Top Ten Hobbit References in Popular Culture
It's almost Hobbit Day! This very special day of Tolkien Week is celebrated every September 22nd in honor of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins’ birthdays. Or at least it’s been celebrated since 1978 when the American Tolkien Society announced it. So go outside, take off your shoes, break out your favorite Tolkien tome and celebrate all things Hobbit in style
Here are some of the top Hobbit related pop-culture references to get you in the Hobbit Day spirit. Let us know how you’ll be celebrating in the comments!
1. THE BALLAD OF BILBO BAGGINS: Oh the ‘60s. An era of war, love, and a time when Leonard Nimoy sang a song about the exploits of Bilbo Baggins for fun and profit.
Complete with women in elf ears and pixie cuts, this retro song features glorious lyrics like, “Hobbits are a peace-loving folks you know, they don’t like to hurry and they take things slow. They don’t like to travel away from home, they just want to eat and be left alone.” Do not mess with a Hobbit and their second breakfast!
2. SOUTH PARK: This parody episode titled The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers comes complete with an epic quest, six grade Ringwraiths and plenty of “my precious” jokes. Not to mention the usual irreverence we expect from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
Bonus: Gandalf the Grey also appears in the Imaginationland episodes as part of the Council of Nine alongside the Jesus allegory lion Aslan.
3. FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS: Real life New Zealand band turned semi-fictional HBO parodies of themselves Bret MacKenzie and Jemaine Clement create and star in a LotR themed music video for their song Frodo, Don’t Wear the Ring. Dressed as Hobbits of course.
This is made even funnier when you consider that Bret starred in The Two Towers as the fan favorite and fan named character Figwit. He is also an Oscar winner, so amend that to Figwit: Oscar winner. Yeah, that’s a thing.
4. SEALAB 2021: The Adult Swim cult favorite had a cameo appearance from four of the Fellowship members in the season two episode Der Dieb, in which Captain Murphy decides to declare “Martian Law”.
There really is no reason for the group to be there, but we forgive the writers for gifting us with Gandalf yelling the line: “Earth, wind, and fire, back to the Shire!” But why is he Gandalf the Green?
5. [TITLE OF SHOW]: In this musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical, the song “Secondary Characters” is all about the growing friendship between female cast members Susan and Heidi. It also might include a reference to one of the greatest literary bromances of all time.
Susan and Heidi: The secondary characters are calling the shots, while the guys are being stored in the wings. We’ve been left in charge of it all while the plot is unfolding like the Lord of the Rings… Trilogy. In a way, you and me ‘til the very end, and like Frodo and Samwise you’ll be my best friend!
6. CLERKS II: Fast food chain cashier Elias and a Mooby’s customer nerd out over their One Ring(s) in this Kevin Smith film, which also features the one onion ring to rule them all! This conversation quickly devolves into an argument about which trilogy is superior (Lord of the Rings or Star Wars) when jerky Randal gives the audience a visual demonstration of all three LotR films. Hint: there’s lots of walking involved.
7. 30 ROCK: Who is the more famous adventuring Hobbit? Frodo or Bilbo? Both of them bear the burden of the ring, but it’s the über damaged Gollum who gets all the parody screen time. Seen here dealing with her own existential crisis is Tina Fey’s character Liz Lemon trying to give herself a pep-talk but being fought against by her Gollum-esque alter-ego.
8. DISCWORLD: Terry Pratchett’s hilarious fantasy series Discworld has many examples of Tolkien inspiration, from Orcs that are near extinction, bearded Dwarf men and women, and a very familiar creature in the book Witches Abroad.
As the witches Granny and Esme Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are paddling down-river in the novel, a familiar creature who has been following them pops up onto a log and proudly announces, “It’s my birthday!” Whatever you say, precious.
9. LED ZEPPELIN: This list would be incomplete if it didn’t include some Led Zeppelin related Tolkien references! Allow me specifically to point you to Misty Mountain Hop, The Battle of Evermore and Ramble On: “Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Gollum, and the evil one, crept up and slipped away with her…”
One intrepid company, SyncMovies, has even synchronized Led Zeppelin IV and Fellowship of the Ring together into the Fellowship of the IV. The opening battle is even more glorious when set to Black Dog.
10. SUPERNATURAL: In the geek-centric episode The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo, guest star Felicia Day brings the laughs and the Lord of the Rings references. She even tries to defend herself from home invaders with a Sting replica. Good luck with that!
Charlie: The eye of Sauron is on me.
Harry: Well, if you need anything I’ll be back in the Shire.
From henceforth, all cubicles shall be referred to as the Shire and all bosses shall be referred to as eyes of Sauron!
Cassandra Rose is a freelance writer and an avid bibliophile. When real life isn't getting in the way she spends her free time being snarky on Twitter and contributing to the literary blog Bibliomantics.