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Old 05-14-2019, 10:47 AM
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Wizard of Oz references in pop culture


So I'm watching the trailer for the upcoming Godzilla movie and I realize they're doing this somewhat tongue-in-cheek by referencing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'.

That sets me thinking. The Wizard of Oz is - even 80 years after its release - a strong STRONG cultural touchpoint in American culture (Maybe other cultures, too. I wouldn't know.) There must be hundreds of references in movies and television I'm bumped into over the decades.

Let's list them!

First off, I'll toss in the above Godzilla trailer.

Second, Robert Heinlein in Glory Road. Crossing a swamp, our hero Oscar asked if the bricks the road is made of are yellow and is told that yes, that's what the local clay is like. He's amused but the rest of the group, not from our universe, don't get the joke.

What else?
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:49 AM
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Nice and meta from Avengers:

Fury: I'd like to know how Loki used it to turn two of the sharpest men I know into his personal flying monkeys.
Thor: Monkeys? I don't understand—
Rogers: I do! I understood that reference.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:51 AM
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"Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man" is the first thing that popped into my head. The song by America.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:53 AM
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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: The secret meeting between Gwyneth Paltrow and the scared scientist takes place in a theater during a showing of the movie.
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Old 05-14-2019, 10:53 AM
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Office Space (1999)

One of the pieces of flair that Jennifer Aniston's character was wearing was a button, "We're not in Kansas anymore."
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:02 AM
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That sets me thinking. The Wizard of Oz is - even 80 years after its release
...or 119 years after its release?

Clearly, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is a reference to the movie, but some of these other examples (including the Heinlein) could (instead or in addition) be references to the book.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:05 AM
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In one episode of Night Court, Judge Harry Stone made a joke about going from Detroit to Chicago, so he could see the "Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!"

I used the line on my 24-year-old daughter recently and told her it was from The Wizard of Oz. "So that's where that's from!" she exclaimed. We watched the movie together when she was little, but she apparently didn't remember the line or make the connection between the two. Yet she was still familiar with the line from pop culture.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:11 AM
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So I'm watching the trailer for the upcoming Godzilla movie and I realize they're doing this somewhat tongue-in-cheek by referencing 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'.

That sets me thinking. The Wizard of Oz is - even 80 years after its release - a strong STRONG cultural touchpoint in American culture (Maybe other cultures, too. I wouldn't know.) There must be hundreds of references in movies and television I'm bumped into over the decades.

Let's list them!

First off, I'll toss in the above Godzilla trailer.

Second, Robert Heinlein in Glory Road. Crossing a swamp, our hero Oscar asked if the bricks the road is made of are yellow and is told that yes, that's what the local clay is like. He's amused but the rest of the group, not from our universe, don't get the joke.

What else?
I've argued here before that TWoO is easily the most referenced artistic work in American history, and I don't even think the competition is close. It's so damned ubiquitous that many times these references pass by us without notice.

In short: This can be a long thread.

My contribution: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road by Elton John.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:11 AM
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I was once out with some friends on a hot summer day when a huge storm blew up. We all started singing "Dadadadadada, da! Dadadadadada, da!" and crying "Auntie Em! Auntie Em!" as we looked for shelter.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:13 AM
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I don't think you could even count how many times a character has said "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore" or "I'll get you, and your little dog too".
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:17 AM
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The Wicked Years series by Gregory McGuire. Wicked the musical is based on the first book in the series, and both are great. The next three, not so much.

Last edited by Annie-Xmas; 05-14-2019 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:18 AM
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Just think of all the references to the Lollipop Guild alone. It's ubiquitous as a short person joke.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:23 AM
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I was once out with some friends on a hot summer day when a huge storm blew up. We all started singing "Dadadadadada, da! Dadadadadada, da!" and crying "Auntie Em! Auntie Em!" as we looked for shelter.
In Airplane!, as the plane is landing and can't stop, Johnny (the campy air traffic controller) panics, screaming, "Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, Toto! It's a twister! It's a twister!", while getting himself wound up in telephone cords.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:23 AM
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Just think of all the references to the Lollipop Guild alone. It's ubiquitous as a short person joke.
The word "munchkin" is even more ubiquitouser.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:23 AM
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"Munchkins" has often been used to refer to children (Robin Williams used it for sure).

I don't think you could get away with applying it to Little People (i.e., midgets) today, though.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:23 AM
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"Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" get's used frequently.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:24 AM
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...or 119 years after its release?

Clearly, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is a reference to the movie, but some of these other examples (including the Heinlein) could (instead or in addition) be references to the book.
Oh, yes, the characters in The Number of the Beast collected the Oz books. They actually visit Oz in their parallel universe ship.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:30 AM
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I remembered a cartoon of a spaceship landing on a witch, clearly a Wizard of Oz reference. Googling around for it, I found this page instead, with several related cartoons.
https://www.cartoonstock.com/directo...cked_witch.asp
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:30 AM
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Toto recorded "Africa," and Kansas recorded "Dust in the Wind."
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:32 AM
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Top Secret! (1984) is mainly a parody of war movies, spy movies, and Elvis movies, but the very last line is "I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow."

From Good Morning, Vietnam: "What is a demilitarized zone? Sounds like something out of The Wizard of Oz, Oh, no, don't go in there. Oh-we-oh Ho Chi Minh Oh, look, you've landed in Saigon. You're among the little people now. We represent the ARVN Army The ARVN Army Oh, no! Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Follow the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Oh, I'll get you, my pretty! Oh, my God. It's the wicked witch of the north."

An episode of Justified was titled "The Man Behind the Curtain."
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:32 AM
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There are tons of these. I don't think we really could list all of them.

One that sticks in my head is an atrocious pun from one of Jack Chalker's novels. His heroes are following someone, and their way is made easier because that person is traveling in an aircraft that is also doing a sort of crop-dusting, only it's really putting down an insecticide, made of woad, and meant to kill ticks. Only this woad isn't blue, like the stuff the ancient Britons daubed on themselves. It's yellow. So all they have to do is..

SPOILER:
Follow the Yellow Tick Woad


Not worth the setup, I know.

And you probably saw it coming a mile away.



I also like that in the Disney movie Wreck-it Ralph the guards in the Sugar Rush video game are Oreo cookies, and as they maneuver they chant:

O-RE-oh!, Yo-ho!
O-RE-oh! Yo-ho!
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:36 AM
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From my copy of Outrageously Offensive Jokes: "It wasn't a yellow brick road until I finished with it!" --- Toto
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:38 AM
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“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas any more.”
— said by one member of the group pretty much every time we dropped acid in college
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:45 AM
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I also like that in the Disney movie Wreck-it Ralph the guards in the Sugar Rush video game are Oreo cookies, and as they maneuver they chant:

O-RE-oh!, Yo-ho!
O-RE-oh! Yo-ho!
When I worked as a reenactor at a historic site, Company A would sometimes march off the parade field to "Yo-DE-oh, de-OH-do!" at the end of the day (after the tourists had left, of course).

Either that, or we would whistle the Hogan's Heroes theme.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:49 AM
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Zardoz

Is a spoiler needed? The movie was released in 1974. If you haven't seen it yet, that's on you.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:53 AM
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"Munchkins" has often been used to refer to children (Robin Williams used it for sure).
Not to mention donut holes.

In gaming, "munchkin" became a slang word for "powergamer" (someone who focuses on optimizing their character's statistical performance, with no interest in other aspects of the game). Steve Jackson Games borrowed that term for their very successful line of Munchkin games.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:54 AM
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One of the coolest references is Frank Richard Oznowicz's stage name: Frank Oz.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:56 AM
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My favorite references were in the Dr. Phibes movies, especially Rises Again when Vincent Price sings it at the end.

ETA: It being Over the Rainbow, of course.

Last edited by Doug K.; 05-14-2019 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:02 PM
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There are tons of these. I don't think we really could list all of them.

One that sticks in my head is an atrocious pun from one of Jack Chalker's novels. His heroes are following someone, and their way is made easier because that person is traveling in an aircraft that is also doing a sort of crop-dusting, only it's really putting down an insecticide, made of woad, and meant to kill ticks. Only this woad isn't blue, like the stuff the ancient Britons daubed on themselves. It's yellow. So all they have to do is..

SPOILER:
Follow the Yellow Tick Woad


Not worth the setup, I know.

And you probably saw it coming a mile away.



I also like that in the Disney movie Wreck-it Ralph the guards in the Sugar Rush video game are Oreo cookies, and as they maneuver they chant:

O-RE-oh!, Yo-ho!
O-RE-oh! Yo-ho!
And in O Brother, Where Art Thou? the Klansmen chant it as well.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:06 PM
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There was an episode of Two and a Half Men titled "Did You Check with the Captain of the Flying Monkeys?"

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0735151/

Check out this cover of Rolling Stone:

https://i.pinimg.com/236x/61/6f/12/6...ing-stones.jpg
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:08 PM
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One of the coolest references is Frank Richard Oznowicz's stage name: Frank Oz.
I'm not sure that's an intentional reference to the movie/book; it's just truncating his last name. The similarity to the Land of Oz is surely coincidental.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:17 PM
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In gaming, "munchkin" became a slang word for "powergamer" (someone who focuses on optimizing their character's statistical performance, with no interest in other aspects of the game). Steve Jackson Games borrowed that term for their very successful line of Munchkin games.
"Munchkin" is also used to describe an employee who ranks near the bottom of an organized hierarchy (usually combined with the adjective, "low-level").
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:22 PM
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A two-fer, referencing the Wizard of Oz and the Monkees:

On an episode of Modern Family, Mitchell is throwing Cam a birthday party with a Wizard of Oz theme. As the various workers arrive, two men show up and say:
Man 1: Hey.
Man 2: Hey.
Man 1: We're the Monkees.
Makes me laugh every time.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:25 PM
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Whenever I need cash, I go visit my Auntie 'Em.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:36 PM
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Whenever I need cash, I go visit my Auntie 'Em.
Check out the 20th cartoon along on Craig Swanson's Perspicuity site

https://www.perspicuity.com/

https://www.google.com/search?biw=14...=1557855396944




He had this image printed on a T-shirt, too
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:40 PM
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In the Simpsons, as Homer's sugar melts in the rain, he exclaims "Melting..,Melting!...Oh what a world!"
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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Probably the second most referenced movie these days, A Christmas Story, has the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion in the Christmas parade scene.

Picket Fences had the Dancing Bandit go into the school dressed as Dorothy, with henchmen as the other characters. The costumes had been shownin a previous episode.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:59 PM
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For awhile it seemed like every sitcom had either a WOO dream sequence or a WOO stage production.

If you're interested Lost in Oz on Amazon Prime is surprisingly good.

All fourteen of Baum's Oz books are finally available on Kindle!

Last edited by furryman; 05-14-2019 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:59 PM
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Robin Williams did the "I'm melting!" bit once on Mork and Mindy. It got a huge laugh from the studio audience.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:05 PM
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Wiki on Adaptations of The Wizard of Oz
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:08 PM
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During the 2015 ALCS, when the Royals were playing the Blue Jays in Toronto (and had won both earlier games in Kansas City), there were a few signs being held by fans in the crowd that read "You're not in Kansas anymore!"

Some notable (to me, at least) Wizard of Oz parodies:

Leela's segment in "Anthology of Interest II" from Futurama
Episode "Y2K" oft he Dilbert animated series
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:20 PM
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Ooh, I get to be the first to mention Dark Side of the Moon, which has nothing... and everything... to do with The Wizard of Oz.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:23 PM
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Picket Fences had the Dancing Bandit go into the school dressed as Dorothy, with henchmen as the other characters. The costumes had been shownin a previous episode.
Blues Traveler did a video with a loose interpretation of the main cast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ousaiByU1ko

Dorothy's dress is much better in the video.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:29 PM
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The TV series "Oz" is so named because it's set at the Oswald State Correctional Facility. The super tight security within the prison is Em City.
The tagline used for the series was "It's no place like home".
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:13 PM
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The great failed superhero series Once of Hero had a magician character called "the Great and Powerful." When he spoke thunderously of his powers, Gumshoe told him to "Save it for the Munchkins."
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:22 PM
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Leela's segment in "Anthology of Interest II" from Futurama
Beat me to it.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:33 PM
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In the ST:TNG episode True Q a young Starfleet intern, Amanda Rogers, is revealed to be the daughter of two members of the Q, who had taken on human form and were killed when a tornado destroyed their Kansas home.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:39 PM
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Kentucky Fried Movie (1977) contains an Enter the Dragon parody which concludes with an homage to The Wizard of Oz. Quite funny as I recall.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:42 PM
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During the 2015 ALCS, when the Royals were playing the Blue Jays in Toronto (and had won both earlier games in Kansas City), there were a few signs being held by fans in the crowd that read "You're not in Kansas anymore!"
The Royals never were. The team is based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Anyway, since we're talking Missouri baseball teams, Cardinal Ozzie Smith was nicknamed "The Wizard" because of (1) his first name, and (2) his spectacular defensive play at shortstop.
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:48 PM
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The first U.S. game show that Alex Trebek hosted (in 1973) was titled The Wizard of Odds; the premise of the show was that contestants answered questions based on statistics, such as averages.
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