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You Can't Be Serious: It's time for another big HTML table! This time I'm interested in movie connections. IMDB's dataset relates movies to each other using many different predicates: "edited into", "remake of", "alternate language version of", and so on. I'm interested in two of the most common predicates, "referenced in" and "spoofed in". Specifically, I want to answer these questions:

I think my table speaks for itself, but I'll give a legend above it and a little commentary below it. The table has two columns:

  1. The most spoofed movies and TV shows (by number of "spoofed in" references)
  2. The movies and TV shows most referenced in earnest (by number of "referenced in" references)

The little numbers are the counts of "spoofed in" or "referenced in" references for that movie or TV show.

A title in bold shows up on only one list. This doesn't mean that, for instance, "The X-Files" has never been spoofed, only that it's not spoofed enough to make it onto the "most spoofed" list. A title in italics shows up on both lists (or would, if I extended the lists a little bit), but it's in a much higher position on the "spoof" list (left column) or the "non-spoof" list (right column). If a title is neither bolded nor italicized, then it's in approximately the same position on the "spoof" and "non-spoof" lists.

At this point I should probably let the table do the talking, so here it is. If you hate data, you can skip the table.
Most SpoofedMost Referenced Seriously
1Star Wars 279Star Wars 1793
2The Wizard of Oz 199The Wizard of Oz 1397
3"Star Trek" 180"Star Trek" 1270
4The Godfather 155The Godfather 737
5The Matrix 148Psycho 693
62001: A Space Odyssey 141Casablanca 622
7Psycho 139Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back 587
8Raiders of the Lost Ark 134Jaws 585
9Jaws 120"The Simpsons" 573
10Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back 119Gone with the Wind 534
11The Exorcist 96King Kong 527
12King Kong 96The Terminator 485
13"Batman" 95E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 449
14Pulp Fiction 932001: A Space Odyssey 448
15Titanic 93"Sesame Street" 448
16Superman 89Raiders of the Lost Ark 440
17E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 86Apocalypse Now 422
18Apocalypse Now 85Frankenstein 379
19The Shining 84The Exorcist 374
20"The Twilight Zone" 83"The Twilight Zone" 366
21The Terminator 81"Saturday Night Live" 363
22Casablanca 75Scarface 361
23Jurassic Park 74Citizen Kane 358
24Frankenstein 72Pulp Fiction 350
25Taxi Driver 71Titanic 350
26Rocky 68The Shining 348
27Alien 68"Doctor Who" 348
28The Silence of the Lambs 67Alien 346
29The Blair Witch Project 61"The Oprah Winfrey Show" 344
30Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. 59Taxi Driver 343
31Terminator 2: Judgment Day 59Ghost Busters 343
32The Graduate 58"The Flintstones" 334
33Ghost Busters 57Rocky 333
34Gone with the Wind 56Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi 328
35Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi 56The Matrix 326
36It's a Wonderful Life 54Back to the Future 323
37Forrest Gump 52The Silence of the Lambs 323
38Goldfinger 52"Batman" 317
39Back to the Future 52A Clockwork Orange 306
40Dr. No 49Terminator 2: Judgment Day 302
41Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 49"Happy Days" 301
42Gojira 48Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 298
43Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 48The Sound of Music 293
44Scarface 47A Nightmare on Elm Street 289
45Planet of the Apes 47Superman 285
46"Cops" 47"Gilligan's Island" 284
47"Scooby Doo, Where Are You!" 47Dracula 282
48Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 46"Star Trek: The Next Generation" 276
49Dracula 45"The X Files" 275
50The Sound of Music 44"The Brady Bunch" 271
51Reservoir Dogs 44Dr. No 270
52Batman 44"I Love Lucy" 269
53Citizen Kane 43First Blood 268
54Goodfellas 43Night of the Living Dead 262
55Night of the Living Dead 43"American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" 261
56Carrie 43Gojira 259
57"Jeopardy!" 43Jurassic Park 258
58Saturday Night Fever 42Dirty Harry 257
59The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 41The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 254
60"American Idol: The Search for a Superstar" 40Vertigo 253
61Mary Poppins 40It's a Wonderful Life 253
62Full Metal Jacket 40Aliens 243
63Dirty Harry 40Planet of the Apes 243
64The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 39Batman 239
65The Karate Kid 38Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo. 236
66"The Brady Bunch" 38"Scooby Doo, Where Are You!" 231
67Friday the 13th 37The Graduate 229
68RoboCop 37Goldfinger 227
69Risky Business 37Deliverance 226
70"I Love Lucy" 36The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 221
71Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 35Blade Runner 220
72"Star Trek: The Next Generation" 35Die Hard 218
73"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" 34"Jeopardy!" 215
74Close Encounters of the Third Kind 34"Seinfeld" 215
75"Baywatch" 33Rosemary's Baby 214
76Scream 33Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 213
77Flashdance 33The Lion King 211
78Lady and the Tramp 33Saturday Night Fever 210
79First Blood 33Mary Poppins 206
80"The Oprah Winfrey Show" 32Bambi 205
81Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 32The Karate Kid 202
82The Lion King 32"Friends" 201
83"The Flintstones" 32"The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" 200
84Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 32Halloween 199
85"24" 32Reservoir Dogs 199
86"Mission: Impossible" 32Top Gun 198
87The Seven Year Itch 32Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 196
88Halloween 32"The Muppet Show" 194
89Spider-Man 31"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" 193
90Patton 31"The Andy Griffith Show" 192
91Rain Man 31Forrest Gump 188
92Thriller 31Dawn of the Dead 188
93Singin' in the Rain 30Friday the 13th 188
94Aliens 30Jerry Maguire 187
95A Clockwork Orange 30Close Encounters of the Third Kind 186
96Monty Python and the Holy Grail 30Singin' in the Rain 185
97Grease 30"Dancing with the Stars" 180
98Deliverance 30West Side Story 177
99Mission: Impossible 30"Baywatch" 176
100"The Sopranos" 30Grease 175

I'm not terribly happy with this data. I suspect many "referenced in" references are actually spoofs, or are throwaway jokes that don't even rise to the level of "spoof". Are there really 179 non-spoof references to "The Lion King"? You know everyone's just riffing on the baby-lifting shot.

However, the reverse problem ("incorrectly regarded as spoofs") is nonexistent, so it's easy to spot things like The Blair Witch Project and "Cops" which only exist in our culture as things to make fun of; as well as things that are occasionally referenced seriously but much more frequently spoofed (The Matrix).


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