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Lighter and Softer

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Fans feared this would happen, and this was Blizzard trolling them. Mostly.

Roger Meyers Jr.: So, we figured he could, y'know, just grab Itchy and toss him in a bucket of acid.
Marge: Oh dear.
Meyers: But then we remembered that this might be interpreted as violence which is "morally wrong" now, thanks to you. So, what's your big idea? How do we end this?
Marge: Hrmmm. Let's see. Oh! Couldn't Itchy share his pie with Scratchy? Then they would both have pie!
Meyers: It's different, I'll give you that.

The light twin of Darker and Edgier, when something is Tone Shifted to be more family friendly and frothy than the original source. This can either happen to a show over time, or it can be the result of deliberate Executive Meddling. It could be a deliberate throwback to a pre-Cerebus Syndrome incarnation. Thus, a Lighter And Softer reboot may often follow an incarnation which made a point of being Darker and Edgier. Finally, if an adult or more serious TV show or movie has a spin-off aimed at children, this can be the result. Just like its brother extreme, Lighter and Softer can leave just as bad of a taste in longtime fans' mouths as Darker and Edgier if handled poorly.

At its most extreme it can turn a previously vibrant cast into Flat Characters and remove a lot of the show's appeal or even cause fans to abandon the work entirely. If it shoehorns Black-and-White Morality into the work and makes everyone clear heroes and villains, then expect people to complain about the loss of subtlety in the setting, or feel like the writers are talking down to them.


In music, this may result in an artist merely recording a Surprisingly Gentle Song, or it could lead to the artist having a complete Genre Shift to a lighter genre.

Often found alongside Denser and Wackier, Younger and Hipper and Kinder and Cleaner. Also often signaled by an increase in wacky humor.

Just like with Darker and Edgier, please keep in mind that Tropes Are Tools. When something is lighter and softer than its initial source material, it doesn't mean it's automatically worse. It usually depends on who creates/writes said material as well as how subtly they make the transition. Executive Meddling may of course be at fault; "We gotta appeal to the kids!" But other reasons include trying to be more mainstream, to change an unpopular run, to appeal to another demographic, to recognize and dispel Too Bleak, Stopped Caring etc. The Lighter And Softer run can end up being positively remembered for years to come. It just depends on who's behind the product and how they execute it.


Compare Bowdlerise, Disneyfication, Menace Decay, Badass Decay, Reverse Cerebus Syndrome, W.A.F.F., Denser and Wackier and Tamer and Chaster.

Contrast Darker and Edgier, Bloodier and Gorier, Cerebus Syndrome and Hotter and Sexier.


Alternative Title(s): Lighter And Fluffier, Light Fluff, Fluffy Reboot