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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."

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.

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.


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Examples

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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 headier 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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.

    Arts 
  • 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.

    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, 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, comics eventually became seen as something only nerds liked.
  • 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. 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 (a trope that was never very popular among creators, to begin with) or the patronizing nature of the Escapist Character being secondary. 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 

    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 BradyGames 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.
  • It’s largely forgotten now, but back between the wars, there was a very popular minor sub-genre of Purple Prose-laden rural gothic novels. Then Stella Gibbons wrote Cold Comfort Farm, which is good enough to survive despite it having killed its targets.

    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. 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 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 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 1980s, 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 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 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).
  • 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 him.

    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 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.

    Theater 
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.

    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 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 lack of Star Wars fighting games on the titular game, remarking it was so bad that it killed the genre for the series.
  • 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 Miller Park in Milwaukee, face criticism for their lacking it.
  • The traditional 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, the Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed specials (also known as Breaking the Magician's Code and The Masked Magician) finally discredited most magic tricks. Magic shows then turned to add some self-awareness to their acts (like Penn and 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, Barnum, and Bailey, the last major American circus, filed for bankruptcy in 2017.

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