The film was a major influence on film directors of the Iranian New Wave, such as Jafar Panahi and Dariush Mehrjui. Other directors that called it an influence are Satyajit Ray, Ken Loach, Giorgio Mangiamele, Bimal Roy, Anurag Kashyap, Balu Mahendra, Basu Chatterjee and Isao Takahata.
The film was used as source material for the 1985 cult classic Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.
The film was parodied in the 1989 film The Icicle Thief.
Bicycle Thieves was featured in Robert Altman's 1992 film The Player.