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Playing With / Cerebus Syndrome

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Basic Trope: A comedic work suddenly opts for more dramatic storylines.

  • Straight: As plot progresses, there are fewer and fewer jokes, while odds and tension escalate.
  • Exaggerated: A former Gag Series becomes a gritty, serious drama with few jokes.
  • Downplayed: Though the arcs get slightly more serious, the story never loses the humor and it alternates between more serious arcs and more comedic ones. No effort is made to push the edginess and the more comedic characters are still able to have their hi-jinks.
  • Advertisement:
  • Justified: The creator planned a shift in tone from the very beginning.
  • Inverted: Reverse Cerebus Syndrome
  • Subverted: The plot looks like it's going to become more serious. It becomes Crazy Awesome instead.
  • Double Subverted: ...and then, it gets so much worse, and Crazy Awesome methods lose their efficency.
  • Parodied:
    • Armed conflict erupts - but instead of drama, the tone switches to Black Comedy.
    • The more dramatic episode starts off with the writer of the show firing the personification of comedy and hiring drama.
    • The Show started as a comedy and still is, in a subtle way...
  • Zig Zagged: Cerebus Roller Coaster
  • Averted: The work never gets more dramatic, opting for Surreal Humor instead.
  • Enforced:
    • Author is running out of good jokes, yet he has accumulated some good dramatic plotlines.
    • Fandom wants work to be Darker and Edgier. Now.
  • Advertisement:
  • Lampshaded: "Is it me, or did our whole universe become much more serious overnight?"
  • Invoked:
    • "Joking around is all well and good, but I like it more the way it is now. Adventure! Conflict! High drama!"
    • A villain who is a Knight of Cerebus comes in at the start of the second half and makes things darker.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "Oh no. No. No-no-no-no-no. Even if it's war, I'm not gonna stop joking, no sir."
  • Discussed:"Remember when our lives were fun? When we had nothing but frivolity to worry about?" "Yeah. I miss those days, I really do."
  • Conversed: "Didn't this show used to be silly?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Author understands that comedic characters won't instantly turn into heroes or warriors. They have a hard time adapting to new conditions.
    • The medium-aware characters don't like the dark, angsty changes to their world and their characters, so they fight to return their world to bright and happy place it was.
    • Advertisement:
    • The characters fully aware of the direction their world is going, and feel like they would die if they stay any longer, quietly get themselves as far away from the conflict as they can putting themselves on a bus, so to speak.
  • Reconstructed: Some of them, however, waited for this moment their entire lives - and jump straight into action.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The story was intended to be dark and edgy from the beginning, but opted for a genre Bait-and-Switch, beginning with a Lighter and Softer atmosphere to make the horror all the more shocking while sowing the seeds in places no one had thought to look. Tropes Are Tools (though this one requires a lot of skill to cultivate the Intended Audience Reaction).

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