Every Popular Culture Reference Made In Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Popular Culture Reference Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Jake’s love for popular culture is well-known, and the characters of Brooklyn Nine-Nine frequently engage in conversations about various media due to his obsession. The show’s dialogues are filled with references and jokes related to popular culture, including references to Star Wars to Lord of the Rings, which have contributed to some of the most unforgettable moments in the series. 

Every Popular Culture Reference Made In Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Backstreet Boys

Although the 90s boy band is only referenced twice in the show, one scene, in particular, has become a cherished moment in the Brooklyn Nine-Nine fandom. The cold open features Jake creating a lineup of suspects and having them perform a rendition of “I Want It That Way,” a moment that has become an iconic scene. Even though Jake was not fulfilling his duties properly, the scene became so beloved that most show fans could identify with each other by reciting the lyrics, including the famous line, “Now number five,” among others.

Various Disney Movies

This side-splitting show is brimming with numerous references to Disney movies, indicating that the writers were either avid fans or aware of the audience’s obsession with these films. The show incorporates clever allusions to several Disney classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King, among others. 

Gilmore Girls

Considered one of the top shows of the 2000s, Gilmore Girls would have been a glaring omission in Brooklyn Nine-Nine had it not been referenced. Surprisingly, Rosa is the show’s most avid fan, and she expresses her displeasure with the revival’s finale, as all she wants is for Lorelai to be happy. 

In another humorous exchange, Charles boasts to Terry that he learned everything he knows about parenting from the best. Although Terry is also an excellent father, there is no comparison to the laid-back coolness of Lorelai Gilmore, who is the epitome of a hip mom. Terry expects Charles to mention him, but instead, Charles credits Lorelai as the ultimate parent.

Cagney & Lacey

At the start of the series, Terry had recently become a father to twin daughters whom he named Cagney and Lacey, a nod to the eponymous cop drama from the eighties featuring two formidable female police officers in New York City. 

“Cagney & Lacey” was inspired by the feminist movement, suggesting that Terry and Sharon may have hoped their daughters would inherit the admirable qualities of their namesakes. Alternatively, Terry may have harbored a secret wish for his daughters to follow in his footsteps and become an unstoppable crime-fighting duo! Terry’s choice of names pays homage to the show and reflects his pride in his profession.

The Wizard of Oz

In contrast to most pop culture references, Captain Holt not only comprehends this allusion but also employs it to insult his nemesis, Madeleine Wuntch. Holt regularly draws comparisons between Wuntch and the book’s antagonists, namely the Wicked Witch of the East and the Wicked Witch of the West. 

Although Holt seldom resorts to puns to taunt his opponents, he goes to great lengths to outsmart Wuntch in this case, leading to some of his wittiest remarks. For instance, when Wuntch visits the precinct, Holt requests a bucket of water, which alludes to the Wicked Witch of the West’s demise. Later, he comments that he presumed Wuntch was still beneath the house in Munchkin Land, reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the East’s demise. Lastly, he queries if Wuntch sought vengeance against Dorothy for slaying her sister.

Lord Of The Rings

The Lord of The Rings is an iconic fantasy book series widely recognized by many due to its books or films. Amy is one of the characters in the series who has read the books since childhood. The series also includes other characters referencing this franchise, resulting in some hilarious moments. 

Initially, Gina claims to be unfamiliar with The Lord of The Rings when Jake compares her to Gollum for asking him for her mother’s wedding ring. However, later on, Gina describes Charles’s father as a hobbit. Terry is another significant fan of the series, and he likens Captain Holt to an Ent, a tree-like creature. 


Jake’s love for Batman is well-known, and it’s not surprising given the caped crusader’s reputation as a cool vigilante who fights crime in one of the most unsafe cities in the world using his unique gadgets. Yet, what sets Jake’s Batman references apart is their significance in a crucial moment in his friendship with Gina. 

In the past, Gina had likened herself to Spider-Man’s spider, believing she was responsible for bestowing Jake with his “superpowers.” during a pivotal conversation, Jake uses Batman’s backstory as a metaphor to suggest that he would eliminate Gina’s parents, setting the stage for her to embark on her desired career, much like a superhero’s “origin story.”

Game Of Thrones

Brooklyn Nine-Nine pays homage to the hit show by referencing it throughout most seasons, with the famous phrase “winter is coming” recurring theme. Many of the characters in the precinct are avid fans of the fantasy series, often exchanging theories and discussing them in their group chat, as mentioned by Gina in “The Fugitive: Part 2.” Rosa is also a big fan and even waits to meet Bran Stark at a convention in “Return To Skyfire.”

Star Wars

Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a reputation for including humorous nods to various star wars films. For instance, in “Fancy Brudgom,” Rosa pokes fun at her coworkers’ mistake with lab rats by likening herself to Palpatine using Force Lightning. In “Tactical Village,” Charles amusingly compares Amy and Jake’s relationship to that of Luke and Leia. However, one of the best references to Star Wars in the series comes from Amy, who criticizes the franchise’s incorrect use of the Parsec as a measure of speed instead of distance.

Taylor Swift

Jake’s “secret” love for Taylor Swift is one of the show’s funniest running gags. During a lie detector test, Jake admits that Taylor is his favorite singer because she “makes him feel things,” which Terry agrees with. Later, Amy’s father reveals that Jake was once too close to Taylor at an event and can’t get any closer than 500 meters to her. Despite this, Jake never mentions Taylor again, which is surprising given her recent albums, Folklore and Evermore.

Harry Potter

Brooklyn Nine-Nine frequently alludes to the world-renowned Harry Potter franchise. Amy is a massive fan of the books, and Jake reads them to please her but becomes a big fan himself. This shared passion becomes an integral part of their relationship. For instance, when Jake and Amy try to conceive a child, Amy finds it strange that Jake exclaims, “Mischief Managed” after sex, referencing the Marauder’s Map. Jake continues to make peculiar references, likening their efforts to “growing a Whomping Willow in your Chamber of Secrets.”

Die Hard

Jake’s fascination with the Die Hard film series is widely known among fans, to the extent that it has become nearly inseparable from the franchise itself. Jake’s ultimate aspiration is to be a tough cop like John McClane and solve challenging cases while being lauded for his heroism. 

His adoration for the movies runs so deep that he even names his first son after McClane. In the episode “99,” Jake fulfills a long-held dream of visiting Nakatomi Plaza, a Los Angeles skyscraper that holds an iconic place in Die Hard lore due to a pivotal scene shot there. In another episode, during their wedding, Amy presents Jake with a cake in the likeness of the building, and he appreciates that she goes along with his love for it.