One order of magnitude greater than Franchise Killer and Trend 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 Condemned by History. This can happen in a variety of ways.
- A Deconstruction that successfully brings every single flaw and an illogical element of a genre to the fore, discrediting any subsequent attempts to play them straight.
- A parody (even accidental) that makes it difficult or impossible for anyone to take the genre seriously again.
- Something so incredibly bad that it leaves a bad taste in audiences' mouths for the entire genre.
- A particularly ghastly sequel runs the entire concept into the ground by the virtue of being thoroughly derivative.
- A work so good that nothing else can live up to it. This is rare since these usually just attract imitators, but there's only so many derivative works the audience may take before switching to something else.
- Alternatively, a Trope Codifier or Trope Maker is so dominating that it kills off any competing or experimental subgenres that don't adhere to the rules it sets down. For example, Street Fighter II and Double Dragon so completely solidified the rules of the Fighting Game and Beat 'em Up (respectively) that they all but eliminated major gameplay deviations in their genres.
- A Magnum Opus that might not be necessarily good but is guaranteed to become classic due to utterly exhausting the genre and beating every single trope in it to death, making it nearly impossible to create further works within the genre's constraints without being accused of Plagiarism or Creative Sterility.
- Any shallow attempts at the genre's Reconstruction that end up Jumping the Shark due to introducing new elements without rhyme or reason, making the renewed franchise seem like a mockery of its former self.
- A work from outside the genre that exposes some of a genre's Acceptable Breaks from Reality as not so acceptable.
- Death of a representative icon of the genre, such as a visionary writer/director/musician/etc dying, or a major company with a focus on the genre shutting down.
- A work responsible for changing sociopolitical trends that renders common and defining themes in a genre uncomfortable, bigoted, or even offensive, such as Minstrel Shows, which would have white actors in blackface.
- Marketing a product for the mainstream as opposed to hardcore exponents will eliminate some of the more esoteric genres or sub-genres that originally had appealed to a small but devoted niche audience. The reality of satisfying corporate profit requirements often involves appealing to the absolute Lowest Common Denominator and "Dumbing it down". Harder, more cerebral Science Fiction like both Blade Runner films tend to either fail at the box office or go unnoticed due to the unfavorable comparisons to softer, more fast-paced, action/character-oriented science fiction.
- A work that is very good but turns out to be a commercial failure, making everyone afraid to invest in this genre.
- Inversely, a work is very popular but hated by critics, thus giving the genre a reputation for appealing only to the lowest common denominator. It's rare for this to actually kill a genre even temporarily, since there's lots of money to be made in appealing to the lowest common denominator.
- A genre gets so expensive to produce or film convincingly that people aren't willing to lay down the money for it. Sometimes advances in CGI or computer programming can revive the genre — for example, the Epic Movie was briefly dead until advances in computer technology and animatronics were able to tamp down on the costs. Of course, disaster movies are becoming rarer again for the same reason. Alternatively, it turns out that the technology needed to convincingly move the genre forward wasn't as viable as people thought. Gaze upon the many, many aborted attempts to have fully-3D characters replacing "real" actors in a movie or 3D gaming.
- Assorted freak events or coincidences make a genre unviable or unpopular, and a particular work gets perceived as either being a tasteless exploitation plot, Ripped from the Headlines in the worst possible sense, or worse, being directly held responsible for the unfortunate events in question.
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. Also note that not every death of a genre is as the result of a Genre Killer — sometimes, it's instead a long period of stagnation where no innovative works are produced (or those that are go unnoticed), resulting in the audience losing interest.
Compare Creator Killer, Star-Derailing Role, Trend Killer, Genre Turning Point. 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.
When adding examples, be wary of Overly Narrow Superlative. If you have to add multiple qualifiers to describe the "genre", it probably isn't an example. "Die Hard" on an X" is a genre, "French Die Hard on a Billionaire's Yacht between Greek Islands", isn't. Also, as TV Tropes does not know time, please wait 10 years after the work's release.
- Star Wars killed New Wave Science Fiction in both film and literature. The movement was tottering anyway by the time Star Wars was released, and its massive success convinced publishers and producers that there was more money to be made with simple action-adventure sci-fi than more cerebral stories that were often difficult to understand.
- Madonna killed the Nymphet Culture in the entire entertainment industry. The movement was in its death throes at the time Madonna emerged on the public scene.
- 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.
- 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 refused 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.
- Sailor Moon codified the Magical Girl Warrior subgenre, and in the process killed off the Cute Witch and Magic Idol Singer subgenres, with only a handful of shows in those subgenres being made since.
- Similarly to the Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns examples below, Puella Magi Madoka Magica brought about a massive subgenre to the Magical Girl genre, trying to make Darker and Edgier or Genre Deconstruction takes similar to the series. For awhile, Lighter and Softer entries were rare, with Pretty Cure being the great stalwart against this rise.
- 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 (along with all other modernist styles) 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, especially in Italy, had been enthusiastic or at least ambiguously positive about fascism, and fascism, in return, had taken a significant amount of intellectual inspiration from futurism - Filippo Marinetti was the author of the Futurist Manifesto that birthed the movement in 1909 and, ten years later, the Fascist Manifesto that kicked off Mussolini's political career. They embraced 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. (Usually this is without the obsession with war and violence, which comes off as Values Dissonance these days.)
- 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, the writer of Watchmen, is incredibly aware of this, having spent the majority of his career after the novel trying to undo its influence on comics.
- While publishers had been de-emphasizing the youth market beginning in the 1970s, the rise of the "dark superhero" era in the early 90s and changing tastes regarding humor 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. And while superheroes have remained popular through movies and TV, superhero comics eventually became seen as having a very insular, gated community, while most general adult readers were more likely to flock to non-superhero comics such as The Walking Dead and Saga.
- Newspaper Comics, which until the 1980s were considered an American institution (being read by millions daily aside from being a Sunday morning staple), also suffered because of the rise of Cringe Comedy and Vulgar Humor in the mainstream in the early 90s, but the furor surrounding a 1994 Popeye storyline that newspapers saw as a satire of abortion, eventually led syndicates to avoid touchy subjects. These restrictions contributed to the rise of webcomics beginning in the late 90s, but also to the modern perception of comic strips as a key example of the supposed dullness of both pre-1970s American humor and American newspapers in general.
- 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 anymore, 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 comic book 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/black and red) and being accepted by religious groups. When Urbanus showed Flanders that Refuge in Audacity, Vulgar Humor, and Black Comedy could be popular among Flemish families and sell in masses (becoming the 3rd best-selling comic book in the De Standaard's best-sellers list) without backlash from Moral Guardians, the lack of them in the older 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 labeled 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. Other than new versions of Robin, mostly getting a pass via the Grandfather Clause, very few sidekick heroes have debuted since then, since the Kid Hero allowed for the same reader-identification youth appeal, without the headache of justifying a sidekick, a trope that was never very popular among creators to begin with, or the patronizing nature of the Escapist Character being a secondary one. Most of the younger sidekicks who existed before Spider-Man (including quite a few Robins) are now treated as essentially solo heroes who happen to operate with the approval of their old mentor.
- Thanks to Cupcakes (Sergeant Sprinkles) and its equally reviled imitators, pretty much no one will ever write slasher fics with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic characters again.
- There are good Curefics, and there are bad Curefics, and then there are these:
- After Pretty Cure Perfume Preppy, don't expect reference-driven Curefics to be taken seriously again for the foreseeable future.
- Pretty Cure Bukatsudo Energetic, a Curefic masterpiece, has become such a Tough Act to Follow that nowadays, it's impossible to write a Japanese School Club-themed Curefic without being accused of ripping this one-off.
- 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.
- 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 dead 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.
- 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.
- It's largely forgotten now, but back between the wars, there was a very popular trend for Purple Prose-laden "rural gothic" novels, verging on a minor sub-genre. Either way, it was killed off when Stella Gibbons wrote Cold Comfort Farm, which is good enough to be remembered despite it having survived its targets.
- 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, like 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 in 1997. To quote Paul Heyman, "Because no-one could top that! And in good conscience, we didn't want anyone to try."
- WCW Monday Nitro pretty much killed the traditional "jobber squash match"note . With a roster of around 200 people and only one hour of (always live) TV to fill a week Eric Bischoff promised only name talent on Nitro, forcing Monday Night Raw to (eventually, once they got enough people) respond in kind. Old fashioned jobbers could still be seen on the B and C shows for a couple more years but were basically gone by the turn of the millennium.
- 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 talents 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 antitrust 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 death blow 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 1980s, as a sort of development league for the WWE, due in no small part to the legendary Jerry "The King" Lawler's partial ownership of them. 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 poorly maintained flea market-owned "stadium" 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 1997note . 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 many 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 anymore. 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 the 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 afterward on the main roster A.J. 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. 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), but in the long term, she was the only one outside of Puerto Rico's independent circuit getting any mileage out of "anti-diva" after Sienna Duvall and Epiphany retired.
- Its generally agreed that scaffold matches were killed after an incident where New Jack threw Vic Grimes off a scaffold with the intent to kill himnote . Big Japan Pro Wrestling kept doing them, Pro Wrestling Unplugged and TNA tried to bring back scaffolds in the US, but a scaffold match was no longer the money drawing attraction it had been since post territorial fans don't hate wrestlers enough to want to see them die, which just leaves them with a below-average match.
- Two other things managed to kill the scaffold match. The first was a disastrous scaffold match that saw P.N. News and Bobby Eaton take on Steve Austin and Terry Taylor at the 1991 Great American Bash that was absolutely savaged by fans and wrestling critics, and is still to this day widely considered the worst PPV-opening match of all timenote The second was the proliferation and eventual mass overexposure of the "TLC"note match and others like it, which would often feature multiple bumps that were worse than what would have been the FINISH to a scaffold match. Add in stuff like Mick Foley getting thrown from an even higher height onto a concrete floor and the idea of selling a (pretty much guaranteed to be bad) match where one big bump that guys now often pop right back up from ends it becomes kind of silly.
- The authority figure trope had been played well for several decades, but when The Authority was created and began abusing power and the roster simply for fun, as well as constantly winning over and over again, the trope began losing steam and, two years after the end of the angle, authority figures in wrestling vanished or were made into feuds that were not part of the main event.
- 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 aging 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 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.
- Bizet's Carmen killed the opera comique by blurring the traditional line that set it apart from regular 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 oeuvre 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 and rock/pop-influenced 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.
- In many European languages, verse drama is an active, vigorous genre of plays still being written & performed to this day ... but not in English. Several critics have argued that William Shakespeare exploited the form's possibilities so completely that nothing created after him succeeded in bringing anything new to the table ... and eventually, everyone stopped trying.
- Father of the Pride killed off the potential for computer-animated shows for adults, which is now 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.
- After Batman: The Animated Series was surprisingly successful with older audiences, Fox gave the show a prime-time slot. It ended up flopping against 60 Minutes (then the number-one show on the air), killing off any ideas for adult-oriented action cartoons for over two decades. 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.
- "Serious" action/adventure cartoons like the aforementioned Batman: The Animated Series were killed, not by Moral Guardians and network censorship as is commonly believed, but by the increased availability of anime on American TV. Many TV networks — most notably Fox Kids, Cartoon Network, and Kids' WB! — found it cheaper to import and dub Japanese series than to produce their own action cartoons in-house, and during the 2000s, the majority of American action cartoons had strong comedy elements. By the time the "anime boom" of the early to mid-2000s finally petered out at the end of the decade, the damage had been done, and American cartoons were limited to comedic works.
- Secret Mountain Fort Awesome, despite receiving several accolades during its short run (it was the first Cartoon Network series to win an Annecy award), was met with a largely negative response, and is considered partially responsible for kid's animation turning away from the Grossout Show genre at the beginning of The New '10s.
- 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 a contract with Williams Electronics to not return these machines, Popeye became something of a Christmas fruitcake, passed around but unwanted by anyone. Afterward, operators would either think twice about buying a pinball machine or stopped buying them altogether, and by the end of the 1990s, 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 game for the lack of Star Wars fighting games, remarking it was so bad that nobody else was ever willing to try making another Star Wars game in the genre.
- Starting in the 1960s, for nearly 30 years it was commonplace for American and Canadian cities with both a baseball team and a football team to build one large, multipurpose stadium, derisively known as "Cookie-Cutter Stadiums" or "Concrete Donuts" for their almost identical architecture and typically circular shape. While they made sense from a taxpayer standpoint, and usually good for concerts, they were considered awful for actually viewing games in, as the dimensions and sightlines of the two sports did not line up even with movable seating, and their cavernous, sterile, concrete, quasi-brutalist nature did no favors to baseball games, which typically rely on a homey, gentle atmosphere. This trend was finally killed with the near-simultaneous opening of two stadiums: Comiskey Park II (now Guaranteed Rate Field) in Chicago in 1991, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore in 1992. Both stadiums were baseball-only and built to the smaller capacities that could be expected of an average baseball game, reducing ugly, empty seating. Furthermore, Oriole Park at Camden Yards' architecture called back to early 20th-century stadiums like Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, the same kind of stadiums the "Cookie-Cutters" had replaced, earning it rave reviews and sparking huge rises in attendance, sparking the age of the "Retro-Classic" style in stadium design note . With that, the age of the cookie-cutter was done. Thirty years later, while some of the stadiums from the multipurpose boom are still in use, none of them are used as dedicated multipurpose venues, and some formerly multipurpose stadiums, such as Angel Stadium of Anaheim and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, have since been renovated to remove their multipurpose functionality. Oriole Park at Camden Yards can also be credited with killing off the Mega-Stadium Complex design for baseball stadiums (the idea is still quite common in football stadiums) that was also predominant in the multipurpose age, in which stadiums would be built far away from the center of the city, either in the outskirts of city limits or in the suburbs, surrounded by nothing but huge parking lots. When Oriole Park at Camden Yards was built in 1992, it was built on former industrial space near the edge of downtown Baltimore, surrounded by houses and vacant warehouse space. When the ballpark opened, however, businesses near the ballpark started reporting a surge in business, and the land value for the surrounding neighborhoods and warehouses suddenly shot up, revitalizing the neighborhood. Cities began realizing that, thanks to the fact that a Major League Baseball season lasts, at minimum, 81 games over six months, the construction of a stadium in or near the downtown could be used to A. revitalize and clean up run-down neighborhoods, and B. save on civic planning costs, as the stadium could just use the necessary infrastructure (parking, highways, public transit, etc.) in downtown that would otherwise be unused at the end of the business day. Today, the "Ballpark Village" concept, in which a stadium is surrounded by a selection of shops, restaurants, and hotels, is the more common method of stadium design for baseball, so much so that ballparks built to the old suburban parking lot model, like American Family Field in Milwaukee, face criticism for their lacking it.
- The traditional Stage Magician act declined during the 1990s as audiences became increasingly cynical about numerous popular tricks. While jokes about how easy some of these were had been common for decades, a series of Fox specials in the late '90s titled Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed (also known as The Masked Magician) finally discredited most of the old magic tricks. Magic shows then turned to add some self-awareness to their acts (like Penn & Teller) or gave it a more Totally Radical approach (like Criss Angel).
- At the same time, such cynicism led to the slow death of the traditional circus in the industrialized world: clowns became regarded as evil or bitter instead of colorful jesters that children loved, mundane takes on popular routines demystified everything but the tightrope, and the allegations of animal abuse became PR nightmares. If this wasn't enough, the rise of the "premium circus" led by the Cirque du Soleil made older circuses look old-fashioned and hackneyed. By the 2010s, most North American and European circuses had either closed down or were on the verge of. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, the last major American circus, filed for bankruptcy in 2017. Though Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey announced a return in 2022, with the first shows set for September 2023. The rebooted circus will operate without animal acts.
- The Entertech line of water guns that resembled real firearms, to the point of battery-powered sound effects to better sell the illusion, became infamous in The '80s thanks to both police mistaking them for the real thing and shooting kids on one hand, and actual criminals using them in robberies because they could pass for the real thing on the other. The controversies and lawsuits that drove Entertech's parent company LJN Toys out of the toy business (and into video games and a different kind of infamy), combined with fears surrounding the crime wave of that time, helped kill off My Little Panzer-style toys in The '90s and cause toymakers that sold fake weapons to pivot towards obvious, brightly-colored sci-fi or fantasy gear that nobody could mistake for a lethal weapon. Only the Daisy Red Ryder air rifle survives, largely out of tradition and nostalgic kids' movies, while airsoft guns that resemble real firearms are marketed strictly to adults and in many places have legal restrictions on their sale and use.