Cannot Handle Untamed Nature
Not a Deathworld. Not even close. But for a Megacity child, it's not much better.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-07-18 03:18:40 sponsor: Omeganian (last reply: 2014-01-30 06:05:28)

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It's not a Deathworld. No, the surface is quite habitable. There are no constant hurricanes, blizzards or fires. The animals aren't dangerous (at least, not everywhere). But you have lived all your life in a space habitat, or an underground city. And the Outside is hell for you.

Consider. It is cold one moment, hot a few hours afterwards, and you can do nothing about it. You can't regulate the amount of light. There is no fresh, cool, sterile water at a press of a button. Nor food. There are constant unpleasant air movements which you can't predict. Unfiltered air. Worse, there can be water falling down on you from somewhere... Damn! Why is there a somewhere? Where are the comforting enclosing walls of the City? Where is the Civilization?!

Compare City Mouse, which is a less extreme version of that.

Films - Animation

  • A recurring theme in Madagascar is that nature turns out to be not as cracked up as the protagonists, zoo animals, expect it to be. Some are even terrified of it.
    Melman: Nature! It's all over me!
  • Superman Unbound has it as a major plot point for the villain.


  • A recurring theme in Isaac Asimov's works. Examples:
    • In The Caves of Steel the eponymous caves are Earth cities, which have all been domed over. People feel agoraphobic when they're outside the domes. In a later book in the series Elijah Bailey starts a movement of people going outside the domes to work gardens. Most people think that's nuts.
    • In the Foundation series all of Trantor has been domed except for the Emperor's estate. People who grew up on Trantor are unsettled (to say the least) even thinking of being outside.
    • In "Foundation and Earth", Solarians have no trouble walking outside in good weather, but the idea of a surface dwelling instead of an underground one is barbaric for them.
    • In "Deep", a race of aliens who lived underground for millions of years emigrate to Earth. They decide to live underground here as well, because they cannot imagine even the strongest of will among them can tolerate a single day in the instability of the surface (the Starfish Aliens on the surface only make it worse).
    • In "It's Such a Beautiful Day", a mother is worried about her son's mental health because he walks outside instead of using the Portal Network. She has trouble believing he likes it out there.
    • In another short story, the Tomato Surprise in the end is that Earth is not just considered horrible, it is the place where the worst of the criminals are exiled from the perfectly conditioned cities of the Moon.
  • Lt. Eve Dallas of the In Death series fits this. Not only is she city-bred but she's somewhat agoraphobic as well (and don't even get her started on cows and horses).
  • On Gor the Priest-Kings - the Physical Gods of the world - can't stand the sun and live in a giant under-mountain complex called the Nest.
  • Firesong feels this way in Mercedes Lackey's book Storm Breaking.
  • In Balance of Trade, Jethri Gobelyn (who has lived on a tiny space freighter his entire life) is not at all comfortable with planets and their weather and their dirt and their open sky (into which he thinks he might fall, being accustomed to zero gravity).
  • Discworld: Sam Vimes, being a city dweller through and through, prefers his nature in edible form and considers the countryside to be "too squishy".
  • John (The Savage)'s mother in Brave New World. She gets stranded on a primitive reservation for 18 years after growing up in the test-tube culture.
  • In the Paradox web serial Earthrise Reese, who grew up in a habitat dome on Mars, doesn't exactly feel comfortable on earth and the Pelted worlds because of the unfiltered air and weather.

Live-Action TV

  • Quark seems to have this attitude on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. During one outdoor expedition he quotes the Ferengi Rule of Acquisition "Nature decays, but latinum lasts forever."
  • In Andromeda, Beka was born and raised aboard a ship. She hates planets.

Tabletop RPG
  • Paranoia. This attitude was required for PCs whenever the Computer sent them out of Alpha Complex into the Outdoors/Outside (the After the End U.S.). One of the best examples was in the 1st Edition adventure The Yellow Clearance Black Box Blues.
  • In Transhuman Space, the creators averted the trope that living in space makes you neurotic because the vacuum could kill you by saying no, if you grow up on a space station, it's living on a planet that looks dangerous. No-one's filtering the air, there's storms and oceans and volcanoes, and how can anyone feel safe with gravity constantly tugging at them to fall down?
  • Warhammer 40,000 hiveworlders tend to think this way. One hiver, Ciaphas Cain, mentions a saying that goes "I've never seen the point of having weather". Cain himself grew up in a Hive World, and while he's gotten used to other environments since, he always states he feels more comfortable underground.

Video Games

  • In Fallout the Vault Dweller reacts this way at first, but eventually gets used to it.

Western Animation

  • In Darkwing Duck, Gozalyn hates going camping for this reason. She even puts on a gas mask to use an outhouse.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic the weather, the seasons, even the rising of the sun and moon, are all controlled by hoof by the ponies. Except the Everfree forest, there the plants grow on their own, animals take care of themselves, and clouds move without pony intervention "it just ain't natural".
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