The following is a list of cultural references within 12 Monkeys.

Back to the Future[edit | edit source]

  • The clock in the Emerson Hotel is stuck at 10:04, just like the clock tower in Back to the Future.
  • Agent Robert Gale is named after Back to the Future screenwriter and co-creator Bob Gale.
  • James Cole is dressed as Marty McFly when the team first splinter to the Emerson hotel lobby in 1989, season 3 episode "Causality".
  • In the Season One episode "The Red Forest" Aaron tells Cole that he "doesn't believe that he is Marty McFly."
  • In season 3, episode 5 "Causality", Deacon refers to Jennifer's father as "dad", then recovers by saying, "dad, dad, daddio". This is the same thing Marty McFly says after he accidentally refers to teenage George McFly as, "dad" in Back to the Future.

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure[edit | edit source]

  • Theodore Deacon's name references brothers Ted and Deacon.
  • Jennifer quotes the film saying, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K!” in "Emergence".
  • Jennifer quotes the film saying, "Be excellent to each other" in "Memory of Tomorrow".

Braveheart[edit | edit source]

Genesis (band)[edit | edit source]

  • Jennifer references Genesis's "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" by acting like Peter Gabriel and saying "I'm just a lawnmower. You can tell me by the way I walk."
  • In the 4th season episode "Causality" set in 1989, Deacon tells Cole they are playing Genesis in the lobby. Although the song playing in the background isn't.

Ghostbusters[edit | edit source]

  • Jennifer quotes the film saying, “Dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria!”
  • Deacon says, "Holy shit, it's Gozer" when Olivia arrives at the auction in "Causality".
  • Deacon quotes Ray Stantz when he says, "free floating, full torso, vaporous aberration" in "Nature".

Groundhog Day[edit | edit source]

  • Jennifer quotes the film saying, "Okay, campers, rise and shine! Don't forget your booties because it's cold out there today!" In season 2 episode "Lullaby".

Harry Potter[edit | edit source]

  • Jennifer references Harry Potter when she says, "Off to Hogwarts with ya!" in "Witness".

Independence Day[edit | edit source]

Lord of the Rings[edit | edit source]

  • Jennifer quotes Return of the King during her speech to her daughters in "Memory of Tomorrow".
  • Jennifer quotes Gandalf in "The Beginning", saying, "I come to you now at the turn of the tide."
  • Jennifer quotes Fellowship of the Ring in season 4, saying, "One doesn't just walk into Mordor."

The Shining[edit | edit source]

  • Jennifer quotes the film, screaming "Here's Johnny!" as Athan arrives in 2017 in "Witness".

The Sixth Sense[edit | edit source]

  • Jennifer quotes the film when she whispers, "I see dead people" in "Nature".

Star Trek[edit | edit source]

  • Deacon refers to the expendable, nameless crew members (who are often wearing red shirts) that die on Star Trek when he says, "I am not a goddamn red shirt!" in "Nature".

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles[edit | edit source]

  • Deacon references the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when he says, "paradox in a half-shell" in "Nature".

Twelve Monkeys (1995 Film)[edit | edit source]

  • J.D. People's Mental Hospital is named after screenwriters Janet and David Peoples.
  • Jennifer Goines wears the same sweater as Brad Pitt's iconic character and film counterpart, Jeffrey Goines, during his first appearance.
  • Jones wears the same iconic glasses as her movie counterpart.
  • In "Cassandra Complex", Cole wears the same shirt as Bruce Willis's James Cole at the end of the film.
  • The Keys is a destination mentioned both in the film and the series.
  • In "Memory of Tomorrow", Jennifer is splintered to a WWI battlefield in 1917. This is an allusion to the scene in the film when Willis's Cole accidentally travels back to a WWI battlefield.
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