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'Wait, wait, wait, stop! Is this another Muppet trailer parody?? Why don't we just show a real trailer? I mean, what are we hiding? Did we make the movie in Swedish or something?"
Jason Segel, The Muppets

A relatively recent development in which a movie trailer makes you believe it is for a different movie, often from a different studio, until The Reveal near the end. Mostly used for comedies. Not quite the same as Real Trailer, Fake Movie, in that those are (usually) made more for their own sake than to advertise a real film.

Examples of Trailer Spoof include:

Film: Animated

  • Several trailers for The Simpsons Movie did this.
    • An early trailer pretended to be for Superman Returns, but it was just Homer wearing a Superman shirt.
    • A later Simpsons trailer used the Spider-Man font before revealing... Spider-Pig.
    • Yet another spoofed the first teaser for The Da Vinci Code, with Homer's face in place of the Mona Lisa.
    • One trailer does it a bit differently by not being based on any particular movie:

 (Fully CGI sequence of a bunny dancing with flowers to the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy".)

Narrator: In a time when computer animation brings us worlds of unsurpassed beauty, one film dares to be ugly.

(Moe abruptly comes down in the movie's logo, knocking out the bunny.)

Moe: The Simpsons Movie... in 2D! (looks down) Uh... The bunny's not breathing.

  • The trailer for Chicken Little opened with the exact same sequence used in the teaser trailer for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, another Disney production.
  • The trailer for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theatres went so far to identify itself as Spider-Man 2 in the text crawl while the narrator reads the correct name.
  • Nearly every trailer for the first Lilo and Stitch appeared to be a trailer for some other Disney movie at first, only to be interrupted by Stitch, partly to make it clear it was a lighter, wackier film than the company's usual output.
  • One trailer appeared to be for the next James Bond movie, showing 007 onscreen. Then it turned upside down and pulled back, revealing Looney Tunes: Back in Action.
  • The 2011 Winnie The Pooh movie came out the same weekend as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and thus some Pooh ads started out with lighting text on a cloudy sky (like the Harry Potter movies) with taglines such as "Get ready for the final battle" and "How do you spell adventure?"...with cuts to Pooh running from bees and inverting a set of blocks from "POTR" to "POOH". However, in some cases, they have already shown the Walt Disney logo, which somewhat ruins the effect

Film: Live Action

  • A trailer for the Scooby Doo Live Action Adaptation pretended to be for a Batman movie — until the silhouette that looked like Batman turned out to be Scooby. Supposedly, a lot of Batman fans were pissed.
  • Austin Powers:
    • The second movie came out the same year as The Phantom Menace and had a trailer that started by going through the Death Star with Darth Vader breathing in the background while closing in on a chair... until the Chair Reveal has Dr. Evil sitting in it. After that, the trailer goes in more typical Austin Powers style, including the narrator saying "If you see one movie this summer... see Star Wars. But if you see two, then see Austin Powers: The Spy That Shagged Me!" Youtube link
    • A trailer for Austin Powers in Goldmember began in a manner similar to the opening credits of Goldfinger. Which in turn led MGM to sue New Line for copyright infringement. The suit was settled and in exchange, the trailer to Die Another Day was attached to all prints of Goldmember.
  • The trailer for Notting Hill tried the same device against Austin Powers. It didn't quite work.
  • The trailer for Dumb and Dumberer disguised itself as a trailer for The Hobbit, leaving every member of the audience sorely pissed.
  • A TV spot for Saving Silverman used the same typeface as Hannibal's ads to spell out "Get rid of the fava beans. Hide the Chianti. He's coming" before cutting to Jack Black's "Beer bong for the lady?".
  • One Star Wars: Episode II commercial--not a trailer, because trailers are Serious Business to Star Wars fans, but a simple TV commercial--seemed to start out referring to Spider-Man, complete with metallic webbing and the Spider-Man font: "Swing into action with the summer's newest action hero!" It then cut to... Yoda, who cut a pose and did one of his little Cool Old Guy growls. Then he starts jumping and fighting Count Dooku...
  • Trailers for Garfield: The Movie and Stuart Little 2 imitated moments from the first Spider-Man movie.
  • A teaser trailer had a dark Tarzan-like feel...until near the end.

 "Deep in the African jungle lives a mysterious figure. His name is legendary. His strength is remarkable. And his theme pretty good, too. (cue George of the Jungle theme)

  • A trailer for the live-action Thunderbirds movie baited audiences with the idea of a Hulk 2 teaser by having citizens scream and shout and the sight of something big and green before cutting to a number "2" on a green background. The camera pulled back, revealing that it was the hull of Thunderbird 2.
  • Citizens kept yelling "It's a bird!", "It's a plane!", but Bullwinkle said it looked like a flying squirrel in the Superman-themed teaser trailer for the Rocky and Bullwinkle movie. Similarly, one of the trailers had the tag line "You will believe a squirrel can fly!"
  • A teaser trailer for Ali G Indahouse pretended to be for the biopic Ali.
  • The trailer for the German stoner comedy Erkan & Stefan gegen die Mächte der Finsternis first pretended to be for The Mummy 2 (having a similar looking bad guy helped). 1
  • One Teaser Trailer for the remake of Fame makes it look like a Harry Potter trailer (or another movie about a wizarding school) using stock footage of a steam train and a castle at the beginning, and even using lines like "Practice your craft" and "Cast a Spell." in between clips.
  • "Green With Envy" is seemingly a cliché romantic comedy starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams. Then halfway through, both the narrator and Segel are baffled that the actual film featured in the trailer is The Muppets (2011).
  • Every spoof movie EVER.

Video Games

Web Original

  • The start of the trailer for Red vs. Blue: Recreation starts off looking identical to the trailer for Reconstruction, right up until Caboose causes an explosion.