Follow TV Tropes

Following

Genre Mashup

Go To

A mixture of seemingly disparate genres together. After all, if two genres are already awesome on their own, then combining them will result in something even more awesome, right?

For works which use multiple, disparate genres without actually mixing them together, see Genre Roulette. Compare to Recycled In Space where a new genre may be pasted onto an existing story. If a character is this instead of a story, see Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. Compare and contrast with Genre-Busting, where a work fits into no genres rather than multiple. See also X Meets Y and Mix and Match.

Advertisement:

Example Subpages:


Other Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In-Universe: in the Daria episode "Depth Takes a Holiday," the Holidays are described as having a "hip-hop-punk-electronica vibe."
  • In the South Park episode "Christian Rock Hard", the four main characters' band Moop has, by their admission, elements of jazz fusion, Latin jazz, hip-hop, and R&B, while the one song they're heard playing sounds more garage-rock.
Advertisement:

    Real Life 
  • With biological organisms, it's worth to note that examples only apply in Linnaean taxonomy (the system you're most likely to find in textbooks), which prioritises organisation (to the point of being considered anti-evolution, and not taken seriously anymore by actual scientists). In cladistics, it's pretty much averted, as organisms pretty much are defined by their evolutionary relations. For instance, arguing about monotremates somehow not being mammals may make sense in a Linnaean paradigm, but in cladistics it doesn't since there is nothing that defines "mammal" besides being genetically a mammal (which monotremates are).
  • Monotremes (platypuses and echidnas) are known for not fitting 100% into the traditional fauna classifications, since they have many mammalian characteristics but lay eggs instead. The platypus is also one of the very few mammals to be venomous, and they have ten sex chromosomes, instead of the usual one or two. Furthermore, they hunt for food by sensing tiny electrical currents generated by their prey, unlike the vast majority of predators that hunt by sight, sound, or smell.
  • Turtles are the subject of a raging debate among taxonomists and herpetologists as to how they're related to other types of reptiles. This is due to how all other closely related groups have gone extinct. In fact, until the discovery of Odontochelys in 2008, there were no known transitional species—for all that people knew based on fossil records, some reptiles just suddenly evolved shells and became turtles.
  • This trope describes American culture in general. While its core is unmistakably British, due to the country's colonial past, trade and immigration have added elements of French, Japanese, West African, and Mexican culture, to name a few.
    • Spain and Portugal were colonized by the Moors throughout most of the Middle Ages, thus the countries have a lot of Moorish influences in their architecture.
    • Belgium is a surreal hybrid of Dutch, Flemish and German influences.
    • Switzerland is a cross between French, German and Italian cultural influences.
  • The English language's vocabulary pool is mainly Germanic, Latin, Greek, and French, but also includes words from languages as diverse as Japanese, Swahili, Nahuatl, Czech, Romani, Quechua, and Wiradjuri (an Australian Aboriginal tongue).
    • Some examples:
      • Japanese: manga, anime, kamikaze
      • Swahili: jumbo, safari, dengue
      • Nahuatl: tomato, ocelot, chocolate
      • Czech: dollar, pistol, robot
      • Romani: pal, shiv, drag (the clothing style)
      • Quechua: cocaine, jerky (the food), condor (the bird)
      • Wiradjuri: billabong, kookabura
  • Some conlangs (constructed languages) do this deliberately. Lojban's pool of gismu (basic words) comes from English, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Arabic, and Hindi, as those were the most widely spoken languages at the time of its creation. Toki Pona includes highly simplified words from Tok Pisin, English, Croatian, and other languages. Esperanto was valiantly designed with this principle in mind, although its reach scarcely extends beyond Western Europe, something it's been highly criticized for.
  • This trope can be applied to food as well. The (fraternal, not identical) twin Louisiana styles of Creole and Cajun cooking can be described as French/Spanish/African/Native American/Caribbean.
  • "Fusion" cuisine in general tends to be this trope. Not so much when it involves related styles (eg. Chinese/Korean); but many forms incorporate multiple completely unrelated cuisines.
  • Creole languages are hard to class by the usual "genetic" system of descent in philology, where one former language branches off into others. These languages are (typically) the result of one language merging with a group of other related ones, with the vocabulary taking from both while much of the grammar is created from scratch.
    • In a broader sense, there's the concept known as the "sprachbund" or "linguistic crossroads," an area where multiple (often relatively unrelated) languages have developed in such close contact with one another that features from each start bleeding over into the others.
  • Life itself, according to Alan Moore.

Examples from Genre-Busting not yet sorted:note 

    Podcasts 
  • This trope was featured in Episode 4 of the TV Tropes podcast On the Tropes.
  • While Welcome to Night Vale perhaps has a leg up in this regard due to it being in the unconventional medium of a radio-drama, its genre could perhaps be best described as a slice-of-life comedy horror with healthy dose of science fiction and romance.

    Roleplay 
  • Survival of the Fittest, just like Battle Royale, the work that inspired it, is pretty much impossible to place in one genre. A class of students being abducted and forced to kill each other with very close attention to their personal experiences has led to a rather diversive mix of horror, action, romance and even comedy, all thanks to the multitude of different writing styles that occurs with so many authors in one place.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Rifts is set in a universe that has gone through culture-changing advances in science, an apocalypse, a return of magic, an alien invasion, and a tearing of the space-time continuum that in the core book alone you can play as a genetically manipulated super-soldier, anthropomorphic dog, psychic warrior, cyborg, techno's-wizard, dragon, or hobo, just to name a few.
  • Shadowrun is a universe about life after the Mega Corps started gather power, nations breaking up, and two plague taking off the top quarter of the population. This happens to the backdrop of the Awakening, where many children were born as Elves and Dwarves, Native Americans becoming the first group to manifest magic, about 10% of the population painfully "Goblinized" into Orks and Trolls, and claimed sightings of dragons. Shadowrun First Edition was set in the 2050's, after all the insanity started to calm down into an Urban Fantasy/Cyberpunk world with some Dungeon Punk for flavor. The only significant change since then is that the "punk" part is less prominent.
  • Space 1889: Science fiction in the past. Retro-science fiction (id est science fiction the way the first science fiction writers did it). Alternate history with alternate natural laws. One of the first examples of steampunk.
Advertisement:

    Theater 
  • George Frederic Handel: Both Semele and Hercules blend elements of Italian opera seria (e.g. scenes alternating recitative and aria) and English sacred oratorio (e.g. choral writing) and also have traits not common to either genre (both plots are based on Greek myths, a common source for French opera of the period). Audiences of the time were really confused, particularly about Semele (people called it 'bawdy opera' and 'bawd-atorio'). It didn't help that Handel tried to mount the premiere of quite a raunchy piece as part of the Lenten season...
  • This is what Richard Wagner set out to do (and most would say he succeeded). His concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk was a fusion of all the arts - visual, theatrical and musical.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: At the time, all operas were written in the Italian style (except the French, which were seldom performed outside France). There were two types of opera: Opera Seria (dramatic) and Opera Buffa (comedic). Mozart was one of the first composers to blur the lines between the two styles, incorporating hilarious comedy into dramas and compelling drama into comedies. He even took this a step further, inventing the concept of "German Opera" with The Magic Flute (and to a lesser extant, Die Entführung aus dem Serail).
    • Even Don Giovanni, an Italian opera written in an essentially classic form and style, shatters conventional dramatic structures. There's no hero, the Anti-Hero Jerkass protagonist(?) dies, the alpha couple doesn't get married, and one of the few sympathetic characters is too weak-willed to do anything but be a menial serf to some other entitled creep. Neither tragedy nor comedy, it's just sorta there.
  • There is a classic story about the first two productions of The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov. The first production was very sad and melancholic, and the audience left the theater deeply moved. The second production? The audience was laughing so hard the walls shook. So which is it, comedy or tragedy? None can say (though Word of God claims comedy).
  • Nathaniel Lee deliberately played with his audience's expectations in The Princess of Cleves, which he called a 'farce, comedy, tragedy, or mere play'.
  • Romeo and Juliet was the first play to combine the idea of comedies and tragedies. In a typical comedy, there are young lovers who live Happily Ever After. In a typical tragedy, there are political figures and families that feud and kill people. All of this happens in Romeo and Juliet. Except the happily-ever-after part.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE, as a whole. It has magical epic fantasy, cyber-city sci-fi, plenty of action (both regarding the usage of special powers, or plain hand-to-hand combat), a Cosmic Horror Story or two, war tales, crime and mystery, western-ish Desert Punk, some mild philosophizing, tells moral fables, and showcases various kinds of humor (sarcastic and dry verbal jokes, or visual Slapstick). Comes in the form of plastic toys, comic books and novels, 2D and 3D animations and Direct-to-Video movies, magazines (at least in Europe), free-to-read online stories, even audio podcasts, and its music ranges from rock and techno mixes of varying hardness to orchestral choirs, tribal drums and hums and almost rural-sounding chimes. The toys also blended traditional LEGO bricks and standard Technic pieces with the unique Bionicle parts. The early Tarakava models, for instance, had a midsection built up purely by classic, studded bricks. Since the theme was still a member of the Technic umbrella-title then, some of these early Rahi sets looked more like mechanical playthings than animals. Then, there were the playsets, "normal" LEGO building sets that came with their own Minifugures, but often had a regular Bionicle figure thrown into the mix for good measure. Blending the vastly different building techniques has, in fact, become a standard practice for LEGO since then, and not-too-overspecialized pieces tend to creep over from one theme of sets into another.
    • LEGO as a whole can be this if approached with sufficient enthusiasm and/or a lack of focus. You've just built a stagecoach, a UFO, an X-wing, a medieval castle, Hagrid's hut and a police car? Time to get imaginative.

    Visual Novels 
  • Is Umineko: When They Cry a mystery or a fantasy? Neither! It's more of a fantastical romantic mystery with a tinge of horror and Jungian-psychological elements.
  • 07th Expansion's next big work Rose Guns Days is part Film Noir, part slice-of-life, part political drama, and part… something. While it is far from the Mind Screwy Deconstructor Fleet Umineko was, the work is still hard to classify, especially considering its rather schizophrenic tone − sometimes light-hearted, sometimes dark and cynical… in some cases in the same scene.
  • Danganronpa could initially be described as a Visual Novel courtroom adventure game ala the Ace Attorney series, mixed in with some Social Link elements from the latter two Shin Megami Tensei Persona games. Only the courtroom scenes also regularly feature minigames with lightgun-style shooter and rhythm game elements where you literally shoot down your classmate's arguments. The story is also a mix of Ace Attorney's own murder mystery/courtroom drama combination and Battle Royale-style thriller with some (allegedly) post-apocalyptic elements showing up near the end.
    • Super Danganronpa 2 takes all this, adds a snowboarding-esque minigame to the pool of trial minigames (don't ask; it's weird even for Dangan Ronpa), and then adds on top of all the plot elements from the previous game everything in the game taking place in a VR simulation.

    Web Comics 
  • Sluggy Freelance started out as simply a Fantastic Comedy, then (while still keeping comedy a staple) started playing Genre Roulette with soap operatic drama, epic fantasy/science-fiction, spy stories, horror, film noir, and so on. However, thanks to the constantly accumulating continuity, story elements introduced while handling one genre will still be around when another genre takes the foreground, creating some weird combinations. Like sci-fi epic "Oceans Unmoving" having a lead character who's a Talking Animal that went to war with Santa Claus. Or the wacky adventure of "A Time for Hair-raising" drawing upon Torg's past as an action hero and Gwynn's past as a victim of Demonic Possession. Or the dark, brutal story told in "Fire and Rain" still having a Zoe-gets-turned-into-a-camel gag.
  • El Goonish Shive crosses a few. It starts out like a comedic slice-of-life comic, quickly adds sci-fi and drama, then fantasy, then it retcons the sci-fi into fantasy. Currently it's kind of a mix of the lot. And weird.
  • Problem Sleuth and Homestuck of MS Paint Adventures are both very difficult to classify. They're online comics, except that the readers basically choose the direction stuff moves in (at least they used to; the readership is too large now). Homestuck in particular ping-pongs between a Satire/Parody/Pastiche, other comedy elements, Slice of Life, and a (fairly) serious epic fantasy/sci-fi Myth Arc that draws heavily from Superhero stories and creation myths. At a few points it even throws in flash-based interactive point-and-click sequences where the reader/player can control one of the main characters directly! The creator however does say that despite the Cerebus Syndrome, it is and always will be a predominantly comedic series. Homestuck is even Medium Busting. One part Interactive Comic, one part game, one part novel, one part animation, one part puzzle, one part something else? It's impossible to define, with the official designation having settled on "thing".
  • Last Res0rt is a sci-fi vampire Furry Comic about a Deadly Game Reality Show, with some supernatural elements, a Magical Girl squad, and even a little Coming of Age (well, coming of vampire age) thrown in for good measure.
  • Garfield Minus Garfield involves taking old Garfield strips and removing every character except Jon Arbuckle, leading to a bizarre, Dadaist portrayal of him as a bipolar/schizophrenic loner. Especially strange since each source comic can have only one possible outcome, making it a constrained webcomic turned Up to Eleven.
  • Wapsi Square describes itself as a "slice of supernatural life" comic, but it is a bit more complicated than that. For starters, there's the save the world plotline without any antagonist. Then there is the protagonist's constant attempts to convince herself and those around her that the comic is actually on the other side of Clark's Third Law (she gives up eventually). It's rather hard to explain.
  • The Dragon Doctors blends a bunch of different possible genres into one. It's about magical doctors solving weird problems in a fantastic setting that nonetheless resembles a lot of modern-day life, but the doctors spend as much time fighting evil as adventurers as they spend time as healers, plus there are plenty of slice-of-life moments mixed in to even out the pace. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's very dark. Transformation is rampant but it's far from the actual point of the comic, unlike most Transformation Comics; instead, it's just a consequence of the magical setting. Emotional healing is given as much priority as physical healing, too, unlike most Patient of the Week deals.
  • Tower of God: Modern Fantasy, mystery Shounen tournament, a maturity more commonly seen in seinen works, aspects of a political drama, mind game series and a declaration by the author that every season will be another genre along with affectionate parodies of those genres (you know, when all the death, betrayal and broken dreams get a little too hard on you).
  • Joseph & Yusra: It's a Slice of life romantic comedy thriller supernatural war story.

    Web Original 
  • The Solstice War is nominally "Military Fiction," but it also has the trappings of dieselpunk, epic fantasy, alternate history, period romance, queer fiction, and even anime.

    Web Videos 
  • For its first two chapters, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is a musical, superhero deconstruction, romantic comedy about a wannabe mad scientist supervillain and his attempts at gaining power (frequently detailed, of course, in his video blog). Then the last chapter ends with elements of classic tragedy, the only remotely sweet and sympathetic character dying in the most gut-wrenching, Whedon-specialty way possible. The montage that follows, however, still includes some brutally funny moments.* Video Game High School is a high school action/comedy/drama with elements of sci-fi, Sports Stories and of course, Video Games. It often uses Video Game Tropes as plot points.
  • The Nostalgia Chick: Discussed in a review of Sleepy Hollow, where she notes that this can also give something an Audience-Alienating Premise:
    "It's not going to satisfy history fans because it's so wildly inaccurate and different from the source material; comedy fans won't like it because it's not really funny; it's not serious enough to be ironically funny; and the doofy tone is bound to turn off most hardcore drama fans. Mystery or romance fans won't like it because it's so gory, it won't satisfy gore fans because the gore is so fake and goofy-looking... I guess the reason I kind of like this movie is 'cause it... kind of gives a big-old middle finger to genre."
  • Pyongyang Racer, North Korea's online browser game designed to promote tourism, involves driving around a mostly deserted city that looks nothing like actual Pyongyang and collecting things while a police officer, taking up a large portion of the screen, insults you.

    Western Animation 
  • Phineas and Ferb has a specific work in-universe: "... [A] twenty-eight volume science fiction swashbuckling historical romance tell-all potboiler mystery satire buddy cop adventure tragedy how-to action novel!"
  • Adventure Time is a comedy in a world that's mostly fantasy, but where science fiction elements are almost as common. It also has plenty of horror elements and, as the series goes on, a lot of drama as the characters' motivations and back stories are revealed. It also occasionally turns into a supernatural survival drama, whenever certain characters' back stories come up.
  • The Legend of Korra is generally described along the lines of "Urban Fantasy mixed with action genre", or "a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender several decades down the timeline". But, it is rare for urban fantasy to be set in a full-blown Constructed World, and only in the first season the show's actually confined to an urban environment. The overall aesthetic and background details resemble Diesel Punk, but unlike for (what currently passes for) the genre standards, the centrality of the supernatural element moves it at least as close to Dungeon Punk. And as a Sequel Series, it retains the Supernatural Martial Arts and messianic hero as crucial parts of the franchise, in spite of them better suited for the old epic fantasy format. Altogether, the series could qualify as honorary member of New Weird movement, but even then breaking the stale genre conventions wasn't ever the point — which leads us back to defining its genre by its relation to the original series.
  • Steven Universe is a super hero show as the Crystal Gems protect humanity from monsters with unique powers and weapons that have a well-defined system, many themes and fantasy elements give it a Magical Girl flavor while not specifically conforming to genre standards as technically none of the Gems are what you'd call girls and don't transform from a mundane form. It's a romance story as emotional bonds between characters are a core theme of the show with Pearl and Greg's love for Rose Quartz, the fusion between Ruby and Sapphire, and Steven and Connie's mutual attraction shape many events of the series. It's also a lighthearted comedy with many surreal and silly moments with a lot of character-based humor, that is when it's not a dark drama with a disproportionate amount of Body Horror and psychological complexity with flashbacks to a war story set within a Space Opera setting. The show dedicates many episodes to cute Slice of Life situations that sometimes disguise a complex backstory and mystery about Rose's secrecy and past. So it's a comedic, Animesque Slice of Life romantic dark horror Coming-of-Age Story as the Magical Boy protagonist protects the Earth against aliens that frequently include musical numbers and sexual themes.

Top