Much like Mr. Rogers, Bob Ross of The Joy of Painting became famous through the medium of public television and quickly gained traction as an icon for his calm, wholesome Nice Guy personality, contagious optimism, and educational premise. People all over would use episodes on his television show both as art teacher and meditation tool. Having ascended to meme-status over the years, Bob Ross as an icon became popular and eventually codified various tropes found on this very website.
And with that said, popularity breeds imitation. His bohemian dress, perm haircut and the general visual aesthetic of his show is often parodied to death in happy little comic books, happy little movies, even other happy little television shows, all adopting his happy little tone and happy little catchphrases.
- Ralph Breaks the Internet: In the montage of videos Ralph creates to accumulate money, one of the videos he makes is a parody of Bob Ross, including a black background, his iconic perm, a brush and canvas and relaxed expression.
- In one of the promotional materials for Deadpool 2, Deadpool himself does a parody of Bob Ross, wearing his iconic clothes and perm over his form-fitting red spandex. As he paints, he gives the same relaxed delivery as he paints, but since this is Deadpool doing it, his words are far from family-friendly. Even when he is whacking the brush against the leg of the easel (something Bob was himself prone to do) he does it as an allusion to masturbation.
Deadpool: Sweet baby Jesus. Wish I could just jump in there, roll around in all that cascading white powder. Yeah, just get high on all of life's splendor. God, I love cocaine.
- Mad TV had "Drawing With Jerry", in which the artist increasingly suffers a Creator Breakdown over a nasty divorce, which affects the nature of his drawings and ultimately leads to his show getting swiftly pulled off the air.
- The Dutch sketch comedy show Koefnoen did a parody of Bob Ross where he paints a person instead of a landscape. At one point, he even uses his hair as a makeshift brush.
- One of Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez's sketches on his TV shows consisted of this, as "Bob Atros". His parody had the added element of Hong Kong Dub, as the dub of The Joy of Painting in Spanish was notorious for paying little or no attention to lip-synching.
- One of the shows Leviathan watches in Belzebubs is The Joy of Pain-Things by Belzebob Ross. It's basically a Bob Ross Expy wearing corpse paint depicting damned souls being tormented by demons on canvas.
Belzebob Ross: [Wacks his brush against the easel.] There we go, just shake off the excess and beat the Jesus out of it.
- In the Thunder and Friends episode "Mom's the Word", Cody dresses up like Bob Ross in art class, while trying to get his mom to stop bugging him.
- In the beginning of The Nostalgia Critic's review of Ghostbusters II, they do a brief Bob Ross-parody sketch (with Doug Walker as Bob Ross) used as a visual metaphor for how the conception behind the film's plot may have turned out, even replacing whatever curse words he is accustomed to saying with "God bless".
- In the JonTron video "THE JONTRON CHALLENGE!", the second challenge pitched to Jon was to do a parody of Bob Ross. He ends up painting a stick figure peeing blood before instantaneously creating a (clearly photoshopped) depiction of a muscular Bob Ross in a snowy-landscape.
- YouTube artist Proko does a spoof video of The Joy of Painting in the video "How to Paint Happy Trees - Bob Ross Parody", mocking the tongue-and-cheek nature of the show.
Proko: All you need is a dream and a whole lot of money to buy your paints.
- Due to Ross' popularity in the ASMR Video community, homages created by videomakers who dress up as him are not uncommon.
- Will Friedle donned the iconic Bob Ross look and persona to explain the art of "Skirbobbling" in a promotional spot for Season Three of his Geek & Sundry series Painters Guild.
- Louder With Crowder:
- Count Dankula's video on Bob Ross has him attempting to paint throughout the entire video first Buddha, then a low-detail landscape with "the Devil's cabbage" on display, and finally just a massive "F" when he gets to the news of Bob Ross's death. He ends up destroying the first two paintings the first via Megaton Punch, the second with a Cool Sword.
- In The Boondocks episode "Riley Wuz Here", Riley gets art lessons from an unnamed painter who looks and acts like an expy of Bob Ross, albeit with blond hair.
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "What About Discord?", Discord twice takes on the appearance of Bob Ross to explain himself, at one point using Ross's frequent "happy little" language, in order to literally "paint her a picture".
- All Hail King Julien: In "The King Julien Show", Mort has a show where he paints pictures of King Julien's feet while wearing an afro.
- In the beginning of one Pinky and the Brain episode, Bob Ross is seen on the TV adding a meteor to a painting. This meteor would be important later.
- In an early episode of Family Guy, Peter is watching Bob Ross while learning to paint himself. This Bob Ross is a bit of a psycho as he adds a little bush and then tells the audience, "If you ever tell anyone that that bush is there, I will come to your house and I will cut you." Peter then complains how his painting doesn't look anything like Ross'. We are then shown that he painted a picture of the cast of Family Ties.
- In one episode of Mission Hill, Andy, Jim, and Poesy are all watching Bob Ross, but act like they're watching a big sporting event. Highlights include Andy eagerly telling Ross to use his fan brush, and when Ross tries to think of what to put next, Andy excitedly says "A happy little tree! A happy little tree!"
- The Dilbert episode "Art" begins with a Bob Ross figure named Rusty Shanks teaching Dilbert, Dogbert and Ratbert about modern abstract art. However, in the middle of his show, he's abducted due to his inability to pay back loans he owes. He's eventually revealed to have been beheaded by a mafia-style group headed by Leonardo da Vinci, who controls the world's fine art business.
- Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty: "Anubis Newbie" features a scene where Felicity is seen painting a kitten. She even parodies the line "let's paint ourselves a happy little tree".
- Creature Comforts: In the American version's art episode, a gorilla makes a subtle Take That! to Bob Ross.
Gorilla: Hi, the happy squirrel, were going to make some happy clouds. Were going to take the big fanning brush, let's mix a little umber, a little yellow, a little orchard a little blue. Okay, stroke stroke stroke stroke.
- In the Doug episode "Doug's A Genius", Doug's art teacher gushes over how wonderful his paintings are. Doug then imagines himself as Bob Ross, using 'Prussian Blue' and 'Titanium White' to paint a lake in a matter of seconds.