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Nature Documentary

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We are standing in the plains of Medialand. We can see Snarkus majoris, the Common Troper, stalking another cliché. Watch as she creeps silently towards the overused plot device. Soon... there she goes! She leaps onto the cliché and sinks her snarky teeth into it. Look at it writhe! It can't escape! Soon it will be another entry in the Troper's Lair.

Documentaries in which animals are filmed in their natural habitat. Or not, as the case may be. There are two variants: one where a narrator explains whats going on over a clandestinely filmed scene. The other is where the host goes out and wrestles the animals to show off the beauty of the unspoiled nature.


Perhaps the Ur-Example for television was The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau which ran on American Television for a decade and inspired an entire genre of underwater adventure documentaries (as well as a lot of affectionate parodies). All modern TV nature documentaries owe something to Cousteau.

Commonly parodied in various media as the Wildlife Commentary Spoof. Super-Trope to Narrative-Driven Nature Documentary.



Use as a trope in media:

  • Spoofed in The Ren & Stimpy Show as Untamed World.
  • Years ago, the Little Caesar's pizza chain had a commercial which started as an apparent nature documentary. The dialog went something like this:
    Narrator: In the wild, life is a constant battle to find enough to eat...
    <scene cuts to a hippo carrying a pizza box in its mouth>
    Narrator: ...fortunately, mother nature always provides.
  • Parodied in the Futurama episode "Naturama", with the show's characters appearing as animals on Mutual of Omicron's Wild Universe.
  • This is what The Wild Thornberrys were supposed to be making.
  • Skipper tried to use one in The Penguins of Madagascar to force Rico to throw up a time bomb after he was forced to take gag medication. Specifically, it was a documentary aptly titled "Carnage of the Penguins," which showed penguins getting torn apart and eaten alive by leopard seals. Everyone else threw up, but Rico just watched on with a smile and popcorn.
    Kowalski: Ohhh, that image will haunt me.

Alternative Title(s): Nature Show


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