The Oprah Show has permeated pop culture. Even fictional characters watch! Check out shows that have referenced Oprah.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
In an episode aptly titled "A Night at the Oprah," the whole Banks clan travels to The Oprah Show to help Uncle Phil's campaign for Superior Court judge. Of course, things don't go as planned, and Will—played by Will Smith—is none too pleased when he is made to sit in the audience.
"My next question is for Mr. Banks," Will says during the episode. "Mr. Banks, would you let your nephew come to The Oprah Winfrey Show, or make him fly all the way to Chicago for nothing, sit in the audience and embarrass him in front of his girl? Hi, LaTeesha!"
When Wisteria Lane's Tom Scavo is invited to a prestigious leadership conference, his wife, Lynette, can't contain her excitement. "Warren Buffett goes to this conference. And Bill Gates. And Oprah!" she says. "It's one of her Favorite Things."
Saturday Night Live
Oprah's name has come up a lot on this hit show, but who can forget when comedian Maya Rudolph spoofed Oprah's Favorite Things giveaway? No audience member has ever been as excited as Amy Poehler's character, whose head shot off from her body in this hilarious sketch.
In "The One with Phoebe's Dad," Phoebe Buffay learns her biological father is a pharmacist upstate and not, as she thought, a tree surgeon in Burma.
Rachel: Phoebe, I thought your dad was in prison.
Phoebe: No, that's my stepdad. My real dad's the one that ran out on us before I was born.
Rachel: How have you never been on Oprah?
At an annual office supply convention, bumbling boss Michael Scott reveals to a colleague that yesterday's (fictional) episode of The Oprah Show inspired his latest brilliant idea.
Michael: Pam? Did you see Oprah yesterday?
Pam: No, I didn't.
Michael: I...uh...I am going to be a father.
Pam: What was Oprah about?
Michael: Angelina Jolie was on and she adopted a baby from Asia. And she said that changed her life, and that really inspired me. So I want you to look into seeing how much a little Chinese baby would cost...
Will & Grace
In the Season 8 episode "Cop to It," Jack McFarland gets a letter from a fan of his talk show, JackTalk, who is too scared to come out of the closet. Inspired to help his fan through this pivotal life decision, Jack tells his friend Karen Walker: "This could be my Oprah moment!"
At the end of this hit comedy's first season, co-workers Tracy Jordan and Liz Lemon have a heart-to-heart.
Tracy: So what's your religion, Liz Lemon?
Liz: I pretty much just do whatever Oprah tells me to.
During Season 2 of this Showtime original series, one couple can't stop arguing about their upcoming wedding. Hank Moody, the main character, cautions them to tone down the fighting: "You keep rolling with the marital discord, and I see you across from Oprah on a big yellow couch. Fingers crossed."
In the first season of this comedy, Courteney Cox's character Jules Cobb gets in a car accident due to distracted driving. When her son Travis and neighbor Grayson Ellis discuss the accident, Grayson references Oprah's No Phone Zone pledge.
Grayson: Oprah says talking on your cell while driving is crazy dangerous.
Travis: Does Oprah say anything about how lame it is for a grown-ass man to watch Oprah?
Grayson: Nope, she loves us.
In the memorable Season 6 finale, "Death and All His Friends," Dr. April Kepner convinces a gunman not to shoot her by telling him her life story, a technique she says she picked up from watching The Oprah Show. "I saw on Oprah or somewhere that if you tell them personal details about yourself, they're less likely to kill you."
In the Season 2 episode "Two Monkeys and a Panda," Cameron decides he wants to desensitize the word "adoption" for his adopted daughter, Lily. Cam tells his partner, Mitchell, he got the idea from a recent (fictional) episode of The Oprah Show, where a girl who was adopted ran away from home.
How I Met Your Mother
In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, womanizing Barney Stinson—played by Neil Patrick Harris—takes a cue from Oprah and offers his very first edition of Barney's Favorite Things. "I'm gonna give you all a bunch of free stuff, like Oprah," he says.
But Barney's freebies were a bit different than Oprah's legendary gifts. Velour tracksuits, remote-controlled helicopters and condoms rounded out his giveaway. "You get a lap dance! You get a lap dance! You're going to give me a lap dance. Everybody gets a lap dance!"
In the episode "I'm Coming Out," Betty's sister, Hilda, gets newfound motivation to find a job. Her inspiration? Oprah, of course. "Oprah told me that I need to take control of my life. And then Dr. Phil told me that I need to take on a challenge. And then Rachael Ray made a pie..."