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[[quoteright:350:[[Manga/FutureDiary http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mood_whiplash.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: What wonderful weather we're hav-'''OH GOD''']]

->''"So let me get this straight, Canada: you start off your dark, disturbing [=PSAs=] as cute and innocent, and start off your cute and innocent [=PSAs=] as dark and disturbing. What are you, Canada?"''
-->-- '''TheNostalgiaCritic'''[='s=] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vit_m5GVsnQ#t=6m20s Canada compilation]]

Fiction often has far extremes. They cover the gamut of emotion, from tragedy to comedy. Sometimes, these two will be so close together that they make the viewer's head spin! Done well, the contrast in moods can make each emotion all the more poignant and effective. Done poorly, the contrast can jar the reader/viewer right out of the story.

Sometimes, Mood Whiplash can extend to entire sequels, where [[CerebusSyndrome the original was funny but its sequel is rather dark.]] More often, however, a dark film will spawn a sequel that [[{{Sequelitis}} degenerates]] into self-parody and farce.

In episodic media, this trope will often take the form of a [[BreatherEpisode light-hearted stand-alone episode]] breaking up a darker StoryArc. If the work is a comedy and the trope is [[InvokedTrope deliberately invoked]], then it's being PlayedForLaughs.

This trope often goes hand in hand with OutOfGenreExperience. Short-term mood whiplash may be triggered by effects such as a QuietCryForHelp. Compare MoodDissonance, where two events of contrasting mood play out simultaneously, SoundtrackDissonance, the musical equivalent, and BreadEggsMilkSquick, when the whiplash happens midline. Shows that incorporate the CerebusRollercoaster are very prone to this. See MyGodYouAreSerious for a specific version of Mood Whiplash. MoodSwinger is when the character suffers from this trope in-universe.

VileVillainSaccharineShow is a very specific subtrope of this, where the main villain is far scarier than the tone of the show would usually warrant. See KnightOfCerebus for when the appearance of a BigBad invokes this trope. MadeMyselfSad is a (usually funny) subtrope. Also see CryLaughing for a way it can be used. GutPunch is a subtrope.

AscendedFridgeHorror can often be a source of this, by glossing over the dire implications of something one moment and then exploring them the next.

Not to be confused with DastardlyWhiplash. If this is done in quick succession and is PlayedForLaughs, it's {{Bathos}}. May involve a SmashCut.

Sometimes TruthInTelevision: the human body is physically made to laugh after some devastating event in order to get your bodily chemicals back to normal.

!!Examples go in subpages:

* MoodWhiplash/AnimeAndManga
* MoodWhiplash/ComicBooks
* MoodWhiplash/FanWorks
* MoodWhiplash/{{Film}}
* MoodWhiplash/{{Literature}}
* MoodWhiplash/LiveActionTV
* MoodWhiplash/{{Music}}
* MoodWhiplash/ProfessionalWrestling
* MoodWhiplash/{{Radio}}
* MoodWhiplash/{{Theatre}}
* MoodWhiplash/VideoGames
* MoodWhiplash/WebComics
* MoodWhiplash/WebOriginal
* MoodWhiplash/WesternAnimation
* MoodWhiplash/RealLife
* MoodWhiplash/{{Other}}