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10 Best Movie & TV Show References To Ridley Scott's Alien

Recognized as historically or aesthetically significant by the United States National Film Preservation Board, Ridley Scott's Alien revolutionized the Sci-Fi movie genre. Released in 1979 with a record-breaking box office weekend of over $3.5 million, directors and writers scrambled to jump on the money-making bandwagon, attempting to figure out which elements so enthralled audiences. After a while, the attempts at emulation died down to blatant references as a nod to the movie that made such a difference for the cinematic community.

RELATED: 10 Things About Alien That Still Hold Up Today

Shows like the short-lived, cult classic Firefly, feature clear shots of the Weyland-Yutani logo, while other shows reference the famous line "In space, no one can hear you scream." Eventually, even non-sci-fi shows and movies began to sneak in tidbits, further immortalizing the cinematic classic. No matter where it's hidden, fans always love a gratuitous nod to the unerring favorite that is Alien.

10 Stargate Atlantis

Back when the SYFY channel was still spelled "Sci-Fi," Stargate Atlantis, an offshoot of Stargate SG1, referenced Alien regularly. Stargate Atlantis is a show about teams of soldiers and scientists that travel space through a wormhole held in a large ring called the Stargate. The Atlantis teams have a home base set up in an abandoned ancient alien city called Atlantis, in a galaxy far from earth.

RELATED: 10 Best Episodes of Stargate Atlantis, Ranked (According To IMDB)

One of their military commanders, John Sheppard, is a big fan of the Alien movies, referencing them often. The most memorable reference was when the team compared their most recent battle in the episode Vengeance, to the events of the famous movie. Several members cited the movie as a source of nightmares, and one scientist even admits to being sick all over his date during the chestburster scene. It is only fitting that a show so indicative of the SYFY channel would reference one of the biggest influences in the genre.

9 The Simpsons

The Simpsons, another major media influencer, has referenced Alien on several occasions through their lengthy run of 34 seasons. During the main storyline, characters have reenacted the chestburster scene multiple times over the years. There is also a memorable moment in the episode Sweet Seymore Skinner's Baadassss Song, where they parody Dallas's encounter with the Xenomorph in the air ducts.

The Simpsons' sister show of sorts, Futurama, also referenced the famous movie. At one point, an x-ray reveals the alien embryo inside of Professor Frink.

8 Star Trek: Voyager

Yet another game-changer for the sci-fi genre, Star Trek, and all of its offshoots are also regularly immortalized in other movies and shows. In one sequel series, Star Trek: Voyager, Captain Janeway and her crew are lost on the wrong side of the galaxy, trying to get home. There are plenty of adventures involving aliens, but one episode in particular closely parodies Alien.

In the episode Macrocosm, Captain Janeway returns to her ship from a trading mission to discover an alien has begun incubating its young inside crewmembers. Eventually, it is down to her to defend the ship from the aliens with just the weapons she has on hand and her ingenuity. It is a clever nod to another influential franchise without ever actually mentioning the movie.

7 Torchwood

Occasionally, even British TV takes the time to reference one of Ridley Scott's best movies. Torchwood, a BBC offshoot of Doctor Who, is about a ragtag group of humans dealing with the impossible and cleaning up alien messes without the public finding out. Their literally unkillable leader, Jack Harkness, was once a companion of the Doctor and has taken it upon himself to protect the earth.

In one instance, they are attempting to solve a mystery including skeletons with punctured ribcages. Toshiko Sato, their technical expert, likens the damage to the alien embryo bursting out of John Hurt's character in Alien. For most of the team, movies like Alien are their only exposure to extraterrestrials before they have an encounter and are subsequently recruited to Torchwood. Because of this, they often draw inaccurate conclusions based on movie plots.

6 Castle

Castle is not the first Nathan Fillian show to reference Alien; but in this show, they actually mention the movie by name. Richard Castle is a writer looking for inspiration. As a favor to the Mayor, the police department lets him tag along. Eventually, Castle ends up becoming close with the team and helping solve crimes.

In the long run, Castle begins to date Detective Kate Beckett. When they finally have a dinner for both families to meet each other, he likens the results to "the dinner scene in Alien." In other words: it started great and ended horribly. Lucky for Castle though, no one died screaming while an alien burst from their ribcage.

5 Doctor Who

One of the longest-running shows in the history of television, it was inevitable that Doctor Who would eventually address the drastically different approaches to portraying aliens. The Doctor himself is an alien traveling through time and space with human companions. The show often stresses that humans are capable of great compassion and aliens are not just monsters hellbent on death and destruction.

RELATED: Doctor Who's 10 Weirdest Aliens Of New Who

In the 2014 Christmas special, someone likens the Dream Crabs to the face-huggers from Alien. Of course, someone has to explain what a face-hugger is, which upsets the Doctor. He goes on a rant saying, "That's really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you." It is a hilarious moment that manages to point out the poignant differences of perspective.

4 Gravity Falls

Gravity Falls, a quirky animated Disney show about a small town with supernatural secrets, is one of many kid's shows to reference Alien. While most younger audiences won't understand the connotations, most animated movies and shows are known for adding quotes just for the parents.

Dipper and Mabel's strange uncle, Gruncle Stan, is trying to scare a couple of kids that claim they can't be scared. He resorts to having Mabel's pet pig Waddles burst from his shirt screaming like the young Xenomorph. In the end, not even that scared the kids. The only thing that scared them was accidentally walking in on him naked in the bathroom, which is, admittedly, the scarier option.

3 Spaceballs

Mel Brooks, the master of parody films, of course, couldn't resist making an Alien reference. In his 1987 parody of Star Wars, Spaceballs, Brooks casts John Hurt as himself just to spoof his famous scene. While having nothing to do with the plot, it is one of the most memorable cameos in Spaceballs.

Near the end of the movie, Sir John Hurt is seen eating at a diner. He is having the special when apparently he begins to have digestive issues. In a copy of the scene from Alien, he falls on his back, aliens bursting from his chest. In the usual fashion of self-aware ridiculousness credited to Mel Brooks films, right before he passes out Hurt mutters, "Oh no, not again." Thankfully, for fans, Hurt didn't take himself so seriously that he would turn down a chance to make fun of his most famous role.

2 Toy Story

Pixar films are famous for sneaking easter eggs from other movies into their stories. Usually, the tidbits will be from other Pixar movies, such as the Pizza Planet delivery truck showing up in Brave, or Remy the rat working in the kitchen in Onward. Occasionally though, references from other famous movies get snuck in.

In the very first Toy Story movie, Buzz Lightyear and Woody get lost and find their way to Pizza Planet, a space travel-themed pizza arcade. While searching for Andy, their owner, they see Xenomorph soda dispensers and a game called Whack-A-Alien with chestbusters popping out of an astronaut. This is another perfect example of a reference made for adults that would likely pass over most kids' heads.

1 Shrek 2

Shrek is a crazy hodgepodge of fairytale and movie references, made literally just for the fun of it. The movie explores themes of acceptance and racism in the most entertainingly ridiculous way possible. The second Shrek movie - arguably better than the first - continues to stick to those themes while adding more characters and more popular culture parodies.

Nowadays, is it really a parody if it doesn't reference Alien in one way or another? In this particular movie, Antonio Banderas's character, Puss In Boots, erupts from Shrek's shirt, mimicking the now-iconic chestburster scene. Ridley Scott likely had no inkling of the impact this movie would have when he first agreed to direct, but fans will always be grateful for the impact he made on all genres, not just sci-fi.

NEXT: 10 Best Aliens Sequels And Remakes

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