‘Blue Bloods’: How Many Times Has Donnie Wahlberg Gone Meta With a ‘New Kids’ Reference?

by Caitlin Berard

Since 2010, Donnie Wahlberg has played Danny Reagan in the hit crime drama Blue Bloods. Long before his career as a fictional police officer began, however, he was known as the original member of the 80s and 90s boy band, New Kids on the Block.

Though NKOTB formed nearly 40 years ago, the band still has a thriving fanbase to this day. So much so, in fact, that Danny Reagan is a huge fan, just so Donnie Wahlberg can throw New Kids on the Block references into the occasional Blue Bloods episode. But how many references are in Blue Bloods exactly?

Well, it’s hard to say, especially considering Wahlberg has said he included an NKOTB song title in every Season 1 episode of Blue Bloods. That puts the NKOTB count at 22, at the bare minimum.

Then there’s the Jordan Knight cameo, Wahlberg’s NKOTB bandmate who played a criminal getting handcuffed. And, of course, the Season 12 karaoke scene in which Danny Reagan belts out a rendition of a Rolling Stones classic. According to Donnie, the scene wasn’t his idea, but he agreed because he knew New Kids on the Block fans (“Blockheads”) would love it.

Needless to say, for fans of both Blue Bloods and New Kids on the Block, Wahlberg’s frequent references to his double life are hard to miss.

‘Blue Bloods’ Star Bridget Moynahan Reps Donnie Wahlberg With an NKOTB Shirt

Though it’s true Blue Bloods star Donnie Wahlberg has a healthy fanbase of NKOTB enthusiasts who excitedly point out any references to the boy band they catch, his castmates are ardent supporters of his music as well. In a recent Instagram post, Wahlberg shared a video of his Blue Bloods co-star Bridget Moynahan wearing a New Kids on the Block shirt on set.

“Not sure it gets more epic than [Bridget Moynahan] wearing [New Kids on the Block] t-shirt to [the family Sunday dinner] scene – but [AC/DC] def made it more epic!” Wahlberg wrote in the caption.

In the video, Moynahan calmly reads from her script – until she realizes Wahlberg is filming her. She then smiles and dances for the camera, while Tom Selleck enjoys his TV children’s antics from the head of the Reagan family dining table.

Fans of Blue Bloods and NKOTB, of course, absolutely lost it, flooding the comments with praise for both Donnie Wahlberg and Bridget Moynahan. “Absolutely love this!! And yes, AC/DC makes everything epic,” one fan wrote. “Family scenes are my favorite, looks like you guys have even more fun making them,” another said.