Cats is an international hit and has been referenced many times in popular culture.
- 1 2 Stupid Dogs
- 2 5 Second Rule: Just Spit It Out
- 3 ALF
- 4 Angel
- 5 Angels in America
- 6 A.N.T. Farm
- 7 Baantjer
- 8 Ballers
- 9 The Big Fat Quiz of Everything
- 10 Bob's Burgers
- 11 BoJack Horseman
- 12 Bombalurina
- 13 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
- 14 Caroline in the City
- 15 Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
- 16 Crosswalk: The Musical
- 17 Dance of the Vampires
- 18 David Dobrik
- 19 Der Pfundskerl
- 20 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
- 21 Doctor Who
- 22 Drawfee
- 23 Drawn Together
- 24 Eastsiders
- 25 Ellen
- 26 Fame
- 27 Family Guy
- 28 Friday Night Dinner
- 29 Friends
- 30 Gary Kennon
- 31 Gilmore Girls
- 32 Glee
- 33 The Golden Girls
- 34 Henry Danger
- 35 Hey Arnold!
- 36 House M.D.
- 37 Jersey Girl
- 38 Katy Keene
- 39 Labyrinth
- 40 Late Night with David Letterman
- 41 Love Life
- 42 Monk
- 43 Muppet Films And Shows
- 44 The Nanny
- 45 The Office
- 46 Phineas and Ferb
- 47 The Play That Goes Wrong
- 48 PSA
- 49 Rio 2
- 50 Riverdale
- 51 Robert Heindel paintings
- 52 Saturday Night Live
- 53 Serenity
- 54 School of Rock
- 55 Something Rotten
- 56 South Park
- 57 So You Think You Can Dance
- 58 The Simpsons
- 59 Six Degrees of Separation
- 60 The Suite Life on Deck
- 61 Trivia Murder Party 2
- 62 Tokyo Train Station
- 63 Toy Story 3
- 64 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- 65 United States Postal Service
- 66 Vexed
- 67 Wax museums
- 68 What's New, Scooby-Doo?
- 69 Whose Line Is It Anyway?
- 70 The Wiggles
- 71 Will & Grace
- 72 World Cup
- 73 Young Sheldon
- 74 Zootopia
- 75 References
2 Stupid Dogs
2 Stupid Dogs is an American animated television series that originally aired on TBS in the 1990s. The 1994 episode "Love" (S02 E05) features a song parody of Cats. The segment ends with the character Hollywood saying: "Sorry, them cats get a little Broadway every once in a while."
5 Second Rule: Just Spit It Out
5 Second Rule: Just Spit It Out is a trivia board game in which players have to answer trivia questions that are written on the given cards. One of the cards says: "Name three Cats characters".
ALF is an American sitcom television series that aired in the late 1980s. In one episode from this sitcom about an alien who lives with a "nice, normal family", Willie and Kate (the parents) talk about seeing Cats. ALF (who comes from a planet where cats are considered dinner instead of a house pet), tries to coax them into taking him with them so he can go backstage and eat the actors.
In the 2002 episode "Tomorrow" (S03 E22), Angel tells Fred: "You're a vampire, you're not in Cats," in response to her attempt at imitating a vampire.
Angels in America
Angels in America is a play that opened on Broadway in 1993. In the play and its 2003 film adaptation, the lawyer Roy Cohn is first seen recommending tickets for Cats to his client.
In the 2011 episode "participANTs" (S01 E02), Chyna is asked by a friend to audition for the school play, to which she responds: "If the play was Cats, I could play the litter box."
In the Dutch crime show Baantjer, character Iris De Graaff mentions having tickets to see Cats. She asks her colleague Vledder to go along with her, who at first declines, but later agrees to come with her. The next scene they are shown arriving at work, and Vledder sings a part of the "Rum Tum Tugger" while Iris cheers.
In the 2018 episode "This Is Not Our World" (S04 E13), Joe (Rob Corddry) and Enid (Grace Zabriskie) have a conversation:
Joe: It reminded me of the first time I saw Cats on Broadway. You ever see Cats?
Enid: I have. The original cast. I used to have the unitard.
Joe: Ho ho! Betcha you turned some heads.
The Big Fat Quiz of Everything
The Big Fat Quiz of the Year is an annual British television programme that is essentially a comedy panel quiz game. In the 2016 special (aired on 5 January 2016), one of the quiz questions was to name three of the cats in Cats. Jack Whitehall and Mel Giedroyc's team were the only ones to answer correctly, naming Grizabella, Macavity and Rum Tum Tugger.
- In the 2019 episode "If You Love It So Much, Why Don't You Marionette?" (S09 E18), Cats is mentioned as one of the musicals that ran for many years.
- In the 2019 episode "All That Gene" (S10 E09), one of the audience members for Gene's play comments: "This better not be one of those plays where they come up to you in the aisle and meow at you."
BoJack Horseman is an American adult animated Netflix television series. In the 2014 episode "BoJack Hates the Troops" (S01 E02), Princess Carolyn's hold music is "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats".
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an American police procedural comedy television series. In the 2015 episode "The Chopper" (S02 E22), Boyle wants his codename to be "Rum Tum Tugger".
Caroline in the City
Caroline in the City is an American sitcom television series that originally aired in the 1990s. In the show, one of the main characters, Annie, works as a dancer in the Broadway production of Cats.
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is an American musical comedy-drama television series. The 2019 episode "I Need Some Balance" (S04 E09) is a musical parody of Cats.
Crosswalk: The Musical
The Late Late Show with James Corden parodied Cats, along with other ALW musicals, in a 2018 "Crosswalk: The Musical" segment.
Dance of the Vampires
In the 2002 Broadway musical Dance of the Vampires, a BATS billboard in the style of the classic CATS logo is seen in the vampire-themed Times Square backdrop.
In a video on his second channel called “SURPRISE BLINDFOLD MARRIAGE PROPOSAL” which showcases the final stop on his national US tour, a drawn and autograpped poster for Cats is shown in the theater hallway
Der Pfundskerl is a German crime television series that ran from 2000 to 2005, in which the main character is a reporter who solves crime. The 2001 episode "Alles für die Katz" (S02E01) centres on the Hamburg production of Cats, with the episode's mystery involving the attempted murder of one of the cast members during a performance.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is a 2011 American live-action/animated comedy film. In the film, Greg's arch-rival Patty sings "Memory" in a talent show, bringing Rodrick to tears.
In the 1989 episode "Survival Part 1" (S26 E12) of classic Doctor Who, the 7th Doctor Sylvester McCoy can be seen standing in front of a Cats poster where a coffee bar used to be in Ace's hometown of Perivale.
In an episode posted on March 11, 2021, the members of the Drawfee Show drew lyrics from various songs from Cats (2019).
At the end of the 2006 episode "A Very Special Drawn Together Afterschool" (S02 E13), when the characters appear on stage and take one last bow in front of the audience, they are joined by actors dressed in parodies of the Cats costumes.
Eastsiders is a web series that originally ran from 2012 to 2019. In the episode "Sodom" (S02 E03), Kathy, played by Constance Wu, leaves the series after she is cast in a non-equity national tour of Cats. She returns briefly in the episode "Cats" (S03 E04), having quit the tour.
In an October 2019 episode, Andy dressed up as Munkustrap and sang "Memory".
Fame is an American television series that ran from 1982 to 1987. The US Tour 2 cast featured in the 1985 episode "A Place to Belong" (S05 E01), performing a dance sequence in a character's dream. The Cats performers who appeared were:
- Derryl Yeager (Alonzo)
- Leigh Webster (Cassandra)
- Serge Rodnunsky (Coricopat)
- Phineas Newborn III (Pouncival)
- Adrea Gibbs Muldoon (Tantomile)
- J Kathleen Lamb (Victora)
- Thom Keeling (Skimbleshanks)
- Kenneth Jezek (Tumblebrutus)
- Edyie Fleming (Bombalurina)
- Sheri Cowart (Demeter)
In "Brian Does Hollywood", Lois recalls a previous time when Peter disturbed a performance. During a performance of Cats, Peter crashes through a wall, running over one of the performers. He tries to explain that the "cat" just jumped in front of him and he never meant to hit it.
Friday Night Dinner
Friday Night Dinner is a British television sitcom. In the 2020 episode "The Plastic Bag" (S06 E02), one of the running gags is that Adam forgot his mother Jackie had taken him to see Cats when he was five, causing her to be upset about it throughout the episode.
- In one episode, Rachel was trying to throw a pizza box into a chute. She struggles with it, but finally decides to leave it halfway out of the chute. She turns around and sees a janitor (???) who chews her out about it because he spent half and hour unclogging it. He mimics her on how she's a "princess". One of the things he said was, "Daddy, make the cast of Cats sing happy birthday to me!"
- Rachel lost Ross's monkey named Marcel. They all decide to go and look for him. Joey says, "All right, you're a monkey. You're loose in the city. Where do you go?" Chandler replies, "Okay, it's his first time out so he's probably going to want to do some touristy things. I'll go to Cats and you go to the Russian Tea Room."
- British singer-songwriter Gary Kennon released a song titled "Song For Jellylorum" in his 2015 EP Dreamland. The song is about how Jellylorum is his favourite character in Cats.
In one episode, a Cats poster is seen on the back of a newspaper.
Glee is an American musical television series that originally aired from 2009 to 2015.
- In the 2011 episode "New York" (S02 E22), Rachel buys Broadway tickets for Cats from a scalper, not knowing that the show had already closed 11 years ago.
- In the 2013 episode "A Katy or A Gaga" (S05 E04), Jake dresses up as a "lion" in what is clearly meant to be a nod to the Rum Tum Tugger, prompting him to say that he looks like a "gay thundercat".
- In the 2014 episode "Old Dog, New Tricks" (S05 E19), "Memory" is performed by Kurt Hummel and Maggie Banks.
The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is an American sitcom television series that originally aired from 1985 to 1992. In the 1988 episode "Bang the Drum, Stanley" (S04 E05), Blanche and Rose are cast in a community theatre production of Cats.
Henry Danger is an American comedy television series. In the 2019 episode "Henry Danger: The Musical" (S05 E20), Ray says that he auditioned for a musical about cats only for Charlotte to say "was it Cats?" Ray replies with "it's not important" and he got rejected. The line is later repeated in several scenes.
Hey Arnold! is an American animated children's television series that aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2004. In the episode "Quantity Time" (season 2, segment 37b), Big Bob and Helga go see a musical named Rats together.
In the 2005 episode "Autopsy" (S02 E02), House says before a risky surgery: "No test results, it's goodbye Broadway. You guys will be wearing bad cat suits in Des Moines."
Jersey Girl is a 2004 American comedy-drama film. A gag in the movie had every kid in an elementary school talent show choosing to perform "Memory" by sheer coincidence.
In the 2020 episode "Chapter Two: You Can't Hurry Love" (S01 E02), Jorge goes to a Broadway audition for Cats.
Labyrinth is a 1986 musical dark fantasy film. In the film, the protagonist Sarah Williams has a Cats poster in her bedroom.
Late Night with David Letterman
The Show Has Spoofed Cats Multiple Times
The Theater Was Sometimes Shown On The "Roof Cam"
A running gag in the HBO Max series Love Life is that Anna Kendrick's character Darby played Carbucketty in her high school's production of Cats.
In the 2004 episode "Mr. Monk Takes Manhattan" (S03 E01), Captain Leland Stottlemeyer tells NYPD Captain Walter Cage that he and his colleagues did not fly all the way to New York to see Cats, to which the detective informs him that Cats is already closed anyway.
Muppet Films And Shows
- In the Fall 1983 issue of Muppet Magazine, Scooter interviews Candy Carell, the creator of the Broadway makeup design for Cats.
- Sarah has a poster of Cats in her room in Labyrinth.
- The marquee for the musical is shown in The Muppets Take Manhattan teaser trailer.
- In Muppets Tonight episode 108, Gonzo and Jason Alexander revive their college musical, Bats: the Musical, a parody of Cats.
- In a 2001 episode of Sesame Street, Elizabeth sings a song to Little Murray Sparkles that parodies "Memory."
- In a 2002 episode of Sesame Street, a duck who performs in one of Prairie Dawn's pageants proudly announces that he's won a role in Cats.
- In the Muppets' 2002 MasterCard commercial, Kermit and company are shown in front of a theater where The Producers is playing. As they approach the lobby, Rizzo the Rat inquires "No cats in this one, right?"
- In the Elmo's World episode "Pets," the The Pets Channel tells viewers to stay tuned for Cats starring Eartha Kitten.
- The Muppets Character Encyclopedia mentions that the Muppet birds like the musical Cats, but not the animals.
- In the waiting area for the Sesame Place stage show Elmo the Musical, a poster hangs for the show Bats.
- Lillias White played the lead singer of The Squirrelles
- Roger Kachel played Ernie in the first Sesame Street LIVE show.
The Nanny is an American sitcom that originally aired in the 1990s. One of the series' running gags was that the character of Maxwell Sheffield, a British Broadway producer, had passed on producing Cats which then went on to become the biggest broadway hit in history.
The Office is an American mockumentary sitcom television series.
- In the Halloween episode "Employee Transfer" (S05 E06), Andy dresses up as a cat from Cats.
- In the episode "Andy's Play" (S07 E03), Dwight turns down an invite to watch Andy's play by saying: "Last time I went to the theatre, a man dressed as a cat sat on my lap."
Phineas and Ferb
Phineas and Ferb is an animated children's series that aired on Disney Channel from 2008 to 2015. Cats is one of the musicals parodied in the episode "Rollercoaster: The Musical!", with Phineas and Ferb singing while dressed up as cats in a junkyard.
The Play That Goes Wrong
The Play that Goes Wrong is a comedy that has played in the West End and on Broadway. In the play, Cats is mentioned as the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society's summer musical production. But because of underfunding, they could only stage Cat instead of Cats.
The Broadway cast of Cats was featured in several Public Service Announcement TV ads: "I Love New York" ads for the City of New York (1984), anti-smoking ad for the American Lung Association (1986), car safety ad for the US Department of Transportation (1984).
Rio 2 is a 2014 American animated musical comedy film. It features a character named Claira the capybara who auditions for the Carnival by singing "Memory". Mid-way through the song, she is eaten by a black panther but somehow manages to keep singing.
Riverdale is an American teen drama television series. The season 3 episode "American Dreams" includes a gang member nicknamed "Old Deuteronomy".
Robert Heindel paintings
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live (known as SNL) is an American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show. The show has parodied Cats several times:
- In 1986, SNL parodied 1980s Broadway television commercials with an ad for the fictitious musical The Amazing Alexander. The ad featured a member of the public saying: "I loved it. It was much better than Cats. I'm going to see it again and again."
- The 2009 sketch "Save Broadway" with Neil Patrick Harris and Taylor Swift, featured Bobby Moynihan as Mr. Mistoffelees.
- The 2011 digital short "Laser Cats - The Musical" uses the Cats logo in its opening title
- The 2014 sketch "Broadway's All-Star Super Bowl Halftime Spectacular" features one of the actors dressed as Mr. Mistoffelees.
- The 2019 sketch "Bodega Bathroom" with John Mulaney, featured Kate McKinnon singing a parody of "Memory".
Serenity is a 2005 film, part of Joss Whedon's Firefly franchise. In the film, one of the characters is named Mingojerry Rample, a reference to Mungojerrie.
School of Rock
School of Rock is a 2003 comedy film that stars Jack Black. In the film, Summer "Tinkerbell" Hathaway (played by Miranda Cosgrove) auditions for the school's rock band by singing "Memory".
Something Rotten is a musical about two brothers who run a theatre company that has to compete with Shakespeare. The character of Nostradamus, the fortune teller they hire to steal Shakespeare’s next big hit, frequently sees into the future and breaks the fourth wall to make jokes about theatre. In Scene 2, Act 2, in response to a line about frivolous entertainment, he exclaims: ”Cats! A whole stage covered with singing cats!”
Cats is one of the Broadway musicals that Randy Marsh brings his wife Sharon to see in the 2011 episode "Broadway Bro Down" (S15 E11).
So You Think You Can Dance
- The opening group number for the Season 16 finale used a medley from the Cats Movie 2019.
- In the 1991 episode "Three Men and a Comic Book" (S02 E21), Buddy Hodges asks the crowd at a comic book convention if they saw him play Rum Tum Tugger in the second national touring company of Cats.
- In the 1993 episode "Boy-Scoutz 'n the Hood" (S05 E08), Bart and Milhouse attend a performance of Cats while on a all-syrup Squishee bender. Bart blows blobs of the Squishee onto the stage with a straw, provoking a fight among the actors.
- In the 2005 episode "The Girl Who Slept Too Little" (S17 E2), an Itchy & Scratchy sketch involves Scratchy going to see Cats and ends with him shooting himself out of boredom.
- In the 2011 episode "A Midsummer's Nice Dreams" (S22 E16), Marge buys Crazy Cat Lady aka Eleanor Abernathy tickets for Cats. Eleanor cries throughout the musical, wiping her nose on her own cats.
- In the 2017 episode "Springfield Splendor" (S29 E02), theatrical director Guthrie Frenel mentions directing an "all-dog version of Cats".
Six Degrees of Separation
Six Degrees of Separation is a 1990 Broadway play that was adapted into a film in 1993. In the play and its film adaptation, a young con artist lies to the main couple that his father is directing a movie adaptation of Cats. The con man cheats the couple of their money by promising them cameos in the fake movie.
The Suite Life on Deck
In the 2010 episode "Can You Dig It?" (S02 E19), Emma Tutweiller goes on a date with the tour guide thinking they share a love for cats. During the date however, he clarifies that he meant the musical, not the animal.
Trivia Murder Party 2
Trivia Murder Party 2 is a trivia video game developed by Jackbox Games. The game has several Cats-related trivia questions, including one that asks: "Which of these are not characters from Cats?"
Tokyo Train Station
From 7 March 2019 onwards, the Rinkai Railway Line in Tokyo changed its 13:14 train departure melody at the Oimachi Train Station to jingles of "Memory" (for the train to Osaki Station) and "Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat" (for the train to Shin-Kiba Station). The Oimachi station was chosen because the Cats Theatre is located nearby.
Toy Story 3
In a post-credits scene where the characters are re-enacting Romeo And Juliet, Buttercup suggests to Hammy that "next season, we're doing Cats".
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is an American web television sitcom. In the 2019 episode "Kimmy Is Rich*!" (S04 E11), Titus is cast in the Broadway production of Cats but is fired by the end of the episode.
United States Postal Service
The USPS issued a Cats stamp in January 2000 as part of its Celebrate the Century series. Of the 15 major events of the 1980s that were commemorated by the USPS, Cats was the only musical. 6 million copies of the Cats stamp were printed.
Vexed is a British comedy-drama, police procedural television series for BBC Two. In the 2010 premiere episode (S01 E01), a victim's friend notes that the victim loved cats, to which D.I. Jack Armstrong asks if she's referring to the musical.
- Madame Tussauds New York displays wax figures of Grizabella, Mr. Mistoffelees, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer (since 2019):
- The Panoptikum wax museum in Hamburg, Germany, displays a wax figure of Rumpleteazer (since 2002):
What's New, Scooby-Doo?
In the episode "Riva Ras Regas" the gang travels to Las Vegas, where Shaggy points out one of the building is hosting "Rats the Musical".
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
In a "Newsflash" segment of Show No. 610 (27 June 2003), Colin Mochrie jokes that he will be playing Ol' Fuffenheimer, a supposed new character in a revival of Cats.
- In some shots of the special The Wiggles Big Adventure, Anthony Field (Blue Wiggle) is seen wearing a Cats t-shirt
- Cats alumnus Simon Pryce is now the Red Wiggle and played Ringo the Ringmaster in early 2010s material (mostly in tours)
- Cats alumnus Sarah Bowden played a pirate in The Wiggles Movie and appeared with The Wiggles on Midday with Kerri-Anne.
- An instrumental rendition of Duke Ellington and Irving Mills's "The Mooche" is played on the You Make Me Feel Like Dancing video featuring dancers doing lifts and gymnastics dressed up in full cat costumes that kinda resemble the musical.
Will & Grace
Will & Grace is an American sitcom television series that originally aired from 1998 to 2006.
- In the 1999 episode "Saving Grace" (S01 E20), Will tells Nathan that they should get two cats and name them Grizabella and Skimbleshanks the Railway Cat.
- In the 2000 episode "Lows in the Mid-Eighties" (S03 E08), Jack says: "I was instrumental in bringing Cats over from London. Oh, not the musical. Ethan Katz, a Jewish hottie from Piccadilly. Oh, it's not me again? Oh."
- A cover of "The Jellicle Ball" by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was used as the theme music for the BBC's broadcast of the 1982 World Cup
In the 2018 episode "Killer Asteroids, Oklahoma, and a Frizzy Hair Machine" (S01 E16), the drama teacher Mr. Lundy, played by Jason Alexander, boasts that he played Carbucketty in the Dallas-Fort Worth Players production of Cats.
Zootopia is a 2016 animated Disney film. In one scene, a poster for a musical named Rats is visible, in the same style as the classic Cats poster.