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Parody
aka: The Parody

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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.

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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 becoming the archetype, leading to later subversions of subversions.

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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.


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Audio Plays 
  • 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.

    Comedy 

    Fan Works 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers 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!"
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Videos. Which is a gag dub of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
  • Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space is a parody of sci-fi tropes, B Movies and Failed Future Forecasts.
  • Pokémon: Gospel Version is a parody of Moral Guardians and pokes fun at them for claiming Pokemon is Satanic.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series and its various spin-offs and imitators are notable for taking up only a third of the time and containing twice the plot of the shows they parody.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The Dragaera novels include a subseries called the Khaavren Romances that parody Alexandre Dumas.
  • Lord of the Flies is a dark parody of Jules Verne's Two Years Vacation - both involve groups of upper-class schoolboys being marooned on a desert island in similar circumstances, but where Verne's kids Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, Golding's descend into primitive savagery.
    • It's also taking on R. M. Ballantyne's Coral Island (lampshaded by the end).
  • The Harvard Lampoon's Bored of the Rings rather viciously skewers The Lord of the Rings.
  • Thematically linked to the above, National Lampoon's Doon goes after Dune in similar style.
  • How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse depicts the Zombie Apocalypse scenario and often exaggerates the genre's tropes, given it's also a slapstick.
  • The ancient Greek Batrachomyomachia makes this Older Than Feudalism, since the 300-line poem parodies the epic genre by using epic conventions for a rather non-heroic story: a battle between mice and frogs.
  • An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews by Henry Fielding, a parody of the cringeworthy but popular inspirational novel Pamela by Samuel Richardson. One of the rare cases where the parody is somehow better than the original.
    • And then the bustard Fielding went to the well a second time with Joseph Andrews.
  • The modern anti-love story The Sorrows of Young Mike is a parody of the classic German romantic piece of literature called Die Leiden des Jungen Werther (The Sorrows of Young Werther). Both are tragic and worth reading, whether separate or in conjunction.
  • The Barry Trotter series, three novels parodying the Harry Potter franchise.
  • Young Adult, a short web original one-shot, parodies the Divergent, Harry Potter and Twilight series.
  • Villains by Necessity: The book is one of the standard "Heroes have to save the world" plot, with some "bad guys" now having to save the universe from the "good guys" after they won. It also generally parodies many fantasy cliches, with the Dragonlance characters being more specifically parodied through one band of heroes who try to stop these villain protagonists, along with borrowing the idea that if good wins, it must turn evil itself in the end.
  • The Power: The Framing Device explicitly parodies debates about gender roles being innate or learned, along with alleged ancient matriarchal societies, but all the roles have been reversed, so this is now about if men are innately less violent, inherently nurturing etc. or a patriarchy ever existed, as it takes place in a future matriarchy.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic has made a career out of parody songs; he is unarguably the most prominent artist in this field, to the point where other people's parody songs are often misattributed to Al instead. While most of his songs directly parody 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:
  • Barry Mann's "Who Put the Bomp" was a parody of Doo-wop.
    Darling, bomp bah bah bomp, bah bomp bah bomp bomp
    And my honey, rama lama ding dong forever
    And when I say, dip da dip da dip da dip
    You know I mean it from the bottom of my boogity boogity boogity shoop
  • The Rutles was Neil Innes and Eric Idle's brilliant and uncannily accurate parody following the timeline of The Beatles. The songs were so close to the Beatles' work that Northern Songs (copyright holders of their music) threatened a plagiarism lawsuit against Chappell Music (the Rutles' songs). However, George Harrison appeared in the Rutles' mockumentary "All You Need is Cash."
  • Noël Coward wrote "There Are Bad Things Just Around The Corner" as a very intentional genre parody of the whole genre of "morale-boosting" songs from World War Two.

    Podcasts 
  • Mission to Zyxx has many targets, but its most frequent is Star Wars. Pleck Decksetter is a farmboy from a backwater planet whose Chosen One destiny is to become a Zima Knight etc etc...

    Print Media 
  • 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.

    Pro 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 

    Radio 
  • 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, which was plundering "Dave Hollis" sketches and recycling them for TV as late as the fifth series.
  • 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.
  • The Hour of Slack is the nationally syndicated radio show of the parody religion the Church of the SubGenius. It features sermons from creator Ivan Stang and random soundbites as it sends up radio evangelical shows. In some markets it is followed by a local edition (WREK-FM in Atlanta presents "Bob's" Slacktime Funhouse).

    Tabletop Games 

    Theater 
  • Orpheus In The Underworld parodies Orpheus opera in general, but a specific target of the work is Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, with Public Opinion serving as a counterpart to Cupid. Orpheus even sings a bit of the famous "Che farò senza Euridice" aira to be let into Hades.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Docfuture's Let's Play of Sonic 2: Special Edition for Sega CD 32X is a parody of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, its development, and Updated Rereleases in general.
  • This video and many, many others parody Lady Gaga's song "Bad Romance". Others are parodied, but that song has the most.
  • Next Time On Lonny is a Deconstructive Parody of reality shows.
  • This video is a parody of unboxing videos.
  • Bart Baker parodies pretty much every major music artist.
  • The "If Halo 2 On Legendary Was Deemed Canonical" seriesnote  is a narrated parody of exactly as the title says, exploring the potentially mind-breaking insanity that Halo 2's Legendary difficulty induces for most people, hilariously inputting irrefutable facts such as the incompetent friendlies (barring the invincible allies you rarely/briefly have to accompany you) you have on the missions that has them as well as meme-filled moments galore. A good deal of Halo fans already love it for how it carefully details every mission and just how tough certain parts of each mission are, as well as the infamous Sniper Jackals on said difficulty.
  • Sonic The Ghetto Hog is a series that is exactly what it says on the tin.
  • Pokemon Pals is set 8 years after Pokémon. Now that they are older, the fact they are still living the way they were seems pretty sad.
  • Googlebrains has lots of these, including Caillou Plays Minecraft.
  • The Handman's Tale is Funny or Die's Gender Flip parody of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale series.
  • Chris Ray Gun: Many of his songs, both full-length and within-episodes, are political-based parodies of pre-existing songs. Funnily enough, he discovered in "Cringe with Chris" that his first attempt at this was back in 2009, where he made a parody of "Pretty Fly for a White Guy" known as "Pretty Fly for a Fat Guy".
  • Drew Gooden:
    • A staple of his humor, especially on Vine, is that he likes to make fun of and exaggerate tropes or real-life trends, from his As-Seen-On-TV parody "Water In Your Hands", where the pitch is that water bottles are far too convenient to use, to his sitcom parody where the Laugh Track drowns out the dialogue and acts like the father coming home is the funniest thing ever, and many, many more examples in between.
    • "Vine: Where Are They Now?" parodies "Where Are They Now?"-style documentaries, with Drew creating fake stories for a ton of infamous, One-Hit Wonder Vine-stars; such as claiming the Deez Nuts guy went onto host his own 12-season prank show.
  • Many Danny Gonzalez videos revolve around parodying things with the use of music, such as taking on an exaggerated character based on the person he's talking about in the video and singing a silly song about their work and actions.

    Western Animation 

 
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Video Example(s):

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

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This Is Scandalous!

Vince McMahon makes a skit parodying and mocking a controversial ad for having a white woman seducing a black man.

How well does it match the trope?

4.93 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / MalignedMixedMarriage

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