20 Tropes Masterfully Subverted in Movies and TV

When you think they're going to do the thing -- and then they surprise you.
20 Tropes Masterfully Subverted in Movies and TV

For a while now, we’ve been discussing tropes from the horror, action, sci-fi, and rom-com genres that still have some life in them. Similarly, we’ve also discussed tired tropes and the movies that actually did manage to pull them off. For this Pictofact, however, we wanted to give a spin to our loving research of fiction clichés, so we just focused on films and TV shows that, well, gave a spin to their own rehashed tropes. To set the mood, then, here’s a freebie: the sexy shower scene from Fury Road. Yeah, you know you remember the sexy shower scene.

What’s that? You don’t remember it? Well, that’s the point, there isn’t any. After the sandstorm sequence, the slave wives clean themselves in the middle of the desert just as Max approaches them – but neither he nor the camera sexualizes them. There are no creepy lingering shots, it’s all about their caring for each other and Max’s own survival. As for the audience, however, we’re so used to the male gaze that we either do sexualize the characters or we don’t even notice them because the scene is not framed as a sexy scene. But those two things are on us. As for the movie — yup, it subverted the trope. We now examine, then, other awesome examples of films and television trope subversion.

Refusing to Run Away

Masterfully Subverted Tropes Why don't they just leave? The moment we see walls bleeding, we're gone. But Nope twists the usual stubborness of horror movie protagonists by giving emotional weight as to why they stay. They could just take the money and let someone else deal with the unidentified aerial phenomena, but family history prevents it. Nope CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Time Travel is a Big Deal

Masterfully Subverted Tropes Looper The marvel of time travel Most time travel movies try to put a novel spin on it, while also treating it like a big deal. Looper's own novel spin, however, is dismissing the importance and details of its mechanics and instead focusing on its effects. The film removes the coolness from Bruce Willis' time-shenanigans by rather showing the crushing weight of his child-killing spree. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Sony Pictures

Celebrity Survivor

Masterfully Subverted Tropes Scream The famous actor survives That Scream subverts tropes is nothing new, but it must be stressed over and over how groundbreaking that opening scene was. Drew Barrymore was the movie's biggest star, so she's obviously the final girl, right? Nope, she chose to play the opening kill, and all the bets were off. Wes Craven obviously handled it like a genius. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Miramax Films

Rich and Mean

Masterfully Subverted Tropes Big Little Lies Mean rich lady During the first season, Laura Dern's Renata is an uptight, snobbish rich lady, particularly focusing her classist scorn on Shailene Woodley's Jane. By the end of the season, however, she realizes she was wrong, apologizes, and offers friendship like an actually fallible human being. We were not ready for such emotional maturity, to be honest. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: HBO

No Resolution

Masterfully Subverted Tropes Burn After Reading No third-act resolution After all the misunderstandings and murders - nothing. The movie does have a third act, but its peculiarity is in the same banality the Coens put in A Serious Man a year later, only bureaucratic instead of existential. No climax, no comeuppance, no final exposition-just the CIA shrugging at the dumb developments and deciding to ignore them. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Focus Features

Only Sane Person

Masterfully Subverted Tropes Climax Sanity among chaos Gaspar Noé's Climax may have a female protagonist in Sofia Boutella's Selva, but she's not really a final girl. A more powerful genre subversion comes in the third act, as she's not really a sane victim among the bloody chaos. She's also tripping balls, and the third act of this horror film is just that: madness. CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Rectangle Productions


Masterfully Subverted Tropes The big heist scene scene Movies centered around a heist usually show the careful planning, the setting into motion, the ensuing hiccups, the whole deal. Reservoir Dogs goes the other way, and is instead a heistless heist film. It shows the gang discussing Madonna and the ethics of tipping, and then it jumps to the bloody aftermath. This Tarantino guy knows his stuff. Reservoir Dogs CRACKED.COM

Image Credit: Miramax Films

Freaky Friday Switch

Masterfully Subverted Tropes Community The body swap Community gave its spin on the old body switching trope with 2013's Basic Human Anatomy, in which Troy and Abed only pretend to swap bodies to avoid the awkwardness of Troy and Britta's anniversary. CRACKED.COM

Screen Rant
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Television

The One

Masterfully Subverted Tropes The Witcher The Chosen One Princess Cirilla was chosen way before she was even born, comes from a whole lineage of Important People, and is linked to Geralt by destiny. And yet she shows a surprising amount of agency, even considering breaking the very cycle that put her in that position to begin with. CRACKED.COM

TV Guide
Image Credit: Netflix

Basement Dweller

Masterfully Subverted Tropes The basement entity Parasite begins as a wacky comedy. Then it slowly starts peeling off layers, and suddenly there's a creepy basement dweller. By then it's clear Parasite is about to take a bleak turn, but is it a horror movie? Is that a ghost? The true villain is, of course, neoliberalism, but it takes a few subverted horror tropes to get there. Parasite CRACKED.COM

Source:Screen Rant
Image Credit: CJ Entertainment

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