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Raiders of the Lost Parody

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Again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot parody.

Screenwriters tend to have a certain pool of references they call upon when they need a parody of certain genres of movies: science-fiction (May the Farce Be with You and Where No Parody Has Gone Before for Star Wars and Star Trek), fantasy (The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter), and mystery and spy adventure (particularly James Bond).

One such parody sprang up among screenwriters when movie titans Steven Spielberg and George Lucas teamed up to create the Indiana Jones franchise. Specifically Raiders of the Lost Ark, the most easily recognizable and famous film of the franchise and the trope namer, has since become a stock parody due to its ubiquity amongst pop culture. The common elements that a majority of these parodies contain include:

A subtrope of Stock Parodies. Can lead to Parody Displacement due to the easily recognizable traits shared with both the film and the numerous parodies.


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Rugrats Movie has an entire Fake-Out Opening recreating the first scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark straight down to the original score (in the show's typical Imagine Spot style, the "idol" is actually an ice-cream sundae). Hell, Tommy dons the moniker and outfit of Indy, or "Okeydokey Jones", later on in the movie. This scene is played again at the very end, where all the babies have finally accepted Dil into the family - and wouldn't ya know it, he's the reason they succeed in getting the "idol" this time.
  • Tad, the Lost Explorer has many Indiana Jones homages across its three movies, down to the character being "Tadeo Jones" in the original Spanish (the English dub renames him Tad Stones) and dressing like Indy.
  • Toy Story did a shout-out to the boulder scene with Buzz being chased by a rolling ball that got knocked loose, not long before he fell out the window.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • From Svengoolie: A very short scene from "Indiana Bones and the Last Beer Frame" starring Tombstone; he runs away from a giant bowling ball.
  • One Imagine Spot by J.D. in Scrubs shows Turk climbing into a patient's intestines and removing a tumor in a parody of the idol-swap scene.
    JD: Watch out for colon darts.
    • There's another episode where Carla has a lot on her mind and JD encourages her to confide her problems in him. He gets more than he bargained for when she begins unloading all of her problems on him at once, in rapid succession. This leads to an imagine spot where she opens up her head, which reveals a blinding light that melts JD's face.
  • Discovery Channel mini series Unchained Reaction had one of the machines start off with an imitation of the idol swap scene.
  • Several episodes of Hannah Montana briefly feature Miley Stewart acting in an action movie series as the lead character, "Indiana Joanie".
  • An episode of Magnum, P.I. features a guest star who is an author working on a very Raiders-like adventure novel, using Magnum and friends as her inspiration. Doubles as Actor Allusion, since Tom Selleck was considered for the role of Indiana Jones but had to turn it down because he was already under contract for Magnum.
  • When MythBusters looked at some of the scenes from Raiders, the opening sequence was one of these (with Adam in his personal Indiana Jones costume), complete with huge boulder rolling through M5 and an Indy Hat Roll through the garage door.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy had an archaeology-focused episode, so naturally its opening skit had to have Bill Nye parodying Raiders: the moment he touches the cobweb on the statue, the entire temple begins to collapse, and he gets crushed by an obviously Chroma Keyed boulder right before the Title Sequence.

  • In Sonic the Hedgehog in Castle Robotnik Sonic and Tails are chased by a boulder and while Tails makes it across the pit at the end of the corridor (although he apparently forgot he could fly as Sonic had to hold the rope taut so he could get across) Sonic ends up dangling down the pit and meeting up with a snake that insists on calling him Dr. Jones.

  • National Lampoon: There was a parody that had the hero being a gynecologist instead of an archeologist.


    Puppet Shows 
  • From Sesame Street:
    • One animated interstitial that premiered in 1985 uses the exploits of an explorer and his sweetheart (starting with an Indy Escape) to explain the word/concept "adventure". The music is suspiciously similar to John Williams' underscore, and the word appears in a font inspired by the movie logo at the end!
    • "The Golden Cabbage of Snufertiti" (1990) features Bob's brother Minneapolis Johnson, played by Jeff Goldblum, who has traced the titular treasure to Sesame Street — specificially Mr. Snuffleupagus's cave. Includes a spoof of the Indy Escape in which they and Big Bird flee what appears to be a giant boulder but is actually the cabbage, which is...the size of an actual cabbage. (Not coincidentally, the aforementioned "Adventure" cartoon is the first interstitial.)
    • "The Golden Triangle of Destiny": After 'Minnesota Mel' shows up and tells Telly and Chris about said triangle, Mel gets a 'charley horse', so Telly gets his own costume, calls himself 'Texas Telly' and takes his place. The episode also featured 'Wyoming Walt' and 'Virginia Virginia'.

    Video Games 
  • The protagonist of Paganitzu is actually called Alabama Smith.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, with Wild Wasteland enabled, you can find a skeleton with a brown fedora in a refrigerator just outside Goodsprings, in a Take That! to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
  • The LEGO Indiana Jones series, natch.
  • In World of Warcraft, about half of Uldum (an ancient Egypt-style zone) consists of helping "Harrison Jones" find a magic relic in an ancient temple and fight nazi goblins.
  • Earnest Evans is pretty much this, all the way to the "rolling boulder scene" in the closing credits that squashes Earnest in the end. The titular hero is a whip-wielding archaeologist, chasing after a macguffin that would summon the dark god Hastur and end the world. The first level is very much like the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark, rolling boulder and all (though a bug allows you to get behind the boulder) and subsequent levels have Earnest travel the world shown with a red line along a map. About the only element absent is the Nazis, replaced by both the cult of Hastur, and the Mafia.
  • Several of the early Crash Bandicoot games, particularly the rolling boulders and natives of the original.
  • Baldur's Gate II has a tile puzzle in the ruined temple that is very similar to the one seen in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. This includes the solution, which is to step on the tiles that spell out the name of the god the temple was once dedicated to.
  • Unsurprisingly, the Tomb Raider games are full of these, with Lara Croft basically being a female Indiana Jones.
  • The cinematic trailer for Season 5 of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has a scene of multiple Fall Guys inside a temple, trying to get a crown off a pedestal. One of them steals another player's crown, which is part of their mummy set they're wearing, and switches it with the crown on the pedestal. It works, but the mummy Fall Guy steals their costume crown afterward and triggers the trap.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • OpenBSD 3.8 was released with a fake radio show based on Indiana Jones called Hackers Of The Lost RAID featuring Puffiana Jones.

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales brings it full circle in the season two premiere "The Most Dangerous Game... Night!" Scrooge and the kids dodge traps (including a huge, rolling stone wheel that chases them down a hall) while retrieving a golden idol from "The Lost City of Cibola". This is actually a Mythology Gag referencing "The Seven Cities of Cibola" by Carl Barks, which has been cited by George Lucas as an inspiration for the opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Family Guy usually throws in an Indiana Jones parody (or two), but season four's "The Courtship of Stewie's Father" takes the cake by dedicating the entire final act towards the final minutes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
  • The Garfield Special Garfield's Feline Fantasties had a scene almost exactly like the famous tile puzzle scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • In the Bad Dog episode "Bad Dog To The Bone", the Potanskis discover they live above a temple for moles. A paleontologist comes to their house to help with the dig, and he and Berkeley end up inside said mole temple.
  • The Simpsons: The episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" dedicated the first few minutes of its opening act to the famous introduction of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Bart steals Homer's change jar from his dresser, Homer wakes up and gives chase, but trips and rolls down the stairs after him. Bart executes a flawless Indy Hat Roll under the closing garage door, and Homer does his best Chased by Angry Natives impression, yelling in Angrish as the school bus drives away.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures had a Raiders parody with Buster as "Pasadena Jones" and Montana Max as his rival (a combination of Belloq and Toht).
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • "Indiana Pac and the Temple of Slime" of Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures parodies many tropes commonly found in Indiana Jones.
  • From VeggieTales: the episode "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush"; Larry the Cucumber in a story about bullying.
  • One episode of Regular Show ends with Mordecai forced to choose the correct hat out of a collection of other hats in an obvious homage to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, down to an aged knight watching over the proceedings and the fact that he'll be skeletonized if he chooses poorly.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: The episode "The Firebending Masters" takes place in an ancient temple, complete with booby traps.
  • An early episode of Animaniacs wound up with Yakko directing Mr. Director through a few movie parodies. In one, Mr. Director was "Illinois Smith" and utterly failed with the whip — first he ends up tying himself up with the thing, then when he gets free he cracks it and it gets caught on the set rafters, bringing them down on him. "I think it's a not-working whip."
  • Several episodes of Codename: Kids Next Door, inevitably starring Numbuh Five, were designed as Whole Plot References of the Indiana Jones films. These famously introduced her Arch-Enemy Heinrich von Marzipan (though the first one features the Delightful Children Down the Lane as the villains); when the showrunners ran out of Indy movies to parody, they switched to Pirates of the Caribbean instead.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • The idol-swap scene was parodied in "We Call It Maze", as one of the puzzles in Phineas and Ferb's maze.
    • "Phineas and Ferb and the Temple of Juatchadoon" features the boys as adventurers Ohio Flynn and Rhode Island Fletcher.
  • Muppet Babies has a recurring Imagine Spot with Baby Kermit as Indiana Frog, most notably the episode "Raiders of the Lost Muppet". Kermit is also in his Indiana Frog guise when he sings "I like adventure" in the opening credits.
  • The final third of the South Park episode "Free Hat" closely follows the final sequences of Raiders of the Lost Ark, from Tweek threatening to blow the digitally altered version of Raiders of the Lost Ark back to God to the new version being so terrible it melts the faces of everyone who watches it. The original reels are hidden in a warehouse to keep anyone else from messing with theme.
  • On Rocko's Modern Life, a globe falls off a building, and Rocko (who had been pretending to roller skate to impress a girl) diverts it by doing the one thing he is good at: jackhammering.
    • In another episode, Filburt is selected to appear on a Game Show, but gets a bad fortune cookie and starts to attract all sorts of bad luck. Rocko and Heffer get the idea to cover him in various Lucky Charms, and Filburt appears on the show as planned. He spins the wheel, and the wheel comes unscrewed and starts rolling through O-Town (and eventually all over the world.)
    • Also parodied when Ed is being chased by Earl.
  • The Fairly Oddparents episode "Parent Hoods" goes the whole sacred-idol routine with... a pencil sharpener. In a museum gift shop. It's protected by a thematically-appropriate riddle, and dispenses a rolling pencil the size of a sequoia once the sharpener gets swiped.
  • Transformers: BotBots episode "The Lost Bots And The Claw Crusade" sees Burgertron and Dimlit searching for the mythical Costa Pasta Collector's Cup, which grants the bearer the amazing power of free soda refills in the month of February 1997.
  • Filmation's Ghostbusters took Raiders as a general style influence, which led to Jake and Eddie being uniformed as a jungle explorer and an old-fashioned pilot. Throughout the series, exploring ancient temples and far-flung destinations was par for the course.
  • Beetlejuice becomes Grimdiana Bones as he goes out to rescue Lydia from the giant Neitherworld ape Thing Thong in the episode "Beauty and the Beetle." Everytime he says "Grimdiana Bones," he gets run over by a giant boulder.
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon featured a movie parody segment titled "Idaho Spud and the Temple of Trash", the titular character being a not-too-bright explorer with a potato for a head.


Video Example(s):


Indiana Bart

This opening scene of the Simpsons episode perfectly parodies the opening scene of ''Raiders of the Lost Ark''.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / RaidersOfTheLostParody

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