Ever since Gerry Anderson productions have been broadcast to different countries there have been many references made about them. Spoofs done and tributes created. This is a list of them.


Wallace and Gromit

  • "Close Shave" - The scene where Wallace makes his way to his motorbike is based on Virgil's Thunderbird 2 launch sequence.
  • "Curse of the Were Rabbit" - The scene where Wallace and Gromit make their way to the Anti-Pesto mobile, it is again like Virgil heading for Thunderbird 2.
  • "Curse of the Were Rabbit" - The pictures of the clients for Anti-Pesto have eyes that flash just like the picture of the Tracy brothers in Thunderbirds.


Love, Honour & Obey

Sean and Trevor sing Fireball XL5's end-credit song "I Wish I Was a Spaceman" at a karaoke venue somewhere in London.


Absolutely Fabulous

Mr. Bean

  • In Do-It-Yourself, Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean has a Thunderbirds duvet cover.

Brainiac: Science Abuse

  • In the 47 Seconds Science clips the Joe 90 theme music is used in the background.

Des O'connor Show

  • In one Sketch, Des O'connor is taking a bath. While in it he has a toy model of Stingray, which he draws out of the water. A terrorfish is also seen and a missile is launched from the bathwater. Both Commander Sam Shore and Marina appear in the sketch.

Doctor Who

  • In the episode The Lodger the Doctor introduces himself as "Captain Troy Handsome of International Rescue. Please state the nature of your emergency".
  • In Death In Heaven, the Doctor refers to the Valiant aircraft carrier as Cloudbase. Agent Osgood mistakenly says it's from Thunderbirds, but late Colonel Ahmed corrects her and says it was from Captain Scarlet. The Doctor also mentions the fact that he's never seen a better foxtrot than the one he did with Sylvia Anderson.

Family Guy

  • In "Peter's Got Woods" - Peter say "That's crazy. You're gonna name the school after the star of Space 1999?" and Brian replies "No, that's Martin Landau."

Father Ted

  • In Think Fast, Father Ted just before they are about to announce the winner of the raffle Ted asks "Are you ready Dougal?" In which Dougal replies "Thunderbirds Are Go Ted"

The Frank Skinner Show

  • Sir Cliff Richard made a guest appearance on the show. On the show Skinner showed a clip of Sir Richard singing Shooting Star from Thunderbirds Are Go. At the end of the show Richard and Skinner sang the song together.


  • In "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" the Star Trek episodes were fired into Omega 3 from an Eagle, which is from Space: 1999
  • In "Bender's Game Part 1" during the demolition derby, one of the ships is an Eagle from Space: 1999.

The Golden Shot

Hawaii 5-0

  • In 'The Big Kahuna' a Thunderbird 1 model can be seen in a bush.

The Late Late Show

  • In order to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of America's first landing on the moon, Craig Ferguson lip-synched a musical number set to the theme song of Fireball XL5

Les Dennis Show

  • In one episode of the Les Dennis Show, he did a spoof sketch of Thunderbirds

Malcolm In The Middle

  • In "Malcolm's Girlfriend" several kids on the playground mention watching the Space: 1999 marathon.

Morecambe & Wise Show

  • In one episode of Morecambe & Wise they did a spoof sketch of Supercar

Mysterious Girlfriend X

  • The protagonist's room has a model of Thunderbird 1.

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

  • In a Peter Cook and Dudley Moore episode they did a spoof of all the Supermarionation series called "Superthunderstingcar”.

Robot Wars

  • Despite not being based on any of the Thunderbird Crafts, Plunderbird (1-5), was always reference to the series Thunderbirds by fan and commentates. Such references included the Thunderbird Theme music being played when entering the show.

Rory Bremner

  • On a Rory Bremner episode, he did a sketch involving clips from Joe 90 and dubbed it over, claiming that Joe 90 was really John 90, (based on the current Prime Minister at the time, John Major)

The Simpsons

  • "In Marge We Trust" - During the Mr Sparkel advert, a Thunderbird 2 toy can be seen behind the baby.
  • In "Helter Shelter" Comic Book Guy has a model of a Hawk from Space: 1999 in his room.

South Park

  • In the Fourteenth Season episode, Insheeption - when Stan is trapped in Mr. Mackey's subconscious-one of the posters on a Young Mr. Mackey's wall is a Space: 1999 parody (Space 1989) poster with an Eagle on it.


  • In the last episode, Mike convinces Brian to help him convince Marsha not to sell the house by playing a cassette tape with the Thunderbirds theme.

Takeshi's Castle

  • In the games Slipped Disks and Uphill Garden the Thunderbirds theme music can be heard in the background.

The Vicar Of Dibly

  • In 10th anniversary special featured a drunk Geraldine lapsing into the opening countdown while drunk in the pulpit, then shouting "Thunderbirds are GO!" as part of her homily.

Coca-Cola Advert

  • In 2010, the Coca-Cola Company made an advertisement for Diet Coke depicting female workers as Supermarionationpuppets. The ad is dubbed "If you love it light".


  • Another recent advert, released by Britvic to advertise their line of 'Drench' water, features Brains dancing to the 90s' hit "Rhythm Is a Dancer". Halfway through, he takes a seat and drinks some Drench before resuming the dance. The advert ends with the slogan "Brains perform best when they're hydrated". The official Stay Drenched website featured a making of video which revealed Brains' moves were a combination of live action puppeteering, motion capture and CGI.


  • In 2001, the DVLA used Thunderbirds in one of their commercials reminding people to pay their road tax where Lady Penelope cuts Parker's strings for accidentally allowing FAB1 to be clamped.

Kit Kat

  • In 1993, the Kit Kat chocolate bar company made an Thunderbirds-themed advertisement. It features the original 5–4–3–2–1 countdown (re-recorded by a new voice actor) and all ships taking off, except Thunderbird 1. Scott, who pilots the ship, is seen relaxing and "[Having] a break", as the commercial encourages. Meanwhile, a frantic Jeff Tracy tries to coerce Scott into launching the ship: "Thunderbirds! GO!"

Pizza Hut

  • A Pizza Hut commercial featuring the Thunderbirds was made, with the characters "hitting the hut", as was the company's slogan at the time.
  • Another advert shows the crew of Stingray crashing on the sea bed after being attacked by a Terror Fish. Phones asks "What do we do now?" I which the slogon "hitting the hut" is heard.


  • In 2008, UK retailer Specsavers released an advertisement utilising Virgil Tracy and The Hood to promote their Reaction lenses. It was produced by Tandem Films in London using the same production techniques used by the original series. The video was published on the official Specsavers YouTube web site and screened on commercial TV networks in the UK. The mini adventure sees Virgil pursued by his arch-enemy, the villainous Hood, through snow-capped mountains. Virgil comes out of a tunnel into the glare of the sun and his Specsavers lenses immediately darken to protect his vision. The Hood is not so lucky and, blinded by the bright light, he crashes into a mountain. The chase is over and Virgil escapes again, thanks to modern technology, and to the relief of his father, Jeff.


Big Bang Comics

The Indestructible Man

  • The Indestructible Man is a Doctor Who book written by Simon Messingham, set thirty years after the established series continuity, although the book mainly focuses around the Captain Scarlet universe, referneces are made to Stingray, UFO and Thuinderbirds. In this universe International Rescue is known as 'Global Response' with the catchphrase 'Lightnings Strike'. The organisation was run by the 'Sharron' family in similarity to their real counterparts. The organisation was brought out by the Spectrum style organistion 'PRISM'. John is now the only surviving member of the group, and has inherited Thunderbird 2, he has gone partially mad and years of isolation in Thunderbird 5 have caused him to hate his family.


Take On Me

  • The music video for Ah-ha's "Take On Me" follows a loose narrative of "boy wins race, fellow competitors don't like him and want him dead.” This storyline is quite similar to the storyline of the Thunderbirds episode Move - And You're Dead. The use of the closeups of static pictures to simulate a race (seen at the start of the video) is also similar to what is done in the original episode.

Real Life

  • UK train operator Virgin Trains employs a set of 16 class 57/3 diesel locomotives primarily for 'rescue' duties, towing its electric Pendolino trains in the event of breakdowns or unexpected detours to non-electrified lines. All 16 are named after Thunderbirds characters or machines.
  • A scale model of Thunderbird 3 is currently on display at Humberside Airport near Grimsby in the UK.
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