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Abbey Road Crossing

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Bart is dead.

The cover for The Beatles' album Abbey Road is an image that is instantly recognizable. Four people (usually), belonging to the same group, cross a road single file. If the author is really showing their work, they will be crossing to the right, in this sequence: dressed in a white suit, dressed in a black suit, dressed in a dark blue suit, and entirely in blue denim. Whomever is third in line will be barefoot and walking off-step from the others (and, for extra points, will be holding a cigarette or pencil in their right hand). The one in front wearing white will have their hands stuffed in their pockets. For bonus points, there will be a 1960s Volkswagen Beetle and a man walking a dog in the background.

Often used as a cover or poster. Expect long-running bands to use it sometime in their career.

Movies or episodes discussing long-gone Glory Days of a Bob & Alice's band will often feature this pose as well.

For some collections of these images (some better than others), go here, here or here.

And for the live web cam feed of Abbey Road go here to see people disrupt traffic for their own personal recreation. Make sure you go to the right Abbey Road in London - the DLR station is several miles away (although TFL have produced a Pun-laden poster there directing you to the right place in St. John's Wood).

Sgt. Pepper's Shout-Out is another trope based on parodies of another specific Beatles album cover. Also compare Borrowing the Beatles, for parodies of the band as a whole.


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  • Seen in an American Express commercial with Jerry Seinfeld touring England.
  • Barbie dolls do it in the commercial "Who is Barbie?"
  • Cover band "The Bootleg Beatles" used this image for their posters promoting their tour with an orchestra for the 50th anniversary of the release of the "Abbey Road" album.
  • In spring 2014, British online food-delivery-ordering service Just-Eat did a version with four Indian-restaurant chefs crossing a zebra crossing in a quiet country road, with the punning caption "Tikka To Ride". The "John" figure in the front is wearing an all-white outfit, and although the four are in step, "Paul" is wearing sandals whilst the rest have shoes.
  • McCain, a British manufacturer of potato products, did it with their four guys walking across a (potato?) field, striped with alternate strips of potato plants and strips of bare earth. The clothes are similar to those on the album cover, and the guy second from the back is out of step with the others.
  • Utah Transit Authority used a cartoon version of this to advertise a family pass where four people ride for the same price. They also used The Wizard of Oz imagery for the same campaign.
  • VolksWagen did it with 4 Beetles.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The cover page of chapter 99 of Dorohedoro has this with four of the Cross-Eyes' top lieutenants.
  • The cover of a Durarara!! Blu-ray set packaged in a lunchbox.
  • An illustration from Genshiken which was used as the cover image for the season 1 DVD set (in the US, at least).
  • The cover art for Hidamari Sketch's original soundtrack.
  • Referenced in K-On! (season 2) episode 27, when Mio fantasizes about a trip to England—the land of rock bands! Apparently Mio really is a classic rock fan. As the movie has them going to England, they get to reenact this trope at the real Abbey Road.
  • In the anime of My Hero Academia, as Deku, Ochaco, Tsu, and Kirishima head to a heroes' meeting, one shot has them reproduce the trope.
  • One is featured, along with a barrage of other music references, in the music video "Help! We are Angels" from Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. In this instance, Chuck gets flattened by the white Volkswagen.
  • This back cover for a Tenchi Muyo! soundtrack CD (which was entitled Meet The Tenchi Muyo! and featured several other Beatles cover pastiches).
  • The World God Only Knows has a special chapter about the 2-B Pencils Band, in which Elsea and the rest of the band cross a road Abbey Road style.

    Comic Books 

    Films - Animated 
  • The Electric Piper: Referenced during the second half of the film during the London on the Moon music sequence.
  • The French poster for Frozen II is staged like an Abbey Road crossing, but here, it's Elsa, then Anna, then Kristoff, and Sven carrying Olaf, walking past the shore of a lake.
  • Minions: One scene has the Minions come out of a sewer right as The Beatles themselves are crossing Abbey Road. The song "Love Me Do" even plays as this happens.
  • In Shaun the Sheep Movie, this is done twice by the sheep in the Big City.

    Films - Live-Action 
  • Asperger's Are Us: The titular troupe has a couple of photos of them doing crossings like it.
  • One of the posters of The Boat That Rocked.
  • The actual crossing pops up in Get Him to the Greek.
  • Towards the end of The Hangover Part III, Phil, Stu, Alan, and Doug briefly do this while walking across a road in the Las Vegas strip.
  • Appears in the Lindsay Lohan version of The Parent Trap. Taken a step further because "Here Comes the Sun" is playing in the background.
  • Eric Idle's Mockumentary about a Fake Band with a career that very much mirrored The Beatles' history, The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash, gave us the album Shabby Road. While Paul was barefoot on the original cover, Stig (who is actually a stand-in for George Harrison) is not wearing pants on the joke cover.
  • The poster for the 2021 French film Si on chantait.
  • Trainspotting has a scene where the four lads cross the road to their hotel in London in this manner.
  • The poster for Yesterday (2019), in which the main character Jack Malik is the only person who apparently remembers the Beatles, depicts Jack recreating this.

  • Marc Simonetti's cover for the French translation of Soul Music shows the Band With Rocks In on a bone zebra crossing, with Susan on Binky in the place of the white car and Buddy in Paul's place, complete with bare feet. (Note that the plot of Soul Music really kicks off when Buddy should have died, and didn't.)

    Live Action TV 
  • The cast of Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger during the ending theme, the scene of which was homaged/parodied in Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger.
  • Better Call Saul uses an Albuquerque-style imitation of the crossing in one episode with Jimmy and his camera crew.
  • Big Time Rush did this for their movie. Carlos gets excited that they get to sing a Beatles song, and Logan doesn't believe so...until he's the one who notices that they just crossed Abbey Road. Kendall is wearing white, Logan is somewhat barefoot (he's in a dog costume), Carlos is in black and James brings up the rear in dark blue.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - during the filming of "Doppelgangland", Alyson Hannigan and three doubles (two each dressed as human Willow and vampire Willow) posed this way for a photo.
  • This was the promotional poster for one CSI season,season 8, with Grissom in the white suit. It led to speculation he might die that season, but his departure (still alive)came the next season, season 9.
  • In 2015, Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman and two Daleks did a crossing to promote the revived Doctor Who's ninth season. Coleman is barefoot in the "Paul" position, foreshadowing Clara's death during the season.
  • This appears in the Made-for-TV Movie In His Life: The John Lennon Story, before the Beatles go auditioning on Abbey Road Studios. The most justifiable example of this page, apart from Paul Is Live.
  • The Lizzie McGuire episode "Aaron Carter's Coming to Town" has Lizzie, Miranda, Gordo, and Matt cross a crosswalk in conspicuous to the studio where Aaron Carter is recording a music video. Everyone is out of step with each other and Gordo in the front isn't wearing white, but Miranda is third in line and barefoot (she had taken her shoes off because she was walking on ground Aaron Carter had walked on).
  • On Mystery Science Theater 3000, the opening for the KTMA-era episode "Legend of Dinosaurs" has Forrster & Ehrhardt putting together a "Joel is Dead" hoax as a money-making scheme. It involves Forrester re-touching the Abbey Road cover, putting Joel in Paul's spot. (Forrester explains that he did similar work for the National Enquirer.)
  • Power Rangers Samurai did it in a music video with the Rangers spoofing famous album covers. They also did it on location during a London visit.
  • Sesame Street had Sesame Road.
  • The Teletubbies did it on Wall Street during a visit to New York.
  • Used in the The Young Ones episode "Boring" (season 1, episode 3).

  • The shot of the original Abbey Road album cover was Paul McCartney's idea. Photographer Iain Macmillan spent ten minutes snapping only six photos as the band walked back and forth across the street a few times, and the fifth was selected because it was the only one where they were mostly in step with each other. The crossing was designated a Grade II English Heritage Listed building in 2010.
    • McCartney has referenced the Abbey Road cover several times in his solo work.
      • The cover of the Paul McCartney album Paul Is Live showed an older Paul walking a dog through the crossing, digitally edited into the famous 1969 photo in place of The Beatles. It contains visual Take Thats against the Paul Is Dead rumors sparked in part by the Abbey Road cover:
      • The white Volkswagen's number plate, which originally read in part "281F" (misread as "28IF" and interpreted as "Paul would be 28 if he were still alive"), was changed to "51IS", as in "He is still alive, and he is 51."
      • He's wearing shoes and his left leg is forward. (It was suggested that being barefoot and out of step was symbolic. Paul actually ditched his shoes because it was a hot summer's day. If anything has symbolic value, it's the fact that the cover depicts the Beatles walking away from Abbey Road Studios.)
      • He's holding the leash in his left hand. (Noted lefty Paul having a cigarette in his right hand was seen as evidence it wasn't really him.)
      • Paul did a variant at the end of the music video for Spies Like Us. It has Paul, Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd at the crossing, but it's done at night with spotlights on them, so that it's a homage to Abbey Road AND Wings' Band on the Run.
      • Paul re-enacted it again in 2018 to promote his new album Egypt Station.
  • Agnelli & Nelson's Hudson St album cover parodies this with a wide-angle traffic cam shot of a crosswalk on the eponymous street in New York City, the pedestrian's shadows greatly elongated by the lens distortion, and a yellow taxi cab in the foreground.
  • Bach on Abbey Road, an album of Beatles covers in the style of Bach, by pianist John Bayless, features a photograph of the iconic crosswalk with a superimposed drawing of Bach walking across.
  • Beatallica, being Beatles meets Metallica, had Abbey Load. Not done in the actual road, but with plenty of in-jokes - the Paul stand-in is in bear slippers, and the licence plate becomes a reference to a deceased Metallica bassist, "28KLIFF".
  • Benny Hill on the cover to a 1992 Best Of album. Uses the actual crossing, but in winter and without the wide angle lens.
  • The members of Blur recreated the crossing in their video for "Parklife".
  • Booker T & The MGs were somewhat timely with their homage, which is the Ur-Example of this trope. They released the album McLemore Avenue half a year after the original album, complete with a shot of the group walking across the titular street, which is outside of Stax Studios in Memphis. The album is more or less an instrumental take on Beatles songs, played in the band's usual style.
  • The Enya song "My! My! Time Flies" mentions "four guys across Abbey Road, one forgot to wear shoes." You can find the song on her ...And Winter Came soundtrack.
  • Imagine Dragons performs a short homage to this in their video for "On Top of the World". As the band strolls down a crosswalk past some cars from The '60s, the scene slows down right when they strike the same pose from the album. This part also gives a nod to the "Paul is Dead" conspiracy, through a Freeze-Frame Bonus in which the license plate of a car reads, "BENISDEAD".note 
  • This picture by Black Metal band Abbath (project of the former front man of Immortal). The choice of location is, of course, also a pun on the band's name.
  • The Kanye West live album Late Orchestration, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in front of a standing room audience of 300 people, features the signature Dropout Bear mascot (which previously appeared on his College Dropout and Late Registration album covers) walking across the famed crossing.
  • LadBaby crosses it in his video for "I Love Sausage Rolls" to break into the Abbey Road studio to record the song. The single cover shows him following his wife chasing their children across it.
  • Mc Fly cross it a couple of times in the video for "5 Colours In Her Hair".
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers repeated the image for The Abbey Road EP. Being the Chili Peppers, they did so wearing only the wang-covering gym socks.
  • A variant of the walk is shown in the clip for "Talk" (by Why Don't We).
  • An official Vocaloid t-shirt depicts Miku, Rin, Len, and Luka doing their own homage.
  • The cover of the soundtrack to VVVVVV, PPPPPP, has the V-men crossing the road... upside down, of course.


    Video Games 
  • One piece of official art for Deadly Premonition shows the four members of the game's "investigation team" in this pose, crossing a street in Greenvale. The leader isn't in white, but the second from the back, York, is out of step! Fitting, really.
  • In one of the many random cutscenes of LEGO Island, four of the island's citizens cross a street in this pose. They even swap their normal hats and hairpieces for dark colored shoulder-length hair for this scene only, making the allusion even more clear.
  • The Mario Paint Player's Guide features Mario, Yoshi, a red Koopa Troopa, and a Bob-Omb reenacting this in the Table of Contents.
  • One of several fake CD covers in Mystery Case Files 15: The Black Veil is a shot of four men in black robes making the crossing, labeled "The Alisters."
  • In No Straight Roads, the album cover for robot boy band 1010 depicts them in this pose, though all in step and with a more abstract background.
  • Parodied in Wolfenstein: The New Order, one of the collectables you can find is a Die Käfer record ''Das Blaue U-Boot. The cover features a silhouette of the band in the Abbey Road Crossing pose.
    • In a more sinister example, some of the promotional material for the game depicted four German soldiers doing the crossing.


    Web Originals 
  • This Flash-animated video for The Beatles "Come Together" features the Beatles as they appeared on the Abbey Road cover (John in white, George in denim, Ringo in black and Paul barefoot), and even references the zebra crossing on the cover. The video was made for, and is quite well-made.
  • Moshi Monsters has featured three: one in a brief parody in their "Ponies" music video, the second in an in-game picture purchase called "Crabby Road", and the third in a promotional poster for the "Music Rox" album, complete with a barefooted Zommer (maybe also an extra "Paul is Dead" rumor as well, since Zommers are zombie monsters) out of step with the others and Bonkers in place of the photobomber.

    Western Animation 
  • Unintentionally foreshadowed in the mostly lost film 15000 Dibujos, from 1942.
  • One of the many variations of the intro song of Animaniacs had Yakko, Wakko and Dot walking on a road a la Abbey Road. "Penny laney..."
  • A Netflix thumbnail for BoJack Horseman added around Season 4's release depicts the five main characters in this pose.
  • The Bremen Avenue Experience did this during a Music Video that contained multiple Shout Outs to British pop culture.
  • One of the records released by El Tigre's mother Maria during her stint as a mariachi singer. It featured Manny, Maria, and a goat.
  • A Popeye T-shirt making the rounds has Popeye, Bluto, Wimpy and Swee-Pea affecting the Abbey Road crossing.
  • One of four Beatles album cover parodies seen briefly in The Powerpuff Girls (1998) episode "Meet the Beat Alls"note .
  • The cover for the Ren & Stimpy album You Eediot! had Ren, Stimpy, Muddy Mudskipper and Mr. Horse walking down a live-action road.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Done in the Beatles parody "Homer's Barbershop Quartet". One of the records Homer shows to Bart and Lisa, titled "Bigger Than Jesus" (a Shout-Out to an infamous joke John Lennon made during an interview). Homer's barbershop quartet (including a barefoot Barney) is even walking on water.
    • The cover to November 2002's Rolling Stone. Said cover provides the trope image.
  • Total Drama:
    • The Drama Brothers are seen crossing Abbey Road during their segment in the Celebrity Manhunt special.
    • In the intro to Total Drama World Tour, Leshawna and Noah are walking over the Abbey Road Crossing.

    Real Life 
  • The zebra crossing was given official Grade II Listed Building status (along with the studio) in 2010. It is arguably the most famous street crossing in the world, with only the scramble crossing in front of Shibuya Station in Tokyo coming close to matching it. As noted above, it has become a pilgrimage destination for Beatles fans who want their picture taken there. Like the Cassini space probe imaging team.
  • Abbey Road Studios' website has a live webcam stream of the crossing. On a good day you can see fans and tourists stopping to do their own re-creations of the shot every few minutes or so. On a bad day you can see those same fans desperately trying to dodge traffic as the unamused locals try to get to work.


Video Example(s):


The Beat-Alls

The Beat-Alls do this early on as they walk to the National Trust.

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Main / AbbeyRoadCrossing

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