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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", on the first major puzzle in Gabriel Knight 3

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.

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.

  • 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.
  • Media producers come to regard another genre as more profitable and focus on that one, regardless of artistic merit (or lack thereof).
  • 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.
  • Actual top-down directives and limitations, whether from a government organization or a group of similar power and influence, making the genre impossible to produce anymore without getting into legal trouble.
  • A Broken Base between fans of different subgenres forms within the audience, with the factions being unwilling to engage with "rival" subgenres. If any of the subgenres' fandoms are large enough to sustain the genre on their own, they kill off the competing subgenres; if not, the genre as a whole dies.

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.

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    Multiple Media 
  • 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. Throughout The '70s, there was a lot of media that simultaneously fetishized and infantilized young girls, often based off a perverse misreading of Lolita. The movement was in its death throes at the time Madonna emerged on the public scene, but her raw and unapologetic sexuality instantly made it look creepy.
  • Sword and Sorcery died in the mid-80s as the result of a glut of Conan the Barbarian clones, first in books and then in film following the success of the movie, stagnating the genre and giving it a reputation as low-grade trash. The content of some of these works also gave critics who decried it for sexism and racism plenty of ammunition. Additionally, one of Sword and Sorcery's defining characteristics was brevity, and publishers were gravitating towards High Fantasy due to its potential for long sagas which would keep readers buying the next book in the series. In Flame and Crimson: A History of Sword and Sorcery, author Brian Murphy singles out editor Lin Carter, who saw no need for the genre to evolve or to develop characters beyond stock archetypes. The main thing keeping the genre alive is Dungeons & Dragons, and it's quite telling that a common complaint about it is that D&D doesn't simulate anything but D&D, as many of the works that inspired it have fallen out of the public eye.

    Anime and Manga 

  • 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.)

    Comic Books 
  • The comic industry's entire progress was largely altered by, of all things, a snowy season in 1977 and 1978. Though there were many other factors involved (increasing comic prices, an economic downturn, and newsstands in general being under fire), the snowy season caused comic sales to face a serious rough patch. This caused the DC Implosion, where DC cancelled 40% of its entire line, and Marvel is often credited to have only survived that period thanks to the surprise sales juggernaut that was Star Wars. Because of this, newsstand circulation for comic books, which had long been in decline, went into freefall, which caused a pivot to dedicated comic shops. With audiences now consisting of those who visited direct-market comic shops, the industry began Pandering to the Base, resulting in the slow death of every genre and style of comic aside from shared-universe superhero stories.
  • 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: The series 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.

    Fan Works 


    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, 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. The concept made something of a comeback in All Elite Wrestling in 2019, with signed wrestlers squashing unsigned local or indie talent on their Dark and Dark Elevation YouTube shows.
  • 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 declinenote . 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 helpednote . 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).
  • The absolutely vicious reception to Dwayne Johnson's "Rocky Maivia" gimmick probably wasn't what killed the "white meat babyface" character (think Ricky Steamboat) as a viable draw in pro wrestling, but it was definitely the sign that it was no longer going to work. In this case it was more a general culture shift that was represented across all media that saw heroic characters adopt a more gritty and realistic persona, with the Anti-Hero trope really taking off in films, video games, comic books (see '90s Anti-Hero) and wrestling. The Deconstruction of the "white meat babyface" by Kurt Angle (who played it ridiculously over the top to intentionally get heel heat, which worked in spades) officially lowered the coffin into the ground. Sting is the one exception, as he was still using the character up until his (second) retirement in AEW, though even he had to go Darker and Edgier, ditching the bleach blonde hair and colorful facepaint to blatantly rip off The Crow (1994).
  • On the other side of the spectrum is the Foreign Wrestling Heel, a staple of pro wrestling for decades until the 90s, had its ability to draw major money killed off due to events that (mostly) had nothing to do with wrestling:
    • The first and most obvious one was the end of the Cold War. With the U.S. no longer in conflict with anyone for most of the 90s (save for minor skirmishes here and there that are largely forgottennote ) promoters had to invent foreign heel gimmicks from whole cloth, the majority of which were total flops. While Yokozuna was able to get over in spite of his silly "dirty foreigner from a place we've been allies with for 40 years" evil sumo gimmick (probably because he was 500 lbs and from the family, the Japanese bit was just a hat on a hat), stuff like evil Finnish militant environmentalist Ludvig Borga died a pretty quick death. When we finally did get into another war about a decade later the Muhammad Hassan incidentnote  showed that The War on Terror was a little too hot for wrestling to touch. Time will tell if the situation in Ukraine leads to the Evil Russian making a comeback in wrestling.
    • The second was, like the white meat babyface example above, a general shift in culture represented in all media that made these sort of evil ethnic/foreigner gimmicks seem like an outdated cartoonish relic from the "carny era" at best and downright racist at worst.
    • The third, and the one that will likely keep it from making a serious comeback on a big stage, is the huge amount of money the TV networks are paying to air wrestling, which means they get a say and can kill anything too controversial right out of the gate. Same goes for any big money sponsors. Not to mention the country you're portraying as evil might take issue. Sure, a Evil Chinese heel might be topical right now, but then you literally get Banned in China, so kiss those 1.5 billion potential customers goodbye. Today if you see a foreign heel he's either being used underneath as comedy fodder, using a gimmick that's a deliberate throwback (like Rusev), or subverted in a way like "they're bad and they're from another country" rather than "they're bad because they're from another country."
    • One narrow exception that does still often work: the arrogant heel from a Commonwealth or Western European country that brags about their homeland's socialist ways while putting down America for its crime, poverty, and other issues. It helps that race doesn't really come into play. Bret Hart drew huge heel heat with this towards the end of his WWF run in 1997note , and when done right it usually draws the good kind of boos rather than the "We don't want to see this" kind of boos.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Scaffold match:
    • It’s 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 Love Triangles, 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. Naturally, their planned relaunch in 2023 is staunchly without the use of any animals.
  • Up through the 1980s, Las Vegas showrooms were dominated by Variety Shows in the mold of Paris' Folies Bergère, 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.

    Western Animation 

  • 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.
  • 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 it. 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.note  After the Columbine massacre, the relationship between violent toys and children was scrutinized more than ever, and the long string of American school shootings that came after had all but guaranteed the extinction of these kinds of toys. 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.
  • The publication of both Jeff The Killer (2011) and Sonic.exe in 2011 both codified and eventually killed the "teenage Serial Killer" and "evil video game" genre of Creepypastas respectively, as both genres were soon flooded by a sea of imitators that copied them wholesale until they eventually drowned in their own excess and readers, tired of the repetitive nature of said genres, began looking towards more original material. Both Jeff the Killer and Sonic.exe's critical reappraisals for the worse, compounded by the latter's author being exposed as a sexual predator, have ensured that neither genre will be able to recover any time soon.
  • In a cross-medium example, Eugene Levy has gone on record stating that a new Mockumentary from Christopher Guest is unlikely owing to the proliferation of TV series that "have picked up that form and just destroyed it".
  • Discussed in "SAO is a Terrible Game, Too" by Mother's Basement, where Geoff points out that the titular video game of Sword Art Online only having 10,000 players at launch would've screwed over the game and the virtual reality MMO genre in the long run even if it hadn't trapped people in the game and killed them. Modern AAA video games are considered flops if they don't have sales in the tens of millions within a month of release, as that's when the majority of the total units sold are bought, and even poorly-performing MMOs have install numbers in the hundreds of thousands. Sword Art Online deliberately limiting how many people could play it at launch to such a small number, combined with the maximum possible player base (i.e. people who already own the required hardware) still only being around 200,000 people, would immediately kill the VRMMO genre's viability regardless of any other factors.