Smithsonian In Popular Culture

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    Displaying 41 records

    BonesYear: Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: MysterySynopsis: Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and Special Agent Seeley Booth, along with their team of specialists, solve mysterious crimes when FBI cases come into their lab at the Jeffersonian.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The main forensic lab at the Jeffersonian is based on the Division of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.  
    Covert AffairsYear: Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ActionSynopsis: The adventures of CIA field agent Annie Walker and her work for the Domestic Protection Division.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Annie Walker’s cover job is that she works in Acquisitions at the Smithsonian Museum.  
    Get Smart Season 3, Episode 22 “Spy, Spy Birdie”Year: 1968Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Comedy, MysterySynopsis: Agents Maxwell Smart and 99 need to stop a criminal who invents a silent explosive.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The Hope Diamond is mentioned in this line, “Ah yes, the world’s most valuable and deadly diamond.”  
    The Scooby Doo/Dynamutt Hour Season 1, Episode 16 “The Spirits of ‘76/The Prophet Profits” Year: 1976Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Animated, Sci-FiSynopsis: Scooby-Doo, Fred, Wilma, Velma, and Shaggy head to Washington, DC to visit the Smithsonian. While there, they soon realize the Smithsonian is haunted by Benedict Arnold, Major André, and William Demont…or is it?Relationship to the Smithsonian: The gang gets locked up in a Smithsonian museum with the Spirits of ’76. They have to solve the mystery, eventually finding a tunnel to the US Mint.  
    Lupin the 3rd Season 4, Episode 4 "Kekkon yubiwa wa noroi no wana"Year: 1979Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: AnimatedSynopsis: The Japanese animated series tells the story of master thief Lupin III and his cronies as they continue their globe-trotting exploits, with the stubborn Inspector Zenigata ever at their trail.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette's Hope Diamond has brought much misfortune on its possessors. The diamond is now safeguarded by a maximum security device. Fujiko provokes Lupin to steal that diamond, but as soon as he enters the "Smithsonian Museum" to steal, he too encounters misfortune.  
    Spider-Man Episode 1, Season 16 "The Unfathomable Professor Gizmo"Year: 1981Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: AnimatedSynopsis: Professor Gizmo, a master criminal, devises a plan to use Spider-Man to attach an antenna to a sunken treasure ship, the El Conquistador, since only he can withstand the pressure at that depth. Relationship to the Smithsonian: Gizmo attempts to steal the Spirit of St. Louis from the Smithsonian to draw out Spider-Man. Spidey shows up to save the plane, but is blamed for the subsequent theft of it.  
    MASK Season 1, Episode 53 "Patchwork Puzzle"Year: 1985Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: AnimatedSynopsis: Matt Trakker leads a special team of masked crime fighters with a fleet of hidden function vehicles known as M.A.S.K. (Mobile Armoured Strike Kommand) against Miles Mayhem and his criminal organization known as V.E.N.O.M. (Vicious Evil Network of Mayhem).Relationship to the Smithsonian: Nash "Goon" Gorey steals a patchwork quilt from the Smithsonian Institution under the noses of Scout master Hondo and scouts Scott and T-Bob. Then Mayhem and Rax return to grab a fireplace screen.  
    The Golden Girls Season 3, Episode 24 “Mister Terrific”Year: 1988Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ComedySynopsis: Four retired and previously married women live together in Miami. In this episode, Rose must persuade a kids’ TV show host not to kill himself after he is fired.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The Smithsonian is mentioned in this dialogue: Blanche: “Dorothy, what do you think I oughta do with my bed?” Dorothy: “Put it in the Smithsonian, Blanche. It’s got more miles on it than the Spirit of St. Louis!”  
    The Golden Girls Season 5, Episode 6 “Dancing in the Dark”Year: 1989Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ComedySynopsis: Four retired and previously married women live together in Miami. In this episode, Rose feels inferior to her boyfriend, Miles, a college professor.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The Smithsonian is mentioned in this dialogue: Dorothy: [after being persuaded to go out dancing] “Oh all right I’ll come. Ma, where are my dancing shoes?” Sophia: “In the Smithsonian, right next to Fred Astaire’s. How the hell should I know?”  
    This is America Charlie Brown Season 1, Episode 7 “The Smithsonian and the Presidency”Year: 1989Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Animated, ComedySynopsis: The Peanuts gang visits the Smithsonian to learn about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The gang visits the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History. Originally aired on CBS in 1989 as part of an eight part mini-series.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The Peanuts gang at Smithsonian museums includes Snoopy with the Red Baron’s airplane, a lunar space module named after Charlie Brown and Snoopy; Lucy finds a cartoon of herself pulling that football away from you-know-who and asks, “How did we wind up there?”; and when Linus sees a big mouth, he tells Lucy, “We finally found something with a mouth bigger than yours!  
    The Simpsons Season 2, Episode 37 “Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington”Year: 1991Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Animated, ComedySynopsis: The Simpsons head to Washington, DC after Lisa wins a spot in the finals for a Reading Digest essay contest. While in DC, the family visits tourist spots, stay at the Watergate, and blow the whistle on a congressman involved in a bribe.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The Simpsons family goes on a VIP tour of Washington, DC, which includes a trip to the National Air and Space Museum, where Bart plays around in the Spirit of St. Louis.  
    The X-Files Season 1, Episode 5 "The Jersey Devil"Year: 1993Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-FiSynopsis: The murder of a homeless man which is very similar in detail to a murder committed in 1947 leads Mulder and Scully to the legendary man-beast, the Jersey Devil.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Mulder decides to go to the Smithsonian for free time to relax after the incident with the Jersey Devil and Scully decides to go with him.  
    The Nanny Season 3, Episode 3 “Dope Diamond”Year: 1995Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ComedySynopsis: Nanny Fran Fine begins a fast romance with a doctor, but when the doctor steals a ring while he and Fran are shopping, she learns that he is not all that he seems to be.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The title of the episode a play on the Hope Diamond.  
    Animated Hero Classics Season 2, Episode 1 "Alexander Graham Bell"Year: 1995Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: AnimatedSynopsis: The story of Alexander Graham Bell and his inventions.Relationship to the Smithsonian: "You have a gem of a great idea, if you can perfect it," Joseph Henry of the "Smithsonian Institute" tells Alexander Graham Bell when he presents his theory for the invention of the telephone.  
    The X-Files Season 4, Episode 24 "Gethsemane"Year: 1997Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Drama, Mystery, Sci-FiSynopsis: Mulder fights to prove that a discovery frozen in the mountains of Canada is irrefutable evidence of alien life, but his quest for the truth only leads to more lies and an unthinkable conclusion.Relationship to the Smithsonian: A friend of Mulder's at the Smithsonian let's him know of the alien find and they set off to join the team and see it firsthand.  
    Seinfeld Season 9, Episode 6 "The Merv Griffin Show"Year: 1997Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ComedySynopsis: Kramer finds the backdrop and furnishings from tv’s old Merv Griffin Show, sets it up in his apartment and begins “hosting” a talk show.  Relationship to the Smithsonian: Upon first discovering the set, Kramer declares, “This stuff belongs in the Smithsonian,” to which Jerry replies, “or at least the dumpster behind the Smithsonian.”  
    D.C. Season 1, Episode 4 "Blame"Year: 2000Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: DramaSynopsis: A group of young 20-somethings live together in Washington, D.C.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Finley gets a job at the Smithsonian after she upstages a tour guide with her knowledge about history.  
    The West Wing Season 3, Episode 9 "The Women of Qumer"Year: 2001Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: DramaSynopsis: Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The content of a Smithsonian exhibit draws protest from a veteran's group.  
    Gossip Girl Season 1, Episode 18 “Much ‘I Do’ About Nothing”Year: 2001Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Drama, RomanceSynopsis: In this episode of the series that shows the exploits of New York City’s young Upper East Siders, Lily van der Woodsen prepares for her wedding to Bart Bass. Though the ceremony is beautiful, the guests continue to plot against one another and try to close down the gossip that threatens to expose secrets. Relationship to the Smithsonian: The wedding of Lily van der Woodsen and Bart Bass, two of the parents on the show, was filmed at the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.  
    The West Wing Season 5, Episode 96 “Shutdown”Year: 2003Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: DramaSynopsis: When the Speaker of the House holds the budget hostage, President Bartlet allows the government to be shut down.Relationship to the Smithsonian: A girl being interviewed on TV about the shutdown explains to the reporter that she and her family were in Washington to visit her Grandmother and see the Constitution. She states, “But the Smithsonian’s closed. Now we only get to see Grandma.” NOTE: The Constitution is located at the National Archives, not the Smithsonian.  
    NCIS Season 3, Episode 4 "Silver War"Year: 2005Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Action, DramaSynopsis: The cases of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service's Washington, DC Major Case Response Team, led by special agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.Relationship to the Smithsonian: A 140-year-old iron casket shows up at the Smithsonian Institution; it contains the body of a Marine Staff Sergeant on a UA, so Gibbs and company investigate. The team chase the clues, follow a map, and figure out the story.  
    Criminal Minds Season 2, Episode 14 "The Big Game"Year: 2007Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Drama, ActionSynopsis: The slaughter of a wealthy couple just after a super bowl party puts the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit on the trail of two killers.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The BAU, minus Gideon who is doing some personal work at the Smithsonian, are having a rare social outing at a sports bar/club on Super Bowl night.  
    South Park Season 12, Episode 12 “About Last Night”Year: 2008Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Animated, ComedySynopsis: The people of South Park deal with the results of the 2008 presidential election.Relationship to the Smithsonian: As members of the “Presidential Crime Syndicate,” President Obama and Senator McCain stage the election as a front for their planned heist of the Hope Diamond, where they hope to use the secret tunnel from the Oval Office to gain access to the National Museum of Natural History.  
    The Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon Year: 2008Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ActionSynopsis: In this TV movie, a team of Smithsonian researchers are on expedition in the Grand Canyon when they discover an Aztec city. Their discovery is marred by the kidnapping of the expedition’s leader and his daughter, and the rest of the team much defeat evil spirits, including the serpent god, to save him.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The researchers are described as being Smithsonian scientists.  
    Storm WarYear: 2011Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Drama, Sci-FiSynopsis: A series of freak weather occurrences around Washington D.C. reunites two estranged brothers who are the sons of a once prestigious climate scientist. One of them suspects their father is behind them and upon further investigation, they discover that all of their father's enemies are dead - victims of freak weather accidents. Relationship to the Smithsonian: The father lets loose a variety of diabolical weather weapons on the Smithsonian, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, and National Mall.  
    Saturday Night Live Season 37, Episode 1 "Alec Baldwin/Radiohead"Year: 2011Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ComedySynopsis: In this Chanel commercial parody for the new perfume Red Flag, suitors flee when a narrator (Jon Hamm) reveals that the woman they're eyeing (Kristen Wiig) has lived in Las Vegas for 11 years and dated a club promoter.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Commerical parody filmed on the Second Floor Collector's Office of Alexander Hamilton US Customs House, home of NMIA-NY.  
    Person of Interest Season 1, Episode 6 "The Fix"Year: 2011Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Action, DramaSynopsis: Mr. Reese goes as the new driver of fixer Zoe Morgan in order to decide if she's a victim or perpetrator. When Zoe listens to a recording she isn't supposed to, she becomes the target of a pharmaceutical company.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Zoe attends a party filmed at Alexander Hamilton US Customs House, home of NMAI-NY  
    The Simpsons Season 22, Episode 20 “Homer Scissorhands”Year: 2011Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Animated, ComedySynopsis: Homer learns that he is a hairstyling genius, while Lisa becomes suspicious of Millhouse’s new girlfriend.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The Couch gag at the beginning of the episode has the couch on display at the Smithsonian Museum. The Simpsons dress as cat-burglers and attempt to steal back their couch, passing various exhibits along the way.  
    Parks and Recreation Season 5, Episode 1 “Ms. Knope Goes to Washington” Year: 2012Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ComedySynopsis: Leslie and Andy leave Pawnee to visit Ben and April in Washington, DC. While there, they tour the National Mall, pay visits to the Smithsonian, and meet Capitol Hill notables, including Senator John McCain.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Leslie and Ben tour the National Museum of American History (NMAH), and April and Andy make out in front of the trains in NMAH’s exhibit America on the Move.  
    The Big Bang Theory Season 7, Episode 6 "The Romance Resonance"Year: 2013Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: ComedySynopsis: Sheldon creates a formula to synthesize a new super-heavy element.Relationship to the Smithsonian: As Sheldon basks in his anticipated new fame, he goes over his personal memorabilia to donate to the Smithsonian.  
    Criminal Minds Season 10, Episode 10 "Amelia Porter"Year: 2014Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Drama, ActionSynopsis: The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit is called to Salt Lake City, UT to investigage a suspicious triple homicide.Relationship to the Smithsonian: At the end of the episode, Aaron Hogner tells a woman about the Moongate Garden at the Smithsonian Castle at sunset.   
    Matador Season 1, Episode 2 "The Naked and the Dead"Year: 2014Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Action, DramaSynopsis: DEA agent Tony Bravo is recruited by the CIA to participate in tryouts for the LA Riot in order to spy on the team's corrupt owner.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The codes stolen from Gideon Khan's tablet allows the team to track a hired assassin known as "The Apothecary" via Galan's satellite network. Tony must get closer to the target-- Smithsonian employee Margot Atkins--while also juggling his new teammates, his family, and most of all: the truth.  
    Royal SealsYear: 2015Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: DramaSynopsis: A curator at the "Smithsonian Institute," Paul Taylor is made aware of the value and historical significance of Royal Seals that have been recovered after having been stolen by an American soldier, 50 years earlier, during the Korean War. Mystery and intrigue follows the path of these priceless artifacts return to their rightful location in Korea.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The main character works at the "Smithsonian Institute."  
    Gotham Season 1, Episode 20 "Under the Knife"Year: 2015Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Action, DramaSynopsis: Gordon and Bullock continue to investigate the Ogre, who begins to make his move on someone close to Gordon. Meanwhile, Bruce and Selina team up to expose a corrupt Wayne Enterprises employee and Nygma comes to Kristin Kringle's defense.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Exterior of Alexander Hamilton US Customs House, home of NMAI-NY, used as Gotham City Police Department.  
    Sharknado 3: Oh, Hell No!Year: 2015Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Action, Sci-FiSynopsis: A monstrous tornado unleashes ravenous sharks from Washington, DC all the way down to Orlando, FL.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Ian Ziering’s character runs through the Haupt Garden.  
    BrainDead Season 1, Episode 1 "The Insanity Principle: How Extremism in Politics Is Threatening Democracy in the 21st Century"Year: 2016Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Comedy, Drama, HorrorSynopsis: When Laurel returns to Washington, D.C., to work for her brother, Sen. Luke Healy, she discovers that budgetary disagreements have halted the government, and mysterious bugs are consuming the brains of Congress members and Capitol Hill staffers.Relationship to the Smithsonian: A short Government shutdown takes place, which causes the Smithsonian to close its operations.  
    Madam Secretary Season 5, Episode 14 "Something Better"Year: 2019Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: DramaSynopsis: A political drama which looks into the life of Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord as she tries to balance work with family.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Russell Jackson, the President's Chief of Staff and fan of pandas, barges into Secretary McCord's conference room and demands she do something about China taking back the two pandas at the National Zoo.  
    Martha's Vineyard Mysteries Season 1, Episode 2 "Riddled with Deceit"Year: 2020Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: MysterySynopsis: Ex-cop J.W. Jackson searches for answers after a mysterious and deadly boat explosion on Martha's Vineyard.Relationship to the Smithsonian: A jewel theft occurs involving the Lakshmi Emeralds, which are mounted on a sole broach worth $5 million and are being donated to the Smithsonian for the world to enjoy.  
    The Lost SymbolYear: 2021Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Mystery, ActionSynopsis: This follows the early adventures of famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, who finds himself pulled into a series of deadly puzzles when his mentor is kidnapped. The CIA forces him onto a task force where he uncovers a chilling conspiracy.Relationship to the Smithsonian: The adventure begins when Langdon’s mentor, Smithsonian head Peter Solomon, is kidnapped, his mutilated hand displayed as a clue for Langdon to embark on a search for a hidden portal somewhere in Washington, D.C.  
    Animaniacs Season 2, Episode 1 "Backwards Pinky"Year: 2021Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Animated, ComedySynopsis: An updated version of the 1990s animated series featuring a trio of wacky characters causing mayhem on the Warner Bros. studio lot, as well as Pinky and the Brain, two laboratory mice who perpetually plan to take over the world.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Pinky and the Brain conspire to steal the Hope Diamond from the Smithsonian Institution.  
    The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Season 1, Episode 1 and Episode 6Year: 2021Creator/Author: Medium: TV ProgramGenre: Action, DramaSynopsis: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Sam Wilson/Falcon and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities – and their patience.Relationship to the Smithsonian: Scenes take place in and around the National Air and Space Museum’s Milestones of Flight gallery, including a fictional gallery devoted to the history and legacy of Captain America.