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->''"Earth-That-Was could no longer sustain our numbers, we were so many."''
-->-- '''OpeningNarration''', ''Film/{{Serenity}}''

[[AfterTheEnd The end came]] and the UsefulNotes/{{Earth}} died. A catastrophe of [[ApocalypseHow irrevocable]] proportions makes the planet unsuitable for large scale civilization-- or even ''life''. It can be self inflicted from our [[GreenAesop abuse, negligence and wars]], or external by {{alien|Invasion}}s, [[MeteorOfDoom astronomical phenomena]], or other causes. Usually, a [[HomeworldEvacuation mass exodus]] occurs where survivors settle on a new planet in an extrasolar system (though a {{Terraform}}ed Mars is a popular in-system option), sometimes all over the galaxy, and live on. Perhaps a little wiser, or perhaps [[HumansAreBastards doomed to repeat our mistakes]]. During the course of generations the Earth will leave fact and become legend; a [[TheTimeOfMyths mythical]] place of endless blue and green and CrystalSpiresAndTogas. How much of this will be Revisionist History, propaganda, or simple nostalgia varies by setting.

If the location of the Earth is lost, finding the lost human homeworld will become a momentous occasion if not an outright quest. If it was thought to be destroyed, then don't be surprised if it is later revealed to not have been destroyed after all.

For some reason most TV and movies that feature large-scale [[SettlingTheFrontier colonization]] of other planets (not just mining) require a dead or dying earth as part of the background. Possibly due to either the current stagnation of the space program, suggesting that humanity would need [[HomeworldEvacuation a catastrophe to get off-world]]; or the current association of the word "colonies" with TheEmpire and thus evil.

The trope name comes from ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' and ''Film/{{Serenity}}'', in what was likely a ShoutOut to the iconic opening of ''[[WesternAnimation/IlEtaitUneFois Once Upon a Time...]]''.

See also YouCantGoHomeAgain, ALongTimeAgoInAGalaxyFarFarAway, InsignificantLittleBluePlanet, FutureImperfect. A form of Class 6 ApocalypseHow.

For the milder version, see EarthThatUsedToBeBetter, where the Earth is still known and inhabited, but is no longer the center of humanity.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/EurekaSeven'' takes place over 10,000 years after Mankind was forced to leave the Earth due to an unintentionally harmful alien life. [[spoiler: [[EarthAllAlong Somewhere along the line, all of Humanity found a new place to settle down, completely forgetting and/or unaware that they just went back to earth and live on a new surface that was created by the aliens. The real, perfectly inhabitable Earth, lay below the surface.]]]]
* ''Anime/FreedomProject'': All of the surviving humans live in a colony on the dark side of the moon. Many assumed that the Earth was dead, uninhabitable by nuclear fallout. But a chance encounter by a picture strapped on a toy rocket changed one man's life, and the entire colony as well.
* ''{{Manga/Trigun}}'' doesn't go into much detail as to why Humanity had to leave Earth, but hundreds of colony ships spent years searching for a suitable new planet to sustain them, while the great majority of humanity was suspended in frozen animation. Gunsmoke was that planet. [[spoiler: Only ONE ship actually survived Knives' attempt at destroying them all.]]
* ''Anime/SaberMarionetteJ'', Terra II
* In ''Anime/SolBianca'', the treasure in the first episode turns out to be [[spoiler:a time capsule from Earth]]. In the prequel series ''Sol Bianca: The Legacy'', the main plot is the crew of the eponymous space ship's quest to discover the ultimate fate of Earth.
* In ''Manga/KnightsOfSidonia'', the Gauna are presumed to have killed everyone on Earth a long time ago. They also apparently split the planet itself in half, so nobody bothers trying to go back.
* Slowly revealed throughout ''{{Anime/Vandread}}''. Earth that was is now a giant polluted EternalEngine where the Moon is forcibly buried within it. Most people left it in colonial ships, several of which settled in space stations or even planets, like Taraak and Mejeiru. Those that remain on Earth [[spoiler: were the architects of the Harvester fleet, to literally harvest body parts for their continued existence]].
* The 90's anime movie ''E.Y.E.S. of Mars'' dealt with an inversion of this as well as an environmental Aesop. Humanity ended up finding a way to build a city on Mars, located entirely inside a crater, covered with a dome to keep out the uninhabitable environment. Deep down below the city was a thriving forest and an academy where certain children ended up developing special powers. The city itself was polluted to extremely unhealthy levels and was being run by a corrupt government with continually mounting tensions all around. Being inside a completely enclosed system meant that they had no way to filter the air pollution and had very limited recycling abilities to filter clean water or let food grow. Some of the children's powers allowed them to see the history of their people. Originally, Humans migrated to Mars from a planet located between Mars and Jupiter known as Titan. The planet was completely destroyed by war, and what remains is now the asteroid belt. One child discovered that the same situation was going to happen to the city, killing off everyone again. Turns out it does. The entire city is completely destroyed, but the main character's special power allowed all of humanity's souls to travel to Earth where Homo Sapiens were just beginning to evolve.
* In ''Anime/GargantiaOnTheVerdurousPlanet'', Earth is only a legend to the Human Galactic Alliance, the civilization the protagonist Ledo hails from. Their ancestors left Earth because of an Ice Age; when [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler Ledo rediscovers Earth]], he learns that ice has since melted, resulting in a [[SingleBiomePlanet planet covered by a giant ocean]] instead. People ''do'' still live there, however, sailing in giant fleets.
* In ''Anime/DirtyPair'', the Earth was destroyed in a GreyGoo incident well before the current timeline.

* In the rebooted ''ComicBook/RogueTrooper'', Earth is abandoned and used exclusively as a testing ground for the Norts' and Southers' new weapons.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In FanFic/TheAgeOfDusk, Earth (and the rest of the Solar System for that matter) has been completely corrupted by Chaos to the point that not even Chaos Marines can survive there.
-->Terra was a dark crown rotting towards the centre of the horrific churning nightmare. It had consumed its sister Venus and Mercury; huge chains and hooked fronds had drawn them into the world and pounded them like clay, into new and dreadful forms. Luna was swallowed whole, before forming a giant lidless eye that wept oceans of pus into the void, which formed wailing pus-devils of nuglitch heritage that consumed themselves within moments.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/WallE'': Humanity relocates to ships like the ''Axiom'' for 700 years.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TitanAE.'', the alien Drej [[EarthShatteringKaboom blew it up]] it before the opening titles.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BattleForTerra'', Earth, Mars and Venus have all been blown up, so humans go to the eponymous planet to find a new home.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/LostInSpace''
* The destination of the quest and the big reveal in ''Film/TheIcePirates.''
* ''Film/JasonX'' has college students of the future and their professor going on a field trip to a ruined Earth.
* In ''Film/AfterEarth'', Earth as a planet is fine, it's just that it isn't inhabited by humans anymore.
* In ''Film/{{Oblivion 2013}}'', Earth was nearly destroyed during a war against a race of alien invaders known as Scavengers. They were only defeated by the use of nuclear weapons, which left most of the planet irradiated and uninhabitable. Or at least that's the version the protagonist was told. Suffice it to say that it turned out to be a bit more complicated than that.
* In ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'', we're given a brief glance at an Earth that has been assimilated by the Borg--not just the population, ''the planet, itself.''
* The Planet of the Apes franchise does this a lot. In the second film, the last ultimate weapon is set off, destroying the planet. As for the first film, . . .

* In Harry Harrison's ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat'' books, Earth was lost even before the Breakdown, and it's unclear whether it was actually called "Earth" or "Dirt". (In a later book, the Rat actually has to ''go to Earth'' through a time warp to warn of its impending doom. So it ''was'' destroyed. Humanity actually spread to the stars from the terraformed Mars.)
* Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/{{Foundation}}'' series features this, with an entire book devoted to finding "Earth", humanity's original planet, as well as "Gaia", a separate world populated by a [[HiveMind Groupmind]]. Scholars of the Galactic Empire debate the very existence of a single human homeworld, the Empire having existed for so many thousands of years that most worlds have long since lost any sense of themselves being "colonies". In the later ''Foundation'' books, it is revealed that Earth has become an uninhabitable, radioactive wasteland. Interestingly, while in the earlier-set stories (in particular the pre-Foundation ''Empire'' novels) Earth's status as the homeworld is questioned or even ridiculed, by the last two Earth appears to be recognized by the scientific community as the original human world -- it's just that the ''where'' of Earth has been lost along the way.
* Happens multiple times in ''Literature/ADeepnessInTheSky'' by Creator/VernorVinge: The Earth is said to have been recolonized three times after the previous colony could no longer support itself. This also happens to basically every other planet humans colonize, and in ''Literature/AFireUponTheDeep'' is stated to be the fate of all civilizations in the Slow Zone. Eventually, interstellar civilization collapses and humans settle on Nyjora, and end up rediscovering space travel and abandoning Nyjora in exactly the same way.
* Creator/DanSimmons' ''Literature/HyperionCantos'' deals with a universe following the "devouring" of Earth by an artificial black hole.
* This happens during ''Literature/BlueMars'': The Earth is now becoming overpopulated so humanity is forced to move to the other planets.
* In ''Literature/LordOfLight'', human colonists from 'Urath' recreate the Hindu pantheon on another planet.
* In ''Literature/TheMoteInGodsEye'' Earth is mostly a wasteland from a hellish final war. The military academy of the successor empires are located there as a reminder to cadets what they're fighting to avoid.
* Creator/AndreNorton:
** In the backstory of ''Literature/TheBeastMaster'', the alien Xik performed a "burnoff" of the surface of the Earth, killing all humans living on it. Luckily the human race had already spread out to other planets in the galaxy.
** ''Star Rangers'' (a.k.a. ''The Last Planet'') has Central Control scout ship ''Starfire'' crash-landing on an unknown world located far off the star charts. Guess where...
* In the process of happening in David Gerrold's ''Literature/TheWarAgainstTheChtorr'' series as an alien race is "unterraforming" Earth into their native environment, and plans are being made to relocate to the Moon.
* Alan Dean Foster's short story ''Dream Done Green'', has Earth lost, and then found to be a complete wasteland. [[spoiler: The rest of the story involves the terraforming process.]]
* In a Creator/RayBradbury's ''Literature/TheMartianChronicles'', human colonists on Mars watch in disbelief as an accidental nuclear war lights up and completely cleanses the Earth's surface. Many of them return home initially, but the survivors of the war return to Mars.
* In the novelizations of ''Series/RedDwarf'', Earth was eventually abandoned and used as a garbage dump by the rest of the inhabited solar system, before some of the volatile waste exploded and flung it out of the solar system (possibly a reference to ''Series/Space1999''). Lister later crash-lands on it and has an EarthAllAlong moment.
* ''The Ring of Ritornel'' opens with the planet Terror having been wrecked by nuclear bombardment and about to be chucked into a black hole. "Terror" being a corruption of "Terra".
* The ''Literature/{{Remnants}}'' series has Earth being hit by an asteroid at the end of the first book, and shattering. Eighty people escape the destruction on the ''Mayflower'' spacecraft; about half die while using the extremely-experimental [[HumanPopsicle hibernation technology]]. Later, the [[AnyoneCanDie few remaining]] space-colonists return to the shattered rock that was Earth. [[spoiler: Turns out not everyone on Earth was killed; some semblance of human society still struggles on]]. And still more people die, because it's that kind of series.
* Old Earth still exists in the ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' universe, but is apparently wild and uninhabited, with an ecosystem only just recovering from whatever destroyed it. Its existence is not a secret, but few people visit it. In the [[Literature/LegendsOfDune prequel series]] by the author's son, it's revealed that Earth's surface was deliberately nuked by humans in their [[RobotWar war against thinking machines]], but these books' canonicity is contested.
* In Creator/StevenBrust's sci-fi work ''Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille'', the staff of the eponymous time- and space-traveling restaurant is trying to find out, among other things, whether or not the Earth is still around and still viable. [[spoiler: Nope. It was nuked.]]
* Steven Gould's ''Helm'' begins in a Moon base shortly after Earth was driven into nuclear winter by a war fought with {{antimatter}} weapons.
* In the Literature/DumarestOfTerra series, Earl Dumarest is seeking Earth, where he was born, which is barely a rumor or legend in the parts of the galaxy where he now is.
* In the ''Literature/HomecomingSaga'' by Creator/OrsonScottCard, the Earth was rendered uninhabitable by human wars, and mankind departed for Harmony, as well as at least forty other planets.
* In Creator/WalterJonWilliams' ''Literature/{{Aristoi}}'', Earth was destroyed by GreyGoo, leading to the reorganization of society into essentially a confederation of feudal states, with each state's leader (the Aristoi in question) being the only ones allowed to use nanotechnology freely.
* In ''Literature/LastAndFirstMen'' the Fifth Men migrate to Venus when the moon (destabilized millions of years earlier in the Martian/Second Men war) starts to crash into the earth. And the eighth men design the ninth to colonize Neptune when the sun expands to cover the Inner System.
* In most of Bruce Sterling's ''Literature/{{Schismatrix}}'', Earth is only referred to as [[InsignificantLittleBluePlanet a place no-one in their right mind would visit]] - humanity has since spread out to other planets and man-made structures in the Solar System and its immediate vicinity. When we do actually visit Earth, we find that its civilization has [[CrapsackWorld degenerated]] into spatterings of identical [[MegaCity city-states]], each apparently [[OneWorldOrder fanatically worshiping]] some kind of [[GodEmperor dictator deity]], while the surrounding landscape is a [[PollutedWasteland toxic wasteland]].
* In the ''Literature/JacobsLadderTrilogy'', the GenerationShip ''Jacob's Ladder'' has been out of contact with Earth for centuries; and given the political and environmental situation when it left, the crew mostly assume that there's nothing left by now but a burnt cinder. [[spoiler:But they're wrong, as ''Grail'' reveals that Earth subsequently managed to recover]].
* In Robert Charles Wilson's ''[[Literature/{{Spin}} Vortex]]'', Earth has been abandoned and rendered uninhabitable in one of the book's parallel storylines. Justified, since the events are taking place millions of years in the future (from the viewpoint of the universe), although [[TimeDilation only 10,000 years from the viewpoint of Earth]], and the Sun has expanded and prepares to scorch Earth. Thanks to the Hypotheticals and their [[PortalNetwork Arches]], humanity has spread to other planets from Earth and Mars (which has also suffered the same fate as Earth), although it's mentioned that not everyone was able to make it out before dying. One group is determined to get back to Earth and contact the Hypotheticals. While the Arch to Earth is no longer functional, they hope that one of the new "arrivals" will act as a key to activate the portal. [[spoiler:It works, but Earth turns out to be an unlivable hellhole. The Hypotheticals attack Vox Core and kill everyone but the three main characters. They witness the Arch start to break apart on Earth and have to find an alternative means to get off the planet]].
* In Christopher Nuttall's series ''Literature/AngelInTheWhirlwind'', Earth (and most of the rest of the Solar System) was pulverized in the Breakaway Wars, which presumably took place between the different space colonies and UN-dominated Earth. It gets mentioned that the last remains of civilization there are small settlements in asteroids.
* Creator/DavidDrake's ''Literature/{{RCN}}'' novels state that Earth was bombarded with asteroids during TheWarOfEarthlyAggression (indicated to have happened at minimum several hundred years ago). It apparently still exists and is still inhabited, but its geography is unrecognizable due to the bombardment and Sol is a backwater fringe system compared to the newer {{Space Filling Empire}}s, the [[HegemonicEmpire Republic of Cinnabar]] and the [[TheEmpire Alliance of Free Stars]]. A diamond carved with the pre-Hiatus continents of Earth is a minor MacGuffin in the third book.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* "Earth That Was" is referenced many times in the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' series, as well the movie ''Serenity'', which provides the page quote. It's suggested that civilization on Earth simply collapsed due to overpopulation, which the original colonists of the series' star system escaped, but with the series having no FasterThanLightTravel it's impossible to check out the story.
* Kobol, the human homeworld in the new ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', is revealed to have suffered a nuclear war several millennia in its past. While inhabitable now, it was necessary to leave at the time, and is even "cursed" to exact blood from those who return. [[spoiler:It ''no longer'' remains to be seen if the [[LostColony 13th colony known as Earth]] is also a radioactive wasteland.]]
** What exactly occurred on Kobol is far from clear. With the apparent 'Cycle of Time' the humans and Cylons exist in, it could have been nuclear in origin, as happened to the Colonies as well, but apart from references to a 'Blaze' that pursued the tribes on Kobol and a 'Flood' that wiped out most of humanity specific references have been thin on the ground, likely as the characters have no way of knowing either.
* In ''Series/{{Earth 2}}'' humanity has largely abandoned a hopelessly polluted Earth, and is in the process of colonizing Earth 2.
* Although likely to be averted, the Earth is faced with this fate in ''Series/{{Crusade}}'', having been contaminated with a slow-acting bioweapon that is expected to destroy all life within 5 years. As the planet is under strict quarantine by other races, off-world humans are effectively cut off from their species' homeworld, as surely as if it was already dead or lost.
** [[spoiler: The DistantFinale to season 4 of ''Series/BabylonFive'' and the series finale say otherwise.]]
** WordOfGod on the Drakh Plague is that it would have [[spoiler: been cured somewhere mid-S2, allowing other plot threads to take over, most notably a conspiracy within the Earth Gov to use Shadow technology.]]
* A surprisingly consistent point of future history in ''Series/DoctorWho'' foretells the mass evacuation of Earth around the thirtieth century, to avoid solar flares. The fourth Doctor encounters a wheel-type space station full of sleepers in ''The Ark In Space'', and the Eleventh meets the Starship UK in "The Beast Below", but it comes up in other episodes as well.
** Later on, we move back in. ''Later'' later on, we move back out and leave it as a museum. Then the donations dry up and it finally dies. Of ''old age'' (more specifically, it's incinerated when the Sun goes Red Giant.)
** If the Expanded Universe sources are to be believed, Earth is abandoned and recolonized quite a few times.
** The Doctor's homeworld of Gallifrey has become this in the revived series, having been [[WhereIWasBornAndRazed razed]] by the Doctor at the end of the Last Great Time War, wiping out both the Time Lords ''and'' the Daleks in one fell swoop and leaving him the sole survivor of the conflict. [[spoiler: (Or so he thought).]]
* ''Series/{{Outcasts}}'' is set during the early days of the colonization of a new planet, Carpathia. Bit different to typical examples in that Earth is still inhabited, but people are gradually fleeing it. Exact details of Earth's buggering-up are skated over, but there are passing mentions of a failed climate-change summit in Norway, uprisings in Shanghai, a major earthquake devastating California, etc.
* In the final episode of ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'', Earth, already a CrapsackWorld [[EarthThatUsedToBeBetter of little importance in intergalactic affairs]], is unceremoniously [[EarthShatteringKaboom blown up]] by the Drago-Kazov.
* Much of the ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' episode "Twilight" takes place in an alternate timeline where Earth was destroyed by the Xindi twelve years earlier.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] on ''Series/{{The 100}}''. Ninety-seven years after a nuclear war, the remnants of humanity [[ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts living aboard the Ark space station]] believe they're in an Earth That Was situation, since their calculations say the radioactive fallout on Earth won't subside to safe levels for two hundred years. However, when desperation forces them to send a group of people down to Earth, not only do they find the planet is livable, but they discover that there have been people living down here the whole time. Then double-subverted, as the Earth is still radioactive, it's just that some humans (including the space-born protagonists) have evolved to adapt to higher radiation levels.

* This is part of the backstory for basically every Music/{{Magma}} recording.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'', at the founding of the Third Imperium, the location of Earth was forgotten.
** At the same time though, people on Earth remembered it quite well and were doing fine.
* ''TabletopGame/TwentyThreeHundredAD'' has a variant in one of the many little alien secrets known only to the GM: [[spoiler: the Ebers' mysterious "lost colony" is actually their original (nuked) homeworld.]]
* ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'' takes place 10 years after the Fall, when our ever-evolving AI [[RobotWar declared war on humanity]], destroyed 95% of the population, and vanished. Earth became a forbidden, toxic wasteland. Anyone who dares land on the planet risks encountering the remaining bots, who seem to be interested in stealing cortical stacks (computerized egos) for some reason. [[DeathWorld Also hostile nanobot colonies and other, weirder things.]]
* The whole point of the ''Terracide'' setting (for 6th edition [[TabletopGame/{{Champions}} HERO System]]). Humans had started to spread among the stars after getting their hands on faster-than-light drives, but most of them still had at least sentimental ties to Earth until an unknown force sterilized the entire Sol system.
* In Finnish RPG Heimot mankind left from Earth thousands of years ago and later all life on Earth was destroyed in a catastrophe. Now, after collapse of society, lost of star gates, surviving an alien invasion and fighting over remaining resources many people believe that Lost Earth is a paradise, where they will be led by the Messiah.
* In the ''{{TabletopGame/Exalted}}'' science fantasy alternate setting Heaven's Reach, Creation was lost a long time ago, and its location - even whether it still exists or not - is unknown.
* In ''TabletopGame/HcSvntDracones'' Earth was sterilized in a nuclear war between nations and corporations, then centuries later probes from Mars started detecting strange new and ''very'' hostile life forms on Earth. After the lunar colony was wiped out by "Whispers" and a tether of what looked like crystallized blood formed between Earth and the Moon the rest of the solar system decided to steer well away from their ancestral home.
* ''Nova Praxis'' had Earth trashed by one of the two major powers of the backstory deploying the "Technophage", which was supposed to destroy their enemy's capital and force them to sue for peace. Instead, it refused to accept the shutdown command and devastated both sides, forcing everyone to leave.
* In ''Starfinder'', Golarion has been [[Franchise/DoctorWho secreted away in a pocket universe]] by an unknown force, causing a gap in the history and memory of the universe. The gods assure their worshippers that it's still ''there,'' but absolutely unreachable by any conventional or magical force.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''{{VideoGame/SimEarth}}'': Shortly after the sentient species reaches the nanotech age, they will leave the planet in droves. Subverted in the sense that the planet doesn't have to be a wasteland for this to happen.
* ''{{VideoGame/Freelancer}}'', where descendants of TheAlliance survivors have vague memories of Earth after their ancestors are forced to abandon the Solar System by the forces of [[TheEmpire the Coalition]]. Also, Earth is actually destroyed in the original intro for the game, which was cut from the final release.
** The Alliance actually launched the sleeper ships to escape the [[ForeverWar eternal war]] between themselves and the Coalition (which the Coalition was winning).
* ''VideoGame/{{Warframe}}'': Earth is stated to have been a desolate hellhole ''before'' the fascist Grineer took it over. From space you can see it's an unhealthy green...
** When you go down to visit Earth, you see it's really only a DeathWorld to civilizations, not individual lifeforms. Most of the planet has been overtaken by humid rainforest and aggressive packs of [[SavageWolves feral kubrow]].
* ''VideoGame/FreeSpace'', where the destruction of the Lucifer seals off Earth from the rest of the galaxy, leaving its fate an opened ended question until the second game, where the Ancient's Knossos Device, discovered in Gamma Draconis, offered hope to reestablish contact with Sol. If that would have worked will remain unanswered, however, as the third game was never made. It is mentioned in the EncyclopediaExposita that Earth most likely didn't survive. Earth was a political and cultural centre, not an agricultural or industrial one, so the probable result of the jump node collapse is famine, disease and societal collapse.
* ''VideoGame/{{Homeworld}}'' follows the spirit of the trope if not the letter. Gameplay concerns the quest of the Kushan people to return to their homeworld, which they were exiled from thousands of years ago after losing a war. Having said that, their home planet is not Earth and the Kushan are not specified to be human. (Though they [[AliensSpeakingEnglish do speak English.]])
* In the ''Franchise/{{Lunar}}'' series, the humans of Lunar came from the Blue Star, a planet visible in the sky, in time immemorial. According to lore, the Goddess Althena made Lunar habitable and moved people there when the Blue Star was ruined. Given that [[AllMythsAreTrue all of this proves to be true]] and that outlines of real-world continents appear on its surface, it's pretty clear what the Blue Star used to be.
* Earth, or Lost Jerusalem as it's called, is referred to often in ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}''. Humans had to leave it because of a mysterious space-time disturbance. Its location has been long lost. At the end of the third game [[spoiler:a chunk of the party goes off searching for it, and we're left wanting another sequel.]]
** The [[AllThereInTheManual backstory]] for its [[SpiritualSequel spiritual prequel]], ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'', is similar. Humans left Earth in AD 2510 due to a space-time anomaly. The only reference to Earth in the game, though, is in the intro, and it is called "the main planet."
** The SpiritualSequel ''VideoGame/XenobladeChroniclesX'', Earth is outright destroyed as collateral damage due to a war between two alien factions. Humanity flees in colony ships before that happens, but they're harassed by one of the alien factions, and one of the ships crash land on an uninhabited planet, and the game starts with the main character awakening on this planet.
* ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' starts with Humankind leaving the Earth in the UN Unity spaceship towards Planet, near the Alpha Centauri system. [[spoiler:The epilogue story once you reach the Transcendence Victory reveals the Earth humans nuked themselves to oblivion. It gets better, though - the same ending tells us Earth gets recolonized]]. The pitch of the entire game, in fact, is to put this twist to the Spaceship Victory from the ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' series.
** Subverted in the SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/CivilizationBeyondEarth''. While the trailer clearly shows the Earth in the middle of an ecological catastrophe, and the new colony is completely cut off from the homeworld, two of the endings allow you to open a portal back to Earth.
** In the other (unofficial) SpiritualSuccessor ''VideoGame/PandoraFirstContact'', Earth isn't doing very well. Humanity is steadily moving out to space habitats and other planets in the Solar System, although their lives are hardly ideal. Then the AI tasked with restoring Earth to habitability decides that humans are the biggest problem for the planet and forces everyone else out, locking down the planet and hiding it under a thick cloud cover. All anyone knows is that strange seismic activity is taking place somewhere on Earth, but the AI is silent on what's happening. This all happens after the departure of the colony ships to the Nashira (Gamma Capricorni) system, though.
* It is mentioned that earth in ''VideoGame/SpaceColony'' is 'no longer economically viable'. Rich people live in space stations, with the poor taking risky lander jobs to harvest resources.
* In ''VideoGame/EVEOnline'', the original introduction explains that humanity left Earth, 'a world outgrown', over 20 000 years ago and started colonizing the entire galaxy. Eventually we found a wormhole leading to what is presumably a completely different galaxy and colonized it as well, before the wormhole collapsed, leaving the inhabitants of this new galaxy cut off from the Milky Way. The very existence of Earth and the Milky Way has been forgotten or turned into myths and legends during the dark age that followed the collapse of the wormhole.
* It's strongly implied that the ''{{VideoGame/Pikmin}}'' games are set on Earth, possibly AfterTheEnd.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Outpost 2}}'' the human race has fled from an asteroid-doomed earth. The plot of the game revolves around the earthling colonists of a new planet and how they destroy themselves all over again.
* In ''VideoGame/WildArms3'', we find out that not only is Filgaia a LostColony of Earth, but that the homeworld was rendered lifeless in wars following some of its people upgrading themselves into [[BloodKnight battle-crazy]] "Metal Demons."
* ''VideoGame/UFOAftermath'' kicks off the After Blank series with an alien race, the Reticulans, killing off nearly all life on Earth, with only a handful of humans and mutants left on the planet. In one of the possible endings of the first game the survivors present enough of a threat that the Reticulans offer to evacuate them to a space station and a colony on Mars. The two subsequent games are focused on those colonies.
* Another non-Earth example: The D'ni of the ''VideoGame/{{Myst}}'' series originated on a world called Garternay, which became uninhabitable when its sun began growing dim. Their ancestors fled into a succession of other worlds via their linking books, and have since lost all contact with their abandoned homeworld.
* In ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', [[TheChessmaster Robert House's]] master plan is to eventually start a space program to colonize other planets.
** That giant mothership that hangs above the [[VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}} Capital Wasteland]] may have other ideas.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Gaiares}}'', pollution and radiation have turned the Earth into an uninhabitable wasteland. An alien empire is prepared to destroy the planet by blowing up the Sun to stop intergalactic terrorists who want to reclaim the toxic waste for superweapons.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starflight}}'' kicks off with this scenario happening... Again, since Earth had been long abandoned and humanity needs to find new planets to populate now that their new homeworld is dying.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Naev}}'', an [[NoodleIncident ill-defined "incident"]] resulted in Sol going supernova, obliterating the entire solar system and causing {{Apocalypse How}}s on planets in a several-light-year radius.
* In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', the quarians were forced to [[HomeworldEvacuation evacuate Rannoch]] after their disastrous war with [[RobotWar the geth]], three hundred years ago. While Rannoch is still inhabitable (and even being maintained), trying to get past the billions of heavily armed synthetics has proven somewhat problematic. [[spoiler:Mostly because it never occurred to the quarians to just ask nicely, though given that anyone who travelled to Geth Space never came back, except that one time as husks, there's a reason for that.]]
* While most characters in ''Videogame/InfiniteSpace'' are aware that the humans of the Magellanic Clouds originally came from the Milky Way, it's not really relevant to the plot. [[spoiler: Until the very end when they discover that the universe-building aliens shutting down their universe have their entry point in the old Solar System. The sun has been encapsulated in a Dyson Sphere to power their gate, and the Earth may or may not have much life left on it.]]
* In ''VideoGame/StrangeAdventuresInInfiniteSpace'' and its sequel/remake, humanity's new homeworld is Hope with the player being sent to explore the new region of space. The location of Earth is lost to time, although one of the objects you can find is the Voyager Golden Record.
* In the backstory of ''VideoGame/DungeonFighterOnline'', Earth -- referred to exclusively as [[PlanetTerra Terra]] to the point of near-parody -- was ''blown right the hell up'' in the backstory, with only New York City surviving, now known as Pandemonium and adrift in space and time. Among those in the know, Terra is little more than a legend of a beautiful utopia with advanced technology and natural beauty. [[spoiler: The main villain wants to bring it back, at the cost of the destruction of the game's other primary worlds, particularly its main setting of Arad.]]
* The goal of ''VideoGame/{{OPUS}}'' is to find Earth. Set in the distant future, the game has humanity spread out throughout the universe. Unfortunately, rampant genetic engineering has resulted in genome degradation. The only hope likes in the mythical planet of origin, where scientists hope to obtain an original, unmodified DNA sample to save humanity. Notably, a great many people believe that humanity didn't originate on Earth and was simply genetically engineered. Those who believe do so with a near-religious fervor (you even find an Earthology Bible at one point).
* In ''Videogame/ChildrenOfADeadEarth'', when WorldWarThree broke out the two superpowers used rapidly escalating weapons of mass destruction, [[ColonyDrop slinging asteroids and comets]] at each other using their orbital assets. This caused a complete breakdown in Earth's biosphere, dooming the planet to runaway greenhouse heating effect; within a few decades, it became a new Venus. A few million people were able to make it off-planet to the ColonizedSolarSystem.
* Humans in ''VideoGame/StarsInShadow'' are [[MechanicallyUnusualClass the only race not to start with a homeworld.]] Instead, they have a fuel depot and a small fleet (a light cruiser, a scout, 3 colony ships and 2 multipurpose transports) containing their entire population.


* ''Webcomic/AnnaGalactic'': [[spoiler:Revealed near the end to be the case all along.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': To start a game of sburb the planet that initiated the game must be [[spoiler:scoured with meteors]]. This happens to Earth near the beginning of the webcomic when the four main protagonists first begin the game, [[spoiler:and results in large areas (if not all) of the planet being reduced to arid desert where none of the previous life survives]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebOriginal/OrionsArm'' Old Earth was abandoned after the {{nano|machines}}disaster, because the AI that was designed to protect Earth from Grey Goo decided humanity was the greatest threat to Earth and kicked them off-planet under threat of death (it was at least considerate enough to build a fleet of starships humanity could use to get off Earth first). Granted, Old Earth is still inhabitable, it's just no one's allowed to live there anymore. Of course, after 10,000 years of interstellar expansion Sol has been all but reduced to a tourist trap, significant only in that it's the location of the original homeworld of the Terragens, merely a historical curiosity among the millions of inhabited star system. It's mentioned that by the "present day" of the setting (approx. 12,000 AD) that the AI in charge of Earth has mellowed somewhat and now allows a limited number of tourists, pilgrims and scientists to a limited number of areas on Earth. She even went through the trouble of preserving or restoring some culturally significant human sites such as Mecca or Cape Canaveral.

* In the opening of ''[[WesternAnimation/IlEtaitUneFois Once Upon a Time... Man]]'' an astronaut, fleeing from a sinister mob, boards a rocket and and takes off from Earth, which promptly explodes.
** The narrator of the final episode describes the events leading up to ''"Man—our ancestor"'' leaving a destroyed Earth, [[spoiler: but in a subversion the last scene reveals the narrator to be a present-day scientist dramatizing a "what-if" scenario as part of a public lecture.]]