Even though she only had 13 episodes, 2 live-action specials, and a movie, Rainbow Brite was hugely popular. Almost daily, I see anything colorful in the fashion world (be it clothing or hair) described as "Rainbow Brite." When 80's kids see a rainbow in the sky, they think of the little girl with a mission. And most 80's girls had at least one Rainbow Brite doll - many of which they still cherish to this day. So it's no surprise that she pops up in pop culture from time to time.It actually began in the 80's, when Rainbow Brite merchandise would show up in tv shows.
We see an 18" Rainbow Brite doll in Miami Vice's Season 1 episode, "The Home Invaders:"
And I distinctly remember an episode of Who's The Boss where Mona is drinking tea or coffee out of a Rainbow Brite mug. But that image doesn't exist on the internet - yet.
RB was hard to find in the 90's, but in 1996, a Glee Sprite doll did appear in the background of childhood Ross's home video in season 3, episode 4 of Friends:
But Rainbow Brite has definitely had a resurgence in popularity since the year 2000.
A Red Butler doll appeared in the Reba episode "Core Focus:"
A Rainbow Brite cosplayer showed up in Bones episode "The Princess and the Pear:"
Rainbow Brite bed sheets appeared on the HBO series "Girls:"
A Rainbow Brite doll was animated into the Family Guy episode "Prick Up Your Ears:"
She was parodied on The Soup:
And she's shown up on Robot Chicken five times.
Wikipedia mentions Rainbow Brite being referenced in songs, showing up in music videos, and being drawn into web comics. And check out RainbowBrite.co.uk's 'Rainbow Brite in Hollywood' Facebook album for a few more screen caps. I wonder where she'll pop up next! :)