Picture this: It's a beautiful day outside, but you're sitting at home watching some crap on TV. Suddenly, you spot an N64 being played! The characters play some games, you hardly see any gameplay, and before you know it, the excitement is gone and everything resumes. Okay most of these shows/movies aren't that bad, but you get the point. I've compiled a list of every N64 system, game, or controller I've found on TV, in movies, or even in music videos. If you happen to spot a Nintendo 64 reference that I missed, please let me know.
Oh yes, I should probably mention that a lot of these N64 references lead to goofs. If you don't know what a goof is then will find out very soon.
Everybody Loves Raymond (1997)
This episode wastes no time as we start with our main characters playing N64 right off the bat. They appear to be doing a two-player game and both are holding official grey coloured controllers. We can hear very generic shooting sounds, but the music being played is overly happy. In the very first shot after the commercial break we can see that the controllers aren't even plugged in. Great.
This is from Episode 12 Sharp Relief, which is part of season 4. Right after the opening theme we see a hospital crew rushing a woman out of an ambulance and into the hospital. She's in a stretcher, crying out in pain and bleeding to death. It looks real bad, but as soon as the staff reaches the elevator we cut to a completely different scene. Here we see a boy in a hospital bed playing Killer Instinct Gold on one of those special hospital N64 units. He's using a blue controller plugged into the player 2 spot and is playing as the character Spinal. The computer is using Sabrewolf. The kid actually does look like he's playing. There's even a bit of dialogue about it when the nurse walks in.
Nurse: Who's fighting?
Boy: I'm Spinal and that's Sabrewulf.
Boy: I was doing okay, but then he sabre-stomped me.
Boy: Oh, he did the fireball.
Boy: I'm dead.
Nurse: Hey, I want to talk to you about this surgery...
The nurse then turns the thing off, wheels it away, and the scene continues. The writers either knew what they were talking about or this was just a product placement. It's not perfect, I mean I didn't see a fireball or how the nurse turned it off so quickly, but everything else is accurate. It's a rare treat to actually see one of these hospital N64's in action as very few of them have actually surfaced over the years and we're lacking any good documentation on them. There may also have been another time on this show where this unit was used, but this one is likely the most notable.
The Sopranos (1999)
This was only the 4th episode, so the producers were still experimenting a bit with this show at the time. You might be wondering, why are there so many pictures for this one? And why does this paragraph look so long? Well it's because they goofed up big time. Don't get me wrong, this is a really good scene, it's just no one knew a thing about the N64. It starts with a kid playing Mario Kart 64. He's using a real controller, with a real system in front of him. Plus there's gameplay and music that match. He's not the best as he's only in 4th. Unfortunately his father, Tony Soprano, joins him. His father sits down next to him and presses the reset button on the system. The system does more than a simple reset. It resets, picks all the correct options, and then starts up a 2-player race. It does this really quickly too! Within 5 seconds, they are past the countdown and already racing together. Tony Soprano is only using the thumbstick and is not holding down the A button, but in the gameplay scenes he's still moving. Speaking of the gameplay scenes, the two of them are in 7th and 8th. Now Tony doesn't know how to hold a controller so he obviously sucks, but the kid was doing much better a moment ago. The horrible thing is that Tony actually says "This thing ain't steering right". Really Tony? You must be new around here because you need to hold down the A button to move instead of just flicking the analog stick around back and forth. You can't really play Mario Kart 64 with one hand. The son resets the system to give his dad another chance and this time the system is even faster to get them back to their two player race. This time they're playing a bit better as they're in 5th and 6th. It's too bad Tony still doesn't hold the controller correctly. He actually ends up beating his son and getting 4th place. How you ask? Well are you really going to ask how at this point?! Oh and by the way, the lap times on screen never matched up properly when Tony started playing, but I'm sure you would've guessed that.
Malcolm in the Middle (2000)
In the 7th episode of Malcolm in the Middle, "Francis Escapes" Reese is seen holding an atomic purple N64 controller. We hear the sound effects for Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero, and the characters say this:
Dewey: And then the monster started growling at me, so I threw rocks at him, and I killed him, and then he started flying around on rocket boost, and I got to ride inside his head, and now the monster's my friend, and we wen - and we went to get Slurpees.
Reese: You did not. You just lied.
Hal: Reese, if that's what Dewey says happened there's no reason to argue about it.
Reese: No one believes I beat the last level in Mortal Kombat.
Hal: Because that's just ridiculous. No one beats Sub-Zero.
Odd, considering Sub-Zero is not the final boss, he's the character you play as.
Road Trip (2000)
Remember when Tom Green still had a career? I didn't until I saw this movie. The main character in Road Trip (Not Tom Green) has an N64. At First we see a pair of controllers on the floor, and then in another shot we see that he kept the original box. Good for him. It's too bad that he never bought any games for his N64! The system does get pulled out in a later scene but there's still no sign of any games there. Perhaps the games are in those Blockbuster rental cases on the floor.
Dude, Where's My Car? (2000)
As far as I know this is the only appearance of something funtastic-related. Right on the living room table of Jessie and Chester's house is a watermelon Nintendo 64 controller. It's there for the whole movie and is visible at some point in every living room scene. I didn't spot any consoles or games though. In case you were wondering by the picture they ended up winning a lifetime supply of pudding.
According to Jim (2003)
A Nintendo 64 system and two gray controllers can be spotted in the season 3 episode Paintball in the TV show According to Jim. At the start of this episode Andy is playing a football game with one of Jim's daughters. The game is about to end with Andy winning but the girl is able to block his field goal attempt, gain possession of the ball, and is about to run the ball into the end zone and win. She would've won, but Andy pulls the plug to the system. I actually think this scene is funny but it's not perfect. There's no game in that Nintendo 64 system and of course these two clowns have no idea how to hold a controller. There's also no way those cables are making it to that TV without extensions. It would've been neat had they mentioned which imaginary football game this was, but they don't.
Life is Ruff (2005)
This movie is about a kid who adopts a dog so he can enter it in a dog show, win lots of money, buy an expensive comic book, and then axe the dog. Okay, I might've made up that last part. There's a scene towards the end of the movie where Calvin and Emily (Yes, I actually saw enough of this dumb film to learn their names) are playing N64. The game they're playing has graphics that the N64 unfortunately could not pull off. Also the game they're playing looks pretty boring. Emily ends up shutting the game off and leaving. In that last shot we can actually see the N64 plugged in on the table, and it didn't even have a game inside it. Well, are you surprised? This is Disney after all.
The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005)
This movie is terrible! There's a scene where two characters are in Andy's apartment and are playing Mortal Kombat. The guy on the left appears to be holding a 3rd party N64 controller and we do actually see some gameplay. I'm not exactly sure what Mortal Kombat game they're playing, but I can tell you it's definitely not any of the N64 Mortal Kombats.
Madea's Family Reunion (2006)
At about the half-way point of this movie a few characters are watching some weird CGI TV Show/Movie. The camera cuts to the TV for a few seconds to show it, and during this brief scene we can see a Nintendo 64 hooked up to their TV. There's a Nintendo 64 system, Red Controller, Atomic Purple Controller, 10 Boxed Games, and 3 loose carts. Unfortunately it's really hard to make out what any of those boxed games are. The screenshot is taken from the DVD version, so maybe the Blu-Ray would be a little clearer.
The Big Bang Theory (2008)
I find this show to be very hit or miss, though most of the time it's just miss. This is in the episode "The Codpiece Topology", which is in the second season. The first reference is about a third-way through the episode when Sheldon walks in with a package from his mother that contains an N64. He pulls out a memory card, a controller, and a game. We never see the front label, but it's likely Super Mario 64. Unfortunately the rest of this episode contains Sheldon sitting on his apartment stairs, whining and complaining while playing Super Mario 64 on a "poorly coded emulator". Yeah, he doesn't even say which emulator it is. We do hear sound effects from Super Mario 64, but the background music is very hard to hear and I'm not even sure if it's even there to begin with.
N64 in a 2009 movie?! Cool. They're playing Mario Kart 64. And you know what; it really does look like the actors are playing. They're holding the controllers properly, and everything on the TV seems to match up. The correct music and sound effects can also be heard. We even see an N64, with a Mario Kart 64 cartridge in it! Everything actually looks right, that is until you see that the N64 system had no power light on the whole time. Damn it.
We Found Love - Rihanna (2011)
Music videos count too! This music video had a small Nintendo 64 reference in it. You can see a grey controller right in front of a TV as well as a couple carts on the table in the background. It also looks like there might be a second Atomic Purple coloured controller right next to the grey one. I swear this scene is only shown for about a second and then it's gone. As expected we can't see the labels on either cart and the TV is just static. Maybe they were playing an N64 hooked up over RF prior. There aren't any goofs here, but I'm sure there would've been plenty had they actually played the thing.
This one is from the season 3 episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" which was downright hilarious by the way. Much of this episode is spent with the main characters all sitting and talking at the table. Whenever the camera would face Shirley or Pierce you could usually see a Nintendo 64 controller right on the shelf behind them. You can also see a PS2 controller not too far away as well. Later on in the episode a troll doll gets thrown across the room at the TV and it lands next to another N64 controller, 2 NES games, and a Football Tiger Electronic game. The end label is visible on one of the NES carts, it's Base Wars.
G.R.L. - Vacation (2013)
I was lucky enough to have never heard of this band and song before writing this article. When people make fun of todays music for things like auto-tune, bad lyrics, and the complete and utter lack of real talent, this is exactly what they're making fun of. This music video has several different product placements in it, but the Nintendo 64 is just a prop. The video begins with a couple of guys on a couch mashing buttons on N64 controllers. We see a blue third party controller, an official grey controller, and a Nintendo 64 system that actually has a game in it. We can hear the sound effects of the game they're playing and I'm 100% sure it's one of the Modern Warfare games in the Call of Duty series. Even in 2013 we still can't get things right! The controllers start out with the guys, then it's the girls holding them, then they change hands a few more times. In one scene the camera is panned out a lot. We can see the cables for the system going in front of them to where a TV should be, but there's no way in hell those cables are making it to that TV without some sort of extensions. The AV and Power Supply cables just simply aren't that long. That just about covers the N64 here. Please don't watch this music video, it's really bad.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (2014)
This is a talk show so how could they possibly screw anything up? Well they kinda did. On August 19th 2014 Pierce Brosnan appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Towards the end of the episode Jimmy says that it was a childhood dream of his to play against the real James Bond in one of his favorite video games: GoldenEye 007. He then takes the box out and any collector will immediately see something is not right with that box. It's way too shiny, almost like laminated, and it really just looks like someone made it with a computer. How hard is it seriously to get a hold of an original GoldenEye box anyway? GoldenEye is the third best selling N64 game and it actually outsold Zelda: Ocarina of Time so you can imagine there's a lot of boxes out there. The two go over to a TV and start a multiplayer death match on the Complex level. The two find each other rather quickly. Pierce picks up some body armor but Jimmy ends up killing him with a DD44 Dostovei. The two call it quits from there.
Does this even count? Season 8 Episode 15 of Hoarders has a Jungle Green N64 along with an ASCII steering wheel. The Hoarder lady who owns the system wants to keep it and the son says it's a broken racing wheel that belongs with a Windows 95 computer. The lady ends up going through the box and only keeping that white thing, whatever the hell that is. They do this a lot on Hoarders, Person A wants to keep item, Person B argues item is old, smelly, worthless. Both bicker and then item is thrown out. Only problem is this particular item is actually worth something. That Nintendo 64 is in a landfill now.
Written by Kevin Ames
August 14 2012
Added a few new ones on February 22 2014 and then one more on May 17 2014. Yet another one added August 20 2014. Holy crap 2 more added October 8 2014. 1 More Dec 17 2016.