Charlie Chaplin impersonating Hitler for comic effect in the satirical film The Great Dictator (1940)

A parody (i/); also called a spoof, send-up, take-off, lampoon, play on (something), caricature, or joke, is a work created to imitate, make fun of, or comment on an original work—its subject, author, style, or some other target—by means of satiric or ironic imitation. As the literary theorist Linda Hutcheon puts it, "parody ... is imitation, not always at the expense of the parodied text." Another critic, Simon Dentith, defines parody as "any cultural practice which provides a relatively polemical allusive imitation of another cultural production or practice".[1]Parody may be found in art or culture, including literature, music (although "parody" in music has an earlier, somewhat different meaning than for other art forms), animation, gaming, and film.

The writer and critic John Gross observes in his Oxford Book of Parodies, that parody seems to flourish on territory somewhere between pastiche ("a composition in another artist's manner, without satirical intent") and burlesque (which "fools around with the material of high literature and adapts it to low ends").[2] Meanwhile, the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot distinguishes between the parody and the burlesque, "A good parody is a fine amusement, capable of amusing and instructing the most sensible and polished minds; the burlesque is a miserable buffoonery which can only please the populace."[3] Historically, when a formula grows tired, as in the case of the moralistic melodramas in the 1910s, it retains value only as a parody, as demonstrated by the Buster Keaton shorts that mocked that genre.[4]


According to Aristotle (Poetics, ii. 5), Hegemon of Thasos was the inventor of a kind of parody; by slightly altering the wording in well-known poems he transformed the sublime into the ridiculous. In ancient Greek literature, a parodia was a narrative poem imitating the style and prosody of epics "but treating light, satirical or mock-heroic subjects".[5] Indeed, the components of the Greek word are παρά para "beside, counter, against" and ᾠδή oide "song". Thus, the original Greek word παρῳδία parodia has sometimes been taken to mean "counter-song", an imitation that is set against the original. The Oxford English Dictionary, for example, defines parody as imitation "turned as to produce a ridiculous effect".[6] Because par- also has the non-antagonistic meaning of beside, "there is nothing in parodia to necessitate the inclusion of a concept of ridicule."[7] Old Comedy contained parody, even the gods could be made fun of. The Frogs portrays the hero-turned-god Heracles as a glutton and the God of Drama Dionysus as cowardly and unintelligent. The traditional trip to the Underworld story is parodied as Dionysus dresses as Heracles to go to the Underworld, in an attempt to bring back a Poet to save Athens.

In the 2nd century AD, Lucian of Samosata, a Greek-language writer in Syria, created a parody of travel/geography texts like Indica and The Odyssey. He described the authors of such accounts as liars who had never traveled, nor talked to any credible person who had. In his ironically named book True History Lucian delivers a story which exaggerates the hyperbole and improbable claims of those stories. Sometimes described as the first Science Fiction, along the lines of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the characters travel to the moon, engage in interplanetary war with the help of aliens they meet there, and then return to the earth to experience civilization inside a 200 mile long creature generally interpreted as being a whale. This is a parody of Ctesias' claims that India has a one-legged race of humans with a single foot so huge it can be used as an umbrella, Homer's stories of one-eyed giants, and so on.

Roman writers explained parody as an imitation of one poet by another for humorous effect.[citation needed] In French Neoclassical literature, parody was also a type of poem where one work imitates the style of another to produce a humorous effect. The Ancient Greeks created satyr plays which parodied tragic plays, often with performers dressed like satyrs.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Parodie
Alemannisch: Parodie
العربية: محاكاة ساخرة
asturianu: Parodia
башҡортса: Пародия
беларуская: Пародыя
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Пародыя
български: Пародия
bosanski: Parodija
català: Paròdia
čeština: Parodie
Cymraeg: Parodi
dansk: Parodi
Deutsch: Parodie
eesti: Paroodia
Ελληνικά: Παρωδία
español: Parodia
Esperanto: Parodio
euskara: Parodia
فارسی: نقیضه
français: Parodie
Frysk: Parody
galego: Parodia
한국어: 패러디
հայերեն: Պարոդիա
हिन्दी: व्यंग्य
hrvatski: Parodija
Ido: Parodio
Bahasa Indonesia: Parodi
íslenska: Skopstæling
italiano: Parodia
עברית: פרודיה
Jawa: Parodi
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಅಣಕುಬರೆಹ
қазақша: Пародия
Кыргызча: Пародия
Latina: Cavillatio
latviešu: Parodija
Lëtzebuergesch: Parodie
lietuvių: Parodija
magyar: Paródia
Bahasa Melayu: Parodi
Nederlands: Parodie
日本語: パロディ
norsk: Parodi
norsk nynorsk: Parodi
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਪੈਰੋਡੀ
polski: Parodia
português: Paródia
română: Parodie
русский: Пародия
shqip: Parodia
Simple English: Parody
slovenčina: Paródia
slovenščina: Parodija
српски / srpski: Пародија
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Parodija
suomi: Parodia
svenska: Parodi
Türkçe: Parodi
українська: Пародія
اردو: پیروڈی
Tiếng Việt: Giễu nhại
ייִדיש: פאראדיע
中文: 戲仿