Created By: JustTroper on February 23, 2017 Last Edited By: JustTroper on June 7, 2017
Troped

Faux Adventure Story

Using the entourage of action/pulp adventure to tell an entirely different story, often darker and more adult/serious in nature

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A work of fiction that attracts the reader/viewer with the entourage of pulp adventures, superhero action, etc. in order to tell an entirely different story, which can be humorous and parodying the genre cliches, or darker and more serious in nature. For example, imagine that an Indiana Jones-style adventurer dies unexpectedly in the first part of the movie, and the rest of the story is about his loved ones coming to terms with his death? Or imagine that a Gotham-style megalopolis and a superhero defending it from organized crime is all in the head of a mental patient?

A Sister Trope related to detective/mystery plots is Mockstery Tale (they may also overlap).

Examples

Film
  • The Last Adventure starts as a lighthearted comedy adventure involving two male characters and a young attractive female on a treasure hunt in Congo. However, it suddenly takes a very different turn when the female tragically dies; the rest of the story is about the two other characters mourning her, and one of the remaining two is also killed at the end of the movie.
  • Birdman employs the aesthetics of a superhero movie, but is actually a black comedy/psychological drama about a former blockbuster actor attempting to start a career in theater.

Literature
  • Death Of A Superhero by Anthony Mc Carten uses the plot about a superhero Miracleman fighting mad doctor The Glove as a framing device for the story of a teenager dying from leukemia.

Western Animation
  • Freakazoid! is all about this; it parodies and deconstructs the classical superhero story cliches, and stories often go in unexpected and anticlimactic directions. A particularly notable example is the Huntsman: each episode with him starts with an action-packed intro, but then it turns out that he's not needed because there's no crime in the city.
  • Teen Titans Go! is a superhero show in which the superheroes don't do a lot of superheroics, mostly engaging in wacky hijinks that only occasionally involve fighting crime. This is a huge reason for the show's Broken Base, and gets Lampshaded time and again.

Video Games
  • Spec Ops: The Line starts off (and was marketed as) just another gung-ho modern military Third-Person Shooter in the vein of Call of Duty, but turns out to be a ugly and grim deconstruction of the genre, rife with PTSD, war crimes, and a nihilistic exploration of the hero complex.
Community Feedback Replies: 7
  • February 24, 2017
    TonyG
    Teen Titans Go is a superhero show in which the superheroes don't do a lot of superheroics, mostly engaging in wacky hijinks that only occasionally involve fighting crime. This is a huge reason for the show's Broken Base, and gets Lampshaded time and again.
  • June 3, 2017
    Getta
    ^ so this trope counts comedic examples too, yeah?
  • June 3, 2017
    JustTroper
    Yes, all sorts of examples that subvert action/adventure cliches.
  • June 3, 2017
    Koveras
    ^ Would Spec Ops The Line count then? It starts off (and was marketed as) just another gung-ho modern military Third Person Shooter in the vein of Call Of Duty, but turns out to be a ugly and grim deconstruction of the genre, rife with PTSD, war crimes, and a nihilistic exploration of the hero complex.
  • June 4, 2017
    Getta
    ^^ Description says "often darker and more serious in nature." You should add "but sometimes can be comedic as well."

    I thought Re Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu subverts the fantasy genre by making it a thriller, but IDK?
  • June 4, 2017
    Getta
    But er... Where would the line be drawn between this, subverting the kind of story in general, and Mix And Match (and Genre Mashup)?
  • June 6, 2017
    DustSnitch
    This draft going to need way more than five examples when it launches if it's going to do anything but gather virtual dust.
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