An Idol Easter Egg Hunt: 12 Times We Encountered K-Pop In Unexpected Places
We’ve all been through something like this: You hear or see something K-pop related when you don’t expect to, and the overwhelming urge to fangirl (or fanboy) comes rushing through your body. The thrill of this surprise K-pop reference is so great that you may or may not spontaneously combust. Well, maybe the experience isn’t *that* dramatic, but it really is exciting to find these little Easter eggs!
For the sake of compiling the best references out there, here are 12 moments when K-pop crossed over to other worlds. Read on, and you just might be surprised!
1. Former U.S. President Obama mentioning SHINee
I’m aware of how fake this one sounds if you haven’t seen the video proof, but just hear me out! In a speech given last year, the former American president actually cited SHINee as a reason why young Americans wanted to learn Korean. We love a culturally aware president.
2. 2NE1’s “I Am The Best” in a Microsoft commercial
At the peak of 2NE1’s popularity, the group’s hit song “I Am The Best” was actually featured in a Microsoft advertisement, promoting the track to a countless number of people! For the K-pop stans who happened to see this commercial on TV, you must have had quite the shock.
3. BTS’s Jin and J-Hope dancing with YouTuber Ricky Dillon
During BTS’s “American Hustle Life” shoot in 2014, two members managed to accidentally appear in the video of a popular YouTuber! If you skip to the timestamp 2:50, you’ll see just a few seconds of Jin and J-Hope jamming with Ricky Dillon on Hollywood Boulevard.
4. NCT Dream members being mentioned on “NCIS: New Orleans”
I have to ask: Who over at the “NCIS” writers’ table thought to include a random NCT Dream reference in this episode? Because that person deserves a raise. Though I do have to question why this 30-year-old investigator was supposedly hanging out with the teenage Dream members in Busan, the line “Renjun, Jeno, or Chenle: who’s best?” will undoubtedly go down in K-pop history.
5. Anime soundtracks sung by K-pop idols
If you’re a big fan of both anime and K-pop, then you may have heard some music sung by your favorite idols without even realizing it! From BoA to TVXQ to 2PM, K-pop has slyly made its way into shows as big as “InuYasha” and “One Piece.” Watch the compilation below, and you might even be surprised be a couple of the tracks.
6. BTOB and Jay Park appearing on “America’s Next Top Model”
Several seasons ago, “America’s Next Top Model” took their top contestants to Seoul for the final phase of the competition, allowing both BTOB and Jay Park to appear on the show! The models danced to BTOB’s “Beep Beep” as the BTOB members judged their performances. Plus, Peniel got a good amount of English speaking parts!
Though he only appeared for a short time, here’s Jay’s bit as well!
7. The “Family Guy” parody of HyunA’s “Bubble Pop”
In a hilarious spoof of “Bubble Pop,” the characters of “Family Guy” beg Quagmire to give up his obsession with K-pop and Korean culture in general. As if the irony of using a K-pop song to achieve this goal wasn’t ridiculous enough, the lyrics and visuals of this video will definitely make you laugh too!
8. K-pop dances in video games
To all my gamers out there, rejoice! There are so many video game characters whose moves take inspiration from K-pop dances, I’ve actually lost count. “League of Legends” alone references BIGBANG, TWICE, and PSY, plus many more!
In this particular clip, the popular game “Fortnite” incorporates choreo from both Lovelyz and GFRIEND in one particular dance sequence!
9. The Wonder Girls’ movie on TeenNick
What a throwback! Back in the heyday of the Wonder Girls, the members all starred in a made-for-TV movie that aired on Nickelodeon. Though this level of American promotion for a K-pop group is amazing, you have to admit that the movie itself is a little cheesy. Give JYP an Oscar for this one!
10. BIGBANG’s “Fantastic Baby” on “Glee”
As a tribute to the performance aspect of K-pop, the “Glee” characters spent some time learning a choreographed dance to “Fantastic Baby.” Considering “Glee” is a show known for its quality musical performances, it makes perfect sense that they’d acknowledge such an iconic K-pop song!
11. BLACKPINK’s “Whistle” as background music on FreeForm’s “The Bold Type”
Fans of BLACKPINK had a little surprise in store for them when they watched the pilot of American TV show “The Bold Type”! Watch the clip below to hear the group’s debut song “Whistle” playing in the background of this scene.
12. Tiffany Young singing at an LA Dodgers baseball game
Imagine that you’re at Dodger stadium ready to watch a baseball game, when suddenly Tiffany walks out to sing the national anthem! I’m pretty sure that any of us would be in awe at the very sight of her. Needless to say, Tiffany nailed those vocals and then some!
Where have you unexpectedly encountered K-pop in your life? Tell us your stories in the comments below!
jadicus35 is a ordinary college student by day, and a not-so-closet fangirl by night. She spends most of her time on Tumblr when she’s not (but really should be) studying and/or pretending to be a functional human being.