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* ''ComicBook/WhatEverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow?'' is already somewhat darker than the standard Franchise/{{Superman}} story, but doesn't broadcast its true intentions until two formerly {{Harmless Villain}}s torture and kill [[spoiler: Pete Ross, Superman's childhood friend]].

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* ''ComicBook/WhatEverHappenedToTheManOfTomorrow?'' is already somewhat darker than the standard Franchise/{{Superman}} story, but doesn't broadcast its true intentions until two formerly {{Harmless Villain}}s torture and kill [[spoiler: Pete Ross, Superman's childhood friend]].friend -- then later, Lana Lang gets casually charcoaled by The Legion of Supervillains, which Superman angrily screaming, "YOU HURT LANA?!"]].

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* ''Film/AntManAndTheWasp'' acts as a LighterAndSofter BreatherEpisode for Phase 3 of the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse. It stays comedic all the way through, ending on a high note with [[spoiler: Janet van Dyne's rescue from the Quantum Realm, Ghost's redemption and the end of Scott's house arrest]]. The gut punch lands in the [[TheStinger mid- and post-credits scenes]], when [[spoiler: Scott enters the Quantum Realm to get some healing particles for Ghost, only to become trapped there when Hank, Hope and Janet - the only people who even know he's in there, let alone how to get him out - disintegrate in [[Film/AvengersInfinityWar Thanos's snap]]. The post-credits scene shows Scott's empty house, with the TV displaying the fact that the US has entered a ''nation-wide state of emergency''.]]


* While ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' has always been bleak, the gut punch moments have not stopped since mid season 2 when [[spoiler: 11 year old Sophia, who was lost in the woods, was revealed to be both dead and now a zombie. Rick is forced to gun her down while her mother screams nearby.]] Season 3 continues the trend with [[spoiler: Rick's pregnant wife Lori dying from a medieval c-section birth while her 12 year old son screams and cries, he then has to shoot her dead body in the head so she won't turn into a zombie. Rick has a full blown mental break upon finding out, goes to find her body and discovers a zombie has eaten it.]] Rick [[spoiler: mercilessly kills a hotheaded prison inmate in a "three strikes and you're out" situation]] and The Governor deliberately [[spoiler: shoots Merle in the gut so he will turn into a zombie, shortly before his younger brother Daryl catches up to them and is forced to put down his only surviving family member]].

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* While ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' has always been bleak, the gut punch moments have not stopped since mid season mid-season 2 when [[spoiler: 11 year old year-old Sophia, who was lost in the woods, was revealed to be both dead and now a zombie. Rick is forced to gun her down while her mother screams nearby.]] Season 3 continues the trend with [[spoiler: Rick's pregnant wife Lori dying from a medieval c-section birth while her 12 year old son screams and cries, he then has to shoot her dead body in the head so she won't turn into a zombie. Rick has a full blown mental break upon finding out, goes to find her body and discovers a zombie has eaten it.]] Rick [[spoiler: mercilessly kills a hotheaded prison inmate in a "three strikes and you're out" situation]] and The Governor deliberately [[spoiler: shoots Merle in the gut so he will turn into a zombie, shortly before his younger brother Daryl catches up to them and is forced to put down his only surviving family member]].


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* As befits the title, the ending of ''Literature/{{Changes}}'' is one for ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Prior to ''Changes'', the series was relatively light - while the good guys have never had it easy, they still usually came out without too many severe casualties. Then, at the end of ''Changes'', [[spoiler: Harry has to murder Susan to both save his daughter and completely wipe out the Red Court. [[TheHeroDies He is fatally shot shortly afterwards.]]]] The subsequent books have picked up the tone shift and run with it - [[spoiler: ''Ghost Story'' shows in painful detail exactly how much of a toll Harry's death has taken on both his friends and the world, while ''Cold Days'' involves Harry having to deal with his seemingly inevitable transformation into a sociopathic monster due to the Winter Knight mantle, is filled with [[TheReveal reveal]] [[WhamEpisode after]] [[CerebusRetcon reveal]], and ends on an even more depressing note than ''Changes.'']]

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* As befits the title, the ending of ''Literature/{{Changes}}'' is one for ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles''. Prior to ''Changes'', the series was relatively light - while the good guys have never had it easy, they still usually came out without too many severe casualties. Then, at the end of ''Changes'', [[spoiler: Harry has to murder Susan to both save his daughter and completely wipe out the Red Court. [[TheHeroDies He is fatally shot shortly afterwards.]]]] The subsequent books have picked up the tone shift and run with it - [[spoiler: ''Ghost Story'' shows in painful detail exactly how much of a toll Harry's death has taken on both his friends and the world, while ''Cold Days'' involves Harry having to deal with his seemingly inevitable transformation into a sociopathic monster due to the Winter Knight mantle, is filled with [[TheReveal reveal]] [[WhamEpisode after]] [[CerebusRetcon reveal]], and ends on an arguably even more depressing note than ''Changes.'']] ''Literature/SkinGame'' is LighterAndSofter, but still quite dark.



* ''Literature/MrMercedes'': In the opening chapter, unemployed people are lined up for a job fair. We get to know Augie Odenkirk, who befriends a woman named Janice, a woman with so little support that she has to bring her baby with her. Augie decides that he's going to take Janice to breakfast, then [[spoiler: a serial killer plows into the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, killing several people, including the three about whom Stephen King has made care.]]

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* ''Literature/MrMercedes'': In the opening chapter, unemployed people are lined up for a job fair. We get to know Augie Odenkirk, who befriends a woman named Janice, a woman with so little support that she has to bring her baby with her. Augie decides that he's going to take Janice to breakfast, then [[spoiler: a serial killer plows into the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, killing several people, including the three about whom Stephen King has made the readers care.]]


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* The first four books of ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfPrydain'' are fairly light in tone, despite having their share of darker moments and real drama. However, when [[spoiler: King Math dies and the Cauldron-Born overrun Caer Dathyl]], it's a very clear signal to the reader that this victory's not going to be nearly as easy as the previous ones, and that AnyoneCanDie.


Sub Trope of FromBadToWorse, CerebusSyndrome, DarkerAndEdgier, and MoodWhiplash. Super Trope to SacrificialLion, SurpriseCreepy, KillTheCutie, DecoyProtagonist, and especially WakeUpCallBoss. The KnightOfCerebus, TragicMonster, and the HeroKiller are three characters extremely likely to cause one of these. Sometimes related to PlayerPunch. [[IThoughtItMeant Do not confuse with]] GroinAttack.

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Sub Trope of FromBadToWorse, CerebusSyndrome, DarkerAndEdgier, and MoodWhiplash. Super Trope to SacrificialLion, SurpriseCreepy, KillTheCutie, DecoyProtagonist, and especially WakeUpCallBoss. The KnightOfCerebus, TragicMonster, and the HeroKiller are three characters extremely likely to cause one of these. Sometimes related to PlayerPunch. [[IThoughtItMeant [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Do not confuse with]] GroinAttack.

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* ''WesternAnimation/TangledTheSeries'' started out as a cute SliceOfLife series; while it did have an overarching plot, it didn’t really impact the lightness of the show. Then came “Queen for a Day”, and the tone [[CerebusSyndrome shifted]] ''[[CerebusSyndrome considerably]]'' in the final scenes, [[spoiler: with [[EnsembleDarkhorse Varian]]–[[{{Adorkable}} the]] ''[[DitzyGenius last]]'' [[WellDoneSonGuy person]] [[FriendToAllLivingThings you’d]] [[NiceGuy expect]]–making a FaceHeelTurn and becoming the BigBad for the rest of the season.]] Needless to say, this was a ''huge'' shock.


* ''DigimonTamers'' has loads of them, but the two most prominent happen to the same characters, but in different ways, in episode 34 [[spoiler:Jeri's partner, Leomon, is killed then absorbed by Beelzemon, and there's no Village of the Beginnings in this series.]], Later on, after Beelzemon's HeelFaceTurn, [[spoiler: Jeri has been trapped by the enemy, and just when things seem to be hopeless, Beelzemon uses all his strength in to a single attack, Fist of the Beast King, which is Leomon's signature attack, and is then able to let Jeri free... if only she hadn't been too shocked by remembering her partner through his killer, and not being able to actually leave her imprisonment, and uttering the line ''You're... not... Leomon'', distracting Beelzemon long enough for him to be brutally stabbed in the back.]] You know, for kids!

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* ''DigimonTamers'' ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' has loads of them, but the two most prominent happen to the same characters, but in different ways, in episode 34 [[spoiler:Jeri's partner, Leomon, is killed then absorbed by Beelzemon, and there's no Village of the Beginnings in this series.]], Later on, after Beelzemon's HeelFaceTurn, [[spoiler: Jeri has been trapped by the enemy, and just when things seem to be hopeless, Beelzemon uses all his strength in to a single attack, Fist of the Beast King, which is Leomon's signature attack, and is then able to let Jeri free... if only she hadn't been too shocked by remembering her partner through his killer, and not being able to actually leave her imprisonment, and uttering the line ''You're... not... Leomon'', distracting Beelzemon long enough for him to be brutally stabbed in the back.]] You know, for kids!


%% * [[KnightOfCerebus ZODIAC Virgo]] from ''RefleX'' delivered two substantial of these. The first when it shot down Cancer from behind and the second when it [[spoiler:destroyed the Pheonix]].

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%% * [[KnightOfCerebus ZODIAC Virgo]] from ''RefleX'' ''VideoGame/RefleX'' delivered two substantial of these. The first when it shot down Cancer from behind and the second when it [[spoiler:destroyed the Pheonix]].

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* ''VideoGame/{{OFF}}'': Throughout the game, the Batter has been travelling through the Zones, purifying them of specters and ghouls, and even doing rid of their corrupted Guardians. [[spoiler:Enoch, Guardian of Zone 3, reveals in his dying moments that without a Guardian, the Zones will ''cease to exist.'' It gets even worse if you revisit purified zones: They completely lack any color and all areas are stalked by startlingly-infrequent encounters with ethereal beings known as Secretaries.]]

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** Then, the game starts over, completely normally...[[spoiler:until it starts having occasional, severe graphical glitches as it tries to reconcile the fact that Sayori has been RetGone and no longer exists.]]

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** They weren't kidding. Episode 9 of that volume centers around [[spoiler:the tournament match between Pyrrha and Penny, which ends with one combatant dead (well, [[Film/ShortCircuit disassembled]]), the other traumatized, and a horde of Grimm descending on Vale (with a few White Fang terrorists to add flavor). Not only is this the first on-screen death in the series, it marks the point where Cinder and company stop goofing around and show everyone how high the stakes are.]] This probably marks the "no backsies" point in the storyline.
** '''[[UpToEleven And then.]]''' The volume ends with [[spoiler:Pyrrha also dying horribly on-screen (in front of Ruby, no less), Yang losing an arm, Blake missing (hiding from both her friends and her abusive ex), Weiss back under her father's thumb, and Beacon in ruins]]. There's a reason fans of ''RWBY'' often compare Volume 3 to the Red Wedding from ''Series/GameOfThrones''.

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* In ''FanFic/WeightOfTheWorld'' Yang bumps into Neo in the Fairgrounds and proceeds to [[CurbStompBattle beat the tar our of her]] as revenge for her earlier defeat on the train. She makes one final blow to her enemy's abdomen... [[spoiler: except it isn't Neo at all. It's America, who ran out of Aura before the last shot hit and is now bleeding out in front of Yang. Yang was under Emerald's hallucination Semblance the entire time and pummeling one of her closest friends to a bloody pulp. Even worse, the entire thing was caught live on TV, while people like Yang's little sister Ruby watched. Yang is so distraught she barely notices when she's arrested, not to mention [[BigBrotherInstinct Canada's]] [[HowlOfSorrow reaction]].]]


* Likewise, ''Theater/Cabaret'' is light-hearted and hysterical ... until the Nazis show up.

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* Likewise, ''Theater/Cabaret'' ''Theater/{{Cabaret}}'' is light-hearted and hysterical ... until the Nazis show up.

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