Sometimes rather than just a brief reference or homage to some other work of fiction, a work will actually be a full-blown recreation of something else's story. This is usually done in sitcoms, and likely a spoof to at least some degree.
Some other plots commonly used for this purpose are:
See also Homage
, Foreign Remake
, Fountain of Expies
, Characteristic Trope
, and Recycled IN SPACE!
... sometimes with the Serial Numbers Filed Off
Expect it to reference/parody the original's Signature Scenes
Tropes Are Not Bad
- a story can serve as a reference or re-mixed version of another one with just ripping it off. Clever parodies put a lot of their own creative thought in while still referencing the original.
Compare Parody Episode
, Whole Costume Reference
(the clothing version), Recycled Script
(internal recycling). May be a Twice Told Tale
. For when this is subverted, see Not His Sled
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Anime & Manga
- Episode 18 of the Dirty Pair TV series is a straight-up remake of the Clint Eastwood movie The Gauntlet, with the girls filling in for Clint.
- Lupin III (Red Jacket) spent an episode remaking Murder by Death (with a different set of No Celebrities Were Harmed detectives, and set on a zeppelin for some damn reason).
- Speaking of Astro Boy, his origin story bears more than a few parallels to Pinocchio. Knowing Osamu Tezuka, this was almost definitely intentional. He's remade stories from Faust to Crime and Punishment to, yes, The Bible.
- An episode of Ghost in the Shell: 2nd Gig was a futuristic homage to Taxi Driver, and another was a homage to the sniper shootout at the end of Full Metal Jacket.
- Lampshaded by one of Section 9's junior members, who thinks that Saito is pulling one over on them: The story Saito tells over their poker game is entertaining, but there was "an old movie" with the same plot.
- "Battle Aboard the St. Anne", and "Pokemon Shipwreck", two episodes of a three-part arc on the Pokemon anime, were directly inspired by The Poseidon Adventure.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica bears many many resemblances to Goethe's Faust. Not to mention that Sayaka's character arc is a reference to "The Little Mermaid". And we're not talking the Disney one, either.
- Urusei Yatsura episode 75 is based on Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None — the episode's title actually means "and then there were none", and it uses a different nursery rhyme ("Who Killed Cock Robin") in the same manner that the novel uses the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians".
- Love Hina had an episode based on the Chinese tale of Son Goku, the Monkey King. Also, one of the manga chapters was based on the tale of Taro Urashima. Guess who got to be Urashima.
- The entire Dragon Ball universe is an adaptation of the story of Son Goku, the Monkey King. One guess which character represents Son Goku.
- Ouran High School Host Club had a manga chapter based on Alice in Wonderland, and a considerably looser adaptation in one episode of the anime.
- Blame! draws very heavily on the Iain M. Banks novel Feersum Endjinn for many elements of the setting and story (the Net/Cryptsphere, its substrate in the megastructure, the system corruption, the governing authority's attempt to restore order, the reincarnating Chief Scientist plotting against her boss, the wanderer walking the Earth until he can incarnate the child that will fix the Sphere). If Feersum Endjinn hadn't wrapped up the story itself, Blame! could easily have been a sequel.
- In YuYu Hakusho, the gang fights a team of baddies who are perversions of the main characters from various Japanese myths.
- Hello Kitty once did "The Little Match Girl". Yes, with the original ending.
- There's a series of illustrated stories that transform a lot of fairy tales into yuri, and twist the ending. For example, "Snow White" ended with the eponymous character living with the seven women and "The Little Mermaid" ended with the protagonist falling in love with her sister since the princess was a flirt who didn't notice her.
- Pretear is Snow White made into a Magical Girl series.
- Monster broadly mimics the story of the Beast from Revelation 13, but there are many subplots which mirror many popular fairy tales, including "Beauty and the Beast," "Hansel and Gretel", and "The Pied Piper of Hamelin". There is also an in-universe example, in that the characters unwittingly enact the plots of Bonaparta's fairy tales and his son's puppet show.
- One chapter of Yandere Kanojo retells "Cinderella".
- In a manga episode of Ichigo Mashimaro, Miu tells the story of Cinderella, with Matsuri as Cinderella, Chika and Ana as her stepsisters, Nobue as the prince, and herself as the Fairy Godmother. Miu being Miu, however, it's riddled with all sorts of weird additions and changes, and ends up with the Fairy Godmother marrying the prince as compensation for her falling down the stairs twice. She figured the original had a messed-up moral, which, if it's true, means she wants a thousand yen for the beauty salon.
- The Queen's Blade animated adaptation has three of them per season:
- The plot of the first season mimics somewhat the plot of Odin Sphere, especially the Gwendolyn's story on Leina and her family. Heck, even both Leina and Gwendolyn shares the same voice actress as well, except the plot is less depressing than in the game.
- The plot of the second season resembles somewhat the one used in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, including the warriors fighting in their own (or their opponent's) home turf and the fact the winner will rule the land for four years.
- The plot of the sequel, Queen's Blade Rebellion (but only in the novelizations) is a mix between the plots of both Fire Emblem Akaneia and some aspects from the Chinese classic Water Margin (the one who Suikoden took inspiration of) and even some aspects from Star Wars Especially the main villain is the mother of two of the main heroines, Annelotte and Aldra.
- The Tower of Heavens arc in Fairy Tail is one massive reference to the Etherion arc from Rave Master. Subtlety of the points where the older story is references varies. (Having the villains of each arc virtually identical was not that subtle, but some of the moments found are not ones you would notice if you didn't know to look.)
- The Bount Filler Arc of Bleach is exactly the same as the Chapter Black arc of YuYu Hakusho up to the point that everyone enters Soul Society. What's especially noticeable is the beginning where Urahara's test to show Ichigo he relies too much on bankai is almost identical to Genkai's test to show Yusuke that he runs in without knowing enough about his enemies.
- The Space Dandy episode "There's Music in the Darkness, Baby" (Episode 15) borrows heavily from the narrative style and visual design of Courage the Cowardly Dog. Ukuleleman would not look, sound, or act out of place if he were suddenly transplanted to Courage and made the focus of an episode.
- The episode "The Lilliputian Hitcher" of Neon Genesis Evangelion is a not-quite-completely-following-the-original-plot homage to the film version of Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain.
- X-Men Fairy Tales is a series of these, casting the X-Men in the role of characters from various fables.
- Sometimes in The Spirit Will Eisner would create new versions of fairy tales, set in the 1940s.
- Gorsky and Butch do a brief Matrix parody in their first book. In the third one, they do a more extended parody: Butch makes a Face-Heel Turn, joining the agents of Comix, in hope of achieveing his goals and finally ending the sensless plot so he can star in a 'real comic'. In the meantime Gorsky leads the resistance under the guise of Morfinius, atempting to destroy the Comix by making Jerry ( the heroes Butt Monkey sidekick) the main character.
- They also do Aliens at one point: the whole section of the comic is the movie but it turns out to be an illegal copy with borked subtitles: all sorts of whacky hijinks result from it, most importantly the aliens getting replaced with sheep because their name have been misspelled (makes sense in Polish) - the marines discover a nest with missing colonists hanging on the walls in oversized wool sweaters.
- The comic book version of PvP did a homage/parody of The Matrix called "The Comix".
- There's a Star Wars Expanded Universe comic featuring Luke's childhood friend Janek "Tank" Sunber, who'd joined the Empire, become a lieutenant, and ended up stationed on a planet of tribal aliens. The plot of that handful of comics is essentially Zulu, with Imperials desperately fighting wave after wave of aliens and being worn down.
- Judge Dredd did this quite a bit in the late 80s and 90s, with parodies of such things as The Wizard of Oz, Twin Peaks, Edward Scissorhands, and many more.
- The whole Hellfire Club section of the X-Men's The Dark Phoenix Saga is basically Chris Claremont's riff on The Avengers episode "A Touch of Brimstone", in which Mrs Peel gets brainwashed into being the Hellfire Club's Queen of Sin by John Cleverly Cartney. Claremont even gives Mastermind the real name Jason Wyngarde, after Peter Wyngarde, who played Cartney, and Jason King, Wyngarde's most famous role.
- The story of Steve Rogers' return to the land of the living, Captain America: Reborn, is a extended reference to Slaughterhouse-Five.
- The plot of the Marvel Comics villain miniseries Identity Disc is taken directly from The Usual Suspects.
- The plot of Avengers Arena bears more than a passing resemblance to works like Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, and Lord of the Flies, which the writer gleefully owns up to in the first issue. Additionally, the covers of the first few issues are all homages to the movie posters and book covers of the above-mentioned stories.
- Several DC Comics Elseworlds do this. Most of them are very obvious about it (JLA: Island of Dr Moreau is based on, well...), but one that plays it a bit more subtly is the Legion Of Superheroes Elseworld Castles in the Sky, which is a 30th century riff on the legend of King Arthur, with Cosmic Boy as Arthur, Saturn Girl as Guenevere, Lightning Lad as Lancelot, R. J. Brande as Merlin, Lightning Lord as Mordred, Mordru as the Fisher King, the flight rings as Excalibur (only Rokk can pull the Nth metal from the ruins of Thanagar), and the Miracle Machine as the Holy Grail.
- The Doctor Who fanfic setting This Time Round has enough of these that they have their own section, "Story Time!".
- An old Slayers fan comic posted on the Internet featured the cast putting on a production of Hamlet, with such gems of casting as Zelgadis as Hamlet and Prince Phil as Polonius. Hilarity Ensues.
- Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy is a rather unlikely example, as every so often it parodies episodes from actual TV shows instead of the usual things. To list what the author referenced so far: The Backyardigans, The Powerpuff Girls, Code Lyoko (three times so far!), and even Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Make that of what you will.
- Brave New World is pretty much a Darker and Edgier retelling of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. But with Pokémon!
- The Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic "Who's Your Daddy?" is essentially a Whole Plot Reference to the movie Look Who's Talking, with a side order of Three Men and a Baby. One of Roy Mustang's one-night stands shows up with the infant son who resulted from their time together, hands him over, and disappears. He shoulders the task of fatherhood, relying on his devoted subordinate Riza Hawkeye to help him while he tries to find his son the perfect mother. Just about the time he realizes she's been there all along, the baby's real mother tries to take him back.
- There is an entire genre of Harry Potter fanfic, the "Harry is sent to Azkaban" genre, which varies between homage, this, and knockoff of The Count of Monte Cristo.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series fanfic Decks Fall Everyone Dies is a recreation of Moulin Rouge!, altered to fit the Yu-Gi-Oh universe.
- The Best Night Ever is a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic that retells Groundhog Day using Prince Blueblood getting stuck in a loop of the events of the season one finale "The Best Night Ever".
- The following is a brief summary of the plot of Portal 2: an evil AI is accidentally reactivated after several years by a clumsy yet lovable Personality Core and takes total control of the research facility it was built in, and a determined test subject sets out to stop the rogue AI's reign of terror. Now compare this plot to the plot of My Little Portal. You'll come to realize it's exactly the same.
- "The Five Calvins" from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series is really just "The Five Doctors" under a "Calvin and Hobbes" filter.
- The Non-Bronyverse has two, one of which copies the plot of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen", and another that takes the plot of My Little Dashie and replaces Rainbow Dash with Rarity.
- Vinyl and Octavia Duel Destiny is a giant one to the Ace Attorney series. See the fanfic page for specific details.
- Several fandoms are disturbingly fond of WPRs to Jurassic Park, with the characters from the crossover in the roles from the story. Fandoms who have tried this vary from the reasonable (Total Drama, being that it's not impossible that Chris McLean is connected to In Gen and John Hammond in some way) to the WTF (Sonic The Hedge Hog and Harry Potter? The hell?).
- The End of Ends is one for Super Paper Mario.
Films — Live Action
- The Forbidden Kingdom is either a remake of the tale of Son Goku, or its "prequel".
- Avatar's storyline was basically a retelling of (pick one or more) Dances with Wolves, A Man Called Horse, The Last Samurai, Ferngully The Last Rainforest, Atlantis The Lost Empire, The Last of the Mohicans, Princess Mononoke, Nausicaa, Call Me Joe, The Word for World is Forest, and/or Pocahontas.
- The movie My Own Private Idaho keeps dropping in and out of the plot of Shakespeare's Henry IV.
- Epic Movie was essentially the storyline of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe with a Shallow Parody of everything else they could think of bolted onto it. Likewise, Meet the Spartans did the same for 300, as did Disaster Movie for Cloverfield and Vampires Suck for both Twilight and New Moon.
- Similarly, most of the first Scary Movie follows closely the plot of Scream (1996) (with some scenes from the second and a slew of late 90s horror in-between) and the second is mostly based on The Haunting (1999). (the others have the main plot being an amalgalm instead, with the third being a mix of The Ring and Signs, and the fourth mixes The War of the Worlds, The Village, The Grudge and Saw)
- O Brother, Where Art Thou? is based off of Homer's The Odyssey. Although the entire plot is only loosely similar, there are certain parts that mirror the source material quite closely, such as the cyclops and the sirens.
- Barb Wire is basically Casablanca with more boobage.
- Strange Brew puts the MacKenzie brothers in the role (sort of) of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in a loose adaptation of Hamlet. The brewery is called Elsinore.
- The Cheap Detective combines the plots of The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, and Casablanca.
- Now, rip-offs of Alien or Aliens are legion, but the movie Carnosaur 2 repeats the whole plot of Aliens almost scene by scene, with Distaff Counterparts of Ripley and Newt, and dinosaurs instead of the Xenomorphs (with a Tyrannosaurus rex stand-in for the Alien Queen).
- Spiders replaces the Xenomorphs of Alien with giant spiders, and eventually sets them loose in a city, allowing for giant monster sequences.
- While Mel Brooks is fond of referencing/parodying films, classic and contemporary, in his works, Spaceballs is essentially a cross between Star Wars and It Happened One Night.
- Akira Kurosawa's done a couple of these.
- A Thousand Acres is King Lear on an American farm.
- Many teenage romantic comedies do this. To name a few, Clueless is Jane Austen's Emma, 10 Things I Hate About You is Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, and She's The Man is Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.
- Although it isn't apparent at first, Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a combination of two G1 cartoon episode plots: the three-part episode "The Ultimate Doom", with the Decepticons attempting to transport Cybertron to Earth via space bridge and then enslave humans to restore it to its former glory; and the two-part episode "Megatron's Master Plan", where the Decepticons receive the help of several treacherous, sycophantic humans, also resulting at one point in the Autobots being exiled from Earth, and their chosen means of escape destroyed in transit by the machinations of the Decepticons, though the Autobots survive in both cases.
- It also copies a lot from the Doctor Who episode "The End Of Time".
- The plot of Ip Man 2 heavily borrowed from that of Rocky IV. This includes: a rival-turned-friend killed in a fight against a foreign fighter, the main character training to avenge his death, and the fact that the fighter in question was supposed to be an unbeatable juggernaut. Ip Man himself went as far as giving a speech promoting tolerance like Rocky did after he won the match.
- Outland is High Noon on a space station.
- One of the Bring It On sequels, In It to Win It, is West Side Story with cheerleaders instead of gangs. The two squads are even called the Sharks and the Jets.
- Teaching Mrs. Tingle is essentially a (semi)serious/teen thriller rehash of 9 to 5 without the awesome cast (except Dame Helen Mirren of course)
- Airheads borrows numerous plot points from Dog Day Afternoon. This becomes especially apparent in the second half of the film, where the crowd outside comes to side with the hostage-taking lead characters, just like in the original film.
- Easy A is basically a modern version of The Scarlet Letter. This is, of course, discussed and lampshaded several times.
- Several Discworld novels are referential parodies of famous works. For instance, Wyrd Sisters spoofs Macbeth, Lords and Ladies parodies A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Masquerade parodies The Phantom of the Opera.
- Less of a parody, and more of a straight-up homage, Night Watch is Les Misérables with time-travel thrown in. Only in this case, the Jean Valjean character really is a dangerous criminal, and the Inspector Javert equivalent is the good guy.
- Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia" can be read as a remake of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Purloined Letter".
- The Star Wars: Medstar Duology is heavily referentially to the show M*A*S*H including the setting (a backwater jungle), the fact that one character can hear the medical transports before they come in, and even direct Cold War ideological debates.
- The second book in the "Tennis Shoes" series of Mormon fiction is called Gadiantons and the Silver Sword. The heroes must take the titular sword to a land far to the southeast and cast it into a box in a mountain where it was forged, while being pursued by servants of Satan who want to recover it. The similarities with The Lord of the Rings could fill it's own page on this wiki, starting with the main character's sister remarking on the similarity of their situation.
- This has been done a number of times with the classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo, resulting in the novel Revenge by Stephen Fry, SF classic The Stars My Destination and the Filipino classic El Filibusterismo, right down to the main character's arc.
- The Laundry Series is full of Shout Outs, but the plot of The Jennifer Morgue is a whole plot reference to James Bond. An in-universe whole plot reference: the bad guy uses Post-Modern Magik to make himself untouchable by anyone but a person who resembles James Bond, and as a side effect develops a tendency to monologue.
- The plot of the first Rivers of London book is a whole plot reference of Punch and Judy of all things.
- The Man-Kzin War novel The Children's Hour by Jerry Pournelle and S.M. Stirling does a whole-plot lift of the movie Casablanca, except at the end when "Ilsa" dumps "Lazlo" and runs off with "Rick".
- The story "Honor in the Night" from the third Star Trek: Myriad Universes book applies the series' For Want of a Nail premise to the Original Series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles". The end result can be summed up as "Citizen Kane in the Star Trek universe".
- Hyperion (the first novel of the Hyperion Cantos) is mostly a recreation of The Canterbury Tales...IN SPACE! Specifically, the device of having pilgrims tell each other stories en route to the site of pilgrimage to keep each other entertained. It also emulates Chaucer in having each tale copy a different style of story that was popular in the writer's time (making Hyperion a series of classic Science Fiction homages wrapped inside of a Chaucer homage). However, unlike Chaucer, Simmons finished Hyperion, and wove it into a four-book saga.
- Trapped on Draconica: The "Eastern Alliance" arc bears a stunning likeness to 300 though the author throws in a number of twists and other elements.
- Lowlands Of Scotland is a four book series by Liz Curtis Higgs, fairly faithfully retelling the biblical story of Jacob, Leah, Rachel, and Dinah, set in the late-1700s (and early-1800s, post timeskip) Scottish lowlands. It works amazingly well considering the disparity between biblical culture and eighteenth century Scottish lowland culture.
- There and Back Again by Max Merriwell is The Hobbit IN SPACE.
- A Whole Subplot Reference occurs in David Weber's Safehold novels. The on-screen confrontation between Gray Harbor and Duke Tirian in Off Armageddon Reef plays out almost exactly like the off-screen one that occurred in Honor of the Queen (also by Weber) between Howard Clinkscales and Jared Mayhew.
- The Phoenix Guards is described by author Steven Brust as a blatant rip-off of The Three Musketeers. Its sequels follow the sequels to The Three Musketeers more loosely.
- The Sundering is modeled very closely on The Lord of the Rings, except told from the villains' point of view.
- Sweet Valley High: When Jessica lands the lead in the school play, her understudy constantly fawns and gushes over her, etc. Jessica is Genre Savvy enough to be suspicious. Sure enough, the girl is trying to undermine her in order to get the part for herself—All About Eve in high school.
- Subverted in Ethan Banning novel Undertow, which, at first, appears to be a recreation of H.P. Lovecraft's A Shadow over Innsmouth. It then goes in its own direction.
Live Action TV
- Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a remake of Journey to the West.
- Chapter 3 of Bully is basically the plot of S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders.
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is very similar to the 1980s, Al Pacino-starring remake of Scarface. A criminal, exiled from his old stomping grounds in The Eighties, winds up in (a) Miami(-like city) and builds up a criminal empire, including an opulent mansion, but gets betrayed by a partner who ends up seeking his death, culminating in a Last Stand at said mansion. The way the protagonists end up is different, though.
- The first third of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is basically Juice mashed together with Boyz n the Hood. The last two thirds of the game are basically the plot of The Countof Monte Cristo with a brief interlude to reenact Ocean's Eleven
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 pretty much lifts the entire plot of The Rock for one mission.
- Red Dead Revolver, as a game where the Showdown at High Noon is a frequent occurance, has a quickdraw tournament in the vein of The Quick and the Dead.
- Earlier in the game, there is a stage where the player must blow up a bridge on a battlefield by wading into the water and placing explosives on the pillars, much like in The Good The Bad And The Ugly.
- Mass Effect:
- World of Warcraft was always big ont the Shout Outs, from single NPCs to entire quest lines, but two zones in the Cataclysm expansion brings it to a new level. The Redrige Mountains are all about Rambo, while around half of Uldum consists of Harrison Jones fighting for an ancient relic against nazi goblins.
- Devil Survivor 2 has a series of Eldritch Abominations, utterly immune to conventional weaponry, attacking Japan, which only a handful of special poeple have the potential to stop, is a Crapsack World, has major Break and Kill the Cutie, Order Versus Chaos themes, a white haired Bishōnen who loves humans (and happens to secretly be one of said abominations) and viciously deconstructs all tropes related to its genre. Where have I heard this before...?
- Persona 3 also fits this nicely for very similar reasons, also by having 12 major enemies followed by a 13rd one who has a human appearance (and has an affinity towards humans).
- The Binding of Isaac to The Bible story of the same name (Genesis chapter 22).
- The Spore mission It Came From The Sky is this to The Thing (1982).
- The Clan War missions of Borderlands 2, in which you instigate a clan war between the redneck Hodunks and the Irish Zafords and play both sides against one another are a reference to Yojimbo, A Fistful of Dollars and Last Man Standing. The only difference is that you are forced to side with one family in the final encounter rather than wiping all of them out.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The quest "A Night to Remember" is this to The Hangover; the Dragonborn wakes up after a drunken stupor and has to find their missing drinking buddy, all while cleaning up the mess they left behind throughout Skyrim. They even got married in all the drunkenness - to a Hagraven, no less.
- The whole Civil War plot borrows a lot from the main conflict of Fallout: New Vegas. The Empire is a well-intentioned but corrupt and ineffectual government that's hated by a good number of the locals, much like the NCR. Ulfric Stormcloak acts as a stand-in for Mr. House - an ambitious and cunning leader who wants to kick out the government and forge an independent nation under their own rule. On the horizon is the Aldmeri Dominion, a nation of barbaric Nazi elves who once warred with the Empire and plan to do so again, eradicating both sides and claiming the province as their own for a further conquest of the Imperial homeland, exactly the same as the Legion. In the middle of this huge mess is the player, who is in a position to play the sides off against each other for their own personal agenda, or join up with a faction and bring them a decisive victory.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni: The relationship between Battler and Beatrice is this towards The Divine Comedy with Beatrice waiting for Battler to find the truth referencing the eternal lady waiting for Dante at the top of Mount Purgatory. Several other names in the series also references this and fulfill the same roles.
- First of all we have Virgilia, who guides Battler towards the truth, taking the role of Vergilius who guided Dante.
- In Ep 7 we also have Clair vauxof Bernard, the reader of that Episode who reveals the truth to Will, Lion and the players. Clair takes the role of Bernard of Clairvaux as both are the final guides of the stories after Beatrice has gone to her eternal rest.
- Then finally we have the name of the metaworld where Battler is trapped, Purgatorio. Here Beatrice wants Battler to remember his sin of six years ago just as Dante had to recognize and acknowledge his sins before ascending to Heaven.
- The book and the similarities are references in Ep 5 just when Battler does reach the truth:
''Vergilius guided Dante to Mount Purgatory, ... and brought him below the feet of the eternal lady who waited at the top, Beatrice. Therefore, ... the innermost depths lay not at the bottom. ... but at the peak of Mount Purgatory. The eternal lady... had been waiting there for Dante... the whole time... And then...I...knew.
- Soul Sacrifice revolves around horrific creatures that were once men (and animals) born from profane magic, which is spread by a shining, innocent-looking entity. The only way to kill said monsters is to use said magic, which will end up transforming YOU into a monster eventually for others to kill in an endless cycle. Souls, despair, and hope are all central to the story, as despair is what triggers the transformation from man to beast. The main storyline also involves a Ho Yay -filled relationship between two sorcerers, one of which locks himself into an endless loop in order to save his 'dear friend'. Yeah,it's that kind of game.
- The Wonderful 101 features Platinum Robo, a Humongous Mecha that secretly contains the soul of the pilot's mother, a brilliant scientist thought to be long dead.
- A mission in HAWX, "Operation Whitehorse" has the player defend a space shuttle launch pad and the shuttle itself, carrying a super weapon to even the playing field in the war against enemy attack. First, the enemy sends wave after wave of airborne-dropped tanks, dropped from cargo planes. Then they begin sending jets to try and kill it. When all else fails, they start firing cruise missiles at it. A near-identical mission appears in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, "The White Bird Part I".
- Metal Gear:
- Metal Gear Solid is a total retread of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake but with a dark conspiracy subplot as well. All of the setpieces are the same - finding a female soldier in the women's bathroom, Gray Fox warning you about mines using an anonymous radio frequency, a key that's a 'shape memory alloy' that changes with heat, punching the Evil Counterpart to death after losing your inventory, a cyborg ninja turns out to be a character from the previous game, a mysterious woman is revealed through dramatic irony to have a tragic part in Gray Fox's life, there's a battle with a helicopter using missiles, and many, many more. This differs from Metal Gear Solid 2, which also retread much of this territory but the similarity was frequently lampshaded, exploited by Genre Savvy main characters and eventually revealed as plot important, since in Metal Gear Solid no-one points out the similarities at all and Snake is completely Genre Blind to them.
- Metal Gear Solid 2 is The Rock with the serial numbers filed off (New York instead of San Francisco, nukes rather than bioweapons) down to the occasional Homage Shot and Harry Gregson-Williams doing the music in the same style - but also incorporating bits of pomo novel The New York Trilogy.
- Take the classic literary tale of Beowulf, and change the presentation of the story from an epic tale to Professional Wrestling. You just described the entire concept of the character Beowulf from Skullgirls.
- The first level in Yuriko's campaign is about a severely traumatised Japanese schoolgirl who rips out of her restraints at a secret research facility and rampages around the place, messily killing the guards with her psychic powers.
- DEFCON - Everybody Dies is based on the climax scenes of WarGames, where civilization is imploding in a global thermonuclear war. However, unlike the movie where it's just a computer simulation, it's actually happening in DEFCON and your goal is to ensure the communists/capitalists die in a nuclear fire. Introversion's previous game, Uplink, featured a Shout-Out to Wargames in an Easter Egg.
- Resident Evil 3 has an Action Girl Badass fending off a unstoppable beast using a ATM Hardballer, grenade launcher, minigun and Western 1887, which she cocks one handed. Hmmm...where have we seen this before?
- PvP did a series of strips echoing the plot of Watchmen when the movie came out, but due to the difference in mediums, Scott Kurtz used syndicated cartoon characters and called it "The Ombudsmen". They mapped onto the Watchmen superheroes (Dagwood for Dr. Manhattan, Dilbert for Ozymandias, etc.) surprisingly well.
- Pibgorn did A Midsummer Night's Dream with Gender Flipped roles and actual fairies IN THE THIRTIES!
- Jane's World's current arc is literally The Last Star Fighter with lesbians.
- Just Peachy does this in one story arc with the movie "Singing in the Rain". They even reference the movie in this strip.
- Many Sluggy Freelance parodies cobble together from different works in a genre, but the "Torg Potter" storylines were mostly whole plot.
- Rhapsodies had an episode about the adventures of the house band in Casablanca.
- Zortic before the reboot consisted almost exclusively in this.
- The Simpsons has done a few episodes like this. The original "Treehouse of Horror" featured a sequence based on Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven", with Homer as the narrator and Bart as the titular bird. This was later done in "Simpsons Bible Stories", "Simpsons Tall Tales", "Tales from the Public Domain", and "Simpsons Christmas Stories".
- The Simpsons has done this many times (Mary Poppins, Lord of the Flies, and more).
- The episode "Cape Fear" deserves special mention for its loving homage to...uh, Cape Fear—both the original and the remake. This episode established the film's main theme as Sideshow Bob's leitmotif, and it's fair to say that the music is now remembered more as Bob's theme than it is the film's.
- In the show's early seasons, any plot that focused on Mr. Burns is likely to be a whole plot reference to Citizen Kane. It's so prevalent, the writing staff have speculated that it's probably possible to reconstruct the entire movie word-for-word with clips from the show. The episodes "Rosebud," and "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" are of special note.
- There was also a Flowers for Algernon-esque episode where it's revealed that the reason for Homer's stupidity is because he stuck a crayon up his nose as a kid and it got lodged in his brain. Removing it turns him into a genius, but he eventually finds that he's unhappy being a genius and gets another crayon jammed up his nose to reverse it.
- The episode "Marge On The Lam" is essentially Thelma & Louise with a reduction in violence (car theft vs. murder), and an increase in satire (a sub-plot with the kids staying at home looked over by Lionel Hutz, the iconic final scene from the film is not done by Marge and her friend, but by Wiggum and Homer (unwillingly), and they are saved by a gigantic landfill on the bottom of the canyon).
- Futurama's pilot episode is a goofy version of the already satirical novel Immortality Inc. Funnily enough, Bender would later become more like the corresponding character from the book — the scene where Bender and Fry go to a bar ends with them becoming fast friends, while in the book the Bender-analogue takes the opportunity to drug him and sell his organs.
- The episode "The Six Million Dollar Mon" parallels the Bump in the Night episode "Farewell 2 Arms", where like Molly in the latter, Hermes begins replacing parts of his body with newer, more efficient parts until he's nigh unrecognizable. Also like Molly trying to top her transformation by replacing her head with Bumpy's, Hermes tries to complete his by replacing his brain with a robot brain.
- The episode "Parasites Lost" is a "Fantastic Voyage" Plot, but more specifically it's an homage to the Doctor Who serial "The Invisible Enemy", such as using the conceit of having shrunken duplicates that allow Fry to explore his own body - specifically his own brain - along with a character named Leela.
- The Ren & Stimpy Show had an episode called "A Yard Too Far" that was basically the same plot as Yogi Bear's "Pie Pirates" episode except that the dog is replaced with a baboon and pies are replaced with hog jowls.
- Garfield and Friends was very fond of these, especially in its US Acres sequences.
- Was the whole point of Alf Tales, a Spin-Off of the Animated Adaptation of Alf.
- Rugrats has an episode where Tommy's maternal grandfather tells them the story of Passover, which the babies imagine themselves in, while a later episode did the same with the story of Hanukkah. Another episode involves Suzie dreaming she is Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
- The 2003 version of Strawberry Shortcake has retold "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty" and "Rapunzel". The retelling of Rapunzel is basically In Name Only, as the title character is already a princess, but so wild and free-spirited that her tutor places her in a tower to keep her from being distracted from her lessons in being proper royalty (super-long hair is apparently very regal).
- Another episode was 'inspired' by Around the World in 80 Days. The Peculiar Purple Pieman challenges Strawberrry to travel around the world in 80 days. She makes it by exploiting the same loophole as in the book, which she even points out.
- Jim Henson's Muppet Babies often had the kids imagining themselves as the characters in various well-known stories.
- Done in the Adventures from the Book of Virtues episode "Courage" (1998), when Aristotle the prairie dog tells Zach the story of "Zach and the Beanstalk", in which Zach plays the character of Jack.
- Family Guy did Poltergeist, Back to the Future and Rocky III, as well as Family Guy Presents: Laugh It Up, Fuzzball for Star Wars.
- American Dad! did this with a whole episode based off of The Da Vinci Code. And one for James Bond (or perhaps that style of spy fiction in general, it's hard to tell). They also once did What's Eating Gilbert Grape, with squirrels.
- Lampshaded in "Return of the Bling," which is (as the name suggests) a Lord of the Rings parody. At the very end, Roger bites one of Stan's fingers off for no apparent reason. When Steve demands to know why, Roger just shrugs and says "They did it in the movie."
- Jimmy Two-Shoes had "I Am Jimmy", the first half of which was parallel to I Am Legend, with Jimmy and Cerbee being the last man and dog in he— Err, "Miseryville".
- Sealab 2021 played this trope straight... on itself. The show is a comedy "sequel" to Sealab 2020, starting out simply with footage from the latter show being Gag Dubbed to episodes with increasing original animation. However, one episode, "7211" had the new voice actors re-dubbing a Sealab 2020 episode verbatim, letting the original's boring plot and surreality of the situation play out for laughs. Sealab still explodes at the end, of course.
- Animaniacs was made out of this, doing cartoons inspired by sources such as Apocalypse Now ("Hearts of Twilight") and Duck Soup ("King Yakko").
- Tiny Toon Adventures did an impressive rendition of Sunset Boulevard featuring Elmyra as Norma, Montana Max as Joe, and Hamton as Max. Another episode of Tiny Toons was a parody of "Voyage of the Kon-Tiki", of all things, with Plucky as Thor Heyerdahl ("aah, mango juice").
- They also did an episode that was a recreation of Citizen Kane with Montana Max as Charles Foster Kane (saying "ACME!" instead of "Rosebud") although it turned out he was actually yelling "ACNE!", Star Trek starring Furball, Plucky and Hampton and Indiana Jones with Buster, and Superman with Babs.
- Pinky and the Brain did a parody of The Third Man titled "The Third Mouse". This was just one of many Orson Welles in-jokes added into the show due to the Brain having a vocal similarity to the actor.
- An even more subtle one is "Yes, Always", an homage to an infamous clip of Welles going ballistic while doing commercial voiceovers. The story goes that Maurice LaMarche (Brain's voice actor) used the "Yes, Always" clip as a warm-up, so they wrote an episode spoofing it.
- So far, the Animated Adaptation of Spaceballs seems to consist mainly of these.
- The Chipmunks Go to the Movies, the last season of Alvin and the Chipmunks, consisted only of these, the targets being relatively recent movies such as Batman, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Back to the Future, and whatnot.
- Gummi Bears (of all shows) did a whole episode based around The Bridge on the River Kwai (of all films), in which Gruffi Bear decides to build a bridge that will last forever but realizes he has to destroy it when Duke Igthorn uses it to mobilize his army.
- South Park also did The Wizard of Oz and Die Hard episodes, and a parody of Great Expectations, appropriately starring Pip as... Pip. Except for Estella's out-of-period insults such as "butt pirate", this version is more faithful to the book than a lot of serious adaptations. At least, until the end of the second act when it goes completely off the rails and becomes an action movie parody. (Estella doesn't kill a giant pile of bunnies in the novel? Next thing you know, we'll claim the robot monkeys don't appear in Dickens.)
- There were also episodes based on the Raiders of the Lost Ark, the The Lord of the Rings ("The Return of the Fellowship of the Ring to the Two Towers"), King Kong, 300, The Da Vinci Code, The Lottery, The Grapes of Wrath, TRON, The Day After Tomorrow, High School Musical, The Human Centipede, the Star Trek episode "Dagger of the Mind", Hannibal Lecter's scenes in The Silence of the Lambs and You Got Served.
- Actually, there are dozens of minor references to Star Trek in South Park, and at least three whole plot references: the aforementioned Dagger of the Mind/Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods, City on the Edge of Forever (Flashbacks)/The Galileo Seven, and The Wacky Molestation Adventure/Miri, although the latter is also a whole plot reference to Children of the Corn.
- Invoked in the Game of Thrones parody: Cartman sends Butters to visit George R.R. Martin to find out how A Song of Ice and Fire ends because he doesn't know what to do.
- And in a situation that drove Butters/Professor Chaos to hallucination was "Simpsons Did It!", where all of his nefarious plots were things that "The Simpsons" had done already. Chef lampshades this trope, along with pointing out some incidents of it that "The Simpsons" had engaged in before.
- The World's Greatest Super Friends consisted entirely of Whole Plot References to classic tales like The Wizard of Oz.
- The Fillmore! episodes "A Cold Day at X", "Two Wheels, Full Throttle, No Brakes" and "Immune to All But Justice" were essentially kid-friendly versions of Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) and Lethal Weapon 2 respectively.
- Of course Fillmore as a whole is referencing every late 60's/early 70's Quinn Martin detective show.
- Rugrats did a an episode based on Flowers for Algernon, replacing Charly's temporarily heightened intelligence with Chuckie's temporarily heightened sense of smell, and an It's a Wonderful Plot episode. There's also one where Angelica and Susie remade Thelma & Louise.
- Codename: Kids Next Door has done this many times, usually the genre of film can be discovered by the character in the lead role. Numbuh 5 is whenever it's a straight adventure film (Indiana Jones or Pirates of the Caribbean). Numbuh 2 has become the star of various horror flick parodies and a few Film Noirs. Anything in a genre that borrows from James Bond goes to Numbuh 1.
- The entire second season of Freakazoid! was composed of whole-episode parodies, from The Godfather to The Island of Doctor Moreau to Mission: Impossible to Hello, Dolly! to flippin' Amadeus. It seems that every single episode is one of these. Additionally, the first season had a parody of, of all things, The Crawling Eye (in "The Cloud").
- The "Decepticon Air" episode of Transformers Animated is basically one large send up to Die Hard, with a touch of Con Air, obviously.
- Hey Arnold! loved to do this a lot with a lot of semi-obscure movies/radio shows/etc like Marty, Birdman Of Alcatraz, The War of the Worlds, 12 Angry Men, Carmen, and even The Longest Day.
- The Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Senate Spy" shamelessly rips off Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious, swapping CGI Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala for Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.
- On Dexter's Laboratory, the "Dial M For Monkey" short "Wrasslor" is based on a story from Marvel Two-In-One Annual #7, with Wrasslor taking the role of The Champion and Monkey taking the role of The Thing.
- The plot of the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Squeaky Boots" is one long shout-out to Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart,
- The Beetlejuice cartoon did a few of these, including homages to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
- Martin Mystery has done this at least twice, with The Thing (1982) and Evil Dead.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog did its own rendition of The Nutcracker...taking place in a dump.
- Minoriteam had "Evilfellas", a brilliant episode-long take on Goodfellas and Casino. The action is moved to a circus world, with a Monster Clown filling Joe Pesci's roles. "Funny, how?"
- The plot of the Thomasthe Tank Engine episode "Edward and Spencer" is reminiscent of The Tortoise and the Hare.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic :
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Book 3-Chapter 2 episode "The Headband" is a WPR towards Footloose of all things.
- Regular Show - the episode "High Score" is a WPR towards the documentary King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, with GBF being an Expy of real-life video game champion Billy Mitchell.
- The Canadian animated show Olliver's Adventures had one episode that was basically a kid-friendly version of Fight Club.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode "Monster Hunt" is a retelling of Jaws, with Jimmy as Hooper, Carl as Brody, Sheen as Drunk!Hooper and Recurring Extra Captain Betty as Quint.
- The King of the Hill episode "A Firefighting We Will Go" references Rashomon with Hank, Dale, Bill, and Boomhauer as volunteer firemen telling their stories to the fire chief about what caused the fire house to burn down.
- Done frequently on Duck Dodgers, usually with a Planet of Hats as a justification for putting Dodgers in a completely different genre. (Planet of The Seventies in "Diamond Boogie", Planet of Japanese Media Tropes in "The Menace of Maninsuit", etc.)
- Threre were two shorts giving Marvin the Martian a Villain Protagonist Day in the Limelight. Both have Marvin under attack and rescued by Commander K9. However Marvin is oblivious to the attack and thinks it's K9 who's assaulting him, just like Porky and Sylvester in several classic Looney Tunes shorts. The second one also riffed on Classic Disney Shorts, playing up K9's resemblence to Pluto by making the enemies the Goofy Gophers, Warner's answer to Chip 'n Dale.
- Ned's Newt: The episode "Citizen Ned".
- Punky Brewster: The animated episode "Punky's Millions" is basically Brewsters Millions with the millions being a game show prize instead of an Unexpected Inheritance.
- The Looney Tunes Show finale "SuperRabbit" is a whole plot reference to Superman II, with the Looney Tunes cast filling for most of the characters.
- The second half of the second season of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes infamously began to aim for a feel more reminiscent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, under Jeph Loeb 's leadership and the massive success of the 2012 Avengers film. Among these new touches were the episode "Powerless" coming pretty darn close to being an animated version of Film/Thor. To clarify, Loki pilots the Destroyer to kill Thor, who has been stripped of his powers and rendered a mortal, which is all supposed to teach Thor a lesson in humility and of the strength of mortals as in the film but completely ignores Thor's characterization in the series.
- The sequel series Avengers Assemble remakes the final battle of the Avenger's film with the help of Impossible Man.
- Back at the Barnyard: "Pig Amok" is the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Amok Time" with Otis as Kirk and Pig as Spock.
- Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.: A Druff Is Enough: The heroes are distracted from their battle with aliens by cute, furry, voracious, and rapidly-reproducing creatures who eventually save the day. Like "The Trouble with Tribbles".
- The entire series of Over the Garden Wall is structured after Dantes Inferno.
- For such a light series, Littlest Pet Shop (2012) takes from some rather dark sources. "Heart of Darkness" not only bases itself on Heart of Darkness but also Apocalypse Now, "Sleeper" takes heavily from Weekend at Bernie's, "Back Window" is a retelling of Rear Window, and "In the Loop" lifts most of the premise (including the solution) from Groundhog Day. On a softer note, "A Day at the Museum" is done in the general style of Garfield's Feline Fantasies.