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Deconstructor Fleet

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"The most original authors are not so because they advance what is new, but because they put what they have to say as if it had never been said before."

Some stories and series seem to go out of their way to deconstruct as many genres as possible, or at the very least take them home and cuddle them and call them "George". A Deconstructor Fleet doesn't just use one topic for parody or deconstruction. It sinks its meathooks into any trope it can find and folds and spindles it to shreds. When done well, the overall effect is to create something visibly original. Done badly, it may be seen as a generic Hate Fic, resulting in a small but loyal fanbase loving it and everyone else hating it.


Even people not familiar with TV Tropes will notice how this show is different from others. Many such shows become Trope Makers in their own right. Do not confuse this with Deconstruction, which doesn't invent something new, but criticizes the old. In both cases, however, the ultimate goal of the writers should be to examine a genre or a set of tropes from a new perspective without losing their value as entertainment—not to make the viewer/reader/player feel bad for enjoying straightforward genre fiction. Please remember it's not enough to say that something is an example; it is important to say why it's an example.

The name is a pun on the Vogon Constructor Fleet from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Especially appropriate because the Vogon Constructor Fleet doesn't construct ''anything''—its job is to facilitate hyperspace express routes by blowing up planets that happen to be in the way.


See also Genre-Busting and Postmodernism. Compare Better Than a Bare Bulb.

Deconstruction Fic is a specific sub-trope for examples of Fan Fic with a Deconstruction theme or plot. Fan Fic examples go there. Read Not a Deconstruction to further your understanding of these tropes.

Some of the dramatic vehicles that make up the Deconstructor Fleet:

Works with their own pages:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk portrays a High Fantasy world where kingdoms are constantly at war and things like demons, magic and gods are completely real. The results are horrifying.
  • Bokurano: Just because a cosmic entity grants children gigantic mecha to pilot doesn't mean they'll necessarily use those mechs for the sake of good.
  • Code Geass shows what happens when characters from a high school anime with their angst, idealism and silly crushes get involved in a Mobile Suit Gundam setting.
  • Darker Than Black does its best to play with as many superpower tropes as it can, and often deconstructs them. For starters: Required Secondary Powers is either often exploited, or forgotten about, resulting in the deaths of many characters.
  • Detective Conan upon closer inspection deconstructs all sorts of genres through the backstories of the people involved in the cases. It ranges from whodunit murder mysteries to convuluted soap operas or even romantic comedies. One case about a ripped up baseball penant seems like something out of a sports underdog story.
  • Digimon Tamers is another Mons deconstruction. Remember the first two seasons? They're all fake, nothing more than a kids TV show and merchandise franchise. This Is Reality. The show explores how much damage real Mons could potentially cause to a cityscape, the consequences of endlessly trying to make your mon stronger (both for the mon and the Tamer), and the psychological problems that could result from being too attached to your mon.
  • Dragon Ball has a few deconstructed tropes. Attempts by main characters to kamikaze the villains are rarely, if ever, met with success, despite all the weight that is often put into these decisions. Both Tien AND Chaiotzu failed to make their ones on Nappa stick, Vegeta's attempt to pull one on Majin Buu was rendered useless, and Gohan's last stand against the Androids in the "History of Trunks" special just ended up making things worse for humanity. Really, the few that actually worked tended to involve Goku, be it keeping Raditz at bay for Piccolo's Special Beam Cannon to work, or teleporting Cell off-planet to stop the world from blowing up (and even that didn't end up killing Cell).
  • Excel Saga: Technically it is a satire mocking the Japanese recession, but every little thing, no matter how mundane or boring, is depicted as totally awesome. The anime meanwhile, parodies a different movie or television genre each episode.
  • Fate/Zero, following the example of its predecessor, deconstructs heroism tropes, this time especially the concept of the I Did What I Had to Do The Needs of the Many-style Anti-Hero and the Well-Intentioned Extremist, as well as some interesting and bizarre musings on the notion of being the villain of a story.
  • FLCL, but Played for Laughs and Mind Screws.
  • Gantz: The author himself said that he laid out to subvert as many tropes as possible with the series. One might argue the prime example here is First-Person Shooter, as in being inside a First-Person Shooter would be horrible.
  • Genkai Level One Kara No Nariagari deconstructs as many isekai harem tropes as it can sink its teeth into. The human kindgom that summons Tetsuya and five other people wasn't looking for genuine heroes to protect them from an existential threat, regardless of what Meme says on her introduction. They were looking for shock troops and enforcers that they could exploit to be war weapons of mass destruction, and threw Tetsuya over a cliff when he failed to match up to their aesthetics, not to mention how much Tetsuya's life sucked because he was the stereotypical Ordinary High-School Student Godlike Gamer and then became an adult and had to try and adapt to modern society...
  • Hayate the Combat Butler subverts, averts, deconstructs, and stealth parodies Harem Genre tropes as much as possible.
  • It's not that Hunter × Hunter doesn't stand on its own as a shonen fighting manga, but especially once you get into the Chimera Ant arc it becomes hard to ignore that Togashi wants to deconstruct shonen manga, its villains, and especially its protagonists.
    • Specifically, the Idiot Hero and his frequent form of Cloud Cuckoolander instinctive ethics. Gon verges on Blue-and-Orange Morality sometimes, but it's just the kind of thing Incorruptible Pure Pureness frequently invokes, carried just far enough to be slightly creepy.
      • Gon is also designed in tribute to Son Goku in several ways; there is a reason Gon catches a giant fish as his first act. And then of course he recently sacrificed his life to turn into a huge muscle-guy with endless hair in order to destroy Neferpitou for destroying the mentor Gon wasn't strong enough or old enough to save… it was horrifying as hell, but a little bit funny, too. Because look, it's grown-up Goku Up to Eleven.
      • The situation with Pitou that he's avenging is also a deconstruction of the way a villain's threat level and a hero's growth are often shown by giving them a Curb-Stomp Battle the hero barely walks away from, and then turning the tables the next time. Because just surviving doesn't mean there aren't consequences for weakness. (Not that Togashi hasn't used the trope. Although at least once with Sensui it was slightly subverted by the death thing.) It's also a deconstruction of how the typical revenge arc plays out. Normally the audience is rooting for the hero to get back at the person who wronged them in an epic showdown, but Neferpitou is utterly helpless and Gon beats them in such a relentlessly savage manner that you not only feel sorry for the murderous villain, but also deeply disturbed by the protagonist's obsession with vengeance and the lengths he goes to in order to achieve it. Gon's wrath is absolutely terrifying to behold and his desire to avenge Kite pushes him well beyond his mental and physical limit. He has so much pent up rage towards Pitou that it makes him more than a little unhinged during the latter half of the arc.
    • Five-Man Band dynamics also played straight and deconstructed. Interesting because Gon, Killua, Kurapika, and Leorio map onto the team from Togashi's first big series.
    • Chrollo Lucilfer is weird. Hisoka does not belong in children's comics. And Meruem is an attempt to be psychologically realistic about a cosmic-level entity born full-grown to devour humans and conquer the world.
  • Heaven's Lost Property mostly pokes fun at many harem tropes and tropes such as Messianic Archetype. One standout case however is Chaos who is walking deconstruction of What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?, and unlike the rest it is not played for laughs. She shows what happens when you try to teach someone love who literally doesn't have any understanding of the concept and stuff such as Love Hurts are taken frighteningly literally.
  • Irresponsible Captain TylorSpace Opera, completely Played for Laughs.
  • Is This a Zombie? is very much not your normal magical girl series.
  • Key the Metal Idol — One of the first truly brilliant Anime Mind Screws, it also sinks its teeth into numerous works and tropes of fiction, including Pinocchio/ Become a Real Boy, Mini-Mecha, Real Mecha, Super Mecha, Eccentric Mentor, Idol Singer, and Magical Girl, in addition to subverting and deconstructing the Emotionless Girl and Robot Girl archetypes before they were much of a thing in anime to begin with.
  • Kokoro Connect disassembles every aspect of Slice of Life high-school romance it can think of, "Freaky Friday" Flip and similar Magical Realism tropes, and even the very concept of entertaining the audience.
  • Haruka Kotoura of Kotoura-san could have been a classic Moe protagonist and is one deep down. The problem is that her Telepathy cannot be turned off so she's unable to distinguish between speech and thought. In her backstory, she grew up in a society where Tatemae is a commonplace concept. It did not end well for her at all. As a result, many of her major character tropes are either Deconstructed, Played for Drama, or they are simply cynical in nature.
  • Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force take some Reality Ensues. Since the antagonists are adults and choose their own path, this series deconstructs some concepts of entire Nanoha franchise, especially the mainstay Defeat Means Friendship. As usual, the heroes always use the usual friendly approach to the villains, but the villains use the advantage to get away with things, leading to more stubbornness and aggression for the villains or even running away. In an example of Tropes Are Tools, these changes were almost universally hated by the fandom, resulting in the series being put on indefinite hiatus and relegated to Fanon Discontinuity.
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi — The whole frickin' point is basically to deconstruct a genre per episode. And then, halfway through, it shift gears and begins to deconstruct itself.
  • Maoyu deconstructs popular cliches of the fantasy genre. It begins by explaining how killing the Evil Overlord does not necessarily end the world's problems. In fact, the true way of achieving world peace is not through brute force, but through a combination of military, economic, diplomatic, political and social reforms.
  • Medaka Box has pretty much become this. Taking shonen tropes (especially those found in Shonen Jump) to Up to Eleven while also showing issues that come with the characters having such off the wall powers, and even deconstructs the concepts of the God-Mode Sue and Invincible Hero.
  • Yoshiyuki Tomino is practically a one-man Deconstructor Fleet.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam deconstructs the then-prevailing Mecha trend of overpowered Super Robots, thus creating the Real Robot genre.
      • The super robot is a hell of a hassle despite being super, simply because it's so cutting edge it's hard to maintain and there isn't really a manual for operating it. By the series' end it has difficultly responding to its pilot because it lack the hardware to keep up with his Newtype reflexes.
      • The protagonist Amuro Ray, despite his intelligence, is a teenage boy who acts like one. He angsts over his role, clashes with the military chain of command, and leaves White Base at one point before growing into his role as pilot. He's not the team leader either and remains subordinate to Bright Noa throughout. Amuro also never gets together with either love interest. He accidentally kills Lalah and fails to notice the affections of Fraw.
      • The series goes on to show that The Principality of Zeon despite being a Nazi-esque military dictatorship has sympathetic and likeable characters like Ramba Ral, Garma Zabi, and Char Aznable, averting straight Black-and-White Morality.
      • The sequel series Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam has the Federation, the good guys in the original series, creating the Titans to hunt down Zeon remnants, only for them to become corrupt and commit the same atrocities Zeon engaged in. This brings the original heroes and Char together to stop them.
    • Mobile Suit Victory Gundam deconstructs the rest of the franchise's Universal Century side, given that it was produced during Tomino's emotional lowest point against Sunrise's endless Executive Meddling. It tells everything buried deep in Tomino's mind about the commercial reality in the anime industries. Tomino himself has admitted regret that the show ened up as dark as it did.
    • The Universal Century in general is itself a deconstruction of the sort of ideas, tropes and lofty aspirations that inspire the likes of Star Trek, which is further highlighted by works like Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn. If there are strange new worlds to see, expect them to have a lot of the same problems we deal with on Earth. And expect humanity to bring its conflicts, bloodshed and hubris to the stars.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 deconstructs the rest of the Gundam franchise. It even has the voice actor of the original hero play the Big Bad.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam AGE deconstructs the mindset of the Kid Hero of the first generation — does he believe in achieving peace to both sides? Nope, he considers the Vagan as irredeemable monsters no matter what, and he holds this belief throughout his life; not even his son and grandson can change his mind on that. At least not until the last minute.
  • Naruto — Deconstructs Idiot Hero (Naruto isn't an idiot, he just act like one because that's the only way he can get a brief moment of attention, and it's a defense mechanism against his depression), Messianic Archetype (Nagato via what happens when the universe goes out of its way to treat said archtype like crap), Cosmic Plaything (out of four examples, all but Naruto have snapped somehow as a result and even then Naruto barely avoided snapping), All Girls Want Bad Boys (Sakura), No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (Kakashi suffered some major trauma as a result of what happened to his father), and revenge tropes in general (especially Sasuke).
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion — Originally conceived as a deconstruction of the robot side of the Super Robot genre, the second half of the series (and the movies) become a psychological evaluation of the so-called "Hotshot Pilot", showing how fucked up they can be as far as wallowing in angst (a side effect of the show's creator going into therapy around the time the show began production). The show's original finale itself takes several swipes at the show's fanbase, in particular targeting those who only cared about which girl Shinji would end up with.
  • Ouran High School Host Club — Joyfully mocks the reverse-harem shoujo genre it often falls straight into.
  • Patlabor is a relentlessly hilarious satire of every element of Humongous Mecha.
    • They're rarely over a dozen meters tall, so as not to crush their own feet. And one tripping will still take out a house. They don't even walk long distances; they're stored at construction sites like any other piece of heavy equipment, and the Patlabors are transported to combat scenes in their own specialized trucks.
    • Falling into the Cockpit is impossible as they're complicated as hell; Noa teaching her mech to tie a shoelace knot is considered proof of her being a genius pilot. Most people can't do much with even a Super Prototype robot even if they find themselves piloting one.
    • Weapons are scaled-up versions of conventional firearms; a laser shows up in a single two-part episode, but never seen again — it destroyed all its foes, but it was too delicate and expensive.
    • War for Fun and Profit is neither fun nor profitable; Schaft Enterprises makes an attempt to pit one of their military prototypes against the police's Ingram in pursuit of combat data. What followed was ridiculously stupid, as the only people they could find willing to do such a ridiculously stupid thing were some deadbeat stoner Bomb-Throwing Anarchists - who fled the scene once they realized how ridiculously stupid the whole thing was.note 
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica — While being selfish in most Magical Girl shows makes you the villain or the Alpha Bitch, using your wish to help others might lead to them to question everything, unknowingly take your help and forget you, or cause their suffering to build over multiple timelines. And you get to have all the fun of watching it happen and knowing you caused it.
    • The show calls attention to the fact that these untrained, unprepared youths are liable to actually die in their fights with the Witches, as well as the psychological damage it entails.
    • Rebellion, the series' sequel, also attacks its fair share of tropes. Most prominently, how disturbing would it actually be to love only one person, to the exclusion of all other relationships? Rebellion also features the portrayal of the characters in a more standard magical girl setting, with one of them realizing that it's not what their setting is actually like.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena — "Love is a battlefield" as a literal concept is common in Magical Girl, but most tend to forget that love, and especially young love, is inextricably linked with sexuality (and explorations thereof) and uncertain and non-absolute infatuations, often unrequited or with those with whom such a pairing would be socially unacceptable. And that's not even getting into RGU's regular savaging of traditional gender roles.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero is this for the typical "summoned to another world" tropes:
    • Despite the four Heroes being considered the chosen ones to save the world, the denizens treat the Shield Hero's defensive focus as garbage, the other Heroes recklessly treat the world like a game and leave no small amount of misery in their wake by accident, and the Heroes being summoned in the first place caused a massive political shitstorm since the country did it without any other country's consent. Even worse, the Church dedicated to said Heroes pulls a Face–Heel Turn because of their ineptitude.
    • More on the Chosen One trope, as it shows that the Legendary Weapons' idea of choosing their wielders involves essentially kidnapping random people from other worlds (or at least nabbing their souls right after they died) based solely on their gaming experience from alternate universes and expecting them to just get the hang of things like actual combat in time for the monster-spawning waves. Even if the world's RPG mechanics means that game-savvy otakus would seemingly fit in with their designated roles as Heroes, not only does the series show how this a HORRIBLE idea since three of the four heroes chosen wind up causing a LOT of problems simply because they couldn't be bothered to take the situation seriously enough, but the one that did so enough to take it upon himself to fix them personally had even lampshaded himself that he only have done so after getting screwed over by a manipulative sociopath and being FORCED to take things seriously in order to stay alive. The result is that the Sword, Spear, and Bow heroes are, to put it bluntly, underpowered liabilities who can't be bothered to put in actual time and effort to get stronger while the titular Shield Hero is actually able to get things accomplished. And this is before the Spirit Turtle incident...
      • In fact, considering their dismissive attitude towards Naofumi for his defense-oriented Legendary Shield, their constant use of flashy SP draining skills over more practical abilities, and only putting the bare minimum of Level Grinding, it also raises the question of whether the other Heroes were even all that knowledgeable in RPGs as they claim to be, or if their games were properly balanced when it came to character classes.
    • Weapons that change and evolve based on the user's thoughts and feelings also sound great on paper, but what if it also reacted to negative emotions like hate and greed? The result is the Curse Series, the 'special' variants of the Legendary Weapons only accessible after the user has gone through the Despair Event Horizon. While they possess tremendous power and grant powerful finishing moves, they also eat away at their user by intensifying the respective emotion to the point where the user is motivated solely by it, among other detriments.
    • The concept of Level Grinding is also deconstructed due to how seriously its treated in-universe. It's pointed out in a conversation between Naofumi and Shadow that there are only so many monsters to slay when it comes to gaining levels, which is why they can't simply have an entire army of properly trained soldiers ready for the waves. It was also why "hunting etiquette" was introduced in the Cala Mira arc in order to properly ration out the high-exp yielding monsters on the awakened island.
    • Also, despite the setting taking place in a world with RPG mechanics, Naofumi and his allies show that having high levels isn't enough to succeed at fighting off the monsters in the waves or the heroes from the other world. Ren, Motoyasu, and Itsuki fall behind him despite their higher levels because they lack the stat investment, skill, and pragmatism Naofumi and his party put time and effort into utilizing, and their initially stubborn refusal to acknowledge his strength as anything other than "cheating" or heed his warnings about needing to train instead of relying solely on their Legendary Weapons bites them royally after they personally kick off the Spirit Turtle incident.
    • And touching on the other Heroes treating it like a game, this also becomes a plot point as they're both confused and angered at Naofumi's increasing power. As it turns out, they're so deadset in believing that the world operates on the mechanics of the games they played in their individual worlds that they don't realize they're stunting their growth by not exploring other methods of strengthing themselves and their weapons, or utilizing strong emotions — like Naofumi's sheer, festering hatred for them and the world.
    • The Sociopathic Hero gets a work-over because the other Heroes act like sociopaths because they are for the most part idiots and Naofumi (who acts like one because he's been Maddened Into Misanthropy) still can't bring himself to be one of these all the way, at least not to innocent bystanders, and when he finally gets the horrifying revenge on Malty that he's been fantasizing during the whole story, it eventually gets to a point that is just too horrible for him to actually behold and savor like he wanted all this time.
    • Malty's the perfect deconstruction of the invokedRoyal Brat archetype by showing just how rotten to the core someone like her can be when their personality can be mainly summed up as It's All About Me. She gets away with everything because she manipulates people, her father helps her by essentially protecting her from blame, and because she is a princess, she holds political power that allows her to get away with it everytime. Due to this, she takes advantage of everyone around her without care for any long term results, especially considering just how much downright sociopathic behavior she gets away with prior to, and after meeting Naofumi, and just keeps getting worse and worse even after her mother exposes her and the King's disgusting behavior on top of confiscating their royal titles. Eventually, its taken to a point where her horrendous personality is literally what gets her killed in the end, as EVERYONE wants her dead and gone by that point, even her previously doting father. Turns out, screwing over everyone you know will mean nobody will actually stick up for you when it most matters, and she undermines her own plans because she simply cannot stop trying to Kick the Dog.
    • Also of Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe. The heroes are summoned into the kingdom of Melromarc and spend most of the series taking care of events there such as dealing with the Church and the King. Turns out later the rest of the world is not happy that Melromarc is being seen as the only place in need of the Heroes help, as it turns out the Waves affect the entire world and not just Melromarc. Also, Melromarc summoning the Heroes caused massive political issues because by hogging them, the rest of the world is unfairly stuck without the ability to rely on the Heroes to help them. Its later explained by Fitoria that the only reason things haven't gotten worse is because she has been doing her best to assist with defenses of the rest of the world.
    • The concept of the Idiot Hero gets deconstructed through Motoyasu, showing that despite being a genuine good guy with childish ideals, he's far too trusting for his own good and far too naive to even consider that people would take advantage of him with the latter none the wiser. His childish ideals also prove far too unrealistic and blinds him to reality in a way that even when committing hypocrisy towards said ideals, he don't notice and stubbornly insist he's in the right. All evidence on how well a Idiot Hero would fair outside the fairy tale it came from.
      • And even the "Hero" part of the Idiot Hero is put into question regarding Motoyasu considering how, for a supposed hero, he's more of a Nominal Hero at best. He had no problem forcing Naofumi into a duel at Malty and the King's behest, ignored how the girl he claimed to be "freeing" from him was bound and gagged, arrogantly boasted about having an easy win against someone who was twenty levels lower and had no offensive focus, started whining about Naofumi's "foul play" when he started losing, and kept insisting Raphtalia was brainwashed despite the lack of evidence after winning due to Malty's clear cheating. And that's not even getting into his behavior towards Filo, or at least in the manga and anime when he went so far as to shackle her in magic cuffs and made it clear in a blatant show of hypocrisy that he planned to exploit her while she was (seemingly) helpless. Calling him Obliviously Evil would be a serious stretch, but its safe to say that his idiocy, lack of common sense and blind faith towards Malty causes him to trample all over his own "noble" ideals and act obtrusive to the ones genuinely trying to fix things prior to the fight with the power mad Pope.
      • The Power of Trust also gets deconstructed by Motoyasu since he even CLAIMS to be running on this in regards to his party. In truth, it's just another example of his naivety getting in the way of his judgement since Malty is clearly taking advantage of him. He later finds out that his party hated him and only put up with him because he was one of the Heroes, and this causes him to nearly break when he realizes this.
    • What the Ideal Hero would really be like in a realistic standpoint gets shown through Itsuki Kawasumi, as even if he got enough moral code to be classified as "heroic", it also comes with a gigantic ego and narcissistic tendencies that leaves him utterly incapable of admitting his own mistakes, wrongdoings and apologizing to others for his mistakes, due to believing himself and his judgement being always right even when the facts themselves are right in front of his face. His narcissistic traits also leave him incapable of consider other people's feelings and opinions about him, making it impossible for anyone to spend a prolonged amount of time with him without coming to detest these traits in the process. It all ends up with everyone keeping their distance from him and him from anyone else in return.
    • Ren deconstructs the Ineffectual Loner archetype because despite it being made clear to the heroes that it's important to have a team of other adventurers (ignoring how Naofumi got dicked out of a traditional party from the start), the Sword Hero insists on doing things solo to the point of grinding for levels alone. Not only does this leave him the most unable to work in a group (not just with the other heroes, but in a party with actual cooperative cohesion like with Raphtalia and Firo), but this ultimately resulted in the death of his companions in the Spirit Turtle incident.
    • The Then Let Me Be Evil trope gets deconstructed throughout the story, at first subtly and then much more overtly. Naofumi makes things a lot harder for himself by letting his rage and resentment take over, and not accepting genuine help or gratitude from anyone. While this behavior is understandable considering what happened in the beginning, and does have several practical advantages (making himself a successful merchant and toughening up his more naive allies rather than coddling them), the Hidden Heart of Gold also works against him at several points and makes it that much easier for King Melromarc, Malty, and the Three Heroes Church to lie to the public about him. It isn't until several people (Melty and Fitoria primarily) point this out that Naofumi finally starts to leave his shell, although he admits that he's still unlikely to ever become the person he used to be again.
  • Rosario + Vampire: In recent years Ikeda has taken it upon himself to ask what sort of background the girls in an Unwanted Harem might have come from, and to highlight the impact of being the Romantic Runner-Up in such a relationship. It also shows how dangerous it is to be The Team Normal and the possible adverse physical and psychological effects of an Emergency Transformation. Not to mention Kahlua shows just how messed up being a Punch-Clock Villain can make you.
  • Rurouni Kenshin — Deconstructs many aspects of the Wandering Samurai note  found in the Jidaigeki genre.
  • Saikano: So your shy, timid girlfriend turned out to have actually been a secret government human superweapon all along? Expect suffering, my friend. Lots and lots and lots of it.
  • School Days, like the game it was based on (more on that in the Visual Novel section below), takes the Harem Genre and mashes it with Reality Ensues all the way to an honest-to-god terrifying ending. Bluntly speaking, it deconstructs the Harem Genre by showing what would happen if a person became the focus of a harem, and instead of being oblivious to their affection, decided to take advantage of their love for someone to get sex out of them, and shows the toll that this would have on someone in a situation like this.
  • Shadow Star — Like Digimon Tamers, this one really digs into the darker implications of the Mon subgenre, but the vein in which it does so is closer to Bokurano's take on the subject, asking the viewer what sort of person would want that kind of power and why just as much as how that power's effects would play out in a world like this. The story's answers to that question are by no means reassuring. Not coincidentally, the manga comes from the creator of the latter, while the anime adaptation was scripted by the creator of the former.
  • Shiki to vampire fiction. Starts out as a regular undead invade village, heroic vampire hunter fights them off. By the end, we're all left wondering who the real monsters are.
  • Star Driver thrives on this. A great deal of the generic anime tropes used throughout the anime are Turned Up to Eleven and played with massively to the point they feel totally new.
  • Originally, Super Dimension Fortress Macross was meant to be a Deconstructive Parody of shows like Mobile Suit Gundam. While it veered off that course eventually and played a fair number of tropes completely straight (never mind inventing a few along the way), every major entry into the Macross franchise has featured at least one major, often scathing, deconstruction of the science fiction and adventure genres, not to mention the anime medium as a whole.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya — What do you mean "we should stay in one genre?" If we did that, Kyon wouldn't get to snark at them!
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann eats this trope, among others, for breakfast. At the very least, it played the trope straight by deconstructing the Giant Robot genre. Some hypotheses suggest that the first arc is based on 70s giant robot anime (roaming around having episodic Monster of the Week adventures), the second is the 80s (moving toward a Big Bad and beating his subordinates along the way), the third arc transitions into the 90s (a much more cynical setting that looks very similar to something else by the same studio), and the final arc is intended to invert this trope by reconstruct everything into something new. Along the way, it examines how the Hot-Blooded type was treated in each of those. Among other things.
  • Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- — Deconstructs itself, its second half deconstructing its first half.
  • Uwakoi and Aki Sora, both by Masahiro Itosugi, collectively take the most infamous tropes associated with the ecchi and harem genres - Bastard Girlfriend, Brother–Sister Incest, Extreme Doormat, Hormone-Addled Teenager, The Ditherer, Unwanted Harem, Yandere, etc. - and plays them all for realistic drama and/or psychological horror.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX — Especially the original series' heroes' use of Defeat Means Friendship (which the Big Bad's Cult uses in Season 2). And just look at what happens to its typical Idiot Hero-Invincible Hero protagonist in season 3.
    • It doesn't just deconstruct tropes, it also deconstructs aspects of the game itself; Judai's duel with Kagurazuka takes a stab at showing the flaws in the Possession Equals Mastery theory of netdecking, and a central theme in the anime is over which side of the "Stop Having Fun" Guys debate is right.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V takes the deconstruction even further, to the point that it has its own page. Here are a few examples:
    • In the first episode, Yuya's pendant spontaneously creates Pendulum Monsters and uses them to win. However, the audience calls him a cheater for having fake cards or at the very least cards nobody else has, and an early plot point is people either trying to steal Yuya's new cards or trying to develop their own Pendulum Monsters.
    • Yuya's missing dad causes him very major issues in contrast to past protagonists.
    • The fact that the heroes are essentially Child Soldiers is not sugar-coated in any way, and the series explores the mental damage that would result from being in their situation, namely through Sora, Kurosaki, Yuto and the Obelisk force. Especially Reira, who was already utterly broken by his upbringing in a war-torn country.
    • The Super-Powered Evil Side demonstrated by Yuya and his alternate dimension counterparts is very much portrayed as horrific.
    • The Solid Vision is used by the villains, who are, aside from being from a parallel world, normal people, to turn Duel Monsters into weapons of war. Episode 34 demonstrates this by having Revolution Falcon do a bombing run and raze the entire field. Instead of having all humans be either 100% redeemable and/or heavily manipulated by an Eldritch Abomination, Humans Are the Real Monsters.
    • The Synchro Dimension arc is chock-full of Deconstuctions of 5Ds For one, the class divide still exists, and not only is it much more brutal, but the Zero Reverse isn't present to justify it. Instead, the people of the city have a culture and belief system that supports the insanity and even encourages the poor to mock people who fail to bring themselves up. Also, Security is very much a No-Nonsense Nemesis, utilizing decks full of monsters with Goyo Guardian's effect and not ceasing pursuit if they lose, making the duel a mostly a formality.
    • The Duels Decide Everything trope, core to the Yugioh franchise, also gets deconstructed. Namely, after the Lancers managed to get away when they attempted to duel them the first time, the next time they attempt to catch them, they don't make any attempts to duel them, instead detaining them through force and sheer numbers alone. Furthermore, when the Lancers are breaking out of prison, they don't bother with duels and instead have their monsters physically restrain their opponents. And later still, Sergey decides to forgo the duel altogether and instead uses his cybernetic enhancements in order to power through Tsukikage and Sora and kidnap Yuzu.
    • Yuya's All-Loving Hero attitude falls apart hard. Not only does he fall apart emotionally whenever his attempts at befriending others fail, but sometimes he alienates would-be-allies and/or his audience who see his behavior as naive, or because they view his beliefs as a personal attack on their culture.
    • The Jerk with a Heart of Gold trope is deconstructed through Jack. Though this version is genuinely well-meaning, a lot of people think he's a sellout because he never shows the public his true goals and motivations. His attempts to encourage a young duelist to become better by giving Sam a card that has deep personal significance make Sam think the gift is an insult, as he doesn't know about the emotional value and the card itself is pretty weak (unless your deck uses specific archetypes, some of which do not exist in Sam's dimension).
    • Defeat Means Friendship, a common staple of the Yugioh franchise, is either exploited by antagonists, or painfully averted or subverted in all but three of the protagonists' duels. These three duels all provide a solid reason why the trope is played straight, and said reason has more to do with the opponent's pre-existing personality and experiences than it does with Yuya himself; making Yuya less of a Warrior Therapist and more like the catalyst his opponents needed to set off their own Character Development.
    • Character Development in general takes a lot of time, and is sometimes characters grow in ways that aren't obvious or clear right away.
    • While generally the Magic Poker Equation is played straight, there are times when it has not. In one episode, Yuya ends up starting with a dead hand full of monsters he can't summon yet, and much latter, two people, both on the villains' and heroes' sides respectively, and in consecutive duels to boot, end up finding an Action Card that's completely useless to them.
    • For Happiness is deconstructed by Zarc. Like Yuya, he wanted to make people happy, but his audience was bloodthirsty and cheered him on when he was violent, twisting him into a monster.
    • The dueling, the entire basis of the franchise, eventually gets in on the deconstruction. The ancient Duel Spirits aren't happy at being made to fight against each other for humans' entertainment, so when Leo Akaba developed Real Solid Vision, they used it to manifest themselves into the real world and start attacking humans.
    • Like all the previous Big Bads before him, Zarc has a deck full of insanely overpowered cards, with his ace card being designed to be Nigh-Invulnerable. The rest of the cast eventually calls him out on this, pointing out that rather than display how powerful he is, it just shows that he's a coward afraid of losing.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City deconstructs EVERY SUPERHERO TROPE EVER. It does the Lois Lane, the Mook, the Crisis Crossover, the Anti-Hero, the Legacy Character, heck, it deconstructs THE FREAKING JUSTICE SYSTEM. Unique in that it also reconstructs the classic hero as well.
  • The Authority, of superteams in general and the JLA in particular.
  • Planetary (also of the Wildstorm universe) went even further with the "Ironic Darkly Humorous Tongue-In-Cheek Deconstructive Parody of Superheroes" tone of The Authority by taking the same approach with other genres, including Hong-Kong action films, Japanese Giant Monster films, and 1930s pulp adventure.
  • The Boys is a deconstruction of the "Bullpen" mythos that surrounds the superhero comic book industry.
  • Captain Atom is a deconstruction of secret identities, origin stories, retcons, rogues' galleries, Steven Ulysses Perhero, even, arguably, The Good Captain, plus who knows how many other Superhero Tropes.
  • Cerebus the Aardvark gave us the trope name for a reason.
  • Miracleman is one of the earliest deconstructions of the superhero genre, showing the Fascist undertones of the genre, exploring the abuse of power, and showing a particularly gory and destructive superhero battle that was legitimately shocking at the time. Yet it still manages to explore Captain Marvel mythos in a very witty and tongue-in-cheek manner.
  • Watchmen is a deconstruction of the comics that preceded it. It examines the implications of superheroes existing in a real setting — specifically, what just one person with superpowers might mean for the world, and what it really takes to be a masked vigilante with no powers capable of making a difference. It was one of the comic book that brought in the Dark Age of Comics. It also uses superheroes as a vehicle to deconstruct American culture and Cold War international politics.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen deconstructs the entirety of fiction and its relation to reality.
  • Powers is a major one for at least half the superhero tropes. Taking place through the eyes of two non-powered cops, everything from investigating superhero crimes to tabloid obsession with superheroes to Beware the Superman to what a relationship between a super powered gangster and a mob boss would really be like to how fickle the public can be on things like the Super Registration Act to the stress of keeping a secret identity to immortality are put down on the page without any glamor or glorification.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, at least in the original Eastman and Laird run.
  • Star Wars: Legacy takes the original and Star Wars Legends, cuts it up into little tiny pieces, shuffles them, and glues it back together into a dark twisted reflection of its former self that's hardly recognisable, and yet somehow still manages to capture everything that made the original movies great.
  • Transformers Last Stand Of The Wreckers absolutely tears apart the Transformers series and the various tropes associated with it and kids series like it. In particular it rips Black-and-White Morality, Ascended Fanboy, Never Say "Die", Affably Evil, Anti-Hero, War Is Glorious, and Thou Shall Not Kill up from the roots to show how horrifying many clichés of the Saturday morning cartoon would be in real life. It also uses extremely graphic violence to show how horrific war between Transformers would be, not to mention subvert the common trick of using robots to sneak Family-Unfriendly Violence past censors. Robots getting smashed up isn't so harmless and kid friendly when said robots are living sentient beings who express terror and pain with gut-wrenching detail.
  • TRON: Ghost in the Machine (follow up to Alternate Continuity Tron 2.0) dishes out some deconstruction with a side order of Mind Screw. The comic opens with Jet Bradley going from a promising game designer to hunkering down in his Honorary Uncle's darkened arcade, virulently technophobic with a nasty case of PTSD from all the digital lives he had to take in the course of the game.
    • Oh, that's just the opening scene! It deconsructs the "User as hero" idea when Jet gets put in charge of an army because he absorbs the commander and leads his troops into a bloodbath. The depiction of Alan is "Ron the Death Eater" levels of dark, pulling zero punches about him being a broken, Good Is Not Nice man after the loss of his wife and close friend. It screws with Your Mind Makes It Real all three "Jet" Programs think their version of reality is the "correct" one, and even makes a chilling play with the Brain Uploading / Virtual Ghost aspect of Ma3a.
  • Superior Spider-Man deconstructs a lot of assumptions about Spider-Man and Peter Parker. Especially assumptions made by Peter Parker. Epitomises the 'near universally hated' part of this trope.
    • The Spider-Man franchise has always dabbled in this, mostly through the contrast between The Cape and a Classical Antihero, but also by considering how superhero tropes would affect someone trying to get through school. It's just gotten more and more pronounced over the years. As one editor summarized it, "Peter Parker's life was [miserable], which every teenager could relate to; once he became Spider-Man, Peter's life got even worse."
  • As well as Stupid Jetpack Hitler, Über deconstructs the common superhero comic depiction of abstract "courage", "will", or "righteousness" as outweighing Super Weight. Go up against a Supersoldier who outclasses you, and you will be rapidly smeared across the landscape.
  • Secret Empire effectively tears apart The Cape, Big Good, Legacy Character, Teeth-Clenched Teamwork and Let's You and Him Fight. Many of Marvel's recent events — AXIS, Secret Wars (2015) and Civil War II — has essentially been nothing but heroes fighting heroes because someone stepped on their precious ideology and when the event ends, someone's nursing a bruised ego and the other thinks they're morally superior and everyone's fuming at each other. When they turn to someone for advice, they turn to Captain America. However, since Sam Wilson is Captain America alongside Steve Rogers, Sam finds himself overwhelmed and looked down on because he's "not my Captain America". Thus, when Sam Wilson pulls a Rage Quit and everyone gets Steve Rogers back full time, Steve's actually The Mole for HYDRA and he succeeds in taking over the United States, imprisoning many superpowered characters or keeping them out of the fight and leaving the fight to save the day to a bunch of B-Listers who are prone to wanting to strangle everyone.

    Fan Works 
  • If there is a trope from any stories in the The Conversion Bureau sub-genre that has pissed you off and/or confused you, The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum (and reboot SPECTRUM, which reconstructs that) and its various canon side-stories have probably skewered through it. Newfoals as defined by Chatoyance? They're played up as perpetually smiling Extreme Doormats living smack-dab in the Uncanny Valley. The xenocidal tendencies of the TCB ponies being played as a good thing? In Spectrum, they're portrayed almost like Nazis. The global effects of Equestria appearing in the ocean? Not actually present in the story, but given a long, incredibly Troperiffic monologue about the scientific impossibilities, faithfully reproduced on the fanfic's page and the No Endor Holocaust page. Why are the Equestrians, including Celestia, so misanthropic? They've been corrupted by an Artifact of Doom that seeks to enslave every living being under its maker's will, and is targeting the humans first because one single human defeated said creator in the distant past. How would the presence of the Barrier affect food production and standards of living in the world due to the massive displacement of refugees? Most cities on earth, or at least Rio de Janeiro, turn into Wretched Hives where food has become so hard to come by that some have resorted to eating newfoals. How was a successful version of the potion created? That's difficult to explain without ruining the Wham Episode, but it's really, really messed up.
    • The side story, Calm Before the Storm, does not shy away from showing just how Equestria would really be ill-equipped to support a massive influx of new residents, topped off with a heaping dose of Reality Ensues. To put it simply, there are severe food shortages, no adequate infrastructure to support the newfoals coming in, the economy is in shambles, and the prolonged war has slowly unraveled the fabric of society, so much so that only terror, propaganda and the slave exploitation of newfoals are the only things keeping the Solar Empire afloat, and even that is failing.
  • Child of the Storm was, apparently, written with this intention in mind, after the author saw one Super!Harry/Lord!Harry/God!Harry story, in which Harry and other characters become characters In Name Only, too many. note 
    • Instead, it takes a look at how all those happenings and tropes, indeed, that much power, would actually affect the canon Harry, a fame averse, emotionally repressed trouble magnet with something of a temper. On the upside, he gets a bit more assertive and self-confident, and more open. On the downside, he's got a lot of repressed rage to work through, an intimate understanding cruelty to those who are different via the Dursleys and after several Trauma Conga Lines, outright PTSD. This leads to a proclivity for Revenge that has more than one person worried he could snap and turn into the next Magneto (or worse) if he doesn't have a Morality Chain or two.
    • It also averts the trope that a good guy armed with righteous anger etc. can beat a bad guy who is more skilled and/or more powerful. Any character who loses their head in a fight and stops fighting smart promptly gets their dislocated ass handed to them and learns a harsh lesson: will does not beat skill.
    • The second instalment, Ghosts of the Past, completely tears apart the Kid Hero concept by showcasing just how heavy a burden Harry's life has become. The neverending threats that continue to target him just because he's the son of Thor and a host of the Phoenix and the mental trauma he endures from his previous adventures starts taking a serious toll on his psyche. This also deconstructs There Are No Therapists - namely, Harry's stability rapidly improves after he starts getting therapy.
      • Even after Harry's psyche is patched up, there are palpable psychological scars, and a distinct lack of previous innocence. This is also noted as having happened to Carol, and both of them recognise it. Accordingly, it's why Harry opts to keep Ron and Hermione at arms length when it comes to his adventures, something which damages their relationship, and when they do try to get involved it nearly goes horribly wrong, requiring a Big Damn Heroes moment from Wanda, who furiously points out what could have happened to them as children (powerful, capable children, but still children who are way out of their depth). When Ron brings up Harry, she tartly points out a) Harry's had his own Trauma Conga Line, b) he's exceedingly well-trained and a Person of Mass Destruction who can more than look after himself. It's also why Harry keeps his distance from Clark once he works out that he exists, pointing out to Jean-Paul what sort of things he'd be exposing Clark to - and when the two do meet, it's because Harry's hand has been forced by Doctor Strange, and it's because Harry-class trouble (well... sort of) has found him anyway.
      • In passing, in relation to Harry and Carol's UST, the characters discuss and dismiss the idea of using a romantic relationship and thereby The Power of Love (which the fic otherwise treats fairly seriously) as a tool to keep someone traumatised stable, on the grounds that (though they don't use the exact terms) it's a textbook example of codependency and deeply unhealthy. They do eventually get together, but only after both of them have come to terms with many of their issues.
    • It also paints a clear picture on just how far the Avengers would go to defeat an enemy and some of the methods they'd resort to aren't on the moral side of the scale. It also deconstructs their habit of not really obeying any authority but their own, and their occasional habit of acting unilaterally against their enemies, perceived or otherwise: that fear is the trigger of the Death Eater-HYDRA alliance in Book 1, which places the world (briefly) under the heel of an Evil Overlord and nearly destroys the universe. Doctor Doom, of all people, comments on it in the sequel, and the narration and the characters around him admit, reluctantly, that he has a point.
  • Spirited Away deconstructs not only a big portion of Harry Potter, but also themes found in other Harry Potter/Danny Phantom crossovers.
  • The fic Zulu Squad no Tsukaima is a Deconstructor Fleet for anime crossovers, and crossover fics in general. Appropriate, since it's a crossover with Spec Ops: The Line.
    • Specifically it shows how characters from a non-anime world would react to all the cliches and tropes associated with anime or manga.
    • Later in the story it deconstructs battles where modern or futuristic soldiers fight a technologically inferior army and win the day with little to no casualties.
  • This fanfic The Attempted Confrontation analyzes an pokes fun at pretty much everything in Les Misérables from plot holes from the musical (Javert doing nothing but hunting Valjean then failing to recognize him as Mayor Madeline, Javert calling Valjean "24601" even after he would have gotten a new prison number like 9340 or something, etc.), and character flaws of Javert and Valjean that started from the book itself (Valjean blaming himself for things he wasn't directly at fault for, Javert's Lawful Stupidity, etc), and turns the whole thing into an epic Snark-to-Snark Combat.
  • This seems to be the mission of No Chance for Fate. For one it is a deconstruction of the Fuku Fic, which at the time of creation had degenerated badly. However, it also takes apart the source material of both series. The sheer list of deconstructions is way too long. Interestingly, the story still is very enjoyable to read and the characters actually come out of it stronger.
  • For Love of Magic deconstructs a lot of Fandom Specific Plots for Harry Potter. Someone writing fictional tales about Harry's childhood? A kind woman who wrote them on a fit of whimsy, later published them at a friend's urging, and upon being confronted by Harry's barrister, agrees to pay Harry far more than he'd expected. Harry's abandoned by the Dursleys? His frequent tantrums and resulting accidental magic drove them to their wits end so they dropped him off at an orphanage. Dumbledore never checking up on Harry? It honestly never occurred to him that family would ever not love family. Dumbledore never got Sirius a trial? He was extremely overworked and naive enough to believe Crouch's insistence that Sirius had confessed. Molly encouraging Ginny to marry Harry? She was simply encouraging her daughter's crush and when Harry turns out to be a typical teenage boy instead of The Paragon Ginny thought he was, Molly advises Ginny to give up on him. Snape hates Harry for who his father is? After knowing the boy a bit better, Snape decide Harry is more like Lily and treats him the same as every other student.
    • Even Voldemort making his horcruxes important items held in locations connected to him is deconstructed. Voldemort doesn't use a random rock that he throws into the ocean because both the item and it's location have to have significance to the horcrux owner or their soul won't bond to it.
  • The Rise of Darth Vulcan exists to deconstruct not just the "character from real world in a villain costume gets mistaken for a bad guy and later gets super power to become a true villain" plot bunny that some Hate Fic writers have done, but also pays attention every perceived and actual political and social flaw in Equestrian society as it's presented in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and the Fanon perceptions many fans and fic writers have of it. Special attention is put on the potential negative repercussions that simply ignoring such flaws can have in the long and short run once forced into the open. The Equestrian characters' own flaws and mistakes are also forced into the light to be dealt with, for good and ill, and when the characters are the Equestrian Princesses, their mistakes aren't simply forgiven and forgotten as in the show and have long reaching consequences. However, this has been done a little too well, leading to a large portion of the fic's fanbase ending up supporting the villain totally, much to the author's shock.
  • A Brighter Dark retells the story of Fire Emblem Fates while taking a massive sledgehammer to quite a few characters' personalities (Corrin and Garon's especially) and rebuilds them how they naturally would be in the universe constructed by the original creators. It then takes everything and everyone in the original universe and takes them to their logical extremes, tearing apart the Black-and-White Morality very thoroughly. If that wasn't enough it goes further on to methodically line up the methods in which fantasy heroes would typically deal with their problems, and gives them a big reminder about why people don't typically try them in real life.
  • Shinobi The RPG deconstructs not only the Peggy Sue, Sudden Game Interface, and Self-Insert genres of Fanfic; but also Naruto. Daisuke's Level Grinding is viewed as him being a Blood Knight by his peers and colleagues, and his abilities are viewed as a unique bloodline that others desire to use for their own ends. His knowledge of future events has others eye him with suspicion. He chose Charisma as his Dump Stat, which causes him to be alienated by many people and causes him to make bad judgement calls. When he finally gets "Almost Perfect" all of this and much more hits him hard.
  • Fall of Starfleet, Rebirth of Friendship deconstructs practically everything about the much despised My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, just to list a few examples: The actions of the supposed "heroes" of Starfleet are treated as horrific as they actually are, Calling Your Attacks just gives the enemy a chance to counterattack, a rebellion is planned to overthrow the racist tyrant Grand Ruler, The Monster of the Week method of attack is replaced with sending battalions to cities while cutting off said cities' defenses.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail deconstructs the usual tropes of "child goes through Character Development via Pokémon" in the Pokémon canon by exploring Chloe's character being always pressured by everyone to like Pokémon and get a job relating to them solely because of her father's job has caused her to not try anything new, Goh's Goal in Life to find Mew has caused him to not notice Chloe's insecurities, Ash being an All-Loving Hero is instead portrayed as him being an intrusion that took Goh and Professor Cerise's attention away from her and that because of Chloe's lack of screentime in the anime, no one knows anything about her.
    • It's usually shown that children who leave home is because they are off to become Trainers. Goh tells off Chloe's classmates that it's not usually the case. Chloe could've been kidnapped (which she technically was by the Infinity Train) or is injured and that no one can save her because they have no idea where she went.
    • The fic starts like a Betrayal Fic but with the notable effect that no character involved is a caricature of themselves. No one tried to murder anyone. As a result the issues are not so black and white (a lot of Chloe's issues came from Poor Communication Kills on her end as much as the others), no one started the story with an intent to hurt anyone (actions that did not come from a lack of communications come from misunderstandings) and the ramifications for Ash, Goh, and her father are far-reaching and far from pure karma. Heck the three end up dealing with characters who act like betrayal fic characters and are absolutely horrified and disgusted by them.
    • Just why does a magical train take people in anyway?. The train denizens need to get their souls from somewhere and if someone dies while trying to overcome their problems....

    Film — Animated 
  • The Incredibles is a deconstruction of both superhero tropes (for example, much of the story is kicked off and motivated by a severe lapsing of Hero Insurance), and mid-20th-century family sitcom tropes.
  • Shrek is about an ogre who becomes a reluctant Knight in Shining Armor. The structure is that of a typical save-the-princess fairy tale, but with comedy and dramatic reversal added.
  • The LEGO Batman Movie takes apart several of Batman mythos:
    • The Joker sees that he and Batman have the traditional Arch-Enemy relationship but because Batman doesn't connect with anyone emotionally, all he sees is that the Joker is another villain to fight.
    • Batman is so consumed by his vigilante lifestyle that he has no personal life outside of being Batman. Even when lounging in his mansion, he wears the cowl and has no friends or family outside of Alfred. When the Joker and the rest of the villains surrender themselves to the police, Batman resorts to drastic measures just to try and make himself feel useful.
    • Batman refuses help from anyone and chooses not to have any friends because he is terrified of reliving the pain of losing his parents again.
  • The parent movie of the above film, The LEGO Movie, deconstructs the concepts of The Chosen One and The Hero's Journey. Emmett Brickowksi, a normal average joe who is a Yes-Man and tries so hard to fit in that no one notices him, is told that he is a hero in a prophecy. He wholeheartedly believes this and tries so hard to achieve it but in the end, he's told the prophecy is fake. But as it turns out he is the Special the prophecy foretold. And so is everyone else. They just have to believe they are special.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Cabin in the Woods does this not just to American horror movies (especially the slasher genre), but to horror movie fandom and the film industry as a whole, especially with the You Bastard! note that it ends on.
  • The John Candy film Delirious deconstructs soap opera plots, and essentially every element of storytelling.
  • Funny Games: A Slasher film with killers who know they're in a film and break the fourth wall to accuse the audience of wanting innocents to suffer for their amusement. The killers are continually disappointed when the family does the more common sense action rather than ratcheting up the tension, and the real violence is only heard, not seen. Ultimately, the killers are the audience. They even change the outcome after the family fights back... with a remote control.
  • Galaxy Quest. The entire plot can be summed up in the question "what if the cast of a Star Trek-like show got mistaken for the characters they played by an alien race with no concept of lies or fiction and was drafted into leading said race to victory in a war against evil genocidal aliens?"
  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Go ahead, try to root for Hannibal Lecter or Dexter Morgan after seeing this film. The Serial Killer Villain Protagonist is much closer to a Real Life one than either of those characters, not being some Affably Evil supergenius villain who at least manages to look cool, but an unintelligent thug whose utter psychopathy and heinous deeds are chilling to watch.
  • A History of Violence deconstructs a whole slew of Action Movie cliches. The things the Retired Badass did in his previous life, and the things he is still capable of when pushed, are genuinely scary, making the distinction between Retired Badass and Retired Monster virtually non-existent. Our hero is a brutal and efficient killer, morally superior to the villains only because the people he kills are worse. Being publicly hailed as a hero does not improve the hero's life; in fact it attracts unwanted attention from even scarier people. The kid who stands up to the school bully by sinking to his level gets kicked out of school and in trouble with the law. And Love may have once redeemed, but it can't overcome the darker secrets that are brought to light.
  • Hot Fuzz is this for Buddy Cop movies, and shows the mountains of paperwork the characters would have to go through by the end of the film.
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a Black Comedy which averts, subverts, inverts, defies, parodies, and eventually deconstructs more tropes than it plays straight— and it does it marvelously.
  • Last Action Hero attempts to deconstruct action movies and the characters found within. It falls short, but the effort is there.
  • Natural Born Killers deconstructs the relationship between violence, media sensationalism, the audience's narrative expectations, and a handful of media formats, such as the wacky sitcom style used for Mallory's background, complete with a Laugh Track while her father molests her and various people are messily murdered.
  • Pleasantville deconstructs '50s idealism and its portrayal in media.
  • Woody Allen's The Purple Rose Of Cairo, Deconstructing Harry, Mighty Aphrodite (complete with Greek chorus).
  • Scream (1996) works entirely by having genre-savvy characters pointing out what ought to happen next, and how to avoid it.
  • The entire Spaghetti Western subgenre is one massive Deconstructor Fleet of its supergenre, The Western. The protagonists often shot first - and last - and were only the "good guys" insofar as they were less sadistic than the villains.
    • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly deconstructs not only the morality of Westerns, but the dramatic structure they're built on, stripping it down to the bare minimum.
    • Unforgiven is also a massive deconstruction of the Western genre; Clint Eastwood's deconstruction of his own work, in fact. Eastwood spent most of his career, post-Rawhide, deconstructing the Western, before moving on to more genres as his career progressed.
    • Blazing Saddles also deconstructs the Western, but for comedy. The whole goal of the movie was to highlight how artificial and out-of-date the entire genre was, mostly by taking tropes about "the common clay of the new West" and showing what they'd actually be like. Finally, the movie ends by shattering its fourth wall to bits, the characters spending the entire final act either on a sound stage or in a movie theater.
  • Seven Psychopaths, being about writing a screenplay, frequently discusses and lampshades movie tropes. For example, during a scene where Hans has a gun pointed at him:
    Paulo: Put your hands up!
    Hans: No.
    Paulo: What?
    Hans: I said no.
    Paulo: Why not?
    Hans: Because I don't want to.
    Paulo: (beat) ... but I've got a gun.
    Hans: I don't care.
    Paulo: It doesn't make any sense!
    Hans: (laughs) Too bad.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: The subtitle of this movie could just have easily been The Deconstruction Of Kirk. Most of the core traits associated with Kirk and what their consequences in Real Life would probably be are examined and pulled apart. The adventurer who faces a problem on a weekly basis, solves it and promptly forgets it ever happened is suddenly brought face to face with one of those problems from a decade and a half before, and discovers the consequences of his thoughtlessness can be measured by the body count. The suave lady-killer with a girl in every port discovers that one of his conquests (and it's implied that it's the only one he ever truly loved) has resulted in a son he's never known and who hates him. His tendency to play fast and loose with the rules leads to his ship being crippled and a score of dead cadets, all of which could and should have been avoided by simply raising the shields, and his trait of finding novel solutions to intractable problems ends the life of his best friend and trusted right hand. It also shows what happens when you take the dashing, devil-may-care heroic adventurer, let him get old and put him in a desk job: a full-blown mid-life crisis.
    Bones: Dammit, Jim. Other men have birthdays. Why are we treating yours like a funeral?
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy is a Deconstruction of Batman. Bruce Wayne's vigilantism inspires copycats who do more harm than good, and while it leads to a decline in common crime and the power of organized crime families, it also sets the stage for the emergence of a scarier, crazier breed of criminal. The attempts to honor Harvey Dent's memory and usher in a peace in his name only lead to more draconian laws and suspensions of civil liberties in the name of justice. And, of course, we see just how emotionally and physically damaging being Batman is for Bruce, and just how unhealthy the desire to be a superhero really is.
  • Hardcore Henry gives the First-Person Shooter genre of video games this treatment by showing just what kinds of gambits would have to be going on behind the scenes to produce a typical FPS protagonist and those who they interact with, as well as just how they manage to rack up such high body counts.
  • James Bond:
    • The Pierce Brosnan set of films show a few reality checks on the Bond franchise, namely the fact that he's openly described as "a relic of the Cold War" by the new M in GoldenEye, and rather than having villains who were fairly conventional and stereotypical in motivations, it instead featured villains like Alec Trevelyan, Elektra King and Renard who were more psychologically motivated and even tragic in their own right.
    • The Daniel Craig films show what a lonely and broken man Bond is and has to be in order to do his job. In Skyfall and Spectre, they even start to question whether field agents are still relevant in an era dominated by technology, cyber-espionage and drones.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu takes many Pokémon mythos and gives it a dose of Reality Ensues.
    • In general, Pokemon can be terrifying, not just in appearance but because of what they can do. From Greninja chasing Tim and Pikachu down hurling Water Shurikens to Cubone angrily attacking Tim with his boomerang to Charizard being a dragon, it's clear not all Pokemon are cute and cuddly. Even Aipom can turn vicious when dosed on R.
    • Psyduck's situation of having headaches powerful enough to explode and kill everyone drives the point home that Psychic types are capable of terrible things and if a Pokemon can't control its power, it can accidentally hurt or kill others.
    • A Charizard vs. Pikachu fight is something most players wouldn't think twice about, given how Pikachu has the Electric type advantage. But in reality, it's a little yellow mouse versus a six-foot-tall fire-breathing dragon — Detective Pikachu can't summon his electrical attacks to fight back and cowers in fear.
    • Detective Pikachu is frustrated and lonely that Pokémon Speak doesn't let him communicate with humans properly.
    • Tim's father was absent most of Tim's life, being more involved with his work and Pokemon, and this affected Tim greatly and his more jaded outlook towards Pokemon, something that the games rarely explored where the protagonists' fathers are rarely present.
    • Most people aren't professional pokemon trainers. For society to work, 99% of the pokemon world's populace has normal jobs, like police officer, insurance clerk, or journalism intern.

  • House of Leaves is a literal Deconstruction of the horror genre, in that it is based on the postmodernist philosophy of Deconstructionism. Arguably, it is a deconstruction of literature itself, and with Only Revolutions it's a bit less arguable.
  • Nabokov's Pale Fire deconstructs and mocks literary criticism, cantos poetry, Soviet spy stories, and the narrative structure itself.
  • Voltaire's Candide, a vicious satire of the Tastes Like Diabetes optimism that was so popular at the time.
    • Terry Southern's Candy is a deconstruction of Candide. It's more obvious in the novel than the film.
  • The Canterbury Tales is a meticulous parody of things such as morality plays and chivalric lessons. It is also older than Don Quixote.
    • Especially Chaucer's first story, where he can't decide which stereotypical villain to use—a giant or a Saracen—so he makes the bad guy a giant Saracen.
  • Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear's A Companion to Wolves does this to the Animal Companion genre with their Manly Gay wolf bondmates.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld. It starts out as a fairly straightforward parody of heroic fantasy and evolves into something more complex, subtle, and deconstructive that takes precise aim at nearly everything.
  • Frank Herbert's Dune, which took John Carter of Mars and Lensman and imagined what it would be like if the settings of said space operas (a) obeyed real physical laws, (b) were populated by grown-ups, and (c), were based on/influenced by non-western societies.
    • As he put it "I am showing you the superhero syndrome and your own participation in it."
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh had been The Hero in stories for at least one thousand years before the Epic. The Epic revises those stories and adds new material to make him into The Caligula – and then for good measure it makes the gods (especially Ishtar/Inanna) into Jerkass Gods. The ancient Babylonians were masters of postmodernism. Postmodernism and flaying.
  • Anything by Thomas Pynchon, with Gravity's Rainbow being probably the most famous example.
  • Great Expectations, deconstructing all its author's work up to that point
  • Gulliver's Travels was a satire on... well, everything. From the then-current craze for published accounts of fabulous discoveries in the South Seas (to the point where almost any outlandish or impossible tale of discovery would be avidly devoured), to trends in science, philosophy and politics.
  • Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and its original radio version, TV, video game and movie adaptations, as well. Of course, there's also a literal Deconstructor Fleet—the Vogons.
  • Brandon Sanderson wrote Mistborn: The Original Trilogy as a deconstruction of a number of prominent high fantasy tropes. Word of God indicates that Sanderson was aiming at deconstructing the Evil Overlord, Chosen One prophecies, and The Hero in particular, but there are countless other examples as well.
  • The Princess Bride—Along with its theatrical adaptation, this story is possibly one of the most well-known deconstructions of classic fantasy tropes.
  • The Reynard Cycle is a deconstruction of the Lovable Rogue trope. By the end of the third novel, the rascally Reynard has morphed into a full blown Big Bad. And he did it all for love.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Owing to being mostly inspired by historical fiction, the series is a deconstruction of most of medieval fantasy, and shows what a world is like when those fantasy rules are applied to a bunch of heavily armed and ambitious assholes with a lifetime of privilege who can go about doing whatever they want. A more complete list can be seen here and here. Examples include:
    • The first book in particular has an honorable, law-abiding nobleman and his proper, ladylike daughter who just can't wait to marry the prince and begin popping out kids as the naive newcomers at the Decadent Court. The first one gets a totally undeserved Humiliation Conga where he is forced to confess a treason he didn't really commit, then stripped of his lands and titles, then beheaded with his own sword and has his head put on a pike; while the princess basically gets the ultimate Break the Cutie narrative, ending up as a hostage kept to hold her vengeful family at bay.
    • Tyrion's status as a (filthy rich) human with dwarfism seems a clear jab at the ubiquitous Tolkienian dwarves in the Epic Fantasy genre, even though Martin had already experimented with a similar character in previous books. Even his use of an axe in combat is explained because of his physical limitations making him unable to swing a sword properly. When Tyrion is deprived of his wealth and noble status, he gets much Angst from a Crapsack World that only sees him as a circus freak.
    • Another important life lesson for any form of fantasy can be summed up as "no amount of magic will save you from increasingly poor fiscal policy, as even having a dragon housed in the treasury would hurt far less than annoying the largest financial institution in the wider geopolitical region does". Yes, boys and girls: dragons and their appetites are scary, but a liquidity problem, unattended bubbles or a supply crunch does greater overall damage than even a tactically well-deployed posse of the things.
    • Ditto the "large-scale slave revolts and liberations in record time will equal a global economic slump that will trigger famine, war, pestilence and death: on-the-job learners with good intentions should only apply with great caution and a lot of thought" lesson. Indy Ploy + Slave Liberation = Not Quite the Right Thing.
  • Harry Potter
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire deconstructs White Man's Burden with Hermione's house-elf liberation subplot. She gets called on it by practically everyone. Aside from the inherent hypocrisy of launching a house-elf freedom campaign without so much as asking for their help, she also bases her view of house-elf needs on Dobby — an individual whose views on freedom, payment and clothing are best described as "radically liberal" and whose circumstances which led to said views were abnormal and cruel. She completely misses the point about why house-elves are unhappy — their working conditions, not the work itself or lack of pay, and her guerilla attempts to free the Hogwarts house-elves infuriates them and increases Dobby's workload as he is left the only house-elf willing to work in Gryffindor tower. (Even Dobby recounts that, when given employment, he bargained his salary down, feeling he'd been offered too much.)
    • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix deconstructs the notion of a Kid Hero fighting against a much older Evil Overlord by showing that adults would be much better equipped to fight a large scale war, or at least think they are more competent and shut the kid out. Because of his youth, Harry has trouble dealing with the traumas of war, resulting in a Heroic BSoD that harms his efficacy as a fighter, leading him to lash out in anger and make rash decisions. Subverted as the whole point of the book was a prophecy proclaiming Harry to be The Chosen One destined to stand against Voldemort. This makes Dumbledore, who knew this all along, realize that he was wrong to shut Harry out of the business of fighting Voldemort as it deprives him of the necessary preparation for his eventual encounter. Order additionally deconstructs teen romance. The Harry/Cho pairing has been built up over the previous two books, with Cho giving Harry his first kiss in this book. Unfortunately, due to Harry's inexperience, Cho's over-sensitivity, and the self-involvement of both of them, the relationship falls apart after only one date (an outcome that is Truth in Television in many cases). Of course, given their circumstances, both Harry and Cho have better reasons to be self-involved than most teenagers.
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall realistically and painfully deconstructs All Girls Want Bad Boys and related tropes that feature prominently in works such as Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, written by the author's sisters.
  • Don Quixote not only deconstructs the Chivalric Romance genre, but applies Genre Deconstruction to the next genres: Romance Novel, (May–December Romance, Fille Fatale), the Arcadia, Secret Test of Character, Sweet Polly Oliver, Gentleman Thief literature, the Deadpan Snarker, (and all kind of snarkers). It also has UnbuiltTropes like Straw Fan, Lord Error-Prone, Mad Dreamer, Cut Lex Luthor a Check and Book Burning… and given its status as the first modern novel, it’s full of Postmodernism.
  • Wuthering Heights is a huge deconstruction of the "guy comes back to wreak vengeance on everyone who oppressed him" genre, but most people only remember its romance aspect.
  • Vanity Fair: William Thackeray specializes in deconstructing and satirizing English society.
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn deconstructs, parodies and exposes everything people of the time thought they knew about Antebellum America.
  • Animorphs deconstructs the Kid Hero trope. The Animorphs are a group of kids who Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World, and are facing an enemy who are a dedicated invading army, and in order to fight them, they have to forgo their classes in order to focus on saving the world. Along the way they make some morally questionable choices, and do stuff out of sheer desperation against overwhelming odds. By the end of the books the heroes all suffer from PTSD with their school and social life wrecked.
  • The "Vows and Honor" novels from the Heralds of Valdemar setting by Mercedes Lackey is a deliberate inversion of the classic sword-and-sorcery tropes, and even inversions of some of the more common aversions. The titular duo are indeed a pairing of a barbarian warrior and an aristocratic mage—except that they're both women. Who then, in defiance of the Ho Yay, are respectively celibate due to religious vows and looking for a husband. And the barbarian is actually more well-read on academic topics than the mage. And she's also richer than the mage (she's the heir of all the assets of her vanished tribe, which puts her well up on the mostly-disowned noblewoman from the impoverished family). And while there is a powerful and mystic sword it belongs to the sorceress, not the warrior. And the powerful and exotic intelligent familiar bonded to the warrior, not the sorceress (specifically on the grounds that 'You've already got that sword to look out for you, and she doesn't have anything.') And the barbarian's favorite hobby is babysitting. And while the traditional quest object for a sword-and-sorcery duo is glory, both heroines are actually running away from the one bard actually interested in glorifying their adventures in immortal prose — because he keeps spreading the (false!) impression that they're happy to work for free, when they're actually trying to save up enough cash for a retirement fund. Which by itself is not a usual goal for sword-and-sorcery protagonists. And the list goes on and on.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien does this in "Farmer Giles of Ham", where he gleefully skewers all the When Knighthood Was In Flower, glamorized mediaeval-romantic concepts and folklore, his co-workers on the Oxford English Dictionary and his own career.
  • The Postman gleefully rips the entire genre of post-apocalyptic fiction to shreds through the simple means of making the protagonist an everyman rather than a badass Mad Max-type Anti-Hero and showing what life with marauding hordes and rampant diseases and without modern medicine, food production, industry and communications is really like when you don't have Plot Armor.
  • Worm deconstructs almost the entire superhero genre, especially the idea of Black-and-White Morality in what originally seems to be a generic fight between superheroes and supervillains. The reality is that, while a good percentage of supervillains are jerks, most of them aren't actually evil. Likewise, the heroes often aren't as good as the world sees them. The main character, a girl who wants to be a superhero, is quickly disillusioned with the heroes and decides that she'd rather have villains watching her back, at least partly because they were just nicer to her than the heroes she met, and decides that being seen as a villain herself is an easy price to pay for actually doing the right thing.
    • It also deconstructs Traumatic Superpower Awakening by examining what it's like to live in a world where that is the only way people have superpowers. Superpowers only awaken from trauma bad enough to leave people with major, long-term emotional scars, like PTSD, a loss of ability to feel emotion, or being unable to relate to other humans, and it's later explicitly confirmed that the powers themselves are deliberately made to constantly remind and press on that trauma.
    • Personality Powers are heavily deconstructed by looking at what it actually means for someone to have the type of personality that is reflected in less standard powers. The character with dog-focused powers can no longer relate to humans, as her mind has been rewired with dog social structures, the Flying Brick with Emotion Bomb powers that cause everyone to love or fear her is one of the most arrogant people in the setting, the bug controller main character becomes increasingly good at commanding others at the cost of seeing the world as tools to be used, and a woman who was a Child Soldier has the power of an always on-hand Situational Sword and stuck on permanent high alert completely unable to dream, and unable to sleep without significant effort.
    • Worm was actually written as a deconstruction of the genre by playing it straight. It sets up a classic superhero setting filled with tropes and cliches, such as secret identities, heroes and cops never using lethal force on villains, who escape from the Cardboard Prison, Gadgeteer Genius heroes being the only ones to use their technology rather than spreading them far and wide for the greater good of the whole world, and then showing what kind of setting would be required for that to be the way things are. Secret identities are only allowed to be a thing due to a combination of laws written that make it illegal to out a government Hero and a shaky, not-always-followed truce between heroes and villains alike to not go after each other when not in costume. This is because while they can consider their family and civilian life safe, villains are prepared to hold back, and when that is taken away from them they have nothing left to lose and fights escalate beyond control, thanks to all parahumans being somewhat mentally unstable, and the Hero teams are aware that this is a fight they would lose in the long run due to how badly they are outnumbered. However, since heroes can call in teams from other cities, villains would always lose in the short-term, and no villain gang wants to be the first to break the truce. Heroes and cops refrain from killing villains (and let them break out of Cardboard Prison) because they need them alive to fight against a greater, mutual threat: Endbringers. The Gadgeteer Genius heroes have their power give them knowledge of how to build frighteningly advanced technology, but little knowledge of how to explain or sometimes even understand it, and often in the least effective/efficient manner, which is the reason why no mundane scientists are able to replicate Tinkertech.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The whole point of Adam Ruins Everything is to brutally tear apart whatever the subject of the episode is.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The show blends genres with considerable aplomb, lampshades and plays with all the tropes it can get its grubby little hands on, and put a modernized twist on various stories and myths, not to mention deconstructing The Chosen One.
    • In Season 6, the blond girl doesn't die, even after having sex — she instead turns out to an Action Girl and proceeds to kick vampire butt.
    • Season 6 deconstructs what the show is about. The focus is on the Scoobies' foray into the real world and not the whole saving the world plot and being heroes. Only the bad guys care about that.
    • Season 6 also deconstructs the Foe Yay trope by showing just how dysfunctional such a relationship would be if it were ever consummated.
  • The Colbert Report is all about deconstructing and satirizing the Strawman Political (mostly right-wing, but he's not averse to throwing darts at the Left), and many other Politics Tropes fall as well.
  • Community sinks its teeth into zombies, war-films, westerns, spy films, geekdom, Doctor Who, video-games, Glee, horror...okay, really, anything that's been put into media.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend wrecks every romcom trope and then some. Rebecca thinks she's the heroine of a romantic comedy and falls in love thinking it'll make her life better, but all her rom-com actions blow up in her face and/or have unintended realistic consequences. It also becomes increasingly apparent that her dedication to the idea of Josh is just a side-effect of serious mental issues.
  • Doctor Who has, at various times both deconstructed tropes with wild abandon and later, as a side-effect of Running the Asylum, deconstructed itself and its Fandom.
    • The banally entitled, late '70s story "The Robots of Death" explored the real effects of living in a society with robots as a work force. Wouldn't, for example, Uncanny Valley rear its head?
    • A few years later, writer (later briefly script editor) Douglas Adams had "The Pirate Planet", which explicitly gave the villain some actually specific purpose for his villainy rather than putting it down to some vague "powerlust" or the like.
    • In "The Horns of Nimon", the Doctor's formerly Genre Blind companion notes through word play that the head guys have a "power complex".
    • The new series episode "Midnight" is especially notable. The entire purpose of the episode, except to scare people half to death, is a deconstruction of how people would really react to a weirdo genius knows-too-much alien stranger in a crisis. It...doesn't go well, shall we say.
    • "The Waters of Mars" essentially deconstructs the Doctor himself and the mythology that the series has built around him. It involves the Doctor holding back death, defying the laws of time and space to save innocent lives and rewrite the history books and generally acting up to titles like the 'Lonely God' that the series has often thrown around about him, doing things similar to what he's done before and which would under other circumstances be presented as a Moment of Awesome... except here, the people who would normally amazed, dazzled and charmed by him are freaked out by what he's done and who he is, and his very actions are presented as wrong and indicative of his growing arrogance, indifference and alarming tendencies towards A God Am I Syndrome.
    • Made even more bone-chilling when paired with the revelation of The Forgotten Doctor. The Tenth Doctor was willing to cast aside the mantle of "The Doctor" and become "Time Lord Victorious", and would have if not for Adelaide's suicide. Whatever that man did, he is either what the Tenth would have become if he remained "Time Lord Victorious"... or far, far worse. It was and wasn't. That "lost" incarnation, The War Doctor, was the one who destroyed Gallifrey.
    • "The Waters of Mars" and "Hell Bent" between them explain exactly why the Doctor needs a companion as a Morality Pet. If he does not have one for long enough he becomes just as bad as the villains he faces.
    • Several stories have shown that sometimes the Doctor's arrival does not make everything better and that sometimes it actually gets FAR worse. They are "The Ark", "The Face of Evil", "Bad Wolf / The Parting of the Ways" and "The Woman Who Lived".
    • "A Good Man Goes To War" deconstructs the Doctor's tendency to be The Dreaded to his enemies. It also causes the episodes villains to become so scared that they will do anything to get an advantage. It gets even worse in "The Time of the Doctor" which reveals that they were trying to prevent a second Time War and the Doctor's reputation honestly made them think he would restart it.
    • Part of what distinguishes the new series from the classic series is the former's serious examination of the Doctor's relationships with his Companions, thriving on showing the dark side that the classic series rarely delved into.
      • Rose's portrayal shows what can happen when a Companion becomes so attached to the Doctor that she no longer knows how to function in "normal" life. When she's forcibly separated from the Doctor in "Doomsday", it absolutely devastates her, to the point that she considers herself dead, and believes that her post-Doctor life is meaningless.
      • Sarah Jane's portrayal depicts what happens to a Companion after departing from the TARDIS. In the thirty or so years since, she hasn't been able to reintegrate into normal human society, developed abandonment issues, and spent her free time looking for trouble in order to feel closer to the old days. However, she is reconstructed almost immediately, given closure by the Tenth Doctor and allowed to become a hero in her own right.
      • Martha's portrayal examines the dark side of the Companion's Replacement Goldfish aspect — since, of course, every Companion will always be replaced by a new one as long as the show keeps running. She eventually leaves the Doctor of her own free will because she's tired of living in the shadow of the Doctor's previous Companion, Rose, and feels like she's just a substitute for her.
      • Donna's portrayal shows, once again, the dark side of obsession with the Doctor. After just one brief meeting with the Doctor in "The Runaway Bride", her "normal" life feels completely empty, and she wastes an entire year just waiting to see him again, immediately abandoning her family without a second thought when she runs into him.
      • Amy's portrayal shows the detrimental effects that life with the Doctor can have on mundane human relationships. When she finally becomes a Companion after obsessing over the Doctor since childhood, she very nearly abandons her fiancé to travel with him. Later episodes even introduce a brief Ship Tease, where we're given good reason to believe that the Doctor is the real father of her child. He's not, but Amy ends up losing her baby because of her adventures with the Doctor.
      • Clara's portrayal shows the effects of the power that comes from being the Doctor's Morality Pet — it alternatively horrifies her ("Kill The Moon") or corrupts her ("Flatline"). Sometimes traveling with the Doctor is even treated as an addiction, especially in "Last Christmas". Clara also shows the negatives of becoming more like the Doctor; you begin to lose your humanity and become far more reckless until you endanger your own life. It also makes you a bad Morality Pet, which the Doctor definably needs.
  • Farscape and Firefly did pretty well to deconstruct the Space Opera, contributing to the drastic (and fairly sudden) shift in tone of Space Operas that happened around 2002-3. The shift was so sudden that Star Trek: Enterprise dramatically shifted mid-series, the third and fourth seasons having a considerably darker, serious, and what would later be recognized as more modern tone.
  • Game of Thrones does this for every fantasy trope you can imagine. Good Old Ways? The show repeatedly shows off the flaws of the feudal system. Trial by Combat? It's not about who's right or who's more skilled, it's about who can fight dirtier — as evidenced by the tough knight Bronn throwing his dueling opponent to his death and snarking at the indignant Lysa Arryn when she calls him out. Face Death with Dignity? Burning to death is an extremely painful way to go, and both people who went that way cracked their composure very quickly.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 features movies that embody just about every trope ever thought of, which the riffers relentlessly mock.
  • MythBusters is dedicated not only to busting myths and urban legends, but deconstructing tropes. That said, their method of testing is usually to assume the myth/trope is true and to work from that end, which is why there are quite a few that end up as "plausible" or even "confirmed"—the "busted" ones are the ones they couldn't get to work.
  • Seinfeld, with its observational humor, intersecting plot-lines, non sympathetic protagonists, and the famous Real Time Chinese Restaurant episode kicked off a revolution. Every Sitcom that came afterwards owes something to it (to the point that the original now sadly seems cliche).
  • Supernatural has occasional bouts of ruthless deconstructionism. It rips apart the ideas of perfect heroes, perfect angels, always chaotic evil demons, pretty little headshots, and sometimes, with great aplomb, slashfic, fandoms, and internet trolls. Meta doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • The Wire savagely deconstructs Police Procedurals. It's hard to go back to them afterwards.
    • It goes beyond that — after deconstructing police procedurals, it goes on to deconstruct your perceptions of most of society's important institutions.
    • One of the reasons that Omar Little is such a popular character is that he's essentially a living deconstruction of every Action Hero trope that you've ever seen, yet still manages to be memorably badass in his own way.
      • Instead of being an invincible One-Man Army, he comes out on top because he meticulously plans his every move, and he knows how to exploit fear and intimidation as well as any gangster.
      • While he is a walking paragon of classic masculinity, he's Manly Gay, but defiantly refuses to stay in the closet (despite living in the virulently homophobic inner-city of Baltimore).
      • Instead of being an idealistic crusader, he's a cynical, nihilistic thug who rips off drug dealers for the simple thrill of it, and he receives several well-deserved What the Hell, Hero? speeches from the police, who point out that his violent actions harm the city just as much as the drug war does.
      • Though he tries to wage a one-man war on Baltimore's gangs as a Vigilante Man, his efforts often frustrate the efforts of police officers to stop criminals the old-fashioned way (as seen in Season 1, when he murders Stinkum to avenge his lover Brandon, preventing the police from using Stinkum as a link to Avon).
      • He tries to pull off a classic Roaring Rampage of Revenge exactly twice in the run of the show. Though the first one is successful, the second one ends with him being unceremoniously gunned down by a child, showing that he's just as mortal as everyone else involved in "the game".
      • For all his badassery, he never rises about the level of a minor supporting character—which is notable, since he'd probably be the protagonist in 90% of action thrillers taking place in urban America. The series is quite up-front about that fact that he's just one cog in the social machine that keeps the drug trade afloat, and that few of his actions truly matter in the grand scheme of things.
  • Stargate SG-1 had frequent moments of trope deconstruction. See fan-favorite "Window of Opportunity" for how it deconstructs and lampshades the "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • 24 showed how saving the world is made complicated by politics and personal issues. It also showed just how much something like breaking the laws constantly and fighting terrorists take effect on the people who do it, and how torture just doesn't work when the people being tortured are so devoted to their cause, and how the action disturbs anyone who does it.
  • The Korean dreams First Wives Club deconstructs many Family Tropes as well as Love Tropes and Romance Arcs.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine gradually became one big Deconstruction of Star Trek itself as it went on, bringing to the forefront all the implied-but-never-addressed problems with Gene Roddenberry's universe.
    • The utopian Federation has no effective mechanism for addressing political dissent, how could anyone not be happy in a utopia? Nearly everyone is content, and the ones that aren't are seen as eccentrics or dangerous rebels that threaten the security of the Federation and be hammered back into line. One character remarks that the Federation's goal is just like that of the arch enemy Borg Collective, the difference being that the Federation doesn't invade or attack you, as their goal is to make your species ask to be assimilated by them.
      • Starfleet, the Lawful Good defenders of freedom and enlightenment, got that reputation largely through military superiority, and the introduction of Section 31, the "dirty tricks" department of Starfleet, brought to light the behind-the-scenes moral compromises the organisation has unintentionally made in order to maintain that superiority. Multiple characters face situations that their "Starfleet Officer" morality should force them to take a particular moral path, only to violently swerve away from that path for a more effective, ruthless one. And be happy about it.
      • When faced with an enemy that they were unable to defeat through straightforward tactics, Starfleet turned to war crimes and biological warfare disturbingly fast.
    • The Proud Warrior Race trope was also Deconstructed with the corruption and civil war that plagued the Klingon Empire toward the end: a society based around combat and martial prowess turned to be little more than a society of violent, glory-obsessed thugs who give plenty of lip service to honor and loyalty but will quickly turn on each other to gain an advantage. Ironically, the one Klingon character who best embodied the ideals the Klingons were supposed to live up to wasn't even raised as one.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki deconstructs many common Henshin Hero tropes, the idea of Competitive Balance in a fighting tournament and how easy it is to get around through dirty fighting and that the fight itself is rigged with the host owning a near unstoppable Game-Breaker he can replace if it dies, Mons, which will turn and eat the Rider if not fed, and the commonly used Phlebotinum Rebel in the Kamen Rider franchise because the Big Bad made sure that any attempt to oppose him is doomed to fail.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim deconstructs many tropes. Even ones that don't necessarily belong to the Henshin Hero genre.
    • The first arc deconstructs the Mon genre. The Inves, basically the Mons in this series, aren't automatically loyal to their owner, pose a real threat to anyone nearby should they go berserk and carry The Virus which turns everyone bitten or scratched by them into one of them
    • Kamen Rider Sigurd manages to deconstruct the standard 'Righteous hero defeating Evil Monster' trope with one single line, after killing a crazed Hase, who was turned into an Inves, in cold blood, while clearly enjoying it.
      Sigurd: I just exterminated a monster that attacked people. This is what people call 'justice'.
    • The second and third episode slightly deconstructs the fact that heroes can't be corrupted by their power. After Kouta receives his Rider powers, he starts using them for almost every trivial chore he encounters on his part-time jobs. Hilarity Ensues. In the third episode, it is revealed he used his powers to win money at the Inves Games, causing his sister to call him out on that he is wasting his time with games instead of helping society through jobs.
    • The series also deconstructs the Big Bad trope, in that what first appeared to be the Big Bad, is one of the most moral and well-intentioned characters in the whole show, only rivaled by The Hero himself.
  • Both Teen Wolf and Pretty Little Liars deconstruct other teen shows. Basically, having too much drama in your life for a teenager can be distracting, and lead to personal lives being screwed up. Also, lying to people all the time can do major damage to relationships and reputation. In the former show's case, Stiles and Scott struggle in school from having to rush out and deal with the danger surrounding their things, whatever that means. In the latter's case, the girls not only struggle with school, but dealing with an unknown stalker and their crazy friend Alison had led to them breaking down and succumbing to mental illness, drugs, and alcohol.
  • The Player takes every single element of Action Adventure Series series and puts them through the grinder.
    • The Central Theme is a deconstruction of Vigilante Man series like The Executioner or The Destroyer; the The Player's backers actually have authority over the system any other vigilante would see himself as superior to, and Alex would much rather work within the system as he has personal experience of what working outside the law will do to his psyche. However, his resources are under the control of an Ancient Conspiracy of absurdly rich sociopaths who can't be considered civic-minded by any definition of the term — they're only supporting him to watch him kill people/blow stuff up and roughly half the funding comes from fat cats who hope he'll either fail or die. Mr. Johnson agrees that it would be much better if the technology the Player uses to "fight crime" was part of legitimate law enforcement, but the Gamblers wouldn't find that to be as much fun, and they're the Powers That Be and things would be a lot worse if the Game didn't exist for the Gamblers' amusement. He's able to do so many things because Police Are Useless, but only because they're forcibly Locked Out of the Loop by the House.
    • The gambling themes; the odds that Alex will successfully prevent a given crime are judged as absurdly low, but just about every form of institutionalized gambling ultimately has similar odds of failure.
    • The whole idea of a Oddly Small Organization that pulls a We Help the Helpless routine gets broken down. It's small but effective because it doesn't focus on helping those in need, but only on the crimes that the Pit Boss thinks will amuse the Gamblers. It manages to avoid detection from the authorities not by guile or plot holes, but through blackmail and intimidation. It's well-funded, but also seems to run through personnel rapidly. Alex is only the latest of a long line of quickly dead Players.
    • The idea of Stuffed in the Fridge as a motivation for action heroes. Ginny dies early in the pilot, sending Alex into becoming The Unfettered again. Even when he joins the House, he's still running on anger and a self-destructive pattern. When it's revealed that Ginny's not dead, he gets way more motivated and starts putting his Guile Hero nature to work. Much of the drama and story spins out of the fact that Ginny didn't die like Alex thought.
    • The Ancient Conspiracy. The Game isn't some goal-oriented scheme by visionaries or Knight Templar, but just something a bunch of bored rich sociopaths do because Evil Is Petty. Rather than being all powerful and foreseeing things, the Gamblers are powerful, but can't control every action. Case in point: Their early Bets spiraled out of control into World War One and necessitating the creation of the House. And since the Gamblers are in multiple generations, different views on the Game exist, even in families (as Zeing and his uncle demonstrate). The Council has control, but still doesn't have unlimited power. Why? Even the Gamblers still have lives outside of the Game; Zeing has his Triad shipping business, Lettis his judicial job. And they can't just go ordering people around outside of their jurisdiction. The entire reason the Ancient Conspiracy seems to even still exist at this point is because of money, and because the Game is so narrowly focused that it doesn't consume the Gamblers' lives or have a larger goal.
  • The reality series Canada's Worst Driver is this trope on wheels. Literally. The series slaps on a healthy amount of Reality Ensues by tackling all the excuses and reasons for bad driving by showing how dangerous it is to be a dangerous driver.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019): The series deconstructs numerous tropes associated with the comic/superhero genre, such as the Super Family Team actually being a dysfunctional group of adopted siblings who were all forced into the role and resent it either openly or secretly, the Mentor Archetype and Team Dad being a distant and aloof figure whose cryptic lessons, motivational lies, and Sink-or-Swim Mentor attitude really did more harm than good, abilities such as Compelling Voice (Allison uses it for selfish ends and creates chaos in her personal life because of it), I See Dead People (Klaus is traumatized by his visions and uses drugs to cope), and Psychoactive Powers (Vanya was sedated and made to forget her powers as she was too emotionally unpredictable and dangerous as a little girl), going back into the past to Set Right What Once Went Wrong (Five ends up screwing over several chances to avoid the apocalypse altogether through his own Time Travel interference) and characters becoming a supervillain because of a Freudian Excuse (both Jenkins and Vanya, while having experienced bad childhoods, are portrayed as flawed people whose unhealthy obsession with their past causes them to take it out on innocent people). Because of all the Umbrella Academy's issues and misunderstandings, they even fail to Save the World, although they plan on trying again.

    Video Games 
  • Spec Ops: The Line. It sets itself up as a generic Modern Warfare clone, starting with you being part of the search team, but starting in the second act, it shows its true colors as a deconstruction of more than just modern shooters, but of moral choices systems, But Thou Must!, One-Man Army, and ultimately, escapist power-fantasy video games.
    John Konrad: You're here because you wanted to feel like something you're not: a hero.
    • While it's at it, it reserves some pretty harsh criticism for American interventionist foreign policy, though the developers argue that people tend to overstate this aspect. Mostly, they wanted to deconstruct the military shooter genre.
  • Taro Yoko is known for this in his games, savagely parodying, lampshading, subverting, and mocking tons of familiar JRPG and anime conventions.
    • Drakengard deconstructs action Role Playing Games, Multiple Endings, and Dark Fantasy in general. In particular, it's infamous for its multiple endings which became progressively more difficult to unlock while simultaneously becoming more bizarre, depressing and surreal, culminating in an elaborate Gainax Joke Ending. It also does this to the Hack and Slash genre by highlighting the One-Man Army usage of the genre; a person who can slaughter an entire army by himself is obviously not someone right in the head, and Caim is shown to be a deranged Blood Knight who barely counts as a "hero", if not for the fact that what he is fighting against is far worse than him.
    • NieR heavily deconstructs the concepts of heroism through Protagonist-Centered Morality. No matter how much Nier thinks he's a hero and is doing the right thing, the situation is never as simple as "kill the bad guys and save your sister/daughter". The concept of New Game+ is also hit with it, which is used as a medium to expand the narrative as the player gains the ability to see more of the games story that they couldn't originally, turning what looked like a clear good vs evil story into a muddy case of two groups being right and wrong at the same time.
    • NieR: Automata does much the same thing as the original game, and adds one of the most comprehensive deconstructions of Do Androids Dream? in fiction to the mix.
  • Alan Wake is basically the House of Leaves of video games. It takes as many meta tropes as it can, such as Through the Eyes of Madness, All Just a Dream, Dead All Along, and Transfictionality and takes them apart with every plot twist, so that the player is left guessing which is true until the very end of the game.
  • The Bard's Tale takes cheery jabs at fantasy games and RPGs, especially the idea of The Chosen One. It turns out there are multiple "Chosen Ones" — because when you tell a young farm boy he's destined to defeat evil and hand him a crappy sword, he tends to rush into the fray and die instantly.
  • BioShock, using Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged as a jumping off point, explores its various concepts while deconstructing Rand's philosophy, First Person Shooters, and the tropes common to early 20th century fiction.
    • The antagonist of the first game, Andrew Ryan, deconstructs the idea of the Übermensch, showing how such a person would be, at best, a Well-Intentioned Extremist, and at worst hypocritical and dogmatic. Ryan is himself a composite of John Galt (the hero of Atlas Shrugged), the industrial plutocrats of the time, and Ayn Rand herself. At the same time, Frank Fontaine, the real Big Bad of the first game, takes the archetypal Randian villain — a man who leeches off of others to get ahead and in turn supports those who leech off of others — and turns him around into the embodiment of the criticisms of Objectivism. He's out purely for his own rational self-interest, and if that means destroying the life's work of the man who tried to destroy his, all the better.
    • ADAM is a deconstruction of both superpowers and Mundane Utility. The frivolous uses of the substance for plastic surgery, sports, and other mundane purposes left people hopelessly addicted, repulsively disfigured by genetic disorders, and irrevocably insane, thus creating the Splicers that function as the main enemies of the game. The only characters in the game who haven't ended up this way are people who didn't splice (Ryan, Lamb, Tenenbaum, and Holloway), spliced in moderation (Atlas, Sinclair, Poole, Langford, and Fontaine prior to the final boss battle), or possessed a natural immunity (The Big Sisters, Eleanor, and apparently the protagonists), or are dead.
    • The twist of the first game deconstructs Mission Control, showing how FPS = But Thou Must! in most cases.
    • The first game also deconstructs the plot of Atlas Shrugged, which ends with the iconoclastic society of Objectivist outcasts thriving while the 'mundane' mainstream society completely falls apart. In Bioshock, the self-interested and ruthless nature of the Objectivist outcasts eventually leads to them all tearing their society apart, while mainstream society continues on apparently without even noticing that they've gone.
    • Meanwhile, Sofia Lamb, the antagonist of the second game, deconstructs the notion that "the needs of the many outweighs the needs of the few" and what happens when a single individual starts claiming to speak on the behalf of everyone else. Unlike Andrew Ryan, who prized individualism above anything else, Sofia is an extreme collectivist who believed that the notion of free will itself is something evil that needs to be destroyed or contained at all costs, and that this is the only to save humanity from itself. She is willing to sacrifice everything and everyone at her disposal (including her own daughter) in order to save humanity from the "evils" of free will and self-awareness.
    • Bioshock Infinite deconstructs the nature of linear video games upon its ending, stating that there are constants and variables in the narrative, alluding to the gameplay (and programming) itself).
  • Cannon Fodder, which takes the Military and Warfare Tropes page and systematically tears it to pieces.
  • Dragon Age: Origins is a gleeful deconstruction of just about every trope listed on the Standard Fantasy Setting page. Dragon Age II, meanwhile, is ultimately an unintentional deconstruction of Western RPGs as a whole. There is no single Big Bad to pin the central conflict on, nor is there a third option when the time comes to pick a side. In fact the conflict is sparked by the instigator specifically eliminating all chance of a third option. Hawke is less interested in saving the world than simply trying to keep his or her family safe and together, possibly making Hawke one of the most relatable protagonists in video game because of the need to deal with real person problems, but unfortunately the plot has other ideas.
  • Final Fantasy, starting from roughly VI on, has been subtly doing this, poking holes in the concepts of The Chosen One, the characters' dependency on Green Rocks or phlebotinum to solve their problems, cheerful heroes, sullen heroes, Heroic Sacrifices, and so on, all while diving deeply into Genre-Busting waters. Final Fantasy VII is perhaps the most extreme example.
    • Final Fantasy XIII's entire plot and world seems to be a deconstruction of Final Fantasy itself, particularly how much it would suck to be taken out of your life and given a quest and magical abilities by powerful entities. Indeed, the characters themselves seem to be deconstructions of typical FF characters. For instance, the sullen loner isn't depressed, just quiet, ditches people who become burdensome and shirks leadership. The charismatic and headstrong leader has no idea what he's doing and gets people killed with his idealism. The cheerful ditzy girl is really just hiding how suicidal depressed she is, and so on.
    • Final Fantasy XIV deconstructs The Chosen One trope in almost every expansion in some way. The Warrior of Light has a rare ability that makes them important to the safety of the land. However, this means the Warrior of Light is also pushed into conflicts because nobody else can do what they can, meaning that they become something of a Crutch Character even if they don't like it. The Dark Knight quest line shows that the Warrior of Light, for all the good they do, doesn't exactly like always being relied on by people, and shows how difficult being basically the only hope for the world. Also, the concept of The Psycho Rangers? They were also Warriors of Light, but they did everything right in their world, and caused a flood of light to ruin their world, and their only hope lies in killing you to bring balance across the various worlds.
  • Metal Gear as a whole is known for this:
  • No More Heroes rips into To Be a Master and Gotta Kill Em All plots, showing just what kind of sick, twisted world an equally sick protagonist would actually want to participate in.
  • Planescape: Torment takes aspects of Dungeons and Dragons, such as character alignment, and drags them out to their logical extremes (a trend already started in Planescape sourcebooks). The characters and plot are deliberate aversions of clichés found in most typical fantasy games.
    • Respawning is turned into the crux of the plot: the player character cannot die and the quest is to find out why.
    • There's even an optional dungeon that's the bare essence of RPG dungeon crawling, complete with enemies that explicitly attack you for no reason.
  • Kreia from Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords lambasts many facets of the Star Wars universe, especially its Black-and-White Morality and deferring to the Force. She tells the player character that altruism can cheapen the efforts of others, that the Jedi Order is not infallible, and that the Force manipulates its users for constant conflict.
    • On top of bringing moral nuances into Star Wars, the game also darkly subverts many tropes of role-playing games, such as when leveling up from helping or killing people along the way is acknowledged diegetically.
  • Shin Megami Tensei — Long before Shadow Star did, they had already deconstructed the sheer horror of a world populated by Mons while also being the Trope Maker.
  • The biggest appeal of games in the Tales Series is the fact that they glue as many cliches together in the first few hours and then deconstruct them so much that on many occasions sections of the fanbase think that the Big Bad is the real hero. Some specific examples:
    • Tales of Phantasia started the trend. While tame now, back in the day the revelation that the main villain was after a completely understandable, totally reasonable goal—which unfortunately could only be achieved through rather amoral means—was a huge twist.
    • Tales of Symphonia grew famous for being a Deconstructor Fleet; it savagely tears into the concept of The Chosen One as well as the Idiot Hero; Fantastic Racism, while not necessarily "deconstructed", receives a lot of examination. The concept of a Determinator also gets deconstructed, as it's the Big Bad's primary flaw. A lot of effort is put into examining sacrifices and what it means for a person to be a sacrifice. The Chosen One Colette can also be seen as a deconstruction of Purity Sues. She's the daughter of the angel (actually not; everyone just assumed she was, and the angel guiding her just decided to latch onto that to better control her), loved by everyone (until she decides she wants to live instead of sacrificing herself for the sake of the world, causing all of Sylvarant to turn on her) and is kind and selfless to a fault (her attempts at hiding the horrible things her Cruxis Crystal is doing to her body for fear of making everyone worry just makes things worse for herself, and makes the party (especially Lloyd) suffer even more when they do find out.)
    • The sequel, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, deconstructs Protagonist-Centered Morality and the concept of Hero of Another Story by showing how the protagonists of the first game's actions resulted in drastic changes to the world, and the consequences that come from deciding to change the world on their own terms. For example, the heroes merged the two worlds together to save them, but making such a drastic change caused two worlds to collide that were barely aware of each other's existence, resulting in a new feud between the people of both worlds. Another example occurs early on when Martha meets Colette, and proceeds to rip into her about letting her hometown be destroyed back in the first game since it was Colette's job to help people. The game shows on a whole how just because you're the protagonist of your game, the world is still going to react to the things you do, and making changes that affect the entire world will have ramifications.
    • Tales of the Abyss so totally shatters the notion of prophecy, and the implications future-telling could have on people, both on a societal and individual level. It examines a lot of Cloning tropes as well. Also, while neither are explicitly the good guys or the bad guys, the kingdom is more warlike and causes a lot more trouble than The Empire does, and has much more blood on its hands in the backstory. The game also deconstructs the concept of the Amnesiac Hero. Luke isn't actually an amnesiac. He's a clone. The reason he can't remember anything before his seventh birthday is because he didn't exist yet.
    • Tales of Vesperia takes aim at Protagonist-Centered Morality, especially through the concepts of the Anti-Hero and Vigilante Man. Is a hero who makes decisions without considering the opinions of those whose lives he changes — whether it be ten people or ten million — really a hero? Furthermore, what gives the right for a person to use the concept of justice as a justification for their actions, and when does it became a case of Motive Decay or Knight Templar?
    • Tales of Graces takes aim at the I Will Wait for You trope, showing the realistic consequences of the trope where Cheria waited seven years for Asbel to return. It also takes what can only be described as a Take That! to Final Fantasy's Omnicidal Maniacs, by featuring a Big Bad who is a rather blatant Expy of Jenova and Seymour (that is, said villain wants to destroy the world through global warming because it's full of pain and suffering) by showing how utterly pointless destruction of all living things is, since nobody — not even the instigator of the said apocalypse — can benefit from it.
    • Tales of Xillia took the Undying Loyalty trope and deconstructed it, showing how wrong one can appear by focusing so much and turning a blind eye to one's actions. There's also Muzét, whose undying loyalty towards the Lord of Spirits, is presented as a huge flaw. When her loyalty is repayed with nothing but scorn, she goes against Maxwell, her creator, and decides to follow Gaius now. Milla could also be seen as a deconstruction of the Determinator trope. Milla is always focused on her mission and barely cares about anything else, except to get closer to her goal. Her determination is so strong, that she still decides to keep going when her legs become paralyzed and eventually decides to commit a Heroic Sacrifice, simply because it would serve her goal and fulfill the idealized view of her as the Lord of Spirits.
    • Tales of Xillia 2 takes aim at the Expendable Alternate Universe trope. At first it seems pretty standard, with the player righting what went wrong and restoring the real universe. Then an alternate version of Milla, the previous game's heroine, is accidentally brought to the prime dimension. The entire point of her character arc is that she is just as real as the Milla the player and the rest of the returning cast knows from Tales of Xillia, something even the original cast has varying degrees of difficulty with. In the end, she sacrifices herself or is sacrificed to bring back the Prime Milla. While the rest of the cast is celebrating Prime Milla's return, Elle is heartbroken over Alternate Milla's death and lashes out, because from her perspective, Alternate Milla was the real one and Prime Milla is the fake. All of this is used to set up The Reveal, that Elle herself is from an alternate dimension, and ends up resigned to dying so her "real" self can be born later.
    • Tales of Zestiria takes on the Messianic Archetype and the Incorruptible Pure Pureness tropes and demonstrates just how hard keeping such a purity would be, and how it is practically impossible to save everybody. The game is littered with examples of would-be Messiahs and religious fanatics who, while acting entirely with good intentions (at least, at first), end up causing way more harm than good. The game also confronts Take a Third Option at multiple points, as there may not be a magic third option that solves everything neatly, and the search for the third option may instead simply be an attempt to escape from having to make a difficult decision. Not to mention its rather meta take on Broken Bridge. You CAN go right up and face the Big Bad much, much earlier than you're supposed to story-wise, but doing so grants you the Bad Ending since you aren't aware yet that he isn't the real source of the problem.
    • Tales of Berseria is the prequel to Zestiria. Naturally, this is one of those games wherein your villain is actually a Villain with Good Publicity and the player character goes down in history as the Lord of Calamity — which was the title given to Heldalf in Zestiria. It also acts as an Internal Deconstruction of many of Zestiria's features. After Zestiria left a feeling of how great it would be to get rid of Malevolance, Berseria shows exactly what that would look like, and the results are not pretty. Armatization, the holy ability that marks the Shepherd, was developed by the villains for the purpose of enslaving the spiritual beings the world worships.
  • The premise and plot of Penumbra and Amnesia: The Dark Descent sound like complete Cliche Storms of various horror story tropes, but they actually make mincemeat of them by toying with the player on every occasion and subverting the hell out of every horror trope known to man.
  • Thief cheerfully tears apart every stereotypical "thieves' guild"-related trope remembered from Dungeons & Dragons and also likes to play around with the various factions and creatures inhabiting its Low Fantasy setting. Consider, for instance, that a thieves' guild would be made up exclusively of criminals. Criminals do not obey rules. Of course they're all going to be trying to rip off their fellow thieves! There's a reason Garrett works independent.
  • Would you believe if someone told you that some installments of Touhou are Deconstructor Fleet? Let us observe...
  • Yggdra Union pretends to be nice, cutesy, and safely within the range of standard medieval fantasy plots for a little while. Then it rips its mask off and awesomefaces whilst tearing many common plot devices—along with the tried-and-true methods of the Turn-Based Strategy genre—into tiny little bits as it goes. It's been four years since the franchise was launched, and we're still not a hundred percent sure about who the main character is supposed to be.
  • The Tellius duology does this to Fire Emblem. Setting and Backstory aside, Path of Radiance pretty much starts off as a Cliché Storm for Fire Emblem games. However, it starts to play with the tropes before the game's over — such as the Nyna/Guinevere figure donning battle armour and joining the fight herself. Radiant Dawn starts off as a deconstruction of the events of Path of Radiance, showing that Begnion is Not So Different in treating their newly acquired country well; and that even Crimea, whose victory in the Mad King War went like a fairy tale for them, was again Not So Different. The country was united during the Mad King War against a common enemy, yet when that was over, things went back to normal with nobles and senators squabbling for power, beginning to doubt whether or not their new queen was truly fit to rule. As put by a Let's Play, Part 2 serves as a very nice deconstruction to the series, showing the realistic consequences of the rightful heir to the throne being kept unknown from the public and emerging to help guide the country during its time of need. Both games also examine the implications of a ruler with a 100% Adoration Rating, specifically what happens when such a ruler is suddenly removed. The moment the people of Begnion had someone to blame for their beloved Empress' death, it ended with the genocide of a race of entirely innocent pacifists.
  • The above two were preceded by Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, which went along to deconstruct common character tropes of the series.
    • Lord Sigurd mobilizes a campaign to rescue his friend Adean, who was abducted by the prince of a neighboring country. With the king and all but one prince dead, the neighboring country is unstable, and promptly annexed by Sigurd's country, causing a lot of political unrest throughout the continent.
    • Prince Leif, the Lord character, leads a rebellion to liberate his country from an oppressive empire. He also starts out with no money, and has to resort to underhanded tactics like stealing from enemies. When he gets arrested, his army practically disbands and he has to find them again. While he succeeds in taking back his capital, the rest of the empire has more than enough troops to throw at him, and he is bailed out by unexpected reinforcements from his cousin's larger and better-funded army.
    • Lifis is a deconstruction of the Julian archetype. His introduction is meant to parallel Julian and Lena's romance, where Julian rescues Lena and guides her to Marth's army, except he tells his minions that he's lying to get into her pants. He is only in Leif's army because he'd be hanged otherwise, and is an all-around scumbag who is kept because he's useful.
  • Runescape often has a few parodies in its many quests, but special mention goes to ANY quest written by Mod Ash. Love Story, for example, is a quest where the Big Bad is a lady who hates adventurers who go around doing quests. It turns out she's the deranged ex girlfriend of the guy who's helping you with the quest. A recent quest by Mod Ash has you creating a Cliché Storm quest for a spoiled rich kid, because his dad thinks it will build character. Phillipe rolls his eyes the whole time. This particular quest turns into a Reconstruction at one point: to create final enemies for Phillipe, you disguise some cave wolf pups as dragons. As he easily kills them, the mother attacks, and Phillipe gets a chance to really earn some self respect. Then it turns out the lady who had helped train you back when you started the game had planted the wolf there for that very purpose, saying that you would have saved Phillipe if it got too out of hand.
  • The Stanley Parable is a deconstruction of several videogame tropes, but it also gets in meaningful analysis of the nature of choice and freedom itself.
  • MadWorld. While the game itself encourages and makes a mechanic of killing people in horrific and creative ways, this is all under the pretense that you're being filmed for a TV show for the rich and corrupt. Actual cutscenes that move the story are much darker and usually revolve around the cast talking about just how horrible the events of the Death Watch games actually are. You could even see the end of the game as Jack's killing of Leo as the writer killing the player for enjoying such a perverse game.
  • It may be more of a deconstruction unit than fleet, but Anarchy Reigns does deconstruct a few tropes, not as many as MadWorld. It deconstructs Lawful Neutral / lawful by Nikolai, one of the more "lawful" people in the game, a horrid Knight Templar who believes that anything that isn't his view of "law" has to go. You have Anti-Hero, where as Jack is simply doing his job, but his past as a killer and his anger at his adopted daughter's death nearly drive him him to the murder of the person he's trying to track down until he is forcibly prevented from committing said murder at the last second. Then Leo, who disobeys his orders and attacks Nikolai before his true colors are shown, also gets in on that a bit. The backstory plays with a few tropes in a more negative light, showing characters who are acting for the greater good, but don't necessarily come off as doing the right thing until the very end of the game. Again, not as many as before, but it does put some focus on a few.
  • Last Scenario could practically be considered a western Tales game (including the turning of the entire story on its head at the halfway point). The Chosen One isn't chosen at all, other than in the sense that the villains found him to be easy to manipulate because of his overly-idealistic nature. The great hero from ancient times who saved the world from demons is all propaganda; in reality, the demons were a race of elf-like people the hero was supposed to exterminate, but ended up siding with. There's an evil kingdom and a good empire (at least, once the corrupt elements are cleaned out), and battles against both are done with a combination of political intrigue and massive military operations instead of just a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits taking care of everything (though they're still at the forefront of most of the battles).
  • Antichamber goes far out of its way to defy common sense and never behaves like you would expect. That is, until you get used to all the bizarre twists and it decides to throw a perfectly normal puzzle in front of you. Unless it isn't.
  • The storyline of the DonPachi series as a deconstruction of many typical shoot-em-up plots.
    • DonPachi How do we create a One-Man Army capable of destroying ememy fleets? Make our recruits destroy our own fleets.
    • Daifukkatsu could also be this for the whole concept of a fanservice Robot Girl.
    • SaiDaiOuJou: Robot Girls? Let's try to make them out of the population of an entire city and see what happens! Meanwhile, the Pilot himself is a deconstruction of the Excuse Plot and a Take That, Audience!—not caring about the damage he causes so long as he carries out his orders.
  • Darkest Dungeon demonstrates the sheer, psychosis-inducing stress and terror that regular shmucks fresh off of the carriage would feel going down into nightmarish ruins for the sake of glory and treasure. Just because you go in with a full party doesn't mean they'll come back out in sound body or mind. Or that you'll finish it with a clear conscience.
  • STALKER deconstructs dozens of common FPS tropes. Remember those other FPSes where you had limitless supplies of ammo which took up no room in your magic bottomless bag? No. Remember those games where the people not shooting you spoke the same language as you? Нет. Remember those games where there'd be some guy who would helpfully fill you in on the boss' weak point before you fought him? Nein. Remember those games where you didn't have to eat, where being injured was just a reason to be slightly more cautious, and you could heal by simply walking away and waiting for a bit? Non. Remember those games where you could take thousands of bullets without a sweat? Ні. This is what the end of the world really looks like, and this game wants you dead.
    • It also deconstructs post-apocalyptic video games (and many After the End stories/literature in the process). The Zone doesn't take up the entire world; the rest of the world outside the Zone goes on, and are actually exploiting the Zone for resources. Weapons are unashamedly realistic and all of them are given an explanation as to why they can be found in the game world. The game world — much like the real Chernobyl Zone of Alienation that it was directly based on — is not ruined, but simply deserted and slowly crumbling. The story also ends up averting the more "fantastical" elements of games like Fallout or the Metro series, as the anomalies aren't really magical as much as they're just... scientifically strange.
  • Undertale is a gigantic deconstruction of RPGs in general, as well as Moral Choice systems, and the game really, really lets you know it.
    • Anyone who approaches it with the same sort of mentality of your average RPG will result in the game utterly berating you for your actions, calling you a monster, especially if you kill the final boss in the demo conventionally. Most people will do a second run / a save reload after they see what they have done, and try to put right what they did wrong. The game knows you did this, and will mock you accordingly, talking about your use of save points to rewrite reality. Even if you take the completely pacifist approach, the demo ends with a certain character asking you how long you will keep up the much-trickier act of peacefulness, wondering when your frustration will overcome you.
    • The full-game also delves into the concept of the Determinator, presenting the player with a character so filled with raw determination that they can come back from the dead via save points, and eventually just get right back up where they stand if killed. It also shows how utterly terrifying someone with overwhelming determination and little else can be, especially when combined with a complete lack of compassion and love (i.e., a player murdering everyone and everything in the game, just to see what happens). It also shows the consequences of seeking 100% Completion in a game that's as meta as Undertale is. Either you get the True Pacifist ending and everyone lives happily ever after, only for the player to cruelly reset everything to start killing everything that moves for the Genocide ending (even the Big Bad calls you out for doing the exact same thing he was doing by jumping in to constantly deny you your happy ending), or they murder everyone first, and then reset everything to go for the True Pacifist ending...only to realize that, by achieving the Genocide ending, they gave the First Child everything they wanted, including the player's soul, irreparably tainting the entire game and ensuring that the player will never be able to save everyone, because the First Child will kill them all every time the game ends.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura deconstructs two settings at once:
    • Steampunk: The game very accurately points out the nastier sides of the Victorian era. All of society is underpinned by racism, sexism and misogyny (try playing as a half-orc). Factories are hideously unsafe places to work, and the workers toil away in poverty and drudgery with no rights; it's very common for striking workers to be shot in the streets too. Eugenics is a very popular science — there's a really uncomfortable book that suggests solving the Orcish Question by removing a "malignant gland", and this has nothing on the horror of the half-ogre breeding program, which also has parallels with antisemitic conspiracy theories common at the time.
    • Standard Fantasy Setting: Elves are not always better than other races, they certainly aren't always wiser, and they're often jerkasses about it to boot. Good men can wreck the world with the best of intentions while someone who is unquestionably evil can still be right once in a while. The traditionalist kingdom with armies of Magic Knights loses badly in a war with the industrialised kingdom which uses rifle-toting peasant levies. Wandering adventurers raiding old ruins for treasure are basically treated as a joke (and get abuse heaped on them by archaeologists, who hate it when they mess up potential dig sites), and old heroes who travelled the world righting wrongs eventually started a war because they disagreed about what was the right and wrong thing to do and turned on each other.
  • The Baldur's Gate-games gleefully rip apart most fantasy clichés, especially when it comes to characters. To wit:
    • Among Playable Characters:
      • Imoen is a Tag Along Kid who insists on sneaking along her older sibling's quest. By the end of the second game, Imoen has been through hell (possibly literally), been captured twice by two separate groups with unsavory agendas, tortured, had her soul ripped out, and generally been through every Break the Cutie moment available. Well, what did you think was going to happen when The Cutie hares off on an adventure?
      • Anomen is a Knight in Shining Armor and paladin (sort of)… who is also an arrogant, judgemental prick and more than willing to cave in the skulls of anything that makes "Detect Evil" go "ping" without hearing them out and pads his stories of his exploits.
      • Keldorn is another Knight in Shining Armor who, while not as big a jerk as Anomen, definitely has his moments. He also has a wife who cheats on him and a daughter who resents him because... well, he's a Paladin who spends the bulk of his time far away from home fighting monsters and righting wrongs. That's what happens when you aren't there for your family.
      • Valygar is a typical Byronic Hero whose family has a Dark and Troubled Past. However, Valygar doesn't get to brood, but gets forced into actually resolving the family tragedy. Also, his brooding and tendency to rebuff the people who try to get close to him does not make him a Chick Magnet, but The Aloner, and also amusingly Mistaken for Gay.
      • Mazzy is a noble and brave fighter, who struggles to be taken seriously because she is a halfling and about four feet tall. She also wanted to be a paladin, but ran smack into racism (and the AD&D 2nd.ed. rules) that says only humans can be paladins.
      • Montaron is a deliberate subversion of good-aligned, happy-go-lucky halfling rogues, being a Neutral Evil blood-crazed throat-slitter... as one would expect from a rogue working for an evil-aligned group.
      • Shar-Teel deconstructs parts of Feminist Fantasy, showing that while she does have a legitimate grievance against the men who abused her, her crusade of vengeance against all men makes her just as insane and evil as her abusers.
      • Skie is a Rebellious Princess who ran off with her dashing rogue Eldoth. The only problem is that Skie is woefully naïve and has no experience with romance or the real world, while Eldoth is a rampantly misogynistic Gold Digger who treats her like dirt.
      • Khalid is another warrior type, and one of the game's premier tanks. However, he is not the outgoing, assertive figure you might expect. Rather, he is a Happily Married Henpecked Husband whose social skills are hampered by a severe stutter, and is more than happy to let his wife Jaheira run his life.
      • Speaking of Jaheira… she is an elvish noblewoman who was taken in by a group of druids after her family was ruined by rivals. Sounds like a recipe for a Granola Girl, right? Wrong. You don't shed your upbringing just like that. Jaheira is a passionate Boisterous Bruiser, who still maintains the fighting skills she was expected to learn as a noble.
      • Jan Jansen is a typical comic relief character whose tendency to go off on long, only tangentially relevant rambles are a source of amusement and exasperation to players and party members alike. Let's just say that there's a reason he acts like he does, and not a pleasant one.
      • Nalia is another Rebellious Princess type, who has devoted her life to helping the poor and downtrodden... who see her as an out-of-touch rich girl and a tourist in society's underbelly who doesn't understand life there, a description which is pretty much on the money. Her rejection of her family has also made her woefully underequipped to deal with the responsibilities of a noble, and (barring some very specific circumstances) she will lose her family's lands and castle to a rival family who are better at playing politics.
      • Tiax is an Ax-Crazy cleric of Cyric who can actually join the party in the first game. In the second game, you can find him in an asylum for insane magic users. It turns out letting a death-worshipping madman with enough magic power to level a city walk the streets is a bad idea. Who'd have thought?
      • Aerie. A professional Cutie White Magician Girl with a tragic backstory involving kidnapping, enslavement and the loss of her wings will be a Morality Pet and everyone's baby, right? No. Aerie is, given the Dysfunction Junction your party can be, likely the least traumatized member, and the others aren't shy about telling her to put a sock in it, stop Wangsting about her precious wings and start pulling her weight.
      • There is also Aerie's relationship with Haer'Dalis. What happens when a Lawful Good White Magician Girl loves a Chaotic Neutral fatalist (Haer'Dalis is a member of the Doomguard, a faction who treat entropy as the only constant in the world, and consider all destruction inevitable)? Tears and recrimination, that's what. Aerie is originally drawn in by Haer'Dalis because All Girls Want Bad Boys, but is repulsed by what she sees as callousness, and tearfully ends their relationship. Haer'Dalis, being a firm believer in everything's inevitable end, doesn't even care.
      • Coran is another deconstruction of the Lovable Rogue, whose penchant for casual sex in a world without reliable birth control comes back to bite him on the ass at every turn.
      • Garrick is a typical Spoony Bard. He labors under the belief that he is awesome because he is a bard, that all women are powerless before his charms, and that all his employers are fundamentally decent people. He is spectacularly wrong on all counts.
      • Korgan is a takedown of hack-and-slash protagonists. His entire reason for existing is fighting, earning gold and then spending said gold on ale, before fighting some more. Korgan is an examination of exactly what kind of anti-social psychopath is drawn to this lifestyle.
    • Non-player characters.
      • Galvarey, the leader of the Harpers in Athkatla, is a deconstruction of Character Alignment. Galvarey is nominally Good-aligned, but will go through all manner of manipulative and outright evil behaviour to get at the player character, whom he believes is evil because they are the scion of an evil god, regardless of what your character's reputation and character alignment actually are.
      • Sarevok takes every stereotype of Chaotic Evil villains and throws them all in the trash. Rather than a havoc-wreaking engine of destruction, he is a calm, deliberate master manipulator who plays the political landscape of a continent like a fiddle for his own gain, and when the player starts messing things up he fingers his foster father as the mastermind behind his plots. It is actually quite astonishing that the party manage to win, all things considered.
      • Jon Irenicus is everything power-mad sorcerers are not supposed to be; calm, soft-spoken, deliberate and close-mouthed. He is the epitome of No-Nonsense Nemesis, even telling the player that they won't get any "villain's exposition" out of him. He is also a deconstruction of Love Redeems: As he tells Ellesime, after the subject of your affections literally rips your soul out, there is no love to be felt, and nothing to feel any love anyway.
    • Quests and events
      • In the first game, you can meet a ranger who asks if you've come to hunt ankhegs. Typical monster eradication quest, like in every RPG ever? Wrong. The ranger gives your party a bag limit of five total. Ankhegs are an important apex predator as well as an integral part of maintaining the integrity of the local topsoil, and the ranger wants a cull, not an extermination, in order to keep the ecosystem in balance.
      • When confronting Sarevok in Baldur's Gate for the first time, it ends with your party being thrown in jail. Because of course it does. You called out one of the city's leading figures, a respected merchant prince well on the way to becoming one of the four Grand Dukes, and accused him of orchestrating a continent-spanning trade war, with no concrete evidence beyond a few crumpled letters that may not even have been written by the man. What did you think was going to happen?

    Visual Novels 
  • Higurashi: When They CrySlice of Life, One dark secret (caused by a Hate Plague) and everything will get worse, far worse. There is one Downer Ending that is caused if you ignore the dark secrets to get life back to normal.
  • Umineko: When They Cry deconstructs the mystery genre in general and the fantasy genre, since it's implied later in the series that the magical beings aren't actually real, as well as tropes like Incorruptible Pure Pureness, The Power of Love and Hostile Show Takeover. The character Erika Furudo is a walking deconstruction of Great Detective, Genre Savvy and Self-Insert Fic all at once. It's also a deconstruction of Higurashi to an extent, since it subverts many tropes that its predecessor played straight. The series also interestingly deconstructs the "hot-blooded shonen hero". Battler seems to fit the trope at first, but is often shown throughout the first 4 Episodes as incompetent, insensitive, hypocritical, and constantly Dramatically Missing the Point, precisely because he is too focused on denying the Witch out of some vague sense of justice. And every time human characters have a sudden magical Power-Up or Heroic Second Wind, you can expect them to die pathetically a minute after. Generally, just take a sip every time you read the word "subverted" on the trope page.
  • Fate/stay night can be described as one huge deconstruction of The Cape and The Paladin style characters and the many stories and typical tropes associated with them. The first route, while playing much of it fairly straight, points out the insane sacrifices of their own happiness and the insane limits that such characters have to constantly push themselves to if they aspire to follow their "Nothing but Everybody Lives is acceptable"-policy. The second route points out these issues even more while adding the futility of it all, but also gives reasons for why one would still wish to follow such a path, while the third route illustrates why one might want to give up following such a lifestyle and try to find personal happiness instead.
  • The writers of Katawa Shoujo openly set out to deconstruct or just avert a lot of the worst aspects of Japan's romance games. The most obvious being Hanako's route, taking aim at how many such games have the player save a helpless girl and take on her burdens with the expectation that this will be rewarded with sex. The sex scenes themselves are played for realism and some discomfort. Still romantic, but not in the expected way.
  • The Zero Escape games mess with the very idea of who you're actually playing as in different ways, and are carefully planned to account for what the players' expectations regarding the plot will most likely be. In the second game, the player will expect certain characters to subvert themselves as per characters in the first game. They don't.
  • School Days is an infamous deconstruction of the typical Harem genre game and shows what would realistically happen, if a typical highschool student decided to bang several girls for no reason, other than to get his rocks off and have some fun. The results are very, very bad.
  • Wingman DX deconstructs many tropes pertaining to the visual novel and dating simulator genres, as well as some narrative tropes associated with romantic comedies. For example, the game permits the player to name their character, but most of the Wings reject the name and call you by the name Balyssa anyway. Other routes punish players for expecting to be able to fix characters' personal problems just by being persistent enough.

  • Skin Horse: a deconstruction of everything from mad science to social work and 70's Blaxploitation movies.
  • The Order of the Stick plays mercilessly with both Dungeons and Dragons tropes, and storytelling tropes in general. Most notably, it's hung enough lampshades to decorate a lightbulb factory. Including hanging a lampshade on hanging lampshades. For a few more examples, it has Zig Zagged with several parts of the Character Alignment trope. The Lawful Stupid character isn't stupid in any conventional sense, and actually is good (at least, until she goes crazy), and yet, she's an antagonist. The Lawful Evil Overlord is definitely evil, and yet seems like he'll be helpful overall to the protagonists. The Always Chaotic Evil goblins have a perfectly good reason built into the fabric of the universe to be evil... but there's no question that they are evil. Finally, it also deconstructs typical player behavior/campaign focus with a Chaotic Evil party member, who says early on "I figured we'd just wander around, kill some sentient creatures because they had green skin and fangs and we don't, and then take their stuff."
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast CerealThe Far Side's evil twin. It has probably destroyed everything you know and love at some point.
  • The Parking Lot Is Full doesn't even bother trying to be funny, instead flooding the reader with Fridge Horror.
  • MS Paint Adventures is Andrew Hussie's deconstructive love letter to a multitude of series, genres and tropes, including itself. Homestuck in particular seems to be principally founded as a deconstruction of the standard "kids go on an adventure in another world" plot prevalent in pretty much every medium ever, with parts of it deconstructing, among many other things, various Time Travel Tropes with a heavy emphasis on You Can't Fight Fate—the constant stresses of trying to keep in time with the Stable Time Loops, on pain of piles of his own corpse piling up, quickly gets to the normally-unflappable Dave—and of the standard Mary Sue tropes—how Vriska tries to present herself, in contrast to her true nature. Also, sometimes Hussie himself seems to be aiming to deconstruct the audience-creator relationship.
  • Guilded Age: A level-headed berserker, a thuggish "crusader," an elven scientist, a dwarven shaman/archer, and an elf mistaken for the chosen one go on adventurers in a setting that paints a harsh and almost historical light on Fantastic Racism.
  • Oglaf's absurd humor is a mixture of Sex Comedy and taking apart fantasy tropes, and its roots as outright pornography means it's free to go as far as it needs to for jokes combining the two that most others would only talk around or imply.
  • Apricot Cookie(s)! tears up the Magical Girl genre by taking tropes normally reserved for main characters and applying them to everyone except the main characters.

    Web Original 
  • Tails of Fame deconstructs every concept related to a Villain Protagonist, Be Yourself, and I Just Want to Be Special. Instead of being a typical underdog story about a character who wants to get famous in the city, what you have is a villain who quickly decides to turn to a life of crime so he can get famous. And at no point does the story even try to justify his actions or make him (or the other two villainous characters) sympathetic.
  • There Will Be Brawl deconstructs Nintendo characters, Pastiches a number of classic movies, and Parodies the concept of Darker and Edgier.
  • The Whateley Universe starts as a deconstruction of the classic superhero comic books, but delves everywhere else when given a chance. The story Give 'Em The Ole Razzle Dazzle is a deconstruction of various genres stretching from the 1930's pulp heroes to the start of the 1980s (when the narrator 'retired' and moved into Business).
  • PoGonYuTo was basically intended to be a deconstruction of nearly all anime cliches.
  • exists seemingly to promote deconstructions in all Fan Fic.
  • Diamond in the Rough (Touhou) deconstructs all tropes of Self-Insert Fics of Touhou (and by extension, all Self-Insert Fics), with everything going From Bad to Worse in an horrifying pace.
  • Freeman's Mind deconstructs the first-person shooter genre, particularly Silent Protagonist, Determinator, and One-Man Army by showing the inner thoughts of someone with these characteristics: a Properly Paranoid Sociopath undergoing gradual Sanity Slippage. As if that's not enough, Freeman takes it upon himself to point out the issues with various things that come to his mind, from I Love Nuclear Power to the Tinfoil Hat.
  • Occupy Richie Rich deconstructs almost every trope and concept used in the Richie Rich series.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall deconstructs a Cosmic Horror Story of all things with "The Entity" storyline. A later storyline deconstructs the idea of the character host and various personality traits that are accepted in comedy because they're Played for Laughs, but demonstrates that when not done so, a person like that is horrifying, and even the idea of Serious Business with the villainous Holokara being willing to outright commit murder to put a stop to the things he doesn't want in the Comic Book industry.
  • DarkMatter2525: The point of most of the videos is to deconstruct religious concepts and ideas. Initially, this came down to proving that they made little sense and were unfounded in evidence, but more recent ones instead focus on the logical consequences of those concepts being true. For example: The relationship God has with humanity has quite a few parallels to Domestic Abuse.
  • Mo Dao Zu Shi is one of the wuxia/xianxia genre as a whole. Lan Wangji puts it best in a few words when he gently reminds the junior cultivators, "We are all human." He's mainly referring to how everyone is bound to get exhausted sooner or later, regardless of their cultivation power (They were all human. How could a human be tireless? How could they stand forever?). However, it can also refer to how cultivators are still susceptible to Grey-and-Gray Morality.

    Western Animation 
  • [adult swim], as explained in this video, are major contributors to this trope. Pretty much every one of their shows is a Deconstructive Parody of some genre, subculture, or other element of pop culture, with all of its tropes taken completely seriously and to their logical conclusion.
  • The Venture Bros., more so than any other [adult swim] show and perhaps more than any other example on this page. It has to be — it's a parody of shows with goody-goody adventuring teens and infallible superheroes. For example, one of the main characters, a parody of Jonny Quest, is depicted as a paranoid drug addict as a direct response to being a boy adventurer and hauled off to dangerous countries and nearly killed countless times. The Scooby-Doo gang are overexaggerated — Shaggy is a useless, psychotic hippie who may or may not be hallucinating Scooby's voice telling him to do evil things, Fred is a dumb, thuggish jock who kidnapped Daphne and keeps her locked up, Daphne is genuinely, completely useless, and Velma is a man-hating, militant feminist lesbian. The Million Dollar Man is depicted as a slave to his job, as his government pay is very low, compared to his debt.
    • While the first two seasons are shown to bring the bulldozers and wrecking balls to the Jonny Quest boy and Bob Morane adventuring tropes, season three moving forward shows real effort reconstructing the characters into better, less dysfunctional people. Unless it's funnier, of course.
  • The Boondocks combines sitcom trope deconstruction with racial and social trope deconstruction.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated deconstructs just about every one of the franchise's most iconic tropes.
    • Rather than continue running through the Scooby-Dooby Doors after awhile Shaggy and Scoob decide to hide in one place. Around this same time the monster gets fed up and decides to light the place on fire.
    • Shaggy's friendship with Scooby is so strong that he rejects Velma's romantic advances out of fear their relationship would drive a wedge between him a Scooby.
    • Fred's knack for trap building is rooted in a subconcious desire to keep others from running away from him, like he believes his mother did.
  • The entire franchise deconstructs horror situations, with its main element being that most monsters are frauds, masked petty criminals, outsmarted by a team which actually knows what they are doing. As a result, when an actual monster shows up, it manages to be more intimidating.
  • Along the same lines as the Scooby-Doo example above is Transformers: Prime, which takes a grittier spin on the Transformers series. It goes out of it's way to remind you that these aren't just a bunch of goofy robots with no minds, they're actual, sentient living beings and they are in a constant brutal war with each other. Each generic robot you see get shot, is a living being who probably had a family and life of their own.
    • Beast Wars was a similar case, though only because they didn't have the budget. However, deaths were mostly permanent, and the Maximals were neither dumb nor generic goody two-shoes. Also, the Predacons occasionally won.
  • Archer goes through cold-war spy tropes like adamantium claws through butter.
  • Adventure Time, with its awkward continuity and harsh undertones, tends to deconstruct not only the classic, Status Quo Is God trope by showing the consequences of decisions, but also of the hero's journey.
    • Finn is flawed and emotionally complex for a kid, and endures severe forms of guilt and helplessness as the series progresses. Whereas most cartoon shows express a child-hero as emotionally invulnerable and better by the next show (given s/he has endured some form of emotional trauma), Adventure Time gives us a more realistic portrait of what happens to a child who quite frequently has the pressure of saving another person's life or even the world for that matter.
    • Princess Bubblegum starts off as a classic Damsel in Distress, but is slowly revealed to perform questionable deeds, mostly involving her shady experiments. Her attitude towards Finn, while benevolent, leans toward demeaning and borderline ungrateful. By delving deeper into her character, we find out that the love interest is not always perfect, and that the hero doesn't always get the girl.
    • Ice King is a major deconstruction of antagonists. Initially, he is supposed to be a run-of-the-mill bad guy. As his layers unfold, however, the show brings to light an antagonist's own inner conflicts, past experiences, and even brings up the question of evil vs crazy, in which the "bad guy" is not necessarily "bad," but... well, screwed up.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball skewers pretty much every cartoon and sitcom trope it comes across. However, it tends to do this less through subverting them or applying logic to them, but by taking tropes that normally tend to be taken for granted (such as Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, Not Allowed to Grow Up, Status Quo Is God and Snap Back) and having characters acknowledge and question them, leading to a lot of Fridge Horror. ("The Void", "The Kids", "The Job", and "The Finale")
  • Hercules: The Animated Series: Befitting an expansive series on Hercules' goal to become a true hero and join the Gods on Mount Olympus, the series shows many examples of heroic figures that end up being deconstructed thoroughly.
    • Jason from Jason and the Argonauts deconstructs the concept of a Heroic Vow and Determinator tendencies, since, after decades of searching, Jason has become so delusional and focused on finding the Golden Fleece much of his own crew has abandoned him and the only ones that remain stayed because of long-term contracts and openly despise him. Even when he finds the Fleece it ends up not being as spectacular as he thought and his journey to find it was the only thing that kept him from caving into depression all those years.
    • Orion the Barbarian Hero ends up thoroughly deconstructing the "no-regrets" Destructive Savior archetype, in that his pursuit to stop some renegade monsters ends up irresponsibly trashing every city state he goes to, leaving many homeless and hating him much to Orion's confusion.
    • Achilles ends up deconstructing the Showy Invincible Hero archetype by showing how pathetically vain such a figure would be despite their heroics and how selfishly non-heroic and a complete laughingstock such a figure is when it turns out they're not so invincible.
    • Hercules himself ends up deconstructing the concept of a hero being a Hunter of Monsters, when he meets a friendly Gorgon Monster Girl named Medusa and wrote her off as a freak despite her being nothing but kind to Hercules and his friends. Icarus, a social outcast himself, angrily calls Herc out on this and firmly establishes the Aesop that a person's character, monster or mortal, decides their worth.
  • Young Justice is a harsh deconstruction of the Kid Hero and shows the psychological effects of what could happen when one or more is in a never ending battle with a group of villains who isn't afraid to kill the heroes or those they care about. That and fighting super-villains isn't all fun and games. Also the concept of good guys vs bad guys gradually becomes unclear as the heroes themselves would face situations where they have to do what they have to do to to defeat The Light.
  • Bojack Horseman doesn't just take all of the Sitcom tropes, including the ones involving Status Quo Is God almost all of recent animated series love to run with, it goes completely overboard and crushes every single conception popularized by the media, essentially pointing out how Real Life is not like fiction makes it out to be. Often overlapping with Deconstructive Parody, one of its main propositions is what every single staple of a TV show would be if they were willing to dig a little deeper:
  • Sonic Boom has started to show signs of this in its second season — parodying movies like Armageddon, the look-after-a-baby subplot, teen musicals and more.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: A great deal of the show's humor would not make sense to you if you were not an enormous fan of the franchise with knowledge of every single series. Jokes are made at the expense of TOS, TNG, DS9, and VOY. Many of these require knowledge of specific episodes' plots and the holes thereof.


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