Created By: silversymbioteAugust 19, 2011 Last Edited By: silversymbioteSeptember 15, 2011

Ironic Symbolism

The symbols that represent something are direct references to the things that it opposes

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
It seems likely we would have this already, but I've never come across it.

This is when something - whether it be a company, a character or whatever - has something to represent them(usually a logo but doesn't necessarily have to be) that makes no sense representing them because it's a well known symbol of something they directly oppose.

It might be used to mock whatever it represents.

Examples

  • Satan worshipers are symbolized by an upside-down cross. A cross is a typically symbol of Jesus Christ. Partially justified being that they are wearing it upside down and pretty much backing up the theory of "mockery"
  • Three X's are a well known symbol of the straight edge lifestyle, unless you see them in the cartoon world in which they are typically marked on bottles of alcohol
  • Cm Punk From the wwe Enters to the theme music "Cult Of Personality" by Living Colour. The song refers to a concept which punk as of lately has been fighting against: The higher powers of wwe who sing the praises of the things the company has to offer when in reality they are always missing the boat with what the fans really want. Punk if voicing against these authority's lately yet he enters to a music that references them(note that back when Punk was a heel, this music would have fit him without being ironic)
Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • August 19, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Sounds similar to the Unfortunate Associations YKTTW.
  • August 19, 2011
    silversymbiote
    Actually they are pretty different, mine refers to something happening on purpose. whilst that one refers to something happening coincidentally
  • August 19, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Gotchya. Assuming both pages are launched, you may want a Compare/Contrast note in your description.
  • August 19, 2011
    jaytee
    Do you have any examples in media? Right now I'm thinking Not A Trope. Two Real Life examples that have nothing to do with each other (and for that matter, are complete conjecture) do not make a trope.
  • August 19, 2011
    KingZeal
  • August 20, 2011
    peccantis
    Sounds like a laundry list of trivia, not a trope.
  • August 20, 2011
    Bisected8
    ^ I've seen it in fiction plenty of times, actually.

    • In The Elder Scrolls series, one of the books you can read in universe is a story about a pair of thieves who discover that a church they're robbing is being used as a meeting place by vampires, who chose it specifically for the irony of inhabiting a formerly holy place.

    Maybe this could be called Symbol Assimilation Insult?
  • August 20, 2011
    Generality
    Not quite sure if this needs to be troped, but I have an example nonetheless:

    • Spoofed in the last Futurama movie, Into the Wild Green Yonder, when Leela joins a group of feministic ecoterrorists who are opposing Leo Wong's attempt to destroy a significant portion of the galaxy to build a huge miniature gold course.
      Leela: Leo Wong is a bloodsucking leech on society, which is why we have made this bloodsucking leech our mascot! I know it's a little confusing.
  • August 21, 2011
    kuyanJ
    If it is to become an article on a tropes, it will need more fictional examples.
  • August 21, 2011
    Bisected8
    I count 3 (4 if you note that the cracked articles have some mentions of fiction in them), which is more than half the examples so far.
  • August 21, 2011
    finbob83
    The swatstika symbol adopted by the Nazi party is a mirror image of the Hindu symbol for peace.
  • August 21, 2011
    Millstone
    Is it possible to list tropes, such as the Blind Seer, as examples?
  • August 21, 2011
    peccantis
    ^^ it's the same symbol. It's not like the Nazis invented the version that goes the other way. "Right-winding swastika = evil nazi symbol, left-winding = good Hindu symbol" is just bollocks that's been around since Germany lost WWII.
  • August 21, 2011
    Bisected8
    In fact the swastica's been used by hundreds of cultures, historically.
  • August 21, 2011
    TonyG
    The Christian cross itself is an example, taking what was originally an instrument of cruel torture and transforming it into a symbol of eternal salvation.
  • August 21, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    ^ Yo Satanist, I heard you like irony, so I put some irony in your irony so you can irony while you irony.

    • In the Temple arc of Gantz, Daibutsu, The Thousand-armed Goddess of Mercy, and plentiful other statues of peace-preaching deities, brutally kill half a dozen people, a dog, and a hobo. And by brutally, I mean High Octane Nightmare Fuel-brutal
  • August 21, 2011
    peccantis
    ^what?!
  • August 21, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    ^ In response to the meme, or in response to statues of Buddha and other preachers of peace horribly mangling and brutally killing people?
  • August 21, 2011
    azraelfinalstar
    The funny thing is that the Upside down cross is actually a Christian symbol in and of itself, showing humility before God.
  • August 22, 2011
    Frank75
    Yes, after all St Peter was crucified heads down.
  • August 22, 2011
    peccantis
  • August 22, 2011
    silversymbiote
    @peccantis that could be one way of describing it, but only with some examples, not every example of this has Did Not Do The Research as its reason
  • August 28, 2011
    countmall
    The inverted cross was actually invented by Saint Peter. When he was crucified, he didnt feel worthy to be killed the same way as Jesus, so he had them do it that way. The inverted cross is actually a legit Papal symbol representing fealty to Christ. So Satanists are actually showing their fealty to Christ.

    Also a Papal exmaple: The current Pope Benedict opposes the word "X-Mas", which is short for Christmas, because he views it as removing Christ from Christmas and a symbol of the secularization of Christmas. However, "X" is the Greek letter for "C", and is also a legit Papal symbol. Both of which are what the "x" in "X-Mas" really stands for.

    Lastly, the Swastika. Before the Nazis used it, it was a common symbol for good luck as common as the Peace sign is now. Americans in particular loved it turn of the century. A similar symbol called a manji is still used in proper context in Asia.

  • August 29, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The Peace sybmol is based on the Semaphore letters N and D (Nuclear Disarmament). Semaphore was widely used in the military.
  • August 29, 2011
    peccantis
    This is starting to sound like "if you mirror it and divide it into three, then switch this and that, and add a dot, it's the symbol for the opposite thing". We don't need a laundry list of symbols that can be read in "ironic" ways.
  • August 29, 2011
    silversymbiote
    @Peccantis Thats because everyone is going into waaaaaaaaaaaay to much detail for a lot of these. The examples i put are all plain and simple, not full of a bunch of philosophical history
  • September 15, 2011
    MorganWick
    Either we need to make clear that it needs to be simple, or just declare it YMMV and walk away (which won't prevent it from becoming horribly natter-infested).

    In other news, I hate the YMMV system.

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