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The Pirates of Penzance provides a lyric most redoubtable:
The Major General's song therein is reckoned Stock Shout Out-able,
And Mr. Gilbert's verses, as a vehicle for parody
On many varied themes, are copied with particularity.
To demonstrate the actor's elocution and acuity
For rattling through fast-paced tongue twisters with full perspicuity,
Sir Arthur's tune is catchy, too — though some can't name the latter's song,
It's still become the model of the modern Filk or Patter Song.
- It's still become, etc.
- It's still become, etc.
Because the tune in question is so very recognizable
To make a Trope about it is a project not despisable--
And to be most laconic, any sort of Made-of-Win-ful song
Is likely to be based upon the Modern Major Gen'ral Song.
- And to be most laconic, etc.
Performed by Characters:
- A Geico commercial has a guy singing the Major General Song, dressed in costume.
- In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio, "Doctor Who and the Pirates", the Sixth Doctor sings "I am the very model of a Gallifreyan buccaneer" (and other songs from Pirates, Pinafore, and Mikado are parodied).
- TORN has one about Gandalf here.
- One episode of Babylon 5 has Marcus and Franklin taking a long journey to Mars in the cargo hold of a freighter. After Franklin gets tired of playing Something That Begins With Boring (it doesn't take long), Marcus starts singing The Major General Song to pass the time.
- In the Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip episode "The Cold Open", the cast performs a sketch including a parody of the song: "We'll be the very model of a modern network TV show."
- The Muppet Show staged a duet of the song with guest host and comedienne Gilda Radner and a seven-foot tall talking carrot. The scene bore an ironic resemblance to another scene in Pirates, as Radner had requested a six-foot tall talking parrot, but was misheard.
- David Hyde Pierce's monologue, as host of Saturday Night Live, was a parody of the song.
- In the Frasier episode "Fathers and Sons", Frasier, Niles and Leland Barton sing the first verse of the song. Martin tries to join in but confuses the lyrics, singing about a "scary hippopotamus" (instead of "the square of a hypotenuse").
- In the Mad About You episode "Moody Blues," Paul directs a charity production of Penzance starring his father, Burt, as the Major-General. Parts of rehearsal and performance of the song are shown. When the lyrics slip Burt's mind, he improvises a few lines about his son. During The Tag, Paul and Jamie sing a verse about the show's credit roster ("Now the show is over and you can watch the credits roll").
- Doctor Cox's "Rant Song" from the Scrubs musical episode was based on the Major General's Song according to the creators.
- Used for Russian spies' elocution lessons in the Britcom Sleepers.
- Geordi La Forge sings a few lines of it for Dr. Crusher when she's trying to persuade him to audition for her on-board production.
- Spitting Image did a parody of it with Neil Kinnock, basically to mock the fact that he had a tendency to speak very fast (and whose opponents thought he was speaking a load of rubbish).
- In a more memorable scene from Home Improvement, Al sings the first verse of it in what he thinks is a sound-proof booth. It isn't, and as a result, he recieves a round of a applause when he comes out.
- An old Mad Magazine featuring the Kennedy family in a musical had Dwight D Eisenhower singing "I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Former President".
- In Mass Effect 2, Mordin is The Very Model of a Scientist Salarian.
- Colonel Jade Curtiss in this Youtube video. 
- In The Simpsons a sober Barney completes an obstacle course while singing this.
- The Animaniacs has "I Am The Very Model of a Cartoon Individual".
- Re Boot ended its third season with a recap of the entire season, set to the song's tune.
- In an episode of Pinky and The Brain, Brain sings a typically megalomaniacal parody of the song.
- In The Wild Thornberrys episode "Sir Nigel," Nigel Thornberry sings a pastiche of the song about his family.
- In a Veggie Tales episode entitled "The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!", Archibald Asparagus sings the first two verses of this song when asked to sing about "Military Intelligence".
- In Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, our heroes apparently crash a Penzance performance, as pigs sing some of the first lyrics.
- A Fan-made Sorting Hat song lyrics.
- "I am the Very Model of a disgruntled Harmonian".
- A rant about the Doctor's policy regarding changing time.
- With apologies to Neil Gaiman, a version for Vastra from Doctor Who:
I am the very model of a monster-hunter general
- The Filk Song "I am the Very Model of a Heroine Barbarian", said to be "from Gilbert and Sullivan's little-known operetta, Xena; or, the Warrior Princess."
- Tom Lehrer's "The Elements" is described by the author as "the names of the chemical elements set to a possibly recognizable tune."
- "I Am the Very Model of a Usenet Personality".
- "I Built a Better Model Than the One at Data General".
- "I Am the Very Model of a Genius Computational".
- "I am the Very Model of a Singularitarian"
- "I Am the Very Model of the Modern Sadomasochist".
- The Capitol Steps did a parody of this referring to US Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, "I am the Very Model of a Mad Attorney General". Recently (in 2010), a slightly altered version of this made the rounds in Virginia referring to State Attorney General Ken Cucchinelli.
- "Please Hello" from Pacific Overtures has the British Captain's part as a parody (all the captains sing in their national "hats").
"Hello, I come with letters from Her Majesty, Victoria,"
- Darths and Droids has a version here.
- 21st Century Fox has this as part of a whole miniseries of Gilbert and Sullivan spoofs.
- Xkcd gives us Every Major's Terrible, lampooning the stereotypes and downfalls of assorted academic fields. There are multiple renditions on YouTube by fans.
- Wikipedia, in a break with their usual sombreness, has two songs which use the tune (among many others).
- Not one, but two Neopagan versions.
- A "theater nerd" offers up A Very Model Halloween.
- There's a Ben Drowned version here: Statue of the Elegy.
- And, of course, TV Tropes has this very article.
- There's a fan-made tribute to the eccentric Let's Player Raocow.
- Modern Major Rarity.