Dungeons and Dragons started out by combining the character-based role-playing of improvisational theatre with the game-world simulation of miniature war-gaming as well as the trappings of contemporary fantasy fiction to create something new. Since that time, it has influenced generation after generation of fantasy fans, with the result that its signs can now be seen in books, comics, movies, TV shows, and video games. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that Dungeons and Dragons has been seen on more than one occasion on the screen.
Here are some of the best on-screen depictions of Dungeons and Dragons:
The Big Bang Theory
Unsurprisingly, The Big Bang Theory has referenced Dungeons and Dragons on more than one occasion. For example, Howard responded that he was a Dungeon Master when asked whether he liked role-playing games or not in “The Plimpton Stimulation,” which refers to the person who is responsible for organizing each session of the game. Other mentions range from an actual game being shown on the screen in “The Wiggly Finger Catalyst” to a holiday-themed game being shown on the screen in “The Santa Simulation.”
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Dungeons and Dragons made an appearance in “Chosen,” which was the series finale for Buffy the Vampire Slayer that saw the cast challenging the First Evil with the assistance of an entire army of Slayers. In brief, Amanda, Andrew, Giles, and Xander spend some time playing Dungeons and Dragons on the night before the final battle, which seems as appropriate a diversion as any under such circumstances.
One of the most beloved depictions of Dungeons and Dragons on the screen might be a scene on Community, which saw the main cast with the exception of Pierce planning to host a Dungeons and Dragons game to help Neal feel better. The scene stood out in that it was filmed in a faux epic manner complete with epithets for each member of the main cast that was most appropriate for the basic premise.
That 70’s Show
On one occasion, That 70’s Show had an ending scene in which the minor character DJ Jerry Thunder hosted a Dungeons and Dragons game for players that happened to include his station manager on the TV show, who happened to have been played by Howard Hessman. For people who don’t recognize that name, Howard Hessman might be more familiar to them as Alice Cooper, the American singer, songwriter, and actor who has remained active for more than five decades over the course of his career.
The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd was a British sitcom centered around three members of the IT department at a fictional business. In an episode called “Jen the Fredo,” one of the three members of the main cast ran a Dungeons and Dragons game to help one of his friends get over a bad breakup while also helping one of his other friends with the business partners that she was responsible for entertaining during their time in town.