In a brilliant parody, the familiar is juxtaposed with the bizarre. The Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer says these are the best.
With parody movies, we get something that regular comedies don’t. They make fun of things we’re all familiar with, even cherished ones, by imitating, subverting, and making references to them. The best of them stand on their own as great films that can be enjoyed without any prior knowledge of their sources.
Many of these scenes completely overshadow the source material, so you may have to perform a double take when you discover that a particularly memorable scene isn’t from the beloved comedy we all grew up with. Here is a list of the greatest parody films ever made.
Kristen Palamara updated this page on May 2nd, 2021. Although some of the most memorable parody films were made in the 1970s and 1980s, new ones are continuously being released today that are guaranteed to be classics in the genre’s long history of popularity. Whether it’s a satire on the spy genre, a horror film, an apocalyptic film, a superhero film, or a war film, these films take a certain genre and tackle it in a unique and generally funny way. Some franchises, like Deadpool or Borat, have numerous beloved spoof films that are all among the finest in their genre.
20. Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997) (71%)
A parody of famous British spy flicks like the James Bond series starring Michael Myers was released in 1997 under the title Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
After a successful run of parody films, including The Spy Who Shagged Me in 1999 and Goldmember in 2002, with fans still eager for more from the characters, the character and film were inspired by the music of the 1960s and 1970s.
19. Team America: World Police (2004) (77%)
Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s renowned television show, South Park, took a break to create and film Team America: World Police, a satire of the legendary Thunderbirds TV marionette series.
When it came to parodying political figures and U.S. foreign policy, Team America had one of the most shockingly sexual moments ever seen on the big screen, using puppetry to parody the Thunderbirds idea (a highly trained team of heroes with special vehicles).
18. Tropic Thunder (2008) (82%)
Ben Stiller, who also featured in the action movie parody about action stars making a war movie in Vietnam that turns deadly and amusing when they get lost in the jungles of Cambodia, directed Tropic Thunder in 2008.
This being filmed in Tropic Thunder parodies films such as Platoon while the stereotypical cast of extreme method actors, washed-up action stars, hopeful rookies and one-note comedians tear apart Hollywood with an honest look at the industry and its players perfectly perfectly tear them apart perfectly.
17. This Is The End (2013) (83%)
The apocalyptic genre is parodied in This is the End, which has characters attempting to survive the apocalypse. Some of the most famous people in the world star in the film, which depicts how they would behave if the world ended.
From James Franco to Seth Rogen to Channing Tatum, there are a number of characters that find themselves in the midst of a big sinkhole when the rapture occurs.
16. Hot Shots! (1991) (83%)
They were responsible for a number of classic ’80s and ’90s parody films, including 1991’s Hot Shots!, starring Charlie Sheen, Valeria Golina and Cary Elwes as well as a cast of amusing characters in a Top Gun spoof, which helped define the genre.
It wasn’t a huge hit with fans or critics, but it fared well enough to warrant a sequel called Hot Shots! It was based on the 1993 action filmRambo: First Blood Part II, which ridiculed the sequel.
15. Sausage Party (2016) (83%)
Food-based movies are a niche genre to begin with, but this is the raunchiest one yet. In addition to Deadpool and Joker resurrecting the R-rated blockbuster, this unexpectedly clever romp parodied CGI animated blockbusters by using what we’ve come to expect from them.
This film has a lot in common with the Toy Story films, but instead of appealing to our idealized childhood selves, it speaks to our angsty teen years. Food dissection, drug use, and sex play a large role in this savory animation. If you haven’t seen the end of this gastronomic four-letter extravaganza, you haven’t seen anything.
14. Tucker And Dale Vs Evil (2011) (85%)
Tucker and Dale Vs Evil is a wonderful and underappreciated comic horror spoof film that anyone who appreciates the genre should see. On vacation at their cottage in the woods, Tucker and Dale (Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine) find themselves besieged by a group of college students who can’t stop murdering each other.
Students assume Tucker and Dale are serial killers lurking in the woods and targeting them, while Tucker and Dale are appalled by the number of college students who die in car accidents each year.. “Hillbilly Killers” is a witty and humorous satire of traditional “hillbilly killers” in the woods.
13. Deadpool (2016) (85%) / Deadpool 2 (2018) (84%)
For a long, it was painful to watch Ryan Reynolds’ career because I knew how funny he could be yet saw him restrained. Reynolds’ performance as a motormouthed mercenary in this film was a success for everyone involved.
In addition, he made fun of the current crop of superhero movies while yet being a part of them. There were plenty of chuckles and references to go around in the sequel to the tightrope act.
12. The Naked Gun (1988) (87%)
Since Nielsen is one of the best in the business, this isn’t his final appearance on our list. Everyone is playing it straight as an arrow for maximum laughs in one of the most quotable comedies of all time. There are endless possibilities to parody other cop films because of the stupid cop stumbling his way through a life or death inquiry.
The plot to assassinate the Queen deserves all the chuckles it gets because of the silliness of it all. Watch a female climb a ladder and try not to think about this movie while you do so. Try it. Because of the cleverness of lines like “We would have come earlier, but your husband wasn’t deceased at the time,” you’ll likely miss the next three gags.
11. Galaxy Quest (1999) (89%)
What a film, by Grabthar’s Hammer! Many Trekkies consider this Star Trek parody to be canon because of how much it is adored. This investigation of both faded celebrity, nostalgia, space adventures, and con-culture, all wrapped in classic Star Trek cliches, is brought together by a wonderfully gifted cast. After Buzz Lightyear, Tim Allen is at his finest.
In addition to the well-known names and faces such as Sigourney Weaver (Sam Rockwell), Tony Shalhoub (Justin Long), and Rainn Wilson (Rainn Wilson), the film also features a number of lesser-known actors. Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Shakespearean misanthrope Alexander Dane, on the other hand, merits every accolade possible. Never stop trying! Never, ever, ever give up!
10. Borat (2006) (91%) / Borat 2 (2020) (85%)
Whether or not they’ve seen the film starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat, most people have an impression of the character he plays. With rave reviews for the first film, and a new release just a few months ago in 2020, the second is not far behind.
During the course of the parody, Cohen takes on the role of Kazakhstan reporter Borat, interviewing people and purposely causing confusion and shock in the audience.
9. Blazing Saddles (1974) (91%)
In spite of being conserved in the National Film Registry, Blazing Saddles is regularly referred to as a film that “couldn’t be created today.” Cleavon Little, who plays Sheriff Bart, comes the closest an actor can go to Bugs Bunny as a human cartoon, even though he uses language that nowadays wouldn’t pass muster. Each and every aspect of old-school western movie is satirized to the hilt.
Archetypes abound, from the ruthless enforcer to the beguiling honeypot to the notorious alcoholic gunslinger. This isn’t Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn’s first time working with director Mel Brooks, but they do help keep the comedy light and funny the entire time.
8. Shaun Of The Dead (2004) (92%) / Hot Fuzz (2007) (91%)
If you combine Edgar Wright’s talents with those of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, you have a recipe for a smash hit. Shaun Of The Dead was Edgar Wright’s first foray into the zombie and romantic comedy genres. When you’re immersed in their intertwined lives, a zombie apocalypse breaks out and they play with every romantic comedy stereotype again, this time with hilarious results. In this infinitely rewatchable film, the oblivious one-shot repetition is one of the best cinematic moments. Hot Fuzz is undoubtedly more refined than any of Wright’s previous works.
Simply brilliant to apply a Michael Bay “Bad Boys” style to a small English village. Hot Fuzz has a lot to offer, from the action montages centered on paperwork to the complicated real-estate red herring plot that’s all about petty vanity. Intricate scripting, clever use of foreshadowing, and rewarding payoffs can be learned from this film’s action blockbusters. Astonishingly, it’s all so amusing from start to finish. This is a pair of greats.
7. Cabin In The Woods (2012) (92%)
It’s another horror spoof, and though it’s not as funny as some of the others on our list, it’s still a clever and successful film that deserves a place on this list of the finest parody movies.
The movie begins as a standard horror film, but after the plot behind the clichéd characters is exposed, it transforms into a meta-movie with a twist. Horror fans, as well as those who appreciate parodies, will find it enjoyable.
6. Enchanted (2007) (93%)
Unlike other Disney princess spoofs, Enchanted pays respect to but also parodies the genre. An animated princess who wishes for more than a fairy tale can receive it when she is transported to the real-world version of her planet in this fairy tale-turned-film, Giselle (Amy Adams).
When confronted with hard realities in the real world, the characters in the animated fairy tales don’t break out into song or dance.
5. Young Frankenstein (1974) (94%)
As far as comedy goes, Mel Brooks has been hailed as one of the greatest of all time. Despite the fact that Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn provide excellent comic relief, they aren’t the only ones to credit. Incredible hilarity ensues in the persona of Igor, played by Marty Feldman. Gene Hackman, Cloris Leachman, Peter Boyle, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, and Peter Boyle are all here!
There are so many hilarious moments in this film that it’s hard to pick a favorite. In the second and third viewing, you’ll notice more humor, which span from the ridiculously simple to the profoundly complex. It’s one of the most well-known and beloved stories ever written.
4. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) (95%)
Comedic masters such as This Is Spinal Tap have dominated the mockumentary genre, which depicts a band of simple goofs who don’t know they’ve already passed their brief peak.
Check out these other great comedies if you like watching Superbad: 10
Spinal Tap is a must-see for parody enthusiasts thanks to a stellar group of comedians who deliver so many memorable lines and some of the best parody songs of all time. Make sure to turn the volume all the way up.
3. What We Do In The Shadows (2014) (96%)
We meet a gang of New Zealander Vampires who are suffering with modern life in the same way the rest of us do, but there’s also blood in Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s brilliant mockumentary What We Do In The Shadows. Also, werewolves. It’s also the greatest “Ebay” joke ever.
Following its huge success in theaters, the 2014 film was adapted for television by Clement and premiered on FX, where it followed a new group of vampires in Staten Island, as well as a spinoff called Wellington Paranormal, which focused on the movie’s police officers as they encountered more paranormal activity.
2. Holy Grail (1975) (97%) / Life Of Brian (1979) (95%)
There has never been a funnier movie on either subject or setting since this Monty Python duo. ‘Holy Grail’ is a great choice if you’re looking for medieval nonsense. “Life Of Brian” is the film for those who prefer Biblical periods as a setting and fanatical regimes and their adherents as targets of satire.
In spite of their age of forty-plus years, the two Monty Python alums are still unassailable examples of silly genius. Like the Black Night, no one has ever surpassed Monty Python’s comedic prowess. Top rankings on lists of the greatest comedies of all time are frequently exchanged.
1. Airplane! (1980) (97%)
In the White Zone, Airplane! won’t be unloading. Do not refer to us as Shirley! Zero Hour was the first big’spoof’ that essentially stole most of its storyline from an existing film (Zero Hour!). Leslie Nielsen’s career was revived as a result of the decade’s infatuation with aviation disaster movies being passionately mocked like never before.
Airplane has so many iconic moments!
because if we don’t stop now, this entry will go on forever. The drinking problem that plagued Ted Striker. The mirror prank is a classic. Otto Automated Pilot (Algorithm). It’s time for Roger to go, Roger. To give up “a lot of things” this week is a mistake. Control Tower Supervisor Johnny. Alive and kicking. There’s no end to it. I wish you the best of luck on your next ride. All of us are relying on your efforts.