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Tron Parodies and Pop Culture References (Television)

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The following are references and parodies of TRON in television.

The Simpsons

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.

Family Guy

Family guy tron

Peter Griffin as "the green guy".

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 ( and Glenn Campbell.

Robot Chicken


A teen's joyride turns deadly...

The adult-oriented stop-motion cartoon Robot Chicken has featured sketches parodying TRON. The first sketch is called "Used Car Surprise" (according to ADD TV) as well as "Sweet Ride", according to Adult Swim's streaming video title. It is about a teen that test drives a light cycle.

The sketch is from episode no. 33, "Metal Militia", from the second season of Robot Chicken.

The video can be viewed in its entirety here.
Caution: Offensive content - Viewer discretion is advised.

Robot Chicken featured another sketch parodying TRON called "Nerd Tron". It is about how a nerd fares in the TRON Universe.

The sketch is from episode no. 90, "Catch Me If You Kangaroo Jack", from the fifth season of Robot Chicken.

Dexter's Laboratory

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.
Dexter tron1

Dexter in his "beam cycle".

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.

Fairly OddParents


Timmy, Chester, and AJ in a video game world

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.



The TRON poster seen in the background.

Chuck Bartowski, the title character, has a TRONposter on his bedroom wall, suggesting that he is a fan of the cult classic.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart


A 1983 sci-fi TV series, which mirrors the main plot of TRON: a "hologram" is brought to life in the real world to help his creator fight against crime.


The show chronicles the adventures of the title character, Freakazoid, a manic, insane superhero who battles with an array of super villains. The show also features mini-episodes of adventures of other bizarre superheroes.

Dexter Douglas (Freakazoid's alter ego) gained his superhero abilities from a computer bug, which zapped him into cyberspace and the Internet (similar to digitization in TRON). References to TRON and other sci-fi movies were scattered through out the show's two season run. Freakazoid's arch-nemesis, Armando Gutierrez, also gains his powers this way. After his first defeat, Gutierrez has half of his body covered in circuit-like glowing lines.


South Park

Imagination Land 1

Two guards dressed as programs take Butters, Snarf and the Lollipop King away.

There are many references and nods to TRON in the adult animated televison series, South Park.
Jewbilee (Season 3, Episode 9)

Moses as he is depicted in the South Park universe.

Moses is represented as a column of light nearly identical to the MCP.

Season 4 credits

Moses appears as a background character during the updated credits sequence.

Super Best Friends (Season 5, Episode 3)==

Moses appears again in this episode.

Imaginationland: Episode II (Season 11, Episode 11)==

Guards at the gates of the castle that Butters tries to enter with the Lollipop king and Snarf are dressed in TRON garb.

Canada on Strike (Season 12, Episode 4)

When the boys are in the waiting room, waiting for their money from the internet, so are a series of internet celebrities, including Dramatic Gopher, Tay Zonday, and TRON Guy.

You Have 0 Friends (Season 14, Episode 4)
News-1404a b-1-

When Stan attempts to delete his Facebook account, the computer informs him that it can't let him do that and that Stan will be put on the Game Grid. Stan is digitized and sent into the computer in a scene that is a direct tribute to the scene in TRON where Flynn is digitized. Most of the remainder of the episode is spent inside the TRON-styled Facebook server, with people's "profiles" taking the place of programs and appearing in a variety of colors and some radically varied styles, similar to Data Pushers. Stan is forced to play Yahtzee with someone's profile in a parody of the jai alai game (Stan asks why they aren't doing battle on glowing bikes instead). Stan's profile has taken on a gigantic form similar to appearance to Sark's giant form & the MCP. Stan and his profile do combat, once again, by playing Yahtzee. Stan wins and is freed from the computer.


The Cartoon Network show Mad (based off of 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".

Hocus Pocus

During the Halloween costume-party sequence in this 1993 film, a reveler in the crowd is seen wearing Ram's armor and helmet.

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