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"In case you haven't realized it by now, this is a Highlander parody."

A parody is a twisted imitation of another artistic work. An intentional mockery, though often a loving one, it imitates the style of the original in order to puncture its mistakes and point out its flaws. Some aspects may be exaggerated, and others downplayed. Usually comedic, but occasionally dark and deconstructive. Can be sublime, or worse than the original. Sometimes a Homage or Shout-Out doubles as a parody. And sometimes the entire work gets parodied.


Lack of respect for the source material is the most common danger of parody. Not all parody is satire. As satire is usually pursuing an intellectual point, we expect it to be critical. On the other hand, most parodies are watched by people who liked the original stories, so pointing out too loudly that something is stupid (or that it broadly seems to defy the premise) can subconsciously insult the viewer. In fact, many successful parodies still use the situation or design that they mock. They simply point out that it doesn't make sense, but let the appeal be in the eye of the beholder.

Another danger is the assumption that the audience is familiar with the subject matter being parodied; extensive parodies have multiple layers of comic gold. This can be shaky ground, depending on the age of your audience, and writers sometimes resign themselves to broad, widely known characters and situations. The problem is that such things have probably already been parodied to death. Enough parodies can cause a shift to that version of the character into becoming the archetype, leading to later subversions of subversions.


The most basic idea is, of course, that a parody is essentially something you've seen before in a different form. Your audience hopes you bring something new to the table, and will not be impressed if all you do is regurgitate tropes.

The nature of parody can lead to unfortunate Misaimed Fandom.

See also Satire, Pastiche, Farce, Meta Trope Intro, Parodied Trope (spoofing a trope).

For a list of tropes used in parodies, see Parody Tropes.



    open/close all folders 

    Audio Play 
  • The album The Giant Rat Of Sumatra is a parody of Sherlock Holmes, starring Hemlock Stones, the Great Defective.
  • Stan Freberg's record Saint George and the Dragonet is a fantasy parody of Dragnet.

     Anime And Manga 

    Fan Works 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Let's just say the author parodied Hammerspace several times. From clothes to books to Death Notes to flowers, the characters' backs can store them all.

    "It's alright Italia-kun. I always bring spare cosplays with me." He reached into some sort of secret compartment behind his back, pulling out an identical outfit to the one the brunet was currently wearing. Seriously, how do anime characters have such an ability?

    Japan disappeared into a bathroom for a short amount of time before reappearing, now clad in a sharp black suit and tie with a white dress shirt and black pants, taking hexagonal glasses from his pocket—or wherever anime characters store all their stuff—before putting them on.

    "Humph." The larger scoffed back. He then reached into the magical space all anime characters have, whipping out a book conveniently titled 'How to Catch a Runaway Italian'.

    Both reached into the magical space all anime characters have, extracting black notebooks—Japan's having unidentifiable symbols on its cover as Italy's had 'Death Note' clearly printed on it in gothic letters—before taking out pens and colored pencils as well, opening the pages before scrawling in them.

    Giggling, the auburn reached into the magical space all anime characters have, an exquisite bouquet of utmost grandeur popping out from behind his back. "Tada!"



    Live-Action TV 
  • Sledge Hammer! is an over-the-top parody of the Cowboy Cop.
    • At least in the first season. Then it became too whiny and Rom Com-ish, attempting satire and/or deconstruction where none were necessary.
  • Police Squad! was a parody of 1960s- and 1970s-vintage Police Procedural shows, particularly the output of Quinn Martin Productions, and specifically M Squad.
    • And an Australian version Funky Squad.
    • Angie Tribeca is a Police Squad!-inspired show with a similar style of humor that mocks police procedurals of the 2010's.
  • The Daily Show uses the parody news format to make satirical points. Its Spin-Off, The Colbert Report, does satire as well, but parodies blowhard opinion shows like The O'Reilly Factor instead of straight news.
  • Brass Eye parodied the shock-obsessed news media by lifting their style.
  • iCarly: The fake movie trailers. Kelly Cooper: Terrible Movie is about cliched teen chick movies, and The Blowing pokes fun on disaster films.
  • The Oceanic Six: A Conspiracy of Lies is a mockumentary on the Lost season 4 DVD. Presented as an in-universe documentary, the film is an obvious parody of Loose Change, from the music, voiceovers, interviews with questionably qualified scientists, anonymous interviews, wild accusations, and claims of a government coverup in regards to the crash of Oceanic flight 815 and the subsequent rescuing of six passengers. The irony is that the documentary is right that the official story is a lie...but its explanation is hilariously wrong (one word: cannibalism).
  • My Life In Film, a little-known BBC comedy about a slightly delusional scriptwriter that took place in worlds that were parodies of popular films.
  • The Monty Python's Flying Circus "Science Fiction Sketch" is a parody of British science fiction that comes across nowadays as being a very close parody of the Third Doctor era of Doctor Who - ludicrous costumes, Science In Genre Only, Aliens in Cardiff, a suave and painfully serious Science Hero explaining the plot to a Dumb Blonde Watson, The Brigadier ... even though it aired six months before that era even started.
  • Posh Nosh: Parody of cooking shows.
  • Get Smart was a parody of the spy shows prevalent at the time.
  • Danger 5, a parody of Sixties adventure shows. Season 2 of The '80s movies, ranging from cop shows to high school dramas.
  • Dear White People:

  • MAD specializes in parodies, particularly those of movies and TV shows. Some also have satirical elements...but for some reason, the magazine refers to all of them as satires, not parodies, so it's no wonder Keanu Reeves got confused.

  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has made a career out of parody songs. While most of his songs directly parodies specific songs, he also does so-called "style parodies", where he makes light of a band or a singer's overall musical style, rather than a single work of theirs.
  • Allan Sherman was well known for his parody songs in the '60s.
  • Bob Rivers is particularly known for his parodies of Christmas Songs.
  • Also Bohemian Parody, which covers parodies of Bohemian Rhapsody.
  • Two years after Fiddler's Dram released 'Day Trip to Bangor', Jasper Carrott parodied the song with 'Day Trip to Blackpool', in 1981. While 'Day Trip to Bangor' was about what a lovely time they had there, 'Day Trip to Blackpool' is the exact opposite.
  • "Star Trekkin" by The Firm, which is a parody of Star Trek.
  • Brentalfloss parodied Ke$ha's "Tik Tok" due to the release of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D. Fans took it with mixed reaction.
    • The Final Fantasy IV Love Theme on his first album is sung by Eric Cartman. The entire song is just Cartman stating that he hates you. (The G-rated version, on the other hand, is sung by Homestar Runner and the whole song is him singing about how he likes Brent.)

    Professional Wrestling 
  • At the 1996 November To Remember, ECW debuted a parody of WCW's nWo, the blue World order, centered around Stevie Richards, Super Nova and The Blue Meanie in the roles of Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan and Scott Hall. When WCW used its partnership with NJPW to create nWo Japan, ECW used its with Michinoku Pro Wrestling to create bWo Japan.
  • Founded in 1997, the Japanese Dramatic Dream Team promotion is dedicated to parodying American professional wrestling, especially the WWE, as it was born around the then-WWF's height of popularity and financial success.
  • While Carlitos is a common name, El Sensacional Carlitos, an ignorant illiterate who didn't like shoes, was a gimmick the Puerto Rican branch of the International Wrestling Association came up with in 2005, in mockery of Carlos Colon and Carlito Caribbean Cool of rival promotion, WWC. However, Carlitos became so popular WWC ended up hiring him without changing the gimmick at all, even having him team up with Carlito at points.
  • The 2006 Chikara Tag World Grand Prix saw the debut of Team WWF, a parody of the Second City Saints: CP Munk, Colt Cabunny and Ace Panda (CM Punk, Colt Cabana and Ace Steel).

    Puppet Shows 

  • The Howard Stern Show used to and sometimes still will parody television shows and movies, although more frequently song parodies are featured, many of which, sent in by fans, are about being sexually attracted to news anchor Robin Quivers. Thousands of these exist, and one or two are always played before her news segment.
  • The BBC Radio 4 series Hordes of the Things, by A.P.R. Marshall (Andrew Marshall of 2point4 Children and The Burkiss Way) and J.H.W. Lloyd (John Lloyd of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Blackadder) was a parody of The Lord of the Rings. It's notable because it was broadcast six months before the Radio 4 adaptation of LOTR, and manages to predict some of the voice characterization to a spooky degree. (Or they heard about it in the canteen.)
  • Dave Hollins: Space Cadet, a miniseries in Son of Cliché, was a parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey in which the titular character was left as the sole survivor of his ship's crew. The premise of this would later be followed up with a Spiritual Successor in Red Dwarf.
  • The Burkiss Way parodied everything it could lay its hands on.
  • The X Fools parodied the then concurrently running The X-Files series. Agent Sulky is the Only Sane Woman stuck between her brainless Covert Pervert partner Agent Smoulder and their Wholesome Crossdresser superior Assistant Director Skinhead, confronting such villains as Dancer Man and the Cigarette Sucking Woman.
  • Brazilian radio station 98 FM remakes songs to mock recent defeats by the football teams of its home city - and sometimes other teams as well. One parody was even in English, turning "Sorry" into "Sorry Olimpiadas", apologizing for the mess that was the Olympic Village (and Rio de Janeiro itself) prior to the 2016 games.

    Recorded and Stand-Up Comedy 

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

  • DevilBear is full of parodies. Especially in the teddy bears that end up going to Hell. Parodies of Winnie the Pooh , Kiss , and Pokémon to name a few.
  • The Dork Tower comic regularly features covers (and sometimes entire issues) that parody some aspect of geek or pop culture, often with some relationship to the story inside. Subjects have included Understanding Comics, Rice Krispies cereal, A Brief History of Time, Harvey Comics, Pink Floyd...
  • Greg parodied movies in the early stages of the comic, including Green Lantern and Transformers 3.
  • Kick The Football, Chuck is a parody of Charles Schulz' "Peanuts" where all of the classic gags (kicking the football, talking on the brick wall, flying a kite, Lucy's "psychiatric booth, etc.) are portrayed in light of Charlie Brown's cancer.
  • Irrelevator has a 'the Doctor' who comes and goes in various incarnations from time to time. Later Irrelevator also has an arc where historic personalities wake up in the elevator and are parodied.
  • Sonichu has "", a parody and amalgamation of 4chan and Encyclopedia Dramatica.
  • Strip 574 of Brawl in the Family uses the concept of Super Mario Maker to parody Duck Amuck. The Alt Text plays with the parody further, using Bugs Bunny's Catchphrase.
  • Wizard School is a parody of Harry Potter, with the cliche magical child as "Chosen One," replaced with a drunken jerk with a tattoo on his forehead.
  • My Life as a Background Slytherin is another Harry Potter parody comic. It's basically a Lower-Deck Episode about a Butt-Monkey Author Avatar who wants to be one of the villains but fails pathetically, while deconstructing the more illogical elements of the Wizarding World.

    Web Animation 
  • A Hundred Thousand Bad Jokes has a large number of episodes that are parodies.
  • Battle for Dream Island parodies the Nintendo DS with the BDFI DDS, spouting 16 screens.
  • Cartoon Hooligans:
  • Super Console Wars is a parody of Star Wars with popular video game characters. On the planet Nintendooine, Lukeegi Pipewalker encounters peripherals GC-PU and VM-U2, who deliver a message from Princess Zeia, who has been captured by Darth Mario (implied to be Lukeegi's long-lost brother) and Moff Bison of the Gamepire on their Xbox-shaped ship (the Princess's ship looks like a Game Boy). Lukeegi and the peripherals find Obi-Wan Shinobi, the last of the legendary Mascot Knights. They eventually find a ship, owned by Han Fox and Kongdacca. They make their way to Segaldaraan, only to find a massive station - the GameCube, which has enough power to render a planet. Obi-Wan starts teaching Lukeegi how to use the Force Feedback (which involves playing Duck Hunt). Once they board the station, Obi-Wan Shinobi goes to disable the tractor beam (playing Breakout), before encountering Darth Mario. Lukeegi and Han free the Princess and jump into garbage disposal, where they're forced to dodge Tetris pieces to survive. They witness the battle between Obi-Wan Shinobi and Darth Mario, with Mario turning fully 3D and using fireballs, pills, and lightning to kill Obi-Wan. The heroes flee. The end.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 

Alternative Title(s): The Parody, Parodies, Parody Fic


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