Much like Fred 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.
- One of the many incarnations of Mabel in Dimension MAB-3L in the Gravity Falls: Lost Legends story "Don't Dimension It" is one that resembles Bob Ross, donning his clothes, hair, mustache, and prioritizes painting a landscape over trying to stop Anti-Mabel from stealing Prime Mabel's ship and escaping.
- 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.
- In The Master of Disguise, this was one of the disguises used by Pistachio in a Door Roulette scene; but the scene was cut from the film and only appears in the final cut during the credits.
- The comedy film Paint centers on the struggles of a painter whose appearance and career are heavily based on Bob Ross.
- 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.
- MADtv (1995) 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 (which the real Bob Ross strongly disliked). At one point, he even uses his hair as a makeshift brush.
- The music video for The Stupendium's "Rogue's Gallery" has the Stupendium dress up as Bob Ross at one point; in-universe, it's part of a Bob Ross box set that Crazy Redd had purchased.
- The Tom Smith song "Undead Happy Trees" is about a zombie Bob Ross painting an apocalyptic monster-strewn landscape.
- Due to the popularity of the Deadpool 2 promotional material (seen above), Funko Pop! produced a vinyl figure of Deadpool as Bob Ross, including a transparent hand-palette and a massive paintbrush.
- Rival vinyl figure vendor YouTooz currently sells similar vinyl figures of Twitch streamer Call Me Carson, alongside more straight homages to Bob Ross.
- One of your customers in No Umbrellas Allowed is Bokho Park, an optimistic painter reminiscent of Bob Ross. He brags that his paintings are better than Nari's, but his actual artwork is tagged as a "Failed Piece of Art".
- In Summertime Saga Ms. Barbara Ross is the school's hippie art teacher. She even references the "happy little trees" phrase during her sex scene.
- Super Danganronpa Another 2: Ultimate Painter Iroha Nijiue briefly dresses up akin to Bob Ross, complete with obtaining an afro and fake mustache out of nowhere, when you engage in Terminate Talk Shooting against her.
- Smite offers a skin for Sylvanus, officially licensed by Bob Ross Inc, that turns him into Bob Ross himself, while his treant companion Grover gets a happy little smile. Later on, a second Bob Ross homage was added as a skin for Zhong Kui.
- In the "Mind Freakers" episode of Camp Camp, David and Gwen are too spaced out from a "Rob Boss" video to notice that the situation has gone too far (again). Miles Luna voiced both David and Rob in this episode (see the "Web Video" folder below).
- An Easter Egg in the Toons menu on Homestar Runner shows a clip of Marzipan painting a picture while dressed up as Bob Ross, complete with afro wig and goatee.
- 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 Weak Hero, a bearded teacher with a distinctive afro and positive attitude is seen tutoring the class that Eugene signs up for in cram school. It's then revealed in separate instances that his name is Mr. Ross and Bob.
- 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.
- Due to Ross' popularity in the ASMR Video community, homages created by videomakers who dress up as him are not uncommon.
- Per the Toys section above, Call Me Carson commemorated the release of his vinyl figure with a stream wherein he attempted to paint his own self-portrait in an afro wig.
- 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.
- Epic Rap Battles of History's "Bob Ross vs. Pablo Picasso" episode has this in spades; a lot of visual elements in Bob Ross' raps, along with how he raps with a calm, soothing voice, are all pulled directly from The Joy of Painting show.
- Crapshot 259, "The Splines", the happy little tree is produced in (very simple) 3D on "The Joy of Rendering".
- The cold open to LoadingReadyLIVE episode 28 ("Blended Thanksgiving") had Graham's Ross panting a happy little turkey, starting with a children's hand-outline turkey and changing into ever more detailed turkeys every time the camera cut away, before becoming a literal turkey sandwich.
- The intro to Desert Bus for Hope 9 had Ross (again played by Graham) painting the DBFH logo using green-screen green paint to pull a Polka-Dot Paint.
- Another Youtube artist Jazza has a spoof video where he dresses up as Bob Ross with a bogan flair for Australia Day.
- 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.
- In the Kyle Hill video "What are IMPOSSIBLE COLORS?", there's two scenes with a black background with a blank easel, as Kyle imitates Bob Ross's voice. In the first, a brief intro, the names of some of the eponymous "impossible colors" — Stygian Bluenote , Self-luminous Rednote , Hyperbolic Orangenote , and Yellowish-Bluenote — appear on the screen in yellow text like which paints Ross says he's going to use for a given episode. In the second, he mixes paints while explaining that the human eye works a bit differently than we might think and doesn't just mix colors like he's doing.
- Future Saturday Night Live writer Anna Drezen did a series of videos called The Joy of Painting with Shitty Bob Ross. As the title implies, a lot of the humor comes from Stylistic Suck, e.g. the "palette" being a paper plate with some magic marker scrawls on it.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- Miles Luna from Rooster Teeth does a pretty decent Bob Ross impression, although he tends to play him with rage simmering just under the surface.
- 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.
- Back at the Barnyard has one first appear in a TV show in "Pig Amok", then appear as a background character.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!"
- 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".
- 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.
- 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".
- In the Regular Show episode "Bad Portrait", Mordecai's inspiration Benny Harris is a thinly-veiled Ross parody.