The series was originally directed by Keenen Ivory Wayans, and was written in large part by his brothers Shawn (playing Ray, pictured top right) and Marlon (playing Shorty, pictured bottom left). The first movie was mainly a parody of the first Scream (by extent missing the point that Scream was itself a parody of horror movies), although it also heavily spoofed I Know What You Did Last Summer and took jabs at various other films, and not necessarily just from the horror genre. Despite the promises of no sequels, a second movie was released under the tagline "We Lied", which mainly spoofed the 1999 remakes of The Haunting and House on Haunted Hill.
Following the departure of the Wayans family from the series, the following two films were directed by David Zucker (who directed, wrote and produced the previously mentioned The Naked Gun and Airplane films alongside his brother Jerry and their partner Jim Abrahams). The third movie combined the storylines of Signs and The Ring, while it had a subplot spoofing 8 Mile. The "fourth and final chapter of the trilogy" mainly parodied The Village (2004), The Grudge and War of the Worlds (2005) while also incorporating a bit of Saw.
After years in Development Hell, a fifth film was released in April 2013, and mainly parodies Mama, Paranormal Activity and Black Swan, while also touching on Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Inception, The Cabin in the Woods and Evil Dead.
These films helped to kick off a new wave of parody films, including the... less well received ones of Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg, who were minor contributing writers to the first film of this series.
Compare Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th, which came out around the same time as the first movie and has a very similar main plotline (the way it's tackled notwithstanding).
Provides examples of:
- Awful Truth: Used and parodied mercilessly across all films regarding who the monster/killer could be.
- Big "NO!":
- Which will always end with someone getting run over. In the first two movies anyway.
- In a deleted scene in the third film, Brenda says this when she got fired for trying to warn everyone about the deadly tape (because it doesn't involve boobies).
- Black Dude Dies First:
- Defied in the first film, when the black news crew leaves as soon as the deaths start.Black news reporter: Reporting live for Black TV. White folks are dead, we're getting the fuck out of here!
- Ironically, its also inverted in the first movie. The last victim of the killer is Ray, who is black (though he's gotten better in the next movie).
- Also lampshaded in the second film, as Brenda yells at the white folks for suggesting they split up.Brenda: Uh uh uh uh uh uh uh uh UH! Now wait a minute, hold up! How come when anytime this scary shit happens, and we should stick together, you white people always say "let's split up"?
Theo: She's right, we should stick together.
Dwight: She's right. Okay. You three, follow me! [Points to the white members of the group, leaving the three black people in another group]
Shorty: Ain't that a bitch.
Brenda: We gonna die, y'all.
- Played straight in the third movie, when Brenda is the first main character to die because of the tape. (Cindy would have helped her if not for the boy-who-cried-wolf scenario of the scene).
- Defied in the first film, when the black news crew leaves as soon as the deaths start.
- The Brainless Beauty:
- Buffy Gilmore & Greg Phillippe. The former is so vapid and stupid that she berates the killer as he cuts off her head, the latter can barely spell his name.
- And the most clueless of them all, Cindy! But only in the later films. Anna Faris is definitely beautiful, and Cindy is definitely brainless in 3 and 4, but in the first two films she's a parody of unpopular, Hollywood Homely Final Girls.
- Cody and Rachel, child characters who take a lot of physical abuse.
- Cindy in the first two movies.
- Choosy Beggar: A homeless man asks Cindy and her friends if they can spare a dollar. Buffy is utterly repulsed by him, but Cindy gives him a sandwich. The homeless man responds by saying "I said a dollar, bitch!" and throws the sandwich back at Cindy.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Virtually every character, but Oliver (played by Michael Madsen) in Scary Movie 4 stands out, as demonstrated in Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs. Another notable quote from the third movie:What I'm trying to say Tom, is that you and I should be fighting these things, it should be us coming up out of the ground. Of course we'll have to bury ourselves first, but it'll be worth it. Cool breeze, no sunblock, worms. When we build our tripods, they'll have four legs.
- Dawson Casting: Lampshaded in-universe in the first film when the characters talk about how, if they were in a horror movie, they'd be played by people in their 20s and 30s (which all of the real-life actors are). They all stop for a moment, letting that sink in.
- Deconstructor Fleet: The entire series of films. Although it tears down horror movies the most, no film is safe from being mocked.
- Depraved Homosexual: Ray is so gay it hurts, even though he tries to deny it. He shows his depraved side when he rapes a Monster Clown puppet who really chose the wrong victim. It's played for laughs.
- Disrupting the Theater: Brenda is infamous for ruining movies for the rest of the audience with her obnoxious behaviour (loud phone conversations, spoiling the ending, etc.). It culminates in her being murdered not by Ghostface, but by the audience when they finally get enough.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Averted—despite what the title says, these are NOT Scary Movies, but comedies. Scary Movie was the original intended title of Scream (1996), a genuine horror film despite its parodic elements.
- The Fool: Just about every main character, most notably Cindy Campbell.
- Gag Penis:
- In Scary Movie, Ray gets one right through his skull when he puts his ear up to a glory hole in the movie-theater bathroom.
- In Scary Movie 2, a monster clown doll tries to scare Ray and drags him under the bed. A minute later, the tables turn on the clown and he tries to escape... only for Ray's suddenly snake-like penis wrap around the clown's throat and drag him back under the bed!
- The fourth movie teaches us to never try swallowing all of the Viagra pills.
- Genre Blindness: Most characters, most blatantly parodied in the first movie when Drew Decker sees two signs pointing towards "Safety" and "Death" while running from a killer. Guess which one she chooses?
- Jump Scare: As already mentioned, these are not generally scary movies, despite the name. What scariness is to be found in them is often of this type. Similarly, the Cat Scare (or, in one case, a Horse Scare) is also often used.
- Lampshade Hanging: The films tend to point out ridiculous conventions of horror movies, like Let's Split Up, Gang! being thoroughly called out in 2.
- Lethally Stupid: EVERYBODY!!! Especially Cindy and George.
- Locker Mail: Greg is left a threatening message on his locker consisting of the words "I know" written on a Polaroid of his Teeny Weenie.
- Look Both Ways: Every movie ends with someone getting hit by a car or a bus except the fifth one... until The Stinger.
- Make Way for the Princess: Buffy, with Brenda and Cindy following close behind.
- Narrow Parody: The later films in the series ended up like this. Originally, they worked, as most Horror Tropes were codified in The '80s or earlier, so anyone with even a passing familiarity with the horror genre will get the jokes. However, later gags became a lot more obvious and telegraphed while the pool of references narrowed from broader subgenres of horror (slashers in the first, Haunted House/ghost movies in the second) to specific, recent movies (some of which weren't even horror). The first big complaint from fans was the inclusion in the third film of an extended parody of 8 Mile, which had nothing to do with horror movies. The fourth film was probably the worst for this, as the primary plot is a spoof of War of the Worlds (2005), which isn't really a horror film so much as an action film, and there's also an extended (and plot-critical) parody of Million Dollar Baby, something else which is in no way a horror film.
- Negative Continuity: Each film makes barely any reference to the events of the previous, often bringing characters back to life who were very clearly dead with no acknowledgement other than the occasional waviest of hand waves.
- No Fourth Wall: Repeatedly and gleefully broken, often with an Aside Glance.
- Oh, No... Not Again!: Cindy keeps forgetting Cody, leading to a moment of regret and anxiety at the end of 3 when she notices him missing again. She doesn't hit him backing up the car like she did before—another car plows into him from the side.
- Overly Long Gag: A very common theme is that this kind of joke is used throughout the series.
- Parody Names: Usually referencing the original actors (in the original, Bobby Prinze, Drew Decker, Greg Phillipe; in the fourth, Tom Ryan), the original character (in the original, Gale Weathers: Gail Hailstorm, Randy Meeks: Brenda Meeks, Dewey Riley: Doofus; in the second: Regan McNeil: Megan Voorhees) or both (Cindy Campbell: Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell).
- Reset Button: Parodied in the context of dead characters being alive in the next movie with little (or no) explanation. It often gets a Lampshade Hanging.
- Happens to Brenda repeatedly. She got stabbed to death in the first movie, but then comes back for the 2nd with no explanation. And then in the 3rd movie, she dies again. In the 4th, Cindy finds her on crashed plane. The following exchange occurs.Cindy: Brenda! I thought you were dead!Brenda: Oh Cindy, I thought you were dead too.
- Found in 2 as well.Cindy: Oh, my God, Ray! What are you doing here?Ray: It's the sequel.Cindy: Oh... right.
- She also dismisses forever the facts that Ray slept with her ex-boyfriend and tried to kill her.
- Happens to Brenda repeatedly. She got stabbed to death in the first movie, but then comes back for the 2nd with no explanation. And then in the 3rd movie, she dies again. In the 4th, Cindy finds her on crashed plane. The following exchange occurs.
- Running Gag: Several throughout the series and many in individual films, most notably Cindy constantly changing her career, Brenda's promiscuity, and the fact that someone always gets hit by a vehicle at the end of every movienote (and right after a Big "NO!", too!). Also, Cindy's many boyfriends and their powerful... uh, emissions.
- Sassy Black Woman: Brenda is a black woman depicted as quick to call out nonsense going on around her with a sassy, belligerent attitude.
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Mahalik and CJ have nonsensical conversations about issues such as whether one can wake up dead, the difference between mice and rats, or the paradox of turning up missing.
- Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror: As a straight-up parody, these movies are way over on the silly side of things. Every death and horror moment is played for laughs, although later movies are increasingly less about horror films in general.
- They Killed Kenny Again: Brenda dying every other movie only to come back in the next one with no explanation.
- Those Two Guys: Mahalik and C.J. in the third and fourth films.
- Toilet Humor / Vulgar Humor: Used pretty often. Basically all body fluids (urine, feces, snot, vomit, semen...) are used for comedy.
- Uncle Tomfoolery: Shorty Meeks is an exaggerated black buffoon character depicted as a lazy goofy stoner. Mahalik and CJ also play into this stereotype, though the characters themselves seem aware of it and Lampshade it.
- Whole-Plot Reference:
- The first two mostly follow one movie in the central plot, Scream (1996) for the first and The Haunting (1999) for the second.
- The third mixes The Ring and Signs and also tosses in a bit of 8 Mile just for giggles.
- The fourth is an amalgam of four pictures (The Village (2004), The Grudge, War of the Worlds (2005) and Saw).
- The fifth has elements from Paranormal Activity, Black Swan, Mama and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
- Actor Allusion: David Lander's role, Principal "Squiggy" Squiggman. His character in Laverne & Shirley was named like that. Not only that, his haistyle is the same, and he has a poster of Shotz Beer (the brewery where the series' eponymous duo works) on his wall.
- Alpha Bitch: Played with. Buffy is firmly in the Lovable side of the trope until her turn in the queue of death comes up.
- Aggressive Submissive: Bobby is the one pressuring Cindy into sex, while Cindy ends up being the dominant one when they finally do it.
- Ambiguously Bi: Buffy and Cindy have boyfriends, but mention going down on each other one time. However, given that they swore to never speak of it again, it could have just as easily been bicurious experimentation.
- Anatomically Impossible Sex: Cindy is literally plastered to the ceiling by a veritable geyser that leaves her boyfriend visibly drained of all his body fat and fluids. This follows from her chastity, suggesting she had been keeping it off for so long that he was just that impossibly loaded up.
- And This Is for...: The film spoofs this mercilessly. At a movie theatre showing of Shakespeare in Love, Brenda talks loudly through the film, and spoils the ending for the other audience members. Infuriated, one audience member grabs the Killer's knife, and stabs Brenda with it. After this, a succession of other audience members attack her for ruining other films: a cop beats her with a nightstick for ruining The Fugitive, a bishop hits her with a mitre for ruining Big Momma's House, a rabbi stabs her for ruining Schindler's List, a Buddhist monk slashes her stomach for ruining all Jackie Chan movies, a woman dressed like Mother Teresa hits her for ruining Boogie Nights, and two girls stab her for ruining Thelma & Louise.
- Ass Pull: Parodied at the end of the first movie, where the killer is revealed to be the developmentally disabled Doofy, who turns out to be faking his disability and has already gotten away and is shown taking off his disguise and is then picked up by his girlfriend and drives off into the sunset. Earlier in the film, the girlfriend had no idea that he was even the mastermind, but they're revealed to have been working together in the ending.
- Asshole Victim: Played for Laughs. Brenda is watching a movie in a crowded theater; she's being loud and obnoxious, ruining the movie for everyone else. Ghostface is then shown to be sitting in the seat next to her... but before he gets the chance (in a parody of Scream 2), one of the other moviegoers steals his knife and stabs her. He then just sits and drinks his soda while all the other audience members (including a rabbi, the Dalai Lama, Mother Theresa, and the Pope) continue to stab her to death. When Brenda stumbles in front of the screen and finally falls dead, they applaud.
- The Bad Guy Wins: At the end Doofy turns out to be the real Ghostface killer, and murders all of Cindy's friends and the two idiots copying him. He's then revealed to have been working together with Gail, the reporter covering the story, and they both drive off before they can be caught.
- Beauty Contest: Spoofed in the first movie. At a beauty pageant Buffy says that she's gonna do a dramatic reading, then witnesses her boyfriend Greg being murdered on the auditorium balcony by the masked killer. She breaks down in tears pleading for help, but the judges think it's All Part of the Show and declare her the winner for her "convincing performance".
- Beneath Suspicion: Doofy is the killer but never faces suspicion and gets away with the crimes due to posing as a mentally disabled man no one would think capable of planning a murder spree.
- Big Bad: Doofy Gilmore is the killer.
- Big "SHUT UP!": Gail Hailstorm screams this at Kenny the cameraman when she's on the verge of gagging over him accidentally touching her breast and he won't stop babbling about it.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Buffy pretends to be sweet and innocent and puts on an act for her parents, but immediately tears off her demure wardrobe and reveals her mean, shallow side out of their sight.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The film's crew is featured in one scene when Bobby tells Cindy they're in a movie, and when the Dawson's Creek theme song starts playing during another scene, James Van Der Beek shows up, only to realize he's on the wrong set.
- Breast Attack: Drew Decker gets stabbed in the breast by Ghostface, and her breast implant pops out, leaving her relatively unharmed and Ghostface rather perplexed.
- Brick Joke: Buffy calls out Doofy for using the vacuum cleaner as a sex toy, and a later scene shows him upset at being disturbed in his room, vacuum in tow.
- Bullet Time: The movie parodied The Matrix bullet-time scene with a thrown disc-shaped object. The killer bends back... and you can hear a crack. When time speeds back up, he can't "un-bend".
- The Cameo: James Van Der Beek appears, apparently in-character as Dawson Leery, climbing into Cindy's window before realizing he's in the wrong house.
- Cat Scare: Parodied several times, first with a character checking for a noise finds a cat, then a dog, then a horse.
- Character Filibuster: Parodied when Ray states that "Watching TV shows doesn't create serial killers. Cancelling TV shows does!" He then states how The Wayans Bros. was a good show that didn't get a proper final episode while repeatedly stabbing Bobby with a knife.
- Creator Cameo: Keenen Ivory Wayans appears as a slave in the Amistad II trailer.
- Creepy Gym Coach: The high school coach is a man pretending to be a woman (played by a roided female bodybuilder) who's apparently just using the job to spy on teenage girls. Cindy only realizes this when she goes to the coach's office for advice and sees a pair of balls hanging from "her" skirt.
- Curtain Camouflage: At some point in the beginning of the movie, the killer hides behind a curtain. Or he would, if not for his hook poking out.
- Death by Genre Savviness: Parodied with Buffy's death scene, where she condescendingly calls out all of the clichés of a slasher death scene, even after her head has been cut off.
- Department of Redundancy Department: At one point, Buffy refers to Doody as a "retarded retard".
- Depraved Homosexual: Bobby is an odd example in that his crimes aren't sexual in nature, but he only becomes a serial killer after Cindy denies him sex and he realizes that he and Ray (his partner in the killing spree) are gay soulmates. Ray denies the accusation however—with increasing implausibility, as Bobby notes all the things they do together, up to and including going down on each other.Bobby: "But - you made love to me!"
Ray: "No, whoa, whoa, whoa, first of all you sucked my -"
Bobby: Whatever, Ray!
- Disguised in Drag: Used for a gross-out gag with the high school sports coach "Ms. Mann", a very muscular guy who is pretending to be a woman so he can get closer to the students. This becomes obvious when Cindy goes to her for advice and sees a set of balls hanging out. (The person who played the coach was female bodybuilder Jayne Trcka).
- The Dog Was the Mastermind: The Scream-esque serial killer is actually revealed to be Doofy, the apparently mentally disabled police officer. Then again it is a parody.
- Downer Ending: Most of the cast is dead, and the killer has escaped suspicion until literally the minute after he left the police station. The last scene of the film is the killer and his girlfriend driving off into the sunset, and the heroine screaming into the sky before being hit by a car.
- "Eureka!" Moment: Sheriff Burke and Cindy in the penultimate scene after David Keegan is confirmed to be dead and thus couldn't have been the killer. With her lead suspect cleared, Cindy has no idea who else it could possibly be. Going off the evidence they have, Burke theorizes it has to be someone who's connected to all the victims, who knew about the accident, and who could move around without being noticed. Cindy mulls that over for a moment...and then she slowly realizes that Doofy meets all of Burke's criteria.
- Everyone Has Standards: While describing a party at Puff Daddy's place, Brenda admits she doesn't care that her friend Buffy is a hoe, but says that banging one of the back-up dancers is disgusting.Brenda: That shit is nasty. That's lower than the security guard. At least security can get you backstage!
- Expressive Mask:
- Ghostface, whose mask face gets visibly stoned when smoking weed.
- Also, the smiling Ghostface from the poster as seen in the "Wassuuuuuup!!!" sequence.
- Fair-Play Whodunnit: Despite being a parody, the film has this structure. The characters being murdered don't know who's hunting them, but the audience is indeed given enough clues to figure it out before the reveal at the film's end.
- Faux Horrific: Brenda reacts to Shakespeare in Love like she's at a screening of a tense horror movie, including screaming and shouting advice to the characters like they're facing their doom in a typical horror scenario.
- Foreshadowing: Plenty to the reveal of Doofy being the killer.
- By far the biggest sign is early on in the film, when the killer calls Cindy, while she is staying at Buffy's house. As Cindy realises that the voice on the other end of the line is the killer, Buffy's mother calls for Doofy to come to the phone. After she calls his name, the killer says "No, it isn't me", before hanging up.
- The three that are actually shown to us at the end. Two were used in one of the movies being spoofed (although the killer's counterpart in the original is not the killer), but the third is a big one: Doofy had a crush on the first victim when she babysat him, and he also knew about them running over that guy.
- Doofy giving information on the police's investigation to Gail, things he probably wouldn't know if he didn't eavesdrop.
- The extra work he puts into killing Buffy could have only been personal, like revenge against a sister who has bullied him for years.
- When he tricks his fellow officer into sniffing his finger's which smell like shit, the look on Doofy's face looks less like a mentally-challenged person, and more like he knows exactly what he's doing.
- The fact that the filmmakers continually show us a character who's supposed to be mentally-challenged repeatedly giving a bunch of creepy Kubrick Stares is a dead giveaway the he's faking the mental disability.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: One of the previews for the movie Brenda and Ray watch is rated I for "Immature", with the description "We thought it would be funny to put this here. Kiss our asses take it off pause".
- Funny Background Event: During Buffy's death scene, it's shown that the high school's name is "B.A. Corpse High School".
- Genre Savvy: The black reporters at the school are well-aware that black people don't survive long in horror movies and make a point to leave as soon as possible.
- Giving Them the Strip: While fleeing Ghostface in the opening scene, Drew Decker manages to lose her sweater and then her skirt (before running through a lawn sprinkler in slo-mo). Subverted in that it still doesn't keep her from getting killed.
- Her Boyfriend's Jacket: Parodied. While Ray and Brenda are chilling out she's wearing his football shirt, which turns him on. He asks her to wear more of his football clothing, including his pads and helmet to Brenda's increasing confusion. When he accidentally call her "Brendan", it's cemented that he wants to pretend she's a man.
- Hotter and Sexier: Features a lot raunchier fanservice that the films being parodied.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Whilst inside the theater, Brenda warns the rest of the audience not to talk during the movie, while merrily doing so herself. Her behavior is so obnoxious that they resort to murdering her so they can enjoy the remainder of the presentation.
- Brenda starts complaining to Cindy about her dislike of Buffy, insulting her and claiming that the worst part is how “fake” Buffy is— until Buffy arrives and Brenda cheerfully greets her like a best friend. Brenda later does the same thing with Buffy’s competition.
- While they're being chased by the killer, Gail yells at Kenny to "move your fat ass" - it's clear, as shown from Kenny's camera, that she is fairly large on the bottom.
- In One Ear, Out The Other: Ray gets seemingly killed by a penis through the ears, though he gets better.
- I See Dead People: The movie parodied the line as used in The Sixth Sense. Shorty says "I see dead people" to his buddies. They all laugh and agree with each other that they scored some really good weed.
- Jack the Ripoff: There are three separate Ghostfaces, two of whom are copycats. Bobby and Ray are the impostors, while Doofy is the real Ghostface killer.
- Karma Houdini:
- Doofy escapes all legal consequences for the murders by running off with Gail at the end.
- Gail herself. She kills a student for being annoying, abuses Kenny and is partially responsible for his and Heather’s death. She also helps Doofy run away together to escape the police.
- Kick the Dog: Gail constantly abuses Kenny over minor inconveniences (though it’s pretty justified when he touches her boob), even during her big Pet the Dog moment, she still insults his weight.
- Male Gaze:
- Misplaced Sorrow: One girl is outraged to find a fellow student has been murdered...because she planned to cheat off said student's test that day.
- Missing White Woman Syndrome: Parodied when Cindy sends an email to the police reading "White woman in trouble!" and the next shot shows the house surrounded by police cruisers.
- Murder Simulators: As a Scream spoof, criticism of this accusation is echoed and further parodied. When Cindy accuses the killers of becoming homicidal lunatics by watching too much TV, one of them corrects her: it's canceling TV shows that actually made them killers, and he goes on to lament the end of The Wayans Bros., an earlier show the creators were involved in.
- Nipple and Dimed: During one of the locker room scenes, there is a very brief moment when a nipple is visible on an unnamed background character.
- No Dress Code: Buffy arrives at school dressed modestly in a cardigan. Once her father is gone, she changes into a Stripperific outfit and attends school that way.
- "No Peeking!" Request: Parodied when the killer stalks Cindy with a Short-Distance Phone Call, taunting her that he's in the same house with her, but she can't find him... just as she sees his legs sticking out from behind a couch.Cindy: Um, you're behind the couch, I can see your feet.
Killer: D'oh! Okay, okay close your eyes! [Quickly scurries out and starts looking for another hiding spot] No peeking!
- Nostril Shot: Parodied, where the character talking to the camera Blair Witch-style has a runny nose that just keeps running.
- Not His Sled: The movie is a mix and match spoof of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, and despite being entirely comedic, manages to do this by having neither murderer be like the ones from the movies this one is parodying. Bobby and Ray, the equivalent to Billy and Stu are only copycat killers to the real Ghostface and have only killed people at the party. The Fisherman is merely a Red Herring and has nothing to do with theirs or the real killer's motive—the guy that Cindy and her friends ran over was buried without issue. The real killer turns out to be Doofy (the film's equivalent of Officer Dewey Riley), who appears to kill people all around just for the pleasure of it and is faking his mental disability (as a spoof of The Usual Suspects).
- Not Quite Dead: The guy the friend group ran over and assumed they killed in the flashback remained alive until the group finally disposed of the "body", actually killing him for real once done.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Doofy pretends to be mentally disabled and evades all suspicion for his crimes as the killer.
- Offing the Annoyance: Played for laughs when a reporter of the killing spree in the town is annoyed by a teenager who pops up behind her to goof off in front of the camera. She pulls out a gun and shoots him, then immediately changes her report of the murderer's toll from "1 dead teen" to "2 dead teens".
- Offscreen Teleportation: Played with, where the killer shows himself to the main character and is seen scurrying back behind the tree when she looks away.
- Once More, with Clarity: Once Cindy realizes that Doofy was the killer all along during her "Eureka!" Moment, several Doofy or Doofy-centric scenes from earlier in the film are replayed with the new context to confirm her suspicions. This is also in parody of the similar 'Once More' sequence from The Usual Suspects.
- Pet the Dog: Gail Hailstorm spends all of her scenes with Kenny bullying him for his weight and incompetence, but when the killer hunts her and Kenny down, she screams for him to run faster, and after he’s killed she sobs to the camera, apologizing to Kenny’s family and blaming herself for it.
- Prison Rape: When Cindy apologizes to Bobby in the school cafeteria for getting him locked up overnight because she believed him to be the killer, a big burly prisoner walks into frame and thanks Bobby for the "company".
- Really Gets Around: Cindy's mother, if the sheriff's and the school principal's lewd comments are any indication.
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie: The trailer for Amistad II.
- Sarcastic Confession: Doofy partway through the film when Cindy catches him wearing a Ghostface mask and he exclaims, "It's me, Cinds!". In the context of the scene on the first viewing, it's played as a panicked reassurance. Cindy (and by extension the audience) doesn't realize it was actually a Sarcastic Confession until her "Eureka!" Moment.
- Say My Name: Cindy and Bobby while in bed, finally having sex. Bobby's dream has come true.Cindy: WHAT'S MY NAME, BOBBY?
Cindy: (slaps him) WHAT'S MY NAME, BITCH? (slaps him HARD)
Bobby: (cries) Ow, God, it's CINDY!
- Sex Comedy: Not officially, but since the Hormone-Addled Teenager is a key component of the Slasher Movie formula being parodied, there are plenty of ludicrous graphic sex gags that redefine "over the top".
- Sexy Shirt Switch: Parodied. Ray likes seeing Brenda in his football jersey and has her put on his pads and helmet so he can obscure her female form before having sex with her.
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: See the poster up there? Protagonist Anna Faris is eschewed in favor of Carmen Electra (dies in the opening scene) and then-popular Shannon Elizabeth. (the DVD adds her, though)
- Slow-Motion Drop: Parodied, when Cindy drops a coffee cup after realizing the identity of the killer, and a goldfish is seen flopping around in the contents.
- A fight scene between Cindy and the Killer movie parodies The Matrix, see Bullet Time.
- The character of Buffy Gilmore.
- While hanging around with Shorty and the other stoners, the Killer spooks them for a laugh by mimicking the "ki-ki-ki-ma-ma-ma" leitmotif from the Friday the 13th films.
- Cindy demanding Bobby Say My Name while she cowgirls him is a reference to American Pie.
- The Twist Ending, in which Doofy turns out to be the killer, drops his pretense of being mentally handicapped, gets into a car and drives away, parodies the ending of The Usual Suspects.
- Cindy spots The Killer outside her classroom, much like Laurie spotted Michael in the first Halloween.
- During the first scene with Bobby, Cindy mentions that one time she puked green slime and masturbated with a crucifix.
- Spoofed the Ironic Film Seriously: The movie got some flak for parodying a movie series that was already meant to be a satire of the Slasher Movie genre. It works mostly because Scream itself doesn't really seem sure whether it's meant to be a parody, and seems more like a straight entry of the genre at times.
- Such a Phony: Brenda complains about Buffy to Cindy, saying that Buffy is "as fake as press-on nails". However, when Buffy approaches them, Brenda greets her with a sweet "Hey, baby girl!".
- Suicide as Comedy: Cindy yells into the air "What are you waiting for?!" in frustration. Little does she realize that on the roof behind her a man is actually getting ready to jump to his death. Upon hearing her he asks "What am I waiting for? WHAT AM I WAITING FOR?!" and jumps.Teacher: FUCK YOOOOOUUUUUUUU!!! *Splat*
- Take That!: Doofy, a parody of David Arquette's character Dewey from Scream (1996). While Dewey is a dorky yet genuinely competent officer when push comes to shove, Doofy exaggerates this into being a developmentally disabled buffoon who's actually the villain putting on a ruse.
- The Tape Knew You Would Say That: The film has a variation involving a note and an Imagine Spot:I know what you did last Halloween.
[cut to Cindy's imagination: she's remembering a romantic afternoon with Bobby. When she snaps back, she unfolds and reads more of the note]
No, bitch! I'm talking about the guy you killed!
- Teacher/Student Romance: After preaching about the need for religion in schools, a teacher is shown breastfeeding her baby, then handing him to a student, saying "Here, spend some time with your daddy." She then points to another student and says "I'll see you after class," rather provocatively.
- Teeny Weenie: The Killer's threatening message to Greg is the words "I Know" on a polaroid of his small dick.Greg: A small dick's like a disability, man! Would you make fun of a guy in a wheelchair?! Huh? Where are you, you sick fuck?! I'll kick the shit outta you, all right?! It's not the size of the hammer, it's the nail you're throwing it at!
- Terror at Make-Out Point: Spoofed by having a news crew go to the scene where they expect a killer to appear. Naturally, he does show up and kill a girl waiting for her boyfriend to come back, and then the whole thing turns into a Blair Witch Project spoof as the news crew runs away.
- This Way to Certain Death: Parodied when Carmen Electra's character is faced with an actual road sign clearly marked 'Death', and still follows it.
- Too Dumb to Live:
- The film opens with Carmen Electra's character being menaced by a serial killer while her parents are out. She glances to the side, where a table has things like a revolver, a knife, a grenade, and a banana neatly laid out. She takes the banana. And while running away, she comes to a fork in the road where there are two signs. One points towards "Death", the other one towards "Safety". Guess which path she chooses?
- Exaggerated with Buffy Gilmore, who's convinced that the serial killer is a prankster even as he cuts her head off and throws it into a bin.
- Transparent Closet: A Running Joke with Ray. Throughout the movie he does many questionable things such as tucking his shirt like a Camp Gay, describing a male character as having "long hair", a "pretty little mouth", and a "perfect ass", and wants to go to prison so he can meet some sex-starved convicts. He has a girlfriend, Brenda, who is clearly The Beard — he makes out with her regularly, but his Wrong-Name Outburst shows he would rather be making out with a Brendan. Despite everybody with two brain cells to rub together being able to see it, he's deeply in denial.Bobby: That's right Cindy - I'm gay. And in case you haven't noticed, so is Ray.
Ray: (confused) What? I ain't gay.
Bobby: What are you talking about? You took me to that club.
Ray: So? They play good music.
Bobby: Well, what about our trip to San Francisco then?
Ray: I wanted to go shopping.
Bobby: [on the verge of crying] But... you made love to me.
Ray: No hohoho, first of all you sucked my-
Bobby: Whatever, Ray!
- Twist Ending: The film parodies the ending of The Usual Suspects, by revealing that Officer Doofy actually isn't retarded at all, and was the mastermind behind all the murders, and ends with him being picked up and driven away in much the same manner as that film's main character.
- Two Dun It: Subverted. There are three separate killers all adopting the Ghostface persona. The first two are two guys working together, while the "real" killer is a guy Obfuscating Stupidity who kills the former two for trying to upstage him.
- Uncool Undies: When Greg/Buffy and Ray/Brenda are making out in the back seat of the car. Greg enthusiastically removes Buffy's lacy thong panties from under her skirt. Ray does the same to Brenda, only to find himself holding a huge pair of white cotton underwear. Brenda is defensive:"It's laundry day!"
- Unexplained Recovery: Even prior to the sequels, the first movie has Ray impaled through the head wih a penis, but he turns up a few scenes later entirely unharmed save for a small bandage over one ear.
- Villains Out Shopping: Parodied when the Ghostface killer calls up Shorty. After they start goofing off with each other, it turns out that the killer is just relaxing at home and watching a football game—in full costume.
- Voice of the Legion: Cindy roars like the possessed Regan as she's dominating Bobby in bed.
- Vulgar Humor: Several times, but the award goes to the onscreen trepanning of a character's skull by an erect penis. He gets better.
- Where da White Women At?: Cindy asks Ray and Shorty to come over to her house later, and bring some friends, to deter an attack by the serial killer:Shorty: (to the entire school cafeteria) Party at Cindy's house! Drunk white women for everybody!
- White Mask of Doom: The mock Ghostface.
- Your Mom: Brenda berates her brother Shorty, and he calls her mother stupid. She points out that he just insulted his own mother, as they're full siblings. Then he insults her father, and she doesn't mind because she never met the guy, and as he realizes, neither has he.
- Anatomically Impossible Sex: Once again, Cindy making her boyfriend climax causes her to be splashed against a surface by several buckets of semen. Another girl is raped in her sleep by a ghost, with his invisible penis creating a visible bulge on the back of her head.
- Angels Pose: Cindy, Brenda, and Theo during their showdown with Hanson, riffing on the Charlie's Angels film from the year before.
- Beat the Curse Out of Him: Parodied in The Exorcist spoof segment. The priests end up manhandling and spitting vomit on the possessed girl (hey, she started it) before just deciding to shoot her when they get fed up with her insults.
- Berserk Button: Don't say bad stuff about Father McFeely's mother.
- Black Comedy Rape:
- A Poltergeist spoof involves Ray and the Clown Doll, where the former ends up raping the doll after it tries to kill him.
- Alex gets raped as well, but she gets into it. Then becomes a Stalker with a Crush, much to the ghost's dismay.
- At the beginning of the movie, Father McFeely going to help exorcise the demon from the little girl. When the demon starts screaming "FUCK ME!" a la The Exorcist. Cut to his partner looking on in shock as McFeely's actually climbing on top of her and has to be told to stop.
- Bodily Fluid Blacklight Reveal: Dwight demonstrates he is able to perform a blowjob on himself. A few scenes later when the ghost of Hugh Kane is on the loose and everyone has to put on Infra-Red Goggles, Alex looks through her own goggles and can see traces of blacklit fluid around Dwight's mouth, prompting Dwight to ask what she's giggling at.
- Boy Meets Ghoul: Parodied when Shorty encounters a ghoul who's a real Butterface... but he immediately jumps into bed with her by solving the problem with a paper bag to cover her head.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Happens in-universe, where Cindy is singing along (badly) to Vitamin C's "Graduation (Friends Forever)" on the radio. Eventually, Vitamin C stops the song to tell Cindy to "shut the fuck up and let me sing!".
- The Butler Did It: The creepy, depraved butler Hanson turns out to be in league with the evil ghost inhabitating the haunted house.
- Butterface: Parodied with the ghoul that attacks Shorty. At first he's horrified and it looks like she's strangling him, but he's actually having sex with her, solving the problem with a paper bag ("No no, no kissing!"). They're still together at the very end.
- Cat Scare: Parodied with Cindy being spooked by a cat in her room, and then getting beaten up by it in a fight.
- Creative Closing Credits: The first half of the credits highlight production photos of director Keenen Ivory Wayans and the crew and actors, showing that they all had a lot of fun making it.
- Dead All Along: In the alternate ending, Cindy was the only one alive as everyone else are ghosts.
- Dem Bones: Parodied when Cindy is being chased by a skeleton, only to be reprimanded by Brenda for being afraid of a pile of bones. To illustrate her point, Brenda pulls the skeleton apart and reassembles him badly.
- Disturbed Doves: A trio of white doves fly through the frame (in trademark John Woo style) as Dwight and the Ghost charge one another on their wheelchairs in a parody of Woo's 2000 film Mission: Impossible II.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Parodied with Dwight, a paraplegic wheelchair user, who gets offended every time someone offers to help him with anything. He does this even when it would be ridiculously hard to do by himself, like crawling up two flights of stairs. It even extends to sex—when Theo offers to "help him out" in a bid to get his keys, Dwight takes it as condescending and refuses, opting to fellate himself.
- Favors for the Sexy: Parodied. As soon as the sultry Theo enters the mansion's dinner room and catches the attention of all the guys in the room, she demands that they give her a chair. Every chair in the room gets slid over to her, including one yanked out from under Cindy, and Dwight's wheelchair, willingly offered.
- Gag Penis: Ray Wilkins elongates his member into a coil to grab the Clown Doll by the neck as it tries to crawl away from him in terror, parodying the snaking arm of the doll in Poltergeist. Ray's penis is strong enough to drag the Clown Doll back under the bed as it leaves clawmarks on the wooden floor.
- The Glasses Gotta Go: Subverted and parodied. When Theo tries to seduce Dwight into giving her the keys out of the Haunted House, she takes off his glasses in hopes that it makes him prettier. All it does is make his eyes cross, and she quickly replaces the glasses.
- Hollywood Exorcism: The film opens with an extended parody of The Exorcist. The exorcism is even wackier, one of the priests is an unprofessional pervert, they all projectile vomit on each other, and eventually the priests just say "screw this" and pull out a gun.
- Ignore the Fanservice: Theo attempts to vamp Dwight to get the keys to escape the haunted house. It doesn't work. Not because he isn't attracted to her, as he gets quite aroused by her flirting, but because he takes her offer to "help him out" the wrong way. Dwight, who has to use a wheelchair, refuses help from anyone, so he just starts blowing himself. She has to knock him out to get the keys.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Shorty; after watching the unhygienic butler Hanson shove his dirty deformed hand into the turkey (ruining everyone's appetites), reaches for a bottle of red wine and quickly polishes it off.
- Let's Split Up, Gang!: Averted then played straight with a side-helping of Black Dude Dies First, as Buddy suggests splitting up, only for Brenda to call him out on how stupid the idea is. He then suggests two teams, conveniently calling the white people in the group over to him.Shorty, left with Ray and Brenda: (With an Aside Glance) Ain't that a bitch?
Brenda: We gonna die, y'all!
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Cindy takes various random items and somehow creates a bulldozer out them after being locked in a refrigerator while hiding from a ghost.
- Mugging the Monster: The scary clown doll pulls Ray Wilkins under the bed and gets a major surprise.Clown: Come on. Let's play.
Clown: Hey, what are you doing?
Ray Wilkins: Uncle Ray-Ray's got a game for you.
Clown: Hey, get your finger out of there!
- Name of Cain: In the The Haunting spoof, the villainous ghost was called Hugh Kane. The original character in Haunting was called Hugh Crain, technically getting just around this trope. The name may also be a nod to Citizen Kane.
- Nuclear Candle: When Cindy shows Buddy the secret study, he lights one candle, which then illuminates nearly the whole room.
- Parallel Porn Titles: Actually, "ghetto" versions of Christmas songs — "I'm Dreaming of a White Woman", "All I Want For Christmas Are The Charges Dropped", "Santa Claus Is Cumming On Mom", etc.
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here: Father McFeely almost bails when he's introduced to the possessed Megan.Megan: (growls)Father McFeely: (runs) Fuck this!
- Sequel Snark: The Tag Line of the first movie was "No mercy. No shame. No sequel." This didn't stop a sequel from being released the very next year (with the Tag Line "We Lied").
- Smoking Hot Sex: After one of the residents has sex with the evil ghost, she's seen smoking a cigarette in bed. And next to her, a floating cigarette.
- Shout-Out: "Hell House" is a shout-out to Hill House, the main location in both versions of The Haunting (and not the Richard Matheson novel Hell House, as some have claimed — the Wayans Brothers had never heard of that novel when they made the film, so the similarities between it and the novel's film adaptation are coincidental).
- Take My Hand!: Parodied when Dwight falls to the ground from a perilous window dangle because he refuses to take the deformed hand of the filthy Hanson, despite Hanson insisting it's his "strong hand".
- Tongue on the Flagpole: During a parody of The Exorcist, Father Harris enters the room with the possessed girl inside and complains about how cold the room is. He then kisses the small metal cross he has with him, only for his lips to get stuck to it.
- Volleying Insults: Hanson the caretaker (who has a deformed hand) and Dwight (who is a paraplegic) despise each other as soon as they meet, proceeding to throw a string of ableist insults at each other with common turns of phrase that poke at each other's disabilities.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The opening spoofs The Exorcist with the girl and the priests vomiting on each other.
- White Dude, Black Dude: Done in the basketball scene, where the Wayans brothers are shown dancing very suavely... and immediately followed by Cindy and Buddy dancing very awkwardly, with the Wayans looking on in silent disapproval/disgust.
- Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: The protagonists are shown boarding over a door to keep aliens out (in a parody of Signs). George says nobody could get through it...cue Cindy opening the door with no problem to join them. It turns out they'd just nailed some planks to it without fastening them to the wall.
- Achilles' Heel: Parodied. The aliens are fighting the group (though just because strangling is how they say hello), when Mahalik decapitates one with a shovel and says:Mahalik: I found it! Without their heads, they're powerless!
- Aliens Speaking English: The aliens apparently can talk to humans, though they only do so once one of their group has been killed in an altercation.
- Aliens Steal Cable: The aliens accidentally saw the tape from The Ring while doing this. They were trying to get Pootie Tang.
- And Starring: "Featuring Queen Latifah / Special Appearance by Eddie Griffin / With Denise Richards / With Regina Hall / and Charlie Sheen."
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The Architect describing the Samara expy: "We loved our daughter, but she was evil. Made the horses crazy, killed our puppies, hid the remote. Really sick shit."
- Battle Rapping: It features the battle between real rapper Fat Joe and the film's character, George, a hilarious parody of the rap battles in 8 Mile.George: I wear khaki pants / My middle name's Lance / My grandma's from France / So maybe I'm whack / 'Cause my skin ain't black / But you can't talk smack / 'Cause whitey just struck back!
- Boob-Based Gag: Cindy, when flashing her chest to the office, suddenly has comically huge breasts. Amusingly, in the prior movies she had been mocked for supposedly having a small and unimpressive chest. Given it follows her being ordered to do a fluff news report on breast implants, it may also be a gag that she has paid for a breast enhancement between films.
- Breaking Bad News Gently: Parodied when George informs Sue about the death of Brenda, who was her teacher. It seems like he'll be considerate in telling her this news, since she's only a child. Instead he just loudly screams the distressing news in her face and tells her he ran over her dog too. ("EVERYONE you love around you is DYING!")
- Breathless Non Sequitur: The news reporter Ross Giggins delivers a report on an alien invasion, telling people that the White House is advising everyone to board up their homes and then continues without a pause or change in tone "And now a news exclusive. The killer videotape you've been hearing about. We're the only station that has it, and we're showing it all night. Very exciting. Let's roll it again." (plays videotape)
- Cargo Ship: In-universe. The Architect notes that since he's confined to a room in the middle of nowhere he hasn't been with a women in ages. He's had to make do with his chair, which he calls "Linda".
- The Cavalry: When it looks like the Logan farm is about to become ground zero for the alien invasion, a convoy of tricked-out SUVs comes rolling in blaring hip-hop and carrying CJ and several rather heavily-armed gangsters as last-second backup because the hood would always have George's back. Then two of them get into a verbal tussle about one stepping on the other's foot which soon escalates into a shouting match and they all kill each other.
- Celebrity Casualty: Simon Cowell is shot to death by rappers when he criticizes their singing.
- Censorship by Spelling: One of President Harris's advisers tells him that he should go on TV and tell everyone that there's no such thing as UFOs. The president's reaction seems to indicate he thinks he's a victim of this trope. "Don't spell in front of me, dammit."
- Comically Missing the Point:
- A black janitor hijacks the teleprompter for revenge on the anchor, typing that he's having sex with a the anchor's wife and bragging about how she loves it. The anchor reads it all with a straight face without noticing the content is insulting him.
- Also, during the rap battle scene, when told to lose the KKK-looking hoodie he's wearing, George says "I know, we're in the hood now!"
- Credits Gag: About halfway through the closing credits, there's a message reading "We are about halfway through this thing!"
- Cross-Cultural Handshake: The aliens greet each other by getting the person they're greeting in a choke hold. They say goodbye with a Groin Attack.
- Destination Defenestration: George gets thrown out of a window twice, once for being Mistaken for Racist and again for accidentally desecrating Brenda's corpse.
- Disaster Dominoes: Brenda's funeral devolves into chaos when Cindy discusses the event, saying "it's a wake" and George thinks she said the body is awake. The crowd gets into a brawl while they try to revive Brenda, ending in George applying electricity and blowing her corpse into pieces.
- Dodgy Toupee: Used as a throwaway gag. The psychic Creepy Child whom Cindy is caring for goes around Brenda's funeral service giving people cynical and mocking advice ("smoke all you want, you're gonna be hit by a car next week anyway"). He tells the guy with an obvious toupee that he's not fooling anyone.
- Dramatic Gun Cock: Parodied. One of the characters dramatically pumps... a shovel. A shell falls out somehow.
- DVD Bonus Content: Alternate endings not included in the theater release (including one in Scary Movie 3 parodying The Incredible Hulk).
- Fanservice Faux Fight: The film opens with a pillow fight between Katie (Jenny McCarthy) and Becky (Pamela Anderson), both made out as eye candy.
- Forgot to Mind Their Head:
George: (seeing five dice reading 6 on the table) Oooh, Yahtzee! (stands up and bangs his head on a shelf, passes out)
- Tom bumps his head twice on an overhead lamp while sitting up in bed in the morning.
- Cindy comes home to find George passed out at a table. She asks him what happened he says that he doesn't know. He and Cody were playing a fun game when he looked down and...
- Funny Background Event: As George is breaking the news to Sue that her teacher Brenda died in the most brutal way possible, Tom is standing in the background wincing, making stop motions with his arms and cringing, then walks out of the room.
- Gasshole: This series is no stranger to this style of humor, but the 3rd installment gave us Aunt Shaneequa, Queen Latifah's flatulent take on the Oracle from The Matrix. When Cindy arrives at her home, she takes a seat in one of the red leather chairs, making a mild fart noise that she blames on the chair. Shaneequa then shamelessly rips a comically long, lengthy fart, punctuated by a smile as she casually takes a drag from her cigarette and quips, "Yes... the chair." The look on Cindy's face as she's at a loss for words has to be seen to be believed.Aunt Shaneequa: "Let's find a men's room... I'm feelin' it."
- Go into the Light: Played for laughs, when Charlie Sheen's character urges his dying wife to go into the light as he doesn't want to answer to her dying wish for his celibacy.
- I Can't Hear You: Cindy gets a call from the girl from the scary videotape in The Ring after watching the video, but at first can't understand that she's being told "seven days" (meaning that the girl is going to come and kill her in seven days) due to bad connection.Tabitha: (indistinct) Seven days.Cindy: What? Willie Mays?Tabitha: (still indistinct) Seven days.Cindy: Who's gay? Hello?
- If It Bleeds, It Leads: Purposely averted by the news station that Cindy Campbell works for. Despite her urging them to cover the story of the killer videotape in which viewers are brutally murdered by a scary woman seven days after watching it, the station is only interested in covering fluff stories and stuff like breast implants. Then, once they finally become convinced of the tape's existence, they choose to play it.
- Insult Backfire:Aide: Mr. President, are you out of your mind?!
President: Like a fox!
- Last Request: Parodied when Tom, in a flashback, finds his wife breathing out her last after she's pinned to a tree as a result of a tragic car accident. Her last request is that he never sleep with another woman again, and he quickly pretends that her last words are too unintelligible to make out and tells her to go into the light.
- Missing White Woman Syndrome: Brenda calls this out after mistaking Tabitha's well on the TV as a news report about a white girl who fell down a well.Brenda: Another little white girl fell down a well! Fifty black people got their ass beat by the police today, but the whole world gotta stop for one little whitey down a hole!
- Mistaken for Flatulence: Played for Laughs. Cindy sits on a vinyl chair. What follows is a squeaking sound that she quickly claims was the chair. Aunt Shaneequa sits on another chair, resulting in a very loud fartlike noise (implied to not be a result of the chair), but she uses the same excuse.
- Mistaken for Racist: George puts on a KKK-esque pointed white hoodie and does what looks like a Nazi salute in front of a predominantly black audience at a rap battle. He gets promptly thrown out a second-story window.
- Nobody Ever Complained Before: The aliens appear to attack the protagonists, who then kill one of them in retaliation, but the aliens inform them that strangling each other is their standard way of saying hello. A kick to the groin is how they say goodbye.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: The aliens aren't looking to launch an invasion of Earth. They're just there because they accidentally watched the The Ring videotape like the other characters, so they need to do something about Tabitha before she comes to kill them.
- Only Sane Man: The President's aide is more logical than his Commander in Chief and has better social sense and no comedic idiocy like the rest of the movie's cast.
- Oracular Urchin: Cody, a boy with psychic visions who was adopted by his aunt.
- Otherworldly Communication Failure: The main plot centers on a perceived invasion from a hostile alien race. However it turns out that the aliens are actually friendly and are on Earth to find Tabitha (parodying Samara from The Ring) as their entire population accidentally watched the cursed tape and are now slated to die in seven days. When asked why they were attacking the humans, the aliens explain that to say "hello" in their language, you grab someone in a chokehold. To say "goodbye", you kick the other person in the nuts.
- Passed in Their Sleep: Parodied where C.J. and Mahalik discuss the trope and end up arguing if one can actually "wake up dead".
- Peaceful in Death: Parodied: "My sweet sweet Brenda—-She looks so peaceful..." (cut to Brenda with a horrified expression and hands like claws)
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: The guy in the lighthouse tells Cindy that she is "inexorably seeking a sedulant probability." When she questions this, he continues, holding a dictionary with "What about contingent affirmation? That's got to mean something."
- Precision F-Strike: Brenda delivers one to her elementary school class after someone throws a bunch of crayons at George and Sue as they leave the room.Brenda: Now who the fuck did that?!
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: George, a white man aspiring to be a rapper. The black characters aren't impressed, especially not after he tanks his rap-battle success with accidentally racist gestures.
- Saved by the Platform Below: The lady who parodies Anna Morgan from The Ring jumps off a cliff only to crash into a tree branch. "Oh, shit!" she says before rolling off it.
- Script Swap: Cindy, desperate to get out the story of the cursed video tape, and a mistreated janitor both hijack Giggins' teleprompter to change the script he's delivering live as a news anchor.
- Among other things, to the Zucker brothers' film Airplane! which also starred Leslie Nielsen in an Actor Allusion:President Harris: I just wanted to wish you both good luck, we're all counting on you.
- Air Force One. When Harris wondered what "President Ford" would have done, it seems like he was talking about Gerald Ford. However the camera pans along to show a still portrait of Harrison Ford in his presidential suit instead.
- Among other things, to the Zucker brothers' film Airplane! which also starred Leslie Nielsen in an Actor Allusion:
- Suddenly Shouting: When George breaks the news to Sue about her teacher Brenda's death.George: (quietly) Sue?
George: You know your teacher, Miss Brenda?
George: SHE'S DEAD! (Sue screams.) GONE FOREVER! DIED A HORRIBLE, PAINFUL DEATH! GONE, GONE, GONE, JUST LIKE YOUR DOG!
Sue: My dog's dead?
George: I JUST RAN HIM OVER WITH THE CAR WHEN I DROVE IN! EVERYONE YOU LOVE AROUND YOU IS DYING! (Reactive Continuous Scream)
- Take That!: MJ, being a parody of Michael Jackson and referencing contemporary scandals and his extreme physical appearance in critical fashion.
- Television Portal: Tabitha, the parody of Samara, naturally crawls out of the TV in one scene. In another, Cindy shows Shaneequa the Oracle the cursed video tape, and a fly lands on the sceeen over the nose of the woman brushing her hair. When Shaneequa swats the fly, the woman recoils in pain and reaches out to fight her, resulting in a tussle where Shaneequa is pulling the videotape-woman out of the screen and ripping out chunks of her hair.
- They Look Like Us Now: Parodied. President Harris worries that the aliens may have started impersonating human beings, then mistakes people with disabilities for the aliens during a memorial ceremony and punches them, throwing the entire event into chaos.
- Troll: Tabitha, the girl from the The Ring video, takes the form of a beautiful girl, claiming that seeing Cindy's love for Cody has freed her and she'll never have to kill again. "Really?" asks Cindy and she transforms back into her horrifying form, telling her she was just screwing with her.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The movie shows two men projectile vomiting at a barbecue and in the alternate ending, Cindy is fighting the many Tabithas Matrix Reloaded style, she grabs a pole, jumps up, spins around on it, gets sick and vomits all over the Tabithas sending them flying. Gross.
- Adam Westing: In the opening scene, Dr. Phil portrays himself as a fake psychiatrist with a Freudian Excuse, while Shaq portrays himself as a bumbling klutz.
- Artistic License – Geography: A sight gag involving Detroit before and after the alien attack in which the only difference is the presence of alien invaders, the city already being a violent hellhole even before the attack. Too bad the city they show is actually San Diego, not Detroit.
- As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Parodied, when the ghost boy (from The Grudge) and Cindy have a conversation in "Japanese" that is really just random product names and commonly known Japanese words.Cindy: Hello?
Japanese Boy: ...
Cindy: Harro? Subtitles: Hello?
Japanese Boy: Nissan Honda Mitsubishi Subaru! Subtitles: I was killed and my soul walks the earth!
Cindy: Harikari tsunami kamikaze banzai. Subtitles: How sad, my life is also tragic.
- Black Boxer Stereotype: Parodied in a spoof of Million Dollar Baby. Cindy's (female) opponent is a very obvious black transwoman (played by Mike Tyson himself) who goes around biting every one of his opponents' ears off, including the judge's.
- Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: In a scene parodying War of the Worlds (2005), Tom is discussing the alien invasion with a man holed up in house. Then the man throws this line out there:"This ain't a war, anymore than there's a war between men and maggots. Or, dragons and wolves. Or, men riding dragons, throwing wolves at maggots."
- Breast Attack: The movie has a torture machine designed to do this.
- Celebrity Casualty: Dr. Phil McGraw cuts off his own foot to escape his chains but dies of blood loss and Shaquille O'Neal is poisoned to death.
- Clothesline Stealing: When Cindy and Brenda arrive at the Amish village, they decide to steal clothes from a hamper to better blend in with the villagers.
- Continuity Nod: Cindy got hit on the face with a baseball."I've taken balls to the face before."
- Covers Always Lie: In this case, Posters Always Lie. King Kong appears on the poster but is not even referenced once in the film itself.
- Death Trap: Most present in the movie's Saw parody, though true to the nature of the series, several traps are quite silly (example: The Nutcracker, a device that kicks a victim in the groin).
- Delusions of Eloquence: In The Village (2004) parody, an entire series of jokes is built around this:Brenda: This is shit up with which we will not put!
- Enemy Mine: Suggested in the Detroit gag. (see Artistic License – Geography above)
- Eye Scream: Played for Laughs. In a parody of the opening scene of Saw II, Cindy (after missing several obvious hints and being told by Jigsaw outright) figures she has to get the key from behind her eye. Turns out she had a glass eye "from a bad bar fight in '96" so getting the key is less painful.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Subverted.Cindy Campbell: It looks like we have a lot in...
Tom Ryan: ...common.
Cindy: We're already finishing each other's...
- Grand Finale: With the fifth movie being an apparent reboot of the series, the fourth film can act as one, as not only is the earth saved from aliens, but all the surviving characters happily find their true loves (even Brenda!), and it's implied that love will help humanity defeat any future threat.
- Happy Ending Override: The third movie ended with Cindy finding happiness with George and Cody, and Tom becoming a priest again after recovering from his wife's death. Come this movie, Cody has been shipped off to military school, George is dead, and Tom is depressed and also meets his end following an unfortunate accident involving a cat and some Viagra.
- It's All My Fault: Parodied:Cindy: I blame myself.Tom: As well you should.
- Killed Offscreen: Dr. Phil and Shaq in the opening scene, after Phil's Life-or-Limb Decision have him severing his wrong foot. Cue the titles, and then their skeletons appears in the final scene (with Brenda mistaking Shaq's femur to be a dinosaur's).Brenda: I don't believe it! The aliens killed the dinosaurs!
- Life-or-Limb Decision: The opening parodies the Saw example with Shaquille O'Neil and Dr. Phil about to be killed by nerve gas. After being suckered into cutting off his own leg, Phil realizes it's the wrong one and they die anyway.
- Magic Countdown: Dr. Phil claims they have "one minute left" before the nerve gas kills him and Shaq. Shaq's remaining attempts to score a basket, stopping to momentarily argue with Dr. Phil, Phil having a breakdown that Shaq needs to talk him out off, the two of them struggling to cut their chains before Phil decides to cut his leg instead, all that takes around a minute and thirty seconds.
- Manipulative Bastard: Shaquille O'Neil, when convincing Dr. Phil to cut off his leg:Shaquille O'Neil: You first.
Dr. Phil: Bullshit!
Shaquille O'Neil: Yeah, you're probably not man enough. I guess your momma was right. (smugly smiles)
Dr. Phil: (enraged) Never! (holds up saw) Who's the coward now, momma?! (begins sawing)
Shaquille O'Neil: Candy from a baby.
- Metaphorgotten: Parodied when the guy who's hiding in a cellar from the aliens tells Tom the metaphor from War of the Worlds (2005) that the alien invasion is no more a real war than there is between man and maggots. He continues: there's also no real war between dragons and wolves. And man, riding dragons, throwing wolves at maggots. Tom gives the camera a vacant expression in response.
- Mugged for Disguise: Subverted when Cindy and Brenda pull two "village" women into the bushes, and after a brief scuffle the women emerge looking disgruntled but with their outfits intact ... followed by Cindy and Brenda, who were the ones actually beaten up. They later settle for spare garments from a clothesline.
- Naked People Are Funny: While speaking to the U.N., the president accidentally activates The Nudifier, first on himself and then on the entire audience. Hilarity Ensues.
- Narrator: James Earl Jones who, at the end of the movie, is hit by a bus.
- Never Trust a Trailer: One trailer suggests that Shaquille O'Neill and Dr. Phil are trapped along with the main protagonists. They both die in the prologue.
- No Time to Explain: Parodied, when the Tom Cruise/War of the Worlds (2005) character says "We're leaving this house in 30 seconds, there's no time to explain," and a random passerby runs up to the window and screams "Alien Attack!". Tom admits that that pretty much covered it.
- The Nudifier: Appears when they Reverse the Polarity on the body-disintegrator, ending with mass weaponized Fan Disservice to the characters (which we are not privy to, fortunately). For reference, the representatives were so disgusted, the Japanese ambassador committed seppuku on the spot.
- Raging Stiffie: Charlie Sheen swallowing an entire bottle of Viagra pills. When he throws himself over the balcony and hits the ground, his erection breaks through the asphalt of the street, and it keeps his pelvis off the ground.
- Scenery Gorn: Parodied. When TriPods attack the world, Detroit is shown before and after the invasion. The only difference is the inclusion of TriPods, all of the burning and collapsed buildings having been there before.
- Shown Their Work: For a comedy film, the movie gets a lot of details from the films it spoofs right. For instance, the license plate on the minivan is the same as in the War of the Worlds, the carjacker who tries to steal the van uses the same model of pistol the carjacker in that film used, and the Army soldiers seen in the streets are also from the 10th Mountain Division, as in the film.
- This Was His True Form: Played for laughs, when Michael Jackson's shown to have had so much plastic surgery that the first time he gets zapped, he ends up looking like he did in the Bad music video. He then gets zapped a second time, causing him to revert to his Thriller appearance. The third blast then reveals his true self, namely a middle-aged black guy with a receding hairline, before a fourth and final blast totally destroys him.
- Bald of Authority: The head of the ape research center is a bald man portrayed by Terry Crews.
- Bloody Hilarious: Maria tears the head off a chicken, which sprays an incredible amount of blood all over the place.
- Breast Expansion: During the Inception sequence, Jody's breasts get bigger at Dom's command.
- Brick Joke: Snoop Dogg says that he'd like to buy a yacht with a shark in a pool aboard, puzzling his friend. At the end, Mama crashes into the pool and is eaten by the shark. Snoop turns to the other guy and says "I knew that shark would come in handy".
- Captain Ersatz: They couldn't or wouldn't get the original cast, but it is obvious they wrote it with it in mind. Jody is Cindy, Kendra is Brenda, Snoop Dogg and his pal are CJ and Mahalik, etc.
- Celebrity Casualty: Charlie Sheen dies when Lindsay Lohan hits him with her car.
- The Chew Toy: Jody and Kendra find the Necronomicon, and read out the curse and the word that ends the curse a couple of times. Nothing happens to them. The perfectly innocent family upstairs however...
- Covers Always Lie: In this case, Posters Always Lie. The poster gives Katrina Bowden a demonic looking Overly-Long Tongue (that she is using to In One Ear, Out The Other Sarah Hyland). No character has a tongue like that in the actual film.
- Delusions of Doghood: The younger child behaves like a dog most of the time.
- High-Pressure Blood: Maria tears the head off a chicken, which sprays blood at such high speed that she's able to paint a crucifix on the wall.
- In One Ear, Out The Other: The poster◊ has Katrina Bowden using her Overly-Long Tongue to give Sarah Hyland an ear cleaning she probably won't forget.
- In Name Only: Most of the cast and crew are absent from this flick.
- Letters 2 Numbers: Scary Movie 5 is actually named Scary MoVie, with that V being a roman numeral 5.
- Something Else Also Rises: Parodied, during a lesbian sex scene, shown through metaphors such as scissors, tacos, and even tunnels (which are normally used as metaphors for straight sex).