Genre Mashup

"The latest artist to the electro-pop-rock-classic rock-rave genre, while keeping a glam rock-punk-dance-europop edge."
Cracked summary of Lady Gaga

A mixture of seemingly disparate genres together. After all, if two genres are already awesome on their own, then combining them will result in something even more awesome, right?

This happens a lot in music, because combining genres is less likely to go horribly wrong there. See Avant-garde Music.

For works which use multiple, disparate genres without actually mixing them together, see Genre Roulette. Compare to Recycled In Space where a new genre may be pasted onto an existing story. If a character is this instead of a story, see Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. Compare and contrast with Genre-Busting, where a work fits into no genres rather than multiple. See also X Meets Y and Mix and Match.

Subpages:

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Enter! The Mysterious Pretty Cure from Suite Pretty Cure ♪'s soundtrack starts off with a pipe organ, twinkles, and an Ethereal Choir for a church-like feeling. Then, it moves into a techno/metal riff as the pipe organ becomes low toned. After that, a bright hard rock guitar solo steps in. The song then goes back into its heavy metal riff again and ends on that note.
  • Code Geass is one half high school drama, and another half a story about liberating Japan from an Evil Empire. Oh, and Applied Phlebotinum, Alternate History, Magical Eyes, Humongous Mecha, and loads of Fanservice are thrown into the mix.
  • Death Note is a grounded, realistic Psychological Thriller with Dark Fantasy elements, specifically the titular Death Note and the shinigami.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya is a little bit of sci-fi, comedy, mystery, romance, and slice of life in a highschool setting.
  • Magical Project S started as a parody of magical girls, but then becomes an indecisive parody that sometimes took its elements seriously. Then it explored psychological and deep themes, then explored the concept of friendship. Afterward it went to romance.
  • Bakemonogatari is a comed- well, a bit, maybe, but it's mainly an action... Hang on, there's not much of that either. Okay, so it's a harem... no, not quite. Romance...? Well, the main character has a love interest, but that's not the focus of the show. If there were a genre for it, it would have to be called "Dialogue, Mind Screw, and SHAFT". The entire show is based in folklore and ghost stories, too.
  • The Big O is a Film Noir, Science Fiction, Giant Mecha, Detective story, Psychological mind-screw with Batman overtones.
  • Kara no Kyoukai is a mix of romance, horror, Urban Fantasy, murder mystery, and action.
  • Have fun listing Slayers as a single genre of anime. Set in a fantasy world, it includes comedy, action, and large amounts of drama...often into a single episode!
  • Un-Go - Post Cyber Punk detective drama with supernatural elements throw in for good measure.
  • Gunbuster is a Coming of Age Sport Super-Real Robot Military Science-Fiction Space Opera.
  • Ah! My Goddess. When it launched, it was a Slice of Life Romantic Comedy involving magical beings, having harem antics without being a Harem Series, and occasionally putting the entire Slice of Life concept on the shelf to go save the world from fantasy villains. Now, it's recognized as the Trope Maker for the Magical Girlfriend, but the elements of fantasy adventure are still far more strongly present than in your average Magical Girlfriend series.
  • While Hunter × Hunter is primarily a shonen action series, (albeit with massive Deconstructor Fleet overtones,) there are plenty of non-shonen action things going on, like when Gon and Killua spent an entire arc auctioneering, or when they went to Greed Island and the series suddenly became an MMORPG.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure really likes to hop from one genre to another with every arc, going from globe-trotting adventure story to detective story, to gangster story, to prison story, to racing story. Even the fight scenes involving Stands often get more cerebral than your typical action scenes, and feel more like mysteries than straight up fights.
  • The only thing you can really pin down about Excel Saga is that it's a comedy, since the series switches genres every episode. Even the comedy part isn't completely consistent, since one episode is played completely straight (but then again, that's the joke.)
    • The anime and manga are also inconsistent with each other on what kind of comedy it is. The anime is more of a parody of...everything (including itself,) while the manga starts out as a commentary on post-recession Japan with Slice of Life elements, and then slowly starts introducing more sci-fi and deconstructive elements, and a more serious story.
    • Senki Zesshou Symphogear is a music themed, Science Fantasy, Magical Girl anime.
  • Yuusha Gojo Kumiai Kouryuugata Keijiban is a multi-dimensional message board for all kinds of heroes, with each chapter depicting a different thread posted by a hero seeking help or sharing their experiences. Not only is the manga itself very unique, but it also brings up unique types of heroes in-universe. For example, one hero is a king who managed to fight off corruption in his kingdom; another hero is an Earthling who can't decide if he wants to leave his job to jump into the magic summoning circle for the 24th time.
  • Sgt. Frog is a sci-fi comedy which also mixes in, among other things, Action-Adventure, drama, fantasy, sports, Sentai, Romantic Comedy, Giant Mecha, J-Horror, Film Noir, Slice of Life, and more.
  • Figure 17 Tsubasa & Hikaru Slice of Life, Magical Girl, Sci-fi, Horror (dude gets impaled in the second episode, framed alongside such stories like performing a school play written by one of the children). Contains a lot of drama that would alienate children of the protagonist's age yet still deals, very realistically (despite the aliens), with issues a child could struggle with.
  • SAO is a love story in a sci-fi setting, with harem, medieval fantasy, mythology, detective fiction and post-apocalypse in between.
  • It's a Super Sentai show, it's a Magical Girl show, it's a psychological deconstruction and reconstruction of the superhero genre! It's Samurai Flamenco! As well as taking elements from several Japanese super hero genres, this anime has elements of Psychological Horror, Romance, Slice of Life, a Buddy Cop Show, and more. The plot is so complex and surprising that it is more like getting four different shows for the price of one.
  • Tiger & Bunny - Affectionate and Deconstructive Parody of Super Hero genre combined with Buddy Cop Show and Slice of Life.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica - Deconstruction of Magical Girl genre mixed with a lot of drama and Cosmic Horror Story.
  • Berserk is a Dark Fantasy series with Cosmic Horror Story undertones, but The Golden Age Arc — several volumes long flashback in the middle of the series — is a Low Fantasy that's very close to Historical Fantasy, while still having some small elements of Dark Fantasy, with the main character having escaped from Heroic Fantasy.
  • Is This a Zombie?: Magical Girl Action Horror Thriller Harem Comedy. With ninja (plural).
  • My Lovely Ghost Kana - A Heartwarming, Tear-Jerking, Slice of Life Porn with Plot love story that puts the titular Magical Girlfriend's suicide at the beginning, featuring characters who all have Dark And Troubled Pasts that are utterly ignored as the story deconstructs the angst right the hell out of them, while celebrating The Power of Love without a trace of narm. And it's better than it sounds. What.
  • Again!! is a school sports club comedy drama, with time-traveling.
  • Detective Conan: Pretty much every genre except for fantasy has been covered during the manga's run. There's been everything from romance to Body Horror to wrestling.
    • The Spin-Off Magic Kaito which is canonically in the same world actually does have magic. Both real and fake meaning that while Conan doesn't cover it alone the world as a whole does.
  • Gintama. Mostly comedic... that's it. It's historical, Sci-fi, human drama, gag series.
  • Baccano!: The Mafia + Immortality + Alchemy by way of Quentin Tarantino, done by a Japanese author.
    • Its Spiritual Successor Durarara!! takes Genre Busting even further by featuring students, gangs, mythology, mad scientists, Japanese horror and Anonymous, just to name a few. It seems on the surface to primarily be a sort of mystery/thriller with a bit of action thrown in, but it's also got a not-insignificant amount of slice-of-life often by way of... interesting characters (like an Irish faerie who lives in a high-class Tokyo apartment), but in a way the best single descriptor for it might actually be a romance deconstruction. With some reconstruction later on. And not in any way that one would normally think of a romance being.
  • Adolf: Spanning approximately half a century, from the Berlin Olympics to the then-present of The Eighties, focusing primarily on the years leading up to World War Two, it is by turns a Coming-of-Age Story, Spy Fiction, Romance & a fairly well-done Author Tract about the evils of war and racism.
  • Cat Planet Cuties About half fairly standard ecchi romance/comedy. The other half is a thriller.
  • Star Driver. It's a mecha show! No, it's a romantic slice of life comedy! Wait wait, it's a Magical Girl series except starring a Bishounen! No, I was wrong, it's a Mind Screw! Whatever it is, it's all very FABULOUS.
  • CLANNAD: Word of God states that the main theme is family. However, as the plot progresses, we see slice of life and romance moving into the story, not to mention that Tomoya's Unwanted Harem become True Companions. Fuko's arc borders on fantasy, but the second season takes the cake and eats it with Ushio turning out to be the Girl in the Illusionary World, Tomoya being the Garbage Doll, thus firmly establishing the fantasy aspect of the show. Also, Light Orbs. Need I say more? Mind screw...for the viewer at least?
  • Planetes is hard sci-fi, with plenty of drama, strong themes on relationship building, and a few comedy bits to relax the audience. Some people just agreed upon it to be a slice-of-life story, but In Space!
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, starts off as a routine Gaming and Sports Anime and Manga that gradually morphs into a full-blown Mind Screw, with a chaser of psychological exploration and numerous Take Thats at shonen anime tropes and concepts from its franchise's original series.
  • Hell Girl. A fusion of suspense, drama and horror, with some slice of life and social commentary about the least appealing aspects of the Japanese society thrown in for good measure. The third season is full of Mind Screw as well.
  • On its musical side, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has the legendary song Libra Me From Hell which is the musical embodiment of the show by fusing rap and opera.
  • Cowboy Bebop. Noir? Check. Western? Check. Sci-Fi? Check. Cyberpunk? Check. All set to a heady jazz soundtrack. No wonder this is the entry-level anime series and what put [adult swim] on the map.
    • Also, according to the Alan Moore quote that currently heads this page, Cowboy Bebop is life.
      Shinichiro Watanabe: The work, which becomes new genre itself, will be called ... Cowboy Bebop.
    • Its spiritual sequel Samurai Champloo is set in feudal Japan and melds samurai action with elements of humorous Slice of Life and adventure, along with bizarre anachronisms like graffiti artists, breakdancing, rap, and baseball.
    • And after that is Space Dandy, a Raygun Gothic sci-fi action-comedy with heavy disco and funk themes and Space Opera elements going on in the background.

    Comic Book 

    Films - Animation 
  • Pixar:
    • WALL•E is comedy, drama, romance, sci-fi, and even silent film during the first half.
    • Finding Nemo is a road movie/coming of age/thriller/animal comedy/prison escape/surf movie.
    • Monsters, Inc. is a monster movie/kid flick/invasion movie/sci-fi/family drama/comedy.
    • Toy Story is a philosophical comedy/drama/thriller/adventure/prison escape.
    • Up is a comedy/drama/tragedy/jungle adventure/WW2-style pulp adventure/talking dogs/extremely difficult to categorize but highly enjoyable movie.
    • The Incredibles is an action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy family dramedy satire with explosions.
    • A Bug's Life is an adventure/road movie/comedy/drama/thriller as well as a Seven Samurai adaptation.
    • Brave is a supernatural fantasy/family drama/action-adventure/horror with less outright comedy than Pixar's previous works without being too dark.
  • The music that Daniel Ingram uses for My Little Pony: Equestria Girls blends rock, pop, and EDM, partly to make the art of Equestira Girls distinct from what he and other creators of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic franchise call "core pony". This becomes diegetic in the pep rally song in "Friendship Games", where DJ Pon3 adds a heavy EDM track on top of a marching band's performance after the first chorus.

    Films - Live-Action 
  • Casablanca: It's both a war movie (without taking place at a battlefield), a romance movie (with two loved ones parting without a Last Kiss), and a film noir thriller.
  • Most films by The Coen Brothers, namely:
  • Shaun of the Dead was marketed as a zom-rom-com. A romantic comedy... set during the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • This pretty much describes the Indian Masala film. Action-comedy-romantic melodrama-musicals. Taken Up to Eleven by Endhiran & Koi... Mil Gaya note , which are all that plus sci-fi.
  • Once Upon a Time in China starring Jet Li showed the world that Kung Fu cinema is a genre that is more than capable of being artistically poetic, emotionally deep and politically relevant as any European art film.
  • Being John Malkovich. A comedy drama laden with surrealism which functions as a borderline philosophy course.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: A science fiction romance movie, most of which takes place inside the main character's head.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: A Gothic Cyber Punk Musical with a little Gorn thrown in for good measure.
  • The Brood, though unabashedly a horror movie, combines aspects of both the 1800s Gothic Novel and the 1970s slasher.
  • Scanners is a sci-fi / horror / noir / psych thriller.
  • The Matrix is a Martial Arts Movie neatly fused with grandiose Sci-Fi Post-Apocalytpic Cyber Punk making big-time Shout Outs to various philosophical and religious references.
  • The Fly (1986) starts out as a quirky romantic comedy with some sci-fi aspects, before plunging right into horror/tragedy.
  • A Brazilian review of Snatch. stated it was hard to qualify. "Action? Not sure, but has some electrifying scenes. Comedy? If it's not, only God can explain all the laughter in my theater. Drama? Maybe, the comic side switches into scenes that could easily enter a yellow press tabloid."
  • Inception turns a Journey to the Center of the Mind into an inverted heist film.
  • Vanilla Sky combined romantic drama with a psychological thriller with a sci-fi reveal.
  • Toys. Strong on comedy but with much drama, sometimes family-friendly and sometimes not, having a lot of futuristic technology and a lot of action scenes that are confined purely to the third act.
  • Griff The Invisible is a superhero movie/romantic dramedy/fantasy. The premise sounds like the next Kick-Ass, but the superhero parts are brief and only there as a part of Griff's characterization. It's actually about Griff as a person, and his relationship with a girl who's trying to walk through walls.
  • Local Hero is a constant mixture of comedy/satire and drama... with unexplained mildly fantastical elements.
  • Midnight in Paris manages to combine fantasy, comedy, romance, drama and science fiction into one package that only Woody Allen could concoct.
  • Fight Club is a social commentary/philosophical drama/black comedy/surreal-psychological mystery-thriller/crime action film in which the real fighting is only used as way to highlight the message of the film. It has to be seen at least two times to be fully enjoyed.
  • Black Death is a horror-action-period piece drama.
  • Kontroll is a Hungarian comedy/thriller/drama based around a ticket inspector in the Metro system.
  • Tiger Love: You have a Romeo and Juliet kind of love story with Star-Crossed Lovers in it, you have a Tarzan kind of plot line in it, you have a Revenge story combined with horror in which a tiger shapeshifts into a creepy old woman with claws, fangs, and bathed in eerie green light, and martial arts put into it. Good luck trying to classify this film into a genre!
  • Nudist Colony of the Dead: a horror/sex comedy/musical.
  • It's no wonder Donnie Darko has become such a cult classic. It's a drama/supernatural mystery/preapocalyptic almost-sci-fi/black comedy/almost-teen-romance-coming-of-age-80s-period-piece.
  • Buckaroo Banzai, comedy/pulp action/scifi.
  • Big Trouble in Little China combines comedy, martial-arts action and Chinese myth along with the apparent full body possesion of Kurt Russell by John Wayne.
  • The Stunt Man. Action-Comedy-Romance-Thriller-Drama. The studio had trouble marketing it because it didn't fit into one particular genre.
  • Knights of Badassdom is a Horror/Action/Comedy film, set during a Live Action Roleplaying game, and filled full of nerdbait and Metal music.
  • Snowpiercer at varying points, is, among other things, science fiction, neo-Western, action-adventure, even RPG video game-esque.
  • Lisa The Fox Fairy : is it a thriller? A supernatural horror? A slapstick comedy? A romantic movie? Or maybe all of them?
  • Just about anything by Monty Python and Terry Gilliam.
  • Dark City mixes film noir and Sci-Fi and includes mystery, horror and psychological drama elements.
  • Save the Last Dance: The final dance auditions for the ballet academy blend ballet with jazz and other modern dance styles.

    Literature 
  • Battle Royale is notoriously hard to classify. Some consider it horror due to the terrifying premise, but that classification always causes "traditional" horror fans to baulk because it isn't traditional. Action-adventure? That's perhaps the best when combined with horror, but given the deep, requires-substantial-thought satire and themes "action" seems misleading. When you go to buy a copy you could end up in the Sci-fi section, the horror section...If that's not confusing enough, many people also characterize the film as a VERY dark comedy.
  • Gravity's Rainbow includes elements of historical fiction, spy fiction, sci-fi, war, comedy, pornography, conspiracy theories, and a general atmosphere of Mind Screw.
  • Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series combines Urban Fantasy with science fiction and serves it up with a heavy dose of crime drama. A plotline involving fairies using nanotechnology to take down the Russian Mafia is typical for the series.
  • Similarly, Colfer's book Airman is a mixture of a Swash Buckler, Romance, Steam Punk, Retro Sci-Fi, Adventure, Western, Espionage and Great Escape.
  • Gunfighter's Ride is a pony express rider delivering the mail, dealing with demons, ghosts, and a genocidal medicine man.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld is a fantasy series, mixed with parody, mixed with humor, mixed with deep examinations into the human psyche, mixed with occasional detective story elements, mixed with war drama, mixed with Police Procedural tropes. Might be just shorter to say it is simply awesome.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency was described by author Douglas Adams as a "detective-ghost-horror-who dunnit-time travel-romantic-musical-comedy-epic". Mind you, of these labels, only four are really accurate — detective, ghost, whodunnit and time travel — and two of those are synonyms.
  • Dhalgren is written very much like psychological Sci-Fi (one of the characters lampshades this at one point), but it ends up being very hard to classify.
  • Earth's Children is a portrayal of life during the Ice Age, but this includes elements of Romance Novel, Historical Fiction, historical fantasy, erotica, travelogue and Shown Their Work mixed with a lot of Artistic License.
  • Isaac Asimov wrote Sci-fi robot detective stories.
  • Rudyard Kipling's Kim is a spy story, a gigantic Slice of Life, and a Coming of Age story.
  • Anyone who calls Great Expectations a romance is greatly oversimplifying matters. It has romance, drama, comedy, suspense, a bit of action, a bit of adventure, it's a rags to riches story and a coming of age story, a possible satire of this and that or even Self-Parody, and it has strong elements of mystery and horror. Figure that out!
  • The Destroyer series of books were published as Men's Adventure books. However, there are strong elements of Satire and Black Comedy. The main characters practice Supernatural Martial Arts and the opponents ranged from The Mafia, terrorists, and communist spies (typical of the genre) to androids and vampires.
  • According to The Other Wiki: "A Clockwork Orange is most frequently described as political satire, dystopian science-fiction, black comedy, and crime drama, although its crossover appeal to the horror fan community is unmistakable."
  • The Princess Bride is a humorous fantasy action adventure — with a Framing Device that makes it into a parody of old satire (yes, a parody of satire) and also incorporates fictional autobiography for some reason. The book's title and those of its chapters are also deliberately misleading to suggest some kind of bland-sounding fairytale romance.
  • John DeChancie's Castle Perilous series is essentially fantasy, being based in a magical castle, but what makes the castle special (well, one of the things) is that it contains portals to 144,000 different worlds. This allows for dumping the characters in any genre of story the author feels like writing.
  • The Dresden Files can very easily be put on the "Urban Fantasy" shelf of the bookstore, but certain elements of the story and the lead character have enough "cowboy" characteristics that it had a strong element of fantasy western (even though it takes place in Chicago.) The author himself says that, at its heart, it's like a comic book, and the general World of Snark writing style also gives it a strong comedic element as well.
  • In The Exile's Violin: We have a detective-intrigue story mixed with an action adventure story and a heroic fantasy story in a Victorian Steampunk setting that spends most of its dialogue on Snark to Snark Romance.
  • Will of Heaven is usually classified as a work of Science Fiction, but the cast is almost exclusively composed of historical and/or legendary figures, the occasional Wuxia trope turns up, and the eponymous will of heaven may not have a scientific explanation.
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora is a heist novel...in a fantasy setting.
  • Nerve Zero is a find-the-girl noir story, set on a far-future, zero gravity space station populated by weird versions of humanity.
  • The stories in the League Of Magi are predominantly thrillers, with elements of detective, spy, and conspiracy genres thrown in. The world itself is decidedly urban fantasy (with some horror seasoning).
  • Mr Blank and its sequel are almost genre Mad Libs. Comic noir, with conspiracies, monsters, aliens, and just a smidge of urban fantasy.
  • City of Devils is a classic noir riff: world-weary detective in a world that hates him. He's also the last human detective because almost everyone else in the world is some kind of monster.
  • Undead on Arrival is a "zombie noir" story. Taking a title that's a reference to the classic D.O.A., and then putting it in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
  • Dream Park and its first two sequels feature a fantasy-adventure Show Within a Show storyline embedded in a tale of industrial espionage that's straight out of cyberpunk, all taking place in a high-tech future. The fourth book tosses steampunk motifs into the Game component, and swaps espionage for Die Hard-style action movie.
  • Obsidian and Blood is a historical urban fantasy locked room mystery.
  • The Ahriman Trilogy is a young adult urban fantasy superhero cosmic horror tale.
  • The Gammage Cup: A children's story that starts with Slice of Life in a Fantasy world, but moves to a Downplayed Dystopian setting. Then the main characters rebel and create a Robinsonade-esque mini-civilization from scratch. Finally, various Chekhov's Guns fire and the story turns Epic Fantasy.
  • In the Leigh Bardugo novel Six of Crows, a wealthy merchant hires a team of master criminals to rescue an imprisoned scientist who's invented a highly addictive drug. Sound like just another caper? This one takes place in a Low Fantasy world, and the drug enhances peoples' magical abilities.
  • A vast majority if adult fiction with LGB leads is automatically labeled Queer Romance as its genre, no matter what other elements are in play. Whether romance gets a majority focus of the plot or not, if a queer lead has a same-sex love interest, that is now the genre. This leads to a lot of adult M/M and F/F fiction having a mix of genres under the same label and crossing territory multiple times.
  • A Symphony of Eternity is a Space Opera/High Fantasy/Black Comedy meta-fictional delight. The books follow galactic war fought in a universe where magic instead of technology is used, it contains elements of military sf, Discworld like humour, Flashmanesque protagonits with bits of Sandman-like meta-fiction, Lovecratian Horror, historical fiction and use of many examples of Fictional Documents for World Building and Tolstoy quality level of suffering and existentialism and nihilism, with a dash of optimism and hope for the future, all the while being a Deconstruction and Reconstruction of itself all at the same time. And it is GLORIOUS!
  • This is arguably the point behind the New Weird, a literary "genre" intended as a reaction to the Sci-Fi Ghetto and a return to the H.P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith era when fantasy, science fiction, and horror were still more or less all one genre. See the New Weird page for a much more thorough explanation.
  • After decades, if not centuries, of Literary Fiction posturing itself as a "superior" or "non-generic" genre and refusing to do much playing around with the conventions of other genres, we finally have a good number of modern and semi-modern LitFic authors and books that consciously blend the archetypical elements of LitFic with other genres, including:
    • The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie. Epic story centered around two Indian men in London, but with an uncompromisingly comical tone and so many Magical Realism elements that the book verges on outright fantasy.
    • Generosity by Richard Powers. Same tone, prose style, and characterizations as LitFic, but it's just as obsessed with science as any Science Fiction novel, specifically in the areas of nature vs. nurture and the ethics of genetic engineering.
    • Look at Me by Jennifer Egan. Again, has the same style and many of the same themes as LitFic, but with an unusually surreal tone, a private detective, and an overarching mystery plot.
    • The Course of the Heart by M. John Harrison. A gritty literary reworking of The Great God Pan, which focuses on the aftermath of three friends summoning a creature from another plane.
  • William Gibson's Neuromancer combines elements of film noir, mystery, pulp science fiction and an emphasis on technology to create what is now known as Cyber Punk . It is now seen as the Trope Maker of the genre, and depending on who you ask, the Trope Codifier as well.
  • Riddley Walker is an After the End Science Fiction done in the style of a Middle Ages mind screwy historical novel.
  • American Gods won the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Sci-fi book of the year, the Locus Award for best fantasy book of the year, and the Bram Stoker Award for best horror book of the year. It's also a meditation on the "meaning" of America, and reflection on the different immigrant stories.
  • Stephen King's The Dark Tower book series isn't your typical King material, and it definitely isn't a typical Western story. Hell, in the context of storytelling, it arguably isn't really a typical anything. It's fairly well described by Torg's description of his own "greatest comic book of all time" in Sluggy Freelance — "a cowboy-western-psychological-horror-action-romance-thriller" — except that that's missing its perhaps main genre of fantasy.
  • Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! is a comedic conspiracy novel that also includes erotic fiction, horror, epic fantasy, and espionage. Wilson's later novels in the same setting add science fiction, historical fiction and a variety of literary pastiches.
  • In The Snows Of Haz is a mystery set in a fantasy world.
  • Gun, with Occasional Music by Jonathan Lethem is a sci-fi police procedural that eschews most of the stereotypical elements of sci-fi, like aliens and computers. In fact, it probably is far closer to a pastiche of thirties noir with the silly elements (talking animals, super-intelligent alcoholic infants, free drugs for everyone, etc) justified after the fact. It could be telling that the author is also the editor for the Philip K. Dick and Raymond Chandler anthologies.
  • Thursday Next lives' off of Metafiction, so the fact that it's a fantasy/sci-fi/mystery/comedy/drama involving everything from Time Travel to cheese smuggling as major plot points eventually just starts to be classified as "I give up."
  • Jennifer Fallon's Second Sons is almost brilliant about this. From one perspective, there's little reason why it couldn't just be called Historical Fiction— it has no magic, no aliens, no Applied Phlebotinum, and generally nothing outright impossible, and while it definitely Never Was This Universe, that doesn't necessarily disqualify it from fitting the genre. However, it's marketed as fantasy, because it really Never Was This Universe rather than being just our universe with different names, and because the depicted world has two suns in its sky. (For the record, the author calls it medieval science fiction.)
  • Complete World Knowledge combines the almanac with the absurdist comedy.
  • House of Leaves is a horror/fantasy/parody/romance story, and while that statement is accurate, it's only scratching the surface of the novel's strangeness and unconventionality. The footnotes alone...
    "I had one woman come up to me in a bookstore and say, 'You know, everyone told me it was a horror book, but when I finished it, I realized that it was a love story.' And she's absolutely right. In some ways, genre is a marketing tool."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Although we never hear it, Rastabilly Skank in Red Dwarf sounds like it should be a cross between reggae, rockabilly, ska and punk. These four being the soundtrack of skinheads of all political stripes, the mix appearing somewhere, sometime isn't as unlikely as it sounds. "Skabilly" is the closest real thing.
    • We do in fact hear it in the show very briefly: one track that Lister is playing in the bunk room, and the lines that Lister and Ace Rimmer sing ("'do you like rastabilly?'C'mon Dave, sing!").

    Video Games 
  • The Simpsons: Hit & Run is a platform/action/adventure/racing/sandbox game.
  • Some entries in the Tony Hawk series, like Tony Hawk's Underground, use elements of sports, platform, adventure, and score-attack games.
  • Portal and Portal 2 are FPS-puzzle-platformers.
  • Clonk started out as a 2D fighting game much like Worms, but also contains elements of a strategy game, especially in the rounds with a "Settlement" or a "Mining" goal, adventure game in the rounds with a set story, a plain wide open sandbox game, and with all the expansion packs and downloadable content, you can well give it fantasy, western, cyberpunk, racing, heck, even zombie survival game elements as well.
  • Mondo Agency is a Deconstruction of the FPS genre that's also a Mind Screw puzzle game with platforming and Surreal Horror.
  • Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, a mod for Warcraft III: It's an online game played in teams that contains elements of Real-Time Strategy, third person action and Role Playing Games. It ended up starting what are now called "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" games, but for a while were just called "DotA clones." DotA itself was called an "AoS clone" as it duplicated the mechanics of the "Aeon of Strife" map from StarCraft.
  • Killer7 is an Action-Adventure Rail First-Person Shooter, yet at the same time only includes some elements from all three genres, making it difficult to classify. It is also a Mind Screw, and includes some Resident Evil-esque Survival Horror elements as well.
  • Knights in the Nightmare defies easy description. It's a Real Time/Turn-Based Strategy Hybrid which incorporates Bullet Hell elements because the enemy is shooting at the game cursor, not the units temporarily brought to life to attack back. There are RPG Elements for the units being controlled, but there's some stuff that can't even properly be classified, like hitting a big red/blue switch for Law and Chaos that completely changes the hit ranges and attack types for your characters across the map, or that enemy placement is decided by a roulette system.
  • Fahrenheit has some elements of Monkey Island style adventuring, God of War-esque action button mini-games, the odd piece of Metal Gear Solid type stealth, with a grainy cinematic sheen to the whole package...ambitious is not the word. Somehow, it works.
  • Eversion is a platformer, puzzle, and Lovecraftian horror game, all at once.
  • Rabbids Go Home is a Platformer, Racing Game, Adventure Game, and Katamari Damacy-like collectathon.
  • Shenmue. Aside from being one of the earliest examples of a modern Wide Open Sandbox game, it also touted Adventure Game mechanics and Visual Novel aesthetics, Quick Time Event action sequences, beat'em-up mechanics inspired by Virtua Fighter, and plenty of interactive minigames to keep you busy. It was revolutionary enough to be labelled as its very own genre by creator Yu Suzuki: Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment, or F.R.E.E.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum is often classified as an action adventure as the game is about equal parts combat and interacting with the environment. However, the game mixes in elements of stealth and survival horror, contains RPG Elements, has rhythm-based combat, and is also a Metroidvania game.
  • Persona 2 is an RPG Urban Fantasy about saving the world and facing your fears and with psychological elements and it's a horror game like the other Megatens and it's got elements of romance. Confusing stuff. Persona 3 and Persona 4 are all that but with dating sim mechanics. Hmm...
  • Monday Night Combat at first looks like another Third-Person Shooter, but teamwork is vital, playing deathmatch style tends to do as much harm as good, you're effectively fighting on a two-sided Tower Defense game, you've got to upgrade your abilities and buy bots with money you earn during battle, and topping it all off it's class-based to keep things balanced.
  • Fantasy Earth Zero: Most of the game is typical MMO stuff, but the main heart of the game is basically 100-man PvP RTS/Tower Defense.
  • Although The World Ends with You is commonly classified as an Action RPG, the combat, particularly on the bottom screen, is quite reminiscent of side-scrolling Beat Em Ups.
  • Penumbra is an Adventure Survival Horror Stealth-Based Game, with all the in-game manipulation controls and motions being based on dynamic real time physics.
  • Sacrifice is a fantasy third person RPG, RTS game.
  • Brütal Legend starts as a Hack-and-Slash game with a dash of racing, but later becomes a RTS-Hack and Slash game with some racing side missions and occasional rhythm-based segments.
    • An in-universe example, the crappy Fake Band Kabbage Boy that Eddie is stuck working for in the opening cutscene actually has their song unlockable for the in-game radio (Eddie even audibly groans when you unlock it). If you sort songs by genre, it's listed under "Second Wave of American Tween Melodic Rap Metalcore". It's the only song in that category, of course.
  • Achron is superficially an RTS, but the time travel mechanics make it play quite differently. The creators call it a "Meta Time Strategy Game".
  • Asura's Wrath is a Hack and Slash/ Beat 'em Up game mixed with Rail Shooter styled gameplay and a lot of Action Commands throughout the game, as well as no RPG Elements like other Hack and Slashers like Devil May Cry, Bayonetta or God of War. You could say it's more of an interactive Anime than a traditional action game.
  • Pathologic and Turgor, by Ice Pick Lodge. They're both first person action-adventure surreal/lovecraftian horror philosophy art games where the aim isn't really to kill things but you're probably going to be doing that in the process of whatever other endeavor you have.
  • Getter Love!! is a combination of a board game, a dating simulator, a few free-motion mini-games, and all kinds of hilarity, including hip-wiggling panda bears. Plan out where you want to go, use item cards to promote your relationships or screw your opponents over, talk to your friends or one of seven girls, take the girl of your choice out to places, buy presents for your girl of choice, and even run into various random folks. Watch out for the resident Gonk who wants to harass you and fuck up your relationships! All kinds of wacky hijinx ensues until someone confesses their love, after which either either school resumes or the winner's girl appears in a pastel-colored aura while talking to you.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: Oh, look, another Visual Novel / Dating Sim. Oops, it has just turned into a horror game. And just like that, now, it's a turn-based RPG. And, after you thought it can't get any weirder, it turns into a survival horror/mystery With pigeons.
  • Deadly Premonition is a survival horror adventure wide-open life sim—and that's just the gameplay. The story attached to it is a murder mystery police procedural horror-fantasy romance that ping-pongs between nightmarish tragedy and screwball comedy, with every mood in between.
  • Sword Of The Samurai is simultaneously an action game with (nonfunctional) stealth elements, a primitive RTS, and a turn-based strategy game that was the Spiritual Predecessor to the Total War series.
  • L.A. Noire is a deft mix of classic point-and-click PC mystery games with some driving and shooting sequences mixed in for fun.
  • The Ratchet & Clank series has elements of both Platformers and Shooters, with some RPG Elements and minigames that branch into even more genres. Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault adds Tower Defense elements on top of all this.
  • The soundtrack for the Nintendo 64 game The New Tetris combines World music with either Big Beat or Jungle/Drum 'n' Bass.
  • Both Battle Zone 1998 and its sequel are hybrid FPS/RTS games; the player is a Frontline General piloting a Hover Tank while simultaneously commanding a small task force of other hover tanks and a trio of mobile factories.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is a Stealth-Based Game set in a Wide Open Sandbox.
  • The Commandos series (minus the Spin-Off Commandos Strike Force) is somewhere between Real-Time Strategy and Stealth-Based Game. It becomes its own genre (the other most well-known games of this genre being the Desperados series).
  • Folk Tale is a city-builder and survival game, as you must build a village with various services, harvest resources, keep your denizens happy and well-fed, while your manpower is one of your resources. It also has a typical Strategy RPG gameplay, as each villager has stats, experience levels, inventory slots, and can be manually controlled while they aren't working; also, some of the available jobs are purely military, instead of classical services like farmer, miner, lumberjack, hunter, etc.
  • The X-Universe series following the initial installment introduced Real-Time Strategy and 4X elements to the old-fashioned space simulator formula; you start out with one puny little ship and next to no credits, and grow it into a massive NGO Super Power controlling dozens of Mile Long Ships and hundreds of Space Truckers.
  • Borderlands. From a story standpoint, it's a Black Comedy Space Western. From a gameplay standpoint it's a First Person Shooter with classic RPG elements (although that latter category is rapidly becoming a game genre in itself).
  • Overwatch is an unlikely mixture of a team-based First-Person Shooter in a Pixar-like setting. The roster of colorful characters can be compared to that of a Fighting Game, while each character brings a unique influence into the game to give it something with far more personality than your standard FPS.
  • LittleBigPlanet: Try explaining this to someone who hasn't really played it. The first game is a platformer, but encourages you to build whatever kind of level you want, whether it be an actual level in the vein of Mario or just a music or set-piece showcase. The second game, however, looks to embrace this wholeheartedly, as it was marketed as a platform for games rather than a platform game. The main game showcases some unique gameplay styles, including a side-scrolling shooter that looks like a retro arcade game. The overall effect is a mashup of Gmod for consoles, Mario, winks and nods toward Monty Python-style humor, and sinister weaponized cuteness.
  • The Guild series is about managing a medieval family on several generations to become a successful business dynasty and an important local political actor. Its gameplay is a RPG (each dynasty members' has stats and perks), management game (running your businesses, creating gold, and managing your crew), and Sims-like (finding a spouse and have children, as well as managing relationships to have friends and allies) hybrid.

     Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • In-Universe: in the Daria episode "Depth Takes a Holiday," the Holidays are described as having a "hip-hop-punk-electronica vibe."
  • In the South Park episode "Christian Rock Hard", the four main characters' band Moop has, by their admission, elements of jazz fusion, Latin jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, while the one song they're heard playing sounds more garage-rock.

    Real Life 
  • With biological organisms, it's worth to note that examples only apply in Linnaean taxonomy (the system you're most likely to find in textbooks), which prioritises organisation (to the point of being considered anti-evolution, and not taken seriously anymore by actual scientists). In cladistics, it's pretty much averted, as organisms pretty much are defined by their evolutionary relations. For instance, arguing about monotremates somehow not being mammals may make sense in a Linnaean paradigm, but in cladistics it doesn't since there is nothing that defines "mammal" besides being genetically a mammal (which monotremates are).
  • Monotremes (platypuses and echidnas) are known for not fitting 100% into the traditional fauna classifications, since they have many mammalian characteristics but lay eggs instead. The platypus is also one of the very few mammals to be venomous, and they have ten sex chromosomes, instead of the usual one or two. Furthermore, they hunt for food by sensing tiny electrical currents generated by their prey, unlike the vast majority of predators that hunt by sight, sound, or smell.
  • Turtles are the subject of a raging debate among taxonomists and herpetologists as to how they're related to other types of reptiles. This is due to how all other closely related groups have gone extinct. In fact, until the discovery of Odontochelys in 2008, there were no known transitional species—for all that people knew based on fossil records, some reptiles just suddenly evolved shells and became turtles.
  • This trope describes American culture in general. While its core is unmistakably British, due to the country's colonial past, trade and immigration have added elements of French, Japanese, West African, and Mexican culture, to name a few.
    • Spain and Portugal were colonized by the Moors throughout most of the Middle Ages, thus the countries have a lot of Moorish influences in their architecture.
    • Belgium is a surreal hybrid of Dutch, Flemish and German influences.
    • Switzerland is a cross between French, German and Italian cultural influences.
  • The English language's vocabulary pool is mainly Germanic, Latin, Greek, and French, but also includes words from languages as diverse as Japanese, Swahili, Nahuatl, Czech, Romani, Quechua, and Wiradjuri (an Australian Aboriginal tongue).
    • Some examples:
      • Japanese: manga, anime, kamikaze
      • Swahili: jumbo, safari, dengue
      • Nahuatl: tomato, ocelot, chocolate
      • Czech: dollar, pistol, robot
      • Romani: pal, shiv, drag (the clothing style)
      • Quechua: cocaine, jerky (the food), condor (the bird)
      • Wiradjuri: billabong, kookabura
  • Some conlangs (constructed languages) do this deliberately. Lojban's pool of gismu (basic words) comes from English, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Hindi, as those were the most widely spoken languages at the time of its creation. Toki Pona includes highly simplified words from Tok Pisin, English, Croatian, and other languages. Esperanto was valiantly designed with this principle in mind, although its reach scarcely extends beyond Western Europe, something it's been highly criticized for.
  • This trope can be applied to food as well. The (fraternal, not identical) twin Louisiana styles of Creole and Cajun cooking can be described as French/Spanish/African/Native American/Caribbean.
  • "Fusion" cuisine in general tends to be this trope. Not so much when it involves related styles (eg. Chinese/Korean); but many forms incorporate multiple completely unrelated cuisines.
  • Creole languages are hard to class by the usual "genetic" system of descent in philology, where one former language branches off into others. These languages are (typically) the result of one language merging with a group of other related ones, with the vocabulary taking from both while much of the grammar is created from scratch.
    • In a broader sense, there's the concept known as the "sprachbund" or "linguistic crossroads," an area where multiple (often relatively unrelated) languages have developed in such close contact with one another that features from each start bleeding over into the others.


Examples from Genre-Busting not yet sorted:

    Live Action TV 
  • Joss Whedon seems to enjoy this trope as evidenced by his past creations: a Drama/Comedy about Teenaged Monster Hunters and a Space Western.
    • He did this on purpose with Dollhouse. Ostensibly a sci-fi show, but dipping into pretty much every genre out there including romantic comedy.
  • The Wire: A crime show, a political drama, a black comedy, and in its late seasons, a grim coming-of-age tale and an exposé of the news media.
  • Bones is a forensics procedural romantic dramedy.
  • NCIS is similar, but with little romance and more comedy. It's also very unusual for a procedural because of how heavily character-focussed it is even as it doesn't take itself terribly seriously and the actual personal arcs the characters get are limited. It's primarily about how their personalities affect their job and vice versa rather than how the cases are solved. The plots making sense can arguably be considered secondary.
  • Doctor Who can quite literally be whatever genre it wants to be when it wakes up in the morning. In series 4 alone it went through comedic romp, family drama, military drama, historical fiction, Genteel Interbellum Setting murder mystery, steampunk, disaster film and horror, all mixed with sci-fi and fantasy fairy-tale elements.
    • And sometimes not mixed with sci-fi, back in the era of pure historical stories (at least, if you exclude the obvious Time Travel element).
      • And Series 5 throws in a Sitcom episode.
    • Even when they were promoting the first half of Series 7, they basically described the whole thing as five individual movies. In order, you had an Action-Adventure ("Asylum of the Daleks,") Sci-fi ("Dinosaurs On A Spaceship,") a Spaghetti Western ("A Town Called Mercy,") a low-key Disaster Film ("The Power Of Three,") and a psychological thriller with traces of a detective-noir mystery ("The Angels Take Manhattan.")
  • Quantum Leap is basically the trope basically being about a guy who's continually moving through any kind of story the writers feel like.
  • While Star Trek is undoubtably science fiction (it could be said to be the Science Fiction), it has, like Doctor Who, also been able to mix in many, many other genres on a episode-by-episode basis. Several episodes (especially in The Original Series) are only science fiction because of the occasional tricorder or phaser.
    • And of course, Gene Roddenberry pitched it as Horatio Hornblower in space. This influence was picked up more heavily by Nicholas Meyer for the second movie which set the tone for the rest of the series.
  • The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. was a science fiction/western with a lead who was best known for horror/comedies.
  • The X-Files took archetypes and conspiracies from espionage shows and crime dramas, inserted them into plots about scifi and supernatural phenomena, and filmed it in horror/suspense style.
  • Pushing Daisies classified itself as a 'forensic fairy tale,' with elements of fantasy, procedural mystery, romantic comedy, musical, and, well, what genre WASN'T it?
  • Babylon 5 is spy story combined with Space Opera combined with Lovecraftian tropes combined High Fantasy combined with political drama.
  • Castle, like Bones above, is a Police Procedural romantic dramedy. They also like staging episodes around particular subcultures and bringing in various tropes of particular other genres as well; there's been a vampire episode, an alien abduction episode, a few political-spy thrillers, and so forth. Beckett's mother's arc is also a conspiracy thriller in most of the later episodes.
  • Community is definitely a sitcom. With every other genre mixed in with it.
  • Supernatural is a fantasy/horror/drama/dark comedy with the classic Monster of the Week episodes playing like combination police procedurals and pulp mystery novels, the overarching plot straight out of epic poetry (particularly the Bible), and much of the character development for one of the main duo in the later seasons coming from a platonic love story.
  • Chuck combined spy thriller, sci-fi, family/workplace drama, romantic comedy, sitcom, mystery, and even musical (courtesy of Jeffster!). Really, was there any genre it didn't try out at least once?
  • Breaking Bad is simultaneously a crime saga, a family drama, a Black Comedy, a psychological thriller and a modern-day Western, all featuring a realistic Science Hero (well, Science Anti-Hero) in the lead, in one of the few examples of the trope that you'll find outside of a science-fiction work.
  • Warehouse13 is an X-Files-esque procedural which combines fantasy, science fiction, and occasional horror with Steampunk elements, all mixed together with a heaping dose of comedy
  • Fringe similarly is an X-Files-esque procedural which mixes Government Conspiracy stories with a wide variety of science fiction plots, including Mad Science, alternate universes, aliens (well, actually hyper-evolved humans from the future but they're treated essentially like aliens), shape-shifting robots, and time travel, often with heavy dollops of action. About one episode a season also ended up being something completely different: these include a fairy tale, an animated episode, and an Alien Invasion episode which jumps 20 years into the future where the Observers are ruling the planet which turned out to be a preview for the plot of the next season
  • The BBC Historical Farm Series is part live-action historical crafts recreation documentary, part edutainment reality show starring and featuring actual experts on a specific historical period and the lifestyle of each era. It presents the concepts of living history and experimental archaeology in a very accessible, enjoyable and informative way, within a virtually period-enclosed visual experience, and without any sort of pandering to the audience or dumbing down of the overall presentation. No mean feat for what could have been an otherwise bog-standard documentary series.
  • Jessica Jones is part character-focused drama and part neo-noir detective story, as well as a psychological thriller with horror elements, black comedy, and a deconstruction of superheroes. It's a show about a retired superhero turned private detective with PTSD, and is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe but very deliberately Not Like The Avengers.
  • Legends of Tomorrow is a time travel action ensemble show with a heavy dose of comedy due to our protagonists being Fish out of Water. It is also a Superhero show concerning these Rag Tag Band Of Misfits averting The End of the World as We Know It.

    Multiple Media 
  • There's an entire genre where every notable show and game has done this: Mons. The Trope Codifier and Trope Namer shows, Pokémon and Digimon, are so fundamentally different that every trope in the genre has been subverted in one incarnation of either series.
    • Mons are analogous to animals: They are manmade in Digimon, and we have seen real animals in that series.
    • Your job is to collect mons: Not in Digimon. Okay, Maybe in some of the games, but none of the animes has that.
    • Humans and mons live alongside each other: Digimon only has this at the end of the second season. In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, humans are a myth.
    • Much happens in urban settlements: Certainly not in Digimon Frontier.
    • The humans use the mons in battle: In Digimon Frontier and Pokémon RéBURST, humans become mons.

    Music 
  • The Damned: Late 70s British Punk band turned Progressive Rock/ProtoGothic (before it was even known as "gothic") in the early to mid-80s, with use of early electronic instruments. Cites influence from many different genres, and has a singer who dresses like a vampire and sings like a pub crooner.
  • Blondie: Starting off in the Punk Rock and Garage Rock movement but their discography gradually covered pop, hard rock, new wave disco, rap reggae, calypso, motown and electronica. Most critics either call them a punk band with pop tendencies or a pop band with punk tendencies, but the band would admit that they don't belong to any classification. They not only brought a lot of variety to pop music, but they also challenged punk's ethos of being anti-disco and helped to create new wave in the process.
  • The Residents are, um, avant-garde classical punk psychedelic synth-pop... usually.
  • Bands like Mr. Bungle, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Estradasphere, Iwrestledabearonce and uneXpect take this so far that they can only be vaguely classified as experimental metal.
  • Rip Rig & Panic (featuring a young Neneh Cherry on vocals) were a post-punk, jazz, rock, funk, soul, dance-pop, rock, classical... you name it... band. Their collaborators include everybody from Don Cherry (Neneh's father) to Ari Up of The Slits, to Nico.
  • Speaking of gorillas... Gorillaz also blends rock, hiphop, reggae, pop and other influences together.
  • They Might Be Giants: The only way to place them within a genre is to a slap a big fat "Alternative" sticker on every song they write. The best example is the album "Mink Car", which basically has a song from every single genre of music they could think of. The best example within a single song is Fingertips from the album Apollo 18 which basically consists of a few bars each of no fewer than 21 other songs, across a variety of styles, speeds and genres.
  • Movits! is a Swedish swing hip-hop jazz band.
  • Happens all the time in electronic music. Sometimes, producers use different artist names/stage names for their different genres/niches.
    • Pendulum, in particular, is one notable example. Two parts band members and one part DJ, they formed together to produce mostly aggressive drum & bass music. Over time, their sound became more commercial and developed into a rock-electronic fusion group with live performances.
  • Japan has spawned not one, not two, but a ton of outright weird musical acts:
    • The entire Visual Kei movement. Heavy Metal meets Goth meets Neoclassical Punk Zydecorockabilly taken Up to Eleven meets Bishōnen meets Elegant Gothic Lolita meets badass clothing meets Japan. There's no easier way to describe it.
    • Post-Visual Kei metallers Dir en grey are particularly notable for this. They used to be an alternative metal band, nothing too out of the ordinary for a Japanese band. Except for the fact that they were a lot noisier than most bands during their time. Slowly they began to experiment with Metalcore, Nu Metal, Death Metal, folk music, psychedelic, Shoegazing, doom metal, funeral dirge music, symphonic, mathcore and outright weirdness (not that they weren't already a bit odd since the very start), resulting in each album getting progressively weirder and crazier.
      • Lampshaded: The band officially recognizes itself as "uncategorized", even stating in their official website that "it is unnecessary to even classify them in any way". Creates a lot of Mind Screw for critics.
      • Other bands have independently achieved the same level of weirdness (such as Sigh, see below), but very few have achieved considerable success (they are often labeled as one of the most successful cult bands in the modern metal scene). This is the band that took Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly way too far and eventually set standards for Crazy Awesome music in the Japanese rock/metal scene.
      • UROBOROS isn't considered by fans as their masterpiece for nothing, as the album features considerably more weirdness than any release before it. Their latest album, Dum Spiro Spero continues the trend, and has gotten compared to Mr. Bungle, Opeth, Meshuggah, SikTh and Slipknot all at the same time.
    • Japanese metal band Sigh have become famous for this as well. They began as fairly straightforward Black Metal and got progressively weirder, peaking with their album Imaginary Sonicscapes, which was equal parts Psychedelic Rock, Jazz, Orchestra, Progressive Rock and Heavy Metal. All of their albums since have been just as weird, thanks to their liberal use of Genre Roulette.
    • High and Mighty Color was also this. Though often classified as alternative metal, they also played straightforward J-pop, hard rock, post-hardcore, punk rock, metalcore, nu metal, and a whole salad of other genres. The Japanese rock scene has yet to give birth to a band that can be considered a successor.
      • J-pop/rock band Dazzle Vision is possibly the most likely to be the said successor. Equal parts J-pop, metalcore, nu metal, electronic and hard rock. Still, they aren't even close to sounding like a proper successor.
    • Blood Stain Child used to be a straightforward Melodic Death Metal band. From Idolator onwards, they've introduced elements of Nu Metal and trance music. Later albums added Industrial Metal, eurobeat, J-pop and catchy, cute, dance-worthy weirdness. The formula works very well.
    • Maximum the Hormone is also notable for this. A self-proclaimed Nu Metal band that cites Korn as an influence. Not your typical Nu Metal band, though, since they're also a pop band, rock band, punk band, funk band...any band, except that they're not any of those. They put on and off genres as if they were clothes.
    • X Japan is well-known for blending Hair Metal and pop ballads with straight-up Thrash Metal, something that totally caught metal purists off-guard in The '80s, a time when metal bands focused on achieving a "pure" sound.
    • Japanese kawaii metal band LADYBABY defies easy classification, as it's a band that wholeheartedly embraces kawaii culture and blurs grindcore and its screaming vocals and lightning riffs, J-pop and its upbeat, heavily electronic beats and hooks, lyrics that are safe for fairly young children, and an aesthetic that has the band dressing like Sailor Moon knock-offs. The three fronts for the band wear supremely cute lolli-inspired outfits. Two of them, Rie Kaneko and Rei Kuromiya, are 19 and 16 year old Japanese females (as of 2016), while the third, Rick Magarey, is a bearded Australian cross-dressing professional wrestler in his early thirties - and he's the one with pig tails. Kaneko and Kuromiya deliver their vocals with the perky, high, very feminine sound you expect from the poppiest of J-pop while Magarey delivers his vocals with a scream you might expect from grindcore bands like Napalm Death or Brutal Truth. It's a strange mix best experienced for oneself, so here's a link to one of their songs on their official Youtube channel.
  • Progressive metal band Mastodon sound pretty much like every single band you've listened to, whether it be hard rock, prog, heavy metal, southern rock, experimental, psychedelic, southern rock, alternative, maybe even a little country here and there, and loads of other genres too plentiful to list here, all somehow put together. And it's awesome.
    • Case in point: The song "Megalodon". Opening with a strange jazzy section, then metal, then a country lick out of nowhere, and then different metal. In the first minute and a half of a four minute long song.
  • Crotchduster: Unclassifiable death metal band that incorporates over one hundred different genres of music in one album
  • Goth-rock legends Bauhaus certainly were the Ur-Example of the genre, but there's no single way to quite describe their sound... Their original single, "Bela Lugosi's Dead", so utterly defied description that "[You'd] find it in one music store under punk, and in another under reggae, and in others as jazz, pop/rock, psychedelic, and pretty much anything else you can imagine," (paraphrasing David J, the band's bassist). The rest of their work was equally so confusing- you could hear reggae ("Exquisite Corpse"), funk ("Watch that Grandad Go"), disco ("Kick in the Eye 2"), glam (they covered David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust"), jazz ("Party in the First Part"), punk (Brian Eno's "Third Uncle"), prog ("Silent Hedges"), Joy Division style post-punk (John Cale's "Rosegarden Funeral of Sores"), and endless other things... and yet, at the same time, all of their songs definitely sounds like them and only them.
  • Mindless Self Indulgence have made a career on their odd blend of synth-pop, hip-hop, industrial, and hardcore punk. They've decided to describe themselves as "industrial jungle pussy punk".
  • Frank Zappa was doing this as early as 1966. His albums blend rock, doo-wop, jazz, modern classical, humor and satire, studio experimentation, and any number of other elements.
  • Charles Mingus could be argued to be a genre masher. His music combined elements of beebop with dixieland, blues, free improvisation, and later on classical music. Check out his album "Let My Children Hear Music" to hear all of these elements work together.
  • Behemoth's second full-length, Grom is utterly unclassifiable. Their prior Black Metal sound is still there, but now there's elements of their later Death Metal sound...as well as Folk, Ambient, Progressive Metal, acoustic, and straight-up guitar rock. There's a reason why it remains one of their most polarizing albums among fans.
  • Destrophy blends several different styles each song, and it's still pretty difficult to categorize even if you break down every element they blend in.
  • Pink Martini is a weird postmodern classical retro-kitsch international-lounge/Tropicália jazz outfit which they themselves have described as "music for children and dogs."
  • Yoko Kanno, but she's more easily placed in the general realm of alt-rock.
  • Yuki Kajiura is post-pop neoclassical Buddhist New Age trance-turbofolk world music electronica.
  • Beck has done rap, jazz, pop, rock, hip-hop, blues, country, tropicalia, techno, experimental, indie, alternative, folk, anti-folk, dance, funk... Beck has really done a lot.
  • Metallica started out as one of the inventors of Thrash Metal. They have since moved to a more Progressive Metal style (Black Album through St. Anger), with stops at Power Ballad ("The Unforgiven"), Irish Folk Music ("Whiskey in the Jar"), Blues ("Low Man's Lyric") and Orchestral Metal (the entire S&M album/concert). For a while, even they weren't sure what they were. As of Death Magnetic, they seem to be a Progressive Thrash Metal band.
  • The Beatles: at first their songs were typical love songs, but overtime, they did power ballads, hard rock, blues, psychedelic rock (and oh how much!), folk rock, and, uh, whatever the hell this is.
  • Buckethead. Avant-garde, noise rock, jazz fusion, funk, jazz, thrash metal, bluegrass, instrumental rock, hard rock, progressive metal, heavy metal, experimental rock, funk metal, ambient, dark ambient, alternative metal, electronica, country rock, folk rock, experimental... Yes, he plays all of that. And more. Oh yeah, he also incorporates robot dancing, nun-chakus and chicken into his stage performances. It's safer to say that Buckethead is simply Buckethead.
  • van Canto. You think you've explored all genres of metal and suddenly, A Capella Epic Power Metal outta freaking nowhere.
  • The Script is an Irish alternative/soft rock band inspired by American "street" music.
  • Cormorant started out as Melodic Death Metal, which is represented in their debut EP. Their next album, though, is a weird mix of Black Metal, Death Metal (in both the melodic and the more traditional style), Doom Metal, Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal and Folk. Fans just started calling them "tiberian ass bastard folk".
  • Wintersun. Melodic Death Metal, Power Metal, Folk Metal, Black Metal, Symphonic Metal, and Progressive Metal influences can all be heard in their debut. Frontman/Guitarist/Bassist/Keyboardist Jari Mäenpää has given up on trying to classify and and calls Wintersun "Extreme Majestic Technical Epic Melodic Metal".
  • What to call Tangerine Dream? Progressive rock/New Age/World music/Electronic/Trance/God Only Knows? Further proof of how flawed these labels are to begin with.
  • Enter Shikari mixes post-hardcore with various electronic genres and in certain songs, rap.
  • Opeth is a Progressive Death Metal band with Jazz and Folk influences. Mikael Åkerfeldt has said that he just took elements from every genre he liked and sort of just mashed them together.
  • Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine were originally a two-piece whose songs usually consisted of witty punk rock-style vocals and cranked-up rock'n'roll guitars, played over backing tracks that sounded like Stock Aitken Waterman done on the cheap. They eventually got a full band line-up and became a bit more conventional, then broke up because nobody was enjoying it any more.
  • Devin Townsend's solo output generally falls under progressive metal, but albums like Terria go off at so many tangents that no one label could do them justice.
  • Tool: People have tried to classify them as such things as alternative metal, progressive metal, hard rock, but they don't seem to fit into just one genre.
  • Dream Theater: Are they progressive, alternate rock with metal elements, pop with metal elements, or downright metal? Not to mention all of the unique sounds in their songs...
  • Butthole Surfers: Many of their songs are not even identifiable as "music." They are loud combinations between rock, Avant-garde Music, Punk Rock, Alternative Rock, Noise Rock and Psychedelic Rock.
  • Oingo Boingo: Most pop music historians classify them as "new wave" or "ska", but then there are other critics who claim that they invented pop-punk. But they were heavily influenced by traditional African and Indonesian music, jazz, and classical (and country to a lesser extent). But some of their songs are so solo-driven ("Dead Man's Party," anyone?) that they would fit comfortably on most classic rock stations. Frontman Danny Elfman even said, when asked to sum up his band's ethos: "I wanted to piss everybody off!"
  • Kaizers Orchestra. You could, if you had to, classify them as Rock, in it's most broad sense. More specifically, depending on the song, you'll find polka, Eastern European folk music, surf rock, gypsy rock, jazz, whatever the hell Maskineri is, and so forth. They've also been described as a "punk rock Tom Waits", and Tom Waits desribed them as "Norwegian storm-trooping tarantellas with savage rhythms and innovative textures". Whatever that means.
  • TNT: Wikipedia classifies them as Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, AOR, and Hair Metal while some of their fans think their earlier albums have touches of Progressive Rock.
  • Incubus. While their albums might be similar in terms of style, each album contains songs that are pretty different to any of the others on that album, more so on the earlier albums.
  • Coheed and Cambria. Some people call them progressive metal. Some people call them alt-rock. Some call them pop-punk, post-hardcore, alt-metal, hard rock, prog-rock or even emo. In a way, all of them are right....
  • Amorphis is a metal band (generally), but no one really knows what the hell they are beyond that. While their early material was pretty straightforward death/doom metal, their later material has been decidedly more oblique, mixing progressive rock, folk metal, melodic death metal, gothic rock, power metal, and jazz fusion to create something that can only really be described as theirs and theirs alone.
  • Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: Gangsta Rap, speed rap & Hardcore Hip-Hop fused with barbershop doo-wop harmony.
  • To a lesser extent, Disturbed. We know they're rock, that's for sure, but that's as close as anyone can tell. They're too melodic for Death Metal, too consistent to be Alternative Metal, and no mention of Nu Metal will EVER end well. Might have to do with the band explicitly saying "We just play what we want and let the execs figure out which rack to put it on."
  • The Agonist get described variously as Metalcore, Melodic Death Metal, Death Core and Progressive Metal, with most emphasis on the first in their first album, and more emphasis on the last in their later works. Given their notably evolving sound throughout their various albums (and sometimes even within albums) they might qualify for Alternative Metal as well.
  • Cognitive definitely feels like this. While unmistakeably death metal, they mix it with brutal death, technical death, mathcore, progressive metal, and deathcore in such a way that it's very, very difficult to find a more detailed genre description that fits.
    • For that matter, there's also their buddies in Hammer Fight, who mix traditional heavy metal with hardcore, thrash metal, death metal, and punk rock in a manner that manages to be unbelievably catchy and fun but also very difficult to classify at all.
  • Master blender John Zorn, also fond of the Genre Roulette. Most of the time he blends free jazz, modern classical, metal, even grindcore and klezmer, among others.
  • Matisyahu mixes rap and reggae with Jewish (particularly Hasidic) spirituality
  • The Beach Boys/ Brian Wilson's legendary unfinished SMiLE album can be described as a Psychedelic Doo-Wop/ Rock Barbershop Quartet recorded in distinct modules. But you should also add Americana to the mix. And several classical influences, from Bach to Stravinsky and Schoenberg. And some Varèse thrown in at good measure as pertaining to tape experiments. And Phil Spector's production methods (although more nuanced than his Wall of Sound) , folk, classical choir arrangements , circus music, impressionist music, jazz, musique concréte (and in the case of Vega-Tables, this is taken literally), the american-centered compositions of Gershwin, baroque pop, Yodelling and ragtime (along many more), all meant to achieve a "Teenage Symphony to God" that sounds like an ever-flowing painting by a Disney cartoon. One should also mention Smiley Smile, the substitute to the aforementioned album, after its infamous cancelation. Attempting to describe its minimalistic miasma of weirdness and near cynical self-deprecation is almost a disservice to it. Songs like Wind Chimes must be heard to be believed (in stereo is the recomended option).
  • Susumu Hirasawa, music nerds continue to fail finding a genre for him. The closest they got was "technopop" but that doesn't explain where the Wagnerian pomp and marches come from.
  • Arguably the most famous Breakcore musician, Venetian Snares fuses the genre with a host of other influences, including Classical, IDM, and Dubstep.
  • A truly insane example of Breakcore genre-blending is Igorrr's music, which mashes up (to name a but few genre) Breakcore, Baroque, Death/Doom/Black Metal, Polka, Gregorian Chant, Cabaret Music, Swing, Noise, and things less classifiable. And it's even weirder than that description makes it sound.
  • Exmortus has combined thrash metal, death metal, power metal, 80s hard rock, and shred into a cohesive package that is still exceedingly difficult to classify. Melodic Death Metal is probably the closest that one can come to finding a conventional label that sticks, but even that is flimsy at best.
  • Bethlehem is notoriously hard to classify. Their early work combines elements of Black Metal, Doom Metal, and Death Metal with a very strong atmospheric element, and has come to be known as their own unique style called "Dark Metal" (after their first album). Their later work can really only be adequately described as gothic-tinged Experimental Metal.
  • Macabre mixes thrash metal, death metal, grindcore, hardcore, punk rock, and traditional folk songs and nursery rhymes into a bizarre final result that they refer to as "murder metal".
  • Deep Purple's Live Album Concerto for Group and Orchestra (1969) is a performance where the rock band collaborated with a classical orchestra. At first they perform one at the time, but as the concert evolves they melt together into one Genre-Busting soundscape.
  • Linkin Park has always been a mix of rock, electronic, metal, and hip-hop. Which of these ingredients takes prominence depends on the song.
  • Lorde mixes a variety of different sounds that give her equal appeal to both Pop and Alternative audiences. To wit, her music has elements of Dream Pop, Electronica, Synthpop, Minimalism, Ambient, Indie Pop, Art Pop, Dark Wave, Contemporary, and even a few traces of Hip-Hop can be found in the beats. It's not often that a song can top both the Billboard pop and alternative charts, but her Breakthrough Hit "Royals" did just that.
  • Full of Hell feels like this. They mix together metalcore, sludge metal, powerviolence, noise, and industrial in a way that gives one a case for referring to them as any one of these genres; while they all fit, they also paradoxically don't fit. The only way to really describe them is something along the lines of "Trap Them attempting to sound like Man Is the Bastard while covering Throbbing Gristle and Prurient at the same time", but even that really doesn't adequately describe them.
  • System of a Down sounds like nothing else. While they are metal, what kind of metal is almost impossible to describe. They're funny, political, and completely unorthodox. At the same time, they're also very approachable for non-metal fans, giving them more listeners than other metal bands can dream of. The term Nu Metal has been used to describe them before, but that's often met with disdain. They often get the tag of Alternative Metal, but they sound completely unlike those acts as well. Avant-Garde Metal and Progressive Metal are sometimes applied to them as well.
  • With each album, Rotting Christ has gotten harder and harder to classify. With their current mix of black metal, traditional heavy metal, Greek folk, gothic rock, neofolk, and industrial, they form a sound that really can't be pigeonholed into any existing genres. Gothic Metal is the most common label that people give them as of now, but even that is flawed at best.
  • Diablo Swing Orchestra is a Progressive/Avant-Garde Metal band that has elements of Big Band, including a permanent Trombonist and Trumpeter. On top of that, they add elements of Symphonic Metal, including a Cello and operatic lead vocals. And then they'll often throw in other genres when they feel so inclined.
  • Issues combines the hard-hitting instruments of metal with the vocals of Top 40 music. The Soprano and Gravel dynamic between the two lead vocalists are like other Metalcore bands, but the R&B singing of Tyler Carter makes him contrast even more with the Harsh Vocals of Michael Bohn. Also, they have a DJ as an official member of the band, making tons of scratches like a Nu Metal band. They also experiment with other genres seemingly at random.
  • In part because they played Hardcore Punk when it had still been largely an Unbuilt Trope, Dead Kennedys are an example of this. In some of their songs they display elements of Surf Rock, Rockabilly, Spaghetti Western soundtracks, Psychedelic Rock, and even (occasionally) Progressive Rock. A few later hardcore bands took some of these influences, but very few of them used all of them.
  • Evanescence's genre is notoriously hard to pin down. Are the Alternative Metal, Pop, Alternative Rock, Nu Metal, Goth, or Hard Rock? How about all of them? Or... neither? They've even had Christian Rock and Emo tagged on to them, both of which are ridiculous accusations.
  • In This Moment's sound is hard to describe, especially their later material. Their music is loud, dirty, and abrasive, but are still able to get airplay on rock radio. Genres like Alternative Metal, Industrial Metal, Metalcore, Electronic Music, Gothic Metal, and Nu Metal come together in a blender, and fuse in such a way that it creates a genre that hasn't been classed. It's to the point where The Other Wiki can't agree on what genre to put them in.
  • Hacktivist is known for being very hard to pin down. They're possibly the only band that can fall under separate genres such as Grime, Rap Metal, Djent, and Nu Metal all at once. They also avoid the divisive or outright hated status that's often assigned to bands of the latter three genres, due to the instrumental prowess, the complex rap delivery that completely averts Piss-Take Rap and doesn't feel out of place at all (helped by the fact that they maintain their British accents), and the variety of mature lyrical themes relating to politics, conspiracy theories, corruption, and anarchy.
  • The Acacia Strain mixes elements of metalcore, beatdown hardcore, djent, sludge metal, and death metal into a package that, while accessible, doesn't really fit into any easy stylistic categories. While commonly called deathcore (a label vehemently disputed by Vincent Bennett), they don't really fit into that genre either; the easiest thing to do is just call them metalcore and leave it at that.

    Opera 
  • George Frederic Handel: Both Semele and Hercules blend elements of Italian opera seria (e.g. scenes alternating recitative and aria) and English sacred oratorio (e.g. choral writing) and also have traits not common to either genre (both plots are based on Greek myths, a common source for French opera of the period). Audiences of the time were really confused, particularly about Semele (people called it 'bawdy opera' and 'bawd-atorio'). It didn't help that Handel tried to mount the premiere of quite a raunchy piece as part of the Lenten season...
  • This is what Richard Wagner set out to do (and most would say he succeeded). His concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk was a fusion of all the arts - visual, theatrical and musical.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: At the time, all operas were written in the Italian style (except the French, which were seldom performed outside France). There were two types of opera: Opera Seria (dramatic) and Opera Buffa (comedic). Mozart was one of the first composers to blur the lines between the two styles, incorporating hilarious comedy into dramas and compelling drama into comedies. He even took this a step further, inventing the concept of "German Opera" with The Magic Flute (and to a lesser extant, Die Entführung aus dem Serail).
    • Even Don Giovanni, an Italian opera written in an essentially classic form and style, shatters conventional dramatic structures. There's no hero, the Anti-Hero Jerkass protagonist(?) dies, the alpha couple doesn't get married, and one of the few sympathetic characters is too weak-willed to do anything but be a menial serf to some other entitled creep. Neither tragedy nor comedy, it's just sorta there.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Space 1889: Science fiction in the past. Retro-science fiction (id est science fiction the way the first science fiction writers did it). Alternate history with alternate natural laws. One of the first examples of steampunk.
  • Rifts is set in a universe that has gone through culture-changing advances in science, an apocalypse, a return of magic, an alien invasion, and a tearing of the space-time continuum that in the core book alone you can play as a genetically manipulated super-soldier, anthropomorphic dog, psychic warrior, cyborg, techno-wizard, dragon, or hobo, just to name a few.

    Theater 
  • There is a classic story about the first two productions of The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. The first production was very sad and melancholic, and the audience left the theater deeply moved. The second production? The audience was laughing so hard the walls shook. So which is it, comedy or tragedy? None can say (though Word of God claims comedy).
  • Nathaniel Lee deliberately played with his audience's expectations in The Princess of Cleves, which he called a 'farce, comedy, tragedy, or mere play'.
  • Romeo and Juliet was the first play to combine the idea of comedies and tragedies. In a typical comedy, there are young lovers who live Happily Ever After. In a typical tragedy, there are political figures and families that feud and kill people. All of this happens in Romeo and Juliet. Except the happily-ever-after part.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE, as a whole. It has magical epic fantasy, cyber-city sci-fi, plenty of action (both regarding the usage of special powers, or plain hand-to-hand combat), a Cosmic Horror Story or two, war tales, crime and mystery, western-ish Desert Punk, some mild philosophizing, tells moral fables, and showcases various kinds of humor (sarcastic and dry verbal jokes, or visual Slapstick). Comes in the form of plastic toys, comic books and novels, 2D and 3D animations and Direct-to-Video movies, magazines (at least in Europe), free-to-read online stories, even audio podcasts, and its music ranges from rock and techno mixes of varying hardness to orchestral choirs, tribal drums and hums and almost rural-sounding chimes. The toys also blended traditional LEGO bricks and standard Technic pieces with the unique Bionicle parts. The early Tarakava models, for instance, had a midsection built up purely by classic, studded bricks. Since the theme was still a member of the Technic umbrella-title then, some of these early Rahi sets looked more like mechanical playthings than animals. Then, there were the playsets, "normal" LEGO building sets that came with their own Minifugures, but often had a regular Bionicle figure thrown into the mix for good measure. Blending the vastly different building techniques has, in fact, become a standard practice for LEGO since then, and not-too-overspecialized pieces tend to creep over from one theme of sets into another.
    • LEGO as a whole can be this if approached with sufficient enthusiasm and/or a lack of focus. You've just built a stagecoach, a UFO, an X-wing, a medieval castle, Hagrid's hut and a police car? Time to get imaginative.

    Video Games 
  • LittleBigPlanet. On the surface, it's a platformer, but you can make racing levels, shooting levels, and even a take on Mario if you want to.
  • Pikmin is a Real-Time Strategy action-adventure puzzle game, all at the same time. Pikmin 2 adds Dungeon Crawling elements into the mix too.
  • Metroid:
  • All the original Might and Magic games switch from swords and sorcery to sci-fi towards the end. Trade in your maces and bows for blasters.
  • Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption. Wide Open Sandbox with focus on typical RPG elements like looting, morality and NPC interaction and the inclusion of a hunting system while still maintaining the third person shooter aspect and an even wider world designed for exploration and adventure..
  • Thief: Although it has since been recognized as a "first person stealth" game, journalists had trouble sorting it into any recognisable genre when it came out in November 1998. It plays from a first person perspective, yet it doesn't award killing like an FPS. It features lots of various puzzles, yet isn't an Adventure Game. It includes RPG Elements, yet isn't an RPG at all. Along with Metal Gear Solid, Thief practically defined the stealth game genre as we know it today.
  • Deadly Rooms of Death is part puzzle game, part hack and slash, part turn based strategy, and ultimately none of those things. The only classification it can consistently fit is that of extremely difficult games.
  • Brütal Legend is inclined towards being a Real-Time Strategy game, but your skills at Hack and Slash, Rhythm Games, and driving are often more important than RTS-related skills. The single player campaign being a Wide Open Sandbox further complicates slapping a genre label onto it.
  • Zeno Clash is a Stone Punk first person melee brawler with shooting elements.
  • Planetarium bills itself as an online "story-puzzle", and is about equally balanced in both Web Original and Puzzle Game elements. You can follow the unfolding story and ignore the puzzles, or focus more on the puzzles than the story surrounding them, or enjoy both the story and puzzles.
  • Soulcaster has elements of a Tower Defense while playing nothing like a normal Tower Defense, and elements of a top-down Action Game while playing nothing like a normal top-down Action Game.
  • NiGHTS was designed as roughly a platformer, but is far removed from the genre's core concepts: As you're in midair nearly all of the time, there's no actual running, jumping, or functional platforms. The stages loop endlessly, as your goal is collection rather than getting to the end. You're totally invincible, your only real opponent being the timer counting down. You must reach certain score quotas to advance. And sometimes, you transform into a bobsled. Indeed, you have just as many who say it's a platformer as those who say it isn't, and the only other genre it fits even microscopically into is as a Horizontal Scrolling Shooter with no shooting and total free roaming.
  • Gobtron. You play as a giant pink monster and defend against waves of enemies by using its snot, spit, burps and farts.
  • Don't Shoot the Puppy doesn't fit into any genres of video games; in fact, it's barely a video game at all as you will trigger a sentry gun shooting a puppy if you so much as move the mouse, regardless of distractions like messages that it's okay to move the mouse and the puppy seemingly stopping. As an extra middle finger to the player, not moving the mouse after one level can cause the game to time out.
  • Blast Corps starts out hard to classify, what with the main goal being to rush in front of a runaway missile carrier with a motley assortment of increasingly-bizarre demolition vehicles to level anything in its path before it crashes. Then it starts turning into a puzzle as levels feature things like arranging cargo ships so the carrier can roll over water. Then it gains exploration elements as you hunt down the scientists, RDUs, and anything you haven't smashed to the ground yet. Then come the vehicle racing levels...
  • Killer7 is notoriously hard to describe. Much of the game is a Rail Shooter, except that you can freely move back and forth along the rails, which branch off in different directions, and the camera is in the third person when you're not aiming at things. Along with shooting enemies, there's also adventure and puzzle elements added as well that make it much like a Survival Horror game. The story, meanwhile, deals with a mix of foreign politics, government conspiracies, uber-powerful assassins, supernatural living weapons and just balls-out incomprehensible, nightmarish insanity.
  • The now-famous Warcraft map/mod Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars was this, though it was actually preceded by Aeon of Strife, a map for StarCraft. Its popularity spawned a genre variously known as Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games (MOBAs) or Action Real-Time Strategy games (ARTS). Many of these games are called DOTA-clones due to their similarity to the original Defense of the Ancients game, right down to copying the map out of it (and frequently, including many heroes which are extremely similar to the heroes present in the original game), but the genre has since expanded to include games such as Awesomenauts, which are certainly in the same genre and yet decidedly not clones.
  • Deus Ex director Warren Spector said in an analysis of the game, "Conceptually, Deus Ex is a genre-busting game (which really endeared us to the marketing guys) — part immersive simulation, part role-playing game, part first-person shooter, part adventure game."
  • Napple Tale on Sega Dreamcast bills itself as a "Lovely Pop Action RPG". In practice, that translates to "2˝D Platformer where you have to talk to everyone and everything is really cute." It's critically acclaimed! Really!
  • Portal and Portal 2 are both technically puzzle games, but use an FPS engine and follow (or deliberately subverts) many of that genre's conventions.
  • Eversion is three types of games at once: platformer, puzzle, and horror.
  • Crypt of the NecroDancer is a cross between Nethack and Dance Dance Revolution.
  • Devil's Third is a Third-Person Shooter and a Hack and Slash game with a sprinkle of Beat 'em Up as well. The player character is capable of changing from third-person shooter gameplay to Ninja Gaiden-style swordplay in an instant and deal with foes both up close and at range (plus using Good Old Fisticuffs as well).
  • In keeping with Simogo's motto of not making games of a specific genre if doing so would impede the gaming experience itself, Year Walk can most accurately be described as a point-and-click first-person Survival Horror and adventure iOS side-scroller puzzle game.
  • Is One Finger Death Punch a Beat 'em Up? Or a Rhythm Game? Or both?
  • Asura's Wrath:
    • Along with traditional Beat 'em Up gameplay, there are Rail Shooter elements as well.
    • Other elements of this include that there are no Action RPG elements like Devil May Cry or Bayonetta have, (like getting new weapons or collecting stuff like a Heart Container), nor is there a upgrade of stats. Asura's stats instead change depending on the episode.
    • One can also add in Fighting Game thanks to a coming DLC that pits Asura against Ryu, complete with the health bar, super gauge and Ultra gauge from Street Fighter IV (although in Asura's case, the latter two are replaced by his Burst and Unlimited Mode Gauges).
    • A review has pointed out that while this might not really be considered a "game," but as a multimedia experience, it is a memorable one.
  • Guilty Gear 2: Overture is part hack-and-slash and part single-player "massive online battle arena" (think League of Legends, which came out the same year) with a button to give the player characters race car controls, and a separate screen to control your MOBA units with a real-time strategy interface. Keep in mind the rest of the franchise is your bog-standard Fighting Game series.
  • Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure: a blend of graffiti mini-games, combo-based brawling, Prince of Persia-style platforming, a bit of stealth and Experience Points thrown in for good measure.
  • Dungeon of the Endless is part Roguelike, part Real-Time Strategy, part Turn-Based Strategy, and part Tower Defense. This video sums it up quite nicely.
  • Pixel Junk Nom Nom Galaxy is an odd game that combines elements of tower defense, buisness simulation, and farming, all layed with a Terraria-style sandbox-survival gameplay.
  • In terms of gameplay, Kingdom Hearts is a pretty standard hack and slash (though Chain of Memories did include some kind of weird card game sysstem on top of it somehow), but in terms of plot it's as genre defying as it is confusion. The hero travels through multiple worlds on a spaceship visiting and helping local populace which sounds pretty straight sci-fi, but he also knows magic and wields a giant key like a sword. There's no advance technology despite the spaceship except when there is like in the Tron worlds. Artificial life is present and is created both scientifically and via magic. It doesn't just stop at science fantasy though. The hero fights the evil in peoples hearts which can manifest as cute little creatures a foot tall, to complete eldritch abominations, to weird armored...things? There's some solid horror present with the sort of things that can be done to a person in this universe. Some games end in friendship conquers all type plots while others are absolute tragedies. Given the fact that by very concept the story is about following the plot of multiple Disney movies it inevitably is going to pull from a very wide range of themes, genres and aesthetics leaving one with something that doesn't seem to fit into any category even when it uses completely original characters and settings.

    Visual Novels 
  • Is Umineko: When They Cry a mystery or a fantasy? Neither! It's more of a fantastical romantic mystery with a tinge of horror and Jungian-psychological elements.
  • 07th Expansion's next big work Rose Guns Days is part Film Noir, part slice-of-life, part political drama, and part… something. While it is far from the Mind Screwy Deconstructor Fleet Umineko was, the work is still hard to classify, especially considering its rather schizophrenic tone − sometimes light-hearted, sometimes dark and cynical… in some cases in the same scene.
  • Dangan Ronpa could initially be described as a Visual Novel courtroom adventure game ala the Ace Attorney series, mixed in with some Social Link elements from the latter two Persona games. Only the courtroom scenes also regularly feature minigames with lightgun-style shooter and rhythm game elements where you literally shoot down your classmate's arguments. The story is also a mix of Ace Attorney's own murder mystery/courtroom drama combination and Battle Royale-style thriller with some (allegedly) post-apocalyptic elements showing up near the end.
    • Super Dangan Ronpa 2 takes all this, adds a snowboarding-esque minigame to the pool of trial minigames (don't ask; it's weird even for Dangan Ronpa), and then adds on top of all the plot elements from the previous game everything in the game taking place in a VR simulation.

    Webcomics 
  • Sluggy Freelance started out as simply a Fantastic Comedy, then (while still keeping comedy a staple) started playing Genre Roulette with soap operatic drama, epic fantasy/science-fiction, spy stories, horror, film noir, and so on. However, thanks to the constantly accumulating continuity, story elements introduced while handling one genre will still be around when another genre takes the foreground, creating some weird combinations. Like sci-fi epic "Oceans Unmoving" having a lead character who's a Talking Animal that went to war with Santa Claus. Or the wacky adventure of "A Time for Hair-raising" drawing upon Torg's past as an action hero and Gwynn's past as a victim of Demonic Possession. Or the dark, brutal story told in "Fire and Rain" still having a Zoe-gets-turned-into-a-camel gag.
  • El Goonish Shive crosses a few. It starts out like a comedic slice-of-life comic, quickly adds sci-fi and drama, then fantasy, then it retcons the sci-fi into fantasy. Currently it's kind of a mix of the lot. And weird.
  • Problem Sleuth and Homestuck of MS Paint Adventures are both very difficult to classify. They're online comics, except that the readers basically choose the direction stuff moves in (at least they used to; the readership is too large now). Homestuck in particular ping-pongs between a Satire/Parody/Pastiche, other comedy elements, Slice of Life, and a (fairly) serious epic fantasy/sci-fi Myth Arc that draws heavily from Superhero stories and creation myths. At a few points it even throws in flash-based interactive point-and-click sequences where the reader/player can control one of the main characters directly! The creator however does say that despite the Cerebus Syndrome, it is and always will be a predominantly comedic series. Homestuck is even Medium Busting. One part Interactive Comic, one part game, one part novel, one part animation, one part puzzle, one part something else? It's impossible to define, with the official designation having settled on "thing".
  • Last Res0rt is a sci-fi vampire Furry Comic about a Deadly Game Reality Show, with some supernatural elements, a Magical Girl squad, and even a little Coming of Age (well, coming of vampire age) thrown in for good measure.
  • Garfield Minus Garfield involves taking old Garfield strips and removing every character except Jon Arbuckle, leading to a bizarre, Dadaist portrayal of him as a bipolar/schizophrenic loner. Especially strange since each source comic can have only one possible outcome, making it a constrained webcomic turned Up to Eleven.
  • Wapsi Square describes itself as a "slice of supernatural life" comic, but it is a bit more complicated than that. For starters, there's the save the world plotline without any antagonist. Then there is the protagonist's constant attempts to convince herself and those around her that the comic is actually on the other side of Clark's Third Law (she gives up eventually). It's rather hard to explain.
  • The Dragon Doctors blends a bunch of different possible genres into one. It's about magical doctors solving weird problems in a fantastic setting that nonetheless resembles a lot of modern-day life, but the doctors spend as much time fighting evil as adventurers as they spend time as healers, plus there are plenty of slice-of-life moments mixed in to even out the pace. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's very dark. Transformation is rampant but it's far from the actual point of the comic, unlike most Transformation Comics; instead, it's just a consequence of the magical setting. Emotional healing is given as much priority as physical healing, too, unlike most Patient of the Week deals.
  • Tower of God: Modern Fantasy, mystery Shounen tournament, a maturity more commonly seen in seinen works, aspects of a political drama, mind game series and a declaration by the author that every season will be another genre along with affectionate parodies of those genres (you know, when all the death, betrayal and broken dreams get a little too hard on you).
  • Joseph & Yusra: It's a Slice of life romantic comedy thriller supernatural war story.

    Web Original 
  • For its first two chapters, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a musical, superhero deconstruction, romantic comedy about a wannabe mad scientist supervillain and his attempts at gaining power (frequently detailed, of course, in his video blog). Then the last chapter ends with elements of classic tragedy, the only remotely sweet and sympathetic character dying in the most gut-wrenching, Whedon-specialty way possible. The montage that follows, however, still includes some brutally funny moments.
  • This trope was featured in Episode 4 of the TV Tropes podcast On the Tropes.
  • The Solstice War is nominally "Military Fiction," but it also has the trappings of dieselpunk, epic fantasy, alternate history, period romance, queer fiction, and even anime.
  • Survival of the Fittest, just like Battle Royale, the work that inspired it, is pretty much impossible to place in one genre. A class of students being abducted and forced to kill each other with very close attention to their personal experiences has led to a rather diversive mix of horror, action, romance and even comedy, all thanks to the multitude of different writing styles that occurs with so many authors in one place.
  • Video Game High School is a high school action/comedy/drama with elements of sci-fi, Sports Stories and of course, Video Games. It often uses Video Game Tropes as plot points.
  • The Nostalgia Chick: Discussed in a review of Sleepy Hollow, where she notes that this can also give something an Audience-Alienating Premise:
    "It's not going to satisfy history fans because it's so wildly inaccurate and different from the source material; comedy fans won't like it because it's not really funny; it's not serious enough to be ironically funny; and the doofy tone is bound to turn off most hardcore drama fans. Mystery or romance fans won't like it because it's so gory, it won't satisfy gore fans because the gore is so fake and goofy-looking...I guess the reason I kind of like this movie is 'cause it...kind of gives a big-old middle finger to genre."
  • Pyongyang Racer, North Korea's online browser game designed to promote tourism, involves driving around a mostly deserted city that looks nothing like actual Pyongyang and collecting things while a police officer, taking up a large portion of the screen, insults you.
  • While Welcome to Night Vale perhaps has a leg up in this regard due to it being in the unconventional medium of a radio-drama, its genre could perhaps be best described as a slice-of-life comedy horror with healthy dose of science fiction and romance.

    Western Animation 
  • Phineas and Ferb has a specific work in-universe: "... [A] twenty-eight volume science fiction swashbuckling historical romance tell-all potboiler mystery satire buddy cop adventure tragedy how-to action novel!"
  • Adventure Time is a comedy in a world that's mostly fantasy, but where science fiction elements are almost as common. It also has plenty of horror elements and, as the series goes on, a lot of drama as the characters' motivations and back stories are revealed. It also occasionally turns into a supernatural survival drama, whenever certain characters' back stories come up.
  • The Legend of Korra is generally described along the lines of "Urban Fantasy mixed with action genre", or "a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender several decades down the timeline". But, it is rare for urban fantasy to be set in a full-blown Constructed World, and only in the first season the show's actually confined to an urban environment. The overall aesthetic and background details resemble Diesel Punk, but unlike for (what currently passes for) the genre standards, the centrality of the supernatural element moves it at least as close to Dungeon Punk. And as a Sequel Series, it retains the Supernatural Martial Arts and messianic hero as crucial parts of the franchise, in spite of them better suited for the old epic fantasy format. Altogether, the series could qualify as honorary member of New Weird movement, but even then breaking the stale genre conventions wasn't ever the point — which leads us back to defining its genre by its relation to the original series.
  • Steven Universe is a super hero show as the Crystal Gems protect humanity from monsters with unique powers and weapons that have a well-defined system, many themes and fantasy elements give it a Magical Girl flavor while not specifically conforming to genre standards as technically none of the Gems are what you'd call girls and don't transform from a mundane form. It's a romance story as emotional bonds between characters are a core theme of the show with Pearl and Greg's love for Rose Quartz, the fusion between Ruby and Sapphire, and Steven and Connie's mutual attraction shape many events of the series. It's also a lighthearted comedy with many surreal and silly moments with a lot of character-based humor, that is when it's not a dark drama with a disproportionate amount of Body Horror and psychological complexity with flashbacks to a war story set within a Space Opera setting. The show dedicates many episodes to cute Slice of Life situations that sometimes disguise a complex backstory and mystery about Rose's secrecy and past. So it's a comedic, Animesque Slice of Life romantic dark horror Coming-of-Age Story as the Magical Boy protagonist protects the Earth against aliens that frequently include musical numbers and sexual themes.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GenreMashup