10 Great Pieces of Entertainment That You Didn’t Know Were a Parody

Someone recently asked, “What is a parody film done so well that most people to this day don't realize it was a parody? A movie parody did so convincingly or subtle enough that most people don't even realize it was meant to be satire?”

“For example, my wife and I watched the Kristen Bell Netflix spoof series The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window. Somehow she had no idea that it was a parody of the genre. However, it got me wondering about other movies that are not known to be a parody but are.” Here are the top-voted responses. 

10. Grease to the 1950s Good Girl Bad Boy Movies

Image Credit: Paramount Pictures

One person said, “Grease was written to parody all of the '50s good girl changes bad boy teen heartthrob pictures. The original musical is much more explicit about it, but the movie, while toned down, is still clearly a parody.” 

“I didn't know this until a few years ago. But it did clear up why they flew away in a car at the end,” said a second user.

A third person stated, “Today I learned Grease was a parody… I haven't seen those 50's movies. My main gripes about Grease seem like they are the elements they were parodying, so I guess it went up a bit in my ratings.” 

“It was all good girl reforms, bad boy, back then. In Grease, the good girl becomes bad, and the bad boy becomes good, then he says forget it and jumps in his car, which flies away. It takes off and flies. There are a few small indications it's not serious.”

9. M*A*S*H to the War Film Genre

mash henry blakes death
Image Credit: 20th Television

One user said, “The song ‘Suicide is Painless' from M*A*S*H was also meant to be satire. In his words, Robert Altman wanted it to be the stupidest song ever written. He tried to write it himself but realized a man in his mid-40s couldn't write like a pretentious 20-year-old, so he tasked his son with writing the lyrics.”

“It took him five minutes. Nevertheless, the public took the song earnestly, it became a massive hit, and Altman's son made over $1 million in royalties. In addition, Robert Altman was paid roughly $70,000 by the studio for directing M*A*S*H.”

8. Dale and Tucker vs. Evil to the Horror Movie Classification

Image Credit: Magnolia Pictures

One person shared, “And in a similar vein in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil: Oh hidy-ho officer, we've had a doozy of a day. Such a parody of slasher films!” A second poster replied, “I feel like it's a movie with an opening scene that clearly told the audience that it was comedy.” 

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a good parody because it's funny and reflects on the genre, but intentionally making a heavy-handed bad horror movie isn't funny to me,” shared the third person.

Another user stated, “It didn't help that it was heavily advertised as a real horror movie beforehand to the point it surprised audiences and got mass negative reviews initially because of it.”

7. Scream To the Slasher Genre

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Image Credit: Dimension Films

“Sometimes a work of art that's meant to be a reference or reaction to other works ends up outliving or being more popular than whatever it's referencing; this may be what's happened with Scream,” one said.

Another person replied, “Scream parodies teen slasher movies. It also happens to be a pretty decent slasher and a satire of the genre. Hence the movie nerd who keeps explaining the rules of horror movies.”

6. This is Spinal Tap to Rock Documentaries

This Is Spinal Tap
Image Credit: Embassy Pictures

One person admitted, “When I was a teenager, watching THIS IS SPINAL TAP when it was new. I thought it was a real rockumentary, and Spinal Tap was a real band. For most of the movie, anyway.”

Another user posted, “This is Spinal Tap hit home hard for some actual rock musicians because they experienced some of the things portrayed in the movie, such as getting lost in the tunnels of arenas or stadiums.” 

“As a child, I first learned about Spinal Tap from their appearance on The Simpsons. I assumed they were a real band, and it surprised me how much the show made fun of them,” said a third user.

5. Blazing Saddles to the American Western Category

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

One Redditor replied, “The guy who wrote and recorded the theme song of Blazing Saddles didn't know it was a satire. I remember reading that he was a bit upset when he learned the movie would be making fun of westerns.”

Another user replied, “That's why it's so good; he sang it straight because he didn't realize the movie was satire, and it works.” Finally, a third user said, “Mel Brooks didn't have the heart to tell him it was a comedy because of how earnest he was in singing.”

4. American Vandal to True Crime Documentaries

American Vandal
Image Credit: Netflix

“I watched 2-3 episodes of American Vandal on Netflix thinking it was legit,” one person confessed.

A second user posted, “I watched the first season of American Vandal when it first came out, and I can count on one hand the number of times I've laughed harder since.”

“Absolute comedy gold, and I was legitimately enthralled with the mystery by the end of it.” Another user replied, “Had to show my friend multiple websites saying it was a parody because she refused to believe it wasn't real.” 

3. Cabin in the Woods to Horror Film Genre

cabin in the woods
Image Credit: Lionsgate Inc

“Ohhhhh, Cabin in the Woods,” replied one. “My friend hated that movie. She said it was so heavy-handed. The acting was overdone. Every character was just a stereotype, etc. But I told her, you realize it's a satire on horror movies, right? She had no idea!” 

A second person added, “It's not even a surprise twist. They explain it from the jump. I don't know how you manage to miss that, lol.”

“Every character is just a stereotype. Like they address this in the movie. They overtly talk about the horror tropes surrounding them, then tear them down. You have to be pretty dense to miss it,” said a third person.

2. Reno 911 to Law Enforcement Documentary Shows

Reno 911
Image Credit: Paramount Global Distribution Group

“When Reno 911 first aired, multiple people called the Reno Police Department complaining about the misconduct of their police force,” informed one.

Another person said, “The show was originally pitched to Fox, who rejected it, then moved to Comedy Central.”

“But yes, the show's creator stated the show's relationship with the Reno Police and Washoe County Sheriffs' department was sour as people kept calling them complaining about the show in an interview. And no, the Comedy Central logo wasn't a dead giveaway.”

1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Daredevil

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Image Credit: New Line Cinema

One person posted, “It's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They started as a parody of Grim ‘n Gritty Frank Miller's Daredevil comics. It has probably eclipsed Daredevil in general in popularity. It was meant to show how silly all the violent and dramatic ninja stuff was by making the ninjas turtles and the wise master a rat.” 

“Isn't that why the bad guys are the Foot? It's a reference to Daredevil's the Hand, I think,” said another user.

A third person replied, “Yes. It's also the same chemical splash that gives Daredevil his powers and mutates the turtles. Matt is even in the origin panel!”

Okay, that last one I didn't know! We hope you enjoyed this Reddit picks list of great entertainment people don't know are parodies.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.