[[quoteright:176:[[Series/DogWithABlog http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/dog_with_a_blog_logo.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:176:Guess what the premise is.]]

->''"You think there's a treasure map... on the back of the Declaration of Independence."''
-->-- '''Abigail Chase''', ''Film/NationalTreasure''

[[DescribeTropeHere Describe "High Concept" here:]]

'''A fresh, unique, and compelling story ''premise'' that can be easily summed up in a single sentence or two.'''

A High Concept is a bare-bones description of the premise of a proposed movie, show, or whatever, used to pitch it to a producer or an audience.

A High Concept work is one that can be explained with a short, to-the-point and (it is to be hoped), intriguing description; one that can sell on its own merits. This type is loved by producers who can get a full pitch and explanation of what is going to draw in the viewers within ten seconds. From these few lines they can imagine the trailer, the marketing, the TargetAudience and [[TheMerch merchandise]].

Occasionally, as in the page quote, a line of dialogue or narration from a film [[LampshadeHanging will sum up]] its High Concept for us - it sometimes seems like [[ExecutiveMeddling Meddling Executives]] demanded a good soundbite to put in [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil the trailer]]. LetMeGetThisStraight is a frequent contributor.

{{High Concept}}s can take several specific forms like: "[[JustForFun/XMeetsY Show A meets Show B]]", "[[WunzaPlot One's an X, the other's a Y]]: TheyFightCrime", or "Film X in the style of Creator W" as well as the labored [[RecycledINSPACE IN SPACE!]] and DieHardOnAnX. Sometimes a High Concept can be based entirely around ''who's'' in it as opposed to what it is, with the implication that the star's unique style or talent will carry the premise - [[Series/{{Seinfeld}} a sitcom starring Jerry Seinfeld]]; [[Series/{{Frasier}} a sitcom based around Kelsey Grammer's character from]] ''Seires/{{Cheers}}''. And of course you can combine headliner talent with a fantastic or unusual situation: [[Series/ThatsSoRaven Raven Symone has psychic powers]]; [[Series/HannahMontana Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter lives a double-life as a normal teenager and pop icon]]. Sometimes a high concept can become so influential and imitable that it becomes a format trope in its own right, as is the case of ''Film/DieHard''; see also ''TheMagnificentSevenSamurai'' (based on ''Film/SevenSamurai''), WagonTrainToTheStars (named for the high concept pitch for ''Franchise/StarTrek''), and ABoyAndHisX.

{{SitCom}}s naturally lend themselves to High Concepts; the "Situation" in "Situational Comedy" often doubles as the High Concept tagline. The same is true for the RealityShow genre.

If the High Concept is right there in the title, then it's ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.

The opposite of High Concept would be Low Concept. In other words, you ''can't'' boil down the premise of a show to a simple pitch or tag line. SliceOfLife shows, comedic or otherwise (such as ''Series/TheMiddle'' or ''Series/{{Parenthood}}'') are a common example of a Low Concept show.

[[IThoughtItMeant Not]] the kind of concept invented [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs while stoned.]]

Compare {{Laconic}}.
!! Examples:


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'': Dual-wielding steampunk spidermen child-soldiers fight man-eating giants bent on wiping out mankind.
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'': SuperSentai for girls.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'': What if all the superheroes and supervillains in the world lost their powers... and never got them back?
* ''ComicBook/GodzillaInHell'': Godzilla goes to hell.
* ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'': what if a literal demon was raised by humans and became one of the good guys?
* ''ComicBook/HouseOfM'': What if mutants ruled the world?
* ''ComicBook/{{Irredeemable}}'': What if Superman got genocidal? As for it's second part, ''Incorruptible'', what if Zod was the only one who could stand against him?
* ''ComicBook/{{Nemesis}}'': What if Batman was the Joker?
* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'': Teenaged mutant turtles trained in the secret art of Ninjutsu.

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun'' was literally pitched to Steven Spielberg by Peter Lord as "''Film/TheGreatEscape'' [[CluckingFunny with chickens]]".
* Nearly every film from Creator/{{Pixar}} can be summed up using the question "What if [x] had feelings?," as [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/06/b6/e8/06b6e8e3f23d9e0e3aec3627cca37e11.jpg demonstrated here.]]

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
* Two studio execs are credited with separately [[TropeNamer coining the term "High Concept"]]: Creator/DonSimpson (business partner of Creator/JerryBruckheimer up to Simpson's death in the early 1990s) of Paramount and Jeffery Katzenberg of Disney. Just look at the movies they've overseen, and the results are obvious.
* ''Film/AirForceOne'': [[DieHardOnAnX Die Hard on]] UsefulNotes/AirForceOne with Creator/HarrisonFord as the [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent President]].
* ''Film/{{Alien}}'' was pitched as ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' [[RecycledInSpace in space.]]
** Creator/JamesCameron simply pitched ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' by writing the title on a chalkboard and drawing a line on the S (making it a dollar sign). The next day, the film was greenlighted and given an $18 million budget.
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture'': Young man goes back in time and [[GrandfatherParadox accidentally prevents his own birth]], has to play cupid to his own parents.
* ''Film/{{Big}}'': A 13-year-old kid wishes he was big, wakes up as a 30-year-old man.
* ''Film/BugsyMalone'': A murderous 1930s gang war, as reenacted by a bunch of singing kids with custard pie guns.
* ''Film/ChildrenOfMen'': What would the world be like after 20 years of no children being born?
* ''Film/{{Dave}}'': Literature/ThePrisonerOfZenda in 1990's America.
* ''Film/DieHard'': Terrorists take over a building, leaving one man to sneak around and thwart them. (It's such an encapsulated concept that it [[DieHardOnAnX became a shorthand]] for other high-concept pitches.)
* ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'': Disney Princess from an animated movie gets stuck in cynical live action New York.
* ''Film/AFistfulOfDollars'': ''Film/{{Yojimbo}}'' [[RecycledInSpace recycled]] as a western.
* ''Film/ForrestGump'': A single man [[TheZelig obliviously influences dozens of landmark events]] throughout the BabyBoomer generation's lifetime.
* ''Film/TheFountain'': "[[TagLine What if you could]] [[WhoWantsToLiveForever live forever]]... And your lover is dying?"
* ''Film/FrankensteinMeetsTheWolfMan,'' ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla,'' ''Film/FreddyVsJason'' and ''Film/AVPAlienVsPredator'': what if two popular, pre-existing monsters fought each other?
* ''Film/GroundhogDay'': Man is forced to relive one day over and over.
* ''Film/{{Hanna}}'': Your standard "SuperSoldier gone rogue" action film except the soldier [[LittleMissBadass is a young girl]].
* ''Film/{{Hook}}'': "[[TagLine What if]] Literature/PeterPan [[TagLine grew up]]?"
* ''Film/InBruges'': Two Irish hitmen [[VillainsOutShopping go sightseeing]]... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin in Bruges]].
* ''Film/{{Inception}}'': A heist film set inside the human subconscious.
* ''Film/IronSky'': Nazis on the Moon.
* ''Film/{{Jaws}}'': Giant shark starts attacking humans on New England island.
* ''Film/{{Junior}}'': Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger gets pregnant.
* ''Franchise/JurassicPark'': Dinosaurs are remade in a nature park and run amok.
* ''Film/{{Memento}}'': a man who can't form new memories tries to solve a murder by himself.
* ''Film/MonaLisaSmile'': ''Film/DeadPoetsSociety'', {{Gender Flip}}ped.
* ''Film/NationalTreasure'': Adventurers unravel clues hidden throughout well-known pieces of American history to find a long-lost, unparalleled treasure.
* ''Film/{{Next}}'': Man who can see two minutes into future fights terrorists.
* ''Film/NickOfTime'': Man's daughter is held hostage to force him to carry out a suicidal assassination.
* ''Film/PhoneBooth'': Sniper holds man at gunpoint in a phone booth.
* ''Film/RealSteel'': Rocky with robots.
* ''Film/TheRock'': [[DieHardOnAnX Die Hard on]] [[TheAlcatraz Alcatraz]] with chemical weapons.
* ''Film/TheShallows'': A shark traps a surfer on a small rock in the ocean.
* ''Film/{{Sharknado}}'': "Sharks. Tornado. Sharknado. Enough said!"
* ''Film/SnakesOnAPlane''. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin There are snakes. On a plane.]]
* ''Film/{{Splash}}'': Ordinary guy falls in love with mysterious girl who turns out to be a mermaid
* ''Film/TalladegaNightsTheBalladOfRickyBobby'': Was literally pitched by simply writing on a chalkboard: "Creator/WillFerrell as a NASCAR driver."
* ''Film/{{Ted}}'': Creator/MarkWahlberg and a talking teddy bear.
* ''Film/TheTerminator'': Robot is sent back in time to kill the savior of mankind before he is born.
* ''Film/TheThingFromAnotherWorld'' and its remake: humans trapped in a cramped, isolated (ant)arctic base with a killer alien.
* ''Film/{{Timecop}}'': It's right there in the title.
* ''Film/{{Titanic}}'': James Cameron pitched the movie as "Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet on the UsefulNotes/RMSTitanic".
* ''Film/TowerHeist'': ''Film/OceansEleven'' in New York.
* ''Film/{{Transformers}}'': [[ABoyAndHisX A boy and his car.]]
* ''Film/{{Tremors}}'': ''Jaws'' in a desert.
* ''Film/TuckerAndDaleVsEvil'': a slasher movie where the backwoods hillbillies are the heroes and the college kids on vacation are the murderers.
* ''Film/UnderSiege'': ''Film/DieHard'' [[DieHardOnAnX on a battleship]] with nuclear weapons starring Creator/StevenSeagal.
* ''Film/OlympusHasFallen'': ''Under Siege'' in the White House.
* ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'': Humans and cartoon characters live side by side in 1947 Hollywood.
* ''Film/ThePlayer'': Not the concept of the movie itself, but it's set in the film industry, and most of the characters rattle off high-concept pitches to each other to try and make a blockbuster. It's been credited with teaching aspiring film-makers how to pitch ever since.
--> '''Griffin:''' Twenty-five words or less.
* Parodied in ''Film/{{Network}}'', where a scene demonstrates what happens the word "''unique''" isn't taken seriously:
--> "These are those four outlines submitted by Universal for an hour series. You needn't bother to read them; I'll tell them to you. The first one is set at a large Eastern law school, [[IvyLeagueForEveryone presumably Harvard]]. The series is irresistibly entitled "The New Lawyers." The running characters are a [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold crusty-but-benign]] ex-Supreme Court justice, presumably Oliver Wendell Holmes by way of Dr. Zorba; there's a beautiful girl graduate student; and the local district attorney [[BunnyEarsLawyer who is brilliant and sometimes cuts corners]]. The second one is called "The Amazon Squad." [[RunningGag The running characters include a crusty-but-benign]] police lieutenant [[CowboyCop who's always getting heat from the commissioner]]; a hard-nosed, hard-drinking detective who thinks [[StayInTheKitchen women belong in the kitchen]]; and the [[FairCop brilliant and beautiful young girl cop]] who's fighting the feminist battle on the force. Up next is another one of those [[IntrepidReporter investigative reporter]] shows. [[RuleOfThree A crusty-but-benign]] managing editor who's always gett..."
* ''Film/TheWorldsEnd'' was conceived as "Some drunk guys save the world."
* ''{{Film/Unstoppable}}'': A runaway train carrying dangerous chemicals is en route to slam into a residential area, and there's nobody on board to stop it. Its taglines were even shorter: 1 million tons of steel. 100,000 lives at stake. 100 minutes to impact.
* ''Film/SuicideSquad2016'': Supervillains are forced to be a high-risk, deniable black-ops group for the government [[BoxedCrook in exchange for reduced sentences]].

* Creator/BretEastonEllis [[WordOfGod called]] the premise of ''Literature/AmericanPsycho'' a high concept: a serial killer on Wall Street.
* Pretty much any sci-fi by Creator/JulesVerne or Creator/HGWells were High Concept, especially for their time. In Verne's case, the Concept [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin is often stated in the title:]] ''Literature/FiveWeeksInABalloon'', ''Literature/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'', ''Literature/AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'', etc. (Wells had ''Literature/TheTimeMachine'' and ''Literature/TheInvisibleMan'', himself.)
* ''Literature/TheLeftHandOfDarkness'' - An ambassador from Earth has to try and convince the [[HumanoidAliens humanoid members]] of another planet to join the federation of all the other planets - and the planet he's on is both stuck in an Ice Age and has no gender.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': A boy goes to a WizardingSchool while trying not to get killed by an EvilOverlord who killed his parents.
* ''Literature/CiaphasCain'': {{Literature/Flashman}}'s [[RecycledINSPACE space adventures]] [[JustForFun/XMeetsY in the]] [[{{TabletopGame/Warhammer40000}} 400th century]].
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'': DistaffCounterpart ''HoratioHornblower'' in space
* ''Literature/{{Temeraire}}'': What if the Napoleonic Wars were fought from the backs of intelligent dragons?
* ''Literature/{{Flashman}}'': Famous war hero who's secretly a coward trying to keep his reputation and hide intact in Victorian England.
* ''Literature/TheManWhoBroughtTheDodgersBackToBrooklyn'': Two friends buy the LA Dodgers, and move them back to a rebuilt Ebbets Field in Brooklyn in the mid-1980's.
* ''The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake'': a young girl develops the ability [[MagicalRealism to taste the emotions of people in the food that they make.]]
* Literature/TheDresdenFiles: "The only wizard in [[UrbanFantasy the Chicago phone directory]]", or "Film/DirtyHarry [[Franchise/HarryPotter Potter]]".
* Creator/BrandonSanderson likes doing these for his books.
** ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'': What if the gods lost their magic? 
** ''Literature/MistbornTheOriginalTrilogy'': What if the evil overlord won?
** ''Literature/{{Steelheart}}'': What if all supers were evil?
** ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': What could justify ridiculously large anime [[{{BFS}} BFSs]]? This one gets poked fun at the most, as ''Stormlight'' is by far his most ambitious series, clocking in at ten books of at least a thousand pages each. So he's writing over ten thousand pages to justify really big swords.
* Most books by Creator/StephenKing fall into this.
** ''Literature/{{IT}}'': Seven misfits fight a monster that lives in the sewers.
** ''Literature/StandByMe'': A writer looks back to the weekend when he and three friends traveled to see a dead body.
** ''Literature/TheStand'': After a plague kills most of the world's population, the survivors gather in a battle between good and evil.
** ''Literature/MisterMercedes'': A retired cop hunts for a serial killer.
** ''Literature/TheRunningMan'' : In a dystopian AlternateHistory , a man participates in a deadly game show.
** ''Literature/{{Misery}}'' : After he's injured in a car accident, a writer must write for his life against his deadliest fan.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyOneJumpStreet'': Cops who look so young they can pass as teenagers, go undercover in high schools to fight youth crime. (Also re-used for the [[Film/TwentyOneJumpStreet same-named 2012 movie remake]], though that one played the concept much more for laughs.)
* ''Series/FamilyTies'': [[TheGenerationGap Hip parents, square kids.]]
* ''Series/{{House}}'': ''Franchise/SherlockHolmes'' as a MedicalDrama.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': ''Film/TopGun'' meets ''Film/AFewGoodMen''
* ''Series/KeenEddie'' - New York detective fighting crime in London. Or ''Series/DempseyAndMakepeace'' [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Series/StarskyAndHutch''.
* ''Series/MiamiVice'': According to legend, the actual pitch was "Creator/{{MTV}} Cops."
* Series/TattooedTeenageAlienFightersFromBeverlyHills: There's a group of teenagers with tattoos. They fight aliens. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin They are from Beverly Hills.]]
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'': ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' meets ''Series/TheXFiles'' with [[TeenDrama teenagers]].
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'': ''Series/WagonTrain''... [[WagonTrainToTheStars to the stars]]. While this was the original ''pitch,'' it's not really a fair description of the series - it was used to pitch the show because TheWestern was the big thing in TheSixties. A more accurate high concept would be "Literature/HoratioHornblower doing Creator/WilliamShakespeare MoralityPlay episodes in space"
* Series/{{Seinfeld}} liked to lampshade the idea that it was "a show about nothing," especially when Jerry and George pitch a ShowWithinAShow to NBC executives, although that is not an ideal HighConcept for the show itself.
* ''Series/TheColbertReport''. It's said that when the show was pitched as "Stephen Colbert parodying Bill O'Reilly", it was picked up immediately without even a pilot.
* Most live-action shows on Creator/DisneyChannel, particularly [[Franchise/DisneyChannelLiveActionUniverse in the shared universe most of the shows inhabit]] are built around a High Concept, which usually boils down to "Normal, everyday teenagers... ''with a twist!''" The only real exceptions being ''Series/LizzieMcGuire'', ''Series/EvenStevens'', ''Series/GoodLuckCharlie'', and ''Series/GirlMeetsWorld''.
** ''Series/DogWithABlog'': the High Concept is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin right there in the title]].
** ''Series/ThatsSoRaven'': Teenage girl who has faulty psychic powers.
** ''Series/CoryInTheHouse'': Brother of psychic teenage girl goes to live in the White House.
** ''Series/PhilOfTheFuture'': Future family stuck in modern times.
** ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody'': Twin boys who live in a {{UsefulNotes/Boston}} hotel.
** ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOnDeck'': Same twin boys, but now teenagers and living and attending high school on a cruise ship.
** ''Series/HannahMontana'': Teenage girl with a superstar alter-ego.
** ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'': Family of wizards who live in [[UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity New York City]].
** ''Series/SonnyWithAChance'': Teenage girl who stars in a sketch comedy.
** ''Series/{{JONAS}}'': Teenage boys in a world famous band.
** ''Series/ImInTheBand'': Teenage boy is a guitarist for heavy-metal band.
** ''Series/ShakeItUp'': Teenage girls who star in a dance show.
** ''Series/ANTFarm'': Class filled with child prodigies.
** ''Series/{{Jessie}}'': Breakout star from ''Suite Life on Deck'' plays [[EverytownAmerica Small-town]] teenage girl who nannies for a wacky [[TheCity big city]] celeb family.
** ''Series/AustinAndAlly'': Teenage singer-songwriter duo.
** ''Series/LivAndMaddie'': Teenage star returns home to live with her twin sister and parents who work at her high school.
** ''Series/IDidntDoIt'': ''Series/{{Friends}}'' in a high school setting with (usually) BookEnds in the form of HilarityEnsues.
** ''Series/CrashAndBernstein'': Boy who's an OutnumberedSibling gets a brother in the form of a LivingPuppet.
** ''Series/KickinIt'': Teenage boys and girl practice martial arts.
** ''Series/LabRats'': Boy discovers bionically enhanced teenagers.
** ''Series/BestFriendsWhenever'': Teenage girls get the ability to MentalTimeTravel.
* Similar to the Disney Channel example, many of the shows in the Series/NickVerse are built around some sort of High Concept.
** ''Series/{{Zoey101}}'': Teenage girls who go to a formerly all-male high school.
** ''Series/BigTimeRush'': Teenage boys in a world famous band.
** ''Series/ICarly'': Teenagers who host their own web series.
** ''Series/{{Victorious}}'': Teenage girl who goes to a highly competitive and exclusive arts school in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles.
** ''Series/TrueJacksonVP'': Teenage girl who becomes the vice president of a fashion company.
** ''Series/MarvinMarvin'': Teenage alien is sent to live on Earth by his parents.
** ''Series/SamAndCat'': Two breakout characters from ''iCarly'' and ''Victorious'' become roommates.
** ''Series/WendellAndVinnie'': AdultChild becomes the legal guardian of a ChildProdigy.
** ''Series/TheHauntedHathaways'': A mother and her two daughters move into a house haunted by the ghosts of a man and his two sons.
** ''Series/TheThundermans'': Super-powered twins - one an aspiring super-heroine and the other an aspiring super-villain - live with their super-powered parents and super-powered younger siblings.
* ''Series/HomeImprovement'': Tim Allen is a family man and host of a [=DIY=] TV show; [[HilarityEnsues exaggerated forays]] into {{Manliness}} leads to AnAesop.
* ''Series/LastManStanding'': Refreshed Tim Allen vehicle serving as an updated version of ''Home Improvement'' (or even ''Series/AllInTheFamily'') with 21st century sensibilities.
* ''Series/MorkAndMindy'': Wacky space alien is sent to Earth to study and report about Earth culture; rooms with young single woman living in Boulder, Colorado where his misunderstandings of Earth culture [[HilarityEnsues lead to wacky hijinks]].
* ''Series/TheMonkees'': Struggling, zany [[Music/TheBeatles Beatlesque]] Anglo-American pop-rock quartet in TheSixties [[HilarityEnsues has madcap adventures]].
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'': Reclusive billionaire and ex-CIA agent [[TheyFightCrime fight crime]] with a machine that predicts people involved in violent crimes before they happen... but they don't know if the [[TitleDrop person of interest]] is the victim or the perpetrator.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': A guy tells his kids the story of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin how he met their mother.]]
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' was pitched as a series about a mother and daughter who are more like friends than parent and child. It was picked up immediately, without even a hint of a script.
* ''Series/{{Transparent}}:'' It's about a [[UsefulNotes/{{Transgender}} Trans]] Parent.
* ''Series/TheGoodPlace'': Due to a mix-up, a {{Jerkass}} accidentally gets sent to {{Heaven}} and has to make sure that nobody finds out. [[spoiler: Or not.]]

* ''[[Pinball/{{Apollo 13}} Apollo 13]]'': '''13-ball''' multiball!
* ''Pinball/FlashDragon'': It takes your picture if you get the high score.
* ''Pinball/MonsterBash'': Put the [[Franchise/UniversalHorror Universal monsters]] together [[PuttingTheBandBackTogether for a rock concert.]]
* ''Pinball/{{Varkon}}'': Play pinball in a VideoGame cabinet.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Applied to sufficiently important (and of course player) ''characters'' in several recent incarnations of the Fate system, including ''TabletopGame/TheDresdenFiles'' RPG. The character's high concept (in Harry Dresden's own case, for example, it's "Wizard Private Eye") constitutes one of his or her "aspects" -- which means it can be invoked for mechanical bonuses or compelled to make his or her life more difficult -- and even enjoys a measure of script immunity in that the rules make it the single hardest aspect to actually change once established.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'': A FantasyCounterpartCulture FeudalFuture with HumongousMecha.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Ironclaw}}'': Just another FantasyCounterpartCulture TabletopRPG, [[UsefulNotes/FurryFandom but this time with furries]].
** ''Jadeclaw'': A ''{{Wuxia}}'' film roleplaying game... [[CaptainObvious with furries]].
** ''Furry Pirates'': TheGoldenAgeOfPiracy, [[LicensedGame The Game]]... [[RunningGag with furries]].

* ''Theatre/RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'': ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' [[PerspectiveFlip from the perspective]] of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Rosencrantz and Guildenstern]], [[WorldLimitedToThePlot with absurdism]]
* ''Theatre/BlitheSpirit'': A remarried widower accidentally calls back the ghost of his first wife; HilarityEnsues.
* ''Theatre/MrsHawking'': What if Sherlock Holmes were more like a lady Batman?
* ''Theatre/AChorusLine'': A look into the lives of Broadway dancers.
* ''Theatre/EinsteinOnTheBeach'': An examination of the life and work of Creator/AlbertEinstein…'''''with no plot'''''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}'': Two paddles hit ball back and forth.
** "Avoid missing ball for high score".
** Ping Pong: The Video Game
* {{Shoot Em Up}}s: Shoot everything that isn't you. Sometimes seen in a longer form: "Shoot 'em up, eat the dots."
** The latter is ''especially'' true for ''VideoGame/{{Ikaruga}}'', though it's more "Shoot 'em up, eat the same-colored dots as your ship."
** Taken to its logical extreme with a Finnish freeware overhead shooter called ''Tapan Kaikki'', "I Kill Everyone".
* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'': Final Fantasy, but with Disney characters
* {{Fighting Game}}s: Choose your character and beat all the others.
** MassiveMultiplayerCrossover variants: choose characters you love from different series and beat up charactters from other series.
* ''VideoGame/YouHaveToBurnTheRope''. That's not a Administrivia/ZeroContextExample, that's ''literally'' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin all the context you need]].
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', on the back of the box: "They call it a SuicideMission. ''[[DareToBeBadass Prove them wrong.]]''"
* ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' has one called by this name [[AllThereInTheScript in the vision statement]].
--> The player is a scarred amnesiac immortal in search of his identity. On the way, the player character will kill a lot of people... [[WhoWantsToLiveForever including himself.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'': A hybrid FirstPersonShooter and PuzzleGame where the only weapon is a gun that shoots portals that you can go through with an [[AIIsACrapshoot insane killer AI]] acting as MissionControl.
** The Laconic entry for the game used to be "Darkly humorous puzzle game in an empty laboratory that kicks the laws of physics in the nuts.", so called that because in order to solve the trickier puzzles, you need some excellent spatial reasoning skills. Or as the game calls it, "Thinking with portals!"
* ''VideoGame/FiftyCentBloodOnTheSand'': 50 Cent fights mercenaries in the Middle East in search of a priceless diamond encrusted skull.
* ''VideoGame/DefJamSeries'': Rappers from the Def Jam label (and a few [[Creator/DannyTrejo actors]] in a fighting video game.
* ''VideoGame/JetpackJoyride'': There is a {{Jetpack}}, you steal it, take it for a joyride and see how far can you go.
* ''VideoGame/{{Chulip}}'': Figure out how to kiss pretty much every living being in the area in order to kiss the literal [[GirlOfMyDreams girl of your dreams]].
* ''VideoGame/KatamariDamacy'': Roll everything up into a ball. Everything.
* [[RacingGame Racing Games]]: Race other players or the computer and finish faster than everyone.
* ''VideoGame/YandereSimulator'': You have a crush on your Senpai. [[MatchmakerQuest Pair off]], [[{{Blackmail}} run off]], or [[MurderIsTheBestSolution bump off]] everyone who gets in your way.
* ''VideoGame/DemonsSouls''/''VideoGame/DarkSouls'': Get killed again and again as you struggle your way through a DarkFantasy world.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bloodborne}}'': [[{{Tagline}} Hunt your nightmares]] in a [[GothicHorror Gothic]] city plagued with monsters and [[spoiler:[[CosmicHorrorStory kill an infant Great One]]]].
* ''VideoGame/OrcsMustDie'': An idiot must HoldTheLine against a horde of Orcs and their allies.
* ''VideoGame/ShootManyRobots'': Killer robots are rampaging and it's up to this hillbilly to shoot many robots and save the town.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tyranny}}'': TheEmpire already won – and you work for it.

* ''Webcomic/{{XKCD}}'' proposes the perfect action movie: "[[{{Series/Firefly}} River Tam]] Beats Up Everyone".
** A similar concept to this is Sam Hughes's [[http://qntm.org/screenplays "One Hour Fight scene"]].
* ''[[TabletopGame/EyrewoodAdventures Lookouts]]'' (a ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' spinoff): [[ScoutOut The Boy Scouts]] in a HeroicFantasy world.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* A few of the [[Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses Channel Awesome]] contributors feature this as the hook of their shows (or at least did initially):
** ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'': ManChild revisits movies from his childhood, and discovers that they're not as good as he remembers.
** ''WebVideo/TheCinemaSnob'': A snobby art-house film critic who's been reduced to reviewing 1970s porn and exploitation films.
* Blog/{{Froghand}}: "[[https://froghand.neocities.org/qualityandthenow.html The Longform Zero Punctuation]]"
* ''WebAnimation/IfTheEmperorHadATextToSpeechDevice:'' The [[TabletopGame/Warhammer40000 God-Emperor of Mankind]], [[AndIMustScream after 10,000 years on the Golden Throne]], receives a text-to-speech device to communicate with the Imperium.
* Plenty of examples from ''Website/AlternateHistoryDotCom''
** ''Literature/DecadesOfDarkness'': The United States becomes an expansionist slave empire after Thomas Jefferson dies of a heart attack in 1809.
** ''Literature/AWorldOfLaughterAWorldOfTears'': Walt Disney is elected president in 1952.
** ''Literature/ForAllTime'': FDR dies of a stroke two weeks after Pearl Harbor, leading to possibly the ultimate CrapsackWorld.
** ''Literature/ChaosTimeline'': What happens to the world if the Mongol Empire was never formed?
** ''Literature/GreenAntarctica'': Antarctica is a habitable landmass with its own native population.
** ''Literature/AGreaterBritain'': Oswald Mosley never becomes a fascist and is elected Prime Minister of Great Britain.
** ''Literature/TwilightOfTheRedTsar'': Joseph Stalin survives his stroke and remains in charge of the Soviet Union.
** ''Literature/ZhirinovskysRussianEmpire'': Vladimir Zhirinovsky takes control of Russia in 1991.
** ''Literature/HoldingOutForAHeroGustavStresemannSurvives'': Germany doesn't fall to the Nazis in the 1930's.
** ''Literature/DecisiveDarkness'': What if Japan didn't surrender in 1945?
!!Dialog examples:

* ''Film/FourteenOhEight'': "It's an evil [[PrecisionFStrike fucking]] room."
* ''Film/HotTubTimeMachine'': "Must be some sort of... [[TitleDrop hot tub time machine.]]"
* ''Film/NationalTreasure'': "You think there's a treasure map.... on the back of the Declaration Of Independence."
* The trailer for ''Film/TheBountyHunter'' gives us "[[RepeatingSoTheAudienceCanHear You're telling me]] you want me to kidnap my ex-wife for money?"
* ''Film/LawnDogs'':
-->'''Trent, age 21:''' I'll make you a deal. We can be friends, if you can keep it a secret.
-->'''Devon, age 10:''' What's wrong with you and me being friends?
* ''Film/{{Speed}}'': "Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? What do you do?"
* ''Film/{{Unstoppable}}'': "We're not just talking about a [[RunawayTrain train]], we're talking about a ''[[StuffBlowingUp missile]]'' the size of the ''Chrysler Building''!"
* ''Film/{{Transformers}}'': "I bought a car. Turned out to be an alien robot. Who knew?"
* ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'': "The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an emperor" was frequently used as a tagline for the film.
* Parodied in ''WebVideo/ATrailerForEveryAcademyAwardWinningMovieEver'': "Explicitly summing up the moral of the story, awkwardly working in... the Movie Title."
* ''Film/TheManFromEarth'': "What if a man from the Upper Paleolithic survived until the present day?"
* ''Film/StarTrek'' (2009 reboot):
-->'''Spock:''' [[BigBad Nero]]'s very presence has altered the flow of history... thereby creating an entire new chain of incidents that cannot be anticipated by either party.
-->'''Uhura''': [[AlternateTimeline An alternate reality]]?
-->'''Spock''': Precisely. Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* [[BigBad Herrick]] in ''Series/{{Being Human|UK}}'': "So, [[MonsterMash a werewolf, a ghost and a vampire]] decide to [[MundaneFantastic live like humans do]]. They get jobs, a house, and a TV license..."
* ''Series/BreakingBad'': "High school teacher turned meth dealer, brother-in-law's in the DEA? [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall That'd make one hell]] [[{{Blackmail}} of a story]]..."

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Superhot}}'': "TIME. ONLY. MOVES. WHEN. YOU. MOVE."