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A pastiche imitates a Genre or body of work in the same way a Parody imitates a particular work. Various elements will be mixed and matched, some emphasised, some downplayed, in the hope of creating something funny.
Pastiche is generally considered the gentlest form of comedy, as it is almost impossible to create a pastiche of something one does not enjoy.
The key difference between a parody and a pastiche is that a parody imitates one or two specific works, while a pastiche imitates several related works. However, it is entirely possible for something to be both a pastiche and a parody - Scary Movie, for example, is a parody of Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, and a pastiche of Horror movies in general.
- Shaun of the Dead pastiches various horror movies, including An American Werewolf in London, Evil Dead 2 and Night of the Living Dead, but does not parody them.
- About half of "Weird Al" Yankovic's songs are pastiches. Most of them are not, in fact, parodies of the songs they pastiche, as, though they often satirize various aspects of society or parody other works, they don't make any point about the original.
- ... but not all. "Smells Like Nirvana", for instance, directly tweaks the reputation for unintelligibility of "Smells Like Teen Spirit", while "Six Words Long" implicitly jibes George Harrison's (and before him, James Ray) "Got My Mind Set On You" for its simplicity. And "Achy Breaky Song" ("Don't play that song, that achy-breaky song") is more or less transparent -- at least, for those of us who remember how overplayed it was in The Nineties.
- "Don't Download This Song" is an example of Weird Al doing satire. Made even funnier due to the fact that it was offered as a free download on many sites. Including his own.
- Many of his original songs imitate the style of certain artists, eg "Dare to Be Stupid" is a pastiche of Devo.
- On the other hand, the songs on the Homestar Runner album Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits almost all parody the genres they pastiche. For instance, lyrics like "Darkness... the fate of the world!" in "Moving Very Slowly" parody the overblown epic tone of much death metal, while "Circles" is one big bash on the typical college blues band.
- Steven Brust's Taltos novels pastiche film noir, but do not parody it, whereas the Khaavren romances go beyond parodying Dumas's works into direct Homage.
- Monsters vs. Aliens is a pastiche of monster/sci-fi movies.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie is a pastiche of Victorian-era stories.
- Gekiganger 3, the Show Within a Show of Martian Successor Nadesico is a pastiche of classic Super Robot anime of the '70s and '80s such as Getter Robo, Combattler V, and Voltes V.
- City of Heroes is generally a loving pastiche of as many Superhero tropes as it can fit in, sometimes straying into Affectionate Parody.
- Ugly Betty pastiches Hispanic Soap Opera.
- I Wanna Be the Guy pastiches and parodies 8-bit games in general, and some 16-bit ones too.
- Quentin Tarantino's films are pastiches of their respective genres.
- Down With Love serves as a glorious pastiche of wacky 60s sex comedies. Most specifically the Doris Day-Rock Hudson ones.
- Airplane! is a pastiche of disaster movies, and a flat-out line-for-line parody of an obscure '50s movie called Zero Hour.
- The "SCV Love Song" is a pastiche of Boy Band music written about Starcraft II.
- The Act Of Roger Murgatroid by Gilbert Adair is a pastiche of Agatha Christie's style.
- Community regularly spends an episode pastiching one particular genre. The most well-known are their painball episodes: "Modern Warfare" is a pastiche of action movies, "A Fistful of Paintballs" does The Western and "For A Few Paintballs More" pastiches the Star Wars-esque "Ragtag Bunch of Misfits vs. The Empire" type of film. Also notable is "Contemporary American Poultry" (Mafia movies), "Advanced Dungeons and Dragons" (Heroic Fantasy) and "Epidemology" (Zombie Apocalypse).
- A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever is a pastiche of Oscar Bait and a parody of how it is generally marketed.
- Dead Space was stated by its developers to be a love letter to the sci-fi and sci-fi horror genres, in particular 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris and Alien
- Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico is a pastiche of 90's action films, with particular influence from Mexican film and a particular affection for Robert Rodriguez.