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Satire and Switch

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A parody/satire and switch describes a shift in the story from being a parody/satire, to becoming a straight form of the subject of the parody/satire. The work may have begun humorously subverting tropes before playing them straight later on. This could have been intended from the beginning (which would make it a bait and switch) or it may have developed as the story continued.

This could be a result of the story being an Indecisive Parody, where the line between parody and straight example was not very clear from the start.


This can also naturally result in a Misaimed Fandom as well as a Broken Base, due to fans having differing opinions on whether the shift was for the better. If the parody/satire initially served the purpose of making an intellectual point via critiquing and criticizing the subject of its parody/satire, the parody/satire shift can also result in a Broken Aesop.

Compare Cerebus Syndrome, Decon-Recon Switch.



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  • Pretty Sammy started off as a parody of the Magical Girl genre, in it's OVA incarnation. Partway through the t.v. series, however, it turns into a straight, if still comedic, Magical Girl show.

     Comic Books  

  • At first, Empowered was a strictly humourous series that parodied (among other things) various tropes of superhero comics. Later on, it began to add serious elements to the story, becoming more like a straight superhero comic (with added humour) than a parody.
  • The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles went from being a parody of Ninja mania to being a straight Science Fiction example of it.




  • Discworld began as a parody of the Fantasy Kitchen Sink and fantasy in general, and then evolved into a whole universe with its own mythology. For example, in The Colour of Magic, Rincewind meets a surprisingly-puny Eldritch Abomination as part of a passing joke. One book later, the creatures of the Dungeon Dimensions are treated as a serious threat.
    • And later still, when the books become more based around using humour and parody to discuss aspects of the human condition like death, justice and the nature of belief, even the Dungeon Dimension creatures are phased out in favour of more concrete threats and villains.
    • The stories which bring Ankh-Morpork closer to the Industrial Age (creation of newspapers in The Truth, the development of the clacks as somewhere between the telegraph and the Internet, any book involving Moist von Lipwig) tend to be far more rooted in reality than Moving Pictures and Soul Music, which are mostly parodies and puns based on real world media and have a Reset Button to prevent the Discworld from modernising itself out of its fantasy setting.

     Live Action TV  

     Video Games  


  • No Need for Bushido began as a spoof of action-adventure comics, but quickly morphed into a generally straight but very tongue-in-cheek example.

     Western Animation  

  • Bojack Horseman was a darker take on Sitcom tropes from the beginning, with the Hollywoo(d) satire being fairly standard, lax and somewhat derivative, which made people think it was just another regular adult cartoon back when it premiered in 2014. Halfway the 1st season, the show switched gears from general satire to dramatic character study, with the refocus toward the damaged Hollywoo(d) characters coloring the satire moving forward, making it sharper and more vicious.
  • Futurama began as a parody of Science Fiction tropes, but as time went on it ran out of tropes to parody. Later episodes upped the drama a bit and the humor switched more to social satire through sci-fi (which had always been there, but was exaggarated).
  • Moral Orel starts off as a Black Comedy parodying religious cartoons such as Davey and Goliath, pointing out all the hypocrisy and questionable morality hiding underneath. Then Cerebus Syndrome sets in, and the hypocrisy and questionable morality of the characters ceases to be treated as a joke, causing the series to branch off in a completely separate direction.


Example of: