"At the end of this puzzle, you have to affix the improbable cat hair moustache to your lip with maple syrup! ... I think it should be pretty clear at this point that Adventure Games committed suicide."
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 — the Epic Movie was briefly dead for example 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
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- 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.
- 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.
Comics - Books
Films - Animation
- This was the fate of The Renaissance Age of Animation: the failures of 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. A brief resurgence appeared in 2009 when Disney made a commitment to producing a traditionally-animated film every two years, with 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 the latter was put up against). After Pooh however, Disney decided against Frozen being an animated 2D project and later had it animated in 3D CGI, and eventually gutted their traditional animated division proper. DreamWorks is currently dabbling in traditional animation a bit by having some hand-drawn animated scenes for both Kung Fu Panda and its sequel, and has an upcoming project which uses a hybrid of traditional animation and CGI. As a result, it seems that audiences and companies are still reluctant to give traditional animation another go, at least for the time being.
- 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).
- According to Bruce Timm, the failure of Wonder Woman killed a proposed Batgirl film that was in the works at the time. It also led to Supergirl being removed from the cover of Superman/Batman: Apocalypse and replaced with an image of the character wearing a skimpy slave girl costume.
Films - Live-Action
- The critical and box office bomb that was One Missed Call ended the trend of American remakes of Japanese/East Asian horror films in the late 00's.
- In a lesser-known, slightly older example, Conan the Destroyer and Red Sonja may well have been the films that killed Sword and Sorcery in media for quite some time; their predecessor Conan the Barbarian, however, was a classic example of Sword and Sorcery brought to film.
- Seltzer and Friedberg have been blamed for currently 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.
- 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 Nineties with movies like Armageddon, Deep Impact, Dantes 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.
- And killed again by Roland Emmerich's 2012, for being so over the top, they once again can no longer be taken seriously.
- Catwoman, Elektra and the second Tomb Raider, killed off the idea of the female action protagonist in Hollywood cinema for quite a long time. (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 favour.
- Cutthroat Island was an attempt to revive the swashbuckling adventure movie. Instead it just sunk it farther down into its grave, along with Carolco Studios, 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 also 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.
- 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 oversaturation in theaters and, more importantly, on television, courtesy of shows like Gunsmoke, Bonanza, and The Rifleman. 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. 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, and the remake of True Grit.
- 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).
- The film Hello, Dolly! had, for quite some time, the reputation of having killed the big-scale movie musical, as it was a flop for many years — until re-couping its losses in the home video market.
- It was more the music than the form: either they had to feature catchy pop (Grease), become Darker and Edgier (Cabaret), or both (Saturday Night Fever). Probably the killing blow was struck by the old-fashioned At Long Last Love, which also held to the long tradition of hideously miscasting actors in musicals.
- The late '60s were a bad time for musicals generally. This generally had to do with changing demographics: younger audiences went to the movies more, and traditional musicals skewed to the older crowd. First came Doctor Dolittle (1967), with its famously troubled production, critical panning and spectacle box office failure. Next year came Robert Wise's Star!, conceived as a The Soundof Music follow-up vehicle for Julie Andrews, which did as badly. 1969 saw the infamous Paint Your Wagon, best-known for being spoofed on The Simpsons. Along with Dolly, these films made old-fashioned musicals box office poison for a long time.
- The failure of The Wiz 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.
- The disastrous failures of Cleopatra and The Fall of the Roman Empire killed the Sword And Sandal epic for over three decades, until Gladiator revived the genre. There have been a number of Roman and Greek-era action films in the following years.
- 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.
- The Jurassic Park films are an example of one series' 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, contain conscious nods to the franchise. Even the American Godzilla (1998) film riffed on it in trailers, and featured suspiciously velociraptor-like chase scenes with baby Godzillas.
- The first Scream was an attempt to do this deliberately. Wes Craven felt that the slasher genre had grown tired and stale by the mid-'90s, and so he made a movie that picked apart and lampshaded the tropes of the genre, which he felt would make it impossible to take seriously anymore. Did it work? Well, there were three sequels and a host of copycat films, so clearly, it didn't go as planned.
- Psycho and Bonnie and Clyde 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 the be 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.
- School of Rock, 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). Recent attempts at reigniting the sub-genre (such as Freedom Writers and Larry Crowne) have been critical and box office disappointments.
- Quest for Fire 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.
- Chicago 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.
- Marshall wasn't so lucky a second time however; his adaptation of Nine 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 Miserables (2012) (which did VERY well, but failed to win Best Picture) came out.
- Mamma Mia! (2008) was a huge hit - a slightly different genre, in that it's a Jukebox Musical - but certainly opened the door.
- 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 Cinema Scope, 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, which was just as mediocre, if not moreso, than Moonlighters was. Its accomplice was The Mad Magician, a cheap House of Wax (1953) 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 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.
- While Showgirls 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, and Shame 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.
- Film journalist Stephen Metcalf argues that the wretched production excesses of Days Of Thunder, 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.
- In addition to launching the CG Movie craze, the original Toy Story 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.
- The Greatest Story Ever Told, an All-Star Cast production of Jesus' life that received mixed reviews and bombed at the box office, has widely been considered the film that killed the Hollywood religious epic. The Passion of the Christ has been assumed to be a revival of the genre, 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.
- A definite strike against the potential success of these future films will almost undoubtedly be the rise of the Religious Right (which existed in the biblical epic's heyday, but was much less political and certainly less partisan) over the past three decades or so. In America's current cultural climate, almost any movie based on the Bible is sure to be heavily politicized by both sides, either dismissed as religious propaganda by secularists (as seen with the controversies surrounding The Passion) or attacked for inaccuracies by the religious (as seen with the controversy surrounding the to-be-released Noah).
- xXx: State of the Union (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, 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.
- If Titanic created the very specific genre of "absurdly big budget love story used to chronicle a historical disaster", Pearl Harbor sure as hell ended it.
- The massive box office failure of The Lone Ranger 2013 reboot film has caused many film studios to rethink their strategies concerning 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.
- 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, and why all elements of camp were exorcised from the genre when the next generation of Super Hero films came around in the mid-2000s.
- As explained in this article, the creation of the PG-13 rating 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. 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.
- 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 G. 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.
- The Quiz Show was discredited for nearly 20 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 Twenty One) 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. Jeopardy helped America trust game 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 much 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 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.
- 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 caused Televisa to stop producing telenovelas aimed at children.
- 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.
- MTV's Boy Band spoof 2ge+her not only helped kill the dying Boy Band genre, but it 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.
- 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 (Oasis themselves, blur, Pulp, Supergrass, Super Furry Animals and, strangely enough, Ocean Colour Scene) 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 "Blur" 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.
- The rise of grunge, particularly the sudden success of Nirvana's album Nevermind in 1991, did this to the excesses of Hair Metal in the early '90s. 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 Nineties 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 Nineties.
- 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 lumped in with grunge 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.
Eventually, the two genres, along with other, smaller subgenres (particularly rap metal), fused together in the mainstream consciousness and morphed into nu metal in the late '90s. Led by bands such as Korn, Slipknot, Linkin Park, and Limp Bizkit, it was seen as an antidote to the bubblegum boy bands, girl groups, and idol singers that ruled the world of pop music in the mid-late '90s, bringing metal back to the forefront of youth culture for the first time since The Eighties. Nu metal burned out around 2003, with Evanescence's "Bring Me to Life" often cited as the genre's last big radio hit. While it's not exactly clear what the precise Genre-Killer was beyond simple overexposure, many people point to the failure that year of Limp Bizkit's album Results May Vary and Korn's Take a Look In the Mirror as the point where it was clear that nu metal's reign on the rock charts was over.
- Death Metal and Black Metal both took off and hit their peaks in The Nineties. 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, taking out the biggest band in the scene. Second, Pearl Jam got into a nasty fight with Ticketmaster over their anti-consumer business practices (resulting in them canceling their tour that summer) that made it nearly impossible for them to tour nationally, dealing a crippling blow to the fortunes of the second-biggest band in the scene. In the absence of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, grunge as a whole faded from the limelight, with Post Grunge (in the US) and Britpop (in the UK) supplanting it in mainstream popularity.
- 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.
- Progressive Rock has had several points that are regarded as killing the genre.
- 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) 70's 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 70's heyday, merely confirmed prog's demise for those who hadn't gotten the hint yet.
- One of the last albums from Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Love Beach, 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.
- 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.
- Progressive Metal still experiments with Concept Albums, but in a more limited way. A good example is Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime.
- Rock Opera also still exists within Heavy Metal, running the gamut in terms of quality.
- 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 4 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.
- To that end it gets more complicated if you believe the mainstream media and white America is the one that's driving hip-hop now instead of the inner city culture, blacks and latinos. Some even believing young urban black culture is being marginalized within Hip Hop culture.
- Boy Bands were a huge thing back in The Eighties and The Nineties, but the genre was eventually killed off in the early 2000s due to the rising success of white rappers and saturation of the boy band and girl group market, particularly by TV shows like Making The Band 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.
- 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. One Direction, the only one of the three to have a significant fan base outside the British Isles, have gotten a lot of Hype Backlash. They are seen to share many of the traits people dislike about Justin Bieber, although their backlash hasn't become as big as his was in 2010. 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.
- 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 automatically hate the genre.
- 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 and caused the Lighter and Softer genre of Glam Rap to replace it in the mainstream. As The Rap Critic and The Nostalgia Chick put it (skip to about 6:21):
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.
- Tupac's death also crippled the West Coast hip-hop scene. 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, allowing both East Coast rappers (Mobb Deep, DMX, Jay-Z, etc.) and Southern rappers to dominate the rap game from the late '90s onward. Since then, the only major rapper from the West Coast to have achieved mainstream success is The Game, and to a lesser extent Kendrick Lemar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Eighties, 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.
- 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. As far as tropes go, Naughty Tentacles in particular is to blame for that.
- 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, 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. Its initial sales were so bad that the genre was assumed dead and further development was halted. Many consider the real problem to have been Interplay's marketing.
- A common joke among fans of the game is that the reason it killed the genre was because it was so good that there was no point in making any further games: perfection had been achieved.
- Thankfully, the advent of Kickstarter has seemingly restarted the genre, with games like Chris Roberts' Star Citizen, the return of Elite, and other games like Strike Suit Zero.
- 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 in 2007. Due to the continued updates, Team Fortress 2 could be seen as still being released. It could also be said for true tactical shooters in the vein of the older Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six 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.
- 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.
- The insane amount of Capcom Sequel Stagnation for the Guitar Hero franchise seems to have done this to the Rhythm Game genre in North America and Europe. Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and Rock Band 3, released in late 2010, have 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 3 (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 has destroyed the genre's profitability. Following the commercial disappointments of the latest installments, MTV has sold Rock Band developer Harmonix for fifty 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, with another offering released in Q4 2013.
- The 4X Real Time Strategy subgenre was killed off when Empire Earth screwed up with its third installation and Age of Empires went bust with Ensemble closed down. Note that Ensemble going bust was Executive Meddling by Microsoft who shut them down after they cranked out nothing but successful games. Recently resurrected with the long-awaited release of StarCraft II, however it only brought life to the online multiplayer segment while the drawn-out single player campaigns are still not taken as seriously.
- The Tycoon genre died when Rollercoaster Tycoon title owner Frontier Developments was sued by Chris Sawyer. Coupled off with many famous companies which made such games going bust ended the Tycoon Genre.
- It has, however, regained some popularity with casual gamers thanks to Facebook and the Android/iTunes App store. It is not a genre tackled by larger developers, though.
- The execrable World War II FPS Hour of Victory seems to have killed off WWII shooters, with the only recently successful one being 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, 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.
- 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.
- Donkey Kong 64 drove many players away from 3D collect-a-thon adventures after playing it. It was widely considered a good game with a variety of mini-games, but this is what helped it become a Killer; players would slog through the game to uncover all the variety. With 200 golden bananas, along with about 10 other different kinds of things to collect, most players who simply got to the end of this very large game, let alone those that strove to achieve 100% Completion, would be burnt out on any similar experience (specifically, the collect-a-thon part) for years afterwards.
- According to Stan Sakai, the reason the animated series of Space Usagi was never greenlit was because of the flop of Bucky O Hare And The Toad Wars, with which it shared a rabbit protagonist and sci-fi setting. Networks were apparently reluctant to touch any animals-in-space properties for years afterwards. The saddest part? Word Of God of Bucky's publisher says that despite the show's ratings success, Bucky — and thus the genre — died simply because of a toy shipment screw-up leaving stores with more shelfwarmers than "wanted" figures; Bucky was Merchandise-Driven, therefore it was cancelled.
- According to this episode of The Big Picture, the Band Toon and other animated shows designed to promote certain celebrities (such as Muhammad Ali and Hulk Hogan) was killed off twice, first in The Eighties by the rise of Merchandise-Driven cartoons that were more lucrative for marketers, and again at the Turn of the Millennium by the rise of Reality TV offering a less expensive, more direct way for celebrities to promote themselves on television.
- For that matter, the Merchandise-Driven "half-hour toy commercial" style of cartoon that reached its peak in The Eighties was itself killed for over a decade by the Children's Television Act of 1990, which placed strong restrictions on the advertising content of shows aimed at children. It was only with the rise of cable television (which isn't covered by the law) in the Turn of the Millennium when shows designed to sell products to children became big again.