Satire and Switch

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

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 notparody was not very clear from the start.

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.

Examples of Satire and Switch include:

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.



  • 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.

Video Games

Web Comics

  • 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. This was for the better.