Created By: Soupdragon on November 19, 2011 Last Edited By: Soupdragon on July 28, 2013

Mistaken for period piece

A show about the Xties becomes dated as well and is now thought to be originating from that time

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
I'm pretty sure there are now kids running around thinking that 70's show is actually from the 70's. I didn't see Happy Days as a 70's show about the 50's either. I don't see a trope of this yet however.

Also, I know there's a good quote from a show with a black guy with his name in the title Ernie something... his daughter tells him she's dressing up for a seventies theme party and she's going as one the characters from that 70's show and he keeps asking which one.
Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • November 19, 2011
    surgoshan
    • The Aubrey Maturin series of historical novels are so well written, not merely accurate in content but in style, that people mistake them for 19th century adventure novels. In fact they were written from the mid 1960s to the mid 90s.
  • November 19, 2011
    arromdee
    The term "period piece" is ambiguous and can mean either a modern work set in an older time period, or a work from that time period. It needs a different name.
  • November 19, 2011
    Micah
    Contrast Unintentional Period Piece (the existence of which incidentally illustrates why this needs a better title).
  • November 19, 2011
    Omeganian
    Batrachomyomachia was attributed to Homer for a long time.
  • November 19, 2011
    LeeM
    Couple of song examples:
    • Bud Flanagan's theme song from Dads Army ("Who do you think you are kiddin', Mister Hitler...") is often assumed to be a genuine wartime hit, when in fact it was written and performed in 1968.
    • Paul Mc Cartney's "Mull of Kintyre" is an original song, but according to McCartney many fans think it's a cover of a Scottish folk song.
  • November 19, 2011
    mtlwriterguy
    A good trope, but I think I'd give it a different name. Maybe "Misplaced Nostalgia" or "Nostalgia Morph"?
  • November 20, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Would Happy Days be an example? A nostalgic (2 decades later) idealized version of the fifties, made in the seventies, becomes eveyone's idea of what the fifties were like in the nineties and beyond?
  • November 20, 2011
    TonyG
    Actually, this is about how Happy Days is mistaken as being set in the seventies because that's when it was made.
  • November 20, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Okay, so what about shows that take place in The Future, but were made in the nineties and feature curved CRT screens, bulky PD As and CD-Roms? Would those also count, or does the future-setting or existence of Faster-Than-Light starships in those works disqualify them? (Space Above And Beyond, I'm looking at you).

    Or to use a more Earthly example: MASH was set in the 50's during the Korean War, but was clearly meant to be analogous to the Vietnam War (which was still going on in the 70's when the series started). Characters in the show wear 70's haircuts, use 70's slang, demonstrate 70's social attitudes, and drink beer from 70's aluminum cans instead of glass bottles. A viewer in the 2000's could easily be forgiven for missing some of the contextual cues that place the setting in the 1950's. So would MASH be an example of this trope?
  • November 20, 2011
    fulltimeD
    This definitely needs a better title, just to distinguish it from Unintentional Period Piece.
  • November 20, 2011
    fulltimeD
  • November 20, 2011
    TonyG
    ^^The future example would fall under Zeerust and Technology Marches On.
  • November 20, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Okay, I was looking for that dividing line.

    But I'm assuming MASH is a straight example.
  • July 27, 2013
    ThisIsATestTai
    Actually I think MASH would be more of an Unintentional Period Piece (although likely not that), because it is so clearly a 70s show when it's supposed to be the 50s. I believe this trope is supposed to be that when the series is such a good period piece people think it was actually made in the time period it's supposed to be commenting on.
  • July 27, 2013
    MorganWick
    @first Tony G post: I'm pretty sure this actually is about works thought to be from the period in which they're set, not set in the period in which they're made... though the description of the post you were referring to doesn't quite fit... even though Happy Days is in the OP... even though it's hard to see anyone mistaking a show in color as being from the fifties... but the That 70s Show example seems to unambiguously lend itself to my interpretation...
  • July 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Better description plz.
  • July 28, 2013
    eowynjedi
    Another song example?

    • The song "Ashokan Farewell" became iconic when it was used in Ken Burns' The Civil War. Since it sounds very similar to the period songs used, most viewers don't realize it was composed in 1982 until they look it up.
  • July 28, 2013
    paycheckgurl
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=kp992d624z8qefwlh91jlayu