14 Meta Jokes, Shows and Movies for the Comedy Hall of Fame

Might as well dunk on yourself before others can
14 Meta Jokes, Shows and Movies for the Comedy Hall of Fame

Hello! This is the intro for an article about meta jokes. (Cracked Editor: I should have seen this bit coming when I made the assignment. But whatever, let’s do this thing.) The goal is to display what meta/self-referential humor is and entice you, the reader, to check out some of the best meta jokes we could find, or at least the ones that have repostable videos online. We’ll also provide links to related Cracked articles like this one about parodies on Rick and Morty (Cracked Editor: Good call. Readers and SEO love Rick and Morty) or ones written by yours truly like this one. Maybe even this one, too.

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In any case, we feel like you’ve been properly prepped on meta-humor, meaning this part is over. Up next is a bunch of the best pop culture meta-jokes and moments we’re putting in our Hall of Fame...

She-Hulk Meets Her Maker

The fourth wall was utterly obliterated in the season finale of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law when she finally met the Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus. Who is definitely not Kevin Feige.

‘Barry’ Calls Out the Algorithm

‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ Theme

While the entire premise of the show was meta and poking fun at sitcom tropes and plots, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show had one of the few sitcom theme songs that knew it was a sitcom theme song by telling you that it was a sitcom theme song.

‘It’s Only a Model’ in ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’

‘Shrek’ in General, Duloc in Particular

In a way, Shrek as an entire film is meta as it was a commentary on fairy tales disguised as a feature-length middle finger from Jeffrey Katzenberg to Disney and Michael Eisner. This was most apparent when Shrek and Donkey first visited the Disneyland-like Duloc.

Roy, the New, Incredibly Vital, Ongoing ‘Simpsons’ Character

‘It’s Always Sunny’ at the Emmys

Despite its critical acclaim and having been on the air since 2005, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia has never won an Emmy, likely due to its lowbrow content — no matter its highbrow execution. The gang kinda made peace with that by making fun of Emmy-worthy comedies in an episode titled “The Gang Tries Desperately to Win an Award.”

‘LEGO Batman’ Calling Out Batman’s Odd Rogues’ Gallery

While Batman has some memorable foes, the LEGO version decided to list a few less memorable ones that have to be Googled to be believed. Don’t believe us? Ask the Joker.

Duck Amuck

In most Looney Tunes cartoons, Daffy Duck is antagonized by his fellow cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and Porky Pig. But “Duck Amuck” is unique in that Daffy is in conflict with his own animators.

‘Arrested Development’s Plea to the Fans

Critical acclaim wasn’t enough to spare Arrested Development from being under the constant threat of cancelation during its entire original run. So much so that they poked fun at their desperation for more viewers and literally asked the audience to tell their friends about the show.

‘Rick and Morty’s Full Meta JackRick

This entire episode of the Adult Swim series is a meta-bit containing numerous referential meta-jokes within it, with several of them being used as verbs. Like a person being “Baned.”

‘Seinfeld’s Pilot ‘Jerry’

The fourth season of Seinfeld revolved around Jerry and George trying to get an NBC sitcom made based on Jerry Seinfeld’s comedy and life. It was a giant metacommentary on the difficulties of television creation at the time while taking digs at the sitcom’s lack of a premise, too.

‘South Park’s Very Crappy Christmas

To honor Christmas, the fourth season of South Park had the kids make a stop-motion film that happened to be the short film The Spirit of Christmas, the animated holiday card that led to the show getting greenlit.

Virtually the Entire Series of ‘Community’

If you’ve ever watched Community, you know how the series started with a sitcom-y premise, then beat sitcom tropes to death with a tire iron over and over again, with meta-humor occasionally being its crutch. Honestly, there’s nothing funnier — or more meta.

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