This was drawn when President Reagan
was staring down the Soviet Union
with an arms buildup. It all seems very long ago now... thank heavens.
The opposite of Harsher in Hindsight
, this is when a dark moment is made milder in light of later events, whether in the story or in real life, often involving the knowledge that the perceived threat behind said "dark moment" was eliminated since. The horror
of the scene was based on audience uncertainty as to what would happen, and so, awareness of the answer helps dilute this intensity.
For harsh moments made softer in light of real events, Time Marches On
tropes (especially Science Marches On
and The Great Politics Mess-Up
) could frequently cause this. For in-story, it might be noticeable in Earn Your Happy Ending
- In the The Simpsons episode "myPods and Boomsticks", Bart says that his family shouldn't fear his new friend's family; one of the reasons being their last name is Bin Laden. This becomes much funnier after the acts of Seal Team 6.
- Also, in "The Otto Show", one of the goods being sold is a Spinal Tap shirt with the band kicking Mommar Gaddaffi in the butt. Much like the Family Guy and Looney Tunes examples, Gaddaffi was hated by the Egyptian people and thus made his departure and death more satisfying.
- The two South Park episodes in which Osama bin Laden gets shot in the head by a U.S. soldier ("Osama bin Laden Has Farty Pants" and "It's a Jersey Thing") became a lot funnier now that that has become a reality. To further add much deserved insult to injury, Comedy Central ran an Osama mini-marathon before the May 4th episode.
- In the third installment of the Family Guy Star Wars parodies "It's A Trap!", you see Osama bin Laden pop out from behind a sand dune on Tatooine and shout "Still Alive!". Sure ya are.
- In a similar vein, "Meet The Quagmires" had Peter and Brian living in an alternate reality where Lois and Quagmire are married to each other. Lois mentions that America finally found Osama bin Laden in the cast of MADtv (which Quagmire adds is, "...the one place no one thought to look"). What used to be a Take That on MADtv being an unpopular, hardly-recognized Expy of Saturday Night Live becomes funnier (in a dark way) now that both MADtv and Osama bin Laden are dead (MADtv got canceled in 2009, while Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan by Navy SEALS in 2011).
- The 1943 Looney Tunes short "Tortoise Wins By A Hare" features the news headline "Adolf Hitler Commits Suicide", two years before that actually happened.
- A rather grim example from The Venture Bros.. In an early episode, Dr. Rusty Venture steals a kidney each from his sons after getting his stolen. Much less grim upon the revelation they are replaced by clones often due to being Too Dumb to Live.