Are there significant differences between satire and parody? Can you provide examples of the difference? Do you know of a book which is considered satire; one which is considered parody?

2 Answers 2


Parody is a mockery of a specific existing thing. Weird Al Yankovic writes parodies — "Beat It" as "Eat It," for example. Saturday Night Live parodies political figures by mimicking their qualities to extremes.

Satire mocks general things and overall qualities and stereotypes, by being an exaggerated copy or twisting some element ironically. In South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, Satan's big song "Up There" was a satire of Disney "hero/ine has a dream" songs.

Blazing Saddles is a satire of Westerns; Men in Tights is a parody of the Robin Hood myth.

ETA examples in books: in addition to @what's good examples, you have Sol Weinstein's Israel Bond series, which are parodies of James Bond. There's the Barry Trotter unauthorized parodies of the Harry Potter series. You could argue that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a parody. The Wind Done Gone is both parody and satire. Ian Doescher has brilliantly rewritten the Star Wars trilogy as Shakespearean plays.

Catch-22 is a satire of the military, government, and war. Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" is a satirical suggestion for dealing with overpopulation, and Gulliver's Travels satirizes various faults of character of different groups of people. Hugh Laurie's The Gun Seller starts as a satire of noir pulp but changes to an actual noir about halfway through. Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy satirizes bureaucracy (among many other subjects).

If you google "satire novels" and "parody novels" you will come up with plenty of examples.

  • Great explanation. Do you have any examples of books, especially novels? thanks
    – raddevus
    Oct 23, 2014 at 12:39

A parody makes fun of an artistic work by applying the characteristic style or theme to unlikely subjects. Example: Bored of the Rings.

Satire mocks real people, their behavior, and their opinions. One of the most famous satires is probably George Orwell's Animal Farm, a satire of Stalinism.

  • Good examples. Thx
    – raddevus
    Oct 23, 2014 at 13:57

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