9 times Doctor Who Was referenced in other shows

Doctor Who, the British science fiction television series that first graced our screens in 1963, has captured the hearts and minds of fans worldwide for decades. Following the adventures of the Doctor, a time-traveling alien known as a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, the show has enthralled audiences with its imaginative storytelling, memorable characters, and innovative special effects. The Doctor, who can regenerate into a new appearance and persona upon suffering a fatal injury, has been portrayed by various actors from William Hartnell and Tom Baker to David Tennant and Matt Smith, each bringing their unique flair to the role.

With its rich history spanning over more than half a century, Doctor Who has not only become a beloved television series but also a pop culture phenomenon. The show’s impact on television and entertainment is immense, and its influence can be seen in a myriad of different genres, from comedy and drama to animation and science fiction. It’s no wonder that countless television shows have paid tribute to the Doctor, his companions, and their incredible adventures through time and space.

In this article, we will delve into nine instances where Doctor Who was referenced, parodied, or paid homage to in other popular TV shows, demonstrating the wide-ranging influence of this iconic series on the television landscape. From subtle nods to blatant tributes, these references are a testament to the enduring popularity and appeal of Doctor Who, both in the United Kingdom and around the world.

Yes, we now there are many more, but these are some of our favourites…

The Simpsons

“Sideshow Bob’s Last Gleaming” (1995) – In this episode of the iconic animated sitcom, a character looking a lot like the Fourth Doctor, famously portrayed by Tom Baker in the TV series, makes a brief appearance on the cover of a TV Guide magazine. The Doctor’s iconic scarf and hat are clearly visible, making it an unmistakable reference to the beloved character.

There are lots of other references to Doctor Who in The Simpsons to read about.

The Big Bang Theory

Multiple Episodes (2007-2019) – Throughout the show’s twelve-season run, The Big Bang Theory made numerous Doctor Who references. The characters often discussed the show and displayed memorabilia, such as the TARDIS, Sonic Screwdrivers, and even Daleks. In the episode “The Ornithophobia Diffusion” (2011), Sheldon Cooper wears a Fourth Doctor costume for Halloween.


“For A Few Paintballs More” (2011) – In this episode of Community, the character Abed Nadir is seen wearing a T-shirt with an image of the TARDIS and the words “Inspector Spacetime” written on it. This is a clever nod to Doctor Who and the beginning of a recurring theme, as the show later introduced a fictional British TV series called “Inspector Spacetime,” which parodies Doctor Who.


“Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences” (2010) – In this Futurama episode, the Fourth Doctor makes a cameo appearance as a cosplayer at a comic book convention. The character is even voiced by David Herman, who mimics Tom Baker’s distinct voice.

There are lots of other Doctor Who references in Futurama to check out.


“The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” (2012) – In this Supernatural episode, a character named Charlie Bradbury wears a T-shirt featuring the TARDIS and the Eleventh Doctor’s catchphrase, “Geronimo!” This is a clear nod to the Doctor Who fanbase and the show’s widespread influence.

Parks and Recreation

“Article Two” (2013) – In the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation, the character Ben Wyatt is known for his love of geek culture, including Doctor Who. In this episode, Ben is presented with a homemade quilt featuring various sci-fi icons, including a TARDIS and a Dalek.

Grey’s Anatomy

“Can’t Fight Biology” (2010) – In this Grey’s Anatomy episode, Dr. Cristina Yang is seen watching Doctor Who on her laptop while lying in bed. The Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant, and his companion Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate, are briefly visible on the screen. This subtle nod to the series demonstrates Doctor Who’s broad appeal and influence, even in the realm of medical dramas.

Rick and Morty

“The Wedding Squanchers” (2015) – In this episode of the popular animated sci-fi series, a character resembling the Fourth Doctor is seen attending the wedding of Birdperson and Tammy. The character sports the Fourth’s signature hat and scarf, making it an unmistakable reference to Doctor Who. And there are others too…

Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death

Comic Relief (1999) – This comedic one-off special was produced for the UK charity event Comic Relief. It stars Rowan Atkinson as the Ninth Doctor and is a parody of the Doctor Who series. While not a traditional reference in another show, it demonstrates the significant impact Doctor Who has had on popular culture and how it was missed from TV in the 1990s after its 1989 cancellation.