Raiders of the Lost Parody
Screenwriters tend to have a certain pool of references they call upon certain genres of movies to come up with an Affectionate Parody
: science-fiction (Mainly May the Farce Be with You
and Where No Parody Has Gone Before
for Star Wars
and Star Trek
, respectively, as well as Jurassic Park
), fantasy (The Lord of the Rings
, Harry Potter
, and Dungeons & Dragons
), and mystery and spy adventure (particularly James Bond
). As commonplace as the aforementioned subgenres of parodies is one that seemingly sprang up to immense popularity among screenwriters since movie titans Steven Spielberg
and George Lucas
teamed up and created a dream project for New Year's Day 1981. Like Lucas's previous mega-hit, Star Wars
, the Indiana Jones
franchise has been subjected towards numerous parodies and homages over the years, some of them downright nasty
, others that pay a rather touching tribute
to the tetralogy, specifically Raiders of the Lost Ark
, the most easily recognizable and famous film of the franchise, and where this trope gets its name. The common elements that a majority of these parodies contain include:
- Extremely deadly and often insanely-designed booby traps that seem impossible to overcome.
- A face-melting scene
- An idol-swap scene.
- An Indy Escape scene, which may or may not end with a Indy Hat Roll scene.
- A Hot-Blooded, Badass Adventure Archaeologist with a cynical and snarky take on the universe, an Omniglot who is deadly in hand-to-hand as well as firearm combat. Typically wears a fedora and carries a bullwhip around with him and daylights as a college professor. May be named after an American state.
- A MacGuffin that can range from something as mundane as a pencil to as important as a religious artifact with supernatural powers (i.e. The Ark of the Covenant), something that proves unwise to tamper with.
- A love interest or female companion that, most of the time, is shrill, irritable, and annoying.
- Human foes that include natives or Nazis.
- Extreme, over-the-top violence (in the darker parodies).
- A score similar to John Williams's iconic Raiders March.
- A plot, if said parody goes beyond the iconic scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, that tends to get pretty crazy and ridiculously over-the-top.
- A "map with constantly moving red line superimposed on stock footage of various modes of transportation and famous landmarks" sequence to indicate where the characters are going next.
A subtrope of Stock Parodies
. Can lead to the "Weird Al" Effect
due to the easily recognizable traits shared with both the film and the numerous parodies.
Anime and Manga
- Fullmetal Alchemist: In the 5th Laboratory episode of the 2003 anime series, there is a Giant Rolling Ball of Doom sequence a la Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Pokémon has a couple examples. Battling the Enemy Within has the aforementioned "boulder rolling down a hall" parody. Explorers of the Hero's Ruin in Best Wishes goes much further by including the "boulder rolling down a hall" bit and Cedric Juniper keeping a log of the ruin that is similar to the Grail Diary in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Cedric already had the appearance of Henry Jones Sr. in the games, the anime also gives him his characterization. There are also traps styled after those found in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and the behavior of the Sigilyph found in the ruin is akin to the science fiction elements of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- In Sonic The Hedgehog In Castle Robotnik Sonic and Tails are chased by a boulder and while Tails makes it across the pit at the end of the corridor (although he apparently forgot he could fly as Sonic had to hold the rope taut so he could get across) Sonic ends up dangling down the pit and meeting up with a snake that insists on calling him Dr. Jones.
- There was a parody in the National Lampoon magazine that had the hero being a gynecologist instead of an archeologist.
- OpenBSD 3.8 was released with a fake radio show based on Indiana Jones called Hackers Of The Lost RAID featuring Puffiana Jones.
- The protagonist of Paganitzu is actually called Alabama Smith.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, with Wild Wasteland enabled, you can find a skeleton with a brown fedora in a refrigerator just outside Goodsprings, in a Take That to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- The LEGO Indiana Jones series, natch.
- In World of Warcraft, about half of Uldum (an ancient Egypt-style zone) consists of helping "Harrison Jones" find a magic relic in an ancient temple and fight nazi goblins.
- Earnest Evans is pretty much this, all the way to the "rolling boulder scene" in the closing credits that squashes Earnest in the end. The titular hero is a whip-wielding archaeologist, chasing after a macguffin that would summon the dark god Hastur and end the world. The first level is very much like the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark, rolling boulder and all (though a bug allows you to get behind the boulder) and subsequent levels have Earnest travel the world shown with a red line along a map. About the only element absent is the Nazis, replaced by both the cult of Hastur, and the Mafia.
- Several of the early Crash Bandicoot games, particularly the rolling boulders and natives of the original.
- Family Guy usually throws in an Indiana Jones parody (or two), but season four’s "The Courtship of Stewie’s Father" takes the cake by dedicating the entire final act towards the final minutes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
- The Garfield Special Garfield's Feline Fantasties had a scene almost exactly like the famous tile puzzle scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- The Simpsons: An early episode dedicated the first few minutes of its opening act to the famous introduction of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Bart steals Homer's change jar from his dresser, Homer wakes up and gives chase, but trips and rolls down that stairs after him.
- Tiny Toon Adventures had a Raiders parody with Buster as Indy and Montana Max as Toht.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The episode "Read It And Weep" dedicates part of the episode to recounting a book Rainbow Dash is reading, "Daring Do and the Sapphire Statue". Said book is essentially Raiders of the Lost Ark, but with ponies.
- "Indiana Pac and the Temple of Slime" of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures parodies many tropes commonly found in Indiana Jones.
- From VeggieTales: the episode "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush"; Larry the Cucumber in a story about bullying.
- One episode of Regular Show ends with Mordecai forced to choose the correct hat out of a collection of other hats in an obvious homage to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, down to an aged knight watching over the proceedings and the fact that he'll be skeletonized if he chooses poorly.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: The episode "The Firebending Masters"
- An early episode of Animaniacs wound up with Yakko directing Mr. Director through a few movie parodies. In one, Mr. Director was "Illinois Smith" and utterly failed with the whip - first he ends up tying himself up with the thing, then when he gets free he cracks it and it gets caught on the set rafters, bringing them down on him.
- "I think it's a not-working whip."
- Several episodes of Codename: Kids Next Door starring Numbuh 5 and Heinrich Von Marzipan referenced the Indiana Jones films.
- Phineas and Ferb gave us "Phineas and Ferb and the Temple of Juatchadoon" starring Ohio Flynn and Rhode Island Fletcher.
- Muppet Babies had a recurring Imagine Spot with Baby Kermit as Indiana Frog, most notably the episode "Raiders of the Lost Muppet". Kermit is also in his Indiana Frog guise when he sings "I like adventure" in the opening credits.
- The final third of the South Park episode "Free Hat" closely follows the final sequences of Raiders of the Lost Ark, from Tweek threatening to blow the digitally altered version of Raiders of the Lost Ark back to God to the new version being so terrible it melts the faces of everyone who watches it. The original reels are hidden in a warehouse to keep anyone else from messing with theme.