A Stock Parody
of the movie Jaws
, typically involving a shark
or any other creature that threatens a small-town community, killing off a large number of Red Shirt
characters that appear. Expect an appearance by some or all of the following: exploding air tanks
, ominous fins, a local politician or businessman insisting that nothing is wrong
, someone who requires a bigger boat
, and of course, low bass strings playing minor 2nds
in the background when the creature appears. As many moments from the movie are iconic and easily recognizable, a Jaws
reference can vary in length from a brief Stock Shout-Out
to a Whole Plot Reference
Not to be confused with Jaws First Person Perspective
, which is specifically a video game trope.
Compare: Moby Schtick
, Attack of the Killer Whatever
, Super-Persistent Predator
Anime and Manga
- In Naruto, Kisame (who is associated with sharks and uses them in battle) is beaten using an attack that is based on a pressurized air explosion, much like the shark in the first Jaws. At the time, Kisame was inside a giant Water Shark Jutsu.
- It wasn't a parody, but the UK Anthology Comic Action (no relation to Action Comics whatsoever) had a regular strip called "Hook-Jaw!" about a marauding monster-great white shark that for some reason only attacked bad guys. It was notoriously gory and was the subject of censors, who daubed it "The Sevenpenny Nightmare" (the cost of "Action" was 7pence per issue at the time) after its gory tone, and may even have led to the eventual demise of the comic as a whole.
- Suske en Wiske: In the story "Het Kregelige Ketje" Manneken Pis falls in the sea and is attacked by a shark mimicking the "Jaws" poster. The animal even adds another wink by saying: "Maybe this will make me eligible for "the film"."
- De Kiekeboes: In the story "Haaiman" a shark attacks a couple on a private boat. One of them even says: "It resembles a movie."
- There's a Jaws parody at the beginning of the film 1941 which even has the same actress as the beginning of Jaws going skinnydipping, where she's "attacked" by a Japanese submarine.
- Several 1980s and late 1970s movies trying to emulate the box-office success of Jaws:
- The film Orca: The Killer Whale is essentially Jaws with a killer whale instead of a shark. However, the only reason the killer whale killed people was for revenge after his mate and unborn child were killed.
- The 1978 B-movie Barracuda is basically a clone of Jaws involving a beachfront resort town being terrorized. Unlike the aforementioned Jaws or Orca however, this movie involves not one but several killer fish.
- The low-budget horror movie Blood Beach was about a killer creature that lurked beneath the sands of the beach and sucked beach goers into the sand.
- One of the first shark-themed movies to appear after Jaws was the aptly-titled The Jaws of Death.
- The opening of Airplane shows the plane's tail slowly and menacingly moving between the clouds, set to the Jaws theme tune.
- Sharknado, unsurprisingly, contains multiple shout-outs to Jaws:
- First, there's a moment when the characters feed a shark a scuba tank and then shoot the tank.
- Nova's backstory includes the line "Six people went in the water that day, and one little girl came out", a reference to Quint's monologue about his near-shark experience in WWII.
- And finally, "We're gonna need a bigger chopper!"
- The parody horror movie Saturday The 14th manages to pull off a Jaws spoof coupled with a spoof of another famous horror movie by having a fin show up in a battub of a bathing girl, complete with a similar riff, only for the monster to rise and reveal an Expy of Creature from the Black Lagoon.
- Also done in the Dutch comedy "Filmpje" (1995) with Paul De Leeuw, when his character swims towards other beach guests, who immediately run in freight. The music during this scene is directly taken from "Jaws".
- A long sketch on The Carol Burnett Show was a Jaws parody involving a shark that attacked from your toilet.
- The New Avengers episode "Gnaws". Giant rats in London's Absurdly Spacious Sewers.
- The "Land Shark" sketches from the early run of Saturday Night Live, where the shark knocks on someone's front door (with the theme music playing in the background), usually passing himself off as a Candy-gram, then attacking them when they open the door.
- This◊ Garfield Sunday strip banner featured a Jaws parody.
- One FoxTrot strip has Paige idly humming the Jaws theme while standing by her locker. When she looks up, the nerdy boy with a crush on her has suddenly appeared right in front of her. She, of course, lets out a bloodcurdling scream.
- Pops up in director Joe Nicolosi's Hell No: The Sensible Horror Film. The video, a fake trailer for a horror movie in which the characters make smart decisions, includes a clip in which the mayor of a small beach town is told there's a man-eating beast in the water. Cut to a "BEACH CLOSED" sign being hammered into the sand (and someone in the background yelling "You're gonna need a bigger sign!")
- Mr. Bogus:
- The first act of the episode "A Day At The Office" had Bogus getting chased by a shark that Mr. Anybody had added to the picture of the beachside setting.
- This was subverted in the first act of the episode "Beach Blanket Bogus", as while a shark does start chasing after Brattus while he's surfing, the shark just winds up running into a rock and gets taken out of action before Brattus could even notice that he was being followed.
- This was the Plot Point of the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Clams", in which Mr. Krabs swears revenge on a clam that stole his millionth dollar, when he took Spongebob and Squidward on a fishing trip in celebration of earning said dollar. Of course, Mr. Krabs summoned the clam in the first place by playing ominous music.
- There's also "SpongeBob, Sandy and the Worm", in which Bikini Bottom is terrorized by an Alaskan bullworm, and Sandy goes after it because it ate her tail. It even includes a parody of Shaw's introduction from Jaws.
- In the Garfield Special "Garfield's Feline Fantasies", Garfield tries to get at Jon's goldfish, only for the Jaws theme to start playing and for a shark to emerge from the fishbowl and scare Garfield.
- The Action League Now episode, "Incident at Chlorine Lake" involves a trophy bass attacking people at a swimming pool. Bill the Lab Guy plans to study the Trophy Bass, and The Mayor unsuccessfully tries to convince everyone that the water is safe.
- While adrift in a lifeboat, the starving Miguel and Tulio from DreamWorks' The Road to El Dorado brighten when an exhausted seagull lands on the far end of an oar. However, before the two men can capture the bird, a shark breaks the surface, and devours the bird and half the oar in one bite. The shark is seen exactly as it appears on the Jaws movie poster. Technically, this is an in-house Shout-Out, since Steven Spielberg directed Jaws and is one founder of DreamWorks SKG.
- Two cartoon series appeared shortly after Jaws: DePatie-Freleng's Misterjaw and Hanna-Barbera's Jabberjaw.
- The Bob's Burgers episode "The Deepening". A movie with a similar plot was filmed in town years ago, and Mr. Fischoder buys the mechanical shart from the movie as a parkside attraction. The Belcher kids play with it and it turns on and falls on its side, sending it wriggling across the block. The residents treat is as if it were a real shark attacking, and it's up to Bob to stop it.
- The Simpsons: In the episode "Itchy and Scratchy Land" a flashback shows the Simpsons at a beach where Homer scares everybody away with a fake dorsal fin on his back. When Bart does the same he believes him to be "Sharkboy" and runs away too. The music during this scene is a parody of "Jaws".
- "Lisa's First Word": Homer and Marge consider buying a houseboat from the Sea Captain; his pitch is cut short by a shark, which he proceeds to fight. The shark looks identical to the one on the "Jaws" poster.