In Honor of Harper Lee’s New Book: The 5 Best ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Pop Culture References


In Honor of Harper Lee’s New Book: The 5 Best ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Pop Culture References


Now we really have something to look forward to this summer (…Or at least pretend to look forward to so our friends, family and colleagues don’t know we haven’t read a novel in five years). Harper Lee, the 88-year-old author of To Kill a Mockingbird is to release her second novel.

Entitled Go Set a Watchman, the book features Scout, the naïve, and idealistic protagonist of Lee’s debut, as an adult.

To Kill a Mockingbird is the great equalizer. Who among us didn’t spend at least one semester in middle school dissecting its numerous themes and basically destroying any enjoyment derived from reading it? For that reason, it is a very popular novel to reference in pop culture (like a tree falling in the woods, a reference doesn’t make a sound if there’s no one around to “get it.” Or maybe it does make a sound. But you got that reference – right?)

At any rate, here are some of our favorite To Kill a Mockingbird references in pop culture.

Note: These may not be our favorites but instead our favorites that you would “get” – what’s the point of referencing a pop culture reference if it’s unlikely you’ve seen the film or television show? It would be like a tree falling in the woods with no one around to hear it.

Almost Famous (2000)


Now here’s a reference you’re all sure to get. In Almost Famous, aspiring journalist William meets the band Stillwater backstage at a Black Sabbath concert. When his overprotective mother drops him of at said concert, she gives him some sage wisdom by way of one of the characters in Harper Lee’s famed novel: “Just remember, you wanted to be Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.”

You probably missed this reference as it’s not nearly as hilarious as Elaine’s next line: “DON’T TAKE DRUGS!”

Failure to Launch (2006)

In this truly shitty, morally corrupt movie featuring Sarah Jessica Parker as a woman who’s hired to get emotionally stunted men to leave their parents’ homes, there is a subplot featuring Zooey Deschanel that is literally about killing a mockingbird. The above scene in which Zooey tries to purchase a shotgun from Rob Corddry to be used to kill the mockingbird is actually fairly hilarious.

The Boo Radleys


There was a 90s British alt rock band called The Boo Radleys. Their most popular song was entitled “Wake Up Boo!”

Capote (2005)


In Capote (the film for which the late Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Academy Award for best actor), Harper Lee is portrayed by Catherine Keener (one of the best human females to ever live on planet earth). In the film, Capote attends the party to fete To Kill a Mockingbird. Ever since, I’ve had a deep-rooted desire to party with Harper Lee.

The Simpsons, “Diatribe of a Mad Housewife” (2004)

And who can forget the immortal words of Homer J. Simpson…