"If you are in the market for easy laughs, you learn that two well-tried ways are either to trip up a cliche or take things absolutely literally."Most parodies work in a light hearted manner, taking the basic plot of the thing they parody, and making it humorous. The giant space station may have wiped out half the Earth in the original, but in the parody only some unimportant Acceptable Targets got destroyed, and Hilarity Ensues. And then there are these. While the parody might have made the plot silly, and light hearted, the Deconstructive Parody plays exactly like any other Deconstruction, in that everything is treated as if it were to really happen - it's just that humour is still drawn from the original story, while also serving to show what would really happen. In a Deconstructive Parody the giant space station will still wipe out half the Earth, and while the characters will reflect on this tragedy, and take it seriously, it will still be presented humorously. Maybe all that's left are the Acceptable Targets, or perhaps the doomsday device is entirely ridiculous and non-threatening in conception, yet still works. Either way, what matters is that the plot is still treated as real, and plays out tropes as you would expect from a typical Deconstruction. Just to note, a bunch of Lampshade Hangings don't really count, so this may not necessarily include an Abridged Series, or some Webcomics. Compare with Black Comedy. Contrast Affectionate Parody, Decon-Recon Switch.
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- This Sprite commercial gleefully deconstructs and parodies the usage of advertising characters appearing in the real world alongside real people.
- The "Go Compare" ads in the UK involved an opera singer who would appear whenever people discussed car insurance and start trilling a Crowd Song jingle, in a series of ads that quickly began to elicit howls of rage from viewers all over the UK. They then ran a "Saving the Nation" series where the same opera singer would appear to people discussing car insurance, but they would respond with the same level of terror as a real person would in that situation, to be saved by someone else attacking the singer with weapons. The follow-up to that campaign imagines the same opera singer, who is now not allowed to sing, working an advertising creative, speaking in a soft Welsh accent rather than singing, and pitching terrible advertising ideas to cash in on his previous image in shallow ways.
- An advert for The Jump, a show where celebrities compete in winter sports and the 2 people in last place are made to perform a Ski Jump, deconstructs the idea of a 'Hopeless Contestant Montage' which you'd often see in shows like Hell's Kitchen where the contestants are falling out of the sky... and a family on vacation, completely unaware of what's happening, are scared shitless as bodies fall from the sky!
Anime and Manga
- Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi did this on almost every episode, for various anime themes and genres including sci-fi, high school and feudal Japan.
- Even a Monkey Can Draw Manga is a deconstructive parody of How To Draw Manga manuals.
- Martian Successor Nadesico, for both the Space Opera and Real Robot Genres.
- Tiger & Bunny is this and Affectionate Parody of western Super Hero genre.
- Nichijou deconstructs the absurdity of an 8-year-old professor who built a very adorable teenage robot girl to take care of her by having a rational scientist attempt to kidnap the aforementioned robot girl and accidentally wander into a Mad Scientist Laboratory. The whole scene is uncharacteristically dark, but quite characteristically funny.
- One-Punch Man deconstructs the idea of having someone with One Punch Kill as a Story-Breaker Power. Despite that description, it is hilarious.
- Deadline Summonner makes fun of the Harem Genre and RPGs, by sucking the unfortunate Mamoru Onodera into a fantasy world with no healing magic, where inn stays do not magically heal all injury and status effects, and there are no continues. He is saddled with more monster girls than he is useful powers (and the one spell is an uber powerful Desperation Attack that allows him to summon all ten of them at once), "game mechanics" like feeding them and finding work that actually pays well, and the ever present bias against summons.
- Oh, and summoning magic basically equates to slavery, implied not to be totally consensual on both sides. Despite this, it's clear that Mamoru cares for his harem very much, and they in turn are very happy in his service, and never want to let him go. (Ever.)
- Things also turn out well in the end... though not without some sort of cost, to Mamoru only, of course.
- Otasuke Miko Miko-chan plays with the Magical Girl genre in a mostly mundane, Fantastic Comedy setting, primarily by having the titular Magical Girl be a "he."
- Despite its reputation, Neon Genesis Evangelion occasionally enters this territory, particularly in episode 8, where, despite the episode being primarily comedic, a notable feature of the episode is the sheer amount of collateral damage caused by Asuka's defeat of the Angel.
- The first 35 minutes of Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion could be taken as one of these towards Fix Fics of the show proper, by having all five girls as the Puella Magi Holy Quintet, restoring Homura's incredibly Moe persona from her back-story, having Kyubey as a voiceless Team Pet, amping up the Les Yay between Sayaka and Kyoko, adding Nagisa/Bebe/Charlotte as a companion for Mami, then going out of its way to make things silly to the point of Satire (the Cake Song being where this reaches its apex). The actual deconstruction kicks in when Homura realises it's Too Good To Be True and all a part of an elaborate Witch's Barrier - hers.
- Bikini Warriors lampshades most of the typical elements in a fantasy setting, and some of the drawbacks and consequences of the heroines actions.
- Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku o! does this to the light novel subgenre where an ordinary person is transported or reincarnated to an RPG-like world, and RPGs to a lesser extent. The protagonists of these novels usually thrive in the new world, have a powerful cheat item or ability, and even gain a harem party to boot, but this trend doesn't seem to apply for Kazuma. This hapless protagonist gets stuck in a Crapsack World with very little RPG amenities, chooses a cheat item in the form of an insufferable goddess, has two party members who exaggerate their job class in both abilities and personality, etc. As a result, what would have been a grand adventure turns into a sitcom where the party can barely make ends meet.
Films — Animated
- Shrek is a deconstructive parody of fairy tales, the Disney Animated Canon, and all concepts and ideas related to them, using characters from the book of the same name by William Stieg.
- ParaNorman makes fun of pretty much every zombie cliche and horror movie trope in general, until the last third of the movie...
- The LEGO Movie gleefully deconstructs the standard hero's journey/Chosen One narrative, while still being a solid example of the same.
- Sausage Party can initially be viewed as a heavy deconstruction of anthropomorphization, which is common among animated works that are aimed towards more younger audiences (especially Disney and Pixar).
Films — Live-Action
- The films Her Alibi and American Dreamer poke fun at Mary Sue-like pulp fiction heroes. The former does it by contrasting the writing with the actual situations which inspire it, and the latter by having a housewife get Easy Amnesia and think she is her favorite literary heroine. Both films are worth checking out for those alone.
- Mystery Men and The Specials do this with the superhero genre, approaching it from the perspective of a "loser" superhero team.
- The trailers for Enchanted made it look as though it would do this for fairy tales, but it instead was an Indecisive Parody or a Reconstruction
- Austin Powers does this to 1960s spy-oriented pulp fiction, namely James Bond.
- Hot Fuzz for police/action films, but pulls a Decon-Recon Switch later on.
- The black knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a Deconstructive Parody of the Stiff Upper Lip attitude of British culture, and Arthurian Legend (Terry Jones is an Arthurian scholar).
- The film Gunless is both a parody of Westerns in general and a deconstruction of the entire gun-slinging outlaw hero character archetype.
- Scream (1996) did this to slasher movies. The main characters are all Genre Savvy (Dangerously Genre Savvy in the case of the killer Ghostface), mocking, exploiting, and otherwise discussing the "rules" of slashers throughout the film. Several characters make fun of horror movie victims who prove themselves Too Dumb to Live, the killings become a media circus (as would happen if somebody is murdering young, pretty, white teenagers), and the Final Girl Sidney goes out of her way to make sure that the killer won't get back up for one last scare. It is, however, an Indecisive Deconstruction; while it often acknowledges the tropes of slasher movies, it still plays many of them straight, and rests more on Post Modernism than deconstruction for its humor and satire.
- The Burbs deconstructs the Nosy Neighbor, and subverts it in the end.
- National Security did this for cop action flicks. Martin Lawrence's character seems to think he's on Bad Boys.
- The Other Guys for Buddy Cop movies, with some Cowboy Cop thrown in. The pair of Cowboy Cops leap off a roof in pursuit of criminals, and die pretty early. Meanwhile, the protagonists are partners, but hate each other, one wants to be a Cowboy Cop but is terrible at it, and the crime they are pursuing is financial, rather than a high-stakes robbery or murder.
- Mean Girls sets up a standard teen movie formula: the poor heroine has her social life ruined by the Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse, and loses the guy of her dreams, so she sets out to make things right and get her revenge. When she accomplishes this, you get to watch the lead popular girl's life fall apart as her illusion that everybody liked her is shattered... and then the heroine take her place in the social ladder, ignoring her original friends and becoming just as mean herself. The former Alpha Bitch, meanwhile, goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that nearly wrecks the whole school. The clearest turning point is when it's overtly pointed out by one of the heroine's friends that the guy has left the bully, but still doesn't want her (or, for that matter, want anything to do with the whole mess), and yet she's still trying to ruin the once-popular girl's life. When the Title Drop finally rolls around, it refers to the protagonist.
- Heathers, in the absolute darkest sense of the word "parody," putting some brutal twists on perceptions of teenage society and violence.
- Last Action Hero did this to '80s and early '90s action movies.
- Santa movies aimed at adults as well as children usually attempt to deconstruct the Santa mythos — a recent one being Fred Claus, which implies Santa has a bad sex life due to his weight.
- Mystery Team is arguably this for stories such as Encyclopedia Brown and The Hardy Boys. The movie is sort of a less reverent Dog Sees God in that it shows what would happen when such characters are placed in the real world.
- As well as aged enough that they're still young, but too old for the "kid sleuth" thing to be cute anymore.
- Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil does this for Hillbilly Horrors by making the hillbillies the heroic protagonists. The college kids only think that the Good Ol' Boy main characters are evil, and end up killing themselves in Bloody Hilarious ways through their own stupidity, before one of them (the guy who would otherwise be the male hero in a typical slasher film) goes Ax-Crazy out of prejudice against the hillbillies.
- The Cabin in the Woods is a deconstruction of horror films, with the evil gods who demand bloody entertainment that conforms to established cliches taking the place of the audience.
- Tropic Thunder is a parody (whether it's affectionate or a poisonous Valentine is up for debate) of the filmmaking process itself and the cliche sort of people involved (the hothead producer, the eager but inexperienced director, the takes-himself-seriously consultant, the pyro guy, the prima donna actor, the agent, the rapper trying his hand at acting, the Lowest Common Denominator comedy actor trying to do serious drama...), in most cases by casting people that partially fill those roles in real life as the respective characters in the film. It loosely parodies Apocalypse Now and its famously Troubled Production as well.
- Ted is pretty much Toy Story (the first one) mixed with Pinocchio and deconstructed with all the humour one would find in a Seth MacFarlane production (namely Family Guy). What happens if a young boy makes a wish to have his favourite toy come to life? The wish comes true, of course, but Ted shows what happens when the boy and his cuddly toy companion grow into adulthood. Mostly concerning widespread media coverage, the complicated relationship issues which arise from a woman wanting more from a man who still sleeps with his teddy bear despite him being in his thirties, and the fact that Ted has spent his whole life living off others and has consequently never been to school, had a job or eve learned to live on his own, so when he actually does need to find work, all he he can manage is a piss-poor cashier job at a crappy downtown grocery store.
- The short film The Sleepover is this to slasher movies, particularly slasher franchises, by showing what life is like in between movies when the town has gotten used to having masked slashers constantly coming back. Kids are told to double-check under their beds and in their closets for killers, one needs firearms and martial arts training to get a babysitting license, there exists a three-step rule for escaping slashers, and everybody is armed with at least a knife.
- Starship Troopers started out as a satirical story called Bug Hunt before it was tied to the novel. Paul Verhoeven hated the novel and felt it had a lot of fascistic elements (a very hotly debated assessment), so he made the film an outright parody of the novel, the Why We Fight WWII propaganda films, and jingoistic warmongering and fascism in general through deconstructing the entire premise. The inhuman enemy that is "Othered" are literally inhuman monsters, even moreso than in the novel. The militaristic society makes the humans so complacent in their superiority that they refuse to even consider the enemy to be intelligent after the Bugs attack them with a Colony Drop from across the galaxy. They try to use horrendous military tactics and their forces are completely slaughtered. The attrition warfare gets so bad that the humans are reduced to using Child Soldiers by the end. The humans only seem like heroes because of the propaganda-like tone of the film itself. They accomplish an (in retrospect) meaningless victory and are clearly losing the war by the end, but the viewer is encouraged to join the Mobile Infantry because every soldier is needed. Yet despite all that, it's done in such an over-the-top fashion that most viewers don't even realize the parodic intent and cheer the humans on as if it were a straight-up action movie.
- Pain and Gain: Of The American Dream. The film even has most of the visual excess (shot like some of the cheesier music videos of the day) during scenes where Daniel discusses what he thinks the dream is.
- Deep in the Valley is a Porn with Plot sex comedy where a Nice Guy and his sleazy Bromantic Foil get trapped in the world of adult films. It plays with a lot of stereotypical porn roles, and even features a love interest who's tired of constant casual sex and who wants a meaningful relationship.
- Of the frat boy comedies Rogen starred in. Namely, it shows how reasonable people would act surrounded by characters from these movies, and how the frat guys are pathetic, petty Man-Children who are unwilling to accept maturity.
- It also deconstructs The Stoner, with the characters' (both the Radners' and the frat boys') habitual use of both weed and weed jokes with their friends depicted as a major sign of their inability to grow up and let go of their Glory Days.
- This College Humor video deconstructs elements of Harry Potter by moving the eponymous Wizarding School to...the inner city. The teachers couldn't care less, the school's resources are thin, crime is implied to be very rampant, and series Big Bad Voldemort seems to be some combination of a street gang ringleader and a Fantastic Drug dealer.
- The Voices is arguably one to the comedy subgenre "guy talks with his pets". Jerry, the hero, is obviously insane, his talks with his pets seem to be hallucinated, his cat is a sociopath, his home is actually an horrible filthy den that he usually sees beautiful and clean thanks to his hallucinations, and he eventually becomes a serial killer thanks to a chain of disasters including the accidental murder of his crush after giving a mercy kill to a deer that requested it (It Makes Sense in Context). The movie is also very funny, thanks to the dialogs with the pets.
- Tower Heist is one for heist movies. Only one member of the crew is a criminal, and he's a petty one at that. The big heist gets messed up before it even starts.
- Jack Burton of Big Trouble in Little China is a Deconstructive Parody of the All American Face. Burton sports a James Dean pompadour and drawls like John Wayne, but lives up to these iconic images of American masculinity with less than perfect aplomb. Overconfident and always slightly behind the information curve, his bombast sometimes pays off, but more often makes him the butt of a slapstick gag. For a light comic performance, Kurt Russell walks a very precise tightrope, giving Jack a puppyish quality that redeems his made-in-America arrogance. The audience roots for him to succeed, and to be taken down a peg or two along the way.
- Blazing Saddles took everything from the American Western genre, a couple dozen more from every other genre of American film, and proceeded to nuke them (particularly the racist elements) in a way that only Mel Brooks and Richard Pryor could manage. It was almost two decades before anyone took the Western seriously again.
- Don Quixote is most likely the Trope Maker.
- The Sir Apropos of Nothing books are like this of fantasy, part of the time. The other parts are a more of a straight deconstruction.
- Several of the Discworld books, for fantasy and whatever other genres Terry Pratchett feels like.
"We're going to show you what we think of Mr Clever Dick in these parts..."
- Specific example: the series deconstructs Pascal's wager (the notion that it is existentially safer to believe in God than not to) by having Ventre, an Expy of Pascal, die and arrive in an afterlife populated by stick-wielding enemies of the deity he worships. Oops.
- Also, Small Gods is one of these for extremist religions, Night Watch is one for Les Misérables, and the many of the Witches (and Tiffany Aching novels) are this for fairy tales in general.
- And Maskerade to Phantom of the Opera, and the idea that the Phantom being dashing and romantic means the fact he kills people for petty reasons isn't a big deal.
- Stephen Fry's The Stars' Tennis Balls (or Revenge in America) is a modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo that is like this in respect to the original novel. While it's partly a parody of the original (as seen in giving the characters names that are are anagrams/plays on the original — like calling the equivalent of Mercedes Portia), it totally deconstructs the idea that the behavior Dantes engaged in when taking revenge could be seen as just in any way. It does this by making the enemies more sympathetic and the revenge Darker and Edgier, and the ultimate feeling you get is that, rather than being sympathetic or at least a Magnificent Bastard, the Dantes-equivalent is a petty and cruel Smug Snake.
- Some literary scholars say The Fall Of The House Of Usher is a parody of Gothic Horror, what with Roderick Usher being infected with a disease that heightens his senses making him (and the reader) believe the house is scarier than it really is.
- The Barry Trotter series has elements of this (for example, its version of Quidditch).
- Robert A. Heinlein's Glory Road is super hilarious, but at the same time deconstructs the whole The Hero + Distressed Damsel + MacGuffin + Standard Hero Reward thing.
- The Number of the Beast, another Heinlein novel, does this for early 20th-Century Adventure novels. Hell, John Carter of Mars is specifically mentioned in the novel several times.
- If "specifically mentioned several times" = "beaten like a dead horse", then yeah, that's fairly accurate. We find out fairly early on that the character Deety is actually going by her initials. Let's just say her parents really liked the Barsoom novels, and if you're familiar with them, you can probably guess what DT stands for. Oh, and her maiden name is "Burroughs". Guess what her husband Zeb Carter's middle name is. Go on, guess.
- The Number of the Beast, another Heinlein novel, does this for early 20th-Century Adventure novels. Hell, John Carter of Mars is specifically mentioned in the novel several times.
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series is this for the Sci-Fi genre. The Big Good is just some guy who happens to be friends with an alien, the evil empire style characters are a bunch of horrible marksmen who's deadlist weapon is their horrendous poetry, and the Robot Buddy is a rude, paranoid, and clincally depressed Deadpan Snarker.
- It's more specifically one of these for Doctor Who, which Douglas Adams was a script editor on at the time he wrote the first book. Particularly, it deals with the concept of a mild-mannered Earth person being taken off into a Human Alien, BBC Quarry-filled version of space as the companion of an oddball, bohemian alien traveller in a stolen time-travelling ship by showing just how boring, depressing and hopeless a universe like that would be to travel in. There are two separate duos with a Doctor-and-companion dynamic, Arthur and Ford, and Trillian and Zaphod. In the case of the first two, Arthur only leaves for space because his home, where he'd rather be, has been destroyed, he almost constantly moans about how much he'd prefer to be there, and both characters have very little idea of what's going on. The one time Arthur does enjoy space travel is the first time he lands on Magrathea, which everyone else thinks is a dump. In the case of the latter two, Zaphod's egotistical, flaky personality, extremely high intelligence and constant attention-seeking isn't redeemed by heroism, like in the case of the Doctor - while there is more depth to him than appears at first, he is every bit as selfish and unempathetic as someone who acted like the Doctor would have to be in real life. Also, unlike the Doctor, who constantly took sexy, clever Earth girl companions with him but was written relatively asexual during Adams's tenure due to the show being at least nominally for children, Zaphod's sexy, clever Earth girl companion is specifically noted to be a hot girl he picked up at a party for her looks.
- John Scalzi's book Redshirts relentlessly spoofs Star Trek: The Original Series, starting with deconstructing the entire concept of the Red Shirt by making the random ensigns who in TOS would be Red Shirts the protagonists. The tagline of the book is, "They were expendable ... until they started comparing notes." Early on Scalzi makes fun of the idea that the command crew is always on away missions by putting a navigator on the team to study a plague. When he gets infected, Scalzi pokes fun at Star Trek's habitual technobabble by telling the viewpoint character that they need a counter-bacterial, with said character wondering why they don't just call it a vaccine. And that's just the first 40 pages.
- Umberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum is this to conspiracy theories and literature based on them.
- Jane Austen's earlier works Love and Freindship and Northanger Abbey parodied melodramas and gothic romances respectively.
- Caitlin R. Kiernan's Blood Oranges does this for Urban Fantasy.
- The novelisation of Development Hell Doctor Who episode "Shada" parody-deconstructs the treatment of young human female companions in the series. When the Doctor charges into the room of Genre Savvy science student Clare to use her as The Watson despite her impressive intelligence, she finds herself bowled over by his force of personality and starts doing what he wants because that just feels like what she ought to do, while constantly noting in her internal monologue that her actions are nonsensical. She also realises that she keeps acting like a Neutral Female despite that not being her normal personality, and so the third time a male character orders her to sit tight and stay out of trouble, she snaps, and decides she's going to take the story Off the Rails and solve the mystery on her own. Her attempts to do so lead to her communicating with the dead Professor Chronotis, absorbing Time Lord knowledge of TARDIS flight and rescuing her love interest, Chris - who keeps noting in his internal monologue that he keeps acting "girly" and "clueless" so the Doctor can explain things to him.
- Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw deconstructs the assumptions and tropes of Victorian novels by the likes of Anthony Trollope by displaying an alien society in which they actually make sense.
- The Greatest American Hero does this with Comic Book Superheroes.
- Before that, in the 1960s, there was Captain Nice (NBC) and Mr. Terrific (CBS), both which were made to capitalize on the Batman craze at the time.
- For that matter, the first season of Batman was itself one of these, as was Batman: The Movie. In the pilot, the Riddler tricks Batman into falsely arresting him so he can make a Frivolous Lawsuit for a million dollars, exposing Batman’s Secret Identity. The second episode shows the Penguin taking advantage of Batman’s Bat Deduction to commit crimes. Mr. Freeze is Dangerously Genre Savvy. Batman The Movie ends lampshading Reed Richards Is Useless when Batman refuses Robin’s idea to alter the personalities of the world leaders for the betterment of the world (and then exactly that happens). The next two seasons suffer great Seasonal Rot and were examples of Indecisive Deconstruction and Indecisive Parody.
- This was a staple of Chappelle's Show.
- "Dude's Night Out" was a more realistic beer commercial. Their activities included getting into barfights (and losing), defecating in public, and having sex with transvestite prostitutes.
- The "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" skits show why "gangsta" behavior is usually a bad idea.
- Don't forget the "realistic" versions of movies like Pretty Woman.
- Glee is this to High School Musical, when it's not being High School Musical done right.
Rachel: There is NOTHING ironic about show choir!
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia does this several times. Most notable "The Gang Hit the Slopes'' mocks all the 1980's comedies showing how disturbing guys leering after nude women all the time is and what happens when those "cool kids" grow up into even more skeevy adults.
- The Good Guys does this to the idea of the Cowboy Cop and other action-movie tropes. (It was created by Matt Nix, the creator of Burn Notice.) The cop in question is an older detective — paired with a young, By-the-Book Cop — who's mentally stuck in The '80s, unable to adjust to changed police methods or even basic fashion. The only reason he's even still on the force is that he rescued a VIP some time ago, at the cost of his partner having a nervous breakdown when he forced him to jump from one moving car to another, a typical cop-movie stunt. At the end of the first episode, they're both dressed down for the dozens of rules of police procedure they managed to break—including Armed Altruism, BTW—and he asks when they're getting their medal. And all of it is played for laughs.
- And again with the Gut Feeling in a later episode. The feeling is correct, but the bulk of the police force thinks they were catching the bad guys. What they've actually got are the decoys(who thought they were the only bank robbers), and the real thieves see our heroes at their intended target and flee. With no evidence, Jack and Dan's boss chalks it all up to Dan's crazy rubbing off on Jack.
- Mitchell And Webb as a couple who are sick of having James Bond show up at their parties.
Webb: It's Moneypenny I feel sorry for. Did you see when I was going around with the voddy?
Webb: Well, I said to Moneypenny, "Can you manage another finger in there?", meaning —
Mitchell: Finger of vodka in her glass of drink.
Webb: Yeah! And then James starts rolling his eyes like he's having some sort of stroke and says, "Oh, you can always get another finger inside Moneypenny!"
Mitchell: HE SAID WHAT?
Webb: Literally did not know where to look.
Webb: It's a shame, because he's clearly invested so much time in teaching that dog to talk and it just can't.Mitchell: Whereas the dog's nephew actually talks quite well.Webb: A little precocious though, isn't he?Mitchell: Yes, but I think one can forgive that of a talking dog.Agent: And Suave? Good luck.
- Later on in this sketch he brutally attacks someone for an offhand comment and then makes a trademark quip about it. The outrage is as much about the fact that the quip wasn't very good as that he threw someone out of a window.
- They did a similar dialogue with Scooby-Doo.
Suave: I won't need luck.
Agent: (beat) You're going to a casino.
Suave: (realisation) Oh God, yes, that's right!
- The Late Late Show: Instead of having a talk show sidekick to laugh at the host's jokes and spout the occasional Catch Phrase, the show has Geoff Peterson, a robot that laughs at the host's jokes and spouts the occasional Catch Phrase.
- Geoff: Balls!
- Can a court case be deconstructed? If so, then The Colbert Report's Colbert SuperPAC is playing every aspect of the Citizens United case to its logical extreme for as many laughs as possible, while making a mockery of the US political system. Even more brilliantly, by actually creating a political action committee, he basically conscripted Viacom and the Federal Election Commission into the joke against their will. He does things so ridiculous that they have to respond, then shows that the laws support what he just did. Maybe one of the finest real life deconstructions ever done.
- The television career of popular UK comedy duo Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer revolves around deconstructive parodies of light entertainment. Reeves' career began in comedy clubs as a surreal exaggeration of the kind of versatile all-round entertainers who had flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, a la Bruce Forsyth and Des O'Connor. This continued with Vic Reeves Big Night Out, a deconstruction of television variety shows, and the sketch show The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer. Shooting Stars was a deconstruction of celebrity panel games, and the duo's subsequent career has mined the same path.
- Adam Ruins Everything: The show is arguably a Deconstruction of the Edutainment Show. Why does Adam spent his time bothering people with better things to do? Because he's a friendless know-it-all without better things to do who tries to make friends. And while the people Adam lectures may learn something useful, they don't grow to care for Adam as a human being. The show itself mocks various conventions of the society, like how forensic science, despite what a Forensic Drama will show, is deeply flawed, or how medical shows like The Doctor Oz Show are constantly feeding people misinformation about health.
- Thad Castle from Blue Mountain State is one of they typical Jerk Jock with Testosterone Poisoning. His actions and behavior are not that much out of the ordinary for the character type, but Thad pushes it further and further to the point where early on you can tell that he's dangerously insane.
- Scream After Dark, the aftershow to MTV's Scream, is this to talk shows like Talking Dead, After the Thrones, and After the Black that come right after popular TV shows, where a group of panelists discuss the events of the latest episode together with some of the cast and crew providing behind-the-scenes details. So, you think that these shows are nothing but frivolous behind-the-scenes trivia that doesn't really deepen one's understanding of the latest episode, and only serves as more promotional material? Well, Scream After Dark features made-up trivia designed to paint the cast and crew in the most unflattering light possible. The writing process is portrayed as throwing darts at a board to decide who to kill off this week, then spinning a wheel to decide where that person dies. The acting process is shown in detail, with two of the show's stars reading from a canned script for character reactions to recent deaths, one that is recycled over and over with minor variations each time someone dies. Lead actress Willa Fitzgerald gives a set tour that degenerates into an ill-informed rant about war and politics. The behind-the-scenes look at the actors' relationships portrays them as secretly hating one another. And it's all Played for Laughs.
- Tenacious D once applied the deconstructive parody approach to Author Tract music. After taking over "City Hall", the D are rulers of the world. They issue absurd decrees that show they really are the wrong sort of minds to make big, important world decisions. "From now on we'll travel in TUBES!"
- The Gregory Brothers song "DJ Play My Song (No, Leave Me Alone)" spoofs the Exhort The Disc Jockey Song by raising the question of what kind of person would make repeated demands of the DJ in such a hyperbolic manner, disregarding his opinions, those of the other patrons, and the club's policies. And what this person must be like once the club closes. It doesn't end well for the DJ.
- Maddie & Tae's song "Girl in a Country Song" is this to the modern "bro-country" style of country music.
- Bob Rivers made a side career out of these, especially on the Twisted Christmas albums. The first one had a song about Santa getting stuck in the chimney and suffocating, and a "visit from St. Nick" where the "Nick" in question was a pastiche of Jack Nicholson characters. Another had a parody of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" named to "It's the Most Fattening Time of the Year" (complete with fitness guru Richard Simmons having a spoken-word bridge encouraging restraint). There's also the wicked "Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire" (parody of Nat King Cole's version of "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire"), where the parody Cole and Dave Seville (voiced by Pat Cashman, the announcer of Smash Brothers) get fed up enough with the smart-alek rodents to serve them up as Christmas dinner.
- The Lonely Island's "Space Olympics" music video starts off by hyping up how awesome "space Olympics" would be...before demonstrating all the various mishaps that would probably happen: athletes only get one meal per day because of food budget limitations, there's no light or sound (on the plus side, no curfew!), "minor scheduling adjustments" are made such as several events getting cancelled and all other events pending, the oxygen aboard the station runs out, and last but not least, someone accidentally self-destructs the entire station.
- A constant theme of John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme:
- For example, one sketch did a deconstruction on The Emperor's New Clothes, showing the Emperor so traumatised by the experience that he now overdresses due to paranoia that everyone can see his 'winkie', and refuses to fund inventions that appear invisible - causing him to turn down inventors who have invented the telephone as soon as they mention that the waves of transmission are 'invisible'.
- Another sketch parodied Right Behind Me by having a character rant about his boss, ask "he's standing right behind me, isn't he?" and, when people point out that the boss has long left the office, the character admits that he's 'a sitcom character' and, in the manner of someone admitting they have an OCD variant, can't bear it if the situation doesn't resolve humorously.
- Whatever Happened To does this, taking apart the mythos of popular children's characters. For example, the Susan Foreman episode (from Doctor Who) goes into detail about being a schoolgirl time traveller with two teachers - she hated time travelling because she was missing all her O-levels, Ian developed 'a bloodlust' after killing his first Dalek, it's heavily implied Barbara descended into alcoholism, and she believes the reason the Doctor left her on Earth with her Love Interest (from the Who serial "The Dalek Invasion of Earth") was because she was hindering his capacity to impress young women, which he later improved by 'regenerating younger' (Jo Grant denies that anything happened). Even the Strangled by the Red String nature of her relationship with David is mocked - "I was sixteen! I was in love with someone all the time!" - and she only makes it back to her own time by contacting her family on Gallifrey. When she gets back to Earth she finds Ian and Barbara no longer remember their travels thanks to a time paradox erasing the events from history, and when rumour gets out that she's been travelling with Ian it's treated like accusations of teacher sexual assault. Even when Susan shows someone her souvenirs from time travel, she gets accused from stealing them from the British Museum and sent to a young offender's institute. Of course, it's all Played for Laughs with a spoonful of outright ridiculous, like extremely camp Thals and Barbara being mistaken for a goddess (from "The Aztecs") because of her massive bouffant.
- Final Fantasy V has the Idiot Hero Bartz annoying the sage Guido with him repeatedly responding to the latter's exposition with an expositionary question, which named the exact same thing Guido expositioned about. The Big Bad Exdeath also comes across as being a parody of the stereotypical Tin Tyrant Evil Overlord, as well as possibly villains from FF's genre in general, what with his bombastic tendencies and over-the top dialogue. FFV's status as a parody is arguably more apparent in the GBA version's English translation of the game than any of the proceeding translations.
- Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent is a Deconstructive Parody of Professor Layton. Even though Tethers is in an FBI division dedicated to puzzles, he's aware that there are far more puzzles in this town than there should be. It's revealed that the gnomes he sees speak to the townsfolk in puzzles and caused a weird cult-ish group in the town.
- Achievement Unlocked and Achievement Unlocked 2 by jmtb02 both parody the common game concept of unlocking achievements. In these games, unlocking all the achievements is the whole point of the game and there are hundreds of them for ridiculous things such as killing yourself 100 times and visiting the hint page.
- Bulletstorm is about Space Marines who discovered they were being manipulated into killing innocent people by their corrupt superior. Upon finding out, they become Space Pirates. Ten years later, the leader and Player Character is a self-destructive alcoholic, and his rash decision to go after their old boss when he shows up get most of his crew killed and one seriously harmed. In addition to the guilt over the assassinations his team unwittingly performed, he feels guilty about harming his crew, and desperately tries to reconcile with the only surviving one, who rebuffs his advances. Said survivor, Ishi, has been turned into a cyborg by extremely painful surgery to combine him with a robot. The central gameplay gimmick of the game, The Leash, was designed by their corrupt superior to reward his men for killing people in creative ways, much like some sort of video game. The planet most of the game takes place on is a failed resort world, and is extremely colorful and varied, instead of the usual Real Is Brown. If it weren't for the swearing, fun, and Stuff Blowing Up, it would be a very dark game.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 arguably deconstructs the entire idea of The Chosen One by featuring too many Heroes of Another Story to count. It also mocks D&D archetypes left and right (the ridiculously-over-the-top nature-loving elf, for instance), as well as badly designed areas in fan modules for NWN1 (the Orc Caves), and long and seemingly significant plot sections that end up not mattering (like the Ember trial). The script regularly veers into the openly snarky. The whole thing kinda resembles Forgotten Realms-meets-Slayers. Makes sense when you remember who the dev team is.
- Baldur's Gate gives the player a chance to respond, in character, to a hermit who seeks out the party to drop an obscure hint in just about exactly the way most players wish they could respond.
"Ok, I've just about had my FILL of riddle asking, quest assigning, insult throwing, pun hurling, hostage taking, iron mongering, smart arsed fools, freaks, and felons that continually test my will, mettle, strength, intelligence, and most of all, patience! If you've got a straight answer ANYWHERE in that bent little head of yours, I want to hear it pretty damn quick or I'm going to take a large blunt object roughly the size of Elminster AND his hat, and stuff it lengthwise into a crevice of your being so seldom seen that even the denizens of the nine hells themselves wouldn't touch it with a twenty-foot rusty halberd! Have I MADE myself perfectly CLEAR?!"
"I'll bet ye've got all sorts o' barmy questions! (She mimics your heroic stance) Greetin's, I have some questions... can ye tell me about this place? Who's the Lady o' Pain? I'm lookin' fer the magic Girdle of Swank Iron, have ye seen it? Do ye know where a portal ta the 2,817th Plane o' the Abyss might be? Do ye know where the Holy Flamin' Frost-Brand Gronk-Slayin' Vorpal Hammer o' Woundin' an' Returnin' an' Shootin'-Lightnin'-Out-Yer-Bum is?"
- Similarly, Planescape: Torment deconstructs the other side of the coin with this gem from an elderly woman when she's interrogated by the Player Character.
- The Lee-Lee's Quest games give this treatment to the Super Mario Bros. 2D platforming games. Lee-Lee is actually the real bad guy who repeatedly abducts another man's girl and murders hundreds of innocents along the way, while pointlessly collecting shovels (coins) and fruits (power ups). The only mushroom in the game is poisonous, jumping into the game's only item block caves your skull in and kills you, the bird you hatch from an egg to ride jumps off a cliff when you hop on it, and stars turn your controls backwards.
- Pokémon has PETA's satirical parody, Pokémon Black and Blue - Gotta Free 'Em All, which tries to deconstruct the whole monster-battling thing as if they were real cockfights where the Pokémon are seen as just objects. It's not so humorous, though, even if it can come across as quite funny to some people. Hilariously enough, the Pokémon franchise itself had already deconstructed this exact same theme well over a year before PETA's game in the actual Pokémon Black and White games themselves, even going on to reconstruct the franchise's perceived problems in the process (not to mention using the games' Big Bad as a Take That/deconstruction of PETA-style Moral Guardians all the while).
- You Are Not The Hero is an Action RPG about a typical NPC who chases down some traditional RPG "heroes" who barged into her house and took her pendant, spoofing the hell out of several other RPG tropes along the way. Public Service Announcement from the developer: How to prevent heroes from barging into your home and stealing your stuff.
- South Park: The Stick of Truth illustrates how ridiculous and Unfortunate Implications-laden the "racial perk" trope many role-playing games use is by applying it to a real-life race, namely...the Jews.
- I Wanna Be the Guy deconstructs platform games by setting it in an Everything Trying to Kill You world (and by everything, we mean everything).
- Add in Spinnerette to the list of superhero deconstructions/parodies.
- The Last Days of FOXHOUND. Sure, there's one metric fucktonne of swearing, and characters are deliberately exaggerated for laughs, but it does an excellent job of analyzing the why and how of the plot behind Metal Gear Solid. Plus, when you can make the characters' deaths in the actual game Tear Jerkers (as noted on the Tear Jerker page for Metal Gear itself), you've done something worthy of Deconstruction.
- Living With Insanity did an arc where David wrote a story about his Mary Sue (a Rambo copy named Marty Stu) saving a bunch of orphans from Saint Hitler and his stormtroopers (as in, actual Star Wars stormtroopers) who were obsessed with anal rape. It ended with the Marty's sexiness causing a lady Nazi to give up without a fight and Hitler surrendering for no real reason. And they all lived happily ever after. Except for Hitler, who died two weeks later of AIDS.
- Just so no one thinks it was serious, the entire arc was called "Bad Writing".
- Overlord Bob does this with viarous fantasy cliches - bunch of adventurers invades Evil Overlord's inner sanctuary and he uses their stereotypical flaws to defeat them and transform into viarous sexy creatures. In the end the same happens to him and his rival, evil sorcerer Tim. Maid's Quest, set in the same Universe, does the same with various stereotypical evil knights.
- The Non-Adventures of Wonderella to so many superhero tropes.
- Manly Guys Doing Manly Things to many video game tropes and the idea of Manly Men through showing how people with such severe Testosterone Poisoning would act in a fairly real world.
- Garfield Minus Garfield is a deconstruction of its source material, but it's a Deconstructive Parody because it's played for laughs and is a parody of the original. Seeing as though Word of God apparently stated that Garfield never talked in the comic, both that and this show just how much of a wreck Jon really is.
- Hero Material does this to The Hero's Journey. Sure, the characters saved the world, but none of them really learned anything or became better people through it. On top of that the world they ravaged through is left into chaos and destruction.
- Filth Biscuit features the rewritten Robin Hood tale, Rob Ho & his Merry Bros, in which the legendary hero is recast as a hard-partying douchebag only interested in amusing himself and his equally obnoxious friends.
- Average Cats is an Anti-Humor deconstruction of the LOLCats meme. The humor from Average Cats comes from describing the image as it really is, with correct grammar, insisting that the macros normally seen in LOL Cats do not happen in real life. In this case, it's the deconstructive intent that's Played for Laughs.
- Next Time On Lonny is a parody of reality shows.
- Ditto for Sex House.
- Taking care of a dog prepares you for parenthood? Riiiight!
- The Nostalgia Critic plays with a few tropes, but the most obvious is how he's shown how pathetic, miserable and masochistic you have to be in order to become a Caustic Critic.
- The comedy group Dormtainment parodies rap in the video "Create A Rapper". In it, there is a hypothetical video game where you create a rapper. The four options are Thug Rapper, Hipster Rapper, Real Hip Hop Rapper, and Pop Rapper. The goal is to make the most money. The thug rapper ends up "losing" the game because he gets shot by his crew, the hipster rapper is an alcoholic and pot head and "loses" by overdosing, and the Real Hip Hop Rapper is selling CDs on a street corner and starves. The Pop Rapper is the only one that "wins" the game, by selling out.
- The /tg/ game Drew The Lich does this for Tolkenesque fantasy, particularly D&D alignment.
- Smosh's take on Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.
- Their "If X were real" series also counts.
- College Humor:
- Doctor Sim is this for The Sims.
- They did A Complaint to Mario Bros. Plumbing, which shows what Super Mario Bros. would be like if its conventions were applied to real life. Mario and Luigi are plumbers, who, according to the guy making the complaint, are seen taking psychotropic mushrooms and trying to squeeze themselves down the toilet. Their personalities would fit the profile of someone with a drug addict, for instance, "Meanwhile, the shorter one [Mario] was eating, yes eating my wife's prize-winning seasonal orchids. When I pleaded with him to stop, he threatened me with some drug-fueled fantasy about spitting fire," and "I assumed he was under the delusion he could demolish bricks with his fists when he [Luigi] tried punching through my ceiling."
- They did a similar one with "The Legend of Link's Distractions", highlighting the Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! of the character when it comes to Side Quests and what happens when Links busy doing them in real time.
- The Real Trailer, Fake Movie Average Party deconstructs Wild Teen Party movies by depicting the mundane things that actually go on at about 90% of teen parties.
- Scientifically Accurate Ninja Turtles (NSFW) describes how Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would be if the main characters were realistic turtles: they would be deaf, mute, filthy (real turtles carry germs, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves leave in sewers with a mutant rat), have unpractical hands unable to grab anything, and have a huge penis.
- Scientifically Accurate Spiderman and Scientifically Accurate Ducktales also show the real and disgusting side to Spiderman and Ducktales respectively. Warning: Not Safe for Work, and, if you were a child of the 1960s to the 1990s and you fondly remember these shows, then either don't watch them or say goodbye to any sugar-coated memories you have, because it's all downhill from here.
- Occupy Richie Rich is a giant Deconstructive Parody of the Richie Rich comics, portraying it as a Crapsack World where the Rich family control the entire economy and regularly screw over the non-rich and keep them from succeeding in life, all while Richie himself blatantly flaunts his wealth at every opportunity. All Played For (=dark) Laughs.
- Dragon Ball Z Fight in Real Life! is a parody of Dragonball Z that deconstructs tropes like Calling Your Attacks and Talking Is a Free Action with Vegeta being able to avoid or counteract most of Goku's attacks since Goku tells which attacks he performs.
- The "Heist" subseries of Achievement Hunter's Let's Play Grand Theft Auto V deconstruct the idea of actually committing crimes, especially heists, with problems like betrayal, death by cop, perma-death, and the inability to trust anyone. Still Played for Laughs.
- This fake ad by Rocket Jump parodies '90s commercials for kids' food and drink by showing just what would happen if three kids, after drinking Not Capri Sun, turned into metallic liquid. The answer: Body Horror.
- Some of Thomas Sanders' Vines do this, such as the one about Singin' in the Rain:
*dancing with umbrella* I'm siiiinging in the rain! *"lightning and thunder crash"* WHOA! That was a horrible idea!
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged places a lot of emphasis on how messed up Son Gohan's childhood must be. His mother is a control freak, his father is negligent and he's frequently forced into life-threatening situations against his will. Lampshaded with this conversation:
Adult Gohan: When I was a toddler, my uncle showed up, kidnapped me, and then Mr. Piccolo killed him and my dad. Then Mr. Piccolo kidnapped me, the Saiyans showed up, killed a bunch of people, including Mr. Piccolo. Then we went to Namek, a bunch more people died, we came back, then my dad died again, then all my friends died, and now everyone else is dying.
Young Trunks: But it was better, right?
Adult Gohan: ...No.
- Dexter's Laboratory had an episode where Dexter tries out different superpowers. This weighed heavily on the related trope, Required Secondary Powers.
- South Park has the episode "Crippled Summer" which has a couple of Looney Tunes and its Amusing Injuries.
- As noted on the Deconstruction page, The Venture Bros. functions as both a Deconstruction and an Affectionate Parody of Jonny Quest and other adventure stories. Jonny actually shows up as a drug-addled, burned-out middle-aged man, raging against his negligent father and running scared from an old foe, Dr. Zin. Although a later appearance has shown that Jonny's recovered enough to converse with Zin like a normal person.
- The premiere episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic quite extensively deconstructs the concept behind its parent franchise and the "girls' cartoon" genre codified by its predecessor shows, but plays all of its deconstructive elements for laughs (thanks mostly to Twilight playing the Straight Man to a cast of outlandish characters whose overbearing friendliness unwittingly results in the antisocial Twilight becoming The Chew Toy).
Twilight Sparkle: All the ponies in this town are crazy!
- "Lesson Zero" shows what happens when a Super OCD character in an Aesop-driven Edutainment Show is met with a situation where there isn't an Aesop for her to find. Namely, nightmarish psychotic breakdowns propped against a backdrop of facing the threat of being taken away from the friends that have come to mean so much to her. Thank God it's also one of the funniest episodes of the show, or this would all be incredibly bleak.
- John Kricfalusi discussed how he used this in the Ren and Stimpy episode "Son of Stimpy" in a blog post about Fake Pathos. He made the episode as a satire of shallow sad moments in movies and animated films, using every emotional tripwire in the book to make the audience cry over the most ridiculous plot element (namely Stimpy not being able to fart again).
"I purposely made a cartoon that used some filmic tricks to make people cry just to show that it's not hard to do it. And I didn't have to shoot anyone's Mom either. I made people cry over the fact that Stimpy couldn't fart for a second time. I went out of my way to make the story have the most preposterous plot events in it-everything to undermine the seriousness of Stimpy's depression. Besides the mood tricks, I relied heavily on Stimpy and Ren's acting-the drawings of their expressions and their interactions. A lot of films will ignore this part of the pathos recipe. They rely on the filmic tricks and contrived story points."
- Megas XLR is a Destructive Parody of the Humongous Mecha genre.
- Family Guy is a Deconstructive Parody of the Dom Com genre — or more accurately, a Deconstructive Parody of straight parodies of the Dom Com genre, such as The Simpsons.
- It also deconstructs some of the cartoon formulas (such as typical clichés, and cartoon anatomy), and shows what happens when reality kicks in.
- Archer deconstructs every aspect of the cold war era James Bond spy genre. Along with various elements of the action genre. Most consistently, guns being fired near someone's head causes ringing in the ears.
- The Animaniacs short "All the Words in the English Language" deconstructs the Warners' long list songs by exaggerating it to have Yakko sing the entire dictionary and also get tired as the song goes on (he barely finishes it before fainting at the end), plus he makes a mistake on a word he can't pronounce.