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File:Explosm-evolution-t-shirt.jpg

Being something of a hot topic, evolution has been a popular target for satire and parody.

The easiest way to do this (Type 1) is to avoid doing research and take the image known as "March of Progress" and draw things over top of it. Instant Parody!

The other way to do it (Type 2) is a montage of creatures morphing into each other. This type is more common in animation.

Considering what we now know of Ardipithecus ramidus, this trope is an example of Science Marches On.


Type 1

  • One of the images shown when you complete the Super Smash Bros Melee single-player mode with Donkey Kong is four DKs and one Samus arranged like this.
  • Most covers for Darwin Awards books have spoofs on this concept, usually with the "evolved" man suffering a comically fatal injury like being crushed under a safe or falling off a cliff.
  • Seen in Ice Age, with Sid the Sloth as the apex.
  • Fans of Ray Kurzweil wear shirts with a robot coming after the upright human.
  • A common piece of graffiti in Half-Life 2 shows the usual, three part progression; but a fourth part shows a human-turned-combine that looks much like the second part.
  • The Far Side did this, going from monkey to hunched ape-man to neanderthal to seven-foot-tall muscular giant-jawed shaved Rahan-type man to short wimpy Bob From Accounting-looking guy waiting at the bus stop.
  • The two "Myth Evolution" episodes of Myth Busters used a cartoon of this on the initial blueprint shot.
  • A common parody has the last man sitting down at a computer, hunched over his keyboard. Variations also include being fatter and slightly smaller, but carrying a coke can instead of a spear.
  • As shown in this Lab Initio.
  • The title card of an episode of Fairly Oddparents has this, with the last person as Mr. Crocker.
  • The Descent of Nintendo.
  • The cover of Dumb and Dumberer.
  • The inside front cover of The Now Show Book Of Records shows Jon Holmes as hunched ape-man, Steve Punt as neanderthal and Hugh Dennis as modern man. The inside back cover shows them in reverse (obviously, Dennis has to hunch a lot more than Holmes does).
    • On an episode of Mock the Week, while the players were standing around waiting for "Scenes We'd Like To See" to start, Frankie Boyle, Hugh Dennis and Greg Davies reenacted the picture. Frankie (the shortest) was completely hunched over at the back, while the incredibly tall Greg was at the front.
  • A caricature parodying evolution in the different parts of the world, depicts Evolution in Korea using the original sequence, but including a Hydralisk at the end.
    • The same is done for Japan, but the Hydralisk is replaced with a Gundam
  • This Death Note picture.
  • This picture about the HD remake of arcade classic Toki.
  • Used in this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip (and shirt.)
  • The Supertramp album cover for Brother Where You Bound is a multi-colored straight example, but the inside artwork shows an Abbey Road Crossing pose by the members of the band, all not too dissimilar to how the "man" figure is walking.
  • The the album The Evolution of Robin Thicke features this in both its cover and name.
  • The vampire-themed edition of the Discworld Diaries contains an illustration of the evolution of Igors. It starts with a normal-looking human butler and gets progressively more hunched and grotesque with each subsequent image.
  • The "Ascent of Bot" from the Futurama episode "A Clockwork Origin".
  • The cover of Mad #238. The most short and simian version of Alfred E. Neuman has a thought bubble saying, "What... me furry?"
  • Mentioned in Terry Pratchett's 'Science of the Discworld' where the picture is compared to someone getting out of bed in the morning. The wizards who are looking at the picture state that the ape/human's main achievement is getting from one side of the page to the other without showing any genitalia.

Type 2

  • The Simpsons did it on the season 18 episode "Homerazzi" [1] parodies this (showing Homer as a single-celled organism and progressing through many pre-historic and historic eras until he enters the present and comes home to Marge, who asks him, "What took you so long?" [2]) in what is now considered the longest (and, in some viewers' eyes, the most epic) Couch Gag to date.
  • The Dilbert television intro.
  • Garfield: His Nine Lives used this in the first chapter.
  • The Music Video for Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now".
  • In Howard the Duck, Phil Blumburtt presents a series of still images of the evolution of sapient ducks as a theory of Howard's origin; the first image is an egg.
  • Guinness's "Noitulove" (aka "Rhythm of Life") commercial, as the name suggests, shows backward evolution.
  • An animation short mixed the two, showing primates evolving into men in the exact position as the March of Progress image, only to revert to a hunched-over Three-point Football stance.
  • One version of Humans had an intro scene that animated evolution among the various pre-human periods. The penultimate was a large creature wearing sneakers, a shirt, and was tall. This form then morphs into a human.
  • Seen in credit roll for Warcraft 3.
  • One of the glitched creatures you can catch in the original Pokémon will result in a series of impossible evolutions.

Notes

  1. The one where Homer becomes a papparazzo after one of the staged family pictures Marge takes has Duffman cheating on his gay lover with Boobarella
  2. On at least one version, the line was replaced with, "Did you bring home any milk?"
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