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Last night, ABC’s The Goldbergs put together an episode that paid homage to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Lines were quoted and iconic scenes were recreated with a Goldbergs twist. In one such scene, Goldberg daughter Erica headed to the police station to report a car stolen, and was asked to sit down to wait to be questioned. She strikes up a conversation with a dude in for drugs (the already-announced Charlie Sheen) about her problems with her brother, Barry. Eventually, Sheen’s character is told by the cops that he can leave, but not before he utters this referential line:

ABC currently hasn’t made the full scene available, yet, but you can watch the full episode on the ABC site, and it’s really great. During the full scene, Erica uses some of the same sentiments to describe Barry that Jennifer Grey’s Jeannie Bueller uses to describe Ferris in the John Hughes flick. There’s obviously less sexual tension in the scene as there was in the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off scene, as Charlie Sheen is nearly 50 and Erica is supposed to be a high school student on the series. Despite this, the scene still plays off really well.

The Goldbergs has always been great about infusing pop culture elements from the decade into the plot, but prior to airing, I wondered how they would make a Ferris Bueller’s Day Off theme work without being totally obvious or ridiculous. The show, in fact, chose to use Barry and Adam’s love for the John Hughes movie as a catalyst to take their own day off. The two kids get Pops involved in their shenanigans, since Pops owns a Firebird and they want to drive a fast red car, just like Ferris. However, as they start to recreate the activities Ferris Bueller did in the movie, Barry and Adam realize their day off might not be going so perfectly.


As you can see from the Vine and the images, the whole episode capably features plenty of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off nods, while still maintaining its own plot. Mom Beverly (Wendi McLendon-Covey), for instance, is starting a new job during the episode, but catches on that Barry faked sick to have a day off of school, unlike the mother in the movie. There’s also a separate subplot featuring Erica’s desire to be on the homecoming court, and the homecoming game offers the show a lower-budget platform for a musical performance near the end of the episode than an unrealistic parade would have.


Despite the changes, if a show is going to nod at a famous movie, this is the way to do it. You can catch new episodes of The Goldbergs on Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET.

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