[[GhostCity Something happens to a city]]. It could be an evacuation or a disaster. Whoever's left over will now have the run of the city, and they can use its resources to attempt to communicate with the outside world, try to find more survivors or just have fun without anyone to stop them from breaking the rules.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* One of the countries that [LightNovel/KinosJourney Kino]] encounters is the last remaining member of a "democracy" that voted by majority. Ultimately, everyone else had voted each other to death until one man was left.
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/IAmLegend'' follows this premise.
* ''TheQuietEarth'': With apparently no-one else left on Earth, protagonist Zac Hobson sets a radio station to emit a message in case anyone's out there, moves to a mansion, raids shopping centres, plays with train sets in a store- and then the real trains- cracks up, starts dressing up in women's clothes and declares himself emperor of the world before an audience of cardboard cutouts. (He gets better.)
* The French movie ''Seuls Two''[[note]]rough translation: "Two Alone"[[/note]] is about two people waking up in a completely deserted Paris.
* In ''TheOmegaMan'', Charlton Heston doesn't take much advantage of this trope, since he spends his time hunting zombies. However, his love interest, Lisa, likes to go "shopping" in abandoned department stores. At least until she gets TheVirus and does her FaceHeelTurn.
* In ''Film/NightOfTheComet'', the two protagonist teenage girls spend much of their time looting abandoned department stores for cool clothes.
* The main cast from ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater'' have a HopeSpot moment raiding food from an abandoned store, and in the first scenes, Jim absconds with a bag full of soda cans from a derelict vending machine. On a darker note, since the original owners are dead, the soldiers have set up camp in an abandoned country estate, and govern from there, at one point [[spoiler:forcing the girls to dress up in the clothing of the former lady of the house for the pleasure of the men about to rape them.]]
** In one of the short films made with the sequal, a man left in this situation kills himself out of loneliness. As he's dying he hears the helicopters returning.
* The protagonists of both the original ''Film/DawnOfTheDead'' and [[Film/DawnOfTheDead2004 the remake]] do this on a smaller scale with a shopping mall. In fact, this is largely the point (of the older movie, at least). It gets very {{Anvilicious}} when you see the little perfect world the protagonists have constructed for themselves, with things "borrowed" from the mall. The zombies are largely a distraction from the commercialism-[[BuffySpeak things]]. Sorry for FanWank.
* The heroes of ''Film/{{Zombieland}}'' don't limit themselves to one town, but they raid grocery stores for food (in search of the elusive Twinkie), trash a store just for fun and crash for a while in Creator/BillMurray's mansion (which isn't as abandoned as they thought).
* In ''Film/FreddysDeadTheFinalNightmare'', there are no children or teens left in Springwood, yet the adults still put on a pitiful show of a town fair, complete with kiddie entertainments no kids are around to enjoy. The school and orphanage are likewise left to fall apart, each with a crackpot staff member left behind to pretend they still have kids to teach or care for.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''TheStand'' had one bomb-happy character blow up oil storage silos for the explosions, since no-one was going to stop him.
** Hell, half of the secondary characters, especially those left in NYC, go wild with their fantasies. One guy runs into two survivors in the park and tells them he's gleeful the world is gone. Why? There's no one left to stop him from jerking off on home plate at Yankee Stadium. This is one of the few relatively benign examples.
* Ofelia from ''Literature/RemnantPopulation'' stays behind after the rest of her colony is moved to another planet, and she is left as the only human on the entire world. She's not completely alone, though...
* The protagonist of the post-pandemic London of Creator/JohnChristopher's novel ''Empty World''.
* This trope is a plot point in the zombie-apocalypse novel ''WorldWarZ''. When TheCavalry finally arrives in some reclaimed towns, they are never quite sure if the Mayor has all his or or her marbles.
* Jadis, the Last Queen of Charn from ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia.'' In ''Literature/TheMagiciansNephew'', we find out that she single-handedly eradicated every other lifeform in her universe because her sister had raised a rebellion against her queenhood; with her sister's army at the door, she proved herself to be a sore loser. She then [[SealedEvilInACan magically preserved herself as a statue]] until the heroes accidentally freed her, then hitched a ride with them to Earth and ultimately to Narnia, where she became known as [[Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe the White Witch]].
* Played literally in the children's book ''Ghost Town Adventure''. A family on a road trip comes across Ruby, a GhostTown with exactly one resident - Mayor Abe Winters. It had been a thriving town during a gold rush but when the gold dried up everyone else in town abandoned the place. Abe figures that even though his term expired he's still the mayor until he gets voted out.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' follows this premise. A radiation leak [[EverybodysDeadDave kills the entire crew]] of a [[CityOfAdventure ship the size of a city]], leaving only the initial cast.
* On ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 [=MST3K=]]]'', the robots are asked what they would do in this situation. Servo would put bricks on accelerators and drive cars off cliffs all day. Crow would put on football pads and dive through pane glass windows up and down main street.
* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' had a flashback episode where the main characters think that [[MillenniumBug [=Y2K=]]] has killed everyone else in town so they move into a supermarket and each of them claims part of the store as their own personal domain.
* Burgess Meredith's character in the ''[[Series/TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]]'' episode "Time Enough At Last" finds himself in this position after surviving a nuclear attack by virtue of being in a bank vault at the time, much to his pleasure (at first).
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[[folder:Toys]]
* Franchise/{{BIONICLE}} plays with this in the description of what the Toa Of Light was flying around doing in other dimensions. The villanious/HeelFaceTurn applying Toa Tuyet in an alternate dimension specifically ignored and never mentioned outside of descriptions of said alternate dimension) specifically says (while contemplating drowning everyone in the alternate universe) that she would be ruling over an empire of corpses.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
%%* ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'': Father Grigori of Ravenholm.
%%* Thumper's ending in ''TwistedMetal''.
* The mayor of Shanbar in ''ReturnToZork.'' The eastern half of his town has completely disappeared, the western half is empty except for himself and three other survivors, and you're the first visitor he's seen in ages.
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'' has this happen to Suifu in the Penal Colony where all the refugees/prisoners from Dharma Shrine are being held. Once the problems are solved, he finds himself alone, ruefully admitting that he'll never enjoy the sort of power and position [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority he was able to claim for himself there]].
* ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'''s Tageyl stands on the verge of this: Lordlake has fallen out of favor with the queen and is slowly dying without any water.
* Impaz from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', the last inhabitant of the Hidden Village, who turned down a chance to escape from her Bulblin-occupied village so she could give the Ancient Sky Book to the [[ChosenOne messenger of the heavens]] (a.k.a. [[TheHero Link]]).
** King Daphnes Nohansen Hyrule from ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' is the only person left in Hyrule after it got sealed beneath the Great Sea, using his position to guide Link and awaken Zelda. [[spoiler:He decides to use the Triforce to drown Hyrule and himself in order to save Link and Zelda and defeat Ganon]].
* Shade is not the [[GoMadFromTheIsolation last survivor]] of desertified resort town Oasis in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}''. There's plenty of colorful characters who are [[BlatantLies totally alive and not mummified corpses]]. They have [[HearingVoices such great conversations]] while [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not slowly dying of thirst.]] Please stay!
* One of the most dramatic examples is Andrew Ryan in ''VideoGame/BioShock1''; even as Rapture slowly began to break apart, its people going mad and slaughtering each other in its halls, he remained convinced that it would all be well and good with just a ''little more time''...
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* Played for laughs in Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}. The Wayward Vagabond, a non-human wanderer of post-apocalyptic Earth, is fascinated enough by the idea of democracy that he becomes a mayor over a stash of cans.
** It's less humorous now that fans are speculating he did this [[spoiler: as a coping mechanism after two entire armies he was leading were slaughtered in front of him in a matter of seconds, leaving him as the only survivor.]]
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Named for the ''TheSimpsons'' episode in which Homer divides Springfield into two towns, Old Springfield and New Springfield. When Homer erects a wall to this effect, the citizens of New Springfield quickly realize that they suddenly have no means of obtaining supplies. All but the Simpson family climb over the border, leaving a disgruntled Homer alone, to which Bart says 'Face it Homer, you're mayor of a ghost town!'
** Homer also has the run of Springfield for about half a Treehouse of Horror segment, after a Neutron bomb kills all the people. [[spoiler: And turns many others into cannibal zombies.]]
** Moe became mayor (emperor) of the starved lawless en-domed Springfield in the deleted scenes of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie''.
* ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'', when Brain manages to take over the world by luring all its inhabitants to the doppelganger planet Chia Earth (which is made of papier-mache). In the end, he goes so mad with the boredom of ruling an empty planet that he decides to put forward a bunch of bills, then use his presidential powers to veto them. For fun.
* This is how an alternate-future version of Vandal Savage has lived for several [[strike: years]] centuries in the ''JusticeLeague'' episode, "Hereafter."
* In the GrandFinale of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', Ozai apoints Azula as the new Fire Lord while he goes off to end the war (and gives himself a new title denoting supreme ruler of the world). Azula's [[VillainousBreakdown increasing instability and paranoia]] means she ends up gradually banishing every member of the Royal Household (and, possibly, everyone in the Fire Nation capital) other then the few people needed to coronate her.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Duckman}}'' had the whole town perform an "emergency drill", only to get trapped in the shelter underground. Only Duckman (who slept through the alarm) and a deaf woman (who couldn't hear it) remain, convinced they are the last people alive. So Duckman engages in his every hedonistic desire; tooling around in a motorcycle, stealing things, blowing up buildings, and unknowingly causing hell for the people trapped below.
* ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' provides a robotic example, with the ghost town being the abandoned, overpolluted Earth.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* Played literally for [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_villages_destroyed_in_the_First_World_War six French ''communes'']] which have still a legal existence and thus a mayor named by the prefect in spite of [[DoomedHometown being totally destroyed]] during WorldWarI.
* Rotten boroughs: Until 1832, some British [=MP=]s had constituencies with very few voters, due to the towns having declined centuries earlier. E.g. Old Sarum, Wiltshire, had only seven voters and no standing houses.
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