Referenced By / The Lion King

Animated Films

Films - Live-Action

Live-Action TV
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Phillip sits on a rabbit belonging to his five-year-old son, Nicholas. He tries to smooth over the explanation by referring to Mufasa's death, but Nicholas realizes what his father is doing and interrupts him.
  • In The Nanny one of the children asks to see The Lion King again in the theater. One of the adults refuses: "The 'Hakunas' are coming out of my 'Matatas'".
  • When the Doctor is trying to talk about the potential of humans in The Christmas Invasion, he starts quoting "The Circle of Life".
  • An episode of Scrubs has the Janitor complaining about JD quoting the movie, only to be outed as a fan ("I just like the monkey, OK?").
  • Home Improvement made a couple references to the film as Actor Allusions, since Young Simba's voice actor Jonathan Taylor Thomas also played Randy Taylor. (It did the same for Toy Story, since Tim Allen voiced Buzz Lightyear.) For example, on Halloween the house was visited by trick-or-treaters dressed up as Buzz and Simba, and Randy hands out "one candy for the spaceman... and seven for the cute little lion."
  • In an early episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Titus stages a one-man mockbuster version of the Broadway show after not making the auditions for the real thing. He gets hit with a cease and desist.

Puppet Shows
  • Episode 2423 of Sesame Street involves Walt Dizzy creating an Affectionate Parody of the film called "The Chicken King". Elmo trains Telly to get the part of the title character, but Mr. Dizzy casts Elmo as him instead. Also, at one point in the titular film, a lion says, "I should be The Lion King!".

Web Original
  • SF Debris uses the song "Circle of Life" to emphasise the predatory nature of mutant serial killer Tooms in his reviews of The X-Files episodes "Squeeze" and "Tooms".
  • The Stinger of the Ultra Fast Pony episode "Makin' Babies" shows Filly Rarity being dragged to her destiny and lamenting that it isn't Pride Rock, just "regular rock".
  • I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC had "Circle of Life" recreated as "Contract for Life" (with Spider-Man as the cub) to show how Disney buying Marvel could be a positive thing.
  • In an episode of Console Wars, Greg and Dan see whether the SNES or the Sega Genesis had the better licensed game based on the movie. Because of how similar the two games are, Rafiki pays them a visit to help them see which game exceeds in each category.
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • At the beginning of his review of Congo, Critic sings his own version the opening chant for "Circle of Life".
      Nyaaaaaaaaa, this movie suuuuuuucks
      You should get a refund
      (Go see Toy Story next time)
      It's in the theater next door
    • In his review of James and the Giant Peach, to parody the abrupt death of James' parents, the Critic rewrites a clip from The Lion King where Mufasa gets eaten by a rhino.
    Mufasa: Look, Simba. Everything the light touches, is our kingdom.
    Simba: Wow!
    Critic (as Narrator): ... And then a rhino ate him up.
    [A photoshopped Rhino eats Mufasa, and "Hakunka Matata" plays over a screen that says, THE END.]
    • In his review of The Jungle Book (2016), Critic references the film during the scene where Mowgli hides from Shere Khan in a stampede of water buffalo.
      Critic as Shere Khan: Hmm, I saw another Disney film like this. Doesn't end well for the cat.
  • In the SuperMarioLogan episode, "Bowser Junior's Nintendo 3DS", when Junior shows off his Game Boy Advance SP to Joseph and Cody, the game he has on it is the Licensed Game for The Lion King 1. He then tells them that the movie's title is misleading, due to the movie being a P.O.V. Sequel focusing on Timon and Pumbaa rather than taking place in between the first and second movies, and that the movie should have been called The Lion King From the Perspective of Timon and Pumbaa. Cody then questions why Disney didn't just call the movie The Timon and Pumbaa Movie.


Western Animation
  • A Cold Open for Animaniacs had a parody called "The Tiger Prince", with Yakko in the role of Rafiki. In the end Yakko holds up the Tiger Prince high in the air on "Pride Rock" with all the other animals cheering...only to have Yakko accidentally drop him.
    Yakko: I thought they were supposed to land on their feet.
  • The Pinky and the Brain episode "Brain's Song" had the mice subjected to a sadness experiment by watching a parody of the scene where Simba finds Mufasa's dead body, giving Brain inspiration for his next scheme.
  • In the American Dad! episode "Stan Knows Best", Stan reminisces of the time when he and Hayley actually loved each other and remembers her sucking on a Lion King blanket.
  • The Family Guy episode "Peter Problems" features a parody where a monkey lifts a lion cub in the air from atop Pride Rock, followed by Peter showing up with a forklift lifting another cub up to a higher height. Two giraffes then comment on when the bris will take place.
  • The Drawn Together episode "Clum Babies" has Wooldoor lifting his first "clum baby" into the air while the other housemates bow in respect.
    • In "Gay Bash", Foxxy tells Xandir that "everything the light touches is gay" while African chanting is heard in the background.
  • The MAD sketch Avaturd has Jake Smelly being named king of the Na'vi for saving them, where Rafiki promptly shows up to lift him into the air.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In Round Springfield Bleeding Gums Murphy appears in the sky after his death. Mufasa the lion too, in reference to a similar scene in The Lion King, and says: "You must avenge my death, Kimba- I mean "Simba", in reference to the controversy that The Lion King was a rip-off of Osamu Tezuka's Kimba the White Lion.
    • In Simpson Safari the African sun rising, accompanied by African chanting, is a direct reference to the opening scene of the movie.
    • The episode Girls Just Want to Have Sums opens with the Simpsons attending the Itchy & Scratchy musical Stab-A-Lot, which is a parody of the stage musical version of The Lion King..
  • In the King of the Hill episode "Won't You Pimai Neighbor?", Hank is talking to a Buddhist monk who only speaks back to him in koans. Hank remarks that he "sounds like a song from The Lion King".