Parodies often delight in pointing out works' contradictions and silly nature. But sometimes, parodies mistakenly spoof a work that's intentionally contradictory or silly. The spoof writer misses the point of the original, mocking it for entirely intended qualities.
Similarly, parodies often play with original works by throwing in silliness of their own. But the writer may underestimate the original's capacity for incongruous situations, characterization or dialogue, falsely thinking such elements will necessarily parody the source. The result is a silly work but one that duplicates the original rather than mocking it.
Contrast Shallow Parody, which is when a work spoofs another work for qualities that it didn't really have to begin with.
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged played the Ginyu Force as a parody of sentai anime series. The Ginyu Force in Dragon Ball Z already WERE a parody of said anime, so they didn't actually add anything new with that. They did soon branch out though, with Recoome becoming wrestling personified, Jeice taking his being a Space Australian to extremes, Burter being extremely self-conscious about his speed and wanting to be special, and Guldo ending up becoming their resident Butt-Monkey.
- Eiga Sentai Scanranger had a chapter that attempted to parody spy movies, with each of the heroes becoming a pastiche of a well-known character in the genre. The thing is one of them becomes Boston Powered, New England Man of Mystery, and the villain is even outright compared to Dr. Evil. During the big fight scene, he even uses his powers to become Fat Bastard. The chapter was noticeably left out when the story was re-posted elsewhere, with even the chapter numbers and teasers deliberately moved around to exclude it.
- Loaded Weapon 1 had the same problem in spoofing a film series that obviously didn't take itself all that seriously to begin with. Roger Ebert pointed out the flaw in sending up a movie that featured an exploding crapper.
- The first Scary Movie got some flak for parodying a movie series that was already meant to be a satire of the Slasher Movie genre. It works mostly because Scream itself doesn't really seem sure whether it's meant to be a parody and seemed more like a straight entry of the genre at times, and because Scary Movie also parodied a lot of serious examples of the genre.
- The similar horror spoof Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th received some of the same criticism. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as a parody of Scary Movie in turn (a parody of a parody of a satire?), it's actually an original spoof of Scream and similar movies which just happened to be created around the same time.
- One of the very last Bob Hope specials on NBC tried to lampoon the 1989 Batman movie, and had Hope done up as Jack Nicholson's Joker. The dialogue had a light, derisive tone that evidently conflicted with the writers' view of serious superheroes and supervillains. Actually, the Joker takes this exact tone (he is named "the Joker" after all) and even volleyed the same sort of insults in the real movie as those the special featured.
- Cirque du Soleil parodies often ignore the fact that the shows are often extremely funny and not simply two hours of posing and pretentiousness.
- A particular problem with British comedy shows in The '80s was impressionists "doing" people like "Dame Edna Everage", "Frank Spencer" and "Inspector Clouseau", completely ignoring the fact that these were already comedy caricatures created by Barry Humphries, Michael Crawford and Peter Sellers respectively, leaving absolutely nothing left to parody.
- Parodies of the Energizer Bunny, which tend to forget that one of the Bunny's original gimmicks was interrupting absurd parody commercials. That they all make the same joke (stretching the "it keeps going and going" line until it becomes annoying) doesn't help.
- MADtv did a parody music of Jewel's Intuition video and 0304 pop album, labeling her a pop sellout... except that video and album were satire of the then-current teen pop trend. The Intuition original video featured such mockery as texts reading "Jewel's voice sounds much better now that she's dancing" and a pyrotechnics performance that ended with the fire department's arrival.
- Andrea Martin of SCTV once remarked that the only show they couldn't spoof was Laverne & Shirley because they couldn't come up with any situation that was more ridiculous than what the show already did.
- In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode guide, the writers admit that Catalina Caper was one of the hardest episodes to write, being an unfunny musical comedy, thus making it difficult to effectively mock.
- Most parodies of Batman (1966) starring Adam West. Even a cursory look will show it wasn't meant to be taken seriously and was, in fact, itself parodying comics of the time and the 40s Batman serials.
- There's a "response" to The Lonely Island's "Jizz In My Pants" called "Puke In My Mouth". Those behind it fail to see the original was a parody, self-deprecating and actually funny. The result is you get a bunch of attractive women who spend the entire song mocking other people.
- Numerous parodies of The Lonely Island's track "I'm On a Boat", ignore the fact that the original song was itself a parody of materialistic hip-hop themed around ostentatious displays of wealth and luxury.
- Ray Stevens' song "Teenage Mutant Kung Fu Chickens" spoofed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was itself a parody of Frank Miller's Ronin among others. There was also a whole genre of Ninja Turtles parody knockoffs of which Stevens appears unaware when he made his own parody knockoff.
- Cakewalk song and dance numbers performed in Minstrel Shows by white dancers in blackface are a parody of a particular style of dance held by black former slaves on plantations. However, the type of dance they're parodying is itself a parody of dances performed by white plantation owners.
- This was practically the specialty of Cracked Magazine:
- Several Mork & Mindy parodies, apart from some Breaking the Fourth Wall moments, could pass for real episodes. The corny dialogue was so dead on, some might wonder if the actual Mork and Mindy writers made them.
- In later years, their South Park parody pretty much played it straight as well - nothing at all like MAD and its constant Lampshade Hanging, fourth-wall demolition and hilarious Deus ex Machina endings.
- Cracked did a parody of Hot Shots! once. Yes, a parody of a parody. They did The Naked Gun films as well.
- Pretty much all the stuff that's played for laughs (like stupid guards and rescuing hostages on the toilet) in Mesal Gear Solid, the Metal Gear parody in Ape Escape 3, is stuff that was played for laughs (or at least played non-seriously) in the actual series. The ending line of the PAL version ("I go wherever the wind takes me. So long as war never ends, I will always have a place in this world.") would not sound remotely out of place in the actual games - the canon is already so deliberately over-the-top that it's pretty much impossible to parody.
- The Nostalgia Critic will often take comedic moments or sometimes entire comedies and treat them as if they were meant to be taken seriously. For instance, his review of Last Action Hero doesn't give the slightest indication he knows the film was supposed to be a comedy, and in his review of Godzilla (1998) he goes on a minutes-long rant about why he doesn't understand the inclusion of the line "That's a lot of fish" when the asinine nature of the line was meant to be the joke.
- Various paleontology personalities known for making fun of poor paleoart or reconstructions have been known to mock this image◊ of "Aeolosaurus", supposedly an ankylosaur that could glide like a flying squirrel. In fact, the creature was a joke created for an "identify which of these dinosaurs isn't real"-type quiz, underlined even further by the fact that it sits opposite "Rhedosaurus."
- The old cartoon Batfink is basically a spoof of...the silly Adam West Batman (1966) show. Which was a spoof of superheroes to begin with.
- The Futurama episode "War is the H-Word" parodies a lot of war media, but the premise is closest to Starship Troopers, and quite a few jokes seem to be derived from that film, like the laughable Hollywood Tactics, the incredibly spurious reason behind the conflict, and the fact that humanity turns out to be the invaders. Of course, the film itself was already playing those elements for satire.