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Referenced By / The Godfather

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The Godfather is one of the most iconic and quotable films of all time, and a lot of other works have referenced the film, mostly with either Marlon Brando's performance as Vito Corleone, or the "horse head" and baptism scenes.

Comic Books
  • The Long Halloween makes many references. The main Mafia guy Carmine Falcone is an Expy is Vito Corleone, his daughter Sofia is an Expy of Sonny, and his son Alberto is a mixture of Michael and Fredo. The first scene in the first issue is similar to the first scene in the movie, with Bruce Wayne saying "I believe in Gotham City". The assassination of the one victims Luigi Maroni is framed to loo like the death of Vito Corleone. Vincent Falcone bringing his son Carmine to Thomas Wayne to operate on him is like Vito bringing Sonny to the coroner.

Films - Animated

  • Rugrats in Paris: The film opens Angelica playing the "Bob-father", which is lampshaded by her parents.
    Drew: I can't believe Angelica saw that movie last night.
    Charlotte: I can't mother and merger at the same time. Besides, she only saw a scene or two. It couldn't have made an impression.
  • Shark Tale: There are several references to the film, including Robert de Niro voicing Don Lino, Oscar indirectly calling him "the Godfather", and having a character named Luca.
  • Zootopia: Mister Big is a parody of Don Corleone, having almost all of his appearance and mannerisms (well, aside from being a tiny anthropomorphic shrew).

Films - Live Action

  • In La Grande Bouffe, Ugo Tognazzi puts on a very convincing disguise and imitation of Don Corleone at one point, both physically and in acting.
  • In Airplane!, when Captain Oveur's wife is woken up by a phone call, there's a horse in her bed. It isn't dead, though.
    • This isn't the last time Jim Abrahams would reference the film; in Hot Shots!, Lloyd Bridges character, while at a funeral, quotes Michael's speech about meeting the heads of "all the Five Families", and Jane Austen's Mafia, while a spoof of gangster movies in general, spoofs The Godfather in particular.
  • In A Better Tomorrow II, the taxi manager tosses oranges to the main characters and they act uneasy. This was a Shout-Out to the fact that oranges foreshadow death in the trilogy.
    • Speaking of John Woo, the library hit in Hard Boiled is a direct lift of the restaurant hit.
  • Cannonball Run 2 features a scene where the gangsters meet to discuss their plans. The Don is played by Dom De Luise who imitates Brando's performance, even spoofing the Right-Hand Cat trope popularized by the film.
  • In Fletch, one of the aliases the title character (an investigative reporter) uses is Moe Greene.
  • In the Name of the Father: the prisoners are watching the first movie when one of them sets the head guard on fire.
  • In Robin Hood: Men in Tights the Sheriff of Rottingham hires Don Giovanni (played by Dom DeLuise reprising his above role) to assassinate Robin Hood.
  • Star Wars:
    • Jabba the Hutt's death scene in Return of the Jedi was inspired by Luca Brasi's death.
    • Emperor Palpatine giving a speech in the Galactic Senate intercut with Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader murdering the Seperatist leaders in Revenge of the Sith was inspired by the baptism/murder montage.
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  • In Tell No One, Bruno has a tattoo of the film's title on his right shoulder.
  • In You've Got Mail, Joe e-mails Kathleen that the film is the "sum of all wisdom", and uses quotes from the movie to demonstrate how it can be used to answer all of life's questions.
  • In White Men Can't Jump, when Sidney asks a friend of his to help Billy's girlfriend Gloria, he imitates Don Corleone.
  • The Freshman (1990) basically has Marlon Brando playing an Expy of Don Corleone, and the film class the main character is taking is studying Part II.

Live-Action TV

  • On an episode of Sports Night, Jeremy gets even with Dan for pranking him when he first started working at CSC, and says, "Today, I take care of all family business."
  • On an episode of The Wire, when Stringer sees Avon preparing for all-out war with Marlo, he says, "Straight to the mattresses, huh?"
  • In Everybody Hates Chris, teenage Chris Rock's middle school is called Corleone Junior High School. In later seasons, he starts attending Tattaglia High School.
  • The Sopranos frequently references the films.
  • In season 4 episode 13 of Modern Family, Phil becoming Jay and Gloria's son's godfather is intercut with scenes of Luke carrying out retaliation on Phil's orders, a reference to the end of the first film. The episode ends with Luke closing the door of Phil's office on Claire after Phil states "don't ask me about my business".
  • In My Family, Ben fears that his patients might be a gangster:
    Ben: You could wake up next to a horse's head.
    Susan: Funny, I've been waking up next to a horse's arse for years.
  • In the Season 2 premiere episode of Veronica Mars, "Normal is the Watchword", Veronica agrees to find out why Wallace flunked his drug test when he shouldn't have (after refusing a classmate of Wallace's earlier because she claimed she didn't do that type of work anymore), but mock grouses, "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!"
  • CSI: NY's "To What End?" has a baker shot to death in his establishment. When asked what the investigators should do next, Jo Danville responds, "Take the gun, leave the cannoli."

Western Animation

  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: In "Sonically Ever After", Cinderella gets her wishes granted by her Fairy Godfather, who is a parody of Vito Corleone.
  • Animaniacs: the Goodfeathers shorts have the Godpigeon, who's pretty obviously a parody of Don Vito Corleone.
  • In the third episode of Clerks Jay beats up Charles Barkley the exact same way Sonny beats up Carlo, right down to the Fight Scene Failure.
  • The Cleveland Show: The La Famiglia Brown segment of "Wide World of Cleveland Show" parodies the film's wedding scene.
  • The Fairly OddParents: In "Big Wanda", Big Daddy wakes up to find a horse head in his bed, which turns out to be a stuffed doll named "Mr. Neigh-Neigh".
  • Family Guy:
    • In "There's Something About Paulie", Peter runs afoul of a mobster who's a Don Corleone expy who grants favours on his daughter's wedding day.
    • In "The Griffin Family History", Peter, thinking he's going to die, admits to his family that he did not care for the film, causing them to rant about how good it is. Peter is unimpressed by their remarks, admitting that he prefers The Money Pit.
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law: In "The Dabba Don", in which Fred Flintstone is accused of racketeering, Harvey wakes up to find the head of Quick Draw McGraw in his bed; this kicked off a Running Gag, where Harvey found the heads of Jabberjaw and Gloop (or Gleep) the next two consecutive mornings. Later, the film's ending montage is parodied, and features a scene of Judge Mightor getting gunned down by The Ant Hill Mob a la Sonny's death.
    Harvey: AAAAA! AAAAAAA....eww, Gleep juice! Or is this Gloop?
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Big Gino", Gino gets back at Sid for not giving Arnold a swirlie by leaving the head of his rocking horse in his bed.
  • The Loud House: In "Sound of Silence", Lynn tells of how she slighted Lola and woke up to find her soccer ball deflated.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Isabella and her Fireside Girl Troop earn their puppetry patches with their production of The Denmother. Isabella even does an imitation of Marlon Brando's voice.
  • The Simpsons
    • In "Lisa's Pony", Homer surprises Lisa with the titular pony by having her wake up and see its head resting in her bed.
    • In "Mr. Plow", after Homer plows the snow front of the school and keeps it open, Bart's vengeful classmates pelt him with snowballs in a manner similar to Sonny's death.
    • In "Last Exit to Springfield", Homer, after becoming president of the power plant union, thinks about contributing to organized crime and has an Imagine Spot where he plays Don Fanucci.
    • In the climax of "Homie the Clown", Homer hits his head on hanging wine glasses, and the dings play the melody of the film's love theme.
    • In "HOMR", Homer does impression of Don Corleone while testing out the Ani-Motion suit.
    • In "The Sweetest Apu", a flashback to Apu and Manjula's wedding shows Homer getting the Indian band to perform the wedding song from the film, with Homer singing in Italian.
    • In "Strong Arms of the Ma", Marge beats up a mugger in a way similar to how Sonny beat up Carlo.
    • In "Moe Baby Blues", Moe entertains Maggie by recounting the movie's story like a fairytale and imitating Don Corleone with an orange wedge in his mouth. This becomes a plot point later in the episode.
    • At the end of "All's Fair in Oven War", Cletus gets revenge on James Caan by having the Spuckler clan gun him down at a tollbooth, which Caan hates for obvious reasons.
    Caan: That's it. Next time, I fly.
    • The ending to "The Mook, the Chef, the Wife and Her Homer" parodies the ending to the film. In addition, Fat Tony's son is named Michael.
    • In "Tis the 30th Season", the Simpsons get revenge on the manager of a crummy resort by filling her bed with animatronic heads from the "Hall of Vice Presidents" attraction.
  • Trolls: The Beat Goes On!: In "Neighbor War", as part of a war between him and Branch, Sky Toronto wakes up to find Cooper in his bed in a parody of the horse head scene.
  • In the Freakazoid! episode "The Freakazoid", Freakazoid believes he has to grant the wish of anyone who asks him on his birthday, which the Lobe takes advantage of by wishing him not to stop his crime spree. The wish granting scene is done in the film's opening scene.


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