List of cultural references to A Clockwork Orange

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Popular culture references to Anthony Burgess' novel A Clockwork Orange (1962) and Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film adaptation have been wide-ranging, from popular music and television to movies and other media.[1][2] Some references are based on themes central to the story, such as the use of Nadsat words or phrases, whilst others have incorporated visual elements from the film. The film made Kubrick one of the most influential artists of the 20th century,[1] and the film has become a cult classic.[3]


  • The film version influenced bands' fashion styles.[4]



The original Chinese title of A Perfect Crime (下面我该干些什么?) by Chinese author A Yi (translated by Anna Holmwood) was based on the opening line of A Clockwork Orange: "What's it going to be then, eh?"[14][15]




  • The Simpsons contains frequent references to the film.[41][42] In the episode "Dog of Death" (March 12, 1992), Mr. Burns brainwashes the Simpsons' dog Santa's Little Helper into being one of his attack dogs by using the Ludovico technique. In the episode "Treehouse of Horror III" (October 29, 1992), Bart dresses up as Alex DeLarge from the film. Also, in the episode "Duffless" (February 18, 1993), as a result of Lisa's electroshock therapy, Bart experiences difficulty in reaching for the cupcakes after dinner, in a manner similar to the effects of Alex's therapy; in particular, one shot parodies the film, with Bart looking up at the cupcakes on the table, in the same way Alex looks up to the actress' chest after his therapy. In the episode "Treehouse of Horror XXI", at the end of a segment titled "Master and Cadaver", Maggie is seen wearing Alex's hat and eyelash. She drinks milk from her bottle with the film's theme song playing. On October 19, 2014, the show parodied the film with a segment titled "A Clockwork Yellow" in the episode "Treehouse of Horror XXV".[43]
  • There have been many references to the film on South Park (when asked to name something he considered a mind-altering work of art, series co-creator Trey Parker said, "It's super cliché, but A Clockwork Orange really did fuck me up".)[44] In the show's controversial 201st episode, "201" (2010), Mitch Connor (Cartman's hand-puppet) pretends to be a black man and asks to use the telephone at someone's house, alluding to the similar scene in A Clockwork Orange. In episode 206, "Coon 2: Hindsight" (2010), the scene where the Coon attacks the rest of his gang was reminiscent of the scene in which Georgie of Alexʼ Clockwork Orange droogs insists things be run in a "new way" that entails less power for Alex, who responds by attacking them while walking in order to re-establish his leadership.[45]
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted!" (2009), the military school the boys are sent to after getting busted uses the Ludovico technique in order to stop Phineas and Ferb from using their imagination.[46]
  • In "Contorno", the fifth episode of season 3 of Hannibal (2015), the same section of Rossini's The Thieving Magpie (as used in A Clockwork Orange) was played on a record player during a fight between Jack Crawford and Hannibal Lecter in Florence, Italy. Executive producer Bryan Fuller described the scene as "a full-on homage to Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange" on Twitter.[47]


Video games[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Thill, Scott (2002). St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Gale Group.
  2. ^ Melanya Burrows (2005-01-28). "Addicted to Droogs". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2007-08-14.
  3. ^ Hills, Matt (2002). Fan Cultures. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-24024-7.
  4. ^ a b Collins, Karen (2005). "Dead Channel Surfing: The commonalities between cyberpunk literature and industrial music". Popular Music (24). pp. 165–178.
  5. ^ Russel, Catherine, 1995, Narrative Mortality: Death, Closure, and New Wave Cinemas, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 0-8166-2485-2.
  6. ^ a b c d Collins, Clark (June 2, 2006). "Like Clockwork". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  7. ^ Richards, Jeffrey, 1997, Films and British National Identity: From Dickens to Dad's Army, Manchester University, ISBN 0-7190-4743-9.
  8. ^ a b c Burgess, Anthony (2012), "Foreword", in Biswell, Adam (ed.), A Clockwork Orange, New York: W. W. Norton & Company, pp. xx
  9. ^ Nelmes, Jill, 2003, An Introduction to Film Studies, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-26268-2.
  10. ^ "A Brief Survey of 'A Clockwork Orange' in Pop Culture". Flavorwire. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  11. ^ "Wah-Wah (2006)". BBC. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  12. ^ Jones, J.R. "Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
  13. ^ Reagan, Gillian (2012-03-23). "For Joker, Heath Ledger Channels Sid Vicious, A Clockwork Orange | The New York Observer". Archived from the original on 2011-06-16. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
  14. ^ "阿乙坚信:未来我是"小说家"——中国网". Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  15. ^ Eric Abrahamsen (2015-06-18). "Read Paper Republic: Who's Speaking Please?". Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  16. ^ O'Leary, Chris (5 May 2010). "Suffragette City". Pushing Ahead of the Dames. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  17. ^ Bethea, Charles (2016-01-09). "The Beautiful Meaninglessness of David Bowie". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  18. ^ Adams, Chris Adams. Turquoise Days: The Weird World of Echo & the Bunnymen.
  19. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 248–249. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  20. ^ "100 Best Albums of the 80s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  21. ^ Tannenbaum, Rob (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. Penguin Books. ISBN 1469204142.
  22. ^ "Top five adaptations of A Clockwork Orange". Time Out Melbourne. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  23. ^ "Single 027". U2wanderer.
  24. ^ a b Wyeth, Wyndham (April 24, 2011). "23 Band Names Inspired by Literature". Paste. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  25. ^ James, Martin (16 June 2000). "How to milk Blondie for all they're worth". The Independent. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  26. ^ Gallagher, Robyn (26 October 2012). "5000 Ways To Love You". Retrieved 2014-02-11.
  27. ^ "Biography of Cage". Definitive Jux. Archived from the original on 2008-09-12. Retrieved 2008-09-09.
  28. ^ "Rob Zombie Storms Hollywood, Revisits 'Clockwork Orange'". MTV. 27 December 2001. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
  29. ^ "Montreal *Mirror - Rockin' and rollin' in sad, dark Poland". Retrieved 2012-04-02.
  30. ^ Williams, Ben. "Influences: Gnarls Barkley". New York. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  31. ^ "MAX CAVALERA Says SEPULTURA Guys Didn't Like 'A Clockwork Orange' Movie". January 16, 2009. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  32. ^ Henderson, Alex. List of cultural references to A Clockwork Orange at AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-06-28.
  33. ^ mtv (2014-05-30). "'A Clockwork Orange' Author's Reps Are Into Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence". MTV. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  34. ^ "Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One's "Victim of the Modern Age" Release Information". 14 December 2010. Retrieved 2013-12-30.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ "In bold color, My Chemical Romance returns to Sayreville". The Star-Ledger. May 9, 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  36. ^ "Catching Up With The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys Writer Gerard Way :: Books :: Features :: gerard way :: Page 1 :: Paste". Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  37. ^ By MELENA RYZIKDEC. 23, 2010 (2010-12-23). "Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance - The New York Times". Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  38. ^ "A Clockwork Orange: The droog rides again". The Guardian. 11 May 2011. Retrieved 2014-01-17.
  39. ^ Hogan, Marc (December 23, 2011). "Watch Rihanna's 'Clockwork Orange'-Inspired 'You Da One' Video". Spin. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  40. ^ Mad June 1973 issue #159 contents and cover image
  41. ^ Irwin, William & Skoble, Aeon J. & Conard, Mark T. (2001). The Simpsons and Philosophy: The D'oh! of Homer. Open Court Publishing. ISBN 0-8126-9433-3.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  42. ^ "D'oh! Bart's unbeatable". Daily Telegraph.
  43. ^ Fowler, Matt (26 July 2014). "SDCC 14: The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror Doing Clockwork Orange, Weird Al to Perform for the Show, More". IGN. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  44. ^ "Trey Parker, Matt Stone South Park team".
  45. ^ Modell, Josh (October 27, 2010). "The Coon 2: Hindsight". The A.V. Club. Retrieved Nov 1, 2010.
  46. ^ "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted! (Parts 1 & 2) Episode Allusions". Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  47. ^ "Bryan Fuller on Twitter: "@leogormano Rossini's "The Thieving Magpie"".
  48. ^ Orejan, Jamie (2011). Football/Soccer History and Tactics, McFarland. p. 117.
  49. ^ "TNA Wrestling results – March 3, 2005". Online World of Wrestling. 2005-03-03. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
  50. ^ Clevett, Jason (2004-08-25). "Alex Shelley: Next Generation superstar". Retrieved 2010-10-29. I got the Alex part from the main character of A Clockwork Orange.
  51. ^ "Princeton Clockwork: Men's Ultimate Frisbee". Retrieved 2016-10-29.
  52. ^ Ryan, Jeff (2011). Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America. New York: Penguin Group D. ISBN 978-1591845638.
  53. ^ "A Clockwork Syringe". RuneScape Wiki. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  54. ^ "The Ludovico Technique". The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth Wiki. Retrieved 8 January 2019.

Further reading[edit]

  • McDougal, Stuart Y. Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Cambridge University Press, 2003 ISBN 0-521-57488-9
  • Marrone, Gianfranco. Ludovico's Cure. On Body and Music in "A Clockwork Orange". Legas publisher, 2009

External links[edit]