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Real Trailer, Fake Movie

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"When night falls, a new hero rises. The night belongs to the monkey. Night Monkey."
Spider-Man: Far From Homenote 

"In a World… where trailers are made for movies that will never exist..."

The show's great. You've seen every episode and bought the DVD collection. And there, tucked away in the extras, is the Holy Grail: the trailer for the movie.

But something's not quite right. Perhaps the trailer gives a 1999 release date, and it's already 2007. Perhaps the characters in the trailer are parodies of themselves. Perhaps?

Perhaps it's a spoof. The movie isn't going to be made, and there was never any intention of making it; it was just the production crew having a bit of fun.

Never mind. At least the trailer's funny — we hope.

This is the Logical Extreme of Never Trust a Trailer — while that trope is about trailers misrepresenting various portions of a real film, this is about a trailer lying about an entire work. That being said... sometimes the trailer is so well-received that people actually make the movie.

It's not uncommon for such trailers to turn into a "No Talking or Phones" Warning by the end. Compare Trailer Spoof, which is for a real movie, just not the one you thought it was.

Intentional Spoofs:

    open/close all folders 

  • Falling in Lamb was an Australian commercial from a few years back, advertising lamb. It was short-lived, though, possibly due to the number of calls to local theatres enquiring about the release date of this new romantic comedy.
  • Lucky Star (no, not the anime), starring Benicio Del Toro. There has to be more than one person who saw it repeatedly on TV and never realized it was a car commercial.
  • There was a trailer for an excellent sounding movie playing in a local movie theatre, but it is disappointing to find out it's just an anti-dandruff shampoo ad.
  • There's a whole series of fake trailers used by the AMC theater chain, to warn audiences to pipe down and turn off their personal electronics. Each one opens as expected for its genre (Wuxia flick, Disney Talking Animal cartoon, etc), only to be derailed when a cell phone rings, distracting the characters at some critical moment. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Speaking of silencing your cell phone, a policy shown in Israel movie theaters called "Fatal Call" starts out like a movie trailer, but you know from the beginning, since it takes place in a movie theater. The trailer contains a girl who is eating popcorn when her cell phone rings, and a voice from the phone says "Sarah! You shouldn't have answered! You should have left your cell phone off!" Then, Sarah chokes on her popcorn. Ah...don't you just love happy endings?
  • Scarlet looked like ads for a slick, spy-fi Spiritual Successor to Alias. It was an ad for a TV series, as in a series of TV's made by LG. Note a lot of the dialogue, such as "Putting her in every home on the planet," and saying "She's gonna change TV."
  • Geico made a trailer for a fake reality show titled Tiny House, about a couple living in a house that was built too small.
  • Connecting Flights, a holiday Rom Com Chick Flick that checks off every trope in the book in the span of about 20 seconds, only for the stinger to reveal that it's really an ad for Sears's line of appliances.
  • Cineplex theatres in Canada has a trailer for a time-travel movie that looks like a bigger budget version of Primer. The protagonist has to travel back in time to meet his girlfriend at a sold-out movie. Quote: "If you're not there tonight, I won't be here tomorrow." OR you could order tickets online.
  • Here's an action/comedy thriller starring the M&M's Spokecandies!... except it turns out to be yet another "turn your cell phone off" ad. There's a TV version of this commercials where the M&Ms, instead of being mad at the audience member for interrupting the movie with their cell phone, they're mad at the narrator for nonchalantly mentioning the movie they're starring in isn't even real!
  • Ford made a pretty epic one for their Summer Spectacular.
  • Similar to the M&Ms one, GEICO has one with a "No Talking or Phones" Warning in one of the "it's what you do" spots where a secret agent is chased up to a roof where there's a waiting helicopter, only to a phone call that turns out to be his mother, rambling on about some squirrels in the attic and asking if he's at a zumba class because there's so much noise.
    Announcer: If you're a mom, you call at the worst time. It's what you do.
  • This trailer, shown in UK cinemas in 2019, appears to be for a film adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, based visually on the Cosgrove Hall series, and for the first couple of scenes, closely following the book. Then Toad gets a motorbike instead of a motorcar, and suddenly the animals are having to deal with pollution and habitat loss. It's actually an awareness campaign by the Wildlife Trusts.
  • This trailer for Dance With Your Feet, a fictional film by Noire Pictures, plays out like a real movie trailer, until the Energizer Bunny shows up at the end. It was reportedly shown in real movie theaters at the time as part of Energizer's ad campaign.
    • This one starts out as a trailer for a TV series called "H.I.P.S", about an all-female team of motorcycle cops, until the bunny shows up.
    • And this one starts out as an advert for a documentary on the fictional Adventure Channel about the underwater world, until the bunny appears wearing scuba gear.
  • This ad from the BBFC looks like a trailer for a movie named Unknown. It's actually an advert about film certificates and content.
  • Taco Bell has its annual, sometimes semi-annual, adverts for its Nacho Fries, all of which are fake movie trailers produced by "Live Más Productions" (a reference to Taco Bell's slogan), and each of them is an Affectionate Parody of a different movie genre.
    • "Web of Fries" is about an unnamed family man (Josh Duhamel) who gets entagled in a deeply-rooted conspiracy about Nacho Fries involving the evil corporation "Big Fries", putting the lives of him and his family's at risk.
      • Its sequel, "Web of Fries II: Franchise Wars" takes place in a dystopian future where Big Fries has taken over the world, where a young woman (the daughter of the first movie's protagonist) joins a resistance force to get revenge for her father's death, only to find out that her father is least for a limited time only.
    • "Chasing Gold" follows Zack Collins (Darren Criss), an ordinary kid who loves singing about Nacho Fries and becomes a star after his gift is discovered by a talent agent. Zack enjoys his stardom, at least until he finds out that it's only for a limited time, and, unable to accept his impending doom, begins his downward spiral.
    • "Retrieval" is about Danny Conrad (James Marsden), who is forced to leave his daughter behind in order to go through a dangerous mission through space after the Nacho Fries disappear into an alternate dimension.
    • "The Craving" follows Taylor (Joe Keery), a young man who investigates some paranormal activity happening in the small town of Bella Vista involving Nacho Fries, who are supposedly gone. As it turns out, the Nacho Fries are back and with a vengeance, as Taylor begins to be haunted by them and struggles to resist the craving. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Jamie (Sarah Hyland) tries to figure out what's happening to Taylor and rescue him.
    • "Fry Force" is an anime set in a world where giant monsters attack every time Taco Bell's nacho fries come back. When Rei’s brother Kosuke is taken by the monsters, Rei must push through her hunger and lead the Fry Force, an elite squad of mecha pilots to keep the monsters at bay. But upon finding Kosuke, and learning that he’s joined the side of the monsters after being consumed by a primal hunger for Nacho Fries, Rei must decide what she’s willing to sacrifice in order to save Nacho Fries and the world.
    • "Fry Again" is about Vanessa, who is trapped in a perpetual "Groundhog Day" Loop, and uses it as a chance to indulge in hedonism and eat Nacho Fries, which will never leave due to the time loop. However, things take a turn for the weird when a mysterious man finds out about it. Now, Vanessa and her friend will have to stay ahead of whoever is chasing them. This ad is notable for being based entirely off of fan tweets, leading it to become the campaign's Formula-Breaking Episode due to its combining of three distinct genres.
  • Before Super Bowl LII, there were trailers for Dundee: The Son of a Legend Returns Home circulating around, featuring Aussie stars such as Russell Crowe, Chris Hemsworth, the original "Crocodile" Dundee star Paul Hogan, Hugh Jackman, and Margot Robbie. They were actually the setup for commercials for Tourism Australia, the country's official tourism promotion agency.
  • An ad for E-Trade in the late 90s featured a fictional trailer/ad for Blow'd Up, a So Bad, It's Good action film with Anna Nicole Smith as a Barb Wire style heroine and George Takei as a cackling, hammy Mad Bomber. A man on his couch sees this and decides to use E-Trade to dump his stocks in the studio before the film premieres (he did the same in another ad, dumping his shares in a pharmaceutical company when he sees an ad for their new medicine with all sorts of bizarre side effects).
  • This trailer shown in French cinemas in 2013, appears to be for a CGI feature about a bird meeting a bee, and several insects flying in to watch something. It's actually a trailer to promote the annual three-day "Printemps du Cinéma" event organised by the Fédération national des cinémas français, that offers reduced cinema tickets.

    Anime & Manga 
  • One omake for Blue Seed was a kaiju movie parody staring the cast. The English version was even done with odd tone variations and poor lip-syncing like early dubbed films, capped off with informing viewers it was all a big lie.
  • Elf Princess Rane is a two-episode OAV that ends with trailers for the completely nonexistent third and fourth episodes.
  • A similar fate had befallen a number of short OAV series, especially during the 80s and 90s: The material produced was intended to be a pilot for a longer work, but the series was canned before it ever got off the ground. While not all of them necessarily had trailers produced advertising the dead-in-the-water series, see also the "in the next episode" bit advertising "Knight of Lemon" at the end of "Knights of Ramune" (which is promptly followed by a note that the series had been cancelled).
  • The second episode of Itsudatte My Santa! has a trailer for the third episode, featuring Mai, MaiMai and Shirley living with Santa, a cooking competition between Mai and Shirley, and a sleigh and reindeer which turn into a Humongous Mecha to battle a presumably possessed Miss Noel. The trailer is revealed to be fake at the end.
  • Magical Girl Pretty Sammy The Motion Picture: The God Boys VS. Magical Girls was included as one of the extras on the final Magical Project S LaserDisc and DVD. It had many fans believing that a movie was forthcoming, and resulted in a petition (unsuccessful) to get the movie made. What in anime doesn't it parody? "Oshioki desuu, haaaii!"
  • My-Otome had a fake trailer on the DVDs for the My-HiME movie. Many people on AnimeSuki and Wikipedia don't realize that it's a joke and keep asking when the movie will be released despite the release date being listed as 20006 [sic].
  • The last page of the second volume of the hentai doujinshi Take on Me is intended to look like an advertisement for an anime adaptation. Far, far too many people have asked where they can find this movie, when it is coming out, etc. It's not, it's just the artist mind-screwing the audience.
  • The seventh DVD special (NSFW) of Rumbling Hearts was a trailer of series' Remake IN SPACE! WITH GUNDAMS!
  • Similarly, the fifth DVD special of Shattered Angels was a trailer for The True Kyoshiro To Towa No Sora, a remake of the original series with a grander sci-fi plot and much more Pseudo-Romantic Friendship (with Kuu and Setsuna as the Official Couple). They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot, actually...
  • Hyakko does this in episode six of the series, giving the audience a preview that has, among other things, an army of Mecha-Torakos, Evil!Suzume and a midair battle between Torako and her brother. It's also completely fake.
  • The first volume of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan contains a preview of a manga dealing with Itsuki's becoming an esper and joining the Organization... except Kyon disillusions him next page with a "Yeah, that trailer was a fake, Haruhi-chan is a gag-manga".
  • The final episode of Seitokai Yakuindomo includes a preview for a Magical Girl show called Magical Mako, claiming that it will take over their timeslot the following week. Takatoshi then pulls out the TV schedule and points out that they're really be replaced by the second season of Hakuouki.
  • Subverted with Gintama, with the trailer for the Benizakura arc movie. It first shows up in the third season, when the characters admit that the trailer is fake. During the next season, the trailer is played again and the characters say it is actually coming out. Played straight with the second trailer, where the trailer is played and Gin follows up by telling us it is all a lie.
  • The last volume of Carnival Phantasm included an animation for the original concept of Fate/stay night, entitled Fate/Prototype. It was basically this trope.
  • The special edition of the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 2nd As Blu-Ray/DVD included two Omake showing hypothetical shows featuring the Wolkenritter: Mahou Kazokunote  Lyrical Wolken and Iryou Shoujonote  Medical Shamal, which are broadcasted in BHK and other Belkan and Mid-Childan channels.
  • The Stinger at the end of Lupin III vs. Detective Conan: The Movie is a trailer for Lupin III vs Kaitou Kid, with a 2020 release date. Then Conan appears and tells to the audience that it's not real.
  • A New Year's 2017 promotional stream for the Fate part of the Nasuverse had a trailer for an anime adaptation of Fate/koha-ace, a gag spinoff, play for about fifteen seconds before abruptly getting shoved aside by Rider, who explains that it's a fake announcement. Okita Souji and Oda Nobunaga, the stars of the fake anime, are understandably displeased by this development.
  • Dragonaut: The Resonance has a Bonus Episode which serves as a trailer for a High School AU, where Howling Star is a delinquent who falls in love with Toa, and everyone else has random roles. The dragons are somehow still involved.
  • Episode 8 of the Ōkami-san anime opens and closes with scenes from Ringo's take on "The Three Little Pigs", where the pigs are extra chubby terrorists who challenge our heroes to Cooking Duels in an over-the-top fashion. It's only when Taro turns off the screen that we find out it was a video.
  • The Japan Animator Expo short Iconic Field is shot like a trailer for a feature film.

  • A trailer for the fake movie Buggery On The High Seas plays in the middle of the Cheech & Chong sketch "Pedro And Man At The Drive-In" from the Los Cochinos album.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • All of the trailers in Grindhouse (Machete, Thanksgiving, Don't!, Hobo With a Shotgun, and Werewolf Women of the SS). In an unusual twist, both Machete and Hobo with a Shotgun got such a good reception that they were made into actual movies. And then Machete got a sequel, with another in the works. Eli Roth is also currently working on a movie for his Thanksgiving trailer.
  • Hardware Wars, by Ernie Fosselius, was made seven months after the first release of A New Hope and is reputedly George Lucas' favorite Star Wars parody.
    "You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss three bucks goodbye!"
  • The trailer for a "sequel" to Kung Pow! Enter the Fist was actually just deleted footage spliced together. In a strange twist, the film's producer tried to actually produce the sequel, but was denied funding as the original had been a box office flop.
  • The Mel Brooks parody History of the World Part I ends with a fake trailer for a part II. Wikipedia explains this as being a reference to the book The History of the World, whose author was beheaded before he could write a part 2. That said, History of the World Part II did premiere forty-two years later, as a series on Hulu.
  • The Kentucky Fried Movie includes trailers for parodies of other films, including Catholic High School Girls In Trouble, That's Armageddon! and Cleopatra Schwartz (a parody of a blaxploitation film called Cleopatra Jones).
  • This is how Trey Parker's Cannibal! The Musical began. He made a fake trailer for film class and was told to make the movie by his teacher.
  • Ben Stein's movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed was criticized for, amongst other things, lying to the interviewees about the nature of the film and cutting up interviews to change the meaning of what they said. Richard Dawkins, one of the scientists who claims to have been misquoted, produced his own satirical trailer for a possible sequel.
  • Kill Buljo, a spoof trailer of "Kill Bill" set in a Scandinavian indigenous people's setting, actually was filmed later. Supposedly, Quentin Tarantino quite liked it (the director eventually made a movie about a buried treasure guarded by Nazi zombies).
  • Tropic Thunder featured not one but four of these before the movie even starts, each featuring one of the main characters. The first is a fake commercial featuring Alpa Chino (a fictional rapper) as a spokesman for the now-real "Booty Sweat" drink, the second for the sixth installment in fictional action star Tugg Speedman's blockbuster Scorcher franchise, the third for an Eddie Murphy-style comedy called The Fatties: Fart 2 starring fictional comedian Jeff Portnoy, and the fourth for Satan's Alley, an Oscar Bait art film about gay medieval monks starring (the fake) Kirk Lazarus and (the real) Tobey Maguire. They were shown at the very beginning, intentionally tricking the audience in the theater going from real trailers to the actual movie.
  • Francesco Vezzoli's short film Trailer for a Remake of Gore Vidal's Caligula (NSFW for sexual content and nudity) is a fake trailer for a Caligula movie starring, among others, Benicio Del Toro, Helen Mirren and Karen Black.
  • The movie Movie Movie, a spoof of old double features, had, in between its two "features," a trailer for a fictitious World War II air battle movie called Zero Hour.
    Fight with them! Laugh with them! Love with them! And even die with them the death of heroes who will live forever!
  • Closet Cases of the Nerd Kind, a parody of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which involves aliens who hit people in the face with pies for no reason, singing mailboxes, and Darth Vader on a motorcycle telling the hero to stop holding up traffic.
  • Movie: The Movie from Jimmy Kimmel is a massive Genre-Busting fake trailer starring a serious number of A-list Hollywood talent.
  • In The Holiday, one of the leads runs a trailer editing company. The one shown in the movie is for a movie called Deception starring Lindsay Lohan and James Franco
  • This Is Not A Movie has some parody movie commercials embedded into its free-for-all storyline, such as "The Jesus Chain Saw Massacre", "Reagan Force: Operation Freedom Lies", and "The System Strikes Back".
  • Produced by Universal Studios themselves and uploaded just in time for Back to the Future Part II's 2015: it's a trailer for Jaws 19, with synopses for all of the Jaws movies up to that point:
    Jaws made you afraid to go into the water. Jaws 2 made you afraid to go back in the water. Jaws 3-D was a new dimension in terror. In Jaws 4: The Revenge it was personal. Then it was just business (Jaws$5), then pure pleasure (Jaws 6). Cyber Jaws (J.A.W.S. 7) made you afraid to log on, and RoboJaws (Jaws 8) made you afraid of robotic sharks. Then Chief Brody's grandson assembled a super team of shark hunters (Jaws 9). In Jaws 10 it was Man vs. Shark vs. All the terrors of the deep. Outer space (Jaws 11), then a prequel (Jaws 12), and a sequel to the prequel (Jaws 12: Part II or Jaws Part XIII), and then a new era in terror began (Jaws 14), Jaws started a family: battled a Russian shark named Ivan Sharkovsky (Jaws 15), took a bite out of the Big Apple (Jaws 16), and learned about love from a mysterious stranger (Jaws 17: Fifty Scales of Grey). Jaws 18: Origins, the mind blowing reboot. Now the oceans are disappearing and to save their home, the sharks must attack. Jaws 19: This time it's really, really personal. Coming soon.
  • The Yatterman live action movie ends with a fake Sequel Hook, with a "Next episode preview" showcasing Dokurobei's deadbeat twin brother seeking revenge, the screen debut of Yatterpelican against an updated version of the squid mecha from the movie's climax and Doronjo wearing a white version of her usual outfit (Omocchama suggests it's a "wedding dress" version).
  • Possible Trope Maker: The 1932 short Then Came the Yawn.
  • Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold ends with a trailer showing what will be coming up in the 'next' chapter of the Film Serial this was supposedly a chapter of.
  • UHF has the trailer for Gandhi II, where Gandhi is a badass crime fighter who also likes to PARTY!


    Live-Action TV 
  • Schitt's Creek has the characters view the trailer for Moira's comeback vehicle, ''The Crows Have Eyes III: The Crowening''.
  • Studio C has a trailer for a movie called Treasure Hike in the sketch, "Movie Trailer That Spoils Everything." It comes out Maytember 16 and the voiceover says that there's a sequel being filmed in Morocco.
  • Saturday Night Live:
  • To confirm the return of Gustavo "Gus" Fring for season 3 of Better Call Saul, AMC did a promo in the guise of a Los Pollos Hermanos commercial.
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: About midway through Season 4, John buys at auction a series of presidential wax figures, including one of Warren G. Harding. After discussing how truly fascinating Harding's life and career were, he states that there really should be a movie about it, and demonstrates this with a trailer for one, starring Michael McKean, Anna Kendrick, Laura Linney, and... the wax figure as the president.
    • This gets followed up on at the end of the season, as The Stinger for the season finale is a teaser for an action movie wherein Tom Hanks assembles Harding and the other wax presidents as a heroic dream team to save the world.
    • This is revisited at the end of Season 5, and combined with another joke from earlier in the season (about how John bought Russel Crowe's jock strap from Cinderella Man at a prop auction), to create a trailer for another action movie. This one features Armie Hammer assembling the wax presidents (all portrayed as archetypical heist movie characters) in order to steal the jock strap. This includes several chase and fight scenes as they go up against Mooks that are working for Russel Crowe himself.

  • At the conclusion of the German version of Grobschnitt’s 1975 album Jumbo (originally released in English), drummer Eroc announces that the Russian-language version is coming soon.

    Music Videos 

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • Dark Secrets of Garry's Mod: "Super Boss" is a made up teaser where Boss gains superpowers from eating a radioactive bean pottage. It got deleted but it is reuploaded into a compilation.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • One short was a fake trailer for a movie based on their game Peasant's Quest. According to their website, there already is a full-length Peasant's Quest movie: "its 'full length' is three minutes" (the length of the trailer).
    • See also the Strong Bad Email "narrator", where Strong Bad narrates the lives of the residents of Free Country, USA as though they were movie trailers: Homestar and Marzipan are a couple torn apart by a novelty chef's hat, an argument between Coach Z and Bubs over napkins apparently leads to the fall of an empire, and Strong Sad gets a dead goose thrown at him.
    • Discussed in SBEmail 206, when Strong Bad is listing various ways that the Internet has ruined April Fool's Day, and lists fake movie trailers (including one for Dangeresque 4/2=6) as one of them.
  • How It Should Have Ended: Their take on how The Terminator should have ended quickly becomes a trailer for a crossover with Back to the Future.
  • Arfenhouse The Movie 3: Kill Billy. The actual third Arfenhouse movie was a perfunctory Take That! to fans who demanded it really be made.
  • Red vs. Blue showed this for Youtube's Geek Week.
    • A trailer for a sequel was released a few years later. It goes from the same kind of dramatic action movie as the first one, to a buddy cop movie, to a romantic movie, to a Christmas movie, to a terminal disease movie, to a zombie flick.
    • The final trailer in this trilogy is done in live-action cosplay, and apparently stars expensive celebrities.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 

  • TV Tropes: the page for the short story Dark Red Mind sounds pretty entertaining. The discussion page has the author confessing that the story pretty much doesn't exist at all.

Unintended spoofs:

    Video Games 
  • The ad for The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker was shown in theaters. It was so different from the style of the actual game that until the video started showing gameplay footage, some people have mistaken it for a trailer for a Zelda movie.
  • Same could be said for the MechWarrior 3 intro being shown in theaters. It practically could be considered a trailer for some kind of BattleTech movie.

    Web Videos 
  • There is someone trying to make a Final Fight movie, though he just needs the budget apparently to make it work. From the looks of the trailer it looks like he could do it.

    Western Animation 
  • The excellent Pyrats animation was a final project for an animation school in Paris. It will never be a movie, but it looks like a trailer (and people have reported that they would like to go and see it).

Show Within a Show:

    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • On 30 Rock, Tracy Jordan once made a trailer for his proposed biopic of Thomas Jefferson... with him playing all the parts. Highlights include Tracy as Jefferson proclaiming "Eat that, King George!" as he finishes writing the Declaration of Independence and the narrator describing him as an "Academy Award watcher".
  • Supernatural has a trailer for "Hell Hazers II: The Reckoning" in the episode "Hollywood Babylon."
  • The Daily Show advertises several fake products on a regular basis, including Jon magazine and the Daily Show Home Game. In 2003, they started airing joke trailers for a new spinoff called The Colbert Réport that had "already been cancelled". The Report premiered in 2005, and has been described as "the only show that started as a promo for itself".
  • A Bill Nye the Science Guy episode on the Earth's Crust had a trailer for a kid cop show called "Johnny Crust."
  • How I Met Your Mother had one of these where a trailer for The Wedding Bride was mentioned on the show and the full trailer was released online here. The movie describes Ted's failed relationship with Stella however from the somewhat skewed mind of her ex-boyfriend, now-husband, Tony. Ted in one episode goes to see this movie more than once and, at one point, acts out something similar to it to his date while he is in the movie theatre.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The 100th episode, "Wormhole X-Treme!" took its name from a show based on the team, which the Air Force is letting go forward to give the SGC Plausible Deniability (assuming it stays on the air). After the opening titles SG-1 and Hammond are sitting in the briefing room watching a trailer for the show.
    • In the two-hundredth episode, titled "200," the team is giving advice on the production of a Wormhole X-Treme! movie adaptation. The opening to act four, which airs immediately after a commercial break and was intended to be mistaken for another commercial, is a trailer for Teal'c, P.I. Bonus points for actually getting Isaac Hayes to do the narration.
  • On the Reality Show Scream Queens (2008), one challenge each season had the contestants starring in a trailer for a fake campy horror film in order to test their acting skills. The first season, it was for a movie about reform school girls fighting zombies, while in the second, it was a vampire Western.

    Music Videos 
  • The video for "Hang Me Up To Dry" by indie rock band Cold War Kids. It's filmed in black-and-white, set in a post-war (World War II?) era and revolves around the relationship of a pale-skinned brunette and a Loveable Rogue. The fact that it mentions that this is the third installment of a nonexistent trilogy turns this into a Foregone Conclusion whenever you watch it again (and again, and again), but some fans desperately yearn for Defictionalization.


    Theme Parks 
  • The former Disaster! attraction at Universal Studios Florida ended with a fake trailer for a movie called "Mutha Nature", which shows the world being wrecked by every single disaster you could imagine; also featuring Dwayne Johnson as the main character.

    Video Games 
  • Completing all of the scenes in a movie in Stuntman and its sequel unlocks a trailer of the movie, with FMVs mixed with gameplay footage.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons and The Critic are full of them.
  • The Boondocks episode "...Or Die Trying" opens with a trailer for "Soul Plane 2: The Blackjacking", a fictional sequel to Soul Plane that only exists in-universe. The episode itself is about the characters sneaking into a theater to watch the film.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends "One False Movie" can be explained by both Bloo's overwhelming ego and the Rule of Funny, as the 'trailer' seems to be the opening part of the film it's pimping.
    • That was only the trailer?
  • Robot Chicken is in love with this trope. They've made trailers for Kill Bunny, Chutes and Ladders, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and EXPLOSIONS.
    • Other trailers include Laff-A-Munich and "1776", the American Revolution told 300-style, complete with Mundane Made Awesome slow-motion zooms on the signing of the declaration, and the tagline "It's not accurate, but it'll blow your mind!"
  • The Rocko's Modern Life episode "Popcorn Pandemonium" involves Rocko and Heffer going to a movie theater, where they see trailers for "Enter the Rodent Part VII: Not Before I've Had My Coffee" (a poorly-dubbed kung-fu movie featuring a gerbil); "The Doo" (a movie about an evil man-eating pompadour); "Little Poots" (a movie about little dog-doo-shaped creatures wearing toilet rolls on their heads, which crosses over with Really Really Big Man); "Das Poot" (a sequel to the former, about the Little Poots on a World War II submarine); "Garbage Strike: The Musical" (Exactly What It Says on the Tin - a musical about a garbage strike) and "Dracula: Done to Death" (a movie where vampire hunters come to kill Dracula, only to discover that he's already been staked).

Alternative Title(s): Fake Movie Real Trailer


Sister Act 2: Back in the Vala

A parody of Sister Act, staring Valak, the demonic nun from The Conjuring series.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / RealTrailerFakeMovie

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