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Deconstruction Crossover

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Doesn’t matter which kid you beat—there’s no way you’re a good father.
Comic by Panic Volkushka

Basically, when you throw many characters belonging to a specific genre (or sometimes a distinct division of this genre — e.g., the works of a certain author) into a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, for the purpose of exploring and deconstructing — and sometimes reconstructing — said genre from a modern viewpoint (which may or may not be Darker and Edgier). It could use the actual characters and settings from said works, or it could limit itself to using Expies if said work isn't quite in the public domain (less common online, because copyrights matter somewhat less when no money changes hands).

Note that the Massive Multiplayer Crossover itself here is just the means, while the goal is the aforementioned genre exploration/deconstruction. Also note that it's only one of the possible uses for a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, which may be implemented for numerous other purposes (e.g., fun, awesomeness, sex appeal, etc.).

A subtrope of Massive Multiplayer Crossover, Deconstruction and sometimes Reconstruction. Fan Fic versions should also be placed under the Deconstruction Fic trope.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Re:CREATORS throws together expies of typical protagonists of popular 2010s anime, manga, and games, then watches them clash due to their respective worlds' differences. And that's not even getting to the main villain, who is a fan character that lived through her own author's death...
  • Violence Jack has dark, twisted versions of many a Go Nagai character. Considering what most of Go Nagai's characters are like to begin with...

    Comic Books 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 

  • Into the Woods, containing characters from multiple fairy tales and weaving their stories together. The whole thing is deconstructed in the second act.

    Video Games 
  • Super Robot Wars games can turn into this to some degree, by showing how characters from one anime would react when facing plot and characters from others - friendships (Kamina and Ryoma in Z2) and rivalries (Domon and Kazuya in MX) are formed, some characters turns different that in their source material (Shinji and Shinn, very often), some events are averted, villains fight one another (Zonderians vs Radam vs Evolouders vs Eleven Lords of Sol in W) or form alliances (Doctor Hell, Gauron and Hakkeshu in J), not to mention characters making comments about events from other series.
    Char Aznable: Your way will never bring true peace.
    Ryoma Nagare: And dropping a rock on Earth will?
    • The first Super Robot Wars Z is probably the most deconstructionistic entry in the franchise. The fused world is portrayed as a chaos-ravaged, postapocalyptic hell where the protagonists are the one and only good option while the many villainous factions from all the different works dominate the Earth Sphere through sheer superior numbers. The protagonists, in turn, break down and attack each other rather than deal with their shared enemies, partially due to the villains' manipulations, but also due to genuine ideological differences aggravated by the robot pilots' combative personalities. The multiversal plot shows characters reacting to different versions of themselves, such as Classic Ryoma witnessing Armageddon Ryoma and being horrified by his much more violent nature or classic Kouji being surprised at the power of the Mazinkaiser. And at the end of the game, it's revealed that the corner of the multiverse the game is set is has been trapped in a Vicious Cycle of warfare due humanity's inability to stop fighting and in particular the protagonists' inability to actually end their conflicts.

    Web Comics 
  • Breakfast of the Gods does this with breakfast cereal mascots.
  • Most of Bleedman's Webcomics (e.g., Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi, Grim Tales from Down Below) do this with various Western Animation cartoons (at the same time changing their drawing styles to an Animesque one). And then FusionFall used that concept as well, retaining the Massive Multiplayer Crossover and the change to an Animesque style, but dropping any hints to Deconstruction.
  • Captain SNES: The Game Masta fits into this category fairly well. Not only are many of the villains aware that they are merely video game characters (which is, in at least one case, why they became villains to begin with), but characters who travel from one video game world to another are not always prepared for the different rules. (The comic where Magus writes of his experiences learning from Mario seems a good illustration of this.)
  • Cheshire Crossing. Three girls believed to be insane are all sent to a 'boarding school'. But the three girls are Alice Liddell, Wendy Darling, and Dorothy Gale, and their 'teacher' is Mary Poppins.
  • Kid Radd seems to do this, but featuring Captain Ersatzes and pastiches rather than actual trademarked Video Game characters. It has its own in universe versions of games like Super Mario Bros., EarthBound (1994), Final Fantasy, and even Deadly Towers and cheesy flash games. It really does well at showing what a character from one genre of games would look like if he was forced into a completely different genre but his character still followed the rules of his original game. For example, how would a platformer character for whom everything does equal damage, and only has four slots in his health bar deal with being put in an RPG where every character has thousands of HP? How would a fighting game character, who needs to take advantage of a character being temporarily stunned after being hit in order to perform combos deal with a platformer character who becomes temporarily invincible after being hit?
  • Sire is a comic about the descendants of literary characters reliving their "Sire"s story and having to take cues and morals from the original work so as not to earn a tragic ending. Rare as the characters are aware of the trope and use the deconstruction as a means to survive.

    Web Original 
  • Cartoons in Danganronpa is all about cartoon characters being forced to participate in a Killing Game, but the deconstruction doesn't end there:
    • Everyone is unnerved by how crass Kyle and Cartman can be; Dib notes that they swear more than anyone else in the school and Dipper is confused by Kyle's Terrence and Phillip doll, both because of the Non-Standard Character Design Canadians have in South Park and because he doesn't like Toilet Humor as much as Kyle.
    • Ed's Charles Atlas Superpower may be in full force here, but it has its limits in comparison to the real superheroes—when he, Blossom, Bubbles, and Jenny try to break a wall, he ends up bleeding.
    • On the Danganronpa side, this Killing Game is a lot more lopsided than the canon ones since it has actual superpowered students. Cartman points this, along with the fact that most of the students know at least one other student, as evidence for his theory that it's really some twisted game show, and Monokuma pulls out a lot more stops than he did in the games to make it all work, including making everything nigh-indestructible, (somehow) blocking off Star's Dimensional Scissors, and eventually de-powering the Powerpuff Girls and Jenny so they can't protect the others.
  • DEATH BATTLE! can dwell into this, often showing how certain characters would fare against opponents operating by rules of a work different in tone or even completely different genre altogether. Certain tactics, abilities or even personality traits can work to their disadvantage or be exploited by their opponents.
  • The Final Fighting Fantasy series does a good job at this. For the various Final Fantasy characters, it starts off as what looks like a simple poorly written fan fic, but quickly grows the beard and becomes quite epic. It turns out that the legendary weapons of the games were created by the ancients as a way of manipulating the game's protagonists into defeating the forces of evil, and thus restoring balance. However, after evil was defeated, the good guys can't stay around any longer, because they would tip the balance too far towards the light, so, the weapons transport them to another world, where they all meet each other, and (because of the influence the weapons have on their mind) convince them that the characters from the other games are evil. Thus they're forced into a fight to the death. The different characters named "Cid" that appear in every game is actually the same guy, manipulating things from behind the scenes. Unfortunately, Final Fighting Fantasy has been left unfinished.
  • Marvel DC After Hours, a Spin-Off of I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC does this. Season 1 questions the validity of Superman, Season 2 deals with what the heroes would be like if they all went through what Batman did, and Season 3 revolves around the concept of the Continuity Reboot, and what it would be like to go through one. By the end, it is always reconstructed.
  • There Will Be Brawl straddles the line of this and a a Darker and Edgier Parody of Nintendo games. It uses a pre-existing Massive Multiplayer Crossover established by the Super Smash Bros. franchise, and then constructs a world based around the end result of innocent and not-so-innocent characters fighting a purposeless war against each other for years.
  • Winnie The Pooh meets The Toxic Avenger is a deconstruction of the Pooh's Adventures series, showcasing the difficulties of featuring so many characters in a world not suited for them. Grim is killed by the author after he tries to change the story (mocking the idea of so many powerful characters just sitting on the sidelines), The Powerpuff Girls learn how to swear due to being in a world with a higher age rating, and the constant interference causes Toxie to go insane and try to kill everyone.

    Western Animation 
  • The point of Drawn Together was to be like this, they took Captain Ersatzes of Superman (Captain Hero), Pikachu (Ling Ling), Link (Xandir), Betty Boop (Toot), Josie and the Pussycats (Foxxy), the Disney Princesses (Clara), SpongeBob SquarePants (Wooldoor) and vulgar flash cartoons (Spanky) and put them in one house as a Parody of every Reality Show ever made. Unfortunately it quickly devolved into Vulgar Humor.
  • "The Simpsons Guy", a crossover between The Simpsons and Family Guy, showcases just how different the two settings are by painstakingly pointing out how much more the latter relies on Black Comedy, is Bloodier and Gorier, and overall has a much Darker and Edgier portrayal to its cast than the former. The Simpsons characters are repeatedly horrified by and disgusted at the Family Guy group's antics, whilst the Family Guy crew dismiss the Simpsons as lame, weak and pathetic.
  • Most of the humor in Robot Chicken comes from this. For example, there's Beavis and Butt-Head joining the Teen Titans, and MTV Exposed on Barbie and Bratz. Of course this is used mostly for comedic purposes.
  • Turtles Forever has the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from the 1987 cartoon, the Turtles from the 2003 cartoon and the Turtles from the Mirage comics meet. To clarify how well this actually works as a deconstructive crossover, the antics and personalities of the '80s Turtles—somewhat exaggerated but still grounded in the source material—annoy, confound, and irritate the 2003 turtles to no end. Even Michelangelo, eventually. Then they meet the original Mirage turtles (as written in issue 1), and even the 2003 guys seem like plushies by comparison note . Yet, in the end, all versions of the Turtles are deemed just as valid as the others. Complaints have been made that the 1987 Turtles seem more cowardly. Of course they are; they're in a different world where they are not the main characters, the fourth wall is more rigidly in place, and the Big Bad is both ruthless and competent. They lost their Plot Armor and they know it.
    • The 2012 cartoon likewise has its own take on how such a deconstructive crossover plays out, when the 2012 turtles meet the 1987 ones in a few episodes across the final two seasons. The antics and personalities of the '80s turtles (more grounded in the source material than Turtles Forever) annoy and baffle the 2012 turtles except for Michelangelo (who is just as immature as his counterpart), although they eventually come to respect them. Moreover, the '80s turtles' creative, slapstick tactics prove completely useless against the 2012 Bebop and Rocksteady, who are vastly more dangerous than the original bumbling '80s Bebop and Rocksteady, to the point that the 2012 turtles had to give them proper ninja training in order to stand a chance.
  • The Venture Brothers: The Monarch is a deconstruction all the Campy Supervillains of The '60s, Brock Sampson was something of a deconstruction of every Action Hero ever made, and the titular brothers themselves are a deconstruction of The Hardy Boys and Jonny Quest. They also turned the gang from Scooby-Doo into a Manson Family-type collection of 60s and 70s era Serial Killers. They also have a rather interesting take on Fantastic Four. Strangely enough, many of the characters they're based on are either shown or mentioned to exist as well.


Video Example(s):


Disney Princesses

Disney princesses test whether Vanelope is a true princess by asking which of their absurd tropes she fits into.

How well does it match the trope?

4 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / DeconstructionCrossover

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