[[quoteright:350:[[Film/DuckAndCover http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/duck_and_cover.png]]]]

The user-friendly way to impart information and training and a prime target for parody, the instructional film is a short presentation that has generally been created by a government department or a business to impart training or information on a specific area... cheese making, avoiding nuclear attack, understanding the Dewey decimal system, care and maintenance of the IBM System/360 mainframe... the list is endless.

Because of the need to educate the young and/or presumably ignorant, the intellectual level is often pitched very low indeed, leading to many of these films having a deeply condescending tone. They are also often vehicles for [[PropagandaMachine propaganda]] or contain the unconscious attitudes and biases of their producers.

They are rarely kept updated to current fashions; literal, intellectual, or cultural. Parodies usually have films in the style of [[{{Retraux}} filmreels from sometime between the 1930s and 1950s]].

A particular target for parody is the specific sub-type, the fast-food training video.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* The ''Film/DuckAndCover'' US government films for dealing with nuclear attack.
* We see the new employee orientation video in ''Film/{{Waiting}}'', with complete with {{Description Cut}}s between how the video ''says'' the employees should behave and how we see them ''actually'' behaving.
* Several Disney short films (''Freewayphobia #1'', ''Goofy's Freeway Trouble'' and ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_Mania Motor Mania]]'') have been shown in driving schools across the U.S. for decades.
* This was the basic premise of ''WesternAnimation/PrivateSnafu'', in a "Don't do what Snafu does" way.
* Will Eisner's, ''Magazine/PSMagazine'' army instructional comics. (Yes, Creator/WillEisner of ''ComicBook/TheSpirit'' fame.)
* Driving school videos.
* Cliff Clavin (John Ratzenberger) and the rest of the cast of ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' have appeared in a training video for new U.S. Postal Service employees.
* The authors of ''Series/YesMinister'' had previously collaborated on [[http://www.videoarts.com/ management training videos]] with Creator/JohnCleese.
-->[[http://network.civilservicelive.com/pg/pages/view/262861/ “Actually, these comedy training films were the background to ''Yes Minister'', which is a kind of training film,” Jay smiles. “The comedy in those videos was people in business doing it wrong, and the comedy in government is ministers doing it wrong.”]]
* ''Radio/TheBrewingNetwork'''s Homebrew U DVD series. Currently only one volume (American Pale Ale), there was an offhand mention in one episode of The Session about shooting for a DVD about pilsner.
* ''Film/{{Hired}}'' and several other short films featured on ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''.


[[folder: Played Straight ]]

* The DHARMA Initiative orientation films from ''Series/{{Lost}}''.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': The original release maps (as well as a few more recent maps) are introduced with a black-and-white instructional film explaining the map's objective and, sometimes, unique elements of its topology.
* ''Film/TankGirl''. When the title character infiltrates Liquid Silver, there's a video that trains new employees in how to dress themselves correctly. Of course, she pays no attention at all to it.
* In ''Literature/TheVorGame'', following the aftermath of the [[ReassignmentBackfire chemical cleanup incident]] that ends his tour of duty at [[ReassignedToAntarctica Camp Permafrost]], Miles Vorkosigan finds himself in quasi-exile assigned to [=ImpSec=] Headquarters. As a combination of spiritual exercise and stir-crazyness, he decides to view every training video in the military library in strictly alphabetical order during his off-duty hours. He is bemused at the 30-minute program under "H: Hygiene" which covers how to take a shower -- presumably targeted at rural back-country draftees without previous exposure to indoor plumbing. After a month he manages to reach "L: Laser-rifle Model D-67; power-pack circuitry, maintenance, and repair" when the plot advances to the next stage of his adventure.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Hurricane Fluttershy" has an amusingly dated-looking one that [[{{Infodump}} explains how the pegasi use "tornado power" to get water to the weather factory in Cloudsdale for the rainy season]].
* ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'' featured a version during their sexual harassment training, but because of the nature of the show, it comes across as almost a parody of the trope. Props to the producers who made it look authentically like a video from the Eighties.
* ''Series/{{Hyperdrive}}''. Before making FirstContact the crew have to watch a {{squick}}-inducing version of this trope warning them of the dangers of having sex with aliens.
* ''Ride/MenInBlackAlienAttack'' at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal Studios Florida]] has "Doofus and Do-Right", an animated short that explains what to do and what not to do when in MIB training.
* In the ''Webcomic/CharbyTheVampirate'' side comic ''Webcomic/HereThereBeMonsters'' Blaine tries to force his hunters to watch a cheesy safety video he made after Victor gets injured on the job, the only hunter paying any attention whatsoever to the film is [[http://heretherebemonsters.us/comic/37 Mort.]]


[[folder: Parodied ]]

* The ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'' Krusty Krab training video
* The perky Japanese girl who explains the rules in ''Film/BattleRoyale''.
* Parodied a few times in ''Series/That70sShow.''
* ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' had an episode which was one long orientation video for Sebben and Sebben.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' [[TheSimpsonsDidIt have]] a few of these. All are parodies.
* In ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'', the orientation video Malcolm had to watch at Lucky Aide just ''SCREAMED'' [[TheEighties 80s]]. It also [[spoiler:revealed that Craig used to be a District Manager.]]
* Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}} was forced to watch one when she took a job at a fast food joint.
* ''Anime/TrainingWithHinako'' is an animated fitness video which a girl named Hinako supposed to give the viewers exercise instructions, though its more of an excuse to [[MaleGaze show]] a sweaty girl exercising with a "bouncy package".
* When Series/{{Angel}} took over Wolfram & Hart they made a new training video for employees, basically saying "Don't be evil and we won't kill you."
* ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'' has one as a DVD bonus feature.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' adventure ''Vapors Don't Shoot Back''. While the Troubleshooters are being transported in the flybot, they're shown an Old Reckoning U.S. Army parachute training film which will hopefully teach them enough to use the parachutes they've been given.
* Walt Disney's Goofy starred in a long-running series of instructional video parodies on such subjects as:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwbE3bPvzr4 How to Play Football]] (1944).
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeV17prAzeg How to Sleep]] (1953).
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPA435yIuzQ How To Hook Up Your Home Theater]] (2007).
* ''Film/BeingJohnMalkovich'' has a very funny employee orientation film.
* Before taking Driver's Education classes, ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' and classmates watch an instructional video on safe driving that's both remarkably out of date (mentioning sock-hops and soda bars) and incredibly [[ScareEmStraight gory and graphic]] ([[TakeOurWordForIt judging by]] [[ReactionShot their reactions]]) in depicting the consequences of a crash.
** Re-education sessions in the "A Sitch in Time" BadFuture begin with a short instructional/propaganda film clip of The Supreme One (future Shego) describing how she took over the world.
* "Gunny Instructional Video" from WebAnimation/TheDamnFew.
* Trailers and intros for the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games, which cheerily promote Vault-Tec bunkers and the Atom Age life, before revealing the post-apocalyptic world it became.
* ''VideoGame/MetalArmsGlitchInTheSystem'' features a Fifties-style film where the narrator cheerfully details the history of their planet and the Droids rebellion against a tyrannical regime of slavery and genocide.
* The "Wiggy" segments from ''[[Creator/JasperCarrott Canned Carrott]]''.
* In an episode of ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', where Sarah infiltrates a nuclear power station as a grunt worker, she is made to watch a comically old-fashioned orientation film. With [[MoeAnthropomorphism sexy nuclear fuel rods]].
* The notorious German short film ''Film/ForkliftDriverKlaus'' is a [[BloodyHilarious gore-filled]] parody of a workplace instructional video.
* Used as a RunningGag in ''Film/SpiderManHomecoming'' with ComicBook/CaptainAmerica's videos on physical fitness, learning a lesson from getting detention, etc. The oddity of having the lessons presented by someone who is currently [[Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar a wanted criminal]] is noted in-universe.
* Robert Benchley's ''How to...'' series of short films in the 1930s, which consisted of him giving comically useless instruction on topics like ''Film/HowToSleep'', ''How to Train a Dog'', and others.