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:

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.


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     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.

     Comic Books  

  • Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew! encounter a Funny Animal version of Indy called Oklahoma Bones.
  • The K-9 and Company Annual 1983 revealed that Sarah-Jane Smith had an Adventure Archeologist uncle named Africana, whose inadvertent theft of a scared icon led to cultists pursuing Sarah and her friends.
    Aunt Lavinia: Africana Smith lived for adventure. All his life he was involved in exploring lost tombs and cities, locating legendary tribes, unearthing priceless archaeological treasures.


     Live Action TV  

  • From Svengoolie: A very short scene from "Indiana Bones and the Last Beer Frame" starring Tombstone; he runs away from a giant bowling ball.
  • From Sesame Street "The Golden Triangle of Destiny"; after 'Minnesota Mel' shows up and tells Telly and Chris about said triangle, Mel gets a 'charley horse', so Telly gets his own costume, calls himself 'Texas Telly' and takes his place. The episode also featured 'Wyoming Walt' and 'Virginia Virginia'. An earlier episode featured Bob's brother Minneapolis Johnson, played by Jeff Bridges.
  • One Imagine Spot by JD in Scrubs shows Turk climbing into a patient's intestines and removing a tumor in a parody of the idol-swap scene.
    JD: Watch out for colon darts.
    • There's another episode where Carla has a lot on her mind and JD encourages her to confide her problems in him. He gets more than he bargained for when she begins unloading all of her problems on him at once, in rapid succession. This leads to an imagine spot where she opens up her head, which reveals a blinding light that melts JD's face.
  • Discovery Channel mini series Unchained Reaction had one of the machines start off with an imitation of the idol swap scene.
  • Several episodes of Hannah Montana briefly feature Miley Stewart acting in an action movie series as the lead character, "Indiana Joanie".
  • An episode of Magnum, P.I. features a guest star who is an author working on a very Raiders-like adventure novel, using Magnum and friends as her inspiration. Doubles as Actor Allusion, since Tom Selleck was considered for the role of Indiana Jones but had to turn it down because he was already under contract for Magnum.
  • When MythBusters looked at some of the scenes from Raiders, the opening sequence was one of these (with Adam in his personal Indiana Jones costume), complete with huge boulder rolling through M5 and an Indy Hat Roll through the garage door.


  • 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.

     New Media  

  • OpenBSD 3.8 was released with a fake radio show based on Indiana Jones called Hackers Of The Lost RAID featuring Puffiana Jones.

     Video Games  

  • 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.

     Web Comics  

     Western Animation  

  • 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: The episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" 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 "Pasadena Jones" and Montana Max as his rival (a combination of Belloq and Toht).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • "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" takes place in an ancient temple, complete with booby traps.
  • 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.
    • The idol-swap scene was also parodied in "We Call It Maze", as one of the puzzles in the titular maze.
  • 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.