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Blog:Pun vs. Parody

Wikisimpsons - The Simpsons Wiki

This is a long-standing pet peeve of mine ...

A pun is simply a play on words, sometimes using a cultural reference or body of work as the subject. For example, the title of last night's episode, "The Fight Before Christmas", is a pun on the old poem "The Night Before Christmas".

A parody is a body of work that spoofs or makes fun of something else (often another body of work). A good recent example is the "Tweenlight" segment of "Treehouse of Horror XXI" being a parody of the Twilight book and movie series.

The above means that an episode (or segment) title CANNOT be a parody of something, but only a pun. For example (considering "Treehouse of Horror XXI" since it's already under discussion):

  • The "Tweenlight" segment title is a pun on the Twilight series (as well as a reference to one of the series' target demographics).
  • The "Tweenlight" segment itself is a parody of the Twilight series.

An example from further back in the show's history ... "The Shinning" segment of "Treehouse of Horror V":

  • The segment title is a pun on The Shining.
  • The segment itself is a parody of The Shining (specifically, the 1980 film directed by Stanley Kubrick).