I have only been gaming for a few years, which is a drop in the bucket compared to many gamers. In times past, before I met my husband, references to RPGs in my favorite TV shows went virtually undetected; the witty banter continued, the scene changed, or it went over my head. After I met my husband and learned a bit about his hobby, I would roll my eyes at the references, or tell my husband x show mentioned his favorite hobby, so, you know, it isn’t all bad and maybe he could watch it with me.
Once I picked up a handful of dice and embraced my inner geek, I started getting a thrill out of the references. They were a nod to my new hobby, a secret shared between me and a favorite show.
And there are loads of references out there. RPGs, especially Dungeons and Dragons, have a huge following, and a broad range of fans. And it isn’t like we all sit around in our basement living in an imaginary world where we pretend to be high level wizards (not all day, every day anyway – sometimes we might go for a fighter!) We are often functioning members of society with jobs, families, responsibilities and commitments.
Either to appeal to us, or because TV show creators, producers and writers love RPGs like we do (and might also break out the dice during their time away from the studio) references to this beloved hobby show up now and then. Recently, Netflix released Stranger Things, a show that starts with a group of young boys playing Dungeons & Dragons. Numerous references are made throughout the season, and even non-RPGers would be hard pressed to miss the big nods to the geeky hobby. The cult-classic Community spent a whole episode following the college students as they explored the adventures fellow student and Dungeon Master Abed had in store for them. There are numerous other shows, some of which seem more likely than others, that pay homage to the beloved game, so without further ado:
Here 5 D&D references from some of my favorite shows:
- Veronica Mars
2.13 “Ain’t No Magic Mountain High Enough”
Dick: “I think he took Ghost World up to his room. They’re probably up there making love. Or playing Dungeons and Dragons. Or both, at the same time.”
BONUS? They did it more than once.
2.04 “Green Eyed Monster”
Jackie to Wallace
Jackie: “Get back ladies; he’s mine! You really are a basketball star, aren’t you? I mean I’m not just smacking the ass of some Dungeons and Dragons geek, right?”
7.20 “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”
The RPG in question is not just referenced in the title of this episode; just as Charlie, a computer hacker who stumbles into the world of weird, thinks she has broken the password, a voice taunts her with “Nice try Zero Charisma.”
- Gilmore Girls
2.13. “A-Tisket A-Tasket”
Lorelai begs Luke, the local diner owner to jump in and save her from being set up with one of several random suitors during a picnic basket auction. When he wins her basket, she calls out: “Sorry guys, don’t feel bad; I’m totally into Dungeons and Dragons.”
- The Simpsons
3.5 “Homer Goes to College”
Homer: “We played Dungeons and Dragons for three hours, and then I was slain by an elf.”
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Giles: “I was a highly respected watcher, and now I’m a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily.”
What show have you seen that referenced D&D (or another RPG)? Share in the comments below!