Osama bin Laden in popular culture

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Osama bin Laden has been depicted or parodied in a variety of media. Notable examples include:

Books and comics[edit]

  • Osama, a novel by Lavie Tidhar, in which Osama bin Laden is the "hero" of pulp novels – the Osama bin Laden: Vigilante series – in an alternate universe where international terrorism never took place. The novel won the 2012 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel.
  • Pearls Before Swine In the week of June 27, 2005. Rat and Goat are discussing where Osama Bin Laden is while Osama Bin Laden visits with "The Family Circus" characters as an exchange Student. Ending grace with "Death to America" instead of "Amen" and teaching Billy, Jeffy and Dolly to call their father "The Great Satan". Also Bin Laden forced the family Circus mom to wear a burga. Then Billy led the police to catch Osama Bin Laden at "The Family Circus" house, and the whole family was thrown in the Guantanamo Bay prison for harboring terrorist. This comic strips caused controversy among readers.
  • The Boondocks November 22, 2001. Huey says a prayer mentioning Osama Bin Laden and political things on Thanksgiving Day at the dinner table. This is one of the comic strips that caused controversy among readers.
  • Dead or Alive, a novel by Tom Clancy, focuses on the hunt for terrorist Saif Rahman Yasin, known as "the Emir" and based on bin Laden. Yasin is the leader of the Umayyad Revolutionary Council (URC), a terrorist organization similar to al Qaeda.
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama bin Laden, a 2012 memoir written by a pseudonymous retired member of SEAL Team Six, which details the mission that killed bin Laden.
  • "Bedfellows", a humorous prose sketch by Harry Turtledove, first published in Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine (June 2005), and reprinted in all-Turtledove hardcover collection Atlantis and Other Places (December 2010). Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush go to Massachusetts, which was one of very few US states legalizing same sex marriage at the time, to tie the knot.

Film and television[edit]

  • Dispatches: The Saudi Tapes – a 1997 TV documentary that features an interview with Bin Laden. Director: Gwynne Roberts. Production Company: Roberts and Wykeham Films.[1]
  • Bin Laden: The Early Years – a 2001 TV documentary. Director: Jon Blair. Production Company: 3BM Television.[2]
  • The World's Most Wanted Man – a 2001 British documentary. Director: Rob Carey. Production Company: Uden Associates.[3]
  • Dispatches: Bin Laden's Plan Of Terror – a 2001 TV documentary. Director: Eamonn Matthews. Production Company: MBC Midlands.[4]
  • The Chaser's War on Everything – earlier episodes of this Australian comedy series parody Osama bin Laden's videos with altered, humorous subtitles.
  • The comedy show South Park parodies bin Laden in the episodes "Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants", "Krazy Kripples", "Cartoon Wars Part II", "200", "201" and "It's a Jersey Thing".
  • Osama Bin Laden: Behind the Madness – a 2002 comedy.[5]
  • Panorama: The Hunt For Bin Laden – a 2002 TV documentary. Producer: Aidan Laverty. Production Company: BBC TV.[6]
  • Meeting Osama Bin Laden – a 2004 documentary.[7]
  • Targeted: Osama Bin Laden – a 2004 documentary.[8]
  • Bin Laden: The Failings of a Manhunt – a documentary film alleging that French soldiers could have killed Osama bin Laden twice but didn't because no orders came from US commanders.
  • Postal – a 2007 comedy film based on the 2003 video game. In the film, bin Laden (played by Seinfeld's Larry Thomas), who inexplicably speaks with an American accent, is portrayed as a priss who has been hiding out in Arizona since 2001, and has become tiresome with his anti-American threats, feeling that "nobody's listening anymore". He is also played as being a close friend and possible lover of George W. Bush, who has been helping him stay hidden. The final shot of the film features bin Laden and Bush skipping hand-in-hand in a field while dozens of nuclear bombs go off in the distance.
  • Grindhouse, the 2007 film's feature segment Planet Terror, features a scene where antagonist Lt. Muldoon (Bruce Willis) reveals the origin of a mutation that has affected him and his renegade squad. Muldoon and his men were infected by a deadly biochemical agent being harbored by bin Laden, whom Muldoon admits to executing.
  • Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? – a 2008 documentary.[9]
  • The American TV show Family Guy has shown bin Laden several times. In uncensored versions of "Road to Rhode Island", bin Laden is seen attempting to evade airport security by singing a show tune, as Stewie has just successfully done. In "PTV", bin Laden is seen cracking up while attempting to record a threatening video message to the U.S. After considerable dialogue and banter among the co-conspirators, Stewie is revealed to be present and he proceeds successfully to attack all the al-Qaeda operatives, including bin Laden. Osama bin Laden is also briefly referenced in "Peter's Daughter". "The Big Bang Theory" briefly references his death.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Bush Comes To Dinner", Steve and Roger try to coax the truth from George W. Bush as to Osama bin Laden's whereabouts, but their scheme ends in failure when they get him drunk. At the end of the episode, he is seen in an office building.
  • Devil's Advocate – a Dutch reality television show where the world's worst criminals are "tried." The April 8, 2009 show featured bin Laden and created controversy when the "jury" acquitted him.
  • Tere Bin Laden (English: Without You, Laden) – 2010 Bollywood comedy film
  • The 2012 film Zero Dark Thirty depicts the hunt and capture of bin Laden, directed by Kathryn Bigelow of The Hurt Locker. A similar TV film, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden, was also released in 2012.[citation needed]
  • The 2013 Tamil Spy Thriller film, Vishwaroopam shows Osama Bin Laden greeting the Al Qaeda chieftains in a cave, directed by Kamal Haasan
  • The 2017 Malayalam film Comrade in America shows a character named 'laden' illegally trying to enter United States


Video games[edit]

Osama bin Laden is an opponent (or boss) in many games released during the 2000s:[15]. He is the main antagonist in most of these games. There are release dates on the sides of the games for you.


  • The last game mentioned on this list above came out on Osama Bin Laden's 50th Birthday.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | The Saudi Tapes (1997)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  2. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | Bin Laden: The Early Years (2001)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  3. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | The World's Most Wanted Man (2001)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  4. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | Bin Laden's Plan of Terror (2001)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  5. ^ Osama Bin Laden: Behind the Madness on IMDb
  6. ^ "BFI | Film & TV Database | The Hunt for Bin Laden (2002)". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 2009-04-16. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  7. ^ Meeting Osama Bin Laden on IMDb
  8. ^ Targeted: Osama Bin Laden on IMDb
  9. ^ Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? on IMDb
  10. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSivQMzawYE
  11. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WA_xXWSXyFI
  12. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/da-unbreakables-mw0000022844
  13. ^ https://www.rollingstone.com/tv/news/watch-lonely-island-turn-bin-laden-assassination-into-bedroom-romp-20160522
  14. ^ Michael Moore strikes again - The Globe and Mail, 19 March 2003
  15. ^ "The 10 Game Deaths of Osama bin Laden". 2011-05-02. Retrieved 2013-04-23.