Fortnite wasn’t first: 5 more times Apple’s iconic ‘1984’ ad was mocked

Fortnite wasn’t first: 5 more times Apple’s iconic ‘1984’ ad was mocked


Futurama Apple parody
Apple's most famous ad has been parodied for years.
Photo: Futurama

Shortly after Fortnite was unceremoniously ejected from the App Store Thursday, Epic Games dropped a — no pun intended — epic parody video depicting Apple as the same dystopian Big Brother it had railed against in its famous Nineteen Eighty-Four commercial for the original Macintosh.

But this is far from the first time Apple’s sledgehammer-tossing, Ridley Scott-directed Mac ad has been spoofed. Here are five more times that shows or companies satirized the imagery of what might be Apple’s best-known advert.

In case you’ve not seen it, here’s the (cleverly titled) Fortnite parody of Apple’s iconic ad:

It wasn’t the first to do this though…


This parody comes from the March 2002 “Future Stock” episode of Futurama. After a 1980s Wall Street executive is thawed out in the future and rises to become CEO of Planet Express, he demands that the company is given a distinctly 1980s rebranding, complete with age appropriate advert. Cue Macintosh-style ad.

“Hey, we were watching that!” yells one character after the giant view screen is shattered.

Ben & Jerry’s

How do you sell a burrito stuffed full of ice cream? Well, as its inclusion on this list makes clear, you spoof Apple’s classic Macintosh advert. In Ben & Jerry’s version, a young woman in an ice cream server’s uniform sprints into a room of slack-jawed men staring at a TV screen playing a boring old-fashioned ice cream bar commercial.

“On April 20th, Ben & Jerry’s will introduce the BRRR-ito,” intones the voiceover at the end of the ad. “And you’ll see why 4.20 will be exactly like ‘4.20’.”

Half-Life 2

Think Fortnite was the first time a video game parodied the 1984 Macintosh ad? Think again.

Back in May 2010, Valve released a short teaser ad for Half-Life 2 on OS X, showing the brainwashed masses replaced by City 17’s citizens, Big Brother with a speech from the game’s Dr. Wallace Breen, the sledgehammer-wielding Major with Alyx Vance hurling a crowbar.

SNL‘s “Koohl Toilet”

Sitting on the toilet makes us look stupid, said this parody ad from Saturday Night Live, circa 2016. Enter Benedict Cumberbatch to show off a new toilet you sit on “the cool way: backwards, with your arms casually draped on top.”


Chinese electronics maker LeTV went at Apple hard. In 2015, the company released a cartoon image of Adolf Hitler wearing an Apple armband, while also releasing this ad showing a person sprinting to an alter-like podium to take a bite out of an apple.

And in case you’ve not seen Apple’s 1984 original…

This is Apple’s Nineteen Eighty Four ad, as shown at that year’s Super Bowl. It also briefly showed as a trailer in movie theaters. Years later, Apple released a version of the ad in which Major, the freedom-fighting character, had Apple EarBuds CGI’d in. It was created for the 20th anniversary celebration of the Macintosh in 2004.

What do you think of the parodies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.