-> ''"I thought that the business, the industry, the presentation needed to change in the same way that music had changed, because music was all about Music/{{Poison}} and Music/MotleyCrue and Music/{{Winger}} and all these [[HairMetal hair bands]], and then along came Music/{{Nirvana}}, and '''BAM!''' The whole industry changed. So in the same way, I thought wrestling needed to change, in that wrestling had become the equivalent of hair bands, and we needed wrestling's version of Nirvana to come along and just shake everything up."''
-->-- '''Wrestling/PaulHeyman''', ''The Rise and Fall of Wrestling/{{ECW}}''

While a WhamEpisode can change a single series forever... sometimes, something comes out that permanently alters an entire genre. It wasn't the first entry into the genre, nor was it the last, but things were never the same after it came out. This often -- but far from exclusively -- happens with particularly notable {{Deconstruction}}s; once one story has pointed how a certain genre will play out ''in reality'' this can cause a ripple effect across other stories in the genre. However, it doesn't always have to be a Deconstruction. Some shows can radically redefine a genre without taking it apart. {{Reconstruction}}s can have the same effect; incorporating ''realistic'' elements into the old-school storytelling can make the genre look new again.

Usually seen as a good thing, although there are genre fans who will feel negatively about it.

Compare WhamEpisode, GenreKiller, FromClonesToGenre, GenreRelaunch, FollowTheLeader. Good chance of being a {{Trope Maker|s}} or TropeCodifier.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The HaremGenre was invented by ''Manga/UruseiYatsura'', but was ''re-invented by Anime/TenchiMuyo'', which refined and popularized the "harem anime" formula (ordinary guy lives with a bunch of attractive, quirky girls). In addition to the episodic plots it had longer story arcs and a protagonist one would want to ''root for'' instead of smack. Six years later, ''Manga/LoveHina'' further tweaked the formula by dropping the action/fantasy elements of ''Tenchi'' in favor of a straight-up romantic comedy, making TheProtagonist more of a sadsack, upping the wacky hijinks and setting new rules for the genre: namely, an UnluckyEverydude male protagonist who lives with a bunch of girls (the {{Tsundere}}, the HardDrinkingPartyGirl, the {{Ojou}} with the HimeCut, the ShrinkingViolet and the Exotic Foreign Girl) who all fall in love with him simply because [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan he's a nice and sensitive guy]], with the gaps in the plot smoothed over with dollops of fanservice. Almost every harem series since has followed its lead. Haters of this cannot forgive Creator/KenAkamatsu.
* It was [[MenDontCry NOT okay for men to cry]] in anime before ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''. Afterwards, however, tears became a symbol of [[ManlyTears honorable masculinity]] tempered by [[TenderTears a kind and gentle heart.]]
* The original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' revamped the HumongousMecha genre, single-handedly invented most RealRobot plot devices, and, along the way, ushered the {{Otaku}} subculture into existence (though to be fair, other shows helped it in the latter).
* And before that ''Anime/MazingerZ'' is generally credited with changing HumongousMecha as piloted craft as opposed to something controlled by TheKidWithTheRemoteControl. Its near contemporary ''Manga/GetterRobo'' added the CombiningMecha to the mix.
* ''VisualNovel/YamiToBoushiToHonNoTabibito'' and ''Manga/KannazukiNoMiko'' showed that {{Yuri|Genre}} anime could be profitable; ''Anime/{{Simoun}}'' showed that it could be TrueArt.
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}''. Before it came out, it was distressingly common to see anime films and shows targeted toward older audiences horribly {{Macekre}}d so they could fit into the AnimationAgeGhetto. After it came out, people in the West finally got the idea that anime movies didn't have to be targeted towards kids at all. Ironically, ''Akira'' was released by Macek's Streamline Pictures studio.
* The effect ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' had on the [[MechaShow mecha genre]] was similar to the effect a hammer has on an egg. It was the first giant robot show based around the concept that being a [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent naive teenager]] [[FallingIntoTheCockpit thrown into the cockpit]] of a [[HumongousMecha massively powerful war machine]] and forced to fight [[{{Kaiju}} titanic alien invaders]] to save humanity would ''[[GenreDeconstruction really suck]]''. Since the release of the show, a lot of genre anime (mecha or otherwise) has been influenced by the show's themes.
** ''Evangelion'' can even be said to have taken the trope UpToEleven, as it can easily be pointed towards as a Turning Point for the TV Anime as a ''medium''. Before ''Evangelion'' the vast majority of TV Anime were either manga adaptations or family oriented programs. ''Evangelion'' turning out to be a surprise breakthrough hit paved the way for several AnimeFirst properties which were more experimental and explored significantly darker and more mature themes, such as ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' and ''Anime/RevolutionaryGirlUtena'' for starters.
** Its influence in anime and animation as a whole can also be found in the main cast, while Rei Ayanami [[ReiAyanamiExpy became the most notorious example]] of the character archetypes that Evangelion brought, there were many others as well: the archetype of the socially-awkward, snarky protagonist whose bravery is mostly limited to the battlefield can be traced back to Shinji Ikari (although Shinji himself was heavily influenced by ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'''s Amuro Ray); the red-haired/themed, hotblooded and aggresive {{Tsundere}} girl with a dark past (and arguably, foreign ascent) is traceable to Asuka Langley Soryu; and finally, the mysterious, white haired character with an ambiguous attraction to the main character is the product of Kaworu Nagisa.
* ''Manga/DragonBall''. The series introduced and/or codified many {{Shonen|Demographic}} tropes such as the innocent IdiotHero with a large appetite, the TournamentArc, etc. Its influence can be seen in many different anime and manga series to this day. Critically, Goku had the potential to learn and grow, in contrast to predecessors like Kenshiro of ''FistOfTheNorthStar'', who rarely learned new techniques or increased his physical abilities, instead existing in a constant state of badassery.
* ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' was another 80s shonen series that marked a transition from the old style to the modern style, contributing much in terms of promoting the values of friendship and teamwork in a FightingSeries, in contrast to lone-wolf heroes like Kenshiro, as well as featuring a far more {{Shoujo}}-like art style, which was later seen in series like ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' and ''Manga/YawaraAFashionableJudoGirl''.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'' made the MagicalGirl genre switch from the CuteWitch type to the MagicalGirlWarrior type, as well as mash in elements of {{Sentai}} that persist in the genre to this day.
** More broadly, it ushered in a revival of TV anime aimed at a broad general audience, in contrast to {{Otaku}}-bait [=OVAs=] that had dominated the anime market in the latter 80s, prior to Japan's "bubble economy" bursting and bringing the OVA market down with it. Of course, [[CyclicTrope otaku-bait did eventually rise to dominate the market again]].
* The development of sophisticated CGI that allowed elaborate dance sequences to be created on a TV budget led to the boom in the IdolSinger genre from the late 2000s to present. Said dance sequences can also be seen in some anime outside the genre, such as ''Franchise/PrettyCure''.
* ''Anime/MajokkoMegChan'', from 1974, was an important milestone for MagicalGirl shows, as it was [[MultipleDemographicAppeal the first show to be marketed to boys as well as girls]], and featured a number of developments--it was the first MagicalGirl show with a tomboyish heroine, a rival to the heroine, a ''really'' [[BigBad evil]] villain, and also the first that includes {{Fanservice}} tropes (with LovableSexManiac characters), and serious issues like DomesticAbuse, extramarital relationships, drug abuse, death etc.

* The Ford Model T turned the automobile from a luxury toy into something everybody could afford, putting millions of Americans on the road and creating an industry thanks to Ford's innovative use of the assembly line. Ultimately mass motorization would change cities more than the previous millennia of human culture had.
** The Volkswagen Type 1 "Beetle" in Germany, the Fiat 500 in Italy, the Citroën 2CV in France, and the Subaru 360 in Japan did much the same in their respective countries after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.
* The Mini started a revolution in the use of interior space in automobiles, with its ability to seat a family of four comfortably despite its, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin minuscule]] size thanks to how all the parts were arranged to maximize the room in the passenger compartment, most notably with its combination of a front-wheel drive drivetrain and a transversely-mounted engine -- a configuration that became the standard for passenger vehicles once fuel economy concerns forced automakers in Europe and later the US to build smaller cars. The Cooper S performance model, meanwhile, invented the "hot hatch", its performance at rally events demonstrating that subcompact cars could be fast and fun to drive, a formula that would be further refined and popularized by the Volkswagen Golf GTI in TheSeventies. Nearly every compact car built since TheSixties bears some of the Mini's DNA.
* [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment While we could go back and forth about the accuracy]] of Ralph Nader's 1965 book ''Unsafe at Any Speed'' for days on end, the fact still stands that the public's reaction to it forced automakers to start seriously considering the safety of their cars. In its wake, a host of new safety features, most notably seat belts, airbags, and the "Nader bolt" on car doors, began popping up in new cars, some of them mandated by law, while chrome plating (which produced blinding glare) and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_door "suicide doors"]] (so name because they made it easy to be thrown out of the car in a crash) all but vanished.
* When the 1973 gas crisis hit the United States, the Detroit automakers were caught completely off-guard with their lineup of large, gas-guzzling sedans and muscle cars that few people wanted to buy anymore, while the Japanese companies that had been selling tiny, fuel-sipping econoboxes suddenly saw booming business. The history of the automobile in America can roughly be divided into "pre-1973" and "post-1973", such was the impact of the gas crisis: the Japanese (and to a lesser extent the Germans, particularly Volkswagen) became major players in the American auto market, Detroit correspondingly fell into a decade-long DorkAge that it's [[NeverLiveItDown still feeling the hangover from]], a flurry of new regulations on fuel economy and emissions emerged, and big gas-guzzlers fell out of fashion for a generation until the rise of the SUV in the '90s.
* The launch of the BMW 3 Series in 1975 changed the definition of what a luxury car could be. While it wasn't the first luxury compact (even from BMW itself), it was the car that proved, especially to Americans, that the phrase "luxury compact" wasn't an oxymoron, and that smaller sedans could be just as desirable to own and drive as their larger roadboat cousins -- an especially attractive proposition for buyers at the height of the aforementioned energy crises. It also created a much greater demand for performance in luxury cars, not merely pampering drivers but also allowing them more finesse behind the wheel. By the TurnOfTheMillennium, even Cadillac, a brand synonymous with old-fashioned luxobarges, would be following BMW's lead in building smaller, more high-performance sport sedans like the CTS. The impact of the 3 Series was such that, when Lincoln relaunched the Continental sedan in 2016, it was immediately noted that it stood out from other luxury cars by very consciously ''not'' trying to copy BMW.
* Chrysler's "K-cars" are remembered by history as [[SoOkayItsAverage bland, mediocre econoboxes]] that a generation of '90s teenagers drove as their first cars (hence the name of the band Music/RelientK). [[FairForItsDay When they were first made]], however, they saved Chrysler. Teetering on the edge of bankruptcy in the early '80s and only kept afloat by a government bailout, the company's fortunes were turned around almost overnight by the K-cars' success. The Plymouth Horizon/Dodge Omni hatchbacks and Plymouth Reliant/Dodge Aries compacts proved that American automakers could build small cars that could compete with the Japanese, vanquishing the legacy of crap like the Chevrolet Vega, the AMC Pacer, and especially Chrysler's old Dodge Aspen and Plymouth Volaré. (The [[TheAllegedCar terrible build quality]] of those two cars forced Chrysler to shell out millions to repair cars under warranty, playing a large role in bringing the company to the brink in the first place.) The Plymouth Voyager and Dodge Caravan, meanwhile, pioneered a new type of vehicle, the "minivan" that had the cargo space of a station wagon but far superior fuel economy. And when taken as a whole, the K-car platform also popularized the use of modular platforms among automakers, as building vehicles that were essentially the same car, just with different bodies placed atop them, led to greatly simplified production and reduced costs versus designing each car with a separate platform. Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca became a national icon for turning Chrysler around, with many attempts to get him to run for President.
* In Europe, the Renault Espace came out around the same time as the Voyager/Caravan, and played a similar role in popularizing the minivan (or as it's known in Europe, the multi-purpose vehicle, or MPV) there. The Espace was actually designed at Chrysler's European subsidiary in the late '70s, but there seems to have been no contact between the designers of the two vehicles -- they both found a good idea independently.
* While sports car engineers had long known of the importance of aerodynamics in improving high-speed performance, the Ford Taurus family sedan was the car that demonstrated its value in improving fuel economy as well. The car's streamlined styling greatly reduced drag at highway speeds and allowed it to [[{{Pun}} sail straight through]] stringent fuel economy tests without sacrificing performance, and between that and the fact that it [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Henry_Ford_Museum_August_2012_74_%281986_Ford_Taurus%29.jpg looked awesome]][[note]]It may be hard to appreciate today, but in 1986, a time when the [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/1986_Chevrolet_Celebrity_2.5.jpg Chevrolet Celebrity]] and [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9c/%2783-%2784_Ford_LTD_Sedan_%28Orange_Julep_%2707%29.JPG Ford LTD]] were representative of American sedans, a car like that resembled something straight out of a sci-fi movie. This may be why Creator/PaulVerhoeven used it for the police cruisers in ''Film/RoboCop1987''.[[/note]], it was a smash hit. GM and Chrysler, and later the Japanese and German automakers, soon began to recognize that aerodynamic styling could improve even non-sporty cars, and by the '90s it had become standard in automotive design. By the '00s, however, a backlash emerged from car buffs out of a sense that letting wind tunnels carve a car's lines was making every vehicle on the road look like an amorphous, elongated blob, and the TurnOfTheMillennium saw a return to more distinctive (yet still aerodynamic) styles.
* While the idea of combining a station wagon with a truck goes back to TheForties, two automobiles are often credited with inventing the sport-utility vehicle, or SUV, in its modern form.
** The first is the Jeep Cherokee XJ, launched in 1984. While the term "sport-utility vehicle" had been invented (by Jeep itself!) a decade prior, past wagon/truck mashups typically hewed much closer to the "truck" side of the equation, with vehicles like the Ford Bronco and the Chevrolet [=K5=] Blazer being essentially pickups with rear seats and enclosed beds.[[note]]There had been some luxury [=SUVs=] since TheSixties, but the energy crisis prevented vehicles like the Jeep Wagoneer and the Range Rover from attaining mass market share as family vehicles.[[/note]] The Cherokee XJ, however, was built on a unibody platform that offered a smoother ride without sacrificing utility and off-road capability, demonstrating that an off-road vehicle could be a practical daily driver for families.
** If the Cherokee was the {{Trope Maker|s}}, then the Ford Explorer, launched in 1990, was the TropeCodifier. It gave the SUV pizzazz; while it was built on the Ranger truck platform, it added numerous car-like creature comforts that made it a serious competitor to the station wagons and large sedans that ruled the family vehicle market up to that point, bringing back the old-fashioned landyacht automobile in a new, truck-inspired form. As other automakers spent the '90s and '00s imitating the formula that Ford laid down, wagons and full-size sedans all but died out as the SUV became the new symbol of suburban Americana, and even the aforementioned minivan saw its popularity take a downhill slide.
** Ironically, the Explorer itself would be unable to enjoy the greatest fruits of the SUV boom. Its reputation was [[DeaderThanDisco irrevocably tarnished]] by a rollover scandal involving tires made by Firestone (a longtime corporate partner of Ford), leading to the collapse of its own sales just as the [=SUVs=] it inspired (including Ford's own Expedition and Excursion, both of which [[HummerDinger made the Explorer look like a tiny clown car]]) were taking over the road. And in another irony, the Explorer since 2011 has been a crossover utility vehicle -- the very sort of vehicle that killed the style of [=SUVs=] that the Explorer had popularized, taking their niche in the American market.
* The impact of the SUV's combination of power and luxury eventually trickled back to pickup trucks themselves. The second-generation Dodge Ram that debuted in 1994 proved that trucks could be more than just workhorses -- they could look good and be nice to drive as much as any car or SUV. From there, the development of pickups and [=SUVs=] went hand-in-hand, and smaller work trucks like the Ford Ranger and the Chevrolet S-10 fell by the wayside as pickups followed [=SUVs=] in becoming lifestyle vehicles, some of which have been [[http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2016/01/25/the-best-selling-luxury-cars-are-now-pickup-trucks/ seriously compared]] to traditional luxury cars in terms of amenities. Indeed, some have blamed the Ram for, in the long run, making trucks too expensive for the average blue-collar contractor or farmer (the original market for pickup trucks) to purchase new.
* The Toyota Prius, for all intents and purposes, invented the hybrid as we know it today. Many automakers had experimented with the idea before it (the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lohner-Porsche Lohner-Porsche]] was built and sold as far back as ''1901''), but the Prius proved that alternatives to the internal combustion engine could be commercially viable, in a way that GM's contemporaneous [=EV1=] pure-electric car failed to do. The second generation (2003-09) model in particular defined the sleek, high-tech styling that came to be synonymous with hybrids and other 'green' cars, shifting their image from hippie-mobiles to cutting-edge technological showpieces.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the American comic industry, the creation of The ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica began a pivot for the medium that nobody would've anticipated. While simply made to be a place to put characters who didn't sell that well, this was the first time that original works were in the same book together in the medium. This began building up the idea for creating a SharedUniverse for their characters, and the beginning of the {{Crossover}} in the medium. Ideas that would lock the two big main comic companies into place in the far future for the worlds they would create.
* An example that isn't actually a "work": the outrage caused by the book ''Seduction of the Innocent'' led to the creation of UsefulNotes/TheComicsCode. This killed horror and crime comics, then among the biggest hits for the industry, while saving the superhero genre, which was sinking at the time. This also led Creator/MarvelComics to give Creator/StanLee and Creator/JackKirby the green light to experiment, as they were hurting in the wake of this turn in the medium. (Which in turn led to the Marvel Age.) All of this led to the terms "comic book character" and "superhero" being almost interchangeable in the North American market.
* UsefulNotes/{{The Silver Age|OfComicBooks}} changed superhero comics forever. It introduced more flawed and relatable characters, more sophisticated themes, and more complicated plots. This led to an eventual shift in the target audience for comics from children to late teens/young adults.
** It is generally accepted that [[Franchise/TheFlash Barry Allen, the second Flash]], was the character that kicked off the Silver Age, complete with sleek, form-fitting, cape-less costume, more [[ScienceMarchesOn scientific...ish]]...origin, and a RoguesGallery of gimmick villains.
** ''Comicbook/FantasticFour'' introduced a family team whose members clashed and bickered from time to time, and it showed that superhero stories could firmly anchor themselves in the real world without sacrificing any of their inherent fun. The Four lived in the real world of 1960s New York rather than a fictional CityOfAdventure like [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Metropolis]] or [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Gotham]], they didn't bother with [[SecretIdentity Secret Identities]], they were world-famous scientists and philanthropists in addition to being superheroes, their nemesis was the truly dangerous dictator of an Eastern European nation rather than a simple criminal, and their famous blue jumpsuits were a more realistic alternative to the flamboyant costumes that other superheroes wore. On top of that, The Thing pioneered the idea of a superhero who [[CursedWithAwesome viewed his powers as a curse]].
** ''Comicbook/IncredibleHulk'' got a lot of attention as an ambiguous hero who was neither entirely a superhero nor entirely a monster, and his series pushed the boundaries of the Comics Code Authority by depicting the United States military as antagonists (the Code stipulated that comic books couldn't portray respected organizations in a negative light). With his anger, his inherently flawed nature, and his troubled relationship with authority figures, he also went on to become a counterculture icon, showing the potential for superheroes to act as a voice for the youth.
** ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' broke the mold as a teen superhero who was not a sidekick and had no mentor or guide, was [[HeroWithBadPublicity hated by most of the public]], and initially [[MoneyDearBoy tried to use his powers to make money]].[[note]] Okay, so ComicBook/PlasticMan started out as a thief, but Spider-Man still had a huge impact on the genre.[[/note]] His first issue, where he resolves to protect the innocent [[TheAtoner to atone for]] [[MyGreatestFailure selfishly refusing to stop the burglar that went on to kill his beloved uncle]], definitively established him as a flawed young man [[ComingOfAgeStory with a lot of growing up to do]], rather than a moralistic crusader out to punish evildoers.
* Creator/JackKirby's move to DC. The Comicbook/NewGods is often considered the beginning of UsefulNotes/{{the Bronze Age|OfComicBooks}}.
* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' and ''Comicbook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' more or less ushered in UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks. ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', in turn, would end it.
* Creator/ToddMcFarlane gained much acclaim for his artwork on ''Comicbook/IncredibleHulk'' and ''Comicbook/{{SpiderMan}}'', especially because he drew with exaggerated details and body contortions. This style later paved the way for Creator/RobLiefeld as writer and artist of ''Comicbook/NewMutants'', where he created Comicbook/{{Cable}}. His work on ''Cable'' and ''Comicbook/XForce'' kicked off the art style of UsefulNotes/TheDarkAgeOfComicBooks.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' changed NewspaperComics permanently. It gave strips the license to address deep and (sometimes) dark issues and not just be simple gag-a-day escapism. However, Charles Schulz's signature simple artwork gave newspapers the idea to reduce the size of the comic panels and force all the future artists to simplify their artwork to the point where all the art look like rushed cut-and-paste jobs. Again with ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', which carried the intelligent and philosophical underpinnings of Peanuts forward while marking the beginning of the pushback against the "Schulzian" artistic simplification.
* Harvey Pekar's ''ComicBook/AmericanSplendor'' showed that comics could depict adult life without idealizing it.
* ''ComicBook/TheAdventuresOfLutherArkwright'' was an independent New Wave style ScienceFiction comic made by Creator/BryanTalbot in the 70s, the techniques and story telling he used have had large impact on many other writers and artists. Creator/WarrenEllis has said "LUTHER ARKWRIGHT invented the tools. ARKWRIGHT informs Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Creator/NeilGaiman, Creator/GarthEnnis, me, and all the rest of us. It's probably Anglophone comics' single most important experimental work."
%%* ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'' started in 1977 and has been the most popular British comic of the past few decades, granted it's faded a bit but it was the starting place for influential creators like Creator/AlanMoore and Creator/GrantMorrison.
%%** More than just them, too. Chances are if there's a significant British creator from the last 30 years, he's almost certainly done something for 2000AD, even if it was just a one-shot Future Shock.
* Creator/AlanMoore starts writing Comicbook/SwampThing. From one writer no one in America had heard of on a dying third-string title at DC we eventually got the whole of Creator/VertigoComics, Marvel's Max Imprint and not a few smaller publishing houses (Avatar, for example).
* Creator/ChrisClaremont starts writing the ''Comicbook/XMen''. Creator/MarvelComics had been soap operas before that point, but Claremont's writing made the soap truly operatic in scope. Mainstream modern superhero comics, including the deconstructions of Creator/AlanMoore and others, were changed forever by the popularity of Claremont's writing style. (Yes, Byrne's art had something to do with it too, but Claremont stayed on the title a lot longer and had a lot more influence.)
* Creator/ImageComics did a lot to change what was possible for both creators and the comic book medium.
** Before they were formed by seven former Creator/MarvelComics creators, the only mainstream options were Marvel and ComicBook/DCComics when it came to reaching a wide audiences that wasn't Creator/ArchieComics. Neither company allowed the creator to own what they made, and only gave them modest pay despite playing a part in the creation of {{Cash Cow Franchise}}s. This in turn lead to the seven creators to form Image, under the idea that the creator will ''always'' own what they make. It was an instant success, even beating out ''DC'' at the time. Furthermore, it pushed the boundaries of what was possible for a comic book to reach for an audience. With the only option before being superhero comics, the only way to make comics more mature, often non-superhero fare was through small indie companies. Image, having become a place where creators can make their own original IP and succeed, meant there was much greater diversity on the market. This was especially true after the below example.
** ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead'', published by Image, was the catalyst for changing the landscape of comic book industry. Before, Image was largely superhero-oriented and attempted to be a part of a SharedUniverse. ''The Walking Dead'', being part of its own independent continuity with a non-superhero storyline and mature themes, was an instant success that few could've predicted would happen. This was the point where Image would [[GrowingTheBeard greatly diversify their lineup]], and comics that wouldn't have been possible to be successes before were becoming sellers, especially since neither Marvel or DC would want anything to do with them. Comics like ''ComicBook/{{Phonogram}}'', ''ComicBook/MorningGlories'', ''ComicBook/EastOfWest'', and ''ComicBook/{{Saga}}'' were made possible by the success of ''The Walking Dead''.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* "A Fragment out of Time", published in ''Spockanalia'' (a Franchise/StarTrek fanzine running through the seventies), was the first known SlashFic to hit wide distribution. Virtually ''every'' YaoiFangirl can thank Diane Marchant, who originally published anonymously.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' showed that not only can animation be entertaining and longer than 5 minutes, but that the audience can be emotionally connected with animated characters. ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' was a surprise sensation in 1989, revitalizing interest in animated features. For years afterward, its musical fantasy structure was the default setting for Western animated features. It was eventually overtaken by the Creator/{{Pixar}} CGI boom, but arguably no CGI film has had the kind of positive impact on the genre that ''Mermaid'' did.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' ushered in a period of {{Deconstruction}} for fairy tales, resulting in {{Fractured Fairy Tale}}s such as ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'', ''WesternAnimation/HappilyNEverAfter'', and ''WesternAnimation/{{Hoodwinked}}''. The genre later began {{Reconstruction}}, with ''WesternAnimation/TheTaleOfDespereaux'', ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog'', and ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''. ''Shrek'' is also blamed by fans of traditional animation for [[GenreKiller ending the dominance of traditional animation]] and bringing about the rise of {{All CGI Cartoon}}s laden with [[ShoutOut pop cultural references]] [[UnintentionalPeriodPiece that would become dated within months]], an over-reliance on ToiletHumour, overuse of ParentalBonus and GettingCrapPastTheRadar to the point where it gets annoying, and gratuitous celebrity casting. Granted, Creator/WarnerBros had done pop cultural references [[OlderThanTheyThink back in]] UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation, Franchise/{{Disney|AnimatedCanon}} has been [[CelebrityVoiceActor casting big name celebrities]] in their films since ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'', and ''every'' animation studio has slipped crap past the radar in their films, but ''Shrek'' and [[WesternAnimation/SharkTale similar]] [[WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}} movies]] are the culmination of these trends, for better or for worse.
* ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' (1995) spawned the [[AllCGICartoon CG boom in animation]], which eventually took over Western animated film.
** ''Toy Story'' was also the major turning point for celebrity voice casting as a major selling point. Bringing in celebrities to do voices was not new, but such roles were usually typecast. ''Toy Story'' featured two main voices that really weren't bringing anything special to the table (in contrast to far more notable voices like, say Creator/VincentPrice brought to a villainous role, or Creator/PaulLynde to a sneaky role), but were marketed as a big thing.
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' may not have invented the CelebrityVoiceActor trope [[note]] A handful of early animated films in the Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon featured voice actors who were actually pretty well-known for other things in their day. For example, Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards (Jiminy Cricket in ''Disney/{{Pinocchio}}'') was a popular jazz musician, as were Phil Harris and Louis Prima (Baloo and Louie in ''Disney/TheJungleBook''). And ''Disney/TheAdventuresOfIchabodAndMrToad'' memorably featured the voices of Creator/BasilRathbone and Creator/BingCrosby.[[/note]] but Creator/RobinWilliams' performance as the Genie ''was'' the definitive TropeCodifier that almost single-handedly opened voice-acting up to all of Hollywood. With the overwhelmingly positive response to Williams' take on the character--which utilized his [[SignatureStyle trademark comedic style]] to great effect--he turned voice-acting into a "respectable" gig that practically every actor in the business wanted to take a crack at. For perspective, Creator/BeaArthur had previously turned down the role of Ursula in ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' just three years before ''Aladdin'' hit theaters--but ''after'' it was released, we got Creator/JamesEarlJones and Creator/MatthewBroderick in ''Disney/TheLionKing'', Creator/MelGibson in ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'', Creator/JasonAlexander in ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'', Creator/DannyDeVito in ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', Creator/EddieMurphy in ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'', and Creator/MinnieDriver in ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}''.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/ATripToTheMoon'' invented the film industry as we know it, being one of the first explicitly fictional fantastic narratives brought to life on the "silver screen" in an era where most people were using movie cameras simply to capture small [[SliceOfLife slices of everyday life]]. It also showcases early examples of special effects such as screen wipes and {{stop trick}}s that would eventually become stock-in-trade for the medium.
* Creator/DWGriffith's ''Film/{{The Birth of a Nation|1915}}'' established the popularity of movies as public entertainment, codified the feature length film with its extended running time, long-form narrative, new editing techniques, film grammar (long-shot, medium-shot, close-up). Despite being reviled today for its shocking racism, few historians deny that ''The Birth of a Nation's'' giant box-office success invented the blockbuster film, EpicMovie and got many moviegoers and producers around the world invested in the movie business, thereby inventing Hollywood itself.
* Creator/CharlieChaplin's short films made him the world's first movie star and media celebrity, it also codified the basic repertoire of motion picture slapstick comedy in live action as well as animation. Chaplin's use of comedy to communicate social issues of poverty and homelessness, the underdog nature of the Tramp also made him a favorite among avant-garde artists who cited him as their inspiration for cinema that was both fun and relevant.
* Creator/SergeiEisenstein's ''Film/TheBattleshipPotemkin'' showed that rather than following theatre and movie stars, cinema can communicate deeper and more intricate meaning via montages and editing techniques, greatly expanding the vocabulary beyond the realist limitations of theatre and literature. Its radical political message also, for better and worse, introduced the concept of using cinema as political propaganda.
* ''Film/TheCabinetOfDrCaligari'' was this for GermanExpressionism and showed the power of set design, art direction, lighting and cinematography to communicate visual atmosphere and mood, rather than simply relying on intertitles. It also showed, in a very primitive fashion, that movies could have stories that were psychologically insightful and thought-provoking just by being visual, rather than merely aping the novel or theatre.
* Creator/FritzLang codified many features of genre film-making in the 20s-30s. His ''Die Nibelungen'' was the first large-scale fantasy epic, ''Dr. Mabuse'' and ''Spies'' marked the start of the spy movies with NGOSuperpower and supervillains running society via surveillance networks, ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' and ''The Woman in the Moon'' was the birth of the science-fiction epic and the latter film invented the countdown. Lang's movies inspired superhero comics, with Superman's city named after his film, his supervillains like Dr. Mabuse, Rotwang and Haghi inspiring via PopculturalOsmosis everyone from Lex Luthor to Blofeld. ''Film/{{M}}'' likewise was the first major movie about a SerialKiller and its greater realism and more accurate look at policework inspired the true crime genre and police procedural. These films inspired FilmNoir and Lang after arriving in America, contributed [[HeAlsoDid to that genre]] as well.
* ''Film/TheJazzSinger'' wasn't a particularly good film beyond [[DancingBear its gimmick]], but that gimmick, the use of sound, changed the film industry across the world. The arrival of sound introduced more realistic acting, putting the end of many stars who came to prominence in the silent era. Silent comedy of the likes of Creator/BusterKeaton and Creator/HaroldLloyd were left out of the lurch, while Creator/CharlieChaplin became far less prolific and more cautious. It also marked the start of Hollywood's global rise to prominence. Formerly, simply replacing the intertitles from one film in local translation made it possible for Italian, French, Russian, and Swedish movies to have global audiences. The language barrier led to the greater hegemony of English-language cinema around the world, as Hollywood, with its vast American and British markets far outstripping the smaller, linguistically-restrained national cinemas of other countries, was able to field the biggest budgets for the biggest movies. By the time the technology for dubbing and subtitles caught up, Hollywood was well into [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfHollywood its Golden Age]], and there was no looking back.
* ''Film/{{Scarface|1932}}'' by Creator/HowardHawks was not the first gangster film or even the first sound gangster film (that goes to ''The Public Enemy'') but it was the first crime movie that became a huge hit and created controversy since its main character was an {{Expy}} of [[UsefulNotes/AlCapone an actual criminal]]. Its non-judgmental use of a VillainProtagonist raised concerns about glorifying violence and raised enough fears among MoralGuardians that they demanded ReCut, not unlike the 1983 remake. Among moviegoers, Scarface and other Depression gangster films, was seen as edgy and innovative for use of contemporary slang that the working-class audiences recognized and used themselves, further showing the potential for sound cinema to be dramatically and socially realistic.
* TheWestern had been popular from the beginning of the movies with ''Film/TheGreatTrainRobbery'' but it faded when sound arrived. Then came Creator/JohnFord's ''Film/{{Stagecoach}}'', which marked the true start of the modern Western. It marked the star-making role of the greatest Western star, Creator/JohnWayne, location shooting of Monument Valley (the first time Ford shot there), realistic action sequences and also the use of the Western genre to make social commentary with civilization positioned as a corrupting influence on the natural and rugged frontier with greedy bankers standing in for AcceptableTargets during the Depression.
* ''Film/CitizenKane'' was the TropeCodifier if not the TropeMaker for a new kind of film-making. Where film-makers had used montage, art-direction, set design, performance and sound to tell stories before, Creator/OrsonWelles was the first to put it together into a single whole to create a new heightened kind of storytelling. Its GenreBusting approach used Mockumentary, multiple flashbacks and multiple narrators to tell a psychologically consistent story of three dimensional characters was considered as a sign that movies could be movies ''and still be'' as complex and modern as the best theatre and novels. By borrowing ideas and concepts from genre and epic movies (special effects, miniatures, multiple camera tricks) to a serious film, Welles committed major GenreAdultery. Likewise, Welles' unique contract became the TropeMaker for AuteurLicense and the fact that he made it at the age of 25 proved that cinema wasn't merely the work of established professionals but also open to upstarts and tyros as well.
* ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' and ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968'' are, along with the ditching of UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode and its replacement by the MPAA, widely credited for helping to turn the {{horror}} genre from "stories that are a bit spooky and feature the odd death" to "stories where AnyoneCanDie, deaths are bloody and brutal, and sometimes even TheBadGuyWins." Each of those films also helped to launch their own sub-genres of horror -- ''Psycho'' is considered to be the UrExample of the [[SlasherMovie slasher genre]], while ''Night'' single-handedly invented [[OurZombiesAreDifferent modern zombie fiction]].
* Creator/GeorgeARomero's ''Film/LivingDeadSeries'' as a whole has also been [[http://www.avclub.com/live/rust-belt-horror-george-romero-258355/entry/1663 credited]], along with the books of Creator/StephenKing in the literary world (see below), with giving the horror genre a more blue-collar focus, bringing it into weathered houses and soulless shopping malls in the [[DyingTown Rust Belt]] rather than gothic mansions and castles. He was also famous for using the genre as a vehicle for social commentary, his stories satirizing topics like race relations, consumerism, income inequality, and life in small-town and suburban America.
* Another horror example is the Creator/BorisKarloff film ''Film/{{Targets}}'', which unofficially marked the end of "MadScientist" type horror, with a turn towards more realistic villains like [[SerialKiller serial killers]]. The fact that it was one of Karloff's last films makes the change-over even more stark.
* ''Film/HeavensGate'', although not for the same reasons as most of the other examples: it was so bad, it [[GenreKiller killed]] the [[TheWestern Hollywood Western]] (at least for a time), [[CreatorKiller United Artists as an independent studio, and director Michael Cimino's career]]. It and other high-profile flops (''One From the Heart'', ''Sorcerer'') also killed the [[UsefulNotes/NewHollywood auteur period]] in Hollywood.
* Creator/WesCraven made ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}'' in an effort to kill the SlasherMovie once and for all. [[SpringtimeForHitler It did the exact opposite]], at least into the short term, [[PopularityPolynomial breathing new life]] into a once-dying genre and starting the late '90s/early '00s PostModernism craze in horror. In the long term, though, while it did reinvent the slasher for a new generation, it also killed off a lot of the tropes used in '80s slashers, such as DeathBySex and TheScourgeOfGod. Nowadays, most horror films in which young, horny, pot-smoking teens get killed off by a masked maniac, with the pure, virginal FinalGirl surviving to the end and defeating him, are either [[GenreThrowback tributes to the genre]] (like the ''Film/{{Hatchet}}'' and ''Film/WrongTurn'' series) or [[AffectionateParody parodies of it]] (like ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'' and ''Film/TheFinalGirls''), with straight examples often seen as cliched and trite due to ''Scream''[='=]s mockery of them. Indeed, one could argue that this was part of the reason why the slasher boom that followed ''Scream'' was so short-lived (besides the UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} massacre sparking a TooSoon reaction) -- many of the lesser teen slashers that came out in its wake played those same tropes unironically, even though they were now much harder to take seriously.
* ''Film/{{Halloween 1978}}'' didn't invent the modern slasher film, but it did [[TropeCodifier codify]] most of the tropes of the genre, launch the careers of Creator/JohnCarpenter and Creator/JamieLeeCurtis, and spawn a wave of imitators. Two years later, one of those imitators, ''Film/FridayThe13th1980'', turned the slasher flick into a {{horror}} staple by focusing on the {{exploitation|Film}} part of it.
* ''Film/DieHard'' did this for the action movie. Sure, there were smart thrillers with smart villains beforehand -- ''Film/DieHard'' itself could be seen as something of a remake of ''Film/NorthSeaHijack'' -- but after it came out, there were far fewer action films that featured invincible, unstoppable heroes (Schwarzenegger, Stallone) whose plots depended on {{Ass Pull}}ing solutions out of thin air than there were before. Plus, not many films rewrite the rules for the genre so heavily that a [[DieHardOnAnX subgenre]] forms around them.
* A decade later, ''Film/TheMatrix'' did the same thing, introducing mainstream Western audiences to [[HeroicBloodshed Hong Kong-style gunplay]], fight choreography living up to Asian action film standards of sophistication, and [[TropeCodifier codifying]] the use of BulletTime.
* And just a few years after that, ''[[Film/TheBourneSeries The Bourne Identity]]'' took action movies in the other direction, filling them with grit and stripping them down to basics in a seeming backlash against the over-the-top style of ''Film/TheMatrix''. It also took cinematic SpyFiction away from the flashy, over-the-top "[[TuxedoAndMartini Martini]]" style seen in the Creator/PierceBrosnan [[Film/JamesBond Bond]] films and more in a "[[DarkerAndEdgier Stale Beer]]" direction, to the point where even [[Film/CasinoRoyale2006 later]] [[Film/QuantumOfSolace Bond films]] followed its lead.
* ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet'' was the film that revolutionized film and television science fiction. Along with ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill1951'', it was one of the first science-fiction films ever to be treated as a big-budget studio endeavor (an "A-Movie") rather than a disposable lead-in to a main feature (a "B-Movie"), and the first such film to put its budget towards lavishly bringing an alien world and a distant future to life on the big screen. On top of that, it showed audiences the potential for using science-fiction to explore complex concepts and morals, incorporating an unlikely blend of [[Theatre/TheTempest Shakespearean drama]], [[UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud Freudian psychology]] and 20th century ideas about the destructive potential of science into its plot. ''Series/StarTrek'' would famously follow its example, building a franchise on using science-fiction tropes to deliver morality plays.
* Creator/SergioLeone's ''Film/DollarsTrilogy''. These films weren't the first {{deconstruction}}ist [[TheWestern Westerns]] -- the classics ''Film/HighNoon'' and ''Film/TheSearchers'' came out a decade before them -- but they left a far more lasting impact on the genre than those two films did. All of a sudden, the BlackAndWhiteMorality that was nearly omnipresent in the genre vanished, replaced with the grittier, more morally gray attitudes seen in such films as ''Film/TheWildBunch'', ''Film/HighPlainsDrifter'' and, much later, ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}''. Every single Western made since the mid-'60s owes something to Leone's masterpiece.
** And so actually owes something to the genius of Creator/AkiraKurosawa , given that ''Fistful'' is almost a shot for shot remake of {{Film/Yojimbo}} .
* ''Franchise/StarWars''. While ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' is usually regarded as the first modern "blockbuster" movie, this was the one that proved that kids -- a demographic ignored by most 1970s movies -- were audience members too, that [[MerchandiseDriven merchandising spinoffs]] were a potential gold mine, that escapist sci-fi wasn't as [[BMovie disposable as once thought]], and that fantasy in general was an untapped resource. The whole GenreThrowback genre originated here, and while FollowTheLeader meant there were many crappy imitators within the years that followed, it did lead directly to Franchise/{{Superman}} getting [[Film/{{Superman}} a big movie of his own]], thus launching the rise of cinematic comic book adaptations. It also helped launch the revival of rival series ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Indeed, some blame this movie for hastening the end of the "New Hollywood" era and leading to the dumbed-down SummerBlockbuster mentality of the industry today, especially once the ''sequels'' arrived. Furthermore, ''Franchise/StarWars'' fundamentally changed how movies were made because of the huge success the franchise had with marketing. Sure, the movies were profitable, but the real money was made in action figures and toys and posters and other kinds of merchandising. Any kind of family-friendly blockbuster is going to have [[KidAppealCharacter a cute character of some sort designed to appeal to children and sell toys to them.]]
* The ''Film/{{Superman}}'' movie proved once and for all that comic book adaptations didn't need to be cheesy or silly, with terrible budgets and special effects. Even the casting of Creator/ChristopherReeve was considered a bold move at the time, since Creator/RichardDonner insisted on casting a relatively unknown character actor so that it would be easier for the audience to believe that they were actually seeing Superman onscreen.
** It also showed that filmmakers could stay true to the spirit of a long-running comic book while incorporating just enough original ideas to make it work on film. Many ideas conceived for the movie (the crystal cities of Krypton, Zod's two Kryptonian henchmen, Jor-El surviving Krypton's destruction as a VirtualGhost, Superman's portrayal as a [[MessianicArchetype messianic figure]], the "S" emblem being the House of El's coat of arms, etc.) were original ideas with no basis in the comics, but they helped successfully sell the ''Superman'' mythos to a new audience, and many of them were received well enough that they were incorporated into the comics as official canon.
* In addition to [[DarkerAndEdgier pushing boundaries with its violence]], ''Film/{{Psycho}}'' helped show the world the true shock potential of the HalfwayPlotSwitch and the DecoyProtagonist, by famously [[GenreShift changing genres]] and introducing a new main character after the infamous shower scene. Though definitely not the first film with a major PlotTwist in its story, it paved the way for a whole slew of thrillers and horror films built on {{Shocking Swerve}}s and the anticipation of a TwistEnding. How influential was it? It's credited with leading to the advent of ''[[SeinfeldIsUnfunny movie showtimes]]'', as Creator/AlfredHitchcock specifically requested that theaters refrain from admitting viewers to the movie after it started, wanting ''everyone'' to be able to experience the big twist when it happened. Before that, it was actually considered normal for theaters to simply play movies in a loop, with moviegoers regularly walking in halfway through and leaving when it looped back around to where they originally came in.
* The ''Film/HarryPotter'' film series arguably did this for the SummerBlockbuster, just as [[Literature/HarryPotter the books]] did for young-adult and fantasy literature. To [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/escape-to-the-movies/3688-Harry-Potter-and-the-Deathly-Hallows-Part-II quote]] Creator/BobChipman:
-->[''Film/HarryPotter'' is] a film series that, for better or worse, seems to have kicked off and excelled at every major trend in modern movie-making for the last decade. Things like the boom in the {{fantasy}} genre, to the reliance on [[DerivativeWorks recognized franchise names]], to the idea of [[Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse long-running cinematic continuity]], can all be traced back to this one game-changing production. Like it or not, the entire scope of movies are now living in the world that ''Film/HarryPotter'' created.
** David Christopher Bell at ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' drew [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-ways-harry-potter-series-secretly-ruined-movies/ much the same conclusion]], though he had a somewhat darker take on it, viewing it as an [[FranchiseOriginalSin Industry Original Sin]] for Hollywood in general. He blames the ''Harry Potter'' films for the {{sequelitis}} and obsession with [[TheVerse long-running cinematic universes]] that increasingly overtook Hollywood from the '00s onward, at the expense of original ideas.
** Ben Kuchera of ''Polygon'' and Movies with Mikey, meanwhile, [[http://www.polygon.com/2016/8/18/12532392/harry-potter-prisoner-of-azkaban-marvel specifically]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAGh-_xVFq0 point to]] the third ''Harry Potter'' film in particular, 2004's ''[[Film/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban Prisoner of Azkaban]]'', as the film that "usher[ed] in the modern genre blockbuster". After Creator/ChrisColumbus departed from the franchise, bringing in Creator/AlfonsoCuaron was seen as a major risk given how "out there" his films tended to be, but his selection paid off handsomely with a film that gave new energy to the franchise and corrected most of the faults of Columbus' two films, something that was mainly accomplished by letting an auteur like Cuarón leave his own distinctive stamp on the material. Later on, Marvel Studios would take a similar approach when they were first constructing [[Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse their own cinematic universe]], tapping filmmakers like Creator/JossWhedon, Creator/JamesGunn, and Creator/ShaneBlack to make films that all existed in the same universe yet each bore their respective creators' fingerprints, a strategy that the ''Harry Potter'' films post-''Azkaban'' pioneered.
* Together like the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' films, Creator/PeterJackson's ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' films greatly raised the prestige of fantasy movies, much as the books had done for fantasy literature. Before then, fantasy films were generally limited to the FantasyGhetto, with only the rare ''Film/ConanTheBarbarian1982'' or ''Film/TheNeverendingStory'' emerging unscathed. Modern CGI also greatly helped filmmakers create convincing fantasy worlds that don't look like prop castles inhabited by stuntmen in rubber suits.
* ''Film/BladeRunner'' was a disappointment in a crowded summer box office when it came out. Repeated showings on cable and its release on video not only made it one of the first films to develop a strong cult following that way, but its wet streets reflecting neon signs at night got copied widely in other films, commercials and music videos during the 1980s. It arguably influenced the look of urban space in the ''actual real-world future'' ([[http://www.flickr.com/photos/59303791@N00/2518314792/ see Times Square, ca. 2008]]).
** Furthermore, this was the film that popularized the [[ReCut Director's Cut]], giving audience a better chance to see a film like the artists truly intended while the film companies are motivated to cooperate with the profit of selling another version of a film to the same audience.
* The ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' film franchise, especially ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', forever changed the narrative expectations of female characters in western futuristic stories. While one NeutralFemale or DamselInDistress character was the norm, now every primary female character in the future is expected to make like Ellen Ripley, grab a weapon, and join the fighting as much as any man.
* ''Film/AnimalHouse'' was probably the first "teen" movie to combine youthful angst with zany comedy -- which, in the ensuing decades, resulted in teen comedies becoming not only a lot more common, but a lot more serious as well. Also, while there were similarly shocking comedies before it (''Film/PinkFlamingos'', ''Film/BlazingSaddles''), it was arguably the first mainstream hit comedy to fully take advantage of the loosened restrictions of the post-[[UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode Hays Code]] era, allowing it to hit audiences with explicit sex jokes that would never have flown even a decade prior as opposed to just [[DoubleEntendre innuendos]]. This set off a boom in the American SexComedy genre in TheEighties as other such films pushed that much further with their comedy.
* And what ''Animal House'' didn't do, Creator/JohnHughes' teen movies probably did. ''Film/SixteenCandles'', ''Film/TheBreakfastClub'', ''Film/PrettyInPink'', and ''Film/FerrisBuellersDayOff'', all released in the span of just three years in the mid-'80s, took the problems of their teenage protagonists seriously in a way that few other teen movies had before, leaving a mark on a generation of filmmakers such that, if a teen comedy is not a SexComedy influenced by ''Animal House'', it's likely taking after Hughes' films. (Some draw influence from both, as seen with ''Film/AmericanPie''.) To this day, Hughes' takes on, and {{deconstruct|edCharacterArchetype}}ions of, various high school archetypes (the AlphaBitch, the JerkJock, the {{nerd}}, the {{delinquent|s}}, the [[LonersAreFreaks outcast loner]][[note]]As if to demonstrate the power that his films still have over the genre, you're probably thinking of the exact characters, all from the same film, that we're talking about here[[/note]]) still form the defining images of such seen in countless teen movies and TV shows.
* Early [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever giant monster movies]] like the 1927 version of ''Film/TheLostWorld'' or ''Film/KingKong1933'' had their monsters as prehistoric forces unleashed on the modern world. ''Film/TheBeastFromTwentyThousandFathoms'', on the other hand, was the first to have its monster as a blend of primordial chaos and the contemporary, future-fear of [[ILoveNuclearPower the atom bomb]]. For most of the remainder of the 20th Century, giant monsters were nuclear-powered (''Film/{{Gojira}}'' and ''Film/{{Them}}'' being the best of those that followed), and in a post-Cold War world, giant monsters still tend to represent some real-world, human-derived panic - ''Film/JurassicPark'' and [[GeneticEngineeringIsTheNewNuke genetic engineering]], ''Film/{{Cloverfield}}'' and terrorism, etc.
* ''Film/RoboCop1987'': When this film came out, the SuperHero movie genre seemed to have sunk with the embarrassing failure of ''Film/SupermanIVTheQuestForPeace'' earlier that year. However, ''[=RoboCop=]'' turned the genre around as a critically hailed hit SuperHero film that presented a cuttingly [[BlackComedy satiric]] SciFi {{cyberpunk}} thriller with a moving humanity that showed what the fantasy genre could be.
* ''Film/RogerAndMe'' (1989) forever changed documentaries. Beforehand, documentaries (of a non-musical nature at least) had been mostly confined to film festivals. ''Roger and Me'' demonstrated you could make a documentary that the masses would want to see, allowing other documentaries, including Creator/MichaelMoore's later ones, to achieve widespread box office and critical success.
* The 1965 film adaptation of ''Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic'' was [[http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/book-world-matthew-kennedys-roadshow-the-fall-of-film-musicals-in-the-1960s/2014/02/13/82c56f8e-8e69-11e3-b227-12a45d109e03_story.html described]] by Matthew Kennedy, in his book ''Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals in the '60s'', as "The Musical That Ate Hollywood". The staggering box-office success of this big-budget family musical (dethroning ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'' for the title of the highest-grossing film of all time) led to a slew of [[FollowTheLeader copycats]] determined to make lightning strike twice, many of which went down in history as notorious {{Box Office Bomb}}s that helped to [[GenreKiller discredit musicals for decades]]. Likewise, its use of [[RoadshowTheatricalRelease roadshow booking]], screening films at a select number of upscale theaters that charged premium ticket prices in exchange for a far more lavish moviegoing experience, led many more studios to use it for their musicals, cheapening a format that had once been reserved for [[EpicMovie the biggest spectacles]]. The trends that ''The Sound of Music'' started did severe damage to Hollywood in both the near and long terms, acting as TheLastStraw in the UsefulNotes/FallOfTheStudioSystem as audiences rejected paying inflated ticket prices for increasingly subpar movies.
* Though ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' was a family-friendly musical comedy, it was also the first big-budget Hollywood feature film ever to put its budget towards bringing a fleshed-out [[TheVerse fantastical universe]] to life on the big screen--something that had previously only been seen in disposable low-budget shorts like the ''Film/{{Flash Gordon|Serial}}'' serials released in the same decade. It definitely wasn't an epic HighFantasy, but it paved the way for more ambitious fantasy films (both originals and adaptations) like ''Film/StarWars'', ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'', and the ''Film/LordOfTheRings'' films. Tellingly, the studio insisted that the movie end with Dorothy waking up in her bed and assuming that [[AllJustADream her adventures in Oz were just a dream]], since they didn't think that adult moviegoers in the 1930s would take a ''real'' fantasyland seriously. [[note]] In Creator/LFrankBaum's [[Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz original book]], there's no such ending: Dorothy lands in her front yard after being swept away from Oz, she openly tells Auntie Em where she went, and Baum wrote several sequels that fleshed Oz out and left no room for doubting that it was a real place.[[/note]]
* While comic book superhero movies experienced various levels of popularity during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, it was on the basis of characters belonging to studios ''other'' than Marvel, most notably DC. ''Film/{{Blade}}'' in 1998 finally proved a Marvel character could be the basis of a popular movie.
** Also, ''Blade'' was arguably the movie that reinvented not only the comic-book film genre, but science fiction as well. Prior to 1998, most such films had 1) been gimmicky and (somewhat) [[{{Narm}} unintentionally campy]]; 2) set in surrealistic worlds, frequently with [[RetroUniverse "retro"]] or {{Zeerust}} touches; or 3) dealt only fleetingly, if at all, with serious real-world issues, sublimating them to the mindless action. The Wesley Snipes film, on the other hand, is set in late 1990s America, includes very little humor (and what there is of it is quite dark), features two "heroes" who aren't very inspiring and not exactly on the hunt for adventure (and one of them is dying of cancer!), and scales back the fanciful, gee-whiz element of earlier such films as much as it can; even the vampires are discussed in quasi-scientific terms and are given a plausible historical backstory. It solidified MovieSuperheroesWearBlack, which not even ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' had managed to establish. ''Blade'' was what opened the door for "realistic" sci-fi (''Franchise/TheMatrix'') and comic-book tales that took place in [[ThisIsReality what could almost pass for the real world]] (''Film/XMenFilmSeries'', etc.).
* ''Film/SpiderMan'' in 2002 had a massive role in popularizing the superhero genre in the 21st Century. It was the first wide commercial and critical success since the disaster of ''Film/BatmanAndRobin''. While ''Film/XMen1'', and ''Film/{{Blade}}'' had preceded it in Marvel properties, neither was the international success that ''Spider-Man'' was. The film's marketing also had a huge influence on Poster-Design, especially the amber-coloured background of the first two-posters, which was copied for ''Film/BatmanBegins''.
** Likewise, compared to Richard Donner's original ''Film/SupermanTheMovie'' and Tim Burton's ''Film/{{Batman}}'', both of which were essentially set in a ConstructedWorld and quasi-AlternateUniverse, and science-fiction/fantasy focuse of the ''X-Men'' movies, Creator/SamRaimi's ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'' had a greater sense of realism. It visibly looked like 21st Century New York, addressed the September 11 attacks and had characters who looked like contemporary adults grappling problems related to rent, work and careers. This set the trend for greater realism and contemporary focus in the superhero films that came after, even in the [[Film/TheDarkKnightTrilogy revived Batman trilogy]] by Creator/ChristopherNolan. The rival films that avoided the contemporary focus (''Film/SupermanReturns'', ''Film/GreenLantern'') were failures, so the trend set by Spider-Man remains a major influence on the house style for both DC and Marvel properties.
** The film's giant box-office success revived Marvel after heavy financial troubles in TheNineties and brought renewed attention to its properties and licenses, leading many of the other studios Marvel had sold movie rights to in TheNineties to greenlight productions to FollowTheLeader. While there isn't a direct line from this film to the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, it's unlikely that could ever have taken off without Sam Raimi's films.
* ''Zu: Warriors from the Magic Mountain'' (1983, Tsui Hark) was the first film to combine Hong Kong action cinema with western special effects technology, resulting in visually-stunning displays of SupernaturalMartialArts.
** ''Film/CrouchingTigerHiddenDragon'' sparked a wave of more arthouse-oriented ''{{Wuxia}}''.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' is the reason that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences now nominates as many as ''ten'' movies for the coveted Best Picture Oscar rather than the previously standard five. For that reason, it's often cited as an important contributor to the decline (though not outright ''death'') of OscarBait in TheNewTens. There had long been a bit of a backlash against studios who banked films' success on the possibility of being nominated for Oscars during the Winter months (reserving mere "[[SummerBlockbuster crowd-pleasers]]" for the Summer months), but the backlash became all but impossible to ignore when ''The Dark Knight'' failed to even get a nomination for Best Picture at the 81st Academy Awards, despite being one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2008. [[note]] Creator/HeathLedger's posthumous Best Supporting Actor award was the movie's only accolade in a non-technical category, and it might not even have gotten ''that'' if not for [[DeadArtistsAreBetter Ledger's untimely death bringing more attention to his critically acclaimed performance]].[[/note]] The resultant public outcry convinced the Academy to start nominating twice as many films for Best Picture, giving critically acclaimed genre films more space to be recognized by the Academy. Tellingly, ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', ''Film/{{District 9}}'', and ''WesternAnimation/{{Up}}'' were among the films nominated for Best Picture in 2009, while Creator/ChristopherNolan's own ''Film/{{Inception}}'' got nominated in 2010, as did ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3''.
* The Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse, of course, is the major turning point in not only superhero genres but blockbuster genres in general in the 21st Century:
** First of all, the MCU was a SharedUniverse much like its source material. Before ''Film/IronMan'' and ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', the idea of a superhero team-up movie was considered a pipe dream among comics fans. Earlier superhero films, despite the odd MythologyGag and in-joke, had their heroes existing in the world as the only beings of their kind, be it ''Batman'', ''Superman'', or even Creator/SamRaimi's ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'' and the ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''. The MCU changed the game when ''The Avengers'' proved that a big-budget live-action superhero ensemble film could and would work and be phenomenally successful, and it wouldn't be overcrowded with too many heroes or characters. It led to a renewal and modification of the blockbuster franchise mode and it directly spurred the creation of the ''Franchise/DCExtendedUniverse'' as well as myriad other attempts at a shared continuity.
** ''Film/{{Thor}}'', ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'', and ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' in particular changed the dominant aesthetic of superhero films away from MovieSuperheroesWearBlack, RealIsBrown and DoingInTheWizard, opening the doors for bringing in most of the fantastic and science-fiction pulp elements which were there in the comics but were always reimagined and updated in earlier movies (such as Christopher Nolan's ''Film/BatmanBegins'' making Ra's Al Ghul into a title passed down in a MasterApprenticeChain rather than an immortal being who dips into Lazarus Pits). These films not only allowed for CrystalSpiresAndTogas, StupidJetpackHitler Nazis, and talking animals and plants, but made them dramatically and emotionally compelling, while also blending superhero genres with HistoricalFiction, AlternateHistory, HighFantasy and SpaceOpera, and opening the floodgates for almost any kind of comic book character and story (and so ''any'' kind of movie) to be conceivable in live-action, no matter how outlandish in concept.
* While ''Film/PlanetOfTheApes2001'' was trashed by critics upon its release, a few later writers have argued that it marked a major step in showing Hollywood the true potential of [[ContinuityReboot movie reboots]]. Though it definitely wasn't the first {{remake}} in cinematic history, it was one of the first such remakes that openly billed itself as a complete reimagining of a well-known classic, keeping the general premise but taking nearly everything else in a completely new direction. Its negative critical reception [[StillbornFranchise killed any hope of it getting a sequel]], but many of its ideas (e.g. a full-blown war between between Apes and Humans, explaining the Ape civilization's origins as a StableTimeLoop caused by the protagonist, and ending the movie with [[spoiler: the protagonist traveling to an alternate version of present-day Earth populated by Apes]]) intrigued audiences enough to make the movie a modest commercial success. That success arguably paved the way for later, better-received reimaginings of classic film franchises like ''Film/BatmanBegins'', ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'', ''Film/StarTrek2009'' ''Film/TheKarateKid2010'', and--eventually--'''another''' ''Franchise/PlanetOfTheApes'' reimagining, ''Film/RiseOfThePlanetOfTheApes'' (which had significantly better luck the third time around).
* ''Film/TheBlairWitchProject'' is famous for its {{found footage|Films}} conceit, but nowadays, its greatest legacy is arguably in how it [[http://www.cracked.com/blog/why-nobodys-replicated-blair-witch-projects-success/ pioneered]] ViralMarketing. The filmmakers created a website purporting that the film was authentic "lost footage" and the last trace of three missing hikers/documentarians, creating a mountain of hype as people argued over whether or not it was actually real. As the internet grew more popular in the '00s, the success of ''The Blair Witch Project'' became a blueprint for viral marketing that was frequently replicated.
* ''Film/Deadpool2016'' and ''Film/{{Logan}}'', while almost [[SpiritualAntithesis diametrically-opposed works]], demonstrated after several high-profile failures that R-rated superhero films were capable of being box-office and critical successes. Notably, both achieved this in different ways by taking an entire tonal and stylistic approach that justified the rating, rather than simply being generic superhero films with added swearing and graphic gore.
* ''Film/{{Wonder Woman|2017}}'' (2017) is the first female-led superhero movie since the failures of ''Film/{{Catwoman}}'' and ''Film/{{Elektra}}'' over a decade prior to its release, and the first ''ever'' to be very well received at that, and ended up a massive box office hit. Perhaps more importantly is that the film represents the first time a major movie franchise with a budget of over $100M has been directed solely by a woman, opening the door for other female directors to handle larger projects (something people had been calling on Hollywood to do for a while prior to this film's release).
* While [[UsefulNotes/{{VCR}} VHS]] had been a popular format since the start of TheEighties, the home video release of ''Film/TopGun'' in 1987 pushed it into the stratosphere. As [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YLlt1JWpRA this video]] by Tom Reimann of ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' explains, Hollywood once saw home video as a grave threat to their business model, and so they charged [[CrackIsCheaper over $80 a pop]] for VHS copies of their films and sued video rental stores for copyright violations (many stores during that time had to operate on a "private club" model to cover themselves legally). Creator/{{Paramount}}, however, sold the ''Top Gun'' VHS for only $26.95, a low price that was paid for by putting a Pepsi commercial before the movie at the beginning of each tape. With this highly lucrative strategy, Hollywood's bitter resistance to home video evaporated as they saw how much money they could make from these sorts of marketing deals. Theatrical rereleases of popular movies died out almost entirely, only experiencing a short-lived revival in the early 2010s with the rise of [[UsefulNotes/ThreeDMovie 3D conversions]], while video rental opened up and took its place as the primary second-run distribution network.
* In 1989, Creator/NoraEphron and Creator/RobReiner revolutionized the RomanticComedy with ''Film/WhenHarryMetSally''. As [[https://www.avclub.com/after-when-harry-met-sally-almost-every-rom-com-tried-1823690771 explained]] by Caroline Siede of ''The Website/AVClub'', ''When Harry Met Sally...'' served as a bridge between Creator/WoodyAllen's more niche '70s films like ''Film/AnnieHall'' and the mainstream rom-coms of the '90s and 2000s, keeping the unorthodox male lead and questions about the nature of romance from Allen's films but adding a degree of earnestness and making the female lead just as neurotic and complex as her male counterpart. Not only did ''When Harry Met Sally...'' propel Creator/MegRyan [[StarMakingRole to the A-list]] in TheNineties, its formula (codified further by Ephron's later films ''Film/SleeplessInSeattle'' and ''Film/YouveGotMail'') became the template for an entire generation of romantic comedies in the '90s and '00s.

* Creator/{{Virgil}}'s ''The Aeneid'' is seen by many as the first constructed epic. Unlike Creator/{{Homer}}'s ''Literature/TheIliad'' and ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' which was transmuted by an oral tradition and preserved by bards. ''The Aeneid'' was an authored work, with carefully constructed Latin verse, a narrative that didn't simply relate events but figuratively communicated the deeper meaning (as in the ''Sunt lacrimae rerum'' scene). As Creator/JorgeLuisBorges noted:
--> ''The Aeneid is the highest example of what has been called, without discredit, the artificial epic; that is to say, the deliberate work of a single man, not that which human generations, without knowing it, have created. Virgil set out to write a masterpiece; curiously, he succeeded.''
* Petrarch, Boccaccio and Dante Alighieri are collectively credited for having ''invented'' the Italian literary language. They used vernacular language for literary work, instead of Latin. ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'' also introduced a new kind of epic poem, one anchored in the poet's life, emotions and experiences rather than some great epic story with endless battles. By writing it in terza rima and vernacular Italian, Dante allowed poetry to have a popular audience and invented the idea of a national literary tradition since every European writer and artist sought to be like Dante and write the great work of ''their'' culture.
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'' was not only the first "modern" novel, but it also single-handedly killed "knight stories" (ChivalricRomance, adventure stories with a KnightInShiningArmor as the main character -- think KingArthur and company). In fact the novel is so inventive that every century, a new group of writers comes forward to claim that it's even more radical and crazy than previously believed and virtually every great novelist has cited it as an inspiration and favorite at some point of another.
* ''Literature/MollFlanders'' changed the novel forever. Defoe's realism made it unlike anything which had gone before; his plot was completely original, in an age of reworking classic plots.
* Samuel Richardson's epistolary novels ''Pamela'' and ''Clarissa'' introduced the concept of serial novels, best-sellers and made the novel a professional genre across Europe. The epistolary (novel narrated in the form of journals and letters) became the dominant literary tradition for the rest of the 1700s inspiring Goethe's ''Literature/TheSorrowsOfYoungWerther''.
* Creator/WalterScott and Creator/AlexandreDumas invented HistoricalFiction and the popular adventure novel almost at the same time. Both of them wrote stories set in what they considered ''the'' bygone era of the past with HistoricalDomainCharacter and realistic backgrounds, inventing or codifying many tropes of the genres.
* Creator/MaryShelley's ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}'' virtually invented ScienceFiction overnight. It dealt with utopian themes, ArtificialIntelligence, WhatMeasureIsANonHuman and mankind playing God. Taking what were formerly gothic and supernatural ideas and infusing it with a contemporary theme and preoccupations.
* Creator/GustaveFlaubert's ''Literature/MadameBovary'' became a major cause celebre in the time and introduced unheroic characters, a story without any real moral message and its non-judgmental look at an adulterous housewife. Flaubert's command of form and language also inspired other writers to be more meticulous and economical with language as a prose stylist rather than simply write {{Doorstopper}} because [[MoneyDearBoy serial publications are paying you by ink]].
* Creator/AlexanderPushkin and Creator/NikolaiGogol were major pioneers of the Russian Literary language. Pushkin has often been likened as analogous to Shakespeare or Dante in the Russian context. Gogol's short-stories likewise put forth a new kind of psychological and magical realist style of short stories that was unique to Russian traditions, showing that Russian writers (and by extension writers from other countries) could use their own local tradition and folklore to create unique narratives out of European forms like the novel and short-story. Creator/FyodorDostoevsky supposedly said "We all come from Gogol's Overcoat" (referring to Gogol's famous story). Gogol's ''Theatre/TheInspectorGeneral'' was also seen as the most innovative and important Russian play in the language until Chekhov.
* Washington Irving and Creator/JamesFenimoreCooper were the first American men of letters to achieve literary fame and prestige in Europe and did a lot to show that America could have a culture and voice unique to itself even if it was SeparatedByACommonLanguage from England.
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's short stories and poetry marked the start of modern horror fiction. Poe codified a lot of literary techniques associated with Gothic novel into something dark and unique, often stemming from subject first person narrators, VillainProtagonist and protagonists who tended to be unheroic victims driven to madness. Poe's detective stories, starring Literature/CAugusteDupin, likewise introduced the modern mystery/detective fiction, greatly inspiring ''Sherlock Holmes'' and many others.
* Creator/LewisCarroll's ''Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland'' codified and developed the concept of children's literature and inspired [[FollowTheLeader a slew of imitators]]. Its mindbending use of language, puns, puzzles and dream-like nature of logic also made it an UnbuiltTrope for MultipleDemographicAppeal, and it's still seen as an early success of popular fantasy for readers of all ages.
* Creator/JulesVerne and Creator/HGWells between them covered all the stops of modern science-fiction: alien invasion, use of science for ill rather than good, soft-science versus hard science and so on.
* Creator/JosephConrad is regarded as one of the key inventors of modern fiction. His novels described a globalized world of transportation and communication, where the drama was internal with a great deal of moral ambiguity and cynicism. His characters were often unlikable and compromised, and they tended to have DownerEnding having very little of the optimism in progress, science and technology that characterized the 19th Century.
* Within France, Emile Zola's famous article ''J'accuse'' was seen as the start of the Public Intellectual, where writers and artists would use their prestige and authority to take a stand on issues of social and political justice, in this case the Dreyfuss Affair and its attendant anti-Semitism.
* In detective fiction, Creator/AgathaChristie's first novel ''The Mysterious Affair at Styles'' (1920) in the UK, and S S Van Dine's first Literature/PhiloVance novel ''The Benson Murder Case'' (1926) in the US, essentially ignited the "Golden Age of the detective novel", shifting the main form of the crime genre from the short story to the novel, and replacing the earlier thriller-based form, in which key clues were often withheld from the reader, with the FairPlayWhodunnit whose appeal was primarily promoted as intellectual.
* ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' wasn't the first high fantasy ConstructedWorld novel, but it set up most of the devices of modern fantasy.
** What Tolkien didn't start, Creator/CSLewis did with ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia''. Not surprisingly, the authors were friends.
* The early novels of P D James and Creator/RuthRendell are often jointly credited with reintroducing realistic character motivations and reactions to the British detective story, which had been considered to have become too rigid and bloodless in its adherence to FairPlayWhodunnit conventions, with inevitable (since the novels deal with murder) DarkerAndEdgier results.
* NewWaveScienceFiction, a reaction against the morally-simplistic and anti-style Campbellian SF of the 1950s and 1960s that would leave a permanent impression on the genre, is generally considered to have begun with Creator/MichaelMoorcock's editorship of the ''New Worlds'' fiction magazine, and in book form with the anthologies ''Literature/DangerousVisions'', edited by Creator/HarlanEllison, and ''England Swings SF'', edited by Judith Merril.
* Kathleen E Woodiwiss's 1972 novel ''Literature/TheFlameAndTheFlower'' is widely seen in retrospect as revolutionising the genre RomanceNovel in many ways. The most important innovations were that it was the first full-length romance novel to be published as a paperback original, and the first genre romance novel to include graphic sex scenes. (More negatively, it is also widely blamed for starting a trend of eroticised QuestionableConsent and outright rape in romance novels that gave the genre a bad name with feminists that took decades to shake off.)
* Terry Brooks was the first fantasy author to be a best-selling author, and is considered to be the author that turned fantasy literature from a fringe cult phenomenon into a real industry. Interestingly, although his first Literature/{{Shannara}} book was heavily influenced by Tolkien, he also introduced some fantasy conventions of his own, such as a less formal writing style.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' didn't invent DarkFantasy, and wasn't the first to use [[AntiHero flawed]], or even [[VillainProtagonist villainous]] protagonists in a [[CrapsackWorld crapsack]] fantasy world, but thanks to its popularity, it was one of the biggest reasons for the increase in the number of darker fantasy series being put out by publishers. It also helped inspire well-known non-literature examples of the genre, such as ''Franchise/DragonAge''.
* Creator/JohnWCampbell, a popular science fiction writer and magazine editor, is generally credited by Asimov, Clarke, Heinlein, and other science fiction writers as being responsible for nurturing their talents and for bringing higher standard of storytelling to the science fiction genre, which had previously consisted mostly of {{utopia}}n literature, stories of aliens and fantastic gadgets, and {{space Western}}s. Genre historians often date the beginning of science fiction's Golden Age as being 1938, the year Campbell assumed editorship of ''[[Magazine/{{Analog}} Astounding Science Fiction]]'' magazine.
* ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'' more or less ''created'' the CyberPunk sub-genre of SciFi.
** ''Neuromancer'' was this for sci-fi as a whole, especially combined with the movie ''Blade Runner''. Both works eschewed the idea of the InvincibleHero and focused on individuals who were relatively powerless in the respective worlds that they lived in. [[note]] As an interesting example, look at ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' vs ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''. Stories in ''The Original Series'' predominantly focus on either Spock or Kirk saving the day, while stories in ''The Next Generation'' focus much more on the crew as a whole, and on the Federation's dealings with its enemies and allies.[[/note]] Since ''Neuromancer'' and ''Blade Runner'', sci-fi protagonists have been used much more as tools to examine the worlds that they live in.
** While ''Neuromancer'' was the GenrePopularizer for and TropeCodifier for CyberPunk, the 'turning point' for the genre, arguably, was ''Literature/SnowCrash'' which changed much of the aesthetics for CyberPunk, moving things out of noir and into a more eclectic 'punk' sensibility.
* Creator/HPLovecraft went from simple stories of the macabre and ghost stories to CosmicHorrorStory, [[FollowTheLeader which changed the face of the horror genre forever]]; Creator/StephenKing, to give just one example, owes a great deal of his success to Lovecraft. His influence can be seen on this very wiki; [[DidYouJustIndexCthulhu check out how many tropes one of his monsters inspired.]]
* Creator/StephenKing, meanwhile, brought mainstream horror fiction into the heart of Middle America, with ordinary small-town working folks as the protagonists battling evils both supernatural and all-too-human that have entered their lives. Every horror writer who uses Americana as a backdrop for his or her stories will inevitably be compared to King at some point, especially if they set their story in [[LovecraftCountry New England]].
* ''The Spy Who Came In From the Cold'' changed the spy novel genre, moving it from the romantic, action thrillers characterized by Ian Fleming's James Bond to a gritty and morally uncertain genre steeped in procedural details, with the decidedly un-sexy George Smiley as protagonist.
* Creator/TomClancy didn't invent the TechnoThriller genre -- that credit belongs to the late Craig Thomas, who penned the book ''Literature/{{Firefox}}'' -- but he did bring it into the mainstream with his iconic debut volume, ''Literature/TheHuntForRedOctober'' which spawned more books, action movies, video games, and a whole franchise that has since made millions of dollars.
* While YoungAdultLiterature had existed for decades, the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' [[Literature/HarryPotter books]] turned it into a pop culture phenomenon that's often credited with almost single-handedly restoring interest in reading among younger generations. It also proved that books written for children didn't have to be watered-down to the point of being stripped of all their depth, especially once later books started [[DarkerAndEdgier growing up with their readers]]. Without ''Harry Potter'', the likes of ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' and ''Literature/TheHungerGames'' would never have been as successful as they were.
* E. E. "Doc" Smith with the {{Lensman}} series either created or brought to the public imagination concepts that have become standard in science-fiction for decades: military science fiction with massive space battles, the multi-species [[TheFederation Civilization]] where groups with [[OrangeAndBlueMorality very different psychologies]] could still work together for the common good, SpaceOpera where the heroes roamed multiple planets (and galaxies) during the story... Modern SF ranging from the GreenLanternCorps to StarWars, StarTrek, Series/BabylonFive, all of them rely on the concepts Smith wrote in the Lensman series.
* S.E. Hinton's ''Literature/TheOutsiders'' has been credited with single-handedly inventing YoungAdultLiterature, or at least making it a respectable sub-genre of fiction. When it was published in 1967, the Creator/StratemeyerSyndicate and [[FollowTheLeader its imitators]] were still a major force in the American publishing industry, and most books written for adolescents were formulaic, escapist genre fiction, usually written [[CashCowFranchise as installments in indefinitely running series]]. S.E. Hinton ([[TeenGenius who was just 17 years old when she wrote the book]]) had the advantage of writing from an actual teenage perspective, and set out to write the kind of standalone novel that would actually appeal to serious readers in her own age group. The book's relatively simple prose made it accessible to young readers, but its frank examination of class conflict and gang violence made it possible to take it seriously as a work of literature. There's a reason [[SchoolStudyMedia it's still regularly taught in middle school English classes]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'', despite not doing spectacularly well in the ratings, spawned numerous short-lived imitators (a few coming from Creator/GeneRoddenberry, ''Trek'''s creator) in comic books and television. During the '70s it served as ''the'' template for ScienceFiction television in America (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the world) until the advent of ''Franchise/StarWars'', though the clones tended to only last for a season or two. Even the original ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|1978}}'' and other works influenced by ''Franchise/StarWars'' showed its influence. Its impact lasted as late as the '90s, though more in the form of television reacting ''against'' the series.
** ''Franchise/StarTrek''[='=]s influence, however, would go on to shape far more than science fiction as a genre. Not only is it the TropeCodifier (and {{Trope Namer|s}}) for the PowerTrio, but things like automatic doors, Kindle, iPods, bluetooth, cell phones, and laptops were all first conceived for ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Its impact even goes beyond pop culture and technology; Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to work in space, was inspired to become an astronaut after seeing Lieutenant Uhura on television as a little girl.
** Even ''its {{cancellation}}'' left a mark on television. When the major networks realized, through the study of {{demographics}}, just what a potential golden goose Creator/{{NBC}} had killed when it canceled ''Star Trek'', it became a major factor in UsefulNotes/TheRuralPurge in the early '70s as the major networks strove, arguably to the point of going overboard, not to repeat that mistake.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'' had a similar status in the [[UsefulNotes/{{Britain}} United Kingdom]]. It, too, spawned numerous homages, ranging from the long-running but much-mocked ''Series/TheTomorrowPeople'' to the dark and cerebral ''Series/SapphireAndSteel'', as well as many other less well-known examples. Similarly, the 2005 revival is credited with restoring Saturday night family dramas to British television as others began to capitalize on its success.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' and ''Franchise/StarWars'' were (and still are) considered the bastions of American ScienceFiction, both being notable for their 'optimistic' views. ''Series/BabylonFive'', ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', and ''Series/TheXFiles'', all of which premiered in 1993, started taking sci-fi in a new direction, away from the SpaceOpera[=/=]SpaceWestern concept and towards more character-driven drama, almost like cop shows. (''The X-Files'' was even set on present-day Earth, drawing less from 'classic' science fiction tropes for its lore and more from real-world UFO conspiracy theories.) This started a slow but steady shift in American television sci-fi that later yielded ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', the reimagined ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', and the Franchise/StargateVerse.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' had a similar impact when it premiered in 1997, especially in terms of boosting the critical respectability of 'genre' television. Early in its run, the show's title alone saw it dismissed by critics expecting teenybopper junk; by the time of its GrandFinale in 2003, a slew of academic papers were being written about it. In particular, it demonstrated, together with ''The X-Files'', that there existed a potentially massive female fanbase for fantasy and science fiction stories, breaking the stereotype of genre fiction being a male-dominated fandom. A staggering number of female protagonists in genre fiction since (especially in UrbanFantasy) can probably trace their lineage back to this show's titular ValleyGirl VampireHunter.
* ''Series/{{LOST}}'' popularized the idea of shows built around long-term {{myth arc}}s that [[MindScrew jerk the viewer's mind around]], as well as bringing sprawling, SoapOpera-style storylines into TV sci-fi. While it has its antecedents (''Series/TwinPeaks'', ''Series/TheXFiles'', the aforementioned ''B5''), the boom in such programming after ''LOST'''s success shows why the trope is called the ''{{Noughties|DramaSeries}}'' [[NoughtiesDramaSeries Drama Series]]. ''Series/{{LOST}}'' also played a significant role in convincing networks that a successful mainstream series could experiment with non-linear storytelling.
* In the late '90s and early '00s, {{Creator/HBO}} shows like ''Series/TheSopranos'', ''Series/TheWire'', ''Series/SexAndTheCity'', and ''Series/{{Oz}}'', with their focus on cinematography, acting, and complex themes and storylines developed through sharp writing and in-depth characters, proved that television productions can be just as good as Hollywood movies, and that cable television could seriously compete with the broadcast {{networks}} on their own turf. This has led to what some have described as a new golden age for American television, that is still apparent on HBO with shows like ''Series/GameOfThrones'', but has also spread to basic cable channels such as Creator/{{AMC}}, primarily with ''Series/BreakingBad'' and ''Series/MadMen''. AMC's ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' regularly pulls in over 10 million viewers, a number that not only was once thought unattainable by smaller cable shows, but thanks to cable turning the audience tide, actually dwarves the ratings of most broadcast fare in the 2010s.
** Said shows also brought more mature content into American television, which, until then, was largely restricted to fairly tame (about a mild PG-13) programming due to [[MediaWatchdog the FCC]], whose rules only covered broadcast networks (cable, as a pay service, was exempted). Due to these restrictions, much of the creative boom in American TV over the last decade has been on cable networks -- and more specifically, on ''premium'' cable networks, which not only don't have to worry about the FCC, but also don't have to worry about advertisers being pressured by MoralGuardians to pull their ads.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' changed the way SitCom characters and stories are portrayed so completely that the original series seems [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny derivative]] in the new context it created.
* ''Series/HillStreetBlues'' was the series for which the term "gritty cop drama" was invented. The use of hand-held cameras gave viewers the feeling of being in the middle of a messy, dangerous, often chaotic, big-city landscape. Other camera techniques, such as tight closeups, use of offscreen dialogue and rapid cuts between stories gave the series a "documentary" feel. It pioneered intertwined storylines in an episode, some of which took several episodes to play out. Many episodes were written to take place in a single day. It was one of the first cop shows to have dirty-cop arcs instead of one-shot or guest appearances. A Jack Webb series it wasn't.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' and its source material, ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', have been credited with the recent boost in mainstream acceptance of {{Fantasy}}, particularly DarkFantasy. Their widespread acclaim, thanks to their mature and complex storylines and characters that are clearly made for adults (throwing out the [[FantasyGhetto unfair notion that Fantasy is only for kids or family-friendly]]), and their massive {{Fandom}}, have put them into the public eye, made the books bestsellers and made the show one of the most critically and commercially successful television dramas of the past decade, often being listed as being on the level of shows such as ''Series/BreakingBad'' and ''Series/MadMen'', [[FollowTheLeader as well as inspiring a noticeable number of medieval fictions for television.]] In terms of [[SugarWiki/VisualEffectsOfAwesome cinematic production values]], it's also basically to television what ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' was to film.
* ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'', ''Series/HouseOfCardsUS'', and ''Series/ArrestedDevelopment'' season 4 have completely changed TV audiences perceptions of shows exclusive to services like Netflix, from mediocre stories and poor budgets to exceptionally well made and highly successful shows that stand on par with prime-time television.
* In 1968, American network Creator/{{ABC}} was a distant third to its rivals Creator/{{CBS}} and Creator/{{NBC}}. Unable to compete with their news departments' coverage of the Democratic and Republican Party conventions that summer, ABC News instead hosted a series of debates between two intellectuals and bitter ideological rivals, the conservative William F. Buckley, Jr. and the leftist Creator/GoreVidal. The insults flew fast and furious -- among other highlights, Vidal called Buckley a "crypto-Nazi", to which Buckley responded by calling Vidal a "queer" and threatening to [[TalkToTheFist punch him in the face]]. On that stage, the modern image of the PompousPoliticalPundit, and the format for the "talking head" political TalkShow, arrived on television in the form of Buckley and Vidal with their back-and-forth insults, while ABC and its news department went from a perennial also-ran to a major player in American television, joining CBS and NBC as one of the Big Three networks.
* In 1993, the Creator/{{Fox}} network was already known for hit shows like ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'', ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', and ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'', but it was still viewed as something of an upstart in American television, having launched just seven years earlier. But when they outbid CBS that year for the rights to air [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball NFC football]] games, and proceeded to pillage most of CBS Sports' on-air talent and several of CBS' most valuable affiliates (including UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}, UsefulNotes/{{Milwaukee}}, UsefulNotes/{{Detroit}}, UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}, and UsefulNotes/{{D|FWMetroplex}}allas) the following year, they were established as a power player. No longer were they "the fourth network"; after 1993, the Big Three networks ignored Fox at their own peril, and by the 2000s Fox had joined their rivals in what are now the Big ''Four''. CBS, meanwhile, saw its DorkAge, already ongoing since the mid-late '80s, deepen further; it wouldn't be until 2002 when they fully recovered.
** Fox's NFL coverage also revolutionized the way sports was presented on American TV. They introduced the continuous score/clock graphic on the upper part of the screen. It was was derided as visual clutter by the other networks but fans quickly expressed their approval and it's now nearly universal for all live sports broadcasts. ''NFL on Fox'' also marked a huge jump toward packaging football as entertainment rather than the often dry style that dominated sportscasting by the early 90s.
* ''Series/RobinOfSherwood'' introduced a number of changes from previous depictions of RobinHood: Being the first version to get away from the green-tights-and-hat-with-a-feather image in favour of something a band of 12th century outlaws might actually wear, introducing the idea of a Saracen outlaw which was copied by later adaptations, returning Maid Marian to being an ActionGirl after being a DamselInDistress since Victorian times, and for portraying King Richard as just as bad as Prince John (although that didn't catch on as much).
* ''Series/{{Ultraman}}'' for {{Toku}}satsu. Prior to the show, the genre was defined almost entirely by {{kaiju}} like Franchise/{{Godzilla}} and Franchise/{{Gamera}} stomping around on cinema screens and destroying things. With the debut of ''Ultraman'', it not only introduced the idea that heroes could battle these destructive monsters and win regularly, but that Toku could be adapted to the schedules and budgets of television with the same results and great success. The result? Toku transformed into a primarily television-based genre revolving around {{superhero}}es battling [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]], allowing for the birth of popular franchises like ''Franchise/KamenRider'' (which started the "[[HenshinHero Henshin]] Boom") and ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' to the point of nearly putting the kaiju flicks out of business as people loved being able watch {{Toku}} weekly over having to wait for a new movie to come out each year in a period where home video releases were still just a dream.
* When ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'' premiered on Creator/{{Fox}} in 1990, it revolutionized the American TeenDrama. Before, teen-oriented TV series in the US had been either [[AnAesop issue-oriented]] Series/{{Afterschool Special}}s, {{sitcom}}s with mostly teenage casts like ''Series/WelcomeBackKotter'' and ''Series/SavedByTheBell'', or transmissions of Creator/{{CBC}}'s ''Series/DegrassiHigh'' that made it over the border or onto UsefulNotes/{{PBS}} stations. ''90210'', however, brought the genre [[HotterAndSexier sex appeal]], [[SoapOpera soapy drama]], and CharacterDevelopment that made it a sensation among young people and [[YouCanPanicNow a cause for concern]] among [[MoralGuardians their parents]], while handling teen issues with a mix of realism and sympathy for the teenage characters that was unheard of for such shows at the time (at least in the US[[note]]Canadians watching the aforementioned ''Degrassi High'' and its predecessor, ''Series/DegrassiJuniorHigh'', likely wouldn't have been so shocked by ''90210''[='=]s tone. In fact, a popular rumor among ''Degrassi'' fans claims that Creator/AaronSpelling tried to get an [[ForeignRemake American remake]] of ''Degrassi'' off the ground, and created ''90210'' as a SpiritualAdaptation after being rebuffed by that show's producers.[[/note]]), bringing the revolution started by Creator/JohnHughes' teen movies in TheEighties to television. The sea change that ''90210'' started was such that virtually every teen drama of the '90s and 2000s bears some of its influence, even if only in reaction to it.

* RockAndRoll in general set off a revolution in popular music and youth culture, and not just in terms of the genres and subgenres it influenced. Virtually the entire modern image of '50s teenagers, from the fashion to the slang to the cars, was derived from the rock scene, largely because of how it codified the very idea of the "teenager" as a separate age group. After the rise of rock, popular music as a whole skewed much younger than it did before, as record labels focused on the purchasing power of teenagers. On radio, the "hit parade" format, in which hit songs were played live on the radio by the station's house band and singers, died out as these musicians found themselves unable to convincingly cover rock songs. And in the cultural/political arena, Music/ElvisPresley's dance moves brought the nascent sexual revolution into people's homes for the first time, while black artists like Music/ChuckBerry and Music/LittleRichard did the same with African American culture in the early years of the UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement.
* Music/TheBeatles did this for pop and rock music. Which of their ''albums'' is most influential is debatable, but the majority seems to settle on ''Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand'' for the numerous innovations it introduced to music, as well as still being considered to be one of, if not ''the'', best mixed albums ever. Now, consider for a moment how much more sophisticated the technology for mixing has gotten over half a century later. (This [[PortingDisaster only]] [[GratuitousPanning applies]] to the mono version.) ''The White Album'' is also a fair contender for the title of "best Beatles album."
** It's also debatable whether it was just them or the whole of UsefulNotes/TheBritishInvasion. Those who argue the former say that there wouldn't have ''been'' a "British invasion" without Music/TheBeatles, while the latter point out that the Beatles were only one band out of many, and that Music/TheRollingStones, Music/TheWho, and other bands also deserve recognition. That said, while they certainly weren't the only worthy or notable British act of the 1960s, the Beatles' success (not only as the first British rock act to significantly break into the American market in a lasting way, but having achieved numerous number one hits in the process) certainly paved the way for the others to build on their success.
* Music/TheBeachBoys' ''Music/PetSounds'' was an inspiration for the Beatles' ''Sgt. Pepper'' to become a ConceptAlbum. It was not exactly narrative, however, and also not the first concept album. Take for example, Johnny Cash's ''Ride this Train'' or Ray Charles's ''The Genius Hits the Road'' released about six years before. The Ventures were also making concept albums years before Pet Sounds. This also represented something of a friendly rivalry between the Beach Boys and the Beatles, or at least Music/BrianWilson and Music/PaulMcCartney, as they began to engage in a constant process of trying to one-up the other, in the process producing some great music.
* Music/EricClapton's short, but legendary stint with John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers produced only one album [[FanNickname often called Beano]]. The album is credited to be the first album to feature modern rock guitar. Eric Clapton was the first guy to dare to crank up his amp and take his space. Many people say Music/JimiHendrix was the first modern rock guitar player, but he got his inspiration from hearing this album.
* Eddie Van Halen's 80 second guitar solo on Music/VanHalen's first album was the "Eruption" heard round the world. Shredding was born and rock guitarists became virtuosos in their own right. While the style fell out of favor in mainstream rock in the early 1990s, it's still a major element of various metal and progressive rock scenes worldwide.
* Rap music received plenty of media attention for most of TheNineties, but most of it was on the back of [[GangstaRap the controversy it generated]]. Then [[Music/TheNotoriousBIG Biggie]] and Music/{{Tupac|Shakur}} got shot, and Sean "Puffy" Combs released his hit album ''No Way Out'', and suddenly GlamRap became the dominant form of "urban" music on the radio for the rest of the decade and the start of [[TurnOfTheMillennium the next]]. TheNineties as a whole were a turning point for rap music. The decade introduced a large array of sub-genres that showed that rap could be more than just block party music, and that it could also have strong messages and themes. It also saw the growth in rap's popularity outside of UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, resulting in what is arguably the climax of the Golden Age era.
* Music/ChuckBerry's "Johnny B. Goode" brought the EpicRiff into rock music once and for all, and showcases a guitar style that, even after Hendrix and Clapton, would barely sound out of place today.
* Music/BobDylan's ''Music/Highway61Revisited'', especially "Like a Rolling Stone." Bob's early output in general has often been cited as a major influence in bringing true art and poetry into pop music writing. It can't be a coincidence that his rising popularity in the first half of the 60s coincided with something of a move away from the up to then ubiquitous hot cars and fast women thematics, when people started listening to songs like "Blowing in the Wind" and "Mr Tambourine Man" instead.
%%* Almost all of Music/{{Metallica}}'s first three albums could count as this for thrash metal, being {{Trope Codifier}}s for the genre in different ways.
* Music/BlackSabbath's first album for heavy metal. If a heavy metal band says they're not influenced by them, either they're lying or [[NoTrueScotsman they're not really metal]].
%%* Venom may have been the trope namers, but it was Music/{{Mayhem}}'s album ''De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas'' that really defined what BlackMetal would come to be known as.
%%* Similarly, DeathMetal would be launched by a band known as Music/{{Death}}. Their song "Crystal Mountain" is considered to be one of the most defining songs in all of death metal.
* Music/TheDoors proved that you could write and perform pop songs about much more existential subjects than [[SillyLoveSongs teenage romance]] or [[HeavyMeta pop music itself]], and kids would buy them. After that, it became impossible to write off all popular music as a disposable, meaningless fad.
* The Music/VelvetUnderground's début, ''Music/TheVelvetUndergroundAndNico'', didn't have an immediate impact on rock music, but its impact in hindsight was undeniable. Music/BrianEno's famous quip that everyone who bought the album started a band doesn't seem very far off when one considers the huge number of genres that it inspired.
* Music/{{Aerosmith}}'s 1986 collaboration with Music/RunDMC on "Walk This Way". Before this, {{Rap}} fans and {{Rock}} fans generally held each other's music in contempt and there was a fair amount of antagonism between the fanbases. The release showed the two groups that they were NotSoDifferent and did much to bridge the gap between them and kickstarted the Music/RapRock genre that would become extremely popular in following decade.
* Even before the Eric Clapton example above, {{Music/Elvis Presley}}'s sideman, Scotty Moore codified the idea of the lead guitarist as TheLancer in a rock band. Before him the soloist and the frontman were usually the same person (IE. {{Music/Buddy Holly}}, {{Music/Chuck Berry}}, {{Music/Carl Perkins}}) and was just as likely to be a piano player (IE. {{Music/Little Richard}}, {{Music/Jerry Lee Lewis}}.)
* Music/MomoiroCloverZ were the first "anti-idol" group that deviated from the cutesy, fluffy Japanese IdolSinger style.
* Music/KanyeWest may be legendary for [[{{Narcissist}} his ego]], but given [[https://36chapters.com/why-kanye-west-is-the-most-influential-artist-of-his-generation-56590ff8360c his accomplishments]], he has probably earned at least some of the praise he heaps upon himself. (''Some.'')
** Before he broke out as a rapper in his own right, West was a record producer. His work on Music/JayZ's 2001 album ''The Blueprint'' helped popularize a sound influenced by {{soul}} music in hip-hop beats, while also helping to revive {{sampling}} in rap music. Before, hip-hop had been dominated by the "Timbaland sound", an electronic-influenced sound defined by looped beats and digital keyboards.
** His 2004 debut album ''The College Dropout'' changed rap music in the '00s by decisively breaking the influence of GangstaRap. Even after the deaths of Biggie and Tupac discredited the more hard-edged material and pushed hip-hop in a LighterAndSofter direction, GlamRap still drew heavily from that well, with the rowdy parties, gorgeous women, fast cars, and flashy jewelry featured in the songs always strongly implied (and often stated) to be paid for by criminal activity. West, however, carved out a place for more introspective and emotional material that explored subjects like religion, family, sexuality, injustice, and the struggles of everyday life as opposed to hustling, paving the way for everybody from Music/KendrickLamar to Music/JCole to Music/ChildishGambino to Music/TheWeeknd to Music/{{Macklemore}}. West's impact was best evidenced in 2007, when his album ''Graduation'' [[DuelingWorks went head-to-head]] with Music/FiftyCent's album ''Curtis'' -- and decisively trounced the competition.
** And what West didn't do on ''The College Dropout'', he did on his 2008 album ''[=808s=] & Heartbreak''. Not only did it build upon the aforementioned introspection that West was famous for at that point, its experimental sparse, electronic sound and heavy use of AutoTune caused him to compare it to NewWaveMusic. At the time, the album caused a BrokenBase for being far outside what many people defined as rap music, but it was soon VindicatedByHistory once its sound came to define hip-hop in the late '00s and early '10s, most notably with the rise of Music/{{Drake}}.
* As outlined in [[http://www.savingcountrymusic.com/destroying-the-dixie-chicks-ten-years-after/ this article]] from ''Saving Country Music'', the backlash against the Music/DixieChicks in 2003 following Natalie Maines' anti-[[TheWarOnTerror war]] comments at a London concert had a major impact on CountryMusic, and not just in terms of the genre's culture. At the time, the Dixie Chicks were arguably the biggest act in country playing "traditional" country sounds, writing their own music and playing acoustic instruments like the banjo, the fiddle, the mandolin, and the guitar. Meanwhile, Music/TobyKeith, who symbolized an ArenaRock approach to country with loud, electric instruments and production, often positioned himself as the SpiritualAntithesis to the Chicks in both his politics and his sound, and he saw his career take off just as the Chicks crashed and burned. The result was that country and rock music saw their sounds and influences essentially flip in the late '00s and early '10s; while country became slick, polished, and boisterous, culminating in the rise of "bro-country" in the mid-'10s, rock music (especially after the fall of PostGrunge) saw the rise of acoustic bands like Music/MumfordAndSons, The Lumineers, and the Avett Brothers that were more influenced by FolkMusic and IndiePop.
* Music/{{Adele}}'s album ''21'' massive success singlehandedly change the landscape of pop music, ending the domination of club music and bring back R&B and neo-soul genre to the mainstream.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* [[Wrestling/SuperstarBillyGraham "Superstar" Billy Graham]] did this for heels in the mid-1970s. He was just as flashy and entertaining as any face, and proved that the heel didn't always have to be a StrawLoser. He was actually hoping for his character to be turned face during his 1977-1978 title run, and was extremely disappointed when that didn't happen, although he eventually did become a face when he returned to the WWF years later. He was the first major heel to hold a world title for more than a few weeks at a time.
* Mary Ellison, aka Wrestling/TheFabulousMoolah, left a major impact on women's wrestling from the '60s through the '80s, though how good an impact she left is [[InternetBackdraft very much up for debate]]. As the leading women's wrestling trainer and booker during that time, Moolah helped forge the then-WWF's women's division and bring it into the spotlight. However, for better or worse, she was also a driving force behind the "Diva" style of wrestling that would predominate until the 2010s, which was heavy on {{fanservice}} and {{catfight}}ing but often accused of being low on athleticism. That's before getting into [[https://uproxx.com/prowrestling/what-did-fabulous-moolah-do-wwe-allegations-controversy-explained/ the accusations]] made about how she treated the women who trained under her, as well as her sabotage of Wrestling/WendiRichter's career and the WWF's Women's Tag Team division. As such, many wrestling fans have blamed Moolah for setting back women's wrestling in the United States by decades, between the wrestling styles she promoted and the backstage moves she made.
* Wrestling/{{ECW}} brought hardcore wrestling to North America, made luchadores popular in the United States, and made professional wrestling DarkerAndEdgier at a time when the two biggest promotions, the Wrestling/{{WW|E}}F and Wrestling/{{WCW}}, were still putting out an altogether LighterAndSofter, more comic-book-ish product. Amazingly enough, WCW, part of the Time Warner media empire, and WWF, a multi-million dollar entertainment company in its own right, ended up taking their cues from a tiny promotion that ran shows out of a converted bingo hall in South UsefulNotes/{{Philadelphia}}.
* The WWF also had one at some point between 1996 and 1998, but mileage varies on what exactly it was. Some people cite [[Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin Steve Austin]]'s victory at King of the Ring 1996 and resulting Austin 3:16 promo, which made him the only thing to rival the Wrestling/NewWorldOrder in popularity. Others cite Austin's match against Wrestling/BretHart, face of the WWF along with Wrestling/ShawnMichaels, at [[Wrestling/WrestleMania WrestleMania XIII]], when Austin turned face and Hart heel. Others will cite the formation of Wrestling/DGenerationX, an edgy, raunchy stable that was somewhat [=nWo=] influenced (it had members of Wrestling/TheKliq in it as well, after) and feuded with the Hart Foundation, Bret Hart's group. Resulting from that feud was Michaels and Hart's match at Survivor Series 1997, Hart's last match in the WWF under his current contract. The match was to end ambiguously and Hart was to surrender his championship the next day on Raw, but Michaels, Wrestling/VinceMcMahon and Wrestling/TripleH [[Wrestling/MontrealScrewjob conspired to end the match without Hart's knowledge.]] This event created the Mr. [=McMahon=] character and a decade's worth of unmitigated hostility between Hart and those involved. The final event is Austin's match against Michaels at [=WrestleMania=] XIV, when Austin defeated Michaels and in the words of JR "The Austin Era (had) begun." This event kickstarted the Austin-[=McMahon=] feud, which would be the focal point of the company for three years, in the company's most successful or second most successful era, the Wrestling/AttitudeEra. Similarly, at and before [=WrestleMania=] X-Seven, the Wrestling/AttitudeEra ended. Vince purchased WCW, the company's chief rival, and at Wrestling/WrestleMania, one of the greatest PPV's in history, Austin faced [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]] for the WWF Championship, unbelievably, Stone Cold turned heel in his hometown and sided with [=McMahon=] to beat Rock. The central feuds of the Attitude Era, both in real life and kayfabe, had ended within a week of each other.
* The 2006-2007 double whammy of the Sports Illustrated steroids report -- in which several wrestlers were named for purchasing performance-enhancing drugs, including fan favorites Wrestling/ReyMysterioJr(though he unsurprisingly turned out be buying painkillers, [[NeverLiveItDown not that it saved his reputation]]) and Wrestling/{{Edge}} -- and the horrific Wrestling/ChrisBenoit murder-suicide of his family put the WWE under the harshest negative light it had ever encountered. Sponsors began to leave in droves as the company was painted as a misogynistic, crass, steroid-fueled carny show and the media had ten years worth of Attitude Era footage to drive home that point (they had a field day with the infamous "Vince makes Trish strip and bark like a dog" segment). In 2008, the WWE began a company-wide sanitizing of their product to shed the "Attitude" image, phasing out blood, foul language, and sexually charged gimmicks and angles, cleaning up RAW to a TV-PG product, doubling down on their charity work with children, and implementing a strict drug testing program. They even removed "Wrestling" from its name in order to promote itself as family-friendly general entertainment and sever its association to pro wrestling and its associated stigmas ("WWE" is no longer an acronym outside of legalese). Although long-time fans decry the LighterAndSofter route to this day, the company has repaired its image in the public eye, as kid-friendly companies like Chef Boyardee renewed their sponsorships in the end, the media reports often on their charitable actions, and celebrities and athletes participate on the shows, illustrating that it is no longer a negative connotation to be associated with WWE.
* Wrestling/{{SHIMMER}} was the first successful American women's promotion to focus on athleticism, rather than either the blatant T&A that the WWE women's division could degenerate into at times, or {{Camp}} like Wrestling/{{GLOW}} and its successors. As Pat Laprade and Dan Murphy wrote in ''Sisterhood of the Squared Circle: The History and Rise of Women's Wrestling'', "Without a doubt, a case could be made that the first shots of the 2015 WWE Women's Revolution were actually fired at the Berwyn Eagles Club a decade before."

* This has happened multiple times in UsefulNotes/{{baseball}}.
** In the 1920s, Babe Ruth popularized the idea of the home run, shifting much of the game's offensive focus from baserunning speed to long-ball power. Indeed, Ruth "invented" a fairly common player type in modern baseball: the fat, left-handed power hitter/outfielder.
** UsefulNotes/JackieRobinson's breaking down the color line was this for more than just the sports world. Not only did it create interest in successful Negro League players, but their style of play began to influence the Major Leagues such as more importance to base running. It was also an early turning point in white America's acceptance of the idea that [[UsefulNotes/CivilRightsMovement black people weren't so different from them]].
** The airing of Major League Baseball games on television in TheFifties destroyed most of the minor leagues, who couldn't compete with the bigger games being shown on TV.
** The move of the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers to, respectively, UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco and UsefulNotes/LosAngeles in 1957 will probably never be forgiven by [[BigApplesauce New York]] sports fans, but it helped popularize baseball outside the East Coast and the Midwest and led to a surge of teams moving to sunny Southern and Western cities, securing the sport's national viability for the rest of the century. It also effectively destroyed the Pacific Coast League (which was, until then, seen as a growing rival to Major League Baseball), pushing it down into the minors and securing MLB's position as the dominant baseball league in the US.
** Maury Wills helped repopularize the stolen base in the early 1960s.
** Rollie Fingers was central to the idea of the dedicated relief pitcher/closer in the 1970s, paving the way for the modern game's reliance on the bullpen.
** The 1975 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox, one of the most exciting matchups in sports history, was the moment at which television finally understood how to broadcast baseball. Carlton Fisk's iconic home run in Game 6 provided a catalyst in getting camera operators to focus most of their attention on the players themselves. It's no coincidence that, after the '75 World Series, a new lucrative TV deal involving not just Creator/{{NBC}}, but Creator/{{ABC}} was made.
** The early success of Hideo Nomo paved the way for Major League Baseball's interest in Japanese players.
** The fallout of the Mitchell Report and Congress steroid investigation, as well as an implemented drug policy, has lead teams in the present day to favor rosters of players with versatility and sound fundamentals again, as aging, one-dimensional sluggers can no longer rely on medical help to extend their careers with eye-popping home run totals. In turn, this has led to what has been called the [[http://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/8048897/the-age-pitcher-how-got-here-mlb "age of the pitcher"]] in modern baseball, with substantially fewer hits, at-bats, and home runs and far more no-hitter games and strikeouts than in the past.
** The [[http://www.slate.com/articles/sports/the_next_20/2016/09/fire_joe_morgan_and_the_moneyball_revolution.html rise of sabermetrics]], also known as "Moneyball" after a famous book written about it (which later received [[Film/{{Moneyball}} a film adaptation]]), to mainstream prominence in the '00s led to a revolution in how baseball players were recruited. By focusing on runs scored as the most important metric for how games were won, a great deal of the conventional wisdom for what made a good baseball player was heavily challenged, while previously undervalued players were recruited and used to build winning teams on a much smaller budget than the major baseball powers -- most famously the Boston Red Sox, who won the World Series in 2004 and ended an 86-year championship drought. While the proponents of sabermetrics were [[GameOfNerds dismissed as geeks at the time]], since then the success of the teams they built has left them VindicatedByHistory, and sabermetrics has become the standard for study of baseball.
* In UsefulNotes/AustralianRulesFootball, the 1970 VFL Grand Final is often seen as the point at which a major shift in the game occurred. Carlton, 44 points down at half time, came back to defeat Collingwood after a rousing half-time speech by coach Ron Barassi in which he exhorted the players to handball - and ever since then, the handball has been a much more prominent feature of the game, sometimes more common in a match than kicking the ball.
* In UsefulNotes/{{ice hockey}}:
** In 1959, Montreal Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante put on his goalie mask for the first time in regular play. This was when the personal safety of the players started to be taken more seriously. Afterwards, the [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]] saw the rise of new equipment like mandatory helmets and face visors, and cracking down on violence like head shots and fighting.
** Bobby Orr popularized the concept of defensemen supporting offensive plays. After his retirement, he was also one of the leading voices calling for the reform of the [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]]'s corrupt pension system in TheNineties, especially after he was defrauded and left almost bankrupt by his agent.
** The New York Rangers' 1994 Stanley Cup win (their first in over 50 years at the time) led to major explosion in popularity for the NHL in the United States.
** Patrick Roy is credited for popularizing the butterfly goaltending style, which eventually became the standard.
** Wayne Gretzky pioneered the use of the behind-the-net goal setup.
* In UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball:
** In 1913, the team from an obscure Catholic college in northern Indiana traveled to West Point, New York to take on Army, one of college football's powers. The forward pass had been legalized seven years earlier, but was still considered a risky novelty play. Over the previous summer, Notre Dame's quarterback Gus Dorais and receiver Knute Rockne worked as lifeguards on Lake Erie and practiced throwing and receiving on the beach. Their coach Jesse Harper decided to use a pass-based offensive scheme against Army. [[http://125.nd.edu/moments/this-day-in-history-the-forward-pass-1913-vs-army/ Notre Dame humiliated Army]] 35-13. Their win legitimized passing as an offensive tool, which opened up the game and made it more exciting, and kickstarted Notre Dame's status as a college football icon.
** The creation of the UsefulNotes/IvyLeague in 1954 essentially removed eight of the most storied college football programs in the country from national contention. What's more, this was the whole point; they saw the sport as having grown overly commercialized by TheFifties, to the point of threatening the academic integrity of the schools participating, and wished to maintain their programs while preserving their reputations as top-flight universities. If doing so meant all but abandoning the rest of the college football world (outside the similarly-minded Patriot League, which they formed to give themselves additional teams to play), then so be it.
** The 1958 NFL Championship Game between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts, also called "The Greatest Game Ever Played", was the first NFL playoff game to go into sudden-death overtime, and the game was nationally televised by NBC, with an estimated 45 million people watching it. At the time, baseball was still the preeminent sport in America, and while it would remain so for at least another decade, the 1958 NFL Championship Game marked the beginning of football's rise to prominence, and eventual usurpation of baseball as America's top sport. The Colts' 86-yard drive to tie the game at the end of regulation and force overtime is also cited as the first "two-minute drill." While several other games since could claim the title of "Greatest Ever", when most people reference the turning point of pro football, this game generally given credit.
** Initially, field goal kickers kicked the ball towards the goal posts straight on, the results being that most field goals didn't have much distance and their accuracy was iffy at best (60% or so). Then in TheSixties, Pete Gogolak and others introduced the angled, soccer-style kick for field goals, increasing distance and accuracy and immediately improving the viability of field goals tremendously. As of today, the soccer-style kick is used professionally almost exclusively.
** And the place kick (straight on) replaced the drop kick, where the kicker dropped it like a punter and let it hit the ground before kicking it. The last time it was used was by Doug Flutie as an homage.
** The New York Jets' upset victory over the Baltimore Colts in UsefulNotes/SuperBowl III in 1969 arguably lent the American Football League credibility against the more established National Football League. It helped that Jets' quarterback Joe Namath's "guarantee" that the Jets would win added to the pregame hype (unheard of in the previous two games). The Kansas City Chiefs' win over the Minnesota Vikings the following season proved that it wasn't a one-shot fluke deal for the AFL, leading up to the eventual merger in 1970.
** In 1978, the NFL introduced several rule changes in an effort to encourage more scoring on offense and generally make the games more exciting to watch. Perhaps the biggest change was the rule that effected defensive backs; previously, defenders could make contact with receivers anywhere on the field past the line of scrimmage. The new rules limited contact between defenders and receivers to up to five yards past the line of scrimmage and no further, with any further contact resulting in pass interference. Often called the "Mel Blount Rule", after the Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback who was known for being an extremely physical player, it opened up the passing game and forever changed the way offense was played in the NFL. Oddly enough, it was the Steelers who would win Super Bowl XIII, the first Super Bowl played under the new rules.
** Before the 2011 season, the NFL increased restrictions on what defensive backs could do to impede receivers. Although they were meant with safety in mind, this opened up offense in previously unseen ways. Before, you would see about a half-dozen games in a given season where a QB would reach 400 yards in a game; almost overnight, it became a weekly occurrence, starting with an ominous Week 1 where rookie Cam Newton threw for over 400 yards in his very first pro game. The passing game has now become so prolific that it has rendered the days of 25-carry-a-game [=RBs=] almost obsolete [[note]] in addition to pass-heavy offenses having an edge, there has also been a growing philosophy that most teams have adopted, using a 2-RB system that keeps two guys fresh all year while giving defenses different looks; one will usually be a faster, shiftier back and the other more of an up-the-middle bruiser[[/note]]; in 2013, no RB was taken in the first round of the draft for the first time in the Super Bowl era. In 2014, no RB was taken in the first round yet again.
** January 2, 1987: Penn State, ranked #2, upset #1 Miami (Florida) 14-10 in the Fiesta Bowl to win the 1986 national championship. The turning point wasn't so much the game itself, but the circumstances surrounding it. It wasn't the first time that the top 2 teams had met in a bowl game, or the first time a "New Year's Day bowl" was played on January 2nd (that was the usual custom when New Year's fell on a Sunday). But since both teams were independent at the time and didn't have any bowl game tie-ins, this allowed the Fiesta Bowl to arrange the matchup and heavily promote it as the "national championship game." NBC, who aired the game, decided to move it to January 2nd, which was a Friday, so it could air on its own and wouldn't compete with the other bowls. The game generated hype that was comparable to a Super Bowl, and wound up becoming the most-viewed college football game up to that point in time. In the immediate aftermath the Fiesta Bowl became one of the major bowl games, joining the Rose, Sugar, Orange and Cotton bowls. Later on, the idea of an arranged championship game played after New Year's became the basis of the Bowl Championship Series and the current College Football Playoff.
** The introduction of the salary cap and free agency in the 1994 season was designed to create parity in the NFL and to level the playing field, i.e., to prevent potential dynasties for dominant teams, and to give losing teams a chance. The idea of parity was summed up by former NFL Commissioner Bert Bell, who once said that "any team can beat any other team on any given Sunday."
** An obscure, but important, one: in the early days of the NFL, the championship went to the team with the best record. In 1932 the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans ended the season tied, so the league set up a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1932_NFL_Playoff_Game one-game playoff]] to be hosted by the Bears. But a blizzard was forecast, so the game was moved to Chicago Stadium, the city's three-year-old events coliseum, and played on a shortened field that could fit inside the arena. Football games played indoors, postseason playoffs, and a special championship game--much of the modern NFL was invented that night in Chicago.
* In UsefulNotes/{{basketball}}.
** "Pistol Pete" Maravich arguably brought in the no-look circus pass in the NBA.
** The 1979 NCAA basketball championship between Larry Bird's Indiana State team and Magic Johnson's Michigan State team breathed new life into college basketball. Five years later, the 1984 NBA Finals between Bird's Boston Celtics and Magic's Los Angeles Lakers helped spark a revival in the NBA, which had languished in popularity before the pair entered the league.
** Julius "Dr. J" Erving paved the way for flashy basketball players with devastating dunks in the NBA. People like Clyde Drexler, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan, Lebron James, and Magic Johnson all owe something to the path he paved.
* The High Jump was revolutionized by Dick Fosbury in 1968. It's weird to watch someone do a Fosbury Flop (it involves turning around at the point of the jump and going ''backwards'' over the bar), but it manages to allow jumpers to jump as much as 25% higher than they would be able to jumping straight forwards over the bar.
* In UsefulNotes/MixedMartialArts:
** The 2005 fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephen Bonnar on the undercard of the finale of ''The Ultimate Fighter'', the first ever live-televised MMA event. Their legendary, back-and-forth brawl over a UFC contract made instant fans almost overnight, and it's been documented that ratings spiked during the fight as fans were frantically calling other people to point them to this fight. UFC president Dana White credits this fight as perhaps the most landmark moment in MMA history, and the turning point that launched it to such great, mainstream heights.
** Creator/GinaCarano and Creator/RondaRousey transformed the reputation of women's fighting. Before their rise to fame, it was often stereotyped as [[CatFight "foxy boxing"]] and a sideshow by anybody who didn't actively follow it, while after, it was seen as on par with men's fighting and just as capable of drawing big crowds and delivering intense action.
* In UsefulNotes/{{association football}}/soccer:
** The 1953 match between England and Hungary is widely regarded as the moment when the modern game came into being. The Hungarians, playing a then-unknown tactical style, outclassed the English, who until that point had never been defeated at home by a team from outside the British Isles. In the aftermath, the old English formations and tactics vanished, and the continental tactics, training, and equipment became the standard around the world.
** In TheEighties, British football's long battle with [[FootballHooligans hooliganism]] culminated in the Hillsborough disaster on 15 April 1989, where 96 fans died and hundreds more were injured thanks to a catastrophic failure in crowd control. After Hillsborough, Britain's aging, decrepit stadiums were replaced or saw extensive renovations; stadiums were made all-seating, with standing-room terraces, fences, and crash barriers taken out, and alcohol was banned outside the concession stands. Most importantly, however, the shocked reaction to Hillsborough showed that football wasn't just a sport of the working class, but was enjoyed by all parts of British society. Between that and the safety changes made in the aftermath (many of which also did the job of stopping hooligans), football soon became a sport that it was possible to bring a family to, without fear of getting stomped on in a riot.
** Related to the above, the Liverpool vs. Arsenal match on 26 May 1989 to determine the winner of the First Division, held six weeks after Hillsborough, has been [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2009/mar/29/arsenal-liverpool-1989-football credited]] (along with the creation of Sky TV) with saving the institution of British football. The Liverpool fans, who by rights should've been livid with having the title [[DownToTheLastPlay snatched from under their noses in the last ten seconds of the league]] (the celebratory champagne was even on its way to the Liverpool dressing room), instead chose to [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments applaud Arsenal's well-deserved victory]]. It was clear, from that day forward, that the age of hooliganism was over, and that rioting, property damage, and grievous injury would no longer be the expected outcome of a match.
** The popularity of soccer in the United States skyrocketed after the country hosted the 1994 [[UsefulNotes/TheWorldCup FIFA World Cup]]. After the event, a professional league (UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer) was established in the US, and television ratings for matches have soared, with an estimated 24 million people watching the 2014 World Cup match between the US and Portugal.
** The 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup finals. After the United States won the final match against China to take home the championship, US player Brandi Chastain, who had scored the winning goal, took off her jersey and started cheering and flexing [[ShirtlessScene wearing only a sports bra]]. This display of bravado, almost unheard of for female athletes at the time, wound up on the cover of several major magazines and newspapers, with ''Sports Illustrated''[='=]s [[http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--VWD9R71x--/c_fit,fl_progressive,q_80,w_320/1288152806786371140.jpg head-on cover shot]] becoming one of the most iconic sporting images of the decade, earning both soccer and women's sports in general a massive boost of credibility in the US.
* For UsefulNotes/{{cricket}}, Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, launched in 1977, introduced colored team uniforms, day/night matches, and player payments high enough that being a professional cricketer was a viable career option.
* UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}} driver Dale Earnhardt's fatal wreck at the 2001 Daytona 500 shook NASCAR to the core, producing a major focus on safety in the years afterward. HANS (head-and-neck support) devices and six-point seat belts quickly became the standard, even before they were officially mandated, after the investigation found that Earnhardt's death was caused by the lack of a HANS device combined with an improperly-installed seat belt, while airplane-style black boxes were installed in every vehicle to record crash data in the event of a fatal accident. Less positively, Earnhardt's death also led to the introduction in 2007 of the much-maligned "Car of Tomorrow", an official NASCAR racing vehicle that was designed with safety in mind but turned out to have its own problems in that department (especially its large rear wing making cars more likely to flip in a crash), on top of the hate it received from fans and drivers alike who criticized its handling and performance. When it was replaced with the "Gen 6" car in 2013, [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing there was much rejoicing]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the mid-1980s, the appearance of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' and ''TabletopGame/{{Battletech}}'' popularised fantasy and science fiction settings in {{Wargaming}}, which had until then been dominated by historical games, and brought a new generation into the hobby.

* Creator/{{Aeschylus}} did this for drama -- [[OlderThanFeudalism 2500 years ago]] -- when he made drama by introducing two characters and a chorus and used mythical themes to address contemporary concerns. Creator/{{Euripides}} reinvented theater again, by focusing more on the characters and their motivations, adding larger casts, and making the dramatic aspects much less subdued.
* ''The Spanish Tragedy'' by Thomas Kyd was the TropeMaker and TropeCodifier for Elizabethan and Jacobean Drama, paving the way for Creator/ChristopherMarlowe and Creator/WilliamShakespeare. Kyd introduced the classic revenge plot, FeudingFamilies in fancy exotic settings and most importantly the use of iambic pentameter and blank verse to tell a tragedy. The English rather than feeling second fiddle to the tragedies of Spain and Italy, could have a homegrown version in colloquial language, and this marked the start of the GoldenAge of English Literature.
* Shakespeare's plays probably didn't change theatre so much as ''the world'' but his plays, quite unintentionally, demonstrated that the so-called "classical unities" (i.e. what some authors thought Creator/{{Aristotle}} was prescribing in ''Literature/{{Poetics}}'') of time-place-action did not really get in the way of crowd participation and interest. Shakespeare's plays had action in many different places, rooms and settings, took place over many days and had many different actions. This wasn't as radical in England as it was in "the Continent" where French and German artists saw Shakespeare as an avant-garde writer.
* Creator/HenrikIbsen changed theatre by introducing psychological realism and everyday settings for his dramas. Ibsen was also one of the first dramatists that tried to represent social issues and problems (pertaining to marriage, divorce, women's liberation and nonconformism) as a ''deliberate'' object of critique.
** He paved the way for Creator/BertoltBrecht (who was far more radical and less realist than Ibsen, but nonetheless was a social critic and used theatre to address it) and Arthur Miller (whose Theatre/DeathOfASalesman was highly inspired by Ibsen).
** Ibsen paved the way for Creator/AntonChekhov (plays where "nothing" happened) and Creator/SamuelBeckett (where even ''less'' than nothing happened). After Ibsen, the living room and people's houses became the center of battle for stage. The problems of everyday people became the stuff of high drama, no less grand and capable of arousing pity and fear as the Kings, Demigods, heroes and schemers of Greek and Elizabethan Theater.
* Theatre/AStreetcarNamedDesire's original production in 1950 changed American (and by extension global) culture forever. Not only for the play and its great writing (by Creator/TennesseeWilliams) but also for its starring role by Creator/MarlonBrando and direction by Creator/EliaKazan. Its approach to psychological realism, focus on sexual neurosis and sympathy for mental turmoil, shifted theatre away from social problem issues to personal, identity issues dealing with human psychology and family hangups. Brando's performance introduced greater standards of realism and led to MethodActing becoming the dominant school, for better and worse.
* In the mid-to-late 19th century, the London stage was full of all kinds of vulgar, lewd, and risqué shows (so were stages in all the European capitals); the works of Creator/GilbertAndSullivan showed there was room for family-friendly fare in the theatre. This in itself would be a turning point, but after Gilbert and Sullivan, those making "light opera" or "operetta" began following the G&S model...and a little while later people realized that G&S had invented TheMusical.
* ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}'' changed the musical theatre genre from fluffy entertainment into legitimate theatre.
** Well, ''Oklahoma'' gave musical theatre the format of the use of song, dialogue, and dance, but it was ''Theatre/ShowBoat'' that first made musical theatre into legitimate theatre.
*** ''Oklahoma'' was not the first musical to use song, dialogue, and dance - those three things were in every musical. What ''Oklahoma'' did was integrate those three elements in a mature and realistic fashion (well, as realistic as breaking into song ever can be, but then {{Opera}}'s been doing that for four hundred years and hardly anybody complains about that.)
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil accomplished this trope three times over:
** Starting with its 1987 tour ''Theatre/LeCirqueReinvente'', Cirque did a lot to raise circus out of the kiddie entertainment ghetto it had fallen into in North America. Now, there are numerous successful "contemporary circus" troupes/companies that play to a wide variety of audiences, without even counting the [[TheMockbuster blatant imitators]] of Cirque's style (which was derived from European and Asian circuses) that have sprung up.
** On a related note, it also played a major role in killing off the use of wild animals in the circus. As the use of captive elephants, bears, big cats, and other creatures grew increasingly controversial from TheNineties onward, many animal rights activists pointed to Cirque as a model for how to create an engaging circus show while relying entirely on human performers. While Siegfried and Roy's infamous mishap with their tiger marked the ultimate tipping point for such (in addition to [[CreatorKiller permanently ending their own show]]), Cirque helped lay the groundwork for their decline before then.
** Their first Las Vegas resident show, ''Theatre/{{Mystere}}'', helped change that city's entertainment scene. Siegfried and Roy's magic show at the Mirage had opened four years prior and was also a big game changer after years of increasingly stale showgirl revues, but ''Mystere'' was actually taken seriously as theater, to the point that ''Time'' magazine's theater critic named it one of the best shows of 1994. While it would lead to many acclaimed sister productions in the city, other Vegas casino-hotels imported such productions as Music/BlueManGroup, ''Theatre/JerseyBoys'', and ''Theatre/TheLionKing'', often with huge success, resulting in a more diverse range of entertainment for tourists.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros''
** In the field of video games, ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros1'' defined the 2D platformer, as well as ensuring the resurrection of the video game home console in the United States after UsefulNotes/TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983. Previous entries, such as ''VideoGame/{{Pitfall}}'' and Nintendo's own ''VideoGame/MarioBros'' and ''VideoGame/DonkeyKong'', took place on a single screen or series of screens. Super Mario Bros' innovative scrolling screen was so influential that even the ''name'' of the genre was changed, being popularly known as "sidescrollers" until the leap to 3D.
** And then another Mario game, ''VideoGame/SuperMario64'', set the standard for 3D platformers for years to come, and was the first 3D platformer to successfully use a joystick.
** Yet another Mario game, ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBros'', proved with its high and unexpected popularity that looking to gaming's past is not a sign of creative stagnation. Hence, the massive influx of retro-flavored games afterward, including Nintendo's own ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns''.
* ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' helped define part of the culture of TheNineties by creating the MascotWithAttitude, and showing how fast gameplay could work as a platformer. In the process, it created the UsefulNotes/ConsoleWars between Creator/{{Sega}} and Creator/{{Nintendo}}.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' made platforming "realistic" with its use of [[LeParkour parkour]], and set the stage for, among other things, ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend Tomb Raider: Legend]]'', ''[[VideoGame/AssassinsCreedI Assassin's Creed]]'' (which was, not coincidentally, made by the same studio as ''Sands of Time'') and ''VideoGame/{{Uncharted}}''. Back in 1989, ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersia1'' did the exact same thing, with its realistic platforming and fighting.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'' (or ''Final Fantasy II'' as it was known to North American audiences) wasn't the first console RPG to have plots more complex than just presenting a series of obstacles and quests your party has to get around or even to have some character development, but for the newly born 16-bit generation of role-playing games it certainly raised the bar for what players expected out of [=RPGs=], making more sophisticated storytelling as much a part of the console RPG experience as gameplay or fantastic settings.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' rewrote the rulebook for the 3D RPG genre, popularizing highly cinematic presentation enabled by CG rendering and the newly increased storage space of [=CDs=], and dynamic camera angles and movement in battles presented in 3D.
* ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' altered the face of the {{fighting game}}, shifting focus from [[BeatEmUp side scrolling brawlers]] onto one on one fights, varied character rosters, and competitive two player modes. It also had a {{good bad bug|s}} that let you "{{Combo|s}}" moves together.
* ''VideoGame/VirtuaFighter'' likewise proved that fighting games could easily make a transition into 3D, in addition to showcasing more natural forms of combat as opposed to the fireballs and wuxia of its 2D brethren.
* In the '90s and early '00s, several games each popularized pieces that would coalesce into the modern FirstPersonShooter genre that we know today.
** There had been games like ''VideoGame/Wolfenstein3D'' before it, but none had the immediate impact of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', the {{Trope Maker|s}} that [[GenrePopularizer popularized]] the genre in the mainstream consciousness. Notably, it was the first FPS to offer multiplayer (via LAN or dial-up modem).
** ''VideoGame/{{Quake|I}}'' was not the first FPS game with built-in Internet multiplayer[[note]]Creator/{{Bungie}}'s ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' shipped with [=AppleTalk=] network multiplayer, complete with voice chat, two years prior. [=AppleTalk=] could be routed over the Internet, but it wasn't common at that time.[[/note]], but it played a large role in turning it into one of the staples of the genre. Virtually every FPS released since ''Quake'' includes a multiplayer mode, with many FPS fans buying games solely for the multiplayer and never touching the single-player.
** [[AccidentalPun Rarely]] does [[TheProblemWithLicensedGames a licensed game]] redefine conventions. Yet this is exactly what ''VideoGame/{{GoldenEye|1997}}'' did in 1997. Not only did it set the standards for every shooter of its generation, but more importantly, it showed that FPS games on consoles didn't have to be watered down compared to their PC counterparts, and could be legitimately great games in their own right. It would also bring multiplayer [=FPSes=] to a wide audience, allowing up to 4 players to shoot each other up on one screen and one console; before then, the only way to enjoy multiplayer [=FPSes=] with that many players was to do it on a PC with each player having their own machine. Finally, it's [[http://kotaku.com/5625054/the-history-of-headshots-gamings-favorite-act-of-unreal-violence credited]], together with ''VideoGame/TeamFortressClassic'' and ''VideoGame/{{MDK}}'' that same year, with having popularized the [[BoomHeadshot headshot]] by introducing location-based damage.
** ''[[VideoGame/HalfLife1 Half-Life]]'' introduced scripted setpieces, the illusion of intelligent AI, and story-driven progression rather than a simple sequence of key and switch hunts.
** ''VideoGame/MedalOfHonor'' and ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'' popularized the military shooter, with a much greater focus on realism and authenticity as opposed to over-the-top action and sci-fi storylines.
** ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' brought in RegeneratingHealth and the LimitedLoadout, in addition to mixing up the gameplay with environments which alternated between wide open spaces and tight corridors and mixed on-foot and vehicular action. These elements existed prior to this, but ''Halo'' blended them into a kind of alchemic formula that stuck.
** And a year later, ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' successfully fused the FPS with the adventure genre, creating a first-person shooter where the focus was not on combat, but rather exploration and puzzle-solving. Those had long been staples of video games, but ''Metroid Prime'' really was the [[TropeCodifier codifier]] for their inclusion in the FPS genre. To this day, almost every modern FPS can trace its roots back to either ''Halo'', ''Metroid Prime'', or ''Medal of Honor''.
** More recently, the outstanding success of ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'' single-handedly shifted the standard setting of military shooters from World War II to the Modern Day. Beyond that, it also popularized the ideas of perk systems and player loadouts in multiplayer, as well as the idea of single-player campaigns being highly scripted, cinematic affairs designed akin to rollercoaster rides. Such was its impact that even games outside of the genre took notice and adapted elements from it.
* ''VideoGame/CastleWolfenstein'' was one of the first games in the stealth game genre, but it wasn't until the success of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'', and ''[[VideoGame/{{Tenchu}} Tenchu: Stealth Assassins]]'' that the genre began to attract attention. Other stealth game series, like ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'' and ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'', have continued this with quirks of their own.
* PC gaming was generally seen as inferior to console gaming until the advent of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', which was made by a {{shareware}} company, causing gaming companies everywhere to rethink their business model.
** Shareware in general (where you gave away part of your program for free, and the user would pay you money for the full thing if they liked it) was seen as a really stupid idea that could never possibly make money. Apogee Software and Epic [=MegaGames=] came along and proved that the model ''could'' be profitable, at least with games. Apogee made a lot of money with the game series ''Kingdoms of Kroz'', and Epic with ''[=ZZT=]''. This is way BEFORE the days of the Internet, which made distributing shareware easy. Apogee later changed their name to 3D Realms and created ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'', and Epic went on to create the ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'' and ''[[VideoGame/GearsOfWar Gears of War]]'' series.
*** Game-wise, ''VideoGame/DukeNukem'' (Apogee), ''Jill of the Jungle'' (Epic) and ''Commander Keen'' (Id) popularised shareware. One from each major company.
* ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' lead third person shooters as a genre to [[TakeCover strategic cover-based gameplay]]. While third-person cover shooters had some precedents before it (notably ''VideoGame/WinBack'' and ''Kill.Switch''), ''Gears of War'' is when the concept truly solidified and became a regular feature of the genre.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto'':
** ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' completely revolutionized both the WideOpenSandbox and the content that it was considered acceptable for video games to show. It wasn't the first 3D open-world game (titles like ''VideoGame/{{Driver}}'', ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', and DMA Design's own ''VideoGame/BodyHarvest'' predate it), nor was it the first graphically violent game (it wasn't even the first to start a [[YouCanPanicNow moral panic]] over video game violence). However, its success helped it stand head and shoulders above its progenitors, providing players with a massive world that was packed to the rafters with things to do, including any sort of vice and debauchery they could imagine. To this day, the template for most open-world games is essentially a refinement of what ''GTA III'' accomplished. Unfortunately, it also helped sell the idea of video games as MurderSimulators.
** Its sequel ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity'', meanwhile, revolutionized video game soundtracks. Before, music in video games was usually either specifically composed for the game, made up of a handful of more-or-less obscure/underground musicians, or composed of no more than about a dozen licensed tracks, usually from a single genre (such as ''VideoGame/TonyHawksProSkater''[='=]s PunkRock soundtrack). The Houser brothers, however, used their connections in the music industry to secure the rights to a soundtrack composed of over a hundred songs from some of the biggest pop and rock icons of TheEighties, contributing to the game's ''Series/MiamiVice''[=/=]''Film/{{Scarface|1983}}'' atmosphere like nothing else. ''Vice City''[='=]s soundtrack is still held up as one of the greatest ever seen in a video game, and it's been the norm for games to use licensed tracks from big-name artists ever since.
** On a [[TropesAreNotGood more negative note]], ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV''[='=]s online multiplayer mode, ''Grand Theft Auto Online'', has been held up as a harbinger of all of the exploitative monetization practices that would plague gaming during UsefulNotes/{{the Eighth Generation|OfConsoleVideoGames}}. It was the first AAA, $60 retail game to employ {{microtransactions}} in a big way for its online economy, a model previously restricted to free-to-play mobile and browser games, and other developers, taking note of how lucrative this model became for [[Creator/TakeTwoInteractive Rockstar Games]], adapted it for their own online games. To [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylDTBKgPci4 quote]] Tyler J. of Cleanprincegaming:
-->"Like it or not, the game was breaking new ground. [[FranchiseOriginalSin Unfortunately, they broke that ground directly over Hell.]]"
* ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'' did this for storytelling in fighting games. Before then, story was often considered a complete [[PlayTheGameSkipTheStory afterthought]] that casual players can look up in the [[AllInTheManual manual]], and was often only vaguely referenced as each character only had an arcade ending and nothing else. It was generally agreed that story didn't matter in fighting games, with the reasoning is that they're meant for competitive play and one doesn't need a story for why two people are fighting each other. However, once ''[=MK9=]'' came out, it completely flipped the script on the idea of what can be done with a story in fighting games. Basically, it proved that you ''can'' have a fully cinematic story in a fighting game, and have it be ''compelling'' for gamers. ''[=MK9=]'' made it perfectly reasonable, if not expected, for a fighting game to have a full-fledged story mode, and the term "fighting games don't need a story" has slowly waned from being "universally accepted" to "a lazy excuse not to have content". Since then, [[FollowTheLeader nearly all big-name fighting games]] have included one, with other developers likely taking cues from the success ''[=MK9=]'' had.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' took [=RPGs=] down a completely different path. Its emphasis on story and simplistic combat was a major culture shock for American gamers when they got their hands on it (Western [=RPGs=] at the time consisting mainly of [[ExcusePlot shallow stories]] and [[GuideDangIt cripplingly complex gameplay]]), but it definitely had a following, and it spawned the subgenre we now refer to as the [[EasternRPG JRPG]].
* The UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} Live service (and its child service, the UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade) provided two previously rare functions on consoles -- it allowed for the onset of downloadable content expansions to console games, and it allowed for the download of small games directly to a console's hard drive, starting with titles such as Namco arcade games. With the Xbox 360, this eventually allowed for the download of entire Xbox games, but this and several other download networks ushered in a new era of independently produced games, which themselves are sometimes deconstructions and reconstructions of classical video-game concepts. The industry has essentially come full-circle.
* For the InteractiveFiction genre, ''VideoGame/{{Photopia}}''. Before ''Photopia'', games often used MindScrew surrealism or HighFantasy loosely bound by a huge StoryArc. After ''Photopia'', plot and puzzles became more important to the feel of a game, and slice-of-life realism overtook surrealism as the most popular environment in InteractiveFiction.
** The release of Inform (and ''much'' more so Inform 7) revolutionized the medium, if not the genre. It made it possible for non-programmers to write InteractiveFiction software.
* UsefulNotes/{{Steam}} did a lot to revive PC gaming in the TurnOfTheMillennium. Before it became popular, PC developers were fleeing to consoles en masse due to both the growing threat of piracy and, later, the backlash that intrusive UsefulNotes/{{DRM}} systems caused within the gaming community. Steam offered not only a relatively consumer-friendly form of DRM, but a whole slew of other features (unified friends lists, an AchievementSystem, etc.) that had previously been exclusive to consoles. As a result, developers felt more confident releasing their games on PC through Steam, with the knowledge that they were not only tougher to pirate, but that, even when they were inevitably pirated, the pirate copies would lose their Steam functionality in the process.
** Steam also helped to create the market for indie gaming by offering a way for small developers to get their games to consumers without the costs and hurdles associated with retail stores. UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade and UsefulNotes/PlayStationNetwork quickly followed its lead, spreading the indie love to console gamers.
* ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' is widely regarded as having saved the WesternRPG genre from slow extinction, setting up a RealTimeWithPause engine to replace the then-standard turn-based mechanics and putting a strong emphasis on story and CharacterDevelopment. Since then, strong writing has been expected of [=WRPGs=], and purely turn-based games are almost never released anymore. Those in the know also credit Baldur's Gate for saving its parent franchise, ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', from the tar pit that it had been driven into in the 1990s.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'' was the first console game to use a battery-backup save feature and codified or outright named a huge number of tropes used in {{action adventure}} games ever since. The complexity of games after this point would never be the same again, as it was now possible to make a game that couldn't be beaten in a few hours.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'' went a long way towards moving action games away from having nothing more than an ExcusePlot, instead making the story an integral part of the gaming experience. The story, voice acting (particularly in a time when almost every game's voice acting ranged from mediocre to awful), and CharacterDevelopment were particularly pointed out for praise and those three things noticeably made the gameplay and action sequences more intense than any other action games on the market at the time, particularly the {{Boss Battle}}s. It also examined some surprisingly adult subjects--like PTSD and nuclear proliferation--which would have been unheard-of a decade before it came out.
* SurvivalHorror games had a number of major game-changers.
** ''VideoGame/{{Resident Evil|1}}'' was the big one. There had been antecedents like ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'', ''Franchise/AloneInTheDark'', and ''VideoGame/{{Phantasmagoria}}'', but ''Resident Evil'' made the genre into a showcase of what the new UsefulNotes/PlayStation console could do. It embedded a heavy AdventureGame influence in the genre with its key hunts, puzzles, and inventory management, established {{zombie|Apocalypse}}s as the mook of choice for many games, and spawned a wave of imitators and [[Franchise/ResidentEvil a long-running franchise]].
** One of the most successful of said imitators, ''VideoGame/{{Silent Hill|1}}'', introduced a more psychological take on the genre inspired by Creator/StephenKing and Creator/HPLovecraft, with [[ReligionOfEvil evil cults]], demonic forces, and the town being an EldritchLocation. It, too, spawned [[Franchise/SilentHill a successful series]], and influenced a lot of the more explicitly supernatural takes on the genre.
** ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' is particularly notable here, as it managed to be a turning point for ''two'' genres, with the reasons for both being intimately related. Whereas survival horror before then (including prior games in the series) was known for starving the player of resources in order to increase tension, ''[=RE4=]'' gave the player an NRA convention's worth of guns and ammo and proceeded to throw everything and the kitchen sink at them, producing a high-octane, adrenaline-filled thrill ride. ''[=RE4=]''[='=]s brand of survival horror was no longer about the fear that you don't even have the resources to overcome this one zombie, but rather, from fear that the angry mob of [[PuppeteerParasite parasite-brainwashed villagers]] or BigCreepyCrawlies in front of you would overwhelm you no matter how many bullets you could fire at them.\\\
At the same time, by jettisoning past ''RE'' games' cinematic camera angles and clumsy controls in favor of an over-the-shoulder POV and a more fine-tuned aiming system, ''[=RE4=]'' inadvertently [[http://kotaku.com/resident-evil-4-changed-action-games-forever-1786901886 wrote the book]] for the modern ThirdPersonShooter formula as people realized that there was a really good shooter in there. Starting with ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'', which refined the system for a more conventional action shooter experience, nearly every third-person shooter since the mid-'00s bears some influence from ''[=RE4=]'' -- ironic, given that ''[=RE4=]'' wasn't even part of that genre to begin with. In a case of [[TropesAreTools Tropes Are Not Good]], none of this was lost on longtime ''RE'' fans, and as both later games in the series and other survival horror franchises went in a more action-heavy direction, a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eO4e0jSnEo not-uncommon opinion]] emerged in the late '00s and early '10s that ''[=RE4=]'', as good as it was on its own merits, wasn't just a FranchiseOriginalSin for the ''RE'' series, but a ''Genre'' Original Sin for survival horror as a whole.
** In the mid-late '00s, survival horror was thought to be a dying genre, unable to compete in the increasingly big-budget gaming marketplace. And then came ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'', which revolutionized indie horror and almost singlehandedly put the genre back on the map. Many of ''Amnesia''[='=]s design elements (an unarmed and highly vulnerable protagonist, heavy use of InterfaceScrew) form part of the DNA of its many imitators.
** While VideoGame/SilentHills was cancelled the Playable Teaser was so successful that it revolutionized horror games. It introduced the idea of setting the game in an enclosed, limited, and mundane place that slowly turns more and more sinister as the player traverses it. It inspired many games after it such as VideoGame/AllisonRoad and VideoGame/ResidentEvil7Biohazard.
* The huge critical and commercial success of ''VideoGame/GranTurismo'' in 1998 proved that simulation racing could be made just as accessible, fun, and mass-market as the likes of ''VideoGame/MarioKart'' and ''VideoGame/DaytonaUSA'' without sacrificing depth and realism, opening the doors for the sub-genre to co-exist and succeed next to its arcade racing brethren.
* While they're far from the first BulletHell games, the Windows-era ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' games with their intricate bullet patterns and use of humanoid characters rather than mechs and fighter ships effectively redefined the ShootEmUp genre, especially within the doujin shooter scene; since 2002, it's hard to find a doujin shmup or even a commercial one that ''doesn't'' fill the screen with intricate bullet patterns. TropesAreNotGood; some feel that the saturation of bullet hell games makes it difficult to find more "classical" shooters ever since ''Touhou'' popularized bullet hell or shooters that don't use what detractors refer to as a "loli" or "jailbait" aesthetic.
* ''VideoGame/{{beatmania}}'' is not the first RhythmGame, but it introduced the idea of scrolling notes, something that has become the standard for the genre, and has been reflected through other Konami rhythm games like ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'', non-Konami Asian-developed rhythm games such as ''VideoGame/PumpItUp'' and ''VideoGame/LoveLiveSchoolIdolFestival'', and finally, Western rhythm games such as ''VideoGame/{{Frequency}}'', ''VideoGame/GuitarHero'', and ''VideoGame/RockBand''.
* ''VideoGame/DanceDanceRevolution'' set the standard for dancing rhythm games; rather than have the player push buttons to play, the player has to ''move their body'', resulting in something more dance-like than previous dance games as well as a classic form of {{Exergaming}}.
* Before ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed: [[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedUnderground Underground]]'', arcade-style racers involving licensed vehicles, especially previous ''NFS'' games, were just games that gave the opportunity for players to enjoy the coolest cars in some fantastic environments in illegal street races, although it was nothing too crazy. You're just driving a car, winning races, and running from police. EA Black Box's ''Underground'', with some thanks to the popularity of ''Film/TheFastAndTheFurious'', brought in ''organized'' illegal street racing to the gaming world with modified tuners decorated in vinyls, [[NitroBoost nitrous oxide tanks]] providing a means to accelerate quicker, storylines to keep things interesting, changed powersliding to drifting with special events revolving around them, and added in some drag racing events, all to enjoy from the safe, legal comfort of players' homes.\\\
This made both ''NFS'' and arcade racing more than just driving a nice car either from point A to point B or around closed looped tracks to the eyes of many fans, especially [[NewbieBoom new ones]]. ''Underground 2'' and 2005's ''[[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedMostWanted Most Wanted]]'' helped reenforce this mindset with {{Wide Open Sandbox}}es and the latter's ''re''introduction of police chases (the two ''Underground'' games took place [[AlwaysNight exclusively at night]], which gave a somewhat unrealistic excuse for why the illegal street racing was not picked up on by police).\\\
However, TropesAreNotGood, because not every arcade racing game fan cares about (what they may call) {{Rice Burner}}s, and after Black Box stopped being ''Need for Speed''[='=]s main developer thanks to their botching of ''[=ProStreet=]'' and ''Undercover'', the franchise went into a [[DorkAge dark period]] where [[BrokenBase fans would argue]] whether or not the series should move away from the ''Underground'' style or return to it. [[CriticalDissonance This affected the fan reception of the otherwise critically-acclaimed]] ''Shift'' sub-series and the Creator/{{Criterion|Games}} entries of ''Hot Pursuit'' and ''[[VideoGame/NeedForSpeedMostWanted Most Wanted]]''.
* ''VideoGame/TonyHawksProSkater'' in 1999 revolutionized not only extreme sports games, but arguably extreme sports themselves. While a few attempts had been made in the past at bringing such sports to gaming (such as ''VideoGame/CoolBoarders'', ''[=2Xtreme=]'', and ''VideoGame/TenEightySnowboarding''), ''Tony Hawk'' nailed the sweet spot between fun and accessibility on one hand and realism and authenticity on the other. Games like ''VideoGame/{{SSX}}'', ''Aggressive Inline'', and ''VideoGame/{{Skate}}'' all built on the foundation that ''Tony Hawk'' had laid down. Moreover, it also gave a huge boost to the popularity of skateboarding in real life; between 1999 and 2002, the number of skateboarders worldwide [[TheRedStapler skyrocketed by sixty percent]].
* The UsefulNotes/{{Xbox}} made Microsoft the first American company since Creator/{{Atari}} to become a major player in the UsefulNotes/ConsoleWars, officially breaking the monopoly held by the Japanese since UsefulNotes/TheGreatVideoGameCrashOf1983. This was a major sign that the Great Crash's lingering aftereffects were gone for good.
* {{VideoGame/Starcraft}} was a turning point for the real-time strategy genre. The introduction of three completely asymmetrical races was a vast improvement over its sister series, {{Videogame/Warcraft}}, and other games of the genre, most of which featured identical factions with only minor mechanical differences and different visuals . It was also the first RTS to be played professionaly, particularly in South Korea.
** The real-time strategy genre suffered another turn with the release of {{VideoGame/Dawn of War}} and {{VideoGame/Company of Heroes}}, both games by Relic Entertainment. Those games shifted the focus of the genre from base-build and [[{{YouRequire MoreVespeneGas}} resource gathering]] to a more dynamic style, with greater focus on micromanagement. Nowadays, most RTS games don't feature the old-school "collect resources, build your army, smash your enemies" style of gameplay, and those who do, have these mechanics downplayed.
* ''VideoGame/InitialDArcadeStage'' redefined arcade racing games, introducing a number of competitive elements such as an emphasis on one-on-one "battles" rather than "grids" of racers, the option to challenge players who are in mid-game to a race, a card system for saving player data, and tuning options to upgrade and fine-tune one's vehicle. These features helped create a major FightingGame-style tournament scene, something that had never been seen with previous racing games in arcades.
* For quite a while, there were [[MultiUserDungeon Multi User Dungeons]], the precursors of modern-day {{MMORPG}}s. They codified many of the popular gameplay features that we see today, but it wasn't until games like ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' - the AOL Gold Box-esque game, not the later Bioware one - that graphics were used. Similar genre busters later seen, which further canonized what's sometimes called the 'Diku' (after ''Diku MUD'', itself very definitely a trope codifier), were 1997's ''VideoGame/UltimaOnline'' and 1999's ''{{VideoGame/Everquest}}''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' wrote the book for the modern [[WesternRPG Western action role-playing game]], combining HackAndSlash gameplay, an RPG-style leveling system, and an innovative [[RandomDrop loot mechanic]] in a formulation that games ever since, in all genres, have drawn inspiration from. As Matt Gerardi of ''The Website/AVClub'' [[http://www.avclub.com/article/20-years-after-diablo-every-game-diablo-247750 put it,]] "twenty years after ''Diablo'', every game is ''Diablo''."
* The ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries'' was this for licensed games in general. Before ''Arkham Asylum'', it was common for studios to invest money in AAA license titles that were often movie tie-ins. The ''VideoGame/BatmanBegins'' video game is a famous example as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Knight_(video_game) is an aborted]] ''The Dark Knight'' game, and the many ''VideoGame/HarryPotter'' games which adapted the movies rather than serve, as the Arkham games, as an adaptation of the license tailored to the video game medium. While some movie tie-ins do exist such as ''VideoGame/TheAmazingSpiderMan'', they are more or less relegated to mobile games, and indeed the upcoming ''VideoGame/SpidermanPS4'' is following Arkham's approach in adapting the license to the game rather than make a movie tie-in. Most famously, where ''Franchise/TheLordOfTheRings'' had movie tie-in hack-and-slash licensed games, for ''Film/TheHobbit'', Monolith Studios made a game-centric adaptation of the licensed property, leading to the critically acclaimed ''VideoGame/MiddleEarthShadowOfMordor''. Monolith explicitly cited Rocksteady as their inspiration noting that it raised the bar for adapting licensed properties by insisting that it work first and foremost by providing entertaining gameplay.
* ''VideoGame/BioShock1'', upon its release in 2007, brought a sea change to both video game storytelling and video game journalism, with [[http://games.avclub.com/choosing-the-impossible-did-bioshock-define-the-last-1-1798346366 this article]] at ''The Website/AVClub'' outlining the myriad ways it impacted the medium.
** On the side of gaming itself, ''[=BioShock=]'' popularized [[ApocalypticLog audio diaries]] as a means of storytelling, such that most games with a narrative story now use them, or something like them, to deliver background details on the world and characters. It also popularized moral choice systems, which would be further refined over the years by games like ''VideoGame/MassEffect'' and ''VideoGame/InFamous''. Furthermore, its [[DeconstructionGame deconstructionist twist]] around the halfway mark, one that went against everything that players are typically told to do in a video game of this sort, was a massive shock to casual gamers expecting just another sci-fi shooter. It was hardly the first game to employ any of these ideas (in fact, it was envisioned as a SpiritualSuccessor to ''VideoGame/SystemShock2''), but it ''was'' one of the first highly-polished, big-budget AAA titles to do so and become a mainstream success. Their spread throughout the game industry since then is such that ''[=BioShock=]''[='=]s impact [[SeinfeldIsUnfunny can feel muted today]].
** In the realm of gaming journalism, meanwhile, ''[=BioShock=]''[='=]s exploration of the nature of video game narratives and tropes helped bring a new breed of more intellectual game critics and writers into the mainstream, as people picked apart the game's big twist and its presentation of the morals and political ideas at the center of its story. Those who criticized various aspects of the game and [[VideoGame/BioShock2 its]] [[VideoGame/BioShockInfinite sequels]] wound up birthing the term "[[GameplayAndStorySegregation ludonarrative dissonance]]" with their complaints about how they felt that the action-packed gameplay didn't match up with the themes running through the story. These criticisms would later give birth to the "narrative game" genre (or, more pejoratively, the "walking simulator"), which largely eschewed conventional competitive gameplay in favor of storytelling; notably, ''VideoGame/GoneHome'', one of the more famous games of this type, was developed by a team whose founding members got their start on the Minerva's Den story expansion for ''[=BioShock=] 2''.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* You have ''VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorial'' to thank for DatingSim girls who actually have personalities beyond "living love doll".
* ...and ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'' to thank for giving the ''male protagonist'' a personality, as well as (and the two are connected) making PornWithPlot [[HGame eroge]] just as marketable as PornWithoutPlot games (though the developers had previously done ''ONE -kagayaku kisetsu e-, Moon.,'' and ''Dousei'' before forming [[Creator/KeyVisualArts their own studio]], none of these games had the impact that ''Kanon'' had).
* ...and ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' for making visual novels a viable genre in the Western world, even though it was a Western-developed game. Combined with Steam allowing smaller publishers mentioned earlier, official localizations of visual novels are becoming more common.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' wasn't the first web series by a long shot, but it ''was'' the first successful one, showing that internet video could support popular scripted series. It also wrote the book for all future {{machinima}}, raising the bar and setting a new standard for the genre while elevating it beyond the realm of cheaply-made fan films, demonstrating that it could appeal to far more than just fans of the games.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* And the other half of the mid-late '00s web video revolution, ''WebVideo/{{lonelygirl15}}'', did for live-action shows what ''Red vs. Blue'' did for machinima and animation. It demonstrated that independent producers on Website/YouTube could make series with real production values and engaging long-term storylines, setting the stage for everything from ''WebVideo/TheGuild'' and ''WebVideo/DrHorriblesSingAlongBlog'' all the way up to the emergence of Creator/{{Netflix}}, Creator/{{Hulu}}, and Creator/AmazonStudios as serious players in television. Furthermore, ''lonelygirl15'' was the TropeMaker for the VlogSeries, a format later employed by other popular web shows as diverse as ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' and ''WebVideo/TheLizzieBennetDiaries''.
* ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' changed the podcast game in one episode with "A Story About You." It highlighted the flexibility of the narrative and took the medium of the podcast to its full advantage. Since it did not have to show anything, it could tell one story and immerse the listener in a way that had never been done before. With attention on this one episode, ''Night Vale'' gave new life to the podcast outside of small critical circles and gave it credibility as a legitimate art form.
* [[http://www.suck.com/ Suck.com]], a website targeted at Gen-Xers that offered commentary on pop culture, politics, technology, and more, essentially wrote the book for the likes of Website/{{Cracked}}, Gawker, Buzzfeed, and countless other sites with its ironic, DeadpanSnarker house style. One of its innovations, the use of [[PotHole hyperlinks to drive a point or as a punchline]], is now ''de rigeur'' even on many "serious" websites. Even though the site was finally done in by the dot-com bubble in 2001, its legacy lives on in [[http://digiday.com/publishers/gen-xers-rejoice-suck-com-comes-back-daily-newsletter/ the many sites]] its writers and editors would go on to create or otherwise write for.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In Creator/WarnerBros [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes cartoons]], Creator/TexAvery revolutionized both the Warner cartoons and the animation industry itself. At a time when Warner and almost all other studios were bent on imitating Creator/{{Disney}}, and in which Warner cartoons in particular were suffering from deathly mediocrity, Avery came along in 1935 with his zany, faster-paced, smartassed, [[NoFourthWall fourth-wall-breaking]] comedy, and cartoons haven't been the same since. If you watch the Warner cartoon library in sequence and look at what the studio was doing by 1937 or '38, it's amazing to think that this same studio had been producing terminally boring cartoons just two or three years earlier. When Warner cartoons finally became funny, they had Tex to thank for it.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheDoverBoys'' (1942) is a double turning point for American animation. It marks the point were Creator/{{Warner|Bros}}'s animators stopped aping Creator/{{Disney}} and started experimenting with much more stylized action. It also marks the point when Creator/ChuckJones went from the junior director who did the ''Sniffles the Mouse'' cartoons to a major innovator.
* The short lived ''[[WesternAnimation/MightyMouse Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures]]'' (1987-1988) completely overhauled the expectations of what a television cartoon could do and began the practice of cartoonist-controlled animation and en-masse pop culture references.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' (1989-) struck a huge blow against the AnimationAgeGhetto, proving that animated shows based around adult humor can be successful and popularizing the animated sitcom, followed by ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'', ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', and too many others to count.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' (1992-1995, 1997-1999) allowed comic book superhero animated series to move past the AnimationAgeGhetto of the ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'', with heroes and villains that have complex motivations and (often) tragic back stories, and spawned a very well-remembered [[Franchise/{{DCAU}} franchise]]. It also proved that an animated show could be darker and deeper and have epic story lines while still appealing to children, and without alienating adults, which remains a major aspect in action/adventure shows to this day. Finally, it was the first TV cartoon to feature realistic handguns instead of ''StarWars''-inspired laser blasters.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' was first released to unexpectedly massive popularity, and in the early days, fascinated viewers with its bizarre yet fantastical nature. Then the show started delivering [[WhamEpisode Wham Episodes]] and monumental revelations, which were jarringly emotional and sometimes extremely [[TearJerker tearjerking]], compared to the random silliness that seemed to make up the rest of the show. Several members of the show crew would eventually go off on their own, inspired by their experiences, to create critically acclaimed shows of their own with similar blends of comedy and emotional depth, such as Rebecca Sugar with ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse''.