[[quoteright:316:[[WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/coralinetunnel.jpg]]]]

->''"This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. [[LeaveYourQuestTest You take the blue pill; the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe]]. You take the red pill; you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."''
-->-- '''Morpheus''', ''Film/TheMatrix''

So you've got yourself a little story about a more than ordinary [[KidHero young girl]] who's [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor not fully satisfied]] with the [[RealLife status quo]]. Perhaps she yearns for a place where the GrassIsGreener, her parents dote on her every whim, or [[ChangelingFantasy she's a princess]]. She either visits or [[TrappedInAnotherWorld finds herself trapped]] in some sort of AlternateUniverse (potentially a DarkWorld) where [[{{Muppet}} bizarre]] [[PeopleInRubberSuits creatures]] and TheFairFolk are common inhabitants. The heroine will often encounter [[AndYouWereThere various parallels]] between this strange place and her former reality. She may face any number of ThresholdGuardians and undergo trials through which she [[AnAesop learns a lesson]] about [[ComingOfAgeStory herself or her place in the world]]. There will be enough strange goings on to make you wonder if [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs the creators were on something]], so expect NightmareFuel from even the more lighthearted variants. By the time she makes it home, many viewers will [[SchrodingersButterfly wonder]] if it was AllJustADream.

Crawling through tunnels, descending underground, and getting stuck in confined spaces are all unusually common (though not required) in these works. This theme first appears as a physical passage between the mundane and the fantastic, a gateway which can not be crossed from elsewhere on the real world side. The symbolism involved is typically suggestive of the birth canal (i.e. the "womb of the earth" metaphor). Several of the genre's defining works then continue to put their protagonists back underground on the fantasy side. The presence of so many long, narrow tunnels in what are usually {{coming of age stor|y}}ies may therefore leave you wondering if FreudWasRight.

This has been {{evolving|Trope}} through various adaptations of the story: Literature/{{Alice|InWonderland}} goes literally down a rabbit hole (and finds herself [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever stuck in odd places]]), while [[Anime/SpiritedAway Chihiro]] and Literature/{{Coraline}} both cross over through comparable tunnels. [[Manga/InuYasha Kagome]] tumbles down a dirty old well. [[Film/{{Labyrinth}} Sarah]] gets trapped in an oubliette which is but a part of the long confined path that is the Labyrinth itself, and then you have Music/DavidBowie crooning about the Underground. [[Film/PansLabyrinth Ofelia]] experiences this phenomenon the most; she meets the Faun at the bottom of a pit at the end of (another) labyrinth, crawls through the mud under a tree, and encounters the Pale Man beneath a bedroom floor. In one very distinct version, [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Dorothy]] doesn't go through a hole-- she's dropped into Oz ''by a tornado'' (which one could view as a free-standing hole due to its "hollow" structure).

[[TheSevenBasicPlots Christopher Booker]] categorizes this plot structure under ''Voyage and Return'', which he identifies as being most suited to children's stories (not that it can't be used for adult ones as well). The hero (usually) won't bring anything back from the world of journey other than [[CharacterDevelopment personal growth]]. Another distinction is that the world doesn't conform [[RealLife Real World]] logic. In fact, because the hero can't trust logic as a guide, she has to use intuition, a good heart, and an ability to acquire allies (though she may be unsure who to trust).

Even when the work is critically acclaimed, at least one reviewer is still likely to accuse the creators of "lazy and haphazard" storytelling for trying to create a world where anything can happen.

Also a specific variant of TheHerosJourney. Contrast UpTheRealRabbitHole. Compare with TrappedInAnotherWorld and OrpheanRescue.

Adaptations of ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' will tend to be examples by default. See AliceAllusion for works referencing the name ''Alice'' in an ''Alice in Wonderland'' context.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/InuYasha'' has elements of this, crossed with TimeTravel. The third episode is even titled "Down the Rabbit Hole and Back Again."
* [[SpiritedAway Chihiro]] crosses over through comparable tunnels.
* ''Manga/MiyukiChanInWonderland'' IS ''Alice'' with even more sexual symbolism.
** And ''Alice in Sexland'' goes the same route but is downright {{Hentai}}.
* In ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro'', Mei first meets Totoro after following a small white rabbit-like creature through a tunnel.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'', though that case is more Down The Random Tsunami/Waterfall. ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' offers a more literal example halfway through the season.
* ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' has an episode that parodies ''Alice in Wonderland''.
* ''[[VideoGame/HarukanaruTokiNoNakaDe Harukanaru Toki no Naka de - Hachiyou Shou]]'' starts off a bit like ''InuYasha'', with the main character carried through an old well by the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Dragon-God]] into a [[TrappedInAnotherWorld world]] that looks like a version of [[JidaiGeki ancient Kyoto]] with the addition of [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever random monsters]], TheFourGods and [[{{Onmyodo}} various forms]] [[HermeticMagic of magic]].
* ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' arguably falls under this category, when Miaka gets trapped in a story book. It's much like Inuyasha in the sense that she seems to be trapped in the feudal era of the book.
* ''Anime/GaikingLegendOfDaikuMaryu'' sends a {{Robeast}} containing an entire LaResistance down the rabbit hole.
* The ''Pikachu's Rescue Adventure'' short preceding ''Anime/{{Pokemon 2000}}'' involves the Pokemon falling down a hole after Togepi. The American soundtrack even includes a song titled "Wonderland" just to make sure you get the reference.
* The original ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'' series begins with Tenchi's misadventure breaking into the cave near his grandfather's shrine, passing through tunnels to encounter the legendary demon sealed within (Ryoko). Although he runs away, [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive it doesn't really help]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* [[{{FrancoBelgianComics}} Franco-Belgian Comic]] {{ComicBooks/Philemon}} does this frequently since [[spoiler:each entrance to Le Monde des Lettres can only be used once]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films]]
* ''Film/{{Alice}}'' by Creator/JanSvankmajer is a most [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs deranged and incomprehensible]] adaptation with its stop-motion animation and mostly silent script.
* It doesn't happen in the book, but ''Film/JamesAndTheGiantPeach'' has the boy crawling into the center of the peach through a hole that he ate, where the film detours from live-action into the stop-motion animated portions of the film.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'', KeanuReeves starring as our darling Alice. White bunnies mentioned.
* ''Film/MirrorMask'': WordOfGod is that the Henson company asked Creator/NeilGaiman for a movie that was "whatever genre ''Labyrinth'' is".
** The same applies with Helena as with Anna in ''Paperhouse''. Helena is in essence, the [[AGodAmI creator]] of her world. Compare with Jareth's god-like qualities in ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}''. Also note that both Helena and Jareth juggle, thus inverting the power dynamic. Helena is also a classic CircusBrat, which makes this a brilliant mix of tropes, especially when compared with the already established CircusOfFear trope, which brings the wonderland to ''you''.
* [[Film/{{Labyrinth}} Sarah]] gets trapped in an oubliette which is but a part of the long confined path that is the Labyrinth itself, and then you have DavidBowie crooning about the "Underground"...
* [[Film/PansLabyrinth Ofelia]] experiences this phenomenon the most; she meets the Faun at the bottom of a pit at the end of (another) labyrinth, crawls through the mud under a tree, and encounters the Pale Man beneath a bedroom floor.
** Notable for inverting the origin of the heroine and where she's trying to return to.
** Also notable for not making "RealLife" so mundane. The main character's troubles don't just start as soon as she makes a [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor naive mistake]]. Ordinary humans are not so innocent, and [[NegativeUtopia real life]] is often [[RealityIsUnrealistic more evil]] than fantasy. A successful mix of genres, if you will. Or a subversion of a [[VirginSacrifice trope]].
* ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098061/ Paperhouse]]:'' "Anna is becoming lost in the loneliness of her own world when she discovers she can visit another, a house she has drawn herself and occupied by a young disabled boy. But as she discovers more of the links between her fantasy world and the mundane present, she is drawn only deeper into a dream turning into a nightmare. "
** Includes the drawing element, also found in ''Film/MirrorMask''. The girl [[ReclusiveArtist draws]], and thus [[AGodAmI creates]], the world herself, thus implying that she ''can'' affect the world around her.
* Although we don't follow her there, Carol Anne's sojourn on the Other Side in ''Film/{{Poltergeist}}'' may qualify, particularly as she doesn't seem to remember much of what happened to her. Plus, the way her closet tried to drag her back again matches the "rabbit hole" imagery ... if it's a ''carnivorous'' rabbit with an extradimensional esophagus, that is.
* ''Film/TheCompanyOfWolves'' is about a girl's dream, with lots of fairytale references, as well as sexual symbolism.
* ''Film/ForbiddenZone'' parodies this, with the "rabbit hole" being a giant mouth and its associated digestive tract, which later "deposits" you in the sixth dimension.
* In one very distinct version, [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Dorothy]] doesn't go through a hole -- she's dropped into Oz ''by a tornado'' (which one could view as a free-standing hole due to its "hollow" structure). Kansas is the normal world, Oz is the place where strange and amazing things happen, and a tornado is the connection. Anyone who pays attention to the DeliberatelyMonochrome section as well as the Technicolor will likely notice AndYouWereThere.
** In the movie version of the all-black adaptation ''TheWiz'', Oz is a fantasticized version of New York City. Dorothy and her friends venture through a SinisterSubway on their way to the Emerald City, and must descend through a manhole to journey to Evillene's sweatshop.
* Both ''Film/{{Tron}}'' [[Film/TronLegacy films]] have this. Both involve a laser that zaps Kevin Flynn (original) and his son Sam (''Legacy'') into the "electronic world".
* ''Literature/{{Trainspotting}}'': Renton climbs inside the filthiest toilet of Edinburgh and swims under water. (Though this is all a drug hallucination)
* Lampshaded in Terry Gilliam's ''Film/{{Tideland}}'', when Jeliza Rose literally falls down a rabbit-hole. Nevertheless, the movie may be seen as a dark deconstruction of this plot -- the fantastic world Jeliza Rose delves into is actually only the product of her own imagination, combined with the madness of the grown-ups around her.
* The plot framework of ''Film/CirqueDuSoleilWorldsAway'', when a young woman (and a male circus performer she falls in LoveAtFirstSight with) are sucked into the Cirqish world.
* In ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'', when Eggsy is chosen, he and Hart travel down a long elevator to the secret base. Suffice to say, everything's changed forever.
--> Eggsy: How deep does this go?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/AliceInWonderland''. TropeNamer and probably the TropeMaker. Alice goes literally Down the Rabbit Hole (and finds herself [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever stuck in odd places]]).
* Literature/{{Coraline}} crosses over through comparable tunnels.
* ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia'' has elements of this. Apt since each book has at least one girl hero. ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'' has plenty in common with regard to Lucy, up until the other children become involved on the other side.
** In ''Literature/TheSilverChair'' Jill is very much afraid of crawling down the narrow corridors leading to Underworld, just like Eustace has acrophobia.
* Milo in Norman Juster's ''Literature/ThePhantomTollbooth'' certainly undergoes this, for a male character.
* ''Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz''.
** Interestingly, Oz is at least once stated to actually be in some remote region of Earth rather than AnotherDimension, although this may have just been speculation on the part of the characters who wouldn't have necessarily been familiar with the concept.
* ''[[Literature/{{Flatland}} Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions]]'', by Edwin Abbott Abbott, is about a two dimensional character who goes to many different dimensions. The main character is clueless, of course.
** The SpinOffspring sequel, ''Flatterland: Like Flatland Only More So'', by Ian Stewart, is even closer to the trope, since its protagonist is A. Square's independently-minded granddaughter, [[UsefulNotes/TheLondonUnderground Victoria Line]]. (A. Square himself, of course, is given the first name of [[EastEnders Albert]]).
* ''The Forbidden Game'' trilogy by L. J. Smith features a girl, who, with a group of friends, gets sucked into the [[DarkWorld shadow world]]. Features a Persephone-like love story.
* ''Magic Kingdom for Sale -- SOLD!'', of the Literature/MagicKingdomOfLandover novels by Terry Brooks, takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to this trope. The protagonist learns about a magic kingdom via a real estate ad. Rather than a rabbit hole, the protagonist has to wander headlong into a train tunnel to get there.
* In Creator/NeilGaiman's ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'', the main character becomes invisible to those around him, and has to travel around in London Below to find a way home. If there's a definitive UrbanFantasy DistaffCounterpart to Down the Rabbit Hole, ''Neverwhere'' is it.
* ''Literature/UnLunDun'' by ChinaMieville. Notable in that there seem to be many different ways to get to and from there (turning a handle, climbing a bookcase, crossing a bridge), and that due to it being fairly easy as long as you know roughly what to do, problems from one world can cross to the other if the wrong people are involved. Needless to say, in the story, they are.
* In Patrick Senecal's macabre retelling of ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'', ''Literature/{{Aliss}}'', the subway is used to get to a parallel neighborhood called Daresbury. The subway can freely be used by anyone, not just the protagonist, to travel back and forth between Daresbury and the real world - except when the subway employees are on strike.
* In ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', Christine goes underground with the Phantom. Includes {{masquerade|Ball}}s, mirrors, and [[DramaticUnmask masks]]. Christine literally interprets her descent to the Opera's cellars as transition to a mystical underworld and describes the Phantom in terms reminiscent of TheFairFolk. In the book the Opera's cellars actually have other inhabitants almost as peculiar as the Phantom himself, almost composing a miniature world in themselves, though it's more mundane than it seems to her.
* In ''Laura and the Silver Wolf'', the heroine can enter Ice-Land through the white wall near her bed. Or any other completely white wall.
* The book ''Marco's Millions'' plays this trope straight by having two kids discover a gate to another world in their basement. Then, in typically William Sleator style, everything starts going down Creepy Crawly Lane. Both literally and figuratively.
** Be warned that within lie [[ArsonMurderandJaywalking singularities, sacrificial swings, and cardboard boxes]].
* In ''Literature/HalfWorld'' by Hiromi Goto, Melanie goes through a freeway tunnel into a strange other world.
* ''Literature/TheBookOfLostThings''.
* ''Literature/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory'' has ''five'' children (three male, two female), most of whom with their parents in tow, undertaking a journey into TheWonderland that is the Wonka Factory, which is mostly an ElaborateUndergroundBase with many twisting corridors, and at least one long, dark, intimidating tunnel that they travel through by boat. Four of the children are pampered brats who just want more than they already have, and prove themselves unfit to progress further when they disobey their guide, give into their selfish vices, and are subjected to a variety of absurd disasters -- notably, Augustus Gloop is sucked into a pipe and briefly stuck in it, and Veruca Salt and her parents are tossed down a garbage chute by nut-sorting squirrels. They are returned to the real world sadder, wiser, and (in Violet's case) NotQuiteBackToNormal. Charlie Bucket, on the other hand, is a good, poverty-stricken child who ''needs'' a change of life -- and is rewarded for his virtue by becoming the heir to the place. In [[Literature/CharlieAndTheGreatGlassElevator the sequel]], he and Mr. Wonka effect an OrpheanRescue by travelling far beneath the Earth. Also, in [[Theatre/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory the 2013 stage musical adaptation]], Mike Teavee's mother Doris -- a StepfordSmiler {{Housewife}} who has affected her mannerisms in a desperate attempt to cope with her EnfantTerrible son -- is, for much of the tour, a frightened [[OnlySaneMan Only Sane Person]] who just wants to come out of this place in one piece, but eventually finds herself affected by the InfectiousEnthusiasm of Willy Wonka and the Oompa-Loompas and [[spoiler: leaves the factory a '''much''' happier person than she was when she went in, thanks in part to her son getting...''reduced'' to a manageable state]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The {{Sid and Marty Krofft|Productions}} series ''Series/{{Lidsville}}'' involves the main character Mark (played by Butch Patrick of TheMunsters fame) falling down a giant magician's top hat (which is only seen during the ExpositoryThemeTune).
* There were heavy allusions to this in the ''Series/{{CSI NY}}'' episode titled 'Down The Rabbit Hole'. In that case, it was a variation involving going into the world of ''SecondLife''. There's even a white rabbit showing up as a guide when Mac enters the game to search for the killer-slash-avatar stealer.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/FionaApple's song "[[http://www.songmeanings.net/songs/view/2065/ Sleep to Dream]]" subverts this trope.
* [[Music/NoDoubt Gwen Stefani's]] song and music video of "What You Waiting For?" uses this trope.
* {{Oomph}}!'s music video for "Labyrinth" mostly references the usual Literature/AliceInWonderland tropes but throws in a [[{{Narnia}} wardrobe]], a labyrinth, and extra underground descent for good measure.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths and Legends]]
* Persephone's abduction myth.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Clara in ''Theatre/TheNutcracker''. Clara's journey isn't scary once the Mouse King is dispatched; none of the places she goes are confined or underground and she has no tasks to complete.
** In the non-traditional, Maurice Sendak-designed version from TheEighties, after the gigantic Mouse King is killed Clara and her Nutcracker pass through a cave of sorts formed by his now-empty coat. By the time they emerge, Clara (played a preteen thus far) has aged to adulthood and the Nutcracker has taken on the form of a handsome human.
* {{Deconstruct|ion}}ed in ''Politically Correct Bedtime Stories'', where a character says she thinks the cliché of a young girl going on a journey in a surreal world where she's acted upon but rarely gets a chance to act on the setting is overplayed, and she refuses the call to adventure and goes home "In the name of Alice, Dorothy, Wendy and all the others".
* Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's ''Theatre/{{Quidam}}'' has adolescent heroine Zoe, her parents, and two bizarre companions transported to a sometimes-melancholy MagicalLand via a NiceHat dropped off for her by the mysterious, literally faceless (it has no head) title character, where she learns that the loneliness and alienation she feels in the real world is in fact something everyone feels at one time or another. Characters pop up from trap doors in the stage from time to time; Zoe herself does so as the closing scene begins.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'': Link goes looking for his ExpositionFairy, who left at the end of the last game, so he goes searching in the LostWoods. His horse gets stolen, he gets turned into a plant, and then he gets stuck in a GroundHogDayLoop while he tries to stop the moon from falling.
* ''VideoGame/TheLongestJourney''. Bonus points for explicitly referencing ''Alice'' at many occasions.
* ''VideoGame/{{Athena}}'' has this more or less as an ExcusePlot. The Japanese arcade flyer advertised the game as being about "Athena's Wonder Land," and the intro to the ArcadeGame even shows her falling down some sort of hole.
* ''VideoGame/HeartNoKuniNoAlice'' has the White Rabbit Peter kidnapping Alice and forcibly throwing her through the rabbit hole. She ends up stuck in Wonderland.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry3'' takes on this trope with a rather sinister tone.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comic]]
* In ''HolidayWars'', the lead character Tegan Cassidy gets sucked into a world where the Holidays are personified as characters and are at war with each other. She first learns out about this other world in [[http://www.th3rdworld.com/web-comic/Holiday-Wars/episode/Holiday-Wars-Episode-34 this strip]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Namesake}}''.
* In ''[[http://www.wormworldsaga.com/index.php The Wormworld Saga]]'', the portal to another world is not so much a tunnel as a picture frame. Jonas still crawls through it though. Also, when he first finds the portal it's covered with a blanket which forms folds that Jonas has to spread open when he peeks through it.
* ''Webcomic/{{Snarlbear}}'': Daisy reaches the Rainbow Dimension through a strangely colorful alley.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[http://www.girls-underground.com This site]] is all about this trope. It calls it "Girls Underground". Also features a number of examples.
* ''Webcomic/CheshireCrossing''. [[Literature/AliceInWonderland Alice Liddell]], after years of being sent to insane asylums because of her delusion, ends up at a new place, run by Nobel Prize winner Sir Ernest Rutherford, who has figured out that she ''isn't'' crazy. She meets two other girls: [[Film/TheWizardOfOz Dorothy Gale]] and [[PeterPan Wendy Darling]], who also have been assumed to be insane. Their nanny is a woman named Film/MaryPoppins who turns out to be a really powerful witch. HilarityEnsues.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''KiddVideo'' involves a (live action) rock band who is forcibly transported to the "Flip Side" (a 2D animated world) through a mirror in a warehouse where the band was rehearsing, thanks to the BigBad Master Blaster. Each episode focused mainly on the group trying to get back to their world, with their FairyCompanion Glitter helping along the way, but like many shows made at the time (early-mid 1980s), there was no proper resolution to the story.
* In ''Jamie and the Magic Torch'', a young child named Jamie waits until he is tucked up in bed with the lights out, then uses his eponymous enchanted flashlight to open a wormhole in the floor. This grants him access to Cuckoo Land, a world full of nonsensical people and situations and where his companion, a dog named "Wordsworth", can talk.
[[/folder]]

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