Clean up and Rename (alt names crowner 4/3): Parody Failure

Total posts: [77]
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1 dsneybuf1st Jan 2012 05:53:22 PM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
To me, the intro seems to say, "Any parody that adheres closely to the source material sucks." This might sound paranoid of me, but I think this sounds like an insult to people who enjoy parodies that derive humor from accurately emphasizing the target's stupidity (to borrow an example from the article's list, the "Cartoon Wars" from South Park). Worse, the title seems to encourage confusion about the article's meaning; the section about magazines includes some Mad Magazine comics that don't follow the source material closely enough.

One idea I had for revision included redefining the trope to encompass parodies guilty of both Did Not Do The Research and It's Been Done, per the Laconic page. Alternatively, we could try to come up with a new name for the page.

edited 1st Jan '12 8:58:50 PM by dsneybuf

I definitely share some of your confusion with what Parody Failure is supposed to be. Parodies that closely follow the source material may be what the description is hinting at, but from what I can tell, the examples seem to be a mix of those types of parodies, parodies of shows that already poked fun at themselves/were already over-the-top, and "complaining about parodies you do not like."

I could support your redefinition idea. I guess one question I still have is whether Parody Failure should be a YMMV trope though, especially in light of the following paragraph.
While many dislike a Parody Failure, they can still enjoy some popularity (in terms of profits) as the Lowest Common Denominator will recognize what is being parodied and still be amused no matter if the actual parody is funny or not. Sometimes the Parody Failure is not due to so much of Did Not Do the Research as it is Executives asking that more jokes be thrown in.
"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
That description reads like a movie critic trying to stretch "it didn't make me laugh" into a standard-lenght review.

The first paragraph talks about how bad it is when the parody does things the same way as the original, which is then totally contradicted by the second. Add in the usual "you might still like it if you've got no taste" and then finish by complaining how the parody writers didn't understand the original the way its supposed to be.
4 Spark93rd Jan 2012 03:14:53 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
How is this anything other than Complaining About Shows You Don't Like?
Special trousers. Very heroic.
We just need to clean this up and rename it. This trope is for when a parody, in seeking to mock a work, duplicates the original content instead of exaggerating it. The MAD example is incorrect; most are not.

The South Park/Family Guy one is complicated because Family Guy is so self-referential. I'd say it is not an example of a Parody Failure (it successfully mocked the Family Guy formula), but it would be if aired today because Family Guy itself has since mocked its own formula just as hard - it once cut away to studio technicians baffled with the unrelated elements they had to combine for a cutaway gag.

Definitely needs a rename though.
[up]Personally, I find the idea that a work would become off-limits to parodies by mocking itself ridiculous.
No work is off-limits to parodies. But parodies must go further than the work itself. That's what parody means.

You couldn't, for instance, parody Family Guy by mocking what a Manchild the main character and showing him talk a four-year-old interested in fire trucks. Because the character actually does that in the show. You could, say, mock its Author Tracts by having a silly scene give way to a ten-minute speech to the audience. But if the show one day actually does a ten-minute direct speech, depicting one as a parody would be a Parody Fail.

(There was a time when a clever parody of Family Guy might have shown an episode cutting to an entire unabridged music video as a gag. One can't anymore because a real episode actually did that.)
8 DragonQuestZ3rd Jan 2012 08:25:10 AM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
[up]It's not that. It's that a parody shouldn't just parrot the same joke a show already made.

The Wolverine middle finger copied in Epic Movie is one example.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
That's another part of the same thing. It's the parody failing to parody the original in that it fails to exaggerate it.

(But we assume that the parody doesn't mean to copy the joke. Epic Movie didn't parrot back any joke at the audience. It cracked a joke, little realizing that its appearance in the actual movie rendered its parody appearance pointless.)

edited 3rd Jan '12 8:29:46 AM by Routerie

10 Spark93rd Jan 2012 08:29:06 AM from Castle Wulfenbach , Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Is this basically a subtrope of Did Not Do The Research? For example, the parody writers of Epic Movie apparently thought it would be cool for Wolvie to give 'Clops the finger, and didn't do the research that the writers of the X-Men film had the same idea.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
It's an example of someone failing to do the research, yes.
12 LouieW3rd Jan 2012 03:09:06 PM from Babycowland

So, do you think that we should clean up Parody Failure to fit the description "the parody writers actually do what the piece's real creators would do/have done, but think themselves as writing a clever spoof" or something similar?

I can see some merit in doing that. I guess I just wonder how we could come up with a name/description that would discourage people from using the trope to complain about parodies they simply disliked. I suppose I also am not sure why this kind of thing is a trope, but that might just be due to ignorance on my part.

On a related note, would anyone like a page action crowner for settling what to do with this trope or should we wait for some more discussion first?

edited 3rd Jan '12 3:21:40 PM by LouieW

"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
There's a decent core, there, but it needs a clean-up to get rid of the complaining and bad examples. I'd get started on that, but are we agreed that's what needs to be done?
I think so. Here's a possible rewrite:

Parody, by definition, must exaggerate. Yet some attempts at parody fail at this basic task. The spoof writer aims for clever jokes or commentary but instead directly duplicates the original work, resulting in Parody Failure.

This usually stems from ignorance of the source matrial. The writer underestimates the original's capacity for incongruous situations, characterization or dialogue, falsely thinking such elements will necessarily parody the source. Parody Failure also results from misunderstanding how works play with their own tropes. Works that deconstruct themselves or play their tropes for laughs render some parodies redundant.

The jokes in a Parody Failure may succeed on their own - they may have succeeded on their own in the original work - but they fail as a critique on or response to the original. Viewers may also simply enjoy a Parody Failure by interpreting it as a Shout-Out rather than a parody.

Contrast with Shallow Parody, when source material ignorance produces a parody that departs too much from the original.

Perhaps renaming this to Redundant Parody will clarify it.

edited 4th Jan '12 3:53:17 AM by Routerie

15 LouieW3rd Jan 2012 09:41:02 PM from Babycowland

I think that sounds like a good way to take out some of the complaining bait from the description. I also support the Redundant Parody rename idea since I feel like it is a lot more accurate and precise than Parody Failure.

There is now a page action crowner for this trope here. Feel free to add options as you see fit.
Parody Failure found in: 37 articles, excluding discussions.

Since January 1, 2011 this article has brought 123 people to the wiki from non-search engine links.

edited 3rd Jan '12 9:42:52 PM by LouieW

"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
But how do we know that "The spoof writer aims for clever jokes or commentary" as opposed to just copying the scene on purpose?
If we don't, it's not a spoof, and it's not an example.
18 dsneybuf6th Jan 2012 10:25:25 AM , Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
Does the revised definition include parodies that deliberately reuse some of the subject's actual quotes?
19 DragonQuestZ6th Jan 2012 10:32:15 AM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
That's going to be tricky. We might need Word of God that some things were too good not to reuse.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
If they're reusing quotes, that's not failing at parodying. That's just... quoting. Or referencing. Perhaps a Shallow Parody, but not this.
21 DragonQuestZ6th Jan 2012 11:43:18 AM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
Well if a joke is retold verbatim, that might count as bad parody.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
Well yeah, it's a bad parody, but this trope isn't "bad parody," though its name suggests it.
23 DragonQuestZ6th Jan 2012 02:02:10 PM from Somewhere in California
The Other Troper
The redundancy is there, so it would count as this.
I'm on the internet. My arguments are invalid.
Sure, but "redundant parody" is just a potential new name, not the trope's whole definition. You might also say that Super was a redundant parody because superhero deconstructions had been done to death. Or the title "Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters," which parodies the Title: The Adaptation trope, is a redundant parody in that it parodies through redundancy. But neither are examples of what this page covers.
I think what we have here is not 1 poorly-defined trope, but 3, lumped under one name:

1. "Parodies that just repeat something from the original instead of warping it". E.g., that example with Wolverine giving Cyclops the finger. Suggested name: Repeating Instead Of Spoofing, or something along these lines.

2. "Parodies that parody a parody". E.g., Batfink parodying the Adam West Batman show. Tropes Are Not Bad, so those "Parody Parodies" can be potentially good, they're just much more difficult to do successfully than spoofing a serious work. Suggested name: Parody Parody.

3. "Parodies I don't like". Which is not a trope :)

P.S.: I also don't like the current title. Even if the article's creator didn't mean it, it sounds too much like "parodies I don't like" for me :(

edited 9th Jan '12 5:17:26 AM by Zulfiqar

Alternative Titles: Parody Failure
3rd Apr '12 6:39:00 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.
At issue:

Total posts: 77
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