Charlie and the Chocolate Parody
Come with me...
and you'll be...
in a world of
pure imitation... note
As noted on the Whole Plot Reference
trope page, since at least the late 1990s
it's been almost inevitable that an animated show will eventually have a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
parody episode. Such parodies usually explicitly mimic the 1971 adaptation Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
, owing to its memorable and easily repurposed musical numbers and the idiosyncracies of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka
. Beyond out-and-out retellings of the storyline, quick references to it often pop up in all kinds of shows.
Also happens in Fan Fic
; some varieties of Transplanted Character Fic
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- The Play By Mail Games comic strip ads in Dragon once ran a story entitled "Gamer Kids And The PBM Factory" ("It's our cheesiest comic yet!"). A chessmaster, a videogamer, a D&D player and an MMO player (each representing a different aspect of gaming: strategy, action, rules, and social interaction, respectively) are taken on a tour of PBM by a talking envelope in a purple top hat. Abandoned after two strips, supposedly because the claim that they sorted their letters via waterfall was untrue.
Anime and Manga
- Episode 185 of Gintama has Hijikata trying to get a golden ticket for a tour of a mayonnaise factory. He resorts to creating a new rule that every member of the Shinsengumi is required to use five bottles of mayonnaise in order to find one and does manage to do so, only to be horribly disappointed when the factory is completely ordinary, rather then mayonnaise-filled wonderland the TV commercial made it out to be.
- Of all places, happens in chapter 82 of the Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei manga, where the guys receiving golden tickets are all virgins (the chapter is referencing the Japanese custom of guys receiving chocolate on Valentines Day from girls who have a crush on them).
- Real Person Fic "John Lennon and the Hit Factory" (address lost—Fan Fics of The Beatles have an alarming tendency to go out of print) had John Lennon as the Willy Wonka expy, giving tours to his Hit Factory from special copies of Double Fantasy; the contestants (except for the Charlie expy) were meant to represent types of In Name Only Lennon fans.
- Many, many, many of them in ASBusinessMagnet fanfics. Some select quotes are:
[Context: Violet has built a chewing gum company rivaling Wonka's, and now is running a tour of it.]
Charlie: Your company is a ripoff of mine anyways, so I win by default.
SILENCE. I'm the champion of 2107 trophies here. Now let's go.
I call BS. Literally. BS. Beauregarde and Salt. First letters of the last names.
[Context: Andrew Hussie
is hosting several Homestuck
characters in his home, reading the final update of Homestuck
together with them before it's released in public.]
It's not really about trapping you in, though. It's about keeping the other Homestuck fans out.
Caliborn: SPEAKING OF HOMOSuCK. IS IT A TEST? TO SEE. WHO IS THE FIRST. TO BE DRIVEN TO THE OCEAN. BECAuSE THEY COuLDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE.
No. Why would I want to drive anyone out to the ocean? They wouldn't survive to recall the update.
GRANDPA JOE. DECIDED TO TRY AGAIN. SO HE PULLED. THE LAST COIN HE HAD EARNED. OUT OF HIS ASS.
[Being transgender is] ... actually one of the sins that would be making it in if I wrote Chocolate Factory now.
Violet (to Cornelia Prinzmetel): You know, I should get this Gloop kid's contacts and hook you up. You look like a perfect couple.
- Epic Movie was first to pastiche the 2005 movie specifically, and by using Fergie's "Fergalicious" in a Willy Wonka context ended up spoofing the music video for that song too. Such Narrow Parody is par for the course with Seltzer and Friedberg, of course.
- While not parodying its plot, My Name Is Earl parodied a scene of it.
- Chuck: Golden ticket hidden in a CD case.
- Saturday Night Live did a sketch with Al Gore as Willy's accountant brother, Glen.
Glen: What I'm saying, William, is that, thanks to your wizwarbulous ideas, this factory is hemorrhaging money!! You have a chocolate river running through here! And I'm pretty sure earlier today a fat kid drowned in it. You tell me how that's helping our bottom line!
Wonka: Glen, please, take it easy!
Glen: Wait! I almost forgot! There's that billion dollars you spent on that machine that turns giant candy bars into tiny chocolate bars. Help me wrap my brain around that one 'cause I'm missing the big profit opportunity!
- The Victorious episode "Ice Cream for Ke$ha", based around a contest to win a private concert from the singer.
- Zeke and Luther had an episode where Zeke's little sister found a golden golf ball. The donut shop's owner then made her his heiress and started teaching her the trade. However, it all ended when he learned she intended to tear it down in favor of a more profitable venture. In the end, she found another golf ball. Not wanting to invoke the Here We Go Again trope, she gave the ball to a customer standing near her.
- One episode of Drake & Josh had one episode where the two titular characters bet that they can go longer without their particular pleasure than the other can. Drake's pleasure is junk food and after a certain point, Josh tries to tempt Drake into giving into his junk food addiction by turning their bedroom into a candy paradise complete with a chocolate milk swimming pool. Josh even wears a brown top hat similar to the one Gene Wilder wears in the 1971 version!
- The Office has Michael show up to work dressed up and acting as Willy Wonka to promote his Golden Ticket promotion, explaining that he hid five golden certificates in random paper boxes giving the holder 10% off their next order. The idea backfires when all five end up at the head office of Blue Cross Insurance, their largest client, and it turns out Michael forgot to write "limit 1 per customer" on the tickets. Oscar's quick calculation showing that Dunder-Mifflin stands to lose thousands of dollars, Michael swiftly sets up Dwight to take the fall. This backfires again when David Wallace shows up to congratulate Dwight over the idea after Blue Cross called Wallace to let him know they loved the idea so much that they are now transferring all their paper business to Dunder-Mifflin.
- In one of the last episodes of 30 Rock, "A Goon's Deed in a Weary World", Jack decides to give the applicants for his old job a tour of NBC as a Secret Test of Character:
: I do admire Wonka. He's a true capitalist. His factory has zero government regulations, slave labor, and an indoor boat. Wonderful. During the tour, the candidates will drop their guard and show their true selves without even knowing it. Kenneth
: And then you choose the one who’s purest of heart! Jack
: What? No, Kenneth, this is broadcast television. It's a nasty, ruthless business. Kenneth
: No, sir. It's a magical, ruth-filled
- When the candidates arrive, they're all adult lookalikes of the children from the 1971 version. If you look at their name tags, you can make out the names Charlie MacGuffin, Augustus Blorch, Veruca Saline, and Mike Webb (the Violet lookalike's name tag is never legible). The Charlie lookalike comes off as genuine, so Kenneth "disguises" himself as a CBS executive in order to give him the Slugworth test. Charlie passes and Kenneth happily endorses him. Then Charlie continues talking and reveals he's actually a ruthless businessman who only cares about money...
- Though more of an homage than a parody, Top Chef: Just Desserts had a challenge where the chefs had to recreate the "Pure Imagination" scene from the original movie, ending up with a room full of chocolate waterfalls, edible flowers and trees, etc. The winning entry was a garden of carrot-shaped carrot cakes (that had to be individually pulled out of the "ground"). And they had the (former-)child actors from the movie come to help with the judging.
- The video for Marilyn Manson's "Dope Hat". Manson is a big fan of the 1971 film, to the point that he wanted the Wonka role in the remake.
- The album the song is off of, Portrait of An American Family, also starts with the boat scene.
- Additionally, the next album, the EP Smells Like Children, has "Marilyn Manson" in the Willy Wonka font and a similar outfit.
- The music video for a hip-hop song called "I Don't Like the Look of It" references the movie (while the song itself samples the title lyric from the 1971
- The setup occurs in the video for Craig David's "What's Your Flava?", with four girls winning golden CDs.
- In Out of the Gene Pool, Jackie dreamed of visiting a chocolate factory owned by Zoogie. Imagine her disappointment that she didn't get the factory for being the last guest left — and Zoogie's incredulity that she asked.
- There was even a Dave Arneson's Blackmoor module that used this device!
- Confectionery King and Confectionery King 2. Both were really poorly written, and frankly, should have been yanked from circulation.
- The Futurama episode "Fry and the Slurm Factory" plays around with the idea and produces a little twist for the plot.
Professor: Who are those horrible orange creatures over there?
Glermo: Why those are the Grunka-Lunkas. They work here in the Slurm factory.
Professor: Tell them I hate them.
- Family Guy: In one half of "Wasted Talent", Peter drinks even more Pawtucket Patriot beer than usual attempting to find a hidden silver scroll and win a tour of the brewery (many others die of alcohol poisoning trying to win the contest). On the big day, Joe is kicked out by the Chumba Wumbas before the tour begins since the brewery does not have wheelchair ramps; later Peter and Brian get kicked out when they steal beer designed not to go flat and wind up having to fart (rather than burp) to escape doom...though Peter requests one more Chumba Wumba song before he goes. Notably, this spoof has direct parodies of songs from the 1971 film, rather than suspiciously similar-sounding pastiches. As the Chumba Wumbas see Joe off:
Chumba Wumba #1: What do you do when you're stuck in a chair?
Chumba Wumba #2: Finding it hard to go up and down stairs?
Chumba Wumba #3: What do you think of the one you call God?
Chumba Wumba Chorus: Isn't His absence slight-ly odd?
Chumba Wumba #4: Maybe He's forgotten you.
- Peter lampshades this in a later episode (where a return to the factory shows that it's a standard factory) by saying how things had changed since Pawtucket Pat sold the factory.
- An episode predating "Wasted Talent" had a briefer and more blatant reference. Peter has a flashback to his trip to a chocolate factory, where he's accused of stealing candy — and though he denies it, it's clear from his big, round, blue appearance that he stole the same gum that changed Violet into a giant blueberry. Incidentally, it's a direct steal of an identical cutaway gag in an episode of The Critic.
- Johnny Bravo combines this with a parody of Soylent Green, of all things. Johnny had won a visit to a jerky plant, where his knowledge impressed the owner to the point of being made his heir. Unfortunately, Johnny had brought along Pop, who spied on Jerky Jake to find out the secret ingredient. Finding out Jerky Jake's jerky was healthy food made Johnny more shocked than thinking it was made of people.
Fry: What if the secret ingredient is... people?
Leela: Oh, there's already a soda like that. Soylent Cola.
Fry: Oh, how is it?
- Dexter's Laboratory:
- The Drawn Together episode "Breakfast Food Killer": Five golden UPC codes from cereal boxes take the place of the Golden Tickets, and the chocolate factory is replaced by the cereal factory led by Franken Berry.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Atlantis Squarepantis" has the same basic structure, except there isn't an elimination of the tourists - each one chooses to stay behind in a room due to their fascination with it.
- Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil had one of these set in a dildo factory. With The Devil (voiced by H Jon Benjamin, no less) as Willy Wonka. And yes, the Devil sang songs about dildos while the lucky contest-winning girls toured his room where everything was made out of dildos. He even overreacted when a girl stole a motor for a vibrator.
- Phineas and Ferb parodied it a bit in "Toy to the World", where not even Phineas knows why the toy factory he was renovating had a chocolate fountain and "ba-dink-a-dinks" in it.
Ba-dink-a-dinks: We are the Ba-dink-a-dinks!
A ba-dink-a-dink: You set us free when you remodeled the factory. We'd been trapped in there for years, making foam peanuts and snipping the tabs off of plastic.
Ba-dink-a-dinks: We will now lay waste to the surface dwellers!
Phineas: Okay then, carry on.
- When Arthur and friends tried to get Buster Baxter to read an entire book for the first time ever, one of the books selected is "Sam and the Sandwich Factory", with Buster playing the role of Sam. Sam had broken his teeth when he found the Golden Sandwich by biting it, and therefore couldn't accept the owner's prize of sandwiches; he asks if there's a soup factory around.
Oompa-Loompa Parodies: When you break off all your teeth / It becomes so hard to eat.
- Children's animated series Frankenstein's Cat includes an episode entitled "Lucky Ticket" which plays directly upon this trope, right down to the costumes of Doctor Frankenstein and his cat Nine. In the episode Frankenstein decides to placate an angry mob by announcing that he will give whoever finds his five golden tickets a tour of his castle. Said castle is actually full of dangerous monsters, but (with the help of Nine and child protagonist Lottie) Frankenstein attempts to pass the castle off as an actual chocolate factory.
- In an episode of The Simpsons, the plot looks like it's going to go this way: Homer is looking for a Golden Ticket in packages of bacon to win a tour of the bacon factory. He begins his 'buying lots of bacon' bender and ends up getting a ticket in the third package. In a subversion, however, it's just a silver ticket, which entitles him to be a judge at a local fair, leading into the Pie Man superhero parody episode.
- Played straight in an early Simpsons comic, where golden straws are hidden in bottles of cherry soda allowing a tour of the Krusty product assembly line. Ironically, Homer throws away a bottle containing a straw, where it's discovered by Barney. Homer still gets into the factory by pretending to be Barney's mother. And then Sideshow Bob turns up...
- In "Sweets and Sour Marge", Marge visited a company to complain about the amounts of sugar in their products. Homer asked if there were any Oompa Loompas in there. She admitted she saw one. Later on, Homer agreed to do something for the factory's owner. Part of the agreement included getting to see an Oompa Loompa. Homer and the viewers actually saw one this time.
- There is also Goose Gladwell, an obvious Expy of Willy Wonka.
- In one of the less obvious spoofs of the 1971 film, "Trash of the Titans" has Homer lead the town in a musical number, "The Garbageman", that's a pastiche of "The Candy Man".
- Superjail! is an entire series full of Chocolate Factory parodies. The main character in particular is a combination of Willy Wonka and, um, Josef Mengele.
- The Little Lulu Show episode "Iggy And The Ice Cream Factory" also included a few references to this trope.
- What's New, Scooby-Doo? had an episode where the gang won a tour of the Scooby Snack factory. As the winner, Shaggy could have chosen between this and a trip to Aruba.
- Episode 2 of the Black Dynamite series is based around the production of "Willy Wanker and the Chocolate Fucktory", the first interracial porn movie. The bit we get to see is an amazing X-rated pastiche of the chocolate room, some major characters, "Pure Imagination", and the graphical style of the Oompa-Loompa songs.
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: "Taffy Trouble".