Useful Notes: Osama bin Laden

Osama bin Laden was a Saudi Arabian noble and the leader of the international Sunni Muslim terrorist organization al Qaeda. He was responsible for both major terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, as well as the bombing of the USS Cole.

He was eventually located in a fortified compound in Pakistan. He was killed at the compound on May 1, 2011 during a U.S. Special Forces operation, closing a chapter in the war on terrorism.

Osama provides examples of numerous tropes:

Osama bin Laden in documentary and fiction:

  • American Dad! did one episode where Osama is already in the US working undercover as an accountant.
  • He appears in a Bob the Angry Flower - Space Cat crossover strip from way back in 1998 or rather someone else with the same name as it turns out.
  • Homage: Broken Saints features an aging, bearded middle-eastern man of a fearsome disposition who speaks in quotations from the Qu'ran. His name is Osama. Coincidence? The character's first involvement in the series occurred before 9/11, his identity (as father of Iraqi Anti-Hero Oran) was revealed well afterwards, and his canon name is never mentioned in the series itself at all. Make of that what you will.
  • Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta has a sketch in their TV show depicting Osama living in Rio de Janeiro with an abusing wife.
  • A Brazilian comedy website,, have Osama (and sidekick "Zuanta", pun on "sua anta", "you ass") as frequent characters.
  • Appeared in Dead Ringers, particularly in one memorable sketch where he went on a Blind Date-style show.
  • Eminem plays him in the video for the D12 song "Without Me".
  • Family Guy: Osama bin Laden is beaten up by Stewie Griffin in the opening sequence of the episode "PTV", after being prevented from sending a hostile message to the United States.
  • Fugitive Hunter, a PS2 first-person shooter/fighting game, has Osama bin Laden as the final boss. You kickbox him to a gangsta rap about...beating up Osama bin Laden.
  • The movie Osama — the first film to come out of Afghanistan since the Taliban banned films in 1996—is actually not about that Osama. Well, not explicitly about him.
  • The novel Osama by Lavie Tidhar is set in an Alternate Universe to ours, where Middle Eastern terrorism does not exist (by implication, because the state of Israel was never created, either because the Holocaust never happened or more unpleasantly because it was more successful), but there is a series of Villain-Based Franchise technothriller novels about "Osama bin Laden" which echo al-Qaeda's actions in our universe. It's also the Ironic Hell for the souls of al-Qaeda suicide terrorists, who find themselves ghosts in a universe where their motivations and actions are completely irrelevant and incomprehensible.
  • Pearls Before Swine: A controversial series had Osama hiding out in The Family Circus universe. Since it's a 50's type universe, they have no idea who he is.
  • Mentioned in Planet Terror as having been found and killed by Bruce Willis' character.
  • There was a "Bin Laden in a Blender" web site on The Simpsons. Implied in one episode (where Homer and Marge met each other as kids) that he was Homer's pen pal.
  • Sore Thumbs: He appears in an out-of-freakin'-nowhere context as the villain of a storyline in the webcomic.
  • South Park: Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants.
  • Appears in 2DTV, usually in sketches where he gets annoyed by the Taliban's lack of high-tech weapons to fight the Americans with.
  • Osama is the only guy the H-Doujinshi Viva Freedom who doesn't get to have sex. (And serve him right!) Specifically, his men kill him for interrupting their orgy.
  • The 2008 Morgan Spurlock documentary Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden.
  • An absolutely bizarre book entitled Where's Bin Laden? parodies the Where's Wally? series with bin Laden and his minions hiding around the globe, in the midst of their own terrorist plots.