12 Major ‘Jaws’ References In Other Movies

Published 2 years ago by This is a list post.

12 Major 'Jaws' References in other Movies

Jaws Poster The 1975 thriller Jaws became a massively successful movie that helped redefine the modern blockbuster. Spawning three sequels and dozens of impersonators, the movie remains one of Steven Spielberg's greatest cinematic achievements. The digitally-remastered Jaws Blu-Ray has now hit store shelves, promising viewers a polished look at the classic film, as well as several bonus features. With that in mind, we at Screen Rant decided to come up with a list of movies that have referenced Jaws - directly or indirectly - in the nearly four decades since its release. From the funny to the forgettable; from the crass to the creative, here's a list of 12 movies that paid homage to an unforgettable Shark attack film.

Most Goofy: 'Piranha 3D' (2010)

Richard Dreyfus in Piranha 3D Although the original Piranha arrived in theaters only three years after Jaws, it wasn't until 35 years after the classic's release that Piranha 3D  so memorably embraced both the formula and the concepts behind Jaws. From the summer fun that was interrupted by deadly sea creature attacks, to the scenes of mayhem at the beach, Piranha 3D includes dozens of subtle and not-so-subtle references to Jaws. The most noteworthy connection between the two is Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss' cameo; not only was Dreyfuss playing Matt Hooper (his character from Jaws) in Piranha, and humming one of the classic's songs, he was also dressed like Hooper as well.

Most Crass '9 1/2 Weeks' (1986)

Mickey Rourke in 9 and a Half Weeks An erotic drama featuring Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke might be the last place you would think to find reference to a film about sharks attacking civilians. But the 1986 film 9 1/2 Weeks featured a rather distinct reference to Spielberg's film. Apparently, one of the boys in 9 1/2 Weeks "claims he can fart the theme to Jaws" and "Rourke's character mimics [that] theme." Although this film seems like an odd choice in which to put a Jaws reference, the use of the iconic theme in a film isn't surprising at all.  In fact, that theme (or an imitation of it) has been used in countless other movies, including Cocoon: The Return, K-9, Weekend at Bernie's II, Finding Nemo, andTransformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

Most Obscure: 'Deep Blue Sea' (1999)

Samuel L Jackson in Deep Blue Sea When Deep Blue Sea arrived in theaters in 1999, many critics inevitably compared it to Jaws. This was another serious shark movie, but instead of a town being attacked, this one featured a group of scientists whose experiments with the underwater animals left the creatures smarter and more vicious than ever before. Aside from some of the obvious similarities between the two flicks, Deep Blue Sea features a nod to Jaws that only true fans of the original will recognize: The license plate that is pulled out of a shark's tooth in Sea has the same numbers on it as the plate that is found in the stomach of one of the Jaws sharks.

Most 'Insider' Connections: 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' (1977)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind spaceship To follow up on the success of Jaws, Spielberg's next directorial effort was the 1977 drama Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Along with Spielberg, Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss also worked on Close Encounters,  playing the main character. The connection between both films doesn't end there, though. Spielberg's dog (who was Brodie's dog in Jaws) appears in both films, and the former film's iconic theme "can be heard when the mother ship is communicating with the base at the end of the movie, right before the release of the human prisoners. " Aside from that, supposedly a shark from Jaws can be seen as part of a large spacecraft in Close Encounters.

Most Interesting: 'Open Water' (2003)

Open Water Cast and Shark In 2003, viewers got a chance to see a different type of shark attack in the drama Open Water. Instead of one shark attacking civilians, this film focused on a couple who is left behind in the middle of the ocean, when their scuba-diving boat disappears without them on it. Based on a true story, this low-budget movie showed that a good shark movie didn't need to rely on special effects to create scares. This film - aside from the obvious similarities it shares with Jaws - features a distinctive shout-out to its predecessor. The last names of Susan and Daniel - the two main characters - are Watkins and Kintner.  In Jaws, (according to IMDb) "the skinny-dipping girl who serves as the shark's first victim is named Chrissie Watkins, and the second victim, the young boy who is killed on his inflatable raft, is named Alex Kintner."

Most Tongue-In-Cheek: 'Back to the Future Part II' (1989)

Jaws 19 in Back to the Future 2 Jaws was such a success in 1975 that it spawned a sequel in 1978 with Roy Scheider and Lorraine Gary returning to their respective roles. In 1983, a third Jaws movie - this time in 3D! - arrived in theaters, and then in 1987, a fourth film entitled Jaws: The Revenge was released, much to the chagrin of viewers and critics alike. It seemed like the shark attack story would continue no matter what, so it wasn't surprising when Back to the Future II made light of the endless Jaws sequels in 1989. There's a scene in BTTF 2 where Marty McFly encounters a theater marquee advertising Jaws 19, the 18th sequel.  The marquee lists the director of the film as Max Spielberg, Steven Spielberg's son. It's been over two decades since Jaws: The Revenge hit theaters, and thankfully, nobody has made this prediction come true....

Most Forgettable: 'Batman & Robin' (1997)

George Clooney, Alicia Silverstone and Chris O'Donnell in Batman & Robin "We're gonna need a bigger boat" is probably the most famous line from the original Jaws. Spoken by Roy Scheider, the line refers to his character's disbelief upon seeing the size of the great white shark that he and his two boat companions are attempting to kill. That quote  has been repeated and parodied in films and television shows throughout the years. From Clerks (1994) to Shanghai Knights (2003) to Evan Almighty (2007) and many others movies in between. One homage occurred in Batman & Robin (2007) when one of the characters notes, "We're going to need a bigger cave." In a movie full of stale one-liners and corny jokes, this line - and the movie as a whole - was a fail.

Most Memorable: 'Spaceballs' (1987)

Rick Moranis Stars in Spaceballs Although it mostly poked fun at Star Wars and its sequels, Spaceballs was a comedy that made jokes at the expense of many other films as well. One of those films was Jaws, with its iconic theme song. In an early scene, the spaceballs' ship is chasing a rebel ship (a la the opening of Star Wars), only the theme playing is the Jaws theme. The Spaceballs version doesn't exactly feature the same notes that frightened a nation in 1975, but the two suspenseful songs are easily comparable. As we noted before, this wasn't the first time this theme music was used in a film, but the fact that a dozen years after Jaws was released, the theme was still being used as a parody, shows the undeniable staying power of that music.

Most Amusing: 'Airplane!' (1980)

Leslie Nielsen in Airplane Like Spaceballs, Airplane! derived much of its comedy from mocking a specific film series. While Spaceballs parodied Star Wars, Airplane! mocked the dramatic Airport movies - but both films found time to feature the dramatic Jaws theme. The Jaws theme can be found in Airplane! as the plane's fin breaks through the clouds in the initial minutes of the film. For those wondering how the effect was created, the Airplane! trivia page states that "the Jaws spoof in the beginning of the film was made of layers of cotton on a piece of plywood, with a hidden wire track for the airplane to 'fly' around." As the shark's fin in Jaws represented the threat posed by the deadly creature, the plane's fin foreshadows the (comedic) dangers that the plane will face, after food poisoning affects many of the passengers and crew members onboard.

Most Unusual: 'The Usual Suspects' (1995)

Cast of the Usual Suspects On the surface, The Usual Suspects seems to have little in common with a movie about a massive shark attacking the innocent people of a small beach community; the 1995 crime drama was a serious movie about criminals, which had little to do with beaches or sharks. There is, however, at least one major connection between the two films. One of the production companies that worked on Suspects was Bad Hat Harry Productions. That company's name refers to a famous line from Jaws: "That's some bad hat, Harry" is the line that Brody tells his friend in the classic movie, and to this day, that piece of dialogue is considered another one of the film's biggest quotes.  The line stood out and so did the company. Bad Hat Harry Productions is still producing movies and TV shows today...

Most Deadly: 'Frozen' (2010)

Frozen Poster Frozen, a drama from 2010, tells the story of three friends who are stuck on a ski lift over the weekend and must figure out a way to survive without food and water as the cold seeps in. Hungry wolves that are watching and waiting below pose a threat to the three youngsters, if any of them should risk jumping off the lift. There are numerous connections between Frozen and Jaws. For instance, Frozen features a conversation between the scared young adults about the worst way to die, and getting eaten by a shark as seen in Jaws is noted. Additionally, 0ne of the production companies behind Frozen is caller "A Bigger Boat," referring to Brody's famous line in Jaws.

Most Consistent: Kevin Smith Movies

Cast of Mallrats On Rotten Tomatoes, director Kevin Smith listed Jaws as one of his five favorite films. His response isn't surprising, considering how many of his films include  references to the epic thriller. In fact, several websites have noted many of the Jaws Easter eggs scattered in Smith's films. Clerks features a scene where Randall drops the "Bigger boat" quote while playing 'Jaws' with nachos and salsa. Mallrats included  characters named Brodie, Bruce, and Quint - all references to characters in Jaws.

12 Major 'Jaws' References in other Movies

Shark emerges in Jaws Jaws has proven to be an unforgettable masterpiece that both filmgoers and critics can easily enjoy. To this day, fans still reference it and many filmmakers have shown their appreciation for the blockbuster hit, via clever (and not so clever) homages in their movies. With that in mind, here again is our list of the 12 major Jaws references in other films. 1.) Goofy: Piranha 3D (2005) 2.) Crass: 9 1/2 Weeks (1986) 3.) Obscure Deep Blue Sea (1999) 4.) 'Insider' Connections: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) 5.) Interesting: Open Water (2003) 6.) Tongue-In-Cheek: Back to the Future II (1989) 7.) Forgettable: Batman & Robin (1997) 8.) Memorable: Spaceballs (1987) 9.) Amusing: Airplane! (1980) 10.) Unusual: The Unusual Suspects (1995) 11.) Deadly: Frozen (2010) 12.) Consistent: Kevin Smith Movies Source: All information in this article was researched (among other places) at IMDb.com. Follow me on Twitter @johnhanlon.
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  1. Jaws is one of my all time favorite films. I love it. If I’m stranded on a desert island, I want Jaws as one of the movies I have with me. It’s got everything you could want from a summer blockbuster. I wish I could have seen it on the big screen.

    My favorite scene is the classic “scar off” when Hooper and Quint compare battle scars and then Brody, Quint, and Hooper go off into singing Show Me the Way to Go Home. That’s one of my top five favorite scenes ever.

    • Depending on how well Raiders of the Lost Ark in IMAX gets received, maybe you’ll get your chance to see Jaws on the big screen. I know I’d love the chance to see it on the big screen!

    • I agree with “ANDY S”! I hear the NEW Blu-ray DVD is doing VERY WELL! Hopefully, Universal Studios will allow it again to be shown on the big screen. I saw it twice in the theatre back in 1975 (once with a girlfriend and once with a group of friends). My friends and I had a lot of fun seeing it in the theatre. The first viewing was AWESOME due to the John Williams (dun-dun-dun-dun) theme. You didn’t know what to expect and the musice kept you on the edge of your seat!!! Great memories!!! I honestly pray they put it back in the theatre. I would DEFINITELY go and see it again!!

  2. Interesting list; I didn’t know there were so many references.

    About Open Water, I would definitely not call that a good movie. It felt like some first year film student’s final project. It would have been alright for that, but not as a major release.

    I heard good things about it and watched it with my brother, and we both thought it was junk.

    • yeah my dad recently watched it and told me not to get it because he didnt think it was very good either.

  3. The greatest movie of all time. I’ve watched this movie over a thousand times and still never get tired of it. My two favorite scenes are when quint scratches the chalk board during the town hall meeting,the other scene (the most classic one of the film IMO) when cheif brody tells quint after seeing the shark up close for the first time “you’re gonna need a bigger boat! ” love this movie!

    • “Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.”

  4. One of cinema’s best movies of all time & should never be remade/rebooted. Sadly i wasn’t born before it was released but would of gone to it a number of times. I hated the water when i was younger,lol. Still be wary of swimming in the ocean. Great characters, great cast, great everything pretty much. As much as i loved the first film, Jaws 2 i found to be one of the best sequels made. To a lesser extent Jaws 3 was good imo. I hated Jaws:The Revenge so i pretty much only watch the first three films.

    • same here, the first 3 are pretty good. i remember having continuous nightmares the night after watching all three in one night when i was younger. worst night of my life, but thats what makes jaws so great.

  5. !!! Well you seemed to have totally missed one of the most glaring and obvious Jaws references in a movie,,,,,Jaws was the name of the 7 foot silent but deadly henchman in the James Bond movies with the shiny metal teeth who would bite his victims to death. As a matter of fact he played in back to back Bond flicks and is one of the few henchmen to challenge bond and actually survive in both movies…..Google bond henchmen if your not familiar.

  6. The Ghost and the Darkness should be on here…It is a direct parallel to Jaws with lions instead of sharks.

  7. Swingers! When he’s picking up beautiful babies in the bar they play the Jaws theme. That’s how Spielberg hooked up with Vince Vaughn. (he asked to for a screening before giving them permission)

  8. Great list and very well researched! I enjoyed reading this piece, especially since I didn’t know about so many of the references!

  9. Even DISNEY get’s into it: Disney’s “Treasure Planet” uses the “bigger boat” line when the pirates finally find the treasure. By far one of the most random Jaws references ever.

  10. Nice list.

    I love ScreenRant, but the number of typos today are getting a little out of hand.

    “Additionally, 0ne (One) of the production companies behind Frozen is caller (called) “A Bigger Boat,” referring to Brody’s famous line in Jaws.”

    Just trying to help.

  11. How could you POSSIBLY have missed the Baby Ruth in the Pool sequence in Caddyshack?

  12. Not to mention the Jaws theme in Caddyshack 2 plus the way the gopher moved through the ground,lol.

  13. Don’t forget Blades.

  14. Best film ever!!Always starts and argument with me and my brother about (although it never should be done!!) if it was remade now exactly the same who would play the 3main roles of Brody,Hooper and Quint?? At least we know ‘Bruce’ is up for it after being kicked out of his Theme Park by a poxy Harry Potter ride!!!!

  15. In ‘Deep Blue Sea’, the shark deaths mirror those in ‘Jaws’.
    First shark is blown up with gas: Jaws
    Second is electrocuted: Jaws 2
    Third is blown up with an explosive: Jaws 3

  16. Apparently the movie “Little Children” hasn’t been viewed by the author of this article. In a swimming pool scene, it references “Jaws” with a series of shots reminiscent of the shots showing reactions to the sight of a shark fin.

    • In Finding Nemo the name of the shark is Bruce. The name the crew gave the mechanical shark while filming Jaws.

  17. And another Spielberg film, the opening scene of 1941.

  18. One of Smith’s biggest references was in Chasing Amy when Jason Lee and Joey Lauren Adams compare scars from past sexual encounters. They almost do it verbatim, “I can beat that, I can beat that!” I caught that one in a heartbeat and LMAO.

  19. Didn’t have a chance to read the comments for additions so excuse the redundancy, if any.
    1.Duel. Spielberg’s first minimalist thriller. The truck makes the same sound going over the cliff as the shark does exploding.

    2. “Master of Disguise” Dana Carvey’s hilarious turn as Quint is a must see for any fan. Ignore the rest of the movie.

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