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A parody (also known as spoof) is an instance where one intentionally copies or imitates a subject, event, or scenario. In literature, it is used for comedic effect or for ridicule. In other applications, it can be used for simulations that imitate particular scenarios, people or subjects. Parodies can be found in music, film, literature, and animation. Derived from ancient Greek terms, the word was adapted from “parodia” for the equivalent to the Latin phrase ad imitationem.[1] In French Neoclassical literature, a parody was a new defamiliarization from where it’s target text is imitated mostly from another form of literature. [2] Parodies use techniques that exaggerates features and patterns of its subject to expose it as superficial and cliché-ridden. In literature, parodies aim to criticize the text, literary techniques, characters or fictitious worlds. Its main importance is how it illuminates perpetuated misconceptions from the public audience.[1] Literature parodies allow for the broadening of understanding of intertextuality through the use of comic effects. [3]


In musicology, a parody is considered an imitation of another piece of work. However, there are two different groupings of parodies. The first group of musical parodies contain deformation methods. Deformation is when the target subject of the parody undergoes modifications that distort or even destroy it. One example is the use of hyperboles for exaggeration and emphasis on particular signs or patterns in the original that has been parodied. The second parodic technique of agglutination where there is a clash of styles when it does not correspond to the original subject’s text.[4]

In contemporary music, parodies use the same accompaniment music to a different textual lyrics. These are used to elicit comedic effects. One notable parodic artist is Weird Al Yankovic[5], with hit songs such as White & Nerdy and Straight Outta Lynwood. Another musical group, Mac Sabbath is a heavy metal band that parodies both Black Sabbath and McDonalds. [6]

Ethical Implications

This is where the dispute on ownership, royalties, and free use will be present in regards to ethical implications. This will be in terms of legalities (general worldwide AND notable countries with distinct laws in Free Use).


Known as website spoofing or a hoax, website parodies are either used for comedic effect or spread misinformation[7]. Representing the target subject, the website is created by a different organization or person. Similar to other parodies in literature, the structure and format are usually the same with the content different. In other instances, only the URL is imitated, but the content is different. Notable examples are which redirects to a porn site and which directs users to the Michigan State University homepage. Often political, website parodies attempt to get their message across with the use of humor. For instance, parodies current news and the American public while has format in looking like an informational website for Martin Luther King Jr, but actually has White supremacy information.

"Upcoming Changes to U.S. Currency" - the reader must read the article before noticing this is satire

Ethical Implications

There are some ethical implications that come with parody websites. A good example is Onion, a parody of a news site. This website posts news articles that are fake, which is obvious to some and less so to others who may not be as educated in a certain subject. If the article is not blatantly obvious that it is satire, the reader may believe the false content. Another problematic situation could be when the headline is stated as a potentially believable title - "Upcoming Changes to U.S. Currency", for example - and the reader has to read the full content to see that it is a joke.

Video Games

Parodies in video games come in many different forms. One is the traditional definition of parody where the target subject is a person, event, or scenario. The first mainstream parody video game was The Bard’s Tale for PlayStation2 and Xbox in 2004. The other is to imitate the game itself, known as fan games, fan games attempt to remake the original game’s structure and characters to make a unique game with the original as a template. As early as the 2000s[8], the first known and popular fan made game was Pokemon Gale started in February 2007 which parodied Pokemon Fire Red and Pokemon Leaf Green. It was shut down in 2008 due to complications of video game development and lack of contribution between fan game developers[9].

A screenshot of The Best Game of The Year 420 Blaze It.

Ethical Implications

Video games have a variety of ethical controversies. There will be a tie in on video games, its users, and its designers as moral agents. In addition, there is an issue on copyright, free use, and royalties laws that will be discussed within this discussion with notable examples. Two examples are The Best Game of the Year 420 BLAZE IT game which parodies First-Person Shooter games. The second video game will be the video game that involves killing the Kardashian family. [10] [11] [12][13][14]


As a subgenre within the pornography industry, pornographic parodies imitate popular movies, television shows, video games, public figures, events and literature works. Its surgence dating back from the 1990s and its origins dating far back from 1973 with Snow White and the Seven Perverts that parodies Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.[15] Pornographic parody films are gaining resurgence in popularity in the 2010s[16][17]. In regards to production, the budget varies. Historically, Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge had a budget of $8 million[18], the most expensive pornographic film based on a film and Caligula, with a budget of $17.5 million[18], the most expensive pornographic film based on the life of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus[19].

Ethical Implications

An extremely brief overview, possible 1 to 2 sentences of ethical implications of general pornography. Pornographic parodies will be discussed in more detail in regards to morals, copyright, royalties, and free use. Notable and recent examples will be drawn into this subsection. [20] [21] [22][23][24][25][26][27][28]

See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 “Register Allusions and Parodies.” A Companion to the Ancient Greek Language, by Egbert J. Bakker, Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.
  2. Clarke, David. Tippett Studies: Cambridge Composer Studies. 2006.
  3. Müller Beate. Parody: Dimensions and Perspectives. Rodopi, 1997.
  4. Denisov, Andrey V. “The Parody Principle in Musical Art.” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, vol. 46, no. 1, 2015, pp. 55–72. JSTOR,
  5. Yankovic, Al. “Weird Al.” "Weird Al" Yankovic,
  6. Mac Sabbath. Facebook.
  7. Piper, Paul S. “Better Read That Again: Web Hoaxes and Misinformation.” Better Read That Again: Web Hoaxes and Misinformation, Searcher, Sept. 2000,
  8. Reed, Kristan. “The Bard's Tale.”,, 5 May 2005,
  9. “Pokémon Gale • The Geor Adventure!” The PokéCommunity,
  10. Dwyer, Macklin. “Nintendo Takes Down Super Mario Bros. Z Patreon -.” Mxdwn Games, 17 Feb. 2016,
  11. Brown, Mark. “Investigated: Are 'Fangames' Legal?” WIRED, WIRED UK, 4 Oct. 2017,
  12. Ibrahim, Mona. “Analysis: Clone Games & Fan Games -- Legal Issues.” Gamasutra, 2009,
  13. Chester, Nick. “Nintendo Catches, Shuts down Fan-Made Pokemon MMO.” Destructoid, 4 Feb. 2010,
  14. Kana, Ariel. “The 14 Greatest Pop Culture Video Game Parodies.” Ranker,
  15. “Snow White and the Seven Perverts.” IMDb,,
  16. Lynch, Alison. “There's Been a Massive Growth in Numbers Searching for Star Wars Porn.” Metro,, 16 Feb. 2016,
  17. Details, The Editors of. “The 14 Most Brilliant Porn Parodies of All Time.” GQ, GQ, 24 Aug. 2017,
  18. 18.0 18.1 Garrett. “The Highest Budgeted Adult Films of All Time (10 Photos).” TheCHIVE, 6 Apr. 2018,
  19. “History - Caligula.” BBC, BBC,
  20. Moye, David. “Hillary Clinton Porn Parody Heats Up Presidential Election.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 7 Dec. 2017,