It’s no secret that David Lynch’s original “Twin Peaks” series has had a lot of impact on TV series creators and directors. And while his influence can be seen in the small-town themes, quirky characters, striking visuals and sweeping, cinematic shots that are common today, some TV shows haven’t made their love known in oblique ways. Instead, they’ve paid direct homage through references and spoofs.
From the Red Room and the show’s delightful dialogue, dream sequences, owls and colorful characters, “Twin Peaks” offers so much to mine. The show has become a cultural touchstone that has even invaded children’s programming. While casual references have been dropped in shows ranging from “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” to “24,” IndieWire has dug through these to find the best and most loving tributes to Lynch’s TV phenomenon.
Take a look at the best “Twin Peaks” homages below:
“Saturday Night Live” With Kyle MacLachlan (1990)
Host Kyle MacLachlan donned his suit and tie again to play Agent Cooper in this skit in which he records his day for his assistant: “Diane, slept great last night. Got to find out what kind of sheets these are. Damn fine sheets. I’m going to get naked and slide around in them.” When the sheriff shows up with news about the investigation, Cooper has a surprising reaction.
“Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated,” Episode 46: “Stand and Deliver”
Scooby has a couple naps in which he dreams he’s in the Red Room and meets the Man From Another Place and his girlfriend Nova. He very appropriately freaks out.
“Darkwing Duck,” Episode 44: “Twin Beaks”
On the way to the town of Twin Beaks, Launchpad is seen talking to a log and informs the group that “the cows are not what they seem.” They also stop by a diner that serves a great pie and darn good coffee.
“Northern Exposure,” Season 1, Episode 5: “Russian Flu”
The CBS series about a recently graduated New York City physician moving to Cicely, Alaska owes a lot to “Twin Peaks” for its quaint, small-town feel and the eccentric townsfolk. One scene in particular gives a nod to Lynch’s show with images to a waterfall and music that is reminiscent of Angelo Badalmenti’s score. References to coffee, donuts, cherry pie and a lady holding a log complete the tribute.
“The Simpsons,” Season 7, Episode 1: “Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)”
Picking up from the previous season’s cliffhanger in which Mr. Burns is shot, Season 7 opens with Chief Wiggum working overtime to find the shooter. Instead of drinking coffee to keep him awake though, he drinks warm cream, which sends him straight into dreamland and into the Red Room. Lisa, taking the part of the Man From Another Place, enters and in that signature backwards-speak, gives him a hint as to how to find the perpetrator. Watch the dream go down:
Bonus: In the Season 9 episode “Lisa’s Sax,” Homer watches “Twin Peaks” and loves it, even as he’s confused by it.
“Sesame Street,” Episode 2822: Monsterpiece Theater’s “Twin Beaks”
Cookie Monster is charmed by the “darn good town” and “darn good pie” in the small town that for some reason is called Twin Beaks. While speaking to “Diane” in his recorder, Agent Cookie investigates this mystery and even talks to one of the locals, the Log Bird.
“Psych,” Season 5, Episode 12: “Dual Spires”
Star James Roday had bugged the creator of “Psych” to do a “Twin Peaks”-themed episode since the first season, and five years later, it finally came together in the most beautiful way. Solving the murder of teenage girl Paula Merral (an anagram of Laura Palmer) in a tiny town full of oddball residents weren’t the only similarities — original “Twin Peaks” stars Ray Wise, Sherilynn Fenn, Sheryl Lee, Dana Ashbrook, Robyn Lively, Lenny Von Dohlen and the Log Lady herself Catherine Coulson made guest appearance in the episode.
It doesn’t end there though, from references to pie, the sawmill, an array of donuts and much more. In fact, a video with behind-the-scenes info claims that there are a total of 724 references to “Twin Peaks” in the episode, which makes it a damn fine tribute. Check out just one scene to get a taste: