The Perils of Pauline started out as a motion picture serial in 1914 (starring Pearl White), and has been revived periodically since then. All incarnations are based on the adventures of Pauline, the stereotypical cinematic damsel in distress, in situations which her imminent death is resolved before the end of the short. The fims have been inspiration for many parodies and take-offs, including Jay Ward's Dudley Do-Right and Hanna-Barbera's The Perils of Penelope Pitstop (featuring Paul Lynde as Sylvester Sneekly).
- The Sesame Street storybook The Perils of Penelope, spoofs the films with Bert taking on the "Pauline" role.
- In episode 306 of The Muppet Show, Wayne, Miss Piggy, and Uncle Deadly spoof the films in a "Muppet Melodrama" sketch, where Piggy is tied to the railroad tracks.
- In The Muppet Show Comic Book: The Treasure of Peg-Leg Wilson, Miss Piggy is featured in the melodrama sketch "The Perils of Piggy".
- The Muppet Show on Tour: 2nd Edition also featured a number called "The Perils of Piggy."