Editor's note: This article reflects on Latter-day Saint mentions in pop culture but is not meant as an endorsement of any show or program.
For those of you who are excited to binge-watch a little of Netflix's hit show Stranger Things this Fourth of July weekend, don't miss the hilarious way the writers wove Latter-day Saints into the plotline.
In the first episode, Dustin returns home to Hawkins from a science camp where he met an unforgettable, gorgeous girl—Suzie. The only problem is Suzie lives in Utah, so Dustin recruits his friends to help him construct a radio tower on the highest hill in Hawkins.
“You know, I’m pretty sure people in Utah have telephones,” Max says to Dustin about the intense effort he is making to talk to Suzie.
“Yeah, but Suzie’s Mormon,” Dustin says.
“Oh . . . She doesn’t have electricity?” Lucas responds.
“That’s the Amish,” Max replies.
This isn't the first time Stranger Things has referenced Latter-day Saints. In season two, when Lucas comes to visit Max at her home, she tells her angry brother she was out talking to "Mormons, talkative ones."
WARNING: The following video contains a mild profanity:
Latter-day Saint punchlines on television shows are nothing new. In fact, it's not too hard to stumble across a joke or two. Sometimes a show gets us wrong, while other times they're spot-on. So without further ado, here's a list of times The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or its members have been mentioned on a television program.
And no, general conference doesn't count.
After Meredith's drunken antics at an office party get out of hand, her boss, Michael, calls an impromptu intervention—and gets his materials from what sounds like ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Image from nbc.com
Michael: Meredith, have you ever used alcohol to alter your mood or deliberately change your state of mind?
Michael: Do you sometimes have a drink to celebrate a special occasion or mark a holiday?
Michael: Have you ever, under the influence of alcohol, questioned the teachings of the Mormon Church?
Oscar: [bewildered] Where did you get this?
Michael: I got it on a website. That's not important.
That 70's Show
Looking around at the number of children at his house, father Reginald (Red) gets a sense of what it's like to have a large family.
Image from Wikimedia Commons
Red: Look at all these kids. I feel like a Mormon.
The Bob Newhart Show
Howard has a brother, Gordon—the game Warden. Emily finds the alliteration so funny, she invents another brother for Howard named Norman.
Video still from imdb.com.
Bob: Warden Gordon Bordon?
Emily: No . . . his other brother. Norman.
Bob: What does he do?
Emily: He's a doorman. At the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City.
Bob: Don't tell me he's a Mormon.
Emily: That's right. Norman Borden the Mormon Doorman.
Bob: How long did it take you to come up with that?
Emily: All day.
Admiring a bouquet of flowers sent to Carla, Rebecca wonders why more men can't send flowers. Sam mishears her, and hilarity ensues.
Rebecca: "Oh, why can't more men send flowers?"
Sam: "I didn't know Mormons couldn't send flowers."
Rebecca: "I said more men, not Mormons."
Sam: "I know they can't dance."
Norm: "No, Sammy, that's the — that's the Amish."
Sam: "Why can't Mormons send flowers?"
Rebecca: "They can."
Sam: "What are you talking about?"
Rebecca: "I just wish someone would send me some . . . roses!"
Sam: "Why does it have to be a Mormon?"
[Rebecca exits in a huff]
Sam: "Some people you just can't discuss religion with."
Note: South Park, a program made by the creators of The Book of Mormon musical, has referenced the Church several times—most famously during their episode "All About Mormons," which poked fun at some aspects of early Church history. This particular scene is not from that episode, but the clip does appear at the beginning of the Church documentary Meet the Mormons.
When a confused group of souls end up in hell after their death, they interrogate the "Hell Director" about why their religious beliefs didn't get them into heaven.
Image still from southpark.cc.com
Hell Director: Can everybody hear me? I'm the Hell Director. It looks like we have about 8,615 of you newbies today, and for those of you who were a little confused, you are dead, and this is hell—so abandon all hope and yadda, yadda, yadda. We're now going to start the orientation process, which will last about . . . "
Man #1: [Indignantly] Hey, wait a minute! I shouldn't be here! I was a totally strict and devout Protestant, I thought we went to heaven!
Hell Director: Yes, well, I'm afraid you were wrong.
Man #2: I was a practicing Jehovah's Witness!
Hell Director: You picked the wrong religion as well.
Man #3: Well, who was right? Who gets into heaven?
Hell Director: I'm afraid it was the Mormons. Yes, the Mormons were the correct answer.
[crowd groans in disappointment]
When Blanche's sister needs a kidney transplant, she doesn't know whether to donate her kidney or not. Luckily, she's saved by a donor match whose kidney is spic-n-span from a life of clean living.
Image from imdb.com
Blanche: Oh, well the most wonderful thing happened. They found a donor, an excellent match. She was a retired Mormon school teacher.
Rose: Virginia's so lucky!
Blanche: Oh, I'll say! That kidney was showroom new! Why, the wildest thing that ever passed through there was Ovaltine!
The Single Guy
Single man Jonathan comments on how married people like to share their joy by helping other people get married. (Sound familiar?)
Video still from YouTube
Jonathan: You married people have this bizarre need to turn everyone else into married people. You're like vampires—or Mormons.
While enjoying a quiet night of television with the family, Homer Simpson answers a knock at the door to find two fearsome aliens perched on his porch. This clip was also featured in the Church documentary Meet the Mormons.
Oh great, Mormons! (The Simpsons)
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Homer: Oh great, Mormons!
Saturday Night Live
When the Denver Broncos' outspoken Christian quarterback Tim Tebow leads his team to yet another miracle win, Jesus makes a surprise appearance in the team's locker room. As he leaves, he offers some parting religious advice.
Video still from nbc.com
Jesus: Mormonism. All true. Every single word. Yeah. Alright, peace!
Santa Clarita Diet
When Sheila and Joe get into a sticky situation, they rely on mentioning Latter-day Saints to help build trust.
Sheila: Really? This is what we're doing?
Joel: Okay, we say we came across this murder site and we're just cleaning it up.
Sheila: Who cleans up murder sites?
Joel: I don't know. We're Mormons.
Sheila: Mormons don't clean up murder sites.
Joel: Mormons are helpful.
WARNING: The following video portrays blood splatters on clothing.
This article was last published on LDS Living in 2017