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Referenced By / Psycho

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Comic Strips

  • Parodied in The Far Side a few times.
    • One strip titled spoofs the shower scene with a hypothetical "Psycho III" in which a tank plows into a lady's bathroom.
    • Another features "little Normy Bates", who "would always take a few extra minutes to yell at his 'dog'" before going out to play with his friends.
    • Yet another cartoon captioned "What really happened to Elvis" shows the King staying at Bates Motel.
    • Still another has a family of earthworms deciding to stay for the night at "Bait Motel".

Films - Animated

  • Finding Nemo: The familiar "Psycho" Strings play when Darla arrives.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action has a scene where Kate walks in on Bugs taking a shower, causing him to go into a screaming fit before "fainting" and pouring chocolate syrup down the drain.
    Bugs: Doesn't anyone knock anymore?

Films - Live Action

  • Friday the 13th (1980) has the similar soundtrack, the woman who is set up to be the Final Girl is killed off first, and the killer reverses Norman Bates by being a mother who believes her dead son is talking through her and convincing her to kill people for having sex.
  • Halloween (1978): Michael's psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Loomis, has the same name as Marion's lover. And the scene where Laurie walks towards the house where Annie and Lynda are is filmed almost exactly as Lila's approach to the Bates home—cutting back and forth between her and the house.
  • Phantom of the Paradise has the Phantom use a toilet plunger to attack a man in the shower.
  • High Anxiety, a pastiche of Hitchcock movies in general, features a parody of the shower scene where the stressed-out bellhop Thorndyke told to get the newspaper arrives and attacks him with said paper, his high-pitched screaming substituting for the strings.
    "That kid gets no tip."
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  • Scream (1996): Billy's surname is Loomis, a reference to Sam Loomis. Billy also quotes Norman Bates when revealing his true nature.
    Randy: Stu's flipped out! He's gone mad!
    Billy: (Kubrick Stare) We all go a little mad, sometimes.
  • Tim Burton included a spoof of it in his version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in a scene with the television-obsessed kid.
  • Brian De Palma (it is one of his favorite movies):
    • Carrie (1976): The school is renamed Bates High School and copious use is made of the "Psycho" Strings whenever the religious fanatic raised Carrie uses her powers.
    • Phantom of the Paradise features a character being murdered in the shower.
    • In Blow Out, the slasher film being made within the film features a knife wielding serial killer murdering a woman taking a shower.
    • Dressed to Kill is a Hotter and Sexier homage to it. Marion's death scene is entirely recreated, although in an elevator and not in a shower. There's the Hitchcock blonde Dead Star Walking, who commits a "crime" (although Kate's isn't illegal, she's cheating on her husband) and then gets brutally murdered by a mysterious woman for her sexuality who actually turns out to "really" be a man with a female split personality - Bobbi is the psychiatrist's alter ego, though, not the Norman Bates character, killing off woman he is attracted to.
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  • In Pulp Fiction, the shot of Marcellus turning his head to see Butch in his car is identical to Marion's boss recognising her.
  • In Snatch., when Mickey "wins" a new trailer van for his mother from Turkish, he specifically picks out "periwinkle blue" as the color.
  • In Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Bugs Bunny re-enacts the shower scene.
  • In Evil Dead 2, Professor Knowby's dead wife is said to be in the "fruit cellar."


  • A Boy Made of Blocks: When Alex kills a sheep with a pickaxe in Minecraft, he thinks, "It's like the shower scene from Psycho, if Janet Leigh had been a sheep made out of six white boxes."
  • In Harmony (2016), the kids use cocoa powder as an ingredient for fake blood because Candy's heard that they used chocolate syrup in Psycho.
  • In There's More Than One Way Home, Anna remembers that with Val gone, his apartment felt like the Bates Motel.
  • In Eye Contact, the kids speculate that Perry the introverted maintenance worker is the killer. One of them says, "I hear Perry lives with his mother. Like that guy in Psycho." June is surprised that not only has a fifth-grader seen the movie, he expects everyone else has too.

Live-Action TV

  • Ultraseven X used a Psycho shout out as a major plot point in one episode, where the Monster of the Week is a murderous alien who writes "NORMAN" in blood at all his crime scenes, which is meant to be a cry for help from his split personality, who like Norman frames the crimes on a woman important in his life that he killed.
  • After faking his death to escape prosecution for raping Lucy Cooper, Guiding Light's Brent Lawrence returned to town disguised as a woman named Marion Crane in order to befriend and begin stalking his unsuspecting victim. At one point, he even tries to kill her while she's showering (but ends up attacking a friend of hers instead). Throughout the entire storyline, he's tormented by the voice of his abusive mother—whose treatment of him is the reason he became such a misogynist—and at the storyline's conclusion, his mental breakdown is so complete that the female personality has taken over.
  • Although the movie is never mentioned, the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Pique" borrows many key elements from the movie—an abusive mother, and incestuous relationship (though it's outright sexual here, whereas it may have only been emotional abuse in the film), a shy and mild-mannered guy who turns out to be a killer, and the fact that he uses a knife to represent his penis.
  • When Anthony Perkins hosted Saturday Night Live, he reprised his role as Norman Bates for a sketch.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Kryten", after the Nova 5 crew turn out to be a group of skeletons, Rimmer calls Kryten "the android version of Norman Bates".
  • The Comic Strip Presents episode "Slags" has a character who is a parody of Norman Bates. The famous reveal of Mother is even parodied.


  • Busta Rhymes sampled the opening theme for "Gimme Some More".

Tabletop Games

  • Hunter: The Vigil: Norman Bates is cited as an influence of the Psycho Undertaking of Scourges, representing "the overly chatty madman killer".

Western Animation

  • American Dad!: In "A Smith in the Hand", Stan secretly masturbates at the 'Bates Motel (note the apostrophe).
  • Dexter's Laboratory: The ending to the episode "Pslightly Psycho" features Mom sneaking up on Dad in the shower Psycho-style to scrub his back.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: The episode "Haunted House" has a scene where the ghost tries to kill Stimpy in the shower, the colors being muted for this occasion.
  • The second segment of the Shrek Halloween Special Scared Shreckless, titled "Boots Motel", is a parody of this film.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The scene of Maggie hitting Homer on the head with a mallet in "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" is based on the shower scene, complete with red paint going down the garage's drainpipe.
    • A scene from "Brother from the Same Planet" has Skinner "speaking" to his mother while looking upon a creepy house looking much like the Bates Motel.
    • "Cape Feare" has a scene where Sideshow Bob composes a list of methods to kill Bart while staying at the Bates Motel.
    • The pop culture-heavy episode "Black Widower" features a nearly perfect replay of the scene in which Lila Crane discovers Norma Bates' corpse after Bart foils Sideshow Bob's plot to kill Selma. From the moment when Bart turns around in the chair, mimicking the discovery, to when Selma enters the room, poking fun at Sam Loomis entering the room.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: The episode "The Wheel o' Comedy" has a scene where Elmyra sneaks up on Dizzy in the shower to give him a scrubbing.
  • The fittingly named episode "Psychoklahoma" of The Brak Show features the cast putting on a musical (kind of) based on the film to save the host of Brak's favorite TV show from freezing to death. Naturally Norman Bates is played by Zorak and it is glorious.
  • Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold sees Scooby and Shaggy head off into Arkham's cafeteria and see a food item named "Bates Burgers", complete with knives looking similar to Norman's.


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