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Screenwriters tend to have a certain pool of references they call upon certain genres of movies to come up with an Affectionate Parody: science-fiction (Mainly May the Farce Be with You and Where No Parody Has Gone Before for Star Wars and Star Trek, respectively, as well as Jurassic Park), fantasy (The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Dungeons and Dragons), and mystery and spy adventure (particularly James Bond). As commonplace as the aforementioned subgenres of parodies is one that seemingly sprang up to immense popularity among screenwriters since movie titans Steven Spielberg and George Lucas teamed up and created a dream project for New Year's Day 1981. Like Lucas's previous mega-hit, Star Wars, the Indiana Jones franchise has been subjected towards numerous parodies and homages over the years, some of them downright nasty, others that pay a rather touching tribute to the quadrilogy, specifically Raiders of the Lost Ark, the most easily recognizable and famous film of the franchise, and where this trope gets its name. The common elements that a majority of these parodies contain include:
- Extremely deadly and often insanely-designed booby traps that seem impossible to overcome.
- A giant rolling ball of doom, straight from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- A face-melting scene
- An idol-swap scene.
- A Hot-Blooded, Badass Adventure Archaeologist with a cynical and snarky take on the universe, an Omniglot who is deadly in hand-to-hand as well as firearm combat. Typically wears a fedora and carries a bullwhip around with him and daylights as a college professor.
- Said Adventure Archaeologist also has a tendency, in these parodies, to use his whip for almost every situation.
- A MacGuffin that can range from something as mundane as a pencil to as important as a religious artifact with supernatural powers (i.e. The Ark Of The Covenant), something that proves unwise to tamper with.
- A love interest or female companion that, most of the time, is shrill, irritable, and annoying.
- Human foes that include natives or Nazis.
- Extreme, over-the-top violence (in the darker parodies).
- A score similar to John Williams's iconic Raiders March.
- A plot, if said parody goes beyond the iconic scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, or Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, that tends to get pretty crazy and ridiculously over-the-top.
- A "map with constantly moving red line superimposed on stock footage of various modes of transportation and famous landmarks" sequence to indicate where the characters are going next.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: In the 5th Laboratory episode of the 2003 anime series, there is a Giant Rolling Ball of Doom sequence a la Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew encounter a Funny Animal version of Indy called Oklahoma Bones.
- Disaster Movie, like most films made by Seltzer and Friedberg, contains a parody of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- The Rugrats Movie has an entire opening Fake-Out Opening recreating the first scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark straight down to the original score. Hell, Tommy dons the moniker and outfit of Indy, or "Okeydokey Jones", later on in the movie.
- The opening scene of UHF. Weird Al in adventurer attire grabs the Oscar, sets off a booby trap, and runs away from a boulder that follows his every turn, past several famous world landmarks.
- Toy Story did a shout out to the boulder scene with Buzz being chased by a rolling ball that got knocked loose, not long before he fell out the window.
- From Svengoolie: A very short scene from "Indiana Bones and the Last Beer Frame" starring Tombstone; he runs away from a giant bowling ball.
- From Sesame Street "The Golden Triangle of Destiny"; after 'Minnesota Mel' shows up and tells Telly and Chris about said triangle, Mel gets a 'charley horse', so Telly gets his own costume, calls himself 'Texas Telly' and takes his place.
- One Imagine Spot by JD in Scrubs shows Turk climbing into a patient's intestines and removing a tumor in a parody of the idol-swap scene.
JD: Watch out for colon darts.
- There was a parody in the National Lampoon magazine that had the hero being a gynecologist instead of an archeologist.
- OpenBSD 3.8 was released with a fake radio show based on Indiana Jones called Hackers Of The Lost RAID featuring Puffiana Jones.
- In Fallout: New Vegas : Wild Wasteland, you can find a skeleton with a brown fedora in a refrigerator just outside Goodlands, in a Take That to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
- The LEGO Indiana Jones series, natch.
- In World of Warcraft, about half of Uldum (an ancient Egypt-style zone) consists of helping "Harrison Jones" find a magic relic in an ancient temple and fight nazi goblins.
- Family Guy usually throws in an Indiana Jones parody (or two), but season four’s "The Courtship of Stewie’s Father" takes the cake by dedicating the entire final act towards the final minutes of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
- The Garfield Special Garfield's Feline Fantasties had a scene almost exactly like the famous tileWesternAnimation/: An early episode dedicated the first few minutes of its opening act to the famous introduction of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
- Tiny Toon Adventures had a Raiders parody with Buster as Indy and Montana Max as Toht.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: The episode "Read It And Weep" dedicates part of the episode to recounting a book Rainbow Dash just read. Said book is essentially Raiders of the Lost Ark, but with ponies.
- The star of the book, Just For Fun, now has her own entry.
- From Veggie Tales: the episode "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush"; Larry the Cucumber in a story about bullying.
- One episode of Regular Show ends with Mordecai forced to choose the correct hat out of a collection of other hats in an obvious homage to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, down to an aged knight watching over the proceedings and the fact that he'll be skeletonized if he chooses poorly.