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[[quoteright:350:[[UsefulNotes/FlyingSpaghettiMonster http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/parody-religion_FSM_by_Nivao_5374.png]]]]

[[folder: Touched By His Noodly Appendage. ]]

ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin--a made-up religion (done intentionally to not make any sense for the viewer) which exists to parody some specific existing religion, a group of religions and religious beliefs, organized religion in general, or just any kind of religious belief. Usually serves as a front on TheWarOnStraw, unless it's a someone enacting a funny GodGuise, then it's just PlayedForLaughs.

Often takes the form of a CargoCult, a GodGuise, some bizarre CrystalDragonJesus cult, or a pastiche of a RealLife religion with SerialNumbersFiledOff.

For extra laughs, a ChurchgoingVillain may follow this faith devoutly, or someone who's HidingBehindReligion may use it as a smoke screen, perhaps also invoking AgainstMyReligion to weasel out of some unpleasant obligation.

Can be a risky move sometimes, since, religious freedom being what it is, people are generally allowed to believe in literally whatever they want - and, at times, [[LifeImitatesArt a specific belief just might dovetail with a parody]].

Bear in mind that "parody religion" can legitimately mean "actual religion that is also a parody", as well as the more direct "parody of religion".

See also PathOfInspiration, which is more or less exactly this with evil instead of funny, CorruptChurch, which is against organized religion, and ChurchOfHappyology, which is a subtrope that parodies a very specific religion.

Note that all examples must be intentional.

See also: {{Anvilicious}}, ReligionIsWrong; the secular version is the BrotherhoodOfFunnyHats. Contrast SaintlyChurch, ReligionIsRight. If the parody is used to actually deceive people--which, considering PoesLaw, is far from impossible--it becomes a ScamReligion.



* A huge amount of those from ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}''. According to Spider, new cults pop there every hour, therefore, any religious belief does not make any sense.
* In ''[[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Boba Fett: Enemy Of the Empire]]'', Boba Fett tracks the eponymous enemy to a secluded hermitage on a volcanic planet, which is home to a stereotypical crazy sect called [[spoiler:the Ancient Order of Pessimists, who are eventually wiped out by Darth Vader's Star Destroyer immediately after the High Hermit commits heresy by embracing optimism]].
-->'''Boba:''' "Well, this [[TemptingFate could have ended much worse]]..."

* The movie ''Film/{{Bowfinger}}'' features a cult called Mindhead, which parodies Scientology.

* ''The Last Guru'' by Creator/DanielPinkwater has the Silly Hat Order, with a side order of Blong Buddhism, which is like Zen but more pickled.
* Chutengodianism in ''Literature/{{Godless}}'' starts as a joke by a few teenagers, but takes on a life of its own (complete with its own heretics and fundamentalists.) In the end, [[spoiler:the narrator is the only one left who still follows it--he doesn't really believe in it, but he wishes he did.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' "Crackpot Religions" sketch.
* A tie-in book to the ''Series/MrBean'' series stated that Mr Bean had at one point followed a religion based around the "God of Lemonade."
* ''Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie'' featured a school headmaster who, upset with the religious intolerance between his pupils, had forced them to follow a new religion of his own invention, taken by combining many different religions, and entitled "Lip-whip-whip-whip-whip".
* In an episode of ''Series/LastWeekTonightWithJohnOliver'' exposing shady televangelists who allegedly [[LoopholeAbuse exploit US tax laws]], John Oliver revealed that he had started his own satirical religion, [[http://www.religionnews.com/2015/08/18/john-oliver-hbo-last-week-tonight-televangelists-church-irs-creflo-dollar-tilton-copeland/ "Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption,"]] for the express sole purpose of getting people to send him money.[[note]]The money was then donated to an actual charity.[[/note]] The kicker: Oliver's parody religion is ''totally legal'' under current IRS tax code, and John Oliver is now a legitimate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. At the end he closed the "church" due to some people sending him sperm. But up to that point, he never broke any law.

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* Creator/RobinWilliams' stand-up comedy album ''Reality, What A Concept'' has a segment where he plays the character [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Reverend Earnest Angry]], imitating popular televangelists of the day and promoting the religion of Comedy.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Xavism in ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'' is a rather overt parody of the Catholic Church with elements of ChurchOfHappyology; its leader is a delusional (but well-meaning) LoveFreak who believes in the power of [[DefeatMeansFriendship blowing the crap out of someone to convert them]], all its adherents get bizarre baptismal names, and the "commandments" are all BrokenAesop versions of Christian dogma.
* ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'': Comstock's religion is based of Christianity, but it revolves around American Exceptionalism with the Founding Fathers treated as saints, and Comstock making himself the Prophet of Columbia. And he has [[spoiler: Elizabeth]] as his "Lamb" (of God) and successor of the title of Prophet, the latter of which [[spoiler:she]] becomes in a BadFuture.
* Hubology in ''VideoGame/Fallout2'' is a very unsubtle parody of Scientology.

* That rabbit cult from ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup''. [[spoiler:Subverted, because there is a good reason for worship.]]
* In ''Webcomic/KoanOfTheDay'', the character of the guru often [[http://www.koanoftheday.com/27/ parodies religion.]]
* [[http://www.nickyitis.com/comic/listen-up/ This]] webcomic begins a Flightarianism arc, in which the cockatoo Winston explains some of the precepts underpinning his faith.
* The Corn God in ''Webcomic/ScenesFromAMultiverse''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[WebOriginal/LOLCats Ceiling Cat]].
* The Website/ClickHole Clickventure [[http://www.clickhole.com/clickventure/join-cult-2319#1 "Join this Cult!"]] begins with an invitation to join the Sentinels Of Paradise, who worship a fellow known as Mischief Man, who created the world and your guts but not your bones. It is very SurrealHumor.
* Some articles from the Venezuelan NewsParody ''[[Blog/ElChiguireBipolar El Chigüire Bipolar]]'' portray chavism as a religion so as to mock president Hugo Chávez' personality cult.
** [[http://www.elchiguirebipolar.net/28-03-2013/chavistas-ortodoxos-del-ano-4013-critican-a-quienes-comen-azucar-leche-y-mantequilla/ Orthodox chavists from 4013 criticize those who eat sugar, milk and butter.]]
** [[http://www.elchiguirebipolar.net/31-10-2013/milagro-cola-para-comprar-leche-delinea-cara-de-chavez-foto-aerea/ Miracle: Queue to buy milk forms Chávez' face.]]
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic features the Church of the Heavenly Proton Pack, a religion of diehard ''Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}}'' fans. It is later revealed there are other sects including an orthodox one (which doesn't believe in the canonicity of ''Ghostbusters II'') and Ghostbusters of Latter Day Saints (which is for fans of WesternAnimation/FilmationsGhostbusters series).


[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' has the recurring Robotology, Robot Judaism and The First Amalgamated Church, as well as occasionally mentioned Oprahism, Church of Trek, et cetera.
* WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons are members of The Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism, which split from the Catholics in 1573 over the right to go to church with wet hair, which the Presbylutherans have since abolished.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', Dawkins mentions the Flying Spaghetti Monster while talking to Mrs. Garrison during a lunch in the episode ''Go God Go''.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This trope was in full effect over 300 years ago: Tsar Peter the Great and his friends formed [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_All-Joking,_All-Drunken_Synod_of_Fools_and_Jesters The All-Joking, All-Drunken Synod of Fools and Jesters]] that not only practiced heavy drinking and orgies, but wore church attire and used religious titles when doing so. The pious Russians were not amused - some even proclaimed the Tsar to be Antichrist.
* UsefulNotes/FlyingSpaghettiMonster.
* Invisible Pink Unicorn as well.
* Various Cthulhu cults.
* The Church of Google.
* [[Literature/PrincipiaDiscordia Discordianism]] has been described as a "religion masquerading as a joke" or a "joke masquerading as a religion." Both are [[MindScrew correct]].
--> Discordianism is exactly as real as any other religion.
* Church of the [=SubGenius=].
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedi_census_phenomenon The Jedi Census Phenomenon.]]
* Last Thursdayism claims that the universe was actually created [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin last Thursday]], and any memories or evidence of events before that were created at the same time. This is a parody of the explanations given by young-earth creationists as to why the earth was created with an appearance of age, how we can see stars that are more than 6,000 light-years away, and the like.
** The schism known as Next Thursdayism claims that the universe ''hasn't been created yet'', and what we think is happening now is just false memories we'll have [[MindScrew once it exists]]. Of course, some might argue that both sides are heretics: the universe was created Last ''Tuesday''.
* [[http://www.tarvu.com/ Tarvuism]], created by the guys behind ''Series/LookAroundYou'' and just as absurd.
%%* Etceterism
* The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, or [[Film/TheBigLebowski Dudeism]]. However, the founders actually take it quite seriously.
* Most recently, there is The Cult of Kek. An occultist sect composed mainly of Internet Trolls, 4Chan users, and Occultists who supported Donald Trump in the 2016 U.S. election; dedicated to worship of an Ancient Egyptian chaos god https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kek_(mythology) ForTheLulz, and was formed partially due to the aforementioned 4Chan users noticing similarities between Pepe and Kek, and partially out of protest of Hillary Clinton and CNN [[CowboyBebopAtHisComputer proclaiming that Pepe was a symbol of White Nationalism and Neo-Nazism]]. They practice "Meme Magick", observe repeating digits, and see Pepe The Frog as Kek's prophet. [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/cult-of-kek For more]] [[http://thecultofkek.com/ information,]] check those links.
* And [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody_religion many, many, many more.]]