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A form of Something Completely Different. When a show, usually a comedy, abandons its usual format and spends most of the episode as a parody of another show, book, television show, or movie. Popular, timeless, children's fantasy films are always the most targeted for this format, as they're recognizable by everybody. It is usually revealed that the whole thing was just a dream or fantasy, or a lengthly series of events will be required to set up the parody format.

The Onion noted that this can be a sign of total desperation, especially when The Wizard of Oz is used as the basis.

Compare Whole-Plot Reference. See Stock Parody for some more specific examples.

Examples of Parody Episode include:

Anime and Manga

  • Patalliro Saiyuki is an entire series based around the concept of a parody episode, recasting the characters in a theme of Saiyuki or Journey to the West, usually to hilarious results.
  • Half of all Galaxy Angel episodes. There was a Wild West episode, a Joshikousei episode, a Magical Girl episode (which was really a Sailor Moon episode, but you can't blame them for having Small Reference Pools)...
  • The Excel Saga anime practically was this trope.
  • Every episode of Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi from episode 2 up to when we find out what's really going on was a parody, each episode skewering a different genre.
  • One Piece has done a few specials in this style. The "Detective Memoirs of Chief Straw-Hat Luffy" specials are a parody of Jidai Geki dramas with Luffy as a detective in feudal Japan, and the "Chopperman" specials feature Tony Tony Chopper as a superhero. The manga includes additional side comics, featuring the pirates as high school Delinquents, mobsters, mythical monsters, and even middle-aged housewives.
  • Most of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann parallel works are these, although some have plot relevance. Not an episode perse, but they do feature new footage. The Manga version has quite a few more, and there's another, spin-off manga featuring the cast in a modern high school.
    • Episode 12 might get a distinction as a parody of a stereotypical Beach Episode, considering the fact that it all goes to hell and what not.
  • Ouran High School Host Club takes an episode to do a parody of Alice in Wonderland. The whole cast is desperately suppressing facepalms the whole time.
  • Bleach did an Arabian parody and a Monster Mash parody, both of which were dream sequences.
  • Gintama, something of a parody of shounen manga in itself, also features several parody episodes, mostly of Japanese series such as Dragon Ball Z and a bizarrely cast Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, not to mention a 2-part satire of Saw and a movie-parody episode that touched on everything from Star Wars to Millennium Actress.

Live-Action TV

  • The 200th episode of Stargate SG-1, "200", not only parodies everything to do with TV and movie writing and production (ranging from the actors wanting more money to references to Jumping the Shark and a Lampshade Hanging about... Lampshade Hanging). It also parodies everything from The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek, and Farscape to Supermarionation shows (like the original Thunderbirds), zombie movies, teen dramas, and, of course, itself. To actually list all of the parodies including the self-parodying inside jokes would take up this entire page, so if you're interested in hearing all of them, see what the Stargate Wiki's page on it has listed.
    • Similarly, the episode to which "200" is a sequel, "Wormhole X-Treme!" from the show's fifth season, is also a Parody Episode, a self-parody as well as parodying both the TV production process and Science Fiction in general.

Producer: You know what this show needs? A sexy female alien.

  • The Stargate Atlantis episode "Vegas" starts out as a CSI parody episode, but rapidly gets serious, until it hits a Tear Jerker ending.
  • The 100th episode of Scrubs, "My Way Home," is a parody of... you guessed it... The Wizard of Oz, complete with a protagonist who just wants to go home, a search for a literal heart for a transplant, "Over the Rainbow," and a painted yellow floor... among other references.
    • Also, the episode "My Princess" which was told the style of a fairy tale with some Princess Bride references.
    • "My Life in Four Cameras" qualifies as well, being a parody of standard 80s-90s sitcoms with Studio Audience.
    • "My House" parodies House
  • Farscape spent the majority of one episode inside the head of Crichton, the Fish Out of Water sole human member of the cast, where everything was drawn in the style of the Looney Tunes cartoons. Great episode.
  • The Just Shoot Me episode "How the Finch Stole Christmas" is, of course, a send-up of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, complete with Seuss-like narration. Furthermore, it had subplots spoofing A Charlie Brown Christmas and Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus.
    • There was also the one where Maya befriends a guy who acts like Woody Allen.
  • The episode "And Then There Was Shawn" of Boy Meets World is a parody of horror movies.
  • Home Improvement had a parody of The X-Files, satirizing the title sequence and Mulder and Scully's thought process

Tim: (As Mulder) The Truth Is Out There!
Jill: (As Scully) You're out there.

    • And Tim's name was changed to ABC Taylor, after the network "Home Improvement" was on, parodying the FOX network's Fox Mulder.
  • The News Radio episode "Sinking Ship" was a parody of the 1997 film Titanic.
  • Supernatural likes to play with this trope once a season (in its second half)--while the Winchester brothers are still chasing a mystery, the format and/or subject matter of the episode (and their case) takes a comedic tone and it becomes obvious that it's parodying something: in Season 1, they made fun of Ghostbusters in "Hell House;" in Season 2, they did "Hollywood Babylon," which was an Affectionate Parody of the show itself with some blink-and-you'll-miss-'em Take Thats to the WB/CW executives; Season 3 had "Ghostfacers," which was a parody of both the Ghost Hunters and The Blair Witch Project. Universal Studio's classic monster movies were awesomely and affectionately homaged in Season 4's aptly-named "Monster Movie." Season 5 brought us the instant-classic "Changing Channels" which parodies Grey's Anatomy, a typical three-camera laugh-track Sitcom, Knight Rider, and absolutely skewers CSI.
    • And a commercial for a genital herpes prescription medication.
  • Married... with Children and That '70s Show had episodes parodying It's a Wonderful Life.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    • "Our Man Bashir" riffed on espionage movies like James Bond and Our Man Flint.
    • "Badda Bing, Badda Bang" was a parody of Ocean's Eleven-style heist capers.
  • Star Trek: Voyager homaged the early sci-fi serials like Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon with the "Captain Proton" holoprogram, most notably in the episode "Bride of Chaotica!".
  • Remember WENN did two — one parodying Casablanca and one parodying Sunset Boulevard.
  • The It's Garry Shandling's Show episodes "The Graduate" and "The Fugitive." Since there's No Fourth Wall, the episodes openly referenced the originals, to the point of including clips.
  • The X-Files did an episode where Mulder and Scully appeared on COPS.
    • Also, "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" can be seen as The X-Files parodying itself. The plot for that episode is just ridiculous, but hilarious.
  • The doctors of Chicago Hope get blamed for the death of a famous actor. The episode is shown as an Entertainnment Tonight exclusive.
  • The "Dual Spires" episode of Psych, with the added bonus of the original cast of the show being parodied providing copious amounts of Adam Westing.
  • The second season of Sledge Hammer! consisted almost entirely of these. ("Hammeroid" was a parody of RoboCop, "Vertical" was a parody of Vertigo, etc.)
  • Community loves these.
  • Moesha parodied The Cosby Show in an imaginatively titled episode 'Definitely Not The Cosbys'.


Web Original

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons did this several times.
    • A Mary Poppins parody episode.
    • "24 Minutes", a parody of 24 (including the voices of Kiefer Sutherland and Mary Lynn Rajskub).
    • "The Blunder Years", primarily a parody of Stand by Me, with a title from its Spiritual Successor The Wonder Years.
    • "Dangerous Curves" is an unusual example. It's basically a parody of the 1967 Audrey Hepburn/Albert Finney movie Two For The Road, but it's done so subtly that a lot of people didn't even suspect that might be a parody. Since a majority of Simpsons viewers have probably never even heard of Two For The Road, that was probably intentional.
    • "Lisa the Drama Queen" is a parody of Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, minus the murder.
    • "The President Wore Pearls", a parody of the musical Evita.

Subtitle: The creators, based on the advice of their lawyers, would like to state that have never heard of a musical based on the life of Eva Perón.


Cleveland Jr.: Will you tell us the sequel next Christmas, Dad?
Cleveland: Let's wait and see how the Internet responds to this one first.