Creative subversion of the {{omnipresent trope|s}} that "higher is better" (e.g., "higher quality", "higher rank", "higher calling"). When this trope is in effect, lower is generally considered better. For example, instead of His Royal Highness talking to a lowly peasant, you might have His Royal Lowliness talking to a higher peasant.

Most common in constructed [[ConstructedWorld worlds]] and [[ConLang languages]], and especially among nonhumans.

Compare BadIsGoodAndGoodIsBad.


* Literature/{{Discworld}}'s dwarfs & ''Literature/TalesOfMU''[='s=] dark elves, for who lower is better.
** Also to Discworld dwarfs, "enlightened" is seen as a negative term, as light makes your pupils contract and can therefore blind you.
** Also seen among the demons in ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'' and of ''TheScrewtapeLetters'', who do bad deeds in the hopes of being demoted through the lowerarchy.
** Another Discworld example is that trolls believe history is lived backwards, because you can only see what's in front of you, which is the past, so the dawn of time is actually the end, and the sunset is the beginning.
** Also, DCComics' Hell works like this.
** The humans in ''AboveGround'' are yet another example.
* ''Literature/TheDispossessed'' by Creator/UrsulaKLeguin: In the ConLang Pravic, the term "more central" is used instead.
* ''Literature/{{Ringworld}}'' by Creator/LarryNiven: the Puppeteers value cowardice above all things, so their leader is called "The Hindmost".
* Used occasionally in ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', as Zim's alien species has a hierarchy based off of height.
* ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' all the freakin' time. A major theme and source of humour is the clash between the family and outsiders and the way the family always reacts pleasantly to horrified reactions because to them their words are compliments.
* In SergeyLukyanenko's ''LineOfDelirium'', the [[SiliconBasedLife Silicoids]] (floating sentient columns of rock) value stability and balance above all else. As such, their hierarchy is inverted compared to humans. Unlike TheEmperor, who rules from the top, Sedimin (the ruler of the Silicoid Basis) rules from the very bottom, supporting the Basis, thus his title is the Foot of the Basis. When the protagonist is thinking of how the Silicoids decide leadership based on a duel to the death, he has to mentally correct himself in that Sedimin did not ''ascend'' to his position, as a human would, but ''descend''.
* In some games, such as golf, a lower score is better.
* [[TheScrewtapeLetters Screwtape]] frequently mentions the Lowerarchy of Hell.
* [[ This website]] by the amusingly named "Doctor DOS Betamax" seems to be dedicated to demonstrating how the normally-held-to-be-technically-inferior DOS is a better operating system than Windows.
* In a variant of this trope, the song "Ain't Your Fairytale by SonataArctica, which is [[{{Xenofiction}} sung from the perspective of a wolf]], uses the phrase "the dawn of our way of life" to refer to an end (and the rise of Humankind), inverting the standard (human) symbolism of sunrise as a hopeful beginning and sunset as an end.