Created By: Atomicus on July 13, 2010 Last Edited By: Atomicus on July 13, 2010

Offscreen Rebuilding

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See those pots? Yeah... break them, leave the room, then come right back in, and they're back. Link must be confused.

It's that place. You know the one. Maybe its the place where heroes gather. Chances are its Tokyo. Every episode or sequel it gets destroyed by some attacking horrible monster, natural disaster, or maybe the writers just felt destructive. Either way, you've got monumental damage, and now the city is a complete wreck. At least everyone was evacuated, right?

But what's this? We come back the next week/film and the city is already rebuilt?! Only it now has to face the next big threat from the experiment gone wrong or the psychotic supervillain who wants to drop rocks. Rinse and repeat. Funny, everyone seems to remember that things, happened, but everyone seems to forget that things were destroyed.

This does not always need to apply to a city or town, but may apply to smaller settings like rooms or even objects with a room. Perhaps one of the most famous examples are pots in The Legendof Zelda: pots destroyed by Link for the goodies inside are restored if he leaves the room and comes back.

Probably a subtrope of Plot Hole. Very similar to Negative Continuity, except that continuity is established, this may be a subversion of Negative Continuity. Not truly induced by an alternate continuity or Canon Discontinuity since it may happen within a regular continuity.

Similar to a Snap Back, except that the issues caused still seem to carry meaning, just that the physical consequences have been magically erased. Related to but definitely not a Reset Button, since characters and plot points still occurred. Probably the result of a recycled plot type

Not to be confused with New Neo City where the city was completely destroyed and then rebuilt into a Utopia or No Communities Were Harmed where a fictional city is (or might be) "destroyed" so that real ones are "spared." Compare with No Endor Holocaust, where collateral damage seems to have been averted. The Tokyo Fireball may be a SubTrope or a SisterTrope.


  • In Judge Dredd, given the number of extraordinary disasters that have plagued Mega-City One, as well as the sheer frequency of such occurrences, it's a wonder how the place is even remotely able to function as a society. What's really strange though is that following events in the "Apocalypse War" story-arc which roughly cut MC1's population in half, the city has somehow managed to maintain a population of around 400 million people ever since--even after 60 million people were killed in "Necropolis" a few years after this, followed by a few million more in a zombie invasion just a few months after that. To be fair though, reclamation and rebuilding needs are usually addressed as plot points in stories taking place in the aftermath of any disaster of that magnitude.

  • Batman: No matter how many times the bad guys pop up, Gotham seems to be in decent order. Subverted in the fact that Gotham always seems to have some kind of problem to upend the neighborhood.
  • Godzilla: Either he destroys the local city in question, or it undergoes tremendous CollateralDamage.
  • HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas: Somewhat hilariously Lampshaded when the Whos bring out a secondary Christmas tree after he burns down the first.
  • Spiderman: None of the three Spiderman films make much mention of the damage done to New York when Spidey fights the big bad. Lampshaded, partially, in a commercial for the Spiderman II videogame where window washers are seen removing webbing from windows.

Live-Action TV

Video Games
  • Most games (especially certain RPG games) provide some kind of structures, items, etc that can be destroyed only for it to reappear later on.
  • In the Grand Theft Auto games (or almost any major sandbox game that lets you destroy stuff) anything the player blows up, kills, damages, or destroys simply vanishes and/or fixes itself once the player leaves the immediate area and focuses the game camera elsewhere.
  • In some Legend of Zelda games, it is possible to return to a room where you broke all the jars or pots, only to have had more jars or pots replace them. Even if there is no one there to do so.

Web Comics
  • Inverted in Looking for Group, where the neighborhood destroys you. May also be a slight subversion since the people in Richard's little village up the coast are killed, but then it is revealed that they are all undead.

Western Animation
  • Lampshaded in Futurama where Fry notes (after the end of the episode where aliens had been trashing the city) the secret of a good episode is a Snap Back. The camera then pans back to reveal New New York in ruins. Of course it's been fixed by the next episode.
  • New Jersey in Megas XLR. Fortunately, most of it seems to be Conveniently Empty Buildings.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: The City of Townsville always had its share of issues. Possibly averted in that this might be more of a SnapBack or a Reset Button
  • Averted in the The Simpsons episode after the movie where you can see rebuilding occurring during the intro.
  • South Park: Plays it straight, subverts, and probably even inverts this one.

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