Zany Fantasy YKTTW Discussion

Zany Fantasy
Better Name
(permanent link) added: 2011-03-13 08:57:30 sponsor: BlackDragon edited by: Agares (last reply: 2013-12-11 04:54:28)

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...needs a cleverer title. Could go with Kingdom Of Eris, I suppose, if we want to start another snowclone-series.

Basically, it's a Sister Trope of Planet Eris. In the same way that Planet Eris is a weirded-out version of our normal reality, this is a weirded-out version of the standard, Tolkienesque High Fantasy setting. There are Elves and Dwarves, Orcs and Dragons, Wizards and Warriors... but the elves are worshiping a breakfast-cereal, the wizard knows a spell called 'Bigby's Middle Finger', and the dual-scimitar-wielding Dark Elf Ranger was dragged away by the police for Copyright Infringement...

The world, from end to other, is suffused with pop-cultural references and general-purpose wierdness. Note, however, that this in no way precludes the existence of seriousness and real drama in the story - the drama just won't last very long, since it's only a matter of time before some random kid wearing a green cap comes running through town pursued by a bunch of carnivorous chickens.

It also has to be the default condition of the setting as a whole. One or two characters who seem strangely familiar with our world's pop-culture, and/or are just plain crazy, doesn't mean that the whole setting qualifies for this trope.

Often includes some measure of Schizo Tech too, if only because it's necessary to make some of the jokes work.


  • Myth Adventures: many dimensions in which can be found parodies of the Roman Empire, New York, the Mafia, and American sports culture. Also, a poker player named the Sen-Sen Ante Kid.
  • The Lord of the Rings parody Bored of the Rings is flled with references to 1960's (and earlier) pop culture.
  • Joes World, mainly created by Eric Flint is a Low Fantasy world that runs on references to literature and mythology (both ancient and current), puns, surrealism, and sometimes Rule of Cool.

Film - Animated
  • The Verse in which the Shrek series takes place is like this; it's a fairytale fantasy setting infused with pop-culture elements for comedic value.

Web Comics

  • Looking for Group may just be the most blatant example around. References from as far afield as The Wizard of Oz and Star Wars are in abundance, and the crazy weirdness is essentially embodied in Richard, who has yet to take ANYTHING seriously.
  • Order Of The Stick is a somewhat lighter take on it. Since most of the jokes are based either on the quirky central characters, or on references to the world's D&D-based rule-system, they can sometimes go pretty far without encountering anything inherently weird. But it DOES happen, and often enough to qualify for this trope. (Prime cases: The missing Water-Dungeon, the Test of Heart, and the winged buffaloes.)
  • Errant Story averts it, despite being frequently comical. Jon, in particular, has been known to drop references to things that really shouldn't exist in that world, most recently Planet of the Apes, and The Paedagugosi are essentially weirdness made flesh - but they are just dots of craziness in a world that otherwise takes itself quite seriously.
  • Nodwick goes full-pelt with this. Though the exact intensity of the weirdness varies from story to story, it basically only goes from 'pretty weird' to 'really, really, REALLY weird', with one memorable occasion dipping into 'Twin Peaks weird'.
  • Erfworld uses this in a very deliberate manner, juxtaposing the inherent craziness of the world (as seen through the eyes of Only Sane Man, Parson) with the seriousness of what's going on in it - a neverending war. It's actually lampshaded in that Parson often comments on how things he encounters are jokes or puns on things from his original world (that is, our world), and wonders whether that means he's actually having Adventures In Coma Land.
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