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The Mockbuster
aka: Mock Buster

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A clever rat knows how to get the freshest ingredients: by stealing from another restaurant — or animation studio, as the case may be...
"Another great knock-off is DVDs. The ones that are slight variations of slightly animated kids' movies. The kind they put right next to the check-out line, so Grandma might accidentally mistake it for the real thing. And they have titles like, The Secret Princess and Her Oppressive Authority Figure 4, and the always-popular Jungle Animals in Decidedly Non-Jungle Situations."

In principle, the Mockbuster is a bit like a movie with an Alternative Pornographic Name, but there's generally no nudity. It's not part of a pair of Battling Films, because it can't even afford the fare to get to the ring where the shows duke it out. A mockbuster is a movie that is suspiciously similar to another more popular, more well-known — and, let's face it, more "real" — movie, to the point of being the copy of an entire film. Why? Trying to Make Money Off a Popular Idea, of course.

Because they're generally made by no-name studios to make a quick buck, the biggest difference between mockbusters and the movies they're based on is budget. The mockbuster has serious budget restrictions. Think "three kids with a cellphone" production values. The writing is usually subpar, too—the producers aren't striving for Genuine Artistry; they're trying to rip off a more popular idea in an attempt to con gullible consumers. As many mockbusters start production well before the original film shows up in theaters, they're often not even very good at being ripoffs, with few similarities to their inspirations outside of very similar box art. Of course, depending on what they're copying, the original might not have been such a cinematic masterpiece itself.

However, if there's one thing mockbusters can do well, it's Duplicate Titles. Their designs and logos, like the colors of a viceroy butterfly, are designed to resemble the "real" movies they're copying as closely as possible. Remember, Titles Usually Fib. They also pick titles similar to the original, often containing similar words, or made-up words that sound the same.

The people mockbusters tend to appeal to seem to fall into four brackets: kids too young to know the difference between the real deal and the fake; people who might get the two confused when looking for something for their kids and grandkids; parental Propriety Police who want to get their children The Upstanding Alternative to a mainstream film that is more in line with their values; and nerds, who aren't fooled at all, but who watch them for their awesome badness. Bad stuff is interesting! As such, they tend to be sold in supermarket magazine racks, pharmacy gift racks, and grab bags in outlet shops.

The rare cases of mockbusters that might actually try to do something "artistic" are those adapting Out of Copyright works, though again, generally only if a more "popular" story adapting the same work came out recently. This phenomenon sometimes applies to live theater as well with regards to public domain works (Pixie Stories, The Theater Spirit) that have had a more popular version created that smaller theater companies could never produce on their own. Alternately, sometimes a degree of artistic merit comes in when the cast/crew Ham Up The Cheesy Movie.

Mockbusters tend to be made in countries outside of the US, as if in "response" to a coming American blockbuster. Those might change the plot-based unobtanium to something more in touch with their national sensibilities (the Indian Ultraguy mockbuster has him getting his powers from a god, for example) and the genre might skew towards one more popular in that country (the Brazilian series Non-Villains is somewhat like a soap opera).

How do all of these copyright-friendly guys get away with it? Oftentimes, it's simply a matter of obscurity. Sure, that "Larry Baxter" guy on the back of the cereal box who has to find the "Gilded Stitch" is pretty similar to some book you read, but how much money is there really to be made from suing some company that designs bargain-basement cereal boxes? They are also helped by the fact that many people assume The Mickey Mouse-House Makes All Cartoons anyway; it's not technically their fault if you just so happen to mistake Leo The Lion: King of the Jungle for a Disney film. As well, they're not actually breaking any copyright laws if, like the original, they're simply adapting Freely Shared Narratives. Somebody else already made popular films based on The Deformed Guy In The Cathedral or The Small Sea-Girl, you say? What a coincidence.

See also Similar Erotica Names (when this is applied to porn), Crappy Ripoff Items (when this is applied to commercial products), Product Codes Removed, and Same Name, Completely Different Plot Sequels (when old foreign movies have their titles for the re-release changed in order for them to cash-in from current blockbusters). Compare They Imitated It, So It Isn't Any Good, when fans complain about works for being unoriginal. If the copycat borrows not only the concept but whole elements from the original work, they may be guilty of Plagiarism. Also see Created in Nation Z. Contrast Spiritual Adaptation for when a work resembles another work but doesn't blatantly rip it off.

UK Created For Television Film channel Movies 24 ran a Mockbuster marathon, deliberately confusing the derivatives with the originals and calling out the trope by name. It includes The Terminators, Aliens Versus Hunters, Transmorphers Fall of Man and Snakes on a Train.

Examples (potholes lead to pages of the films being copied unless the copy itself has an article):

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    Asian Animation 
  • Keluang Man is a Malaysian Denser and Wackier cartoon based on Batman, which was made by UAS Animation Studios and ran from 1998 to 2005 with seven seasons and 144 episodes.
  • Flower Ambassador (花花使者, "Huahua Shizhe") can best be described as "Happy Heroes if all the characters were plants and bugs instead of Ridiculously Human Robots and Human Aliens", with the characters even having similar personalities to their Happy Heroes counterparts (Lulu is a Lethal Chef like Sweet S., Adi is a Forgetful Jones like Careless S., Maomao and Qiuqiu are a dim-witted, villainous general and corporal duo like Big M. and Little M., etc.). This gives it the distinction of being a Chinese cartoon ripping off another Chinese cartoon. The Baike Baidu page for Flower Ambassador can be found here.
  • The Legend of Lucky Pie is a stylistic knockoff of Adventure Time produced by a handful of young Chinese animators. It stars a humanoid boy named Lucky Pie and a shape-shifting horse named Lucky Ge who go on adventures in a strange fantasy land.
  • The Little Lion King 3D, a Chinese mockbuster of The Lion King.
  • Pakdam Pakdai is a popular Indian cartoon that rips off Oggy and the Cockroaches, which is popular in India itself. Every single character in Pakdam Pakdai is an Expy of the characters in Oggy, and both rely heavily on the use of Slapstick.
  • Miracle Star is perhaps the most well-known foreign knockoff cartoon out there. It is infamous for being a blatant bootleg of The Amazing World of Gumball, going so far as to steal several character designs and scenes from that show. The creators of Gumball responded by making an episode where the Wattersons meet the knock-off characters, who make money by copying everything they do and posting videos on the internet.
  • Block 13, a Kuwaiti knock-off of South Park. It used the same paper cutout art style as South Park, and also stole that show's main characters and gave them Arab clothes to hide the fact that they originally weren't Kuwaiti characters. It is Lighter and Softer compared to South Park, though.
  • Dino Master Duel Dinosaur Card was a Thai knock-off of Dinosaur King, which had its own accompanying card game. It was most notable for featuring the K'z'k Tuskhorn, a fictional dinosaur from the Speculative Dinosaur Project, as one of the dinosaurs, apparently because the creators thought it was real.
  • Crazy Candies is meant to be China's answer to SpongeBob SquarePants, with the characters having similar personalities and the series having a similar hyperactive feel to it. The knockoff aspect is more pronounced in Season 1, which outright tries to copy some episode plots and plot points from SpongeBob SquarePants - for example, Season 1 episode 28, "I Want Big Muscles", is literally just "MuscleBob BuffPants" in terms of its basic plot and in some of the scenes.
  • Doby & Disy is a knockoff of Dora the Explorer, borrowing much of the same Fake Interactivity and starring such characters as the Magic Pen in place of the Map and the Backpack and Casesar the cat as the Captain Ersatz of Swiper (he has a Swiper, No Swiping! catchphrase that's used against him, too - "Bad Caesar, go away!"). This mellowed out in the later seasons, where it became its own thing.
  • The first season of Flower Angel is a fairly straightforward knockoff of Cardcaptor Sakura, having the first episode start with An'an looking out the window and noticing magic much like Sakura, the fairy cards in Flower Angel bearing quite a resemblance to the Clow Cards in Sakura, and some character personalities, among other things. It starts to become more of its own thing in Season 2, shedding the Cardcaptor Sakura shtick and telling a more original story with more unique elements.
  • The Fruitties had aired for a full run once in the early 90s in Malaysia, but were popular enough that in 1998, a local ripoff called Frootees premiered.

    Eastern European Animation 
  • The Samsondazes, a Georgian knock-off of The Simpsons, abeilt in Cel Shaded CGI and poorly animated. Have a look at the intro.
  • Veli, a Russian cartoon similar to Gravity Falls. Protagonist Veli is sent to live with his grandmother to learn the native language of Tatar. In the village, he makes friends and foes, and also has adventures that include mythical creatures.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Gamera is a unique case of a mockbuster becoming its own series.
  • The Asylum is a company that mostly makes mockbusters and bad "Christian" movies, and are quite cynical about it. In fact, there's a news article on their website that states (and these are the actual words they use) "We've decided to use some of the billions of dollars we've made ripping people off..." The majority of the examples in this section are Asylum productions. A blog entry advertising a sale on their films: "You'd have to illegally download to get a better deal than that... but then you'd just be stooping to our level...". Their DVD covers have quotes from uncredited sources, which is illegal, unless they're making those up, too.
  • Following in The Asylum's footsteps is TomCat Films LLC, the filmography of which is largely mockbusters:
  • Bruno Mattei is the director of a number of mockbusters. For an extensive look into Mattei's films, check out The Bruno Mattei Show, in which Brad Jones discusses the man's filmography with Ed Glaser, Noah Antwiler and other friends. It's quite insightful into how a mockbuster comes to be. For that matter, Bruno's career consists almost entirely of Nazisploitation and Mockbusters, though these were never mutually exclusive. It's almost too bad he's dead - his ripoff of Inglourious Basterds would be... something. The best known are:
    • Back in 1989, there was Terminator II. Which was actually released before the official sequel. Humorously enough, Terminator II is actually a ripoff of Aliens.
    • Robowar with Reb Brown.
    • Jaws 5 (Fourteen More to Go), ripping it off almost word for word.
    • Hell of the Living Dead. Not content with trying to shoehorn the movie into Romero lore, Bruno Mattei lifted much of the soundtrack from Dawn of the Dead (1978), as well as Contamination (which is a ripoff of Alien). Even the uniforms are similar to those in Dawn.
  • If The Asylum are the poster boys for mockbusters in the 21st century, then American International Pictures was this for films in the mid-20th century. This studio churned out low-budget B-movies from the 1950s to the 1970s aimed towards teenagers who liked Rock and Roll. The films were typically made through a concept and a movie poster first before any script was made.
  • Late in 2010, Eric Parkinson, former president of Hemdale (which also made the first Terminator movie), tried to make a cheap CGI animated spin-off of the franchise called Terminator 3000, but production on that movie was halted due to a cease-and-detest letter he received from Pacificor, the then-current owner of the Terminator franchise rights. However, Eric claims that he kept the animation rights to the franchise under Hemdale when he sold the live-action sequel rights to Carolco in 1990, and that he took those rights with him when Hemdale closed down.
  • Somehow, the obscure A Boy and His X film The Dirt Bike Kid managed to receive one: The Skateboard Kid, which shares similar cliches but makes the "X" a skateboard that came to life after being struck by lightning instead of a motorcycle with a mind of its own.
  • The War of the Worlds (the title is public domain now) actually got two mockbusters to go with the Spielberg film. One of them actually follows the original story by HG Wells by setting the invasion in Victorian Britain.
  • After the Ju-on franchise had two Direct to Video features, two theatrical movies, and an American remake on the way, Ju-Rei came along to copy it as an even cheaper DTV version than the first two were.
  • Tornado!
  • Certain Mystery Science Theater 3000-featured films such as the Conan-inspired Ator series, Escape 2000 (in which people try to Leave the Bronx instead of Escape from New York), Mad Max-alikes Warrior of the Lost World and City Limits, Japanese Planet of the Apes clone Time of the Apes, Hobgoblins (not Gremlins), Pod People (whose name invokes Invasion of the Body Snatchers, while the aliens look like ALF and the plot is ripped right out of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial) and Operation Double 007 a.k.a. Operation Kid Brother (featuring an all-star cast of James Bond veterans and starring Neil Connery, Sean Connery's brother). Escape 2000 is a sequel to a The Warriors knock-off named Bronx Warriors.
  • Everything ever made by Branscome International. Keep 'em coming, we're not going anywhere.
  • Alien 3000 for Alien
  • Erotic Indonesian movies in general. A few notable examples.
  • The Italian-produced Alien 2: On Earth. Incidentally, this is the originally conceived plot for the third movie.
  • Italy is also responsible for the Star Wars ripoff Starcrash, which somehow has a John Barry soundtrack and stars Christopher Plummer - and David Hasselhoff!
    • Starcrash may be more (in)famous, but The Humanoid beats it for sheer plagiarism. Whenever possible, props and costumes (and even entire scenes) are copied wholesale from A New Hope, to the point that Starcrash seems completely original in comparison.
  • High School Musical: Sunday School, which is also a blatant rip-off of Sunday School Musical. A mockbuster of a mockbuster?
  • After Impact.
  • This was a big problem in Italy during the Spaghetti Western craze of the Sixties. The relaxed copyright law in Italy at the time meant as soon as a character got popular, knockoff movies would appear claiming to star that character. Django, Sabata, and Sartana were famous for having their names recycled in knockoffs. (They couldn't do this to the most popular Spaghetti Western character ever, for reasons which are quite obvious if you think about it a little, but it didn't stop one film claiming to be "The Return of Clint the Stranger".)
  • While Curse of the Ring doesn't have anything to do with The Lord of the Rings movies, and is in fact originally called Ring of the Nibelungs - the plot being based on the Sigfried/Brunhilde/Fafnir saga - the movie's marketing and even logo font really, REALLY tries hard to be mistaken for a Lord of the Rings movie.
  • Almost everything released by Video Asia, the masters of In Name Only Sequels. One of the worst offenders, they don't even make their own mockbusters: they just rerelease old foreign movies with different titles.
    • The obscure, forgettable late '80s movie Hells' Heroes was changed to Inglorious Bastards 2: Hells' Heroes. The Cinema Snob reviewed it.
  • Mac and Me, a 1988 ripoff of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial best remembered for its aggressive Product Placement for McDonald's, Coke, and some other stuff. Ironically, unlike most of these examples, Mac was released by a (semi-)major studio: Orion Pictures. It was a rare misstep for them, coming as it did in the middle of a string of highly successful films, including four Best Picture Oscar winnersnote 
  • The Man Who Saves the World and many other Turkish ripoffs of then-popular movies. The Man Who Saves the World is often called "Turkish Star Wars" because it steals footage directly from Star Wars.
  • Seytan aka "Turkish The Exorcist" is literally a shot-for-shot remake (a pre-teen girl raised by a divorced actress gets possessed by an evil being) with a few minor, culture-related tweaks note , a lesser budget, and the constant use of "Tubular Bells" in the soundtrack which is bound to be illegal.
  • There were at least two Indian Superman films produced, complete with musical numbers: B. Gupta's version, which is simply called "Superman" and is pretty much a straight-up remake of the original 1970s movie with Christopher Reeve (except for the fact that Superman has telekinesis in addition to his other superpowers); and Telugu Superman, in which a young boy watches as his parents are murdered in front of him and seeks guidance from Hanuman, who grants the boy great powers.
  • The Real King's Speech, notable for injecting irony straight into the veins of the audience.
  • Gargantua, a 1998 TV-movie cashing on the then-recent Godzilla.
  • Somewhat unfairly, the original Battlestar Galactica movie was accused early on of being a rip off of Star Wars, presumably on the basis that after Star Wars debuted, any movie set in space was ripping off Star Wars. Legal action was even threatened - but sensibly quickly dropped when it became clear that a setting in space was really the only obvious link between the two.
  • Lady Terminator—basically the same as its namesake, but instead of an android, it's an archaeologist possessed by the Queen of the South Sea. Other than that, according to The Cinema Snob, if you haven't seen Terminator, but you've seen Lady Terminator, you've seen Terminator.
  • Cowboys & Aliens was ripped off by Cowboys and Vampires and Cowboys and Zombies.
  • Bloody Murder, which is about a group of young people hired to fix up and act as the counselors of a secluded summer camp with a dark past involving a drowned boy. Unfortunately for them, a maniac adorned in a hockey mask starts knocking them off. Sound familiar? There's even a character named Jason. When he disappears, we get several scenes of people asking "Where's Jason?" or "Have you seen Jason?"
    • 1981 saw the release of Srigala, an Indonesian rip-off of Friday the 13th, which goes as far as doing a shot-for-shot recreation of the infamous ending scare.
  • Chihuahua: The Movie is audacious enough to admit that it's a film for those who like Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
  • 3 Dev Adam (Three Big Men) is an In Name Only 1973 Turkish film featuring three famous (and extremely unauthorized) superhero characters: Captain America, Spider-Man, and El Santo. Spidey, of all people, is actually the sadistic ''villain'' of the piece.
  • True Bloodthirst, seen on (where else?) Syfy.
  • The Godfrey Ho Ninja Movies are this for the ninja movie craze that existed at the time.
  • Subverted with Boy Eats Girl; it was never intended to be a Scary Movie mockbuster, but its Scandinavian title, Scary Video 5, gives the impression of this (four Scary Movie movies had been made at the time when Boy Eats Girl went on video).
  • Poseidon Rex, a monster film featuring an amphibious dinosaur that threatens the human race. It had been on DVD since October 2013, but it was given a special theatrical release in April 2014 to get some more publicity in the wake of the hype surrounding Godzilla (2014).
  • The Devil Within Her's plot is very similar to Rosemary's Baby, and one of its alternate titles is Sharon's Baby.
  • Codename Wild Geese - cunningly disguised as a sequel to The Wild Geese, complete with Lewis Collins—who was apparently fired off Wild Geese II for his role in the rip-off, having had a contract with Wild Geese producer Euan Lloyd.
  • The Black Cobra is a Blaxploitation ripoff of Cobra.
  • Supersonic Man is a Spanish clone of Superman: The Movie.
  • The popularity of A Nightmare on Elm Street led to it getting a number of foreign knock-offs, among them Night Killer from Italy, Satan's Bed from Indonesia, Mahakaal and Khooni Murda from India and Don't Panic from Mexico.
  • The Black Godfather is a Blaxploitation knockoff of The Godfather.
  • The Tramps in Planet Wars (or Os Trapalhoes Na Guerra Dos Planetas, to give it its original title), a Brazilian rip-off of Star Wars. To be fair, it's more of a parody than a direct rip-off.
  • Return of Mr. Superman, a 1960 movie from India, in which Superman's superhero costume is made up of slacks, a heavy sweatshirt, a skull cap and goggles, and the plot is non-existent.
  • Alyas Batman en Robin is a 1991 Filipino musical-comedy film which spoofs the 1960s Batman television series.
  • Yarasa adam - Bedmen, a 1973 film also known as "Turkish Batman & Robin", in which Batman is a smirky, big-haired guy who smokes, uses a gun, frequents strip clubs (with Robin in tow), roughs up women, and habitually screws around behind his girlfriend's back.
  • The 1968 Mexican movie The Batwoman - despite the title, Batwoman is pretty much Batman, if Batman were a lady in a skimpy outfit who was also a great wrestler.
  • Badi is a 1983 Turkish remake of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, which for some reason makes ET into a terrifying, shambling garbage pile.
  • Turkish Superman, featuring amazing special effects such as filming a Ken doll dressed in a Superman costume in front of a tracing paper background which projected looped images of Istanbul on to the paper.
  • A 2003 low-budget, direct-to-video science-fiction feature called Absolon (starring Christopher Lambert, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Ron Perlman) bears several stark similarities to the bigger-budget 1995 Johnny Mnemonic (with Keanu Reeves). Both movies similarly take place in an early-21st century "near future" where the majority of the planet is either infected or killed by a lethal plague (known as "Nerve Attenuation Syndrome (NAS)" in Johnny Mnemonic; "Neurological Degeneration Syndrome (NDS)" in Absolon). Both movies revolve around a giant, all-powerful pharmaceutical MegaCorp selling expensive treatments to combat the plague, and each movie's protagonist is unwittingly tasked with carrying material for a permanent cure within their bodies and must be delivered in a short period of time before it kills them.
  • Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters for some some reason had several copycat films like Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft, Witchslayer Gretl, Hansel and Gretel (which got a sequel) and Hansel & Gretel Get Baked.
  • A film titled Nazi Overlord was released four days after (and appears to be quite similar to) J. J. Abrams' supernatural WWII horror flick Overlord (2018).
  • In Germany, the direct-to-video film The Little Unicorn is known as Das letzte Einhorn kehrt zurück (The Last Unicorn returns)
  • Our Friend Power 5 uses aliens dressed as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, fighting inside of a Go-Bot, as the protagonists. The toys, similarly, are Ninja Turtles-figures remolded and down-scaled packaged with a Go-Bot bootleg figure. Hilariously, the characters based on Master Splinter are the villains.
  • Metamorphosis, Italian knockoff cinema's 1990 answer to The Fly (1986), oddly has a much more complicated plot and a larger number of significant characters than the movie it's cashing in on, perhaps to compensate for the low budget (and thus poor makeup/visual effects work) and how generic said characters are. The most obvious is that the lead is not an eccentric, dorky, lonely physicist who slowly becomes a Tragic Villain due to a drunken lapse in judgment, but a blandly handsome Mad Scientist determined to prove to the world that his de-aging serum works and ends up slowly becoming a reptile-man who kills near-randomly in the meantime.
  • Jurassic City is a vague Jurassic Park knockoff set in a prison.
  • The Little Mermaid (2018) isn't a true mockbuster, however its marketing made it resemble a live-action remake of the Disney adaptation.
  • There was a glut "Krampusploitation" films that followed in the wake of Krampus, with examples including Krampus: The Christmas Devil and its sequel, Krampus: The Reckoning, Krampus Unleashed, Krampus Origins, Mother Krampus (which is actually about a similar entity called Frau Perchta) and its unrelated sequel, Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride.
  • One of the more infamous runs on this trope was in 1989, when multiple sci-fi movies set underwater were made and released to capitalize on James Cameron's The Abyss. That movie was released in August — but DeepStar Six, Leviathan (1989), Lords of the Deep, and The Evil Below beat it, arriving in January, March, June, and July respectively (the last direct to video)! The Rift arrived the following year. As discussed by Drew McWeeny and Scott Weinberg on '80s All Over, because Cameron's previous film was Aliens many assumed that the secrecy-shrouded Abyss would be that movie underwater. Ergo, DeepStar Six and Leviathan are also direct ripoffs of the Alien films (even the tagline for the former started with "Not all aliens come from space"). The twosome had an advantage though — unlike most mockbusters they were major studio releases afforded enough money to come out as reasonably good-looking B-movies, and have their own fans.
  • Dune got one in the form of Dune Drifter, which amusingly is also an unofficial Delayed Release Tie-In given it released the same month as Dune's intended December 2020 release date (before being delayed by the COVID-19 Pandemic). From Colin director Marc Price (and featuring a similar No Budget aesthetic), it actually received some rather positive reviews from critics, though audiences were less pleased. A second unrelated mockbuster, Dune World (which just so happens to be the title the Dune novel used in its original serialized form), was released in 2021.
  • Bruce Lee is perhaps the only person to have an entire mockbuster sub-genre—known affectionately as "Brucesploitation"— built in his image. After Lee's unexpected death mere weeks before the release of his biggest hit, Enter the Dragon, distributors began desperately trying to capitalize on his popularity using similar-looking actors who adopted stage names like Bruce Le, Bruce Lei, and Bruce Ly. Others tactics were to use "Bruce or "Dragon" in the title, or use stock footage of the real Bruce and disproportionately advertise that. The thing is, the Bruce Lee's actual pre-Enter the Dragon movies were getting re-released at this time, along with episodes of The Green Hornet edited into feature films and his posthumous performance in Game of Death, so the endless deluge of fake Bruces was genuinely liable to trick audiences into thinking they were getting the real thing.
  • Guardian of the Universe is a weird time-travel direct-to-DVD movie that just happens to have a cover showing the main characters pointing blasters with a backdrop of planets, and a logo exactly like that of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014).
  • The Syfy Channel Original Movie Dragon Fighter is essentially Jurassic Park but with a dragon.
  • The 1995 Metro Manila Film Festival entry Magic Kombat not only directly lifts characters and scenarios from 8- and 16-bit video games popular in the Philippines around that time, but also names the two protagonists after the Mario brothers as well.
  • British production house Signature Entertainment released their own version of The Three Musketeers (with a small budget, James Cosmo as the Cardinal Richelieu, a black D'Artagnan and an Indian Milady) digitally and on DVD in March 2023, just a couple of days before the theatrical release of the first part of the much higher profile and higher budgeted French production by Pathé.

  • The Russian/Eastern Bloc books series Tales of the Magic Land is a downplayed example: the first book was heavily based on Land of Oz series by L. Frank Baum. However, the later installations differ more from Baum's works. In some editions, in the afterword the author, Volkov, acknowledges the 'inspiration', but more often than not this was omitted when printing. As the series was published in 1939, this makes it Older Than Television - though barely so.
  • Older Than Radio: For a long time, Victorian London publisher Edward Lloyd made killings from such works as Oliver Twiss and The Penny Pickwick.
  • In the present day, whenever a children's book series becomes popular, one can usually expect other, similar, series to be created as well. This is normally just a case of Follow the Leader, but there are times when it veers straight into mockbuster territory. For some reason, Diary of a Wimpy Kid seems to get this a lot— witness Diary of a Private School Kid.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Hamas-made kid's show Tomorrow's Pioneers features characters who are blatant ripoffs of American cartoons, though said characters are given radical Islamist twists by the writers.
  • Belarus' state-owned television station briefly produced and ran a sitcom called The Theorists which was about a group of nerdy physicists who befriend their attractive female neighbor. Yes, it was an unauthorized copy of The Big Bang Theory. CBS and Warner Bros. had actually begun legal proceedings when the cast and producers of The Theorists discovered their show was a ripoff note  and quit en masse, forcing its cancellation.
  • The direct-to-video series Peppermint Park is a particularly blatant Mockbuster of Sesame Street.
  • Mega Powers, a Power Rangers knockoff.
  • Aryamaan - Brahmaand Ka Yoddha, an Indian knockoff of Star Wars. It is a rare case of a movie franchise being ripped off by an entire TV series. The show itself is referred to by its producer as "an Indian version of the famous Star Wars", but it's such a blatant knockoff that it can't even be considered a "version of" Star Wars. Aside from the obvious lightsaber knockoffs, the opening also is the famous Opening Scroll (but in Hindi!), the "Thar Planet" is very clearly a Tatooine knockoff, there is a superweapon that resembles the Death Star with a grimacing face, the robot Tobot bears a striking resemblance to C-3PO, a planet is seen being destroyed in Alderaan fashion, the king's multiple wives wear saffron robes very similar to those of Padme's handmaidens...
  • A Special Sesame Street Christmas, despite not actually being made by the (then) Children's Television Workshop, was licensed by them, and the producers got to use the set and some of the cast. This doesn't entirely justify giving the DVD a mock-up of actual Sesame Street DVD trade dress. (It also uses Michael Jackson's brief appearance for Wolverine Publicity.)
  • Tele Chobis is a rip-off of Teletubbies. This show's network, TV Azteca, was sued by the BBC for copyright infringement, causing the show to be cancelled.
  • Time Bomb, an Indian Real Time Spy Drama which had so many similarities to 24 that the makers of the latter sued.
  • Ben 7 from Indonesia, riffing from the obvious, Ben 10.
  • Faerie Tale Theatre, one of the first TV shows to release all of its regular episodes on VHS to expand its reach beyond pay cable, saw a knockoff in 1984: The direct-to-video series Enchanted Musical Playhouse, which also retold fairy tale and picture book stories in live-action with name performers; even the cover art and series logo were similar. The main differences were that the stars were B-list at best (Marie Osmond, Paul Williams, etc.), the four episodes produced were only 30 minutes apiece as opposed to Faerie Tale Theatre's 40-to-55 minute runtimes, and as the title suggests all of them were The Musical. Later in the decade, and crossing mediums, The Cannon Group's "Cannon MovieTales" series (which was intended for theaters but saw most of its exposure on video and cable) was another blatant imitation; it not only hired high-profile performers and had similar cover art for most of the VHS releases, but all nine of the produced films adapted stories that Faerie Tale Theatre already covered, making it even easier to confuse the two series!
  • Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego: Like clockwork, A total ripoff of the game show called Di Mana Joe Jambul was made in Malaysia in the late 90s. Aside from Carmen Sandiego changed to the titular Joe Jambul (who is also a Lupin III wannabe) as well as the rest of her crew changed out, the animated segments were all done in an extremely cheap and low-resolution manner using Adobe Flash, and the lack of a live music band, the game otherwise plays out just like the US counterpart.
  • Some game shows have their name changed or undergo slight localizations when exported, making them look like they fall into this trope. For example, Wheel of Fortune was exported into Malaysia officially as Roda Impian, and had considerable differences in the set design, but the rules otherwise remains unchanged.

  • At the start of The British Invasion, an unscrupulous record company discovered their band The Coachmen V had covered the song "I Want to Hold Your Hand", and promptly released their album under the title, The Beetle Beat, changing the band's name to The Buggs, with ad copy hyping "the original Liverpool sound" and "the year of Beetle-mania!" The band had not been notified of this change and were very unhappy. The record, with a cover mimicking the design of With the Beatles, did indeed fool many an unwary customer. Notably, Mark Mothersbaugh bought the record as a child and was so affronted that it later inspired him to write the Devo song "U Got Me Bugged".

    New Media 
  • "Did You Know Gaming" is a Tumblr blog featuring little-known facts about video games. "Did Yuo Know Gaming" is a Tumblr blog featuring humorous, false facts about video games.
  • The Tumblr "Imagine Your OTP" lists romantic scenarios for shippers to insert their favorite pairings into. Similarly to the above example, a simple typo reversing a letter gets you to the parody blog. "Imagine Yuor" OTP lists twisted, overly violent, or just plain bizarre situations that only a troll shipper would want to imagine. The blog still manages to get asks from users who confused it with the original and wonder why a romantic shipping blog would post such creepy scenarios.
  • There are definitely many expies of the Angry Video Game Nerd, but the only one who really qualifies as a mockbuster is Isvaffel, mainly because his earlier videos from 2009 have "Angry Video Game Nerd" of the video (and he kept that title in the intro).


    Tabletop Games 

  • Since the source novel is in the public domain, musical versions of The Phantom of the Opera ran rampant in the 1990s (regional tours, community theaters, etc.) to cash in on Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation — enough so that Time magazine did a whole article on the phenomenon. But not all of them qualify as this trope: Ken Hill's version is the one that inspired Lloyd Webber to take his own stab at the story in the first place, and Maury Yeston and Arthur Kopit's Phantom was actually written around the same time as Lloyd Webber's but couldn't get produced until afterwards due to the competition. One of the mockbusters was videotaped and later released on DVD, and the Phantom Reviewer took it on.
  • Similarly, a few stage musical versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame appeared around 1996, perhaps hoping to compete with a Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of the Disney movie, which was considered likely in the wake of Beauty and the Beast. Disney's version had a successful theatrical adaptation in Germany in 1999 but had not been staged elsewhere until 2014.
  • Cirque Productions and Le Grand Cirque are companies that are this to Cirque du Soleil (seriously, compare the websites), to the point that the former was sued for using "Cirque" in their name; it didn't work, since that's just the French word for "circus". Judging from reviews at Ticketmaster's website, the former's shows have successfully tricked ticket buyers who didn't do the research and thought they saw an actual CDS show (ironically, CDS would later acquire them in 2018). It doesn't help that, until 2006, CDS tours only visited major cities, and thus knockoff troupes could make hay by visiting places that weren't. As well, knockoffs often have extended runs in casino-heavy towns like Atlantic City and Reno, as opposed to Las Vegas, where the real deal has put down roots.
  • If a popular fairy or folk tale gets adapted into a Disney Animated Canon film, expect a knockoff stage version to tour the children's theater/school group circuit soon after, and perhaps be available to community theaters after that. The Enchantment of Beauty and the Beast is a good example.
  • The album of Jesus Christ Superstar was released before the theatre show or movie were, resulting in multiple adaptations touring the stages before the official release.
  • The same thing happened with Frozen; even before the actual musical adaptation officially reached Broadway, there were at least a few unlicensed musical adaptations making the tour circuit across North America for a few years. Frozen in Time is one such example, though it's more of a revue than a straight adaptation.

    Video Games 
  • Gameloft:
    • The company applies a similar concept to video games, where they release shameless copies of well-known franchises (usually on cellphones); the difference here is that their games are usually quite well-made (although some of them, most notably the Mac OS X and 3DS ports of Gangstar: Miami and Asphalt, respectively, were met with negative reception, being that they were lazily ported—especially Gangstar, having outdated graphics compared to the ones they were imitating). One of their more interesting examples is Shrek Kart, which copies Mario Kart but replaces the cast of well-known characters with a different cast of well-known characters rather than a bunch of Captain Ersatz's (unlike with most of their games).
    • Another thing that makes Gameloft less of a negative thing than other examples on this page: almost all of the games they copy have not yet been released on cellphones/iOS, so they serve a positive role in bringing the genre to mobiles, instead of just competing with better alternatives. Being an affiliate of Ubisoft, they're able to use their licenses such as Assassin's Creed and Brothers in Arms to make mobile/iOS games as well.
    • An even more interesting example: their clone of the Batman: Arkham Series. Wait for it... it's a The Dark Knight Rises licensed game. So they just copied Batman using a different incarnation of Batman.
  • There is a web game called Chick'n Bash. It's especially odd because there are plenty of other web games in the "smash the tower" genre that have vastly different aesthetics from Angry Birds.
    • There's a similar one called Chicks'n'Vixens.
    • On the non-avian side, there's Angry Bunnies.
  • An app known as Hedgehog Dash was released in 2013. It is a very blatant Sonic The Hedgehog rip-off. The logo for it is basically identical to the Sonic Dash logo. It disappeared just as soon as it came without any fanfare.
  • Final Combat, the Chinese clone of Team Fortress 2. Characters and gameplay were strikingly similar and even had their own "Meet the Team"-like videos online. However, it gets even worse when you realize that some weapon models and walk cycles were ripped straight from Team Fortress 2, and one of the stages is a clone of the fan-submitted TF2 map "Harvest".
  • In the same vein, Xuan Dou Zhi Wang is the Chinese interpretation of The King of Fighters (but at least you can say the people making it genuinely like KOF because the gameplay isn't all that bad and they try something different, with very few blatant knockoffs and the characters being digitized polygonal objects instead of hand-drawn sprites). SNK themselves noticed it... and were actually impressed enough to let the game have Terry Bogard and Benimaru Nikaido as Guest Fighters under license.
  • Many of the unlicensed NES games made by Taiwanese company Sachen fit this category:
  • Several console rip-offs, such as the Funstation, the Vii, the Nanica Smitch, the Zone, the Reactor, the Wiwi and the V2, have been made.
  • There's Pirates Legend Of The Black Buccaneer, which came out for the PS2 on the heels of the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
  • A significant portion of the indie games one can find on the Xbox Live Marketplace and the Nintendo eShop turn out to be rip-offs of popular games, past and present, including a particularly cheap Minecraft clone titled CastleMiner that even got a zombie-oriented sequel less than four months after its release. Before the Wii U received its own port of Minecraft, the eShop was absolutely flooded with third-rate knockoffs.
  • The Chinese PC game Duludubi Star is a bizarre knockoff of Super Mario Galaxy with Mario replaced with a baby dragon, voice clips stolen from Klonoa, and Jeopardy! Thinking Music, of all things.
  • Smartphone app 3D Cartoon Land: Safari, a transparent and horrendous imitation of Super Mario 3D Land.
  • In December of 2012, Hammerpoint Interactive (one of their members, Sergey Titov, worked on Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing) released a ridiculously poorly made MMO clone of the famous zombie mod DayZ, creatively titled The War Z (later retitled Infestation: Survivor Stories). Let's just say that many, many gamers were not amused. It was so broken, and the advertising filled with so many lies, that it actually was taken off of Steam, and Valve offered a refund.note  Six months development time (despite Hammerpoint insisting otherwise), the developers effectively banning people at random in an inane attempt to get rid of hackers, among other things, and a month before "release", their trademark over the game's name was taken away from them because of Paramount, who had their own trademark for an intended World War Z game, and "The War Z" was obviously way too similar. Naturally, the response from Hammerpoint is to claim this is not the case, despite all evidence against them, until suddenly complying and changing the name as above.
  • Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta appears at first to be just another Action Adventure game, but playing it reveals that it's aped a lot of more popular games, with the Uncharted series being the main target.
  • That Hunchback had already been converted to the Amstrad CPC didn't stop Blaby Computer Games from releasing The Bells, which has the same premise and similar gameplay but painfully bad programming.
  • Taomee has made blatant knockoffs of popular browser online games like...
  • Q Kitty Garden is partially a knockoff of Mushroom Garden.
  • One of the oldest examples in video games is Crazy Kong, a knockoff of Donkey Kong with original programming. Surprisingly, this seems to have been the authorized arcade version of Donkey Kong in some parts of the world.
  • Mega Man actually managed to do this to itself, with the DOS version of Mega Man 3, which is a completely different - and inferior - game to the NES Mega Man 3, made by a different company. Not only was the game titled such to cash in on the original (to the point that there is no DOS Mega Man 2; they completely skipped over it,) but they invented a robot master that looks like the robot on the original cover (who is Spark Man in the NES game) to justify using the exact same cover.
  • Harcourt's Mega Math Edutainment Game series is a Mockbuster of Edmark's Mighty Math series. Not only do the two cover the same topics, many of the activities are very similar (e.g. using fiery explosions to teach fractions, using buried treasure to teach the number line), both have the Grow Slide feature, and the logos for each series have the same font! Ironically, after a series of buyouts, both series are currently owned by Houghton Mifflin (though only the Mighty Math series continues to be sold by them as it was the original).
  • No one actually owns the Tycoon trademark, so for every good tycoon game like RollerCoaster Tycoon or Zoo Tycoon, there are dozens if not hundreds of no-budget knockoffs pumped out to capitalize on the name. For example, School Tycoon is unrelated to Rollercoaster Tycoon but has a similar format, albeit revolving around school.
  • Titus Software, in their early years, produced the Classiques series of games for the Amstrad CPC and other then-popular computers. These releases consisted of compilations of generic knockoffs of famous Arcade Games.
  • The unlicensed Sega Genesis game Adventurous Boy is a Chinese knockoff of Fantasy Zone.
  • The BBC Micro has a whole ton of rip-off clones of popular arcade games of the time, many of them produced by Acornsoft itself. Instead of Galaga we have Zalaga, Frogger became Hopper, Asteroids became Meteors, Space Invaders became Super Invaders, Donkey Kong became (the less similar-sounding) Killer Gorilla and so on.
  • The Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and the Dragon 32 also used to have lots of knock-offs during the early times of their lifespan. Eventually, some mighty companies like Ocean Software bought the actual arcade rights to convert the games themselves and strove to remove knock-offs from the shelves, and the programmers of these knockoffs, no longer able to hide themselves behind clones, started creating their own original ideas.
  • Fit of Fighting and History of Martial Arts are ripoffs of Art of Fighting and Fighter's History with plagiarized graphics but a completely different engine.
  • Foxotic was a Massively Multiplayer Online Game that appeared in late 2013 and advertised itself as a new original MMO for kids. Players were very quick to notice a sheer amount of elements copied from Club Penguin and the MMOs it inspired: Pandanda and The Travels of Winglingon and Wenks Virtual World. It was later discovered that the owner used Foxotic as a setup for a scam targeting freelance artists. Fortunately, Foxotic was never released beyond its beta testing stage and disappeared in early 2015.
  • There was once a video game company known as Phoenix Games, which hilariously touted itself as "The only European super budget publisher" note . The quality of their games implies that their definition of "super budget" is very different from the usual. Many of their games are obviously trying to pass themselves off as video game adaptations of well-known Disney cartoons, including beloved classics like Snow White And The Seven Clever Boys, Lion and the King 3, Mighty Mulan, and the infamous Dalmatians 3.
  • The Arcade Game Puckman Pockimon is essentially a Pac-Man clone where the second player can control an Off-Model Pikachu head. The game's hardware, apparently manufactured by Chinese Sega Genesis bootleggers, is also used for Jue Zhan Tian Huang, a bizarre, poorly-programmed remake of Street Fighter II as a Beat 'em Up.
  • A lot of Rainbow Arts' early output is this. They later abandoned their position once they established highly-selling original video game franchises.
    • Katakis for the Commodore Amiga is their rip-off of the video game R-Type. Funnily enough, Irem found out about this, but since most Japanese publishers had trouble with programming for the Amiga, they hired Rainbow Arts to help port R-Type to the Amiga.
    • The Great Giana Sisters is this to the original Super Mario Bros., to the point where Nintendo actually sent in lawyers. Behold.
  • On the ZX Spectrum, after the initial wave of Arcade Game clones died off, Harry S Price made something of a career of ripping off obscure commercial releases and type-in games from magazines, slightly modifying them and publishing them under different titles.
  • Evil Night, an arcade Rail Shooter released by Konami in 1998, is very much a ripoff of Sega's House of the Dead, which came out the same year. The premise and several of the characters are quite similar (with two of the three protagonists being obvious copies of Thomas Rogan and G). The game is clearly meant to piggyback off of the popularity of the franchise that inspired it, but it eventually spiraled into obscurity when House of the Dead fans christened it a "knockoff" and its problematic arcade hardware helped it disappear from arcades. The game later generated a cult following of sorts.
  • The Ukrainian company GSC Game World, of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. fame, made a game called Warcraft 2000 during the 1990s. This is a glorified mod of Warcraft 2, sold as an official sequel. The plot is about grey aliens manipulating Orcs and Humans to wage war.
  • Super Fighter: This was a mockbuster of Capcom's Street Fighter II made by the Taiwanese company C&E in 1993. The developers even traced some character animations, lifted the sound effects and some music (though with some modifications) from the Street Fighter games and some of the characters are even borderline plagiarism of characters from those games with the most blatant being the Japanese Karateka Jaan (based on Ryu), the Russian wrestler Sarkov (based on Zangief), and the Anime Chinese Girl Phoenix (based on Chun-Li). It even has a spin-off called Super Fighter Block Battle, which is a rip-off of Super Puzzle Fighter II X.
  • Fur Fun, originally known as Kewpie-Jazzy, is a blatant ripoff of Banjo-Kazooie and its Spiritual Successor Yooka-Laylee. It has even been found with the former's assets in the game files, and the failed Kickstarter plagiarized the latter's own Kickstarter.
  • Most of the Arcade Games released by Century Electronics for their "Convertible Video System" and/or as conversion kits for Galaxian, Scramble or Donkey Kong boards had gameplay more or less based on popular titles from The Golden Ageof Video Games. Singled out by this retrospective article as "big time" ripoffs are Cosmos (Astro Blaster), Logger (Donkey Kong) and Hunchback Olympic (Track & Field).
  • Stellar Stone's Taxi Racer, Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing, and Midnight Race Club: Supercharged! are mockbusters of Crazy Taxi, Hard Truck: 18 Wheels of Steel, and Midnight Club, respectively.
  • Super Jump World, an iPhone game which lifts entire sections of Super Mario World and replaces Mario with a leprechaun, Goombas with beetles, and mushrooms with clovers.
  • Ultra Dario, an Android Game which rips off Super Mario World.
  • German game publisher RTL Playtainment made a knockoff of the JoWooD Productions title Neighbours From Hell. This knockoff is just a licensed game based on the RTL TV show Höllische Nachbarn.
    • In a funny way, JoWooD Productions would also make their own takes on RTL's skiing games with the Ski Racing series.
    • It gets even funnier, as the last Ski Racing title (Alpine Ski Racing 2007) from JoWooD was co-published with RTL Playtainment!
  • Legend of Titans, a Chinese knockoff of Overwatch, which features nothing original and compensates with shameless Fanservice compared to the more tasteful kind found in the original.
  • The early FPS Isle of the Dead, no relation to the film of the same name, incidentally, is a mockery of both Wolfenstein 3-D and Sierra's point & click adventure games.
  • Spy Games: Elevator Mission for the Wii is a low-budget FPS take on Elevator Action 1, with a touch of GoldenEye (1997).
  • Zenda: The Linked Swords, an extremely short knock-off of The Legend of Zelda series, down to the nameable hero who looks suspiciously like Link with orange clothes.
  • Monino, a not very cleverly renamed clone of Super Mario World.
  • Super Daddio and its sequel Super Daddio 2, a couple of Android Games which rip off Super Mario World. Super Daddio 2 has better animation, and the coins are replaced with rings, but that's all that can be said about it.
  • Dead Effect which can be guessed which franchise the developers rip-off. Surprisingly, it was a couple of a pretty enjoyable First-Person Shooter.
  • Mobile Legends: Bang Bang starts as this to both League of Legends and Arena of Valor until lawsuits made Moonton, the developer, revamp some of the character designs and art styles, but it's still largely look-alike, especially the interface which is almost the exact same as the latter.
  • After Only Up! was delisted from Steam, a game with the exact same title developed by MoreMoto Games appeared on Steam on October 3d, 2023. It's an online multiplayer parcour game that seems to take inspiration from classic Roblox obbies. Needless to say, it only received 113 reviews, 8% of which were positive.
  • Power Blade, AKA Power Blazer, was originally a Mega Man (Classic) knockoff prior to the US localization, which refined the gameplay and replaced the Blue Bomber expy with an Arnold Schwarzenegger lookalike.
  • Another Mega Man knockoff was Shockman, AKA Kaizou Choujin Shubibinman 2, for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16.
  • Left Alive (no relation to Left 4 Dead) is a critically-panned Metal Gear knockoff, with characters ironically designed by Metal Gear Solid artist Yoji Shinkawa.
  • Race America was this for Rad Racer, which itself was a clone of Sega's OutRun.
  • Capcom's Codename Viper was a blatant ripoff of Namco's Rolling Thunder, ironically developed by an uncredited Arc System Works, who produced the NES port of the latter game.
  • The unlicensed Mega Drive game Barver Battle Saga: Tai Kong Zhan Shi knocks off the Final Fantasy franchise, and the Chinese subtitle even translates to "The Space Warrior", which is what Final Fantasy is known as in Taiwan.
  • The Atari 2600 game Pac-Kong, also known as Inca Gold, Spider Maze, or Spider Kong, is a hideously awful mockery of Donkey Kong with the villain instead being either a giant bird, giant octopus, or Space Invaders-like arachnid/crustacean, and only a single repeating level layout.
  • The first game in the Renegade series was a spiritual precursor to Double Dragon, but the Ocean-developed home computer sequels, Target: Renegade and Renegade III: The Final Chapter, were terrible knockoffs of it.
  • Duet, AKA Commando '86, for the Commodore 64 and other microcomputers, combines the military aesthetic of Commando (Capcom) with the gameplay of Gauntlet.
  • Rebel Raiders: Operation Nighthawk for the PlayStation 2 and Wii is a bargain-bin ripoff of Ace Combat.
  • The Chinese MMORPG Roco Kingdom, created by Tencent Games, is a glorified rip-off of Pokémon with very similar Elemental Powers for the mons and capsules called Gulu Balls that are functionally equivalent to Poké Balls. Imagine Pokémon but in a medieval fantasy setting with ancient magic and evil mages and that sort of thing, and you should have a basic idea. The game has nevertheless become popular enough in China to spawn an entire franchise with stuff like an animated film series and television show, also not unlike Pokémon.
  • Spoofed by Devolver Digital with Devolver Bootleg, a compilation of Video Game Demakes of various Devolver-published games. The joking pitch was that since people were already going to buy shoddy knockoffs of their games on the grey market, Devolver might as well beat the underground devs to the punch and control the grey market themselves.
  • Squirrel King for the Mega Drive is a knockoff of the NES Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers game.
  • Open Corp. were basically the South Korean equivalent of Sachen. Their mockbusters include:
  • Road Rage is an atrociously bad ripoff of the Road Rash series.
  • Idea Tek's F-15 City War for Famicom/NES is a piss-poor imitation of Sega's Thunder Blade, with a jet fighter in place of the helicopter.
  • The failure of Battlefield 2042 allowed Battlebit Remastered and Clownfield 2042, two retraux, low poly clones of Battlefield to become a success on Steam (the former of which $27 million in two weeks).
  • Wolfschanze by Calaris Studios and its sequel Wolfschanze II by City Interactive is a pair of WWII FPS game that named suspiciously like Wolfenstein series.
  • Gwisal-ui Geom was a Korean knockoff of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, which was so poorly received it was pulled 5 days after opening.
  • Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas, a Finnish action-adventure video game which borrows heavily from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, is more of a loving homage than anything else. Its sequel, Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm, however, is a blatant knock-off of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, down to the UI and texturing.
  • Taxi Chaos by Shovelware developers Team 6 is a poor man's Crazy Taxi.
  • SNK's Burning Fight shamelessly plagiarizes Final Fight, down to the three player characters being expies of Guy, Cody, and Haggar.
  • Arcanoid Breakout for the Nintendo Switch barely conceals that it's a poorly programmed clone of Arkanoid, with the first half of its title being just one letter away from copyright infringement.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 

  • Several amusement parks that have been established in various parts of Asia are not-so-subtle ripoffs of a certain iconic American amusement park. Some no longer exist, but others are still in operation, complete with Captain Ersatz versions of characters such as Shrek, Bugs Bunny, and Hello Kitty.
  • Europa-Park in Germany lifted a number of attraction ideas from Disney, with their iconic Euro-Sat sphere essentially being a Space Mountain clone housed inside a Spaceship Earth as well as having an Adventureland home to a Jungle Cruise clone among other things. There has been an effort in recent years to differentiate some of these attractions from their Disney counterparts with Euro-Sat taking on a CanCan theme and the "Universe of Energy" dinosaur attraction (taking its name and premise from another Epcot attraction) being retooled into "Madame Freudenreich Curiosités", which turned the dinosaurs into a little old lady's giant pets.
  • The giant Chinese Gundam statue knockoff, proving that China will pirate even Humongous Mecha.
  • Although the original Thorn Beta 5 which launched in the 1980s (a British/Austrian street light) ceased production in 2008, the Hardie Night Sight is seen as a very similar design, even though it's LED and not sodium-oxide technology. Road enthusiasts have noted the similarity.
  • The town of Zilwaukee, Michigan. It was named that by its founders, two brothers who built a sawmill there, to lure in workers who thought they were going to Milwaukee, which was experiencing a lumber boom at the time.
  • The Nana Moon virtual pet series is one of Tamagotchi, with them being basically the same apart from the Nana Moon toys having an added plot of finding seven special treasures on top of raising your pet. They also both have animated television shows, though the one for Tamagotchi had a longer episode span (271 compared to Nana Moon's 52). The Nana Moon toys' production company, M&D, flat-out started producing proper knock-off Tamagotchi toys that combine Tamagotchi branding with the "QPet" branding also used for Nana Moon.

  • The Amanda Show parodies this in a recurring sketch. People return movies they got from a movie store that are knockoffs of whatever they really want, created by a family of foreigners (which they always contend is "MUCH BETTER!"). The icing on the cake is that the store itself is a knock-off of Blockbuster, "Blockblister". And though almost never featured in the skits, on the boards behind the proprietors, there's almost always a Mockbustered-up title of a Nick movie: Rag Rats, Harriet the Guy, Good Booger and Snowy Day (one skit actually has this featured).
  • Be Kind Rewind is about a pair of video store owners who make their own mockbusters after all their tapes are destroyed, and become a massive success after their remakes grow wildly popular. Accusations of copyright infringement cause the store to be closed down.
  • Hsu and Chan: Tanaka Bros Game Development does this with all their releases, including Bad Mileage and Pocket Morons.
  • MAD has been known to make parodies of these, such as Home School Musical.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus made fun of Mockbusters well before they were even a phenomenon, with the Mr. Dibley sketch, about a filmmaker who makes hideously bad, silent, one-reel versions of famous movies starring random people from shops.
    "Oh yes, well, I mean, there were some people who said my film 2001: A Space Odyssey was similar to Stanley Kubrick's. I mean, that's the sort of petty critical niggling that's dogged my career. It makes me sick. I mean, as soon as I'd made Midnight Cowboy with the vicar as Ratso Rizzo, John Schlesinger rushes out his version, and gets it premiered while mine's still at the chemist's."
  • Homestar Runner parodies this in the Strong Bad Email "unlicensed". One of the "licensed unlicensed" products Strong Bad appears in is movie knock-offs with titles like "The Secret Princess and Her Oppressive Authority Figure 4" or "Jungle Animals in Decidedly Non-Jungle Situations" (the latter of which is advertised as "So Straight to DVD It Hurts").
  • Referenced in The Amazing World of Gumball, as Gumball complains they can only afford movies like "How to Ratatwang Your Panda". It's a parody of Brinquedo in particular; the mice even resemble those of Ratatoing. This became Hilarious in Hindsight when it came to light that a Chinese food company had produced a knockoff of the show itself, swapping the Wattersons for goats (goat's milk is what's being advertised) and Darwin for a frog. This comes full circle with the episode "The Copycats" where the showrunners decide to deal with this little debacle in-universe.
  • An episode of My Name Is Earl reveals the Camden County Library is so underfunded that it can only afford knock-offs of literary classics. Not-Tarzan apparently features a tiger named Monkey.
  • The Simpsons episode "Mayored to the Mob" opens with the family watching Roger Corman's Titanic on the aptly-named Thousand Dollar Movie. It has Special Effects Failure, gratuitous nudity, and the ship resurfacing as some kind of monster!
  • On In Living Color!, this is the stock-in-trade of Funky Finger Productions, which is always looking for investors for their Blaxploitation knock-offs/unauthorized sequels to recent hits. Stank Ho is their answer to Pretty Woman, and they have test footage for a fourth Penitentiary movie on hand in another skit. Many have an X Meets Y twist: "The Wiz meets Flatliners", for instance.
  • In his Guardian column in 1998, Simon Hoggart comments that the Channel 5 listings were all for "films that sound familiar but you haven't quite heard of", such as Total Weaponry and Deadly Attraction.
  • Local hustler Cheddar Man from Class of 3000 was once shown peddling mock-busters in "The Hunt for Red Blobtober". With him starring in every role. He was last seen working on The Wizard of Oz in that episode.
  • In the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers movie, this is the primary racket of Sweet Pete's Valley Gang, turning ktoons that cannot pay their debts to the mob (and thus are kidnapped) into legally distinct copies or mash-ups and shipping them overseas, though they actually just keep them in the bay where the Valley Gang runs their operations to star in knockoff movies.
  • In the tenth episode of the Animaniacs reboot, the Warners discover that Russia has created a knockoff version of not only their own show, but Pinky and the Brain, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and MasterChef.
  • The Pokémon Squad: One episode was about a Barney & Friends knockoff called Bernie and Pals that, much to Barney’s chagrin, was actually good (being hailed by the characters as Barney done right). The same company that made the ripoff was also said to have previously made bad knockoffs of Kim Possible and Adventure Time.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Mock Buster



The Warners discover that Russia has created a knockoff version of Animaniacs

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Main / TheMockbuster

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