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Referenced By / E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

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E.T. and Elliot touching fingers is to '80s film as The Creation of Adam is to the Renaissance. And naturally, they go together like chocolate and peanut butter.


  • Reese's Pieces, naturally, did an ad campaign based on the movie, with their own little alien described as a "little blue guy with big ears," who would show up at kids' doors requesting Reese's Pieces. For the 20th anniversary, E.T. himself would be featured in a tie-in spot, using the CGI model made for the release.
  • A 2019 Xfinity commercial is a "sequel" to the film in which E.T. reunites with Elliot, now with a family of his own, for the holidays. Henry Thomas reprises his role as Elliot after 37 years.

Anime & Manga

  • In an omake for volume 4 of The Way of the Househusband, a yakuza boss who loves his dog wraps her in a blanket and puts her in his bike basket. A car suddenly pulls up in front of him, but he angles his bike so he goes over the car's hood and flies through the air, like Elliot and ET.
  • In episode 4 of Scott Pilgrim Takes Off, among the characters running around Torontowood Studios are Elliot on his bike, being pursued by men in hazmat suits.
  • Magic Kaito: Tropical Land has a parody of him... mashed up with Captain EO of all things. Sadly, both anime adaptations changed this to something less lawsuit-baiting.

Asian Animation

  • In episode 49 of Happy Heroes, there is a scene where if you look in the background, the silhouettes of a certain boy and alien flying on a bicycle can be seen passing in front of the moon.
  • The Simple Samosa episode "Anda Bhatija" has a scene where Samosa, Dhokla, Jalebi, and Vada are riding on a bike to escape from General Gathiya who is after their egg alien friend Yolky. They're launched into the air and make a Full Moon Silhouette resembling the similar E.T. scene.
Comic Books
  • Men in Black, issue 6: An ET cosplayer appears for a moment in the background.
  • Transformers/Ghostbusters: When Ectotron tries to call Optimus Prime, Peter Venkman jokingly calls it "ET phones home."
Film -- Animation
  • Balto: In the ice cave, Star ends up looking through a bunch of icicles that distort his features. The last one makes him look like E.T., complete with voice.
  • Daffy Duck's Fantastic Island: Near the end, as Daffy and company wonder what they'll do with their remaining wishes, Speedy suggests they wish E.T. home.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens: Missles have "ET GO HOME" written on them when the soldiers shoot at the giant robot probe.
    • The short "Mutant Pumpkins From Outer Space" has Link ride a bike with Dr. Cockroach in the bike's basket wrapped up in a blanket just like E.T.
  • Only Yesterday: At one point, Taeko and a friend of hers briefly recreate the "touching fingers" gesture first demonstrated by E.T. and Elliot.
Film -- Live-Action
  • Airplane II: The Sequel. E.T. is shown trying to "phone home" from an airport phone booth, but hangs up on hearing the call charges.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) has in one scene Dale watching Batman Vs E.T..
  • Independence Day: When Captains Hiller and Wilder are joking around during a briefing, their superior asks if they have something to say, to which Hiller replies, "No, sir, just a little anxious to get up there and whoop E.T.'s ass, you know?"
  • Men in Black: When Jack Jeebs regenerates his head, he very briefly looks like E.T. for a few frames. Also, when Jay and Kay shoot down Edgar's ship, the way he emerges from the saucer—silhouetted against bright light behind a Dilating Door—greatly resembles the last shot of E.T..
  • One of The Naked Gun films had a wheelchair sailing in the air in front of a gigantic moon a la Elliott's bike.
  • The Neverending Story 3 has one scene where Falkor flies in front of the moon like E.T.
  • The Phantom Menace: Members of E.T.'s species are members of the Galactic Senate. Anciliary material reveals one of them is named Grebleips, "Spielberg" backwards.
  • Ted: The prologue shows a young John and Ted pretending to be Elliot and E.T. on a bike.
  • Cheech & Chong's Still Smokin: Cheech comes up with a bit about "E.T.: Eddie Torres, the Extra Testicle," a "horny guy from East Outer Space," who comes to Earth in "a lowrider spaceship." Cheech even makes a costume, which is just a green sleeveless shirt with three crudely drawn balls below the beltline, and a headband with antennae. The movie also mocks the scene of E.T. hiding in Elliott's closet among the stuffed animals.
  • Swiss Army Man: Hank does a shadow puppet recreation of the flying bike scene from ET.
  • Malcolm X. The scene where four Klansmen who have just finished terrorizing the Little family ride off into the night with a huge full moon in the background is an homage to E.T., as noted by Spike Lee.
  • Back to the Future: Marty scares George into taking Lorraine to the Enchantment Under The Sea dance by posing as "Darth Vader, an extra-terrestrial from the planet Vulcan."

Fan Works

  • In Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space someone complains about an alien using a "Spielberg Ray" that has transformed their guns into walkie talkies.


Live-Action TV

  • In the first episode of ALF, Brian is disappointed ALF can't stay with the Tanners because E.T. got to stay. Kate points out that was just a movie.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "Pangs" there's a scene with Spike on a bicycle covered with a blanket that is a homage to E.T..
  • A 1982 episode of Taxi included a subplot about Jim having seen E.T. in the theater sixty-four times, and then being scandalized to hear Alex has no interest in seeing it. He gives Alex five bucks and insists he go. Later, Alex returns raving about how much he loved the movie, and there's a cute scene of him and Jim imitating E.T.'s voice.
  • Nickelodeon's Turkey Television had a recurring sketch starring Adam Reid as a kid secretly keeping an alien in his closet. All we ever saw of the alien was an E.T.-like hand that would reach out of the closet, with a glowing light. The skits consisted of Adam having goofy conversations with the alien.
  • From 2004 to 2006, Eat Bulaga! had a segment called "EB Fone Home", referencing the E.T. quote "E.T. phone home".
  • One episode of Planet Ajay has the show's villain, Badjay, attempting to sell Bud the astronaut's spaceship on a website called "E.T.-Bay".
  • Stranger Things:
    • Several episodes frame the kids' relationship with Eleven in a way that's deliberately similar to Elliot's relationship with E.T. Mike lets her hide in his house from government agents, he shows her his Star Wars action figures, she hides from his mom in the closet, she reveals her powers of telekinesis, she rides on the back of his bicycle at one point, the kids disguise her with a dress and a blonde wig when they take her out in public, and she uses a radio to communicate with another world in one pivotal scene. The first episode even introduces Mike and his friends playing Dungeons and Dragons — the same way Elliot and his friends were introduced in E.T.
    • The scenes where the group is escaping on bikes looks like it's about to recreate the flying bikes scene from E.T.... until Eleven flips a van with her mind.
    • In the second season, Eleven wants to go out trick-or-treating disguised as a ghost, figuring no one will recognize her. This works for ET, but Hopper denies Eleven the opportunity to even try something that risky.
    • In the second season, Will mentions that his favorite candy is Reese's Pieces, which factor heavily into E.T. Dustin's relationship with Dart is also largely built around feeding it candy.


  • Wacky Packages have featured a couple E.T. parodies:
    • "Fartari" from Old School Series 8, referencing the Atari game.
    • "E.W. Cereal" from Old School Series 9, referencing the E.T. Cereal.

Web Animation

  • Homestar Runner: The Halloween episode "The Show: Ween Edition" features three Halloween costumes for characters in reference to E.T.. The Cheat wears E.T.'s dress up outfit, Strong Bad wears Mike's Halloween costume, and Strong Sad wears Elliot's Halloween costume.
  • Sonic for Hire: In Season 4, Sonic meets with E.T. who asks for assistance in phoning home. Sonic instead gives him a shot of crack and they both fly a bike into the sky... for a few seconds before E.T. falls out and dies on impact while Sonic gets arrested for drug use.

Web Video

Western Animation

  • American Dad!:
    • In the pilot, Roger says "And don't ask me to bring him back with that E.T. finger thing, 'cause that's a giant load of crap." when Stan accidentally kills the 19-year-old dog that he adopted for Steve.
    • The episode "A.T.: The Abusive Terrestrial" has Roger befriending a kid resembling Elliot, and the whole thing becomes an abusive relationship. The kid is even named Henry, after the boy who played Elliot.
    • In "Fannie 911", the scene where Roger becomes sick and turns pale upon becoming too nice resembles E.T. also becoming sick and pale near the end.
    • Roger Smith in general has a body shaped like E.T.
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball, the video game is briefly shown inside The Void, which is where the world sends all of its mistakes.
  • Animaniacs:
    • In Hooked on a Ceiling, the Warners help Michelangelo paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but the artist doesn't know what to put in the final blank space. The Warners end up painting a version of The Creation of Adam in which E.T. and Elliot touch fingers, just as the Pope arrives to see it. However, he turns out to be Steven Spielberg, and he approves of it.
    Yakko Warner: Painting is like show business: You have to know your audience.
    • In "Bully for Skippy", Slappy is aghast when Skippy tells her that his principal wants him to discuss non-violet solutions to his bully problem, to the point that she thinks he's been replaced by "one of those pod people", so she shakes him and asks "What have you done to my nephew, you little E.T.?!"
  • DuckTales (2017): In "Terror of the Terra-firmians!", Huey and a Terra-firmian slowly touch fingers upon meeting each other.
  • Family Guy:
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: In "One False Movie", one scene of the movie Mac and Bloo made is a clear reference of E.T's bike scene.
  • Freakazoid! had a Whole-Plot Reference in "Next Time, Phone Ahead", with Mo-Ron as E.T., and in "Nerdator" Spielberg is direct a sequel where a now adult Elliot is annoyed at E.T. interrupting him kissing a girl.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Digital Series: In the short "Overpowered", while Twilight was riding a bike with Spike in her basket, her levitation magic starts acting on it's and is flown in front of the moon with a similar music score playing.
  • Pinky and the Brain: In "Schpiel-Borg 2000", Brain's robotic duplicate of Steven Spielberg imitates E.T. when it goes haywire.
  • Rick and Morty: The Stinger for "Morty's Mind Blowers" shows Jerry coming by Rick's garage to find his putter, only to discover his own version of Mind Blowers. He replays one named Gobo, about the Smiths trying to get an alien home exactly like E.T., but he neglected to bring the alien to the drop-off point, inadvertently causing it to die in his locked car.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • A sketch from "Adoption's an Option" takes place after E.T. gets back on his ship. It turns out he's a retarded alien named Kleborp who can only glow only one of his fingers. After he flips off a group of Jerk Jock aliens, they dump him on another planet and he gets killed by a Xenomorph.
    • A sketch from "Legion of Super-Gyros" has a picky E.T. smacking Elliot for leaving him Reese's Pieces instead of M&Ms (who actually passed on the film's product placement).
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Bart's Dog Gets an F", Marge lights up a callus on her finger, and she and Lisa touch theirs together as a Suspiciously Similar Song to the E.T. theme plays.
    • Part of Mr. Burns' film from "A Star Is Burns" has him touching an expy of Elliot with his glowing finger.
    • The "Treehouse of Horror XVIII" segment "E.T., Go Home" spoofs this film.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror XVIII", Bart's audition has him swallowing a glowstick, causing his stomach to glow, and announcing himself as E.T. He then puts on an afro wig and calls himself BET.
    • In "The Fool Monty", an amnesiac Mr. Burns acts like E.T., and Bart hides him among a bunch of stuffed dolls in his closet. There's even an E.T. doll in the pile!
  • The Futurama episode "T: The Terrestrial" is a Whole-Plot Reference to E.T., except the human and alien have the roles switched.
  • South Park:
    • In "Free Hat", the alterations in the film's 2002 re-release are bashed, and the soldiers from Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan have their guns replaced with walkie-talkies.
    • E.T. is seen in the good side of Imaginationland.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: In "Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow", Buster saves Tyrone Turtle from Elmyra by having him catapulted into the air on a bike, and he flies past a giant full moon.
  • The 1995 cartoon show based on Casper had quite a few shout-outs to E.T., most of which were Biting-the-Hand Humor.
  • A Johnny Bravo episode has Johnny trying to rescue an alien from an angry mob by riding a bicycle. Johnny then asks the alien to "use your magic powers to fly us", only for the alien to say he doesn't have magic powers. They then ride off a cliff, flying past a giant full moon
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • "The Chronicles of Meap" — In full Cool Big Sis mode, Candace modifies her bike to fly with Meap in the basket as she goes to rescue her brothers from an intergalactic criminal.
    • "Summer Belongs to You" and "Tour de Ferb" — the kids ride their bikes over a massive chasm and appear to be flying.
  • The Critic:
    • "Every Doris Has Her Day": Jay needs a date for a musical premiere and (after assorted failures) resorts to holding a call-in contest on his show, wherein any woman who says "the name of Spielberg's adorable extra-terrestrial" wins. It doesn't work, as the only caller is a guy who thought the answer was Richard Dreyfuss.
    • "A Song for Margo": one of the movies that Jay reviews is D.T.: The Drunken Terrestrial, where the sloshed alien insists on trying to fly after having a few and falls out of the basket during the moon shot. Unlike a lot of other movies featured on the show, Jay actually liked this one.
  • Tales From The Cryptkeeper: the bike chase in "Fare Tonight" ends with Camille peddling, Mildred riding in the basket, and the two jumping a movable bridge in the process of rising. While in midair, we see them and their bike pass right by a full moon. Being such movie fans, they lampshade this "ever cinematic" moment.
  • The Watch My Chops (Corneil & Bernie in the USA), episode "Close Encounters of the Alien Kind" has Bernie and alien disguised Corneil being launched in the air on a scooter and in front of the full moon, with the dramatic music being abruptly cut off when they crash into the ground.
  • Wonder Pets!: the episode "Save The Visitor" has alot of references of this movie. One of the most notable examples was when Ming-Ming screamed when she met the alien and it is similar to how Gertie met E.T.