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"Sometimes I think you enjoy breaking these little geniuses."

"There is an art to it, and I'm very, very good at it. But enjoy? Well, maybe. When they put back the pieces afterward, and it makes them better."

"Deconstruction" literally means "to take something apart." As one might expect, this is a very broad term, with a number of different definitions in literary criticism, theoretical physics, and even plain-old demolitions. Some of these are explained in more detail on the analysis tab. Here at TV Tropes, we use a slightly stricter definition.

Simply put, our definition of Deconstruction is "How would this play out with real-world logic applied?"

This doesn't mean magic and other fantastic or futuristic elements must be removed, of course. Rather, it means that all existing elements are played without Rule of Cool, Rule of Drama, Rule of Funny, and so on. Sometimes you will hear this referred to as "played completely straight."

For example, in Dungeons and Dragons, when a cleric reaches fifth level, he gains the ability to cast create food and water, which...well...creates food and water. Normally, the impact this would have on a society (especially a medieval one) is completely ignored. A Deconstruction would explore how a society would react to that ability.

Note that while deconstructions often end up Darker and Edgier than the normal version, there is no reason they have to. Expanding on the Dungeons and Dragons example above, a cynical deconstruction would involve either the clerics being enslaved for their powers or becoming the ruling class, while an idealistic deconstruction would involve the dissolution of war as scarcity disappeared. Either one is perfectly valid.

We have many subtropes; most examples of Deconstruction will fit in one of those.

See also Reconstruction, for when everything gets put back together, and Reality Ensues for when this happens temporarily, usually for humor.


Subtropes of Deconstruction



Please note: This page has been edited for clarity's sake. Please do not add any more examples. Add them to Genre Deconstruction or Deconstructed Trope or the appropriate subtrope. Where possible please move examples to these subtrope pages. This page is about Deconstruction as a method, and thus should be stripped down to meta-examples.

Examples of Deconstruction/Sandbox include:


Anime and Manga

  • Originally, Super Dimension Fortress Macross was meant to be a Deconstructive Parody of shows like Mobile Suit Gundam. While it veered off that course eventually and played a fair number of tropes completely straight (never mind inventing a few along the way), pretty much every major entry into the franchise has featured at least one major, often scathing, deconstructions of the science fiction, adventure and anime genres.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 had a few instances of Deconstructing tropes from previous Gundam series, including Gundam Seed Destiny, examples of which would be showing the corpse of Neil Dylandy to show everyone that he is indeed very dead, a very realistic portrayal of just how hopeless Rebellious Princess's Marina's situation is (her nation is now gone and her country never gotten better beforehand), and (arguably) Wang Liu Mei being a deconstruction of Lacus Clyne.
  • Now and Then Here and There is a deconstruction of the Trapped in Another World story. The "other world" is a barren wasteland filled with genuinely fucked-up people in power, child soldiering and exploitation, no magic to speak of (except for Lala-Ru's power), and almost devoid of water. Granted, protagonist Shu does defeat the Big Bad against all odds and return home by the end, but the last scene is barely hopeful or uplifting.
  • Another example is Strange Dawn. The people of the other world are cute Super-Deformed creatures but they are still as flawed as us humans. One of the girls transported to this world is so hell bent on going home that she is willing to take questionable actions (like siding with the bad guys). The other girl wants to help the natives but is too weak hearted to be of any use. Things get so messed up that it takes a Deus Ex Machina to resolve everything.
  • Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle starts out as a light-hearted Nakama Gotta Catch Em All adventure story with some darkness around the edges and interesting sexual subtext. One-third of the way through, everything you thought you knew turns inside out and the most light-hearted elements become harbingers of the ugliest secrets. From there on out, the series proceeds to do everything it can to make your mind boggle, including introducing major unexpected Squick into what had once been CLAMP's most popular and innocent pairing.
  • The "Perfect GT-R" arc of Wangan Midnight has a beautiful deconstruction of street racing. Jun Kitami, who at this point has been portrayed as a reckless, heartless daredevil tuner, says point-blank that there are no winners or losers and that Koichi did exactly the right thing in giving up this senseless hobby so he could return to his wife. Given that the whole manga is about street racing, plainly admitting a truth like this took guts. Even better, this happens in the very first arc after the Devil Z and Blackbird are introduced.
  • Emiya Shirou's life story is a quite literally an embodiment of a deconstruction of Martyr Without a Cause, Chronic Hero Syndrome, and other related "hero" tropes.

  Archer: There is nothing at the end of saving people.

  • Halo Legends is a deconstruction of the whole Halo series. In The Babysitter, it's showed that not all UNSC personnel are fond of the Spartans -- some are actually jealous of them for their awesomeness, and they use it as an excuse to treat the Spartans as freaks, which has a bad effect on their cooperation. In the end, even a Super Soldier is a human being who can die just like that. The Duel reveals that not all the Covenant believe in the "Great Journey"; some are to afraid to admit to it, some rebel against it and others just use the religion as a means for their own selfish needs. Origins is a story about the Forerunners and their war against Flood. The Message: no matter how powerful your empire is, it will sooner or later fall, especially if you fight against an enemy you don't have a single clue about. The Stoic character is deconstructed in Prototype. In this episode, the other marines believes that the main character's stoic personality is evidence that he's literally emotionless and that he doesn't give a damn about his fellow men, but contrary to their belief, he has as many emotions as they have, the stoicism just a facade to hide the pain that came from seeing his entire company being wiped out and having his last recruit bleed to death in his arms.
  • Toradora! deconstructs many of the character archetypes seen in typical Harem Anime. Most notably, Taiga basically answers the question of what kind of experiences could give a person a childish tsundere personality in real life.
  • Digimon Tamers deconstructs a number of things that were barely touched on in the first two seasons of Digimon.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica brutally deconstructs many (one could say all) of the most beloved Magical Girl tropes. Namely: the mascot, the henshin item, and the "perks".


Comic Books

  • Watchmen deconstructs the entire superhero genre, but focuses somewhat more on people without actual super powers fighting as vigilantes anyways.
  • A story from the comics series Animal Man (noted for its Post Modernism) deconstructs Looney Tunes and similar cartoons: in "The Coyote Gospel," a grotesquely anthropomorphic coyote is repeatedly and brutally killed by an Elmer Fudd-style hunter obsessed with his destruction, and continuously reforms/regenerates in a most disturbing manner. Finally, in a scene reminiscent of the classic "Duck Amuck" short, the malevolent animator paints his blood in as he dies for the last time.
  • The Dark Knight Returns asked the question: "What sort of a man would dress up in a bat outfit and fight crime." The answer: "A man who isn't very pleasant or sane."
  • Kick-Ass shows us what it would be like if a teenager without super powers ever became a superhero (like Spider-Man). The main character gets beaten to within an inch of his life in every encounter, and said life becomes even worse after he dons the mask; his only super power is that he has a metal plate in his head.
  • While a few elements are questionable, The Unfunnies is still a clever commentary on how writers are corrupting the once-innocent world of comics by injecting their own perversions into it. The story begins with a stereotypical Hanna-Barbera cartoon world of talking animals, then introduces prostitution, child pornography, and violence. Then it's revealed that the world's creator is a child rapist and murderer who's on death row, and created the world so he can switch places with a character there, and thus live forever.


Film

  • The Asphalt Jungle (1950) deconstructs The Caper. In a normal heist movie, the thieves combine good luck with great skill, have no difficulty working together, and escape from the police to spend their stolen wealth without too much trouble. In the Asphalt Jungle, on the other hand, the thieves aren't quite skilled enough to avoid alerting the cops during the heist, have a run of bad luck starting even before they're done planning the heist, squeal on each other, and eventually every single participant is either dead or in prison, brought down by a combination of their own flaws and misfortunes. Plus, the police chief (normally a corrupt or unlikeable person in films where he appears at all) gives a nice speech about the importance of good law enforcement towards the end of the film.
  • Mighty Joe Young (at least the 1998 version) deconstructs King Kong. The ape isn't an island-dwelling monster, but an otherwise normal African gorilla with extreme giantism. The female lead has more in common with Dian Fossey then the screaming damsel in distress of Kong. And when Joe finally does go on his "rampage" it's because he's confronted with the poacher that killed his mother.
  • Scanners sets up a fairly standard Hero's Journey, as Cameron Vale, blessed with Psychic Powers, is sent by wise old Dr. Paul Ruth to defeat Ruth's former pupil, Darryl Revok, who also has Psychic Powers. Vale befriends a White-Haired Pretty Girl, Kim Obrist, who can help him infiltrate Revok's organization. Not unsurprisingly, it is revealed that both Cameron and Darryl are the two sons of Paul. With us so far? And then Darryl points out what kind of father would abandon his sons like that, and weaponize one against the other, and, indeed, would test a potentially dangerous new drug on his pregnant wife, thus making Cameron and Darryl psychic in the first place. "That was Daddy." Also, the psychic stuff is disgusting and creepy: scanning is presented not as a graceful and mystical power, but as a painful and unpleasant "merging of two nervous systems". The process is as unpleasant for the the person being scanned (who suffer from headaches and nosebleeds at best, and can have their hearts stopped and heads exploded at worst) and the scanners themselves who suffer severe social and psychological side effects from hearing other peoples thoughts (the main character starts the movie homeless, and another scanner murdered his family when he was a child). Ruth's dream of a scanner utopia turn out to be Not So Different from Revok's scanner-supremacy idea, as observed by Vale. Meanwhile, Cam and Kim never fall in love, as would be expected, because they're too scared for their lives.
  • The 1991 film The Dark Backward contains an animated sequence that deconstructs the Tom and Jerry cartoons: Tom's Captain Ersatz gleefully pursues Jerry's, hatchet in hand, and then cuts him in half with it (guts spill); then Spike's Captain Ersatz appears and blows the cat's brains out (literally) with a shotgun. The main character's mother laughs out loudly at this scene.
  • A scene from The Mirror Has Two Faces shows Streisand's character deconstructing "Cinderella", saying that she drove the prince nuts with her obsessive cleaning.
  • The 2008 movie JCVD is a deconstruction of Jean-Claude Van Damme himself, as an out-of-luck delusional actor as opposed to the real-life moderately successful actor. Read the synopsis here.
  • One could argue that the first live action Scooby Doo movie deconstructed the gang's main quirks. In the cartoon, Daphne often became the Designated Victim, but took it in stride, even cracking a quip about it occasionally. In the movie, however, she openly despises the fact that she's "always the damsel in distress", and this combined with the fact that she blames it on the "incompetence" of the others makes her the most bitter and reluctant to get the gang back together. Velma was always the smart girl, but the movie portrays her as an under-appreciated Insufferable Genius. Fred was the de facto leader of Mystery Inc, and as such was often the voice of reason. The movie shows him as a literal Only Sane Man who struggles to keep the conflicting personalities of the team from getting out of hand. Surprisingly, Shaggy and Scooby are actually almost identical to their cartoon incarnations.
  • The Milla Jovovich version of Joan of Arc plays out the way the true story went until she is captured by the English, at which point it deconstructs the entire mythology surrounding Joan of Arc. In prison, she meets (or better said, hallucinates) a character (played by Dustin Hoffman) whose only function seems to be to question her calling from God.
  • Saturday Night Fever harshly deconstruct America's hedonistic take on life in The Seventies. Sure, there were beautiful clothes, music, and lots of dancing, but there was a dark side to the life led by such people Tony and his friends. For example, Tony, who turns to hedonism as a way to cope with his own life as a low-class Brooklyn guy with a really Dysfunctional Family, has no thought for the future (and the culture as a whole didn't either), and his friends are involved with drugs, drinking, and casual sex which does cause them huge problems.


Literature

  • The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell arguably does this in regards to the King Arthur mythos.
  • Arguably, Boris Strugatsky's The Powerless Ones of This World is a deconstruction of much of his own and his late brother's earlier works. Perhaps most prominently, "the Sensei", who is a wise old mentor (a fairly typical character for many Strugatsky novels), turns out to have been not only a Trickster Mentor, but also the initiator of the Xanatos Gambit that dictated much of the plot and was aimed at forcing the main character to unlock his full abilities. It succeeded, but not before making said main character a nervous wreck, inducing quite a Bittersweet Ending and causing much remorse to the mentor himself. Additionally, the topic of the Progressors is briefly brought up; one of the characters muses that the Sensei might be acting as one on Earth, and that he had, despite some occasional successes, failed miserably.
    • Hard to Play God deconstructs medieval chivalry, fantasy settings, the supposed glamour of royalty and nobility, and well-intentioned meddling by developed countries (in this case, civilizations: an idealist Commies In Space benevolent space-faring nation ideologically similar to Star Trek's Federation). The Middle Ages are also known as the Dark Ages for a reason: a Crapsack World is pretty much a given there.
  • With A Companion to Wolves, Elizabeth Bear and Sarah Monette do this to all bonded companion animal stories, especially Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern.
  • A lot of John Tynes and/or Greg Stolze works features this. Unknown Armies, for instance, deconstructs the Urban Fantasy setting, the novel A Hunger Like Fire deconstructs the trope of the sensual vampire temptress and the RPGs Godlike and Wild Talents deconstructs superheroes stories set during World War 2 and the Cold War respectively.
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel The Crooked World by Steve Lyons is a deconstruction of Looney Tunes-esque cartoons as the Doctor lands in a cartoon world and begins to influence its inhabitants' behaviors towards naturalism.
  • "A Troll Story" by Nicola Griffith, in which a Viking warrior faces off against a troll. He wins, all right, but the story abruptly takes a deconstructionist turn: he goes insane from the troll's final curse, which renders him able to understand that there's no essential moral difference between the troll's slaughter of Vikings and his own slaughter of innocents in the towns he's raided.
  • Ring For Jeeves could be considered PG Wodehouse's deconstruction of his own stories. The usual romantic comedy character-relation tropes are there, but the world they live in is remarkably different. All of Wodehouse's stories take place in a world of eternal Genteel Interbellum Setting, but Ring For Jeeves explores what would happen if time actually progressed. World War II has happened, Britain is in the throes of social upheaval which separates Jeeves and Bertie (Bertie is sent to a school that teaches the aristocracy how to fend for themselves), poverty and suicide and graphic death are acknowledged, and Jeeves even admits to having "dabbled in" World War I. The book's setting, Rowchester Abbey, is falling apart at the seams and the characters who inhabit it start to feel like a pocket of old-fashioned happiness in a darkening world. In case any doubters still exist about 3/4 through the book, there's Constable Wyvyrn's musings about just how much the world has changed.
  • Goshawk Squadron by Derek Robinson attacks the popular view of World War One air combat which, rather than dueling "Knights of the Air", actually involved undertrained pilots diving out of the sun and machine-gunning their opponent in the back before he had a chance to defend himself.
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court was a particularly brutal deconstruction of the King Arthur mythos, which a lot of Brits took offense to. (It was compared, at one point, to defecating on a national treasure.)
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald could be the earliest deconstruction of the American dream lifestyle. It shows the rich and happy as people who are empty on the inside and the fight between new rich and old rich lifestyles, particularly with the titular character Jay Gatsby.
  • The Second Apocalypse series by R. Scott Bakker was an attempted deconstruction of what Bakker considers the crux of fantasy -- a meaningful universe with metaphysical purpose. One of the premises of the series is "What if you had a fantasy world where Old Testament-style morality, with all of its arbitrary taboos and cruelties (like damnation), was as true in the same way that gravity is 9.8 meters per second squared?". Whether he successfully accomplishes this is heavily debated.
  • The title character of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin is a deconstruction of a Byronic Hero.
  • A Tale of Two Cities. To many, the famous opening line ("It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...") seems cliche, but one needs to look at it in the context of the French Revolution. In the years following it, revisionists on both sides relied heavily on propaganda, romantising their own side as undeniably good, and demonising the other side as undeniably bad. A Tale of Two Cities makes the assumption that both side was absolutly right and runs with it, and so both the aristocrats and the revolutionaries have, among their ranks, noble, honorable people fighting for what they belive is right, and total sadists who just want some bloodshed.


Live Action TV

  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon ends up deconstructing its own source material in increasingly surprising ways as it diverges from the original story, until, by the end, Sailor Moon herself has become the Omnicidal Maniac villain; the senshi's power source, the Silver Crystal, turns out to have really been an Artifact of Doom; and erstwhile villain Queen Beryl is revealed to have actually been trying to save the world, albeit only so she could rule it. The deconstruction arises here as a result of the audience's own genre expectations about the senshi's Power of Friendship and the motivation of the Card Carrying Villains, and how naive and dangerous it'd actually be for the heroines to make such assumptions.
  • Star Trek experienced a successful Deconstruction with Deep Space Nine, a mildly successful Reconstruction with Voyager, a failed Deconstruction with Enterprise, and a very successful Reconstruction with the 2009 film.
  • The Ten Commandments miniseries shows the many hard choices (abandoning his family, alienating his adoptive mother, causing his blood brother to do a Face Heel Turn, killing his most loyal comrade to enforce God's authority)) Moses had to make in following God.
  • In a very unique example, as the vast majority of deconstructions are very cynical in nature, The West Wing (a highly idealistic show) could be seen as a deconstruction of the popular conventions of what constitutes political immorality: the Press Secretary spins information not to cover up the government's guilt, but to protect the jobs of heads of state and militaries from the influence of political whims; politicians make unsavory deals with amoral lobbyists and scheming congressmen not for personal gain, but to rescue legislation that would help out thousands of people; the President's speeches and public appearances are carefully scripted not to make him look good, but to prevent confusion and possible panic from people who don't have Masters' in public policy; etc, etc.
  • While it's easy to mistake it for another run-of-the-mill teen melodrama, Glee could very well be called "Deconstruction: The Show."
  • The B plot of Community episode English as a Second Language is a deconstruction of Good Will Hunting'. Abed pulls a paraphrasing of Ben Affleck's "the best part of my day" speech from on Troy, to try to get him to 'use his gift' and become a plumber. The next day, Abed turns to find that Troy is no longer sitting next to him in class... but not because he's inspired and has dropped out, but because Troy has switched seats because he's offended that his best friend would actually think the prospect of him just leaving without a word would be the best part of his day. Turns out, that would actually be a really horrible and offensive thing to say to a friend, no matter how gifted.


Theater

  • A Streetcar Named Desire did not deconstruct any genre in particular, but it did deconstruct gender roles, physical relationships, and the American system of social classes in a rather harsh way.
  • Euripides' Trojan Women and Hecuba portrayed The Trojan War as a human tragedy rather than a sweeping epic tale of martial valor in the Homeric tradition. In general, his tragedies are regarded as more "modern" than those of his predecessors because of their morally ambiguous protagonists, pervasive sense of anxiety and despair, religious skepticism and overall portrayal of mythologycal subjects and characters as real people.
  • The musical Urinetown has the downtrodden people fighting to overthrow the oppressive system that heavily taxes and regulates their bathroom usage during a worldwide massive drought. They succeed, but they are so caught up in the "freedom" that they don't control themselves at all and end up effectively squandering all the remaining water.
  • M. Butterfly is a no-holds-barred deconstruction of the "Oriental woman submissive to her white man" trope that Madame Butterfly codified, with a male Chinese spy disguised as a woman deliberately invoking this trope to get a French diplomat to fall in love with him and pointing out that Asian women are generally no more modest or demure than other women in real life.


Video Games

  • For one of Gamespot's April Fool's Day jokes, they have announced that Capcom has recently announced a new game called Mega Man Deconstructed. See 7:43 of this video.
  • Most of the villainism of No More Heroes's Villain Protagonist comes from what would happen if a stereotypical videogame/anime geek retained their combat ability in the real world and lived life like they play games.
  • Baldur's Gate deconstructs the well known idea that most of the world's problems tend to occur just as The Hero arrives on the scene. Due to CHARNAME's status as a Bhaalspawn, he/she is a literal Doom Magnet, so the fact that you seem to stumble upon a lot of trouble isn't coincidence, you are literally causing it through your own existence. Furthermore you are not the only Bhaalspawn out there causing chaos through existance. It doesn't help things that your father is the God of Murder.
  • A lighter example of Deconstruction would belong to SWAT 4, an FPS which objective is not shooting bad guys. Just plain shooting bad guys like in another FPS, in SWAT 4, does not net you a point. This game expects you to be a police officer, not an FPS character. To earn points (which needed to advance in harder difficulties), you must deal with the bad guys with non-lethal methods, and arresting them.
  • Ironically enough, in all places, Pokémon Black and White deconstructs not just many of the implications of a Crap Saccharine World in the series that are hinted at through the Pokedex entries, but also decontructs the idea that everyone in the world of Pokemon thinks that it's a good idea to send kids and teenagers out into the wild to capture pokemon, with Bianca's father feeling immensly concerned for her. Another part of it is the idea that no one bats an eyelash at Pokemon battles or no one thinks it's too violent with Team Plasma and N.
  • Phantom Brave viciously deconstructs All of the Other Reindeer. The power of a Chroma (which is what Marona is) is, for all intents and purposes, necromancy, and as such it is widely regarded as a dark, unholy power, and people react accordingly to her. This isn't simply general disdain or mocking of her, this is real, genuine fear and hatred. Hell, listen to that woman who scolds her son for wanting to be friends with Marona in the opening chapter. You can literally feel the pure, unbridled barely contained rage she has at the mere mention of her name.


Web Comics

  • The Pixel Art Comic Kid Radd, while largely light in tone, presents a "video game characters living in videoland" scenario where it's a very real problem that many inhabitants are innately armed and know nothing but killing. They know why they were created, and they don't like it. The player character Radd goes from slacker to Determinator because he always had the latter's mindset, but started his days in a game under the player's control, so he had to learn initiative completely from the ground up. Upon being freed, Radd needed instructions to walk independently.
  • It's Walky could arguably be seen as a deconstruction of the goofy 1980s cartoons creator David Willis is a fan of (mostly G.I. Joe and Transformers). Sure it features a unique special forces group, SEMME (who were initially based on GI Joe) with an eccentric line up of operatives, who routinely foil the insane schemes of a Harmless Villain, but the eccentric operatives are soon revealed to be a bunch of dysfunctional screw-ups, and the Villain is in fact a Not-So-Harmless Villain.
  • My Name Is Might Have Been deconstructs Rock Band. Yeah, the video game.
  • VG Cats deconstructs the cartoon violence of Tom and Jerry in this strip.
  • Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes takes a good hard look at the Unfortunate Implications of labeling whole races Always Chaotic Evil. It portrays the titular goblins not as monsters but as people who live and love. It shows us that what Player Characters see as just an XP haul isn't so fun when you're the one they're killing to level up.
  • Quentin Quinn Space Ranger, an offshoot of Tales of the Questor, is Deconstructing Star Trek right now. So far the design of the starship Enterprise, the habit of using forcefield airlocks without wearing space suits and the Proud Warrior Race Guy have already been hit. Hard. Up next is engineering.
  • The entire premise behind Darths and Droids is that the Star Wars universe is the result of a group of Tabletop Gamers (including a 7 year old girl) making it up as they go along. It lends a whole new perspective to the storyline of the prequel trilogy. The entire mess on Naboo was the result of the Player Characters epically ruining a delicate, carefully constructed plan by going Off the Rails, and engaging in all the sins of The Real Man, The Munchkin, and The Loonie. Palpatine is actually a good guy overthrowing a corrupt regime, and trying to bring a semblance of stability to the republic. Darth Maul was just a Chaotic Neutral Hired Gun who was only trying to work with the player characters, before they attacked him. To top it all off, some the most bizarre and unrealistic plot points, such as Naboo being governed by a 14 year old Queen exist because Jar Jar Binks is being played by a little girl.
  • In the Chapter 26 of the Spanish webcomic 5 Elementos, the author show the effects of a civil war in a world habited by lots and lots of people with superpowers.
  • MS Paint Adventures is Andrew Hussie's deconstructive love letter to a multitude of series, including itself.


Web Original

  • This website deconstructs the Cthulhu Mythos, specifically the Necronomicon. In essense it asks "what if it was a real book?" and builds from there, by looking for paralels between Judeo-Christian tradition and the Chuthlu Mythos (The Old Ones = The Giants from Genesis), it creates the content of the book, it then asks "what kind of person would write about such things in 730 AD?", thus Abdul Alhazred is what the Koran calls a "Sabian" and what western biblical scholars call a "Gnostic" a person with religous veiws related too, but radically different from mainstream Christianity, Islam and Judaism. It then builds a comprehesive history of how it got from the middle east and into the hands of western Occultists, and finally makes the assumption that while, yes Lovecraft wrote about it, he got only the name and the the author correct, having never read the book itself.
  • Stardestroyer.net, as mentioned above in Fanfic, deconstructs the seemingly utopian Star Trek universe, pointing out holes.
  • Sailor Nothing loves showing just how jarringly, horrifically, nightmarishly different the characters' lives are from Magical Girl anime. Several of them even watch an exaggerated, stereotypical version of such shows; the main character actually watches it to escape her life.
  • Who could forget this remarkable deconstruction of Super Mario Bros.?
  • Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles takes many first person shooter tropes and twists them. Everything from capture the flag, to why there are two bases in the middle of a box canyon with no strategic value, and Respawn. Interestingly, the new series called Reconstruction is a deconstruction of the parodic nature of The Blood Gulch Chronicles. Caboose is tied up in the brig due to his self destructive tendencies. Grif and Simmons face the firing squad after selling all the ammo to the Blue team. The reason that all the red and blue conflicts were pointless squabbling over an equally pointless flag and base is revealed to be a conspiracy by command. However, since that is a deconstruction of a deconstruction, arguably that makes it a Reconstruction as all the video game tropes are being put back together.
  • The SCP Foundation Wiki, although beginning as a creepypasta site, has largely evolved into a deconstruction on the "Modern-Day Fantasy" genre, depicting a shadowy organization entirely devoted to capturing and imprisoning all of those magicians, psychics, and mystic artifacts that populate said settings, to maintain the status quo.
  • Furry Fandom works frequently portray an entire world as furry. I Wish I Was Furry! shows what would happen if we woke up one day and the world actually was furry. The main character is even a human furry fan, like is typical for transformation stories. And a plushophile. (It's exactly what it sounds like.) A furryized world, as it happens, is dark and brutal.
  • Sonny Gets Mad Scienced is the "humourous" type of deconstruction. It revolves around two central ideas; telling a Mad Scientist story from the perspective of one of the nameless subjects experimented on, and being Genre Savvy doesn't always help.
  • The Youtube video Percy is a deconstruction of infomercials.
  • This video from The Onion sends up the idea of video games becoming progressively more realistic by taking it to a logically deconstructive extreme with a "ultra realistic Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3". It mostly involves sitting around and waiting.
  • For the superhero scene, there's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. A detailed description of the webseries can be found in it's wmg page.
  • This video is a deconstruction of Pokémon. Yes, Pokémon. It is mostly played for laughs but there is a point about half-way through where Pikachu is bleeding as he's strangled by a Bulbasaur ... And oh my God it is disturbing. If you've ever been mildly bothered by the cockfighting similarities, you will be really distressed by this video.


Western Animation

  • There can be a very good case made for The Venture Brothers being a deconstruction of Jonny Quest and Doc Savage-style stories. Some say spoof, some say deconstruction, some say both.
  • Looney Tunes director Chuck Jones often used deconstruction on his cartoons. The best known example is Duck Amuck: First the scenery changes, forcing Daffy to adapt. Then Daffy himself is erased and redrawn. Then the soundtrack fails, then the film frame, and so on until Daffy is psychologically picked clean. Another example is What's Opera Doc, which takes the base elements of a typical Bugs Bunny cartoon and reassembles them as a Wagnerian opera. (Conversely, you could also say that it takes the base elements of Wagnerian opera and reassembles them as a Bugs Bunny cartoon.)
  • Family Guy does a particularly nasty deconstruction of Looney Tunes and its Amusing Injuries, wherein Elmer Fudd is out "hunting wabbits", shoots Bugs Bunny four times in the stomach, snaps his neck amidst cries of pain, and then drags him off leaving behind a trail of blood. In another episode where Peter and friends became The A-Team, the show's "amusing injuries" are discussed as actually life-threatening.
  • The famous Simpsons episode "Homer's Enemy" is a deconstruction of the general weirdness and insanity of its setting, based around the premise of What if a real-life, normal person had to enter Homer's universe and deal with him? Frank Grimes, a relatively humorless but hard-working man who is still forced to live cheaply despite working almost his entire life, encounters Homer on the job at the nuclear power. You can imagine what happens next - the result is funny, but also disturbing and very dark upon further reflection (one of the darkest Simpsons episodes ever made).
    • At one point, Homer is about to drink a beaker of sulfuric acid when Grimes stops him. Grimes reacts exactly as we would expect a normal person to react -- he's visibly freaked out, and when Homer blows off the danger with laughter, he shouts, " Stop laughing,you imbecile! Do you realize how close you just came to killing yourself?!" A series of such incidents ultimately drives Frank Grimes into insanity and death.
  • The Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "1+ 1=Ed" is a deconstruction of how cartoons work, similar to Duck Amuck.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures offers an interesting take on the teenage superhero genre in the fact the hero really couldn't care any less about school or fitting in, claiming it's a waste of time and instead stating that his work as a hero is more important. He then proceeds to cheat on his tests and homework in order to pass, since him being a hero gives him the latitude to do so, and high school is meaningless and doesn't matter once you graduate.
  • "Epilogue" of Justice League Unlimited can be taken as a deconstruction of the superhero genre, by having a woman deliberately make Terry McGinnis a superhero by killing his parents and replacing his dad's DNA with the DNA of Bruce Wayne, all in response to Batman growing older. It fits both invoked and deconstructed, because it shows the horrible consequences of making a superhero, as well as the kind of monster you would have to be to do it (killing innocent people to do something that might achieve a goal).
  • Moral Orel deconstructs The Moral Substitute but presenting a culture where ALL MEDIA are Christian fundamentalist propaganda, and showing just how messed up and disturbing said culture would be.
  • The episode of The Powerpuff Girls about them moving to "Citysville" deals with what would happen if their brand of heroics was applied to a real life city.
  • South Park, as well as deconstructing everything else on the planet, has a fine line in deconstructing itself. In "Kenny Dies", the Running Gag character they had killed over seventy times already gets a terminal disease and slowly expires while Stan and Kyle react with utterly realistic grief and despair.
  • The Jimmy Neutron movie deconstructs the "no parents would be great" trope by having difficulties pop up the very next day. A girl gets injured, everyone gets chronically lonely, and people get sick from eating nothing but bad food.
  • "It's Oppo", a student film made by Cal Arts student Tyler Chen, brutally deconstructs Nick Jr., as well as preschool television programs and morally unscrupulous media companies in general. Watch it [NSFW]: [1]
  • In Undergrads, college dorm life is deconstructed to counter its inspiration Animal House; Rocko's Fratboy behavior is looked down on heavily by his frat brothers, who view him as a source of grief. Nitz' everyman status really puts only a grade above Gimpy, the resident Hikkomori of the 4 of them.
  • Transformers Animated is a deconstruction of the whole Autobot-Decepticon War. Things ain't so black and white as before, in fact the Autobots' leadership is flawed and somewhat corrupt, with one higly racist, incompetent, cowardly jerkass general on it, who only is amongst the High Command because he blames his mistakes on Optimus Prime, whose status as The Messiah makes him somewhat of a push-over, and its leader is ready to commit dirty tricks to defeat the Decepticons. The Decepticons however, are as much the monsters they were in G1, and though this time Megatron's pragmatic enough to blast Starscream's ass any time he tries to overthrow him. Starscream only survives thanks to the Allspark piece on his head. Without it he would have died right from the start. Then comes the season three...
  • "Hey Good Lookin'" by Ralph Bakshi (who else) is one big Deconstruction and Take That against anyone who believes that the 1950s were really just like Grease or Happy Days. The main character is ostensibly as cool as The Fonz but actually a Dirty Coward who can't back up his bragging, the Plucky Comic Relief is actually a racist sociopath, their gang isn't a really a Nakama despite looking like one, the supposed Big Bad never explictly does anything really bad and the ending's Broken Aesop is intentional about the "Romance" between the main character and Rozzie.


Real Life

  • Reductio Ad Absurdum is a style of argument that does this to its opposition. It takes the opponent's argument and logically follows it through to an absurd or indefensible conclusion. It is considered a valid arguing tactic.
  • The well-known Aesop "Be Careful What You Wish For" operates in this way. Person X makes wish Y. Wish Y is granted to person X. Wish Y then manages to have sufficiently negative unintended consequences on person X's life that wish Y now looks like a ridiculous thing to wish for. Thus, Wish Y is deconstructed.
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