The famous kiss an ecstatic sailor plants on a very surprised nurse he just grabbed off the street for the express purpose of kissing (see page image) when the end of World War II is announced in New York City is the most commonly parodied VDay photograph, though there are others.
Taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt and originally appearing in Life Magazine, the subjects of the photo melted into the crowd before he could catch their names. As a result of this, and the natural obfuscation of the subjects' features, several different people have come forward claiming to be the kisser and kissee.
- In a Pepsi ad, during a Progressive Era Montage, a short scene in the 1940s part features this, complete with the sailor carrying the nurse afterwards amidst the crowd.
- Justice League of America: Ice, the former love of Guy Gardner's life, was resurrected after years of being deceased during an affair between the Birds of Prey and the Secret Six. In the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps War, the two ex-lovers met once again in Times Square and shared a single long and passionate kiss◊.
- Watchmen puts the openly lesbian character Silhouette in the place of the Sailor. A sailor walks past them as they kiss, even briefly glancing at them before moving on. This apparently started a relationship, as that same nurse was seen sitting with Silhoutte at a Minutemen dinner and then murdered along with Silhouette later in the title sequence.
- Larry and Amelia Earhart jump into a large print of it in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. This scene also leads to a Brick Joke in the credits after Larry loses his phone in it.
- Letters to Juliet begins with the main character attempting to find someone who saw the photo being taken.
- A variation in The Master Sniper. A young American soldier turns a corner and sees a Red Cross girl with gorgeous lips who's looking a bit upset, so he kisses her (naturally this gets his face slapped). It's only then that he discovers the Germans have surrendered, which is why she's in tears.
- In Smallville, at the end of Noir, Jimmy does this to Chloe. Fitting for an affectionately old-fashioned episode.
- Frasier. When Frasier and the gang return to KACL after it reverts back to talk show format.
Bulldog: God, I didn't think I'd ever see this place again. It's like we're soldiers comin' back from the war.(grabs a passing woman and imitates the VJ Day kiss. She gives him a tremendous slap and storms off.)Bulldog: (ecstatic) I'm home!
- At least four references in M*A*S*H:
- In "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet", Frank claims that the last time his back went out was "VJ Day in Times Square when this big sailor hugged me."
- In "Dear Dad", Hawkeye walks up behind Frank and Hot Lips and surprises the latter with a passionate kiss and embrace very much like the one in the photo.
- In "There's Nothing Like a Nurse", Hawkeye and Hot Lips strike a very similar pose when he grabs and kisses her just before the nurses leave for a bug-out.
- "Abyssinia, Henry" has Colonel Blake recreating this with Major Houlihan, after the former is inaudibly advised/dared to do so by Hawkeye.
- Parodied by John Oliver, and an unknown actress, on The Daily Show in a feature about the iPad getting the use of the Verizon network ('VZ Day'). While kissing the woman, Oliver makes the picture himself with his iPad.
- In Sabrina the Teenage Witch, when Mr. Kraft announces that he's leaving Westbridge, the hallway explodes into a Tickertape Parade, and Harvey gives Sabrina a VJ Day kiss.
- In the Stargate Atlantis episode "Duet", Rodney, acting quite out of characternote , gives his date a VJ Day kiss to emphasize how interested he is in pursuing their relationship.
- The Team Fortress 2 blog parodies it at the end of its WAR Update with the Heavy Weapons Guy kissing the Scout's mother.
- In Wolfenstein: The New Order, the E3 trailer has a variation on this at the 30 second mark... with a Wehrmacht or Waffen-SS soldier doing this to a nurse instead, forcing himself on her in Nazi-occupied France.
- Included as a Funny Background Event in this Girl Genius strip.
- Sandra on the Rocks featured a visual echo of the scene in Sandra's goodbye to Gary here (complete with a gender reversal, and the strip appeared on February 14th). The artist has said that the reference wasn't deliberate, but admits to being familiar with the original photograph.
- Leif & Thorn: Mata and Pato, celebrating an engineering success.
- Once parodied in The Simpsons. From "Bart the General", Bart and Milhouse parade Nelson, tied up in the wagon. Lisa stands in the street surveying the damage, when a soldier boy rushes up and kisses her, the moment captured forever in a photo. Lisa slaps him and yells, "Ewww, knock it off!"
- In "Mad About the Toy", a flashback reveals that Abe once tried it but the woman he kissed punched him for it and said it's already been two years ever since the war ended.
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Surf N' Turf", SpongeBob shows Sandy an old photo of Mr. Krabs doing this with a large sack of money.
- Katy Perry reenacted the kiss with a Marine when she was giving a show during the New York Fleet Week.
- Among those claiming to have been the subjects of the photograph were Greta Friedman and George Mendosa. Allegedly, Mendosa was drunkenly kissing everyone at the time and the kiss was non-consensual from Friedman's side. As noted in the introduction, however, others have also made the claim to be the ones in the photo and no agreement has been reached on the validity of one over the other.
- After the 6/26/15 Supreme Court ruling declaring same-sex marriage legal in the USA, a man and his boyfriend recreated the kiss in celebration.
- Before that, in 2011, after the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy was repealed, two female Navy officers were the first same-sex couple to publicly share the US Navy's traditional first kiss (the Navy tradition of choosing one sailor to be the first to kiss a loved one on the dock after a long voyage), recreating the iconic image.
- At the end of a marching band performance in the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, two dancers reenacted the kiss while some colorguard members folded out a giant photo of the trope image.