Genre-Killer

"At the end of this puzzle, you have to affix the improbable cat hair moustache to your lip with maple syrup! ... Who killed Adventure Games? I think it should be pretty clear at this point that Adventure Games committed suicide."
Old Man Murray, "Death of Adventure Games"

One order of magnitude greater than Franchise Killer, this is when a work somehow manages to take an entire genre down. A rare and unpredictable phenomenon that can, in extreme cases, cause a genre to become Deader Than Disco. This can happen in a variety of ways.

Some works, however, end up being the last straw for the genre by circumstances unrelated to their actual content but rather by their Troubled Production and Executive Meddling.

  • A work that is very good but turns out to be a commercial failure, making everyone afraid to invest in this genre.
  • A genre gets so expensive to produce or film convincingly that people aren't willing to lay down the money for it. Sometimes advances in CGI or computer programming can revive the genre — for example, the Epic Movie was briefly dead until advances in computer technology and animatronics were able to tamp down on the costs. Of course, disaster movies are becoming rarer again for the same reason. Alternatively, it turns out that the technology needed to convincingly move the genre forward wasn't as viable as people thought. Gaze upon the many, many aborted attempts to have fully-3D characters replacing "real" actors in a movie or 3D gaming.
  • Assorted freak events or coincidences make a genre unviable or unpopular, and a particular work gets perceived as either being a tasteless exploitation plot, Ripped from the Headlines in the worst possible sense, or worse, being directly held responsible for the unfortunate events in question.

These often aren't permanent: A good Reconstruction, revival, or cleverly marketed reboot can bring a genre Back from the Dead if you pull it off right. Something of a Cyclic Trope, as genres tend to go through periods of death, rebirth and change.

Compare Creator Killer, Star-Derailing Role. Also compare Trope Breaker, where it's a culture change or technological advance in Real Life that takes a genre down by discrediting one of its chief tenets. Contrast Genre Relaunch, a work which brings a genre Back from the Dead.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 

    Arts 
  • The original Dada movement of 1916 - which was based on violating conventions and depended on confusing and upsetting audiences - died when people began enjoying it, thus defeating its purpose. However, its influence can still be seen to this day: it contributed to the rise of postmodernism, and Spiritual Successors such as YouTube Poop follow Dadaist ideology to a T.
  • Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy and Germany in the early 20th century. It emphasized and glorified themes associated with contemporary concepts of the future, including speed, technology, youth and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane and the industrial city. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture and even gastronomy. Unfortunately, both the Fascists in Italy and the Nazis in Germany found the Futurist movement to be subversive and outlawed it. Futurist artists were targeted, and most died in concentration camps. For extra black irony, many of the most prominent Futurists had been enthusiastic, or at least ambiguously positive, about Fascism and Nazism, at least until they started getting jailed and murdered. This retrospectively tainted the entire movement, and the survivors quickly found new art movements to be a part of. As a result Futurism was as dead as Julius Caesar by 1944. Nonetheless the ideals of Futurism remain as significant components of modern Western culture, especially in Science Fiction.

    Automobiles 
  • The Mini is regarded as having killed the "bubble car", a type of microcar that was popular in Europe in the 1950s and early '60s due to their small size, fuel efficiency, and the high price of gasoline in that era. When the Mini offered seating for four and practicality for long distance driving, at a lower cost and with comparable fuel efficiency, the bubble cars couldn't hope to compete.
  • The soaring gas prices following The War on Terror killed the appeal of owning Hummers and other large gas guzzling vehicles. Of course, there will always be a few holdouts.
  • The '70s gas crisis put a hurting into sales of station wagons in the US, but it was the introduction of the minivan by Chrysler in 1984 that finished it off. The minivan itself was displaced when SUVs became popular in the 90s.
    • One of the major factors in the decline of full-size wagons and the ascent of minivans as America's people mover of choice was CAFEnote  standards enacted by the federal government. Station wagons were classified as "cars" and subjected to more stringent fuel efficiency standards than minivans which were classified as "light trucks".

    Comic Books 
  • Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns caused a period of Darker and Edgier comic books by starting a trend of comic-book deconstruction and killing off the idealistic Silver Age-type hero (until Kingdom Come made it viable again). Alan Moore, writer of Watchmen, is incredibly aware of this, having spent a majority of his career after the novel trying to undo its influence on comics.
  • Death Mate, the Intercontinuity Crossover between Image Comics and Valiant Comics, killed the Nineties Anti-Hero, many of the creative elements that led to the archetype, and one of its parents.
  • The end of World War II killed most Golden Age superheroes - in the post-war period, people weren't that interested in reading about people fighting to save the world any more, and other genres took over. Among the few survivors were Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
  • In the '50s, the stringent censorship of The Comics Code killed the crime and horror genres in American comics.
  • Both De Kiekeboes as well as the works of Raoul Cauvin destroyed the trend of ethnic stereotyping in Belgian Comics and Franco-Belgian Comics respectively. The former because they proved that a realistic portrayal of foreigners and foreign countries is much more profitable (the comic book has a respectable number of readers that read it because the realistic portrayal of foreign countries allows them to feel like if they are going on a vacation). The latter stereotyped jobs and popularized the trend of job stereotyping, making ethnic stereotyping feel rather unnecessary since the trend of stereotyping is already being done and ethnic stereotyping has the added problem of Unfortunate Implications, something that is not as problematic with job stereotyping comics. Some comic books still use ethnic stereotypes (such as Urbanus), but it is more out of tradition (it predated both) than because of anything else.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The failures of Titan A.E., Atlantis The Lost Empire, Treasure Planet and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, combined with the success of Toy Story and Shrek, began the rapid decline of 2D animation, culminating in Ice Age. Shortly after that movie debuted with the biggest March opening for a film in history, Disney announced that it would be shutting down the Florida branch of its animation studio, setting off a chain of events that led to Disney abandoning hand-drawn animation altogether just two years later. DreamWorks Animation also quit traditional animation altogether, but in a much more immediate fashion than Disney did, and the two studios' abandonment of traditional animation ultimately signaled the end of The Renaissance Age of Animation. A brief resurgence appeared in 2009 when Disney made a commitment to producing a traditionally-animated film every two years, with The Princess and the Frog and Winnie-the-Pooh performing just about as well as expected at the box office (albeit not much better than that, considering the films (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rio and Hop) the latter was put up against). After Pooh, Disney decided against Frozen being an animated 2D project and later had it animated in 3D CGI, and eventually laid off 10 animators from their traditional animated division — thus angering every 2D animation fan out there and causing a backlash against Disney, all because of Frozen's Periphery Hatedom, and they continue to do so this very year. DreamWorks has been dabbling in traditional animation a bit by having some hand-drawn animated scenes for both Kung Fu Panda and its sequel. As a result, it seems that audiences and companies are still reluctant to give traditional animation another go, at least for the time being and it may return, who knows.

    Disney's The Princess and the Frog is something of a subversion, in that it signaled the end of Disney's 2-D animated films, but led to a major revival of their Disney Princess films. Appearing in 2009, Tiana was the first new "canonical" Disney Princess since 1998 (when Mulan joined the list), but the character's popularity led to Rapunzel, Merida, Anna and Elsa joining the official roster in quick succession. Though all four characters' films were CGI-animated, they marked a return to the epic fairy-tales that Disney is best known for.

    Going even further back, the failure of The Rescuers Down Under at the box office (coupled with the success of both The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast) led Disney to focus exclusively on animated musicals throughout the 1990s. While this worked out very well for them in the short term, in the long term it ended up allowing studios like Pixar and DreamWorks Animation to step in and fill the gap of non-musical animated films, just as audiences were beginning to grow tired of the musical formula. Despite Disney abandoning musicals shortly thereafter, this still knocked them down from first to fifth in terms of American animation studios throughout the 2000s, and (as mentioned above) it wasn't until a decade later that they were finally able to regain the ground they had lost by going back to their old approach of alternating between musical and non-musical animated films.
  • The Fractured Fairy Tale replaced the Animated Musical as the go-to story genre during the 2000s thanks to the success of DreamWorks Animation's Shrek in 2001, resulting (as the Disney musical had in the 1990s) in numerous copycats. Unfortunately, the genre's reliance on crude humor and dated pop culture jokes turned it stale within a few years, and by the time 2007's Shrek the Third came out, the market had become overcrowded with them. The (perceived) financial disappointment of Shrek Forever After in 2010, a year that otherwise saw a rather successful resurgence of more traditional animated films (Toy Story 3, Tangled, How to Train Your Dragon, Despicable Me...), ended up turning other animation studios off of using the formula, and the box office failure of Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil in 2011 seems to have killed the genre off for good.
  • The failure of Mars Needs Moms resulted in the shut-down of Robert Zemeckis's studio and with it, the death of full form motion-capture animation for at least a while (though Serkis Folk mocap animation for live action features is still very much alive).
  • The Plague Dogs is known for being one of the most depressing animated films ever made. The Western audience wasn't ready at all, so the concept of dark, almost entirely uncomedic animated feature films was pretty much shelved in the aftermath. It wasn't until the late Noughties until the concept found a revival with works such as Waltz with Bashir.
  • Animation as a medium for serious filmmaking was this for many decades in the west, a situation which has only begun to change in the 1990s and onward. This is due predominantly to the dual killer-blow of The Hays Code and The Comics Code, before which animation was growing just as popular as live-action filmmaking. The efforts of the Moral Guardians effectively destroyed the American animation industry, and what little was left became inoffensive cartoons aimed at children. Europe retained a substantial animation industry producing features for more grown-up audiences, but little of that was exported to the United States, and what did get exported was typically relegated to the art-house scene. An attempt to break out of the Animation Age Ghetto began in the late 1960s, and received another boost in the 1980s, but like European films, never broke out of the art-house scene. It wasn't until Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards in 1991 and the huge influx of Japanese animation in the late 1980s and 1990s that it began to be considered a serious medium again. Even now, though, its place outside children's media is a rocky one, especially with anime's slow decline in popularity in the west and the death of several prominent licensing companies.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • An example that took out an entire nation's film industry: the 1928 Canadian film Carry on, Sergeant!note , thanks to its Troubled Production and soaring budget (about as large as comparable Hollywood films like The Jazz Singer), played a huge role in reducing Canada's native film industry to an outpost of Hollywood. Another major factor was the United Kingdom's quota on foreign films in 1927 in order to protect its own film studios; Canada dodged the quota by technically being a part of The British Empire, causing Hollywood studios to set up Canadian subsidiaries to make "quota quickies" for the British market, vacuuming up local talent. Only in the '70s with the Trudeau government's cultural sponsorship projects did independent Canadian cinema begin to reemerge.
  • The 3-D Movie genre has been killed three times in the past six decades:
    • The first culprit was The Moonlighters, a forgettable Warner Western starring Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, in 1953. It didn't help that it had to compete against The Robe, a flat classic in CinemaScope, during its run. The film did the least damage to the genre, though, as it only took Kiss Me Kate later that same year to put 3-D back on the map.
    • The second culprit was Phantom of the Rue Morgue the following year, which was just as mediocre, if not moreso, than Moonlighters was. Its accomplice was The Mad Magician, a cheap House of Wax clone involving stage magic instead of a wax museum, which did well at the box office but earned a sorry reputation. This time, though, the 3-D craze at the time went out not with a whimper, but a bang: the last classic '50s 3-D film, Revenge of the Creature, capped off this craze with a successful 3-D run, which still wasn't enough to save the craze.
    • A third craze was ended nearly thirty years later by Spacehunter: Adventure in the Forbidden Zone, a 1983 flop with a budget similar to the highly successful Star Wars, with accomplices including The Man Who Wasn't There, Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn, and Amityville 3-D.
    • Since 2009, there have been numerous false alarms about the current 3D craze dying, brought about by the likes of Battle for Terra, Clash of the Titans, The Last Airbender, The Nutcracker in 3D, and, most recently, Conan the Barbarian (2011). Despite all the rumours of the dying craze, though, it's still going on, having been kept afloat by 3D theatrical re-releases of several classic movies, including a couple of Disney animated features and a few Pixar movies. That said, studios have more of a vested interest in keeping 3-D around this time — 3-D movies are much harder to pirate, a feature that the industry appreciates very much. Additionally, digital technology has greatly reduced the costs of producing 3-D movies.
    • And now, for only the second time, it's been nearly thirty years since the last 3D craze had been shot down, and 3D movies are once again in grave danger of going the way of the dinosaur, this time no thanks to a court ruling over 3D movie patents. Yep, you probably know where this is headed. It now appears the current incarnation of 3D is finally to have entered in its death knell, as the number of movies seeing a 3D release is down to 28 in 2014, and the failure of 3D television cuts off the valuable home video market (often blamed for Disney not bothering with 3D Blu-ray in the United States at all in 2014 except in regards to Marvel releases). While 3D will still find a place in niche areas such as IMAX, its heyday in the wake of Avatar is long gone.
  • Psycho in 1960 and Bonnie and Clyde in '67 killed off many of the tropes associated with The Hays Code, specifically with how violence was represented onscreen.
    • Psycho killed an entire type of filmgoing: it's unthinkable now to just pay for a ticket halfway through a movie and catch the first half in the next showing, but people did it all the time. Until Alfred Hitchcock made it a requirement to show up on time to see Psycho.
    • Many film historians also consider Psycho to be the movie that killed Film Noir, as the purpose of the first hour or so is to continuously set up and subvert the tropes of that genre.
  • The disastrous failures of Cleopatra in 1963 and The Fall of the Roman Empire in '64 killed the Sword And Sandal epic for over three decades. It wasn't until 2000 when Gladiator revived the genre; there have been a number of Roman and Greek-era action films in the ensuing years.
  • The downfall of the Hollywood religious epic can be traced back to three factors, one of them immediate, one which took a few years to make its impact felt, and the other a more deep-seated cultural shift that went on for over a decade. The first was The Greatest Story Ever Told, a 1965 All-Star Cast production of Jesus' life that received mixed reviews and bombed at the box office, and is now best known for John Wayne's narm-worthy cameo as one of the centurions at Jesus' crucifixion. The second was the fall of The Hays Code in The Sixties, which removed a key justifying factor for religious epics — they allowed filmmakers to get away with a lot more sex and violence than they would've been able to in a "secular" film, as they could respond to the Hays Office and Moral Guardians by claiming that they're trying to censor The Bible. Finally, there was the rise of the Christian Right and the politicization of religion in the United States. This divided moviegoers into "secular" and "Christian" camps, each of which had their own, often mutually exclusive, demands for a religious epic, and also created the stereotype of Christian films as being filled with Sunday School sermonizing and poor production values.

    Since then, there have been multiple attempted revivals of the religious epic, none of which have stuck so far. The Passion of the Christ was a massive hit in 2004, but that was financed entirely by Mel Gibson and not a studio; New Line's Follow the Leader retelling of The Nativity Story received a mixed reception despite a prime Christmas release window. While The History Channel's miniseries adaptation of The Bible was a smash success, and IMDb lists a number of religious epics in the pipelinenote , only time will tell if they're enough to bring back the genre. 2014's Son of God, a re-edit of The Bible miniseries, made a play for reviving epics on the big screen, but its very obviously low-budget production values and seemingly endless hype didn't make a strong case for it after the first weekend. Noah opened at number #1 at the box office and seems to have gotten strongly positive reviews from critics, with the critics mostly being the extremely political Christian Right. Then Exodus: Gods and Kings received poor reviews and mediocre attendance.
  • On a similar note, the sister genre of the modern religious thriller is close to a dead horse. Attempts to get more than a niche audience (The Da Vinci Code) have had mixed success, and like the religious epic, have been undermined by the political climate. The final nail in the coffin was the 2014 version of Left Behind, which did terribly with critics and at the box office.
  • The late '60s were a terrible time for musicals, for a number of reasons. Younger audiences were going to the movies more, and as the New Hollywood wave took off, traditional musicals seemed incredibly old-fashioned. The '60s was also a famously turbulent time in America (the Civil Rights Movement, The Vietnam War, the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, etc.), and audiences found musicals a relic of a different time. It began with Doctor Dolittle in 1967, with its famously troubled production, critical panning, and spectacle box office failure. Next year came Robert Wise's Star!, conceived as a Sound of Music follow-up vehicle for Julie Andrews, which did just as badly. The finishing blows, however, came in 1969, which saw the infamous Paint Your Wagon, best-known for being spoofed on The Simpsons, and Hello, Dolly!, which took decades to recoup its budget. These films made big-scale movie musicals box-office poison for a long time.

    The '70s saw several successful musicals, but they either feature catchy pop (Grease), are Darker and Edgier (Cabaret), or both (Saturday Night Fever). More traditional musicals like Man of La Mancha and Lost Horizon continued to flop. Arguably the genre's nadir was the old-fashioned At Long Last Love in 1975, which also held to the long tradition of hideously miscasting actors in musicals. The musical movie genre seem to at least partially recover in the early 2000s, with films like Moulin Rouge!, RENT, and Chicago being both critical and commercial successes; Chicago actually won Best Picture that year. While musical movies are mostly Disney's turf now, a well-received musical movie still comes out every few years.
  • The epic romance largely disappeared after Ryan's Daughter and Nicholas and Alexandra flopped in the early '70s. While occasional epics cropped up through the '80s and '90s (eg. Out of Africa, Titanic) they're now typically one-off events rather than the box office staple they once were.
  • The failure of The Wiz in 1978 caused studios to give up on movies with mostly black casts for some time, outside of comedies, black cop/white cop pairings, and "urban" dramas. The smash success of Tyler Perry's films have helped Hollywood take more note of the African-American movie dollar. Long before Tyler Perry, the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy Coming to America helped bring back films with mostly black casts.
  • The Western was a major film genre for decades, first in its "traditional" form and then in the revisionist "Spaghetti Western" form. However, people predicted the death of the genre as early as The Sixties due to two factors. The first was an oversaturation in theaters and, more importantly, on television, courtesy of shows like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and The Rifleman. The second was the launch of Sputnik in 1957, which signified a major shift in audience tastes from The Wild West to Outer Space. Revisionists like Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah gave the Western a brief shot in the arm in the late '60s, only to see their approach soon copied to the point of exhaustion. And the rise of crime dramas like Dirty Harry made the Western redundant, transplanting its tropes (and many of its stars) into a contemporary setting. It was in The Seventies when it became clear that the Western was on its last ride, with notable landmarks including Blazing Saddles in 1974 (the first commercially successful Western parody) and the death of John Wayne in 1979.

    However, the point cited by most film geeks and historians as the ultimate bullet in the genre's head was Heaven's Gate in 1980. That film was such a Box Office Bomb that it killed its studio and its director's career, and Hollywood became very reluctant to release big-budget Western films for several years afterward. Even successful reconstruction films like Silverado couldn't jump-start the genre back to its original prominence. Almost all modern westerns now subvert some aspect of the genre, such as Unforgiven, Brokeback Mountain, Django Unchained, and the remake of True Grit. The catastrophic failure of the 2013 film version of The Lone Ranger might well have killed the entire genre all over again.
  • Heaven's Gate is also usually blamed for the end of the auteur films produced by Hollywood in the 1970s. Other flops, such as Steven Spielberg's 1941, Peter Bogdanovich's They All Laughed, Martin Scorsese's New York New York, and Francis Ford Coppola's One from the Heart and The Cotton Club, were also used as examples of the danger of giving auteur filmmakers carte blanche when making "personal" or "blockbuster" films. Ironically, the auteur film genre was brought back by another genre killer (see Days of Thunder below).
  • It's said that Airplane killed the Disaster Movie craze of The Seventies by making audiences unable to take them seriously anymore. While the genre was revived by The '90s with movies like Armageddon, Deep Impact, Dante's Peak and Volcano, which benefited from the development of modern CGI, the airliner-in-peril/stewardess-lands-the-plane trope won't be taken seriously again. Eventually, 9/11 and the Indian Ocean tsunami killed the genre a second time by way of Too Soon, with very few pure disaster movies being made since then.
  • Quest for Fire in 1981 effectively killed the serious caveman movie by setting the bar so high that nobody could hope to compete. Also not helped by the not-serious-at-all Caveman also being a success that year.
  • The Longest Day was the Trope Codifier for the cinematic Battle Epic. The movie's mixture of realism, large-scale action, and an All-Star Cast made it a huge hit, and Hollywood started producing epic depictions of other historical battles. The genre remained extremely popular for the next decade, replacing the similarly lavish biblical and sword-and-sandal epics of the '50s. As audience tastes changed in the '60s and '70s, preferring smaller-scale films with more moral ambiguity, these epics started flopping. Studios ignored warning signs, like the expensive failures of Tora! Tora! Tora! and Sergei Bondarchuk's Waterloo, and kept green-lighting these movies even as the box-office take diminished.

    Then came Inchon in 1981, a Korean War epic bankrolled by Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. Already a joke before release due to Moon's backing and its Troubled Production, Inchon proved the final nail in this subgenre's coffin. Critics hated it, and it failed spectacularly, making back just $5 million of a reported $45 million budget. Since Inchon, most Hollywood war movies focus on frontline soldiers rather than a big-picture view of specific battles. Due to cost and audience disinterest, the all-star approach is rarely revived today (a rare recent example was The Thin Red Line — everyone wanted to work with Terrence Malick, to the point where he had to cut cameos!).
  • As explained in this article, the creation of the PG-13 rating in 1984 killed the family blockbusters of Steven Spielberg et al. that were popular from the late '70s through the mid '80s. The irony is that the rating was intended to save those sorts of films; Spielberg himself came up with the idea of a rating between PG and R as a way to answer concerns over the family-unfriendly violence in films like Gremlins and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, referring to the proposed rating as "PG with a little hot sauce." However, the PG-13 rating divided "family" films into two ghettoes: PG became lumped in with the G rating in both the popular consciousness and that of the MPAA (i.e. a rating for kiddie flicks), while PG-13 became the rating of teen-oriented blockbusters with more violence than would otherwise be acceptable to bring a family to.

    As this video points out, the PG-13 rating also impacted the other end of the spectrum, making it more difficult to get a mass-market, R-rated film into theaters. As there now existed a rating aimed squarely at the lucrative teenage demographic, film studios often Bowdlerised violent action and horror movies and raunchy sex comedies in order to target teenagers. This became especially true after the Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and Janet Jackson's Wardrobe Malfunction at the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in 2004, two incidents that each led to a moral panic against violence and indecency in the media, as well as the rising popularity of DVDs giving studios incentive to "double-dip" by releasing a PG-13 cut in theaters and an Unrated Edition for home release.
  • Conan the Destroyer in 1984 and Red Sonja in '85 may well have been the films that killed the "sword and sorcery" Heroic Fantasy as a film genre for quite some time. Their predecessor Conan the Barbarian, however, was a classic example of such brought to film.
  • The Slasher Movie genre went through two phases, with two Genre Killers, roughly ten years apart. While it had its roots in earlier '70s films like The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Black Christmas (1974), and the Italian Giallo films, the Golden Age of slashers is generally held as running from 1978, with the success of Halloween, to around 1985. The genre entered a slump in the mid '80s that it would never quite escape from; while popular new entries in the Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street series kept slashers alive, the emergence of the videocassette and the Direct-to-Video market produced a glut of cheap crap. The first Genre-Killer for slashers was when, in 1989, all three aforementioned franchises released poorly-received installments that sent their respective series into irreversible decline. While a few Cult Classic slasher films trickled out in the early '90s, for the most part the genre was dead.

    The genre was revived in 1996 by Scream. Ironically, Scream was an attempt by Wes Craven (creator of A Nightmare on Elm Street) to do this deliberately, burying the slasher genre once and for all by making a movie that picked apart and lampshaded the tropes of the genre, which he felt would make it impossible to take seriously anymore. It backfired, though — Scream was a Sleeper Hit that spawned three sequels and a host of copycat films. Where Craven failed, however, the Columbine High School massacre succeeded in 1999. After Columbine, the image of such a killing spree happening in real life caused such films to hit much too close to home for their teenage target audience to enjoy them as escapist entertainment (to say nothing of the Moral Guardians' reaction). Columbine appears to have killed the slasher movie for good; there have been almost no mainstream slasher hits since 1999, and what few did come out were mostly remakes of, and nostalgic homages to, the slashers of the past. While ultraviolent horror films did come back to mainstream attention in the mid '00s, it was in the form of Torture Porn films that largely eschewed the tropes of slashers.
  • Film journalist Stephen Metcalf argues that the wretched production excesses of Days of Thunder in 1990, and their attendant impact on the film's profits, killed the kind of blatantly commercial "triumph" movies that producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer had made so much money for Paramount with during the 1980s, films that were sort of a backlash against the auteur-era movies that had prevailed before Heaven's Gate. Afterwards, studios would let directors assert themselves creatively again, and it's no coincidence that Days director Tony Scott's critical reputation improved over the course of the '90s.
  • Jurassic Park in 1993 is another example of one film's smash success making it impossible for subsequent films to live up to it. No-one has bothered to make a serious dinosaur movie since, and all films and video games that have happened to feature dinosaurs have, without exception, contained conscious nods to the franchise. Even the 1998 American Godzilla film riffed on it in trailers, and featured suspiciously velociraptor-like chase scenes with baby Godzillas.
  • While Showgirls in 1995 wasn't enough to kill the career of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who did write a few more screenplays before finally being ruined by An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn a few years later, it did kill any chance of an NC-17-rated movie being seen as anything more than porn to the mainstream movie-going crowd. The Dreamers, Lust, Caution, Killer Joe, Shame, and Nymphomaniac are just a few recent attempts to put the adult film genre back on the commercial map, and while they were all fairly successful, their appeal was limited to the arthouse circuit.
  • In addition to launching the CG animated movie craze, the original Toy Story in 1995 was also largely responsible for ending the "kid empowerment" movie trend of the early-mid '90s. After Home Alone, there was a glut of kids movies which either ripped off that movie (Mr. Nanny, Camp Nowhere, 3 Ninjas, etc.) or placed kids in absurdly powerful positions and situations (Cop and a Half, Richie Rich, Blank Check, Little Big League, Rookie of the Year, etc.). When Toy Story, which featured a perfectly normal kid doing perfectly normal things, became a much bigger success (both critically and commercially) than any of those movies, the "kid empowerment" style was gradually phased out.
  • Cutthroat Island in 1995 was an attempt to revive the swashbuckling adventure movie. Instead, it just sunk it farther down into its grave, along with Carolco Pictures, the careers of almost everyone involved, and (along with their other collaboration The Long Kiss Goodnight) the marriage of star Geena Davis and director Renny Harlin. The genre was not exactly a thriving one at release, but this made sure no one would even attempt another shot at it. Even after the success of Pirates of the Caribbean, no-one seems interested in pirate movies that don't belong to that franchise.

    Pirates of the Caribbean is itself an example of the tough-act-to-follow franchise. Those movies have both cost and generated so much money that a rival studio would have to make a major commitment just to play in the same league, and risk a financial catastrophe if audiences say, "Johnny Depp isn't in it? Pass." About the only other pirate-themed franchise that's still doing well is One Piece, albeit for different reasons. And both Pirates of the Caribbean and One Piece have very heavy fantasy elements that make them rather different to the pure swashbuckler.
  • Batman & Robin and Steel, both from 1997, are credited for being the reason why Super Hero films were a dead genre for the rest of the decade and some years after. More importantly, they killed the superhero movie as a form of all-ages family entertainment. Joel Schumacher's Batman movies had undergone heavy Executive Meddling to make them more family-friendly and Merchandise-Driven, which played a huge role in their negative reception by fans, critics, and moviegoers. As a result, the next generation of superhero films in the mid '00s excised all traces of camp and went the Darker and Edgier route — Christopher Nolan's Batman films were pretty much gritty crime dramas with Batman, while even more lighthearted films like X-Men and Spider-Man had substantially darker storylines (and, in X-Men's case, costumes) than superhero films past. Only recently has Marvel begun to explicitly target superhero films at families again.
  • Daniel Craig stated in an interview promoting Skyfall that Austin Powers had spoofed the campy, post-Sean Connery James Bond films to such a degree that no-one could take any of the newer movies seriously. It was one of the main reasons that his reboot of the series was made Darker and Edgier.
  • Subversion: In the '90s, many Martial Arts Movie makers and fans feared the upcoming handover of Hong Kong back to China in 1997 would result in this (the Asian Financial Crisis of the late 90s also played a part). But where some were worried, others saw opportunity... especially other Asian countries. Countries such as South Korea, Japan and Thailand began producing their own martial arts films, hoping to fill the void, and creating some new stars in the process, such as Tony Jaa and Jeeja Yanin. And as it turned out, the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong did not signal the death knell of martial arts movies there, either, particularly with the rise of "arthouse" martial arts films such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. China continues to produce many martial arts movies today. The Chinese takeover and the Asian Financial Crisis did, however, mark the end of the "Classic Age of Hong Kong Cinema".
  • The 1998 Godzilla movie, along with the remake of Mighty Joe Young that same year, killed off the American giant monster movie for at least a decade. Peter Jackson's planned remake of King Kong, for one, was delayed in the wake of their failures. The modest successes of Cloverfield and Pacific Rim are credited with at least helping the genre regain some niche appeal, enough that a reboot of Godzilla hit theaters in 2014.
  • The failures of The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle (2000) and Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003) killed the sub-genre of "cartoon characters living in the real world" that Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Space Jam (1996) popularized. The Smurfs (2011) and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (2015) are the closest we've gotten since.
  • The works of Seltzer and Friedberg in the '00s have been blamed for killing parody movies; even slightly better ones like Superhero Movie (probably not helped by being named in the same "<name of genre> Movie" style used by S&F) have been lumped in with their disasters.
  • If the 1997 smash hit Titanic created the very specific subgenre of "absurdly big-budget love story used to chronicle a historical disaster"; Pearl Harbor in 2001 sure as hell ended it. Pompeii only confirmed that it was dead.
  • The film adaptation of Chicago in 2002 was supposed to revive the Hollywood musical. It has had a mixed impact. On the one hand, it nailed shut the coffin on old-style Hollywood musicals. Chicago has nothing but Diegetic Music: every musical number has an In-Universe audience, either through Show Within a Show or by framing the performances as fantasies inside Roxie's addled mind. On the other hand, it was the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver!, showing that moviegoers still had patience for musicals, and has led to something of a revival. Additionally, it brought back the "backstage" musical, which we hadn't seen for quite a while. In the end, Chicago is simply the Movie Musical evolving into something new, and in that sense can be considered both a Genre Killer and a Genre Founder.

    Director Rob Marshall wasn't so lucky a second time however; his adaptation of 9 in 2009 flopped critically and commercially, caused damage to the Weinstein Company, and killed off interest in the movie musical until 2012, when Rock of Ages (which didn't fare much better) and Les Misérables (2012) (which did VERY well, but failed to win Best Picture) came out.
  • School of Rock in 2003, being a send-up of inspirational teacher movies, basically killed that sub-genre and created a new type of sub-genre where the teachers are rather useless (such as Half Nelson and Bad Teacher). Attempts at reigniting the sub-genre (such as Freedom Writers and Larry Crowne) have been critical and box office disappointments. Some may argue that the genre's still alive in the form of "Inspirational Coach Movies" such as Coach Carter, We Are Marshall, and The Blind Side.
  • Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in 2003, Catwoman in '04, and Elektra in '05 killed off the idea of the female action protagonist in Hollywood cinema for quite a long time, with writer David Hayter claiming that the Black Widow movie that was in the works at the time was shelved for this reason. Later big-budget Hollywood movies did have Action Girls, but usually in secondary roles as love interests or fanservice characters. Haywire and Salt both attempted to revive the genre and did moderately well, but not enough to create a critical mass in its favor. Since then, the massive success of The Hunger Games franchise, as well as the growing demand for superhero movies starring someone other than White Male Leads, has led to WB finally beginning production on a Wonder Woman movie for 2017, as well as Marvel announcing a Captain Marvel movie for 2018.
  • In 2004, the films Fat Slags and Sex Lives of the Potato Men proved so bad that there was actually concern in the UK that the entire British film industry was going down the tubes. The £1 million grant that Potato Men had received from the National Lottery through the UK Film Council was especially criticized. It turned out to be a false alarm, with British cinema surviving into the present day, but it takes a special kind of film to make an entire country think that its film studios are in trouble.
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin in 2005 and Superbad in 2007 are often credited with killing the teen sex comedy. On one hand, the success of The 40-Year-Old Virgin proved that sex comedies aimed squarely at grown adults (with teenagers playing only supporting roles) could be just as successful as teen-oriented films like American Pie. On the other, Superbad mocked and deconstructed the genre so viciously that viewers could no longer take it seriously, cementing the public view of teen sex comedies as being weird, pathetic, lowbrow schlock that toed the line between sexy and sexist. Subsequent attempts at reviving the genre, like Project X, have been widely reviled.
  • xXx: State of the Union in 2005 (according to Mathew "Film Brain" Buck in his Bad Movie Beatdown series) killed the early-mid '00s trend of fast, modern, teen-oriented action films centered on extreme sports (i.e. The Fast and the Furious, the original xXx, and their many copycats). While the Fast film series, which pioneered the trend, is still going strong today, later installments have focused more on straightforward action and car chases as opposed to the earlier, more extreme sports-centered installments.
  • Basic Instinct 2 in 2006, besides derailing Sharon Stone's career as an A-list leading lady (ironically while reprising her Star-Making Role), also (at least according to Den of Geek) served as the final nail in the coffin to the erotic thriller genre.
  • The twin failures of 2007's Hostel: Part II and Captivity brought an end to the Torture Porn subgenre of graphically ultraviolent horror films. The Saw series endured for a few more years as a Franchise Zombie, but the only other subsequent standalone theatrical release in the genre, 2009's The Collector, played to empty theaters, and Hostel: Part III went Direct-to-Video. The Human Centipede, which was marketed as an inevitable Cult Classic, was only played at midnight in most places, and the notorious A Serbian Film had only a single theatrical showing. Driving the final nails in the coffin was Paranormal Activity in 2009, a film at the complete opposite end of the horror spectrum that, through its mounting word-of-mouth popularity, easily blocked Saw VI from the #1 spot on the weekend before Halloween despite playing in over a thousand fewer theaters than Saw VI did.
  • 2007's Bratz singlehandedly killed theatrical films based on doll franchises, a fact not helped along by the frame of mind they were up against to begin with. This was shown very clearly with the fate of Kit Kittredge: An American Girl the following year. Despite critics calling it a far superior film and the franchise having been going strong since the 1980s and thus having a built-in nostalgia market, Kit made even less money, largely due to theatres not wanting to give doll-line movies another chance. Kit Kittredge was barely advertised on TV and in theatres, and it had very short planned runs. Some cinemas even waited up to a month after its release just to make room to show the thing. Since then, all future American Girl movies have been direct-to-video and have followed their modern Girls of the Year rather than the flagship historical line; later Bratz movies are also direct-to-video and do not follow the live-action theatrical movie's canon. Monster High was apparently going to get a theatrical movie in the 2010s, but that hasn't been heard from in a long time and it too is only releasing DTV.
  • Speed Racer in 2008 killed WB's plans for any future PG-rated blockbusters. It's even been stated that the film killed a proposed Shazam movie that was in the works at the time, in favor of Darker and Edgier superhero flicks like The Dark Knight and Man of Steel. It's also telling that literally nobody expected Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to be rated PG... not that its success changed WB's mind about PG-rated blockbusters.
  • Not one film in particular, but the 2000s trend of remaking Asian horror films for Americans ended soon after 2008, which had no fewer than four movies of this type reach wide release — One Missed Call, The Eye, Shutter, and Mirrors. While they turned a profit, all four were poorly reviewed (especially One Missed Call, which has 0% on Rotten Tomatoes) and none were what you'd call big hits. This, combined with the fact that the found footage horror trend had started that year with Quarantine and Cloverfield, killed off the subgenre (the last entry was January 2009's The Uninvited).
  • In the 2000s, most romance movies, with few exceptions (such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and (500) Days of Summer), could be split into two camps: a) pandering rom-coms occupied by the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Katherine Heigl, and b) weepy, melodramatic movies that copied The Notebook. How Do You Know in 2010 and Bridesmaids in 2011 killed the first type, the former due to its Troubled Production (the result of director James L. Brooks' perfectionism causing the budget to spiral out of control), and the latter by way of adapting the Judd Apatow style of raunchy humor and character-focused writing to a female-oriented comedy. While straight examples of type B still exist somewhat, if only due to Nicholas Sparks' name recognition, it's commonly accepted that, for most modern films that fall into that category, you have to do something unique like making the guy a teenage alcoholic, making the guy and girl have cancer, or having the girl be an AI system.
  • The box office failures of Green Lantern in 2011, Battleship in 2012, and The Lone Ranger in 2013 have caused many film studios to rethink their strategies concerning big-budget summer blockbusters. One of the most apparent victims is the planned 5th Pirates of the Caribbean film, which has been delayed for at least another year. Disney in particular has vowed to limit the budgets of its own blockbusters that aren't part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or Star Wars franchises.
  • This article by Bloody-Disgusting makes the case that Paranormal Activity 4 and The Devil Inside in 2013 killed the found footage horror film, at least within the mainstream. After PA4's marked decline in quality compared to prior entries in the series (which had helped popularize found footage to begin with), and The Devil Inside's misleading advertising and frustrating lack of ending, audiences became skeptical of similar efforts in the subgenre. This led to subsequent found footage films like Devil's Due, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, and As Above, So Below underperforming at the box office; most subsequent hits in the genre, like V/H/S and Willow Creek, have largely been on the indie circuit.
  • The critical and box office failures of Movie 43 and Inappropriate Comedy in 2013 have seemed to kill the anthology movie altogether, after it had mostly been on life support for the past two decades. Cloud Atlas seemed to be a brief shot in the arm for the genre, but even that failed to be a hit.
  • A rather strange example: while the triplet failures of Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and Vampire Academy weren't enough to kill the YA Novel adaptation as a whole, they were, however, enough to kill off the paranormal subgenre that seemed to be on its way out as far back as late 2010. The failures of the latter two were bad enough to cause studios to rethink their YA adaptation strategies, going for the ones that were bound to make a lot of money from the get-go- namely dystopian Sci-Fi (not helping matters was that the The Mortal Instruments series was already getting flak from the community for being extremely derivative). The Twilight series survived into 2012 but only as a Franchise Zombie. Since 2012, with The Hunger Games popularizing YA Dystopian fiction, its success was enough to get the long-awaited adaptations of The Giver, The Maze Runner and Divergent finally made.
    • And now even those seem to be slipping from their peak too. While still making a decent amount of money, the tepid critical receptions of the two Divergent films and the meh-at-best critical and audience receptions of The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 seem to have caused studios to have taken the hint that there's too many of them already. Not helping matters is that the film adaptations of Enders Game and The Giver failed at the box office and recieved mixed-to-tepid reviews. The franchises are still set to be completed, but there doesn't seem to be any new adaptations coming in the future.
  • Another localized death blow came with Disney's Tomorrowland, which put a halt to all further development of science fiction films at Disney, including a planned sequel to TRON: Legacy.

    Literature 
  • Don Quixote's deconstruction of the Chivalric Romance, in which the main character (and the archetype he represented) is portrayed as insane and idiotic, is widely credited with helping to kill the genre. The genre was already in its death throes about a decade before Cervantes' novel, but it certainly dealt the final blow. Two hundred years later, Lord Byron complained in Don Juan that "Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away; / A single laugh demolished the right arm / Of his own country; — seldom since that day / Has Spain had heroes."
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert deconstructed romantic fiction archetypes, helping to end the era of romanticism in fiction and making way for realism.
  • World War I largely killed the "invasion story" genre, which typically detailed foreign invasions of the British Isles by some flavor of Germans or French (depending on who Britain had higher tensions with at the moment). The War of the Worlds, while a more fantastical spin than the norm, is the most well-known example. The genre still persisted post-WWI, with communists or aliens replacing the Europeans as the go-to foe of choice (covert invasions were a staple of pulp literature right up until World War II), but it never regained anything close to its former popularity. Instead, it was replaced by Spy Fiction during the Cold War and techno-thrillers afterwards, both of which can be seen as spiritual successors of a sort to the genre.
  • The same war, along with its follow-up, was also the trope killer for Patriotic Fervour and War Is Glorious in much of Europe. There was a lot of poetry that was very briefly popular in most of the initial belligerent states in the run-up to the First World War, which could be best summarised as "BRITANNIA/LA FRANCE/GERMANIA FUCK YEAH!" It made for exceedingly uncomfortable reading after the first major setbacks, and was buried for good around the time casualties reached the one-million mark. Then, the atrocities committed by the ultra-nationalist Axis powers in the Second World War essentially poured concrete over said grave, rendering overt displays of patriotism unacceptable throughout much of Europe.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire, along with its television adaptation, Game of Thrones, has done this to a degree for traditional high fantasy. It has become much more rare to see new high fantasy since the series' rise in popularity in favor of similarly darker deconstructions of the genre, as well as being Tough Act to Follow. Whether the genre is truly dead remains to be seen.
  • The decline of video game strategy guides is sometimes attributed to the official American Final Fantasy IX guide. Square Enix, wanting to promote their site, Playonline.com, forced Prima to gut the entire thing and redirect users to the site for more info. Considering the game came out in 2000, it was outright impossible for many to connect to the internet and those who could found the site wasn't much better. Many purchasers ended up finding sites like GameFAQs, and many buyers thought it was the general direction of strategy guides from that point forward. Nowadays, Strategy Guides are usually only found in stores dedicated to gaming, and even then, it's usually only in a small section of it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Quiz Show was discredited for about fifteen years in the US after a series of scandals in The Fifties, in which it was learned that a number of popular quiz shows (most notably 21) were being rigged in order to increase tension, bring in ratings, and to give the victory to the contestant the producers wanted to win. After the scandals, the focus of questions generally shifted from knowledge to word games and puzzles, and low-stakes panel games like To Tell the Truth were at their peak. Jeopardy helped America trust quiz shows again in 1964, but it was not until about 1973 and The $10,000 Pyramid when game shows really began offering five-figure sums again note . Even after the genre came back into vogue, the effects of the scandals left a permanent mark; these new game shows had winnings caps and somewhat smaller amounts of money to be won, and it wouldn't be until 1998 when really big-money games returned in the form of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
    • The return to more "traditional" game shows in the 70s and 80s brought new shows that actually had game to them, like the aforementioned Pyramid, along with The Price Is Right, Tic-Tac-Dough, The Jokers Wild, and Family Feud, and thus helped kill off panel games in The Seventies and The '80s. That particular death was culminated in 1990 with a short-lived revival of To Tell the Truth that went through five hosts in the course of one season.
    • And then the nighttime syndicated versions of Wheel of Fortunenote  and Jeopardy! (which began in 1983 and 1984, respectively, and aren't going anywhere in the near future) killed off the concept of daytime game shows by The '90s — between 1992 and 2008, Price was the only game show on daytime network television.
    • And on that topic, the saturation of Millionaire, as well as several big-name copycats, mostly killed off the big-money prime-time game show genre by the mid to late 2000s. It was given a shot in the arm with Deal or No Deal (and the 2007 WGA strike helped to extend that shot), but Deal quickly devolving into a gimmick-fest (making its ultra-bare-bones format all the more blatantly obvious) while concurrently falling into Millionaire-esque Wolverine Publicity, combined with the failure of Million Dollar Money Drop and Million Second Quiz, pretty much put the finishing touches on the genre.
  • The Variety Show's demise has been linked to the abject failure of NBC's Pink Lady And Jeff in 1980 note . There were a few more shows in the genre afterwards, but none was the kind of blockbuster that could make programmers forget how bad this one was.
  • According to Chris "Rowdy C" Moore of TV Trash, Unhappily Ever After killed off the live-action working-class dysfunctional family sitcom that Married... with Children popularized at the start of the 1990s, along with Roseanne and Grace Under Fire, to be replaced by the age of urban single-based sitcoms like Friends and Seinfeld. Some dysfunctional family shows, like Titus and Malcolm in the Middle cropped up in the early 2000s and gained positive to mixed reviews, but it wasn't enough to revive the genre. The American version of Shameless is trying to turn this around (or, at the very least, reinvent the genre for premium cable).
  • Married... with Children and, to a lesser extent The Simpsons, killed off the functional family sitcom boom of the late '80s heralded by The Cosby Show. Even shows inspired by Cosby, like Home Improvement or Everybody Loves Raymond are more cynical than The Cosby Show. Averted however for many black family sitcoms of the '90s which came about because of Cosby such as Family Matters and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. See Minority Show Ghetto.
  • Though critically acclaimed and considered a Cult Classic today, the ratings failure and early cancellation of Action basically assured that the TV-MA rating is more or less a kiss of death for a network show and there has never been an attempt by the Big Four since for a truly adult-aimed comedic series. (It's a different story on cable, where less restrictive rules allow for more creative freedom.)
  • The failure of Pablo y Andrea (2005) caused Televisa to stop producing telenovelas aimed at children. By the time that telenovela came out, most of the target audience had just lost interest in the limited plots said novelas offered, most of which were of the "kids having magical and musical adventures with a bit of drama" variety that were over-commercialized to the point of Hype Backlash.

    Similarly, the lukewarm reception of Niña de mi corazón (2010), seems to have caused the same network to stop producing novelas aimed at a teenage audience, since no novelas of that sort have been produced since then. Said genre had been very popular for Televisa since the late 80s. Both examples can be explained due to the fact that most children and teenagers just prefer to play videogames or be on the Internet nowadays instead of watching novelas (or TV in general).
  • The massive failure of The Magic Hour (and to a lesser extent, The Kenan Ivroy Wayans Show and Vibe a season prior) pretty much killed the trend of urban-oriented, syndicated, late night talk shows (and syndicated late night talk shows in general) for the next 15 years, until Arsenio Hall revived his talk show in September 2013.
  • A temporary example: The failure of Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior put a halt on shows getting random spin-offs despite the success of shows like NCIS: Los Angeles. It was a combination of a lackluster show and a fandom revolt since to fund the show, they had to end the contracts of two main female characters on Criminal Minds. This outraged not only the fans, but the actresses and the entire production team. It's no surprise that after Suspect Behavior ended, CBS rehired Paget Brewster and AJ Cook. The upcoming NCIS New Orleans and Once Upon a Time in Wonderland in late 2013 look to restore the trend a little bit, but for 2011-12, spin-offs were notably sparse.

    Another factor in the death of spin-offs was the show Torchwood: Miracle Day. The show was already in trouble when BBC had to sell production rights to Starz Entertainment, however the show was met with overwhelmingly negative reception from the fans and critics. Torchwood was already a Love It or Hate It show seeing as it was a more adult-oriented spinoff from family-friendly Doctor Who, but added Americanitis in addition to Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper being reduced to a side-story in their own show and an unnecessary Romantic Plot Tumor with Jack having a new boyfriend didn't help matters either. The negative reception of the show was also enough to put Torchwood as a whole on hiatus, and its future is currently uncertain.
  • MTV's Boy Band spoof 2ge+her arguably struck one of the first blows in the slow death of MTV itself by exposing a number of cynical tropes about how their flagship music program, Total Request Live, operated in the late '90s/early '00s. YouTube also killed off their original flagship tradition of showing music videos on the channel. After all, why watch MTV in the hopes that some particular music video will play on it when you can go straight to it online?
  • This article by Bob Chipman argues that The Colbert Report killed off the Pompous Political Pundit Talk Show by parodying its form and style so effectively that it became impossible (especially for younger Gen-X and millennial viewers) to take seriously anymore. While The O Reilly Factor, the main show that Stephen Colbert was parodying, is still on the air, it and shows like it have notably ceased to be the dominant programming on the Fox News Channel, their viewerships notably trending much older while the new faces of the network (like Greg Gutfeld and Megyn Kelly) largely eschew the style.
  • The Office, Extras and The Thick of It, while not outright killing the classic Brit Com format, made them seem like quaint relics of the 60s and 70s, and resulted in critics generally losing respect for the classic style. Fewer and fewer of them have been produced as the 2000s and 2010s have progressed, and some are predicting that the horribly-received The Wright Way, made by Brit Com mainstay Ben Elton, may prove to be the final nail in the coffin for the art form.
  • An episode of the very loved Belgian investigative journalism series Basta called De mol in het belspel, known for bringing up the unfair practices of the Belgian phone-in game shows at the time by deconstructing or reconstructing pretty much all the phone-in game show formats that exist, allowed één, who already did not permit that phone-in game shows were allowed on their own network, to have so much control over the phone-in game show format that Medialaan, the only company that aired those type of shows, was forced to cancel pretty much every single phone-in game show that they ever created. While it only had an effect on the game shows that were airing in Flanders, it killed off pretty much the entire phone-in game show genre there, to the point that some people think that the genre is banned in Belgium.

    Music — Rock/Metal 
  • The Day the Music Died: the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper in a plane crash on February 3, 1959 effectively killed rockabilly and traditional Rock & Roll as music genres.
  • Progressive Rock has had several points that are regarded as killing the genre.
    • One of the last albums from Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Love Beach in 1978, is one of the most despised albums in music history, which the band was forced to make to meet out their record deal. The album largely abandoned the prog sound in favor of disco and dance music.
    • The 1983 album Alpha, the second album of supergroup Asia, featuring members of Yes, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and several other prog legends, was regarded as a failure musically, and severely damaged prog's reputation. Said reputation was already in sustained free-fall by the time of Asia's 1982 debut (Robert Fripp himself intimated as much back in 1975). Most (surviving) '70s prog bands were already greatly simplifying their sounds by 1980, in response to Punk and New Wave; Asia, by their utter failure to craft anything remotely reminiscent/worthy of prog's '70s heyday, merely confirmed prog's demise for those who hadn't gotten the hint yet.
  • In that vein, Styx's 1983 album Kilroy Was Here seems to have been the final nail in the coffin for the Rock Opera and the Concept Album (no successful examples of which had come out since Pink Floyd's The Wall four years earlier, anyway). It took twenty years for another rock opera concept album, Green Day's American Idiot in 2004, to enjoy massive success.
  • Shoegazing is a rare example — an album so good it killed its own genre for quite some time. My Bloody Valentine's 1991 Magnum Opus Loveless is widely believed to have turned shoegazing into a Dead Horse Genre nonetheless, with almost every other band in the scene receiving a hostile critical reaction for trying to sound like My Bloody Valentine. The fact that My Bloody Valentine's third album, m b v, was 22 years in the making did not help at all, and the scene was soon supplanted by Britpop. This ended up derailing more than a few careers (Slowdive was notably plagued by this, even though Souvlaki is now often mentioned in the same breath as Loveless). Fortunately, it wasn't permanent — interest in shoegazing started to come back in the 2000s and '10s.
  • One of the most famous stories in rock music is that the rise of grunge, particularly the sudden success of Nirvana's album Nevermind in 1991, did this to hair metal in the early '90s. In truth, hair metal was already on life support for a couple of years by that point, with at least three connected moments that can each be pointed to as genre killers, grunge only being the last of them. The first was the 1988 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, which is often credited with starting the backlash against hair metal thanks to its uncensored display of the hedonistic excesses of many bands and musicians. (It's been joked that Warrant and WASP did more to kill hair metal than Nirvana and Pearl Jam ever did, and they're only half-joking.) Second, in the subsequent years all manner of Darker and Edgier bands like The Black Crowes, Guns N' Roses, Pantera (itself a former hair metal band that abandoned the genre), and Queensrÿche pushed hair metal off the rock charts. However, what few will argue is that grunge landed the death blow by giving a unified image to the growing backlash. While it didn't kill hair metal, it certainly wrote its obituary and buried its remains.

    Since hair metal was the dominant genre of metal music within the mainstream rock scene, metal as a whole faded from the limelight for much of The '90s as a result. Some genres, however, managed to avoid this. The general rule was that, as long as you paid due reverence to '80s Alternative Rock (The Smiths, REM) and Hardcore Punk (Minor Threat, Black Flag), or you were playing something abrasive and unquestionably anti-mainstream, it was okay to play metal in The '90s.
    • Classic heavy metal (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, et cetera) and its spiritual successors, doom metal and sludge metal, survived mainly because of the heavy influence those genres had on the development of grunge. Black Sabbath, for example, are cited as influences by Soundgarden, Green River, Mudhoney, The Smashing Pumpkins, Tad, and many others, while the sludge metal band the Melvins also had a major influence on grunge, taking influence from '80s hardcore punk.
    • Thrash metal didn't even skip a beat, with three of the "big four" bands (Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax) enjoying their best album sales shortly after the death of hair metal. Members of Metallica have even mentioned that they saw the rise of grunge as a good thing, meaning that radio stations and MTV were willing to take a chance on heavier music and darker themes. Somehow-these-aren't-hair-metal-for-some-arcane-reason bands like Van Halen and Guns N' Roses stayed popular during grunge's early phase, and fell off more due to interpersonal conflict than chart failure.
    • Alternative metal and groove metal, like grunge, emerged as a backlash against hair metal, becoming the defining metal sounds of the '90s for many American listeners. Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Faith No More were among the defining alt-metal bands of the era, and were often associated with the grunge aesthetic by mainstream listeners. Meanwhile, Pantera, the biggest groove metal band of the '90s, consistently managed to fill large arenas, and their album Far Beyond Driven even managed to debut at #1 on the Billboard 100 (making it probably the heaviest and least-mainstream album to ever accomplish that feat). Billy Corgan even praised Dimebag as his favorite contemporary guitarist. By the late '90s, the two genres, along with other, smaller subgenres (particularly rap metal), fused together in the mainstream consciousness and morphed into Nu Metal, which has its own section below.
    • Death Metal and Black Metal both took off and hit their peaks in The '90s. While they rarely, if ever, received radio airplay, they made for a particularly popular target for the era's Moral Guardians in both the US and Europe due to the brutality of the music itself, the lyrical subject matter, and (in the case of black metal) the musicians' militant anti-Christian messages that often went well beyond the music.
  • Grunge itself had two moments in 1994 that can be pointed to as Genre Killers, the trend in both of them being the genre's anti-commercial attitude running head-first into its sudden mainstream popularity. First, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was Driven to Suicide over his heroin addiction and his inability to reconcile his values with his success, which not only took out the biggest band in the scene, but made many rock fans leery of the Darker and Edgier attitudes that were synonymous with grungenote . Second, Pearl Jam got into a nasty fight with Ticketmaster over their anti-consumer business practices, resulting in them canceling their tour that summer and finding it nearly impossible to tour nationally afterwards, which dealt a crippling blow to the fortunes of the second-biggest band in the scene.

    Grunge continued to limp along in the absence of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but as a whole, it faded from the limelight over the next three years. Layne Staley's departure from Alice in Chains in 1996 due to his drug addiction (culminating in his death in 2002), followed by the breakup of Soundgarden in 1997, are often cited as the final nails in the coffin of "traditional" grunge music. Most importantly, however, by that point what had started out as a backlash against corporate hair metal had essentially been taken over by the record industry, turning into Post-Grunge. A more polished and radio-friendly version of grunge that sanded off many of its more abrasive edges, post-grunge dominated mainstream American rock music for the next ten years, eventually converging with hard rock and the remnants of nu metal in the '00s. Many years later, post-grunge would follow a similar fate, read below for details.
    • In the UK, meanwhile, grunge only lasted for a couple of years before getting hit with backlash. Britpop emerged in the early-mid '90s as a Lighter and Softer reaction to the dourness of grunge, and quickly supplanted it in mainstream popularity there. By 1994, Bush was the only grunge or post-grunge band seeing any success in the UK, and even then, they were far more popular in the US than they were in their native Britain.
  • Be Here Now, the notorious 1997 flop by Oasis, is generally regarded as having killed Britpop. It was actually a major success initially, earning gushing praise from criticsnote  and selling eight million copies. However, once people had the chance to actually listen to it, they found that it was nowhere near as good as their first two albums, let alone the masterpiece that had been hyped up for months and which critics had been gushing about. The result was massive Hype Backlash that took the shine off of the biggest band in Britpop. Only a handful of bands wound up surviving the collapse of Britpop for more than a couple years.
    • A major factor in Britpop's demise? Probably. However, on top of the above, blur — the other band most associated with the scene (and Oasis' arch-rivals in 1995's "Battle of Britpop") — had already broken away from it a few months prior with their eponymous album (primarily lo-fi and US alt-rock-influenced). Another arguable factor may be that by 1997 "Cool Britannia" had jumped on Britpop's bandwagon, with (e.g.) Geri Halliwell in a Union Jack dress and honeymoon-era Tony Blair schmoozing Britpop stars. This got old fast, and probably helped kill off the remainder of Britpop when it derailed.
    • blur's "Song 2" is often considered to be the last real "Britpop" hit, and even then, it sounds nothing like anything else in the genre, having specifically been written to parody Nirvana-style grunge.
  • The 2003 albums Results May Vary by Limp Bizkit and Take a Look in the Mirror by Korn played a huge role in killing Nu Metal. A fusion of Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal, and Rap Metal influences, nu metal emerged in the late '90s and was seen as an antidote to the bubblegum boy bands, girl groups, and idol singers that ruled the world of pop music after the fall of grunge, bringing metal back to the forefront of youth culture for the first time since the '80s. Nu metal reached the peak of its popularity in the years 1998-2001, but before long, came to be stereotyped as a genre of wangsty lyrics, phony machismo, and grating instrumentation that substituted technical skill with sheer noise. By 2002, nu metal was earning the mockery of metalheads as a pale shadow of "real" metal, and albums by major bands like Korn and Papa Roach were producing diminishing returns on the charts. The tipping point came in 2003, when Limp Bizkit and Korn released the aforementioned albums to a reception that ranged from mixed to scathing, with Bizkit's cover of "Behind Blue Eyes" coming in for especially heated criticism as borderline rock sacrilege. By 2004, nu metal's reign on the rock charts was over, with emo and metalcore emerging in its place, and most of the bands involved with the genre quickly changing their sound to get away from it.
  • Gothenburg-tinged melodic metalcore is also damn near dead. For most of the '00s, acts like Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, As I Lay Dying, All That Remains, Trivium, Unearth, and Atreyu were the face of heavy music. Their ability to mix a less affected form of heaviness (rather than the mindlessly aggressive chest-thumping that was endemic in nu-metal) with pop sensibilities while also bringing back the complexity that nu-metal spurned allowed them to reach a wide variety of listeners, and their juxtaposition of American and European sounds was welcomed by a crowd that was thoroughly sick of nu-metal's stale gimmicks, misplaced teenaged angst, and moronic tough-guy antics. While all but the biggest nu-metal acts were either struggling or dead, melodic metalcore was booming. There was, however, a fair bit of opposition as well; a good deal of metal fans hated it for "cheapening" the genre and growing as artists in ways that seemed solely motivated by gaining critical approval, while punks hated it for usurping the name of "metalcore" from a lot of well-loved but less mainstream-friendly artists and for being overly commercial-leaning while still attempting to act as if they were in touch with their roots. In spite of this, the genre was absolutely gargantuan from 2003-2008, and the advent of MySpace helped it spread even further.

    It was around 2009 that the first signs of trouble appeared in the form of falling show attendances and sales, and deathcore, its offshoot, was steadily beginning to displace it. It's unknown exactly what killed it, but deathcore and pop-influenced post-hardcore certainly helped, as did the death of MySpace and the arrest of As I Lay Dying frontman Tim Lambesis in 2013 for attempting to hire a hitman to kill his wife. All That Remains and Trivium are the only acts remaining that are still anywhere near the level of success present in their heyday, and that's largely due to significant changes in sound. The other acts are still around, but they're playing to far smaller crowds than they're used to.
  • Similar to the above, deathcore has become this. Deathcore gained quite a bit of popularity during the mid to late 2000s, with bands like Suicide Silence, Job For A Cowboy, and Bring Me The Horizon getting big via Myspace. However the good times weren't to last. Younger bands tried to capitalize off of the popular bands by by trying to copy whatever what was popular. Not helping was bands changing styles away from deathcore (Bring Me The Horizon going metalcore, Job For A Cowboy and The Faceless going to prog metal). The tragic end to deathcore's popularity was Mitch Lucker's untimely death in 2012. The only bands that are still popular and play deathcore proper are Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Chelsea Grin, Emmure, Born of Osiris, and (of all people) Attila. Quite a few bands stick to the deathcore sound, but a new band reaching the popularity of the mentioned bands is doubtful; outside of Thy Art Is Murder, who actually have achieved a level of success comparable to the older big names, most newer deathcore acts wind up being mid-level supports at best.
  • Any metal music that is considered too mainstream (such as metalcore and, before that, Nu Metal) tends to get called a genre killer by some metal fans. How much of this has to do with lingering memories of what hair metal did to the genre, and how much of it has to do with elitism and snobbery towards anything "mainstream", is hotly debated. And of course, there are those who view "mainstream" metal as Gateway Music to the more "authentic" genres.
  • The Strokes' First Impressions of Earth can be viewed as the breaking point of the post-punk/garage rock revival in the early-mid '00s. This movement had been characterized by elements of punk rock, indie rock, '60s garage rock, and New Wave, combined into a stripped-down, back-to-basics guitar rock that many people at the time felt would be a revolution in rock music comparable to grunge ten years earlier, wiping away the morass of Post-Grunge and Nu Metal just as grunge had wiped away Hair Metal. For a time, it was. Along with The Strokes, bands like The White Stripes, Interpol, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Vines, and The Hives led the movement, and from roughly 2002-05 they won widespread critical and commercial success.

    By 2006, however, many bands were either gone, had collapsed, or had become more experimental, while bands like the Arctic Monkeys, The Fratellis, and Arcade Fire were leading the way in both Pop Revival and a new wave of indie rock. Only The Strokes and The White Stripes were still active, and even then only barely. First Impressions of Earth's release was repeatedly delayed, and upon its final release was a critical and commercial failure, acting as the final nail in the coffin.
  • Broke NCYDE simultaneously codified and killed crunkcore. Their music is just competent enough to have spawned fans and imitators seeing some good in the genre, but hilariously bad enough to make literally everyone else automatically hate the genre.
  • Coheed and Cambria's fifth album, 2010's Year of the Black Rainbow, is largely considered to be the final nail in the coffin for the New Prog subgenre of progressive rock, which already seemed to be dwindling as far back as 2005. After a reasonable amount of commercial success from the two Good Apollo albums, the latter of which brought a stadium rock edge to their sound, there was much hype surrounding it (including a reasonable amount of good reviews from people on the Cobalt & Calcium forums who had supposedly already heard the album), with an anticipation level through the roof, leading many to think it could be as heavy and rocking as No World for Tomorrow. Instead, they got the musical equivalent of a Bizarro Episode which largely dabbled in electronic rock, which lead to a very mixed reception and people questioning if they made the album that style just so they could escape the success "Welcome Home" brought them. Their reputation was ruined, and not much had been heard from New Prog bands save for Muse and 30 Seconds to Mars, both of whom were phasing out New Prog in favor of Alternative Rock. Fortunately, Coheed survived, but as a result, their following two albums had to be recorded on indie labels.
  • Emo was always a whipping boy among critics and listeners alike, earning a Love It or Hate It reaction even at the height of its popularity in the mid-late '00s, so a backlash was inevitable. However, the decline of Myspace in the early '10s was probably the chief catalyst for the genre falling out of favor. The rise of emo and Myspace occurred concurrently, and often fed one another; emo bands and labels were among the first to reach out to fans through Myspace in a big way, and fans in turn used the site as a platform to discuss, among other things, their favorite bands. When Myspace's users started abandoning the site for Facebook and other social networking sites due to some controversial changes, that community withered, and before long, many of the bands associated with it followed suit.
    • The finishing blow to emo was probably the breakup of My Chemical Romance, a band that had long been the face of emo (despite resenting it), in 2013. That same year, a number of bands associated with the genre (Panic! at the Disco, Paramore, Fall Out Boy) abandoned it and released New Sound Albums, burying the genre in the mainstream. It still lives on, but chiefly in underground music scenes, where it has arguably more in common with indie rock than anything from the '00s. As of the early '10s, there has been something of a "traditional emo/screamo revival", with acts like The World Is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, La Dispute, Touche Amore, Pianos Become the Teeth, and Tigers Jaw having managed to make a splash.
    • Before the collapse of Myspace, emo was also facing competition from the "scene" subculture and the bands associated with that. Scene music and fashion became popular at the tail end of the '00s and the start of the '10s, as a Lighter and Softer reaction to emo with a lot more color and flamboyance; basically, the Perky Goth to emo's moodier image. Scene music was itself affected by the decline of Myspace; it briefly managed to migrate to Tumblr, but by the mid '10s it too had largely petered out.
  • Post-Grunge first emerged onto the mainstream in the mid-late '90s with acts like Matchbox 20, Foo Fighters, and Creed leading the charge. Despite its name, it had very little in common with actual grunge besides a downtuned guitar and similar vocal styles; instead, it (ironically enough) had more in common with '80s Hair Metal than with grunge. As a result, it was absolutely despised by rock fans and within the underground scene for being a bastardization of authentic grunge. Still, it was absolutely gargantuan, ruling the airwaves in the late '90s and through the '00s with acts like (just to name a few) Nickelback, Daughtry, Three Doors Down, Staind, Hinder, Godsmack, Breaking Benjamin, Saving Abel, Candlebox, Bush, Hoobastank, Seether, Shinedown, and many more producing crossover hits.

    By the time it got to the '10s, however, it had long overstayed its welcome. The biggest factor was the complete over-saturation on the market. Almost every rock crossover hit in the decade was post-grunge, getting tons of airplay on rock, pop, and alternative radio, which meant the only way to escape it was by listening to a classic rock, indie, or College Radio station. The amount of non-post-grunge rock (and not pop-rock, either) songs that crossed over to pop radio might be around how much you can count with your hands and feet.note  The second was how utterly formulaic it was, with subject matter consisting almost entirely of ranting about ex-girlfriends (often while making it clear that the relationship ended because of the narrator's actions) getting drunk, getting laid, getting into fights, half-assed, whiny, "woe is me" attempts at introspection, or trying to make some kind of poorly thought-out message. These omnipresent Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll themes only drew the Hair Metal comparisons even closer. The final nail in the coffin was the electronic dance craze that swept the nation in the early '10s, which effectively wiped out post-grunge's place in the mainstream overnight, much like how the original grunge did the same to hair metal.

    Nowadays, post-grunge is seen as an utter joke to the general public, a punchline of everything wrong with pop music in the '00s. Many of the biggest post-grunge bands have gone from playing in sold out arenas in their prime to small clubs and bars, and airplay of their crossover hits is limited "adult contemporary" or "adult alternative" stations, as it has long since been taken off the airwaves of mainstream rock, alternative, and pop radio. The worst part is that, when post-grunge fell, it largely took rock music in general with it, as it had so thoroughly taken over the rock mainstream that it did lasting damage to the genre's reputation. The '00s lacked rock crossover hits that weren't post-grunge, while the '10s lack rock crossover hits period.

    Music — Other genres 
  • In parallel with Britpop, the British music press went hot for "intelligent drum'n'bass", the authentic new sound of black inner city Britain. Goldie's Timeless (1995), although a fine album, opened the door for floods of by-the-numbers d'n'b clones, and the genre quickly became a cliché of television background music and film soundtracks. His 1998 follow-up Saturnz Return was slammed by a jaded press as a self-indulgent, pretentious folly. The opening track, "Mother", was over sixty minutes long. Both Goldie and intelligent drum'n'bass subsequently left the charts, never to return.
  • Some people feel that Glam Rap and pop-rap are currently doing this to Hip Hop, just as Hair Metal did to metal music in the late '80s. But like the metal example, undiluted straight forward rap/hip-hop was never particularly popular outside of urban communities. Even Gangsta Rap at its mid-'90s peak only created a handful of rappers with crossover appeal, most of them powered by controversy. For all intents and purposes, straight forward urban rap has always been a niche genre. In fact, the only time rap in general has ever been hugely successful was when it was infused with pop. The same thing can be said for Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, and Country Music. These genres were never really popular within the mainstream unless they were somehow diluted. The problem likely comes from the fact that pop-oriented cross over Glam Rap just doesn't dominate top 40 radio, but the more urban specific niche radio as well. Causing a lot of resentment of that particular type of Hip Hop as it's the only genre radio is interested in playing now.
  • Boy Bands were a huge thing back in The '80s and The '90s, but the genre was eventually killed off in the early 2000s due to the rising success of hip-hop and R&B and saturation of the boy band and girl group market, particularly by TV shows like Making The Band and The X Factor that didn't even try to hide their manufactured qualities. It didn't help that plenty of popular bands were already fading out of popularity—by the time the genre was done, most groups had gone on long hiatus (New Kids on the Block, Spice Girls, *NSYNC) or changed their musical style and faded out of popularity (Backstreet Boys, Hanson). The genre has seen a recent revival in the form of The Jonas Brothers and Big Time Rush, but mostly the industry has preferred to focus on solo Child Popstars like Justin Bieber.
    • In the UK, the boy band has achieved a successful revival with the likes of The Wanted and The X Factor graduates JLS and One Direction. While the former two failed to make much of an impact outside their home country, One Direction would go on to become massively successful worldwide, including one market where no UK boy band has ever become popular: the United States. Needless to say, they have gotten a lot of Hype Backlash, and are seen to share many of the traits people dislike about Justin Bieber (although their backlash hasn't become as big as his ever was). Many Bieber haters do, however, applaud them for running his career to the ground. Additionally, Take That reformed in the UK to great success with older women.
  • Live Earth, a massive benefit concert co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore, was a dismal flop, garnering low ratings (especially for the UK and US) and created a massive "carbon footprint", precisely the type of thing the organizers wanted to prevent. The failure of Live Earth is widely believed to have killed off the concept of the benefit super-concert (in the same vein as Farm Aid and Live 8).
  • Depending on where you sit regarding Drum & Bass, Pendulum came close to this, by way of becoming the public face of the genre despite never intending to be in it. Rob Swire himself isn't sure if this has happened, but appears to revel in it, as can be discerned from this extract from his rant on the Dogsonacid forums:
    "Oh, and by the way — I'm not sure if drum and bass is dead or dying (I've been in the studio / on tour too long to tell). However, if your genre was flimsy enough to be knocked over by ONE SINGLE RECORDING ARTIST who happened to — god forbid — sell some fucking records for the first time in about 5/6 years, then I'm glad it was us that got to drive the final stake through its stale pig shit heart — and good riddance. Wake me up when your genre is making something that people outside the scene think is worth listening to again."
    • Drum & Bass really suffered more from the development and rise of Electro House and Dubstep more than Pendulum; Pendulum even shifted almost completely to a rock style.
      • With the recent Electronic Music revival in the United States though, Drum and Bass has seen a (admittedly smaller) comeback of sorts.
  • The twin failures of Chingy's Powerballin' and Nelly's Brass Knuckles killed the St. Louis rap scene's mainstream popularity. The "Dirty South" movement (which also features Chicago native Kanye West) has gone on to replace it in appeal and popularity.
  • The murder of Tupac Shakur in 1996 and The Notorious BIG in 1997, within six months of one another, put an end to the Golden Age of Gangsta Rap. The Lighter and Softer genre of Glam Rap replaced it in the mainstream for much the same reason why post-grunge replaced grunge after Kurt Cobain's suicide; as The Rap Critic and The Nostalgia Chick put itnote :
    Rap Critic: "[The murder of Biggie and Tupac] was a big wake-up call for hip-hop fans, because two artists that everyone knew were dead, victims of the lifestyle that was promoted in their music. Hip-hop had gone as dark as people wanted it to go, and they wanted something else.
    Nostalgia Chick: Suddenly, the dangerous lives and poverty that some of these guys grew up in and rapped about... it was just a little too real. Joe Public wanted something a little nicer, cleaner, you know, still culturally relevant but reminded us of the good old days when rap was fun, and- oh, hey, Will Smith, what's going on? Heard your movie career's doing pretty good! Oh, and what's that you've got there? A new rap song? And it goes with that new summer movie you're in? Oh, and you have a whole album without curse words or references to hard living? Come right on back, Will! We missed you!
    • Tupac's death also crippled the West Coast hip-hop scene, which would take over a decade to recover. While the New York-based Bad Boy Records was able to survive Biggie's death (though not without difficulty), the same could not be said of Death Row Records, then the most powerful rap label on the West Coast and running a heated rivalry with Bad Boy. Tupac's death, combined with the myriad legal problems of the label's owner Suge Knight, did irreparable damage to Death Row, causing an exodus of talent in the '00s that culminated in the label going bankrupt in 2006, leaving little more than a shell that survives mainly through Greatest Hits albums and rereleases of its catalog.

      West Coast hip-hop spent the years from 1998 to 2011 in underground purgatory, with rappers from the East Coast (50 Cent, DMX, Jay-Z, Nas, Puff Daddy), the South (Lil Jon, Master P, Lil Wayne, OutKast, Pitbull), and the Midwest (Kanye West, Eminem, Nelly) dominating the rap game from the late '90s onward. Only a few isolated artists, such as The Game and E-40, managed to break through, and beyond that, the only West Coast rappers who were still successful were stars from the '90s. It was only in the '10s when West Coast hip-hop managed to make its presence felt in the mainstream and with critics again, thanks to the likes of OFWGKTA, Hopsin, DJ Mustard, and most notably Kendrick Lamar.
  • A notorious case in Canada was Matt Dusk's epic 2006 flop Back in Town, which ended up killing Canada's jazz-pop craze. Yes, believe it or not, there was a jazz-pop craze in Canada that lasted a good chunk of the 2000s. Diana Krall is often credited as the person who started it, with Michael Buble having furthered it with his international success. Perhaps one of the more unexpected hits was Matt Dusk's debut album Two Shots, released in 2004, which boasted a lead single written by Bono and The Edge. The album was a smash success and one of the top selling records of its year.

    Ironically enough, Dusk ended up killing the craze with Back in Town, commonly regarded among Canadian music fans as the textbook definition of a Sophomore Slump. It was much anticipated and hyped, and in fact actually didn't do too bad in its first week of release, debuting at #17 on the Canadian music chart. However, once people actually took the time to listen to it, they got a bizarre, more funk-influenced album that didn't fly well with the public and killed people's interest in him, and jazz-pop as a whole, with his sales taking a spectacular nosedive in the weeks that followed. Only the aforementioned artists ended up surviving the collapse of the subgenre, though Dusk ended up recording two virtually unheard of albums (try naming either of them without looking it up).
  • Another Canadian case, which this time seems to have caused the whole world to have taken the hint: Ryan Malcolm, the winner of the first season of Canadian Idol. There was massive hype surrounding him as he has quite the voice, and many voted for him to win, causing Jacob Hoggard (who later would find success with his pop-rock band Hedley, becoming the show's most commercially successful alumnus within Canadian borders) to lose out. What was the result? "Something More", which, despite being successful, was massively hated and even ended up being voted by critics as one of the worst songs of 2003, mainly because of how supremely boring the music was and how cheesy and cliche the lyrics were. The album, despite selling 170,000 copies, ended up being his last, and is often seen as a joke among Canadians. The following year, Kalan Porter suffered the same fate, effectively burying Canadian Idol as a way for future pop stars to be discovered. (Yes, Carly Rae Jepsen won third on season 5 of Canadian Idol, but her big break came over four years after that show.) Since then, very few winners or contestants on any Idol show outside the American version have seen much success — and even then, the last breakout stars from American Idol were season 6 winner Jordin Sparks and season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert. And speaking of him...
    • In an example that crosses over with Live-Action TV, Lambert's shocking loss to Kris Allen in season 8 of American Idol, combined with the suspicious circumstances under which Allen's victory took placenote , did lasting damage to the show's credibility and pretty much firmly discredited TV talent shows as a source of future pop music hitmakers. Future seasons of Idol plummeted in the ratings (with season 11 winner Phillip Phillips being a one-off success), the American version of The X Factor was a dud, and while The Voice has been a ratings hit for NBC, the only real successes from that show have been limited to the Country Music genre, and it's arguably the celebrity judges who get a greater boost from that show. The British version of The X Factor has fared better with its alumni, although even it is starting to slide from its peak.
  • Solo teen idols were huge in the '50s and '60s, with artists like Ricky Nelson, Bobby Rydell, Paul Anka, and Fabian Forte dominating the charts through the period. That phenomenon died a quick death in the middle of the decade as teenage girls found a universal idol in The Beatles. A brief revival happened in the '70s with the likes of Bobby Sherman, David and Shaun Cassidy, Donny Osmond, and Leif Garrett, but even then they were stuck in the shadows of groups like The Monkees, The Jackson Five, and the Bay City Rollers, and the second wave died out much faster than the first. For the next three decade, BoyBands and rock groups would reign supreme whereas hardly any solo teen idols made an impact. A third wave would begin at the turn of the 2010s, when Justin Bieber fever swept the globe. However, the wave would barely last three years, with Bieber ultimately ending up the only major success story in this new generation of teen idols. When a massive backlash against him hit and his public image was destroyed overnight, control of the teenage girl demographic immediately shifted back to boy bands via One Direction, and later, 5 Seconds of Summer.
  • In classical music, the symphonies of Ludwig van Beethoven almost killed the genre simply because they were considered so amazing that no composer ever dreamt of surpassing them. Gladly subverted during the 19th century by composers such as Bruckner, Brahms, and importantly Berlioz, who continued the idea of symphonies with programmatic content (which is where Franz Liszt started).
    • But then finally, Gustav Mahler is the last big name composer of symphonies. This is probably because his symphonies were so epic and avantgarde (his Symphony of a Thousand in particular) that few people even bothered anymore. The symphony as a genre is nearly dead in Modern Classical, with the most notable exception being Dmitri Schostakowitsch.
  • The Milli Vanilli scandal in 1991 effectively killed "traditional" pop music in the United States for nearly a decade. For much of the early-mid '90s, the overnight downfall of one of the biggest pop acts in the nation colored mainstream perceptions of the entire genre, relegating it to dance clubs and fueling the rise of adult alternative singer-songwriters who were seen as more authentic than the manufactured pop acts of the '80s. Only in the very late '90s did bubblegum pop come back into vogue.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The commercialization of VHS tapes and cable television had weakened kayfabe and the territorial system by exposing plot holes and reducing the draw of world champions, since fans no longer had to wait see them come to their region. Both of kayfabe and the territories were on their way to bouncing back but Vince McMahon Jr took advantage of this period of weakness to publicly break kayfabe in a bid to lower his operating costs.
  • ECW never did another barbed wire match after Sabu vs Terry Funk. To quote Paul Heyman, "Because no-one could top that! And in good conscience, we didn't want anyone to try."
  • Depending on who you ask, WWE buying out the competition brought an end to the popularity of pro wrestling. A combination of the emergence of Mixed Martial Arts and the stagnation of WWE have both played a role in this. The loss of a series of star wrestlers (as in stars even non-wrestling fans knew) and other popular top-level talent over the course of the mid-2000s to injuries, retirement, death, firings, moves to other companies or to other careers also contributed to the decline. That said, pro wrestling is still ongoing and WWE remains quite popular, but it's widely accepted that wrestling will simply never again be as popular as it was during its peak in the mid-to-late '80s and WWE will never be as popular as it was at its peak in the mid to late 90s. That is to say, even as WWE experienced its greatest success, the industry around it had shrunken as a whole, with there being few national promotions left in the entire world, much less the United States.
  • WWE can't take all the blame for itself, and neither can the sport of MMA. Things like WCW buying out the contracts of wrestlers it never intended to use just so other people couldn't use them, and the fact no one bothered to, say, file anti trust suits in the face of the WWF and Jim Crocket's antics also helped. People not doing enough to defend the wrestling business from disastrous practices that would cause long term damage led to the business declining further. The "Rock N Wrestling" Era also brought in a number of admittedly successful businessmen and Hollywood types who saw the money pro wrestling was making but really didn't understand how it worked, such as WCW's idea that Ric Flair couldn't draw and had to be turned into Sparticus. Pro Wrestling is an industry that had been growing through means of questionable legality since the founding of the NWA, then largely screwed itself and let in outsiders who screwed it further.
  • Although it had been petering out even before then (the last match of its type occurring in 2006), the adoption of the TV-PG rating by WWE in 2008 probably permanently killed off the "strip" matches (Evening Gown, Bra and Panties) that had been more or less standard fare for fans of the Divas for nearly a decade. The only similar match since then has been the 2012 Tuxedo Match between Santino Marella and Ricardo Rodriguez, and that was obviously played for humor, not sexual titillation. While a Diva might still have her underpants exposed from time to time for a quick laugh, there will not be any more overly hyped, blatant attempts at Fanservice, at least not in the foreseeable future. WWE does occasionally do costume themed matches (usually for the sake of a Christmas Episode) but the focus is usually primarily on wrestling - with Fanservice restricted to photoshoots on WWE.com.
  • Paige put an end to the concept of a token non-girly Diva. When she entered NXT, her 'Anti-Diva' character was actually quite popular and she enjoyed great reactions. However not long afterwards on the main roster AJ Lee (who started off with a similar "hey guys, cheer for me because I'm not girly" image) enjoyed a massive push - becoming a Diva with a very interesting character. NXT also added Divas with fun characters like Emma, Bayley, Summer Rae and Sasha Banks. The success of Total Divas also helped flesh out the personalities of many main roster Divas. So that by the time Paige debuted on the main roster, her character was met with lukewarm popularity and crowd reactions gradually died down. Paige wasn't well received until her character was given more depth beyond "I'm not a girl, I'm just like you" - meaning there won't likely be any Divas trying to grab fans by claiming to be a Lad Ette any time soon. That said, former tag team partner Ivelisse got a huge pop when she stomped into Family Wrestling Entertainment and announced her hatred of divas.
  • Wrestlicious killed off the stream of GLOW imitators. While POWW and WOW did decently enough, Wrestlicious's obviously Troubled Production caused it to not reach TV until two years after it had first been taped (and additional tapings had to be done as many of the original girls had signed to major companies since). A second season was announced but has been in Development Hell. With the success of promotions like SHIMMER, SHINE Wrestling and others offering healthy alternatives to WWE programming - and a renewed focus on the Divas in WWE themselves - not many people are interested in Camp wrestling any more. One could argue that WOW started the kill - as Wrestlicious had a predecessor called CRUSH. A pilot was taped and shipped around but never picked up. Wrestlicious was only funded by the lottery winnings of JV Rich.
    • WOW did surprise many naysayers with a comeback about a decade later, with two then regulars of SHINE winning its tag team title belts no less. It was nowhere near getting a national TV deal like GLOW before it or the international attention of contemporary SHINE, much less SHIMMER, but GLOW's brand of camp is not dying quietly.
  • While territorial wrestling promotions were already on life support for more than a decade by this time, the final deathblow was arguably the collapse of the Memphis-based USWA (United States Wrestling Association). USWA was one of the few territorial promotions to make a name for itself during the Pro Wrestling Boom of the 1980's, due to its emphasis on younger wrestlers looking to build up their resumes before joining one of the Big Two. Unfortunately, the rise of the Monday Night Wars combined with some horrible company mismanagement doomed the league to the point where, by late-1996, they were reduced to doing shows at a flea market in Memphis. Combined with the relatively poor quality of their matches and wrestling talent by this time (just watch this video of one of their final shows), the USWA finally folded in November of 1997. And the final nail was hit on the coffin of territorial wrestling.

    Sport 
  • The crash of World Rally Championship favourite Henri Toivonen in the 1986 Tour de Corse killed not only Toivonen and his co-driver, but also the Group B class of loosely-regulated, incredibly powerful cars.

    Theater 
  • Bizet's Carmen was the genre killer of opera comique, blurring the traditional line between opera comique and opera until the former no longer existed as a distinct genre.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love is a curious case. While he spearheaded the big-budget, pop-operatic, spectacle-laden "megamusical" trend of The '80s, this show — his first since The Phantom of the Opera, his biggest hit — is not and was never meant to be one of those. It's a Soap Opera about Triang Relations, and with the sole possible exception of the circus near the end of the second act contains no major set pieces whatsoever. (It's to Webber's ouevre what The Shawshank Redemption is to Stephen King's.) Its 1990 New York production had all the hype of a megamusical though, and it did cost $8 million (a big budget at the time). When it closed in less than a year and lost its entire investment, The New York Times wondered if it was a bad sign for megamusicals. In retrospect, it was right, at least as far as Broadway was concerned; while Miss Saigon proved a huge international success later in 1991, it was the last megamusical to do so. Subsequent megamusicals are mostly limited to European and sometimes Asian runs — though the production values and budgets of such shows as The Lion King, Wicked, and especially Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark occasionally compare to those of the megamusicals.
  • The onstage mauling of Roy Horn by a white tiger at Siegfried & Roy's Las Vegas show in 2003 effectively killed the use of wild animals in Stage Magician shows and circuses. It had already been falling out of favor since the '90s due to the rise of Cirque du Soleil (a purely human-focused, acrobatic circus) and protests by animal rights groups, but this incident marked the turning point. By the '10s, even the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus would announce plans to phase out their iconic elephants.
  • Up through the 1980s, Las Vegas showrooms were dominated by Variety Shows in the mold of Paris' Folies Bergere, alternating beautiful, scantily-clad showgirl routines with a hodgepodge of variety acts that ranged from celebrity impersonators to comedians to acrobats to magicians, with little linking them together thematically. The rise of magicians Siegfried and Roy as Vegas headliners was a bad omen, but the real killer was Cirque du Soleil's Mystere in 1993 — a circus as lavish, varied, and exciting as any variety show with a cohesive, if surreal, artistic vision holding it all together. The hodgepodge approach of older shows lost its luster quickly, Cirque brought even more spectacular productions to other Vegas showrooms in subsequent years, and in The New Tens only Jubilee holds to the old format, struggling to remain relevant as a result. Newer attempts at "Vegas-style" shows are more straightforward variety showcases that might bring out showgirls for a few numbers, but only as equals to the acts that once played second fiddle to them.

    TV Tropes 
  • Stock phrase titles were never good trope namers to begin with, but two tropes can be traced to this titling convention's ultimate downfall: I Eat Metaphor for Breakfast and What Year Is This?. TRS threads for both ended up uncovering a massive epidemic of Trope Decay involving stock phrases. As a result, in mid-2011 it was decreed that No New Stock Phrases would be used as trope titles.
  • Naughty Tentacles and The Second Google Incident killed Porn Tropes and led to the creation of a new organization of Tropers dedicated to screening new and existing pages for adult content. If a page was lucky, it came back locked. If not, it was hit with a salted nuke. Also, the creation of new porn-related pages is today considered by This Very Wiki to be our equivalent of a capital offense. As far as tropes go, Naughty Tentacles in particular is to blame for that.

    Video Games 
  • The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 is called that for a reason: Caused chiefly by an overabundance of competitors in a fledgeling market and competition from superior micro-computers,note  it killed the home console market in the United States for about two years. Perhaps more importantly, it effectively wiped out North American game/console development, to the point where it took over two decades to fully regain the ground that had been lost to Japanese competitors. There wasn't a successful game console from an American company between the Atari 2600, which died around 1983, and the Microsoft Xbox, released late 2001, eighteen years later. That's how badly it crashed.
    • In the UK, meanwhile, it didn't even make as much impact as two years. Brits started using eight bit microcomputers as the main way of playing home videogames in 1982, which would last until the late 80s/early 90s when consoles started taking off (with the Megadrive and SNES)
  • FreeSpace 2 destroyed the space shooter genre born of Elite and popularized by Wing Commander. It was not the fault of the game itself, which most critics consider the height of the genre and for which fans are still putting out new content both graphical and gameplay, but rather, how poorly it performed commercially: its initial sales were so bad that the genre was assumed dead and further development was halted, which most attributed to Interplay's (lack of) marketing.note  Attempts were still made to revive the genre, such as 2000's Tachyon: The Fringe having Bruce Campbell for its main character and gameplay additions like lateral thrusters, which was also featured in 2001's Independence War 2, as well as games considered staples of the genre like Freelancer, the X-Series, or Oolite (in and of itself a Fan Remake of Elite), but for a long while the genre was never able to reach the levels of popularity it had seen while Elite or Wing Commander were still going strong.

    Thankfully, the advent of Kickstarter and other crowdfunding websites has seemingly restarted the genre, with games like Chris Roberts' Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, and other games like Strike Suit Zero and No Man's Sky leading the charge.
  • The unfortunate retail failure of Unreal Tournament III, backed up by many freeware first-person shooters, has led to the end of commercially released fast-paced deathmatch-centric shooters as the Unreal and Quake series, in place of team-based and/or "tactical" shooters like Call of Duty/Modern Warfare, the Battlefield series, and Left 4 Dead. Team Fortress 2 is one of the few "Quake-like" games released in recent years, and it came out in 2007. Due to the continued updates, TF2 could be seen as still being released.
    • It could also be said for true tactical shooters in the vein of the older Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon games, the ones with planning and stealth as major elements and the slightest muckup led to the death of your squad, due to the line being blurred between the aforementioned team-based shooters and the "true" tactical ones taking on more actionized elements. Attempts to bring the genre back have had limited success at best, as well; games like Takedown: Red Sabre, marketed as a return to the form of the original Rainbow Six and its ilk, have met with near-universal negative reactions (although in this case it's more the fault of the game being an Obvious Beta, as expectations going in were rather high).
    • The only high-profile exception seems to be the Halo franchise which, while taking a few elements from Call of Duty, continues to be faithful to its roots. And even then, it's not completely immune when putting its online statistics next to those of its immediate predecessors.
  • The insane amount of Capcom Sequel Stagnation for the Guitar Hero franchise did this to the Rhythm Game genre in North America and Europe. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and Rock Band 3, released in late 2010, sold less than 1.5 million units combined, and the competition (Power Gig, et al.) outright bombed. While these are respectable figures given that both games come with expensive peripherals, compare this to Guitar Hero III (15 million units sold) and the original Rock Band (6 million), both released in 2007, and you can start to see how oversaturation of the market (a possible reason why Harmonix decided to focus more on DLC than new titles every now and then, unlike Activision) has destroyed the genre's profitability. Following the commercial disappointments of the latest installments, MTV has sold Rock Band developer Harmonix for 50 dollars and Activision has pulled the plug on future Guitar Hero games, and other developers, having bled money from their endeavors, have gotten out of the market. Due to its different audience and "real guitar" street cred, Rocksmith seems to be the last man standing.
    • Dance-based Rhythm Games still hold popularity however. The Just Dance series may have been instrumental in killing off the once mighty Guitar Hero and Rock Band games. They were a less-expensive alternative, since they didn't require extra peripherals to play (unless you count the non-Wii versions which required a motion control sensor, but it's still cheaper). Also, its casual appeal due to its use of both modern and classic pop songs, not just strictly rock, was part of the why it largely supplanted Guitar Hero and Rock Band as the go-to game for parties. However, since motion controls and rhythm games are Deader Than Disco, its popularity can be chalked up to the Grandfather Clause.
  • The 4X Real-Time Strategy subgenre was killed off when Empire Earth screwed up with its third installment and Age of Empires went bust with Ensemble closing down. Note that Ensemble going bust was Executive Meddling by Microsoft, who shut them down after they cranked out nothing but successful games.
  • The Tycoon genre died when RollerCoaster Tycoon title owner Frontier Developments was sued by Chris Sawyer, coupled off with many other famous companies which made such games going bust.
  • The execrable World War II FPS Hour of Victory seems to have killed off WWII shooters, with the only successful one since being Call of Duty: World at War. However, it should be noted that the market had been saturated with them for about a decade by then and the major franchises had shifted to a modern setting.
  • Call of Duty can itself also be linked to the death of WWII shooters and the shift to modern/near-future settings, due to the extreme popularity of the Modern Warfare sub-series - nearly every shooter released since Call of Duty 4 has been, in effect, a Call of Duty 4 clone. And now even the Modern Warfare style MMS note  craze seem to be dying down and moving towards 'near future'/sci-fi territory with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Titanfall. Arguably, the combination of Medal of Honor Warfighter's failure, rising sentiment against the US military's involvement in the Middle East, and a backlash from gamers towards obviously-derivative modern day shooters, has led to this shift in subject.
  • The Point-and-Click genre in its inventory management form was practically killed off by the success of Myst, and was only recently revived via digital distribution as well as the serial format. The failure of the critically praised Grim Fandango in 1998 was seen as the final nail on the coffin for the genre, even though Escape from Monkey Island was released two years later – albeit with considerably less acclaim than prior Monkey Island games.
  • Resident Evil 4, while highly successful and acclaimed both in its time and now, has been blamed for killing, or at least hastening the demise of, the Survival Horror genre in the '00s. This is largely due to its status as the Franchise Original Sin for the Resident Evil series, introducing many shooter-esque gameplay elements that would take over later games in the series, which other survival horror series would copy until, by the late '00s, most "horror" games were pretty much action shooters with creepy-crawlies and gothic atmospheres.
  • Though motion controls were always controversial, the Xbox 360's Kinect seems to have been the point where the majority of the gaming public turned against them. By all accounts, the Kinect itself was and is a fairly impressive piece of technology, and has found many awesome applications... but it seems like none of those applications were in gaming. From controls ranging between unresponsive and completely broken, to the massive pile of shovelware and dance games, the system became a punchline. On top of that, the Kinect was targeted towards Xbox 360 fans, who had spent the past few years loudly proclaiming that the Wii's motion controls were garbage, giving the peripheral downright negative pull among the established fanbase. Just a few years later, when Nintendo introduced the Wii U which largely dropped motion controls and Sony essentially ignored the PS Move, Microsoft's reveal of the Xbox One requiring Kinect received such a serious backlash that they had to release a version of the system that came without it less than a year afterwards.
  • The Anthropomorphic Mascot with Attitude platformers started petering out after Bubsy and the Battletoads dipped their toes into the world of multimedia franchising and saw incredibly disastrous results. When Bubsy subsequently crashed into the Polygon Ceiling, the resulting backlash more or less exterminated every radical mascot not named Sonic the Hedgehog.
  • As mentioned in the trope description, Street Fighter II codified so many tropes that most people don't even realize how utterly it killed off any Fighting Game, especially 2D ones, that didn't largely adhere to them. Game mechanics we take for granted nowadays such as being able to attack before completing a walk cycle, having all of your basic moves available from the outset, lack of stage obstacles or crowd interference, or even just being able to jump high into the air, weren't always standard features of fighting games. Today, it's considered noteworthy if a fighting game breaks just two or three of the rules that SFII placed down, such as Bloodstorm.

    Western Animation