I want to talk about something I have trouble finding a name for, that I could then use to mean both parody scenes and homages. If possible as well things like cameos, hidden nods to prior works, small items in the background that were used in other works, catchphrases from other works, posters, scenes playing on a TV, characters talking about and so on and so forth.

More or less the act of referencing other media or "culture" within something like a movie. But not the word reference itself, that's too generic.

Edit: About a sentence where the word would be used: that's difficult. You'd say "X is a [parody] of Y" or "X is [paying tribute] to Y" or "X has a [cameo] from Y". All those sentences are different and since I don't know the word I'm looking for, I can't provide a sentence that would work.

But it will end up as a headline and should be a word where everyone immediately knows I'm talking about entertainment media.

Words I've considered (definitions from wiktionary.org):

  • allusion: "An indirect reference; a hint; a reference to something supposed to be known, but not explicitly mentioned "

    It doesn't carry the association with entertainment media, though. I'm also not entirely sure if it can be used in this context.

  • testimonial: "A tribute given in appreciation of someone's service etc."

    The word itself has little to do with the actual concept I'm going for and doesn't really fit, since it's not used in this context as far as I know. But starting to use it for this could work. Or maybe not..

  • Hi Ocean, welcome to EL&U. You might not be aware that there are strict rules for single-word-requests: "To ensure your question is not closed as off-topic, please be specific about the intended use of the word. You must include a sample sentence demonstrating how the word would be used." You can add this using the edit link. For further guidance, see How to Ask, and make sure you also take the EL&U Tour :-) Jan 12, 2019 at 10:39
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    "cultural references"
    – Mitch
    Jan 12, 2019 at 21:27
  • I've added your 2 tentative self-answers to the question as they don't seem to be quite what you're looking for. The question itself is unclear. Try thinking of a sentence or paragraph as context for the word you're requesting (use "xyz" as a placeholder if it helps).
    – Lawrence
    Jan 13, 2019 at 10:46
  • "spoof" comes to mind, though it's not a homage it can be taken as a humorous homage depending on the way it's done. Jan 13, 2019 at 12:11
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    For example, I might say I want a word that means flowers and car. But the sample sentence “The [flowers] grow in the garden” doesn’t communicate the need for a unified term (cars don’t usually grow in the garden). But if I said “At the parade, everybody enjoyed the variety of the [flowers car], especially the one shaped like a Christmas tree”, you might suggest floats as an appropriate term. In your question, you need to show us something similar - come up with a literary context (e.g. a sentence or a paragraph) that requires a single word to encompass both parody and homage.
    – Lawrence
    Jan 13, 2019 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


A fitting word could be pastiche:

a work of literature, music, art, or cinema that makes use of material from other similar works, especially in order to laugh in a gentle way at those other works (McMillan)

Other dictionaries use the word "satirical", but clearly the pastiche has more a the connotation of a kind homage, than a parody (or worse, caricature, lampoon or burlesque).

In literature, pastiche can be an exercise to expand one's skill as a writer, by adopting the style and mannerisms of another author. The purpose here is not necessarily to poke fun, but the exercise always ends up being humorous (it should never be taken seriously, otherwise it could border on plagiarism).

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