Ever since the first one was released in 2000, the Scary Movie films have been labeled spoofs. Reference films would be more accurate. Sure, they occasionally send up a horror trope or two, but most of the “spoofing” done in the franchise really involves re-creating scenes from other movies and then maybe adding a fart sound. They’re less about mocking movies than lazily mentioning them. Here’s our best attempt at a comprehensive list of each movie referenced in the Scary Movie franchise.
SCARY MOVIE (2000)
* Scream: Most of the plot is a Scream parody. The main characters mirror Scream’s and the film centers on figuring out who’s killing people while wearing a Ghostface mask. There are also a few direct references to Scream, including one character saying it didn’t have a plot and another saying their lives are just like Scream, “same dialogue and everything.”
* I Know What You Did Last Summer: The other major plot points mock IKWYDLS. Cindy (Anna Farris) and her crew hit a guy on a dark road with their car and throw him off a pier even though he’s not dead. When Ghostface starts killing, they suspect their accident victim. There are also a couple of direct references to the movie including one character saying it didn’t make any sense and Cindy saying that in a horror movie version of her life, she would be portrayed by “Jennifer Love Huge-Tits.”
* The Exorcist: Cindy mentions puking green slime and masturbating with a crucifix at her first keg party.
* Kazaam: Drew (Carmen Electra) says it’s her favorite horror movie because Shaq’s acting is so scary.
* Election: The annoyingly plucky Heather (Andrea Nemeth) passes out election fliers in the school hall and is hated by her teacher.
* The Shining: Buffy (Shannon Elizabeth) is alone in the girls’ locker room and Ghostface whispers “redrum” before going in for the kill.
* The Blair Witch Project: Ghostface chases attention-hungry TV reporter Gail Hailstorm (Cheri Oteri) into the woods, where she turns the camera on her face (and her snot faucet of a nose) to record her last words.
* Shakespeare in Love, Amistad, and Titanic: Ray (Shawn Wayans) and Brenda (Regina Hall) go to the movies to see Shakespeare, but first have to watch a trailer for Amistad 2, which includes a slave standing on a ship yelling, “I’m the king of the world.”
* Thelma & Louise, The Fugitive, Jackie Chan movies, Schindler’s List, Boogie Nights, Big Momma’s House: Brenda is killed in the theater by pissed-off moviegoers for whom she’s ruined all of these movies by talking too loud.
* American Pie: Cindy and Bobby (Jon Abrahams) go to her bed to have sex for the first time like Michelle and Jim did in American Pie. It ends with Bobby pinning Cindy to the ceiling with a geyser of ejaculate.
* The Sixth Sense: Smoky (Marlon Wayans) gets baked and says, “I see dead people.”
* I Still Know What You Did Last Summer: Bobby mentions how much it sucks, especially the “fat white Jamaican kid” played by Jack Black.
* Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Matrix: The final fight scene uses visual tricks from the big fights in these two movies. The effects aren’t quite up to the originals.
* The Usual Suspects: Cindy drops her coffee cup as she realizes Doofy is the murderer. The bottom of the cup says Doofus, à la Keyser Soze.
* Halloween: Cindy throws Ghostface through a window, and when she goes outside, he’s gone. The same thing happened with Michael Myers.
SCARY MOVIE 2 (2001)
* The Haunting: The main target of mockery here, the plot of this 1999 remake involved a scientist who told people he was conducting an insomnia study but really wanted to see how they’d react to fear. Same deal here. Cindy, Ray, Smoky, and Brenda are among those chosen to be a part of the purported study. There’s also a female character named Theo, as there is in The Haunting. The ghost in SM2 is named Hugh Kane; in The Haunting, it’s Hugh Crain.
* The Exorcist: A young girl named Megan (Natasha Lyonne) is possessed just like Regan in The Exorcist. Her mom calls an earnest priest (Andy Richter) and a pedophilic one (James Woods) to rid her of the evil spirit. They just end up puking all over each other until the pervy priest shoots her.
* Friday the 13th: Megan’s last name is Vorhees, like Jason’s.
* The Amityville Horror: Pervy priest blesses the house while pooping, and flies cover his face, as happens to the priest in The Amityville Horror.
* Dude, Where’s My Car?: Ray and a friend get tattoos on their upper backs. Ray’s says “Ray,” and the other guy’s says “Fucked Me.”
* The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Hanson (Chris Elliot) is a creepy house servant based off of Riff Raff. Also, Tim Curry plays a scientist.
* Urban Legend: Cindy drives alone and sings along to Vitamin C’s “Graduation (Friends Forever).” The singing is bad and Vitamin C interrupts to tell Cindy to shut up. The whole thing mocks the death of the first character in this awful horror movie from 1998.
* Paulie: There’s a talking bird that curses a lot.
* Save the Last Dance: Shorty gives Cindy lessons on how to be cool, which leads her to punch a girl and steal her coat.
* Harry Potter: Cindy is reading a book called Harry Pothead.
* The Changeling: A ball ominously bounces down the stairs just like it does in this George C. Scott haunted-house film.
* A Nightmare on Elm Street: Alex (Tori Spelling) has sex with a ghost in bed, on the walls, and on the ceiling of her room while wearing a football jersey, à la the scene where Tina is murdered in the Wes Craven original.
* Poltergeist: A clown pulls Ray under a bed to attack him, but Ray rapes the clown instead.
* Pet Sematary: A black cat attacks Cindy in a fight that looks more like a boxing match by the time it ends. It’s a more ridiculous version of the moment where dead cat Church attacks Louis in Pet Sematary.
* What Lies Beneath: Cindy is temporarily possessed and seduces Professor Oldman (Tim Curry) while wearing a red dress in a scene that mocks one from this Robert Zemeckis movie.
* Little Shop of Horrors: Shorty waters a weed plant with bong water, causing it to grow into a giant monster that rolls him in a sheet and smokes him like a joint.
* The House on Haunted Hill: There’s a lot here. For starters, its a big haunted house with a basement full of dusty rooms. The skeletons from the 1959 version are also referenced when Brenda laughs at one before popping its skull off.
* Hollow Man: The crew uses goggles that allow them to see ghosts and guns that kill them. The professor’s assistant Dwight (David Cross) says all the money was spent on that stuff, though, so they have to use paper cups connected by string to communicate. Also, Cindy and Buddy get locked in a freezer from which they escape by building a bulldozer out of packing tape and foil, “spoofing” the easy construction of an electromagnet in the Kevin Bacon/invisible-man film.
* Titanic: Cindy gives Buddy a hand job in the frozen room and recites the lines Jack says to Rose as she’s floating on the door near the end.
* Mission: Impossible II: The motorcycle battle between Tom Cruise and Dougray Scott is re-created with Dwight and the ghost of Hugh Kane, who are both on wheelchairs instead of motorcycles. John Woo’s signature dove shot is also referenced, with the doves crapping on Dwight’s bald head.
* Dirty Harry: In the middle of the fight, Dwight pulls a gun on the ghost and asks if he “feels lucky, punk.”
* Hannibal: Hanson cuts open Shorty’s head so he can cook his brain, as Hannibal Lecter did to Ray Liotta. But when he peels back the scalp the only thing there is Howard Stern Wack Pack member Beetlejuice.
* Charlie’s Angels: Cindy, Brenda, and Theo change into angel outfits and adopt angel poses as they battle Hanson.
* Twister: Cindy’s intense twisting jump creates a tornado in the basement that somehow sucks up a picket fence and a cow.
* Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: In Cindy’s final fight with Hanson, she performs some special moves called things like Crouching Tiger, the Drunken Monkey, and the Camel Toe.
* Thirteen Ghosts: In order to get rid of Hugh Kane, Cindy must lure him to stand on a ghost-destroying platform like the one from Thirteen Ghosts.
SCARY MOVIE 3 (2003)
* The Ring: This is the movie’s main target. Katy (Jenny McCarthy) and Becka (Pamela Anderson) first mention it before getting into a pillow fight. For the rest of the movie Cindy tries to solve the mystery of the scary girl in the video, which kills Brenda, is shown on the evening news, and eventually brings a bunch of aliens to Earth so they can kill the girl in the video themselves.
* Lord of the Rings: There’s a creepy voice on the other end of the phone that says, “I’m coming for you, my precious,” in a decent Gollum impersonation. It’s Becka’s mom.
* Signs: Much of the plot also mocks M. Night Shyamalan’s movie. It starts with Tom (Charlie Sheen) and George (Simon Rex) as brothers who live together on a farm. They discover a crop circle that says “Attack Here” with an arrow pointing at their house. That makes them think aliens are after them, but it turns out the well in which creepy video girl lives is under their house.
* 8 Mile: George wants to be a rapper, so he travels to “Da Hood” to try to win a rap battle. Surprisingly, George holds his own with Fat Joe. He abandons his hip-hop dreams before long but hangs out with his black friends Mahalik (Anthony Anderson) and CJ (Kevin Hart).
* The Sixth Sense and Minority Report: Cindy’s nephew Cody is a Haley Joel Osment–size precog who tells every random stranger what lies in their future.
* The Matrix: CJ’s Aunt Shaneequa (Queen Latifah) plays a version of the Oracle. She reveals info to Cindy about the tape and then gets into a fight with the woman in the video. Her husband Orpheus (Eddie Griffin) helps her.
* The Others: Tom walks into his daughter’s room and finds someone sitting under a sheet pretending to be her. It’s Michael Jackson.
* The Matrix Reloaded: The Architect (George Carlin), or the creator of the Matrix, reveals that he’s been watching Cindy for years. Also, creepy video girl is his daughter who his wife threw down a well.
* Pootie Tang: The Architect accidentally returned the evil tape his daughter made to Blockbuster in the case for Pootie Tang. Like the deadly tape, he says Pootie Tang has been circulating and killing ever since.
* Air Force One: President Baxter (Leslie Neilsen) wonders at one point what President Ford would have done and glances up at a painting of Harrison Ford.
* BASEketball: There are a couple things that mirror this movie, which was also directed by David Zucker. First, the scene at Brenda’s wake where George and Mahalik are trying to bring her back to life happens at a hospital in BASEketball. Second, when the president is running from aliens he quotes Bob Costas and says, “You’re excited? You should see my nipples.”
* Airplane!: President Baxter opens the door to the basement where Cindy and George are fighting creepy video girl and says, “Good luck, we’re all counting on you,” as he does many times in Airplane!
SCARY MOVIE 4 (2006)
* Saw: The movie opens with Shaq and Dr. Phil chained in a basement and Billy the puppet telling them they have 90 seconds to live. A foot is possibly cut off.
* War of the Worlds: Most of the plot is taken from the 2005 Tom Cruise film. Tom Ryan (Craig Bierko) works on a loading dock, is crappy to his kids, and eventually wins them over as the world nears certain destruction at the hands of triPods.
* Brokeback Mountain: In a flashback to a cowboy camping trip, Mahalik and CJ are seen singing to each other and having sex in a tent.
* Dark Water: Cindy takes a job as a home health-care aid in a creepy house, similar to the apartment in Dark Water. As the landlord takes her through the place he’s constantly a step ahead of her so he can hide the weirdness, also similar to Dark Water.
* The Grudge: Much of the weirdness in the house stems from the dead little ghost boy who lives there. Solving the mystery of the cursed little freak occupies much of Cindy’s time in the movie.
* The Amityville Horror: A quick shot of Tom chopping Dura Flame logs in his yard probably refers to the dad in The Amityville Horror.
* Hustle & Flow: There’s a flashback of Cindy’s first marriage, and she looks like Taryn Manning’s character Nola. She’s arguing with her fat black husband.
* Million Dollar Baby: In a flashback, Cindy is a boxer and her husband George is her trainer. Near the end of her fight with a woman played by Mike Tyson, George falls on a stool, breaking his neck. The ref breaks his neck on the ropes, another trainer breaks his neck on the side of the ring, and a fan breaks his neck on the back of a chair.
* The Village: Cindy and Brenda happen upon a pseudo-Amish village, where they’re nabbed for trespassing. Village leader Henry Hale (Bill Pullman) decides to take them in, then reveals to them on his deathbed that he’s the creepy ghost boy’s stepdad.
* Saw 2: After being sucked into the triPod’s butt, Cindy, Brenda, and Tom find themselves in traps similar to those in Saw 2. Then the puppet Billy deploys devices that kick Tom in the balls and give him purple nurples and wet willies.
SCARY MOVIE 5 (2013)
* Paranormal Activity: The surveillance camera gimmick and creepy nighttime occurrences in PA are heavily parodied. In the opening scene, George is filming a sex tape with Lindsay Lohan and has a few dozen cameras trained on the bed. Later, Jody (Ashley Tisdale) and Dan (Simon Rex) toss and turn to an absurd degree, mocking the less absurd but still pretty impressive tossing and turning in PA.
* Cabin in the Woods and Evil Dead: These two are simultaneously mocked with a cabin, which is in the woods, and a haunted book of ancient spells in the cabin’s basement. Cabin in the Woods gets name-checked by Mac Miller while a few shots from Evil Dead are visually referenced.
* Mama: A surprising amount from this movie, which came out in January, shows up in Scary Movie 5. There are the feral little girls, their punk-rock caretaker, and the presence of the ominous “Mama.” The whole climax is based on Mama, with Judy fighting the ghostly matriarch of the creepy kid clan as she tries to throw them off a cliff.
* Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Dan works at a primate research facility where he’s trying to make apes smarter. It’s working with one ape named Caesar, who Dan takes home. This Caesar is smarter than the one in the real Apes, but less intent on freedom.
* Black Swan: Judy is a ballerina and she tries out for a local production of Swan Lake, which leads to a big parody of Black Swan. Her rival is black, which means she dances like a stripper and a girl in a rap video. The aging ballerina played by Winona Ryder in the Aronofsky film is here played by Molly Shannon.
* Diary of a Mad Black Woman: Madea is briefly seen in the audience watching Swan Lake. She disapproves of the black black swan’s suggestive dance moves.
* Royal Wedding: At one point during ballet practice, someone mentions the janitor dancing. Cut to janitor Ira (Usher) dancing with his mop like he’s Fred Astaire.
* Inception: After one of the little girls mentions that she sees Mama in her dreams, Judy calls in a DiCaprio look-alike to perform an inception. The café scene is mocked (a cell phone is making everything vibrate instead of a train), Judy has a dream about Fifty Shades of Grey, and the dog hooks himself up to the inception machine to reveal his dream about humping poodles.