A picture says a thousand words, and an empty, sparsely furnished apartment says a lot about the lonely soul who lives there. No art on the walls, hardly any food in the fridge
, very little furniture (probably just a mattress on the floor to sleep on).
Contrast with Feng Schwing
, where a bachelor pad is made for seduction.
Anime and Manga
- Rei Ayanami from Neon Genesis Evangelion, here room contains only a bed, a desk with a few clothes, a few medicines and a pair of glasses.
- Yuki Nagato from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon comments on how empty the places feels and ask himself if Yuki feels the same way as her apartment.
- In Ghost in the Shell: Rise, young Motoko Kusanagi's apartment is pretty sparse - consisting of a four walls, a bed, a bathroom, and a chair. This is in stark contrast to the apartment she shares with her boyfriend in the original manga, which is more decorated - at least until it's blown up.
- Ryougi Shiki's apartment in Kara no Kyoukai is very sparse, containing only a bed and a clothes stand. The refrigerator is also mostly empty save for a few cartons of Haagen-Dasz ice cream.
- In one Wolverine comic, a woman breaks into his apartment and sees that the only thing in it is a pile of old newspapers he uses as a mattress. Possibly justified in that he isn't staying very long.
Film Live Action
- The compartment on Treasure Planet where the robot B.E.N. resides blends emptiness with salvage and litter strewn haphazardly. As he explains to the arriving Jim Hawkins, Doctor Doppler and Captain Amelia: "Sorry about the mess. When you've been baching it for 700 years, you kinda let things go."
- Miss Honey's house in Matilda is furnished with only a couple of wooden crates (to show that she's extremely poor, rather than that she's lonely.)
- Up in the Air. in the movie, the apartment that Ryan keeps in Omaha is sparsely furnished with an almost empty refrigerator.
- Last Action Hero. In the movie-within-a-movie, Jack Slater's apartment is unfurnished, and very unremarkable, besides the ninja hiding in the closet and the closet full of identical outfits.
- Crazy Stupid Love. The apartment Cal moves into after separating from his wife, if this troper remembers right, bare walls, cheap furniture...
- Ratatouille. Linguini's initial place of residence is one of these. In his own words, "I know it's not much, but it's... not much."
- In Men at Arms, Carrot and Angua discover that Captain Vimes lives in a one-room undecorated apartment with no furnishings but a bed. he puts all his disposable income into the Watch Widows and Orphans fund.
- In Venus Prime, whenever Sparta is on her own for extended periods of time, her dwellings become quite... Spartan. It's especially pronounced in the fourth book, when she develops a particularly bad drug addiction that causes her to spend a lot of time in a stupor.
- In The Millennium Trilogy, Salander initially lives in a tiny, minimally-furnished apartment. After taking a huge "windfall" at the end of the first book, she decides to buy a much nicer apartment in the second book, offering her old one to her girlfriend Mimmy, who comments that it's actually not a bad apartment; Salander was just too lazy to actually clean it.
- The Big Bang Theory. In a flashback to when Leonard became Sheldon's roommate, it's shown that the living room is furnished with just a couple of lawn chairs and a tv.
- The Wire. For a while, McNulty's apartment has nothing but a mattress on the floor, which makes it very uncomfortable when he wants his kids to visit.
- One Home Improvement episode has Tim design the ultimate male bathroom. The toilet unfolds into a recliner, there's a fridge and a large TV for sporting events... All good for a single person to live in, of course, but there's no way two people could live in it.
- Subverted in Graceland with Jakes - the modest apartment he buys in the second season has a very nicely-furnished room for his son, because he's hoping his son will visit him. After he finds out that his ex has taken away his custody, he smashes the room's contents to bits.
- In Agents Of SHIELD, Jenna Simmons' apartment during her infiltration of HYDRA is so bare that Coulson decides to intervene to buy her groceries.
- On The Mentalist Patrick Jane has a large house he almost never goes to; when he does we see it nicely furnished - except his bedroom (the only part he really uses), which is just a mattress under the "Red John" symbol a Serial Killer left after murdering Jane's wife and daughter.
- An ongoing subplot on Life where Crews has bought a big house with the settlement money he got from his lawsuit against the state of California for wrongful conviction, but he has practially nothing in it.
- Lampshaded repeatedly in Due South. Constable Fraser's apartment is not only in a run-down apartment building in a bad neighborhood (Detective Vecchio claims that drug dealers are afraid to go there), but it is also very sparsely furnished. In one episode, where Fraser is suffering from Easy Amnesia, he sees his apartment and wonders if he was living like that as punishment for something he had done.
- The Pink Floyd song "Nobody Home" (from The Wall) depicts an apartment loaded with old, worthless crap, made all the more worthless by the fact that the narrator has nobody with whom to share it.
- In Metal Gear Solid 2, it's mentioned that Raiden's home looks like this, despite having a girlfriend. A sparse bed, bare walls, nothing else. When Rose broke in there because she started getting paranoid that he had a second girlfriend (he wouldn't let her visit his room), she commented that "There was nobody there. Not even you."
- In Dragon Age II, Merrill's apartment in Kirkwall is a rat-infested hovel in the Alienage. Curiously, even if you romance her and offer to let her live with you, she'll still keep returning to the hovel in the daytime - presumably because she can't move the Eluvian into your house.
- Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo. Even if Yamaku's rules and rooms tend to be minimalistic, Hisao comments on the heavy ambience of her room.
- Rocky's house in The Simpsons, including Mr. Vanhouten's apartment, and the apartment Principal Skinner lives in briefly.