2001: A Space Odyssey is a science fiction story by Arthur C. Clarke and a movie directed by Stanley Kubrick.
- The puzzle solutions page for Jim Henson's Muppets Annual 1980 features an illustration of primates looking at the answers on a large, black monolith. One of them sports an idea bulb over its head with a bone at its feet.
- An animated Sesame Street short features two pre-humans arguing using only the word "me". After this goes on for a bit, Strauss's theme underscores the view of a monolith towering over them. It cracks away to reveal the word "me" carved in stone, settling their argument.
- The music video for "I'm Gonna Always Love You" begins with Baby Piggy encased in an egg-like sphere juxtaposed with the Earth (which she is subsequently slammed into) much like the ending of 2001. The scene is underscored with "Also sprach Zarathustra", famously used in the film.
- In episode 211 of Muppets Tonight, Andie MacDowell has requested to play a southern belle on the show. Kermit attempts to oblige, but the Muppets Tonight writers keep getting it wrong. When they finally hand in a suitable script, Kermit lets them touch the monolith. As they go crazy, hitting it with bones, "Also sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss plays, an homage to the film.
- The AL-1995 Plus Tax is a reference to HAL 9000, the computer from the film.
- In Elmo's Reading Basics, the game "Beam Me Up, Up, Up" features the Martians beaming items from Earth to their home planet, followed by scenes of Mars interacting with the new items. In one scene, a group of cavemen Martians interact with the new discoveries, underscored by "Also sprah Zarathustra." This image spoofs the opening scene of the film (one Martian even prominently boasts a bone like one of the early homosapiens).
- Robert Beatty played Dr. Ralph Halvorsen in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
- Candice Bergen (credited as Olga Mallsnerd) voiced SAL 9000 in 2010: The Year We Made Contact (1984)
- Tom Kane voiced HAL 9000 in a Y2K Apple Computer commercial
- John Lithgow played Dr. Walter Curnow in 2010: The Year We Made Contact (1984)
- Helen Mirren played Tanya Kirbuk in 2010: The Year We Made Contact (1984)