The Godfather is an iconic crime movie that has been referenced by many other movies and TV shows. Here are the best sitcoms that contain nods to it.
Over the decades, The Godfather has been nodded to and referenced very consistently by fans and cinephiles and it doesn’t end there as sitcoms have been referencing the iconic gangster movies for just as long.
The movie is one of the most thought-provoking crime epics ever and considering how dense it is, there is barely a lighthearted moment in the entirety of the epic trilogy. But that doesn’t mean the contents of the movies don’t make for great material in sitcoms. From quoting the iconic lines of dialogue to reenacting the most memorable scene and generally discussing opinions of the movie at length, The Godfather will seemingly live on forever thanks to comedies on TV.
It comes as no surprise that Joey is a big fan of The Godfather, considering his love for great acting and he even has a Scarface poster in his bedroom. And when Joey has a serious talk with Mike about family, it’s one giant spoof of Vito Corleone’s speeches he gives throughout the movie. But in the show, Joey hilariously tells Mike that he’s taken the lines from a trashy gangster movie he auditioned for and didn’t get the part.
9 Family Guy
Family Guy has referenced, and some could even say trash-talked, The Godfather on several occasions throughout the series’ history.
The most famous of which is when the whole Griffin family thinks they’re going to drown, and Peter wants to get something off his chest, which is his opinion on The Godfather of all things. The character explains that he thinks the mob movie “insists upon itself,” and what that actually means is anyone’s guess.
8 The Office
The Office has featured a considerable number of references to The Godfather, whether it’s meeting with the “five families” that run the building or when the cast meets a salesman they mistake for a gangster. But the best of them all comes when Michael hosts his final Dundie Awards. At the end of the award show, Michael comments that he hoped it was more like Godfather III, which “wrapped up the whole franchise in an extremely satisfying way,” which is hilarious considering how, even though it has undergone a few changes, most fans were extremely disappointed with Part III.
7 Modern Family
There were a lot of parenting tips fans learned from Phil Dunphy, but more often than not he can be a bad influence on his kids, as he’s just he can be just as childish as they are. But one of his best moments is when he becomes the godfather to Joe Pritchett, as when he is asked several questions by the priest, it’s played out just like the scene when Michael becomes godfather in the mob movie. And just like in the most rewatched scene in the movie, the scene in Modern Family is intercut with Luke committing a bunch of crimes for his dad.
6 The Thick Of It
Though The Thick Of It is one of the best political comedies ever. It follows the spin doctor Malcolm Tucker trying to practically run the UK himself and overrule MPs and even the Prime Minister. The show is so good mostly thanks to how evil Malcolm Tucker is, and all of the vulgar insults wrapped in movie references that he throws at every politician that walks past him. And though it’s one of the least offensive insults he’s hurled in the show, he tells Nicola that she’s going to sleep with the fishes, and when Malcolm Tucker says something like that, it could very well be true.
5 The Simpsons
One of the very best scenes of The Godfather, and one that perfectly shows how much of a hothead Sonny is, is when the character attacks Carlos after he finds out that he laid his hands on Connie.
The Simpsons has referenced The Godfather so many times that if edited together, the video would probably be as long as a whole episode, but the best of them all is when Marge recreates Sonny’s attack. The whole scene is perfectly recreated, with Margehappened in the scene in the movie.
If there’s any sitcom that viewers would have guessed referenced The Godfather at least once in its lifespan, it’s Community, as the TV show’s whole foundation is movie and TV references. The mob movie has been referenced in the show a handful of times, most notably in a scene where Pierce shoots Troy with a water pistol, as he drops the gun and leaves the area, which is just like when Michael shoots Sollozzo and McCluskey. But the best reference in the series is in “Contemporary American Poultry,” as the whole episode is a reference to Goodfellas, but there’s one shot where Pierce kisses Abed’s hand followed by Troy closing the door, just like the final scene in The Godfather.
As it’s essentially the American adaptation of The Thick of It, created by the political satire genius Armando Iannucci, Veep not only carries the torch of The Thick of It’s hilariously foul-mouthed politicians, but it also does the heavy lifting with all of the Godfather references too. The mob movie has again been referenced many times in the Emmy-winning sitcom, but the most relevant of them all comes when Selina says that she’s worried about waking up with a horse’s head in her bed.
2 Two And A Half Men
There have been hundreds of sitcoms since 1972 that have gotten a cheap laugh or two just by having a character simply quote a line of the movie’s dialogue, but Two and a Half Men takes that so much further in the most descriptively vulgar but hilarious back and forth. When Lyndsay is complaining about her menstruation, she compares it to the scene where the movie producer finds his horse’s head in the bed. But Alan then takes it one step further with a reference to the prom scene from Carrie.
Seinfeld might have had one of the most polarizing finales in TV history, but fans could always pretend this scene is when Seinfeld really ends, as it sees Jerry die. Though it’s just a dream sequence, the scene plays out identically to Sonny’s death in The Godfather. After Jerry is caught with an illegally installed cable hook up, the FBI raids his house, and when Jerry runs away, every FBI agent shoots him. Jerry flails his arms in the air and falls to the ground in the same way James Caan did in his character’s death scene in The Godfather.
NEXT: The Godfather: 5 Ways Michael Corleone Is Pacino’s Best Character (& 5 Alternatives)
Schitt’s Creek: 10 Best Alexis Episodes