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1%%Please do not add Zero Context Examples; examples without context will be commented out. When adding examples, please explain how they permanently change the tone of the work, not just how shocking they are.˛˛->''"The kids in the audience were stunned. There was almost complete silence. The movie had stopped being delightfully scary about halfway through, and had become unexpectedly terrifying."''˛-->-- '''Creator/RogerEbert''', on ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968''.˛˛Say you're watching that new thriller that everyone's been talking about. You've heard nothing but praise for its uncompromising brutality, EmotionalTorque, and ability to mess with the audience, but so far nothing you've seen gives even a remote indication of why--˛˛Whoa. ''That's'' why.˛˛You've just been hit with the Gut Punch: the single moment when a work makes it abundantly clear that the gloves have come off. This is where you realize that playtime is over: PlotArmor has been switched off, the hero won't be getting up from that NoHoldsBarredBeatdown anytime soon, AnyoneCanDie, and [[TheBadGuyWins the bad guy winning]] has become a very real possibility. Maybe things go FromBadToWorse, maybe the story was always that dark and [[CrapsaccharineWorld just forgot to tell the audience]]. Either way, this is a clear indication that the creator has decided to get dangerous.˛˛This is ''not'' simply about shocking events, though a Gut Punch is a good way to ''lead up to'' a WhamEpisode. This is about a single moment that instantly and clearly establishes that the tone of the work as a whole is fundamentally darker than what the audience has been led to expect. If there's a particularly dark moment in a show that then reverts to being somewhat lighter, it's not this. This also isn't a subjective trope. This is about the one moment where the entire tone of the story shifts DarkerAndEdgier.˛ ˛{{Subtrope}} 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. [[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Do not confuse with]] GroinAttack.˛˛''This trope may contain unmarked spoilers. You have been warned.''˛----˛!! Examples:˛˛[[foldercontrol]]˛˛[[folder:Anime and Manga]]˛* Legato's introduction in ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' pulls this off in a single ''frame''. It's a bright and sunny day, the kids are playing with Vash. Then out of nowhere, Legato. He killed and ate the friendly shopkeeper Vash was just speaking to, and feels it would be a downright shame if the little girl Vash just bought an ice cream for would have to be next. The entire scene is completely horrific, but what cements it as this is the opening shot of the usually lighthearted and goofy Vash looking legitimately terrified for the first time in the series that clearly indicates exactly how bad things are about to get.˛-->'''Legato:''' If I'd felt like it, all the people within a 50 meter range, in 0.2 seconds, would all be dead... In the next ten minutes, you'll learn the true meaning of hell.˛** It's also implied (and stated in the manga) that the hot dog he gave the little girl was ''made from the remains of the aforementioned shopkeeper.'' Yikes.˛* ''{{Manga/Gantz}}'' was already a pretty dark series, but it still manages to show this somewhere around the end of volume 9 with the death of [[spoiler: [[EverybodysDeadDave the entire team]] except for Kurono.]] The fact that [[spoiler: Kurono]] [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] afterwards does nothing to mitigate the new knowledge that PlotArmor has ceased to exist.˛* ''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!˛* [[spoiler:Kamina's brutal death]] in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' was not only a legendary TearJerker, but the event that changed the series from a fun, colorful, lighthearted adventure romp to an epic war story on a massive scale. The fan reaction to this event is polarizing to this day, and the show aired ''more than a decade ago''.˛* The ''Mazinger'' series:˛** ''Anime/MazingerZ'': The last third of the anime series got increasingly darker due to the new enemies: Professor Morimori was murdered, [[FemBot Aphrodite A]] was definitely destroyed -- which was a big deal and caused Sayaka to suffer an HeroicBSOD. Kouji and Shiro's mother returned only to be revealed as an imposter, while poor Shiro was forced to shoot her in spite of his uncertainty as to whether or not she was his real mother. And then you have the final episode wherein the heroes triumph over Dr. Hell and return to his HomeBase ... only to find out one of the CoDragons was secretly working for a BiggerBad. Then two unknown {{Robeast}}s appear, easily destroying the Institute, Diana-A and Boss Borot; when Kouji goes out to fight them, they easily and mercilessly trash the apparently invincible Mazinger-Z.\˛This episode was better developed in the ''Mazinger-Z vs Great General of Darkness'' feature. Several Mykene [[{{Robeast}} War Beasts]] lay waste to UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, UsefulNotes/{{Moscow}}, UsefulNotes/{{London}} and UsefulNotes/{{Paris}} in a single day before heading towards UsefulNotes/{{Tokyo}}. Kouji sorties out to fight and gets completely trounced as they burn Tokyo to ashes. Meanwhile back in the Institute, another War Beast strikes, bringing the place down. Shiro gets badly wounded when a ceiling falls on him, and lapses into a coma. The next morning, another squad of War Beasts attacks, and Kouji deploys Mazinger-Z despite his injuries and weakened state -- not to mention that his robot is unrepaired and power-depleted. He's outnumbered and is being easily defeated until [[ButtMonkey Boss]] manages to destroy one of the Beasts out of sheer luck. And the cast breathes relieved for a second ... until the Beasts easily get rid of Boss and return to trash around a helpless, powerless Kouji.˛** ''Anime/GreatMazinger'': In the GosakuOta manga the punches started when the Mykene blew up a coast city after Great Marshall of Darkness replaced the former [[spoiler:deceased]] DragonInChief. In a few episodes the Japanese army threw an attack against the heroes and their HomeBase, [[TheProfessor Prof. Kabuto]] went through a DespairEventHorizon, the Fortress of the Science got destroyed -- forcing the heroes to run away and lie low -- the Mykene burnt Tokyo to ashes, conquered Japan and crafted a KillSat, obliterating whole cities. Then you have the FinalBattle. The heroes were busy building a new HomeBase when the Mykene army launch an attack. Misato [[spoiler:gets sliced in half]] in front of Tetsuya as he is unable to do anything, Mazinger-Z and Great Mazinger are trashed, Prof. Kabuto [[spoiler:dies to save Tetsuya,]] and in reaction Tetsuya, realizing it was his fault [[spoiler:commits a TakingYouWithMe HeroicSacrifice.]] The FinalBattle in the anime version was ''not quite'' so brutal, but in exchange you had [[spoiler:a scene where Prof. Kabuto dies in arms of his son Kouji.]]˛** ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'': In the Ota chapters both sides lose the war. The Vegan invaders are destroyed, but [[spoiler:Duke, Maria and Sayaka die]] and TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt comes. Only [[spoiler:Kouji and Hikaru]] are left alive. It was lucky ''Grendizer'' was the last series in the original saga, because you have to wonder how the creators could have gone on.˛** ''Manga/ShinMazingerZero'': This series is the original ''Anime/MazingerZ'' manga -that was far darker than the anime and other SuperRobot shows- [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. So, what you have when you blend an UnbuiltTrope with a {{Deconstruction}}? In the first arc, Kouji and Sayaka go to meet Kouji's grandfather. Hey, that is Kouji's father! Scratch that, it is Kouji's father's head! Dr. Kabuto has turned mad(der) and has beheaded his own son? And now he is trying to off his grandson? He has just raped and murdered Sayaka impaling her with a dozen of metal rods? And Kouji has killed him in turn, losing one arm? And now Mazinger has absorbed Kouji? Wait, that is not a "normal" HumongousMecha, that is an EldritchAbomination... that has just destroyed the world. Then again, it had been completely overrun by Dr. Hell's armies, so there was little left to save. Let's reiterate this is the ''first'' arc.˛* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'':˛** The fight with the 13th angel. It's generally agreed by fans that this is the point in the series when things started to take a turn for the worse.˛** The fight with [[spoiler: Arael]]. Hey, it looks like the cast is starting to resolve its issues and the show might be heading towards general mental stability! You know what would be really fun? How about breaking out the TropeNamer for MindRape and completely shattering the tentative peace between the main characters in the process?˛** From TheMovie: [[spoiler: Asuka]], after finally recovering from the aforementioned MindRape, [[TookALevelInBadass takes a level in badass]] almost instantly and starts [[HopeSpot tearing through the new Eva units with absolutely no trouble.]] Except that they survive. [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice What]] [[EatenAlive happens]] [[CruelAndUnusualDeath next]] is so horrific that the mere sight of it is enough to bring [[spoiler: Shinji]] all the way from temporary {{Determinator}} across the DespairEventHorizon and [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds beyond]], setting the tone for [[MindScrew the rest of the movie]] quite nicely.˛*** Another gut punch is the opening scene, where Shinji reaches his [[MoralEventHorizon lowest point]] in the series [[spoiler: by masturbating over Asuka's comatose body. He was already in the middle of a HeroicBSOD over Kaworu's death, which happened shortly before the start of the movie, but it only gets worse after this incident]].˛* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'':˛** The FateWorseThanDeath of [[spoiler:Nina Tucker]] followed some relatively lighthearted introductory chapters and served as a wake-up-call for both the audience and the main characters. ˛** The death of [[spoiler:Maes Hughes]] kicked off the main plot in earnest, killed off one of the series's most beloved comic relief characters, and served as the EstablishingCharacterMoment for the most sadistic villain of the series.˛* ''Franchise/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'':˛** The [[SerialEscalation first]] WhamEpisode of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' where [[spoiler: Mami, the CoolBigSis of the crew, gets killed by a witch. This is shocking to the audience not just because it happens so early in the series, or because it completely subverts our expectations about PlotArmor in the MagicalGirl genre, or because her appearance in the opening suggests she'll live at least long enough for Madoka to fight alongside her, but because for the first 80 seconds of the battle, Mami seemed to be doing [[CurbStompBattle really well]], even unloading the FinishingMove from the previous episode on it, and then, within the space of 10 seconds, the witch revealed its [[OneWingedAngel true form]] and ''bit her head off.'']]˛** ''Manga/PuellaMagiOrikoMagica'''s ''Sadness Prayer'' prequel. For most of the first volume, it's a fairly standard prequel, going over events we already knew about and introducing some minor characters who have light-hearted interactions. While still dark, it's not quite as brutal as one would expect from the franchise - and then [[spoiler:Kirika murders two girls, which traumatizes her to point of HeroicBSOD and outright PsychologicalHorror style hallucinations.]]˛* ''Manga/DeathNote'': The death of [[HeroAntagonist Raye Pember]] cements the story as a ProtagonistJourneyToVillain, as it's the moment when Light's mindset begins to visibly shift from "I will become the god ''[[UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans of this new world]]''" to "''[[AGodAmI I will become the god]]'' of this new world".˛* The original ''Manga/DragonBall'' started out as a light-hearted, comedy series about Goku and his misadventures with his friends. Then Krillin was murdered at the end of the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, changing the tone of the series forever. And at the start of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', Goku is killed making a heroic sacrifice to stop his brother from killing his son. Then, most of the original cast is killed in the battle against the Saiyans. The Dragon Balls are also lost because Piccolo (and Kami with him) died, meaning no one can be revived until much later when another set of Dragon Balls is found elsewhere in the galaxy. ˛* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}''˛** The Eclipse. Since the Golden Age arc was basically a twelve-volume long prologue explaining [[HowWeGotHere how Guts became the Black Swordsman]], it was already clear that it would eventually explain just what caused Guts to go from a reluctant member of the Band of the Hawk to actually deciding his place was with them to becoming the aggressive, ruthless, and terrifying warrior on the brink of madness because of his obessive desire to get revenge on Griffith. And it certainly does. [[TotalEclipseOfThePlot The Eclipse]] involves Griffith deciding to sacrifice everyone in the Band of the Hawk to become a member of the Godhand, resulting in brutal and graphic deaths of [[EverybodysDeadDave most of the known cast]]. And Guts' lover and main source of comfort, Casca, gets raped into insanity by the newly-created Godhand that Griffith turned into -- all while Guts [[ForcedToWatch has to watch]]. And Guts fails to save his friends and lover, while losing [[EyeScream an eye]] and [[LifeOrLimbDecision an arm]] in the process. To make matters worse, Casca being raped into insanity absolutely [[StarCrossedLovers destroys their relationship]] and leaving Guts with nobody, and deciding to start his RoaringRampageOfRevenge.˛** And the gut punch regarding Casca doesn't end here. Not only was she pregnant at the time of the Eclipse, the fetus ended up tainted by the Godhand's demonic power and was born prematurely, though the demonic baby in question does end up keeping its mother save during danger. But when Guts and his group head to Elfheim to try and restore Casca's memories, they ''do'' end up succeeding. But she has completely [[TraumaInducedAmnesia repressed the memories]] of the Eclipse, and seeing Guts causes her to [[TraumaButton remember things]]. She ends up screaming in terror and shaking, leaving Guts to realize that he cannot even be near her anymore. [[StarCrossedLovers These two cannot catch a break]].˛* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': The Thousand-Year Blood-War Arc emphatically changes the darkness and tone of the story when the Vandenreich invades Soul Society. The initial salvo destroys half the 200-strong First Division, including the Lieutenant, in 3 minutes, leading into an invasion that ignores many of the shounen battle rituals: Captain-class Quincies mow down the RedShirts instead of confronting the captains, ambush captains and lieutenants instead of following introduction rituals, and instantly steal the Bankai of four captains. In just over 7 minutes, the 6,000 strong Gotei 13 suffers just under 2,500 casualties, including some of the story's major players: Kira, Byakuya, Renji, Rukia and Kenpachi are utterly trashed, Kyouraku is maimed for life, and Yamamoto is completely obliterated. From there, the story becomes darker, more sadistic and more traumatic for characters. This mood also sets up the arc's mini-flashback storyline which is not the fandom-expected funny, ditzy MeetCute tale of Isshin and Masaki's first meeting, instead being a tragic tale of how Aizen's Hollowfication experiments accidentally ruin Ryuuken Ishida's life.˛* ''Anime/MagicKnightRayearth'': Saving princess Emeraude from the bad guy seems like a difficult, if not standard, quest for the newly chosen heroes...[[spoiler: but having to kill the bad guy for [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy wanting to free the aforementioned princess]] AND THEN also having to kill the princess for being [[StarCrossedLovers in love with the bad guy]] and thus unable to fulfill her duties, is [[TearJerker a whole different stew]] ]]˛* ''Anime/BloodPlus'' has [[spoiler: Diva's rape and murder of Riku]] in an episode benignly titled "Boy Meets Girl". The rape/murder of a child is bad enough, but most works that include such a thing will have it happen to a random VictimOfTheWeek, not a member of the main cast whom viewers have come to know and care about from the very beginning. Made even worse by the fact that [[spoiler: Riku had been saved from the brink of death only a few episodes earlier.]] This event traumatized both the audience and the heroes, causing [[spoiler: Saya and David to each have a HeroicBSOD, and forcing Kai to grow up.]] The show was by no means fluffy, light-hearted fare beforehand, but it took a distinctly darker tone from this point onward.˛* ''Manga/OnePiece'' had the deaths of [[spoiler: Portgas D. "Fire Fist" Ace]] and [[spoiler: Edward "Whitebeard" Newgate]] in the climax of the Paramount War. Up until then, One Piece got saddled with the term [[MemeticMutation "Nobody dies in One Piece"]].[[note]]Albeit with the "out of flashbacks" qualifier, since people often die in characters' backstories[[/note]] It has the added bonus of a literal gut punch, in the case of the former.˛* ''Anime/MaiHime'' has the loss of Akane's child, and [[spoiler:the resulting death of her boyfriend Kazuya]], showcasing what is at stake for the Himes.˛* In the WhamEpisode of ''Anime/MaiOtome'', the turning point in Arika and Nina's characterization is [[spoiler:the death of their mutual friend Erstin at Nina's hands, not long after she had been revealed as TheMole]].˛* ''Manga/CityHunter'' features them periodically to remember the reader that it may be a comedic series but the protagonist is still a wanted criminal that the police leaves alone only because he always goes after much worse criminals and tries to limit the body count.˛* ''Anime/PsychoPass'' was dark from the start, being a show about a {{Dystopia}} controlled by [[BigBrotherIsWatching The Sibyl System]], which has made feeling any extreme emotion, mental illness or thinking differently from the masses illegal. The antagonists that the Ministry of Welfare and Public Safety Bureau took down already included all kinds of criminals from a suicidal rapist to a MadArtist who likes turning her victims' corpses into art. The show doesn't seem like it could get any darker, and then [[spoiler:after Shinya defeats [[SerialKiller Senguji]] [[HuntingTheMostDangerousGame Toyohisa]] and saves Yuki, one of Akane's best friends, Shinya falls unconscious due to being shot. Sadly, [[BigBad Makishima]] appears at that moment and kidnaps Yuki and lures [[NaiveNewcomer Akane]] with her. Makishima gives Akane the chance to save Yuki, if Akane can shoot him with a shotgun. Akane tries to use the Dominator on him, a weapon which can only kill someone if the Sibyl System judges them as as mentally unstable or not pure of intention. It doesn't fire, as Makishima genuinely believes in his actions being normal and justified. Makishima gives Akane one more chance to shoot him, and Akane can't do it. Makishima then slits Yuki's throat, and after the next episode being a {{prequel}} episode, Makishima then proves to be more dangerous than all the other antagonists who only hurt or ended a few lives...Makishima aims to break down all society, and actually succeeds for at least a few weeks. Even after being caught, he escapes and continues upping the ante.]]˛* The season 1 finale of ''Franchise/SailorMoon''. When [[spoiler: Sailor Jupiter]] is killed, it's the start of the punch. Then when [[spoiler: Sailor Mercury]] follows her, you just know the rest of the characters aren't safe.˛* ''Manga/SchoolLive'' seems to be a cute moe slice-of-life. Until you find out [[spoiler: that the setting is actually a zombie apocalypse.]] Again when you discover that [[spoiler: Megu-nee is actually dead and the character you know is only a figment of Yuki's imagination.]]˛* Two in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''. The revelation that [[spoiler: Annie was the female Titan who brutally killed all those members of the Survey Corps and Levi's own personal squad right after Eren started to trust them]]; and if this wasn't enough, right after that [[spoiler: [[TeamDad Reiner]] and Bertolt are revealed to be the Armored Titan and the Colossal Titan respectively.]] [[JustBeforeTheEnd While the series was incredibly bleak to begin with]], these moments introduced the paranoia and AncientConspiracy elements that would ultimately come to separate the second half of the series from the first.˛* The second season of ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'' has the death of [[spoiler:Misaka 9982]]. The first season tended to lack blood, let alone death, so the arrival of the hero [[HopeSpot initially appears]] as a rescue before [[YouAreTooLate the death occurs]].[[note]]Familiarity with the series it spun off from (''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'') can downplay this.[[/note]] It doubles as a bit of an in-universe GutPunch for the hero as well, resulting in a HeroicBSOD that leads to her [[spoiler:resolving to get herself killed]] in the climax of the arc.˛˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Comic Books]]˛* ''ComicBook/BeforeWatchmen: Minutemen'' explored the titular Minutemen in their Golden Years, showing their successes, their infighting, and some darker themes, like The Silhouette's investigations into child murder and pedophilia. Then in issue 4, [[spoiler: she and her partner are murdered in their beds after she's kicked off the team]]. After this, the real mental toll and questionable morality set in, as characters die or leave, and the Minutemen fade away.˛* ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}'' is [[FromBadToWorse a never-ending string of these]], one after another, practically once a chapter, but you're probably not going to put the comic down and reexamine your lease on life, the world, and humanity until chapter six, when we learn in an interrogation why [[SociopathicHero Rorschach]] is so screwed up: [[spoiler:When he was a private detective for hire, he accepted a job to find a little girl who'd been kidnapped. When he tracked her kidnapper down, he searched the house and realized that the man had [[MoralEventHorizon killed her, chopped her body up, and fed her to his dogs.]] At that moment, Rorschach ''snapped'', killed the man's dogs, and, when he returned home, chained him up in the basement, poured kerosene everywhere, tossed the man [[LifeOrLimbDecision a hacksaw]], and [[KillItWithFire dropped a lit match.]]]] What exited the building [[ThatManIsDead was only Rorschach.]] From this point onward, the story stops being a superhero comic and becomes a violent tragedy with superheroes in it. It's so bleak and despair-inducing that it ruins the marriage of the psychologist interviewing Rorschach and basically [[DespairEventHorizon destroys all faith he had in humanity.]]˛-->'''Rorschach:''' This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God [[spoiler:who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to dogs.]] [[DespairEventHorizon It's us. Only us.]]˛* ''Webcomic/{{Henchgirl}}'' : Before Issue 5, the series focuses on the contrast between Mary Posa's life as a 20something woman who can't adult and her job as the muscle for the Butterfly Gang, and the focus is on relationships and humor. Once Mary and Mannequin leak a plan to the media to steal from an orphanage, the gang seeks to find the mole, and ends up smashing Mannequin to pieces in Issue 5 and beating up fellow henchperson Palawan, thinking he is the mole. In Issue 6, the Butterfly Gang starts out with a standard museum break-in caper, which is [[spoiler: a trap for the mole, as the jewel they steal forces its bearer to tell the truth – Palawan denies leaking the plan, but Mary can't deny it.]] The gut punch is Mary being kidnapped and the reader thinking the Butterfly Gang is going to kill her (which Coco wants to do), but it gets worse – they [[spoiler: inject her with PsychoSerum ]], turning her from a LovableRogue into a seriously evil character. The remainder of the series involves Mary committing progressively more evil acts and her friends [[spoiler: and eventually, Coco]] trying to save her from both capture and from crossing a MoralEventHorizon by [[spoiler: killing Amelia, mistakenly thinking that Amelia stole Fred/Mannequin/Time Baron from her]].˛* ''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 -- then later, Lana Lang gets casually charcoaled by The Legion of Supervillains, resulting in Superman angrily screaming, "YOU HURT LANA?!"]].˛* ''ComicBook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'' starts off bright and bubbly with young Loki doing spy missions for Asgardia with cheer and zany schemes for a chance at full redemption, while the backstage machinations hint on a dark undercurrent earlier, but the gut punch comes at the end of the ''ComicBook/{{Axis}}'' tie-in issue 9, when the narration states: "...A story of Loki's chance to play '''hero''' -- and of his '''last hope''' of redemption. And now, that story '''ends'''. '''Forever'''." It goes downhill from there. Loki loses their friends, their brother, their sins are revealed (the cute nerdy God of Mischief seeking redemption -- a body thief and child murderer) and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking can't even lie any more]].˛* The first issue of ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'' was one for the entire Italian comic book industry. At the time (1962) the stories were always relatively light-hearted, good always won... And then came out a story with a VillainProtagonist who got away with robbing the DecoyProtagonist blind, murdering his father and cousin and driving his mother to madness. And to drive home the point, at the end [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Ginko]] shoots some strawmen in which he believes Diabolik is hiding himself, then leaves... And one of the strawmen starts bleeding.˛[[/folder]]˛ ˛[[folder:Fan Works]]˛%%* The last book in the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'': ''Silent Sorrow'' takes this ˛* In the ''Anime/MaiHime'' fanfic ''Fanfic/PerfectionIsOverrated'', ˛** Chapter 4: Hitomi, having gotten her first taste of using MindControl to make her victims kill other people and [[PsychicAssistedSuicide themselves]], uses her powers to cause a massacre at a diner, resulting in the deaths of 20 innocent people, and showcasing that the [[ParodySue SUEs]] mutual (if varying) lack of regard for human life.˛** Chapter 18 and 19: While previous SUE attacks had interfered with the canon villains' plans, [[spoiler:Bachiko and Meiko]]'s plan provides [[spoiler:Ishigami and Nagi]] the opportunities they need to put their plans into motion; the former results in [[spoiler:his and Yukariko's deaths]], while the latter results in [[spoiler:Shiho and Mai being forced to fight like in canon, with Yukino barely managing to defuse the situation by arriving before Mikoto and knocking out Shiho]].˛** Chapter 21: [[spoiler:the Obsidian Lord, possessed by the Usurper, kills off the entire First District and destroys Miyu, the latter action sealing off the possibility of pushing the ResetButton and undoing any of the deaths]].˛* In ''Fanfic/MarieDSuesseAndTheMysteryNewPirateAge'', the first indication of just how dark the story will be is when Mar, having arrived in the ''Franchise/OnePiece'' world, encounters a ParodySue who reveals that [[spoiler:Luffy has been executed 20 years ago]].˛* In the ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'' AlternateUniverseFic ''Fanfic/HorseshoesAndHandGrenades'', Norio and Chosuke are trying to find the whereabouts of one Misa Torizaki[[note]]The head of the Ugly Ducklings cult that Norio was part of and who made Norio transform back into Cygnus despite the fact that Norio didn't want to and has been recently kidnapped by Gentaro for some unknown purpose[[/note]] only to find [[spoiler: her body resting against a tree, gutted and obscenities written on her arms. Chosuke states it best.]]˛-->'''Chosuke:''' Norio, don't look now [[spoiler: but I think Misa just killed herself.]]˛** Earlier in that same episode, shit really goes down when [[spoiler: a brainwashed Ryusei kills Shun, landing the first kill in the story.]]˛%%* In ''FanFic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'', [[spoiler: Hermione's death]] is definitely a GutPunch, whether the reader saw it coming or not.˛* ''Fanfic/{{Ultrasonic}}'', a ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug''/''Disney/{{Zootopia}}'' crossover, opens after Marinette has been trapped in Zootopia in the body of a white cat for some time, and while we get hints that ''something'' bad happened before she was ripped from UsefulNotes/{{Paris}}, the flashback scene where a typical-for-the-show Akuma attack ends with [[spoiler:Chat Noir losing his ring and Adrien being brutally killed]] has this effect: since we already know that the Butterfly has followed Marinette to Zootopia, the reveal that [[spoiler:that he's halfway to his goal and Ladybug's partner won't be coming to help her]] changes the stakes of the rest of the story.˛* In ''Fanfic/NeonMetathesisEvangelion'', most angel battles have been relatively light up to a point, and the story had been mostly focused on the fluffy development of the [[OfficialCouple main]] [[{{Polyamory}} triad]]. But then, [[spoiler:during the Bardiel fight, Rei has to sacrifice herself.]]˛* 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]].]]˛* For the first fourth or so of ''Fanfic/TheVerySecretDiary'', you're just waiting for the gut punch you already know is coming to ''finally'' arrive. Thanks to the ForegoneConclusion, we ''know'' it's only a matter of time before Tom reveals his true, monstrous colors and starts possessing Ginny. So you spend the first couple dozen entries cringing at all the moments of DramaticIrony and just waiting for the other shoe to drop... and once it finally does, it is ''bad''. [[spoiler:At the end of the entry made on October 4th, Tom possesses Ginny without her knowledge for the first time. The entry ends on his EvilGloating.]]˛* ''FanFic/ProfessorArc'': For the first chapters, Professor Arc is mostly about Jaune blundering through a teaching job he has no qualifications for, suffering hilarious humiliation. Then [[TheHeavy Cinder]] [[KnightOfCerebus]] shows up and proceeds to [[spoiler: play mind games with both Beacon's students and staff, revealing how horrible she is to Jaune.]] While the story remains mostly comedic, [[spoiler: the conflict between Jaune and Cinder is properly set up]]. ˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Films -- Animation]]˛* For the first 40-50 minutes of ''WesternAnimation/TheIronGiant'', the story is about a boy and his giant robot friend and they mostly goof around while trying to evade an incompetent G-man. Then the boy and the giant stumble upon a deer recently shot by a gun lying on the ground. [[OhCrap This triggers a momentary glimpse at the giant's dormant but aggressive programming]], and things only get worse from there once the G-man starts becoming a real threat. Then nuclear weapons and Cold War paranoia get involved.˛* ''Disney/TheLionKing'' starts off as a fairly lighthearted Disney film about a young African lion cub and his life in the Serengeti. [[spoiler: All that changes when King Mufasa is killed by his evil brother Scar, [[{{Gaslighting}} who convinces Simba to blame himself for it]], tries to have him killed, and then takes over Pride Rock and turns it into a tyrannical nightmare that Simba has to end]].˛* ''Anime/RingingBell'' has the scene where a wolf kills a lamb's mother, establishing that this is ''not'' just a cutesy little cartoon about sheep.˛* ''WesternAnimation/ChickenRun''. As noted in Creator/RogerEbert's review, Edwina's death (complete with her bones on a dinner table right after), drives home the point that Mrs. Tweedy isn't fooling around (and neither is the film). ˛* ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'' just sounds like some cutesy kids film about animals, but then we find out that NIMH stands for something: [[spoiler: The National Institution of Mental Health. The mice are for science experiments. OhCrap.]]˛* ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'' opens with the FantasticNuke being set off and the assumed deaths of hundreds if not thousands of Atlanteans (including Kida's mother, [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence sort of]]), but it doesn't hit that hard since A) [[ForegoneConclusion Atlantis gotta sink at some point]] and B) what kind of Disney movie lets the princess [[DeceasedParentsAreTheBest retain both her parents?]] The next half an hour or so are fairly lighthearted,colorful and thrilling pulp adventure movie. Then the [[MechanicalAbomination Leviathan]] shows up and destroys the expedition's submarine in five minutes of screen time, killing a '''[[KnightOfCerebus staggering]]''' number of people onscreen and racking up a [[RedshirtArmy good-guy casualty rate]] in the triple digits that will likely never be topped again in a Disney movie.˛* ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'': The reason the scene where King Triton destroys his daughter's secret collection of human treasures, plus the consequences that follow, packed quite a punch was that, until then, such an act of heartbreak and betrayal had ''never'' been done in a Disney movie (much less an animated one). And, on top of that, Triton is ''not'' the villain.˛* Despite taking place during a war, ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' is pretty lighthearted with plenty of slapstick, lowbrow jokes, and copious amounts of Creator/EddieMurphy. Even when Captain Li Shang and his troops head to the front, they're singing a happy song about "a girl worth fighting for" -- and walk smack into a destroyed village. Both the song and the humor slam to a screeching halt, and it gets even worse when they see that General Li's entire army has been slaughtered. This isn't just one scene of MoodWhiplash; this is a Mood-180 for the whole damn ''movie''.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]˛* The first 45 minutes of ''Film/{{Audition}}'' could easily be mistaken for a romantic drama in which everything is slightly... off. Then we get [[spoiler:Asami's]] EstablishingCharacterMoment, which is so scary that it turns the next half hour of violence-free romance into pure terror.˛* The original ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968'' gets two back to back in the same sequence. First we get something that looks like this, specifically the deaths of [[spoiler: Tom and Judy]]. In any other horror movie made at the time, that sequence alone would have been enough to qualify as this trope. It doesn't, but only because the '''real''' punch comes immediately afterward when we see an extremely graphic (for its day) image of the zombies chowing down on the recently charred corpses that changed the film from "goofy b-movie" to "terror incarnate." Creator/RogerEbert's reaction provides the page quote. It's worth emphasizing the "[[SurpriseCreepy Darker than the audience has been led to expect]]" bit:˛-->'''Creator/RogerEbert''': This was in a typical neighborhood theater, and the kids started filing in 15 minutes early to get good seats up front.˛** It's worth noting that Roger Ebert's description of the audience in the headline was the reaction to the film's end and the film as a whole, not that specific scene, though he does remark that scene is when "the mood of the audience began to change."˛* This is a major part of the reason for the fame of ''Film/{{Psycho}}'''s iconic ShowerScene: not only did it immediately shift the film from a thriller about a couple on the run from the law into a prototype for the SlasherMovie, but it also communicated that no one was safe by [[spoiler: [[DeadStarWalking killing off the biggest name star in the film less than a third of the way through]]]]. This trick would later be repeated in the introduction of ''Film/{{Scream 1996}}''.˛* ''Film/SympathyForMrVengeance'' has [[spoiler:Yu-sun, the little girl, drowning in the river]], setting off the cycle of brutal revenge on both sides.˛* Creator/ClintEastwood seems to really like this trope: ˛** ''Film/GranTorino'' gives you one when Sue returns from the Hmong gangs [[spoiler: brutally raped and beaten]], which reveals the depravity of the gangs that had previously limited themselves to standing around looking menacing.˛** ''Film/MillionDollarBaby'' is a story of a waitress who wants to improve her life: she learns how to box and manages to achieve international fame up to fighting for world title [[spoiler:which leaves her a quadriplegic for the last third of the movie]].˛** ''Film/{{Unforgiven}}'' has [[spoiler: Ned's death and Munny's return to his hard-drinking, murderous ways.]]˛* ''Film/{{Drive}}'' shifts fairly abruptly from being a low key character study to being a BloodierAndGorier RoaringRampageOfRevenge crime story when [[spoiler: Standard]] is killed. To clearly state the shift for anybody who wasn't clued in by that, the villains then proceed to [[spoiler: splatter [[Creator/ChristinaHendricks Blanche]]'s brains all over the wall]] a few minutes later.˛%%* The death of [[spoiler:Ironhide]] in ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon''.˛* [[spoiler:Julian's]] death in ''Film/ChildrenOfMen'' kicks off the main plot while establishing the film's AnyoneCanDie nature.˛* ''Film/{{Hereditary}}'': The [[NeverTrustATrailer trailers]] for this movie strongly implied that the movie would be about a CreepyChild, 13-year-old Charlie, who has inherited something bad and/or supernatural from her dead grandmother. This is arguably why [[spoiler:her death by ''decapitation'' 45 minutes into the movie resulted in audiences screaming and leaving the theater in tears.]]˛* ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' manages a GutPunch twice: once when the ImplacableMan pursuing the heroes starts ''butchering'' anybody they might conceivably run to for help, and again when [[TheDreaded Reavers]] kick off the grand finale by firing a harpoon right through one of the heroes.˛* Fans of ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'' understood right from the opening scene that the film version of ''Film/MastersOfTheUniverse'' was DarkerAndEdgier than the animated series, what with the imprisonment of the Sorceress and He-Man hacking and slashing his way through a dozen or so of Skeletor's Centurions (who might have been faceless {{Mooks}}, but [[AmbiguousRobots may also have just been automatons]]). But any illusions that Skeletor might have been up to his usual cartoony tricks are shattered when he out-and-out murders CanonForeigner Saurod [[YouHaveFailedMe for failing to obtain the Cosmic Key]]. ''This'' Skeletor was [[AdaptationalVillainy much more villainous than his cartoon counterpart]], who'd ''never'' directed any real acts of violence toward his minions.˛* ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'' has a grim opening where dozens of condemned victims are led to a gallows in a mass hanging; however, the Gut Punch comes where one victim is a child who has to ''stand on a barrel'' so his neck can reach the noose, the sign that this one [[DarkerAndEdgier wasn't going to be like the first two.]]˛* ''Franchise/StarWars'':˛** ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' has a lighthearted "reunion special" for the first two thirds of its runtime - until Kylo Ren stabs [[spoiler: ''[[MoralEventHorizon his own father,]]'' [[AnyoneCanDie Han Solo]],]] right through the chest, demonstrating that the new ''Star Wars'' movies are [[AnyoneCanDie pulling no punches]] when it comes to major character deaths.˛** ''Film/RogueOne'' is somewhat DarkerAndEdgier, but nothing that we haven't seen before in ''Star Wars''... up until the moment when [[spoiler: [[PluckyComicRelief K-2SO]]]] pulls a YouShallNotPass to protect the leads, signalling that not all the heroes are gonna make it out of this movie. [[spoiler: [[KillEmAll Or any of them.]]]]˛* ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' had a {{downplayed|trope}}, {{lampshaded}}, and promptly-{{subverted}} GutPunch when it first came out, which may have been mostly forgotten nowadays. When Doc Brown first demonstrates his time machine, he ties the dog Einstein into the [=DeLorean=]. At the point where the car disappears in a flash of fire-trails, many in the audience worried that the dog may have really been destroyed.˛--> '''Marty''': "You disintegrated Einstein!"˛* ''Film/TheGreatWaldoPepper'' is a tragic movie that starts off looking like a nostalgic comedy-drama. The death of the character Mary Beth in a failed wing-walking attempt is the turning point, one which, according to the film's writer Creator/WilliamGoldman, was too extreme for most audience members to tolerate, leading to the film's financial failure.˛* ''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 ''nationwide state of emergency''.]]˛* Related to the above, the ending of ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' is an awful, awful punch in the gut for anyone who had become attached to almost any MCU character. [[spoiler:The infamous Snap disintegrates literally half the population of not just Earth, but the ''entire universe''. Many fan-favorite characters turned to ash right before the viewers' eyes, including Bucky Barnes, the Black Panther, Peter Quill, and the teenage Spider-Man.]] It actually manages to get a little worse in the early part of ''Film/AvengersEndgame'', when the surviving Avengers (and the audience) learn about other allies and loved ones whose deaths were ''not'' shown in the previous film. These include [[spoiler:Princess Shuri of Wakanda and Hawkeye's ''entire family'']].˛* ''Film/StarTrek2009'' seems like a fun, action-packed film revival of the [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries original series]] -- until [[spoiler:Vulcan is destroyed and Spock's mother killed]]. At this point, it's brutally clear that this is ''not'' going to be like the timeline that Trekkies have grown up watching, and nobody and nothing is safe.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Literature]]˛* ''Literature/BattleRoyale'' has this by way of [[spoiler: [[DecoyProtagonist Shinji Mimura]]]], who gets killed off halfway into the book to establish that, yes, AnyoneCanDie.˛* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': [[spoiler:Cedric's death]] at the end of [[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFire book 4]] the first shown murder in the entire series, and started it rocketing towards DarkerAndEdgier territory. In the last three books, ''at least'' one major character dies or is killed ''per book''. In the seventh book, about a ''dozen'' minor and major characters die or are implied to have died.˛* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'': From the start the series, it's clearly darker and more cynical than the usual fantasy novel. But [[spoiler:Ned's execution]] takes it to a whole new level. You do NOT expect a main character to die like this. And again when [[spoiler:the Starks are betrayed by the Freys]] (the [[Series/GameOfThrones television version of this]] quickly became infamous as one of the biggest {{Gut Punch}}es in the history of television).˛* For ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' the GutPunch is provided by the arrival of [[TheDreaded a Black Rider.]] [[WordOfGod It was when the Black Rider suddenly appeared in his third draft that Tolkien realized he was not just writing 'The Hobbit II'.]] Well-portrayed in the film adaptation as well - the hobbits (and the audience) suddenly realize the sort of nightmare they're up against.˛* 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. ˛* [[spoiler: The death of Cloud, the protagonist's [[HalfIdenticalTwins Half-Identical Twin]] brother]] shows that ''Peace: Cats of the Valley'' is every bit as hardcore as the [[Literature/WarriorCats series]] it [[SerialNumbersFiledOff plagiarises]].˛* ''Literature/CodeNameVerity'' We get to know Julie and Maddie very well, as [[spoiler: Julie narrates the first half of the book, and much of it is about her friendship with Maddie]]. Then we learn [[spoiler: that Maddie is still alive]]. In the climatic scene, [[spoiler: Maddie saves Julie from torture by shooting her]]. It's absolutely heart-wrenching.˛* ''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.]]˛* In ''Literature/TheChildrenOfTheSky'', most of the "evil" going on is either safely offscreen or nonviolent. Nevil Storherte, the most prominent of the BigBad trio, spends most of the story coming across as a seditious and weaselly but charismatic manipulator. He never quite seems like the type to condone violence except in necessary situations, and since he's the BigBad, it seems likely that the story's conflict will remain mostly political... until, near the end of the book, he fires an explosive WaveMotionGun into a crowd of civilians in an attempt to kill a target who ''might'' be there. Shortly thereafter, he privately laments the deaths... and blames them on his intended target for ''maybe'' being there.˛* The ''Silo'' series by Hugh Howey starts with a brilliant gut punch when a would-be protagonist follows his wife into the seemingly deadly post-catastrophe outside world that everyone in his silo sees only through a single screen. He believes, as his wife did after some thorough research, that the image on the screen is a computer generated lie to keep everyone inside. In fact, the idea of going outside is a capital crime in the silo, and everyone guilty is got rid of by sending them there to clean dust off the cameras feeding that screen, and to die a horrible death quickly afterwards. [[spoiler:There is indeed bright and green pastoral world outside, and for a few happy minutes the would-be protagonist is cleaning the lenses, waving at people inside and making plans to find his wife. Until he starts dying violently, tears off his helmet and finds out that the green pastures are CGI fake on his helmet's screen, tricking every condemned criminal into cleaning those lenses, and the real world is as deadly as seen on TV. Gut punches don't stop there: initially the books show just what their protagonists know about their world, and in the end their entire existence turns out to be a carefully constructed lie, hiding some truly horrible reality.]]˛* 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]] in ''The High King'', 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. ˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Live-Action TV]]˛* ''Series/BlakesSeven'' has a notorious one at the end of the very first episode. The hero has been framed for child abuse by the evil government and is about to be sent to a penal colony, but his heroic CrusadingLawyer and the lawyer's girlfriend have discovered proof of the government's corruption and are about to blow everything sky-high. [[spoiler: Then in the last-but-one scene of the episode the lawyer and his girlfriend are casually blown away by government agents. The prison ship takes off. The end.]]˛* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' has at least three escalating ones over its lifetime. Season One:[[spoiler: Flutie's death.]] Season Two: [[spoiler:Angel loses his soul.]] Season Five: [[spoiler:Joyce dies.]] If anything, season two has two moments of these back to back: [[spoiler: the aforementioned moment where Angel's soul is lost]] and [[spoiler: the moment not long after where the soulless Angel proceeds to kill Jenny Calender.]]˛* ''Series/{{Angel}}'', Being Buffy's spin-off, one can only expect that there will be just as much gut-punching - and there is. Season 1 [[spoiler:Doyle sacrifices himself.]], Season 4 [[spoiler:Cordelia never woke up from her coma.]], and finally, but most prominently [[spoiler:Fred's slow and painful death, being hollowed by having her internal organs liquefied in order for an EldritchAbomination to take over her body.]] ˛* ''Series/TwentyFour'' mixes in two during its first season: the first is early on when [[spoiler: Janet York]] is murdered by [[spoiler: the man posing as her father]] and again at the finale where [[spoiler: the season ends with Jack in tears cradling his dead wife's body.]]˛* In ''Series/DowntonAbbey'', there's [[spoiler: Lady Sybil's death. Series 3 is just as melodramatic as the previous two, but the graphic, gasping death scene of one of main family members, who had just become a mother and is arguably the nicest person on the show was unprecedented and shocking. William's death was noble, drawn out and sweet; Lavinia was perhaps destined to die — but Sybil's death was frantic, quick and horrifying. Never before had the show been so shocking to watch.]]˛* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':˛** The end of "Baelor". Arya watches as her father is sentenced to death, but Yoren shields her from seeing the actual death. Ser Ilyn draws Eddard's own sword, Ice, and cuts his head off with a single blow. A flock of pigeons takes flight immediately afterwards, the sight being all Arya needs to know her father is dead.˛** The end of "The Rains of Castamere" quickly gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the biggest Gut Punches ever broadcast on television. In a shocking twist, a wedding turns into a massacre. Robb stands and utters, "Mother" as ​Roose Bolton, who had fled the hall when the massacre began, seizes Robb, whispering "The Lannisters send their regards," before stabbing him in the heart. Now catatonic with grief, Catelyn stands there and accepts her fate, allowing Black Walder to slip up behind her and viciously cut her throat. She falls to the floor with a thud.˛** The end of "The Mountain and the Viper". Tyrion has been accused of killing the king, and his innocence is to be decided by trial by combat. His champion, Oberyn, is viciously defeated and he is sentenced to death by Tywin. Tyrion cannot even reply, shockingly staring in catatonic astonishment at Oberyn's skull-crushed corpse, as does Jaime; the only different reaction is from Cersei, who stares at Oberyn's slaughtered body, listening to Tyrion's death sentence while smirking in vindication.˛** The end of "Mother's Mercy". Jon Snow is stabbed by his fellow Night's Watch members. The brothers leave Jon to die alone in the snow.˛* 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]].˛* ''Series/BabylonFive'' has quite a few:˛** This is the entire A-plot of ''The Coming Of Shadows'' from the Emperor's heart attack onwards is a series of escalating gut punches.˛** The deaths of [[spoiler: every single GROPO we just spent an episode meeting]] in ''GROPOS''.˛** The revelation of [[spoiler: the sleeper agent]] in ''Divided Loyalties''.˛** The slow revelation of the truth in ''Passing Through Gethsemane'', with one more in the tag.˛** Two words from ''The Day of the Dead'': '''''[[spoiler: Zoe's dead]]'''''.˛** In ''Believers'' from Season One, we seem to have the stock sci-fi ending where the 'backwards' aliens are grateful to have their son back despite the surgery going against all their beliefs, they quietly take their son home, typical happy-after-all ending, and then [[spoiler: the parents are cooperating long enough to take their son and ritually kill him as they still believe the surgery destroyed his soul. And the viewer isn't told they're wrong.]] One of the earlier hints that this isn't your grandfather's social-science sci-fi. ˛** But probably the single greatest one in the entire series: [[spoiler: Lennier's betrayal of Sheridan]] in ''Objects at Rest''.˛** The Bombing of Narn in ''The Long Twilight Struggle''. The Narn-Centauri War had been mostly a background event at this point, important but not crucial to the overall MythArc. Then suddenly the war is over, the Centauri control Narn and have turned the aggressiveness UpToEleven, and once again, NothingIsTheSameAnymore.˛* ''Series/{{Charmed|1998}}'' - the episode "Charmed and Dangerous". You know things are going south when Leo is shot by a darklighter's arrow and Paige has her powers stolen too, effectively leaving Phoebe as the only sister with her powers (and she is the weakest active power-wise) with the Source of All Evil out for the kill.˛* TheReveal of who exactly killed Laura Palmer on ''Series/TwinPeaks'' ([[spoiler: Her father, possessed by an EldritchAbomination obsessed with her entire being]]) is one of the most infamous of these in TV history, to the point where AMC ran no commercials whatever for the final twenty minutes of the original broadcast. What makes it even worse is that the reveal is followed by what was, back then, probably the most brutal depiction of murder seen in an American mainstream TV show.˛* ''Series/{{LOST}}'' has a lot of these, considering its AnyoneCanDie nature, but the biggest one in the show has to be [[spoiler: Alex's death. She's on her knees with Martin Keamy's gun to her head, crying and BEGGING her father, Ben, for help. Ben is a master of the XanatosGambit and has basically been playing every other character the entire show; he obviously has a plan, right? Nope.]]˛* The Israeli skit show ''The Chamber Quintet'' started discussing politics a lot more openly after [[ the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzkhak Rabin]] in 1995; given that the writers and actors were staunch leftists and the public sphere had just taken a sharp turn to the right, making [[ Benjamin Netanyahu]] prime minister for the first time, they obviously featured much darker skits much more often, the darkest of which was probably [[ this one]], from 1997, after Netanyahu’s election (the second half of the Gut Punch), in which [[ Rami Heuberger]] gave a chilling performance as the assassin, [[ Yig'al ‘Amir]], with a SlasherSmile and a monologue about how the viewers know deep down that ultimately he’ll be pardoned in twenty years in exchange for expunging the charges against a staunchly leftist party (implying they’ll be persecuted politically), and that he’ll be hailed as a hero in Jerusalem, which will become far more nationalistic and right-winged. To make matters worse, as of 2014, the (attempted) political persecution of the left and the change in political climate in Jerusalem ''[[HarsherInHindsight have already come true]]''.˛* In ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'', [[spoiler:a human is turned into a monster and, unlike other men-turned-monsters in the franchise, is not returned to normal but instead written off as a lost cause by the antagonists and killed. Worse, he's revealed to not be the first such victim; as at the same time the audience is shown that the first monster that Gaim killed was in fact a close friend of his that had gone missing.]] Usually in ''Kamen Rider'', defeating the MonsterOfTheWeek sets everything right; and ''Gaim'' had been presented as a shonen SeriousBusiness show not unlike ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' This episode shows that nothing will ever be "right" again and that the competition that the main characters were taking seriously is nothing compared to the real conflict.˛* The first episode of ''Series/QueenOfTheSouth'' opens with protagonist Teresa boasting about how wealthy and powerful she is... [[spoiler:and then she gets shot dead.]]˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Music Videos]]˛* The 5:30-minute "[[ I NEED U (Original ver.)]]" firmly establishes the bleak tone of the ''Music/{{BU}}'' storyline, as well as Music/{{BTS}}' willingness to take on darker, more mature topics in their work from that point onwards. At first it just seems like a slightly DarkerAndEdgier version of "Danger" - especially if you've only watched "I NEED U"'s shorter, heavily {{Bowdlerise}}d version. The second chorus comes in, however, and [[TheCutie Jungkook]] gets beaten up by strangers, while (in a separate scene) Hoseok passes out from narcolepsy in the middle of a sidewalk. Then, after the bridge, [[spoiler: Jungkook gets hit by a car, Taehyung stabs his abusive father to death with a broken bottle, and Yoongi dumps gasoline all over his room, setting it on fire and letting it burn everything, [[DrivenToSuicide himself included]]. All while jumping back-and-forth from these scenes of the boys suffering to scenes of the boys happy together]].˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]˛* The 2011 "Thug Assassins" angle in the Urban Wrestling Federation, in which new champion Rasche Brown was knocked over and then shot by two unknown assailants. To make matters worse, Brown seemingly never appeared at any other pro wrestling event; he was essentially, unceremoniously, killed off.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Roleplay]]˛* ''Roleplay/GraveAcademy'':˛** In the second book's finale, [[spoiler:Jack and Sophie are able to save Robin from Teresa's MindControl, but her soul'd being under the influence for so long that she begs Jack to MercyKill her, he does.]]. A bit earlier in the same chapter, [[spoiler:Jack and Sophie discover that Jack's sister, Teresa, who appeared to be just a victim, was pulling the strings all along, the she goes psycho on them and slices her brother's eye off, and almost kill them and their students, only for Jack to deem her beyond saving and ends up killing her in self-defense.]]˛** The last book starts LighterAndSofter, only to shock even more with [[spoiler:Samantha's sacrifice, killing off one of the most beloved and sweet characters in the story, and it ended up being useless, as instead of preventing the onther's deaths, most of them actually die before the final battle, and then, ALL of them, save for Luke, die at some point during the final confrontation.]].˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Theater]]˛* ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' is basically a RomanticComedy... right up until the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt. [[KillEmAll Things go straight to hell from there]].˛* Likewise, ''Theatre/{{Cabaret}}'' is light-hearted and hysterical ... until the Nazis show up.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Video Games]]˛* ''VideoGame/GuildWars'':˛** The game opens in the fairly idyllic area of Ascalon - grass and flowers are everywhere, and enemies are easy and will generally not attack you unless provoked. Then [[SceneryGorn the Searing]] happens, and you get out of the prologue.˛** ''Nightfall'' opens with the Sunspears rooting out a conspiracy and launching a massive invasion of Kourna to counter it. Everything goes well until Varesh unleashes a horde of demons, devastating the Sunspear army while one of them eats their leader's ''[[EyeScream eyes]]''. After that mission the players are fugitives trying to avoid capture by a hostile army.˛* ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' has dozens of paths the Personal Stories can follow, but all share the same Gut Punch: Claw Island. A massive undead attack completely overwhelms the island and the player's mentor [[YouShallNotPass stays behind to give the few survivors time to flee]].˛* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'' has one of the most famous video game examples, which occurs halfway through when [[spoiler: Kefka [[ApocalypseWow destroys the world]].]]˛* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' features the reveal of the BigBad's plan to end all life, his successful acquisition of the MacGuffin he needs to do it, and the death of the only character with a means to stop him, all in short sequence at the end of Disc 1 of 3 (which had been largely light and partly humorous up this point except for some angst in the backstories of party members).˛* ''[[VideoGame/TalesofTheAbyss Tales of the Abyss]]'' starts out as a typical cliche packed Shōnen adventure. Then, about a third of the way through the game, TheReveal occurs ([[spoiler:The main character is a replica, having been created for the express purpose of playing his original's role in fulfilling a prophecy in which he's manipulated into destroying an entire city]]) and we are subject to one of the most ''vicious'' examples of BreakTheHaughty ever seen in a game.˛* ''VideoGame/MortalKombat'':˛** The remarkably easy-to-do and remarkably gory-for-the-time Pit Stage Fatality, for those who used to believe this game was a clone of ''Street Fighter''.˛** Scorpion's original Fatality, where he reveals there's nothing but a bare skull under his mask, served as a GutPunch for this strange ninja's story. ˛** ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'' opens with the revelation that Shao Khan won, all the heroes are dead (save Raiden, who's just about to be killed himself,) and the only thing that can save the day is for Raiden to scrap an entire series' worth of continuity with an in-universe reboot by sending a message to his past self so that he can try and SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong.˛* ''VideoGame/{{Vindictus}}'' starts out in a moderately DarkFantasy world, but doesn't initially explain how it turns into the LowFantasy CrapsackWorld that it's advertised as. Then less than halfway through the third major zone, Ainle, [[spoiler: Ellis, the kid cadet who's always looked up to you, [[KillTheCutie gets viciously beaten to death by a sadistic goblin warlord in the pre-bossfight cutscene]]]]. And the name of the mission in which this happens? "Wake Up Call." Things don't really improve from there.˛* ''VideoGame/YggdraUnion'' waits until the player has been lulled into a suitable sense of security before it shows its true colors -- it seems upbeat enough for a medieval war game for two thirds of the plot. Then there's Battlefield 40, where you begin your invasion of TheEmpire for the sake of protecting the kingdom, and [[spoiler:have to slaughter an entire town of civilians [[GoThroughMe determined to defend their homes]]]]. And it gets worse very quickly from here.˛* ''VisualNovel/DigitalALoveStory'' starts off as a simple 1980's email simulator, then [[spoiler:the player's 'go to' website crashes, and they lose all contact with Emilia]]. They then receive an email from the websites administrator that reveals [[spoiler: Emilia was sending them an email desperately begging for their help before the crash]] and things get very dark very quickly.˛%% * [[KnightOfCerebus ZODIAC Virgo]] from ''VideoGame/RefleX'' delivered two substantial of these. The first when it shot down Cancer from behind and the second when it [[spoiler:destroyed the Phoenix]].˛* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':˛** The game has this within events of the Wrathgate. [[spoiler:The Forsaken unleash the New Plague]]. You now see it cause the senseless and meaningless deaths of some of the Horde's and Alliance's greatest heroes and shatter any chance of peace between the two factions. And if you're playing as Horde, you ''helped create'' [[spoiler:the New Plague]], in one of the more light-hearted questlines that go all the way back to the first levels.˛** In ''Mists of Pandaria'', at the end of the Jade Forest questline, [[spoiler:the battle between the Alliance and Horde, with their respective Jinyu and Hozen allies, results in the Sha being empowered, devastating the landscape and both sets of combatants]].˛** ''Legion'' has the assault on the Broken Shore where the massed forces of the Horde and Alliance try to stop the Legion before it can gain a foothold. Not only are their forces devastated and forced to retreat, [[spoiler:King Wrynn, Warchief Vol'Jin, and Highlord Fordring]] are all killed.˛* ''Franchise/MassEffect''˛** In [[VideoGame/MassEffect1 the first game]], you have a few missions trying to find out what Saren is up to, and a ton of sidequests mowing down violent criminals and terrorist cells with impunity. Then you have Virmire. First, you encounter the BigBad for the first time, and the tone of what had been a sci-fi jaunt suddenly gets a ''lot'' more serious. Then, [[spoiler:no matter what you do, no matter how well you play, either Ashley or Kaidan will die. It's up to you to decide who performs the HeroicSacrifice. You may have to put down Wrex as well, depending on your influence with him.]] The mission to Virmire sets the harsh precedent for the rest of the series: from that point onward, you know that the BigBad is a lot more dangerous and time-spanning than you thought, AnyoneCanDie and tread a lot more cautiously.˛** The Gut Punch for the series as a whole is the ending of ''Arrival'', the last DLC mission for ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', which requires Shepard to [[spoiler:destroy a Batarian system killing countless innocents in order to stop the Reapers.]] It's essentially saying that from this point on, no matter what you do, you'll still be sacrificing someone. ˛** [[VideoGame/MassEffect3 The third game]] ''starts'' with a Gut Punch. A front-row seat for the Reaper invasion of Earth. There's also [[spoiler:the fall of Thessia]], which is a complete and utter defeat for the good guys, which, in an earlier version, would have included [[spoiler:a Virmire-like dilemma]].˛%% * The death of [[spoiler:Mona Sax]] in ''VideoGame/MaxPayne 1'' and [[spoiler:again]] in ''2''.˛* ''VideoGame/LiveALive'' appears to be a collection of fairly cheerful ClicheStorm tales of heroism. Then you finish all seven and unlock an additional chapter, which seems to be a standard SwordAndSorcery tale... [[spoiler:until Oersted is tricked into murdering the king. Everything in his life falls apart from there. Ladies and gentlemen, [[StartOfDarkness the origin of Odio]].]]˛* ''VideoGame/BatenKaitos'': TheMole is unmasked. [[spoiler:It's Kalas. The ''main character''. He's led you - not just you the player, you the ''player stand-in Guardian Spirit'' along the entire time. And then he ''cuts off your viewpoint and the screen fades to black''. Oh, by the way? The really nice leader everyone loves? She's pure evil, and the one he's working for.]] And that's when you realize you've judged the entire plot the wrong way from the minute you hit Start.˛* The gut punch in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' is the point where the President of the United States confesses that he's just a figurehead for an AncientConspiracy, that the entire facility the game is taking place on is a cover for a massive new battleship with vast nuclear strength and weapons to control information, that you're just a pawn of said ancient conspiracy, and that he wants you to kill him (which someone else beats you to). The whole scene sets the [[DeconstructorFleet tone]] [[PlayerPunch for the rest]] [[ButThouMust of the game,]] and to an extent the series.˛* ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' initially comes across as a shooter with a somewhat darker-than-usual undertone, when it becomes apparent the situation is not one suited for your tiny rescue and reconnaissance squad. About halfway into the game, Capt. Martin Walker uses [[spoiler:white-phosphorus mortar rounds to pass an enemy camp, only for the game to reveal the resulting gruesome murders included ''forty-seven of the civilians he's there to rescue''. The game and Walker's mental stability only go downhill from there.]]˛* ''VideoGame/BioShock1'' has the [[ItWasHisSled infamous]] scene in Andrew Ryan's office, in which the [[GenreDeconstruction true nature]] of the game finally rears its ugly head. It is revealed in short order that [[spoiler: not only has Atlas had you on puppet strings for the full duration of the game, but he's really Frank Fontaine, the one responsible for much of what's happened to turn Rapture into the CrapsackWorld that it is. And by the way? YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness.]]˛* ''VideoGame/{{Eversion}}'' is an [[TastesLikeDiabetes almost unbearably cutesy and saccharine]] platformer [[spoiler: up until the beginning of level 4, which begins the parade SceneryGorn, regular {{Gorn}}, jump scares and more general-purpose terror that makes up the meat of the game.]]˛* ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' pulls this off very effectively in Mission 3, where you return to Kharak after a short test jump to discover that [[spoiler:the planet's surface and orbital installations have been destroyed, effectively rendering the Kushan species near-extinct]]. The narrators in particular help the scene by just barely maintaining a calm and collected tone.˛* ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' sets itself up with an especially bleak DarkFantasy setting from the get go, which makes the subdued, sudden and un-dramatic NPC deaths (typically at your hands following their turning [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Hollow]]) gradually easier to deal with, except for [[spoiler:[[KnightInShiningArmor Solaire]]'s]] descent into madness and despair. [[spoiler:The fact that the majority of players would not [[GuideDangIt know that it was avoidable]] until later adds to it.]]˛%% * Despite [[AfterTheEnd its]] [[CrapsackWorld setting]], very few characters die in ''[[VideoGame/AdvanceWars Advance Wars: Days of Ruin]]'' and when they do it's not treated as that big of a deal. [[spoiler: Then ''Captain Brenner'' is wounded and surrounded by enemies in a ruined town. And then you get him on the radio. And then the villain decides to just nuke the whole town. ''And you get to listen to Brenner's last words as he's annihilated by the blast''.]]˛* [[CrapsackWorld True to its setting]], ''VideoGame/TelltalesGameOfThrones'' starts out fairly dark with the deaths of the Lord of House Forrester and his eldest son, leaving teenage Ethan to take the reins of the gutted remains of his household and try to survive the obvious squeeze which House Bolton and its bannermen will be putting on those who had been loyal to House Stark. [[spoiler:And then [[AxCrazy Ramsay Snow]] stabs him through the neck, killing him at the end of the first episode.]] Things do not get better, to put it lightly.˛* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'' has one for the overall tone of the game, and another for the gameplay.˛** The story begins as a typical Japanese high school drama. ...For all of ten minutes, until the protagonists get a video clip of a horrific train crash that leaves a mess of bloody corpses behind, including their own. A little later, Dubhe shows up in the midst of some terrified civilians and self-destructs, leaving a smoking crater where they used to be. It's at this point that the protagonists, and the player, realize this is really an apocalypse story.˛** The second moment is Keita's death clip on Day 2. While you saw a death clip for Daichi on the first day, ButThouMust was in full effect and you always arrive JustInTime to save him. So when you meet a new team member and get a vision of his impending death, surely you can TakeYourTime, right? Wrong. Mess around doing too many side events, and Keita's death clip ''will'' come true, [[FinalDeath depriving you of a party member forever.]] This hammers in that death clip missions should be prioritised, and [[AnyoneCanDie that party members can end up dying.]]˛* Seems to happen at least once per game in ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeon'' which isn't too surprising considering [[SurpriseCreepy what the stories end up as]]...˛** ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonRescueTeam'' has the player character being framed as the cursed human of legend who's existence would cause natural disasters that will lay waste to the world. Most of the game's second half is spent on the run from former allies and other dangerous Pokémon.˛** The day was seemingly saved in ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonExplorers'' when Dusknoir has captured Grovyle, the criminal stealing [[CosmicKeystone Time Gears]]... [[spoiler: only for Dusknoir to reveal that he's a mole from a grim future ruled by an insane Dialga by sending the protagonists there to be executed. The rest of the game is all about stopping said future even though it will cause everyone from that future, including the player character, to cease to exist.]]˛** By the last leg of ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonGatesToInfinity'', the villains are revealed to be a suicide cult who are using an EldritchAbomination to destroy the world. [[spoiler: During the efforts to stop them, one of the companions ends up being killed by their leader Kyruem.]]˛** ''VideoGame/PokemonSuperMysteryDungeon'' has [[SacrificialLion Latios and Latias]] being captured and [[TakenForGranite turned into stone]] by an unseen force, followed by Entei almost killing the protagonists which spells out this game isn't going to give a pass on Legendary Pokémon, or the heroes. [[spoiler: Later on, the game makes good on that promise with a second gut punch that ends up with Nuzleaf betraying the heroes and petrifies them, along with nearly the entire Expedition Society. He and Yveltal then go on to turn nearly everyone else in the world, including the inhabits of Serine Village, into stone.]]˛* The first boss battle of ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' against Toriel hammers home the importance of two of the game's selling points. Up to that point, it's a safe bet that the player killed at least a few monsters without giving too much thought about it like in any [=RPG=], but by being forced to fight the lovable ParentalSubstitute of the player character, and possibly kill her by mistake, and they begin to see the importance of sparing enemies. Reset to the last save to spare her, and Flowey will be there to [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou guilt trip the player over murdering her]] [[YouBastard and thinking resetting the game can undo everything]], making it clear that the game, including some of its inhabitants, knows about SaveScumming and that it won't fix all of your problems here.˛* ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' has [[WhamEpisode Chapter 6]]. It first appears that the Sammer's Kingdoom will just be a comical fighting arena, but it's not. It's pretty much [[TheReveal revealed]] that [[spoiler:Count Bleck is Blumiere]], and the world Mario is in (as well as all the people in it) quickly gets turned into an empty and eerie land of nothingness by the Void before it can be saved. Soon after Mario finds a powerless Pure Heart, Dimentio unexpectedly appears to kill him, Peach, Bowser, and Mr. L in a violent manner[[note]]It's later mentioned that they didn't actually die from it.[[/note]], sending Mario into a PlotTunnel in [[{{Hell}} the Underwhere]] separated from his party.˛* ''VideoGame/HalfLife'': After fighting through waves of alien creatures, Gordon Freeman finally meets up with the marines sent down from the surface to contain the dimensional breach... and they open fire on him.˛%%* ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'': Super Sonic's story is this. Shortly after Eggman and Chaos were defeated and peace was attained, Chaos comes back, brutally attacks Eggman and Knuckles (offscreen) and gets ahold the Chaos Emeralds. Then uses said emeralds to attain his [[OneWingedAngel Perfect form]] and proceeds to attack and flood the city most of the game took place in, reducing it to ruins and killing most of its populace.˛%%* ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure2'' has the Last Story, which opens with the Space Colony ARK commencing a potentially apocalyptic ColonyDrop, a message from Eggman's grandfather Gerald Robotnik vowing revenge against humanity (suggested to have been recorded before his ''execution''), and a diary from Gerald detailing his descent into madness over the death of his granddaughter Maria, which in turn led Gerald to create Shadow the Hedgehog to carry out his retribution.˛* ''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.]]˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Visual Novels]]˛* ''VisualNovel/DokiDokiLiteratureClub'' starts off as a lighthearted romantic comedy with some drama added in after [[spoiler:Sayori admits to being depressed and confesses to the protagonist]]. Then, on the day of the festival, you discover [[spoiler:Sayori's corpse hanging in her bedroom, and the whole thing turns into psychological horror with a cutesy facade]].˛** 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.]]˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Web Animation]]˛* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': Attracting both adults and children, the show initially follows teenagers adapting to their [[ExtranormalInstitute new school]], training to protect their world from scary monsters, getting involved in light-hearted, wacky hijinks, and glossing over serious events such as off-screen murder or easily fixed monster invasions. During the third volume's combat tournament, Yang predictably defeats Mercury but is unexpectedly attacked behind from the sore loser; she punches him to the ground only to be arrested by security in front of an angry, booing crowd. The episode ends as arena television reveals the truth to the fanbase and Yang; a defenceless Mercury was lying on the ground while Yang needlessly assaulted him, shattering his legs. After the episode, the creators released a statement requesting that, from now on, adults should supervise any child access to the show; originally intended for a mature audience, this episode was designed to be a gut punch warning fans that a darker storyline was starting.˛** 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''.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Web Comics]]˛* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' seems at first to be just more of the kind of surreal goofiness that had defined previous ''Webcomic/MSPaintAdventures'' comics...until we find a meteor on a collision course for the main character's house.˛** Even after the meteor business solidified the fact that the story was taking itself more seriously than its predecessors, it's still fairly light material. Then [[spoiler: Jack Noir flips the fuck out and goes on a homicidal rampage,]] instantly promoting himself to BigBad.˛** [[ This]] also very suddenly demonstrates the darker turn the comic takes in Act 5 Act 2. (Spoilers in link) [[spoiler: Despite the fact that [[CameBackStrong he gets better]], the main character dies onscreen with basically no warning right after a particularly lighthearted and charming sequence, and the girl who led him there responds with a smiling emoticon.]]˛* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':˛** Due to Xykon's LaughablyEvil tendencies, it's very easy to assume that he's not that much of a threat. However, during the invasion of [[spoiler:Azure City]], he swiftly reminds the audience exactly how dangerous he is by [[spoiler: killing [[TheHero Roy]]]].˛** Much later in the comic, Tarquin is firmly established as a villain, but doesn't show quite how ruthless he is until he [[spoiler:kills his own son, Nale.]]˛* In ''Webcomic/OurLittleAdventure'', the adventuring group has had a fairly easy time questing and defeating monsters...and then a special MonsterOfTheWeek appears and [[spoiler: ends up killing Pauline..]].˛* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' has Kin, who has been slowly recovering from the [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil abuse she received from Dellyn]]. And then there's Minmax, who has [[CharacterDevelopment slowly been falling for her despite her monster status]] and seems to have reached the point of "seeing" her like her people do. And then [[spoiler: an alternate-universe version of Kin deliberately [[RetGone obliterates the physical touchstone of their relationship,]] leaving them still in love, but Kin no longer understands why. When she abruptly attempts to send Minmax and Forgath on their way -- probably never to see them again -- Minmax panics and grabs her leash in an attempt to slow things down and talk it out. [[ The faces]] on both of them speak volumes.]]˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Western Animation]]˛* ''Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':˛** ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' has an unusually late example at the end of season 2. Up until that point, the show had proven its willingness to tackle difficult subjects, but always ultimately ended in a relatively lighthearted way. In the season two finale, [[spoiler:despite a great deal of foreshadowing Zuko refuses to take a HeelFaceTurn and instead sides with [[TheDragon Azula]], the Fire Nation [[TheBadGuyWins succeeds]] in taking over Ba Sing Se, held up as the Earth Kingdom's last defence, and just when a HopeSpot arrives in the form of Aang reaching the Avatar State, Azula attacks him mid-transformation, outright killing him, his life only spared by the [[ChekhovsGun magical water]] Katara had received from the northern water tribe.]] Where Season 1 ends with the heroes victorious, season 2 ends with them battered and broken and having lost much that they had gained.˛** ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' supplies one as well, halfway through the first season. Immediately after [[spoiler: the conclusion of the Pro-Bending tournament, the soundtrack fades out as members of the audiences slowly pull masks up over their faces. Then one of them reaches into their popcorn, slowly pulls out a weapon... and [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids we see the beginning of an]] [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar honest-to-god terrorist attack]]]]. This set the DarkerAndEdgier tone of the show quite nicely, which culminated in [[spoiler: a completely unambiguous MurderSuicide]] during the season finale.˛* It was pretty clear that Moralton in ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'' was not a happy place, but the show was mainly comedy until the episode "Nature" when [[spoiler: Orel is shot by his dad]]˛* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'': When [[BigBad Megabyte]] rockets [[TheHero Bob]] into the Web during their EnemyMine situation, stranding him there before starting his conquest of Mainframe. We're led to believe that Guardian Enzo can protect the city, but then he [[TheBadGuyWins loses a Game]], [[EyeScream his eye]], and gets [[TimeSkip Time Skipped]] into an edgy gun-toting AntiHero.˛* A VerySpecialEpisode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' begins like any other, with Peter and Joe going fishing and wondering where Quagmire is. When they go to his house they see Quagmire hanging from a noose and nearly dead from EroticAsphyxiation while watching clown porn. [[Recap/FamilyGuyS10E3ScreamsOFSilenceTheStoryOfBrendaQ Then his sister and her abusive boyfriend show up]], and everything goes to {{Hell}} from there.˛* [[SlowPacedBeginning The first few episodes of]] ''WesternAnimation/BoJackHorseman'' played out like your typical animated adult SitCom up until "The Telescope", in which Bojack tries to make amends with his former friend Herb, [[FriendOrIdolDecision who he betrayed to save his stardom 20 years ago,]] after finding out he's in the late stages of rectal cancer. Normally, this would end in a GoldenMoment and Bojack gaining Herb's {{forgiveness}}. It's quite the shock when RealityEnsues and Herb [[RejectedApology refuses Bojack's apology]] and [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech calls it out for the obviously insincere attempt to soothe Bojack's conscience that it is]]. ˛* ''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.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Real Life]]˛* The name of the trope is not just word play. Strong negative emotions cause a not-completely-understood reaction between the enteric nervous system (the so-called "second brain") and the anterior cingulate cortex (which regulates physical and emotional pain). It's the same reason your stomach turns in knots when you're scared and why you get butterflies in your stomach when you're nervous.˛[[/folder]]˛----


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