%% Due to the nature of this trope, finding a proper page image will be very tricky.
%% Thus, do not add an image to this page without discussing it in Image Pickin' first.
%% Also, do not suggest Kandor from ''Superman'' as it is not a valid example.
%% See this Image Pickin' thread for reference: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1446398520077030400
-> ''"For on the fateful day, when fire rained from the sky, the giant steel door of Vault 101 slid closed -- and never reopened. It was here you were born. It is here you will die. Because, in Vault 101: no one ever enters and no one ever leaves."''
-->-- '''Opening narration''', ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''

One step beyond a SmallSecludedWorld, a community has been raised for generations [[DomedHometown inside of a bubble]] because of an AncientConspiracy and begins to think there ''is'' no [[TheOutsideWorld outside world]], that TheCity or [[HiddenElfVillage The Village]] is the only remaining bastion of civilization. This will be disrupted when either an outsider comes into the community or one of the members of the community is required to leave it for some reason. This may cause the members of the shadowy government who know the truth to kill the interlopers, if they haven't gone native and/or died themselves.

Extremely common in the science fiction genre which [[NewerThanTheyThink inspired it]], especially in [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism the more cynical age]] since the 70s when it was popularized by ''Literature/LogansRun''. It nearly always takes place in a {{dystopia}}n future, or at best a WorldHalfFull where the outside world really ''is'' that bad, or a world where the people are brought up to ''believe'' the world is untenable outside, in order to [[GovernmentConspiracy control them]]. This little plot device is a prime source of ParanoiaFuel for innocent minds.

Often run by an EmperorScientist who likes to produce DesignerBabies and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking force everyone to wear identical pajamas]]. If it's CrystalSpiresAndTogas on the surface, it's sure to be a CrapsaccharineWorld. If the outside world has improved after mankind abandoned it, it's also a GreenAesop. If the rest of mankind went on without them, it may be a CruelTwistEnding.

A frequent subtrope is the [[GenerationShips Generation Ship]], a huge slower-than-light vessel designed for [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin journeys lasting multiple generations]]-- in this case, with inhabitants who've either forgotten or don't know their destination.

Not to be confused with the Bottle City of Kandor, part of the Franchise/{{Superman}} mythos: Kandor really is a literal city in a bottle (shrunken by an alien robot), but isn't part of this trope. For a community that knows about the outside, but just wants nothing to do with it, see HiddenElfVillage.

Often a DomedHometown with a WallAroundTheWorld which may or may not be [[DoomedHometown doomed]] by its residents' [[UsedFuture collapsing infrastructure]] and the [[IdiotBall idiocy]] and [[FutureImperfect forgetfulness]] of the sheeple. If the hero is banished for noting that the place is falling apart, compare DefectorFromDecadence, IgnoredExpert. If the food supply is [[HumanResources Made Of People]], compare TownWithADarkSecret and/or PoweredByAForsakenChild.

See also EscapeFromTheCrazyPlace. If you want to get ''really'' dark, the heroes may escape the GovernmentConspiracy only to find that the outside world really ''is'' barren and desolate. Possibly does double duty as an UndergroundCity or UnderwaterCity.

Compare CrapsaccharineWorld, HiddenElfVillage (especially if the inhabitants are PerfectPacifistPeople), LostWorld, SpaceAmish, and SpaceElves (of the ProudScholarRace sort). Contrast TheOutsideWorld. See also SpaceBrasilia.



[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]

* Jiiha village in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', where Simon and Kamina hail from. Kamina steadfastly believes in the surface world, much to the dismay of the chief, who only believes its existence once Yoko and a Ganmen crash through the ceiling.
** Adai village is an extreme example: they have so few resources that they can only maintain a population of 50, and must exile any excesses, chosen by lottery.
* Tokyo Jupiter in ''Anime/RahXephon''.
* ''Anime/{{Megazone23}}'' does this with what the inhabitants believe to be Tokyo during TheEighties; anyone who travels overseas is secretly brainwashed with memories of their "trip".
* Paradigm City in ''Anime/TheBigO'' is a DomedHometown [[spoiler: heavily implied to be a post-apocalyptic New York City]] whose citizens all simultaneously came down with a mysterious case of total amnesia forty years back. As far as anyone can tell [[spoiler: until some foreigners show up to disabuse them of the notion]], the entire rest of the world is an unpopulated wasteland.
* The unnamed village from the KomiNaoshi oneshot, Island. Though this is merely a case of ignorance, and not evil. [[spoiler: The town fell victim to land subsidence, which was interpreted by the villagers at some point or another as the world being engulfed by the sea.]] This being Komi Naoshi, the ending is happy.
%%* Romdo in ''Anime/ErgoProxy''.
* The city of [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Glie/Guri]], where ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei'' takes place. Nobody is allowed to leave, only a few chosen people are allowed to interact with outlanders carrying supplies, and they must do so with sign language.
* Judoh in ''Anime/HeatGuyJ''. People are not allowed to leave the city, and there is not even trade with other city-states. This is because people are mistrustful of other people because apparently humanity came close to nuking itself to death when it utilized the technology of the resident SuperiorSpecies.
* The human territory of ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', sometimes referred to as "The Walled City" (it's actually the size of a small country and is ruled by a monarchy, but functions more or less like a city-state), is the ''only'' land that humans still control. The government is totally comfortable with sending unarmed, untrained citizens to "reclaim land from the Titans" in order to maintain a comfortable population density. [[spoiler: Turns out to be all a lie, as there's people living outside the walls, in fact the Walls are a VestigialEmpire that decided to seclude itself from the outside world and specially from the superpower that dominates the continent]].


[[folder: Comic Books]]
%% Reminder: The Bottle City of Kandor from the Superman franchise is NOT an example of this trope, since the Kandorians KNOW there is an outside world.
* In ''ComicBook/GothamCityGarage'', ComicBook/LexLuthor built a dome encircling Gotham City to protect it from the gangs of marauders roving around the wastelands... and to keep everyone controlled. Thirty-five years later, no local is certain that there's beyond the dome other than a dangerous desert.
* In the Malibu Comics' ''[[ComicBook/TheUltraverse Ultraverse]]'' continuity, the Fire People were an offshoot of humanity that lived in a hidden community BeneathTheEarth for so long that the "world of light and air" was considered a myth.
* ''ComicBook/TheSandman'' features a literal case: the majestic city of Baghdad is sealed inside a bottle at the request of its king and given to Dream to take care of; this allows the city to continue forever in dreams, even when the city is war-torn and battered in reality.
* Inverted in Age of X: while the mutants only think they're fighting in a TheSiege situation against the rest of humanity, it turns out [[spoiler: there is literary nothing outside of their "bubble" and they are trapped in an EpiphanicPrison]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/AeonFlux'' tie in comic ''The Herodotus File'', it's revealed that the rulers of Bregna go to great lengths to prevent their citizens from learning that their city and its mortal enemy Monica were once the nation of Berognica, never mind anything about the world outside of the two walled cities.
* ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'': Tickle Town in "Welcome to Tickle Town". Founder Tobias Tickle thought a nuclear war was inevitable and so sealed off his amusement park on its opening day - trapping the patrons - and teleported it deep underground. However, the war never happened.


[[folder:Films -- Animated]]

* Thneedville in ''WesternAnimation/TheLorax'' is a lesser version -- it hasn't been closed-off for hundreds of years, but it's been at least a generation, possibly longer, since anyone traveled beyond the walls. Also, the residents are aware that there's a world outside their town, but they don't know or care about what it's like, since they're perfectly happy where they are.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WallE'', [[spoiler:The directive to keep the ''Axiom'' from going back to Earth]] doesn't necessarily ''force'' humanity to forget life on Earth; it just happens all on its own.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

%%* ''Film/TheVillage''
%%* ''Film/LogansRun'', the TropeCodifier
%%* ''Film/AeonFlux'' could almost be a remake of ''Film/LogansRun''.
* ''Film/TheMolePeople'', about a subterranean albino Sumerian race who disbelieved in the surface world.
* 2005 film ''Film/TheIsland''. The last remnants of humanity hope to win a state-run lottery to be resettled on an island paradise. Actually, [[spoiler: they are clones harvested for body parts by an unscrupulous corporation.]]
** Of course, this film is an unacknowledged remake of ''Film/PartsTheClonusHorror'' which is about a colony of people who similarly hope to be resettled in a paradise known only to them as "America." [[spoiler: And who are likewise clones raised to provide spare organs for the rich and powerful.]]
* The village of Johnny "Goodboy" Tyler in ''Film/BattlefieldEarth'' originally believed they were the last people left on Earth.
* Turned on its head in the dystopian SciFi movie ''Film/DarkCity'' (1998). Everyone in the city is subtly programmed to ''believe'' that there is an "outside" to their [[CityNoir monstrous city]] (which is locked in [[AlwaysNight everlasting night time]]), the beautiful sun-lit Shell Beach. Everyone is utterly certain they know the way to Shell Beach, but if someone actually tries to find it, the only train that supposedly goes to Shell Beach never stops at any train station, all roads going there [[ClosedCircle simply go in circles]] or end in front of walls or canals, and in the end, [[spoiler:Shell Beach was only an illusion.]] In reality, [[spoiler:the city is all there is, a huge edifice drifting in the darkness of outer space, created and controlled by The Strangers, aliens who abducted humans from... some other place no-one can remember anymore, because The Strangers control their memories.]]
* ''Film/{{Pleasantville}}''. Here the people [[spoiler: in the TV show]] actually do know there are other people - it just never occured to them they can leave and see them...
* ''Film/THX1138'' lived in one of these, [[spoiler: until the very end]].
* ''Film/CityOfEmber'', an underground city with tons of lights, which became a new home for civilization AfterTheEnd, and it turns out fine...until the power generators start to go out.
* The underground city of Topeka in ''Film/{{A Boy and his Dog}}'' is one of these, sheltering its genetically and culturally inbred populace from a post-apocalyptic world.
* ''Film/{{Pandorum}}'' is set on a GenerationShip, primarily due to SpaceMadness and LaserGuidedAmnesia.
* ''Theatre/{{Brigadoon}}'', the 1954 film based on the stage play, features a Scottish village which only appears every one hundred years and became isolated based a local pastor's prayer for a miracle to protect the villagers from change. The miracle is then jeopardized by Harry's wish to leave.
* The plot of ''Film/TheThirteenthFloor'' involves a simulation of the early 20th century city that only extends to the city limits.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Creator/ArthurCClarke's novel ''Literature/TheCityAndTheStars'' is the UrExample of this trope. And its original version, ''Against The Fall of Night''. Both have a remarkably utopian vision compared to most examples, however. Diaspar really has achieved a technological utopia, so why leave? And then, of course, we're [[spoiler:introduced to Lys, the ''other'' utopian vision...]]
* High Sacristan, location of the Canticle Engine in Micah E. F. Martin's short story ''Literature/TheCanticle'', is the last city on Earth. Everything visible from its walls is desolate, endless dessert.
* Again, ''Literature/LogansRun''.
* The Community from ''Literature/TheGiver'', has existed for long enough that no one has any concrete knowledge of the world outside it (known as "Elsewhere"), except the Receiver of Memory. An interesting example as it was intended for their own good, and the ones who Know The Truth carry the burden of knowing every memory ever held by mankind, including the bad and painful ones.
* The H.G. Wells story, ''The Country of the Blind'' is about a mountaineer who, while visiting Ecuador, stumbles upon a lost population of people living in a valley that has been cut off from the rest of the world. Thanks to a disease that rendered their citizens blind and unable to produce sighted children, the entire population is now sightless. They have no concept of how vision works -- and no idea of what eyes are for. The visitor thinks, because of his extra sense, that he will be able to easily take over the valley, but it turns out the villagers' ''other'' senses have [[DisabilitySuperpower compensated for their loss of vision]] and they remain virtually unimpaired. (They also regard his "vision" as something of a curse, which is driving him crazy, and decide there is only [[EyeScream one medically sound solution]].)
* Maraposza Street, also known as "the dreaming street", in ''Literature/{{Abarat}}''
* The planet Krikkit from ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything'' was originally one of these totally by accident. [[spoiler: Well, maybe not ''totally'' by accident...]]
** Worth noting that the Krikkiters' response when they ''did'' discover there was an outside universe was to decide, with chilling logic, that the truth must be restored by destroying it. [[OmnicidalManiac ALL OF IT]].
* The third book of the ''Literature/{{Gormenghast}}'' trilogy, Titus Alone.
* Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Truckers}}'' features inch-high people known as 'Nomes' who live in a large Store and refuse to believe that there is any such thing as 'the Outside'. When the Store Nomes are visited by Nomes who are from the Outside, one of the Store Nomes' leaders actually pretends not to be able to see them.
** A recurring metaphor throughout the series is the RealLife bromeliad plant, which, to the frogs who live inside, is the entire world. Indeed, ''Truckers'' and its sequels, ''Diggers'' and ''Wings'' are collectively known as ''The Bromeliad Trilogy''.
* Agatean Empire (an {{Expy}} of China) from Literature/{{Discworld}}. It is completely surrounded by a high wall and general population only knows outside as a desert wasteland populated by homicidal vampire ghosts. Their word for foreigner also means ghost -- until Twoflowers' (Discworld's first [[{{HawaiianShirtedTourist}} tourist]]) book "What I did last summer" kick-starts a revolution.
* ''Literature/TheCityOfEmber''; a small town completely surrounded by darkness on all sides. The only light the residents have ever known is the harsh glow of the town's street lights. [[spoiler: Until the citizens find their way out and realize that the world has gone on without them]].
* [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Airstrip One]] is generally considered to be one of these. Opinions vary on what the rest of the world might hold.
* Elizabeth Bear's ''[[Literature/JacobsLadderTrilogy Dust]]'' plays with the "stranded generation ship" version.
* H. M. Hoover's ''This Time of Darkness'' tells of [[spoiler:a city several kilometers underground]] whose inhabitants don't realize that they're [[spoiler:basically a slave race whose labor is being used to keep the above-ground inhabitants in luxury]]. There's a strong contrast between the CityInABottle environment ([[spoiler:an incredibly filthy city with low lighting, poor food, cramped living quarters, and no choice of clothing or haircuts... not to mention that generations of malnutrition has made the entire race unfit and ugly]]) and the other environment... and then there's contrast between ''both'' of these environments and [[spoiler:the wild outdoors that the children get cast out into, and the town they eventually reach]].
** The basic premise is reused in an episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', with a planet in the middle of an ice age. The apparently pristine domed city on the planet's surface [[spoiler:is supported by the efforts of slave laborers in an underground complex, who have no idea that the city exists and believe themselves to be the last remnants of their civilization. Dissenters in the city are brainwashed and sent to be laborers]].
* Nancy Farmer's ''Literature/TheEarTheEyeAndTheArm'', set in futuristic Zimbabwe, includes an area cordoned off - much like in ''Film/TheVillage'' - where the people chose, generations ago, to live apart from the modern world, and where they have turned into a shamanistic backwards tribe that believes in boogey men and kills certain unwanted babies ([[spoiler:specifically twins - or, rather, ''one'' of the twins, the girl if it's a split-gender pair]]).
* In Christopher Priest's novel ''Literature/TheInvertedWorld'' the inhabitants of the mobile city are told that they, originally colonists from Earth, are bottled in because of the harsh environment of their alien planet. Only the elites are allowed to go outside and know the real truth.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's novel ''Literature/OrphansOfTheSky'' and the two short stories it's based on feature this trope. It is about a [[GenerationShips multi-generational space craft]] where the inhabitants lost the knowledge that they were on a ship (along with most other knowledge) after a failed mutiny, so the current generation thinks the whole universe is just the ship.
* ''Phoenix Without Ashes'' by Creator/HarlanEllison is set on a massive GenerationShip composed of hundreds of completely independent and isolated biospheres, each featuring a different civilization. Originally written as a screenplay for a television series, the main character is from a SpaceAmish biosphere, whose inhabitants threaten to execute him for blasphemy when he tries to inform them of his recent discovery -- that they are all on a giant spaceship.
* Creator/BrianAldiss's ''Non-Stop'' is also based on [[GenerationShips this concept]], but with some gleefully British plot twists.
* In AndreyLivadniy's ''Ark'', the protagonist turns out to be the last "pure" descendant of the human crew of a Moon-sized (it's literally made out of the Moon) GenerationShip, drifting in space for millennia, during which the alien inhabitants of the various biospheres (who mutinied against the humans long ago), as well as the other human descendants (who have their own Earth-like biosphere), have forgotten that they're on a ship and reverted to more primitive technology. After millennia of lack of maintenance, the ''Ark'' is beginning to fall apart at the seams, with more and more systems shutting down. The ship's AI is unable to affect repairs in most areas. This, however, is not the biggest [[TheTwist twist]] of the novel.
* One of the few (perhaps the only) novels based on the ''TabletopGame/{{Earthdawn}}'' game used this trope. A kaer, built to withstand the centuries-long invasion of the Horrors, is supposed to let its inhabitants out when the threat is over. However, [[spoiler: thanks to a Horror that slipped inside before the kaer was sealed,]] something went wrong with the mechanism designed to tell the occupants it was time to leave, and the kaer's residents are slowly dying out in their needless confinement.
* 'The Allegory of the Cave' from Plato's ''Literature/TheRepublic'' uses such a society as a metaphor for the human soul and the philosopher.
* The D'ni, as seen in the VideoGame/{{Myst}} novel "The Book of Ti'ana", are a strange example. The central hub of D'ni culture is indeed located underground, tunelling deep and wide in all directions. But they also have access to special books which can transport them to a theoretically infinite number of Ages, many of which are outdoorsy. But when Atrus and his team are building upwards through disused tunnels, they still encounter resistance from politicians who believe that, in their homeworld, the "Surface" is an impossibility!
** Though most of the political opposition to tunneling to the surface has less to do with a belief in its impossibility, and more to do with a belief that D'ni has nothing to gain by going to the surface (they can write linking books for any surface resource they need) and much to loose (if there are hostile dwellers on the surface they may follow the D'ni back down the tunnel and sack the city.)
* Saraksh from the Creator/StrugatskyBrothers' Franchise/NoonUniverse is a "planet in a bottle" -- the index of refraction of their atmosphere causes them to believe that they live on the inside of a hollow sphere, and they're very confused by the arrival of Earthlings.
* Literature/DeltoraQuest 2 features Lief, Barda and Jasmine attempting to collect three pieces of a magic pipe. One piece was being held on a literally bubble-enclosed island, citizens of said island banishing the part of their group who told the truth and acknowledged the past. What brings down the bubble is [[spoiler:Jasmine's insistence on telling the truth, rocking the faith of the one sorcerer still left alive on the island.]]
* The planktonic humans from the short story "Surface Tension" -- genetically modified descendants of a crashed colony vessel, whose survivors deemed the planet unlivable by anyone larger than a water flea -- believe they live in a complete universe bounded at top and bottom. In fact, they live in a puddle, and the "space expedition" they launch only travels to the next puddle over.
* Creator/MichaelMarshallSmith's ''Only Forward'' has one of these - a 'neighbourhood' which long ago sealed itself in and indoctrinated its residents to believe that they live in the only surviving human settlement surrounded by a barren, irradiated wasteland (which always takes longer than the scientists thought to become safe again). Only the high-ups know that there's a perfectly viable world all around it. Worryingly, it's not the scariest Neighbourhood out there.
* Cowslip's warren in ''Literature/WatershipDown''.
* The Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin short story "Paradises Lost" from the collection ''The Birthday of the World'' is the generation ship take on this, with the twist that the ship isn't stranded. Some of the people on the ship (by the end of the story, a large majority) believe that there's nothing outside the ship and "the journey is all". A minority remember the original purpose of the voyage, which is to explore and possibly colonize a far-flung planet.
* Creator/EMForster's short story "Literature/TheMachineStops" features an underground city. There the inhabitants have forgotten what the surface world is like to the point of believing it is a lifeless, barren world. Believing their artificial environment is the only solace from a dead world, the protagonist of the story ends up finding otherwise with disastrous results.
* In ''Literature/TheForestOfHandsAndTeeth'', set generations after a ZombieApocalypse kills most of humanity, Mary lives in a town that is fenced in to keep the Unconsecrated (or zombies) out. [[spoiler: It is revealed that pretty much all surviving towns are like this.]]
* In ''Literature/AcrossTheUniverse'' by Beth Revis, the remainder of humanity is riding aboard a single, city-sized spaceship to their new home planet. The trip will take generations, so the important people have been cryogenically frozen while the rest are ruled by Eldest and his protege, Elder.
* Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's novella ''Literature/ThirteenthCity'' has a human crash-land on a planet suffering the aftermath of a nuclear war with its HumanAlien inhabitants living in twelve enclosed and self-sufficient Cities, where their lives are closely watched and regulated by the aptly-named Watchers. Children are raised by Watchers and frequently moved to other Cities once they reach adulthood, sex partners are selected by the computer, complete social equality is the goal of every Equal (the term is itself an honorific). No one lives past 60, as the Watchers kill them. There are Outsiders, people who live in the radioactive wasteland and occasionally raid the Cities for new recruits and supplies. The protagonist meets Outsiders and a former Equal and decides to help them against the oppressive rule of the Watchers. He finds out that there is a secret Thirteenth City, a pristine forest used as a retreat by the Watchers, while everyone else lives in squalor. However, when he finally reaches it, he finds out that the current social state is the only one possible on this planet. The forest can only hold a few thousand Watchers. The Cities can support millions, although supplies are low. Also, Watchers are selected from children with a sufficiently high IQ in order to understand the necessity of their actions and are themselves subject to the 60-max rule. The astronaut pledges to tell his people about this and get help for their dying world.
* The One State in ''Literature/{{We}}''.
* In ''Literature/{{Divergent}}'', the people of Chicago, having resided there [[spoiler:for eight generations]] believe that Chicago is the last remaining bastion of humanity, and that what lies beyond the outer gates is desolate wasteland. [[spoiler:Averted in ''Allegiant'', when it's revealed that not only does Chicago is not the only bastion, the US government still exists, albeit as a FallenStatesOfAmerica. Half of the US population is dead, but other peoples still exist in other cities, some of which were also formerly used for experiments to produce more GP population. In fact, Tris' mother, Natalie was a refugee from one of those cities: Milwaukee]].
* Each of the worlds in ''Literature/TheWorldAndThorinn'' believes that it is the only world. In actuality, [[spoiler:each is a carefully conserved sector under the surface of the Earth]].

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In an episode of ''Series/MutantX'', some of the group [[LightningCanDoAnything accidentally enter a pocket dimension]] that had been set up to be an agrarian utopia. All references to the outside world had been erased, in the belief that human nature could be changed with a clean break from human history and all its violence.
* Jim Henson's 1980s children's show ''Series/FraggleRock'':
** Small creatures (Fraggles) living in a cave which exits to a mousehole in a tinker's shop (or a lighthouse, if you saw the UK version). One fraggle, "Uncle Traveling Matt," wanders the outside world, sending postcards which show great places of geography (and mundane, everyday objects) from an innocent's point of view.
** The Gorgs who live on the side of the cave opposite the tinker's shop. These three creatures are so enormous that they believe themselves to be the only sentient beings in the Universe, and labor under the delusion that they are the Universe's supreme rulers.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' The episode "For The World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky" featured this on a [[GenerationShips generation ship]].
* ''Series/StargateSG1''
** One episode has the SG-1 team mind-swapped with some stored memories about working in a mine. Said mine was actually underneath a magnificent city and was used to keep said magnificent city running. But it was sold as a city in a bottle. They were told they kept it going or else the cold feezing air above the mine would kill them all. They thought that nothing else was above them. They thought that if they didn't work, they'd die, or at least, no longer get fed. It wasn't as bad as normal cities in bottles, but it was pretty bad.
** In one episode, the stargate was inside a dome created by a force-field, and the atmosphere outside actually was toxic. The twist was that the computer controlling the dome was running out of power, and had to slowly shrink the dome and kill off some inhabitants (mind control through their neural links to make them walk outside) in order to save the rest. Eventually the humans were all evacuated to another planet.
** SG-1 encountered a planet where the population was inside a greenhouse-like building. They were all hooked up to a Matrix-like simulation to preserve them indefinitely while their planet repaired itself from an extreme industrial disaster. The computer/caretaker that was also in charge of helping repair and maintain the outside environment kept telling them that it wasn't safe to leave yet, as it believed that they would simply destroy the environment yet again if set loose in the real world.
* The 1973 Canadian production ''Series/TheStarlost'' featured a generation ship where disaster had killed the crew, while the passengers had lost the knowledge that they were indeed aboard a ship. Not to mention the disaster had altered the ship's course to collide with a star. The premise was interesting, but Creator/HarlanEllison was disappointed enough with the end results to affix his [[AlanSmithee Cordwainer Bird]] pseudonym to it.
* In one of the final episodes of ''Series/{{Lost}}'', Jacob and the Man in Black's mother tells the Man in Black that the island is all there is, and that nothing exists beyond the sea.
* ''Series/TheOrville'' episode “If the Stars Should Appear” has the crew encounter a huge bioship that has a giant ecosystem inside it with a single city and lots of farmland. The people believe that this are is the entire universe, created by their god. To believe otherwise is heresy, punishable by death. In fact, the leader admits there is a possibility their beliefs are wrong, but he doesn't want to cause a panic (and lose power). After getting to the bridge, the crew see a message left by the ship's captain, who reveals that the ship's journey was supposed to only last for a century, but a NegativeSpaceWedgie knocked out the engines, leaving the ship adrift for two millennia. The dome is also designed to open to simulate night but hasn't been opened in a long time. They open it to show the people the stars for the first time in their lives.


[[folder: Radio ]]
* The BBC RadioDrama ''Earthsearch'' has the protagonists encounter another ship like their own with the 'colony that's forgotten they're on a spaceship' version. The locals are panicked by the sight of their spacesuits, assuming they are monsters. A ReasonableAuthorityFigure takes them into custody, but when they reveal they're searching for Earth has them sentenced to death by hanging, the fate of anyone who suggests the Earth is a real place instead of the afterlife it's assumed to be. Fortunately they're rescued by the Underpeople, inhabitants of another colony on the spaceship, who mention that any attempt to show the Earth Worshippers outer space causes them to GoMadFromTheRevelation or just accuse the Underpeople of creating illusions to deceive them. Incidentally, the author James Follett also wrote a prequel novel ''Earthsearch: Mindwarp'' based on this concept, in which the protagonists of an UndergroundCity go in search of the dreaded Outdoors.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* Hive Cities in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', billions-strong {{Wretched Hive}}s in bottles that stretch up to space.
* Alpha Complex in ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. OK, so most people are aware that there is "an Outdoors", but all info on it is ''very'' heavily restricted to the point that showing that you know that grass is green is grounds for execution.
** Unless you're rank Green or above of course.
* The early SF RolePlayingGame, ''TabletopGame/MetamorphosisAlpha'', is set on a lost and damaged [[GenerationShips generation ship]] packed with mutants.
* [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?multiverseid=904 City in a Bottle]] from ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', which blocks out all other cards from the ''Arabian Nights'' expansion (which was about 20% of all cards when it came out, clearly not nearly as useful today).
** [[http://magiccards.info/hl/en/132.html Feroz's Ban]] takes this UpToEleven with an ''entire world'' in a bottle!
* In the early [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons D&D]] module ''The Lost City'', the few residents of the underground city who aren't drugged out of their minds by the evil priesthood are still convinced there's nothing but desert on the surface, and nothing but unbeatable monsters in the surrounding tunnels.
** The shadow elves, when they finally found their way to the surface, found themselves in the midst of an uninhabitable wasteland (the Broken Lands). They concluded that the whole surface was like this, so returned to their underground realm, where they didn't learn pf their mistake for centuries.
* The 1981 miniseries Goliath Awaits features a British ocean liner sunken by a U-Boat in 1938 a la the Lusitania, which was partially saved and transformed into an underwater version of this by a genius inventor/Chief Engineer played by Creator/ChristopherLee. Generations have grown up, and some people don't want to return to the outer world when a crew finds them 43 years later.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Vault 101 in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}''. It and the other "Vaults" were constructed to shelter a human population safely underground in the event of a nuclear war. In theory, as radiation levels decreased the Vaults would open to the outside world and the survivors would rebuild civilization, but Vault 101 remained closed for two hundred years, and the Overseers tell the population that the surface is still inhabitable. Whether or not it remains a CityInABottle depends on the player's decisions.[[note]]It wasn't always sealed, despite it being the main focus of the "experiment". There were ''several'' expeditions that gradually expanded the knowledge of the outside world (that and radroaches). Eventually James brought the Lone Wanderer there to raise them in saftey before he had to leave 19 years later.[[/note]]
** Vault 13 ''would'' have been this, but their MacGuffin broke, so they had to leave.
*** Actually, the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series plays this trope straight -- the Vaults ''weren't'' intended to shield humanity from a nuclear attack, they were a series of social experiments designed to test the occupants' reactions to stressful situations. One Vault contained population of 999 women (and one man), one was rigged to open six months after it was sealed (when the inhabitants were told it would be sealed for the next 200 years), one was even rigged so that it ''couldn't'' close, and so on. Needless to say, this is pretty much a CrapsackWorld combined with this trope, with a hearty dash of AfterTheEnd thrown in for good measure.
*** It isn't clear that the 'Vaults as experiments' notion isn't a {{Retcon}}, they may or may not have been in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'', were mentioned to be by the Enclave president in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', were confused by the addition of 'Vault 0' in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout Tactics|BrotherhoodOfSteel}}'', and were vastly expanded upon in ''Fallout 3''. Whether or not the experiments had a ''point'' is a matter of opinion, but then again, it was the [[GovernmentConspiracy Old Enclave]] that did it. They weren't exactly concerned with human life other than themselves.
** There is a slightly more conventional example in Fallout New Vegas, Nellis Air force base with its population of explosive loving Boomers. They trace their origins to Vault 34 and have a strict isolationists policy, enforced upon the outside world with artillery fire. The Boomers make everything they need inside the airbase, and only have one goal outside its walls. Unlike a HiddenElfVillage, they are pretty ignorant of the outside world. While they have gathered some intel through binoculars, they are surprised that the courier even speaks the same language when he or she drops by.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'': A major supernatural cataclysm ripped the world AND its spirit apart, meaning the various island cities ripped apart from the former continents don't even remember that a few decades ago, there were others. For all they know, there has only been their island, the sea, the sky, ''and nothing else''. The protagonist's job is to fix the screwed up problems that each island has developed so they can stitch their world back together.
* The majority of worlds in the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series, with most of the exceptions being worlds whose very purpose is linked to the multiplicity of worlds. At most, there's youth speculation about the existence of other worlds.
* Crysta in ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}''.
* In the underground world in ''Videogame/BreathOfFireDragonQuarter'', the existence of 'the surface' is a legend, a myth - after all, how could it even be possible for a place to have ''no roof''?
* This is a perfectly legitimate strategy in ''Videogame/DwarfFortress'', and in fact was used on a regular basis in the 2d version-which has been described as a Nintendo Hard, single-player version of Korean Starcraft. In 40d it was much less necessary for the experienced player-due to 40d being ridiculously easy-but it is back, to a certain degree, in the 31 series. Depending on your supplies, it is perfectly possible to survive for a hundred in-game years (consider that at 50 FPS a season will take ''two to three hours'') off incest, kittens, and Plump Helmets.
** Some players generate worlds with no surviving civilizations to embark with this trope invoked. Embarking to an isolated island a simpler method. In either case, after the first wave of immigrants, there will be no contact with the outside world, or evidence that it exists.
* The city of Palm Brinks in ''VideoGame/DarkChronicle'' was cut off from the outside world by a giant stone wall, the only exits being the train station and main gate. This was actually done by the mayor to [[spoiler: protect the citizens from the villain. He was after a mystical artifact called the Atlamillia (actually three jewels but the city has the red one), and he didn't want to destroy the city with the artifact floating around in there somewhere. The male hero, Max, has been carrying the jewel around for some time now, and no one noticed.]]
* Koholint Island in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening''. The citizens (except for Marin) believe there is nothing beyond the sea and don't understand the concept of "when" they came to the island. This is because [[spoiler:the island is AllJustADream]].
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' has this in Kokiri Village, where the locals know little to nothing of what goes on outside the forest, and all believe that leaving will cause them to die.
** Skyloft in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' qualifies -- the civilization apparently consist of less than a thousand people, all of whom live on a few dozen floating islands in the sky. The land below is a complete mystery, believed to be overrun with hideous monsters, but an impenetrable cloud cover prevents anyone from even descending to it.
* ''VideoGame/CustomRobo'' for the Gamecube,([[spoiler:apparently the people there were taught that the world was flat and that the end of the world was a wall. turns out that the real world was destroyed by a being called Rahu so they entrapped themselves in a safe-dome for a very very LONG time. Long enough that the idea of an outside world without walls, and even the idea of "real grass" seems perfectly absurd to the characters.]]) Freaky, ain't it?
* ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VII'' featured a bonus level in the form of a Temple in a Bottle.
* This is the background premise to the 8-bit era game ''Cholo'': the radiation from the nuclear holocaust has mostly died down, but you must take control of robots on the surface and crack the exit open from the outside before anyone can leave. (BTW, there's a free PC version available now!)
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Gaiden'' the American Sunbelt region is similar to the Pleasantville example above. For some reason it never occured to any of these people to go visit the ''[[Anime/AfterWarGundamX Gundam X]]'' crew up in Canada or the ''Anime/CombatMechaXabungle'' guys across the sea.
* A non-scifi example in ''VideoGame/BlackSigil'', where Bel Lenora voluntarily sealed itself off from the rest of the world then forgot that the rest of the world existed.
* [[http://twofoldsecret.com/games/sanctuary-17/ Sanctuary 17]] is one of these.
* Suramar in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' was protected from the [[WorldSundering Sundering]] by a [[DomedHometown magical barrier]] and has remained sealed away for 10,000 years since. The society forced back into the world by the Legion's arrival is ruled by a DeadlyDecadentCourt and [[AddictiveMagic severely addicted to mana]].
* In an in-Verse example, in the ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles'' game ''Return to Ravenhearst'', there's a map on the wall of Gwendolyn and Charlotte's home-schooling classroom that depicts nothing but an outline of England and Wales, with "Unknown" scrawled on the vague, fading-out edges of Scotland, Ireland, and the French coast. The only settlement on the map is Blackpool, nearest town to the Ravenhearst estate.
* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'', the residents of the Kingdom of East Mikado really do believe that there isn't anything outside--the thought never once occurs to anyone. They are so convinced East Mikado contains the entirety of humanity that a major character finds a novel set in France and immediately assumes it's a fictional country. It's not that they're super-ignorant: [[spoiler:The Archangels, led by Gabriel, are deliberately subtly influencing the thoughts of the people of East Mikado in this way, treating the place much like a human ant farm.]]
* ''VideoGame/Injustice2'' adds modernization to the old myth: Brainiac invented a form of non-euclidian [[VideoGame/{{Borderlands}} digistruction]] so he could digitally compress stolen cities into head-sized data matrices with some pocket-dimension bullshit involved. Depending on who defeats Brainiac, the cities are restored, destroyed, or kept preserved, for good or evil.

[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* A city in a beer bottle appears in [[http://nonadventures.com/2008/03/01/bottle-of-the-planets/ this episode]] of ''Webcomic/TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella''.
* The "Zoojacks" in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''.
* Most of the Scandanavian countries have become this in ''StayStillStaySilent'' after a ghastly BodyHorror plague spread across the rest of the world, particularly Iceland. There's some in-universe speculation about whether any other small clusters of survivors are out there, but if they do exist then they might as well be on Mars, given the vast wasteland of shambling horrors ([[WasOnceAMan some of which used to be human]]) between them and the homelands of the viewpoint characters.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Wiki/{{SCP|Foundation}}-[[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-756 756]] is a miniature solar system contained within a 10x10 cell; most of the planets have no knowledge of the world beyond- except for the fourth planet, which converted its entire surface into a battery of ICBM launching stations to defend itself from imagined attacks by [[HumansAreCthulhu the nightmarish giants from beyond the "stars"]].
* In the ''Literature/FineStructure'' story "[[http://qntm.org/?crushed Crushed Underground]]", [[spoiler:a revolution overthrows the governor of such a city - until he reveals that the surface of earth outside the city really ''is'' uninhabitable.]]
* A ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' article lists [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19976_6-isolated-groups-who-had-no-idea-that-civilization-existed.html 6 isolated groups who had no idea that civilization existed]].
* Online role-playing often uses settings like this, nicknamed a "jam jar". Player characters typically band together to [[EscapeFromTheCrazyPlace search for a way out of the "jar"]], while the game master and non-player characters try to keep them in for [[ExcusePlot whatever nefarious purpose]].


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The underground hatch (and likely their old city of Beautopia) that Susan Strong and the Hyooman tribe live in starts out this way on ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* On a less [[StealthPun philosophical]] note, cities in AncientGreece were akin to micro-countries, and looked down on everything and everyone outside the city's boundaries as uncivilized and barbaric.
** While we're on the subject [[PlatonicCave Plato's Cave]] is arguably the UrExample.
* There is a common Russian stereotype of Moscovites that they think Moscow is this and everything else except, probably, St.Petersburg, is wilderness. Moscovites often jokingly refer to the rest of the world as "[=TransMKADia=]", MKAD being shorthand for the Moscow Beltway.
** Same for Londoners. This particularly galls the rest of Britain since the media is almost entirely based in London.
** Ditto in France which is divided into two parts, namely Paris and the Province (as in outback).
** Then there's [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View_of_the_World_from_9th_Avenue this]] famous cover of ''Magazine/TheNewYorker'' depicting the [[FlyoverCountry city dweller's view of America]].
** Just like in France, Mexico is usuallly divided into Mexico City and 'Provincia' (Province); while this trope is true for most lower income Mexico City residents (some of them who have never gone outside the city limits), the view is mostly a stereotype seen by non-Mexico City residents.
** Residents of Stockholm take this UpToEleven, with some old-school Stockholmers considering everything outside "the tolls" (i.e. the city's medieval toll gates) to be a wasteland, and take pride in never having been there. Over five sixths of modern Stockholm is "outside the tolls".
* Most people have the stereotype that all of New York IS Manhattan and/or New York City, despite NYC being only a very small geographical portion of the state, with such different politics, economy, ecology, attitude, and most other aspects of life that many upstaters wish the two could become separate states. The idea of NYC being separate from the rest of the state came to a head during the U.S. Civil War. Democratic Mayor Fernando Wood proposed that New York City should become a sovereign city-state called " Free City of Tri-Insula" and live off the import tariffs. The idea was too radical for even the time but the city remained against the war and the draft, leading to the bloody New York Draft Riots.
* A lot of medieval villages existed in a state of almost complete isolation, with the only contact from the outside world being the occasional travelling merchant and representatives from the local lord, or (for the unlucky) the even more occasional invading army.
* [[http://www.eco-sphere.com/ Own your own ecosystem!]]
* The basis of the book 'Nothing to Envy' is showing the truth of this trope in North Korea, the name coming from the fact that they are conditioned to believe that North Korea is the most advanced and glorious nation on the planet... which leads to quite significant culture shock for those who actually defect.
* The Black Soft-shell Turtle ((Nilssonia nigricans) is extinct in the wild, existing only in a single pond adjoining an Islamic shrine in Chittagong, Bangladesh. There are about 400 turtles in the pond.