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- The Misaimed Marketing trope is full of unfortunate examples of ironies caused by marketing strategy.
- A 2014 commercial for 7Up shows a pickup truck with a flat tire. The truck is overloaded with used tires. The announcer says "If we can pack this much irony into one scene, we can pack genuine 7Up flavor into ten calories."
- A commercial for Cliff's Notes has a pair of teenagers attending a festival where the local firefighters put on a display for fire prevention. A mishap causes the firefighters' display to catch fire. One of the teenagers consults his Cliff's Notes for Fahrenheit 451 and points out the irony.
- Honda's "Hoodie Ninja" commercial for the new Civic drew criticism from Asian-American groups for portraying a Japanese actress as a ninja. The actress in question, Tania Gunadi, actually has Indonesian ancestry, so the complainers were guilty of a particular Asian stereotype themselves.
- A 2019 commercial for Miracle-Gro features Alice Merton's "No Roots". Miracle-Gro is a line of products used for gardening, you know, working with things that have roots.
- An announcement at E3 for Skyrim on the Nintendo Switch used the song "Take a Walk" by Passion Pit. However, the song is actually about a businessman burdened by financial troubles.
- A series of commercials for Volkswagen featured a German mechanic extolling the brand's German engineering with the proclamation "Representing Deutschland". The mechanic is played by Peter Stormare who's actually Swedish.
- Bill Cosby's '60s standup album Revenge has multiple cases from his own childhood:
"I forgot I was behind him."
- In the title track, Bill plans to hit Harold with a snowball, only for Junior Barnes to hit him with one instead (prompting Bill to complain in much the same way Harold always does). Bill ends up saving a snowball in his freezer, but when he goes to use it against Junior Barnes in the middle of July, he discovers his mother had found it and thrown it away. (Undaunted, he spits on Junior Barnes instead.)
- In "Buck, Buck", Bill is taken in by a prank involving a statue of Frankenstein's monster. When he tries to help play the same prank on Fat Albert, it backfires on him:
- Then they take him to the hospital and put him next to "a wino who was run over by two kids". In the previous track, "9th Street Bridge", Bill and Harold ran into a wino in the dark, mistaking him for a monster and trampling him as they ran away. Furthermore, it was posted on a page that explains what are and what are not examples of irony.
- Part of Jeff Dunham's act, usually happening when he brings Peanut out, describes an occasion when he noticed that someone, against all logic, had brought deaf people and a signer to a ventriloquist act, apparently without a trace of irony in their heart (but plenty in their situation). Not one to let irony go unpunished, Peanut first begins gibbering nonsense and then mouths vigorously without actually saying anything, driving the deaf people nuts as the signer isn't translating anything that's being "said".
- Batman supporting character and the third incarnation of The Spectre, Crispus Allen, has two ironies: the first being he loathes Bruce Wayne and likes Batman, and the second being the person who killed him (thus how he became the third Spectre) shares the name of the original Spectre, "Jim Corrigan".
- The first appearance of Captain America featured him punching out Hitler. Cap's secret identity, Steve Rogers, has blond hair, blue eyes, and after taking the Super Serum is a specimen that anyone would be happy to call ubermensch.
- The origin of the Super Soldier Serum underwent some retconning in the 90s, which added an extra layer of irony: the scientist working on the serum was in fact a Nazi agent, using American resources to perfect the serum, and he was killed by a different spy who wasn't in on the charade. So a Nazi scientist actually created the ubermensch, who spent his career kicking fascist ass up and down the globe.
- Concrete is hired to be a spokesperson for a controversial radical population control program in The Human Dilemma because he is "race-neutral, childless, and sterile". We already know from An Armchair Stuffed With Dynamite that he's not race-neutral, but it gets better. Guess who somehow ends up pregnant the night before accepting the job?
- In Death of the Family, The Joker is using this to create very darkly comedic crimes based after his first crimes. An example is when he threatens to kill the mayor at midnight, who is hiding in City Hall. Everyone in City Hall but the mayor dies, excluding Batman and Gordon.
- One of Freelance Peacekeeping Agent Death's Head's early cases is when he is hired by a group of rebels to assassinate an oppressive king. During the hit, Death's Head discovers he was actually set up by the King as part of an ongoing ruse to stop assassins before the real rebels can hire them. Peeved, Death's Head proceeds to kill all of the guards and the King — completing the original contract.
- Diabolik examples:
- The rarely used Running Gag of the titular Villain Protagonist, the world's best thief, finding out that someone has stolen something from him (usually his car, but sometimes it's something from one of his hideouts or, in one occasion, jewels from the boat he was on) without even realizing they were dealing with Diabolik. Lampshaded by his lover Eva usually laughing about it.
- The whole plot of the story "Mocking Diabolik": to protect some gold statues that Diabolik wants to steal and will have to be moved before the Diabolik-proof room at the museum is ready, Ginko stole a bunch of Diabolik gadgets confiscated by the police and used them to steal the statues first, so that Diabolik will search them everywhere but at the museum while the Diabolik-proof room is completed.
- Dynamo5: Out of all of Captain Dynamo's numerous illegitimate children, the one he personally raised and that inherited all his powers became a super-villain, while the ones who never knew him and only got one of his powers became heroes.
- Empowered is about a superheroine who is almost always the Damsel in Distress.
- An extra layer is added by, despite her being derided as an incompetent because of this, she is really one of the most noble and selfless heroes in the setting, unlike the idiots and Glory Hounds that most of the other heroes are.
- Forever Evil
Lex Luthor: This looks like a job for Superman. So, where the hell is he?!
- Lex Luthor watches as the Crime Syndicate of America takes over Earth and utters one line you'd never expect him to say.
- Lex Luthor's Injustice League, which would otherwise be a classic Legion of Doom, having to save the day.
- The Incredible Hulk has General "Thunderbolt" Ross, who will stop at nothing while trying to stop the Hulk, even hulkifying himself and his daughter (becoming Red Hulk and Red She-Hulk, respectively). However, Red Hulk has his own General Ripper, General Fortean, Ross' former apprentice, who blames Red Hulk for Ross' death, as he is unaware that Red Hulk is Ross.
- In Judge Dredd, this is where a good portion of the humor is derived from, a lot of it being of the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy and Hoist by His Own Petard variety. One of the most lasting pieces of subtle irony is how Mega-City One's city wall, originally ordered built by Chief Judge Cal to keep the citizens from escaping (so he could kill them), has since become used as an integral part of the city's defense and protection against any foreign threats and invasions.
- Whenever a story focuses on a robot, computer or similar machine, there will almost always be disaster, tragedy and multiple deaths because the machine is too capable and/or too self-aware and empathic. The reason robots are programmed to be sentient, aware and empathetic? To help people more effectively.
- One story focusing on Mega-City's extreme unemployment problem had a man go on a shooting spree after he was fired from a post he'd held for years. Judge Dredd arrested him... and sentenced him to several years of hard labor, to the man's great delight. Dredd reflects that for once, he was able to use the law to bring a bit of happiness.
- In the various versions of Spider-Man, the protagonist finds a school nemesis in Eugene "Flash" Thompson, who bullies Peter while simultaneously idolizing his alter ego Spider-Man, an irony in which Peter takes delight and gratification.
- Superboy Prime (an obscure character from 1985) was reintroduced to continuity in Countdown to Infinite Crisis, where he served as an explanation for any inconsistencies in the DC Universe; Superboy-Prime punched reality so hard that it changed history (seriously). As his role in Infinite Crisis and later stories developed (especially following the end of Legion of 3 Worlds), he became a Straw Fan, complaining that They Changed It, Now It Sucks!. So the one character they reintroduced as an answer to fanboys' questions about continuity problems is now used to make fun of the same fanboys.
- In the old Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi comics, one of the main characters falls to the Dark Side and eventually kills his helpless brother in a fit of rage. The irony is that, normally, such an act would be a character's Moral Event Horizon, would have sealed his fate as a Dark Sider forever. That's how it's always played in Star Wars. Instead, performing the irredeemable act of evil prompted him to turn away from the Dark Side and seek redemption.
- The entire concept of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Turtles are known for being slow animals and here, they've been trained as ninjas.
- Historical irony at work in The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye: During the "Shadowplay" arc, set millions of years before the present, Prowl says, "I hope I never get to be as jaded and cynical as you, Orion Pax" when Pax points out that the Senate can't be trusted. Prowl would subsequently go on to become the most bitter, abrasive, cynical, cold and ruthless Autobot in the comics, while Orion Pax would go on to become Optimus Prime, the Transformers franchise's most heroic champion of freedom and justice. So technically, no, he never got to be as jaded and cynical as Pax/Prime was being; he got to be considerably worse.
- The Unbelievable Gwenpool is a teenager themed around everyone's favorite Merc With A Mouth, right down to the Leaning on the Fourth Wall aspects. As it turns out, she never read Deadpool in her life - she feels he's too "LOL Memes" for her tastes.
- Rorschach dismisses Comedian's crimes (including attempted rape and the murder of a pregnant woman) as "moral lapses" of a hero, when the two crimes that drove him to be Rorschach were the rape of a woman and the murder of a child.
It's implied that he believes that those accusations are wholly invented or at least significantly exaggerated. He specifically doubts the accuracy of Hollis Mason's Under the Hood. Also, when he was a little kid, Rorschach absent-mindingly writes a school paper about why dropping the atomic bomb at the end of WWII was justified to prevent any further deaths. As an adult Rorschach is horrified to discover that this is exactly the kind of philosphy that Ozymandias uses to justify his actions.
- Nuclear physicist Jon Osterman accidentally locks himself inside a disintegration chamber minutes before it's due to activate. When he begs to be let out, his supervisor Dr. Glass tells him that the automatic door lock can't be overridden once the countdown has started: "It's...it's a safety feature." The last four words are set in tiny print, indicating that Glass is all too aware of the situational irony.
- Rorschach dismisses Comedian's crimes (including attempted rape and the murder of a pregnant woman) as "moral lapses" of a hero, when the two crimes that drove him to be Rorschach were the rape of a woman and the murder of a child.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin saves a snowball in his freezer for months. He then misses Susie when he throws it at the back of her head. While Calvin laments missing, Susie gathers up the snowball and hits Calvin in the face with it. Calvin then lampshades this event by saying "The irony of this is just sickening."
- In a Dilbert comic, Dilbert is typing on his computer while Wally stands behind him and says "Have you ever noticed that people continuously bother you when you're trying to work? That's why I come here - to get away from those morons." In the final panel, Wally has "an unpleasant realization".
- A Doonesbury strip from July 2012 has Jeff complaining that Alex married Leo and not him, saying "If I hadn't been off serving my country...". Of course, Leo is a veteran who served in Iraq.
Films — Animation
- At the beginning of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is told that "No beast alive stands a chance against you!" In the climax, he fights a character called "the Beast" and loses.
- In The Book of Life, Xibalba's human disguise in the framing device is Guicho, a security guard, someone bound to uphold the rules. And he frequently cheats in wagers, thereby disobeying the rules.
- In Brother Bear, Kenai kills the bear (Koda's mother) by stabbing it right through the chest with his spear. In spite of the dark tone of the first part of the movie, there's no blood seeping from the bear or dripping from the spear. Come Brother Bear 2, though, and this Lighter and Softer sequel actually has a scene where a spear grazes Kenai's shoulder, and blood sprays from the wound.
- Cars has a tragic example. When the citizens of Radiator Springs hear that an interstate highway will be passing by the town, they enthusiastically prepare to welcome an influx of potential new customers. Instead, the interstate allows travelers to bypass the small town and send it into financial ruin.
- In Coco:
- One of Ernesto de la Cruz's quotes is "Never underestimate the power of music". It was music that started a chain of events that eventually revealed Ernesto's true nature and condemned him.
- One of Ernesto's loyal fans who always followed his advice and tips was the one who exposed Ernesto as a murdering fraud.
- Food Fight is about how name brand products are better than the generic store brand products yet all name brand good guy characters could be seen as mascots for generic store brand products in real life.
- Frozen has some:
- Anna wonders if that night she'll meet the one, she believes he is "a stranger, tall and fair." While she thinks it's Hans, Kristoff is "tall and fair" (being a husky blond), and she does meet him that night.
- Olaf's song, "In Summer", is riddled with Black Comedy and irony because everything he daydreams about is something that melts him more quickly, and Kristoff almost contemplates interrupting this song to tell Olaf this, only for Anna to say, "Don't you dare!"Olaf: Just imagine how much cooler I'll be in summer!
- "Let It Go" is about Elsa's finding happiness and freedom after years of being forced into self-isolation... by isolating herself even further.
- Overlaps with Bilingual Bonus and Ominous Latin Chanting in Frollo's Hellfire in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. While he's busy condemning Esmeralda and absolving himself of any blame, the choir behind him is singing the Confiteor, a Latin prayer for the confession of sin. For a specific example:Frollo: It's not my fault!
Choir: Mea Culpa ([it is] my fault)
Frollo: I'm not to blame!
Choir: Mea Culpa ([it is] my fault)
Frollo: It was that gypsy girl, that witch who sent this flame!
Choir: Mea Maxima Culpa ([it is] my most grievous fault)
- Towards the end of Lady and the Tramp, the dogcatcher picks up Tramp and takes him to the pound to be put down once and for all. Fortunately, Jock and Trusty intercept the wagon and save Tramp — but in stopping the wagon, it falls over, and a dog, in this case Trusty, seemingly is killed, crushed by the fallen wagon. Miraculously, this is averted in the last scene, where Trusty only broke his leg.
- The whole song "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" from The Lion King. Turns out Simba could wait. He had to. And when the time came he even resisted the call.
- Many bronies were angered by the announcement of the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls films as they depicted the ponies as humans. A movie featuring them as ponies was eventually made. It ended up being considered not as good as most of the Equestria Girls movies.
- In Shrek, Shrek tells Donkey that he doesn't like annoying creatures who never stop talking (paraphrasing here). Donkey launches into a rant about how much they annoy him, too.Donkey: And there's that awkward silence, you know...
Donkey: Can I stay with you?
- Strange Magic: Marianne tells her father that she'll marry a boy she can look into his eyes and not want to punch in the face. Later on in the film, she falls in love with the Bog King, who she punched in the face during their first interaction. The two of them started having romantic tension during their first duel, which was shortly after said punch.
- Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay: The movie is about a bunch of supervillains—and Amanda Waller—fighting over the fabled "Get Out Of Hell Free" Card, which allows one person, upon their death, to bypass divine judgement and go straight to Heaven. Depending on what you believe about God and forgiveness, the person who was ultimately given the card when they died was the Token Good Teammate who probably would have gone to Heaven anyway.
- WALLE, a robot who crushes trash into manageable cubes, is at one point found in a trash cube that was made by a larger trash-compactor bot. Also, towards the end, he is crushed to Disney Death by a machine whose purpose has nothing to do with crushing.
- Their 1982 retrospective The Singles: The First Ten Years ended up being the last album they released before they disbanded. The title implies that, while the four members of the group were planning to take a break in order to work on their own projects, they envisaged recording more songs together in the future. Only they never did.
- Agnetha Faltskog, who sings lead vocal on the stalker-themed song "Under Attack", was later targeted by a stalker in real life.
- The Marc Almond song "The Idol", whose lyrics deal with rock stars being destroyed by Sex Drugs And Rock N Roll, is another example. While working on the song's parent album "Fantastic Star", Marc came close to joining the list of artists whose lives were cut short as a result of the aforementioned trope.
- The first teaser for AOA Black's song "Moya" had the girls dressed in white and standing against a white background◊.
- Nicely employed in "Daddy Never Was the Cadillac Kind" by Confederate Railroad. The narrator sings about his dad, a simple man who teaches him an anti-materialism lesson after he (the narrator) buys a Cadillac. In the third verse, the dad dies and is driven off to his grave in a Cadillac, causing the narrator to laugh despite his mourning.
- The Cranberries took an anti-conformity stance on the music industry in the late 90's. Their debut album (released in 1992) was titled Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We.
- The music video to the D12 song "My Band" once ran on some music television presented as "Eminem feat. D12"
- Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers largely became a Reclusive Artist and stopped giving interviews in later years, claiming he was sick of being compared to his father. His father, Bob Dylan, is known for also being a Reclusive Artist and rarely granting interviews, thus inciting more comparisons
- "American Dream" by Samantha Fish is dripping with irony.You're the liberated;You are the free.Free to cry and die disenfranchised—Blessed as a country.
- A Flock of Seagulls' biggest hit was "I Ran (So Far Away)". However, the song's video doesn't feature the other thing the band is known for: lead singer Mike Score's distinctive "waterfall" hairstyle.
- The Genesis song "One for the Vine" is about a man who deserts and flees from a battle led by his tribe's warlord — only to end up as the warlord of another tribe.
- The Gin Blossoms fired guitarist Doug Hopkins when his alcoholism became too severe to work with. To reiterate, Hopkins was fired from the Gin Blossoms for alcoholism.
- Norman Greenbaum, writer and performer of "Spirit in the Sky" a gospel-rock song that explicitly mentions Jesus is Jewish.
- There's a techno track out there with an unattributed author—at least six people have insisted that they are the creator of the track. What's the track's name? "I Am the Creator".
- The folk song "I Will Not Sing Along" is an audience-participation piece.
- Juniel's song "Cat Day" was written for her dog.
- The Kinks song "Lola" nearly got banned by the BBC, not because of its LGBT lyrics, but because of an explicit reference to... Coca-Cola. They changed that to "cherry cola" and it got played; apparently nobody at the Beeb noticed the sexual content.
- "Sweet Home Alabama", Lynyrd Skynyrd's famous ode to the state, was written as a way of saying Alabama was better than the stereotypes say. It is frequently used in late 2010s meme culture as a musical sting for southern incest jokes.
- Barry Manilow did not write one of his bigger hits, "I Write the Songs".
- The Other Wiki's article on Men Without Hats makes sure to point the irony in this photo◊ depicting the band in concert with some of them wearing hats.
- The song "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette lists several "examples of irony". The true irony of the song however is that most of the examples she gives are not actually ironic, just unfortunate coincidences, therefore making the whole song a kind of Dramatic Irony. as this page shows. However, at least one of her examples is truly ironic: a man who is afraid to fly suffers a plane crash on his first flight. Thinking "Well, isn't this nice?". Although "rain on your wedding day" would be ironic if one of the people getting married was a meteorologist who had chosen that day because they had forecast fine and sunny weather.
- For national anthems, in this clip, the USSR's Red Army choir sings the anthems of the USA, UK and France in addition to its own. For those of you unfamiliar with the Cold War, these countries hated the USSR and the USSR hated them back on the grounds of ideology and national interests. So it makes it very ironic for an army of Dirty Communists to sing the anthems of their capitalist adversaries.
- The Pearl Jam song "Jeremy" was inspired by Jeremy Delle, a high school student who was bullied until he committed suicide. The message the band wanted to convey was that if you kill yourself, your enemies go on with their lives while you only get an article in the newspaper. Today, the song is the main reason anyone knows who Jeremy Delle was. You've probably never heard of the classmates who bullied him.
- "We're Not Going To Make It" by The Presidents of the United States of America lists several reasons why they don't think they'll be successful. One of those is "We don't know how to rhyme." This comes two lines after "We don't have the time."
- Queen's "Thank God It's Christmas" was sung by Freddie Mercury, a Zoroastrian. One has to wonder which God he was thanking.
- While Helen Reddy did write the lyrics to the women's liberation anthem "I Am Woman," a man wrote the music.
- R.E.M.'s 2003 Greatest Hits Album In Time was apparently named in reference to their 1991 album Out of Time. In Time only features one song from Out of Time ("Losing My Religion").
- Gioachino Rossini's Petite Messe Solenelle, literally "Little Solemn Mass", has been described as "Neither little, nor solemn, nor particularly liturgical."
- Country Music singer Doug Stone underwent heart surgery in 1992. The title of his album at the time? From the Heart.
- Although the band T.Rex had numerous songs about cars, lead singer Marc Bolan never learned to drive. In a more tragic irony, Bolan didn't learn to drive because he was afraid of dying prematurely in a car accident. He was killed instantly when the car he was a passenger in struck a tree. He was just two weeks away from turning thirty.
- Luther Vandross is known for singing some of the most well-known R&B love songs of the 1980s and 1990s. He himself, however, never married, never had children, and never even had any known romantic relationships with women (it's possible he could have been gay).
- The lyrical content of "Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs entreats the listener to "stay... just a little bit longer". At a duration of 1:37note , it is the shortest song ever to hit #1 on the Billboard charts.
- Right before her career began, Country Music singer Lee Ann Womack divorced her husband, Jason Sellers. Her 2005 hit "I May Hate Myself in the Morning" is about having a one-night stand with an ex-lover... featuring Jason Sellers on background vocals.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic:
- His song "Don't Download This Song" was explicitly made free to download by Weird Al himself. What's the song about? Digital piracy.
- Another example: In 1983, he recorded "I Lost on Jeopardy!". 18 years later, he competed on Rock & Roll Jeopardy! and lost. The producers showed part of the video over the credits.
- Furthering the irony: on April 27, 2012, the actual Jeopardy! used the song's lyric "My hope of winning sank, 'cause I got the Daily Double now, and then my mind went blank" in a Daily Double clue. The contestant who hit it couldn't come up with the answer, and lost.
- Al graduated from high school two years early as the valedictorian. What was the title of his third album? Dare To Be Stupid.
- When Al asked Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits for permission to parody "Money For Nothing", it was granted on the condition that Knopfler himself would perform the guitar part on the song. The irony is that the guitar track that was originally on the song (recorded by Al's guitarist Jim West) was closer to the guitar track on the original song than the part Knopfler recorded in the finished product. In the DVD Commentary for UHF, Al says it was because Jim was trying to get his track as close to the original as possible while Knopfler had been performing the song on tour and improving the sound as he went.
- "Yesterday's Hero", a song written by George Young of the 60s Australian group the Easybeats about his band's struggle with fame, was the song that created a new star, John Paul Young, in the 70s.
- The Megas: Situational irony with traces of dramatic. Dr Light's descent from wanting Wily stopped to wanting him dead came about because of Wily's resurrection of the dead Proto Man, who Light believes Wily sent back against him in order to cause maximum pain. Unbeknownst to Light, Wily's resurrection of Proto Man was closer to an olive branch than anything else, with Wily actually not anticipating the scale of the grudge Proto Man held towards Light.
- Ring of Honor, who by this point had long been boasting about having the deepest Tag Team division in the world, brought Stuka Jr, whom they hyped as a tag team specialistnote . On the hook they'd be giving him his first one on one match with Kamaitachi, who had been running amok alongside The Addiction, ROH's World Tag Team Champions (of the world).
- When TNA iMPACT changed its name to Impact Wrestling in 2011, many thought the company itself was changing its name too. After purchasing TNA in late 2016, Anthem did just that: changing the promotion's name and dropping the "TNA" branding.
- After the company, against the network's wishes, rehired the infamous Vince Russo, Spike TV pulled the plug on Impact in 2014 (leading to its short run on Destination America in 2015). Yet, the U.K version of Spike will air Impact in 2017, somewhat bringing the company back to the very network they got themselves booted off from in the U.S.
- An example of dramatic irony is pointed out in the Mage: The Awakening sourcebook "Night Horrors: the Unbidden", in a section dealing with the Franklin Working. This enchantment, created by a conservative, sex-negative and homophobic mage, affects the students at the high school with reduced libido and embedded "traditional values"...and is focused on a statue of Benjamin Franklin, one of American history's most notorious horndogs.
- The Planescape campaign "Faction War", Duke Rowan Darkwood was looking for a gemstone containing the soul of a mad mage who tried to overthrow the Lady of Pain. He found it, broke it open to release the soul inside, and was promptly sent back in time by the Lady. In the process, he lost his memories and became the very same mad mage who tried to overthrow the Lady. But that's not all. This time, the Lady imprisoned his soul inside a gemstone, where, a couple of centuries later, he finally died when the gemstone was broken open by his younger self. Irony to the power of Three indeed.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the Imperium is a star-spanning racially-supremacist theocratic dictatorship which worships the purity and superiority of the human race... and is protected by armies of Super Soldiers so heavily augmented by biological enhancements and cybernetics that they aren't even remotely human anymore. And the actual pure human soldiers they have tend to die in droves.
- For dramatic irony, the early days of the Imperium, prior to the Horus Heresy, are viewed in-universe as a lost golden age that was doomed by Horus's betrayal. When the Horus Heresy books came out, it became pretty unambiguous that the early Imperium was merely a different flavour of totalitarian fascism, with the Emperor's campaign being "better" only in that there was an actual R&D budget and the Inquisition didn't exist yet.
- More dramatic irony: Lorgar Aurelian wrote the holy book for the Lectitio Divinitatus, which would eventually give rise to the Imperial Cult. Lorgar was the first Primarch to fall to Chaos, and his Legion has since dedicated ten thousand years to fighting a religion that mostly exists because of Lorgar.
- Mortarion's early life was spent on a poisonous hell-world with small human settlements toiling for superhuman alien overlords, leading to him leading the humans in a battle against their oppressors. Replace "alien" with "so heavily augmented and mutated that they only barely count as human" and that's the world Mortarion built in the Eye of Terror, except that he's too busy being the oppressor to consider rebelling against anyone.
- Horus's rebellion was motivated, in part, by a vision from the Gods of Chaos, portraying the eventual state of the Imperium as a totalitarian theocracy where the Emperor and some of the Primarchs are revered as gods, while others are forgotten. That's how the Imperium ended up as a result of his rebellion (the Emperor's original vision was more of a totalitarian secular autocracy). Tzeentch probably had a good chuckle over that one.
- An example of verbal irony shows up in Chicago, during Billy's song "All I Care About". Taken out of context, it is a song about a man whose sole priority is saving damsels in distress, and who cares nothing about money. In-context, however, the show makes it clear that he's just a money-grubbing Amoral Attorney.
- Meta-example: during a performance of Hair at the Hollywood Bowl, which is an outdoor amphitheater, it was a beautiful day... Until the show reached "Let The Sun Shine In." Then it started raining.
- Historical irony in Hamilton: "I am not throwing away my shot!" Sung by a man any educated American knows will eventually die deloping in a Duel to the Death, literally throwing away his shot.
- Gabe in Next to Normal has a Motif of seeing himself as immortal, with his signature song being called "I'm Alive", which is ironic on account of the fact that Gabe is actually a recurring hallucination, and the real Gabe died as an infant. Similarly, Gabe and his sister Natalie have a duet called "Superboy and the Invisible Girl", which is about how their mother only seems to care about Gabe and pays little attention to Natalie, when it should be the other way around due to Gabe being long dead.
- Oedipus Rex uses both Tragic Irony and Cosmic Irony.
- The plot of The Producers is as follows: the titular producers determine they can make more money if their next play flops than if it succeeds. So, they set out to produce a play that intentionally bombs by getting the worst play they can find ("Springtime For Hitler"), the worst cast, and the worst director. Somehow, this perfect storm of ineptitude comes across as satire and the resulting play is a massive hit. (So much so that the trope for when someone attempts to fail on purpose and has massive success as a result is called Springtime for Hitler.)
- Rock of Ages.
- The soundtrack consists mostly of rock and pop songs of The '80s. Notably absent (they couldn't get the rights): Def Leppard's "Rock Of Ages".
- Another example from the musical: a group of Moral Guardian-types protesting a rock club while singing "We're Not Gonna Take It". Especially when you consider the protestors' similarity to the PMRC and how the lead singer of the band that performed that song felt about that group.
- Disneyland, whose main mascot is a mouse, goes to great lengths to kill any mice in the park, even allowing feral cats to roam the park to keep the population down.
- The Haunted Mansion, where the ghosts are forever cursed to be trapped in the mansion and endlessly wander the hallways, is located in the Liberty Square area at Magic Kingdom.
- The children of Walter Knott refused to sell the struggling Knott's Berry Farm to Disney, believing that they would remove too much of what their father built. Cedar Fair, the company they eventually sold it to, ended up removing far more of the park than what Disney had planned to in their theoretical brainstorming of turning the park into "Disney's America".
- The characters in Marvel Superhero Island at Universal's Islands of Adventure are all now owned by Disney, Universal's biggest rival in the theme park business.
- Tomorrowland at the Disneyland parks always proved to be a challenge to Imagineers, as it kept becoming "Todayland" or even "Yesterdayland" as the technology of the outside world advanced. Nowadays, it's filled with many sci-fi franchises that are either set in the present or the past (Lilo & Stitch, Iron Man, Star Wars, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and so on).
- The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom, a park all about the conservation of animals and the environment, is built on an oil rignote .
- At the beginning of "The Atonement Chapter", of Higurashi: When They Cry, Shion went on a killing spree the last few episodes before that,and died in the last episode. She is then seen just sitting at Angel Mort, with her body guard, just being Shion.
- Juniper's Knot: Before the fiend was trapped within the magical circle holding her captive, she had a human friend. When her friend was killed by humans, the fiend burned the town and killed them all. Years later, she returned to her friend's grave to find an ugly olive tree had grown over it. Still bitter over her death, she smashed the olive tree but left the roots alone because she didn't want to disturb her dead friend. Because olive trees are strong, it grew again, even uglier than before. In the present time, when the boy is looking to place a different life form within the circle so the fiend can get outnote , an olive tree is the only thing that manages to take root in the hard soil. It works, and the fiend goes free.
- Tsukihime: So you have Brunestud of the Crimson Moon, a borderline cosmic entity and strongest being on Earth's moon. In comes Zelretch, looking to kill it. He goes about this by first using his power to manipulate dimensions to move their fight to another dimension. He then proceeds to drop the moon on Type Moon.
- In Death Battle:
- The crew of the Righteous Fury meet their ends by the hands of a justifiably furious Fox after killing Slippy.
- The fight between Goku and Superman who both protect the Earth ends with it being destroyed by both heroes.
- Happy Tree Friends uses situational irony a lot. Usually, a character will survive a horrible and destructive situation, but end up dying anyway, by, say, a throwaway item introduced earlier before. And, despite them dying, will end up in the exact same situation. So, ultimately, nothing gets accomplished.
- In one Strong Bad Email, a fan told Strong Bad that he liked it better when Strong Bad simply answered the email without any gimmicks. After Strong Bad answers by expressing his agreement and supposedly ending the email, his computer spontaneously explodes.
- Beacon Academy is a metaphorical beacon of hope where Huntsmen and Huntresses were trained to fight monsters. At the end of Volume 3, it becomes a literal beacon for the very monsters they were trained to fight.
- In Volume 4, Weiss does all she can to get out of Atlas after her father disinherits her for embarrassing him. At the start of Volume 6, she's not amused she has to go back to Atlas.
- TED-Ed, a YouTube channel that's owned by Ted, has three different videos narrated by Christopher Warner and animated by Ben Pearce that explains three kinds of irony: situational irony, dramatic irony, and verbal irony.
- Dork Tower: When you want to buy every comic, you can't afford it; when you can afford it, you want to be more selective. The comic book gods like a good laugh
- Used often in 8-Bit Theater. An example would be in this comic with a double dose of irony, first when Black Mage's prediction of the most dangerous thing in the dungeon being "a stairwell without adequate railing" being immediately proven wrong by a dozen dragons showing up, then a few panels later when the party tumbles down the aforementioned stairwell.
- In this strip of General Protection Fault, Nick, who had a history of being a Horrible Judge of Character with regards to Trudy, finds several flaws in Trish's story and decides not to trust her. Meanwhile, Ki is weighing whether to trust Trish, and decides that perhaps being a trusting person like Nick is not a bad thing, and decides to trust Trish.
- In El Goonish Shive, when Justin was outed, Melissa was herself betrayed in exactly the same way he thinks she betrayed him.
- Ghastly's Ghastly Comic has a particularly bizarre example, best summed up by the character in said comic:Jesus: "As much as I appreciate the irony that after three years of tentacle monsters violating nubile young women, otaku-trannies, and furry sex that it was an image of missionary position sex for the purpose of procreation that made our sponsors drop all their ads, the truth is that you've seriously jeopardized the continued hosting of this webcomic."
- Tucker from Girls with Slingshots was introduced as a guy who was hopeless with women having "learned" everything about them from Romantic Comedies and its Clarice who then decides to teach him "How to Talk to Women 101"; however later on Clarice is revealed to be extremely lonely and starving for affection and when she starts to fall in love with Joshua, its Tucker, the same guy who she smacked for his cluelessness with romance, who ends up giving her relationship advice.
- In Heartcore, each of the overfiends represent one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Carval Volaster represents "Sloth", yet is the most hyper-active and confrontational of the overfiends. Word of God lampshades this in that "sloth" could either mean "physically inactive" (lazy) or "emotionally inactive" (apathetic). The former definition is not an accurate description of Carval, but the latter goes hand-in-hand with his Mad Bomber tendencies.
- The webcomic mixes both Socratic and Situational Irony. Doc Scratch uses a series of leading questions to convince Rose to embark on a specific mission. The situational irony comes into play when the mission, intended by Rose and Dave to destroy the Green Sun, results in the creation of the Green Sun instead.
- During the conversation between Roxy, Dave, and Rose on the meteor, Roxy complains, after learning that Rose and Dave are both good at psychoanalyzing people, and that they must get their genes from Dirk, she immediately proceeds to ask Dave a few innocent questions that pierce right through his ironic facade.
- In No Rest for the Wicked, after Perrault and his companions rescue two children from the Wicked Witch, Perrault feigns ignorance to question the innkeeper in the Socratic manner, about how they would protect the children henceforth. (Earlier, he had deduced that the parents had been at least negligent about their children's safety, and at least one had willfully abandoned his children.
- This comic by The Oatmeal explains the three most common uses of irony.
- Schlock Mercenary: Bunni and Theo discover that their memories of their wedding are fake and have a brief breakdown, especially in regards to Theo's broken vow of chastity. The events surrounding planning their new wedding (or more specifically, Bunni dodging responsibility for calling her mother) leads to the team discovering a black-ops immortality project in a slum. The irony is twofold: Not only were Bunni and Theo married by the people who erased their memories in a legal (albeit quick) ceremony, but the reason their memories were erased in the first place was because they discovered that there was a secret immortality project.
- Spacetrawler: Rickshaw Boans thinks Krep isn't committed enough to the cause, and kicks him out of Interplanet Amity to prevent Krep from undermining the latest mission. Getting kicked out is what convinces Krep that Rickshaw is kind of a dick—and Krep decides to undermine him, by warning the intended victims of Rickshaw's latest mission.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent has a couple of cases regarding Reynir's emerging magical powers:
- The reason he hadn't realized he was a mage before joining the crew was that he never remembered his dreams and would hence visit the mage-exclusive dreamspace every night, but keep forgetting about it. The first time he remembers is by making an extra effort to remember his dreams... after being prompted towards it by Mikkel, who does not believe in magic.
- Getting his powers taken seriously is a problem for Reynir after this: two people in the team don't believe in magic and two believe in magic, but sometimes seem to be taking his powers with a grain of salt (it takes Chapter 15 for Tuuri's first line that clearly shows that she has gotten around accepting that he's a mage, Chapter 17 for Sigrun). Lalli, meanwhile, dislikes Reynir on a personal level and doesn't speak his language, so he doesn't interact with him much. But if Reynir gives everyone his latest attempt at an anti-ghost rune, Lalli will test it if he actually runs into ghosts.
- The irony of minorities becoming majorities in the United States is discussed in this comic from Statistical Fact.
- Wapsi Square: Is it ironic or fitting?