In popular culture


  • Hoi Polloi (1935), a film adaptation by The Three Stooges.
  • Willy Russell's 1980 stage comedy Educating Rita and the subsequent film adaptation are similar in plot to Pygmalion.[27]
  • The First Night of Pygmalion (1972), a play depicting the backstage tensions during the first British production.
  • Trading Places (1983), a film starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd.
  • Pretty Woman (1990), a film starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
  • Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen (2004), a film starring Lindsay Lohan where she auditions for a modernized musical version of Pygmalion called "Eliza Rocks".


  • Moonlighting's second-season episode "My Fair David" (1985) is inspired by the movie My Fair Lady, in a plot where Maddie Hayes makes a bet with David Addison consisting in making him softer and more serious with work. She is her Henry Higgins, while he is put in the Eliza Doolittle position, as the funny, clumsy, bad-mannered part of the relationship.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s third-season episode "The Galatea Affair" (1966) is a spoof of My Fair Lady. A crude barroom entertainer (Joan Collins) is taught to behave like a lady. Noel Harrison, son of Rex Harrison, star of the My Fair Lady film, is the guest star.
  • In The Beverly Hillbillies episode "Pygmalion and Elly" Sonny resumes his high-class courtship of Elly May by playing Julius Caesar and Pygmalion.
  • In The Andy Griffith Show season 4 episode "My Fair Ernest T. Bass", Andy and Barney attempt to turn the mannerless Ernest T. Bass into a presentable gentleman. References to "Pygmalion" abound: Bass' manners are tested at a social gathering, where he is assumed by the hostess to be a man from Boston. Several characters comment "if you wrote this into a play nobody'd believe it."
  • In Doctor Who, the character of Leela is loosely based on Eliza Doolittle. She was a regular in the programme from 1977 to 1978, and later reprised in audio dramas from 2003 to present. In Ghost Light, the character of Control is heavily based upon Eliza Doolittle, with Redvers Fenn-Cooper in a similar role as Henry Higgins; the story also features reference to the "Rain in Spain" rhyme and the Doctor referring to companion Ace as "Eliza".
  • In the Remington Steele season 2 episode "My Fair Steele", Laura and Steele transform a truck stop waitress into a socialite to flush out a kidnapper. Steele references the 1938 movie Pygmalion and My Fair Lady, and references the way in which Laura has "molded" him into her fictional creation.
  • In the Magnum, P.I. episode "Professor Jonathan Higgins" of Season 5, Jonathan Higgins tries to turn his punk rocker cousin into a high society socialite. Higgins even references Pygmalion in the episode.
  • The Family Guy episode "One If By Clam, Two If By Sea" involves a subplot with Stewie trying to refine Eliza Pinchley, his new Cockney-accented neighbor, into a proper young lady. He makes a bet with Brian that he can improve Eliza's vocabulary and get her to speak without her accent before her birthday party. Includes "The Life of the Wife", a parody of the song "The Rain in Spain" (from My Fair Lady). The voice of Stewie was in fact originally based on that of Rex Harrison.
  • The plot of the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Someone to Watch Over Me" is loosely based on Pygmalion.
  • Pygmalion is the inspiration for The Simpsons episode entitled "Pygmoelian," in which infamously ugly character Moe, of Moe's Tavern, has a facelift. It was also parodied to a heavier extent in the episode "My Fair Laddy", where the character being changed is uncouth Scotsman Groundskeeper Willie.
  • In the Boy Meets World episode "Turnaround", Cory and Shawn learn about "Pygmalion" in class, paralleling their attempt with Cory's uncool date to the dance.
  • The iCarly episode "iMake Sam Girlier" is loosely based on Pygmalion.
  • The Season 7 King of the Hill episode "Pigmalian" describes an unhinged local pig magnate who attempts to transform Luanne into the idealized woman of his company's old advertisements.
  • In The King of Queens episode "Gambling N'Diction" Carrie tries to lose her accent for a job promotion by being taught by Spence. The episode was renamed to "Carrie Doolittle" in Germany.
  • In 2014, ABC debuted a romantic situational comedy titled Selfie, starring Karen Gillan and John Cho. It is a modern-day adaptation that revolves around an image-obsessed woman named Eliza Dooley (Gillan) who comes under the social guidance of marketing image guru Henry Higgs (Cho).
  • In the Malaysian drama Nur, Pygmalion themes are evident. The lives of a pious, upstanding man and a prostitute are considered within the context of Islam, societal expectations and norms.

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