- Midway through the episode Brows Held High reviewing Vase de Noces, Kyle gleefully squees over the baby piglets before things take a dark turn.Kyle: Awwww! They die. (Beat) They die because [the protagonist] kills them. (Beat) He hangs them. In little pig-sized nooses, in a row like convicts.
- Derrick Comedy takes this to extreme levels in its "Keyboard Kid" sketch. Jeffrey the 6th grader is performing with his "amazing keyboard" at the 6th grade talent show. He starts out cheerfully dancing to the beats and vocal samples of his sampler keyboard...My name is Jeffrey! Cool! Alright! C-c-cool! Alright! Get down! Check it out! Cool! Alright! C-c-cool! Alright! G-g-g-get down! Kick it! If I mess up my dad's gonna beat me! silence
- Waverly Films does this in "Wanna buy a ghost?". The mood changes from serious and concealed to a common reaction.
- Shady Guy: Hey. WANNA BUY A GHOST?
- Tourist: A GHOST?
- Shady Guy: SHHH. KEEP IT DOWN.
- Tourist: How much?
- Shady Guy: 5,000 DOLLARS.
- Tourist: ...Okay!
- This Cyanide & Happiness short does this over the course of 30 Seconds.
- This one as well. And then it lashes back.
- This random ALS ice bucket challenge video, where the first couple of minutes showcase a man doing the challenge in a bikini, and the rest (now in a Vlog format) kicks off with him admitting that he has ALS.
- The "Child Molester" clip from AMV Hell 4. It's an hour of silly jokes and you've long come to expect Black Comedy, but this comes completely out of the left field. There's no joke in it. It's just there, making you feel terribly akward. Possibly intentional.
- Doctor. Flipping. Horrible. Not only does the tone do a complete 180 from lighthearted comedy to straight-up tragedy in the space of 45 minutes, during the most heartbreaking moment of the entire series, the Really Dead Montage shortly after Penny dies, one of the newspaper headlines which flash across the screen says, "COMMUNITY MOURNS DEATH OF WHAT'S-HER-NAME". And this is during a dramatic scene.
- In that same Really Dead Montage, we have "CAPTAIN HAMMER DEFEATED: Hero 'Unavailable for Comment' For First Time Ever."
- And the last two seconds of the entire thing go with an instant cut, within a song, from triumphant Dr. Horrible entering the ELE boardroom to absolutely emotionally destroyed Billy
- Not that the earlier parts of the series are immune to this: the Act II song "My Eyes" features Dr. Horrible spying on Penny and Captain Hammer's dates via some extremely transparent disguises (including one use of Mobile Shrubbery). Pretty funny...and then you hear what he's singing:
- Anyone with half a brain
Could spend their whole life howling in pain
Cause the dark is everywhere
And Penny doesn't seem to care
That soon the dark in me is all that will remain...
- Right before the beginning of the end, though, we get a taste of what Doc will become: Captain Hammer is singing a great big number about how everyone (but mostly him) is a hero, only to be cut off right before the big ending note by the Freeze Ray, and Doctor Horrible lets out a terrifying evil laugh. And that's before he starts to sing Slipping- and it is scary:
- Look at these people
Amazing how sheep'll
Show up for the slaughter...
You lined up like lemmings
You led to the water...
- Joss Whedon: your one-stop shop for Mood Whiplash.
- Survival of the Fittest, being an RP board, can have this happen with someone barging in during a dramatic moment.
- There's also the character of Milo Taylor. For most of his life (lasting up to the exact halfway point of the game), he was basically Refuge in Audacity personified with a dash of Crazy Awesome for flavor. Then he got thousands of volts sent through his body and his collar exploded, rendering him unable to even scream because his trachea was torn apart. Then he bled to death very quickly afterwards.
- If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device:
- Episode Nine jumps from the Emperor planning the theft of Trazyn's (stolen) possessions to Terra burning and Inquisition mowing down civilians. And then it jumps right back on comedy track again with the arrival of Fabulous Custodes.
- First Q&A has the Emperor talking proudly about "nurturing the seed of Mankind" only for it to fall into disrepair, leaving him in despair, complete with grand music, only for it to come to halt when he screams that the questions sent in are the worst thing he's ever seen.
- Second Q&A repeats the joke, with Emperor and Magnus talking about making necessarily sacrifices, only for Kitten to point out that the questions weren't that bad.
- There she is!! from here. The first three episodes are pretty light-hearted, but the fourth episode, "Step 4 - Paradise" takes on a darker mood. This shift was likely alluded to at the end of "Step 3 - Doki and Nabi" when a rock gets thrown through Nabi's window.
- Specifically, in the fourth episode, Doki and Nabi are subjected to constant persecution because of their, erm, mixed dating. Doki gets injured by an angry mob, and one of her pets is actually killed, though it was probably an accident.
- Then, in this series' second instance of mood whiplash, the fifth and final episode goes back to being cheerful and action-oriented, but is still more serious in tone than the first three. Incidentally, if you've seen the whole series, then the street-punk rabbit handing Nabi the plane ticket.
- The D&D PHB PSA series on Youtube does this, interspersing the comedic interviews with D&D characters with the lonelymal69 subseries, where Villain Protagonist Malcanthet the Succubus Queen attempts to avoid being executed by Order of Saint Cuthbert. And the lonelymal series itself does this, mixing scenes of drama with ones where the demon lord of the air Pazuzu attempts to prove to Mal that chickens are the deadliest creatures on Earth
- Happens in Alexander Leon's Mario Brothers, especially the last one, where Mario effectively kills himself by letting a flowing pool of lava burn him to death, after nearly everyone else and their mothers were already dead... and then cut to the happy underwater level music for the credits.
- Tiberium Wars. Annual Black Hand Taco Fiesta.
- Monstro_draw brings us "Cat Rackham and the Comforts of Life", a lighthearted, NSF56K story about a cat who wants some coffee and AHH! AHHHH!
- In Human Centipede: The Musical, Heiter interrupts Steves cheerful music number by drugging him and dragging him offstage.
- Colour My Dreams starts you off in a bright, sunny area with stuff to do. Then you pick up the phone and...things change.
- Mr. Literal by Egoraptor. Whips so hard you'd risk breaking your neck.
- Desert Bus for Hope 2010 saw a very sad story told about a young girl being treated for cancer. The whole cast was beside themselves with emotion and sorrow. Then, in the silence...Graham: So, who wants to sing The Internet is for Porn?
- This Very Wiki in general. The pages here vary from lighthearted and silly to dark and depressing. It's easy to click a potholed link, and end up on a page where the tone is the complete opposite from the one you were previously at.
- The So Bad Its Horrible page. At one moment, you'll be giggling at the snarky descriptions of hilariously bad attempts at entertainment or truly pathetic fanfiction, and at the next moment reading about the dangers of hazardous toys and rides, and the harm those things have induced on innocent kids.
- This picture: ◊
- A good number of screamers are like this. One moment, you're looking at peaceful, beautiful scenery as calm music plays, the next...RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!!!
- Nitro Game Injection is usually a fun, lighthearted video game music podcast, but during a segment of the eight anniversary episode, that was put on hold as former show co-host Akumu returned to pay tribute to Fumapero, a doujin music arranger who had been missing and displaced after the devastating earthquake in Sendai, Japan. Luckily, she announced a few days later that she was okay and had returned home.
- Happened again when Akumu, who was a close friend of recently deceased (as of 2011) game composer Ryu Umemoto, was brought back to discuss Umemoto-san's life and career as a tribute to him.
- You're Entering Puberty Charlie Brown starts off as a funny lampshade on the Peanuts universe then goes into Tear Jerker mode with snoopy dying all alone.
- Entry #46 of Marble Hornets contains a) two of the funniest lines in the series and b) the most effective Jump Scare yet.
- Brought up in cautionary fashion at the opening to Chapter 4 of the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic The Monster Mash; given that Chapter 3 has Rainbow Dash end up as a Kaiju and chapter 4 is about Pinkie Pie's ghost interacting with her grieving friends, it's hard to call it unjustified.Author's Note: each chapter of the Monster Mash has its own tone, and while none of them are truly grim, some are darker than others. If you're reading this chapter right after 'The Big Battle', consider yourself warned.
- DYE's Fantasy is great on this trope. The beginning is so innocent...Oh, just a bunch of teenagers doing some mischief at a school swimming pool at night and discovering love and fighting their insecurities and..WAIT, WTF IS THIS!!?!? Couple making out at the pool become a pair of disgusting alien-zombie like things. Boy hitting on the shy girl gets killed with the most painful oral sex ever thought. Shy girl desperately tries to escape, while the previous boy's dying body merges with the monster girl, and keeps squirming like an insect at her mouth. Shy girls avoid the same fate by the monster boy by jumping on the pool, which, by the way, is a door to another dimension. There, her mind is fried and she burns from the inside upon seeing a gargantuan Cthulhu-like beast who is probably the cause of all this. Video ends. and it all started like an ordinary High School story...
- The third year of The Questport Chronicles begins with the heroes still celebrating last year's victory over the Big Bad. And then, out of nowhere, a sorcerer destroys Questport. The story picks up again with the few survivors searching for a new home.
- Don't Hug Me I'm Scared seems to start off as an Affectionate Parody of various puppet shows. Then the puppets finally start thinking "creatively"....
- Mystery Skulls Animated: "Ghost" starts out as a lighthearted Affectionate Parody of Scooby-Doo. It quickly shifts to tragedy when the ghost is revealed to have previously been a member of the team who was murdered by one of the surviving members who was possessed at the time and forced to watch himself kill a friend before having his arm torn off. The ghost came back to kill his murderer and shows no signs of being aware of the possession.
- This video takes the original Downer Ending of Left 4 Dead's "The Sacrifice" campaign and, in the last seconds, makes it hilarious.
- The BriTANick video, "The Kiss", is a rather extreme case of this trope. It goes from a good, wholesome silent film style romp to an incredibly dark and twisted take on A Clockwork Orange — All in a spine-shatteringly quick 5 seconds.
- Former Channel Awesome contributor Spoony has a video series known as 'Counter Monkey,' involving tales from various roleplaying game situations he has experienced. In an upload concerning the Thieves' World game setting (part two, currently titled "The Chicago Way"), his discussion of the game's events involve the immortal and severely upset Tempus Thales going over the Moral Event Horizon in a severely Squicktastic fashion... and right in the middle of that topic, Spoony suddenly comments on his dog Oreo having a dream on the bed and how cute she looks when she's confused.
- Dei-Sama's Shinukoto! starts out as a cute and comedic anime short about a girl trying and hilariously failing to off herself with various means, including trying to shoot herself, throwing a toaster into the tub, trying to hang herself, trying to drown herself, and finally sticking her head into an oven. It ends with a heartbreaking hospital scene, with sad piano playing and a card from some kid saying "please return," as the girl closes her eyes and the heart monitor flatlines.
- PONIES The Anthology has things such as a creepy montage using the Are You Afraid of the Dark? theme to Pinkie Pie laughing like Woody Woodpecker.
- Atop the Fourth Wall has one rather jarring Whole Episode Flashback, wherein the first 9/10 of it have nothing to do with the framing story, being a humorous standard lighthearted internet review of a wholesome, innocent Archie christmas issue. When the person telling the story is finally asked where he was during all this, we find out his son had died, his wife left him, and he'd spent the past half year standing outside the cemetary and doing little else, and shortly after the review we saw Linkara had found him lying in a gutter and helped him get back on his feet and get his life back together.
Linkara: I sincerely apologise.
- Also happens in "The Next 15 Screw-Ups", less intentionally. Linkara, in a quiet and regretful voice, apologises for being insensitive about depression in a previous review. Except the various items in screw-ups videos are separated by a specific comedy song running over Ren & Stimpy clips.
"Weird Al" Yankovic: Eeeeeverything you know is wrong...
- AT4W in general has this very heavily, since the (often very dark) plot segments happen at the beginnings and ends of humorous comic book reviews. So, during any arc involving a serious villain, you'll have episodes going straight from funny to Sanity Slippage, murder, and fights with eldritch abominations. For example, one episode goes from a review of a Vanilla Ice biography to Holokara phasing his hand into 90s kid's chest and threatening to crush his heart if he ever interrupts the review again, while being frighteningly calm the whole time.
- The Lizzie Bennet Diaries: all videos of Lydia's spinoff vlog end with an upbeat "duh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh, nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh YEAH!" by her. This becomes more and more jarring as Cerebus Syndrome sets in with the plotline revolving around George Wickham emotionally abusing and manipulating Lydia.
- In the original videos, Lizzie and Fitz were making an adorable care package for Jane when Fitz unknowingly revealed that it was Darcy who broke up Jane and Bing.
- In Episode 84, Lizzie was gleefully showing off her new phone and Darcy was on the verge of asking her out on a date when Lizzie learns from Charlotte that Wickham intended to publish a sex tape featuring himself and Lydia.
- "To This Day" starts with a humorous anecdote about pork chops, but suddenly takes a left turn as it veers into highly depressing subject matter.
- "Blue Patches" from Demo Reel. At first it starts off fairly easy with Rebecca and Tacoma finding out that Donnie's Dark Secret was that he was a ridiculously bad child actor, and Donnie being "looked after" by a kooky family. You start to relax, thinking the depressing "Lost In Translation" and "The Blair Witch Hangover" were just leading up to a comedic reveal... but then everyone finds out that Donnie's mom committed suicide when he was young.
- Not only that, but the "kooky" family turn out to be Not So Harmless Villains.
- Nyan Caxx. Twice.
- One Girl, One Sandwich. It starts off with a pleasant atmosphere: a girl wakes up, craving a sandwich. She gets bathed and dressed before hopping in her car and driving to a WubWay. She orders a sandwich, sits down to eat it... and then the sandwich comes to life and bites her head off before attacking the camera.
- We Are All Pokémon Trainers has PMD-B!Gamer die, only for him to come back briefly as a Gastly so he can finish watching Lost.
- Ultra Fast Pony plays this for laughs. The theme music is a brief clip from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's opening music. The series likes to play the theme after a Cold Open involving the characters being the opposite of friendly.Twilight: Rainbow Dash, apologize!
Rainbow Dash: No!
Theme music: Frieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeends!
- Fallout: Equestria - Project Horizons is normally very dark and depressing, which makes the occasional lighter moment really stand out. The mood can swing from civilians being massacred by Steel Rangers to a ponified version of Alex Louis Armstrong trying to woo Lacunae.
- Worm has a few such moments, but a particularly vivid (and spoilerish) example comes here: the chapter goes from lighthearted drama (Weaver making an emergency phone call to Glenn) to comedy (the Chicago Wards — Weaver's superhero team — appearing on a stupid morning talk show) to horror (an entirely new Endbringer — city-killing abomination — attacking).
- Season 3 finale of Noob has several in a row. Sparadrap's pets, the thing he cares the most about in the game get killed by enemy players, obviously shattering him. His usually selfish teammate Gaea calls the perpetrators "monsters"... because she was intending to steal said pets and sell them for lots of money (which suits her much better). Other usually selfish teammate Omega Zell reacts along the lines of "You're really a horrible person, Gaea". Then Sparadrap starts going berserk in radical contrast to his usually foolish attitude. But the enemy players are much stronger than them and quickly get the upper hand back. Then The Cavalry arrives just in the nick of time! Next thing we see is a calmed down Sparadrap, still mourning his pets while his brother cheers him up.
- Season 2 of RWBY opens with Cinder's Co-Dragons browsing a book store. It seems like they're just casually looking for some books until they ask the owner for "Third Crusade." Moments later they reveal they know the owner defected from the White Fang and they're here to kill him.
- Near the end of The Cartoon Man, a tense, serious scene abruptly gives way to a wacky, slapstick cartoon battle scene. Then, when a non-cartoonified character is seriously injured, the scene suddenly becomes even more serious than before.
- Invoked by this (expletive-filled,note ranting) entry of Jacks Films' "Your Grammar Sucks" series. It inexplicably ends with the words "I like that", and Jack reads it accordingly.
- Rachel Bloom's comedy music video I Steal Pets seems nonsensical and frivolous until the protagonist reveals midway through that both her parents are dead, providing the most likely explanation for her bizarre reaction to getting bullied at school.
- Pointed out in this Occupy Richie Rich post:"ok this is issue 10 of richie rich and jackie jokers and the previous 9 issues had covers that were typical money-based visual gags, and then suddenly this motherfucker comes along and not only are richie and jackie going to fucking die but so are billions in a forthcoming atomic war??? jesus fuck that is some tonal whiplash"
- The Coffee Dad twitter is normally very repetitive, a dad talking about coffee. Then, sometimes, he'll randomly make a tear-jerking post about missing his deceased son.
- Taking a Wiki Walk through the files of the SCP Foundation can induce Mood Whiplash. One minute you're reading an article about an average guy named Fred who travels through books and inserts himself into them, the next you're reading about a heart-monster with Combat Tentacles and a stinger that babbles nonsensically as it kills people, or some eldritch artifact that could cause The End of the World as We Know It if it fell into the wrong hands. Sometimes a reader can suffer whiplash in the same article: the lists of attempts to kill the Hard-To-Destroy Reptile alternate between horrifying and hilariously bizarre, and sometimes dabble in a bit of both.
- SF Debris: episodes swing between jokes and tragedy, discussing traumatic experiences or heartbreaking events on-screen with jokes about Captain Janeway being a Mad Scientist; see "Jetrel", for example, where a soliloquy on the horror of war is followed up by describing the result of an onscreen experiment as "this jar full of gas becomes a jar full of snot". Then there's the week-to-week whiplash, with "The Inner Light", which received rave reviews and a discussion of how brilliant and haunting it is...followed by "Twisted", which is compared to watching tarantulas have sex.
- A common event in The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum. Spoilers abound for just what ends up happening, but the fic (and its related fanfics) have a tendency to dramatically switch between hilarious, surreal, Reference Overdosed comedy and Body Horror-filled Nightmare Fuel.
- The January 30, 2015 episode of Rooster Teeth's The Know-It-All, a recap of big news articles within major gaming entertainment, hit this when the episode began with a red-eyed and barely-keeping-her-composure Ashley Jenkins telling viewers about the hospitalization of Monty Oum and Rooster Teeth's plans for that week concerning content before going into the show proper where it seemed that nothing bad had happened. Granted, the main episode was filmed before the incident, but it's still a little jarring.
- The point of Thomas Sanders' "Misleading Compliment" Vine series, saying something ominous or even threatening and then transitioning it into something very sweet and charming.I'm going to crush you...with a big ol' hug for being such a dear friend! Hahaha, juicy!
- From Vinny's streams of Tomodachi Life:
- In Tomodachi Life, islanders can be assigned a Catchphrase that they'll say at certain moments. Kenny has "Duck, I miss you", and it catches Vinny off-guard every time he says it.
- Episode 37 goes from a sad Walrus remembering the good times he had with Two-Faced to a happy Walrus dancing because he was given a sausage by his former worst enemy.
- Episode 48 and 49 intersperse the regular antics with the advancing Jahn invasion subplot.
- Happens frequently in Welcome to Night Vale, usually Played for Laughs, but sometimes it's more serious.
- Cecil often switches abruptly from talking about something terrifying to an unrelated and much more cheerful story, or at least one he seems to feel cheerful about at any rate.
- The "Word from our Sponsor" segments, which usually consist of an unsettling story followed by name-dropping a Real Life product or company.
- A non-Cecil example comes in Episode 65, "Voicemail." The second to last voicemail is an excited, happy message from Carlos to Cecil, telling him that the desert Carlos is trapped in is actually the Dog Park, and so Cecil can (theoretically) come visit at any time. This is followed immediately by the last voicemail, a dreadfully happy, yet ominous message from Kevin, who was last seen during the StrexCorp takeover.
- CollegeHumor's video "Stop Saying It Ruined My Childhood" revolves around a group of millennial at a restaurant complaining about various remakes/reboots of movies and TV shows and saying their childhoods are ruined. Their complaints are alternated with the lamentations an older group of people at a different table whose childhoods/youths really were ruined, like a child abuse victim, a regretful Vietnam veteran, and a Holocaust survivor.
- Legends of Localization's livestream of Funky Fantasy IV, a deliberate Translation Train Wreck of Final Fantasy IV, is pretty goofy and light-hearted for the most part... until the King of Fabul seems to voice his concern that the Big Bad might rape the protagonist's abducted girlfriend. The romhack's creator is left completely speechless by this, and has to point out that while Nintendo may have bowdlerized the heck out of the game's U.S. release, that line was definitely not in the Japanese original.
- On the 82nd episode of Filthy Casuals, a discussion about the need to archive games descends into a bleak look at the crumbling, pointless future humanity will face when everything the species has built will becomes dust in the wind, followed by an upbeat advertisement for a clothing company that funded the episode.
- When Paul catches Toneth in video 6, the same fun, colorful animation that played in video 1 whenever he caught a pet appears, clashing with the dark ambience that's been shown ever since Paul entered the Newmaker Plane.
- The pause screen remains the same as it was from the beginning, bright and pink.
- A small part of episode 9 involves "Paul" going back to the original beginning of the game, before he entered the Newmaker Plane.
- Not unsurprising, considering the subject matter of true crime/comedy podcast Fat, French and Fabulous. Explicitly discussed during episode 13 on the Phantom of Heilbronn after the topic segues directly from a discussion of pronunciation differences between English and German into the double shooting of two police officers.
- Changes between every section of Tales From Dev Null's story Late (A Writing Exercise), especially between the 4th and the 5th.
- Immediately after Scrooge says he'd never love anyone or anything as much as Belle in Twelve Hundred Ghosts, it goes to him yelling at her for snuggling too close, which is followed by her breaking up with him.
- Common in blind reaction videos, especially when favorite characters are the butt of jokes. Case in point: FlamingShark's review of the Voltron: Legendary Defender episode "Reunion" had him go from chuckling "Called It" over favorite character Pidge being called a nerd by her classmates to immediate sympathy when she starts silently crying.
- World War II: Every episode ends with a transition from the terrible events of a global war in which millions of people will die to a chipper request to Please Subscribe to Our Channel and a thanks to those that already have done so.
- Pikasprey: One of the Sonic.exe fan-games played started off with a relatively creepy and interesting atmosphere, being a first-person adventure game...until a 3-D rendering of Sonic.Exe appeared in a flash, leaving Christian stunned and laughing.
- What Culture Gaming: Every video narrated by Jules Gill includes an I Banged Your Mom joke ("And that's my one per list"). Every video narrated by Jules Gill ends with him telling the audience that they are awesome, and to seek professional or personal help if they are having mental health problems, because people care more than you know. Some of the commenters think that these two things do not sit well together.
Mood Whiplash / Web Original