[[quoteright:300:[[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/headline.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300: [[TemporalParadox ...wait a minute.]] ]]
->'''Homer''': Hey, when do we get the check for this?\\
'''Marge''': Well, they said they changed it just enough so they don't have to pay us.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', "Bart The Murderer", watching "Blood On The Blackboard: The Bart Simpson Story" Docu-drama

It's that mostly familiar, spiffed up and neatly tied off version of the [[IfItBleedsItLeads sensationally violent yet true story]] you didn't want to read in the papers anyway. Double points if the real crime sounds like something fictional. Sometimes a murder is added to the real story to make it work as an episode.

Often seen on ''Franchise/LawAndOrder'' and its various spinoffs (in fact, their commercials provide the TropeNamer), though it is used in many [[CrimeAndPunishmentSeries Crime And Punishment]] shows. However, the original inspiration behind the title was the stock Warner Brothers film studio's tagline "Torn from today's headlines!"; Warners used this catchphrase often beginning in the 1930s to promote the gritty realism of their "social problem" films.

Most often seen in political cartoons, where the entire purpose is to comment on current events.

The EvilTwin of this trope is CouldThisHappenToYou. Done poorly, this can come across as WereStillRelevantDammit.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The ''Manga/AstroBoy'' story ''Capetown Lullaby'', written in the mid-sixties, was inspired by the issue of racial segregation in the US and South Africa, [[FantasticRacism substituting robots for black people]]. Astro even gets told to move to the back of a bus. A few other stories have nods to current events, despite ostensibly taking place in the future. ''Yellow Horse'', published in 1956, which was declared "International Geophysical Year", features both drug smugglers and police using different scientific survey missions as covers. ''The Midoro Swamp'', where Astro fights an army of living dinosaurs was inspired by sightings of the Loch Ness Monster making headlines... [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and it also features several characters eating soft-serve ice cream because the manga was written shortly after it first went on sale in Japan]].
* OsamuTezuka also often did this with ''Manga/BlackJack''. For instance, there really were a number of infanticides in which unwanted babies were left to die in train station coin lockers, although whether or not any of them were rescued by female street gang leaders is another matter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Mainstream {{comic book}}s don't do this too often (save for major events like WorldWarII or 9/11) lest they date themselves, but in ''Comicbook/XMen'', one of the reasons Nightcrawler quit his divinity studies was the rash of child abuse cases surrounding the Catholic Church in the early 2000's. He wondered how God could allow such a thing.
* Showing this trope is OlderThanTheyThink, a [[GoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] ''Human Torch'' story contained a reference to an actor named "[[OrsonWelles Lawson Bell]]", who had staged [[Radio/TheWarOfTheWorlds a radio hoax involving a Martian invasion of Earth]].
* John Byrne inverts this oddly, as he said a few times in interviews that sometimes what he writes about actually happens in real life. A big example is where WonderWoman [[http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2008/08/14/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-168/ died]] (and was at this time referred to as Princess Diana in universe) in an issue released the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genesis_(DC_Comics) same month]] the actual Princess Diana (of Wales) [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana,_Princess_of_Wales#Death died.]]
** Earlier on, during his reboot of {{Superman}}, Superman was to make his public debut by rescuing a space shuttle that Lois Lane, the only civilian there, was on. When the ''Challenger'' disaster occurred, claiming the lives of all crew (and the sole civilian, a woman) the shuttle was changed to a completely unrealistic "space plane".
** ''Even'' earlier on, John Byrne wrote an issue of ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'' where their usual duties were complicated by a city-wide blackout in New York. No sooner had the issue come out, New York City suffered a massive blackout.
* Superhero comics got a nasty shock when 9/11 happened, as 9/11 actually sounds a lot like a comic book plot. DC and Marvel had a rather hard time figuring out how to address 9/11 properly in universes in which gods, aliens, giant robots, and supervillains with otherworldly powers and weapons of mass destruction terrorize American citizens, ''especially'' New Yorkers, with death and mayhem on a rather regular basis.
** Marvel put out several specials, the proceeds of which went to 9/11-related charities, and this was [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] multiple times, ESPECIALLY with Spider-Man, and handled in a rather realistic (for the setting) fashion. When addressed directly, it was either a case of "so busy with giant gaudy supervillains, 13 separated plain-clothed men slipped by unnoticed", or they basically said "We'll figure out who to blame later and deal with the tragedy now!" or, in at least Spider-Man's case, [[HeroicBSOD he spent a long while with no answer to the question, no excuse, no reason at all.]]
** Slightly more cynical readers might point out that the Twin Towers were destroyed multiple times in Marvel Comics, often by the same villains shown crying in the aforementioned Spider-Man issue.
* ''{{Tintin}}'' did this constantly in the first periodic strips published in the 1930s, to the point that modern readers might fail to get what were at the time obvious references to world events. The situation changed after ThoseWackyNazis invaded Belgium and direct commentary on those world events became... unwise. Hergé spent the war writing more light-hearted stories with no political commentary, and after the war many of the 1930s strips were re-released in book form with the more swallow references (like to popular 1930s films and actors) deleted.
** The early ''Tintin in America'' (1931-1932) has Tintin go to Chicago to bring down AlCapone, the only time he has a real person as an antagonist.
** ''Cigars of the Pharaoh'' (1932-1934) is inspired by the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb and the post-WorldWarOne wars in the Middle East that shaped Saudi Arabia's borders as they are today. While adrift at the Red Sea, Tintin is saved by a then famous French mercenary/smuggler that operated in the area.
** ''The Blue Lotus'' (1934-1935) has Tintin stumble on a Japanese plot to stage a FalseFlagOperation blowing up the Shanghai-Nanking railway as a pretext to invade China. This is an obvious jab at the [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar Mukden Incident]].
** ''The Broken Ear'' (1935-1937) is based on the Chaco War, and features an international ArmsDealer modeled on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_Zaharoff Basil Zaharoff]].
** ''King Ottokar's Sceptre'' (1938-1939) is inspired both by the German annexation of Austria and the Italian invasion of Albania.
** ''Land of Black Gold'' (1939-1940) was originally set in the British Mandate of Palestine and dealt with Irgun insurgency. Publication was cancelled before the ending because of WorldWarTwo and when it was due to be resumed in 1948 it was deemed obsolete. The story was edited heavily and released as set in a fictional Arab country torn by civil war.
* Creator/MarkWaid's ''Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'' run had an issue inspired by the Trayvon Martin killing, with the only real difference being that the racist shooter was [[GenderFlip a woman]] instead of a man.
* In the wake of the controversy surrounding the United States' use of drones in TheWarOnTerror, ''Comicbook/SecretAvengers'' did a storyline about Iron Patriot drones [[AIIsACrapShoot running amok]] [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything and killing innocent civilians in a Middle Eastern nation]]. Unlike the real world situation, Comicbook/WarMachine and [[Comicbook/TheIncredibleHulk the Hulk]] stepped in to save the day.
* ''ComicBook/MortadeloYFilemon'': Ever since the end of the Spanish Democratic Transition in 1977 (and thus, the end of Franco's dictatorship censorship system), Ibáñez very often bases (very loosely) his stories in RealLife current events.
** Ibáñez rarely did this during the Silver Age (early 80s). It wasn't until the 90s (let's be generous and say late 80s) that RealLife was referenced in the comics (either as celebrity cameos or as stories based on RealLife events, and until the XXI century that it played a big role in them.
* The ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd'' storyline "Mega-City Confidential" is a clear commentary on the NSA/GCHQ surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden. Crucially, even Dredd feels that Justice Deparment's spying [[EvenEvilHasStandards is going too far]].
* The Creator/ECComics story "The Bribe!" (''[=Shock SuspenStories=]'' #7) is loosely based on the story of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire. The Cocoanut Grove passed a fire safety inspection eight days before it burned down, causing hundreds of deaths; that the Cocoanut Grove's owners had bribed the inspectors was alleged but never proven.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Creator/FritzLang did this a lot:
** The child serial killer in ''Film/{{M}}'', lynch mob justice in ''[[Film/{{Fury1936}} Fury]]''.
** And ''You Only Live Once'' (1937) was based on [[OutlawCouple Bonnie and Clyde]], who had been gunned down just three years before that film hit the theatres.
* [[DirtyHarry "Dirty" Harry Callahan]] fought obvious stand-ins for the Zodiac Killer (in ''Film/DirtyHarry'') and the Symbionese Liberation Army (in ''TheEnforcer'').
* Lampshaded in ''Film/{{Zodiac}}'' (2007) with the obvious Aesop that RealLife crimes aren't always solved by shooting someone.
* The Japanese TearJerker ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0408664/ Nobody Knows]]'' is about a much-publicized incident in which a single mother abandons her four children, forcing them to fend for themselves, and one of the child is killed by a sibling's friends. The film can be seen as a subversion of this trope, as the real-life incidence is more brutal than what is depicted on film.
* ''The Zodiac Killer'', an odd film that is half [[ShownTheirWork accurate]] and half sleazy, exploitative fiction, was released around the height of the real Zodiac's rampage, as was the sexploitation flick ''The Zodiac Rapist'', starring John Holmes.
* The JerkJock villains in ''Film/TheRageCarrie2'' were, sadly enough, TruthInTelevision -- they were based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spur_Posse Spur Posse]], a group of athletes at a California high school who used a point system to keep track of their sexual conquests, and wound up [[KarmaHoudini being let off on charges of statutory rape]].
* Bobby Thompson in the Creator/BorisKarloff horror movie ''Film/{{Targets}}'' is essentially the real-life mass-murderer [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman Charles Whitman]] with the serial numbers filed off.
* In ''Film/TradingPlaces'', the Duke brothers' attempt to corner the frozen concentrate orange juice market was inspired by the "Silver Thursday" crash of March 27, 1980, when the Hunt brothers of Texas attempted to corner the silver market, and ultimately failed to meet a $100 million margin call.
* ''Bloody Wednesday'', loosely based on the "[=McDonald's=] massacre" perpetrated by James Huberty, was made very shortly after the actual event.
* All the school shooting films (like ''Film/ZeroDay'') released in the wake of Columbine.
* ''PsychoCop Returns'', released in 1993, ends with [[KillerCop Officer Vickers]] being on the receiving end of a Rodney King-inspired beatdown, complete with videotaping bystander.
* Before all the car chases and explosions happen, the cult in ''Never Say Die'' instigates a mass suicide similar to the one instigated by the People's Temple in Jonestown, Guyana.
* Invoked in ''Film/ThePlayer'', which has movie executive Larry Levy suggest that studios "eliminate writers from the artistic process" and instead take movie stories from newspaper stories.
* ''Film/{{Cyberbully}}'' is ABC Family's attempt to make a "realistic" drama about a real issue teens face. (in this case, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin cyberbullying]]).
* The plot of ''Film/TheGodfatherPartIII'' was based on the Banco Ambrosiano of the 1980s.
* The plot of ''Film/InAndOut'', where an award-winning actor thanks his old gay high school teacher, while being unaware he was still in the closet, thereby giving him tons of unwanted attention, was inspired by Creator/TomHanks' Oscar acceptance speech at the 1994 Academy Awards where he unwittingly did the same thing to his own old high school teacher.
* Creator/AlfredHitchcock also did this a lot, though some of his films were adapted from novels that were ripped from the headlines.
* In the 60-s, Yakov Kostyukovsky read in a newspaper that a few Swiss people tried to smuggle jewels in an orthopedic cast. He took that idea, and the result was ''Film/TheDiamondArm'', one of the best known Soviet comedies '''ever'''.
* The plot of ''Film/AceInTheHole'' was inspired by two real-life events. Cave explorer W. Floyd Collins was trapped in a cave in 1925, and a three-year-old girl, Kathy Fiscus fell into an abandoned well in 1949. Just like in the film, the victims became media sensations and died before they were rescued.
* ''Film/{{Elysium}}'': It doesn't need to be said that in 2013, wealth disparity and societal division in spite of constantly emerging technologies that have the potential to improve everyone's lives is a hotly debated issue.
* ''Film/{{Network}}'' took inspiration from two news events of the mid-1970s: the on-air suicide of newscaster Christine Chubbuck, and the terrorist activities of the Symbionese Liberation Army.
* Subverted by ''Film/{{Fargo}}''. It ''claims'' to be based on actual events, but in reality it's not even loosely based on anything that actually happened.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Creator/AgathaChristie example: part of ''Literature/MurderOnTheOrientExpress'', [[spoiler:the Daisy Armstrong kidnapping,]] is clearly based on the Charles Lindbergh case.
* Christie's ''Literature/TheMirrorCrackd'' borrows its pivotal backstory from the real life of [[spoiler: actress Creator/GeneTierney]], to the extent that if you happen to be familiar with it, the crime is not terribly difficult to solve before Literature/MissMarple solves it.
** It's worth noting, however, that Christie always denied that she knew anything about the real-life incident when she wrote ''The Mirror Crack'd'' and that the similarities were completely coincidental (though if true, it was quite a coincidence).
* Creator/JodiPicoult's books often take two issues that are in the news UpToEleven. ''Literature/MySistersKeeper'' (in-vitro fertilization, ethics), ''Literature/HandleWithCare'' (aborting a disabled child), ''Change of Heart'' (religion, death penalty, organ donation), and most recently ''Sing You Home'' (lesbians having families, in-vitro fertilization). ''Literature/ThePact'' is about a SuicidePact and TeenPregnancy, SalemFalls is about being falsely accused of rape, and ''Mercy'' is about [[MercyKill assisted suicide]].
* OlderThanRadio: Creator/EdgarAllanPoe did it with the short story "The Mystery of Marie Roget," which is based on the real-life disappearance and apparent murder of an American woman named [[http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/classics/mary_rogers/index.html Mary Rogers]].
* Walter Gibson noted in an article in The Great Detectives (edited by Otto Penzler) that he based the Shadow's foe Double Z on the then contemporary terrorist Three X.
* Joyce Carol Oates is very fond of fictionalizing real cases of murder and violent death, sometimes sticking very close to actual events but going inside the minds of the people involved, sometimes [[VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory departing much farther]]. Some examples are ''My Sister My Love'' (Jon Benet Ramsey), ''Zombie'' (Jeffrey Dahmer), "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Schmid Charles Schmid]]), "Dear Husband" (Andrea Yates), "Landfill" ([[http://www.phillymag.com/scripts/print/article.php?asset_idx=228955 John Fiocco]]), and ''Black Water'' ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Jo_Kopechne Mary Jo Kopechne]]).
* ''All We Know of Heaven'' by Jacquelyn Mitchard is based on a real story about two girls who are in a car accident. One girl dies. Unfortunately, the hospital identified the wrong one as dead. In real life, the families were very nice about it and handled themselves well. The book adds more drama and a love story.
* Two of the most memorable Literature/SherlockHolmes villains, Charles Augustus Milverton and Professor James Moriarty, were based on real life criminals Charles Augustus Howell and Adam Worth respectively.
* Many of the newspaper clippings mentioned in H.P. Lovecraft's masterpiece "Literature/TheCallOfCthulhu" were literally ripped from the headlines of the days in question; for example, the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1925_Charlevoix–Kamouraska_earthquake earthquake]], the architect's suicide, and the theosophist society's apocalyptic expectations were really reported in the New York Times on the stated dates.
* Laura Lippman's ''What the Dead Know'' is partially based on the disappearance of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyon_sisters the Lyon Sisters]] in 1975.
* ''Literature/ThePassage'' by Justin Cronin has this as the Gulf Oil Spill is mentioned to be still causing problems 100 years later.
* ''Literature/SavingZoe'' is about a girl named Zoë who was killed by a "photographer" she met on MySpace. Ripped from stories such as the "Facebook killer" or the "Craigslist Killer" and many others.
* "Delial", the girl Navidson frequently mentions in ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves'', turns out to be the [[spoiler: name he mentally gave to the subject of his award-winning photograph [[http://www.fanpop.com/spots/house-of-leaves/images/1180150/title/real-delial-photo of a starving orphan girl in Africa in the view of a vulture]]. The book actually mentions the RealLife version and the photographer by name.]]
* ''Literature/ThePearl'' by John Steinbeck exaggerates this trope.
* ''[[Literature/JohnnyMaxwellTrilogy Johnny and the Dead]]'' by Creator/TerryPratchett is about Blackbury Council selling the cemetery to United Holdings (Holdings) Ltd. for 2p. This was based on Westminster Council selling three cemeteries to corporate buyers for 5p each.
* Literature/SisterhoodSeries by Creator/FernMichaels: The final book ''Home Free'' focuses on a character who is explicitly stated to be a clone of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Madoff Bernie Madoff]].
* ''After'' by Amy Efaw is about a teenage girl named Devon who gets pregnant in high school. She then dumps the baby in a dumpster, but the baby is found and she is charged with attempted murder. The author states on her website that it is inspired by various news stories about babies left in dumpsters or trash cans, such as the story of Melissa Drexler or Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson.
* The climax of ''Literature/TheFearIndex'' features an extreme flux in the DOW Jones, which actually happened and is called a Flash Crash. One gets the impression that Harris found this interesting and worked backwards from that.
* ''Literature/{{Scarface}}'' was loosely based on AlCapone and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre.
* Creator/JosephConrad's ''The Secret Agent'' is based on an actual news story about an unsolved terrorist plot.
* Every Creator/DaleBrown story is prefaced by extracts from news articles that came out shortly before publication, establishing the relevance of the events and equipment featured.
* In the ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series, several UK-specific books are about current events in the monarchy.
* ''The Last Guru'' by Creator/DanielPinkwater is loosely based on the story of Maharaj Ji of the Divine Light Mission, who became famous as an avatar of God in his early teens.
* The stories featured in Literature/TheRailwaySeries are all based on stories of real incidents on railways.
* The plot of ''No Way to Treat a First Lady'' by Creator/ChristopherBuckley is a mishmash of the Monica Lewinsky/President Clinton sex scandal and the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
* ''Literature/{{Hobgoblin}}'' was published to cash in on the then-recent death of James Dallas Egbert III by having an RPG-obsessed teen fall under the spell of his game and try to play out his fantasies. Contrary to the Egbert case, [[spoiler:Scott employs his fantasy to save others by becoming the hero his character had been]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action Television]]
* Occurred in ''{{Casualty}}'' in July 2012, Casualty did a two part episode, featuring a riot in its fictional setting of Holby, this was similar to the riots in English cities a year ago.
** A storyline from the 1990s in which an ambulance ended up going off the road and laying across a railway line was very obviously based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Heck#Great_Heck_rail_crash the Great Heck rail accident]]. [[TooSoon The next-of-kin of those killed in the crash were less than impressed.]]
* Sister series ''HolbyCity'' has managed to time storylines so they appear onscreen at the same time a story is just becoming big news thanks to industry insiders - the producers received a heads up on a story about dodgy breast implants in France several months before it actually broke, and the story was only becoming a major scandal at the same time the resulting related plot appeared on screen.
* Often occurs in the ''Series/LawAndOrder'' series. For example:
** Season 1, episode 2: "Subterranian Homeboy Blues". {{Gender flip}}s the Bernhard Goetz case, (the shooter in the show is a female), but makes few other changes to the real life case.
** Season 1, episode 9: "Indifference" is so obviously inspired by the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_Steinberg Lisa Steinberg]] case that it concludes with a long disclaimer both displayed and spoken about how the real case differed from the story just shown. It is easily the creepiest moment of the entire series considering they used the same title sequence narrator to tell the audience that the horrific case and the depraved criminals involved have some basis in real life.
** Season 1, episode 11: "Out of the Half-Light", an episode which fictionalized the then-unresolved [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawana_Brawley_rape_allegations Tawana Brawley scandal/hoax]].
** Season 2, episode 1: "Confession" has some similarities to the case of Oreste Fulminante, whose confession to murder was found to be coerced.
** Season 2, episode 2: "Wages of Love" shows similarities to the Betty Broderick case.
** Season 2, episode 5: "God Bless This Child" may have been based on the Alex Dale Morris faith-healing case.
** Season 2, episode 7: "In Memory Of." Based on the case of George Franklin.
** Season 2, episode 8: "Out of Control". Based on a rape case at St. John's University.
** Season 2, episode 9: "Renunciation" was based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamela_Smart Pamela Smart]] case.
** Season 2, episode 10: "Heaven" was heavily based on the Happy Land Fire. Both the fictional case and the real one it was based on involved a jealous boyfriend burning his ex-girlfriend's club, and the fictional episode added an organized crime conspiracy element to the story.
** Season 2, episode 11: "His Hour on the Stage" was based on the Roy Radin murder.
** Season 2, episode 15: "Severance" may have been based in part on the case of Donald Nash.
** Season 2, episode 16: "Vengeance" was possibly based on the Boston Strangler.
** Season 2, episode 19: "The Fertile Fields", which may have been inspired in part by the Crown Heights riots.
** Season 2, episode 20: "Intolerance" was based on Wanda Holloway, who hired a hitman to kill her daughter's rival in a school competition.
** Season 3, episode 2: "Conspiracy". Originally based on the assassinations of several civil rights leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, and Malcolm X. The sequel episode (season 7, episode 9, ''Entrapment'') made it specifically about the Malcolm X shooting.
** Season 3, episode 3: "Forgiveness", which was based on Bonnie Garland's murder.
** Season 3, episode 12: "Extended Family", based on what happened to Faye Yager.
** Season 3, episode 15: "Night and Fog", about the Nazi John Denjamjuk (called 'Ivan the Terrible').
** Season 3, episode 17: "Conduct Unbecoming", which referenced the Tailhook scandal.
** Season 4, episode 1: "Sweeps". Based on an episode of Geraldo that erupted into a brawl.
** Season 4, episode 5: "Black Tie." Based on the Sunny Von Bulow case.
** Season 4, episode 7: "Apocrypha". Based on the UsefulNotes/CharlesManson cult.
** Season 4, episode 8: "American Dream". Based on the Billionaire Boys Club scandal.
** Season 4, episode 14: "Censure" was based on the case of Judge Solomon Wachtler.
** Season 4, episode 17: "Mayhem" was inspired in part by Lorena Bobbitt's mutilation of her husband.
** Season 4, episode 18: "Wager" was based on James Jordan's gambling problems (James Jordan was Michael Jordan's father).
** Season 4, episode 19: "Sanctuary" was based on the Crown Heights riots.
** Season 4, episode 21: "Doubles". Based on the attacks on sports stars Nancy Kerrigan and Monica Seles.
** Season 5, episode 1: "Second Opinion." Opens with an incident based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloria_Ramirez Gloria Ramirez]] before diving into the peddling of phony cancer medication such as Laetril.
** Season 6, episode 13: "Charm City" (also a [[HomicideLifeOnTheStreet Homicide]] crossover). Based on the Aum Shinrikyo subway attack.
** Season 7, episode 13: ''Matrimony'', which featured yet another blond bombshell being investigated for the murder of her octogenarian millionaire husband.
** Season 7, episodes 15-17: "D-Girl", "Turnaround", and "Showtime" -- based on the infamous OJ Simpson trial, which was such a circus that naturally it needed to be a three-part epic. Notably, the OJ stand-in and his dead wife were white, eliminating the racial angle. ''Every'' other beat of the real trial was mirrored... until the jury found the guy guilty, that is.
** Season 8, episode 1: "Thrill" -- an episode where two teenagers order take out, just so they can get the thrill of killing the delivery guys -- was based on a real event, just replace the fried chicken with pizza.
** Season 8, Episode 2: "Denial"- about a college age couple that denies killing their newborn baby. Based on the Melissa Drexler and Amy Grossberg cases, in which young parents dump their babies in dumpsters.
** Season 8, episode 15: "Faccia a Faccia" - about a murdered former hitman who'd turned states evidence and published a book about his life in the mob. Heavily inspired by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sammy_Gravano Sammy "The Bull" Gravano]].
** Season 9, episode 5: "Agony" - has a serial killer suspected of numerous murders in several states, reminiscent of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Bundy Ted Bundy]].
** Season 10, episode 1: "Gunshow" - was mostly based on the Ecole Polytechnique shooting in Canada, as the victims were female students and the shooter was inspired by hatred of women and attempted to kill himself as well. It also involves then-current topics in the gun control debate, like sales loopholes. (Of course, where the incident actually happened, there ''isn't'' as much of a gun culture to begin with and there was an almost immediate crackdown after the shooting. But that's not as interesting as [[spoiler: hauling a gun company CEO in on manslaughter charges]].)
** Season 10, episode 2: "Killerz" - disturbingly based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Bulger murder of James Bulger]], but with the perps as girls. ''Series/LawAndOrderUK'' adapted the episode around the time Bulger's killers were up for parole, renewing national interest in the case.
** Season 10, episode 24: "Vaya Con Dios" - heavily inspired by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indictment_and_arrest_of_Augusto_Pinochet the arrest and trial of Augusto Pinochet for human rights violations]].
** Season 11, Episode 11: "Sunday in the Park with Jorge," based in part on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rican_Day_Parade_attacks the 2000 Puerto Rican Day Parade attacks]]. Also a MissingEpisode, as community leaders weren't happy with the general portrayal of Puerto Ricans on the show and pushed back against NBC hard.
** Season 11, Episode 24: "Deep Vote" - takes the 2000 election recounts, applies them to a senatorial election, and gets the mob involved.
** Season 12, Episode 1: "Who Let the Dogs Out?" - based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Whipple the death of Diane Whipple]].
** Season 12, Episode: "Formerly Famous" - based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Blake_(actor) the Robert Blake case]].
** Season 13, episode 3: "True Crime" combined Courtney Love's coked-up exploits, Kurt Cobain's [[strike:murder]] suicide, and the Dave Mustaine/Metallica split (With a layer of The Beatles/Yoko Ono thrown in for good measure).
** Season 13, episode 15: "Bitch" - based on Martha Stewart's insider trading scandal.
** Season 13, episode 24: "Smoke" took the infamous 2002 "Michael Jackson dangles his baby out of a hotel window" incident to its (il)logical extreme; a famous eccentric celebrity dangles his young son out a window... ''AND DROPS HIM''! Cue {{Sting}}. From there, the story reaches further back to the 1993 child molestation allegations brought against Jackson by Jordan Chandler and the out-of-court settlement he reached with the boy and his family.
** Season 14, episode 5: "Blaze" was based on the Station nightclub fire.
** Season 14, episode 21: "Vendetta" was based on Steve Bartman, who caught a ball at a baseball game that an outfielder could have caught and thus supposedly cost the Chicago Cubs their trip to the World Series.
** Season 15, episode 11: "Fixed" was based on Joel Steinberg's release from prison and thus serves as a sequel to "Indifference".
** Season 15, episode 16: "The Sixth Man" was based on the infamous Indiana Pacers-Detroit Pistons brawl that started when Ron Artest entered the stands. In this ep, the Artest stand-in is accused of the murder of the guy he went into the stands to fight, after said fan sued him.
** Season 15, episode 24: "Locomotion" was based on the Glendale train crash caused by a man attempting suicide by parking his car on the tracks
** Season 16, episode 4: "Age of Innocence" was clearly based on the Terry Schiavo case. Guess which side got to be the murderers? [[spoiler:If you guessed [[AcceptableTargets those wacky, fanatical Christians]] - you're right.]]
** Season 16, episode 20: "Kingmaker" involved a variation of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_plame#.22Plamegate.22 Valerie Plame]] outing, although with the politics reversed: the target of the outing of his daughter as a covert undercover agent was a Republican politician, and the political operative responsible for the outing was a ruthless, vicious, scary Democrat.
** Season 17, episode 7: "In Vino Veritas," which, like the Michael Jackson example above, was about taking a celebrity scandal and cranking it up to 11, with Mel Gibson's DUI arrest and following anti-Semitic rant (reenacted by ''[[WTHCastingAgency Chevy Chase]]'', of all people) giving way to a murder confession.
** Season 17, episode 11: "Remains of the Day", about the death of Anna Nicole Smith's son.
** Season 17, episode 22: "The Family Hour", about Judge Larry Seldin's antics at Anna Nicole Smith's custody trial. It also became meta and referenced the Andrea Yates trial. A forensic psychology testified that Yates' testimony was cribbed from a Law and Order episode; there was no such episode. In "The Family Hour," Rodgers makes a similar mistake on the stand.
** Season 18, episode 4: "Bottomless" used this trope three times (Wal-Mart ethics enforcement, Chinese quality control scandals, and Roy Pearson's multi-million dollar lawsuit over being given the wrong pair of pants by his dry cleaners) into one vaguely-coherent 44-minute episode.
** Season 18, episode 15: "Bogeyman" referenced the Scientology {{paranoia fuel}}ed [[DrivenToSuicide suicides]] of a [[http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/01/suicides200801 prominent New York artist couple]] (you've seen the husband's artwork if you saw the trailer for Creator/AdamSandler's ''PunchDrunkLove'' or Beck's ''Sea Change'' album). Notable in the fact that it vaguely alluded that Assist. DA Cutter might be an [[ChurchOfHappyology expy-Scientologist]] too; sadly, the expy-[[FanNickName Scilons]] have yet to return. [[note]]The Scientologists' harassment tactic isn't meant to drive their victim(s) to suicide, just away from investigating Scientology. Going crazy and being committed (the ultimate hell for the psychiatry-loathing Scientologists) or broke from filing libel suits is just a bonus.[[/note]]
*** It wasn't alluded to that Cutter belonged to the cult. He was using the defendant's obvious paranoia against him as a BatmanGambit in order to win the case against him.
** Season 20, episode 4: "Reality Bites" combines conspicuous references to the Octomom, Kate and Jon Gosselin, and the Dugger family in a mess of reality-TV motivated familial drama.
** Season 20, episode 5: "Dignity" was based an episode on the murder of abortion doctor George Tiller.
** Season 20, episode 6: "Human Flesh Search Engine" managed the bizarre feat of being based both on the death of David Carradine and [[{{Imageboard}} 4Chan]].
** Season 20, episode 11: "FED". A somewhat bizarre application of this trope; this episode combined the murder of a census worker who had the word 'FED' scrawled on his body with the ACORN videos showing ACORN members advising people how to commit voter fraud. In real life, both stories were hoaxes -- the census worker's death was actually a suicide, and the ACORN videos were found to be heavily doctored.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' pulled a trifecta when they combined Rhianna's physical abuse, "sexting" (teens sending nude pics over their cellphones), and [[spoiler: a scandal about two judges who'd send kids with very minor offenses to private juvenile facilities for cash (basically [[strike:''{{Holes}}'' if Stanley's judge was getting paid for each kid he sent to Camp Green Lake)]] Sunlight Home from Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheTalisman''.]]
** [[spoiler:Or, [[http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/02/23/pennsylvania.corrupt.judges/ a more literally ripped-from-the-headlines example from my area]].]]
** Another trifecta: "Babes", an episode in the 10th season of SVU, had a group of high school students making a pregnancy pact in order to emulate a movie they had seen, a mother apparently bullying her daughter's classmate into committing suicide via an online networking site AND a group of kids filming homeless people being beaten and then uploading the footage onto the internet, all of which closely resemble real-life news stories.
** ANOTHER trifecta: "Blood Brothers", from season 13 of SVU, managed to combine the Arnold Schwarzenegger love child scandal (though in the episode, it was just a politician, not an actor as well, but it kept most of the details, including his wife and his housekeeper both giving birth to his sons in the same month), unfair placement on the sex offender registry (in this case, two teenagers having sex and the slightly older boy is put on the registry), and the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton, of all things. If you include teen pregnancy, given the popularity of shows like 16 & Pregnant, this episode might count as a quadruple use of this trope.
** Similarly, another episode of L&O: SVU dealt with a famous person advocating against psychiatric drugs, and the disastrous effects when someone with a mental disorder listens to him (this character wasn't a Happyologist, it was just his personal opinion).
** SVU episode ''"Torch"'' covers the case of Texas man [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cameron_Todd_Willingham Cameron Todd Willingham]], who was executed early in the century, though evidence supports his potential innocence, for burning his house down with his daughters in it. Both cases featured issues raised with investigating arson, a smug, WRONG arson investigator, a former nuclear weapons expert turned arson investigator, the concept of flashover, and an [[TheScrappy unlikeable prosecutor]]. The SVU version notably features the innocent man being acquitted before he died, the prosecutor correctly pursuing justice, no [[http://edition.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/01/texas.execution.probe/index.html interference from Texas governor Rick Perry]], and no New Yorker coverage. This case is currently major in the debate about the death penalty, as it was the first known incident of an innocent Texan being executed.
** The episode "As Nature Made Him" in ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' used the story of the twin boy forced to live as a girl after a botched circumcision. In the episode the non-altered twin was charged with a crime based on the evidence that indicated there had been a young boy at the scene. Altered-twin eventually fessed up after being hit with the news that 'she' used to be male.
*** The episode title is also the title of the book written about the real-life case
** The first half of season 8 episode "Haystack" is based on the Melinda Duckett case, except that in the episode the little boy was found by firefighters. As of this writing, Trenton Duckett has yet to be found.
** The Season 9 episode "Lost Traveler", about a Romani boy who disappeared on his way home from school, combines the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Leiby_Kletzky the disappearance of an Orthodox Jewish boy]] and the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_International_phone_hacking_scandal News International phone hacking scandal]].
** The season 14 episode, "25 Acts", is inspired by the ''FiftyShadesOfGrey'' media craze. In it, the author gets brutally raped by a TV host who interviewed her.
** The Season 5 episode "Lowdown" discusses the phenomenon of "being on the down low" in the African-American community, in which supposedly masculine black men secretly have sex with other men but claim that they're still straight. In the episode, a Bronx D.A. (who is Benson's ex-boyfriend) is found dead in his car, and clues lead to his male coworker, who he was in a secret sexual relationship with. Fin actually details what the term "down-low" means to the rest of the squad. It also addresses the theory that black men on the down low is the reason for the high rate of HIV in black women, by having said coworker also give his wife HIV.
** The season 14 episode "Vanity's Bonfire" is based on the John Edwards sex scandal, in which 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards cheated on his cancer-stricken wife and got his mistress pregnant, then convinced one of his aides to claim the baby as his.
** The season 14 episode "Lessons Learned" is based on the Penn State University sex scandal, in which former coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of molesting several boys and the school was criticized for covering it up.
** The season 14 episode "Funny Valentine" is based on the ChrisBrown and {{Rihanna}} domestic violence incident,and even had lookalike actors playing the singers.
** a scene at the end threw in a News report with a line about she 'fell off of a boat' and died, no doubt to reference recently renewed coverage of Natalie Wood's Death and rumors that she may have been murdered
** Other prominent ripped-from-the-headlines episodes over the years feature: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ng Charles Ng's]] rape and murder spree and extradition proceedings from Canada (Season 2, "Manhunt"); the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abner_Louima Abner Louima assault]] (Season 4, "Rotten"); the renewed child molestation allegations against Michael Jackson (Season 5, "Sick"); the case of a British teacher who [[http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2345971.stm claimed a brain tumor drove him to pedophilia]] (Season 5, "Head"); and the side effects of using [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mefloquine Mefloquine]] to treat malaria in soldiers deployed in Iraq (Season 6, "Goliath")
** Season 13, Episode 15 "Hunting Ground", about a man who hunts and kills prostitutes and buries their bodies on a local beach: [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hansen Robert Hansen]] and the still-unidentified [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Island_serial_killer Long Island Serial Killer]].
** Seasdon 15, Episode 2 "Imprisoned Lives" very clearly spoofed the Ariel Castro affair, with the detectives joking near the end that the suspect they caught would likely kill himself in prison.
** Season 15, Episode 3 "American Tragedy" managed to pull off another trifecta, combining the New York Police Department Stop-and-Frisk debacle, Paula Deen's racist comments scandal, and the Trayvon Martin case, by having a rich, white, Southern celebrity chef shoot an unarmed black teenager simply because of his race.
* In late 2006, ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' fictionalized the already-fictional character of the [=YouTube=] "celebrity" {{lonelygirl15}} as "[=WeepingWillow17=]" and made her the victim of a kidnapping, and by the end it's as hard for the detectives to tell what's real and what isn't as it is for the viewers.
** Yet another ''Criminal Intent'' episode dramatized the John Mark Karr confession to the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, for the first half hour at least. And come on, you ''knew'' the creepy neighbor had to have something to do with it. Bonus: The character of [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed Faith Yancy]] makes another appearance.
** "Bombshell" was about Anna Nicole Smith's death. Her character was named Lorelei, after Marilyn Monroe's famous part.
** An episode of ''Law & Order: Criminal Intent'' had a very AffablyEvil Madoff {{expy}}, who confessed to his incredible scheme [[spoiler: to get protection from the Colombian(?) gangsters he swindled]].
*** The original did this too ("Anchors Away", season 19)
*** The first episode of the final season featured Jay Mohr as a Creator/CharlieSheen stand-in (who was a fashion mogul instead of an actor because they knew they had to change ''something'' to avoid getting sued). He turned out to be only tangentially related to the murder plot even though the advertisements focused entirely on his character.
** The Season 3 episode "The Saint" (yes, [[WTHCastingAgency the one with]] StephenColbert) was based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Hofmann Mark Hofmann]] case, centering on a forger who targets a religion institution and uses a bomb to get rid of the person that could help to unravel his scheme.
** Basically ''Law & Order: Criminal Intent'' does a lot of these. The show is about high-profile crimes, after all.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderUK'''s third season opened with an episode with a plot reminiscent of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Bulger murder of James Bulger]], which had been rendered topical again by one of the murderers being arrested for child pornography offenses in early 2010, when the episode would've been written and filmed.
** The show also occasionally tweaks episodes of the original ''Series/LawAndOrder'' to deal with this. The adaptation of "Promises to Keep" (focused on a psychiatrist whose relationship with a client crosses the line and results in the death of the cilent's pregnant fiance) moved the focus onto the patient, who reveals he was involved in a James Bulger-style murder as a child and is out on a life license under a new identity, like Bulger's killers would have been at the time.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderLA'', in its 8-episode trial run, managed to rip from the headlines in at least 6 of them, including the UsefulNotes/MansonFamily, Tiger Woods' marital issues, John Edwards' out-of-wedlock baby, etc.
** "Silver Lake" was basically a straight dramatization about the detainment and prosecution of an ''extremely'' disturbed Air Force officer.
** One ''Criminal Intent'' episode had an upcoming Broadway musical based on [[ClassicalMythology the legend of Icarus]] plagued by injuries on the set, culminating in the death of its lead actor when his rigging snapped and he fell during a stunt. This was based on the many problems surrounding the infamous Spider-Man musical. Goren even compares the two shows at one point.
** Abed on ''Series/{{Community}}'' also points out ''Series/LawAndOrder'' has an ongoing arc about a lawyer with a fake degree--total ripoff of Jeff.
** [[NineNetwork GEM's]] advertisements for ''Series/LawAndOrder'' reruns mention this trope almost by name, billing it as having "cases torn straight from the headlines" as a selling point.
* All of this makes watching True Crime shows like ''American Justice'' or ''Cold Case Files'' an interesting experience, especially when you recognize a case you didn't know had been RippedFromTheHeadlines.
* ''Series/ColdCase'' has done this a few times:
** The very first episode, "Look Again" is based on the Martha Moxley case.
** "The Boy In The Box" is inspired by the actual Philadelphia unsolved case of the same name.
** "Thrill Kill" is based on the case of the Memphis Three.
** "Strange Fruit" is based on the murder of Emmett Till.
** George Marks (''Mind Hunters'', ''The Woods'') hunted naked women in the woods, like [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hansen Robert Hansen]].
** "Wednesday Women" is based on the murder of Viola Liuzzo.
** "Flashover" is based on the polemic arrest and conviction of Cameron Todd Willingham.
** "Jurisprudence" is based on [[spoiler:a scandal about two judges who'd send kids with very minor offenses to private juvenile facilities for bribes, the "Kids for Cash" scandal]].
** Even when not based on specific cases, many other episodes reference the hot-button social issues of the day--the AIDS crisis ("It's Raining Men"), the stock market boom ("Greed"), the dot.com boom ("Start Up"), etc. The oldest case revisited ("Torn") is the murder of an activist for women suffrage in 1919.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has done this a few times:
** "Natural Born Killer" -- based on real-life Mafia hitman [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Kuklinski Richard Kuklinski]]
** Two-parter "To Hell..." "...And Back" -- based on the case of Canadian serial killer [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pickton Robert Pickton]]
** "Empty Planet"" -- seems to be based in part on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unabomber the Unabomber]]
** The Boston Reaper seems to be based on The Zodiac Killer. There's a bit of BTK, Son of Sam and the Monster of Florence in there as well.
** "Demonology" is about a priest performing lethal exorcisms; in 2005, a nun in Portugal died in the same situation.
** "I Love You, Tommy Brown" is about a teacher who has an affair with and gets pregnant by one of her students, goes to jail, and after her release kills the foster parents of the child, based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Kay_Letourneau Mary Kay LeTourneau]] case (minus the murder spree).
* The first episode of the final season of ''Series/StrongMedicine'' had a storyline that referenced the 2005 Glendale train derailment (where a guy left a truck on the track). They made the suspect in the episode female...and bipolar.
* Just about every PoliceProcedural show (''Series/{{Bones}}'', ''{{Numb3rs}}'' and ''Series/WithoutATrace'' ... remarkably I can't recall any of the ''Series/LawAndOrder''s participating) got to show off their China Towns for an episode based on the ancient Chinese custom of "ghost brides": the family of a young man who died before getting married arranges for a deceased girl to marry him in the afterlife; the episode typically dealt with someone who forgot the "deceased" part when selecting a bride.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': Female combat pilots in the Navy? The WarOnTerror? Issues with various aircraft? Homeless veterans? Racial bigotry? Gays in the service? You pick 'em, this show has 'em in spades.
* ''Series/LALaw'' once had an episode based on the case of Angela Carder, a pregnant woman terminally ill with cancer forced to undergo premature cesarean section by court order. In RealLife, both died. On TV, the baby survived.
** This was common for whatever the 'light' sub-plot was for ''L.A. Law''. Lawsuits and criminal charges based around toad-lickers and bull semen were often fictionalized news bites.
* The first three seasons of the Canadian crime series ''[=DaVinci=]'s Inquest'' dealt with the main characters attempting to find out who was behind the disappearances of prostitutes in and around the Vancouver area. The show was inspired by the real-life kidnappings of prostitutes by B.C. pig farmer Robert Pickton (he hadn't been caught at the time the show began), and numerous episodes contained characters speaking at length on the failure of the Vancouver police department to find the killer. When Pickton was caught, the creators dropped the plot line altogether.
* One episode of ''Grounded for Life'' was promo-ed as "ripped from the headlines", when a character's interference causes the Yankees to lose a game. Except that the real game was between the Marlins and Cubs, and [[TrailersAlwaysLie the episode was a rerun]].
* One episode of ''Series/{{Bones}}'' takes the pregnancy pact reportedly taken by a group of Mass. girls and incorporates it into the storyline.
** Bones herself thought it was a good idea for the girls to band together; meanwhile in RealLife the "pact" turned out to be a huge coincidence fanned by rumors and probably more then a little snarking.
* One episode of ''Series/LieToMe'' was based on the Bernie Madoff blowup and the pilot had a similar plot line to the Elliot Spitzer scandal.
** Secret Santa lampshades this by referring to the even that inspired the episode.
** The Series/{{Leverage}} team also took down a Madoff expy and [[RoyalPains Hank-Med]] was hired to treat another one.
* ''NUMB3RS'' does this - many episodes (including the pilot) are based on real-life cases, but not recent ones. For instance, the Season Five finale had a cult figure based off of UsefulNotes/CharlesManson, [[ActorAllusion played by]] [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined Gaius Baltar]].
* ''Series/{{House}}'' did an episode based upon the case of Whitney Cerak and Laura [=VanRyn=]. Two young women similar in appearance and build were misidentified after sustaining horrific injuries in an accident. In the House episode, as in real life, one of the women did not survive and the other woman's care was supervised by the deceased woman's family.
** So did ''CSI:NY'', with the twist (of course) being [[spoiler:the "dead" girl's mother accidentally killed her own daughter, who she (and everyone else) thought was the party-girl "survivor".]]
** This troper recalls another clearly accidental one from ''{{House}}'': IMMEDIATELY following (as in what came up onscreen after the episode credits) the first airing of the episode where the patient is revealed to have bubonic plague, there was a news report of a small localized outbreak of bubonic plague somewhere in the US. Since the episode clearly had to be filmed way in advance of the news report, it was just one hell of a coincidence.
* ''Series/GhostWhisperer'' and ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' did episodes based on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-State_Crematory Tri-State Crematory scandal]], where corpses were never cremated and "piled like cord wood" in the undergrowth. ''Ghost Whisperer''s caretaker was just old and senile while ''CI''s caretaker was both bad at business and [[spoiler:using the undergrowth to hide bodies for his assassin brother. Said brother was also trying to give him business advice, to no avail.]]
* Both ''Series/CSIMiami'' and ''Series/LawAndOrder'' have plots based on a census taker who found in the woods, strung up with the word "FED" pinned to his shirt. While both stories will undoubtedly be murders, RealLife revealed it was actually a staged suicide -- he was attempting to pin his death on local rednecks so his family would get the insurance money.
** ''CSI: Miami'' went for quadruple plot points by adding slave labor, a repossessed house, and a meth lab.
* Original flavour ''Series/{{CSI}} Vegas'' did an episode revolving around guns produced in 3D printers, within barely a month of news breaking about Defense Distributed's Liberator.
** Earlier, there was "Anatomy of a Lye," ripped from the case of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chante_Jawan_Mallard Chante Jawan Mallard]], who struck a homeless man with her car, drove home with him clinging to the roof, and left him to bleed out in her garage.
* And now there's a TV movie called ''Pregnancy Pact'', "based on a true story" according to the ads. Just like with the example mentioned for ''Series/{{Bones}}'' above, the true story is that there was no pact and the story was nothing but rumor and bad journalism. It could still be called "true" if it was a movie all about half-assed sensationalist reporting, but so far [[TrailersAlwaysLie that's not how the ads are making it look]].
* Happened accidentally on ''TheUnit'', in an episode where the members of the unit infiltrate Syria to rescue Jonas' daughter, despite being strictly told not to do so because it constitutes as an act of war against a sovereign nation. Just two weeks before the episode was aired, there were actual news reports of an American attack in Syria, involving an infiltration team and helicopters. While the episode itself was (probably) written and filmed long before these events, the fact that it aired two weeks after it actually happened make this a curious case of accidental RippedFromTheHeadlines. (In point of fact, such a coincidence would usually lead to such an episode being pulled by the network and rescheduled for later, on account of it being TooSoon.)
* The ''Series/{{Castle}}'' episode "The Late Shaft" pretty much based its entire story around the [[TheTonightShow Jay Leno]]-Creator/ConanOBrien debacle over at Creator/{{NBC}}, with a dash of David Letterman's affair/blackmail story thrown in for good measure. NathanFillion was a guest on ''Jimmy Kimmel Live'' that night...
** The episode "47 Seconds" also dealt with bombings at an expy of the Occupy movement. (When the repeat aired on TNT [[TooSoon just after the Boston Marathon attack]], they issued an apology.)
* ''BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' often took sci fi twists on whatever was going on during The War on Terror
* The third season of ''Series/{{Damages}}'' revolved around the family of a stockbroker who had been caught and convicted of running the largest Ponzi scheme in history but [[CaptainErsatz most definitely isn't Bernie Madoff, honest]].
** Every season of ''Series/{{Damages}}'' features this: Seasons 1 and 2 were based on Enron's shenanigans (with Frobisher representing Enron's accounting irregularities and UNR's scheme representing Enron's manipulation of the energy market), Season 4 deals with an Expy of Blackwater and Season 5 is based on Julian Assange and [=WikiLeaks=].
* ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration''
** Season 3, In one of the series' many GayAesop stories, Marco's shoes get stolen when he's the victim of a hate crime, much like Matt Sheppard, only not as lethal.
** Season 13, In a plot that seems to be blatantly following this trope, basketball player Miles and his best friend are shown taking photos of and carrying Zoë (who is inebriated and unconscious) into the pool house where she is later recorded being raped by unknown assailants, resembling the Steubenville rape case. [[spoiler: The rapists turn out to be members of the hockey team, again similar to the Steubenville case (in which they were football players).]]
* Played with a little in ''Blue Heelers'', where a character might mention police quotas and revenue-raising. Can lead into WriterOnBoard.
* Many of the scenarios featured on ''Series/WhatWouldYouDo'' reflect real world incidents.
* ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}'' was based on actual events and was made with as much realism as possible.
* A variation occurred on ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. In the middle of a space battle between the Defiant and some Klingon warships, a civilian transport decloaked and was promptly blown away by Worf, thinking it was an attacker. The episode, "Rules of Engagement", focused on Worf being on trial over the incident. A similar incident, involving a US AEGIS cruiser and an Iranian civilian airliner flying through the middle of a battle and getting shot down took place, and the captain ended up on trial for it... back in 1988, almost a decade before this episode aired.
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' often has this, with episodes based on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upper_Big_Branch_Mine_disaster the Upper Big Branch mine disaster]] and [[http://www.alternet.org/story/147467/pfizer%3A_the_drug_giant_that_makes_bank_from_drugs_that_can_kill_you/ Pfizer's rather bad week of quality control]], among others. [[WordOfGod John Rogers]] often says on his blog that most of his stuff is just as pulled from the headlines as the other crime dramas, only with less [[Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit sodomy with a violin bow]].
* The LifetimeMovieOfTheWeek has this more and more frequently, with movies about whatever [[MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome missing or dead white woman]] is in the news this week (the movie about Natalee Holloway, the movie about Amanda Knox, the movie about the Craigslist killer, etc.) Also often adapts true stories about mothers trying to get justice for their sick/mentally ill/LGBT child.
* One of the criticisms of ''Series/BostonPublic'' was how ''every'' school-related controversy during the late 90's/early 2000's seemed to happen at that one high school.
* The Creator/ABCFamily MadeForTVMovie ''Cyberbully'' is based on the many stories of people committing suicide after they are bullied online.
* Stephen King's ''Series/KingdomHospital'' not only incorporated King's own roadside near-demise, but also did an episode based on the series-losing error by, and subsequent pariah status of, Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner.
* The CBS show ''Series/{{Unforgettable}}'', about a detective that can remember everything that ever happened to her, has this in the episode "Check Out Time". The episode was about a Dominican hotel maid who was accused of murdering someone, but claimed he was attempting to rape her. The plot revolves around the detectives solving the questionable story. The story was pretty obviously based on the recent case involving Dominique Strauss-Kahn's alleged rape of an African hotel maid with a questionable story.
* ''{{Crownies}}'' has a few examples, with one case being based quite clearly on the murder of Carl Williams.
* The plot of ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' episode "My Lunch" was [[http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/10/magazine/10ORGANS.html ripped from a real case]]
* TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager was made when the "teen pregnancy epidemic" scare was at its height. Pretty much the whole series was/is marketed on how it "realistically" portrays the lives of teen mothers.
* The ''Series/HawaiiFive0'' episode "Kupale" is based partly on the real-life drama of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawaii_Superferry Hawaii Superferry]].
* In ''Series/{{Oz}}'', Ryan O'Reilly's mother was a member of a far left group that was based on The Weather Underground.
* Regularly inverted in ''Series/TheThickOfIt'', which has become [[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19908366 infamous for predicting real life political policies and gaffes]]. However, played straight in Series 4 [[spoiler: with the Goolding Inquiry, which is largely based off of the recent Leveson Inquiry which came as a result of the Phone Hacking Scandal]].
* USA series ''Series/NecessaryRoughness'', about a professional UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball team's therapist, has a major Season 2 story arc blatantly based off the then-contemporary [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Orleans_Saints_bounty_scandal New Orleans Saints bounty scandal]].
* TheWestWing did this at least once, with the Lowell Lydell arc in the first based on the death of Matthew Shepard.
* When driving home from work, ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' notices a statuesque woman standing on a street corner. Being the gentleman he is, he offers her a lift. The moment she gets in his car, police lights flash, and he's arrested for soliciting a prostitute. In jail, he asserts that he was just giving her a ride, but the cops don't believe him. When Niles & Martin come to bail him out (disgusted that he would be so immoral) the prostitute is led out of the other interrogation room, ''no longer wearing "her" wig'', and apologizes (in a now more masculine voice) for getting Frasier in trouble. The look on all three of their faces is priceless.
-->'''Martin:''' ''(to Frasier)'' You're my son and I love you.
** This comes from an incident when EddieMurphy was caught picking up a transexual hooker, and insisted that he was just giving her a ride home.
* In ''Series/TheGoodWife'' episode "Whack-a-Mole", after a bombing in Milwaukee an Internet witch-hunt starts up on a website that is [[FictionalCounterpart totally not Reddit]]. The witch is an Arab-American anthropology professor who kinda looks like a blurry photograph not-Reddit thinks is the bomber. This was clearly lifted from what happened on the real Reddit after the Boston Marathon bombings, except the real Reddit didn't end up getting sued for defamation.
* The JoanOfArcadia episode "No Bad Guy" contains a plot involving an elderly man who loses control while driving and causes numerous deaths by crashing into a farmer's market. As the episode's title suggests, the moral is that sometimes bad things just happen with no one to blame. However the case of George Russell Weller, on which the episode was based, was not so co cut and dried. There was evidence that the incident was a premeditated spree-killing.
* The ''Series/{{Elementary}}'' episode "We Are Everyone" has for its Killer of the Week a NoCelebritiesWereHarmed version of Edward Snowden, with the added element of him holding the identities of several American {{Reverse Mole}}s hostage to avoid capture.
* On a lighter note, a 1997 episode of ''{{Coach}}'' featured the title character's football team is sabotaged during an away game in Buffalo when a local restauranteur serves them poisoned wings. This is based on an incident that happened to New Zealand's team during the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' used to encourage its writers to do this from time to time:
** "Planet of the Giants" is rooted in the recent release of the book ''Silent Spring'', which exposed the damage DDT was doing to bird populations. The story concerns an ecologically-devastating pesticide.
** "The Tenth Planet". Writer Kit Pedler was asked to write about something in the science world that concerned him. Early robotic prosthetic limbs and implantable artificial pacemakers were emerging at the time and so he chose to create a race of {{Cyborg}}s that had replaced most of their human bodies with machinery - the Cybermen.
** "The Green Death" concerns a mushroom that can be used to replace meat - at the time there was a fear of protein rich foods becoming scarce within the next twenty years and so scientists were researching alternative protein sources derived from mushrooms and yeast, including the research that went on to create Quorn.
* Subverted by ''Series/{{Fargo}}''. Like the film that inspired it, it is ''not'' based on actual events as it claims to be.
* In ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', the story of the [[LondonGangster Piranha brothers]] and their pursuit by Superintendent Harry "Snapper" Organs is based on that of the RealLife Kray twins, who had recently been brought to justice by Insp. Leonard "Nipper" Read.
* Creator/VanKootenEnDeBie: Many of their sketches were based on events that were in the media during the week of broadcast.
* Season 1, episode 15 of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' (''The Benders'') features a family very similar to ''The Bloody Benders''; a cannibalistic family from the late 1800's.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/TheBeatles had two in the same album: Paul wrote "She's Leaving Home" after reading about [[WanderlustSong a girl who hit the road]], and John wrote "A Day in the Life" based on two news articles (the car accident and the holes found in a road; TheFilmOfTheBook in another stanza is probably ''How I Won The War'', in which he worked).
* This was common during the ProtestSong movement of the early 1960's. Singers like BobDylan and Music/PhilOchs would write songs, often using old folk melodies, about current events. Three of the best examples of this are Dylan's "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lonesome_Death_of_Hattie_Carroll Lonesome Death of Hattie Caroll]]," about the real life killing of a poor black maid by a [[http://threepanelsoul.com/view.php?date=2006-11-15 bored aristocrat]]. "Hurricane", about Hurricane Carter, a black boxer jailed instead of the two whites who started a shooting at a bar. And "Who Killed Davy Moore" about the boxer who died in the ring. Phil Ochs' "Outside A Small Circle of Friends" commemorates the Kitty Genovese murder, where [[http://www.onthemedia.org/2009/mar/27/the-witnesses-that-didnt/transcript/ 38 witnesses supposedly did nothing (not entirely true)]] because they "didn't want to get involved." Ochs (who studied journalism) called himself a "singing journalist" and titled his first album "All the News That's Fit to Sing".
* Dylan and Ochs both followed the footsteps of Woody Guthrie, who wrote songs like this; "Pretty Boy Floyd" and "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" are probably the most famous.
* His son Arlo Guthrie belongs here as well, the littering incident from "Music/AlicesRestaurant" made the local newspaper before he wrote the song.
* The idea for Music/StoneTemplePilots' song "Plush" is, according to singer Scott Weiland, partially taken from an article he read in the paper one day about a woman's murder.
* Music/{{Nirvana}}'s "Polly" was based on the kidnapping of a girl who eventually escaped from her abductor.
* "18 and life" by Skid Row was written when guitarist Dave Sabo read a newspaper article about the event.
* Music/{{Superchick}}'s "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vk8nBBvjZ-M Hero]]" seems in response to claims of bullying in schools and/or teen suicides.
* The album ''"The Crusade"'' by heavy metal band Trivium had four examples of this; "Entrance of the Conflagration" (about the murder of four children by their mother Andrea Yates), "Unrepentant" (about Nazir Ahmad's murder of his four daughters), "Contempt Breeds Contamination" (about the racially-influenced killing of a Guinean immigrant by four cops in New York), and "And Sadness Will Sear" (about the hate-driven torture and murder of Matthew Shepard).
* The murder of Matthew Shepard also inspired Melissa Etheridge's song "Scarecrow."
* Music/DepecheMode did a song in 1986 called "New Dress", where nearly every line was taken from an actual headline.
** "Blasphemous Rumours" is a song that's actually about the lead singer's ''sister''.
* The song "Maria Navarro" by Was/Not Was. Maria Navarro called 911 because her estranged husband had threatened to kill her. Dispatchers ignored the call and Maria died.
* To an extent, the song about [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Dooley_%28song%29 Tom Dooley]].
* The Music/WeirdAlYankovic song "Headline News", a parody of Crash Test Dummies' "Mmm mmm mmm mmm", contained verses relating to an American being caned in Singapore, the Nancy Kerrigan incident, and John Wayne Bobbitt.
* The 1993 Music/DuranDuran album track "Sin of the City" (from ''The Wedding Album'') was basically a recount of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Land_fire 1990 fire at the Happy Land]], a nightclub in The Bronx, that killed 87 people (though the lyrics state, "89 dead").
* Another song inspired by the Happy Land fire was "Happy Land" by seminal New Wave/punk rock musician JoeJackson.
* GordonLightfoot wrote and recorded two noteworthy songs about true events; his hit single "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" was in fact about the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Fitzgerald 1975 sinking of the American Great Lakes freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald]], and "Black Day in July", a 1968 song about the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1967_Detroit_riot 1967 Detroit race riots]].
* Music/{{Savatage}} based a RockOpera, ''Music/TheWakeOfMagellan'', on such events. One being the murder of reporter Veronica Guerin by drug lords. The second being the Maersk Dubai incident, were the captain of a freighter ordered discovered stowaways to be thrown overboard.
* Brenda Ann Spencer's 1979 shooting rampage that killed two people and injured nine others was the inspiration for The Boomtown Rats' song ''I Don't Like Mondays." The title of the song was what she stated was her reason for doing it.
* Music/BruceSpringsteen's "American Skin (41 Shots)", from the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo by four New York City police officers.
** LivingColor also do live covers of this song.
** Springsteen's "Nebraska" is about the Charlie Starkweather murder spree.
* The verse in Music/{{Rush}}'s song "Nobody's Hero" from their "Counterparts" album starts "I didn't know the girl, but I knew her family, all their lives were shattered in a nightmare of brutality" refers to the family of one of the girls murdered by Karla Hmolka and Paul Bernardo. The line "Hero - Lands a crippled airplane..." refers to the pilot who landed the United Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa using only the engines to control it after the flight controls failed, saving 185 of the 296 people on board.
** Also, the song "Heresy" from the album "Roll the Bones" was written about Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
* The song "The Way" by Fastball is based on a news story about an elderly couple who disappeared on their way to a local event and were later found dead, hundreds of miles from their destination. The lyrics take some liberties with their stories, speculating upon how and why they left their path.
* [[ConceptAlbum "The Modest Revolution"]] by Enter The Haggis is based entirely on articles from a single issue of the Toronto Globe and Mail. The second track "[[http://www.enterthehaggis.com/newsflash#.URl5I4XmZFR "Can't Trust The News"]]" is based on a woman who, after some horrible couple years [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome climbed the highest peak on each continent]]. In her 60's.
** A significant number of their other songs are based on true stories.
* Music/TheGazette's song "Taion" is allegedly based on the murder of Junko Furuta, a seventeen-year-old girl who was kidnapped and tortured for an entire month before her abusers killed her.
* "Bind Torture Kill" by Music/{{Suffocation}}, off their SelfTitledAlbum, is loosely inspired by the serial killer Dennis Rader, who was arrested about a year before the album's release. The lyrics themselves are more about the mindset of a serial killer than any of Rader's specific murders, though.
* "Hey Man Nice Shot" by Music/{{Filter}} is about the politician Budd Dwyer, a Pennsylvania state treasurer who was accused of corruption. Vehemently claiming his innocence until the end, in early 1987 Dwyer called a press conference during which he read half of a prepared statement and then shot himself. The song was released in 1995 and its timing and subject matter lead many to speculate it was written about the similar suicide of Kurt Cobain, but it was written in 1991.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/MaryWorth'' of all things had a story arc where Wilbur and Dawn go on a cruise in Italy that ends up mimicking the Costa Concordia disaster, six months after the events in question.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' had a few story arcs inspired by real-world events, like the passing of Comet Kohoutek (where Snoopy expresses worry about it harboring TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt), or Hank Aaron's attempts to beat Babe Ruth's record for career home runs (with Snoopy in the running as well).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* The radio show ''Radio/{{Dragnet}}'' claimed: "The story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent" at the start of every show. Jack Webb took great pains to be realistic, down to counting the number of footsteps to go from one place to another in the LAPD police station. The shows WERE based on actual events.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* John Adams' ''The Death of Klinghoffer'' -- which, with his ''Nixon In China'', are nicknamed "CNN Operas".
* The opera ''Der Lindberghflug (The Lindbergh Flight)'' by Creator/BertoltBrecht with music by Kurt Weill [[strike:and Paul Hindemith]].
* Before Maurine Watkins wrote a little play called ''Theatre/{{Chicago}}'', she worked for a while reporting for the ''Chicago Tribune'', which assigned her to cover a few murder trials. Roxie Hart was an only barely fictionalized version of Beulah Annan, described in Watkins' reporting as "the prettiest murderess in Cook County." [[http://www.northshire.com/blog/?p=6585 Velma Kelly]] had a real-life counterpart as well. So, for that matter, did the Hungarian immigrant who speaks little English; her counterpart was an Italian immigrant named [[http://www.newlinetheatre.com/chicagochapter.html Sabella Nitti]], who spoke no English, worked for Velma's counterpart, Belva Gaertner, was convicted of [[http://www.allbusiness.com/crime-law-enforcement-corrections/criminal-offenses-crimes/14913706-1.html beating her farmer husband to death with a hammer and chopping him into pieces]], and was hanged.
* ''TwilightLosAngeles'' is a series of interviews with people that were in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles during the riots in 1992.
* From ''[[Theatre/MacBeth MacBeth]]'': The ''Tiger'', wracked at sea "Sennights nine times nine", was based off the then-recent story of a ship called the ''Tiger's Whelp''. This ship had disappeared at sea and been presumed lost in 1604, but returned to port five hundred sixty-seven days later.
* ''Theatre/TheCocoanuts'' was originally produced on Broadway in 1925, the year of the famous Florida real estate boom.
* ''[[Theatre/ThrillMe Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story]]'' is based on the real Leopold and Loeb, who appear to have murdered a young boy simply because they thought they could get away with it.[[hottip:*:They couldn't.]] It takes a few artistic liberties to make Nathan Leopold more sympathetic, and they also made Nathan and Richard older and their victim younger. (Though a lot of the dates given in the show are weird, so this may have been unintentional.)
* ''Theatre/MarginForError'' is an extrapolated fictionalization of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's assignment of an all-Jewish police detail to guard the German consulate in New York City in the wake of Kristallnacht. (The non-appearing mayor of the play is left unnamed, as is the city.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} V: Gods and Kings'', released in 2012, added the Maya civilisation into the game, and included several references to the various "2012 Mayan apocalypse" conspiracies.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Emergency}}'' series has a few of these. In the first game, the aerobatic plane crashing into a diner was allegedly based on the Ramstein Air Show disaster. ''Emergency 2'' includes a collision involving a nuclear submarine.
** ''Emergency 4'' features pseudo-Palestinian activists abducting a plane and forcing it to land on the airport of a pseudo-Arabian country, only for the player to storm it with German special forces. Then there are also deluxe missions involving an earthquake in pseudo-Afghanistan, a level 7 nuclear accident in pseudo-Ukraine, and a humanitarian escort operation in pseudo-Sierra Leone.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://www.nuklearpower.com/2008/09/25/episode-1042-self-regulating/ This]] ''8-Bit Theater'' comic.
* In ''{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=4243 the Storytime Zombie is really ignorant of current events -- though his living in a cave is not the cause.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Educomix}}'', the American government [[http://educomix.webcomic.ws/comics/308 apparently]] has software to collect information from everyone's computers, like the real-life NSA scandal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* One write-up in ''WebOriginal/AHWorldCup'' is about the controversy of the tournament ball and how some players have difficulty playing with it. A similar controversy to the Jabulani ball controversy in the [[TheWorldCup 2010 World Cup]].
* In Website/{{Cracked}}'s ''WebVideo/ATrailerForEveryAcademyAwardWinningMovieEver'', the disease that InspirationallyDisadvantaged Guy suffers from is said to be "the most topical disability of the present year".
* In [[Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses TGWTG's]] ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'' takes a lot of jabs at SOPA and other anti-web freedom acts that have been circulating as of recent. One of the minor villains wrote the fake act and [[spoiler:the head of the MPAA is one of the major villains of the story]].
** Though due to various delays, some fans accused these references of being outdated, as SOPA was long dead by the time the series was released. [[Creator/DougWalker Doug]] and Rob countered that while that particular act might have been defeated, the fight to keep the Internet free will still go on, with more effort on the part of people like them than most people probably realize.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': They use this once every two episodes. They can put an episode together in a mere couple of hours so they can be very topical. Notable is the episode just after 9/11 where the boys travel to Afghanistan, the episode about [[ItMakesSenseInContext Kenny being kept on life support when God wanted him to die because the devil would attack heaven and Kenny was the only one able to stop him]], and the episode featuring an ''Ocean's Eleven''-style heist by 2008 the presidential candidates & their running mates that aired '''the day after''' Obama was elected.
** WordofGod says that they had planned to have Obama win anyways. They thought it would have been funny if [=McCain=] had won. They referred to it as a potential "Dewey Defeats Truman" situation.
** And they did the same thing with the aptly named title "Obama Wins" which had the episode title announced the day before the election and aired the day after. Thankfully they managed to evade the Dewey/Truman situation twice now.
* Homer Simpson's mother in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' was based on a member of the far left group The Weather Underground.
* ''{{Futurama}}'''s instances of this are noteworthy (particularly post-revival) because the writers mine present-day controversies for material, despite the show taking place a thousand years from now.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* [[http://kfmonkey.blogspot.com/2009/04/case-against-universal-health-care.html This blog post]] by one of the writers of ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' discusses this trope.
* The first round of ''Series/EightOutOfTenCats'' is a poll of the news stories that the public have been talking about over the last week- as this tends to be more populist than the more politics-orientated ''Series/HaveIGotNewsForYou'', if the week sees something that might be in bad taste to joke about (such as the earthquake in Haiti in 2010), then the episode is replaced with a themed special (in that particular case, movies).
* An odd [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] / [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of the trope: While it is believed by some that ''Film/{{Joe}}'' was based on the HonorRelatedAbuse killing by Arville Garland of his 17-year-old daughter Sandy, her boyfriend and two of their friends, it was actually an instance of a horrible RealLife CoincidenceMagnet. The Garland murders occurred while the film was in post-production. The film became a low-budget box office smash because of the Garland murders.
[[/folder]]

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