6 best pop culture references to The Matrix, from Scary Movie to the Simpsons


In honor of The Matrix’s 20th anniversary, we remember some of the best pop culture references to Neo, Trinity and the rest of The Matrix franchise.

The Matrix was a movie with a massive cinematic impact, changing how we’d view sci-fi films forever. It also gifted the pop culture universe with hundreds of memorable lines, scenes and special effects. To this day, many of us claim The Matrix as our favorite franchise.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Matrix, we’re taking a look at some of the best pop culture references to the film.

Grandma’s Boy

For many, Grandma’s Boy is probably not your first frame of reference for The Matrix — but that does bring up a point for many references. It is all about the aesthetic. When it comes to Neo and the rest of the franchise, there was a very specific style we’ll never forget.

In Grandma’s Boy, JP literally lives and breathes as if he is a part of the Matrix. Since he is a gamer genius, it makes sense this would be a film he’d admire and characters like Neo would be idolized by him. In this clip above though, we may argue he’s more Trinity-inspired? Watch the film in full and you’ll see him don a classic Neo trench coat too.

Scary Movie

The end fight scene of the first Scary Movie features the villain from Scream trying to murder one of his victims. Throughout the fight though, it seems as if they both have some of the same training as Neo.

Mocking the horror genre, the Scary Movie franchise would also tap into popular culture to find inspiration for their films so it isn’t surprising that they threw in a reference to The Matrix to keep us on the edge of our seats.

Broad City

Honestly, Ilana just killing it in a Trinity-esque outfit is the only thing we need in this world. One may not expect a reference to The Matrix while watching Broad City but it is a show full of surprises and Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson have continued to show us all that they’re funny, brilliant, and maybe two of the biggest nerds out there.


A show featuring a very young Zachary Levi, Chuck was littered with references to The Matrix throughout its run. Whether it was through chase scenes or that time when Chuck literally dressed like Neo to get into a building, the show did a great job of paying homage to the trilogy.

The Simpsons

It may be arguably easier for cartoons to reference The Matrix over and over again. Through fight scenes or strange storylines with their characters, they can call back to the trilogy without making it a major part of their narrative or paying for expensive special effects. That’s probably why there are so many references to the films throughout The Simpsons. From a fun opening sequence to Bart flying through the air like Trinity, the show takes on the aura of The Matrix and thrives.

Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

As Cinemablend points out, even Star Wars isn’t free from making references to The Matrix. When Anakin and Obi-Wan go to the bar during Attack of the Clones, a familiar face from The Matrix comes and offers to distract Obi-Wan and Anakin in the same way that his character did when he was part of The Matrix franchise.

Matt Doran played Mouse in The Matrix and is the one trying to sell Obi-Wan a “death stick” in the Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones clip above.

In The Matrix, Mouse offered Neo some time with “the woman in the red dress”; In Star Wars, the “death stick” guy is scene moments before a blonde haired woman tries to distract Anakin. Interestingly enough? The red dress woman and the blonde are the same actress, Fiona Johnson.

Coincidence? Witty reference? You decide.

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Did we miss your favorite reference to The Matrix? Let us know your feelings in the comments below!