Faux Adventure Story
Using the entourage of action/pulp adventure to tell an entirely different story, often darker and more adult/serious in nature
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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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