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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/HalfLife2 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CLDyst_2994.jpg]]]]
[-[[caption-width-right:350:[[BadNewsIrrelevantNews "...but I just saved a bundle on playground-maintenance by switching to Combine!"]]]]-]

->''"As the sound of the playgrounds faded, the despair set in. Very odd, what happens in a world without children's voices."''
-->-- '''Miriam''', ''Film/ChildrenOfMen''

ChildrenAreInnocent ([[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior Usually]].) ChildrenAreSpecial. Children [[CheerfulChild make us smile]] and [[InnocentInaccurate make us laugh]]. As adults grow older, ThinkOfTheChildren becomes a primary motivator for many things they do, because kids are how they FlingALightIntoTheFuture.

...[[DespairEventHorizon Unless that light is extinguished]].

Perhaps there was a SterilityPlague, {{Gendercide}}, or [[NiceJobBreakingItHerod Herod got a little overzealous]]; or maybe [[InvasionOfTheBabySnatchers they were all rounded up]] to [[PoweredByAForsakenChild power the phlebotinum generator]]. At any rate, life is now grey, dreary and pointless, since there's nobody to build a future for.

On the [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism idealistic end of the scale]], it can be a temporary case of mass kidnapping, requiring nothing more than a few BigDamnHeroes to get them back. But if [[HarmfulToMinors the poor things are dead]] or breeding has simply been closed off as an option, you've fallen off the cynical end straight into [[CrapsackWorld New Crapsack, Halfemptia]]. Expect a rise in {{Straw Nihilist}}s, possibly spiraling into BombThrowingAnarchists and TerroristsWithoutACause. TheFundamentalist is likely to decide this is some sort of divine retribution, and [[ActivistFundamentalistAntics will be happy to explain why]]. TheAntiNihilist may try to find some reason to go on, but he's facing a serious uphill battle.

Any resident {{Child Hater}}s will probably be pretty cheerful, though.

For the inverse of this trope, see TeenageWasteland.

'''NOTE:''' Do not confuse with HideYourChildren, where a VideoGame ''shows'' no children to prevent the player from running around murdering them. The game must explicitly spell out that all kids are dead or missing to qualify.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Anime/{{ICE}}''. All men died out, and HomosexualReproduction hasn't been invented, so the now all-female humanity is dying out, too.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fairy Tales ]]

* ''ThePiedPiperOfHamelin'' punishes the town for refusing to pay him by leading all their children away.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]
* In ''Film/ChildrenOfMen'', almost all of humanity has been rendered sterile, and society has collapsed into violent chaos.
* The movie ''Film/{{Daybreakers}}'' strongly implies this for most of the population, as the vampires, who compose 95% of the population, do not age or procreate. Another 4% are humans kept as stock to produce blood to feed the other 95%. The other 1% may have kids, but they are hunted down relentlessly by the vampires (who need more blood).
* ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'' features a {{Ruritania}} in which the ChildHater rulers have actually outlawed children. Yes, it makes no sense. It's not clear what the government does to the children, except that they're rounded up by the infamous "Child Catcher".
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom'', Indiana and his companions end up in an Indian village that had been raided by members of a [[ReligionOfEvil Thugee cult]] who had stolen a [[MacGuffin sacred relic]] and all the children.
* In ''Film/FreddysDeadTheFinalNightmare'', Freddy Krueger has managed to kill all the children ([[UnwittingPawn sans one]]) of Springwood, and now seeks to break out of the place to do it everywhere else.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]
* The 1992 novel ''Literature/ChildrenOfMen'' by P. D. James.
* Early in ''[[{{Belgariad}} Belgarath the Sorcerer]]'', Belgarath encounters a camp populated entirely by old people. They turn out to be the people who refused to follow Gorim to Ulgo, and were cursed with sterility as a result. They're just waiting to die off, and Belgarath finds the winter he spent with them very depressing.
* New World in the ''ChaosWalking'' trilogy. Due to the fact that all the women in Prentisstown are dead, there hasn't been a child there in 13 years - not since the main character Todd was born.
* In Creator/PeterSBeagle's ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'', a town has stopped having children ever since they heard a prophecy that one would bring down the king and end their prosperity. They live in dread of that day. At the end, after the old king has been brought down, the magician Schmendrick urges them to have children -- it might help.
* ''The Declaration Trilogy'' by Gemma Malley is set in a world where scientists have discovered life-extending drugs. However, a corrupt government is using the drugs to cling to power and prevent a younger generation from challenging them. Under the pretext of preventing overpopulation, strict laws have been passed, stating that no-one may reproduce unless they "Opt Out" of taking the drugs; even then, they are restricted to one child each. Any children born to parents who have not "Opted Out" (or who have "Opted Out" but already have a child) are labelled "Surpluses" and are taken away from their families to be raised in grim institutions. As very few people choose to "Opt Out", the result is a society where children, whether they were born legally or not, are greatly mistrusted.
* ''Ashes'' by Ilsa J. Bick has more of a "Teenager-less Dystopia". In this apocalyptic world, some sort of electromagnetic pulse turned most of the teens into [[ZombieApocalypse zombies]] and killed most adults. As a result, most of the survivors are the elderly or children under 12.
* In "TheHandmaidsTale" by Margaret Atwood, future Earth is so irradiated that most humans are sterile, and the births that do happen are usually [[UnPerson "Un-Babies"]] with severe defects. This leads to a theocracy in which the few remaining fertile women become [[SexSlave sex slaves]] for powerful men.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', the [[spoiler: Aschen Confederation]] offered the people of the planet [[spoiler: Volia ([=P3A-194=])]] a cure for a terrible disease on their world. However, the vaccine also resulted in sterility. A once thriving world of millions was reduced to chaos and riots, and then to a peaceful but empty world, with a few thousand apathetic residents and automated machines tending farmland. An earlier episode portrayed a BadFuture in which the same race was in the process of doing this to Earth.
** In "Past and Present", [=SG1=] arrives on a world where everyone is a young adult with amnesia and, while there are pictures of older people and children, they are nowhere to be found. [[spoiler: It turns out that a [[MadScientist Mad Scientist's]] experiments with longevity caused everyone to revert to a younger age, making the elders young adults and the children nonexistent.]]
* The main driver for TheOuterLimits episode "Black Rain". In the episode, a rain of some toxin causes people to become mostly sterile, resulting in this.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* At the beginning of ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}'', the Combine have been using a [[AppliedPhlebotinum suppression field]] to arrest human reproduction for years. The empty playground pictured above has the faint, ghostly laughter of children to reinforce the creepy-factor. Blowing up their EvilTowerOfOminousness at the end of the game removes the suppression field.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' has the village of people who've been turned into PeoplePuppet {{mooks}}, and notes explain that the children were unable to survive being implanted with a PuppeteerParasite.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'''s DLC ''The Pitt'' is affected by a contagion that disfigures and sterilizes the residents, or worse, makes them go crazy or become Trogs. The only child in the area is Marie, the infant daughter of Lord Ashur, and she has an immunity to the TDC (Troglodyte Degeneration Contagion) that raises hopes for an eventual cure.
* It's not ''completely'' childless - one in a thousand survive - but this is pretty much what happened to Tuchanka in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' games when the genophage was deployed, and the krogan culture has spent the last 1500 years spiralling below the DespairEventHorizon as a result. It's telling that one of the GoldenEnding slides for the krogan, if you cure the genophage, depicts them with children again; it is the happiest you will ever see them.
* In ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' this forms a mayor plotpoint and reveal at the end of the first game giving both the characters and players a mayor clue that something is seriously of about the Junkyard. The second game averts this trope entierly.
-->'''Lupa''':Have you ever seen a child here in the Junkyard?
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* ''TheEasterBunnyIsComingToTown'' features the adults-only city called Town, which oddly is ruled over by a child king and his older aunt. There's a subversion involved in that near the Town is the children-only city called Kidville.
* PlayedWith on ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice''--[[HumanoidAbomination Klarion]] and his minions use magic to split the Earth into two dimensions, one containing everyone under 18 and the other with everyone older. From what we see the kid world functions surprisingly well, with teenagers doing all they can to care for unattended children. The adult world, however, breaks into riots from [[AdultFear desperate parents whose kids vanished right before their eyes]].
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad''. When Stan goes to see a doctor about a vasectomy, he finds the clinic's dream is a world without children.
-->'''Stan:''' A world without children... [[WhatAnIdiot Future generations will thank us]]!
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'': [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-1322 SCP-1322]].
[[/folder]]

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