Take That

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Marc Summers: In Encino Man, what actor plays the caveman?
Contestant: Pauly Shore?
Marc Summers: No, it's not Pauly Shore. This person has talent.

Every so often a TV Series, Film, or even radio talk show will make a reference to another one, usually in the same market niche or genre. Most of the time it's just a simple Shout-Out or a Homage, and if it's a Comedy Series, you can expect at least a little spoofing.

But sometimes it's a bit more mean-spirited than that. Whether it's because of a perceived rivalry, jealousy, bitterness or Pride, the mention will be derogatory and boastful. More often than not, rather than be a "Take That!" to the disparaged show, it'll reflect even worse on the joker, it'll actually make a good production turn sour, and it makes a bad production look like a monumental act of hubris. It can be especially jarring (and often hilarious for reasons the producers didn't intend) if the show being mocked goes on to win popular and / or critical acclaim, awards, and respect from its audience, while the show doing the mocking becomes widely reviled or forgotten.

"Take That" is something you hear a lot on DVD commentaries. Whenever the show gets to a gag that's at the expense of some real-life group(s), the commentator says, "Take that, celebrity / studio / organization / other target!"

It is more likely to occur if the creators of the work are relatively confident they won't suffer any significant backlash from the insult; for example, someone who has Protection From Editors, or the writer of a Fan Work or Web Comic.

Often, a Take That will be aimed at someone or something related to the work itself:

This trope is sometimes known as a "potshot" in normal parlance.

A common element of commercials. Often uses Brand X / No Celebrities Were Harmed / Scapegoat Ads.

Not to be confused with This Loser Is You. Nor with the British boy band.

Examples of Take That are listed on these subpages: