"There is an art to it, and I'm very, very good at it. But enjoy? Well, maybe. When they put back the pieces afterward, and it makes them better."
"Deconstruction" literally means "to take something apart". When applied to tropes or other aspects of fiction, deconstruction means to take apart a trope in a way that exposes its inherent contradictions, often by exploring the difference between how the trope appears in this one work and how it compares to other relevant tropes or ideas both in fiction and Real Life. The simplest and most common method of applying Deconstruction to tropes in fiction among general audiences and fan bases, and the method most relevant to TV Tropes, takes the form of questioning "How would this trope play out with Real Life consequences applied to it?" or "What would cause this trope to appear in Real Life?"
This doesn't mean magic and other fantastic or futuristic elements, or any other tropes must be removed or attacked for failing to match up with their own pretensions of self-consistent reality, of course. While sometimes perceived as an aggressive attack on the meaning or entertainment value of a work or text, deconstruction is not properly about passing judgment (and in fact, the term "deconstruction" was picked over the German term "Dekonstruktion" to suggest careful attention to the detail within a text over violently emptying the work of all meaning). It means that all existing elements of a work are played without the Rule of Cool, Rule of Drama, Rule of Funny, and so on, to see what hidden assumptions the work uses to make its point. Sometimes you will hear this referred to as "played completely straight", and it can be thought of as taking a work more seriously on its own terms than even the work itself does, for the purpose of laying bare hidden meanings in the text. Often, the purpose of deconstructing a trope is to better understand its meaning and relevance to us in Real Life.
For example, in Dungeons & Dragons, when a cleric reaches the fifth level, he gains the ability to cast create food and water. Normally, the impact this would have on a society (especially a medieval or pseudo-medieval one) is completely ignored. A Deconstruction would explore how a society would react to that ability.
Note that while deconstructions often end up darker, edgier, sadder and more cynical than the normal version, there is no reason they have to be. While the Deconstruction process can reveal things we weren't thinking about for a reason a major contributing factor in why it tends to be depressing Deconstructions are free to exist anywhere on the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism. Expanding on the Dungeons & Dragons example above, a cynical deconstruction would involve the food-creating clerics either being enslaved for their powers or becoming the ruling class in a Dystopia, while an idealistic deconstruction would involve the alleviation of scarcities and hardships based on class. Either one is perfectly valid.
And while it is true that dystopian settings and outcomes carry a far greater amount of conflict and thus make for far better story fodder than positive ones, giving a Deconstruction a cynical outlook just for the sake of there being a plot is not necessary; a story can be absolutely rife with conflict and still have an idealistic worldview overall.note
Sometimes the best fodder for deconstruction in a story or setting is not its major themes, but the aspects that are discussed the least, if at all. For instance, a work in which gender, sexuality, poverty, race, politics, etc. should have been important but were never dealt with adequately is ripe for a deconstruction.
Also note that Darker and Edgier, Rule of Drama and Cynicism Tropes do not by themselves turn works into Deconstructions, even if it means showing how dark and edgy something can be made. There are plenty of dark, edgy and dramatic tropes that are used without ever exploring the meaning behind them, or their realistic implications. While some of the most acclaimed works in their respective genres are deconstructions, and many deconstructions do utilize dark, cynical and dramatic tropes in the setting, it is the careful use and analysis of them that makes them acclaimed, not because they just have those tropes in them. See Not a Deconstruction.
Reconstruction is when the trope admits its flaws and then gets put back together, usually in a way that strengthens the trope. Think of Deconstruction as taking apart your broken car engine, and Reconstruction as putting it back together so it runs again. Deconstruction and reconstruction can become Cyclic Tropes. A set of conventions is established (the initial "construction" of the genre or ideas that are used in the story), this set of conventions is played straight until some author gets bored or frustrated with the implications the fantasy brings and decides to show us the unworkability of these conventions via a deconstruction of them. Atop the ruins, a more realistic narrative (i.e. one that accepts the criticisms of the earlier deconstruction) is then built via reconstruction, and in the future, this narrative gets deconstructed, etc. Cycles of deconstruction and reconstruction are a major element in how genres and tropes evolve. In philosophy, this evolution is also known as thesis-antithesis-synthesis.
Reminder: Before labeling something as a deconstruction, doublecheck that it's actually realistic.
See also Reality Ensues for when this happens temporarily, usually for humor rather than deconstruction, and Fridge Horror, which is what people often think of deconstruction: revealing how really terrifying and dark something is by thoroughly thinking about it.
- Ascended Fridge Horror (or at least some varieties of it): When the creators themselves acknowledge the Fridge Horror of their own works and incorporate it into the story.
- Decon-Recon Switch: The point at which a work shifts from deconstructing a genre to reconstructing it.
- Deconstructed Character Archetype: Deconstructing a character type (The Hero, The Lancer, Anti-Villain etc.).
- Deconstructed Trope: Deconstructing a single trope.
- Deconstruction Crossover: Works which involve crossovers from multiple fictional universes in order to deconstruct those fictional universes.
- Deconstruction Fic: When a deconstruction takes place in a piece of Fan Fic.
- Deconstruction Game: Video games which deconstruct some aspect of the video game medium itself.
- Deconstructive Parody: Works which parody other works (or characters, or genres) by pointing out how silly and unrealistic they are, and hence deconstructing them.
- Deconstructor Fleet: Works which go out of their way to subvert, deconstruct or otherwise play with as many tropes as they can.
- Extraordinary World, Ordinary Problems: Works set on seemingly fantastic worlds whose denizens spend much of their time dealing with the same ordinary matters people do in Real Life.
- Genre Deconstruction: Deconstructing an entire genre, typically with all of its associated tropes and thematic concerns.
- Internal Deconstruction: Works which deconstruct aspects of their own premises or settings.
- Not a Deconstruction: A brief primer on tropes that are often confused with deconstruction.
- Reality Ensues: When a common trope gets deconstructed or subverted by having real-life consequences.
- Reconstruction: The inverse; namely, works which acknowledge the implied criticisms of deconstructions and incorporate them into their stories in an effort to improve them.
- Television Is Trying to Kill Us: A list of how and why numerous tropes that are common in works of fiction would be impacted by the laws of reality.
- Unbuilt Trope: For when the trope (or genre, or character) was deconstructed at the time it was made, or at the very least popularized the trope.
Please note: This page has been edited for clarity's sake. Please do not add any more examples. Add them to Genre Deconstruction, Deconstructed Trope, Deconstructed Character Archetype or the appropriate subtrope. Where possible please move examples to these subtrope pages. This page is about deconstruction as a method, and thus should be stripped down to meta-examples.
- Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness:
- What would the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows look like if you think about them in the context of our world? (torture in school, child soldiers, etc.)
- Most notably, the same Battle of Hogwarts is portrayed as an actual battle, with lots of gorn, as opposed to Rowling's lighter portrayal of the house elves, ghosts, Sybill Trelawney, and Neville throwing stuff at the Death Eaters' heads.
- Eden (Obsessmuch): Deconstructs the crack pairing of Hermione Granger and Lucius Malfoy, two people who would never, under any circumstances, fall in love or produce a child. Lucius Malfoy is a married pureblood supremacist who loyally follows Voldemort while Hermione Granger is a 17/18 year old muggle born student at Hogwarts who is best friends with Harry Potter and young enough to be his daughter. Their interests, goals, life styles and beliefs constantly clash and their growing attraction to each other not only damages them, but also risks hurting people in their lives and how they'd be seen.
- Shattered Reflection is a Fire Emblem Awakening fic that shows how the Shepherds would naturally react to learning that their tactician was a demon god that had destroyed the world in an alternate universe. It goes further with a bit of time travel taking the lead character to another version of the world to keep her tragic fate from befalling her sibling.
- A Brighter Dark is a Fire Emblem Fates retelling that alters a few characters' (and entire countries') personalities to what they would logically be in that setting, and then shows how events would play out in that setting, without the presence and influence of the third kingdom Valla either. Nohr suffers from famine and starvation with Garon's every decision being a Sadistic Choice, such as invading Hoshido out of pure desperation. Hoshido meanwhile is fabulously wealthy, and a fantastic place to live, as long as you're Hoshidan. Combat is also a lot more graphic with Combat Pragmatism and dismemberment being common place.
- Syngenesophobia deconstructs the Amusing Injuries and Played for Laughs fights that are a mainstay of the humour in The Loud House by showing exactly how much someone can be hurt in a Big Ball of Violence. When nine of his sisters gang up on him during a family dispute, eleven years old Lincoln Loud ends up in the hospital with severe wounds including a broken nose, broken arm, black eyes, fractured ribs and some teeth getting knocked out. And those are just the physical injuries. The rest of the fanfic deals with his recovery (which will take a long time of hospitalization) and with him developing a crippling fear of his siblings. While his sisters do realize how far they went in their moment of anger and deeply regret it, they have to face punishment for what they did and are shunned by their friends when the rumour about them putting their brother in the hospital starts to spread.
- The Total Drama fanfic Monster Chronicles:
- The story's plot can be seen as a deconstruction of Total Drama All-Stars. Like All-Stars, a Knight of Cerebus possesses one of the contestants, and Duncan is the only one to know what danger they are in. However unlike All-Stars, this story shows how horrifying this situation can be, as Cedric is a realistic example of a sociopathic criminal; he has no problem killing or mutilating the contestants or even people unrelated to the game simply for fun. And unlike Mal, Cedric does not care for the contest or its prize, and is only in it for his own amusement.
- Duncan's character is also deconstructed over the course of the story. Like in All-Stars Duncan knew there was someone in the game who was a danger to the other contestants, and although he knew the danger they were all in, Duncan is more concerned with his bad boy rep. However, in this story Duncan's actions are portrayed as dumb and cowardly, and numerous characters call him out on it. Also, Duncan being a Jerk with a Heart of Gold is deconstructed, as in canon he is shown to have a good side and care about his friends, despite being a bully and a thug. Like in All-Stars, he tries rejecting his good side to prove he is still a bad boy. However, he ends up proving himself wrong by showing that despite appearing to be a tough guy, he is really a coward who would rather protect his reputation then do the right thing, and having a good side does't matter since he rejected it by choosing to be a bad person.
- LXG Tempest Rewrite deconstructs several highlights of the original comic:
- Emma's revenge against "Jimmy" is shown to be selfish and petty, especially in light of how it did nothing to stop MI-5's actions. Furthermore, "Jimmy" is shown to have been in the right for attacking the magical dimensions, as they were planning to invade Earth.
- The comic's criticisms of modern superhero popularity is taken to task by explaining that, yes, they do make corporations lots of money, but they also serve as inspirational role models. And while they may subliminally teach that ordinary people should be dependent on extraordinary beings, you need extraordinary beings to solve extraordinary problems.
- In a universe where the creations of H. P. Lovecraft exist, they're going to eventually be front-and-center instead of just mere footnotes.
- Not related to the original comic, Robert A. Heinlein character Lazarus Long isn't seen as a wisdom-infused paragon, but a self-absorbed deviant. When he inspires Jack Nemo and Greta Mors to give into their lust, they become trapped in an unhealthy relationship, thus deconstructing Long's Incest Is Relative fetish.
- New Tamaran:
- The life of a Kid Hero would push the most abstinent teens to give into their sexual desires. Also, there'd be no time for any serious relationships, only platonic sex between friends.
- Also, it's quite dangerous for humans to have sex with metahumans or powerful aliens ... unless the stronger lover has remarkable control over his/her strength and other powers.
- Human militaries in a comic book setting would do a much better job at fighting an alien invasion than any number of metahumans.
- If superheroes join a war of any scale, most of them will die, and the rest will probably be too traumatized to return to hero work.
- Superheroes can't raise a family unless one of them abandons hero work.
- Ever wonder why the villains don't use the Pokemon they own on people directly if Pokemon are so powerful, according to the Pokedex? Well, in the fangame Pokémon Reborn, they do, ranging from a few broken ribs to death to getting your soul burned away to nothingness. They even have machines that can amplify the powers of Pokemon, and the first one you find, on a Pokemon that's not even that strong, to boot, has ravaged an entire city area.
- What would happen if a human in the world of Pokémon doesn't find Character Development or Goal in Life through these creatures? In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, Chloe Cerise gets thrown into the eponymous train itself and decides that she's going to reinvent herself by traveling across the train's multiple cars and the fic discusses how a person can find their own self-worth and growth without Pokémon.
- What happens with a Betrayal Fic set-up in a setting where the characters involved are not caricatures of themsleves? For one thing the issues that lead to the incident in question are not so one sided...
- It is a rare popular Manhua that deconstructs the conflict of Abrahamic Good vs. Evil. The family of "Bloodline" are a set of vampires who have trouble adjusting to the human society and keeping their identities hidden. One problem is how they get food (since they can only drink blood), and they have similar moral values that make them very sympathetic. The claimed "good guys" are the Shengdi, who act like Knight Templar fueled by Fantastic Racism and With Us or Against Us ideology. They're willing to kill and torture people who defect or just get in the way.
- Furthermore, as it transforms into a Fighting Series, it shows how dangerous and sudden their fights can be. The male protagonist Ye Ren even points out that it's nothing like the popular novels. Examples? He only sees a flash of Lilo's first fight and he couldn't tell if it was blood or weapon fire.
- A lot of John Tynes and/or Greg Stolze works features this. Unknown Armies, for instance, deconstructs the Urban Fantasy setting, the novel A Hunger Like Fire deconstructs the trope of the sensual vampire temptress and the RPGs Godlike and Wild Talents deconstructs superheroes stories set during World War II and the Cold War respectively.
- Warhammer 40,000 is indeed based around Cool vs. Awesome armies fighting in fantastically improbable situations, there's more than a few sources that depict the 40k universe in a deconstructed manner. For example, the short-story "What It's Like" deconstructs the Chaotic Evil Ax-Crazy Chaos Space Marines, generally seen as trigger-happy, moustache-twirling villains OOT, by explaining just how relentless and brutal each Marine has to be to not be stabbed in the back and left to be chewed on by Daemons for eternity, showing just how tragic these villains really are. Other works like "The Last Church" deconstruct the ideals and motives behind The Emperor of Mankind's actions, who is generally thought to be the best, last hope for humanity, and show just how petty, ignorant, immature, and ultimately egocentric he really was. While much of
- long since lost its "obviousness" (for lack of a better word), William Shakespeare's Hamlet was written as a deconstruction of the revenge drama tragedies popular in Elizabethan England at the time of its release. While it starts out for noble reasons, Hamlet's desire for revenge against his father's killer ultimately drags down just about everyone else around him, leading into the play's now-infamous Kill 'Em All Downer Ending. Additionally, the play shows that even if Hamlet really wants to kill his uncle Claudius for murdering his father, he frequently hesitates and struggles to do the deed unlike the contemporary protagonists of other revenge tragedies because he actually values human life and is understandably reluctant to actually kill someone in cold blood. While it's
- A Streetcar Named Desire did not deconstruct any genre in particular, but it did deconstruct gender roles, physical relationships, and the American system of social classes in a rather harsh way. A common theory is that it was a direct response to Gone with the Wind, subverting the heroine, her marriage, and how she handles it in the face of a failing South.
- Euripides' Trojan Women and Hecuba portrayed The Trojan War as a human tragedy rather than a sweeping epic tale of martial valor in the Homeric tradition. In general, his tragedies are regarded as more "modern" than those of his predecessors because of their morally ambiguous protagonists, pervasive sense of anxiety and despair, religious skepticism and overall portrayal of mythological subjects and characters as real people.
- M. Butterfly is a no-holds-barred deconstruction of the "Oriental woman submissive to her white man" trope that Madame Butterfly codified, with a male Chinese spy disguised as a woman deliberately invoking this trope to get a French diplomat to fall in love with him and pointing out that Asian women are generally no more modest or demure than other women in real life.
- The Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen became famous (and controversal) for not bending over to the standards of drama back then. Instead, he made people take a good hard look at them and asked, "Is this what you really want?" One major example is A Doll's House. The main character, Nora, is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who thinks that her husband will take care of everything in life. However, she realizes that what was between the two wasn't real love. The ending shows her setting out to find who she really is, with "the door slam that has reverberated around the world".
- Brigadoon shows what happens to the people of the Vanishing Village. The most tragic examples are stuck in a village surrounded by people whom they have no connection to except a low-level mutual loathing, and have to watch their true love marry someone else, and can't go off to do something else or try to get away.
- Bertolt Brecht's The Caucasian Chalk Circle is based on an older Chinese play called The Chalk Circle, in which two women both claim to be a child's mother and a wise judge determines which is the real mother and which is lying to get her hands on the child's inheritance. Brecht picks apart the story's assumptions: in his version, it's the child's real (biological) mother who only wants him for his inheritance and the other woman who loves the child for himself. And their case is being heard by a venal reprobate who was made a judge as a joke, for whom justice comes a distant third after pursuing his pleasures and keeping his own skin intact. The play has a happy ending, but possibly one that the original Chinese author would not have recognized as such.
- The well-known Aesop "Be Careful What You Wish For" operates in this way. Person X makes wish Y. Wish Y is granted to person X. Wish Y then manages to have sufficiently negative unintended consequences on person X's life that wish Y now looks like a ridiculous thing to wish for. Thus, Wish Y is deconstructed.
- Freudian Excuse is deconstructed via Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: A character will use a personal tragedy to justify his or her immoral behavior, only to have their argument torn apart.
- The Hard Work Fallacy deconstructs Equivalent Exchange: No matter how hard you work for something, there's no guarantee you'll get it, and if you do, your effort probably wasn't the only factor.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Often involves a deconstruction of the person on the receiving end.
- Fate/stay night, especially Unlimited Blade Works route, is a cold and cynical deconstruction of Martyr Without a Cause, Chronic Hero Syndrome, and other related "hero" tropes.
Archer: There is nothing at the end of saving people.
- Then reconstructs those same tropes wonderfully.
- Fate/Zero deconstructs the Darker and Edgier Necessarily Evil I Did What I Had to Do Anti-Hero, by showing you how screwed up a person would have to be to embrace willingly that sort of mindset, not just as a last resort, but as the ONLY one, through Kiritsugu Emiya, and how his excesses ended up costing him everything in the end with nothing to show for it but saving his future adopted son, Shirou Emiya.
- The entire Grail War system is a Deconstruction of tournament style anime. Honorable combat is either a byword for stupidity or a cover for an extremely elaborate trap, quarter is seldom asked for or given, civilians are preyed on even more than the fighters sometimes, the moderators are always in it for themselves, either supporting one team from the get go or working for their own ends, and finally, the prize is really a Monkey's Paw that's only capable of destroying.
- Doki Doki Literature Club! seems like a bright and cheery Romance Game on the surface, but it brutally deconstructs Breaking the Fourth Wall. Imagine if the character winking at the camera actually knew that their entire reality was fabricated to appease the real people living in a limitless real world just behind a screen. Monika goes against her programming to try and romance the player in an attempt to get something out of the real world.
- It also deconstructs Reality Warper powers; being able to tear apart reality would not necessarily result in reality surviving the process. The more Monika modifies the game — her reality — the more broken it, and everyone living in it, becomes.
- How It Should Have Ended sometimes actually deconstructs Stating the Simple Solution by showing that the outcomes are not always great. This is best demonstrated with the Inside Out episode where Joy actually utilized how the Forgetters use to send memory back to headquarters. Sure, it eases the problem that Joy and Sadness will encounter in the move and prevents Bing Bong's death. But Joy didn't learn Sadness's purpose and Bing Bong ended up going to Riley's mind, tell her about what happened, and destroyed her psyche. This turns Riley into a Womanchild still living in her parents' house with the emotions unable to control her.
- Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles takes many first person shooter tropes and twists them. Everything from capture the flag, to why there are two bases in the middle of a box canyon with no strategic value, and Respawn. Interestingly, the new series called Reconstruction is a deconstruction of the parodic nature of The Blood Gulch Chronicles. Caboose is tied up in the brig due to his self destructive tendencies. Grif and Simmons face the firing squad after selling all the ammo to the Blue team. The reason that all the red and blue conflicts were pointless squabbling over an equally pointless flag and base is revealed to be a conspiracy by command. However, since that is a deconstruction of a deconstruction, arguably that makes it a Reconstruction as all the video game tropes are being put back together.
- RWBY: While Qrow's chronic alcoholism was played for laughs at first, it takes a dark, realistic turn once he learns about Salem's aforementioned Complete Immortality and that the man he dedicated his life to has been lying to him since day one. Suddenly, his "quirky" alcoholism becomes the desperate coping mechanism of a bitter, broken man struggling to come to terms with the fact that his whole life has been a lie. Going even further, Qrow's alcoholism starts to become an outright liability, as it renders him useless against the Apathy Grimm and all but shatters Ruby's previously ironclad faith in him.
- The Most Popular Girls in School became struck with realism ever since the creators finished making a Deconstructive Parody series called Dr. Havoc's Diary.
- In Episode 74, Jeannie does one of Cameron's life with a painful "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Cameron is ultimately, someone sad and pathetic who is just getting fucked by teachers and college students without ever actually accomplishing anything meaningful in her life and that is probably stuck in this loop until something can break her out of it, which includes the opportunity given by the competition. After the speech, there seems to be a brief moment where Cameron realizes her life really is awful and that she isn't really enjoying it.
- In Episode 75, we have one of the fashion industry, as Jeannie Halverstad mentions, is based on creating unrealistic standards of beauty that forces people with low self esteem to buy clothes that they hope will make them look better, even though it won't really help that much.
- Kick the Football, Chuck. deconstructs Peanuts and its gags and sets them to the tone of Charlie Brown's cancer.
- The Pixel Art Comic Kid Radd, while largely light in tone, presents a "video game characters living in video-land" scenario where it's a very real problem that many inhabitants are innately armed and know nothing but killing. They know why they were created, and they don't like it. The player character Radd goes from slacker to Determinator because he always had the latter's mindset, but started his days in a game under the player's control, so he had to learn initiative completely from the ground up. Upon being freed, Radd needed instructions to walk independently.
- 8-Bit Theater is a deconstruction of Japanese RPGs, specifically Final Fantasy. 8-bit theater portrays a JRPG world if the chosen heroes were actually just as evil, if not worse, than the evil they fight.
- It's Walky! could arguably be seen as a deconstruction of the goofy 1980s cartoons creator David Willis is a fan of (mostly G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero and Transformers). Sure it features a unique special forces group, SEMME (who were initially based on GI Joe) with an eccentric line up of operatives, who routinely foil the insane schemes of a Harmless Villain, but the eccentric operatives are soon revealed to be a bunch of dysfunctional screw-ups, and the Villain is in fact a Not-So-Harmless Villain.
- My Name Is Might Have Been deconstructs Rock Band.
- VG Cats deconstructs the cartoon violence of Tom and Jerry in this strip, showing the Real Life consequences of Jerry whacking Tom on the head with a mallet, as pictured above. Far from being amusing, it leaves Tom with severe brain damage and Jerry in prison for assault.
- Misfile deconstructs every Gender Bender trope.
- Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes takes a good hard look at the Unfortunate Implications of labeling whole races Always Chaotic Evil. It portrays goblins not as monsters but as people who live and love. It shows us that what Player Characters see as just an XP haul isn't so fun when you're the one they're killing to level up.
- The entire premise behind Darths & Droids is that the Star Wars universe is the result of a group of Tabletop Gamers (including a 7 year old girl) making it up as they go along. It lends a whole new perspective to the storyline of the prequel trilogy. The entire mess on Naboo was the result of the Player Characters epically ruining a delicate, carefully constructed plan by going Off the Rails, and engaging in all the sins of The Real Man, The Munchkin, and The Loonie. Palpatine is actually a good guy overthrowing a corrupt regime, and trying to bring a semblance of stability to the republic. Darth Maul was just a Chaotic Neutral Hired Gun who was only trying to work with the player characters, before they attacked him. To top it all off, some of the most bizarre and unrealistic plot points, such as Naboo being governed by a 14 year old Queen, exist because Jar Jar Binks is being played by a little girl.
- Strong Female Protagonist deconstructs the superhero genre, and asks what good superheroes can achieve when they're not facing immediate and palpable threats.
- In Chapter 26 of the Spanish webcomic 5 Elementos, the author show the effects of a civil war in a world habited by lots and lots of people with superpowers.
- MS Paint Adventures is Andrew Hussie's deconstructive love letter to a multitude of series, genres, concepts and tropes, including deconstruction itself.
- Dresden Codak deconstructs the presence of insane cleavage on female superheroes in the comic strip Why Cleavage Is Bad For Crime Fighting◊.
- In EATATAU!!! (Which is TOTALLY not a Warhammer 40k-based comic) deconstructs cartoon violence as well, when a Ttau teacher asks Skraat (a Kroott) to "attack him" in an exercise about drawing fire.
- In its darker arcs Roommates deconstructs Medium Awareness. How do you cope with being a fictional being? Your fate is literally written (or filmed, printed, uploaded on the internet etc.), your hopes and dreams are slave to the Theory of Narrative Causality, etc.. There is a reason why it has a support group for the canonically dead, no matter how silly this sounds.
- The Order of the Stick has a lot of Genre Savvy characters, but Tarquin carries it to the point where he sees the other characters as nothing more than plot devices and tropes. When he kills Nale, his own son one of the reasons he gives is that he has no place in the narrative anymore. Even Tarquin's allies are getting fed up with his meme obsession.
- Tarquin actually manages to Deconstruct The Good Guys Always Win. When Tarquin's good son Elan points out that heroes always take down evil empires like his, Tarquin notes that for heroes to take them down, they must first exist, generally for decades or longer. Sure, he might get violently killed in the end, but he'll rule for years, and it'll make a great story for future dictators to take inspiration from when Elan himself overthrows him. Elan is so freaked out to hear his beloved tropes twisted this way that he has a full-fledged panic attack. Luckily he figures out a counter-deconstruction to tick his father off: if 'liberating' the empire will cause chaos and corruption anyway, why not ignore it entirely and let it rot itself over time from its Fascist, but Inefficient policies? It's a boring, anticlimactic ending that has about as many casualties as barging in and killing anyone guarding the tyrant, now with reduced inspiration.
- Slightly Damned
- The demon's berserk form deconstructs Hulking Out, they grow several times their original size and can even gain new appendages but the transformation puts so much strain on their bodies that if they stay that way for too long they will die of over-exertion. Also, most of them lose their minds in the process, making them liabilities to their former allies.
- The series also deconstructs a Forever War; the forces of heaven originally went to war with hell to defend Medius but after generations of fighting and dying (and the disappearance of their goddess) they went from all-loving hippies to fascists with strict caste laws and a code of genocide against demonic children. There's also the fact that hundreds of years of war have severely reduced the populations of both sides and now there aren't that many angels or demons left, prompting those in power to secretly forge a desperate alliance and attack a neutral party, Medius itself, for certain "resources".
- Rhea's status as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold is called into question. While she's nicer to those she considers friends she was very unpleasant to everyone else to the point where she ended up in the Ring of the Slightly Damned which is only one step above Hell proper. Even then earlier in the series shows that she could also be pretty mean to her friends as well.
- Total Trauma: Of the original Total Drama series, and of the reality show genre in general. The comic's central theme is how the sadistic challenges Played for Laughs in the original show, as well as the relationship drama and betrayal typical of the reality show genre, would be deeply scarring to most people, especially high schoolers. Nearly every character has suffered as a result of being in the public eye at such a young age and spending their developing years pandering to or avoiding an audience.
- Smash King has this as a heavy Overarching Theme of the series, such as the main protagonist who is widely renowned as a villain (Bowser) as despite his reputation, he desires something other than a life of villainy. One even more notable example that this trope especially works well on is Link, on how the pressure of being a designated hero can really turn for the worse. With Link it also works as a subtle Take That! to the other Machinima cliches, particularly how Link's ALWAYS the hero, ALWAYS saves Zelda, and ALWAYS beats Ganondorf.
- Aitor Molina vs. gives way too many consequences to most of the cartoony and reviewing tropes.
- Stardestroyer.net, as mentioned above in Fan Fic, deconstructs the seemingly Utopian Star Trek universe, pointing out holes.
- Sailor Nothing loves showing just how jarringly, horrifically, nightmarishly different the characters' lives are from Magical Girl anime. Several of them even watch an exaggerated, stereotypical version of such shows; the main character actually watches it to escape her life.
- Mario: Game Over. A remarkable deconstruction of Super Mario Bros.
- Furry Fandom works frequently portray a world as furry. I Wish I Was Furry! (NSFW!) shows what would happen if we woke up one day and the world actually was furry. The main character is even a human furry fan, like is typical for transformation stories. A furryized world, as it happens, is dark and brutal.
- Sonny Gets Mad Scienced is the "humorous" type of deconstruction. It revolves around two central ideas; telling a Mad Scientist story from the perspective of one of the nameless subjects experimented on, and being Genre Savvy doesn't always help.
- From The Onion: "Ultra-Realistic Modern Warfare Game Features Awaiting Orders, Repairing Trucks 2", sends up the idea of video games becoming progressively more realistic by taking it to a logically deconstructive extreme with an "ultra realistic Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3". It mostly involves sitting around and waiting, when you're not going on pointless, tedious missions, suffering from homesickness or getting randomly killed. Single player gameplay clocks in at 17,250 hours.
- In an effort to make Creepypasta less frightening, some internet users have taken to providing reasons why they exist, such as Jeff the Killer being abused by his family, forcing him into homicide, resulting in his murderous tendencies.
- This video is a deconstruction of Pokémon. Yes, Pokémon. It is mostly played for laughs but there is a disturbing point about half-way through where Pikachu is bleeding as he's strangled by a Bulbasaur. If you've ever been mildly bothered by the cockfighting similarities, you will be really distressed by this video.
- Then again, you could see the same thing in Pokémon Adventures, where an Arbok gets its head cut off That's right, stuff like that happens in the manga.
- Dance of the Manwhore and Quest of the Manwhore deconstructs the "manly seducer" character found in a modern dance pop. The video shows that this same kind of character, looked at a little differently, can come across as creepy, even dangerous, and that his superficial lifestyle may be hiding all kinds of personal issues, like drug addiction, and parental abandonment.
- SCIENTIFICALLY ACCURATE SPIDER-MAN, SCIENTIFICALLY ACCURATE NINJA TURTLES and SCIENTIFICALLY ACCURATE DUCKTALES Deconstruct the characters of the various shows, by showing just how horrific it would be if these characters where actually like the animals they were based on.
- Accidentally done in WrestleCrap's 2006 Gooker Award winner to its own website. The winner was the "Eddiesploitation", Creator/WWE's exploitation of Eddie Gurerro's death. Not only did RD regret even putting the incident as a nomination, knowing that it would be hard to write up its induction, but he pointed out that the website's tagline was "The Very Worst in Wrestling" and the "Eddiesploitation" was just that.
- Rumsfeldia: Fear and Loathing in the Decade of Tears, the sequel to the AlternateHistory.com story Fear, Loathing and Gumbo on the Campaign Trail '72, deconstructs the narrative of Ronald Reagan being a conservative icon, by having an actual ultra-conservative - in this case, Donald Rumsfeld - being elected into office in the 1980s. The result is neglect of civil rights, excessive nuclear proliferation, complete economic collapse, reduction of civil liberties, and environmental damage.
- A Funny or Die video by Casey Wilson and Scott Aukerman deconstructed the 1944 Frank Loesser song "Baby It's Cold Outside" in such a way that the situation (Casey wants to go home and Scott wants to have sex with her) is presented as a date rape: he slips a roofie into her drink, they fight, and he ties her to a chair with duct tape. In the end, she knocks him out with a shovel. What's disturbing is that they sing the song without changing any of the words, and everything they do is entirely appopriate to what they're singing about.
- Reddit's coaxedintoasnafu subreddit deconstructs many of the site's memes and trends.
- The Candy Hair saga (written by phantomrose96, of "It's Not Gay If He's Dead" fame) tears into Anime Hair and similar fashion-related tropes by depicting a world where people with unnatural hair and eye colors are forced to become protagonists in their own anime adventures. The main characters are a group of background characters who are sick of getting passed over due to their relative plainness and so start dying and styling their hair, among other things. However, they can't keep up this facade for various reasons (the rich rival, for example, is only considered one by the universe because of his dyed platinum blonde hair and fancy suit, and happens to be in trouble with a number of debtors and credit card companies because he's desperately trying to support his lifestyle). The villain is a girl born with pink hair who absolutely loathes the protagonist lifestyle because it cost her so much (including her amnesiac best friend, the saga's protagonist), and is under the belief that, by shaving and re-dying everyone's hair, she's giving them better lives.
- Half-Life but the AI is Self-Aware deconstructs Gameplay and Story Segregation in a roundabout way. The Science Team, with their goofy antics, itchy-trigger fingers, and general trolling, wouldn't seem out of place as a random group of friends going for a romp through the game with a handful of cheat codes turned on. Gordon, who is stuck inside the fourth wall, is the only one to treat life-threatening dangers and loss of life as Serious Business and quickly starts going insane when he's the only one to do so.