In Soviet Russia, topic describes YOU!!
A type of joke, commonly called a Russian Reversal (but technically called the transpositional pun), popularized by Ukrainian comedian Yakov Smirnoff. It is based on taking a statement about capitalist United States and inverting it to describe the then communist Russia as an Orwellian hellhole. Smirnoff later added the prefix "Soviet" to indicate the jokes were meant to target the past regime, as opposed to The New Russia. For instance:
'MALP shows all clear' reported the control room over the loud speaker system.
'In Soviet Russia MALP watches you' Andianov declared as they headed up the ramp.
Teal'c couldn't understand why O'Neill, Major Carter and Daniel Jackson were in hysterics as they stepped through the gate.
Another Stargate fanfiction spends several pages detailing the operation of a Soviet-run SGC, all to set up the punchline when a KGB major mocks a captured goa'uld: "In Soviet Russia, Gods bow to you!".
This is a glorious example from the 2004 Punisher movie. There's a scene in which a massive hitman known only as the Russian shows up at the Punisher's apartment and proceeds to kick his ass. Like the comic series from which it was adapted (Welcome Back, Frank), the Russian (played by pro wrestler Kevin Nash) is wearing a very distinctive horizontally striped red and white shirt. This prompted fans into proclaiming "In Soviet Russia, Waldo finds you!"
A popular phrase from the Havemercy fandom: "In Soviet Volstov, Dragon ride you!" This is because Volstov is generally accepted as a fantasy parallel to Russia.
From Ye Gods! by Tom Holt:
When Jason opened his eyes, all he could see was a perfectly ordinary Underground carriage, and Virgil sitting on one of the seats, meditatively stirring a large pile of ash and charred bones. Jason winced. "Let me guess," he said, "this is a No Smoking carriage." "On the contrary," Virgil replied. "Only here, the train smokes the people."
MAD in an 1962 issue: "Russian politics can best be understood by comparing them with American politics. For instance, in America, politicians have to kiss babies, and if they don't, the mothers can take their offices away from them. In Russia, the system is somewhat different. To get food, mothers have to kiss politicians and if they don't, the politicians can take their babies away from them."
Subverted in the philosophy book Plato and a Platypus Walk Into a Bar, when describing the difference between capitalism and communism.
Under capitalism, man exploits his fellow man. Under communism, the opposite is true.
This is a pretty common joke in the old Eastern Bloc. I've most often heard it cited as an East German "Fritzchen" joke, although it's been told as a Russian/Soviet "Vovochka" joke, as well.
Mike Myers parodies this on a behind-the-scenes feature on the DVD for The Cat In The Hat, combining it with a running joke. "Under capitalism, man exploits his fellow man. Under communism, it's the complete opposite. *pause* Because of the sand which is there."
In Mid-Flinx, Teal warns Aimee about the flower in her hair: "You do not wear the cristif, the cristif wears you." Unfortunately for Aimee, Teal's not making a Yakov Smirnoff reference: The "flower" is an invasive parasite, which sends its tendrils fatally bursting from Aimee's flesh seconds later.
In nonfiction text The Steampunk Bible, a troper is quoted about whether the Steampunk movement has jumped the shark:
This is kind of the point of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In other horror works the girl, or child, will look under the bed for monsters. Here...here the monster checks under the bed for Buffy.
This even gets lampshaded in Season 4 by a soldier in The Initiative who thinks "The Slayer" is just a boogieman story that monsters tell baby monsters to help keep them in line.
Also lampshaded in Grimm. As the Blutbad (werewolf) Monroe explains to Nick, the Grimm, while human children are told stories of all the different monsters who make up the Wesen world who will come to get them if they are bad, Wesen children are told the same kind of stories about the Grimms.
The Tom Baker era Doctor Who arc "The Seeds of Doom" featured a plant-monster called a Krynoid. At one point the Doctor observes, "Well, on most planets, the animals eat the vegetation. On planets where the Krynoid gets established, the vegetation eats the animals."
Since it was the Cold War, no Soviet reference is made, but the original intro of I Dream of Jeannie ends with "...and there in this house, the girl in the bottle plays spin the astronaut."
In the Stargate SG-1 episode "The Gamekeeper," SG-1's Planet of the Week has a deserted but apparently well-tended garden, and an overgrown greenhouse in the center of it.
Daniel: I love what they've done with the place. Jack:(seeing several people plugged into chairs in suspended animation) I love what the place has done with them.
In The Big Bang Theory, when Leonard and Sheldon argue in the episode "The Staircase Implementation":
Leonard: Screw the roommate agreement! Sheldon: No, you don't screw the roommate agreement. The roommate agreement screws you!
Music Listens to YOU!!
Of Montreal has a song titled The Party's Crashing Us (Do they mean the party?)
A line in the Muse song "Knights of Cydonia" goes, "Don't waste your time or time will waste you".
In Rifts, the standard cyborg presented in the main book is pretty underwhelming. However, in the Russia splatbook, there are numerous cyborg variants that can be some of the more powerful options. Thus in America, you defeat cyborgs; in Soviet Russia, cyborg defeats you!
One collection of epic monsters for Dungeons & Dragons introduces the junkyard golem with the line, "On the world of the Sklavadok, the trash takes you out!"
Theatre Acts in YOU!!
In the musical Leave It to Me! (1938), set largely in Soviet Russia, journalist Buck Thomas is handed a telegram by a messenger. He reaches in his pocket for a tip, but the messenger tells him:
Graustein: No tipping. In Soviet Russia, messenger tips you. Thomas: Propaganda. Graustein: Correct.
Times have changed And we've often rewound the clock Since the Puritans got a shock When they landed on Plymouth Rock. If today any shock they should try to stem 'Stead of landing on Plymouth Rock Plymouth Rock would land on them.
In "Monica" from I Love My Wife, the effects the eponymous girl has on people include "Men go ape/Apes go man."
Video Games Play YOU!!
In Final Fantasy XI there was the Republic of Bastok, the only one of the three starting nations that was not a Monarchy, jokes soon followed.
In Soviet Bastok, party looks for you!
BioShock has this trope between two ghosts the player encounters:
Ghost 1: Fuck Fontaine!
Ghost 2: You don't fuck Fontaine. Fontaine fucks you!
A wordless strip of Nerf NOW!! shows a bunch of people in what's evidently Soviet Russia, standing side by side at a bus stop. When enough people arrive to completely fill the panel, their lower bodies bloodily vanish. According to the text below the post, "... Tetris plays you."
Twice in SF Debris's review of the ST:TNG episode "The Naked Now", referring to the Soviet-built ship Tsiolkovsky
(as Picard) You know, number one, in your country, you send ships into space, but in Soviet Russia, ship sends YOU into space!
Well, looks like they're screwed; unable to muck with the tractor beam that can only pull things...it looks like that ship seeking boulder is going to take out the Enterprise and Tsiolkovsky, which won't make them happy back in Soviet Russia. Wait, that's it! In Soviet Russia, tractor beam will PUSH!
Weebl's "Russian Dancing Men" has an image of a Whac-a-Mole machine with the caption, "Do not whack Russian, Russian whaks [sic] you."
"That's Lobstertainment!": Zoidberg's brief career as a stand-up comedian consisted solely of this type of joke.
Zoidberg: Earth! What a planet! On Earth, you enjoy eating a tasty clam. On my planet, clams enjoy eating a tasty you! (glass clinking)
Used and lampshaded in "Crimes Of The Hot":
Fry: That ice dispenser is so big, the ice crushes you! *laughs to self* Yakov Smirnoff said that.
Leela: No he didn't.
There was The Simpsons episode with a revue of stars of The Eighties. There is the line "So sit back, relax, and watch our revue," and Yakov slides in and says, "In Soviet Union, revue watches you!" This probably had a hand in revitalizing the meme for the Internet crowd.
After Grandpa causes his mischief on stage, Smirnoff comments "In Russia, stage is for performers only." Then Charlie Callas, who is not dead, starts making funny sounds.
The King of the Hill episode guest starring Smirnoff has him buying one of these jokes from Bobby, despite the comedian's protestations that he has abandoned this type of material in favor of relationship humor.
But give Bobby credit, at least he plays with the trope. "In America, you put 'In God We Trust' on the money. In Russia, we have no money!"
And Yakov pays Bobby for the joke and says "keep them coming."
Not Russian, but a while back there was an anti-smoking ad campaign proclaiming "Tobacco smokes you!"
During the 1978 World Chess Championship match between the World Champion Anatoly Karpov of the Soviet Union and ex-Soviet Viktor Korchnoi of Switzerland, there were seemingly endless negotiations about playing conditions thanks to Korchnoi's defector status and the mutual hostility between the contestants. At one point during the negotiations, a Soviet chess official declared (I paraphrase, but this is mostly verbatim): "Since we, the Soviet Union, are the strongest country in the world, we do not accept conditions - we impose them!"