating as if he had personally been in the game by speaking of Indiana Jones's role in Raiders in the first person, asking if the man remembered when his 'team' found the Ark of the Covenant.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look: In a sketch from the fourth episode of the fourth series, a mention of Iraq is said to most likely bring up images of "Indiana Jones type fellas on the news."
  • The Thick of It: In the fourth episode of the third season, Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship's Director of Communication, Malcolm Tucker, adopts the franchises' naming convention in commending Nicola Murray's enthusiasm to go after her political opposite, quickly dubbing it Indiana Murray and the Bum-d***o of Vengeance.
  • The Thick of It: Season four, episode five — "The Ark has been opened and your face is gonna melt."
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: The episode "Cinemaniacs!" has a sequence dedicated to parodying elements from Indiana Jones entitled 'Pasadena Jones and the Secret of Life'. It includes Buster Bunny as Pasadena literally riding the red line used in the movies on maps to show Jones traveling to his location, fleeing a giant rolling 8-ball and riding a minecart.
  • The Walking Dead: The first episode of season two has racist Daryl Dixon calling Asian-American Glenn (who favors wearing a baseball cap) Short Round.


  • All-Star Squadron #5 "Never Step on a Feathered Serpent" by Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler, Jerry Ordway, and Adrian Gonzales, January 1982, has a reference to Hitler's quests for various artifacts of power, including his failed attempt to acquire the Ark of the Covenant.
  • All-Star Squadron #6, "Mayhem in the Mile-High City", a fellow archaeologist (who is also the madman villain) clearly mentions Prof. Indiana Jones as a contemporary.
  • Captain America #268 1982, from Marvel Comics advertises and features freelance artist Steve Rogers and his girlfriend Bernie Rosenthal emerging from a Brooklyn Movie Theater, discussing the impact of Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Fantastic Four #241 1982 sees Ben "The Thing" Grimm dressing as Indiana Jones as a joke for his traveling to Africa. He gets called "Idaho Smith" by the Human Torch, asked if he expects to find the Ark of the Covenant by Mr. Fantastic while his wife, the Invisible Woman, mentions that the movie is one even Mr. Fantastic had seen.
  • Dr. Slump: A vehicle has the designation of OB-CPO. One of the manga chapter covers features the titular character Senbei "Dr. Slump" Norimaki dressed as Indiana Jones, fleeing a giant rolling pumpkin. The penultimate chapter cover features Norimaki as Jones again, this time with his wife Midori as Willie Scott and Arale Norimaki as Short Round.
  • The Uncanny X-Men #268 1990 partly set in 1941, depicts the first meeting of Wolverine, dressed in Indiana Jones' attire, with Captain America. Together, the two face off against Nazis.
  • Spider-Man: The Other references Raiders and uses Jones's "It's not the years, it's the mileage" quote as part of an explanation of Peter Parker's rejuvenated health.
  • Marvel Civil War: Peter Parker/Spider-Man recalls that he and his aunt missed the first ten minutes of Raiders.
  • Siege: New Avengers: When Spider-Man is attacked by a brainwashed Spider-Woman, he laments that Short Round isn't present with a torch to break her free.
  • War of the Green Lanterns: After Hal Jordan stops Guy Gardner from taking a gauntlet from its case, Gardner calls Jordan "Indy" and asks if he's scared that removing the gauntlet will cause a boulder to fall.


  • The Green Hornet: Still at Large: The Bantu Wind and Simon Katanga make cameo appearances in Richard Dean Starr's novelette, "The World Will End in Fire". The Bantu Wind serves as Hayashi Kato's transportation to China.

Video games[edit]

  • Bomberman GB: Bomberman adopts Jones's attire and whip for the game.
  • Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin: The game features an equippable fedora, which is described as feeling "right with a whip". It is found in an Egyptian tomb, at a point where the leather whip is one of the better weapons.
  • Gex: The first game of the series features geckos dressed in Jones' traditional outfit as enemies in a world named "Jungle Isle".
  • Golden Sun: As the player explores the Altin Mines, they will have to knock down a log, triggering a trap and causing the player to be chased by a giant boulder.
  • QuackShot: As well as the game adopting the Indiana Jones font for the in-game title, Donald Duck's treasure hunting sees him adopting a fedora for his adventure.
  • Toy Soldiers: Cold War: The description for an unlockable avatar award, a flight jacket, paraphrases Major Eaton's "top men" line.
  • WWE All Stars: Triple H mentions there are top men working on a match for himself and partner Shawn Michaels' opponents. Michaels asks who and simply gets a firm, repeated "Top... Men..."



See also[edit]