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->''"They fight! And bite!\\
They fight and bite and fight!\\
Fight, fight, fight!\\
Bite, bite, bite!\\
The Itchy and Scratchy Show!"''
-->-- '''OpeningNarration''' for ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a76cFdO1btk The Itchy and Scratchy Show]]'', ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' [[note]]''The Itchy and Scratchy Show'' is actually a segment on ''The Krusty the Klown Show''. ''The Simpsons'' was once a segment on ''The Tracy Ullman Show''. So, technically, that makes it a [[UpToEleven Show Within A Show, within a former Show Within A Show]]. Or [[Film/{{Inception}} Showception]], for short.[[/note]]

A fictional show that takes place within an actual show; or, occasionally, a fictional installment or incarnation of an actual show.

Shows-within-a-show are [[StylisticSuck usually of low quality]]. This is intentional: the low quality of the show is part of the joke or the misery of the characters involved. As a general rule, the more central the Show Within A Show is to the actual show, the better -- or at least higher-gloss -- it will be.

Many comedies have short one-off gags where they parody existing shows. Most of the following examples are recurring and they come in up to four varieties (which can be overlapping):

# The characters are involved in the production of the show.
# The characters are fans of the show, or only see it occasionally.
# The show-within-a-show is a plot point.
# The internal show, in either variety, [[PlotParallel is eerily similar to the real show.]]

Sometimes these shows can be shown as SeparateSceneStorytelling.

For the pre-television history of this trope, [[ZerothLawOfTropeExamples once again]] we must go back to Creator/WilliamShakespeare, who featured plays within plays both in comedy -- ''The Most Lamentable Comedy, and Most Cruel Death of Pyramus and Thisbe'' within ''AMidsummerNightsDream'', and ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' actually ''is'' one by means of a FramingDevice -- and in tragedy (''The Murder of Gonzago'' within ''{{Hamlet}}'').

Compare with SchoolPlay, SoapWithinAShow, WhoWouldWantToWatchUs, FictionalDocument, FramingDevice, RecursiveFiction, RecursiveReality (of the "nested stories" variety), MutuallyFictional, PushedInFrontOfTheAudience, PostModernism, PlotParallel.


* ShowWithinAShow/AnimeAndManga
* ShowWithinAShow/ComicBooks
* ShowWithinAShow/FanWorks
* ShowWithinAShow/AnimatedFilms
* ShowWithinAShow/LiveActionFilms
* ShowWithinAShow/{{Literature}}
* ShowWithinAShow/LiveActionTV
* ShowWithinAShow/{{Radio}}
* ShowWithinAShow/{{Theater}}
* ShowWithinAShow/VideoGames
* ShowWithinAShow/WebAnimation
* ShowWithinAShow/WebComics
* ShowWithinAShow/WebOriginal
* ShowWithinAShow/WesternAnimation



[[folder:Model Trains]]
* The smallest-scale model train is in the window of a toy store--[[http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1222496/Pictured-The-worlds-smallest-working-train-model-thats-tinier-fingernail.html which is in a model village that's part of a model train.]]

* The song [[http://www.thefump.com/fump.php?id=1744 "Movie in a Movie"]] by Tony Goldmark is about a ridiculously big set of nested movies.

* ''Pinball/FamilyGuy'' has a miniature working pinball machine on the playfield, which is played by Stewie at key points during the game.
** ''Pinball/{{Shrek}}'', a reskinned version of ''Family Guy,'' has "Donkey's Pinball" instead.
* The VideoMode for ''Pinball/TheaterOfMagic'' is a [[DigitalPinballTables video pinball game.]]
* ''[[Pinball/LightsCameraAction Lights... Camera... Action!]]'' casts the player as a film Director who must finish a blockbuster action film.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* The comic book from which Thunderbolt and Lightning [[RefugeeFromTvLand originated from]] in Wrestling/{{GLOW}}.
* SHINE Wrestling has "Lucha Family Films(This does not exist)".
* All the [[TalkShowWithFists Talk Shows With Fists]].


[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* ''Dog City'' (the cartoon) in ''WesternAnimation/DogCity''.
* ''The Muppet Show'' on ''Series/TheMuppetShow''.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'' (the early '90's animatronic puppet show), Earl watches a sock-puppet show where a woman refers to some skanky-looking characters as "cheap hose/ho's." (See {{Parental Bonus}}.) He says something close to, "I love this show. It's got one meaning that's funny for grown-ups, and one that's funny for kids!"

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* "If you ever find out what you're watching is a show within a show, sit back and hang on for the ride of your life." -- [[Series/SaturdayNightLive Jack Handey]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGames/{{GURPS}}
* ''GURPS Magical Items 3'' includes a brief description of a setting where TheFairFolk battle with {{Magitek}} HumongousMecha in the chapter describing such mecha. The vignette for an earlier chapter on magic toys suggests that this setting is a popular kids' TV show in the world of ''TabletopGame/GURPSTechnomancer'', with its own line of living action figures.
** The opening vignette of ''[[TabletopGame/GURPSTechnomancer Technomancer]]'' has a police mage channel-surfing while on stakeout. What she finds are mostly news and commercials, but there's a trailer for a show where [[Series/TheXFiles FBI agents Cat Morrigan and Dara Skuld]] investigate rumours of TheFairFolk.