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Referenced By / Monty Python

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As one of the most influential, popular and groundbreaking comedy teams, sketch series and film franchise of all time Monty Python has had its fair share of shout-outs. We list both references to the TV series, as well as the films, songs, albums and individual sketches here. Monty Python and the Holy Grail has its own subpage.


Audio Plays

  • In the Doctor Who audio "The Shadow Heart", the Seventh Doctor briefly fakes his own death by stopping his hearts to trick his current enemy, and then revives to claim that he was just "pining for the fjords".

Comic Books

  • One issue of the Kyle Baker run of Plastic Man begins with a criminal being (non-fatally) squashed by Plas's Giant Foot of Stomping. The caption of the next panel begins with "And now for something completely different".

Comic Strips

  • In the Doctor Who Magazine "Comics Assassins" parody of "The Curse of Fenric" the Viking curse is "Your mother was an elk and your father smells of smorgasbord".

Film - Live-Action


Film - Animation


  • Douglas Adams and John Lloyd published a book named The Meaning of Liff around the same time Monty Python's The Meaning of Life was in theaters. According to an interview with Lloyd, they chose the title on purpose, the idea was that the potential confusion with the film's script would help to sell more copies of the book.note  In fact, in the beginning of the Monty Python film the gravestone with the title "The Meaning of Liff" appears before a lightning bolt strikes the last F and converts it to an E. However, according to Don't Panic, Neil Gaimain's Adams biography, this was a coincidence that Adams and the Pythons found out about too late to change anything.
  • In the Carl Hiaasen novel Stormy Weather, Augustine, one of the characters, to get out of an argument, turns on the TV, and after channel-surfing, finds the Parrot Sketch on and watches it.


  • Not the Nine O'Clock News: One sketch had the cast parody the controversy surrounding Monty Python's Life of Brian by having a bishop complain that this Bible film mocks Monty Python and especially its Messiah Our Lord John Cleese.
  • The Young Ones: In the episode "Time" Alexei Sayle's character runs into a shop, performing a silly walk in the process, and asks the owner whether this is a cheese shop? When the man replies: "No sir." Sayle answers: "Well that's that sketch knackered then, innit?''
  • Spitting Image: A Running Gag on the series was that everybody confused Liberal Party politician David Owen with John Cleese, because they were both tall people who spoke with a silly, self-important voice. In one sketch, accompanied by the Monty Python Theme, Owen visits a pet shop where he complains about his party being dead for several years, a reference to the "Dead Parrot" sketch. In another sketch he talks to John Cleese about the Liberal Party note . After comforting him Cleese suddenly rings the bell and says, "Good morning", and tries to leave by doing the Silly Walk. Owen then snaps back, "That was never five minutes!", to which Cleese replies, "It bloody well was." note .
  • The Goodies: Mr. Gumby was referenced in the episodes "Scatty Safari" and "The Goodies Rule- O.K.?". John Cleese appears at the end of the Panto Christmas Episode "The Goodies and the Beanstalk" as a genie and says "And now for something completely different", at which Tim tells him to push off.


  • The Sex Pistols: Guitarist Steve Jones often performed with a hanky on the head, as a tribute to Mr. Gumby.
  • Harry Nilsson covered "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" as early as 1980 on his album Flash Harry. Art Garfunkel (Simon & Garfunkel) has covered it too.
  • The sketch "Rock Notes" from Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album inspired the band name of Toad the Wet Sprocket.
  • On Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers during "Purple Stain" this line is sang:
    Python power straight from Monty
  • Iron Maiden typically have "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" playing on the speaker systems when their gig is done and they have no more encores to do. Bruce Dickinson was also involved in a documentary about them, singing the opening song for an episode.
  • Madness have dressed up in drag similarly to the show's "Pepperpot" characters several times, especially in the video to "House of Fun". The video for "Our House" features certain band members dressed as "Gumbies".

Puppet Shows

  • In the 1990s, Sesame Street had a character called Monty who was portrayed as a Muppet version of a John Cleese character, his surrealist logic constantly aggravating the sensible Prairie Dawn. At different points he had a python and a group of flying circles.
  • When John Cleese guest-starred on The Muppet Show, he appeared as a pirate on a "Pigs in Space" skit. After his Pirate Parrot complains one time too many, Cleese threatens to make him an "ex-parrot".


Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Black Templars use a Holy Hand Grenade...carried by Brother Maynard.
    • One of the Ork psychic powers, the Foot of Gork (or Mork) is basically the Giant Foot of Stomping from the show's intro.
  • Munchkin
    • One of the monster cards is a Perfectly Ordinary Bunny Rabbit, which may turn out to be That Rabbit From That Movie.
    • The card "Laugh at DM's Monty Python Rougine" Lampshades this, while showing a recreation of the Dead Parrot sketch.
    • The card "Budget Steed" is a picture of a man banging two coconuts together.
    • Munchkin Impossible has Fruit Combat Training, referring to the Self-Defence Against Fresh Fruit sketch.

Video Games

  • Flight Rising has two Monty Python and the Holy Grail references in its item pool. The Black Knight (as in, a chess piece) has the description "Keeps fighting no matter what." while the Newt's description is "It's said evil magic can turn dragons into newts. If that's true of this one, it never got better."
  • Warcraft III: Several Stop Poking Me! quotes are from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • The Worms series has consistently had a reference to the Holy Grail with the "Holy Hand Grenade" showing up as a weapon in many of the games.
  • Oh...Sir!! The Insult Simulator has so many references that it might as well be an unofficial fangame.
  • The online trailer for the "Dark Ages" level of Plants Vs Zombies 2 had a knight zombie being followed by an Imp banging two coconuts together.


Web Original

  • The Nostalgia Critic: Doug enjoys using clips from both the show and the films here and there.
  • The Cinema Snob: While reviewing the Bible movie porn parody Sodom and Gomorrah Brad calls it at one point: "Worst Python film ever!"
  • TV Tropes has named several of their articles after sketches from Monty Python, including Upper-Class Twit, My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels and Silly Walk.
  • The name of the Swedish YouTube channel Monte Fjanton originally meant to evoke "Monty Python" while having a silly twist to it, as "fjant" is a Swedish term for a silly person.

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Principal Charming" Hans Moleman is named "Ralph Melish", a reference to "The Adventures Of Ralph Melish: Hot Dog and Knickers" sketch from the Monty Python album The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief.
    • When the animatronic Mount Rushmore cut-out is lowered at the end of the school play in "I Love Lisa" the heads of the presidents sing by only having the lower jaw move, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Terry Gilliam's cut-and-paste animations.
    • In the couch gag of "Homer Goes To College" (repeated for the episodes "Lisa vs. Malibu Stacy", "Another Simpsons Clip Show" and "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular"), the Simpsons are squashed by the huge pink foot from the intro of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
      • In the same episode Benjamin, Doug and Gary claim to know "the words of every Monty Python routine" and quote from the "Knights Who Say 'Ni'" sketch from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
    • In the opening credits of "Treehouse Of Horror IV" Colin Lewis is credited as Colin "Two Sheds" Lewis, in reference to the "Arthur 'Two Sheds' Jackson" sketch from the TV series.
    • On the DVD audio commentary of "Bart VS Australia" the makers claimed that some of the stereotypes about Australia used in this episode were inspired by Monty Python's Flying Circus "Bruces" sketch.
    • The game Angus Podgorny's Caber Toss in "Marge Be Not Proud" is a reference to the character "Angus Podgorny" who was seen in various episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    • While playing World of Warcraft in "Marge Gamer" Bart plays a character named "The Black Knight". Near the end of the game both his arms and legs have been decapitated, causing him to resemble the Black Knight character from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, whose limbs are also cut off in a very famous scene.
  • South Park: As huge Python fans Trey Parker and Matt Stone has referenced the show a few times in their work too.
    • They created a short homage in 1999 with Cartman and Stan recreating the "Dead Parrot" sketch with Kenny in place of the dead parrot. In the end Terry Gilliam intervenes, only to be squashed by a giant foot. Eric Idle was even a guest voice in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.
    • In "The Return Of Chef" the children visit a business meeting where a man explains how they are going to climb "the two peaks of the Kilimanjaro". This is a reference to the "Kilimanjaro Expedition" sketch from the first series, which was also featured in And Now For Something Completely Different.
    • The warring atheist movements in the future in "Go God Go XII" are similar in concept to the warring Jewish movements from Monty Python's Life of Brian such as "People's Front of Judea".
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Fish Out of Water" a man with elongated arms appears wondering "where the fish has gone?" This is a reference to a similar sequence in Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.
    • The opening sequence of "Space Cadet" parodies the opening credits of Monty Python's Flying Circus.
    • The episode "The Former Life of Brian" is a Pun-Based Title on Monty Python's Life of Brian. In the same episode, Dylan tortures Meg by making her watch 178 hours of all the unfunny and unmemorable Monty Python sketches compiled together.
      TV: I have a pet hedgehog named Zippy, and I shall walk her to town. And each time my foot hits the ground, I shall say "Boing! Boing! Boing!"
      Meg: I'm a girl! I don't even like the good Monty Python sketches!
    • In "Con Heiress", Brian tries to woo an elderly heiress with an extremely long name, referencing the "Johann Gambolputty..." sketch; one of her surnames is actually "Stolenmontypython".
  • In The Critic, Jay's boss Duke Philips, when running for president, threatens to "send New England back to Old England." When it cuts to Elizabeth II and Prince Charles reacting to the news, they speak like a Pepperpot and Mr. Gumby, respectively.
  • King of the Hill: Dale makes fun of Hank for wearing suspenders by singing the first verse of "The Lumberjack Song".
  • The Robot Chicken episode "Boogie Bardstown in: No Need, I have Coupons" replaces the show's usual opening with a parody of the Monty Python's Flying Circus opening.

Real Life

  • Margaret Thatcher once compared the bird symbol of the Liberal Party to a "dead parrot" and declared it an "ex-party" and time for "something completely different". It generated a huge laughter from the crowd, though the reference was a suggestion by her advisors. She herself had never watched the show before and wondered whether "that Monty Python - is he one of us?" (i.e., a Conservative supporter) and feared that the audience wouldn't understand the reference. She herself didn't anyway, because her crew showed her the Dead Parrot sketch on video and she was the only one who didn't get what was so funny about it.
  • During the Falklands War (1982) both the HMS Sheffield and the HMS Coventry were struck by a cruise missile. As their crews waited to be rescued from their sinking ship they sang: "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life".
  • The expression "nudge nudge, wink wink" has entered the English lexicon as an idiomatic phrase implying sexual innuendo. The words themselves already existed, by the way.
  • The word "spam" for unwanted emails is a direct reference to the Python sketch of the same name.
  • The computer language Python is also a shout-out to the show.
  • Terry Pratchett was quoted in a fanzine as saying the first realisation he had that he was doing quite well was when he was trying to decide between two videos and realised he could get them both. When he wrote in to clarify that these were video cassettes, not video recorders, he signed off as Terry "Two Videos" Pratchett.

Alternative Title(s): Monty Pythons Flying Circus


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