Six Original And Creative Coincidences Between Lost and Gilligan’s Island

Doubles, Power Struggles, Insane Scientists and more.

Lost and Gilligan’s Island are more alike than you might think. Sure, they both are shows about people being stranded and forced to live on an Island (don’t even get me started on the “it is a peninsula” ending) but it goes much deeper than that. The creators of Lost must have watched and dissected every episode of good ole Gilligan’s isle and took the craziest parts from it to use in their new show. Here are just a few examples.

WARNING: If you are not caught up on Lost (as of this writing Season 4, episode 6) or Gilligan’s Island (as of this writing, most of the original cast is dead) then do NOT read further.

Wacky Similarity 1: The Power Struggle

Characters: Jack/Locke, The Skipper/Mr. Howell

How it is on Lost:

In the beginning of the show, Jack immediately takes charge. He (being a doctor and all) starts to pull people away from the wreckage of the plane and starts to help them help each other and administers first aid. At that point, John Locke is just realizing that he is no longer paralyzed and is not concerned with much else it seems. As the show progresses, the tension builds between Jack and Locke, eventually forcing people to choose sides between the two when the freighter arrives at the end of season 3. (For the record, I would’ve gone with Team Locke)

How it is on Gilligan’s Island:

While Gilligan’s Island is considered a significantly less edgy show, they still decided to throw a power struggle in the mix. In Season 1, Episode 6 entitled “President Gilligan” the Skipper and Professor decide to dig a well. When the Skipper calls on Gilligan to help him, Thurston tells him not to go. This starts a power struggle on the island, with the Skipper believing he should be in charge because he is (or was) the ships Captain. Thurston believes he should be in charge because he has (or had) the most money.

Unlike the people on Lost, the castaways on Gilligan’s Island take a democratic approach to the situation. They decide that they should put it to a vote. This all blows up in their faces when Gilligan is elected president (with votes from Mary Ann, Gilligan, and for some strange reason Lovey Howell). Instantly the Skipper declares himself to be Vice President, and the increasingly retarded and insane Thurston decides he wants to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Eventually they all come to their sense when Gilligan quits being president because no one will listen to him, leaving everyone on the island content to live in anarchy. (For the record, I would’ve gone with Team Crazy the Third)

Wacky Similarity 2: The Paranormal

Characters/Plot Devices: Jacob/The Monster/Time Travel, Curses/Wishing Stone/Santa Claus/Witch Doctor

How it is on Lost:

At the time of this writing, we have no real idea who Jacob or the Monster is, or how the Time Travel works. The only thing we know for sure is that something really weird and crazy is going on. Jacob appears to be invisible yet is still able to manipulate objects in the room when Ben takes Locke to meet him. The Monster is at the very least foreign to everyone that crashed on the Island, and Desmond has already traveled back and forth in time, twice. Add that to the Black Rock (a pirate ship full of dynamite that crashed somehow in the middle of the Island) and you have the makings of a Sci Fi Channel movie marathon. From the first appearance of The Monster in Season 1, you knew that there was something not right happening on that island.

How it is on Gilligan’s Island:

In Season 1, Episode 29, Gilligan finds a shiny stone that the Skipper believes to be the Eye of the Idol. The Eye of the Idol (according to the uneducated Skipper) is supposed to grant the user three wishes. Gilligan wants some ice cream, and a gallon floats on shore. Then Thurston decides to steal it and makes a wish for more money, and Lovey finds a pearl. Gilligan finds it again, and wishes they can all get off the island and when he does, the part of the island they are standing on separates from the Island itself.

In Season 1, episode 10, the Skipper finds a Tiki Idol. He claims that the name of the idol is Kona, and that whoever finds him is cursed for disturbing its resting place. The weird thing is (and I mean weirder than the Skippers apparent knowledge of all ancient random Islands religions) that the idol continuously follows the Skipper around. After an earthquake, the Skipper buries Kona and Thurston decides its worth money and digs it up. Then the skipper tries again to get rid of it, and Ginger decides to bring it to him as a surprise birthday party gift. Eventually Gilligan pretends to be the god Watubi (because the Skipper insists Watubi is the only one who can lift the curse) and the curse is lifted. Also of note, it is a very hot day on the island, and Watubi Gilligan commands a breeze. A breeze then THROWS HIM INTO A TREE. That is right, President Gilligan is also the ancient god Watubi.

I could go on and on about the occurrences of the paranormal on the island, but I will end it with Santa Claus. In Season 1, Episode 10 the cast is having Christmas Eve. Santa Claus shows up and hands down some good advice about appreciating what they have, and turns and leaves. Everyone thinks it is the Skipper in disguise (where he got the Santa Suit no one knows) until the Skipper comes walking up from the opposite direction that Santa left! You can then hear sleigh bells ringing as Santa Claus leaves the island.

And then there was this time that a Witch Doctor came to the island and turned the professor into a Zombie……seriously.

Wacky Similarity 3: The Crazy Millionaire (And His Wife?)

Characters: Ben, Thurston Howell III

How it is on Lost:

According to Miles, and backed up by circumstantial evidence, Ben is a millionaire back in the real world. Miles demands that Ben give him 3.2 Million dollars to say that he never found Ben, and that he will kill the people on his team that already know that Ben is there. That, added to the amount of Passports and fake money hidden in Ben’s house, and his control of the highly sought after island, leads me to believe that Ben is a very rich man. He is also a very insane man. What type of person allows himself to be kidnapped by his enemies, twice. Who steals and raises a daughter as his own, and steals a woman from the main land and forces her to stay on the island and be “his”? Whether Juliet likes it or not, he seems to have made her (at least in his mind and the fact that she can’t leave the island) his wife. Add that to the fact that he enjoys saying things (to Jack, Sayid, Locke and others) that get him punched in the face and you have a case to say that Ben is a few Chicken McNuggets short of a 20 piece.

How it is on Gilligan’s Island:

Where do I even start talking about how completely insane Thurston Howell the Third is? How about in Similarities 1 and 2? You need a few more instances you say? How about when he decided to back Ginger’s off-Broadway play, his losing of 3 million dollars to Gilligan in a putting contest (which I’ll bet he never paid), or the time when he planned a Cotillion, but accidentally lost the Skippers invitation? That’s right, there are 7 people on that Island and he somehow can’t even get an invitation to the Skipper who he sees (according to the television) at most hours of the day. What about the time that he adopted Gilligan and renamed him G. Thurston Howell IV?

Mr. Howell also believes that they should mine for gold on the island, and it seems that his entire focus is getting richer even though he is on an island in the middle of nowhere. If it wasn’t for the rest of the castaways, he would be finding out really quickly that you cannot, in fact, eat money….or gold, and plan to live.

Wacky Similarity 4: Just How Stranded Are These People?

Characters: The people on the freighter/Penny/Juliet/The Dharma Initiative, Too many people to count

How it is on Lost:

The main focus of the Losties has been trying to find a way to get off the island and get rescued, but it appears that no one knows where they are. For the first few seasons you are focused on the crazy indigenous “others” and the Losties just trying to get a distress signal out any way they can. Had they just walked to the other side of the island, they might have found all the barracks, phones, and other things that could connect them to the outside world. Ben knows exactly where the island is, as does Penny Widmore, Charles Widmore, and maybe even the psychic who told Claire to board the plane. One thing that is for certain is that the island is not hidden from everyone, and that if people really want to find it they will. Hell the people on the freighter work for Charles Widmore and have found their way there pretty easily it seems.

How it is on Gilligan’s Island:

Everyone knew about Gilligan’s Island, and I mean EVERYONE. Some people even went there multiple times! Since this article is long enough, I’m just going to break down a list of some of the people that found their way to Gilligan’s Isle.

First there was famous aviator Wrong Way Feldman, who found his way to the island not once but twice! Then a Japanese sailor (who captures the island), Kurt Russell (who plays a jungle boy), criminals, famous surfer Duke Williams (who surfed on a tsunami wave to and from the island), an artist, countless natives from nearby islands, the President of Eucuarico, Russian cosmonauts, musical sensation “The Mosquito’s”, a socialite (who gets engaged to the professor), a robot, a Hollywood Producer, Lord Beasly (who is an insect collector), a kidnapper, a big game hunter, Tongo the TV Apeman, and even the Harlem Globetrotters (in a movie). In about every way imaginable people found the island. Also, in about every way imaginable people left the island, everyone that is except the castaways.

Wacky Similarity 5: Fascination with “Doubles”

Characters: Ben’s rabbit/Mikhail/Richard Alpert, Gilligan/Mr. Howell/Ginger

How it is on Lost:

Now this is more theory than fact, and I added it because I feel that at the very least it is interesting. At a comic convention, the creators of Lost released this training video.

The rabbit bears one of the “numbers”, just like Ben’s rabbit with an 8 on it. In the video it appears that the rabbit duplicates itself somehow, and that it is a very bad thing. While this doesn’t prove much, it does lead you to think about two of the stranger people on the Lost island, Mikhail and Richard Alpert.

Mikhail was the one eyed Russian that the Losties found at the communication station. It would seem that there was more than one of him because the man was fatally wounded THREE times. It is one thing to heal quickly (which seems to happen on the Lost island) but it is quite another to be 1.)pushed through the electric forcefield and live 2). Get shot in the heart with a spear gun and live, and 3.)Have to have a grenade finally stop you, at least as far as anyone knows. I think that it is a possibility there was more than one of him.

Richard Alpert was the guy that helped Ben destroy all members of the Dharma Initiative on the island. He was the guy that Ben found in the woods when he was a little kid. Oh yeah, did I mention that he’s still hanging out with Ben 20+ years later and looks like he has not aged at all? You tell me what you think about this:

When Ben was a kid:

Image Source: Lostpedia

Image Source: Lostpedia

How it is on Gilligan’s Island:

It is a fact that the writers for Gilligan’s Island had an odd fascination with just about anything totally insane, so much so that they took it one step further. In the middle of Season 2 and also in Season 3 they decided that having Santa Claus and Kurt Russel come to the Island wasn’t good enough, and they sent an impostor Mr. Howell to the island! This guy was back in the real world spending Mr. Howells money, looking exactly like him and he somehow lands on the same island! Gilligan also had a double, who turned out be a Russian spy sent to the island to discover the castaways REAL mission. Also for good measure, an unattractive woman lands on the island and after they give her a makeover the castaways discover that she’s a double of Ginger!

Wacky Similarity 6: Kidnapped And Taken To … Houses?!

Characters: Jack/Kate/Sawyer, All The Castaways

How it is on Lost:

Jack, Kate and Sawyer get kidnapped by Ben and the others, and taken to a place with Barracks on a nearby island. They see for the first time that there are people living rather well on this island, and they have been there for a long time.

How it is on Gilligan’s Island:

In Season 2, episode 29 the castaways are “rescued” by a Mad Scientist named Boris Balinkoff. Instead of taking them to the real world he takes them to a nearby island with a Mansion and makes them his prisoners. Then again in season 3 episode 9, but this time he turns them into hypnotized robots that he will use to assist him in looting Fort Knox. Boris seems to have everything he could possibly need to feel like he was living in society, much like Ben and the others do.

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9 Responses to “Six Original And Creative Coincidences Between Lost and Gilligan’s Island”
  1. Tarra B. says:

    Great list of odd similarities between the two shows. You always provide us with the most interesting and entertaining articles. Looking forward to reading more of your work….

  2. steve says:

    you forgot wacky similarity 7
    last seasons finally of lost
    the losties get rescued and want to go back to the island.
    in gilligans island (tv movie)
    the castways get rescued and can’t cope with the how the world changed and want to go back to the island.

    but this is really fun i have a friend who likes lost i keep asking him when gilligan and the skipper are going to show up.

  3. Shawny Nevill says:

    they are always reading crazy books, even one that was written by a guy on the plane (bad twin) that they made in real life to go along with the show.

  4. Blake Synel says:

    Never really thought about this! Great comparisons! Also makes me want to pull out some Gilligan’s Island and watch it. lol

  5. Josey says:

    What a fun comparison. Great job.

  6. baby3012 says:

    well discovered but lost is sooo much better than gilly! :)

  7. PHEBE says:

    Heya! Great idea, but could this genuinely perform?

  8. Jacob says:

    Lots of good connections.

    It reminds me of a similarly themed meme video that’s going around:

    Lost on Gilligan’s Island

  9. mp4 to mp3 says:

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