We're splitting this off from Parody Failure
and Narrow Parody
, which are confusing pages that we discovered include several unrelated things - this, Spoofed The Ironic Film Seriously
, Spoofing Spoofiness
, Spoofed With Their Own Words
In between jokes that exaggerate or mock a subject, parodies will often simply reference a different subject. The parody assumes that the audience will laugh out of recognition.
Critics of this technique note the difference between references and jokes, claiming there's nothing humorous about simply mentioning something. Nonetheless, some viewers enjoy the references, interpreting them as ShoutOuts
or homages. These elements may also appear funny simply through their insertion in an unrelated setting, through the incongruity, even without the parody mocking them.
- The spoofs of Seltzer and Friedberg have received a lot of flack for this. The Soup suggested their next movie should be called "Reference Movie"; a Cracked article marveled at how they contain "no jokes. Just things we recognize as things."
- More Mad "TV satires" than not ended with the sudden appearance of another show's characters. Sometimes, this drew a comparison between the show being parodied and a superior show (or a bad show) or to make some other point. Other times, the characters would have no connection to the parody and no joke existed other than their existence.
- Robot Chicken often simply includes bits of pop culture in place of jokes. Family Guy mocked this when their own Brian and Stewie entered the Robot Chicken universe:
Brian: Whoa!! This is trippy.
Stewie: I should say so. We're in the "Robot Chicken" universe.
Peter: Will you guys move!? You're blockin' the TV!
Chris: Look!! (action figures of a Thunder Cat, GI Joe, He-Man, and a Transformer walk into the room)
Chris: GI Joe, Transformers, ThunderCats
, He-Man!! Yay! Those shows existed!!
- Family Guy itself often uses that formula, as they lampshaded during a similar Take That, Us moment in "It's a Trap!"
Chris: Uh, Dad, one question: what do you got against Seth Green?
Peter: Uh, tch, I just think he's a douche. You got a problem with that?
Chris: Well, we're all entitled to our own opinion. For example, me, I think Seth Macfarlane's a douche.
Peter: What's that now?
Lois: Yeah, I don't like him either.
Meg: Yeah, me neither.
Stewie: Wait a second, I hear he's a pretty nice guy.
Chris: Talented? He ripped off The Simpsons.
Lois: Yeah, he watched TV in the 80s. We get it.