Created By: SchrodingersDuck on June 24, 2008
Nuked

Mundane Afterlife

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A popular portrayal of the afterlife in comedies and Urban Fantasy: Heaven and Hell are much like our own universe, only flanderized to be either perfect (but often not totally perfect) or unbearable. For some reason, restaurants seem to be a popular depiction.


Examples:
  • In Achewood, Hell consists of a dreary town with a KFC and a small eatery with toilets that lead back to Earth. Everyone drives a 1982 Subaru Brat, and there are telephones that allow you to call home, but change your side of the call into a telemarketing pitch.
  • In Dr Mc Ninja, Purgatory is a restaurant with poor service - Benjamin Franklin has to wait centuries for his food.
  • In Scrubs, Heaven is a diner... but they don't serve flapjacks.

EDIT: Some examples seem to have been placed in A Hell of a Time, although these are very distict tropes. Examples that should be moved:
  • A rare musical one, from Billy Joel's "Blonde Over Blue": "In Hell there's a big hotel/ Where the bar just closed and the windows never open/ No phone so you can't call home and the TV works but the clicker is broken"
  • In the Bible Stories episode of The Simpsons, Hell consists of a picnic, except that all the dips are mixed up and they're out of potato salad.
Community Feedback Replies: 31
  • June 24, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    The Discworld book Eric involves a discussion of how, since most of the damned become numb to the physical torments of Hell, the demons have devised ways to inflict mental torments-- namely, incredible mind-destroying boredom. There's a lengthy discussion of how such a Hell would be like a cheap hotel room with nothing to read and only one TV channel(in Welsh) and the ice machines not working and the bars not open for several more hours. Although the actual Hell is a distilled version of that boredom, it's the same kind of idea.
  • June 24, 2008
    Indigo
    • The Eagles "Hotel California" could be seen as a metaphor for addiction or for Hell.
    • There was an episode of The Twilight Zone in which a food critic gave a bad review of a Chinese restaurant. When he came back on request to give them another chance, he was inexplicably ravenous, to the point of ordering everything on the menu and still not being satisfied. When he got his fortune cookie, it said "you are in Hell."
  • June 24, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    The film <i>Wristcutters</i> featured an afterlife for suicides where everything was exactly like the real world only depressingly drab, broken, and devoid of color or warmth. Also, you weren't allowed to smile. Crossed over a bit with Ironic Hell, but the afterlife was significantly mundane and not exactly malevolent in its irony.
  • June 24, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Does Bleach count? The afterlife is medieval Japan, sort of.
  • June 24, 2008
    Etrangere
    Can overlap with Celestial Bureaucracy.
  • June 24, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Bleach should count as it has the most boring afterlife I have ever seen. And for some reason, you can still die there.
  • June 24, 2008
    Cosmic Osmo
    There was an episode of Married With Children where the entire cast apparently all died and got sent to Hell. I forget what everyone else's punishment ended up being, but Kelly got turned into a gargoyle and Peggy wound up with giant claws instead of hands.
  • June 24, 2008
    SchrodingersDuck
    @Cosmic Osmo - I understand the characters of MWC are monstrous, but that hardly counts as "mundane", even in the Bundy household.
  • June 24, 2008
    Nate the Great
    It's not quite Heaven, but the Ancient's form of Limbo in Stargate SG-1 consists of a diner. Apparently the food's quite excellent.
  • June 24, 2008
    maxmordon
    In Dilbert the afterlife is shown to be... an eternity on a cubicle

  • June 24, 2008
    Eran of Arcadia
    In CS Lewis' The Great Divorce, Hell is a very drap city right after everything has closed for the evening.
  • June 24, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life: Heaven is the cheesiest Vegas-style cabaret you could possibly imagine, complete with sub-Tony Bennett crooner and terrible dancers. And to make matters worse, it's always Christmas there.
    • There's a Gahan Wilson cartoon where Heaven is a slum and all the angels are alkies with cardboard wings and burlap robes. One of them happens to remark, "I always thought this place would be a whole lot classier."
  • June 24, 2008
    arromdee
    The limbo in Stargate is not only a diner, it's the same diner used in "Dead Like Me".
  • June 24, 2008
    HeartBurnKid
    In SubGenius mythology (such as it is), there's a section of Hell called "West Heck", that's just like the living world, only more dreary and depressing. The implication being that you could be there right now and not even realize it; you just think that your life sucks.
  • June 24, 2008
    Tera
    Moby's music video for Run On depicts Heaven as a call centre inside an office building.
  • June 24, 2008
    Seanette
    Having worked in call centers, I'm thinking that would be a better representation of Hell.
  • June 25, 2008
    Arivne
    The depiction of Hell in Highway to Hell (1992). It included a diner and a strip club.
  • June 25, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    Valhalla, the feasthall of the Aesir, where Valkyries are your waitresses and all your wounds from brawling heal in like thirty seconds.
  • June 25, 2008
    BlackDragon
    I dunno how mundane that is - a feast-hall where roast pork and mead flows neverending, where the waitresses are all buxom and willing, and where there's always an old enemy to challenge to a stirring fight when you get bored... hardly mundane, IMO. (Incidentally, the Valkyries are NOT waitresses. They collect the Einherjar and take them to Valhalla, but certainly don't serve them food.)
  • June 25, 2008
    Tera
    Seanette: It Makes Sense In Context, trust me.
  • June 25, 2008
    Heatherly
    How did we get this far without Dead Like Me? That show's all about dead people who are stuck in an afterlife that's just like their actual life, only worse. (Temp jobs, bad apartments and having to occasionally see people they used to know without being recognized all comes with the territory)
  • June 25, 2008
    BigT
    Should this trope include places that aren't the real afterlife, but just a convenient depiction? Cuz I'm pretty sure the Diner was just a way for not-quite-ascended Daniel to make sense of what was going on.
  • June 25, 2008
    Nate the Great
    That's why I called it Limbo. Remember that Anubis could hang out there, too.
  • June 26, 2008
    JRandomUser
    An honorable mention goes to the depiction of the Q Continuum in one episode of Voyager. It's not heaven or hell, of course, but as home to a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens, it's certainly on par. To show why he wants to commit suicide, a Q philosopher shows the Continuum to Janeway as a tiny town on a dusty backwater road where nothing new ever happens.

    Later, in the same series, B'elanna goes to the Klingon hell, and finds it to be an eternity on Voyager.
  • June 26, 2008
    Kaybor
    Sartre's No Exit- Hell is being locked in a room with strangers.
  • June 26, 2008
    Gizensha
    Johnny The Homicidal Maniac depicts hell as the real world without the decent folk mixed in with everyone else.
  • June 26, 2008
    Nate the Great
    A few of these examples seem like they'd fit into another trope called Mundane Dream Sequence. Why be fanciful with sets and pay for new actors? Just dim the overall illumination, saturate the light sources, and tell the regulars to act like wigged-out versions of themselves?
  • June 26, 2008
    Sir Psycho Sexy
  • June 26, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    In Terry Pratchet's Good Omens, the orignally Punch Clock Villain demon Crowley describes both Heaven and Hell as being eventually unbearable: Hell is too active all the time and Heaven is too boring. Crowley states that he prefers the human world, and the only reason he corrupts souls is because he's supposed to.
  • June 26, 2008
    UnknownTroper
    @arromdee

    The diner is just a gathering place for beings who have ascended, not the entire after life.
  • June 27, 2008
    Andy Waltfeld
    I'd like to remove all references to Bleach from the record that don't pertain to the overlap with Celestial Bureaucracy. You see, while it IS possible to die within Soul Society and related environs, you have to be in a flashback.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=qh0wdyrg&trope=MundaneAfterlife