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Borrowing the Beatles

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"Yes, screaming girls everywhere ran screaming whenever the Beat Alls made the scene. Individually, it had been a long and winding road. But together, the Beat Alls, or the 'Bad Four,' as they were also known had finally conquered Townsville. Their rise to fame can be attributed to their ability to deliver hit after hit after hit... to the Powerpuff Girls. With Mojo Jojo on blaster rays, the acidic spit stylings of HIM, Princess accompanying Mojo on blasters, And Fuzzy, the shy one, provides the rock. Thus the Brutish Invasion had begun."
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The Beatles are said by many to be the single most influential music group of all time. They led The British Invasion, legitimized Rock & Roll as an art-form, led the countercultural march of The '60s into the revolutionary renaissance of The '70s and are the most successful example of a band to ever name themselves after a noun preceded by the word "The". While The Beatles spawned too many copycats to mention in the real world, the world of fiction has its own Beatles Expies.

The band would comprise Captain Ersatz caricatures of the original band's line-up — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr — and are often accompanied by people bearing a striking resemblance to other figures in the band's history, like Yoko Ono and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Their music is portrayed in the same upbeat 1960s rock-style, their fashion either mod or hippie, their fans in the millions and their most iconic moments themselves being spoofs of the Beatles' high points, like their 1969 rooftop concert on the Apple Corps building.

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By virtue of this trope, examples of Abbey Road Crossing, Bigger Than Jesus and Sgt. Pepper's Shout-Out abound.


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    Audio Drama 
  • The Common Men in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama 1963: Fanfare for the Common Men. Mark Carville is John, James O'Meara is Paul, Corky Goldsmith is Ringo, and they don't have a George. The twist is that the Doctor is familiar with the actual Beatles, and realizes someone has altered history to put a different group in their place.

    Comic Books 
  • Asterix in Britain, dating from The '60s, finds Asterix and Obelix crossing the English Channel and casting a French eye over the peculiarities of those crazy people to the North of Gaul. Among all the warm beer and bad cooking, they encounter a group of bards who are being mobbed by hysterical screaming girls. The four mop-topped bardic singers have a suspicious resemblance to...
  • The Oliver Twists in the Bronze Age Batman story "Dead Until Proven Alive!" They have an album of the same name as the story, with a cover based on the back of Sergeant Pepper. The whole thing is a pastiche of the "Paul is dead" conspiracy theory, with Batman and Robin investigating whether "Saul Cartwright" died and was replaced by a lookalike. It turns out the whole band except him were killed in a plane crash.
  • In Superman: True Brit, the Rutles serve as the local stand-in for the Beatles; the comic was co-written by John Cleese, a friend of Rutles co-founder Eric Idle.
  • In Kingdom Come, Superman's League features the Pepperguard: four giant mechas modeled after the Beatles in the colored suits they wear on the cover of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • Greatest Hits, a 2008 mini-series published by DC Vertigo, features a superteam called The Mates who that are basically the Beatles reimagined as superheroes.

    Films — Animation 
  • The vultures in The Jungle Book (1967) are based on the Beatles. From the other wiki:
    Disney lightened it up by having the vultures bearing a physical and vocal resemblance to The Beatles, including the signature mop-top haircut.
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    Internet 
  • Studyladder has a quiz where winning results in a band called "The Beetles", consisting of actual beetles, playing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On the game show Press Your Luck, a quartet of Whammys in Beatle attire appear and sing "I wanna take it back from you!"

    Music 
  • The Monkees were conceived as a television version of the Beatles, a fact not unnoticed by observers at the time given that the group gained the disparaging nickname "The Pre-Fab Four."
    • Both groups are named after living creatures in Myspeld Rökband fashion.
    • The group members correlated to Beatles counterparts. Davy Jones was "the cute one" analogue to Paul McCartney. Peter Tork was "the goofy one" parallel to Ringo Starr, as well as fitting George Harrison's "quiet one" role. John Lennon was subject to Decomposite Character treatment, with Michael Nesmith taking on his "smart one"/"leader" part, while Micky Dolenz picked up on John's other side as "the joker".
    • The show has several Beatles shout-outs. In "Mijacogeo," the foursome wakes up to an alarm clock/radio blaring the song "Good Morning, Good Morning." In "Success Story," Davy's British grandfather pays a visit, echoing a major plot point in A Hard Day's Night. Many of the song interludes in the show feature the foursome jumping and running around in sped-up fashion, also mirroring the "Can't Buy Me Love" sequences in A Hard Day's Night. In their movie Head, Peter briefly whistles "Strawberry Fields Forever", a character asks Micky "Are you still paying tribute to Ringo Starr?", and Peter listens to a lecture from a swami who's a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
    • The Monkees song "Randy Scouse Git" is a Shout-Out to the Beatles. The word "Scouse" is a slang term for Liverpudlians. It also has the line "The four kings of EMI are sitting stately on the floor," a reference to the group.
  • The Rutles are an almost exact pastiche of the Beatles in both their music and their history.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street has The Beetles, a band of insectoid Anything Muppets whose songs spoof actual Beatles songs, but are mostly about letters of the alphabet.

    Video Games 

    Western Animation 
  • Back at the Barnyard has the episode "A Barn Day's Night" where Otis, Abby, Freddy, Peck, and Pig form a band called "The Weevils".
  • The Flintstones: The episode "The Hatrocks and the Gruesomes" has a cameo by a band called the Four Insects, whose "bug music" is the only thing that annoys Fred's hillbilly cousins. Since the Flintstones want to get rid of the Hatrocks, they put on moptop wigs and play bug music themselves, joined by the Rubbles and the Gruesomes.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Party Pooped", Pinkie Pie joins a rock band. It's only shown after the fact via a photo montage, but the band is clearly a ponified version of The Beatles, complete with references to their appearances at the Cavern Club, the Royal Command Performance of 1963, a Sgt. Pepper's Shout-Out, an Abbey Road Crossing, and ending with their break-up due to Creative Differences. Within the band, Pinkie is the drummer in place of Ringo Starr.note  In terms of the ponifications of the others, John Lennon's cutie mark is the peace sign, George Harrison's is three jelly babies, and Paul McCartney's is a take on the Yellow Submarine. Pony Paul is even a lefty.
  • In the Pinky and the Brain episode "All You Need is Narf", Pinky's Simple-Minded Wisdom has him confused for a guru when he and Brain are in India to collect sandalwood. They become especially popular with The Feebles, a Beatles Expy that Pinky happens to be a fan of. When they begin to get in the way of the plan by booking a 6-month sit-in, Brain meets the tone-deaf singer Yoyo Nono and pairs her with the John Lennon stand-in Jim Lemon, leading to the band's break-up.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls episode "Meet the Beat Alls", Townsville's top four super villains — Mojo Jojo, HIM, Princess Morbucks, and Fuzzy Lumpkins — all meet at the Powerpuff Girl's house by coincidence, each of them sick of losing to the girls and wanting to fight them. When they all manage to win when they work together, they team up and call themselves The Beat Alls. It works out perfectly for them, repeatedly trouncing the Powerpuff Girls... right until the Yoko analogue, Moko Jono, shows up, and Mojo Jojo starts eagerly going with her increasingly bizarre "evil" plans until the group falls apart from the strain. The episode is notable for cramming as many Beatles references as the creators could think of into the dialogue and visuals.
  • In the The Simpsons episode "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", the titular band Homer joins has a history that very much resembles that of The Beatles and frequently boasted to be "Bigger Than Jesus", having titled their sophomore album as such with a cover that shows the band Walking On Water in the Abbey Road Crossing pose.
  • The Beatles in cartoon form, while never identified as the Beatles, appear in the Eek! The Cat episode "Octopussy Cat." In a nod to the train sequence of A Hard Day's Night, Eek—with a squid on his head—crashes into the train berth in which the band is traveling.
  • A 1965 commercial for Kellogg's Raisin Bran has Pixie, Dixie and Mr. Jinks don Beatle wigs and perform an impromptu concert touting the cereal.
  • Not surprisingly the DuckTales (1987) episode "Beaglemania" with the Beagle Boys as the Beatles. They became so famous that make millions to Scrooge who is the owner of the record company. But between firing Ma Beagle as manager and also shame her among the other criminal mothers for them earning money legally and causing Scrooge to pay for their extreme luxuries Scrooge and Ma enter an Enemy Mine situation to ruin their careers.

 
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The Rutles

The Rutles are an almost exact pastiche of the Beatles in both their music and their history.

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