Most Iconic Titanic Movie References in Pop Culture

Jack and Rose in Titanic

Despite releasing 25 years ago, the heart of Titanic goes on. Whether fans think there was enough room on the door for Jack or not, the film has gripped the hearts of moviegoers in every generation. Add in Celine Dion's gut-wrenching high notes, and there's not a dry eye in the theatre when the credits close.

Long before the movie run time norm hit over two hours, Titanic was a film anomaly, clocking in at over three hours. Yet despite the hefty run time, Titanic has firmly cemented itself in the pop culture zeitgeist, inspiring a slew of movie, TV, and even music video references in the years since its debut.

For the many fans who weren't alive (or old enough to sit through a three-hour movie) when Titanic released in 1997, James Cameron's masterpiece is re-releasing in theatres for fans to watch Rose and Jack fall in love in 3D that's far crisper than the red and blue glasses of yesteryear. And when they're done wiping their eyes from Jack and Rose’s doomed love, fans can binge-watch some of the most iconic Titanic pop culture references of all time.

The Office


The Office may not seem like the most obvious choice for a Titanic reference, but Michael Scott is the king of misremembering movie moments — on top of being king of the world, apparently. The Season 2 episode "Booze Cruise" quickly became one of the most iconic installments of the series, due mostly in part to Michael's inability to share the spotlight.
The series might be about a simple paper company, but the characters and actors add life to what would otherwise be a pretty mundane premise. Of course, Michael himself is always trying to spice up the lives of his employees. In this particular episode, he takes them on a booze cruise training, where he feuds with the boat's captain for attention until ultimately landing himself in boat jail. 

However, before Michael winds up in the brig, he emulates Jack's "I'm king of the world" moment from Titanic. As usual, Jim calls the moment before it happens, saying, "Michael stands in front of the boat and says he's king of the world within the first hour, or I give you my next paycheck." Unsurprisingly, Jim's paycheck is safe.


As it turns out, one person (or angel) isn't quite charmed by Celine Dion's melancholic "My Heart Will Go On" number. In Season 6 of the demon-hunting show, one of the most random episodes of Supernatural is named after Dion's ballad. The episode revolves around the rogue bad boy angel Balthazar and his desperate attempt to remove the song from history. Yet instead of tanking James Cameron's movie pitch or the song's recording, he decides to stop the Titanic from sinking altogether — as if that won't wield some hefty consequences. 

After all, Over 1,500 people died on the fateful voyage. Naturally, preventing the tragedy would cause some serious damage to the timeline. As Sam says, "You totally butterfly-affected history." Yet despite Balthazar's claim that the "god-awful Celine Dion song made me want to smite myself," there's more to the story. 

As innocent as saving over 1,000 people and their family lines seem, Balthazar and the Winchester brothers’ favorite angel Castiel are on the hunt for souls for their angelic civil war. And what better way to accomplish that than unsinking the unsinkable ship? However, waging war with one of the three fates isn't exactly a wise move, and Dean and Sam wake up from what seems like a fever dream to the crooning voice of Celine Dion. The only thing missing from this episode is the actual Titanic, but The CW’s budget likely couldn’t handle a recreation of the Titanic’s splendors. 

"Oops!…I Did It Again"

All aboard! Rose called, and she wants her Heart of the Ocean back. The turn of the millennium may have marked an end to the '90s, but it didn't stop the Titanic references from coming. And Britney Spears just might have the most bizarre (and iconic) of them all. Spears' "Oops!…I Did It Again" music video centers around a “spaceman” finding a red pleather-clad Spears on a Mars voyage. So how exactly does Rose's movie trinket fit into the mix?

According to a Rolling Stone interview with the music video's director Nigel Dick, Spears pitched the Mars setting herself, and he was flummoxed by the "Titanic" reference. Co-writer and co-producer Rami Yacoub remarked on the origins of the Titanic bridge during an interview with The Ringer. He recalled, "Because MTV was so massive at the time, we were always imagining the video as we wrote the song. The idea was pretty simple: Let's make the bridge have a Titanic reference where Britney gets the stone from the old lady." According to The Ringer, Leonardo DiCaprio was rumored to be on board to play Spears' love interest in the video, which would have made the reference feel a little less out of place. Yet DiCaprio shot to fame almost as quickly as Spears, and allegedly, it didn't work with his schedule. 

Despite Spears never saying the word Titanic and the Heart of the Ocean failing to appear on-screen, fans know exactly what Spears is referencing when she says, "But I thought the old lady dropped it into the ocean in the end." Oops! She did it again. 

Doctor Who

Unsinkable, that's the Doctor. Throughout its decades on the air, Doctor Who has put its own sci-fi spin on a slew of pivotal moments in history — perfectly melding fact and fiction. The series is known for its epic movie-long holiday specials, but David Tennant's Season 4 New Who episode "Voyage of the Damned" is particularly memorable. The Doctor crashes on what he initially thinks is the actual Titanic, only to discover that he's on a starship replica of the ship. 

Like the original vessel, the intergalactic iteration faces a similar grisly fate — this time at the hands of a vengeful businessman. The episode brilliantly tackles the class issues displayed in the movie and the actual voyage, all with an intergalactic twist. 

The holiday special also lends a nod to Rose and Jack with the Doctor's own tragic star-crossed romance with a brave woman aptly named Astrid. Luckily, there were no doors involved with their doomed, almost love affair. Of course, the episode's best moment comes from the fact that the Doctor finally finds someone named Alonzo to yell, "Allons-y Alonzo" after. Now that’s fate.

Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girls is home to a slew of unending pop culture references spoken a mile a minute by mother and daughter Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before a Titanic reference would pop up. It took five seasons for the film's legacy to make a splash on the series — but it's a pivotal moment for Rory and Logan (one of her three most significant love interests). 

In the episode "You Jump, I Jump, Jack," Rory learns to take risks and stop being so pragmatic about everything. The episode turns the Titanic moment on its head from Jack trying to prevent Rose from jumping off the ship to Logan convincing Rory to make a jump of her own — literally. The episode marks the show's first significant glimpse at the Life and Death Brigade: a fictional Yale secret society that pops up throughout the rest of the series and the Netflix reboot. 

In addition to inspiring the episode's title, Rory tells Logan, "You jump, I jump, Jack," when the society is gearing up for that day's daredevil stunt: Jumping from extreme heights with umbrellas and formalwear. It makes sense that Jack and Rose's influence would spark the long-spanning romance between Rory and Logan — and all of the nautical references the duo shares in the future. She does steal a yacht with Logan, after all.


If there’s one thing the Titanic can’t quite handle, it’s ice. Too soon? In Ant-Man, Scott faces off against a safe made from the same steel as the Titanic. During the heist, Scott points out that “it doesn’t do so well in the cold,” a clear reference to that pesky iceberg that brought the Titanic down. Luis helpfully points out that the iceberg killed DiCaprio before the team gets sidetracked by recalling the movie’s plot points.

Hey, no one ever said these guys were consummate professionals. There’s always a little room for movie banter in the trenches. While an iceberg doesn’t take down the safe, Scott’s nitrogen maneuver does the trick, freezing the door and blasting it open. And though the mission seems like a bust at first, Scott walks away with the Ant-Man suit. So, to summarize this particular sequence of events, Scott would never have become Ant-Man if it weren’t for the Titanic movie and his knowledge of the ship’s demise. 

Scott’s journey as Ant-Man continues in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on February 17.

Avatar: The Way of the Water

It was only a matter of time before James Cameron got meta with a Titanic homage in his own seemingly unrelated movie. Sure, the director’s masterpiece has spawned hundreds of references throughout pop culture, but it’s always fun to see a director play off their work. Avatar: Way of the Water does just that, with a similar ship-sinking sequence. 

TikTok user aldaqshy cut together the waterlogged scene from the Avatar sequel and the moment Jack and Rose try to flee a drowning Titanic, noting the nearly identical setup of the two cinematic moments. What’s more? Kate Winslet plays Ronal in the film, adding an extra dose of Titanic love into the mix. All the movie needs now is some Celine Dion to tie everything together. 

For fans who haven’t yet seen Avatar: The Way of the Water, the movie is still playing in theatres. 

Animated TV Episodes

It’s not just live-action shows that share the Titanic love. In addition to animated series having more wiggle room for the suspension of disbelief, not having to create elaborate sets makes it easier to do grand concepts without obliterating the budget. While Supernatural didn’t have the means to build replica sets, an animator can achieve the same goal without having to source crystal and build grand staircases. 

Of course, that’s not to say the work is any less difficult, but it’s undoubtedly more doable. Long before Doctor Who put its own spin on a Titanic spacecraft, Futurama debuted a similar episode in Season 1, titled “A Flight to Remember.” Yet instead of an iceberg tearing the ship in two, a black hole does the trick. 

Like Futurama, the animated series Family Guy debuted its rendition of the Titanic in Season 13 with the episode “Stewie, Chris, & Brian’s Excellent Adventure.” In addition to referencing Titanic, the time travel-centric episode pays homage to the ‘80s movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. 

Get Tickets