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A pastiche is a work done In the Style of... another artist. It may reflect a single work by a single artist, or a body of work by one or more artists, or even an entire genre. The difference between a Fan Fic, which reuses characters or settings from another work, and a pastiche, is that the pastiche copies the tone and flavor of its original. A work can, of course, be both a Fan Fic and a pastiche, but pastiche is all about the style.

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A pastiche may be created as an homage to the original artist, or it may be intended as a gentle parody. The distinction is not important—although an exaggerated parody that did not actually reflect the style of the original would not be a pastiche. A pastiche which doesn't show some respect for the original would be a very difficult thing to pull off. Most pastiches are created in a spirit of fun, which can often make it hard to determine whether the creator intended parody or homage—or even, possibly, both. (An exception to the just-for-fun rule is in Academia, where a pastiche may be created as a Deconstruction of the original, but such works rarely reach—or are intended for—a broad audience.)

A good pastiche can be a hard thing to pull off, and many an excellent artist has crashed and burned in the attempt. Using someone else's style is simply not an easy thing, especially without avoiding accusations of They Copied It, So It Sucks!. In fact, it's often inevitable that good pastiches will still get this accusation. Nevertheless, a decent pastiche is enjoyable enough for both artist and audience that there is no shortage of artists willing to give it a try.

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See also Musical Pastiche. Compare Fan Fic, Original Flavor, Parody, Satire, Whole Plot Reference and In the Style of....


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Art 
  • Pieter Bruegel the Elder's early works, especially "De Dulle Griet", were almost a pastiche of Hieronymus Bosch's art.
  • Pastiches of Alphonse Mucha‘s poster art, with elegant women posing within stylised decorative frames, are practically a fan art genre in their own right.
    Sometimes I spend a lot of time coming up with clever art styles and visual references for the Skin Horse wallpapers, and sometimes I say, “Forget it, Mucha pastiches always look good.”
    — Shaenon K. Garrity, artist on Skin Horse

    Comic Books 
  • Robert Crumb also enjoys making pastiches of other comics now and then, like Omaha the Cat Dancer, for instance.
  • De Kiekeboes: In the album "Vrouwen komen van Mars" the Kiekeboe family gets sucked into Marcel Kiekeboe's favorite childhood comic strip, which is a stylistic pastiche of many 1940s and 1950s Flemish comic strip series.
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    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • Ugly Betty is a pastiche of Hispanic Soap Opera, as it is an adaptation of a very popular soap opera for the American audience.
  • Stranger Things is a pastiche of various genres of 80s movies, including E.T., Carrie, Stand By Me, etc. For a while in the first season, the teens' storylines are a pastiche of John Hughes movies.
  • Community regularly has an episode that is a pastiche of a particular genre. The most well-known are their paintball episodes: "Modern Warfare" is a pastiche of action movies, "A Fistful of Paintballs" does The Western and "For A Few Paintballs More" pastiches the Star Wars-esque "Ragtag Bunch of Misfits vs. The Empire" type of film. Also notable is "Contemporary American Poultry" (Mafia movies), "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" (Heroic Fantasy) and "Epidemology" (Zombie Apocalypse).
  • Life On Mars is noted for having a grittier, harder 70s look influenced directly by Get Carter and classic Film Noir in general.
  • Doctor Who:
    • One of the most beloved periods of Doctor Who was the "gothic" era from Seasons 12 to 14, which was made up of pastiches of various pulp genres - usually classic sci-fi or Gothic Horror. "The Brain of Morbius" and "Pyramids of Mars" are pure Hammer Horror, "The Robots of Death" is a mixture of Agatha Christie and Isaac Asimov's Baley/Olivaw books, "The Deadly Assassin" borrows from The Manchurian Candidate and JFK assassination conspiracy theories, "Planet of Evil" is like Forbidden Planet and "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" mixes up Sherlock Holmes and Yellow Peril Exploitation Films.
    • Eric Saward often enjoyed pastiching Who writers from the series's past in his episodes, with particular attention paid to Robert Holmes (double-act side characters, Crapsack World cynicism) and Douglas Adams (loopy intellectual humour, witty dialogue), but Bloodier and Gorier than both of these. "Earthshock" is a Holmes takeoff, and the audio drama "Slipback" is mostly Adams.
    • Mark Gatiss's scripts for the show are often pastiches of older show formats - "The Crimson Horror" is a Robert Holmes Gothic Horror, "The Empress of Mars" is extremely close to a Brian Hayles Ice Warrior story (and the UNIT era in general, using the Victorian soldiers as stand-ins for UNIT) and "Robot of Sherwood" is very like a Dennis Spooner-era First Doctor historical (such as "The Myth Makers").
  • Supernatural has a handful of pastiche episodes and title cards:
    • "Hell House" emulates found footage horror films, complete with camera abuse and partially effective censorship.
    • "Monster Movie" is a loving pastiche of old black-and-white horror films.
    • "Changing Channels" references Grey's Anatomy and CSI directly (at the time, they aired in the same timeslot as Supernatural). Other sections of the episode are pastiches of sitcoms, Japanese game shows, and public service announcements.
    • The title card for "Clap Your Hands If You Believe" is an X-Files pastiche.

    Music 
  • About half of "Weird Al" Yankovic's songs are pastiches. Most of them are not, in fact, parodies of the songs they pastiche, as, though they often satirize various aspects of society or parody other works, they don't make any point about the original.
    • ... but not all. "Smells Like Nirvana", for instance, directly tweaks the reputation for unintelligibility of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", while "Six Words Long" implicitly jibes George Harrison's (and before him, James Ray) "Got My Mind Set On You" for its simplicity. And "Achy Breaky Song" ("Don't play that song, that achy-breaky song") is more or less transparent — at least, for those of us who remember how overplayed it was in The '90s.
    • "Don't Download This Song" is an example of Weird Al doing satire. Made even funnier due to the fact that it was offered as a free download on many sites. Including his own.
    • Many of his original songs imitate the style of certain artists, e.g. "Dare to Be Stupid" is a pastiche of Devo.
    • "Craigslist" is a pastiche of the Doors (Ray Manzarek appeared on the song as a guest musician). It's so well done that sometimes people mistake it for an actual Doors song. The song was done as an homage, not a parody.
    • Weird Al can go beyond artists for his pastiches. "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me", for instance, is a pastiche of songs composed by Jim Steinman.
  • On the other hand, the songs on the Homestar Runner album Strong Bad Sings And Other Type Hits almost all parody the genres they pastiche. For instance, lyrics like "Darkness... the fate of the world!" in "Moving Very Slowly" parody the overblown epic tone of much death metal, while "Circles" is one big bash on the typical college blues band.
  • The "SCV Love Song" is a pastiche of Boy Band music written about Starcraft II.
  • Igor Stravinsky's neoclassical period consists mostly of pastiches of more traditional baroque and romantic composers.
  • Erik Satie wrote a few works that are a pastiche of Richard Wagner and Camille St. Saëns, two composers he personally loathed.
    • Which ones?
  • Frank Zappa' s Cruising with Ruben & the Jets is both a pastiche of and a homage to 1950s doowop. Though most of his music spoofed the clichés and tropes of other musical styles, including rock and classical music.
  • Ugly Kid Joe's "Neighbor" is a clear musical and lyrical pastiche of AC/DC.
  • Queen have done this a number of times:
  • Thulcandra was formed as a side project by Steffen Kummerer and Jurgen Zintz as a way of paying homage to Dissection, Necrophobic, Sacramentum, Unanimated, and various other classic other melodic black metal acts that they loved.
  • Radiohead's "Permanent Daylight" is considered to be a pastiche of Sonic Youth.
  • The back cover of Frank Black's B-Side album Oddballs puts parenthetical notes about which artist a song was meant to sound like: Multiple songs are labeled as "trying to be Strummer" or "Trying to be Dylan", "Village Of The Sun is labeled "trying to be Springsteen AND Dylan", and "Man Of Steel" is apparently a self-pastiche, labeled "trying to be me".

    Pinballs 
  • The aliens in Firepower are highly reminiscent of Jack Kirby's style, though most believe it was simply due to Plagiarism instead of being any sort of tribute.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

     Web Original 
  • Decoder Ring Theatre:
    • The Red Panda Adventures is a pastiche of superheroes from The Great Depression and The '40s, like The Spirit and The Green Hornet. It centers on the masked mystery man, the Red Panda, who hides his identity as one of Toronto's wealthiest men while he defends his city from criminals in the midst of the Depression and World War II. Only his trusty driver and sidekick, Kit Baxter the Flying Squirrel, knows his true identity.
    • Black Jack Justice is a pastiche of Hardboiled Detective noir. Jack Justice and Trixie Dixon, Girl Detective, work for $35 a day, plus expenses, for anyone who walks through the palacial doors of Justice and Dixon. Private Eye Monologues abound as Jack and Trixie alternate between telling the story to the listeners and presenting the scenes as they happened.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons have often made pastiches of other animation styles:
    • "Steamboat Itchy" and "Manhattan Madness" were two Itchy and Scratchy cartoons stylistically similar to 1910s and 1920 cartoons of that era.
    • Another Itchy and Scratchy cartoon featuring the cat and mouse fighting Hitler is a stylistic homage to the World War II propaganda cartoons.
    • In "Krusty Gets Kancelled", Krusty is forced to briefly replace it with Worker and Parasite, "Eastern Europe's favorite cat and mouse team" — a surreal style parody of Soviet animation.
    • The end of "Jaws Wired Shut" where Homer saves Marge from a demolition derby is a pastiche of the 1930s Popeye cartoons by the Fleischer Studios.
  • Adventure Time is a pastiche (and deconstruction) of several tropes from Dungeons and Dragons and other RPG style tabletop and video games.
  • South Park also enjoys making pastiches:
    • "Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery" is stylistically a parody of the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! cartoons.
    • "Osama Bin Laden Has Farty Pants" features a segment where Cartman fights off Bin Laden in the style of the World War II Looney Tunes cartoons, complete with similar sounding music and gags.
    • "Good Times With Weapons" features pastiches of Anime.
    • "Major Boobage" features a stylistic homage to the 1981 cult classic Heavy Metal.
    • "A Scause for Applause" is a homage to Dr. Seuss.
  • Family Guy:
    • In "Road To The Multiverse" Brian and Stewie visit a Disneyesque world, complete with all of the company's stylistic trademarks.
  • Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Favor", written by Paul Dini is an Homage to Alfred Hitchcock works, with Charlie Collins, an Everyman character that could be a Shout-Out to a young Alfred Hitchcock confronting The Joker and Batman. It shares a lot of the tropes that were part of the Alfred Hitchcock signature style: Action Survivor, Black Comedy, Creator Cameo, Dramatic Irony, Fade to Black, Hope Spot, MacGuffin/MacGuffin Title, The Oner, The Peeping Tom and Police are Useless.
  • The visual art-style of Star Wars Rebels has been repeatedly described as "Ralph McQuarrie's concept-paintings brought to life in CG", as a deliberate homage to the work the late artist had in creating the atmospheric look of the Star Wars movies.


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