Spoofed the Ironic Film Seriously

"They shouldn't satirise the show, though. It was already tongue-in-cheek. This is a sendup of a sendup, so it's cancelling itself out."
Nick Setchfield, SFX magazine, on The Avengers (1998) as a remake of the TV show.

Parodies often delight in pointing out works' contradictions and silly nature. But sometimes, parodies mistakenly spoof a work that's intentionally contradictory or silly. The spoof writer misses the point of the original, mocking it for entirely intended qualities.

Similarly, parodies often play with original works by throwing in silliness of their own. But the writer may underestimate the original's capacity for incongruous situations, characterization or dialogue, falsely thinking such elements will necessarily parody the source. The result is a silly work but one that duplicates the original rather than mocking it.

Compare Spoofing Spoofiness, when a spoof knowingly mocks a work's ironic qualities. See also Redundant Parody, which occurs when a parody unwittingly reproduces an exact joke from the original.

Contrast Shallow Parody, which is when a work spoofs another work for qualities that they didn't really have to begin with.


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    Fan Works 
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged played the Ginyu Force as a parody of sentai anime series. The Ginyu in Dragon Ball Z already WAS a parody of said animes, so that didn't actually add anything new with that. They did soon branch out though, with Recoome becoming Wrestling personified, Jeice taking his being a Space Australian to extremes, Burter was extremely self-conscious about his speed and wanting to be special, and Guldo ended up becoming their resident Butt-Monkey.


    Live Action TV 
  • One of the very last Bob Hope specials on NBC tried to lampoon the 1989 Batman movie, and had Hope done up as Jack Nicholson's Joker. The dialogue had a light, derisive tone that evidently conflicted with the writers' view of serious superheroes and supervillains. Actually, the Joker takes this exact tone (he is named "the Joker" after all) and even volleyed the same sort of insults in the real movie as those the special featured.
  • Cirque du Soleil parodies often ignore the fact that the shows are often extremely funny and not simply two hours of posing and pretentiousness.
  • A particular problem with British comedy shows in The '80s was impressionists "doing" people like "Dame Edna Everage", "Frank Spencer" and "Inspector Clouseau", completely ignoring the fact that these were already comedy caricatures created by Barry Humphries, Michael Crawford and Peter Sellers respectively, leaving absolutely nothing left to parody.
    • The Office both parodies and invokes this trope; David Brent, the manager, fancies himself a genius comedian, but the very fact that his 'act' is basically limited to riffing on these kind of characters is a pretty big clue that ultimately he's got nothing.
  • Parodies of the Energizer Bunny, which tend to forget that one of the Bunny's original gimmicks was interrupting absurd parody commercials. That they all make the same joke (stretching the "it keeps going and going" line until it becomes annoying) doesn't help.
  • MADtv did a parody music of Jewel's Intuition video and 0304 pop album, labeling her a pop sellout... except that video and album were satire of the then current teen pop trend. The Intuition original video featured such mockery as texts reading "Jewel's voice sounds much better now that she's dancing" and a pyrotechnics performance that ended with the fire department's arrival.
  • Andrea Martin of SCTV once remarked that the only show they couldn't spoof was Laverne & Shirley, because they couldn't come up with any situation that was more ridiculous than what the show already did.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode guide, the writers admit that Catalina Caper was one of the hardest episodes to write, being an unfunny musical comedy, thus making it difficult to effectively mock.
  • Most parodies of Batman starring Adam West. Even a cursory look will show it wasn't meant to be taken seriously and was in fact itself parodying comics of the time.

  • There's a "response" to The Lonely Island's "Jizz In My Pants" called "Puke In My Mouth". Those behind it fail to see the original was a parody, self-deprecating and actually funny. The result is you get a bunch of attractive women who spend the entire song mocking other people.
    • Similarly with numerous parodies of The Lonely Island's track "I'm On a Boat", ignoring the fact that the original song was itself a parody of materialistic hip-hop themed around ostentatious displays of wealth and luxury.
  • Ray Stevens' song "Teenage Mutant Kung Fu Chickens" spoofed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was itself a parody of Frank Miller's Ronin among others. There was also a whole genre of Ninja Turtles parody knockoffs of which Stevens appears unaware when he made his own parody knockoff.


    Video Games 
  • Pretty much all the stuff that's played for laughs (like stupid guards and rescuing hostages on the toilet) in Mesal Gear Solid, the Metal Gear parody in Ape Escape 3, is stuff that was played for laughs (or at least played non-seriously) in the actual series. The ending line of the PAL version ("I go wherever the wind takes me. So long as war never ends, I will always have a place in this world.") would not sound remotely out of place in the actual games - the canon is already so deliberately over-the-top that it's pretty much impossible to parody.

    Western Animation 
  • The old cartoon Batfink is basically a spoof of... the silly Adam West Batman show. Which was a spoof of superheroes to begin with.
    • Even a classic The Simpsons episode ("Radioactive Man") was guilty of this. The parody was merciless and hilarious until you learned that the original was intentionally silly.