[[quoteright:260:[[Creator/BruceLee http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ACF190D_4221.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:260:The man who brought the Kung-Fu Film to the West.]]

->''"It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years."''\\
--'''Music/TomLehrer'''

Sometimes a show, performer or franchise, for some reason or another, doesn't last too long. Perhaps ExecutiveMeddling reared its ugly head and it was ScrewedByTheNetwork, perhaps AuthorExistenceFailure was involved, or maybe it was simply [[VindicatedByHistory ahead of its time]]. However, a few years down the road, the genre that it belonged to explodes in popularity, and when you interview the creative minds behind the genre, they ALWAYS put that particular work front and center as their biggest influence. Quite simply, it was a '''Short-Lived Big Impact'''.

This trope is about something having left a noticeable impact on its genre, even though the work/artist was cut short. Short works that were great but have not influenced their genre a lot yet (ex: ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'') don't go here.

In serial media (comic books, anime, western cartoons, etc.), this trope can manifest as a work that was cut short or simply not meant to be a LongRunner, but the impact it left on the genre is still felt.

In music, this is not a OneHitWonder: a Short-Lived Big Impact musical act might actually have multiple hits before they left the scene, or even [[NoHitWonder no hits at all]]. One Hit Wonder usually refers to an artist or act that left no impact beyond the popularity of their one hit, a Short-Lived Big Impact's effect on their genre is still felt.

Can overlap with DeadArtistsAreBetter, TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth and TooCoolToLive. Some of the examples in OneBookAuthor fit here too.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* '' Kuso Miso Technique'' was just a one-shot manga. Its impact in form of the "yaranaika" meme and helping to bring the BaraGenre to the attention of the anime fandom came... 20 years after its publication.
* The original ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' was a whopping 26 episodes and one season long. It spawned a massive fandom and franchise and created many modern Anime tropes whole cloth. The kicker? The show was initially unpopular on its original time slot (aimed at young adolescents) until an older audience discovered it and put Creator/StudioGainax on the map. Of course, it's since subverted this by becoming a CashCowFranchise - two movies were released shortly after the anime ended, and since then, tons of non-canonical merchandise and AlternateUniverse stories were made. This culminated in a big-budget [[Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion 4-part movie saga]].
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop''. Much like ''Evangelion'', this is a 26-episode series which is frequently hailed as one of the best anime ever created, if not ''the'' best, even by those who don't like anime.
* ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'', from the same studio that made ''Evangelion'', is a mini-series that consists of only six episodes, but it's often cited by American anime fans as probably one of the best anime comedies thanks to memorable characters, impressively high quality animation, and a catchy soundtrack. AdultSwim also often states that ''FLCL'' is probably their favorite anime (thanks to the show's humor being somewhat in line with what Adult Swim likes to do with their own shows).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comedy]]
* While Creator/BillHicks started young, most of what's available from him comes from 1988 to 1993, shortly before his death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 32. His material has influenced a whole generation of comics such as Creator/DavidCross, Creator/PattonOswalt, and Creator/SarahSilverman.
* Creator/MikeNichols and Creator/ElaineMay formed an influential and ground-breaking improvisational comedy team in the late [[TheFifties 1950s]], but had disbanded by 1961.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' - a 12 issue monthly comic that ran for just over a year, and initially protected by an editorial mandate from DC forbidding anything from anything else from being written in the same universe (though that ceased being the case in 2012), yet perhaps more than any other comic it [[TropeMaker made]] or [[TropeCodifier codified]] everything about the UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks.
* The UltimateMarvel line is comparatively much smaller and less-read than MarvelComics' mainstream output, but nonetheless has proven ''very'' influential in both the film and TV adaptations since the 2000's. It'd take too long to list all of them, but just to name a few Ultimate elements that made it into other media:
** BuckyBarnes being an adult and childhood friend (rather than a KidSidekick) of Steve Rogers in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''.
** Electro's [[MovieSuperheroesWearBlack more practical]] look in ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan2''.
** NickFury being {{Race Lift}}ed as a black man in the MarvelCinematicUniverse.
** {{Hawkeye}}'s costume in ''Film/TheAvengers''.
** Both TheFalcon's design and the Triskelion in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier''.
** [[Comicbook/{{Venom}} Eddie Brock]]'s status as Peter Parker's [[ChildhoodFriends Childhood Friend]], and the very existence of the character Kenny Kong (a CanonForeigner in the Ultimate universe) in ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan''.
* The ''ComicBook/XMen'' plot line ''ComicBook/DaysOfFuturePast'' only lasted for two issues in 1981, yet it is considered one of the most popular and influential plots in the entire series.
* Creator/JimSteranko's ''entire'' Marvel output consists of his seminal run on Nick Fury, two issues of X-Men and three issues of Captain America, a single romance comic and a horror story, for a total of 29 issues. He's been compared to Music/JimiHendrix in how influentual his small body of work was.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Creator/JamesDean starred in only three Hollywood films and died in a tragic car crash at age 24 shortly after finishing the third one, but his performances in ''Film/EastOfEden'' and ''Film/RebelWithoutACause'' (especially the latter) defined the "[[TroubledButCute misunderstood bad-boy teen]]" image of the era.
** He already had a somewhat longer TV career at that point, though.
* Creator/BruceLee didn't star in very many films, and died at the age of 32, but he is widely credited with introducing martial-arts films to the United States, and popularizing Asian culture. His fighting philosophy still lives on to this day, and he has inspired dozens upon dozens of {{Bruce Lee clone}}s.
* ''Film/EddieAndTheCruisers'' is an in-world example: the eponymous band is hailed as the forerunners of modern rock even though the band disbanded after the sudden death/disappearance of their lead singer/songwriter.
* Creator/HeathLedger was just 28 when he died, but with his performance as UsefulNotes/TheJoker in ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', he became the first actor to get an Academy Award (as Best Supporting Actor) for a comic book movie.
* John Cazale only acted in five films during his career, before dying of lung cancer. However, his work is some of the most enduring in Hollywood history: Those five films[[note]]''Film/TheConversation'', ''Film/DogDayAfternoon'', ''Film/TheDeerHunter'', and ''Film/TheGodfather'', Parts I and II[[/note]] were all nominated for an Academy Award for best picture, and are all seminal classics of the "New Hollywood" era.
* Creator/GraceKelly herself wasn't particularly short-lived, but her career was short; she only appeared in 11 films between 1951 and 1956 before giving up acting for good to become the Princess of Monaco. However, several of her films became classics, she won an Academy Award and in 1999, the American Film Institute included her among the top 50 greatest screen legends in American film history.
* ''Franchise/IndianaJones'': There were only three movies made in the 1980s, but they had a tremendous impact on popular culture then and especially the adventure film genre.
* The ''Franchise/EvilDead'' film series is considered one of the big names of horror, despite consisting of only four movies (the original trilogy, made between 1981 and 1993, and a controversial reboot from 2013), compared to other big horror franchises which often go well into the double digits.
* French director Jean Vigo directed only two feature films, ''Zéro de conduite'' and ''L'Atlante'', before his death at 29 years old. He is nonetheless considered one of the greatest directors of all time, and ''massively'' influenced French cinema, including the directors of the FrenchNewWave (he was a favourite of Creator/FrancoisTruffaut). There's even a prestigious award named after him, the ''Prix Jean Vigo''.
* When the TV documentary film ''Film/BigFunInTheBigTown'' was first broadcast on Dutch television in 1986 it had a huge impact on its viewers. It is credited with popularizing HipHop in the Netherlands and inspired the Dutch language hiphop acts that would follow from the late 1980s, early 1990s on. Amazingly enough this entire broadcast is only 40 minutes long!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Creator/JohnKeats was only 25 when he died, with only three books of his work published, but is considered one of the Great Romantic Poets.
* Stieg Larsson, author of the ''Millennium'' Trilogy (of which ''Literature/TheGirlWithTheDragonTattoo'' was the first book), died from a heart attack before finishing what was supposed to be a five-book series. The series became a phenomenon, and many a modern author is already showing influence from his books, especially amongst the Nordic countries.
* The Brontë sisters, [[Creator/CharlotteBronte Charlotte]], [[Creator/EmilyBronte Emily]] and [[Creator/AnneBronte Anne]] were extremely successful and influential authors, but they only wrote a total of seven books between the three of them. Also, they all died young; Charlotte at age 38, Emily at age 30 and Annes at age 29.
* John Kennedy Toole committed suicide at 31 without publishing anything. Years after his death, ''Literature/AConfederacyOfDunces'' got published, received a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and became a canonical work of Southern Literature. You'll still find plenty of references to it around New Orleans.
* Arthur Rimbaud is considered one of the most influential poets of the 19th century, despite giving up writing at ''19 years of age''.
* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' was Harper Lee's only published novel for most of her life, yet it remains a popular and influential one.
* The tendency of influential and brilliant mathematicians to die young is discussed in G. H. Hardy's essay, ''A Mathematician's Apology''. He points out that "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Évariste_Galois Galois]] died at twenty-one, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niels_Henrik_Abel Abel]] at twenty-seven, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srinivasa_Ramanujan Ramanujan]] at thirty-three, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernhard_Riemann Riemann]] at forty."[[note]]his measurement is a little different to what we would use today; they were each one year younger than he claims.[[/note]] Hardy himself lived to be seventy, but he, like many others, believed that mathematics is often a "young man's game" and had been afraid that his mathematical ability was declining when he wrote the essay in his sixties.
* Chaucer died having finished only a quarter of his greatest work, Literature/TheCanterburyTales. His work popularized English as the language of writing after centuries of obscurity as a commoners language.
* After writing three novels under other pseudonyms[[note]] and a textbook on psychological warfare[[/note]], Creator/CordwainerSmith (Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger) wrote his first major science fiction story in 1945 although it was not published until 1950. The majority of his science fiction stories were written between 1955 and his [[AuthorExistenceFailure untimely death]] in 1966. They comprise 33 short stories and one novel, and have been collected in two volumes[[note]]''When the People Fell'' and ''We, the Underpeople''[[/note]]. Despite this relative lack of quantity, his work was so innovative and influential that it remains in print to this day while many of his contemporaries languish in obscurity.
* Nescio, the pen-name of Jan H.F. Grönloh, is generally considered one of the greats of Dutch literature, on the basis of three short stories published within his lifetime plus a smattering of posthumously-discovered fragments.
* Creator/StephenCrane died at the age of twenty-eight, yet he was one of the earliest Americans to write realistic literature.
* Mikhail Lermontov is considered to be one of the greatest Russian poets. His literary career lasted only six years; it was cut short by his death in a duel at age 26.
* Creator/RobertEHoward, forefather of SwordAndSorcery fantasy, committed suicide at the age of 30.
* Georg Büchner died of typhus in 1837, at the age of 23. By this time, he had already written a major historical drama, a beloved comedic satire, and most of ''Woyzeck'', a working-class tragedy more than a century ahead of its time. The critical consensus is that had he lived longer, he'd belong in the same league as Goethe and Shakespeare.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The Creator/AdamWest ''Series/{{Batman}}'' series defined the Caped Crusader in the public eye for decades (and seemingly permanently in Japan), but the TV show itself only ran for two years.
* ''Series/ThePrisoner'' only lasted seventeen episodes, yet it remains a landmark of science fiction television, influencing ''Series/TwinPeaks'', ''Series/TheXFiles'' and ''Series/{{Lost}}''.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' originally lasted for just two seasons, being UnCancelled for a third season before dying completely. It's also a cultural icon, having an immense influence on science fiction, as well as western culture as a whole. Good luck finding someone who doesn't recognize Captain Kirk and Mister Spock, even if they were born long after the series was first aired.
* Japanese ''[[Series/SpiderManJapan Spider-Man]]'' ran for one season (41 episodes) and subsequent sentai series seemed to require HumongousMecha. Which essentially means that ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' and ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' wouldn't exist, or at least wouldn't be the shows we know today, if Japanese ''Spider-Man'' didn't exist.
* ''Series/TwinPeaks'' had only two seasons and 30 episodes, almost [[SecondSeasonDownfall half of which are considered dubious]] by fans. It popularized the QuirkyTown genre in American television, having descendants such as ''Series/PicketFences'' and ''Series/NorthernExposure'' that ran much longer than ''Twin Peaks'' itself. Also, the amount of surrealism, eccentric humor, and horror in it were highly exceptional for a mainstream American drama series of its era, but such elements became much more common in television in its wake in the 1990s and 2000s. It also popularized the use of the Myth Arc in television drama, and David Lynch's active involvement in the show helped break the stereotype that television production was the equivalent of the farm leagues to movies as opposed to a full on competitor.
* ''Series/TheGreatestAmericanHero'': As lampshaded by Peter Griffin in the title quote, the show only ran for about 2.5 seasons, but is still more or less the go-to show for Superhero parodies. The show lives on today in a comic book, as well as many shoutouts in everything from ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' to ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' to ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' to ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' to ''WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob''. Of course, having an awesome theme song will do that for you.
* ''Your Show Time'' lasted six months in TV's early days (Jan-Jul 1949), yet its premiere telecast won the very first Emmy Award.
* ''Series/PressYourLuck'' only lasted three years, not a terribly impressive run for a GameShow, but it's still one of the most recognized in the genre, and often regarded as a CultClassic even to only casual fans. The phrase "Big bucks, no {{Whammy}}s!" has entered the public lexicon, and the show is a constant fixture on the rerun circuit (1987-1995 on USANetwork, and 2001-09/2012-present on {{GSN}}).
* Similarly, the network version of ''WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire'', hosted by Regis Philbin for {{ABC}}, lasted only three years. Yet it was ''huge'' in its day, prompting [[WhoWantsToBeWhoWantsToBeAMillionaire legions of big money game shows]] and a brief, yet obvious, revival of a slowly dying genre. While the syndie version exists nearly InNameOnly with its fourth host, it was the original US version that left one of the biggest impacts on the genre.
* ''Series/TheMonkees'' TV series only lasted for two seasons, while the band itself lasted just five years (the original lineup didn't last far past the end of the series), but managed to produce many bestselling albums and singles, introduced the hippie counterculture to prime time, influenced many made-for-TV [[IdolSinger pop groups]] (animated and live-action), and introduced mainstream audiences to Music/TimBuckley and Music/FrankZappa. The show also helped pioneer the music video and popularized the Moog synthesizer through Micky Dolenz' use of it in the promotional clip for "Daily Nightly".
* ''Series/ThatWasTheWeekThatWas'' was broadcast for just over one year in the UK, with a US version that lasted two whole years. Credited with being one of the most important topical satirical comedy sketch shows, and for being one of the first programmes on Creator/TheBBC to criticize the political establishment.
* ''Series/TheMortonDowneyJrShow'' only lasted two years (1987-1989) but it started the whole "trash television" craze.
* BritishBrevity means that, by American standards, many classic British TV shows are fairly short-lived. American viewers unfamiliar with this may be surprised when they get into some of these shows and find that they only had enough episodes to fill half a US TV season. Just a few examples:
** ''Series/FawltyTowers'': Two batches of 6 episodes apiece, produced several years apart, for 12 episodes total
** ''Series/{{The Office|UK}}'': 12 episodes plus a Christmas special
** ''Series/{{Spaced}}'': Two batches of 7 episodes apiece, for a total of 14.
* ''LizzieMcGuire'' only lasted for 65 episodes in two seasons, and one [[TheMovie movie]], but it [[UrExample helped to codify]] much of the formula for DisneyChannel [[KidCom kidcoms]] for the next fifteen or so years[[note]]along with the much longer lasting ''ThatsSoRaven''[[/note]], opened up the teenage demographic to the channel, and helped to make HilaryDuff one of the biggest teen stars of her time.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/ComedianHarmonists: A German a cappella sextet who were a major internationally succesful group between 1927 and 1933, only to have their career cut short by the rise of Nazism in Germany, which was bad news for two of their Jewish members. They all managed to survive the war, but never had a reunion and sank away in obscurity until the 1970s, when they were part of a revival. Despite everything they were a major influence on numerous ACappella bands.
* The Skatalites: they were active for only 14 months (!), but churned out more than 300 singles that were influential in the development of {{Ska}} and were pretty much the most famous ska act of all time. The reason why their career was cut short? One of their trombonists, Don Drummond, committed a murder and was sent to an insane asylum. As a result they lost one of their best musicians, which made them lose a lot of their fan base. Apart from that Ska went out of fashion around that time and was quickly surpassed by Rocksteady and later {{Reggae}}.
* The infamous [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/27_Club 27 Club]], a group of singers who all died at 27, greatly limiting their output, but they all left profound impacts on music:
** Music/RobertJohnson – Made {{Blues}} what it was; was also a profound influence on many of the earliest rock singers. His entire recording career was compiled on one double album, ''Music/RobertJohnsonTheCompleteRecordings''.
** Music/BrianJones – Founded Music/TheRollingStones, who were the main influences of bands like Music/{{ACDC}}, Music/{{Aerosmith}}, Music/LedZeppelin, etc, who pioneered the HeavyMetal genre. (Musically he was extremely talented, being able to pick up and play virtually any instrument; but he was eventually overshadowed by Music/MickJagger and Music/KeithRichards, as unlike him they were prolific songwriters, and he was fired by the Stones because he couldn't travel to tour.) Interestingly, Jones has only [[Music/BrianJonesPresentsThePipesOfPanAtJajouka one solo album on his name]], released three years after his death, one which doesn't even feature him, but was merely produced by him.
** Music/JimiHendrix – one of the most influential guitarists of all time; the "burn the strings" guitar solo was invented by him, and just about every hard rocker since has imitated it. Recorded just three major studio albums during his lifetime: ''Music/AreYouExperienced'', ''Music/AxisBoldAsLove'' and ''Music/ElectricLadyland''.
** Music/JanisJoplin – a key player in women coming onto the rock scene; everyone from [[Music/{{Paramore}} Hayley Williams]] to [[Music/NoDoubt Gwen Stefani]] to Music/{{Pink}} owes something to her. Not bad for someone with only four studio albums to her name.
** [[Music/TheDoors Jim Morrison]] – in addition to being the lead singer of Music/TheDoors, he is widely regarded as having perfected the modern "rock star" image.
** [[Music/BigStar Chris Bell]] – guitarist for highly influential PowerPop group Music/BigStar. He released only one solo single during his lifetime, and then he died in a car accident a few weeks short of his 28th birthday.
** [[Music/TheMinuteMen D. Boon]] - Famous guitarist from legendary punk band The Minutemen. He died in a traffic accident in Tucson, Arizona in 1985, but left a forever changed rhythm section in rock music. Red Hot Chili Peppers owe a lot to the band's bass work and Modest Mouse owes a lot of their vocal work to Boon.
** Music/KurtCobain – the lead singer/guitarist of Music/{{Nirvana}}, a band that only released three studio albums (and only hit it big with the [[Music/{{Nevermind}} second one]]), he helped define [[{{Grunge}} the image of rock music]] in the early-mid '90s, and set the stage for [[PostGrunge the rock scene in the next decade]].
** Music/AmyWinehouse – only released two albums during her lifetime (''Music/{{Frank}}'' and ''Music/BackToBlack'') before spiraling into drug addiction (A posthumous compilation of unreleased material entitled ''Lioness: Hidden Treasures'' was released after her death.) She was a key influence in revitalizing both soul music and a stagnant British pop music scene, she directly inspired and paved the way for major artists (both British and American) like Music/{{Adele}}, Music/LadyGaga, [[Music/FlorenceAndTheMachine Florence Welch]], Paloma Faith, Music/JessieJ, Music/{{Duffy}}, Music/EllieGoulding, Rebecca Ferguson, Emeli Sande, Gabriella Cilmi, and Music/LanaDelRey.
* The Music/SexPistols had a grand total of ''[[OneBookAuthor one]]'' [[Music/NeverMindTheBollocksHeresTheSexPistols studio album]], yet they are considered the pioneers of PunkRock. Even more astonishing is Music/SidVicious, who only joined the band in 1977 and died from a drug overdose two years later when he was only ''21 years old'', after which he became pretty much one of the most iconic punk musicians of all time.
** Likewise for Music/TheGerms, who had one album, but are considered the godfathers (and godmother) of LA's punk rock scene.
* Music/EazyE had his life cut short by AIDS, but his career was one of the most influential in the GangstaRap genre.
* Music/KlausNomi also died an early death because of AIDS and, as a result, only recorded two albums (''[[Music/KlausNomiAlbum Klaus Nomi]]'' and ''Music/SimpleMan'') in his life. But his influence on numerous pop acts is still felt.
* English indie rockers Music/TheStoneRoses managed only two albums, one of them ''[[Music/TheStoneRosesAlbum The Stone Roses]]'', and yet were a big influence on many {{Britpop}} bands of TheNineties.
* Music/{{Sublime}} only released three albums from 1992 to 1996. Their frontman, Bradley Nowell, unfortunately died from a heroin overdose before the release of their self-titled breakthrough album, and the band broke up immediately after. Nevertheless, their music represents the pinnacle of the mid-1990s ska revival.
* Music/TupacShakur and Music/TheNotoriousBIG both died violently at 25, the former having made only five albums in five years and the latter only two; furthermore, both of their final albums were released posthumously. The two left a profound influence on rap in their wake, which can be seen in the fact that both of them have had more albums released after their deaths (largely pieced together from unreleased recordings mixed with guest verses) than when they were still alive.
* Music/JoyDivision only released two albums (''Music/UnknownPleasures'' and ''Music/{{Closer}}''), owing to the AuthorExistenceFailure of their lead singer (who died at 23), but they are the first thing everyone thinks of when they hear the term PostPunk, in addition to helping lay the groundwork for what would become GothRock. If Music/TheDoors did not influence them, usually Joy Division did. Subverted, however, when the remaining members regrouped as Music/NewOrder.
* Music/{{Cream}} was only together for a couple of years, but in that time they influenced Hendrix, the development of heavy metal (Music/LedZeppelin, Music/DeepPurple) and jam bands like Music/TheAllmanBrothersBand and Music/TheGratefulDead.
* ''[[Music/BuddyHolly Buddy freaking Holly.]]'' He died at 22; without him Music/TheBeatles wouldn't even be ''named'' the same. (It was a ShoutOut to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.) He was also a massive influence on Music/BobDylan, the Rolling Stones, and some of the sixties pop and rock scene.
** And Music/RitchieValens, who died in the same plane crash as Buddy Holly, was an early progenitor of Latino rock that paved the way for the likes of Music/CarlosSantana and Music/TriniLopez. He died three months before his 18th birthday.
* Music/{{Slint}} recorded just two albums, with only one (''Music/{{Spiderland}}'') being of major importance. However that record defined most of the sound followed by later indie rock and post-rock artists.
* Music/ThePolice; six years and five albums, and they had a huge influence on [[NewWaveMusic New Wave]] and {{Ska}}.
* Music/SydBarrett was guitarist for Music/PinkFloyd for less than two albums, along with his solo efforts ''Music/{{Barrett}}'' and ''Music/TheMadcapLaughs'', yet had a big influence on PsychedelicRock and even Proto-{{Punk|Rock}}.
* Music/WolfgangAmadeusMozart died at 35, as noted in the page quote. Though he was active in the music scene longer than the other artists listed here, it is important to note that in the realm of classical music things are a little different. Most composers spend lifetimes building reputations and fame. Mozart is cited as one of the most influential composers next to Beethoven and Bach.
* Music/FranzSchubert beat Mozart by 4 years; he died at age 31.
* Several other famous classical composers fit the bill: Music/FryderykChopin (died at 39, works include "Funeral March" (from Sonata No. 2) and Fantaisie-Impromptu etc.), Music/FelixMendelssohn (died at 38, penned "Wedding March), George Bizet (opera "Carmen", died at 36), Music/GeorgeGershwin (died at 38, wrote "Rhapsody in Blue" and many famous songs).
* Dead and Euronymous of Mayhem, considered the founders of Norwegian black metal, both died violent deaths (Suicide and murder) at young ages (22 and 25).
** [[IAmTheBand Euronymous]] founded the Silencelike Death Productions label and laid the foundation for all BlackMetal that came after him.
* Likewise, the proto-Music/CelticFrost band Hellhammer: the band only lasted for 3 years, but is considered one of the First Wave of BlackMetal's most influential bands and is one of the most imitated bands in the metal genre.
* Music/TomLehrer wasn't short-lived (as of 2014 he's still alive at 86) but his recording career in the '50s and '60s produced only three full albums - ''Music/SongsByTomLehrer'', ''Music/MoreOfTomLehrer'' and ''Music/ThatWasTheYearThatWas'', plus a few songs for ''Series/TheElectricCompany'' - before he grew tired of the industry and retired to a life in academia.
* Music/{{Aaliyah}} only released three albums over seven years before her untimely death at the age of 22. However, she is considered one of the redefining artists of RAndB in TheNineties and is probably one of the {{Trope Codifier}}s for current R&B singers.
* Brazilian comedy rock band Mamonas Assassinas is definitely an example. A time interval of only 6 months between their sudden rise to fame, to the tragic airplane crash that killed all members in 1996. They only had one released album, but still remain one of the most popular and influential bands in Brazil to this day.
* Music/VelvetUnderground. 4 albums in 4 years (not counting the NewSoundAlbum ''[[Music/{{Squeeze1973}} Squeeze]]'') and they are credited for being the very first AlternativeRock band.
* Music/JeffBuckley only had one finished studio album (''Music/{{Grace}}'') and an incomplete studio album (''My Sweetheart The Drunk'') to his name at the time of his tragic drowning in 1997 (the incomplete album was released eventually, under the name ''Music/SketchesForMySweetheartTheDrunk''). He is given credit for raising the bar for singer/songwriters in the 90s and into the 2000s.
** His father, Music/TimBuckley didn't fare any better. Dying of a heroin overdose at age 29, he left behind a much larger and just-as-acclaimed discography. Though, odds are if it weren't for his son, he probably wouldn't be so well known today, many critics remember him fondly.
* Music/TheExplodingHearts released [[OneBookAuthor one studio album]] exactly a month before a van accident claimed the lives of 3 out of the 4 members of the band, effectively ending the project. ''Music/GuitarRomantic'' is considered to be one of the best punk albums of the 2000s, adding awesome guitar melodies rarely heard or seen before in the genre.
* Codeine released two albums and one EP before disappearing off of the face of the earth. Their first album, ''Frigid Stars'' is considered the TropeMaker for {{Slowcore}} and featured guitar textures which very well may have inspired Slint's ''Spiderland''. To this day they are considered to be gods of super depressing music.
** Galaxie 500 was a contemporary of Codeine and released three albums from 1988 to 1990 that are landmarks of indie rock and influenced the slowcore, shoegaze and dream pop movements.
* Music/NeutralMilkHotel only released two albums before disbanding in 1999. Their 1998 album ''In The Aeroplane Over The Sea'' is given credit for helping define Indie Rock of the next decade.
* Music/TheSmiths were only together for a little over 5 years, yet every modern indie rock band and their mother cite them as a major influence.
* Bon Scott was Music/{{ACDC}}'s frontman for just 6 years before he drank himself to death in 1980, yet he remains one of hard rock's most popular vocalists.
* CountryMusic has several famous artists whose lives were cut short, but are still considered iconic:
** Music/HankWilliams died at 29 thanks to alcohol and drugs. His GreatestHitsAlbum ''Music/{{Turn Back The Years|TheEssentialHankWilliamsCollection}}'' still managed to be included in Magazine/TimeMagazine's 2006 list of [[TimeAllTime100Albums 100 essential music albums]], and he's still being introduced to younger audiences through his son Music/HankWilliamsJr.
** Music/PatsyCline, who died at 30 in a plane crash, continued to have her singles chart afterwards.
** Music/KeithWhitley died at 34 of alcohol poisoning and is one of the most successful neotraditional country singers of TheEighties.
** Country-rock pioneer Music/GramParsons just barely missed joining the 27 Club[[note]]He lived to be 26 years, 316 days[[/note]], before dying of a drug overdose. He's the patron saint of AlternativeCountry and even in mainstream country his influence has been enormous, as it is also in some rock circles.
* Music/{{Jellyfish}}, while not the most commercially successful band, nor ever a hipster favorite, produced in the lifespan of four years two albums that became influential in the field of Alternative PowerPop, and are constantly praised by fans of melodic, classic pop songwriting. The albums were recently remastered and rereleased on an indie label on vinyl.
* While Music/MyBloodyValentine has been ongoing as a band since 1984, the same cannot be said about most of their contemporaries. After the {{Shoegazing}} fad ended in the mid-90s, many of the bands were pressured into drastically changing their sound. Most of the bands that were part of this movement ended up breaking up out of lack of funds. Music/{{Lush}} nearly pulled off a successful GenreShift into {{Britpop}} territory until their drummer killed himself. Music/CatherineWheel changed their sound into HardRock and broke up in 2000 after being together 8 years. Music/{{Ride}} couldn't adapt to Britpop and ended their career after the disaster that was ''Tarantula''. Music/{{Slowdive}} were ScrewedByTheNetwork. So many of these bands ended abruptly, but Shoegazing's influence on modern Indie Rock is undeniable as can be seen in how mostly all of it is slathered in reverb and echo.
* Jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown died in a car accident in 1956 at the age 25. His career lasted barely three years but he still managed to influence a tremendous number of later trumpet players, wrote two major jazz standards, and Benny Golson's "I Remember Clifford," written in honor of Brown, has itself become a standard. His collaboration with Music/SarahVaughan, ''Music/SarahVaughanWithCliffordBrown'' is considered to be one of the finest jazz albums of all time.
* Although he played from the late-1930s to 1955, saxophonist Music/CharlieParker's life and career were nonetheless cut short at the relatively young age of 34 due to his ongoing problems with drugs and alcohol. During that span he was a constant innovator and experimenter whose effects on saxophonists in particular, jazz especially, and even music in general, are still being felt to this day. Many of his contemporaries continued to speculate on what new ideas he might have come up with even years after his death.
* The Music/DixieChicks had actually been around since 1992, but their major-label hitmaking years ranged only from 1998 to 2003, at which point country radio had a total backlash against them over a comment made by lead singer Natalie Maines over then-president UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush in concert. Still, those five years (in addition to comprising high critical acclaim, album shipments over 28 million, and six #1 country hits) raised the bar for crossover country from the TurnOfTheMillennium onwards.
* Music/TheBirthdayParty: Only four years of releases; still inspiring PostPunk, GothRock and Deathrock bands to this day.
* The 2 Tone label was very influential on British new wave music and the second wave of ska in particular, but its time in the sun lasted barely two years, from mid-1979 to mid-1981, and the label's aversion to long-term deals meant that its two biggest names (apart from founders The Specials), Madness and The Beat, each jumped ship after one single apiece. There was a long slow decline ahead of it, but the label's days as a major cultural force ended when The Specials fell apart in the summer of 1981.
* {{Music/Selena}} lived for just 23 years and [[AuthorExistenceFailure recorded less than half of an English language crossover album before she was brutally murdered]] (the crossover album, ''Music/DreamingOfYou'', did get released eventually, albeit {{padd|ing}}ed with some of her Spanish hits and previously unreleased tidbits), but still became a household name in the US in part because of her folk hero status in the Mexican-American community, and due to the success of the 1997 biopic. Selena's also credited with bringing Tex-Mex music, the genre that launched her career, to mainstream attention, and opening the door for the "Latino Invasion" in entertainment of the late 90s. Her cultural impact, especially the way in which her death galvanized Mexican-Americans as consumers and later on, as voters and shapers of mainstream American culture, is the stuff of numerous sociology papers, and even a college textbook has been written about her cultural legacy. And that's just in the English-speaking world.
* Music/NickDrake died at 26 after only releasing 3 albums. He's still well-known for his songwriting, lyrics, and unique style of guitar playing that typically revolves around fingerstyle techniques in unusual tunings.
* Music/TheShaggs recorded just two albums, the first of which, ''Philosophy Of The World'', has become a classic in OutsiderMusic circles. The other album, ''Shaggs' Own Thing'' proved their growth as musicians, but this one is more or less [[ILikedItBetterWhenItSucked written out of canon]].
* Music/TheStooges only recorded three albums before disbanding - [[Music/TheStoogesAlbum their self-titled debut]], ''Music/FunHouse'' and ''Music/RawPower'' - but all three of them have become a major influence on the development of Rock and PunkRock.
* Music/EricDolphy: Influential jazz musician who started a solo career in 1960, released five albums and then died in 1964 of an insulin shock after being in a diabetic coma.
* Trio Uncle Tupelo released four studio albums over the course of four years (1990-93), none of which were commercially very successful, but they influenced and helped codify AlternativeCountry for the next twenty or so years. The band's vocalist/guitarist Jay Farrar would go on to form and lead SonVolt, while its bassist, Jeff Tweedy, would found and lead Music/{{Wilco}}. The name of their debut album, ''No Depression'', was a byname for the movement they help to popularize, and a magazine that covered the style.
* In terms of impact, it doesn't get much bigger than Music/TheBeatles, but it took them a mere five years to get from [[TheEdSullivanShow Ed Sullivan]] to Music/AbbeyRoad. The band had broken up before any of the members were thirty.
* Aside from the recording of, and very few and unsuccessful promotional appearances for, their debut album ''Wednesday Morning, 3 A. M.'' in 1964, and numerous short-lived reunions since the breakup, the career of SimonAndGarfunkel spanned between 1966 to 1970, releasing five studio albums and the soundtrack to the film ''Film/TheGraduate'', becoming one of the most popular and influential duos of TheSixties and helping to popularize FolkRock music throughout the world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes''. Short-lived by [[PrintLongRunners newspaper comic]] [[FranchiseZombie standards]], running from 1985 to 1995 (with over a year of that time spent in sabbatical). Yet nearly two decades after Bill Watterson's retirement, it remains one of the most beloved and revered modern newspaper comics of all time.
* ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' ran for exactly fifteen years, from 1980 to 1995 (including a sabbatical in 1989). During that time it had a tremendous impact on comics, paving the way for more surrealist humor (which had been completely absent from the papers since ''Krazy Kat''). It also served as an inspiration to scores of scientists who loved creator Gary Larson's biology-based jokes; academics eventually named a species of louse and a butterfly after Larson, and "thagomizer" (taken from a joke about a stegosaurus) has become an accepted scientific term.
* Although ''ComicStrip/KrazyKat'' ran in some form or another for nearly 30 years (note that that is still not a very long time in this medium), the part that is most-remembered – the full-colour full-page Sunday strips – ran for less than ten – a brief stint in 1922, and then from 1935 until George Herriman's death in 1944. It was unpopular during its original run (surviving only because William Randolph Hearst himself was its biggest fan), but has since become widely recognized as '''the''' most important newspaper strip ever made, serving as inspiration for nearly every cartoonist to follow, most notably Charles Schulz of ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' fame, and Bill Watterson (who counted both Herriman and Schulz among his influences).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the early years of video game FAQ-writing, one username stood out above the rest as a good model of how to properly detail gameplay, both in the long form needed for [=RPGs=] such as ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' and the short form used for such genres as fighting games: Kao Megura. Sadly, he passed away in 2004, but his influence is seen in [=FAQs=] to this day.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The professional arch-rivalry between Creator/{{Disney}} and Creator/WarnerBros was [[FriendlyRivalry fairly civil]] and all a brief span in the history of American animation, [[BrieferThanTheyThink lasting only from the late 1930s to the mid 1950s]]. To this day, though, it's considered one of the most famous rivalries in Hollywood. It has had such a lasting impact on pop culture that many people tend to refer to it in the present tense, unlike almost all of the other classic Hollywood rivalries. It helps that, unlike most of those other classic rivalry players, Disney and Warner are still very much in business.
** This rivalry is kind of making a comeback, since WB are the owners of DCComics, while Disney own [[MarvelComics Marvel]]. Both companies' respective cinematic universes are hot competition right now.
* {{UPA}} [United Productions of America] barely lasted more than a decade as a theatrical cartoon studio, during which time their [[LimitedAnimation stylized approach to the medium]] profoundly changed the way cartoons looked for the next few decades ([[TheDarkAgeOfAnimation for better or worse]]). Even today, their influence, direct or indirect, is felt in shows as diverse as ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'', ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead'', ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies'', ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' and ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' lasted only five brief seasons totalling 53 episodes (one unaired) - only 19 of those, including the banned episode, with original creator Creator/JohnKricfalusi ([[FanonDiscontinuity fans usually don't mention the other 34 episodes]]). It did not last nearly as long as the two other shows in the original {{Nicktoons}} lineup, ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'', both of which continued in some form or another for the better part of a decade. And yet, ''Ren & Stimpy'' has proved to be one of the most influential cartoons of TheRenaissanceAgeOfAnimation, spawning dozens of imitators and being the TropeMaker for the GrossoutShow genre.
* ''WesternAnimation/MightyMouseTheNewAdventures'' managed just 19 episodes before it was shut down in a controversy fuelled by MoralGuardians. However, the series was highly influential on later animated series, and those series' snarky, zany, pop-culture obsessed tones. Additionally, it was one of the first modern examples of "creator-driven animation" on American television - animation that had the CreatorThumbprint of a specific artist (in this case Creator/RalphBakshi) or team of animators. It's worth noting that one of Bakshi's underlings on this show was Creator/JohnKricfalusi.
* ''WesternAnimation/BettyBoop'': Debuted in 1930 and made her final cartoon in 1939. Nevertheless one of the most iconic cartoon characters of that era and all time.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* Évariste Galois, as a teenage mathematician, invented what would become the foundations for Galois theory and group theory before being killed in a duel at the age of twenty. He is almost certainly the shortest-lived mathematician to have a field of mathematics named after him.
* UsefulNotes/{{Canad|a}}ian Prime Minister [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lester_Pearson Lester B. Pearson]] only ran two minority governments over a total of five years, but the list of things he accomplished is truly remarkable. His government established the modern Canadian flag, established a national healthcare system and pension plan, accelerated Central Canada's industrial development with policies like the Auto Pact, created the Royal Commission that paved the way for Pierre Trudeau's introduction of official bilingualism, created another Royal Commission that helped create legal equality for women, decriminalized homosexuality (with Trudeau as his Justice Minister), built on John Diefenbaker's colour-blind immigration policy and oversaw Canada's successful 1967 centennial celebrations. Pearson's influence can also be noted by the fact that he recruited no less than ''three'' future Prime Ministers into his Cabinet. Trudeau would succeed Pearson, John Turner would succeed Trudeau, and Jean Chretien would bring the Liberals back to power after the Conservative reigns of Brian Mulroney and Kim Campbell.
** On top of that, in his previous tenure as Foreign Minister, he called for neutral troops to maintain a buffer zone in Egypt during the Suez Crisis. Thus he became a principal architect of modern peacekeeping.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gough_Whitlam Gough Whitlam]] holds a similar status in UsefulNotes/{{Australia}}. In just three years as Prime Minister, he: abolished conscription and the death penalty, introduced universal health care, decriminalised homosexuality, established relations with [[UsefulNotes/{{China}} the People's Republic of China]], changed the national anthem from "God Save the Queen" to "Advance Australia Fair", replaced the honours system, got Australia out of TheVietnamWar, outlawed racially discriminative laws with the Racial Discrimination Act, and ended the last vestiges of the White Australia Policy. And this was despite the fact the opposition controlled the Senate for most of his term.
* UsefulNotes/WilliamHenryHarrison, the ninth President of the United States, has the distinction of having served the shortest term in US presidential history, as he passed away from pneumonia on his 32nd day in office. He was also the first President to ever die while in office. Though he's largely forgotten by history, since he never really got the chance to actually do anything as President, his death briefly sparked a constitutional crisis, as the Constitution was unclear about exactly what action should be taken in the event that a President died, resigned, or was otherwise unable to perform their duties. Thankfully, though, his death led to these issues being resolved.
* When General Boulanger, whom many people tipped to become a Napoleon-type dictator of France during the early years of the Third Republic, gave himself airs in the National Assembly, he was heckled by a deputy with: "When Napoleon was your age, he was dead."
* England's Interregnum – the period between the execution of Charles I and the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II – lasted only 11˝ years, from 1649 to 1660. However, the events during that time had a profound impact on English culture – it showed the English people would no longer take kindly to absolute rule, and was the first of many times Parliament would prove its superiority over the King. The excesses of UsefulNotes/OliverCromwell and his supporters left the English with a ''very'' poor opinion of Puritanism (which led to more Puritans going to America, which irreversibly impacted the already rather Puritan culture there). And, Cromwell's Commonwealth militia would eventually become the British Army (it's the only UK military branch without "Royal" in the title because it wasn't established under Royal authority).
* UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler and [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany the Nazi party]]. Ruled UsefulNotes/{{Germany}} for a mere twelve years, causing untold death (around 35 million), suffering, and destruction. The effects of their rule are felt across the world to this day. …No one said the impact had to be a ''good'' one.
** To take some positive out of it, it was Hitler's regime and WWII that made (most) of the world say "you know what? Maybe Nazism isn't as cool as we thought it was."
* UsefulNotes/JamesKPolk is sometimes referred to as "[[UsefulNotes/TheUnitedStates America's]] greatest one-term [[ThePresidents President]]", and not without reason. In his one term, he [[UsefulNotes/ManifestDestiny expanded the United States to the Pacific Ocean]] through [[UsefulNotes/MexicanAmericanWar one war with Mexico]] and one act of diplomacy with Britain that prevented a second war. He decided not to run for a second term, having accomplished everything he wanted to do in his first. He also died relatively young, at the age of 53, only 103 days after the end of his presidency.
* UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy only served two years, 10 months, and 2 days as US President before he was assassinated. He is still revered as an icon by the American left, and his family (most notably his brothers Robert and Edward) has also played a huge role in American politics. He was also the shortest-lived President, dying at age 46.
** His brother UsefulNotes/RobertFKennedy arguably fits this even more. Whereas JFK had served some 14 years in Congress before becoming president, Bobby had a grand total of 3˝ years as Attorney General and another 3˝ years as US Senator from New York before his assassination in June 1968 during his run for president. He remains to this day a potent symbol for the American Left, as an example of WhatCouldHaveBeen.[[note]] During his seven years in the spotlight, Bobby became the first major government figure to be VERY vocal in his support of civil rights. He was also the first person to publicly stand up to longtime FBI Potentate J.Edgar Hoover (of whom everyone else was terrified due to Hoover's ''extensive'' files on every non-rightwing American with any prominence whatsoever). RFK was also extremely outspoken in his support of antipoverty programs - he began his presidential campaign in the Appalachian villages of West Virginia, an area infamous to this day for its grinding poverty.[[/note]]
* UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}}, who only preached for three years, has had a significant spiritual impact on the world for more than 2000 years. On the other hand, for people who view him as the Son of God, he can be seen to have influenced the world since before the dawn of time.
* The Qin Dynasty lasted less than 15 years, but it formed the very foundations of Chinese society, and governance to which future dynasties would base and modify their rule on. They also started the project of building the Great Wall of China and formed the concept of a unified China.
* Ernie Davis, running back for the Syracuse football team from 1958 to 1961, helped win Syracuse's sole national championship and was the very first African American college football player to win the Heisman Trophy. "The Elmira Express" was in the process of joining the Cleveland Browns and forming what was to be a dynamic running duo with fellow Syracuse veteran Jim Brown, before losing his battle to leukemia at the age of 23.
* Jonathan Larson died at the age of 35 of an aortic aneurysm, the night of the final dress rehearsal for the Off-Broadway production of {{Rent}}, but the show became a cultural phenomenon that ran on Broadway for over ten years and inspired many other musicals.
* Pierre Mendčs-France was ''président du conseil'' (Prime Minister) for only 8 months, but he ended the first vietnam war, and is still cited as an example of a good politician.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pony_Express Pony Express]] transcontinental mail service only lasted for a little over a year and a half before telegraph lines made it obsolete, but it had such a profound impact on the public consciousness and became so tied to TheWildWest (which mostly came later) that it inspired books, movies, and television shows long after the fact. It's interesting to note that the first U.S. postage stamp not to depict a dead Founding Father chose a representation of a Pony Express rider as a showcase of American technical accomplishment.
* For that matter, TheWildWest era itself. The average timespan has it lasting from 1848 (when the USA took possession of California from Mexico) to 1890 (when the US Census Bureau officially declared the frontier closed, and also the date of the last major Indian battle at Wounded Knee). That's a little over forty years. A stricter definition puts the start around 1868 (when the Civil War had ended and the Transcontinental Railroad allowed more people to move into the frontier). That's barely twenty years. To watch any American media, especially stuff made prior to TheSixties (when TheWestern was still a viable genre), one would believe that the era lasted much much longer. Romanticism for this era - or rather the ''perception'' of it - is to this day one of the major bedrocks of American culture.
* Edward Teach, a.k.a. UsefulNotes/{{Blackbeard}}, terrorized the West Indies for only 2 years before being killed during a fight with colonial authorities in what is now North Carolina. To this day he is still the poster boy for the GoldenAgeOfPiracy.
* Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most well-known and important activists for Civil Rights, he gave one of the most famous speeches of all time, and his influence is credited with the creation of laws against segregation. He was assassinated when he was only 39.
* UsefulNotes/AlCapone was only a Chicago crime boss for seven years (and the undisputed boss of organized crime in Chicago for only two years). He is still the RealLife inspiration for depictions of TheMafia and other organized crime entities in the United States. To this day, more than 80 years after Capone went to prison and almost 70 years after his death, Chicago is still trying to [[NeverLiveItDown overcome the image]] of a WretchedHive that Capone and his associates gave the city.
** Capone's New York contemporary, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, was only in ''de facto'' command of his own crime family for five years before being imprisoned and subsequently deported. During that time, he more or less created a national syndicate for organized crime, and turned the Mafia from what was yet another ethnic crime gang in a city full of them into the organized pervasive group it is known as today.
* UsefulNotes/BillyTheKid: Committed all his major crimes between his 17th birthday and his early death at the age of 21. Nevertheless became the most legendary outlaw of the Wild West.
* Baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax blossomed into a star in 1961, and retired five years later at the age of 30. Those six seasons won him three Cy Young awards, three pitchers' Triple Crowns[[note]]Leading the league in wins, strikeouts, ''and'' earned-run average[[/note]], and a plaque in the Hall of Fame; and cemented his claim as one of the greatest players ever.
[[/folder]]

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