The Bell Jar has been referenced by many popular sources in the media including Gilmore Girls, The Simpsons and Warehouse 13.  When Heather Chandler crashes through the glass table in Heathers, CliffsNotes for The Bell Jar are seen on the floor. Immediately after this sighting, J.D. decides to frame Heather's death as a suicide. Iris Jamahl Dunkle wrote of the novel that “often, when the novel appears in American films and television series, it stands as a symbol for teenage angst.”
Larry Peerce's The Bell Jar (1979) starred Marilyn Hassett as Esther Greenwood, the protagonist and featured the tagline: "Sometimes just being a woman is an act of courage." In the film, Joan attempts to get Esther to agree to a suicide pact, an incident which is not in the book. Joan is implied to be a lesbian in Plath's novel.