->''"Wait, wait, wait, stop! Is this another Muppet trailer parody? Why don't we just show a real trailer? I mean, what are we hiding? Did we make the movie in Swedish or something?"''
-->-- '''Jason Segel''', ''Film/TheMuppets''

So you're in the movie theatre, the house lights are coming down, and the screen lights up with the previews of coming attractions. After the standard green MPAA Trailer Approved To Accompany This Feature slate, the screen shows a dark city full of foreboding, while the announcer intones about heady topics like crime running rampant or a city [[HoldingOutForAHero crying out for help]]. On a rooftop, a shadowy figure emerges. It could only be a certain Dark Knight...and then the figure is revealed!

Wait, that's not what Franchise/{{Batman}} looks like! It's... Franchise/ScoobyDoo?!?

Congratulations. You've just been had by a Trailer Spoof.

A Trailer Spoof is when a trailer will [[BaitAndSwitch try to hook your attention]] by pretending to be a trailer for a well known movie franchise, or a highly-anticipated blockbuster film. Then anywhere from half-way to three quarters through comes TheReveal: it's actually a trailer for a perhaps not-so-anticipated comedy movie. (It's almost always some form of comedy, dramas and straight action/adventure films take themselves too seriously to try this sort of thing.)

Virtually all Trailer Spoofs are teaser trailers, whose purpose is to "build awareness" for the film, although it's still a long way off from release. Expect actual footage from the real film to be limited to 30 seconds or less, since usually teaser trailers are made when the film is still being worked on. If they had more footage to show, the studio would likely not bother with a spoof, and just release a trailer cut from the footage instead.

Compare RealTrailerFakeMovie, which is when the trick to the trailer is that it's for a movie that doesn't exist. [[{{Defictionalization}} Yet.]]


[[AC: Film: Animated]]
* Several trailers for ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie'' did this.
** An early trailer pretended to be for ''Film/{{Superman}} Returns'', but it was just Homer wearing a ''Comicbook/{{Superman}}'' shirt.
** A later ''Simpsons'' trailer used the ''Film/SpiderMan1'' [[UsefulNotes/{{Fonts}} font]] before revealing... Spider-Pig.
** Yet another spoofed the first teaser for ''Film/TheDaVinciCode'', with Homer's face in place of the Mona Lisa.
** One trailer does it a bit differently by not being based on any particular movie:
--->''(Fully CGI sequence of a bunny [[TastesLikeDiabetes dancing with flowers to the]] "[[PublicDomainSoundtrack Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy]]".)''\\
'''Narrator:''' [[InAWorld In a time]] when computer animation brings us [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome worlds of unsurpassed beauty]], one film dares to be ugly.\\
''(Moe abruptly comes down in the movie's logo, knocking out the bunny.)''\\
'''Moe:''' ''The Simpsons Movie''... [[MundaneMadeAwesome in 2D!]] ''(looks down)'' Uh... The bunny's not breathing.
* The trailer for ''Disney/ChickenLittle'' opened with the exact same sequence used in the teaser trailer for ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', another Disney production.
* The trailer for ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForceColonFilmForTheaters'' went so far to identify itself as ''Film/SpiderMan2'' in the text crawl while the narrator reads the correct name.
* Nearly every trailer for the first ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'' appeared to be a trailer for some other Disney movie at first, only to be interrupted by Stitch, partly to make it clear it was a lighter, wackier film than the company's usual output. Which was [[NeverTrustATrailer kind of misleading, really]]; [[TearJerker/LiloAndStitch this movie has some pretty heart-rending moments]].
* One trailer appeared to be for the next ''Film/JamesBond'' movie, showing 007 onscreen. Then it turned upside down and pulled back, revealing ''Film/LooneyTunesBackInAction''.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAbsyxYZV9U This trailer]] for ''WesternAnimation/TheRugratsMovie'', which appeared to be for a horror movie along the lines of ''{{Film/Gremlins}}'' or ''Film/{{Poltergeist}}''.
* The 2011 ''Disney/WinnieThePooh'' movie came out the same weekend as ''[[Film/HarryPotter Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows]]'', and thus some Pooh ads started out with lighting text on a cloudy sky (like the Harry Potter movies) with taglines such as "Get ready for the final battle" and "How do you spell adventure?"...with cuts to Pooh running from bees and inverting a set of blocks from "[[TakeThat POTR]]" to "POOH". Once the film's logo appears, there's a clip of Pooh saying, "Were you expecting someone else?". However, in some cases, they have already shown the Walt Disney logo, which somewhat ruins the effect.
* A trailer for ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut'' opened with what appeared to be [[Creator/WaltDisney a man]] drawing on his desk.
-->'''Narrator:''' Once upon a time, a man drew [[MickeyMouse a little mouse]] and his animated vision enchanted children of all ages. This summer, that man will be ''spinning in his grave''.
** Also, the teaser appeared to be advertising a film that would revolutionize animation and special effects, with a computer drawing an elaborate wireframe figure. That figure turned out to be Cartman.
* The trailer for ''WesternAnimation/MonstersUniversity'' is the kind of Trailer Spoof that doesn't hide the movie, but parodies commercials for real colleges.
* The trailer for the 2002 film adaptation of ''WesternAnimation/TeachersPet'' appears to start as another trailer for Disney's classic ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'', not minding the fact that it is animated in the former's style, until it is revealed that the figure the Blue Fairy has just transformed is Spot.
* In a teaser trailer for ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongebobSquarepantsMovie'', it shows the Paramount logo (which the Nickelodeon movie was distributed by), then cuts to several live-action men in a submarine - making the movie look like a sea epic. But then we hear the trademark laugh, and see the silhouette on a radar-tracker...and it turns out that the "submarine" is a toy that [=SpongeBob=] is playing with in the bathtub.
** The trailer uses actual footage from ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober''.
** Another trailer included a documentary-style opening with the narrator asking the audience "Where did we come from?" and "Is there life after death?" He concludes by asking "the ultimate question", which turns out to be [[WaxingLyrical "Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?"]], as we see [=SpongeBob=]'s pineapple, with his signature laugh playing after a few seconds.
* The teaser for 2015's ''WesternAnimation/ThePeanutsMovie'' starts like the opening of ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey'', but it turns out the "planet" is Charlie Brown's bald head.
* One trailer for ''WesternAnimation/ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnythingAVeggieTalesMovie'' appeared to spoof ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'', but then Eloise says "The heroes! They're here!" as we cut to clips from the movie.

[[AC:{{Film}}: Live Action]]
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z0uAyezY2A A trailer for]] ''Film/ScoobyDoo'' pretended to be for a ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' movie -- until the silhouette that looked like Batman turned out to be Scooby. Supposedly, a lot of ''Batman'' fans were pissed.
* ''Film/AustinPowers'':
** The second movie, ''Film/AustinPowersTheSpyWhoShaggedMe'' came out the same year as ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' and had [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65LjJMqHkoc a trailer]] that started by going through the Death Star with VaderBreath in the background while closing in on a chair... until the ChairReveal has Dr. Evil sitting in it. After that, the trailer goes in more typical Austin Powers style, including the narrator saying "If you see only one movie this summer, see... ''Star Wars''. But if you see two movies, see ''Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me!''"
** A trailer for ''Film/AustinPowersInGoldmember'' began in a manner similar to the opening credits of ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}''. Which in turn led MGM to sue New Line for copyright infringement. The suit was settled and in exchange, the trailer to ''Film/DieAnotherDay'' was attached to all prints of ''Goldmember''.
* One television commercial for ''Film/NottingHill'' tried the same device against ''Austin Powers'' by focusing on a wacky supporting character. It didn't quite work.
* The trailer for ''Film/DumbAndDumberer'' disguised itself as a trailer for ''Literature/TheHobbit'', leaving every member of the audience sorely pissed.
* A TV spot for ''Film/SavingSilverman'' used the same typeface as ''Film/{{Hannibal}}'''s ads to spell out "Get rid of the fava beans. Hide the Chianti. He's coming" before cutting to Jack Black's "Beer bong for the lady?".
* One ''Franchise/StarWars: [[Film/AttackOfTheClones Episode II]]'' commercial -- not a trailer, because trailers are SeriousBusiness to ''Star Wars'' fans, but a simple TV commercial -- seemed to start out referring to ''Film/SpiderMan1'', complete with metallic webbing and the ''Spider-Man'' font: "Swing into action with the summer's newest action hero!" It then cut to... Yoda, who cut a pose and did one of his little CoolOldGuy growls. Then he starts jumping and fighting Count Dooku...
* Trailers for ''Film/{{Garfield}}: The Movie'' and ''Film/StuartLittle 2'' imitated moments from the first ''Film/SpiderMan1'' movie.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mF6D0YNROc0 A teaser trailer]] had a dark {{Tarzan}}-like feel...until near the end.
-->"Deep in the African jungle lives a mysterious figure. His name is legendary. His strength is remarkable. And his theme song...[[EarWorm is pretty good, too.]]" ''(cue'' [[spoiler: Film/GeorgeOfTheJungle]] ''theme)''
* A trailer for the [[LiveActionAdaptation live-action]] ''Film/{{Thunderbirds}}'' movie baited audiences with the idea of a ''[[Film/TheIncredibleHulk Hulk]] 2'' teaser by having citizens scream and shout and the sight of something big and green before cutting to a number "2" on a green background. The camera pulled back, revealing that it was the hull of Thunderbird 2.
* One trailer from the year 2001 made it seem like it was hyping the next Franchise/JamesBond movie, and concluding with a big title screen reading "007." But then the "007" flipped upside down, and zoomed out to reveal that the 7 was actually a "Z." And that the rest of the word spelled out "Film/{{Zoolander}}".
* Citizens kept yelling "It's a bird!", "It's a plane!", but Bullwinkle said it looked like a flying squirrel in the ''Franchise/{{Superman}}''-themed [[https://www.nytimes.com/video/movies/100000004131945/the-adventures-of-rocky-and-bullwinkle-trailer-1.html teaser trailer]] for ''Film/TheAdventuresOfRockyAndBullwinkle''. The trailer even concluded on the tag line "You will believe a squirrel can fly!"
* A teaser trailer for ''Film/AliGIndahouse'' pretended to be for the biopic [[UsefulNotes/MuhammadAli Ali]].
* The trailer for the German stoner comedy ''Erkan & Stefan gegen die Mächte der Finsternis'' first [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYPRMYT1zFg pretended]] to be for ''Film/TheMummyReturns'' (having a similar looking bad guy helped).
* One teaser for the 2009 remake of ''Film/{{Fame}}'' makes it look like a ''Film/HarryPotter'' trailer (or another movie about a wizarding school) using stock footage of a steam train and a castle at the beginning, and even using lines like "Practice your craft" and "Cast a spell" in between clips.
-->''Coming soon, there is another school that will teach you how to fly.''
* The 2011 movie ''Film/TheMuppets'' went crazy with this:
** "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CloKbXtD28 Green With Envy]]" is seemingly a cliché romantic comedy starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams. Then halfway through, both the narrator and Segel are baffled that the actual film featured in the trailer is ''The Muppets''.
** Two more trailers were also spoofs of the ones for ''Film/TheHangoverPartII'' & ''Film/GreenLantern''. After releasing a proper trailer, they [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHqLcEtt368 did it again]], this time masquerading as ''[[Literature/TheMillenniumTrilogy The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo]]''.
** Even a commercial for the DVD started off looking like ''Film/TheHungerGames''.
** Mere weeks before the film was to be released, they then went [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsPz51_M3fI recursive]] by completely inverting the "Green With Envy" trailer (complete with Jason Segel billed as [[http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/File:FinalMuppetsParodyTrailer-09.jpg "Jason the Segel"]]), before doing rapid-fire parodies of ''Film/ParanormalActivity3'', ''WesternAnimation/PussInBoots'', ''WesternAnimation/HappyFeetTwo'', and ''[[Literature/{{Twilight}} Breaking Dawn Part 1]]''.
* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvFeWRpeU1Y teaser trailer]] for ''MouseHunt'' starts off with a happy, Disney-like mood, but then gets weird.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGTrKmkceiE Every]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii_3miIdecE spoof]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tpbAeUXUzE movie]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tihG_2BSUqg EVER.]]
* OlderThanTheyThink: From 1976, the trailer for ''Film/ThePinkPantherStrikesAgain'' was able to take advantage of this trope thanks to the story upping the stakes from previous installments. At first, the trailer appears to be for a straight action movie -- until the reveal (via trailer-specific footage) that the diabolical villain is Inspector Dreyfus, and his evil plot threatening the world is motivated solely by his desire to get rid of Inspector Clouseau once and for all.
* Due to it coming out around the same time as ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukOzVWBJE6E teaser]] for ''Film/{{UHF}}'' made it look like it was for the next Indiana Jones movie before switching around to reveal the face of Music/WeirdAlYankovic.
* Some TV spots for ''Film/EightLeggedFreaks'' initially made it look like it was for ''Film/SpiderMan1''.
* The trailer for ''Film/LeatherfaceTheTexasChainsawMassacreIII'' initially made it look like it was for a movie based on the legend of King Arthur.
* An early trailer for ''Film/{{Underdog}}'' started out spoofing Superman, in keeping with the superhero film theme. Didn't work.
* A trailer for ''Film/DiaryOfAWimpyKidTheLongHaul'' started out as one for a generic Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse style superhero movie, showing Cartoon!Greg in a muscular superhero suit. The ''actual'' trailer footage was triggered by Greg's "muscles" deflating. This iteration of the trailer was also abbreviated for television.
* The teaser for the third ''Film/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' film baited us with the possibility of a ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'' remake or sequel (or even the then-upcoming 3D rerelease), with an instrumental of "My Heart Will Go On" playing over footage of an ocean liner. Then Alvin appears over the ship's bow, claiming, "I'm king of the world!"

* A commercial for the episode of ''Series/TheGoldbergs'' that aired October 21, 2015 started off spoofing ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', the airdate being the day that Marty went into the future in [[Film/BackToTheFuturePartII the second film]]. However, it showed the series' title in the form of a hashtag in the lower left corner, which somewhat ruined the effect.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekoETowzmAo The promo for the fourth season]] of ''Series/LastWeekTonightWithJohnOliver'' had three straight BaitAndSwitch (with SelfDeprecation on how the show isn't that successful or broad appeal): the biggest HBO show on Sundays (John appears from behind [[Series/GameOfThrones the Iron Throne]]), the HBO hit comedy (John is revealed to be in [[Series/SiliconValley the Pied Piper offices]]) and the return of the HBO show everyone was waiting for ([[Series/CurbYourEnthusiasm Larry David]] is besides John - "[we've been off for] [[UnCancelled five years!]]").
* A [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYehEp9eaBE trailer]] for ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' exactly duplicates Creator/{{ABC}}'s own ''Series/{{V 2009}}'' ... until the spaceship shows J.D.'s face instead of Anna's. He announces ''Scrubs'' is back to general rejoicing, then adds "By the way, these people are [[TheReptilians lizards]]."

* The UsefulNotes/NintendoSwitch Presentation trailer for ''VideoGame/OneTwoSwitch'' starts off with two cowboys approaching each other and preparing to do a fast draw, which looks like something for a [[WildWest Western]] video game. It turns out to be a demonstration for the "Quick Draw" minigame.
* Commercials for ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield}}: [[VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany Bad Company]]'' spoofed ''VideoGame/RainbowSix'', ''Franchise/GearsOfWar'', and ''Franchise/MetalGear'' franchises. Usually they led the viewer on for a few moments before switching to the more "goofy" ''Bad Company'' style.
* The trailer for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation4 version of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' looks like a trailer for an entirely different game all together, just to show how well the graphics have improved. Only at the end, when you see Cloud's distinctive {{BFS}}, you'll realize this is FFVII.
* Several trailers for ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Wii U/3DS'' pulled this off in different ways:
** The first trailer starts by showing the ''Super Smash Bros.'' logo in view before flashing to a scene from ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing''. The Villager is seen picking up his mail, and upon reading the letter, rushes across town, leaving the letter behind. It then reveals that the letter has a ''Super Smash Bros.'' icon on it before the trailer really kicks off.
** The reveal trailer for the Wii Fit Trainer first starts as what appears to be a trailer for a new ''VideoGame/WiiFit'' game, before pulling out to reveal Mario, Link, and Kirby holding the pose shown on screen, where upon the Trainer gets their attention before attacking them.
** Rosalina's trailer starts out with Kirby flying in space along with ''VideoGame/KirbyAirRide'' music before coming upon Rainbow Road from ''VideoGame/MarioKart'', causing the viewer to expect an ''Air Ride'' game then an ''Air Ride/Mario Kart'' cross over. Then something shoots off a [[VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy Launch Star]], causing Kirby to crash. Luma splits off from the something and lands. Rosalina appears shortly after, and title card ''"Rosalina and Luma Launch Into Battle!"'' appears.
** The reveal trailer for Robin starts with Lucina (also playable) dueling with Captain Falcon, who has laid Chrom out like a floor mat. Chrom laments, "Guess I'll get my chance...another day..." shortly before it's revealed that he's in, too, as part of Robin's Final Smash.
** The Switch game's initial trailer was a recreation of the original ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'' trailer, before it suddenly goes dark. As the female Inkling looks over her shoulder in confusion, the Smash logo is seen reflecting in her eye, which is revealed to be a giant flaming Smash logo with a number of veteran characters in front of it.
* The trailer for ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'': Toys/{{amiibo}} Festival looked like a long-awaited Wii U main ''Animal Crossing'' title, until the screen pans to reveal board game titles. That's right, it's another Creator/{{Nintendo}} PartyGame. [[BrokenBase Reaction to this was mixed.]]
* In the Ubisoft video conference of the 2016 [=E3=], there was [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQVPOv0IGCg a teaser]] which gives off the appearance of a Tom Clancy game, with criminal violence on the rise throughout the United States, which calls for extreme measures. "The question becomes: Who will take them?" And shortly afterwards, [[WesternAnimation/SouthPark Eric Cartman in his Coon costume]] can be seen, turning this section of the conference to ''VideoGame/SouthParkTheFracturedButWhole''.

* The start of the trailer for ''Machinima/RedVsBlue: Recreation'' starts off looking identical to the trailer for ''Reconstruction'', right up until Caboose causes an explosion.
* Fanmade trailers will often go this route. For example, Mitchell Movie Productions [[https://youtu.be/paYiF3fZbYI made a trailer]] for ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutronBoyGenius'' to make it look like ''Film/ManOfSteel''. They also [[https://youtu.be/fykr5hzyI4s remade]] the ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2'' trailer with different characters.

* ''WesternAnimation/LiloAndStitchTheSeries'' had some TV spots, attempting to follow suit of the aforementioned movie trailers, which started as ads for other cartoons Creator/DisneyChannel aired at the time.