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Genre-Killer

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"At the end of this puzzle, you have to affix the improbable cat hair moustache to your lip with maple syrup!... Who killed Adventure Games? I think it should be pretty clear at this point that Adventure Games committed suicide."
Old Man Murray, "Death of Adventure Games"

One order of magnitude greater than Franchise Killer, this is when a work somehow manages to take an entire genre down. A rare and unpredictable phenomenon that can, in extreme cases, cause a genre to become Deader Than Disco. This can happen in a variety of ways.

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Some works, however, end up being the last straw for the genre by circumstances unrelated to their actual content but rather by their Troubled Production and Executive Meddling.

These often aren't permanent: A good Reconstruction, revival, or cleverly marketed reboot can bring a genre Back from the Dead if you pull it off right. Something of a Cyclic Trope, as genres tend to go through periods of death, rebirth and change.

Compare Creator Killer, Star-Derailing Role. Also compare Trope Breaker, where it's a culture change or technological advance in Real Life that takes a genre down by discrediting one of its chief tenets. Contrast Genre Relaunch, a work that brings a genre Back from the Dead.


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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The poor sales and cancellation of Waai! and Otonyan and the failure of the Himegoto anime killed off virtually all mainstream attempts in the Otokonoko Genre. Not helped by the Genre Deconstruction Bokura no Hentai coming along and pointing out the genre's numerous problems, namely the large amounts of transphobia and homophobia.
  • Despite its part in revitalizing the Anime industry as a whole, Neon Genesis Evangelion also had the effect of killing off traditional idealistic Super Robot series in the vein of Mazinger Z and Getter Robo. While some revivals, like GaoGaiGar and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, have proved successful, none have ever stuck, and the angstier, character-driven Humongous Mecha shows styled after Evangelion still predominate. Years later, an anime called DARLING in the FRANXX, made by many of the same staff as NGE, attempted to bring about a new variation on the concept, and suffered such a backlash that more or less show that even years later, the mecha genre still suffers from this issue.
  • The Otaku Killer and the media circus surrounding his deeds in Japan resulted in the death of the ultra-violent Shounen series. Before that, manga like Fist of the North Star, Devilman, Bastard!!, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure could get away with large amounts of Family-Unfriendly Violence and nudity despite running in magazines that were geared towards the 8-14 demographic. After about 1990, shounen manga, while still able to show more sex and violence than the average American comic targeted at the same age group, would never reach the same level of content they could before, and extreme violence has largely (with a few exceptions, like Apocalypse Zero, Deadman Wonderland, Attack on Titan or Akame ga Kill!) been relegated to Seinen.
  • Big Windup was this for sports anime and manga in the American market due to poor sales reported by Funimation. Most anime licensors in North America refuse to license sports anime from that point on until a relatively popular swimming anime about handsome boys and six-packs (Free!) and a sports anime about volleyball (Haikyuu!!) came into play in 2013/2014, which also led the sports anime genre to a Genre Relaunch.
  • Similar to the Evangelion example above with mecha anime, the success of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and its spinoffs have largely killed off the idealistic Magical Girl series. While several concrete examples such as the Pretty Cure series still exist due to the Grandfather Clause (and even then, Pretty Cure itself still defies conventions by being far more action oriented than the usual series), most magical girl series now involve re-imaginings of earlier series (Sailor Moon Crystal) or Darker and Edgier original works (Kill la Kill) that subvert some aspect of the genre. However, the idealistic side of the genre still has a lot of influence on Western Animation, with shows such as Steven Universe, Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and Miraculous Ladybug being immensely popular.
  • In a similar manner to the video games below; the success of the Pokémon anime has made it very difficult for any other Mon series to gain a foothold. Usually, they just end up being viewed as imitators.
    • Much like the games below, averted in Japan with Yo Kai Watch emerging as a major competitor and going toe to toe with Pokémon regularly in popularity; but played straight outside Japan, where it's nowhere near as popular despite positive reviews from critics and a small Western fanbase. It has managed to shake off the stigma of being viewed as a Pokémon imitator, though.
  • A weird example in that the initial success, and subsequent Hype Backlash towards Sword Art Online more or less killed the "Iseka" genre, largely because each one that followed had to try and put a unique spin on the concept, with very few managing to do so because of their focus on Light Novels aimed at young male audiences. While they still get made and given anime adaptations, said shows tend to be negatively received because they lack any creative thought to them, using the same character ideas or narrative, and tend to have unique settings that are only used as the backdrop for the characters, which all tend to pander to a harem protagonist designed to be as generic as possible. Notable shows like Konosuba, Re:Zero, and Over Lord 2012 managed to avert this and become successful because they averted the cliches and tropes often negatively associated with the genre to a good enough degree to create a unique enough mark in the genre.

    Arts 
  • The original Dada movement of 1916 - which was based on violating conventions and depended on confusing and upsetting audiences - died when people began enjoying it, thus defeating its purpose. However, its influence can still be seen to this day: it contributed to the rise of postmodernism, and Spiritual Successors such as YouTube Poop follow Dadaist ideology to a T.
  • Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy and spread throughout Europe in the early 20th century. It emphasized and glorified themes associated with contemporary concepts of the future, including speed, technology, youth, and violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture, and even gastronomy. Unfortunately, both the fascists in Italy and the Nazis in Germany found the Futurist movement to be subversive and outlawed it. Futurist artists were targeted, and most died in concentration camps. The USSR also clamped down on its own futurist movement in the '30s following the rise of Josef Stalin, favoring Socialist Realism instead. For extra black irony, many (though by no means all) of the most prominent Futurists had been enthusiastic, or at least ambiguously positive, about fascism, embracing the movement due to their admiration of the dynamism of violence, nationalism, and power, at least until they themselves started getting jailed and murdered for creating "degenerate art". This retrospectively tainted the entire movement, and the survivors quickly found new art movements to be a part of. As a result, Futurism was as dead as Julius Caesar by 1944. Nonetheless, the ideals of Futurism remain as significant components of modern Western culture, especially in Science Fiction.

    Comic Books 
  • Watchmen and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns caused a period of Darker and Edgier comic books by starting a trend of comic-book deconstruction and killing off the idealistic Silver Age-type hero (until Kingdom Come made it viable again). Alan Moore, writer of Watchmen, is incredibly aware of this, having spent a majority of his career after the novel trying to undo its influence on comics.
  • While publishers began de-emphasizing the youth market beginning in the 1970s, the rise of the "dark superhero" era in the early 90s meant the end for family-friendly comics in the mainstream, with Archie Comics being the only "major" publisher focusing on children by 1995 (as well as the only one still associated with the Comics Code), and even they saw the writing on the wall. Attempts from other publishers to revive the genre have failed.
  • Deathmate, the Intercontinuity Crossover between Image Comics and Valiant Comics. In addition to the continued existence of Valiant, it killed the '90s Anti-Hero pioneered by the above and many of the creative elements that led to the archetype. It also helped contribute to the death of the entire industry as it existed at that point in time, due to comic shops preordering massive numbers of the comics, then having to deal with the fallout when Image's half of the crossover came out long after interest in it had dried up.
  • The end of World War II killed most Golden Age superheroes - in the post-war period, people weren't that interested in reading about people fighting to save the world any more, and other genres took over. Among the few survivors were Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
  • In the '50s, the stringent censorship of The Comics Code killed the crime and horror genres in American comics. This was entirely intentional, as the increasingly gruesome stories had drawn enough fire from the Moral Guardians that comics as a whole were in danger of being prohibited in many states.
  • Both De Kiekeboes as well as the works of Raoul Cauvin destroyed the trend of ethnic stereotyping in Belgian Comics and Franco-Belgian Comics respectively. The former proved that a realistic portrayal of foreigners and foreign countries is much more profitable (the comic book has a respectable number of readers that read it because the realistic portrayal of foreign countries allows them to feel like if they are going on a vacation). The latter stereotyped jobs and popularized the trend of job stereotyping, making ethnic stereotyping feel rather unnecessary since the trend of stereotyping is already being done, without any Unfortunate Implications included. Some comic books still use ethnic stereotypes (such as Urbanus), but it is more out of tradition (it predated both) than because of anything else. Speaking of which...
  • Urbanus killed off most of the family-friendly comedic series in its native Flanders. Before there was a humongous amount of comic books that involved family-friendly comedy (such as Boule Et Bille, Olivier Blunder etc.) that were very popular for being both in color at a time when most comic books were in black and white (or rather: blue and red) and being accepted by religious groups. When Urbanus (nowadays the 3rd best-selling comic book in the De Standaard) showed Flanders that Refuge in Audacity, Vulgar Humor and Black Comedy could be watched by Flemish families and sell in masses without backlash from Moral Guardians, the lack of them in those comic books, which always used alternative ways for humor, quickly showed how outdated they could become. Nowadays most comedy comic books in Flanders feature one of the above in one way or another, separating the Belgian comic from the Dutch comic.
  • Spider-Man is often labelled as killing off the standard "adult hero with Kid Sidekick" formula, as a consequence of being the Trope Codifier in comics for the Kid Hero. Very few sidekick heroes (aside from Robins) have debuted since then, since the Kid Hero allowed for the same reader-identification youth appeal, without the headache of justifying a sidekick or the patronizing nature of the Escapist Character being secondary.

    Fan Works 
  • There are good Curefics, and there are bad Curefics, and then there are these:
  • Rhyme and Reason, the first Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers fanfic ever written that was meant to be one in the first place, almost killed off CDRR fanfiction entirely in 1996. The two reasons were its sheer length and its high reputation. Most Rangerphiles thought, "If that's what CDRR fanfic is supposed to be, sorry, but I can't write anything even close to this." It took the launch of the fanfic series The Adventures of Gadget Hackwrench the next year to get other Rangerphiles into writing (although not for that series) and kick off the CDRR fanfic tradition.

    Literature 
  • Don Quixote's deconstruction of the Chivalric Romance, in which the main character (and the archetype he represented) is portrayed as insane and idiotic, is widely credited with helping to kill the genre. The genre was already in its death throes about a decade before Cervantes' novel, but it certainly dealt the final blow. Two hundred years later, Lord Byron complained about this in Don Juan:
    Cervantes smiled Spain's chivalry away;
    A single laugh demolished the right arm
    Of his own country; — seldom since that day
    Has Spain had heroes.
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert deconstructed romantic fiction archetypes, helping to end the era of romanticism in fiction and making way for realism.
  • The American Civil War killed off plantation literature, also known as 'anti-Tom' literature, a genre that emerged in the 1850s in response to the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Mostly written by writers from the Southern United States (though a few writers were Northern 'doughfaces' who sympathized with the South and its 'peculiar institution'), these novels were author tracts dedicated to portraying plantation slavery as a benign, benevolent system that was beneficial to the 'childlike Negroes' and served as the bedrock of civilization, and abolitionists as either misguided Soapbox Sadies or the very incarnation of pure evil. Nowadays, the genre is Deader Than Disco together with slavery itself, remembered only as a historical curiosity in the grand scheme of the run-up to the Civil War.
  • World War I largely killed the "invasion story" genre, which typically detailed foreign invasions of the British Isles by some flavor of Germans or French (depending on who Britain had higher tensions with at the moment). The War of the Worlds, while a more fantastical spin than the norm, is the most well-known example. The genre still persisted post-WWI, with communists or aliens replacing the Europeans as the go-to foe of choice (covert invasions were a staple of pulp literature right up until World War II), but it never regained anything close to its former popularity. Instead, it was replaced by Spy Fiction during the Cold War and techno-thrillers afterwards, both of which can be seen as spiritual successors of a sort to the genre.
  • The decline of video game strategy guides is sometimes attributed to the official American Final Fantasy IX guide. Square Enix, wanting to promote their site, Playonline.com, forced Prima to gut the entire thing and redirect users to the site for more info, while at the same time locking the site behind passwords that users could only find out by buying and reading the gutted guide. Considering the game came out in 2000, it was outright impossible for many to connect to the internet; those who could found the site was barely any improvement over a print guide, and considering it was rare for people to have their desktop set up in the same room as their TV and game consoles, it was incredibly inconvenient to access while actually playing the game, to boot. Many purchasers ended up finding sites like GameFAQs, and many buyers, figuring it was the general direction of strategy guides from that point forward, stopped buying them. Most strategy guide companies went out of business or shifted their focus away from gaming in the years that followed, and those that remained usually only had their products sold in stores dedicated to gaming (and even then, usually only in a small section of it). Prima was the lone holdout for years, and even they eventually shuttered their doors in Spring 2019.
  • To a similar degree, dedicated guides to cheat codes and other easter eggs in video games have died out because most developers have simply stopped taking the time to put cheat codes or easter eggs into their games - most cheat codes are in the realm of the rare PC release that allows players to use the developer's console (hidden behind two or three different activation flags and, for obvious reasons, not available in the online mode that is where 80% of their playtime comes from) or console ones on singleplayer-only releases from a long-running developer that was particularly associated with them back in the mid/late '90s, and easter eggs too, save for a small handful of devs that were famous for them, tend to be one-offs existing solely to add an achievement that can't be acquired just from playing the game normally. Websites dedicated for the purpose still exist, but for all intents and purposes they're more as dedicated retro pieces than a serious source of info to help players with modern games - most pages for a seventh- or eight-generation game are simply a copy-and-paste of the game's own list of achievements and, for Call of Duty clones, what ranks the guns in multiplayer are unlocked at, maybe with hints on what exactly you need to do to unlock the achievements if you're lucky.
  • Lord of the Flies was intended to be a Deconstructor Fleet of the then popular Kids' Wilderness Epic Robinsonade genre of books such as Coral Island and Two Years Vacation. This launched the Teenage Wasteland genre, while leaving the other genre decried as overtly-idealistic by audiences, assuming they actually know those books even existed. The kids' wilderness epic did find a revival in The '90s as television programs and film, but the Robinsonade aspect was scrapped during that period.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The separation of India and Pakistan into two separate countries significantly weakened professional wrestling in both and led to the decline of almost all forms of wrestling, even those invented in India such as Pahelwani, as the Maharajas who enjoyed the contests and ensured the athletes could make a living at it suddenly found themselves without wealth or power. Professional Wrestling retained a cult following and aspiring Indian pro wrestlers such as Dara Singh (Maple Leaf Wrestling), Gama Singh (Stampede) and Giant Singh (All Pro Wrestling) find success after training abroad but new promotions in India itself do not tend to enjoy much longevity, most fans only being familiar with African (World Wrestling Professionals), Japanese (New Japan) or most commonly USA (WWE or TNA) companies and only experiencing pro wrestling live when one of them comes over.
  • The commercialization of VHS tapes and cable television had weakened kayfabe and the territorial system by exposing plot holes and reducing the draw of world champions, since fans no longer had to wait to see them come to their region. Both kayfabe and the territories were on their way to bouncing back due to creative efforts to counter these developments in the early 1980s but Vince McMahon Jr took advantage of this period of weakness to publicly break kayfabe in a bid to lower his operating costs and further weaken the territorial system.
  • ECW made an effort not to do another barbed wire match after Sabu vs Terry Funk. To quote Paul Heyman, "Because no-one could top that! And in good conscience, we didn't want anyone to try."
  • Depending on who you ask, WWE buying out the competition brought an end to the popularity of pro wrestling. A combination of the emergence of Mixed Martial Arts and the stagnation of WWE have both played a role in this. The loss of a series of star wrestlers (as in stars even non-wrestling fans knew) and other popular top-level talent over the course of the mid-2000s to injuries, retirement, death, firings, moves to other companies or to other careers also contributed to the decline. That said, pro wrestling is still ongoing and WWE remains quite popular, but it's widely accepted that wrestling will simply never again be as popular as it was during its peak in the mid-to-late '80s and WWE will never be as popular as it was at its peak in the mid to late 90s. That is to say, even as WWE experienced its greatest success, the industry around it had shrunken as a whole, with there being few national promotions left in the entire world, much less the United States.
  • WWE can't take all the blame for itself, and neither can the sport of MMA. Things like WCW buying out the contracts of wrestlers it never intended to use just so other people couldn't use them, and the fact no one bothered to, say, file anti trust suits in the face of the WWF and Jim Crocket's antics also helped. The "Rock N Wrestling" Era also brought in a number of admittedly successful businessmen and Hollywood types who saw the money pro wrestling was making but really didn't understand how it worked, such as WCW's(Jim Herd's) idea that Ric Flair couldn't draw and had to be turned into Spartacus. Pro Wrestling is an industry that had been growing through means of questionable legality since the founding of the NWA, then largely screwed itself and let in outsiders it used to adamantly keep out in the name of self protection who screwed it further.
  • The foundation of the very first mixed martial arts company, Shooto, in 1985 was the beginning of the end for 'shoot style' wrestling promotions like the Universal Wrestling Federation in particular, as mixed martial arts was essentially "shoot style but better" to the general public. What few shoot style promotions survived either became hybrids that showcase MMA too like the Inoki Genome Federation or openly adopted the tropes of other pro wrestling styles like LLPW.
  • While territorial wrestling promotions were already on life support for more than a decade by this time, the final deathblow was arguably the collapse of the Memphis-based USWA (United States Wrestling Association). USWA was one of the few territorial promotions to make a name for itself during the Pro Wrestling Boom of the 1980's, due to its emphasis on younger wrestlers looking to build up their resumes before joining one of the Big Two. Unfortunately, the rise of the Monday Night Wars combined with some horrible company mismanagement doomed the league to the point where, by late-1996, they were reduced to doing shows at a flea market in Memphis. Combined with the relatively poor quality of their matches and wrestling talent by this time (just watch this video of one of their final shows), the USWA finally folded in November of 1997. And the final nail was hit on the coffin of territorial wrestling.(unless you consider WWC the last of the territories, which itself saw a much slower decline for much different reasons)
  • Although it had been petering out even before then (the last match of its type occurring in 2006), the adoption of the TV-PG rating by WWE in 2008 probably permanently killed off the "strip" matches (Evening Gown, Bra and Panties) that had been more or less standard fare for fans of the Divas for nearly a decade. The only similar match since then has been the 2012 Tuxedo Match between Santino Marella and Ricardo Rodriguez, and that was obviously played for humor, not sexual titillation. While a Diva might still have her underpants exposed from time to time for a quick laugh, there will not be any more overly hyped, blatant attempts at Fanservice, at least not in the foreseeable future. WWE does occasionally do costume themed matches (usually for the sake of a Christmas Episode) but the focus is usually primarily on wrestling - with Fanservice restricted to photoshoots on WWE.com.
  • Wrestlicious killed off the stream of GLOW imitators. While POWW and WOW did decently enough, Wrestlicious's obviously Troubled Production caused it to not reach TV until two years after it had first been taped (and additional tapings had to be done as many of the original girls had signed to major companies since). A second season was announced but has been in Development Hell. With the success of promotions like SHIMMER, SHINE Wrestling and others offering healthy alternatives to WWE programming - and a renewed focus on the Divas in WWE themselves - not many people are interested in Camp wrestling any more. One could argue that WOW started the kill - as Wrestlicious had a predecessor called CRUSH. A pilot was taped and shipped around but never picked up. Wrestlicious was only funded by the lottery winnings of JV Rich.(Then again, WOW did surprise many naysayers with a comeback about a decade later, with two then regulars of SHINE winning its tag team title belts no less. It was nowhere near getting a national TV deal like GLOW before it or the international attention of contemporary SHINE, much less SHIMMER, but GLOW's brand of camp is not dying quietly).
  • Paige put an end to the concept of a token non-girly Diva. When she entered NXT, her 'Anti-Diva' character was actually quite popular and she enjoyed great reactions. However not long afterwards on the main roster AJ Lee (who started off with a similar "hey guys, cheer for me because I'm not girly" image) enjoyed a massive push - becoming a Diva with a very interesting character. NXT also added Divas with fun characters like Emma, Bayley, Summer Rae and Sasha Banks. The success of Total Divas also helped flesh out the personalities of many main roster Divas. So that by the time Paige debuted on the main roster, her character was met with lukewarm popularity and crowd reactions gradually died down. Paige wasn't well received until her character was given more depth beyond "I'm not a girl, I'm just like you" - meaning there won't likely be any Divas trying to grab fans by claiming to be The Lad-ette any time soon. That said, former Tag Team partner Ivelisse got a huge pop when she stomped into Family Wrestling Entertainment and announced her hatred of divas(and that wasn't the intent).

    Radio 
  • The "Golden Age of Radio" naturally ended with the rise of television during the early 1950s. In 1952-53 Amos 'n' Andy was the top show on the air with a 14.2 share; the following season, People Are Funny reached the top spot with a paltry 8.4 share, coinciding with the moment more than half of all U.S. households had a TV.
  • The television series Harry Enfield and Chums is credited with killing off an entire genre of radio presenting with its "Smashie and Nicey" sketches about two ageing Boomer music radio DJs with dated musical tastes constantly reeling off the same tired, clichéd patter. In 1993-4, a new regime at The BBC's Radio 1 promptly sacked many older DJs who were considered to have been potential targets of the parody. Enfield and Paul Whitehouse themselves later said that they hadn't intended the parody so aggressively and were sad to think that it might have contributed to people losing their jobs.

    Theater 
  • Bizet's Carmen was the genre killer of opera comique, blurring the traditional line between opera comique and opera until the former no longer existed as a distinct genre.
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love is a curious case. While he spearheaded the big-budget, pop-operatic, spectacle-laden "megamusical" trend of The '80s, this show — his first since The Phantom of the Opera, his biggest hit — is not and was never meant to be one of those. It's a Soap Opera about Triang Relations, and with the sole possible exception of the circus near the end of the second act contains no major set pieces whatsoever. It's to Webber's ouevre what The Shawshank Redemption is to Stephen King's. Its 1990 New York production had all the hype of a megamusical though, and it did cost $8 million (a big budget at the time). When it closed in less than a year and lost its entire investment, The New York Times wondered if it was a bad sign for megamusicals. In retrospect, it was right, at least as far as Broadway was concerned; while Miss Saigon proved a huge international success later in 1991, it was the last megamusical to do so. Subsequent megamusicals are mostly limited to European and sometimes Asian runs — though the production values and budgets of such shows as The Lion King, Wicked, and especially Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark occasionally compare to those of the megamusicals.
  • The onstage mauling of Roy Horn by a white tiger at Siegfried & Roy's Las Vegas show in 2003 effectively killed the use of wild animals in Stage Magician shows and circuses. It had already been falling out of favor since the '90s due to the rise of upscale, purely human-focused, acrobatic circuses in the vein of Cirque du Soleil and protests by animal rights groups, but this incident marked the turning point. By the '10s, the Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus (the last traditional circus in the Northern Hemisphere) would announce plans to phase out their iconic elephants, a decision that, combined with other factors, killed it by 2017.
  • Up through the 1980s, Las Vegas showrooms were dominated by Variety Shows in the mold of Paris' Foliés Bergére, alternating beautiful, scantily-clad showgirl routines with a hodgepodge of variety acts that ranged from celebrity impersonators to comedians to Rat Pack-style singers to acrobats to magicians, with little linking them together thematically. The rise of magicians Siegfried and Roy as Vegas headliners was a bad omen, but the real killer was Cirque du Soleil's Mystère in 1993 — a circus as lavish, varied, and exciting as any variety show with a cohesive, if surreal, artistic vision holding it all together. The rather outdated approach of older shows lost its luster quickly, Cirque brought even more spectacular productions to other Vegas showrooms in subsequent years, and the classic format died for good when Jubilee!, which opened in 1981, closed in 2016. Newer attempts at "Vegas-style" shows are really straightforward variety showcases — they might bring out showgirls for a few numbers, but as equals to the acts that once played second fiddle to them at best and as window dressing at worst.
  • Back in the 18th century, ballet was a very popular form of court entertainment, particularly in France, where royalty codified it through such standards as the five positions of the arms and feet, around which the whole art form revolves, and it was also used as a measure of human strength, itself still true to an extent today. Then the French Revolution happened, and suddenly ballet found itself out of fashion to the point where it was a common subject of mockery directed towards the excesses of the recently-deposed ruling class. Only in the Romantic period did ballet experience a Genre Relaunch, and only after the rise of pointework, spearheaded by the great Marie Camargo, and the creation of ballets with fantasy elements such as La Sylphide and Giselle.

    Western Animation 
  • The theatrical short cartoon was killed, not by television, but instead by the "Paramount case", which forced major studios to get rid of their theater chains. While cartoons were popular, they were unprofitable because of their short length, and by the late 1960s, the genre was in irreversible decline.
  • According to Stan Sakai, the reason the animated series of Space Usagi was never greenlit was because of the flop of Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars, with which it shared a rabbit protagonist and sci-fi setting. Networks were apparently reluctant to touch any animals-in-space properties for years afterwards. The saddest part? Word of God of Bucky's publisher says that despite the show's ratings success, Bucky — and thus the genre — died simply because of a toy shipment screw-up leaving stores with more shelfwarmers than "wanted" figures; Bucky was Merchandise-Driven, therefore it was cancelled.
  • According to this episode of The Big Picture, the Band Toon and other animated shows designed to promote certain celebrities (such as Muhammad Ali and Hulk Hogan) was killed off twice, first in The '80s by the rise of Merchandise-Driven cartoons that were more lucrative for marketers, and again at the Turn of the Millennium by the rise of Reality TV offering a less expensive, more direct way for celebrities to promote themselves on television.
  • For that matter, the merch-driven "half-hour toy commercial" style of cartoon that reached its peak in the 80s was itself killed for over a decade by the Children's Television Act of 1990, which placed strong restrictions on the advertising content of shows aimed at children. It was only with the rise of cable television (which isn't covered by the law) in the Turn of the Millennium when shows designed to sell products to children became big again.
  • The above two combined with changing tastes would eventually deliver the coup d'grace for the Saturday Morning Cartoon block: in 1991, NBC attempted to stay relevant with Yo Yogi!, whose flop made networks think that the whole concept of a cartoon block was a thing of the past. In 1992 NBC introduced a teen-based block anchored by Saved by the Bell and a Saturday edition of Weekend Today. Other networks were slowly phased out their cartoon blocks over the next decade-and-a-half, while independent stations did the same to syndicated cartoons. The rise of kid-oriented channels on cable only accelerated this trend by the 2000s. After the "Nick on CBS" block ended in 2006, Saturday morning cartoons on network television became strictly edutainment fodder, before dying out entirely in 2016 in favor of cheap-to-produce live-action edutainment shows that exploit loopholes to allow for product placement and more advertising than would otherwise be allowed.
  • Father of the Pride killed off the potential for computer-animated shows for adults, which is now strictly seen as a format for family entertainment while the more "adult" fare is almost always 2D animation. It would be a while before Sausage Party would revive any ideas of CGI adult animation.
  • The extreme unpopularity of Johnny Test has seemed to have killed off most mainstream attempts in the "kid uses super science and gadgets to deal with everyday life" genre of cartoons that started with shows like Dexter's Laboratory and The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius.
  • Though it might have had more to do with the general public just being sick of this kind of cartoon, the low ratings and poor critical reception of Brickleberry made it the last of the aggressively politically incorrect animated shows for adults which got popular in the 2000s. As of this writing, only Mr. Pickles is still running, and only on a strictly niche appeal.
  • The monster successes of PAW Patrol, Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and the post-2012 output of Disney Junior ended the use of Fake Interactivity in preschool shows. Now, most new preschool-aimed content tries to teach kids lessons without talking down to them.
  • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race proved to be the end of the Total Drama franchise's original format of spoofing reality TV. Despite reception for the spinoff being mostly positive, series creator Tom McGillis confirmed that due to fleeting demographics and the format being less marketable than it used to be, it will be the last installment to do it as of 2015.
  • In The Golden Age of Animation, a common plot was one in which everyday items came to life in a store after-hours and had adventures. This was particularly prevalent in the '30s, with Frank Tashlin directing two of the most well-known cartoons of the type in 1937's Speaking of the Weather and 1938's Have You Got Any Castles?. Then came the 1946 short Book Revue, which, while not the first parody of the genre (Tashlin's aforementioned works are sometimes listed as parodies of it as well), was so thorough in mocking its conventions that it was impossible to take that sort of plot seriously anymore, and people stopped making them.
  • After Batman: The Animated Series was surprisingly successful with older audiences, Fox gave the show a prime-time slot. It ended up flopping, killing off any ideas for adult-oriented action cartoons for over a decade. The genre has seen limited success on the Direct-to-DVD market, and it wasn't until the Darker and Edgier revival of Samurai Jack, Netflix's Castlevania series, and adult animation in general increasing in mainstream attention that it got more interest.

    Other 
  • Popeye Saves the Earth destroyed the faith between manufacturers, operators, and players that pinball was completely reliant upon: Prior to that, operators would buy pinball machines sight unseen as they always made back their price in people playing them. Popeye was the first outright flop, for a lot of different reasons. Because the operators were bound by contract with Williams Electronics to not return these machines, Popeye became something of a Christmas fruitcake, passed around but unwanted by anyone. Afterwards, operators would either think twice about buying a pinball machine or stopped buying them altogether, and by the end of the decade, every pinball manufacturer had pulled out of the business. Pinball used to be mainstream, and Popeye turned it niche.
  • Referenced in the Angry Video Game Nerd review of Star Wars: Masters of Teräs Käsi, where he blames the lack of Star Wars fighting games on the titular game, remarking it was so bad that it killed the genre for the series.

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