Parody of Evolution

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search
And it took you thousands of years to notice?

Being something of a hot topic, evolution has been a popular target for satire and parody.

The easiest way to do this is to avoid doing research and take the illustration by Rudolph Zallinger known as "March of Progress" and draw things over top of it. Instant Parody!

The other way to do it is a montage of creatures morphing into each other. This type is more common in animation.

Considering what we now know of Ardipithecus ramidus, this trope is an example of Science Marches On.

Examples of Parody of Evolution include:

March of Progress Parodies

  • One of the images shown when you complete the Super Smash Bros. Melee single-player mode with Donkey Kong is four DKs and one Samus arranged like this.
  • Most covers for Darwin Awards books have spoofs on this concept, usually with the "evolved" man suffering a comically fatal injury like being crushed under a safe or falling off a cliff.
  • Seen in Ice Age, with Sid the Sloth as the apex.
  • Fans of Ray Kurzweil wear shirts with a robot coming after the upright human.
  • A common piece of graffiti in Half-Life 2 shows the usual, three part progression; but a fourth part shows a human-turned-combine that looks much like the second part.
  • The Far Side did this, going from monkey to hunched ape-man to neanderthal to seven-foot-tall muscular giant-jawed shaved Rahan-type man to short wimpy Bob From Accounting-looking guy waiting at the bus stop.
  • The two "Myth Evolution" episodes of MythBusters used a cartoon of this on the initial blueprint shot.
  • A common parody has the last man sitting down at a computer, hunched over his keyboard. Variations also include being fatter and slightly smaller, but carrying a coke can instead of a spear.
  • As shown in this Lab Initio.
  • The title card of an episode of Fairly Oddparents has this, with the last person as Mr. Crocker.
  • The Descent of Nintendo.
  • The cover of Dumb and Dumberer.
  • The inside front cover of The Now Show Book Of Records shows Jon Holmes as hunched ape-man, Steve Punt as neanderthal and Hugh Dennis as modern man. The inside back cover shows them in reverse (obviously, Dennis has to hunch a lot more than Holmes does).
    • On an episode of Mock the Week, while the players were standing around waiting for "Scenes We'd Like To See" to start, Frankie Boyle, Hugh Dennis and Greg Davies reenacted the picture. Frankie (the shortest) was completely hunched over at the back, while the incredibly tall Greg was at the front.
  • A caricature parodying evolution in the different parts of the world, depicts Evolution in Korea using the original sequence, but including a Hydralisk at the end.
    • The same is done for Japan, but the Hydralisk is replaced with a Gundam
  • This Death Note picture.
  • This picture about the HD remake of arcade classic Toki.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has this strip (bonus panel: "Really? a Descent of Man joke?"), and shirt.
  • The Supertramp album cover for Brother Where You Bound is a multi-colored straight example, but the inside artwork shows an Abbey Road Crossing pose by the members of the band, all not too dissimilar to how the "man" figure is walking.
  • The the album The Evolution of Robin Thicke features this in both its cover and name.
  • The vampire-themed edition of the Discworld Diaries contains an illustration of the evolution of Igors. It starts with a normal-looking human butler and gets progressively more hunched and grotesque with each subsequent image.
  • The "Ascent of Bot" from the Futurama episode "A Clockwork Origin".
  • The cover of Mad #238. The most short and simian version of Alfred E. Neuman has a thought bubble saying, "What... me furry?"
  • Mentioned in Terry Pratchett's 'Science of the Discworld' where the picture is compared to someone getting out of bed in the morning. The wizards who are looking at the picture state that the ape/human's main achievement is getting from one side of the page to the other without showing any genitalia.
  •'s #14 Science Lesson As Taught by Famous Video Games alludes to "March" with game sprites.
  • Battlestar Galactica official merchandise included a rather humorous poster. The left-most entity on the picture is a toaster.
  • Schlock Mercenary has a (disputed In-Universe) picture of Enireth evolution.
  • Naolito's "Galactic Evolution [dead link]" T-shirt depicts a potted seedling, a potted plant, Groot, and Pinocchio.
  • Or just add a Zombie at the end of the line - like this.

Morphing Montage


  • Guinness's "Noitulove" (aka "Rhythm of Life") commercial, as the name suggests, shows backward evolution.

Comic Books


  • The Music Video for Fatboy Slim's "Right Here, Right Now".

Video Games

  • Seen in credit roll for Warcraft 3.
  • One of the glitched creatures you can catch in the original Pokémon will result in a series of impossible evolution.
  • One version of Humans had an intro scene that animated evolution among the various pre-human periods. The penultimate was a large creature wearing sneakers, a shirt, and was tall. This form then morphs into a human.

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons did it on the season 18 episode "Homerazzi" [1] parodies this (showing Homer as a single-celled organism and progressing through many pre-historic and historic eras until he enters the present and comes home to Marge, who asks him, "What took you so long?" [2]) in what is now[when?] considered the longest (and, in some viewers' eyes, the most epic) Couch Gag to date.
  • The Dilbert television intro.
  • An animation short mixed the two, showing primates evolving into men in the exact position as the March of Progress image, only to revert to a hunched-over Three-point Football stance.
  • The opening credits of The Minions shows the minions evolving from single-celled organisms which followed larger and stronger single-celled organisms all the way to becoming sapients who followed whatever or whoever seemed like the Bigger Bad in any given situation.
  1. The one where Homer becomes a paparazzo after one of the staged family pictures Marge takes has Duffman cheating on his gay lover with Boobarella
  2. On at least one version, the line was replaced with, "Did you bring home any milk?"