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Denser and Wackier

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Mr. Howell now has the power to fly
The role of Mary Ann is now being played by Kareem Abdul-Jabar
Ginger is 500 feet high
She is made entirely out of zinc
I don't remember her being
that way in the first season
Radio Free Vestibule, "Something's Wrong with Gilligan's Island"

The Tone Shift a show goes through when its plots become increasingly exaggerated and cartoonish. Most often happens with shows whose initial premise is mundane, and ostensibly could take place in the real world, begin to gradually take in tropes from more elaborate genre fiction until the show is at a point where it no longer resembles its pilot episode at all. This is similar to Cerebus Syndrome, except that instead of working on tone this trope increases the density and zaniness of literal plot elements, often requiring a greater Willing Suspension of Disbelief and viewer concentration level in order to succeed.

This trope is typically used as a ratings grab. For a show that's losing appeal, it's much easier to instantly come up with wacky plot elements than it is to invest time in more complex character nuance. As with much Executive Meddling, this motivation doesn't exactly have much basis in reality — most long-running shows either don't undergo this process at all, or do so only when they're about to be canceled. Oftentimes, fans appreciate good consistency in tone. It must be added that it's very much distinct from Lighter and Softer since it's zany comedy that becomes the dominant trait rather than dropping a dark angle all-together. In fact at times it can even overlap with Darker and Edgier depending on the type of story. Shows up fairly often in adaptation, particularly Animated Adaptations, as this is an easy way to demonstrate how a show is different from its parent program.


If the author takes advantage of established series elements that have gathered over time, then it's Continuity Creep.

Often a reason for Jumping the Shark, or, in some cases, Growing the Beard.

Compare Hotter and Sexier, Reverse Cerebus Syndrome, Kudzu Plot, Bloodier and Gorier.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: Junior High, which takes the original Attack on Titan and puts it into a much Lighter and Softer Alternate Universe where the characters are Super-Deformed junior high students.
  • The Black Cat manga started out with its deviations from "realism" being mostly limited to creative liberties taken with gun use — then the plots got more and more convoluted, and by the end science with downright supernatural effects was commonplace.
  • The Carnival Phantasm OVA takes almost every character from two of the most violent and depressing sagas in the H-Game industry (Tsukihime and Fate/stay night) and puts them into a zany and comedic Gag Series. The results are very funny, partly because of the dissonance.
    • A sequel named Fate/Grand Carnival was released on New Years 2021, based on Fate/Grand Order from the same franchise with the same Gag Series premise. Case in point, the first OVA had the elimination of servants from Chaldea in the form of the Olympics.
  • Dragon Ball: Zigzagged for Dragon Ball Super. The show is definitely wackier than most of Dragon Ball Z. The sense of humor is closer to the original Dragon Ball and it even has a gag episode. At the same time, Super has some of the darkest moments in the franchise with the Future Trunks Saga and its Cruel Twist Ending and the Universal Survival Saga and its Kill 'Em All premise.
  • The Devil Man portion of "CB Chara Nagai Go World" is more lighthearted and comedic compared to the dark source material, the bloodthirsty demons who appeared in the manga and anime are silly and prone to slapstick with none of them being treated as a serious threat.
  • Haruhi-chan takes the characters and situations from Haruhi Suzumiya, chibifies them, and turns the madness and comedy Up to Eleven while adding copious amounts of High-Octane Cute.
  • The anime adaptation of His and Her Circumstances starts out as largely faithful to the manga, though still a bit quirkier in style and having a zanier sense of humor. It gradually gets to the point that the over-the-top comedy overtakes the story's more dramatic elements as its main focus. This was a point of contention between the manga's creator Manami Tsuda and director Hideaki Anno, since Tsuda felt that there was too much emphasis on the comedy for her liking.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure took this approach since part 2 (Battle Tendency) and has kept at it ever since. Becoming more self aware in how bizarre the series and fights actually are.
    • From the creative ways Joseph and Ceaser use their Hamon, the fact one of the reoccurring characters is a Cyborg Nazi, One of the villains is a crybaby, and is part of a trio of Aztec fitness super-vampire that strike a lot more poses than either Dio or Jonathan in Phantom Blood... culminating in the main villain becoming an Aztec Glam Metal screaming bird vampire who constantly licks his lips.
    • In terms of super powers part 3 introduces flashy but tame abilities such as Super Speed, Fire and magnetism... Part 4 mixes things up with food that attacks you through a recently acquired health problem which turns out to be beneficial and weaponized Onomatopoeia... Part 5 starts out with a man capable of slipping objects into people's hands and mouths without them realizing it, who is later defeated by villain able to erase 10 seconds of time, then Part 6 introducing the infamous Dragon's Dream which would require its own folder just to describe.
  • The Kindaichi Case Files Spin-Off, Casebook of Criminal Offenders, is a comedic retelling of several of the Case Files from the culprits' point-of-view. It depicts the ridiculous amount of money and physical excersion the killer needs to go through in order to pull off their tricks, not to mention the taxing facade they need to put up to pretend to be an innocent civilaition, only for everything to completely fall apart when Kindaichi gets involved.
  • The anime version of King of Bandit Jing inverts this trope without getting into the Darker and Edgier route. Many of the sillier scenes of the original manga were cut (such as Kir's brief strike in the first story, Rose's drunken episode in the second, etc.), and the characters' more exaggerated facial expressions and reactions are very much downplayed. The result is a more serious and dramatic tone, but it retains the whimsical and mostly light-hearted plot.
  • Koro-Sensei Quest!. It takes the basic story of Assassination Classroom and puts it in an RPG setting, whilst chucking most of the seriousness out the window and cranking the silliness and cuteness Up to Eleven.
  • Lupin III:
    • The art style of the Lupin III (Pink Jacket) series is this to the rest of the franchise. It says something when a character who is known for being just this side of possible evokes an "Are they smoking something?" feel. While the plots are no weirder than in the past, the new 1980's style made a lot of fans give up before the character designs become more consistent later in the show. Even then, there's still a ton of Off-Model animation that doesn't help.
    • Of the TV specials, Seven Days Rhapsody is a particulary goofy one, with tons of sight gags, zany jokes, and occasional running commentary from the characters throughout the whole thing. Even The Comically Serious Goemon can't keep a straight face at times.
  • My Hero Academia Smash!!, which simultaneously parodies events from the original series and focuses on the daily lives of the UA students, and sometimes villains.
  • One Piece Party, which brings the Straw Hats in nonsensical zany situations involving old friends and foes, often parodying events of the main series.
  • Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth, where the titular character from the original series takes a backseat to Rock Lee and his team as they go on crazy adventures.
  • This happened to manga works of Fujio Akatsuka a lot. His comics such as Osomatsu-kun, Moretsu Ataro, and Tensai Bakabon were always comedic (although Ataro was originally more dramatic), but they both started out as being down to earth, but gradually became more and more insane with nonsensical, slapstick-heavy gags. In addition, this happened when all three promoted a Breakout Character and eventually pushed the main characters aside.
  • Three anime adaptations of Onmyōji, Heian Monogatari, Kindergarten and Useless Onmyōji Family, completely throw out the serious plot and characterization of the game in favor of over-the-top silly humor.
  • While Persona 4 was already a little wackier than the rest of the Persona and parent Shing Megami Tensei games on the count of it being Lighter and Softer, Persona 4: The Animation cranks up even more jokes and gags than the base game, especially with the Suddenly Voiced main protagonist being given the personality of a Not So Stoic Deadpan Snarker who openly takes part in the craziness of the setting. A lot of his dialogue is akin to the player choosing the "funny" response on the game's dialogue options.
  • Pokémon:
    • Advanced Generation was noted for this, having zanier plots in filler episodes, as well as Meowth having frequent boss fantasies.
    • The Sun and Moon arc has noticeably become a cartoony Slice of Life school series with crack humor (mainly from Samson Oak) reminiscent of the original series, including the return of the Running Gag of James being attacked by a Pokémon (in this case, his Mareanie) out of affection, as well as Ash's considerably more cartoony characterisation compared to his more serious minded one from the previous XY series. Needless to say, this being Pokémon where They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and It's the Same, Now It Sucks! reign among the fanbase, it is a Broken Base with fans, and it's a specially sour point among fans of the aformentioned XY series.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The first anime is much more comedic on average than the manga, mostly because the majority of anime episodes are original Monster of the Week plots. While the manga does have lighthearted moments, they're a bit more grounded in reality than the anime's more over-the-top comedy. The '90s dub goes even further by giving the characters more jokey and Totally Radical dialogue.
    • The third season of the anime, S, has a reputation for being the dark season. And it is...but it's also the point where the show's slapstick silliness goes into overdrive, the monsters start becoming ludicrous, and the minions start becoming affable. Being directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara certainly helpednote , who went on to build a career out of making shows with dark and shocking content juxtaposed with ludicrous premises.
  • This is the main reason some people get turned off by Samurai Flamenco. It starts out as a slice of life. After episode 7, being a Tokusatsu hero becomes Serious Business.
  • Most of Sorcerous Stabber Orphen's second season changed the fairly serious tone of the first one for lighthearted adventures and slapstick humor.
  • Yakitate!! Japan, already a fairly comedic series out of the gate, went completely insane as the series went on. Originally, really good bread would just cause a comedic reaction from the taster, but over time, said reactions would become so extreme that it caused the entire fabric of reality to come unravelled, sending people on a round trip to the afterlife, turning them into animals, causing someone to go back in time and prevent the death of his mother, altering the real-life book the chapter is printed in and in the Big Bad's case, turning them into a monstrous human-bread hybrid.

  • The plots of the video games get put on the backburner in the Yo-Kai Watch anime in exchange for Slice of Life antics and comedic gags. The anime also contains a lot less fighting.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • An In-Universe example is the Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon, a Toon version of the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Seto Kaiba was not amused to have Pegasus turn his trademark monster into an animated abomination with Popeye biceps. There's also Toon Summoned Skull, which is somehow even creepier than the original, especially when it gets flirtatious.
    • The Kaiba Corp Grand Prix filler arc, compared to the other filler arcs, and even the canon ones, which generally had little to no wackiness whatsoever. Not to mention that this was fresh off of the more serious DOMA filler arc. Also, how can you take a NON-ANTHROPOMORPHIC WOLF dressed in old lady clothes that attacks by eating the opponent's monster in one bite seriously?


    Comic Books 
  • The first half of the New 52 Batgirl book is overly dark and gritty, what with the downcast tone, bloodthirsty, psychopathic villains and Barbara Gordon struggling against her PTSD. The second half is more light-hearted, colourful and whimsical, featuring a recovering, happier Batgirl moving out of Gotham and fighting mostly eccentric baddies. Batgirl (Rebirth) tones the craziness down but it's still more light-hearted than the beginning of the 2011 series.
  • Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade is an intentional Call-Back to the Silver Age. As the former and concurrent Supergirl books were more serious and grounded, "Cosmic Adventures" revels in craziness and hilarity, featuring evil duplicates, dimensional gates opening everywhere, time-travelling hijinks, mad science and a main character—Linda Lee—who wonders why her world is so strange. For all of these reasons the book is considered a cult classic.
  • Marville has an example that's weird because the increased wackiness is the result of the comic trying to be serious and philosophical. The first two issues are a Shallow Parody of comic books. From the third to fifth, the protagonists travel back in time looking after God, and then with someone who might be Him witness the origins of life, dinosaurs and primitive humans (with the first man being Wolverine) while spewing nonsensical "science".
  • The two issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures written and illustrated by Milton Knight, they're more cartoony, bizarre, and surreal compared to most of the other issues, the art is like the Fred Wolf cartoon as if it were animated by John Kricfalusi and Max and Dave Fleischer.
  • Big Trouble in Little China is this compared to the movie. There's more of an emphasis on the comedy aspects of the story, Jack Burton is less Straight Man and more The Fool, the Masquerade is so paper thin that it seems everyone must be idiots for not noticing that magic and monsters are all around them, and Jack is able to screw with and get the better of the villains much more easily.
  • Several of the Batman comics from the 1950s and '60s are very bizarre and surreal; some stories involved a magical being named Bat-Mite who's Batman's biggest fan and a Reality Warper, others included stories where Batman becomes a toddler and fights crime, Batman and Robin being turned into paper thin beings by a multicolored monster, Batman becoming a genie, etc. Justified by the fact the anti-comic book crusade that led to The Comics Code forced DC to tone down the violence and the seriousness of the earlier years.
  • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye is this compared to IDW's other Transformers titles. The book focuses more on the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits and their misadventures than it does on the plot and silliness abounds. While there are still plenty of reminders that this is set in the same universe as The Transformers: Robots in Disguise and The Transformers: Dark Cybertron, this is also a book where the universe gets saved thanks to a semi-colon, someone gets affected by a metafictional bomb that causes him to believe he's a comic book character, the crew reacts to unexpected time travel by watching Back to the Future, and having an existential crisis is considered a rite of passage.
  • Unlike other Transformers and G.I. Joe works, the premise of Transformers vs. G.I. Joe feels very much like a Silver Age comic, including Jack Kirby-esque artwork.
  • The comic based on the Swedish Bert Diaries series of young adult novels got this. While the novels were wackily comedic, the events themselves always stuck close to reality. The comics, however, introduced events that were unrealistic (such as Mad Scientist-in-training Åke inventing a cleaning-fluid that dissolves a car), or possible but extremely implausible (such as Bert drifting out to sea on an inflatable raft only to be saved by the beautiful daughter of a Greek millionaire in her private yacht).
  • Scott Pilgrim was always set in a world with video game-like mechanics, but the early volumes downplayed those traits. The first two Evil Exes were the most obvious "superpowered" characters but they only appeared in-person in their respective battles. Then Volume 3 alone reveals that the world has save points and extra lives, has a man who got superpowers just for being vegan, there's a "Vegan Police" after said man for cheating his veganism, and Honest Ed's is treated like some sort of Eldritch Location by the main leads (but the background characters shopping there seem to be just fine). A bonus short strip between Volumes 3 and 4 reveals that Volume 4's Arc Villain has the power to make posters come to life. In Volume 4 proper, the same Evil Ex turns in to animals after being sliced in half, one character is shown to be able to slice a bus in half, and an Enemy Without version of the main character is introduced. The video game escalates in a similar manner, with the enemies of the first level just being random people fighting out on the street, then moving on to people in costumes (explained by being set at a movie lot), then going to zombies and robots for the last few stages.
  • Vampirella: The Warren run had the "Vampi goes to Hollywood" sub-arc. Technically still horror stories,
  • The Unbelievable Gwenpool was already about a superheroine who was actually just a girl from the real world who got trapped in Marvel's comics, and whose eventual powers turned out to be weaponizing fourth wall exploitation. Yet this already loopy material is tame compared to Gwen's next title, Gwenpool Strikes Again, where she's even more of a Talkative Loon Meta Gal, and uses her fourth wall powers to create surreal situations such as her scaring the artist so his coffee cup would spill on the comic.
  • Clifton is a Franco-Belgian Comics about a retired MI6 agent who do private detective work. Clifton solves murder mysteries and faces off against Nazi remnant, criminal organizations and the like. Despite the serious tone and being down to earth, it has some comedic moments. The series has different authors and the latest albums veered it into weirdness area not seen before. A descendant of Napoléon Bonaparte wants to get revenge on England. He had engineered and released a chemical that forced drivers to drive on the right lane. In Napoleon next appearance, he bombed weddings so the population growth of England will eventually drop to zero.
  • While The Simpsons was already an outlandish and zany show (though that itself was a result of this trope - see the Western Animation folder), the official comic book based on the series went even further, with much more in the way of overtly supernatural or impossible plotlines that the show itself generally doesn't resort to outside of Treehouse of Horror episodes or the occasional throwaway gag.

    Comic Strips 
  • Candorville: This is probably better than Cerebus Syndrome as a description of what's happened. Formerly a slow-paced Doonesbury clone with a bit of Magic Realism thrown in, it's introduced vampires, soul-eating demons, and at least two factions competing to rule the world—but even now that characters are getting killed, the whole thing is still Played for Laughs.
  • In The '60s, Dick Tracy started introducing a ton of sci-fi elements including "Moon People". Once original author Chester Gould left the strip, they were quickly written out. The only remnant of the era Honeymoon Tracy, the daughter of the Moon Queen and Dick's adopted son, Junior Tracy, is still around, but we don't talk about who mom was. In 2013 creative team Joe Staton and Mike Curtis reintroduced Moon Maid via Cloning Blues. The other moon people are gone, though, their city in ruins.
  • FoxTrot went this route. The drawing style was always cartoonish, but in the early years the characters and storylines were well-grounded in reality. Starting in the '90s, the style of humor became increasingly cartoonish and all traces of realism vanished.
    • Interestingly, its creator still resisted ever having Jason's pet iguana Quincy engage in Snoopy-like adventures or "talk" but remain a simple lizard.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • An American Tail: Fievel Goes West most definitely qualifies for this trope, what with the rubbery animation and any of Tiger's scenes, both courtesy of Amblimation note . A stark contrast to the first movie, which was a musical adventure about hard times (i.e. immigration, separation, and a war between mice and cats).
  • The Ice Age film series. The first two movies had a lot of comedy and their share of silly moments, but they didn't go too over the top. The plots were fairly serious and believable enough (well, as believable as one could get in a movie about talking animals). The second had far less drama than the first one but did keep the dark comedy and the shadow of death over the main characters making it a restrained, partial example of Lighter and Softer. By the third film, they have become this. Even the scenes with Scrat have gotten more cartoony over the course of the films.
  • DreamWorks Animation began as Jeffery Katzenberg's serious attempt to compete with Disney, putting out some very edgy films like The Prince of Egypt, Antz and, in collaboration with Aardman, Chicken Run. As soon as the self-referential, potty-mouthed and pop-culture heavy Shrek became a mega Sleeper Hit, DreamWorks completely did away with the heavy stuff (as well as their traditional animation unit) and spent the better part of the Turn of the Millennium making the same movie over and over. After the Shrek saga declined, the studio attempted to remedy this with more sophisticated films like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, (2013's Turbo being the only holdout). However, for well-reviewed these efforts were, audiences found many of these as too sentimental, heavily affecting its finances. The studio put humor at the front once again (although far less gag-based) with Home, Kung Fu Panda 3 and Trolls.
  • Tangled had a follow up short Tangled Ever After, which was 7 minutes of mostly slapstick, where the original spread out the slapstick over the longer running time.
  • Frozen's follow up Frozen Fever was a lot sillier than the source film, especially given the consequences of Elsa's powers this time causes mischief instead of danger.
  • Compared to many other Disney films, especially the films preceding it, Aladdin is a very comedic and overall lighthearted film, especially when Genie shows up. It's also this compared to the original Aladdin story.
  • Though not to the extent of Aladdin, Disney's Hercules is also a very comedic, lighthearted film compared to the other Disney Renaissance films, especially The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which preceded it.
  • The Alpha and Omega series started off with the fairly serious first movie, which focused on the eponymous social standings within a pack of wolves. The DTV sequels where main characters Humphrey and Kate have had three pups, while still starting off fairly grounded in reality, gradually got less so until eventually, the movies carried increasingly odd and cartoonish plots revolving around slapstick, pop-culture references, ghosts, wolf real-estate, and even dinosaurs.
  • There are Tom and Jerry crossover films, such as Tom and Jerry and the Wizard of Oz and Tom and Jerry: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, which are almost shot-for-shot remakes of classic live action films with parts excluded in order to have slapstick humour added in.
  • The Emperor's New Groove is this compared to the film it was originally planned to be (a serious Mesoamerican drama called Kingdom of the Sunnote ). It's also this to Disney films in general, being a thoroughly gag-based comedy instead of a standard romantic dramedy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The first Evil Dead film is a fairly straight horror movie, playing every scare and monster as a serious threat and highlighting its cast as "normal" college age kids in over their heads. The second movie began to mix in more slapstick and cartoon-y elements, using over-the-top sets in place of actual locations and turning Bruce Campbell's Ash Williams from an everyday guy into a shotgun wielding quipmaster by the end of the movie. Then, in the third film, he's fighting cartoon skeletons and an evil undead version of himself in medieval Europe through the use of Three Stooges style slapstick and references to '50s sci-fi films.
  • After the first two Rocky movies, Sylvester Stallone took over as director, leading to Rocky III and especially Rocky IV. The third movie had Rocky fighting Mr. T and Hulk Hogan, while the fourth one starts with a robot at Paulie's birthday party. Then the series got serious again with Rocky V.
  • The third The Neverending Story film lacked the whimsy of the first two movies, had absolutely no dramatic weight to it, and the antagonist was, instead of a legitimately threatening menace, Jack Black as the leader of a gang of bullies. However, this movie isn't canon to the original book like the previous installments (each adapts a different half of the book).
  • Piranha 3D was definitely a tongue in cheek horror B-Movie but relatively little of it was played for outright comedy; Piranha 3DD on the other hand has a lot more jokes and a lot fewer scares.
  • The Fast and the Furious series. The Fast and the Furious was pretty much a straight cop drama that revolved around the world of street racing. Starting with 2 Fast 2 Furious, the focus shifted to the cars themselves, to the point where The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was almost entirely about the racing. Then, with Fast & Furious, it took another change in tone, this time becoming an over the top action flick, while Fast Five somehow took it even further to the point where it was just another completely absurd action movie that's closer to something like The Transporter. Certainly a far cry from the first movie's original cop drama format.
  • The 2012 21 Jump Street reboot film mainly just mocks the Buddy Cop Show and cranks the Slapstick Up to Eleven while its source TV show, for any faults it may have had, focused on some dark subject matter involving adolescents such as drug abuse, suicide, AIDS, homophobia, sexual promiscuity, dropping out of school, teen parenthood, gang violence, sexual assault, etc. The sequel goes one step beyond by ramping up the meta content.
  • Die Hard had John McClane going from "everyman action hero trapped with baddies" to "Made of Iron action hero wreaking havoc in various places". It gets even worse in the fifth movie, which goes to Russia and barely gives room for John to be a Deadpan Snarker.
  • The Bowery Boys movies went from gritty urban melodramas with a substantial dose of comedy to broad and outlandish slapstick adventures with plenty of Applied Phlebotinum.
  • Gremlins was a dark comedy about frightening, mischievous creatures with plenty of violent and disturbing scenes that along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was the reason the PG-13 rating was made. Gremlins 2: The New Batch, despite being rated PG-13, was much sillier than its predecessor. It featured fourth wall jokes, pop culture references, as well as poking fun at the first movie. The movie even starts with the opening shot of a Looney Tunes cartoon where Daffy Duck steals the spotlight from Bugs Bunny.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street: The supernatural killer from the first film was named just Fred Krueger, and was taciturn, creepy and imposing. In the sequels he became known as Freddy and turned at first darkly comedic and then just comedic, killing his victims in increasingly zany and bizarre ways (the top was probably using the Power Glove to kill a kid turned into a videogame), and acting much more like a cruel jokester.
  • The Emmanuelle soft-core film franchise started off being based upon an autobiographical book, but later became increasingly wacky, with plots including extreme plastic surgery, time travel, and cannibals. They even made Emmanuelle in Space.
  • The original Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy was pretty silly, with its lampooning of local news, '70s related gags and the brawl between the News Teams. The sequel, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, cranks it Up to Eleven, including a subplot involving Ron Burgundy adopting a pet Shark after being blinded to the final battle which includes a soul sucking Stonewall Jackson and Harrison Ford turning into a were-hyena. Needless to say, this trope was in full force with this sequel.
  • The first Guyver film adaptation is a bizarre half-example. There were clearly two conflicting visions for the movie: one as a straight adaptation of the very dark and violent source material, and one as a more lighthearted, slapstick-y adaptation geared towards children. The result is a film that would regularly and awkwardly transition from violent deaths to goofy slapstick with cartoony music. The sequel treats the first as canon, but all such silliness is dropped (the subtitle says it all: "Dark Hero").
  • Blues Brothers 2000 compared to the original The Blues Brothers, while the original was an over the top comedy it was far more realistic than the sequel which featured undead horse riders flying through the air during a musical number, a voodoo priestess who turns several soldiers and police officers into rats, and the band temporarily turning into zombies.
  • Sharknado was already a wacky movie, from the silly premise to the cheesy characters and acting and the over-the-top ways they killed off both humans and sharks. But Sharknado 2: The Second One takes it even further, with ridiculous celebrity cameos, the folks at The Weather Channel giving straight-faced reports on the shark storm, the hero of the first film becoming a badass who at one point ends up sucked into the Sharknado and forced to chainsaw through the sharks in midair, and an even greater Sharknado of Puns. And that's not counting how Sequel Escalation hit the following movies, with bigger Sharknados that get "enhanced" with environmental effects (including nuclear radiation) and even are used for time travel!
  • While previous installments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe had their moments of wackiness, Guardians of the Galaxy is almost entirely consisted of odd and crazy set-pieces. It does have its moments of seriousness, but overall the film does not take itself too seriously. Having a talking raccoon and a sapient tree being some of the leads tends to do that.
    • The MCU would double-down on this with Thor: Ragnarok, which for its fair share of serious moments, is far more lighthearted than its predecessor Thor: The Dark World, focusing more on comedic elements and colorful Scenery Porn, making it resemble more an 80s sci-fi adventure like Flash Gordon than a modern action movie.
  • Compared to Mazes and Monsters, Skullduggery is pretty much this for the Anti-D&D films. Where as Mazes and Monsters presents the protagonist's tabletop gaming-induced madness like an actual psychosis, Skullduggery instead says "turns out this guy was the reincarnation of this warlock and a creepy magician dude had him remember his past life". From there, it just gets crazier, from a janitor with a tic-tac-toe game on his back, a nurse who tries to come onto the protagonist, and a bunch of quirky characters.
  • The original Godzilla was a deadly serious anti-war movie which used a giant monster as a metaphor for the horror of the atomic bomb, obviously a risky subject in Japan just 9 years after WWII. The followup, Godzilla Raids Again, was also pretty dark but not as well-made or successful, so the series was put on hold for a while. When it finally came back after seven years, it was in the form of King Kong vs. Godzilla, which is a very goofy comedy that happens to have giant monsters. The series would flirt with serious themes every now and again for the next two decades, but in general it played up the comedy and silliness more and more as time went on, hitting its peak in the early '70s, which saw Godzilla flying and TALKING, basically turning the franchise into a live-action cartoon. When the series was rebooted in the '80s, it went back to the serious nature of the early films and has mostly stayed there ever since.
  • The Double Dragon movie is action/comedy compared to the Double Dragon video game which is a straight up action game.
  • Bride of Frankenstein might very well be the first self-aware horror film, and while it's still a dark film with deep themes and genuine terror, it also works as a black comedy. This was a huge change of pace from the original Frankenstein, which was straight horror. Director James Whale purposefully wanted to give the sequel a different tone to stand on it's own.
  • Magic Mike was a cynical Slice of Life showcasing how empty the titular Mike's lifestyle as a stripper actually is. The sequel is more of a comedy Buddy Picture with Mike and his old friends going to a stripper convention. Even when promoting the movie, Channing Tatum described it as "what people expected the first movie to be."
  • Deadpool (2016) is the first R-rated film in the X-Men series, but is far more comedic than any of them. Jokes that involve breaking the fourth wall, people dying in hilarious ways, and pop culture references abound, standing in stark contrast to the more somber X-Men movies that often deal with themes of bigotry and revenge head on. (amusingly, its sequel is more serious even if the wise-cracking is the same and the plot has outlandish elements such as a time-travelling character)
  • It's interesting to see how the X-Men Film Series in general has slowly gotten closer to the source material over time as the producers have felt more confident about their broad appeal. Back when the first X-Men came out, it was at the very start of the 2000s-2010s comicbook movie craze, and rather subdued both in tone and looks despite featuring characters with superpowers: just compare the black costumes adopted by the X-Men and Cyclops making fun of "yellow spandex" to something worn by, say, Olivia Munn as Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse, and an early villain like Magneto compared to Apocalypse. Dark Phoenix even brings in aliens. And yet it's remained serious, because the anti-bigotry message was always at its core, even when it's not the main plot. So not more comedic, just more cartoonish.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Prisoner of Azkaban (the first Harry Potter film released after director Chris Columbus left the franchise, and the only one directed by Alfonso Cuarón) marked a clear tonal shift from the light, whimsical, and fairly traditional film-making of Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets. The color pallet became much darker, the cinematography and effects more stylized, and the humor more screwball and absurd than in Columbus's films. However, while the general darkness and "adult" feel of Azkaban were carried on throughout the remaining five films, the quirky humor and visuals were mostly retired after this installment.
    • Downplayed with Half-Blood Prince, but the film has a lot more comedic moments and more snarking from all characters. The Felix Felicis scene is played much more for comedy than it is in the book. Some reviews even labelled the film a Romantic Comedy. There are however plenty of serious moments (including some tear jerker scenes that weren't in the book).
  • Back to the Future Part II. Although the Crapsack World of 1985-A takes the film into darker territory than its predecessor, II is this for the trilogy. While the first and third movies are relatively straightforward Fish out of Temporal Water stories in existent time periods, II ups the adventure quota with multiple Set Right What Once Went Wrong scenarios that require multiple time jumps. The different time periods here all feature more fantastical elements than in the other movies; it starts with the protagonists journeying into the distant future (with a lot of broad comedy aimed at the present-day 80s culture), then to the aforementioned alternate crapsack timeline, followed by a jump back into 1955 that has two temporal-fish Martys existing at the same time. The film also starts the franchise tradition of the actors playing multiple generations of the McFly and Tannen bloodlines, rather than just playing the younger or older versions of themselves.
  • A Dog's Purpose is a bit zanier than the original book. For example, the protagonist is a bit more goofy than in the book and his love of food is even more emphasised. In the book Ellie notices that she's a female in this reincarnation when she goes to pee. In the film she glances at her underside and freaks out.
  • Escape from New York had a trashy, indie-comic-book vibe but was ultimately a science fiction Spaghetti Western with a dark tone and relatively subdued action. Escape from L.A. involves much bigger guns, Snake getting attacked by sharks, Snake attempting to remain alive by playing basketball, and a generally sillier tone where Snake becomes The Comically Serious.
  • For a sci-fi/action/horror series, the Predator movies took themselves seriously and weren't too outlandish. The Predator instead has quirky characters (a whole bunch of them were literally on the way to the loony bin), weird plot developments (for starters, an autistic child who manages to understand Predator technology is very important) and an increase of comedic content, particularly in the dialogue being non-stop snark.
  • Moonraker was a shining example of this from the James Bond films, as was the slow Villain Decay of Jaws from genuinely menacing Psycho for Hire to Dumb Muscle and finally outright comic stooge.
  • Aside from the monstruous villains, SHAZAM! (2019) is basically a superhero comedy, acting as this to the rest of the DC Extended Universe movies.
  • Beverly Hills Cop is a fish out of water action comedy. The first sequel is more of the same. The third, however, ups the zaniness. The comedy, while there's less of it, is wackier, and often integrated into improbable action sequences. There's even a gadget that's like something from a James Bond film and a novelty gun that belongs in a Bond parody.
  • The Wizard of Oz (1925) is a slapstick comedy loosely based on Land of Oz series.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was fairly grounded and subdued, specially as it resembled more the very mature original comic. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, on the other hand, was basically a live-action episode of the cartoon, down to expy versions of the dumb henchmen Bebop and Rocksteady - if not worse, as the Turtles don't use their weapons as much as items such as yo-yos and sausage links. The next movies tried to be less goofy by comparison (and one was a literal cartoon!), only returning to this sort of cartoonish thing with the 2014 reboot and specially its sequel.
  • A Hard Day's Night was a Mockumentary on The Beatles. Help! had no attempt in trying to resemble something real, with a loony and globethrotting plot about one of Ringo's rings being essential to a cult, that went surreal at random points (says something the film was made when the band was starting to abuse drugs). And let's not delve into Magical Mystery Tour, a bizarre attempt of the band to make a film by themselves, "a camera in the hand and lots of drugs in the head".
  • Mars Attacks!: While the original card series had moments of dark humor, the movie was entirely comedic with a lot less gore. That being said, the movie is not without its scary moments.

  • Zig-zagged with Discworld. While the series gradually became more sophisticated in terms of characterization and theme, Pratchett also began to riff on a wider variety of subjects. Thus, the humour and story elements moved more towards "what would be funny here?" rather than purely commenting on fantasy tropes.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • Doctor Who New Adventures's mission was to push the envelope on stories that could be told in novel form, but none did it quite like the novel Sky Pirates!, which even replaced the usual blurb with:
      Stories deeper, wider, firmer, plumper, perkier, yellower, crispier and with more incredible bad jokes than you can shake a stick at, the New Adventures take the TARDIS into previously unexplored realms of taste and stupidity.
    • The Eighth Doctor Adventures started off full of lush gothic horror and realistic drama. By book five, they started suddenly retconning the TV series and getting a bit... odd. By book six, all realism was unceremoniously thrown out the window and the novels collectively became insane.
  • Robert McCloskey's classic Homer Price stories. The early ones, most famously the one about the doughnut machine, are gentle comic tales of small-town American life...but from there on out the stories keep getting steadily more outlandish, to the point where the final four stories (collected in a second volume, Centerburg Tales) teeter on the brink of surrealism.
  • Anne Carson's Red Doc> is this compared to its predecessor, Autobiography of Red. While Autobiography of Red is a work of subdued Magic Realism in which the most overtly weird element is the fact that the main character has wings, Red Doc> verges on Bizarro Fiction: it includes a character named 4NO, a flying musk ox, a psychiatric clinic disguised as a garage hidden inside a glacier, and a colony of "ice bats" the size of toasters who live in a structure called Batcatraz. Interestingly, it's also a bit darker than Autobiography: amidst all the weirdness, characters have to deal with issues like PTSD and the death of a parent.
  • The Tales of the City series started off being very slice-of-life. The most outlandish things in the original book were D'orothea's efforts to pose as a black woman and the pedophilic private eye. The second book, in contrast, had a cannibal cult. And then the third book had one of the main characters having a sexual encounter with a real-life closeted movie star (whose name was thus left blank) and a plot involving Reverend Jim Jones.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The first half of the series consists of relatively realistic stories about Greg Heffley, his family, and his school life. Starting with The Long Haul, the series moves away from its realistic tone, including giving the family a pet pig who wears pants and walks on his hind legs, a hot tub crashing through the roof, Greg windsurfing into a nude beach, a camp serving stew with decades-old leftovers, and many Contrived Coincidences.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock gets sillier with each season. Back in the pilot, Jack's official job title being "Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming" was about the only especially unrealistic aspect of the show. Now Surreal Humor in the form of weird, off-the-wall stuff (up to and including having one character be literally immortal) is a regular feature of the series, and convoluted, interrelated multi-episode arcs are common...and the series widely accepted to be much better for it.
    Jack: (referring to the Obama-Romney election) Pennsylvania is Obama's. The voting machines there have become sentient, and are strongly in favor of gay marriage.
  • 1000 Ways to Die was initially pretty macabre and made for somewhat uncomfortable viewing. Later, the series became much less serious, portraying the victims as buffoonish Acceptable Targets like stoners, narcissists and perverts and having many over-the-top elements to make the tone more comedic.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Arrow started as a gritty and semi-realistic show before being tied in with more standard superhero spin-offs like The Flash (2014) and Legends of Tomorrow.
    • Legends of Tomorrow itself is an example, starting out similar in tone to the other Arrowverse shows, though with more pulp sci-fi, and received somewhat mixed critical review. As it found its own identity, however, the show become more and more wacky and comedic, with outlandish plots and characters, all while simultaneously being praised for having better handle on emotionally weighty moments, relationships, and character arcs. Accordingly, the beginning of Season Two is also often cited as Growing the Beard.
      • This was fully cemented in the third season finale, which featured a climactic Kaiju battle between a demon and the return of the same stuffed animal summoned by the power of teamwork/friendship, complete with wrestling moves and an impact cloud in the shape of a heart.
      • Season 4 continued on the trajectory of silly, despite having monsters, demons, and Hell.
      • Meanwhile, Season 5 started with a mockumentary about the main characters confronting Rasputin, and culminated in an entire episode worth of television parodies, where the main characters got trapped in a Friends ripoff, a fake Downton Abbey, a sapphic version of Star Trek: The Original Series, and a Mr Rogers spoof. Despite the silliness of the concept, all of these ended up helping at least one character find closure in parts of their season-long character arcs, or resolve relationship issues.
  • The Avengers started off with the intent of becoming a gritty crime drama. Around the time Emma Peel took over as Steed's partner, plots became a lot more cartoony and the lead spies much quippier. By the time the series shifted to colour, the show featured plots like man-eating plants, housecats trained as assassins and an actual shrink ray. Uniquely for this trope, it's the wackier seasons that are more fondly remembered, and any attempts to bring the series back to its 'realistic' roots have been met with hostility.
  • Black Mirror. The show, an anthology of cautionary tales about the negative impact technology can have on our lives, makes for quite harrowing viewing most of the time, but even it has some lighter episodes:
    • "USS Callister" explores fantastical technology far-removed from contemporary technologies - how humans might mistreat artificial intelligences that are capable of passing the Turing test and how that would be immoral and indeed ultimately detrimental, and it throws in cheeky Shout Outs to sci-fi fiction and humour to lighten things up.
    • "Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too" starts as a dark drama about a pair of teenage sisters who feel isolated after the death of their mother. One of the sisters seeks solace in a robotic toy based on her pop idol Ashley and it brings out obsessive behaviour that causes friction between the two girls. Meanwhile Ashley herself is a drugged-up depressive who loathes her current career path but is kept under the thumb of her abusive aunt/manager. Then Jack blows the little robot's Restraining Bolt and it develops Ashley's full personality, and then the film becomes a Parody of a Disney Channel Original Movie (as well as a scathing Take That! at Disney's past controlling treatment of its former child stars — especially Miley Cyrus, who plays Ashley here).
  • Boy Meets World got like this in Season 7, especially when you compare it to the more serious Season 6. While it had several serious episodes and some realistic plotlines, it also had a lot of convoluted and wacky plotlines, especially the Jack and Eric ones. For example, one plotline involved Eric gaining the ability to see into the future whenever he sneezes and Jack trying to use this power to win the lottery. Luckily, this was the show's final season.
  • Charmed's first two seasons leaned more towards Melodrama with the supernatural stuff as mainly a bit of flavouring. Season 3 made it more action-packed and tongue-in-cheek, with many of the more outrageous magical stuff getting Lampshade Hangings. By the fifth season, several episodes would literally revolve around one of the sisters getting turned into a magical creature that required a Sexy Whatever Outfit. This got reversed in the seventh and eighth seasons which were more serious - but not as much as the first two.
  • The transition between William Hartnell's Doctor Who and Patrick Troughton's tenure. The Edutainment stuff was pretty much gone; Series 6 alone featured clones, an I Am Your Father twist, memory loss, dinosaurs in modern London and space pirates. The show shifted away from hard sci-fi to focus more on monsters, and elements of psychedelia began to feature more prominently: This is particularly apparent in "The Krotons" and "The Mind Robber". However, in a zig-zagging move, though the Doctor was a lot sillier under Robert Holmes' pen, horror serials became a lot more common. The First Doctor only had three horror stories in his whole tenure: The Bottle Episodes "The Edge of Destruction" and "Mission to the Unknown", and his very last story, "The Tenth Planet" (which debuted the Cybermen). Conversely, just under half of the Second Doctor's stories were horror-based.
    • Another example was the period in the mid-to-late 70s. Under pressure of having even less money than usual, constant BBC strikes, the prima donna Tom Baker being allowed to do whatever the hell he wanted, a script editor who loved Surreal Humour and would constantly add it into everything he touched, and Moral Guardians cracking down on the usual Doctor Who strategy for generating cheap horror (namely gorn and screaming), the writers unleashed a parade of truly-demented monster ideas that were selected according to cost-efficacy. Critics of the time found the show's tone too flippant to make you care about anyone, but too dark to be funny. Ironically, one of the stories filmed during this period, "City of Death", is considered to be one of the best, if not the best ever Classic Who story.
  • Doom Patrol (2019): In comparison to Titans (2018) and Swamp Thing being entirely Earth-based, this series explores the weirdest and most unexpected corners of the DC Universe. It might be the single weirdest DC Comics show ever, with talking cockroaches, farting donkeys, and Mr. Nobody constantly Breaking the Fourth Wall to insult the show and the audience with equal abandon. And that's just from the first few episodes!
  • Downton Abbey started to do this, after a fashion, in Series 2. While Series 1 was a fairly light-hearted Edwardian Comedy Of Manners, the second series featured all kinds of Soap Opera elements, including a murder frame-up, interlocking love triangles, miraculous recovery from horrific injuries, and all manner of other bizarre occurrences. Semi-justified in that Series 2 is set during and immediately after World War I—life was strange then.
  • The first few episodes of Community were fairly textbook sitcom material, but over the course of the first season the absurdity was played up. The second season turns this trope on full blast, and the third, controversially, turned it Up to Eleven.
  • Family Matters started out as a mundane sitcom, but succumbed to camp as a result of Steve Urkel. It began with Steve's chemically-induced alter-ego "Stefan Urquelle", and kept escalating until Steve traveled to outer space! In fairness, Steve Urkel being the harbinger of these changes was likely incidental, but the down-to-earth family sitcom nevertheless ended with genetic engineering, cloning, and teleportation being regular elements of the plot.
    • Key & Peele examined this in a sketch called "Family Matters". Carl's actor Reginald VelJohnson (played by Peele) confronts an ABC executive (played by Key) about the changes in the show. At first the exec defends "Urkel-mania" as being good for the ratings, but in the middle of the shouting match, he abruptly shoots himself. It turns out that "Jaleel White" doesn't exist, Steve Urkel is real, and he's an evil telepath who has seized control of the show for his own purposes. The rest of the cast and crew are his terrified hostages for six more seasons.
  • The first season of Fantasy Island had more mundane plots (a woman fakes her death for Attending Your Own Funeral) and logical a rich man like Roarke could pull these off with a cast of actors and special effects. Starting in season 2, it became clear these people truly were being sent back in time, physically transformed, or thrust into fantastic circumstances, and Roarke may well not be human. By the later years, the show didn't even bother hiding this was truly magic to the point an episode could open with people rendered invisible and Roarke and his aides simply accepting it as normal.
  • Farscape started off as a Wagon Train to the Stars that was only slightly wackier than usual, but from the last few episodes of the first season the writers really started pushing the boat out both in terms of Cerebus Syndrome and in how crazy the situations they put the characters into became. Among mainstream TV shows, it's probably rivaled only by the Doctor Who franchise for how close canon episodes got to what are usually Crack Fic concepts. And it mostly did this while still keeping the stories emotionally significant. According to Word of God, the series was intended to be an anti-Star Trek, kind of like The Real World in SPACE!. The dysfunction was written in from the start, and much of the increasing craziness was a result of the writers testing just how far they could push the boundaries.
  • Frasier did this right — after a first season that was very well-written, but quiet, sensible, slow-moving, and rather Cheers-ish in style, the second season amped the show up into a full-blown theatrical Farce and perfected its trademark blend of ludicrously overblown plots, highbrow wit, and slapstick, which it marinated in (and scooped many, many Emmys for) until it started losing momentum in season nine.
  • Friends gradually became this after the Ross/Rachel breakup in S3. The characters became more cartoonish, the plots became sillier (particularly those involving Joey and Ross), and drama was significantly cut down. By S6, the show had more-or-less completed its transformation from "off beat sitcom about six 20-something New Yorkers trying to get by in life" to "fast-paced sitcom about six buffoonish New Yorkers acting silly/goofy for 30 minutes."
  • The last 2 seasons of Full House had several subplots that fell into this trope, i.e. the guys hawking Jesse's new invention that keeps hair out of someone's face, the family getting addicted to Michelle's new Super NES game, Jesse trying to keep his blood pressure down even though there's an ostrich in Kimmy Gibbler's yard, etc.
  • Season one of Gotham was mostly a slightly-odd Police Procedural with Batman Mythology Gags, and its villainies were limited to corporate and municipal corruption, serial killings, mafioso power-struggles and the occasional hitman. By season two it'd widened its scope to include multiple Mad Scientist-types, crazy cult conspirators, tech-enhanced supervillains and mutants and, as of season three, Hate Plague terrorism and elements of the supernatural. By the time season four aired, even over-the-top stuff like Poison Ivy's killer plants felt like Gotham City business-as-usual.
  • Happy Days: The actual shark-jumping episode is a good example. Picture the premise of the show — how the Cunningham family was so gosh-darn swell back in the fifties. Now, reconcile that image with Fonzie water-skiing over sharks to overcome his fear of them, and you can see how Jumping the Shark became a Trope Namer.
  • The TV adaptation of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is much denser and wackier than the original movie, with stuff such as talking about foot odor, aliens that eat with their butts, and clowns.
  • How I Met Your Mother started out mostly grounded sitcom, with only a few really overly silly elements, and as it went on roughly around season 2-3 just started to become a lot more over the top and cartoonish, also intentionally banking on the Unreliable Narrator elements to show things Ted were describing in-universe as a lot more outlandish than they actually were. As the series goes on, the slapstick and silliness of the plots are ramped up while the narrator excuse is increasingly downplayed, making the wackiness seem more like an inherent part of the world.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia started off as a fairly straightforward, if dark sitcom with realistic plots. Starting with Season 2, however, the show became far more manic and over the top, the violence got kicked up a notch, the characters all went from somewhat tame Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists into some of the worst people in the world, and the humor got dark enough to the point where it started to resemble a less surreal, live-action version of South Park. It also got way funnier as a result.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O would come into mind. Kamen Rider shows before it are generally more serious in tone.
  • Lois & Clark began as a sort of office comedy interspliced with Clark's super heroics. Though the main duo stayed more or less grounded in domestic reality, their surroundings became more akin to the Silver Age comics, with goofball villains (including Shelley Long, Drew Carey, Sylvia from The Nanny, and culminating in the guy from Night Court sporting a giant latex head and calling himself Dr. Klaus Mensa), time travel, magic, and clones galore.
    • Smallville followed a similar path in its later run: Whereas the show's first half focused on sleepy Americana life being confronted by X-Files weirdness (even featuring a show called "X-Styles" with disgraced muckraker Perry White), the second half was very much in tune with the old comics.... Though some of its takes on the classic DCU characters were weirdly dark and violent.
  • Married... with Children became this once the second season rolled around, with one episode focusing on Al going to extremes to kill a mouse. The shift in tone became more noticeable as soon as Jefferson marries Marcy after Steve left her, and stays that way for the rest of the series.
  • Night Court increasingly became more fueled by jokes than by plot.
  • The American version of The Office rolls with this, especially in comparison to its UK parent, though not quite as bad as some other shows. The first two seasons (really the first season, but what was technically the first season was stunted) portrayed a fairly realistic day-to-day workplace with a Pointy-Haired Boss, who, while on the extreme of what should be firing offenses, was fairly realistic in his incompetence, but later seasons saw a more ironclad Contractual Immortality take place for many characters, especially Ryan, Michael, Dwight, and (in one case) Meredith.
  • Once Upon a Time's gimmick in Season 1 was that there would be a realistic Storybrooke plot to run alongside the fairy tale flashbacks each episode. Once the curse was broken in the Season 1 finale, the fantasy stuff came to the forefront.
  • Parks and Recreation, the Quietly Performing Sister Show of The Office, upped the ante in silliness. While The Office had an absurdist humor style and did go over-the-top, its tone was more cynical and, much like its UK parent, utilized Cringe Comedy frequently. Parks and Rec, in comparison, favored a warmer and more optimistic tone and mined much its humor from the dynamic interactions between each cast member, as well as the occasional Crosses the Line Twice moment (particularly from the setting itself).
  • Roseanne famously lost the plot in its ninth season, after the Connors won the Illinois State Lottery, and Roseanne Barr thought it would be clever to make the last season as wacky, farcical, and meta as possible. As Brad Jones put it, imagine if the final season of All in the Family suddenly became a later season of Family Matters.
  • Scrubs started as a very subdued Slice of Life medical sitcom, more similar to shows like The Royle Family and The Office (US) with the nominal gimmick that the lead character narrated his life. Over time, it transitioned into a more standard American sitcom and then into something almost as wacky as The Simpsons.
  • Seinfeld became this once Larry David resigned from writing duties after Season 7. The plots became more cartoonish and fast-paced, the characters became even more jerkish and self-centered, and the humor was less subtle. A good example of how much the show changed in its last two seasons is the Season 8 episode "The Bizarro Jerry", which centers on Elaine hanging out with somebody who's literally Jerry's exact opposite, Jerry dating a woman with the hands of a man, George concocting a manipulative-even-for-him scheme to get into an exclusive women's club, and Kramer getting a job.
  • Space: 1999 had two seasons that were the polar opposites of each other. The first season was slower paced with subdued acting and dealt with cerebral issues, often delving into metaphysics and existentialism. It was more SpaceOdyssey than Space Opera. Characterization was fatalistic and they often felt powerless and resigned to not understanding the the things that they often encounter. Many episodes ended with more questions than answers. Some episodes had aspects of Cosmic Horror, again with the characters unable to proactively affect a turn of events. Season two upped the action and gave the characters recurring quirks such as Tony's failed attempts to make beer. The characters are far more proactive with John Koenig being a Guile Hero and Action Hero when he needs to be. He and Alan Carter are now Heterosexual Life-Partners when they weren't particularly close in the first season. Helena becomes The Heart and now there also alien comedy relief sidekick who is also The Chick, The Spock and fanservice. Most of the episodes have the Everybody Laughs Ending. The second season had a more Wagon Train to the Stars format for a good reason. Fred Frieberger took over as the executive producer and reformatted the show in the same way he approached the the third season of another famous wagon train to the stars for which he was also executive producer.
  • The affectionately-named "Turd Season" of Star Trek: The Original Series. All those fans who wrote letters to keep Star Trek on the air must have been flabbergasted that this was the result of their efforts:
    1. "You're dead, you half-white!" "I'll take you with me, you half-black!"
    2. "Spock’s Brain" is the peak of goofy plot lines, cheesy dialogue ("Brain and brain!") and Shatner going full Shatner. This episode was later lampooned in a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, "The Magnificent Ferengi", by having an alien die and then his corpse be reanimated via remote control.
    3. That one and "The Way to Eden" (Don't be such a Herbert!) are always the ones people point to as too stupid to watch...
    4. ...but "And the Children Shall Lead" deserves a nomination for guest-starring Melvin Belli, a celebrity defense attorney, as a melting alien known as Gorgan. Speaking of which, Kirk's meltdown in that episode needs to be seen to be believed.
    • Not even Star Trek: The Next Generation was exempt from this: Planet Scotland! According to the Memory Alpha wiki, there was a large demographic of middle-aged women that watched TNG; this episode was a failed attempt at rewarding them with something related to their interests. There's really not much to say besides everyone's acting like they're from the most cliche romance novels, the accents are abominable, and Beverly Crusher has sex with a space ghost while reading a pornographic story about her grandma. At least they're doing better than Space Ireland did. Jesus, that was actually a real episode.
    • Star Trek: Voyager (a.k.a. the one with the salamander boinking episode). First, it was the second spinoff of The Next Generation, starting one year after Next Gen went off the air. Deep Space Nine was running concurrently, but it began before Voyager did. Right off the bat, you have franchise fatigue, because there’s not a lot of ideas that haven't already been covered by then. Second, unlike TNG or DS9, VOY was tethered to a network. UPN’s core demographics were skewed less toward sci-fi and more toward low-brow entertainment. (This is why we eventually got The Rock in an episode, as UPN hosted WWE at the time.) So it not only had to contend with network demands, like getting more visually-appealing actors, but also expectations from a network audience who weren't predisposed to liking Trek. Hence, Voyager skewed lighter, with episodes such as Tom Paris buying a spaceship, which has a brain interface (plastic headband) for controls? Which results in him falling in love with the spacecraft, which kidnaps him and tries to kill his girlfriend. Which is the plot of Christine, obviously.
  • Super Sentai had two: Gekisou Sentai Carranger and Engine Sentai Go-onger, both of which were car-themed Affectionate Parody seasons.
  • Supernatural flip flops this trope. While the show pulls no punches in reminding you how crapsack it is it also has its wacky moments when a breather episode comes up. Like when Sam and Dean were hunting a Monster of the Week pretending to be Dracula. While in full black and white. Then the Channel Chasers episode, and a crossover with Scooby-Doo. No, really.
  • The Ultra Series has had a few as well, most notably Ultraman Taro, Ultraman Max and the two Ultraman Zearth movies. Like Carranger and Go-Onger above, they were both intended to be Self-Parody entries of the franchise.
  • Ugly Betty became a full-blown farce starting about Series 3 and the ratings plummeted.
  • Played with in Warehouse 13. Many of the artifacts had terrible consequences, and they were never unwilling to be serious. However, some of the artifacts started to become even more and more silly as time went on, among them an artifact that traps people inside a Mexican Soap Opera, Walt Disney's pen, and an artifact that summons a bunch of dancing showgirls that chase down people (while singing and dancing.)

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Summer of 1999 into the early fall, WCW was beginning to hemorrhage viewers and money. They needed all the help they could get. Vince Russo was brought in as head writer to turn things around. 2000 was the What you are now watching is fake era when people were ripping up scripts, discussing finishes, etc. Russo was in a cage match where he fluked his way into the world title, but he wasn't sold as a threat, and the overarching commentary was, Goldberg won't follow the script! The script for this show which is fake. And it's so fake that the head writer scripted himself to be champion! Another time, Booker T won the World Heavyweight Championship out of a box. The direction was also manic. The Texas Tornado Ladder Match from the November 8, 1999 episode of Nitro lasted only 7 minutes, including entrances. Another show had 9 matches, none of which lasted over 3 minutes, and at least half had run-ins. Russo had to average about 2 ridiculous Gimmick Matches every 3 weeks, including four different varieties of pole matches. WCW 2000 was entertainingly bad, but he kind of threw a concrete block on a drowning promotion which needed a life preserver.
  • Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, aka JWP Joshi Puroreso, always had lighthearted elements but got wackier in 1992 after the majority of the serious "shoot" wrestlers left to form LLPW, with such highlights as "Princess" title belts, the Non-Ironic Clown Command Bolshoi taking charge of proceedings, and implied romance drama spilling into the build up of open weight bouts. Unfortunately, a lot of crises comparable to the LLPW pullout (and in one case worse) seemed to come upon the promotion at regular intervals, spoiling some of the intended atmosphere. Eventually financial disputes came to a head and JWP seemed to die for good, only for Pure J to rise from the ashes and basically be the same thing.
  • Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling got a little denser as it incorporated the more outlandish and fantastical gimmicks of rival promotions W*ING and IWA Japan following their unsuccessful "invasions", but really got wacky when Kodo Fuyuki took over and enforced his "Sports Entertainment" vision while also cutting back on the garbage wrestling the promotion was famed for.
  • Jaguar Yokota's promotion, Yoshimoto Women's Pro Wrestling Jd', or JDStar, took this approach after three years of virtual aimlessness following Yokota's virtual abandonment of it, trying to bring a more Girly Girl fanservice alternative to the traditionally serious joshi puroresu scene. (They may have had a point; the first act in Joshi to get over without gaijin aid was The Beauty Pair, even if the Tomboy Crushgals later blew them out of the water.)
  • The "Puroresu Love" era spearheaded by Keiji Mutoh was a drastically wackier shift for All Japan Pro Wrestling, who had the most serious pro wrestling in Japan, possibly the entire world, from a presentation standpoint. Mecha-Mooks, wannabe Mexicans, public kidnappings and Gorgeous Georges suddenly became the norm, all in the name of new advertising and sponsors following the loss of the original network spot to NOAH.
  • IWA Japan itself went this route when its own founder Victor Quiñones basically admitted defeat to FMW and returned to working for them before returning to Puerto Rico to try the IWA brand again there. Rather than continue to fight for the garbage wrestling audience, IWA Japan tried to stay alive by incorporating more comedy into its shows (and to be fair, it did live for another decade or so).
  • Pro Wrestling ZERO1, as a result of losing its direction in the wake of Shinya Hashimoto's hiatus and death, became a very cosmopolitan promotion where anything can be expected. Wagers involving food, or dancing. Wrestlers in bull (or cow) themed armor, a cosmic solider, sumo matches...mostly just straight pro wrestling between "regular" athletes, but by no means limited to it.
  • Carlito from his "Caribbean Cool" gimmick onward. From his overly exaggerated Puerto Rican accent, to his increasingly unkempt Afro, to his tendency to spit apples in people's faces, to a tendency to refer to himself in third person, to his brightly colored tights, to his Talk Show with Fists, this Cabana boy was a far cry from the shovel wielding man in a wife beater who first gained fame in WWC. And Carlito Caribbean Cool only got goofier as he later incorporated elements from his Gorgeous George gimmick (itself an example of this trope). However, when it came time to humiliate or hurt someone, Carlito remained as brutal as he always had been, and in fact got more callous.
  • Michelle McCool got a push in 2007 playing a down-to-earth All-American Face— who was a mostly serious wrestler and personal trainer. Likewise her heel turn in 2009 had her as a Blood Knight who did brutal sneak attacks on Maria Kanellis, Eve Torres and Melina. By the end of the year she and Layla formed LayCool. Initially a generic heel tandem, they became exaggerated versions of Valley Girls, with a more comedic edge. This in fact was better received than her previous persona, as fans found that Michelle had a flair for comedy. Layla in particular became an Ensemble Dark Horse for her affinity as The Ditz.
  • Jillian Hall was a mostly serious character until she adopted the gimmick of a Hollywood Tone-Deaf bimbo. This eventually evolved into skits of her trying to serenade the various celebrity guest hosts— and getting a slapsticky comeuppance each time.
  • Summer Rae was likewise a serious wrestler on NXT— with an undefeated streak and a habit of making sneak attacks. When she debuted on the main roster, it was as a dance partner to Fandango. As such, she changed her character to a superficial bimbo who could only get fluke wins.
  • Inverted for Alexa Bliss who debuted as a glitter-obsessed fairy princess who wore a tutu to the ring. She turned heel to become a more serious Alpha Bitch.
  • Tetsuya Naito ever since he left Los Ingobernables in CMLL, and especially since he started his very own Los Ingobernables de Japon. Best known as a Hot-Blooded half of the hotblooded Tag Team No Limit prior, and for his anti Mexican stint in La Ola Amarilla, Naito suddenly became lazy. To the point he spent more time in matches trying to get away from his opponents so he could spend more time lying down than he did actually trying to beat them. However, laziness also meant he was more willing to strike a foe with a weapon and had no problem with his Ingobernables softening up his opposition, so in a way Naito had become more dangerous.

  • The G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline was never realistic, but in its infancy, vehicles tended to be based on existing military hardware with minor changes and the character design, while athletic, was somewhat restrained. This changed as the franchise headed in the '90s, with characters both new and old clad in bright primary colours, overdesigned vehicles and wacky sublines (such as dinosaur-hunting and ninjas) being the order of the day. For a direct comparison, view the '84 vehicle assortment with the '91 one.
  • Monster High started out as a fairly edgy girls' toyline, with somewhat mature character designs and realistic high-school plots. Over time, the franchise shifted more toward its fantastical influences in design and story, and the 2016 reboot softened a lot of its remaining edge.
  • Transformers: BotBots contains tiny Transformers with wacky alt modes, such as food and gardening equipment, while also focusing on their mischief-inducing misadventures. This is a far cry from most other Transformers series, which are often about intergalactic war between two feuding sides.

    Video Games 
  • Alan Wake, a psychological horror thriller, had a downloadable sequel subtitled American Nightmare, which added more emphasis on gunplay, contained a hammy villain, and time travel shenanigans. It's justified in the fact that the plot (and enemy) come straight out of Alan Wake's old, crappy grindhouse horrors and sci-fi horror. It's best described as Tarantino and Stephen King hanging out.
  • Banjo-Kazooie's huge sense of humor relied so much heavily on Breaking the Fourth Wall, with its overall atmosphere being very silly and goofy. Nuts & Bolts still has Breaking the Fourth Wall aplenty, but overall it relies much more on traditional humor than the first two games did (to wit, the L.O.G is a Fourth-Wall Observer, who would never fit into the previous games).
  • The non-canon BIONICLE Heroes, specifically the console/PC version, is this to pretty much all other BIONICLE media. Unlike the usual serious tone, Heroes mostly relies on comedy and slapstick, and characters can fall apart and put themselves back together just like the sets. One of the best examples is the Piraka Playground, which revolves around Amusing Injuries, as the Piraka use fun relaxation equipment and injure themselves while doing so à la Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes, and the Chuck Jones and Tex Avery shorts.
  • The plot of Blazblue Cross Tag Battle is a glorified Gag Reel. It's much more humourous in tone than the main games, and the focus is on the colourful casts of BlazBlue, Persona 4: Arena, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY interacting with each other in entertaining ways. It also overlaps with Lighter and Softer, given how it contrasts with the generally Darker and Edgier main series.
  • Borderlands 2 is considerably wackier than the original, which was more of an Indecisive Parody until the DLC came out. As a good example of just how not-seriously the game takes itself, there's a quest called "Shoot This Guy in the Face". Overlaps with Darker and Edgier, however, given how much of the wackiness is undiluted Black Comedy.
  • Call of Duty:
    • The games started out as a relatively restrained and realistic war-time era shooter but grew more outlandish over time with the Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops spin offs moving the setting into the near future and the inclusion of the Nazis bonus mode which well... has Nazi Zombies.
    • An IGN article even says something in the likes of this for why the franchise would be First Installment Wins. The original employed an understated "docudrama" style, with realism and putting the player in historical battles while "work[ing] hard to make sure you felt like a small part of a bigger story, like the proverbial Cannon Fodder you really were." The current Cash Cow Franchise goes for instead an overblown macho Summer Blockbuster starring characters that wouldn't be out of place in an eighties action film.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series: The original Red Alert started out as a more grounded in reality World War Two-based version of The Tiberian Series. Then we had Red Alert 2, which introduced mind control, flying saucers, a giant brain in a tank, attack dolphins and giant squid. Red Alert 3 just drops any idea of being serious and adds in a IFV that launches infantry out of a cannon, Attack Bears also launchable from the same IFV, Animeland Japan with giant mechs, the Mister Freeze Corps, magnetic satellites, S.H.R.I.N.K. beams, and Emperor Takei. Oh my!
  • While the main gameplay of Criminal Case is still serious enough (investigating murder after murder after murder), the plot quickly became more outlandish by Pacific Bay, when compared to the relative grounded nature of Grimsborough. For example, Grimsborough has a Mob War, dogs being poisoned, and a Serial Killer terrorising the university, while Pacific Bay has a Church of Happyology brainwashing people, sending an alien back home to prevent his home planet from conducting an Alien Invasion, and a Mad Scientist intending to destroy the city.
  • Dead Rising has a variant, in that its plot stays the same - serious, but with comedic bits tossed in. With each installment, however, the weapons get more insane - the second featured things like a lightsaber made from jewels and a flashlight, to chainsaws strapped to boat paddles, to an electric wheelchair with machine guns. The third game allows you to make your own death-machine vehicle. The Dead Rising 3 DLC announced in Summer 2014, Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha, seems to be shooting straight for the highest density of wackiness possible, allowing for four-player co-op gameplay and parodying just about everything that's ever had to do with Capcom, including Capcom Sequel Stagnation, with a lack of seriousness that wouldn't be too out of place in Saints Row IV.
    • Then there's Dead Rising 4, which is very uncertain as to what it wants to be, but is certainly this. Some of the weapon combos are much sillier, and Frank constantly cracks jokes regardless of how appropriate it is for the time.
  • Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! has much more wacky moments in comparison to the first two titles, thanks to the Flanderization, funny enemy design, and Kiddy Kong himself.
    • Donkey Kong 64 multiplies the wackier elements by, well, sixty-four. Before the game begins, you are treated to a slapstick-filled rap number that introduces the Kongs. Lanky Kong in particular has sillier abilities such as inflating himself to reach high places. In addition to expected places such as Jungle Japes and Gloomy Galleon, there's also Frantic Factory with its Living Toys and a majority of Fungi Forest note .
  • Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones.
    Dr. El Sandifer: The game plays with typical late-NES sequel sloppiness — graphics feel rushed, flat, and lifeless. But conceptually speaking, the game is completely nuts, involving running around the world collecting Rosetta Stones, of which there are apparently several now, so that they can eventually fight Cleopatra. Sadly, the plot was sanitized for the [American] release, not in the sense of censorship but in the sense of adding sanity.
  • Koei's Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors have gotten like this. The launch titles for the "Musou" games, as they're known in Japan, mostly focused on basic armed combat on foot and some mounted combat, featuring entirely reasonable costume design. Come later titles, however, attacks have gotten flashier, new, supernatural abilities have been introduced, and costumes have gotten more absurd. Strikeforce is possibly one of the weirdest incarnations of the Dynasty Warriors series thanks to the introduction of what can only be described as powered up super modes for every character in the game. The two series arguably met a mutual crescendo of denser and wackier with the Warriors Orochi series, which takes the concept of both Massively Multiplayer Crossover and Loads and Loads of Characters and ramps them both Up to Eleven. It has also taken on shades of Crisis Crossover as of Warriors Orochi 3.
  • Fabulous: It's downplayed, but this Spin-Off series is less down-to-earth and family-orientated than its predecessor Delicious.
  • Fallout, like others here, wasn't the most serious of games, but Fallout 2 took it Up to Eleven with the wackiness factor. Fallout 3 toned down the humor with Bethesda handling it (but still had its odd moments), only for it to return in Fallout: New Vegas, which even features a Silliness Switch as one of the traits you can pick (and, even without it, there's plenty of wacky elements, such as a gang of Elvis impersonators and an evil talking toaster). Fallout 4 is then a bit more serious than New Vegas, but still has tons of silly moments and is generally Lighter and Softer than both 3 and New Vegas.
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon took the (mostly) serious gameplay from the Far Cry franchise and turned it into an Affectionate Parody of all '80s movies.
  • Final Fantasy IX compared to Final Fantasy VIII - which had a 'grounded' sci-fi type story with an all-human cast and a very brooding protagonist. IX returns the series to a Medieval European Fantasy with animal-people as characters and a much more cartoony art style. That said, it's only this on the surface and for the first several hours, with many dark moments and tragedies happening later in. Its main theme is even genocide, which you get to see enacted on multiple occasions. Not having a very angsty MC after three games probably helps this misconception, too.
  • Final Fantasy X was one of the most sombre games in the series - tackling themes like religious bigotry, racism, parental abuse and a character who was prepared to kill herself to save the world. Final Fantasy X-2 has a much more upbeat, goofy tone - with a peppy J-pop soundtrack, outrageous outfits and Yuna and Rikku becoming Genki Girls.
  • The majority of Final Fantasy XIV is treated seriously with dark tones and a serious storyline. The Hildibrand side quests are so over the top in wacky hijinks and comedy that it wouldn't look too out of place in a cartoon. Word of God says the Hildibrand content was deliberately designed this way so that the player can have some laughs to break up the mostly serious mood of the game.
  • The early Ganbare Goemon games were a slightly whimsical take on Jidaigeki motifs, Breaking the Fourth Wall occasionally. It developed into an anachronism-laden Widget Series on the Super Famicom.
  • Grand Theft Auto itself zig-zags this. It began as a rather subdued criminal to-power story in the 2D games and III, with an '80s soundtrack and more complex plots in Vice City; but really took off in San Andreas with crazy conspiracy theories all over, raiding an Area 51 expy with a freaking jetpack to boot, RC planes being used (albeit quite poorly), a heist on a full-blown casino; and even more. IV on the other hand went for a more realistic and darker path, but V takes things to back to a wackier state with more conspiracy theories with Bigfoot and aliens becoming realized, complex plots of heists; among more madness!
  • Left 4 Dead had a group of survivors trying to get away from the Zombie Apocalypse with various special infected cranking up the horror factor in their designs and method of attacks. Left 4 Dead 2 turns up the crazy and silly by having a different group of survivors with exaggerated character traits, use of silly melee weapons like guitars and frying pans, and the new special infected looking goofy and attacking in sillier ways like the Jockey that jumps onto a survivor's head and humps them.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a pretty straightforward, serious adventure of good and evil. Its direct sequel, Majora's Mask, is much weirder. Among other things Link learns a song from eggs and stuffs a plant-princess in a bottle. All while trying to stop the world from being destroyed by a moon with a face. The finale takes the Mind Screw Up to Eleven. In spite of that it is also one of the darker installments of the series.
    • While most games in the series are relatively serious, Tri Force Heroes takes place in a kingdom that treats fashion as Serious Business, and where the heroes must save Princess Styla from being stuck in an ugly full-body leotard that she can't take off.
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a mix of two (later three, with the Donkey Kong Adventure expansion) series that are known for being lighthearted and silly, and yet it still manages to be even more comedic and full of hijinks than either, with slapstick, self-awareness, and funny background events (that can usually be inspected for a snarky remark from your Robot Buddy on top of that) aplenty. In-universe, this is a side effect of the Raving Rabbids world "crossing over" with the worlds of Mario and Donkey Kong.
  • Mass Effect 3 is a very serious game about the galaxy fighting a war of annihilation against a fleet of sentient spaceships that the galaxy is losing. The first two DLCs continue this theme. Then comes The Citadel, which is a very very wacky adventure where the stakes are much lower, the bad guys are hammy, and the whole thing ends with the characters having a party. There's a reason its Funny Moments entry is nearly as long as that of the core game and the other DLCs combined.
  • Metal Gear:
  • NASCAR Rumble is NASCAR... as a cross-country racing and a Mario Kart esque Wacky Racing.
  • NetHack started out as Hack, which was a fairly simple Rogue clone to begin with except for the addition of a Canine Companion.
  • Parappa The Rapper, while not in a realistic setting in any way, has down-to-earth themes that would fall under Slice of Life (learning karate for self defense, learning how to drive to get around, working a side job to get money needed to fix a wrecked car, etc) with Parappa learns that he just needs to be himself and never give up. In the sequel, Parappa goes on a wacky hijinx adventure that involves saving the town from a guy that wants to turn all the food into noodles and turn everyone's hair into giant afros while Parappa learns what it means to be mature.
  • Although Rayman was never serious to begin with, the second game was Darker and Edgier than the first. The third game went back to being dense and wacky, then went beyond dense and wacky with Origins and Legends.
  • In Rumble Roses, the storylines were full of anime goofiness, but the actual gameplay was pretty much just Professional Wrestling. For the sequel Rumble Roses XX, the goofiness bled over into the gameplay, with such things as Benikage's finishing move being summonining a giant frog to inhale her opponents, final boss Lady X Substinence turning into a fighter jet, the playable bear, and the "streetfighting mode" which featured Cartoon Physics.
  • Saints Row started off as a Grand Theft Auto-inspired sandbox game about gang warfare, but its second installment began introducing outlandish minigames like streaking naked, driving a sewage truck spraying gunk everywhere to devalue property, riding a quad while on fire, and so on. The third game goes completely nuts, with a cyberspace level, futuristic VTOL jets and hoverbikes, a vehicle that sucks people up and shoots them out of a cannon, zombies, and so on. The fourth game takes it Up to Eleven by featuring an alien invasion, superpowers that would make Alex Mercer weep with envy, weaponized dubstep and the main character becoming the President of United States. The preorder DLC pack includes patriotic hardware such as an eagle shaped jet and the "all guns in one" weapon.
  • Though the first Serious Sam wasn't exactly serious to begin it with, it still had a relatively realistic art-style and cartoonish but not that out-there Standard FPS Guns. Then came Serious Sam II, which had things like a world based on fairy tales, a kamikaze parrot as a weapon and redesigned the hero to make him more cartoonish. However, the third game went Darker and Edgier.
  • The Sims was a typical life simulator with a little humour. Expansion packs added oddities like genies and zombies, and this eventually escalated into a full-on World of Weirdness with The Sims 2 and its expansions, and most of the true weirdness is contained in the expansions, meaning that any given copy of the games will start out as (relatively) normal, and will accumulate supernatural elements as the player installs additional expansions.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Colors, compared to some of the earlier titles before it, is definitely more cartoony and surreal in its plot and dialogue.
    • To a certain extent, Sonic Unleashed. While still relatively serious, the game took a very lighthearted turn in comparison to previous games, with the addition of Chip, a lot more comic relief, more cartoony cutscenes and humans designed to look more like they came out of a Pixar movie.
    • Sonic Heroes is probably the most egregious example, being much lighter than its darker, more serious predecessors and successors. It goes to a more traditional "stop Eggman from doing bad things" plot for Teams Sonic and Dark (even if the latter does have a more complex reason), and Team Rose is hunting for Sonic and Cream's and Big's pets. Team Chaotix has a more serious story on paper, but in practice it's mostly them doing silly missions like collecting bingo chips with occasional ones related to Eggman.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The series exemplifies this trope in that the first games involved fairly realistic (or at least familiar) premises: a carpenter trying to rescue his girlfriend from a gorilla (Donkey Kong), then a plumber clearing animals out of the sewer pipes (Mario Bros.), then a demolition crew tearing down a building (Wrecking Crew). Super Mario Bros. made this premise a little more epic and strange in that it's a princess being rescued from a bunch of turtle sorcerers, and it involves a journey across eight worlds, but it's still fairly straightforward. Super Mario Bros. 2 went further into the wackiness side by having a dream world setting, while Super Mario Bros. 3 made each world wildly different from the others and added more powerups, and since then each Mario game seems to try to outdo the last in scale and zaniness, to the point of Super Mario Galaxy which has the plumber soaring through space and jumping from planet to planet.
    • The two Galaxy games exhibit this. The first game had a more epic scope, with the climax of the game being played as frightening and tragic, and great emphasis was put on the atmosphere and mystery of space, even introducing a new character, Rosalina, who has a melancholy backstory and introduces philosophical ideas about life and rebirth. The second game is more in line with other Mario titles, with a comical hub world and ship captain, a typical Excuse Plot conflict regarding Bowser and cake, and a less dramatic climax, even ending on a comedic note.
    • Similarly, Super Mario Sunshine is much goofier than Super Mario 64, going beyond the usual Excuse Plot to include an actual vacation story reminiscent of a Saturday Morning Cartoon. Also, 64 featured arguably the darkest, least comedic portrayal of Bowser in the entire series, who made Mario survive floor traps and endless stairs to get to him, and was accompanied by Ominous Pipe Organ music reminiscent of Freddy Krueger. In contrast, in Sunshine, he's relaxing in a hot tub and complaining about Mario disturbing his family vacation for his final (and only) boss fight.
    • The Wario Land series is definitely this compared to the Mario games. How many other games actually let you set yourself on fire in order to break through certain blocks?
    • Even that gets outdone by the WarioWare games, which take the silliness Up to Eleven.
  • Team Fortress 2:
    • The creators realized that if they wanted their First-Person Shooter's gameplay and art style to match, they would have to drastically distance themselves from the feel of the first game, and take absolutely nothing seriously. It worked.
    • Done in-game after the Pyromania update with the Pyro. Any of the new items for the Pyro, or anyone wearing the pyrovision goggles, shows that the Pyro sees their weapons as handing out rainbows, sparkles and bubbles. People laugh as they lay down to take naps while covered in dancing colors, and the landscape (of certain maps) filled with lollipops and happy clouds.* The original Earthworm Jim was already wacky, but its sequel went off the deep end - for example, its third level featured Jim as a cave salamander floating through a pinball bumper- and pencil-studded intestine while shooting inflated sheep on his way to a nonsensical game show at the level's end. Thankfully, it actually worked. After that, Earthworm Jim 3D on the N64 (developed by a different team) descended into infantile "random" gags and Bubsy the Bobcat-quality puns.
  • When you get into the Seraphic Gate in Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, the game hits the Silliness Switch and cranks it Up to Eleven.
  • Watch_Dogs 2 not only moves the action from grim and rainy Chicago to Bay Area, but also gives the new protagonist a meme-spewing hacker collective for friends and sets him, among others, against a movie studio shooting a very campy sci-fi movie involving a Cool Car that you have to take for a joyride.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon continues the series tradition of hard-hitting crime drama stories, but the battle system is changed from the usual gritty and violent beat-em-up style of combat to a turn-based JRPG format, thanks to Ichiban Kasuga being a Mr. Imagination who visualizes the scrapes he gets into as Dragon Quest-style battles. The vocations he and his companions take on are akin to a Job System, enemies embody various JRPG monster tropes (and even have an accompanying Pokedex-style phone app), calling for backup plays out like performing Summon Magic, and special abilities are over-the-top bordering on fantastical.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney had its share of outlandishness from the beginning, but it became notably more extreme as the series went on. The prosecutors were the most affected by this, with Edgeworth's biggest oddity being an outdated sense of dress, while later prosecutors included a literal rock star, a convicted criminal, and a spiritualist monk.
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc had a relatively mundane setting, with everyone being trapped in a large high school, and relatively few plot elements that could be considered bizarre and out-there. Come Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, suddenly everyone's trapped on a series of tropical islands guarded by giant robots and one character gets transformed into a robot himself, the trial room is reached via a giant Monokuma version of Mt. Rushmore, and Monokuma himself has a sidekick to serve as a comedic foil against (in theory, at least.) The executions were pretty silly and full of Black Comedy before, but in this game they went completely insane, including deep-frying people in active volcanoes and rocketing them into space on a giant rocket arm. The plot is still serious, but the setting is far more outlandish. Which makes sense when you find out it's all a VR simulation. The third mainline game went for balancing out these competing approaches both by reducing the zany and raising the darkness and having it not be a direct sequel. How well this worked, and even what type of sequel it ultimately is, will remain hotly debated until definitive answers are given, which may be never.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia started off as a pretty grounded romance visual novel with only a few hints of oddities like a bit about cellular memory being a plot device and Yuuji's often hinted job as a black ops agent. The sequel even retconned away the cellular memory thing when the writers realized it was a discredited theory. However, The Eden of Grisaia contains super soldiers, super serums, cloning, brain uploading and artificial arms though it turns out the latter two were actually lies. Kazuki is connected to the Thanatos computer system rather than it being formed around an uploaded version of her brain and the artificial arm was just a really tasteless joke.
  • While most of Princess Evangile's W Happiness fandisc routes go for the Lighter and Softer path, Konomi's route is this, with just about every other moment Masaya and Konomi spending together being an incredibly awkward and hilarious moment of some sort, down to Konomi just loudly proclaiming to the other main heroines that she and Masaya had Their First Time the other day.

    Web Animation 
  • Benthelooney when his rants/reviews were Un-Canceled. To begin with before the uncanceled seasons, Ben was a straightforward ranter that exaggerated how angry he was and added an occasional joke, but still focused on the subject of his rants. In the Uncanceled seasons, Ben took a Denser and Wackier approach which was a trait flanderized in the second run of Ben Rants to the point of where by 2013, his whole rants started to follow this formula and Ben creating two spin-off videos of his other characters.
  • Lobo Webseries focuses on humor compared to the rest of the DC Animated Universe. It is still Bloodier and Gorier thanks to graphic violence.
  • Red vs. Blue was always silly, but grounded in science fiction that wouldn't be out of place in the Halo games it borrows from. That is, until Season 16, The Shisno Paradox, which introduces time travel, ancient gods and such. The high point was a cyclops portrayed by a live-action person, ensuring complaints from people who preferred how dramatic the show got as it went on instead of an inversion.
  • Sonic for Hire was already wacky to start with, yet as the story goes, it gets farther and farther into the wacky extreme.
  • RWBY Chibi took most of the comedy out of RWBY and condensed it into tiny-sized, giant-headed solid cartoon characters so RWBY could take on a GrimmDark tone without upsetting the fans.

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck started with this trope as a goal and succeeded admirably.
    Andrew Hussie: "There was only one sure thing I knew when starting HS. That was that this thing would go batshit insane in ways I couldn't begin to imagine. In fact, it was practically the mission statement."
  • Problem Sleuth slides from gentle, mildly complicated antics into utter, ultra-convoluted chaos. Some fans consider the change to be where it Growing the Beard.
  • Roomies! was never exactly down-to-Earth and serious to begin with but nevertheless dealt with fairly realistic personal issues, went this route with the introduction of the Aliens.
  • Learning with Manga! FGO starts as a simple, if not silly, parody of Fate/Grand Order... at least until they introduced the udon Servants, at which point the series went straight into crazy territory.

    Web Original 
  • You can argue TV Tropes itself has gotten wackier since its inception.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball interestingly combined this with Darker and Edgier. Season 1, despite the trippy and wacky setting, had fairly realistic Slice of Life plots. From Season 2 onwards, however, the humor became more Black Comedy laced, the tone overall more cynical, the plots featured desconstructions of common sitcom tropes, and there would eventually be a story arc involving the possibility that the universe itself is a sentient being. However, the show became a lot more wackier in the process, with the surrealism being boosted significantly, there was a noticeable increase in fourth wall breaking, and the plotlines generally became so bizarre that they have to be seen to be believed.
  • Season 3 of The Animals of Farthing Wood compared to the previous two seasons, the first two seasons were more realistic other than the animals speaking and some of the bipedal animals doing human like motions, but in season three the art style and animation is far more cartoony with over the top facial expressions, cartoonish gags, and everyone minus the quadrupedal animals moving and acting like people with their paws and wings acting like hands.
  • Batman: The Animated Series was Uncanceled and given a Retool with Art Evolution to become The New Batman Adventures. The previous series was known for its stronger ties to Film Noir and a bigger effort to explain some of the more outlandish comic book plots. This new season started to introducing more superpowered villains and Mad Science portrayed as a casual occurrence, in part so it could cross over with Superman: The Animated Series.
  • Ben 10:
  • The Berenstain Bears: In contrast to the more down-to-Earth 2003 cartoon, the 80s animated adaptation is far more cartoony than the original books were.
  • The Boondocks became this way starting with season 2. The show started out as an animated series with fairly realistic settings and events for the most part (much like King of the Hill). Once it entered its second season however, the characters became very flanderized, the story-lines zanier and far more outlandish, and the show as a whole much more cartoony and fast-paced (to the point where even the characters seem to be talking a mile a minute at times).
  • Simply put this—borrow the characters from Kevin Smith's low-budget 1994 blockbuster, make them animated, add in new characters, bring Seinfeld writer David Mandel and Kim Possible animators Stephen Silver, Steve Loter and Chris Bailey on board, and include more wackiness, slapstick and fantasy. That would eventually create Clerks: The Animated Series.
  • The pilot for The Dreamstone was much more dark and actionized (if still cartoony) with a much greater sense of mortal peril for the heroes. The following episodes downplayed things into a Harmless Villain series with the Urpneys with most episodes following their buffoonery or some Epic Fail to take the title stone. Character Focus was rearranged accordingly. The Urpneys became Villain Protagonists while the genuinely sinister Big Bad, Zordrak became obsolete and was gradually put Out of Focus. The heroes, who were Immune to Slapstick and still played the formula seriously, spent most of the series as Hero Antagonists, though the closing points made Rufus and Amberley more comical and savvy so as to give them more active roles again.
  • The Fairly OddParents went through this trope as it went on. It starts to become wackier after its transition from Oh Yeah! Cartoons, when the movies were cut down from 90 minutes to an hour, when Poof arrives, and finally, with the additions of talking fairy-dog Sparky and Parody Sue Chloe Carmichael.
  • Family Guy:
    • The first few seasons were rather realistic in comparison to what it later became — the only really crazy things happened in cutaway gags. After the show was Un-Canceled, however, the plots and the characters became wackier, zanier, dumber, and quite mean spirited at times.
    • Season 12 has taken this trait and amped it up to 11, to the point of where every scene is comedic. note 
  • Happened in the later seasons of Garfield and Friends, especially the U.S. Acres segments. That was actually a good thing. The last three seasons were the funniest and the wackiest of the series.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy becomes more and more bizarre as it goes along, with several plots involving some very out there concepts.
  • Hey Arnold! started out as a typical Slice of Life series with a good balance of humor and drama. Once the show switched from cels to digital paint, the show put a bit more emphasis on comedy (though it certainly does still have its serious moments, such as when the topics of Arnold's missing parents and Helga's home life come up).
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes was already a lot sillier than its infamous pilot, but Season 2's Retool took it Up to Eleven. How exactly is a bit hard to explain to non-fans, but let it be known Season 1 would likely never have had an episode in which a giant talking sandwich cowboy is central to the plot rather than just a one-off joke. However, some fans believe the increasingly goofy tone cemented the series' Second Season Downfall.
  • As the show has gone on, The Loud House has featured increasingly off-the-wall plot ideas and crazier slapstick humor. It arguably reached its zenith in Season 5, which features outlandish plots and plot elements such as Lisa using a working time machine to transport a dinosaur into her classroom or Lincoln and Clyde discovering that the Loud family's new neighbors are peach-obsessed Georgia natives plotting to destroy all of the cherries in town, which likely would have just been Imagine Spots or All Just a Dream instead of being unambiguously real occurances had they been Season 1 or 2 episodes.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, the show itself grew denser and wackier as it went onwards. Compare "Party of One", probably the zaniest episode of the more down-to-earth first season, with the season 4 Musical Episode "Pinkie Pride" — it's almost like watching a different show. Naturally, this tonal shift follows the show changing creative directors from Lauren Faust herself to someone else.
  • While the Noddy series has always been lighthearted, the second CGI incarnation Noddy In Toyland takes the franchises' lighthearted tone Up to Eleven. The series is mainly focused on humorous situations compared to it's previous incarnations (Make Way For Noddy and Toyland Adventures) much to the dismay of longtime fans.
  • PAW Patrol was never the most realistic cartoon around, but the first season had the team involved in fairly normal situations, such as when they helped a baby whale back into the ocean, with the more zany moments usually being All Just a Dream. As the series progressed, the show began introducing sillier plots and characters, such as space aliens, a Dick Dastardly Expy and his team of Evil Counterpart kitties who live in a town of perpetual fog, a kleptomaniac Pirate and his dachshund first-mate, the team getting superpowers from a golden meteor, rescues involving living dinosaurs, so on and so forth.
  • Phineas and Ferb from its second season onward is noticeably wackier than the more laid-back first season.
  • While The Powerpuff Girls had its lot of comedy (especially in the last few seasons), the 2016 reboot ups the antics by having everyone act more excitable, exaggerating characterizations (for example Blossom went from The Smart Gal to being a Neat Freak with Super OCD), featuring Wingding Eyes often, and frequently mentioning memes.
  • Quack Pack is this, compared to the understated DuckTales (1987) and Goof Troop. This show revels on being outlandish, as not only aliens and monsters appear, items such as earthquake machines, bags of condensed lava and brain-controlling braces can be found.
  • Inverted with The Raccoons, as the series started out very uninspired and cartoonish, but shifted gradually to more serious, realistic and story-driven.
  • The original Rainbow Brite was an action fantasy. The 2015 miniseries reboot was a comedy.
  • The short lived Slimer! And The Real Ghostbusters compared to the original The Real Ghostbusters. While the original show had its comedic moments, some episodes were downright dark and scary. Slimer!, on the other hand, was purely comedic, the character designs were simplified, and most of the plots were about Slimer being assigned some task which led to wacky and cartoonish antics rather than catching ghosts.
  • Scooby-Doo:
  • The first season or two of The Simpsons was very grounded in a quite realistic premise, often bordering on dramedy grounds, one early episode Bart was struggling in school and made a sincere effort to pass a test only to fail miserably and start crying... quite unlike the 'anything goes' antics that made the whole show a pop-culture fixture in later seasons. However, as years dragged on, this went on too far, especially during the Mike Scully years, when this trope was allegedly used to death. Since then, current showrunner Al Jean toned down the wackiness just a bitnote  in attempt to return to its original roots.
  • A notable inversion comes in Sonic Boom. While much more gag focused, the fantasy adventure plots of previous Sonic incarnations give way to simple Slice of Life affairs like Sonic firing Tails as his sidekick, and Eggman driving Sonic crazy moving in with him for a while.
  • Originally, South Park was just a vulgar comedy, but by the time season 7 rolled around, the show went through a Cerebus Rollercoaster by having more dramatic moments once in a while. Season 13 was the only season where the show became wackier compared to the previous 6 seasons before it, with episodes such as Mickey Mouse using The Jonas Brothers to shill purity rings to horny preteen girls, confusion over what real wrestling is like, Cartman's insane logic about The Smurfs to get back at Wendy, and apocalypse at a water park involving pee. Some Multi-Part Episodes tend to be rather serious, such as "Cartoon Wars". Ironically, the mostly serious 12th season has a Two Part Episode about giant guinea pigs attacking. And they are REAL guinea pigs dressed in cute costumes that were integrated with the animation.
  • Space Ghost had plenty of B-movie elements, but was still relatively serious as far as Hanna-Barbera cartoons went. Then Space Ghost Coast to Coast happened, transplanting the hero and his rogue's gallery into a talk show format and throwing any pretense of seriousness out the window. Cartoon Planet somehow managed to be even wackier than that.
  • Space Goofs: The 2005 season takes it even further than the 1997 season due to the increase in quality.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The characters became wackier when the show was revived, dumber and rather callous. The show as a whole became a lot more zanier surreal. Since "Lost in Bikini Bottom", the plots and facial expressions had become this trope (emphasis on the word wackier, rather than denser, while trying to keep the show more constant in quality) since the second half of season 9.2 started, especially "Company Picnic," "Patrick the Game" and "Food Con Castaways". This is because according to Vincent Waller on Twitter, he and the artists wanted to make the show cartoony again. Season 10 so far had been more Wackier and Denser than most of the entire show, especially Whirlybrains and Krusty Katering. It should be noted that this trope become more pronounced once Waller and Marc Ceccarelli became the supervising producers, even moreso when Ben Gruber joined the show.
  • By virtue of being a comedy, Star Trek: Lower Decks is far more zany and silly than any past Star Trek series.
  • Teen Titans Go! to the original Teen Titans. While the original show did have its silly moments and occasional wacky episodes, like the Trapped in TV Land episode, it was a Half-Arc Season series that had downright dark and terrifying episodes to balance the lighthearted ones. The new show is purely comedic with even wackier situations and the characters have been redesigned into a simpler, more cartoonish style.
  • Disney's television adaptations of their films are often this. Timon & Pumbaa is a noticeable example, being goofy slapstick that had the characters in a variety of situations all over the world, compared to the more realistic film that grounded itself in the African Savannah. 101 Dalmatians: The Series also followed a story that wasn't too outlandish (to the point it was mostly replicated in live-action) with a series that was a goofy sitcom with animals at best, and just plain cartoonish at worse (one episode had Cruella and Lucky sucked inside a video game).
  • Thomas the Tank Engine has always been a semi serious show about the engines of Sodor, but from about season 18 onwards, the writers have been adding more outright comedy and Parental Bonus to the show. The Fat Controller goes from a stern figure to a bumbling Big Fun, and railway realism, while more realistic than the Sharon Miller seasons, has again began to waver, especially in the Big World, Big Adventures seasons. Luckily, the writing team has remained consistent in their framing of the characters and the Island of Sodor itself.
  • The Tom and Jerry cartoons started out as a fairly typical 'cat chases mouse' cartoon, which even in the early 1940s wasn't anything new. As time went on though, episodes began taking place in different time periods and settings, and thanks to the influence Tex Avery had on MGM's animation studio, the slapstick violence was cranked Up to Eleven. This of course coincided with Western Animation as a whole becoming Denser and Wackier in the 1940s, as cutesy cartoons starring Woodland Creatures fell out of popularity, to be replaced by The Prankster and the Karmic Trickster.
  • Total Drama: This series as a whole is a lot more cartoony and zany than its predecessor, 6teen, but seems to get even moreso as time goes on.
    • The first season was a pretty exciting, relatively realistic, and at times surprisingly down-to-earth "animated reality show" set in a traditional "crappy summer camp" on a small island. Afterwards, as the drama gets upped with every season, so does the craziness. The second season takes place in an abandoned movie studio and every episode is a movie parody with much cartoonier antics. The third season has the contestants flying around the world in a rundown jet and singing every episode. The fourth season takes place in the first island, which is now a radioactive waste deposit full of mutants and monsters. The fifth season sees the island restored to normal, but then get destroyed in the finale, while the sixth season is instead set on an artificial island with shifting geography and robotic animals.
    • The way contestants are kicked off the show each season get more over-the-top every time. In Season 1, a boat came to take the contestants off the island. In season 2, a broken-down limousine drove the contestants off the movie set. Season 3 had the contestants sky dive out of the jumbo jet they were flying in when voted off. In season 4, a giant catapult flung them off the island. And in Season 5? They're flushed down a giant toilet. And Season 6 launches them out of a giant cannon.
    • In the first season, each of the teen contestants were exaggerated teenage stereotypes, but otherwise mostly realistic and very easily recognizable as people you'd have probably known from school or seen in a down-to-earth teen drama or high school movie. Later seasons mostly moved away from this, with such weirdo characters as a Parody Sue Loony Fan, a Creepy Child with supernatural powers, a Bubble Boy, a boy with Split Personalities, a mute super-genius, a Motor Mouthed compulsive liar, a Crazy Survivalist who believes zombies are real, a Cloud Cuckoolander who believes he is a wizard, a wannabe supervillain, a Disney princess parody, and a homicidally insane Evil Genius. Yeah, not really the kinds of kids you see in high school.
    • This also goes to character injuries as well. In the first season, the worst injury sustained was when Cody got mauled by a bear, though he recovered in the end. In Season 3, Alejandro is engulfed in lava, leading him to become an Expy of Darth Vader for nearly two years. Ezekiel, after being voted off, stows away on the plane, causing him to become feral with his skin becomes ghastly pale, eventually making him an Expy of Gollum. In Season 4, Dakota is exposed to radioactive material in a mine, causing her to become a giant, humanoid monster.
    • The challenges seem to get more ridiculous and life-threatening in every season. The first season's challenges were mostly simple or straightforward activities associated with summer camp or high school like canoeing, cooking, talent shows, and dodgeball, with the occasional challenge similar to those of well-known reality shows but cartoonishly exaggerated. But as the series went on and Chris' love of putting the contestants in danger for cheap ratings got flanderized, we get completely insane challenges of which most would either be impossible or illegal in real life like having to escape a giant robotic monster going on a rampage, climb an active volcano to throw a dummy into it, traverse a radioactive mine while carrying bombs on one's back, collect the eggs of giant mutant monsters created by toxic waste, and carry sleeping babies past dangerous animals, an avalanche zone, and a blindfolded Chef with a bazooka that launches globs of pasta.
    • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race saw a return to the relatively realistic standards of the first season of its parent show. Among other things, many of the teams are made of relatively normal people easy to imagine encountering in real life or seeing on reality TV, most of Don's challenges are much more reasonable than those seen on Chris' show, the injuries are also much less over-the-top (the worst one is when Devin falls from a cliff and has to leave the game as a result; he recovers though), and the elimination ceremony is simply just getting to say a few departing words before going to the nearest airport.
    • The Spinoff Babies series Total Dramarama takes it Up to Eleven. All of the following has occurred in only the first few episodes: Uber balls defying physics and bouncing into outer space, dares summoning people to a form of purgatory where they must make a vow with a talking Cerberus, aliens invading Earth, one character becoming a werewolf, and appearances from sentient animals or objects.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man is infamous for being this compared to the previous Spider-Man animated incarnations of the character, and even compared to the comic character; while Spider-Man is known for being a wise-cracking character prone for often pulling I Shall Taunt You and You Fight Like a Cow, his story included several serious, sometimes even dark storylines, with some of his villains being murderous creepy psychopaths. Ultimate Spider-Man tones down most of the serious elements — at least initially — and extends Spider-Man's humor to No Fourth Wall and cartoonish cutaway gags. Ironically enough, the Ultimate Spider-Man original comic which the series take its name from is known to be actually Darker and Edgier than the classic comic, even involving Spider-Man's death.
  • VeggieTales in the House, a spin-off series of VeggieTales is notably a lot more cartoony and slapsticky than the latter, most prominently for its wide use of cartoon sound effects.

    Real Life 
  • The '80s were more or less this compared to The '70s, which were this to The '60s in turn. The second half of The '60s was noticeably different than the first half, with the rise of the counterculture, protests against The Vietnam War, assassinations and political unrest. The '90s would do the same thing to The Eighties, and to an extent, the Turn of the Millennium to The Nineties.
    • It can be argued this happened with centuries, too; the 18th century, with the French and Industrial Revolution, seemed back in the day denser and wackier than the 17th, and in turn, the 19th with the Romanticism looked even wackier. The same went with the 20th century and both World Wars, and the 21st century. Maybe they were more different than wackier?
  • Taiwanese news outlet NMA got famous for doing relatively straight, 3D-animated re-enactions of events, such as Tiger Woods's car crash, the JetBlue flight attendant who opened up the emergency slide on the plane, and a cartoonish representation of the fight over The Tonight Show returning to Jay Leno. Nowadays, their videos are completely off-the-wall, have recurring gag characters such as a weed monster, two midget pilots named Sum Ting Wong and Wi Tu Lo (after an infamous incident where an intern gave fake, racist names to a news station regarding a fatal accident at San Francisco International Airport), and a mockery of Ark Music Factory's "Chinese Food". Compare this to this. It was enough to make an intern infamously quit the company (with an equally silly method: an interpretative dance explaining why she left).
  • Due to the now near ubiquity of smartphones, increasingly advanced science and technology, and ratings-obsessed 24 hour news channels, reality itself has been see as becoming this by many people, especially in many social and political arenas. For the most part, life has always been a mixture between dense wackiness, boring mundanity, and gritty brutality but when you weren't expected to know what was going on outside your town save for what you read in the newspaper or saw on the evening news, it seemed as if life was much less outlandish than it really was.


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