The Best Form of Flattery

Fact: every music video has an average of five parodies made of it.

Well, maybe that’s not quite a fact, but if you search “music video parodies”, it would seem rather realistic. Almost every popular music video released today is parodied.

One could wonder why these parodies are made in the first place. Well, besides accruing money for its creators, through advertising on YouTube, I would say, that it serves as a creative outlet.

The individuals or bands of YouTubers who make these parodies flex their creative muscles. Some more than others, but that’s beside the point. Music video parodies use visuals similar to the original video, the basic ‘song’ accompanying the original video is used, with the exception of lyrics. Usually, lyrics are altered to suit the parody.

The changes to lyrics and quite often, the narrative of the original music video, subvert the intended message of the video. The parody, thus takes on a message of its own, while still relying on the message of the original.

The message in parodies usually revolves around some form of mocking of the artist of the original video or mocking of the original video itself. Thus, all parodies, with very little exception, are done in a humorous way. The humour used in parodies is a major tool in the subversion of the original, intended message.

The popularity of music video parodies is a result of their ‘watch-ability’, but why are these parodies watchable? First of all, like many videos which go viral, parodies rely on humour. Ironically, the popularity and ‘watch-ability’ of parodies is based on the original music video. If the music video a parody is based on goes viral or receives many views, odds are the parody would benefit from this, in terms of views.


There are countless music video parodies on YouTube and the internet, but I have to say that some are my favourites are those made by The Key of Awesome. Their parodies always have great production value and remain true to the original visually, while always subverting the intended message in some of the most creative ways. Here are just a few of their videos.

One of my all-time favourite music video parody moments is when James Franco and Seth Rogen took to parodying Kanye West’s Bound 2. Hi-la-rious…

Here’s the original, followed by the parody.




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