->'''Music/KurtCobain:''' It's not going to be about food, is it?\\
'''Al:''' No, it's going to be about how no one understands your lyrics.
-->-- '''Music/WeirdAlYankovic''' asking for permission to parody Music/{{Nirvana}}'s "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

So you've just bought a new novel from your favorite author. You've read every book thus far, and are outright giddy about this new book. You pop onto your couch and open it up, and... hey! This doesn't look like anything before it from this author, or, as you will learn later, after it. You've discovered the outlier; the author has committed GenreAdultery. Perhaps the sausage machine producer of crime novels has shifted from a light hearted GreatDetective to a hard boiled DirtyCop or is even experimenting with a completely different genre. [[TropesAreTools Keep in mind that just because it's different doesn't mean it's bad.]] ([[TheyChangedItNowItSucks Of course, some fans would have you think otherwise.]])

This trope doesn't just exclusively apply to literature, but it's certainly an obvious way to phrase it. Music albums, movie sequels, even TV shows can be a radical departure from the creator's norm. The only thing that matters is that the new genre is never returned to again in such a manner which is what distinguished it from HeAlsoDid, its Supertrope.

For musicians it may lead to a BlackSheepHit and may occur when trying for {{New Sound Album}}s but they never return to that sound. See also: PlayingAgainstType for acting-specific examples, CreatorsOddball for other sorts of one-time stylistic changes, and GenreShift for genre changes within a single work. Compare with GenreRoulette.



[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/SpecialDutyCombatUnitShinesman'' was quite a departure from Kaimu Tachibana's [[BoysLove usual work]].
* Almost all of Ashika Sakura's works are of the BoysLoveGenre, or at least [[CastFullOfPrettyBoys heavy on the bishounen]]. That is, except ''Anime/{{Sekirei}}'', a fanservicey {{Seinen}} harem series.
* Creator/NaokiUrasawa is responsible for ''Manga/{{Monster}}'', ''Manga/TwentiethCenturyBoys'', and... ''Manga/YawaraAFashionableJudoGirl''.
* Creator/YuuWatase went from ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' and ''Manga/AbsoluteBoyfriend'' to ''Manga/SakuraGari''...
* The mangaka who did ''Manga/TheElectricTaleOfPikachu'' typically wrote hentai.
* Norihiro Yagi, whose manga debut was the GenreSavvy and humorous story ''Manga/AngelDensetsu'', subsequently wrote the bleak and gory fantasy series ''Manga/{{Claymore}}''. Oddly, the two do have a bit of a connection, as some characters are visual expies of each other.
* Junko, who is known for her YaoiGenre {{doujinshi}}, is now writing ''Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda'', a {{shoujo}} ReverseHarem manga somewhat similar to ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub''. Though the main character is a YaoiFangirl.
* Akitaro Daichi, who is famous for lighthearted adventures and wacky comedies, saw some news reports about the genocide in Rwanda and created the bleak dystopian anime ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere''.
* Creator/ArinaTanemura usually writes stories with strong MagicalGirl elements. ''Manga/ShinshiDoumeiCross'' is a drama about a former deliquent going to a school for the elite. General fan opinion is that it's... not her best.
* Creator/MohiroKitoh is well-known for his cynical and dark manga, most famously ''Manga/{{Narutaru}}'' and ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}''. ''Noririn'' is a tame, fluffy manga about biking.
* Creator/JunjiIto is famed for his BodyHorror manga, where NightmareFuel is present on nearly every page. He also did a manga about his cats that contains not a shred of mutation or disease (though due to his style, the humans are right there in the UncannyValley).


[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Creator/EliezerYudkowsky is most well-known for the blog Blog/LessWrong, as well as having written ''Literature/ThreeWorldsCollide'' and the fanfic ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', which are more or less {{Author Tract}}s about his view of rationality. He also wrote ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5731071/1/Peggy_Susie Peggy Susie]]'', which is a parody of ''Film/TheTerminator'' [[FusionFic using Calvin and Hobbes characters]], which contains very little philosophical speculation.
* [[http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1747252/superstarultra superstarultra]] is an author well-known in the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' fandom for his {{Crack Fic}}s. He is also in the process of writing a horror-story collection. Then again, [[SlidingScaleOfComedyAndHorror perhaps this is to be expected.]]
* Two of the official [[Fanfic/SilentPonyvilleChronicles Silent Ponyville]] stories are pure romance, and a third one is straight up SliceOfLife using the mind-delve spell to show cute scenes from Twilight's childhood.

* Creator/MelBrooks produced ''Film/TheElephantMan'' but had his name removed so that nobody thought it was a comedy. He also produced David Cronenberg's remake of ''Film/TheFly1986''.
* Creator/BusbyBerkeley, best known for his [[BusbyBerkeleyNumber lavish musical numbers]], directed a crime drama remake called ''Film/TheyMadeMeACriminal'' in 1939. Warner Brothers gave him the oddball project in an attempt to keep him occupied so he wouldn't leave the studio; it didn't work.
* Horror director Creator/WesCraven:
** Directed ''Film/MusicOfTheHeart'', a [[BasedOnATrueStory based on a true story drama]] starring Creator/MerylStreep, about a music teacher in a school in Harlem. This film was actually Craven's pet project, and he only directed ''Film/{{Scream 3}}'' so he would be financed and allowed to direct ''Music of the Heart''.
** Directed a segment of ''Film/ParisJeTAime''.
* Creator/BobClark directed several notable horror films in the early '70s, including ''Film/ChildrenShouldntPlayWithDeadThings'', ''Film/{{Deathdream}}'', and the groundbreaking ''Film/BlackChristmas1974''. Then he abandoned horror, directed the teen sex comedy ''Film/{{Porkys}}'', and spent the last 20 years of his career making more family-friendly films such as ''Film/AChristmasStory'' and ''Film/BabyGeniuses''.
* Creator/KevinSmith, who is known mostly for slacker comedies with characters that discuss pop culture, made ''Film/RedState'', which is a dark and violent story about a murderous, homophobic cult.
* Creator/DavidLynch's ''Film/TheStraightStory,'' a Disney-produced, G-rated, uplifting family drama about an old blind man who drives 240 miles on a ride-on lawnmower to see his dying brother. It's ''not'' a MindScrew, nor does it have anything in the way of BodyHorror.
* Creator/SergioLeone, who was most famous for directing westerns, made one movie set in the gangster time period of the 1930s: ''Film/OnceUponATimeInAmerica'', which got bad reviews at the time, but was VindicatedByHistory as perhaps the best gangster epic since ''Film/TheGodfather''.
* Creator/GeorgeMiller. If you grew up in the '80s, you know him as the maker of the ''Film/MadMax'' series of violent action films that [[TropeCodifier wrote the book]] for a great deal of the [[AfterTheEnd post-apocalyptic fiction]] that came after it. If you grew up in the '90s and '00s, you know him as the maker of the classic family films ''Film/{{Babe}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/HappyFeet''. Then he went back to it in 2015 with the explosive, batshit insane and adrenaline-pumping ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad''.
* Creator/RobertRodriguez is another filmmaker who got his start and "cred" making violent, sleazy action and horror films like ''Film/ElMariachi'', ''Film/{{Desperado}}'', ''Film/FromDuskTillDawn''. So it came as a shock to just about everybody when he made the lighthearted family comedy ''Film/SpyKids'' in 2001... and then made two back-to-back sequels to it over the next two years. He's since mostly gone back to his more R-rated roots with ''Film/SinCity'', ''Film/PlanetTerror'', and ''Film/{{Machete}}'', though he does this side-by-side with family films like ''Film/{{Shorts}}'' and ''Film/TheAdventuresOfSharkBoyAndLavaGirl''. His teen sci-fi film ''Film/TheFaculty'' is something in-between.
* {{Creator/Nelvana}} is a Canadian animation studio best known for children's franchises such as ''Franchise/CareBears'', ''WesternAnimation/LittleBear'', and ''WesternAnimation/{{Franklin}}''. So it's quite surprising to find out that their early work includes ''WesternAnimation/RockAndRule'', an ''adult'' animated film.
* Joe Wright became famous for directing period dramas based off English literature (usually starring Keira Knightley) - ''Film/PrideAndPrejudice'', ''{{Literature/Atonement}}'', ''Literature/AnnaKarenina''. He also made ''{{Film/Hanna}}'' - an action thriller - and ''{{Film/Pan}}'' a fantasy tentpole blockbuster. The former was well-received, the latter infamously [[BoxOfficeBomb was not]].
* Following bad reviews for ''Film/TheLongKissGoodnight'', Creator/ShaneBlack attempted this doing a romantic comedy imitating his idol and mentor at the time, Creator/JamesLBrooks. Then when he hit a creative wall, [[SubvertedTrope he just returned to his]] SignatureStyle and the result was ''Film/KissKissBangBang''.
* ''Film/AmericanGraffiti'' is the only film directed by Creator/GeorgeLucas that isn't science fiction, instead being a coming-of-age comedy set in 1962 California and steeped in classic car culture.

* ''Literature/TheMonkeysPaw'' was the one and only horror story by a fellow who mostly wrote about sailors.
* While it's in the sci-fi genre like most of his stories, ''Good Night, Mr. James'' by Clifford D. Simak has been described by the author himself as unique; it's much darker in tone than most of his work, and has a ShootTheShaggyDog ending.
* Creator/JohnGrisham usually writes legal fiction. Only five aren't of this genre, and one of them is ''Skipping Christmas'' (which was later adapted as ''Film/ChristmasWithTheKranks''). A ChristmasSpecial, of all things. ''A Painted House'', a coming-of-age story in Depression-era Arkansas, is another. He also wrote ''An Innocent Man'' which is legal ''non''fiction and the only nonfiction book he has written so far.
* ''Literature/TheBigU'', a college campus satire novel by none other than Creator/NealStephenson, science-fiction writer and author of ''Literature/SnowCrash''. He does not like the book, and discontinued publishing for a while. Then people started paying hundreds of dollars for old copies of it, and he had it republished, saying that "the only thing worse than people reading the book was paying that much to read it." To be fair, it was his first novel.
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe, master of all things gothic and macabre:
** He wrote ''The Gold Bug'', where the main character tries to find Captain Kidd's buried treasure on an island in South Carolina.
** Poe was also the father of detective fiction, with his Literature/CAugusteDupin appearing a full forty years before Literature/SherlockHolmes in three stories prior to 1845, the very first "detective" stories.
** Of course, while Poe is now best known for his gothic fiction, this by no means makes up the majority of his work, which also includes a remarkable amount of satire and of science fiction.
** This was parodied in a HalloweenEpisode of ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'', where Hilda and Zelda invite him over to the house in the hopes of hearing a scary story. He ends up reading poetry full of "rainbows and sparkles".
* Creator/ElmoreLeonard's short novel ''Touch'' seems glaringly out of place as a supernatural thriller compared with the rest of his collection of crime novels.
* Creator/IanFleming's ''Literature/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'' was the only Literature/JamesBond novel written from a woman's point of view. Probably why he didn't like it and put in the film deal that an adaptation of that book should be InNameOnly. Ian Fleming also wrote the children's book ''Literature/ChittyChittyBangBang''. (The film version was scripted by Creator/RoaldDahl.)
* Comic novelist Kingsley Amis (using the pseudonym "Robert Markham") wrote ''Literature/ColonelSun'', the first Literature/JamesBond novel published after Creator/IanFleming's death.
* Creator/RoaldDahl, world famous for his children's novels, also wrote ''Literature/MyUncleOswald'', an erotic soft core satire. Exactly why becomes more clear when one learns that he was [[TheCasanova an inveterate womanizer.]] One of his jobs in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII actually required him to seduce well-connected American women into political compliance.
* Creator/JoannaRuss, one of the angriest feminist science fiction writers ever, wrote a children's book (''Kittatinny'').
* Creator/RogerZelazny is primarily known for writing science fiction and fantasy, but he also co-wrote (with Gerald Hausman) the novel ''Wilderness'', a straightforward story of frontier survival.
* Creator/JamesPatterson is so well known for writing thrillers that when he wrote ''Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas'', a romance novel, the television commercial even [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] the trope by saying "By James Patterson. Yes, James Patterson."
* Creator/HPLovecraft wrote a comic short story "Literature/SweetErmengarde", a parody of romantic melodrama.
* Robert W. Chambers, the author of the supremely creepy [[Literature/TheKingInYellow ''The Repairer of Reputations'' and ''The Yellow Sign,'']] mostly wrote light, fluffy romantic comedy stories. A reader looking for more weirdness is likely to be very disappointed.
* Creator/OrsonScottCard, writer of ''Literature/EndersGame'' and other science fiction and fantasy stories, also wrote a series of soap-opera-ish stories about women in the Bible.
* Stephen Donaldson is famous for writing speculative fiction: ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'', ''Mordant's Need'', ''Literature/TheGapCycle''. He is not at all famous for his series of detective novels entitled ''The Man Who [did something].'' (Interestingly, he's in the habit of writing a new detective story after completing a series of fantasy novels: it seems to be how he winds down.)
* Suspense novelist Dean R. Koontz surprised his fan base with an uplifting but dark illustrated children's book called "Oddkins" in 1989. He then followed it with the illustrated kids' Christmas books "Santa's Twin," and its sequel "Robot Santa," though those were much more comedic in tone.
* After writing the novels ''Bombardiers'', a novel about Wall Street greed; and ''The First 20 Million Is Always the Hardest'', which is about Silicon Valley; Po Bronson wrote ''The Nudist on the Late Shift'', a non-fiction book that was also about Silicon Valley. Then he wrote ''What Should I Do With My Life?'' and had this to say:
-->My last three books were set in the world of ''business'', and suddenly I'm writing about bodyworkers and high lamas? What's my dad going to think? Will the ''Wall Street Journal'' ever talk to me again?
* Steve Martini started off writing courtroom dramas with twist endings. His series character suddenly found himself thrust into the world of international assassins and intrigue and has stopped a few weapons of mass destruction.
* Creator/RobinMcKinley, who usually writes YA fairy tale retellings, also wrote ''Literature/{{Sunshine}}'', an urban fantasy book for adults.
* Creator/AgathaChristie is mostly known for MysteryFiction. But also wrote tales of occult and supernatural horror (''The Hound of Death'', ''The Fourth Man'', etc), autobiographical novels with tragic elements (''Unfinished Portrait'', ''Absent in the Spring'', etc), and religious stories with Christian themes (''Star Over Bethlehem'', ''Promotion in the Highest'', etc).
* Creator/RobertEHoward is mostly known for HeroicFantasy tales. But also wrote several [[TheWestern Westerns]], "spicy tales" (adventures with implied sexual content), and a few comedies.
* ''Literature/NorwegianWood'', a gentle, tragic coming of age tale, is this for Japanese surrealist author Creator/HarukiMurakami. His work is usually compared to [[MindScrew Philip K. Dick]].
* P.D. James, a famous British crime writer, also wrote ''The Children of Men'', a dystopian novel.
* Creator/DavidGemmell, one of the premier writers of HeroicFantasy, wrote a {{Thriller}} named ''White Knight, Black Swan'' under the pseudonym Ross Harding, to avoid leading readers to expect another HeroicFantasy.
* Creator/ChinaMieville is well-known for his SteamPunk, sci-fi, and UrbanFantasy which is why ''Literature/TheCityAndTheCity'' leaves such a strong impression on the reader. [[spoiler: The Reveal, which does in the wizard, is that the whole plot has nothing do to with magic, but was driven by a Mega Corp that used citizens' Selective Obliviousness for their own ends]].
* Creator/StephenKing is perhaps the most prolific and famous horror author of all time, but he has occasionally branched into other genres.
** Two of his most famous departures are ''[[Literature/TheShawshankRedemption Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption]]'' and ''Literature/TheGreenMile.'' Interestingly, both stories are heartwarming tearjerkers about men wrongfully convicted of murder, and both were made into movies (by the same director) considered among the best ever made.
** King also committed multiple counts of genre adultery with ''The Colorado Kid'': Though it was part of the initial launch of "Hard Case Books" -- a series in which successful writers depart their usual genres to write hard-bitten noir -- King departed from that as well. The story is a mystery but [[spoiler: there are no noir elements and the mystery remains unsolved at the end.]]
** And then there's his various non-fiction books, like ''On Writing'', a how-to for up-and-coming authors that also serves as a sort of autobiography, and ''Faithful'', about a season in the life of a Boston Red Sox fan that had a far happier ending than anyone could've anticipated when the project began.
** Stephen King commits genre adultery so often one has to wonder when he'll be considered just "general fiction". While there's a dark element to almost all his works, few of them fall squarely in "horror". ''Literature/TheStand'' is post-apocalyptic epic fantasy, ''Literature/TheDarkTower'' is epic fantasy, all the novellas collected in ''Literature/DifferentSeasons'' are straight dramas with no (or few) supernatural elements, ''Literature/TheDeadZone'' is sentimental drama, ''Literature/{{Firestarter}}'' is a semi-sci-fi thriller, ''Literature/DoloresClaiborne'' is about an abused woman, one could go on and on.
* Val [=McDermid=], well-known for her crime novels in which violence, torture and murder is often described in disturbing detail, has also written a cutesy children's picture book called ''My Granny is a Pirate''.
* Creator/JackLondon is famous for his adventure stories set in the 19th century American West. He also wrote ''Literature/TheIronHeel'', which is about the rise of an oligarchic regime in the United States and is often called the earliest of modern {{dystopia}}s.
** He also wrote "The Star Rover" about a man who astral travels into several previous lives.
* Creator/JaneAusten was known for her "light and bright and sparkling" romantic comedies about wealthy girls marrying wealthier men while dealing with pompous, annoying relatives and rivals during their courtship. ''Literature/MansfieldPark'' is basically a case study in child abuse, depicting how the psychological trauma the heroine has endured courtesy of her [[WickedStepmother wicked aunt]] for eight years has made her grow up into an ExtremeDoormat and ShrinkingViolet who believes she has no right to be happy. Unsurprisingly, whether justly or not, it's her least popular novel.
* ScienceFiction author Creator/StanislawLem also wrote ''Hospital of the Transfiguration'', a semi-autobiographical novel about a Polish doctor trying to survive the Nazi occupation of his (and Lem's) homeland. (This will frequently be found in the "Science Fiction" sections of libraries and bookstores, despite containing no sci-fi elements whatsoever.)
* Creator/JimButcher was quite successful with ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' when all of sudden, he released ''[[Literature/CodexAlera Furies of Calderon]]'', a huge departure from his typical hard-boiled, first-person magic detective stories. The idea came from a bet where he would take two bad ideas and write a successful story about them, and was given The Lost Roman Legion and Pokemon. With the series ''Literature/TheCinderSpires'' he has also begun writing SteamPunk.
* After becoming famous for ''Literature/HarryPotter'', JKRowling hasn't returned to fantasy since, writing first [[Literature/TheCasualVacancy general fiction]] and then [[Literature/TheCuckoosCalling mystery thrillers]].

* Music/NeilYoung had made his name in the 70s as musician with roots in folk-rock and blues, but when he signed with Geffen Records in 1982, he released ''Trans'' (a synthsizer-based album) followed in the same year by ''Everybody's Rockin''' (a rockabilly album). He was ready to release ''Old Ways'' (a country album) before Geffen actually ''filed a lawsuit against him'' for making music "unrepresentative" of his previous work.
* Music/{{LIGHTS}}, a Canadian SynthPop artist released and acoustic EP with re-workings of some of her previous songs, as well as a brand new song and a light re-imagining of an old punk song.
* ''Music/RemainInLight'' by Music/TalkingHeads.
* ''Music/PetSounds'' by Music/TheBeachBoys.
* ''Music/{{Pinkerton}}'' by Music/{{Weezer}}. Might be a bit premature, as the band hasn't broke up yet.
* Music/TheRollingStones album ''Music/TheirSatanicMajestiesRequest''. Despite the title it is surprisingly psychedelic. It has since become their most polarising release.
* Music/ElvisCostello's ''The Juliet Letters''. This was a collection of songs based on letters written to Juliet (who's considered to be a help to the lovelorn). The album was done as a collaboration with the Brodsky String Quartet who had much more collaboration into the writing process than was usual on an Elvis Costello album.
* The Music/{{Queen}} album ''[[DorkAge Hot Space]]'' is full of disco songs, a departure from their usual rock music. After ''Hot Space'' they never touched disco again.
* The Music/{{Melvins}} have had several album-length left turns, but possibly the most surprising is ''The Bootlicker'': while their sound usually involves sludgy walls of feedback, this album features absolutely no guitar distortion. The actual content doesn't get any lighter and softer, but the arrangements bring to mind Music/TomWaits and {{Krautrock}} more than they do grunge or stoner metal. ''Freak Puke'' by Melvins Lite is probably the closest they've come to returning to this sound - that album did prominently distorted guitars; However, with [[Music/MrBungle Trevor Dunn]] sitting in on standup bass and Dale Crover restricted to playing his drums with brushes, it also emphasized the more jazzy and experimental elements of their sound.
* The Music/ButtholeSurfers' ''Weird Revolution'', which is much more electronica-influenced than anything they'd previously done. It may have been an attempt to roll with their popular BlackSheepHit "Pepper", although it was actually preceded by a couple of electronic-based soundtrack contributions, along with the similar but much more experimental ''After The Astronaut'', which got shelved after promo copies got scathing reviews.
* Music/BrianEno noted that he wanted the first reaction of Music/{{U2}} fans who bought ''Music/AchtungBaby'' to think that either their stereos were broken or that they accidentally purchased the wrong album.
* Although it was recorded as a joke, Music/AnalCunt's ''Picnic Of Love'' is a complete inversion of their trademark style: instead of short grindcore songs with BlackComedy lyrics and song titles, it consists of 2-3 minute acoustic ballads sung in falsetto, with titles like "I'd Love To Have Your Daughter's Hand In Marriage".
* Music/{{KISS}} had the disco album ''Dynasty''. Part of the reason for the violent backlash against disco was that this happened with so many artists that it began to appear that disco would engulf everything.
* Ween's ''12 Golden Country Greats'' was a country album, which used veteran country session musicians as a backing band. Though they'd had the odd country-influenced song before and since, it was still a pretty unexpected turn, especially because they generally played it straight (well, aside from "Piss Up A Rope" and "Mr. Richard Smoker" anyway).
* "Anniversary" by Music/{{Voltaire}} is a straight love song, with no references to death, goths, evil, or SciFi shows. His later country album may also count. The musical style is different, but the subjects of the songs are his usual fare.
* Music/JoyElectric is SynthPop, as the name implies. He dropped the "synth" half on the album ''Unelectric'' and recorded [[UnpluggedVersion acoustic arrangements]] of prior songs. And he dropped the "pop" half for ''The Tick Tock Companion'', which featured completely improvised, ambient synth jamming.
* ''Pete Shelley,'' frontman of the punk group Music/{{Buzzcocks}}, was regarded by fans as having invoked this trope in 1981 with the synthpop album ''Homosapien.''
* Most Music/PatBenatar albums are album-oriented rock and roll... except ''True Love'', which is jump blues.
* Music/AliceInChains' ''Sap'' and ''Jar Of Flies'' [=EPs=]. The albums surrounding them can best be described as grunge metal, but these eps are acoustic alternative rock.
* CountryMusic singer Music/AlanJackson did a very blues-pop oriented album, ''Like Red on a Rose'', in 2006. It was also the only album on which he did not work with producer Keith Stegall, instead choosing bluegrass pioneer Alison Krauss. Also, despite having written maybe 75% of his own songs, his only contribution as a writer on ''Like Red on a Rose'' was "A Woman's Love", a re-recording of a track from his 1999 album ''High Mileage''.
* This is what launched Music/LudwigVonBeethoven's fame, for when got deaf, he moved out of his classical style and shifted music towards the romantic period.
* ''Attention Please'' by Music/{{Boris}} is a dance rock album that sounds nothing like their usual metal/hardcore/noise oriented albums.
* Country legend Music/BuckOwens had already displayed a lot of non-country influences in his music by 1969, but that year he released two singles that were much more rock than country: "Who's Gonna Mow Your Grass", which featured fuzztone guitar and harpsichord (!) as lead instruments, and a live cover of [[Music/ChuckBerry "Johnny B. Goode"]] that would've put most garage bands to shame. However, he was a big enough star that they still managed to become #1 country hits.
** Owens received some backlash from longtime fans for those two records, plus a bluegrass/gospel cover of Music/SimonAndGarfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," due to a pledge he signed several years earlier stating he would never record a song he didn't consider a country song. Owens defended his choice of music, noting that he said he would not record in a pop-country vein, not record rockabilly or bluegrass (forms of country music).
** That stated, from about the mid-1970s to early 1980s, in part due to massive grief over the death of his best friend, Don Rich, in a tragic accident in 1974, an apathetic Owens began recording pop country. While the music itself isn't bad, it also did not represent Owens at his best, something he has admitted. It wasn't until the late 1980s, when he had a brief comeback with Music/DwightYoakam on "Streets of Bakersfield", that he began to record in his classic styles and made vintage Buck Owens music.
* The Carpenters -- Richard and Karen -- were best known for soft rock in the early-to-mid 1970s, but in 1978, released a ditty called "Sweet, Sweet Smile" ... which became a top 10 country hit! (Additionally, their 1981 single, "Touch Me When We're Dancing" was covered by Music/{{Alabama}} and became a No. 1 hit for the group in 1986.
* Music/{{WASP}} had ''Kill Fuck Die'', their industrial metal album. The song-writing itself wasn't actually that far removed from the band's previous few albums, just a bit angrier, but the production turned it into something totally unlike anything else the band has recorded before or since. Whether or not that's a good thing [[BrokenBase is highly dependent on who you ask]].
* Diary of Dreams is normally {{dark wave}}, but ''The Anatomy of Silence'' is entirely acoustic neoclassical songs.
* An unusual case: country star Charley Pride recording the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLobiH-ENiE disco-flavored]] [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague Dallas Cowboys]] theme song in 1979.
* Happy hardcore act Dune released two albums of orchestral ballads; ''Forever'' and ''Forever and Ever''.
* Justified with alt-rockers Music/{{Eels}} with ''[[http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/0433b30576/cold-dead-hand-with-jim-carrey Cold Dead Hand]]''. In this instance, they teamed up (as the Clutterbusters) with Creator/JimCarrey (Lonesome Earl) to record a CountryMusic-style satirical piece on gun politics. For good measure, the band members dressed up as UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, Music/JohnLennon and UsefulNotes/MahatmaGandhi - peace advocates who were all shot dead.
* ''Music/InTheLifeOfChrisGaines'', a rock album by Music/GarthBrooks under the fictional identity of Chris Gaines, an Australian rocker. Brooks originally planned to play Gaines in a film, which never materialized, so fans simply thought he'd lost his mind.
* ''In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy'' an album of metal and hard rock covers by family-friendly Music/PatBoone.
* Music/JohnLennon, member of the most commercially succesful rock band of all time, started a solo career in 1968. His first three albums were literally everything ''but'' commercial. They are all extreme AvantGardeMusic: ''Music/UnfinishedMusicNo1TwoVirgins'', ''Music/UnfinishedMusicNo2LifeWithTheLions'' and ''Music/WeddingAlbum''. Needless to say, many people across the world were surprised!
* Rocker Music/LouReed's ''Music/MetalMachineMusic'', a double-album of proto-noise music consisting entirely of guitar feedback. It was a long-standing assumption that the album was a TakeThat at his record label to get out of his contract. However, Reed later admitted that he'd been completely serious about the album and also on a lot of drugs.
* Music/FrankZappa's album ''Music/CruisinWithRubenAndTheJets'' was considered an unusual departure in his oeuvre. The album contains no pointed political {{Satire}}, no BawdySong material, no sudden musical experimentations, no clashing of different musical genres, but is just an honest, straight faced {{Homage}}/{{Pastiche}} to the {{Doowop}} bands he adored. For his fans this was a huge AudienceAlienatingPremise.
* 99% of Music/{{Santana}}'s songs are Latin-infused rock of some kind with some glimpses of other popular genres....except the song "America" off of ''Music/{{Shaman}}'', which is, of all things, NuMetal, thanks to being performed with and written by P.O.D.
* ''Navigatoria'', Music/AkikoShikata's not-quite-first album was much more pop-rock oriented (and more uncluttered instrumentally) than her later, or even earlier works (''Midori no Mori de Nemuru Tori'' and ''Haikyō to Rakuen'' namely). The songs mostly use electric drums, bass, solo violins and folk guitars, flutes are absent, and there are even ''saxophones'' in one song (La Corolle). In her other ablums she's rather prone to use traditional percussions, a variety of strings, flutes, and ''a lot'' of [[SelfBackingVocalist multi-tracking.]]
* Music/TechN9ne is known for his [[MotorMouth incredibly fast]], infinitely creative brand of HipHop and all of his output reflects that, except one: The ''Therapy EP'', which changes his style to loud and abrasive NuMetal. This is due to it being produced by [[Music/{{KoRn}} Ross Robinson]].
* Music/{{Metallica}} was accused of this once "Fade to Black" was partly acoustic. Then came actual ballads "Nothing Else Matters" and "The Unforgiven", which opened the way for more on that same vein.
* Music/ChildishGambino (Donald Glover) was a rapper for many mixtapes and his first 2 albums. However, he moved to straight funk and R&B for his latest album ''Awaken, My Love''.
* Ronan Harris of the [[{{Industrial}} Futurepop]] group Music/VNVNation collaborated with the GothRock band Mono Inc. for the single "Boatman".
* {{Music/Disturbed}} is most well known for two things; their long and continuous career in metal, and their one-shot orchestral soft rock cover of [[SimonAndGarfunkel The Sound of Silence]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Creator/AlLowe, the creator of the very adult ''VideoGame/LeisureSuitLarry'' series, initially started out as an in-house developer of many Disney games for [[Creator/{{Sierra}} Sierra On-Line]], ''VideoGame/TheBlackCauldron'' being his most well-known at the time. Came to a complete circle when he created ''VideoGame/TorinsPassage'', a game that harkened back to his pre-''Larry'' days, which confused many people unfamiliar with Lowe's work prior to ''Leisure Suit Larry''.
** Similarly, Sierra co-founder Roberta Williams crossed this when she created her magnum opus, the gory and violent ''VideoGame/{{Phantasmagoria}}.'' Prior to ''Phantasmagoria'', she was known for creating the ''VideoGame/KingsQuest'', ''VideoGame/LauraBow'', and ''VideoGame/MixedUpMotherGoose'' series, all meant for general audiences.

* David Herbert's [[http://www.tnemrot.com/ Tnemrot]] is a serious manga story, which seems weird, since ''Living With Insanity'' is all about craziness and T&A.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Parodied by Website/SomethingAwful in their [[http://www.somethingawful.com/series/the-great-authors-series/ "Great Authors" series]], where they imagine classic writers working far outside their regular genres, from Creator/HunterSThompson recapping an episode of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' to Creator/CormacMcCarthy writing for a parenting blog.