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Referenced By / The Grateful Dead

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A list of references, parodies, shout-outs, and homages... to The Grateful Dead.

Anime & Manga

  • Continuing the long line of characters named for famous bands, songs, and musicians, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind features a Stand named for the Grateful Dead.
    • Furthermore, in JoJolion, a city slum infamous for pickpocketing through the use of a Stand controlled by the slum's trees is referred to as Shakedown Road, as an homage to the Grateful Dead's Shakedown Street.

Comic Books

  • In X-Men 2099, the Disinterred, whose lead singer is named Jerry, and whose fans are therefore called Jerries, parodies the Grateful Dead's longevity by having actually died, but been resurrected with Deathlok technology.

Fan Works

  • Pokémon Crossing: A psychedelic band exists in the series called "The Dancing Bears", referencing the iconic bears. A character runs a hippie themed store with said dancing bears on the tapestry.


  • Half Baked: In a seeming throw-away gag, Brian buys "Jerry Garcia-In-A-Pouch". During the movie's climax, Brian, pulls out the pouch, starts praying to it, then throws it, and out pops...Jerry Garcia. Who then proceeds to deck Sampson Simpson with his guitar.
  • Salvation Boulevard: Carl is an ex-Deadhead, as is Honey Foster, at the start of the film. Honey has one of the Dancing Bears tattooed on the top of her breast. By the end of the film, Carl is an ex-ex-Deadhead.
  • Sebastian from The Rainbow Experiment has a necktie that he describes as his Grateful Dead tie.


  • Among the many rock music shout outs in Soul Music is a scene where one musician gives some money to a beggar who is actually The Grim Reaper (It Makes Sense in Context), and who is therefore described as the grateful Death.
  • Rogue: When Kiara tells Chad she follows a band around, he makes a peace sign and sarcastically says, "Woo, hoo. Grateful Dead, man."
  • In Like No Other Boy, Chris sees a long-haired, hippie-looking guy driving a '60s-style VW bus and wonders if he's listening to the Grateful Dead.
  • In Call Me Sunflower, Sunny names a cat Ripple, after Scott's favorite song.
  • Bruce, Cannie's ex-boyfriend from Good in Bed, is a big Deadhead. Cannie mentions this several times throughout the book.

Live-Action Television

  • Roseanne:
    • From the episode Fights and Stuff:
      Roseanne: You know what you are, Dan? You are a big, fat guy with absolutely no self control. You're Jerry Garcia without the music.
    • Roseanne names her baby Jerry Garcia Conner.
  • Absolutely Fabulous:
    Saffie: Look, mum, it's not my fault I don't want to loll around naked, painted day glow, with a flower stuck in every orifice, humping the air to Jefferson Airplane.
    Eddie: It was The Grateful Dead, darling.
  • On the final episode of Freaks and Geeks, Lindsay starts getting into the Grateful Dead, and even goes on the road with a pair of Deadheads.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000, in keeping with their tradition of referencing absolutely everything, made a few Dead references throughout its run.
    • One scene during The Phantom Creeps short, presented before Jungle Goddess, is turned into a dialogue between a driver and a hitchhiker lamenting the death of Pigpen.
    • The band's concert experience was lampooned for a sketch in The Dead Talk Back, (pun intended, as Tom lampshades) where Gypsy talks about a circular jam session at Alpine Valley, and Crow (wearing a wig and false beard) goes on an endless noodling solo. It goes on so long that they have to redo the "doors" sequence because Crow solos straight through the alarms.
    • Midway through The Incredibly Strange Creatures, Crow heckles a lackluster folk singer by saying "Livin' on reds, Vitamin C, and cocaine!" at the folk singer's tempo.
  • Jerry Garcia appears in the Legends of Tomorrow Woodstock episode, played by Rob McEachern.
  • My So-Called Life: On the episode "Father Figures", Graham gets tickets to see the Dead, which excites Rayanne (she and her mom are big fans), especially when Graham, who ends up not being able to go, gives the tickets to Rayanne and Angela. However, Angela, who's angry at Graham because she saw him talking with another woman in the pilot (and also overheard him talking on the phone to that woman in a later episode), ends up selling the tickets to Jordan, and then pretending to go anyway, which upsets both Rayanne and Graham.
  • Married... with Children episode "Requiem for a Dead Barber", Al, whose hair has grown longer since he has been unable to find a new barber after his old one died, complains about his hair, stating how he dislikes "having fat guys in granny glasses asking me when the new Grateful Dead album is coming out."
  • In Friends, when Ross and Rachel are trying to come up with a name for their baby, Rachel suggests the name "Rain." Ross replies by creating a very naturalistic, hippie persona for a girl named Rain, and Phoebe responds that she knows that girl and "bought homemade soap from her at a Dead show!"
  • Young Sheldon: In "A Philosophy Class and Worms That Can Chase You", Prof. Ericson says she "saw some pretty trippy stuff at a Grateful Dead concert."


  • Frank Zappa:
    • We're Only in It for the Money: In Who Needs The Peace Corps? the line "I'll go to Frisco/ buy a wig/and sleep on Owsley's floor" refers to Owsley Stanley, who prepared LSD experiments like a cook and was the longtime soundman and financier for the Grateful Dead.
    • You Are What You Is: In Teen-age Wind:
      It's a miserable Friday Night. I'm SO lonely and nobody will give me a ride to the Grateful Dead concert.
    • Thing-Fish: In Harry-As-A-Boy:
      I can't afford to study with anyone yet, since the bulk of my allowance goes for glue and Grateful Dead tickets, but soon I hope to be on my knees in a real homo bath house... maybe when my folks go on vacation.
  • Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer" contains the line "Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac." Henley indicated that the line is a Take That! at his generation for selling out.

Professional Wrestling

Stand-Up Comedy

  • Part of George Carlin's "Airline Announcements" routine, from 1992's Jammin' In New York, includes this pair of jokes:
    "Sometimes they actually refer to [the flight attendants] as "Uniformed Crewmembers!" Uniformed! As opposed to the guy sitting next to you in the Grateful Dead t-shirt and the "fuck you!" hat. Who's working on his 9th little bottle of kahlúa, I might add!"
    [a few minutes later]
    "Tell me to return my seat back and tray table to their original upright positions? Fine! Who's going to return this guy in the Grateful Dead t-shirt and the "fuck you!" hat to his original upright position?!

Video Games

  • EarthBound: The original Japanese version has an area called Grateful Dead Valley, though it was renamed Peaceful Rest Valley in the English localization.

Web Comics

  • Mentioned in Joe vs. Elan School:
    • A drifter picks up Joe hitchhiking, and tells Joe a story about how he preferred to smoke grass and listen to the Dead before being drafted to fight in Vietnam; he later tells Joe to call him "Casey Jones" after the song.
    • In college, Joe gets into the Dead when his sister sends him a box set of their music. In particular, he finds that the Europe '72 version of "Morning Dew" acts as his own personal Music for Courage.

Web Video

  • Video essayist Noah Caldwell-Gervais draws a surprising comparison between the Dead and God of War's gameplay-first plot.
    God of War is much less about plot than it is about impulse. This guy is on a hell of a rampage and it feels fucking great. It reaches deep into the animal brain and keeps on hitting the big red buttons that say "DANGER" and "TRIUMPH" over and over for hours, like a drum solo at a Grateful Dead show.
    • In a travelogue documenting his trip to real life counterparts to Fallout locations, he touches on Black Rock City (location for the Burning Man festival) and directly calls the festival-goers "Deadheads, tech-bros, and Instragram socialites."

Western Animation

  • Dinosaur Train: In "Crystal and King Benefit Concert," there's a parody of The Grateful Dead called "The Grateful Dreadnoghtus," who have tie-dyed patterned scales and sing about eating greens.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Treehouse Of Horror I: One of the gravestones reads The Grateful Dead.
    • Bart's Inner Child: Homer is reading the For Free column of the newspaper and finds a free trampoline. On the line below that is a listing for: Grateful Dead tickets Capitol City Free K19-8888.
    • Mother Simpson: The hippie driving the bus to pick up Mona near the end wears a Grateful Dead shirt.
    • Lisa's Sax: Granpa says: "I realized I could make money selling my medication to deadheads."
    • When Ned Flanders is under influence of peyote in "D'oh-in' in the Wind" he sees Melody, Verse and Rich Uncle Skeleton (The Grateful Dead) and the marching hammers from Pink Floyd's The Wall march in front of him, suddenly turned into the Lips & Tongue logo of the Rolling Stones, telling him to "Pucker up, Ned".
    • Lisa Gets An A: Homer reads an ice cream brand that says Cherry Garcia. (This is a Real Life ice cream, made by Ben & Jerry's.)
  • South Park: In the episode Ike's Wee Wee Jimbo asks Mr. Mackey why he doesn't go to a Grateful Dead concert, to which Mackey replies: I can't, man, Jerry Berry's dead.