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Real World perspective.
The following are references and parodies of TRON in television.
Treehouse of Horror VI (Season 7, Episode 6)
In the story segment, Homer³, Homer accidentally enters into an eerie third dimension (represented by 3D computer graphics). When Homer tried to explain his surroundings to everyone in his is living room, he says, "Uh... it's like... did anyone see the movie 'TRON?" to which everyone replies, "No", except for Chief Wiggum who at first says yes but changes his answer to no.
A Hero Sits Next Door (Season 1, Episode 5)
When Peter faces the possibility of being fired, he has a flashback of his previous job as a Calvin Klein model. In the flashback, various models are heard thinking such things as, “I don’t want to be different, but I don’t want to be the same." As the camera pans to Peter, he thinks to himself, "What was the name of the bad guy from TRON? Aww, this is gonna drive me nuts."
One if by Clam, Two if by Sea (Season 3, Episode 4)
In yet another flashback, Peter is seen reenacting the light cycle sequence. One of the opponents that Peter is racing against, Eric, is actually a high-school friend of his. As they exchange greetings while driving, Eric says to Peter, "Hey, is that Stacy Beachum?" Peter looks behind to see that the high-school hottie is not there and crashes into Eric's. This was produced by Area51 the visual effects artists are Don McCoy (http://www.youtube.com/user/DonLMcCoyDemo) and Glenn Campbell.
Game Over (Season 1, Episode 7)This episode of Dexter's Laboratory is essentially a parody/tribute to TRON. Every time Dexter plays a video game with his sister, Dee Dee, he always loses, despite his superior intellect. To make things worse, Dexter's dad buys him an old video game cartridge called "Master Computer" (that he bought from a gypsy for a nickel). When Dee Dee sees the game, she provokes Dexter to challenge her at the game. Dexter loses and kicks Dee Dee out of his secret laboratory. When Dexter tries to pull out the cartridge out of his state-of-the-art computer, the game comes alive in the form not unlike the MCP and begins to take over Dexter's computer with a virus.With the Master Computer game loaded in Dexter's computer, he tells Dexter his plans on taking over the world. Dexter runs towards the emergency shut off switch, but Master Computer digitizes Dexter with one of his laboratory lasers. Dexter, now inside his computer tries to destroy Master Computer, but to no avail - even when using a beam cycle. After getting caught in a "grid spider's website", he regrettably gets Dee Dee to help him defeat the evil program. Dee Dee successfully derezzes Master Computer and saves Dexter's life and as she removes the cartridge, Dexter tells her to return him back to the real world. However, Dee Dee makes him play a game of "Primal Fighter" in the computer, where he is then senselessly beaten up by a giant ape.
Power Mad (Season 1, Episode 2)
Timmy tells his Fairy Godparents that he wishes for the best video game ever and using a virtual reality plays the game inside the video game console, ala TRON. He even wears a TRON-inspired suit in the virtual world.
Chuck Bartowski, the title character, has a TRON poster on his bedroom wall, suggesting that he is a fan of the cult classic.
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
TRON was referenced during the 2004 election special of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Indecision 2004: Election Night - Prelude to a Recount. The opening lightcycle sequence is satrically shown during a segemnt where Daily Show correspondent Bob Wiltfong is explaining to host Jon Stewart how election votes are electronically sent.
A 1983 sci-fi TV series, which mirror the main plot of TRON: a program "hologram" brings to real life to help his creator to fight against crime.
The Chip, Part I (Season 1, Episode 6)
Dexter Douglas gets the new Pinnacle Chip for his computer. Dexter's cat steps on the keyboard and enters the secret combination of letters and numbers that sucks Dexter into the computer when he hits the "delete" key, turning him into Freakazoid.
The Chip, Part II (Season 1, Episode 7)
Dexter unleashes Freakazoid for the first time in defeating the evil Guitierrez.
The Cartoon Network show Mad (based on the magazine) features a segment called "Soul Tron," which is a blend of the original TRON and Soul Train. It features the setting and elements of TRON with a music-based aspects, such as Identity Disks instead being records.
Another Mad sketch, featuring a crossover between Winnie the Pooh and another Jeff Bridges movie, featured Kevin Flynn (identified only as "Jeff Bridges from TRON") and Clu 2 (identified only as "Young Jeff Bridges from TRON") teaming up as bounty hunters to capture Tigger. They also both utilized a fifth-generation Light Cycle.
Another Mad sketch, featuring a segment called "Minute to Flynn It," which is a blend of TRON: Legacy and Minute to Win It. It features Clu 2 challenging Sam to prove that he is the superior player on the grid with various mediocre challenges.
The Big Bang Theory
Sheldon Cooper sometimes wears a TRON T-Shirt.
Phineas and Ferb
In the episode "Where's Perry Part 1", when Doofenshmirtz is showing his "inators", one of them is called a "Derezz-inator".
During the Halloween costume-party sequence in this 1993 film, a reveler in the crowd is seen wearing Ram's armor and helmet.
During the "Fight Fighters" episode, Soos can be seen playing "NORT" arcade game which is TRON reversed.
Orange Princess, a background charecter on the show, was originally named "Tron Princess".
Guardians of Sunshine (Season 2, Episode 16)
Finn and Jake trick BMO into letting them into the video game called Guardians of Sunshine, where they attempt to defeat an unbeatable video game in a 3-D digital environment, ala TRON.