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  • There are two things that Ken Matsudaira is well-known for. One of them is starring as a tough samurai in the Japanese TV series The Violent Shogun, in which he saves village after village from different menaces like corrupt officials. He occasionally did stage shows where the first act involved samurai dramas along a similar line. The second act of his show quickly became the other thing Matsudaira is famous for.
  • This happens all the time with television commercials. One minute, you're nearly bawling at the sad, dying animals, and then "HAVE YOU GOT DIARRHEA?!?!?!" Cue upbeat music. Yes, you can go crawl in a hole and die now.
    • This trope can happen during the break itself. It can be pretty jarring when they show a St. Jude or animal abuse commercial and then go immediately into a normal, upbeat ad.
    • Comedy Central airing the aforementioned animal abuse commercials.
    • Many of you feel bad for this lamp...
    • Not perhaps the best example, but similar and frustrating.
    • Happened during every single commercial break for Kate Gosselin's interview before the final episode of Jon & Kate Plus Eight. One minute you're seeing the Tear Jerker account of a woman whose marriage has come undone in a very public manner, then light-hearted music and previews for the two giant-family shows that'll be replacing hers.
    • The Hallmark channel is especially guilty of this, particularly during their 2 AM - 3 AM block of sitcoms. They used to have a commercial for St Jude's Children's Hospital, featuring images of children dying of cancer while a very sad (and somewhat creepy) Pink Martini song plays, during every. single. commercial. break. Usually in the break's final slot, making it somewhat hard to laugh at Frasier and Cheers when we just watched kids going through chemotherapy.
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    • There's a similar commercial for the Humane Society with sad, abused animals in cages, staring at the viewer with Sorrowful Eyes, over captions like "Why do they beat me?" "When will someone come get me?" while Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" plays. Makes it hard to get back to the inanity of Cheers and the like.
    • This also happens during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is one of the most dopey-happy annual TV events this side of the Eurovision Song Contest. Sometimes the last slot(s) in the commercial break will be filled with an ad for a more dramatic NBC fare like Believe, The Blacklist and Chicago Fire, a PSA for something like the aforementioned St. Jude's, and/or something just melancholic. Back from commercial, though, and they hit us with a high-energy dance group/cheerleaders, an upbeat and poppy song from whoever's popular at the time, a troupe of tap-dancing Christmas trees, or the Power Rangers. However, this varies depending on which NBC affiliate you're watching it from, as they sometimes overwrite ads to air local promos/promos for other networks. Subverted during earlier parades in which everything was more laid-back, making it easier for more downbeat ads to ease into the parade's typical Narm Charm.
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    • Hulu, which is basically TV online (complete with commercials) has this in spades. So you're watching a dramatic show where the main character just died/killed someone important/reunited with a lost family member when- Bam! A chipper commercial about makeup or iPods with bright colors and upbeat music. The fact that most of the commercials aren't lined up to places where there originally should have been a break on the initial TV run just makes it all worse.
    • The ACC of New Zealand ran a series of safety ads in the early-mid 2000s before being banned. The most notorious ad features a mother advertising a product called "Fruit-E-Bars" before tripping over her son's Tonka truck and falling headfirst into a coffee table.
  • Similar to the above, radio stations and TV shows that play music videos will also run into this. More often than not, their programming is almost completely random, and even if they stick to a specific genre, the songs will run the gamut from fun and silly to poignant and sad. Country radio and CMT can be especially prone to this since country music can be especially gut-wrenching. You can jump from a very sad, dramatic song about substance abuse or domestic violence like "Blown Away" from Carrie Underwood straight into a more light-hearted song from Taylor Swift or even a comedy party song like "Red Solo Cup" from Toby Keith.
    • "Pay For Play" events on the radio are among the biggest offenders of this trope. These are day-long radiothons raising money for charity, and their main gimmick is that listeners can request any song, regardless of the station's format (which in this case is almost always top 40 radio), as long as the listener also gives a minimum donation to whatever charity the "Pay For Play" is supporting. Common genres that are requested include - but are not limited to - country, oldies (i.e. anywhere from 1950-1999), movie and TV music, hard rock, Christmas music, novelty songs/jingles and overall anything that no other stations in their right mind would play in their free time. One minute you're getting absorbed in something like Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide", Imagine Dragons' "On Top Of The World", or Bette Midler's "Wind Beneath My Wings" when all of a sudden... Rubber duckie, you're the one... For an inverse of this, you can go from stuff like Rebecca Black's "Friday" to stuff like Sarah McLachlan's "I Will Remember You". (This one actually happened during one "Pay For Play" event.)
  • In the world of political ads, few are as reeking of mood whiplash as this actual ad for the (now defunct) Israeli political party "Holocaust Survivors and Grown-Up Green Leaf Party," advocating a dual platform of supporting the rights of Holocaust survivors and marijuana legalization. If the video doesn't play, imagine a scene of a poor Holocaust survivor scored like Schindler's List, suddenly followed by a peppy jingle about marijuana legalization.
  • A PSA that raises awareness of mass shootings starts off as a love story between two high-school students, then as they meet at the gym, another student comes in with a rifle in his hand.
  • One Sentence splashes itself all over the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, with one entry providing definitive proof that Humans Are Bastards, and the next stating unequivocally that Rousseau Was Right. Read down the front page, and you will find yourself punching your fist in the air, weeping uncontrollably, awwwwwing and laughing. Often at the same time.
  • The Post Secret books. One page will be a hysterically funny postcard, and the next will be about someone purposefully miscarrying their baby.
  • This short comic is, in fact, a perfect example of the trope.
  • This Spider-Man comic strip.
  • ABC viewers experienced this while awaiting the start of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series. One moment, the music leading up to the intro is a smooth, James Taylor song...a a couple of moments later, the Loma Prieta earthquake hits.
  • HBO's Comic Relief specials would often alternate between hilarious stand-up comedy performances and solemn "please help the homeless" speeches. Granted, the help the homeless message was the point of the specials, but it was still jarring. This also happened on NBC's Comic Relief telethon.
  • Any sort of music player that allows you to randomly shuffle your music qualifies, as you can go from Ominous Latin Chanting to peppy upbeat pop music or pretty much anything else.
  • At Disney Theme Parks, the normally Tastes Like Diabetes "Celebrate a Dream Come True" parade used to have a float dedicated to the Disney Villains, singing about their dreams coming true.
  • Done in a good way in the short film LOVEFIELD, available here.
  • A National Geographic article about women in Afghanistan had photos that went like this: A thirteen year old girl who tried to commit suicide by setting herself on fire; an Afghan wedding where the ladies are wearing fancy Western-style dresses and what appears to be the entire country's supply of makeup; then another teenager who tried to escape an abusive marriage and had her ears and nose cut off (this is apparently a common thing; another photo on NGS's site echoes the famous "Afghan Girl" photo, only the subject has no nose); then some young girls from the wedding getting prepped at a beauty salon.
  • This entry for the Wacom Bring Your Vision To Life: Dreams Contest. On the top left corner, we have a boy's parents mourning in front of a doctor at a hospital; and on the right, we have three little animals greeting that boy at a stairway to a potentially pain-free world.
  • Suivre la parade, the second major touring show by comedian Louis-José Houde, takes a pretty dark turn in the second act: it goes from rapid-fire observational humor and crazy anecdotes to Houde recounting the story of his girlfriend's abortion. The jokes in this section are, understandably, fewer and much less "zany."
  • Used to great effect in Christopher Titus's comedy. Considering that much of his comedy is as black as a panther in a coal mine, it's to be expected.
  • There's this British driving PSA called "Crash". It starts off looking like a car commercial from the point-of-view of the driver - happy, bright, and peppy. Around halfway the driver begins to nearly hit several people but it looks like it'll be played the laughs... Until the end where he hits a guy and the music stops.
  • Turnabout Storm has constant minor examples of these, par the course of one of the series involved in the crossover, swinging constantly between comedic, serious, and suspenseful mood. Part 4 has the most extreme example, which at one point goes from a really sad and heartwarming scene to a hysterical fit of rage.
  • A PSA about buzzed driving shows paramedics working on a guy in the back of an ambulance. His friend is riding along and crying while saying "This isn't happening! I just had a couple of drinks! I wasn't drunk! I was just buzzed!" One paramedic stops and says "Oh. Why didn't you say so?" Another says. "Yeah, that changes everything. This isn't happening." The guy sits up, tubes still attached, and says "I feel much better now!" The friend says "Really?" They all say "Nope!" The guy falls back on the gurney and the paramedics go back to work.
  • In NASCAR, Michael Waltrip took the checkered flag in first at the 2001 Daytona 500, then learned a half hour later that Dale Earnhardt had crashed in turn 4 and had been killed instantly.
    • Similarly, at the 1994 San Marino Formula One Grand Prix, Ferrari's test driver Nicola Larini (substituting for the regular driver Jean Alesi) finished second - his career best result at his team's home circuit. He drove the slow-down lap waving to the crowd and flying a Ferrari flag, only to learn that Ayrton Senna had died after a crash earlier in the race.
  • On August 31st, 2013, Toonami aired Evangelion 2.22, a very serious, dark, and depressing movie. They followed this up with a special "treat" that would air right after the movie and again after Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Big O. What was this "treat"? Kick-Heart, a comedic and surreal animated short produced by Production I.G.
  • From raocow's Copy Kitty Let's Play, after the absolute insanity he goes through during the battle with Bonus Boss Exgal...
  • Happens in this commercial. A group of students decides to blow off school and hang out at a beach. They're having a good time, and we have upbeat music playing... and then the music stops, and the students start blowing up. The "beach" was an explosives testing site. The message is "This is what happens when you slack off".
  • The Showyou, Frequency, and Watchup streaming video apps tend to do this at times when showing random videos from various sources selected by the user.
  • Language learning platform Duolingo features sentences ranging from mundane to hilarious or depressing. Getting them in certain orders will cause odd mood swings in the lesson. Some concrete examples:
    • The Spirituality skill from Danish for English Speakers. One lesson is all about zombies, aliens, and vampires, with such delightful sentences such as "It’s not my fault the alien steals my homework every day", and the next lesson can hit you right after with "I bought a nice tombstone for my son’s grave".
    • The Date and Time skill from Italian for English speakers. It's full of mundane stuff like "Today is Monday", and then it suddenly throws "He dies in December" at you.
  • In 2015, Mexico wins the Gold Cup, and everyone celebrates! A few days later, their head coach, Miguel Herrera, gets sacked after attacking a reporter.
  • One infamous Canadian Public Service Announcement takes place at a baby shower (which they had just found out was going to be a girl). The mom-to-be opens up one gift to find that it's a whistle tied to a string. When she asks what it is, the aunt or grandmother replies in a deadly serious tone, "It's a rape whistle." You can actually see the life getting sucked out of the party as the announcer goes over the statistics of how many women in Canada end up getting sexually assaulted.
  • The "It's A Snap!" ad for the Australian Central Institute of Technology starts off pretty comedic, with a guy with teleporting powers teleporting his friend to various places around the campus. Then he teleports into a clothing rack, getting part of it right through him, and then when he tries to "snap" to the hospital, he doesn't quite make it, teleporting right into a staircase with horrific results. And then, after all that, you get an ending card saying "You learn more in the City."
  • The viewer goes back and forth watching an ad for Nolan's cheddar cheese in which a mouse discovers a baited trap and starts nibbling away as "Top of the World" plays. The screen goes black and the trap snaps shut, and the Doors' "The End" begins playing as we see the mouse pinned beneath the bar, taking shuddering slow breaths...just before "Eye of the Tiger" cues up and the mouse starts bench-pressing the bar.
  • The nonfiction book 2052 is a collection of predictions by experts of what the future will be like, but the tone is not remotely consistent between them. For every prediction that society will become sustainable and the world will improve, there is another that says this certainly won’t happen and we’ll be living in an ecologically devastated global dictatorship.
  • In Episode 1 of Oney Plays playing Oblivion, it starts like normal series do, with the little cheery theme playing the logo, as Chris presses a button on the keyboard, and the computer shuts off. It fades to black, and the whole episode is Chris playing the game alone. If you're a consistent fan of the series, it doesn't help that there's no listed editor and that the video ends on a few seconds of a black screen instead of a joke like usual. It just feels... dead, unlike most every other current series.
  • Magic: The Gathering tries for a different feel for each block in order to prevent fatigue, which can lead to some weird emotional beats. For example: "Battle for Zendikar" and "Oath of the Gatewatch" were about a new heroic group forming and saving Zendikar. "Shadows over Innistrad" and "Eldritch Moon" were about that group managing a difficult triumph in the face of a much more powerful Eldritch Abomination on a Gothic Horror world. "Kaladesh" and "Aether Revolt" shifted to optimistic, with an overthrow of the fascist government of a brightly colored magical steampunk India plane and an intended mood of feeling like a revolutionary and inventor. "Amonkhet" keeps the bright sun, but goes for Daylight Horror and an all-out apocalypse and the Gatewatch's defeat in "Hour of Devastation". Then over to pirates-and-dinosaurs-in-magic-Mesoamerica Ixalan, with an amnesiac Jace befriending a former adversary and a villainous character who responded to regaining the ability to planeswalk by yelling childish insults as he left. It's not as pronounced as other examples due to the six months a given block takes, but those are some pretty impressive swings in tone!
  • The Chinese cartoon 3000 Whys of Blue Cat has an episode called "Will Earth Be Destroyed?", which begins with a slow Establishing Shot and peaceful music before it suddenly turns into a fast-paced, silly battle between Blue Cat and Feifei.
  • There is a goofy video about people failing to walk and text, complete with funny background music. It finishes off by showing someone texting while driving, and the music cuts out just as the vehicle is T-boned. It's a South African PSA against texting and driving.
  • There was a radio PSA with a group of former drug users who get together and talk about the dumbest thing they did while high. The first few are amusing (one talks about how he acted like a duck), but the last one is a woman who hooked up with a guy and was too stoned to remember to use protection...and became infected with HIV.

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