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Referenced By / The Who

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References, shout-outs, spoofs, parodies, homages to The Who.

Anime and Manga


  • Gotlib: One cartoon by Hamster Jovial has the characters spoof the album cover of Who's Next. In another Hamster has a dream which is basically one big shout-out to the lyrics of Tommy. He feels freed and just as he is about to "smash the mirror" he is awoken by the others.


  • 200 Motels: In this bizarre Frank Zappa film Keith Moon plays a nun.
  • Austin Powers: "My Generation" is used in the second Austin Powers film.
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  • Ghostbusters (2016): Upon successfully trapping the Mayhem ghost, Jillian smashes a guitar a la Pete Townshend.
  • Back to the Future: Some of Marty's moves during the "Johnny B. Goode" number were purportedly inspired by The Who.
  • Goodfellas: "Magic Bus" is played during the montage of Henry running errands.

Live-Action Series

  • Spitting Image: Pete Townsend and John Entwistle were made into puppets. One sketch was a parody of "My Generation" where the band talked about "their generation" now that they were older and basically sell-outs. The clip provided an extra shout-out by having Townsend smash his guitar near the end.
  • Classic Albums: Tommy and Who's Next were featured in respective episodes.
  • Every CSI Verse show features a different Who song as its Real Song Theme Tune: "Who Are You" for the original CSI, "Won't Get Fooled Again" for CSI: Miami, "Baba O'Reilly" for CSI: NY, and "I Can See For Miles" for CSI: Cyber. This was parodied in a Two and a Half Men gag, when a CSI parody used the rather inappropriate-sounding "Squeeze Box".
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  • The legendary "Arctic Tern" back-and-forth during a game of "Greatest Hits" on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. Ryan had intended for his riddle to lead into The Who for the next song, but Colin decided to throw a curve ball just to troll Ryan.
  • "Baba O'Reilly" is used in the first episode of Life on Mars (2006).
  • Legend has it that Animal of The Muppets was based on Keith Moon.


Video Games

Web Original

  • Brows Held High: In his review of The Man Who Sold The World with David Bowie presenter Oancitizen sings his entire review in parodies of famous Bowie songs. In one scene, however, when Mary-Lou calls "Tommy" Oancitizen starts singing "Tommy, can you hear me?" note , then realizes his mistake and says: "Scratch that!"

Western Animation

  • Animaniacs: One episode had Scrappy Squirrel asks her nephew Skippy about the bands about to play at the Woodstock Festival. In a variation of Abbott and Costello's classic Who's on First sketch she keeps asking: "What's the name of the band?" to which her nephew keeps telling her directly, which she keeps misinterpreting his answer: "The Who". She: "The band!" He: "No, The Band won't perform until later." Then later in the bit Scrappy asks, "Who's on stage." Skippy: "Yes." Scrappy: "The name of the band is Yes?" Skippy: "No, Yes isn't even at this festival."
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • "Finding Mary MacGuffin": The evil jingle is sung in the style of The Who, more specifically, "Won't Get Fooled Again".
    • "The Baljeatles": Baljeet raises his guitar to smash it, Townsend-style, before carefully placing it back in the case.
    • "Mommy Can You Hear Me?" is named for "Tommy Can You Hear Me?"
  • The Simpsons: The Who were special guest voices in the episode "A Tale Of Two Springfields". "Won't Get Fooled Again" is played over the end credits. As a special tribute the drummer was modelled after Keith Moon, despite the real Moon having died decades before the episode aired. At one point Moe also says:
    "That fat, dumb and bald guy sure plays some real hard ball", note 

Real Life

  • Kurt Cobain quoted "My Generation" by The Who in his suicide letter:
    Hope I die before I turn into Pete Townsend.


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