Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
Lampshades. Some writers just love them.
Particularly in parodies, lampshades are the entire point. Usually the idea behind a lampshade is that it is calling attention to the trope it is using and by hopefully doing so it helps maintain the Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Here, the idea is just to lampshade everything, and either derive humor from that, or engage in Post Modernism of some other variety.
This can also be a bad thing. Sometimes this is a problem because they explained the bulb too much. In addition, if the goal was drama, excessive lampshading can draw away from the tone of the scene. Lampshading a badly written plot point or stupid character decision can also have a negative effect as it can make the characters look dumb for not realising their stupid idea earlier, which in turn makes the writers look stupid for allowing themselves to write their plot and characters in an idiotic manner.
What constitutes "excessive" is debatable and not the subject of this article.
This trope is about works whose authors and writers believe that lampshades are Better than a Bare Bulb. Please do not address the quality debate in the examples. Examples should merely be shows or works that hang lampshades everywhere, possibly to the point of turning entire scenes into Affectionate Parody. Bonus points for a show that lampshades the extensive lampshade hanging.
See also Tropes Are Tools and Deconstruction. Compare Trope Overdosed and Troperiffic. It Runs on Nonsensoleum is something of a subtrope.
Ouran High School Host Club often hangs lampshades in both the anime and the manga, at least in the beginning of the series. Even the author herself hangs a lampshade now and then in her Author's Notes. Then again, Ouran is an Affectionate Parody of shoujo series.
In the anime version of Haruhi Suzumiya, and in the novels, the SOS Brigade create a film for the Cultural Festival. Kyon becomes narrator, as usual, and proceeds to act as a Lemony Narrator, threatening to beat up Koizumi should he kiss Mikuru, and pointing out that some scenes just don't make sense for instance.
The Fanmake Blooper Series was also written by a Troper, though instead of tropes that are found here, they're tropes that are found in certain kinds of Film Fiction, and they are not just lampshaded, but also subverted, parodied, and even deconstructed.
Latias Journey did this often enough that you might have mistaken it's author as a troper. By the time of its sequel, Brave New World, he WAS a troper, and the Genre SavvyLeo occasionally indulges in this (and he isn't the only one - chief Badass Captain Briny also does this at times, and other Pokémon occasionally throw it out)
Kung Pow! Enter the Fist gleefully points out its own editing inconsistencies, such as The Chosen One asking Master Tang why he's suddenly lying in bed when a moment before in the same scene he was walking around in a completely different room, and Betty proclaiming he's a magician and changing the color of a lackey's shirt throughout the scene.
Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Many examples, done very well, of characters noting they are like, or are, characters in a saga and that some trope applies to them. "Give us a story, I want to hear about 'Frodo of the Nine Fingers and the Ring of Doom'", et cetera. Justified insofar as in their world there isn't much difference between a story and a history lesson, so this is a little like (for example) drawing parallels between the Iraq war and Vietnam.
"That only happens in children's book where the author is clearly running out of ideas."
While much of Postmodern fiction falls under this, David Foster Wallace should get a special mention; he'll frequently hang a lampshade on a plotpoint or theme he's using genuinely...and then hang a lampshade on the hanging itself, which will tie back into the original theme (drawing something real out of irony)
In World War Z, the Battle of Yonkers is both in-universe and out a massive contrivance that requires the entire US military command to suddenly become Too Dumb to Live. As it's told by one of the infantry who were present, he keeps recounting how stupid the decisions had to be. Depending on the reader, this just keeps reminding one of how contrived the whole situation is, bordering on a mid-game Diabolus Ex Machina.
Also lampshaded is the mysterious absence of Solanum from the news; the companies that own them didn't want to cause a panic. This disregards just about everything about how the news works, the entire Internet, and the tendency of news to gyrate towards more sensationalist stories, even if it means sacrificing accuracy. The walking dead would be the Holy Grail for any news organization.
Belisarius Series does this several times to reconcile the writing of an epic with the pragmatic and rather cynical view of war which moderns and probably Byzantine soldiers too have. For instance when Valentinian and Rana Sanga are having a gloriously heroic Combat by Champion, the Roman officer Maurice commits that it is the craziest thing he had seen in his life.
Power Rangers RPM. This isn't because the show is bad by any means, but because the source footage is so ridiculously cheesy that not doing so would almost be an insult, given the nature of the show. Lampshades hung include the cutesy-animal mecha, the transformation callphrase, the prerequisite explosions behind them after transforming (which was brilliantly turned into an actual plot point). Impressively, most of the lampshades also come with justifications wherein the cliches of the franchise are given semi-plausible explanations.
Stargate SG-1 loves its lampshades. Particularly notable is its use of Wormhole Xtreme, a Show Within a Show that pokes fun at the series, the creative process, and the entire Sci-Fi genre.
Plus "Citizen Joe" which contains many a Take That at earlier episodes and "200" which somehow manages to push the ideas introduced in "Wormhole Xtreme" even further. Basically, the older the series got, the more lampshades were hung.
After the names of the most-recurring props, cast, and crew (and pronouns and prepositions, of course), "lampshade" may just be the most frequently uttered word on all SG-1 DVD commentaries and behind-the-scenes material. Unless you limit that to only material featuring frequent director and story consultant Peter DeLuise, in which case "regular" (as in bowel movement) might just pip "lampshade".
Due South enjoys giving Fraser increasingly strange and unbelievable abilities and when other characters express astonishment as to how he does it, he merely says "That's not important."
Psych. Almost the entire show is varying degrees of lampshade hanging.
Doctor Who, being a show that's a dramedy loves itself a good lampshade hanging.
FoxTrot is fond of Lampshade Hanging to an extreme degree. Notice how many trope examples on its page involve lampshades in some way.
Arsenic and Old Lace has extensive Lampshade Hanging, including references about how much the villain resembles monster-movie star Boris Karloff (who acted the role during the play's initial run on Broadway but not in the film adaptation). There is also a bit where the hero, a theater critic, lampshades his scene by discussing the same scene in a play he recently saw, which is the play in which he is acting. Confused yet?
Karloff's absence from the film was in fact because he was doing the play on Broadway - his contract stopped him.
Shortpacked! is incredibly fond of this, usually with Robin, who tapdances and does backflips on the fourth wall in about every third appearance. Other characters will occasionally do it also, particularly Mike.