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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.

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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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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Those Kotex commercials that pose the question "Why are tampon ads so obnoxious?" detail all the tricks tampon ads use, then immediately cut to scenes of exactly what they just said. Yes, it is a parody, but it still makes use of all the old tropes while at the same time making itself seem cooler than the other brands who are also using the same old tropes. Everyone is still wearing white pants and the liquid in the demonstration will never be any color but blue.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Pretty Sammy started off as a parody of the Magical Girl genre, in its OVA incarnation. Partway through the TV series, however, it turns into a straight, if still comedic, Magical Girl show.
  • Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA was initially a seinen parody of both Fate/stay night and Magical Girl Warrior stories, riddled with jabs at both its sources' expense. By the end of its first run and going into 2wei! and 3rei!, Illya and the story itself starts taking her job seriously, at some points even resembling Lyrical Nanoha's turn into a straightforward magical battle series.
  • The beginning of Oresuki paints itself as a twisted take on the Harem Genre, with the main character being a manipulative jerk who wants to have a harem but finds himself as the background character in someone else’s harem story, and the only person who’s into him is a creepy stalker. However, the parodic elements and jokes poking fun at harem cliches get dropped as soon as the series decides to start using the characters' Dysfunction Junction as the basis for serious storylines instead of making jokes about the genre. As the series goes on, the main characters’ dysfunctional relationships are largely resolved and more girls become legitimately interested in Joro, though it always retains a sense of self-awareness and the Dysfunction Junction hasn’t completely subsided. However, as mentioned above, those qualities are usually Played for Drama instead of being the source of jokes they were at the beginning of the story.
  • The Hero is Overpowered but Overly Cautious is a parody of isekai light novels at first; the hero summoned to save the world from the Demon King is The Paranoiac who won't go on any adventure unless his stats and skills are totally maxed, buys backups of his equipment and backups to the backups, and treats everyone around him with suspicion, which pisses off nearly everyone around him. However, as the story goes on, more and more dark elements (like a character being subject to Cold-Blooded Torture) appear, and the final arc is dead serious; Seiya's paranoia, strength, and odd behavior gets revealed to be caused by failure to save his companions in the past and his Heroic Sacrifice is played as straight as it could possibly be.

    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.
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    Film 
  • Scream stylistically satirizes the Slasher Movie by lampshading and/or mocking the tropes of the genre. However, while mocking the clichés, the characters still fall victim to them. So, basically the Scream movies are saying "we know it's a formula, but we're doing it anyway".

    Literature 
  • 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 
  • BoxxyQuest: The Gathering Storm starts as a lighthearted parody of Internet culture. Somewhere in the middle, it starts building up a mythos and sneaking in more dramatic themes. By the end, it’s mainly turned into a straight sci-fantasy RPG that just happens to be set in the internet.

    Webcomics 
  • 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.

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