- As has been well-documented by history, director Elia Kazan and playwright Arthur Miller had a famous falling out over Kazan's decision to name names before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible, a play that compared the UAC's activities to the Salem Witch Trials, while Molly Kazan, Elia's wife, wrote The Egghead, a play about a liberal intellectual who was blind to the great threat posed to America. One of these plays is a classic. The other one is practically forgotten.
- The famous Scottish anti-war play Black Watch includes a scene where the protagonists debate who will play them in the movies. One of them says that he doesn't mind, as long as it isn't that cunt from The Elephant Man. On the day after the play ran with said cunt in the audience, the producers received a card which said "Congratulations on an excellent performance of a very important play. That cunt in The Elephant Man and his wife."
- In the musical version of Merrily We Roll Along, the protagonist is a musical theatre songwriter who in one scene says, "I saw My Fair Lady — I sort of enjoyed it."
- The musical 1776 features an extended Take That! against New York's government: the delegate from New York spends the entire musical having to "abstain—courteously," because, as he finally explains, the members of the legislature "speak very fast and very loud and nobody pays any attention to anybody else with the result that nothing ever gets done." Like much of the rest of the play...Truth in Television. Even for the time period. (It's truly scary when you realize how much of 1776 is all lifted directly from period documents (if somewhat out of context at times.)
- Occurred during the 2008 Tony Awards broadcast, when the winner for Best Play, in his acceptance speech, thanked the producers for funding "an American show with theater actors!" This would have been much less remarkable had his award not been presented to him by Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe.
- The lyrics to "You're The Top", a song by Cole Porter from the musical Anything Goes, contains the following jab at the Republican party of the 1930s:"I'm the nominee of the G.O.P., or "Gop,"
But if baby, I'm the bottom, you're the top!"
- "Everyone's a little bit racist" From Avenue Q is a Take That! to Political Correctness.
Kate: I loved Titanic!Princeton: It was all right...
- Also, a minor example during "Mix Tape":
- Also, during the 2004 Presidential debate they mentioned that they would need to end the debate soon because there was going to be "A Vice Presidential debate held by Red Lobster"
- In An interview, Princeton implied that Sarah Brightman sings like a goose. She does.
- "George Bush is only for now!" Now updates every other show.
- Since it's about theater:
- In Angels in America, when Joe hits Louis, he compares it to a love scene from an Ayn Rand novel.
- In a book of Christian plays, one vignette set in a supermarket has an employee announce via loudspeaker that an event featuring (a man in a costume of) Pikachu has just concluded. The plot is immediately derailed for a few seconds so one of the characters can deliver what is, to all appearances, an Author Tract about how Pokémon should be "banished to the island of annoying toys".
- In Shrek: The Musical, Gingy receives one:Gingy: It's time we do what we should've done a long time ago.
Gnome: Stop mailing all those sweet but slightly threatening fanletters to The Little Mermaid?
- Something Rotten! mocks the musical genre as a whole in the song "A Musical", where Nick Bottom learns about theater of the future, doubling as Self-Deprecation (though it also mocks other theater genres, specifically tragedy and drama, and Greek mythology where "a mother has sex with her son"). It does get in more specific digs, such as when Nostradamus begins singing about opera:Nostadamus: And it's supposed to create a dramatic effect, but mostly you just sit there asking yourself, "Why aren't they talking?"
Nick: Sounds miserable.
Nostadamus: I believe it's pronounced... Misérable!
- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee often uses its improv spots to take shots at current events, most notably Logainne's speech, often used for political criticism.
Take That / Theatre