BySean Gallen, writer at
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

What's so special about Pulp Fiction? Is it the twists and turns of the story? Is it the incredible characters? The impeccable dialogue? The perfect soundtrack? Warmer, warmer, disco! The truth of the matter is that all of these elements combined make Pulp Fiction the ground-breaking classic it has become.

Quentin Tarantino's finest film was released 22 years ago today and made such a big splash that the ripples can still be felt. Pulp Fiction changed the game and set so many trends that countless others have tried to imitate and parody, but most have failed to capture its tenacious attitude and unique style.

It's easy to get lost in all the terrible Pulp Fiction parodies so in honor of the seminal crime caper, we've decided to go through a few of the finest tributes. So get strapped in because we're about to go Medieval on these parodies.

See also:

1. The Simpsons

  • Which Episode : "22 Short Films About Springfield" — Season 7, Episode 21

You know you've made it big when you're being parodied by The Simpsons. From Shakespeare to Game of Thrones, every worthy work of art has been spoofed, in some form, in Springfield. The story for this episode takes a page out of Pulp Fictions's book and then ups the ante. Instead of tying four, disparate stories together, The Simpsons manage to link up 22 short stories, all taking place in one day in Springfield.

Most Pulp Fiction parodies focus on Samuel L. Jackson's stunning, biblical monologue but our favorite, yellow family decide to spoof the far more controversial 'Gimp' scene instead. Chief Wiggum and Snake stand in for Butch and Marcellus Wallace and are nervously awaiting their dark fate in the sex dungeon until Milhouse accidentally saves the day. The trick to imitating Tarantino is knowing how to jump from the darkest themes back to absurd comedy with the flick of the wrist and The Simpsons certainly nailed it. Everything's coming up Milhouse!i

2. Community

Shirley as Butch, Britta as Mia, Chang as Butch and Annie as Honey Bunny / NBC
Shirley as Butch, Britta as Mia, Chang as Butch and Annie as Honey Bunny / NBC
  • Which Episode: "Critical Film Studies" — Season 2, Episode 21

Any two-bit Tom with a camera can offer you a cheap parody of Pulp Fiction, but it takes a true fan and artist to give homage. Creator of Community, Dan Harmon, shows the poor imitators how it's done by folding references to Tarantino's classic into his own universe.

The episode "Critical Film Studies" tells the story of a group of friends throwing a surprise Pulp Fiction-themed party for their pop-culture obsessed pal, Abed. He, however, has different plans and traps them in his My Dinner With Andre-themed dinner. Much like Tarantino himself, the show was really good at combining eclectic influences and references to come up with something original. Community somehow manages to spoof the style of Tarantino with the story of My Dinner With Andre and use these homages to deliver one of their most powerful, character-revealing episodes to date.

3. Spaced

  • Which Episode: Season 2, Episode 1

Edgar Wright made a name for himself by referencing his favorite action films to create comedy gold. He had lots of practice on Spaced; the Channel 4 show where he, Nick Frost, Jessica Stevenson and Simon Pegg first started their manic brand of comedy. In this episode they meticulously recreate the showdown between Butch and Vincent capturing every detail, including the strawberry glazed pop-tarts!

Daisy (Stevenson) returns from holiday to find an Uzi on the kitchen counter and immediately starts playing with it. When Mike (Frost) emerges from the bathroom there's a tense 20 seconds of icy deliberation and we're not sure whether she's going to blow him away or not. Luckily for Mike, Tim (Pegg) emerges from his room to welcome Daisy back with a big hug. Yay! Mike didn't die!

4. Mad TV

When Pulp Fiction was released it sent shockwaves through Hollywood. It shot up high on the list of contenders for the Academy Award for Best Film but unfortunately, so was Forrest Gump, which snatched the trophy away. Many were on Tarantino's side, claiming he had been robbed after sweeping up all the other 'Film of the Year' titles. Amongst the Tarantino sympathizers were the folks over at Mad TV who brilliantly mashed-up the sentimental schmaltz of Tom Hanks' character with the obscene plot of Pulp fiction.

We see Forrest and his shrimp-loving pal taking on the roles of Jules and Vincent as they interrogate their victims about Jumbo shrimp, save Lt. Dan from the sex dungeon and spout the goofy catchphrases from Forrest Gump. Mad TV characters manage to defend Pulp Fiction with honor by showing just how dumb the story of Forrest Gump is and even trying to kill Forrest himself. Forrest's dead baby, Forrest's dead.

What's your favorite parody of Pulp Fiction?


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