A kind of visual technique, usually (though not always) played for laughs. It features two objects, people, or images in proximity to provide a contrast to one another. Frequently, it's an inanimate object, such as a sign or billboard, and something in or of the real world. While the sign is making one very clear statement, the real thing will be portraying a reality that is completely different in nature. The sign, as a result, will appear to be either surreal or completely ineffective considering its general surroundings.

A subtrope of MoodDissonance. BirthDeathJuxtaposition is a subtrope common enough to have its own page. When played for drama, is usually extremely bleak and depressing, and a sign of a CrapsackWorld. Compare DescriptionCut and AdDissonance.



[[folder: Advertisements ]]

* This happens all the time with Internet ads, mostly because of their context sensitivity. There are screenshots of things like a news story about an infant dying in a house fire with an ad next to it for a CD burner saying "burn baby burn." [[http://failblog.org/2008/09/18/ad-placement-fail/ There's also this.]]
** Invoked in a Website/{{Cracked}} [[http://www.cracked.com/photoshop_52_the-13-worst-possible-ad-placements/ Photoshop contest.]]
** And on our very own JustForFun/AdOfWin page.
** The "Inappropriate timing Spongebob" meme was born when a banner ad showing a laughing Spongebob popped up during a dramatic moment (Korra falling off a platform) in ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra''. Others quickly followed suit by inserting the banner into even sadder scenes in other shows (or showed Korra laughing at Spongebob).
* In Great Britain, not every TV ad carries subtitles. If an advert without subtitling follows one which has it, the last line from the previous advert will carry over, and remain on the screen durung the next. This leads to some wonderfully inappropriate juxtapositions. Imagine an advert aimed at parents for a headlice cure for kids, with subtitling. The following advert is for a wonderful shampoo and conditioner of the upmarket sophisticated sort where the girl is practically having an orgasm while applying it. This lacks subtitling, so the line appearing on screen is "Always guaranteed to kill 100% of all headlice and scalp parasites". Which rather kills the mood.


[[folder: Comic Strips ]]

* From ''ComicStrip/ThePerryBibleFellowship'': [[http://pbfcomics.com/comics/post-apocalyptic/ Post Apocalyptic.]]


[[folder: Film ]]

* One of the ''Film/LethalWeapon'' movies features a cool rebellious lead character standing in front of a non-smoking sign and smoking. You know, 'cause he's cool.
* There's a really dark example in ''Film/{{Threads}}'', where shell-shocked nuclear survivors are seen shambling past posters of happy, smiling babies.
* ''Film/JurassicPark'': "Objects in the mirror may be CloserThanTheyAppear." Said object is a charging tyrannosaurus.
* One scene in the film ''Film/JoyeuxNoel'', which depicts the Christmas truce of UsefulNotes/WorldWarI, has German officer Nikolaus embracing his lover Anna under a blanket in the trench, both overjoyed to be together for a few brief moments of peace. Cut to Scottish soldier Jonathan, lying on the snow outside, holding his dead brother William.
* ''Film/{{October}}'', a Soviet film about the UsefulNotes/RedOctober 1917 revolution, includes the "Women's Battalion of Death", an all-female AmazonBrigade that had been organized to fight in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. Instead, a fragment of the battalion wound up defending the Winter Palace against the Bolsheviks. Two of the women soldiers are shown going through military drill, right in front of a statue of a mother and child.
* Throughout ''Film/AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore'', Alice has been promising an insistent Tommy that she will get them to Monterey, California before the school year starts. In the end, Tommy tells her that it's OK if they stay in Tucson. The last shot of the movie shows them walking towards the Monterey Hotel.
* In the climax of ''Film/SlumdogMillionaire'', [[spoiler:Salim]] dies due to RedemptionEqualsDeath in a bathtub full of money, while at the same time Jamal wins 20 million rupees. Metaphorically speaking, we even have a BirthDeathJuxtaposition at hand, since Jamal can be considered a new person at this point.
* An incredibly gut-wrenching example occurs in ''Film/TwelveYearsASlave'', when Solomon is first held captive in Burch's dungeon. As he tries futilely crying out for help from the single barred window, the camera then scales up the building until it rests at the top, where the US Capitol Building can be seen in the background...

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/{{Moonraker}}'' (the book), James Bond sees a billboard. The sign reads in blinking neon, "SUMMER [[ProductPlacement SHELL]] IS HERE" but due to the angle at which he sees it, it says "HELL IS HERE...HELL IS HERE...HELL IS HERE".


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* The first season finale of ''Series/BurnNotice'' opened with Mike doing situps when Sam walks into his loft holding a bucket of fried chicken. Their conversation reaches a point when they're both standing at Mike's counter, Sam with his bucket of trans fat, Mike with his shirt off and a cup of yogurt. The camera lingers while they look at one another's choices.


[[folder: Music ]]

* The music video of the iconic Dutch song 'Vijftien miljoen mensen' features a photo of a 'do not walk on the grass' sign, with a policeman cheerfully chatting with someone on the wrong side of it while dozens of people lounge about the grass.


[[folder: Photography ]]

* Perhaps the most famous examples of this are the Depression era photographs by Dorothea Lange, which contrasted extremely cheerful billboard advertisements with happy American families with the desolate ghost town that most of America had become. The worst of it is that these advertisements stayed up during most of the Depression- largely because no one could afford to take them down and put up new ones.


[[folder: Webcomic ]]

* In ''Webcomic/DeadWinter'', Lou's van nearly squashes a soldier (who had tried to blast it with a RPG) against a wall. Right under a [[http://deadwinter.cc/page/262.htm billboard:]]
-->"That was a close shave!"


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Ín ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', the "Welcome to Amity Park" sign changes regularly, and sometimes does this, such as "Amity Park ? it's safe here!" right in front of a ruined town in the midst of a ghost attack.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', there's a jolly sign with a smiling family stating, "If you lived here, you'd be home right now," Just outside the desolate trailer park that Pete White and Billy Quizboy inhabit. They are the trailer park's only residents.