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 ''Literature/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, Creator/DCComics' Hell works like this.
** The humans in ''Literature/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". It's also often noted that the rear is the ''most'' dangerous position while running away...
* In "Creator/LFrankBaum"'s "Tik Tok of Oz" Dorothy is dropped through a hollow tube to the other side of the world, where most people are Kings or Queens, with a lesser number of lesser royalty, but there is only one "Private Citizen" who is the most important (to the extent that anyone in the Oz universe has more than local and transient effect).
* 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 Creator/SergeyLukyanenko's ''Literature/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.
* [[Literature/TheScrewtapeLetters Screwtape]] frequently mentions the Lowerarchy of Hell.
* [[ This website]] by the [[LampshadeHanging 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. (A JustifiedTrope to the extent it demonstrates how the command line and batch files are useful for power users, which many hardcore techies swear by, noting that the command prompt continues to feature in every version of Windows to date for a reason; however, trying to convince us that DOS isn't dead might put it a little too close to DiscoDan territory for some people's liking.)
* In a variant of this trope, the song "Ain't Your Fairytale by Music/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.
* In ''VideoGame/BeneathASteelSky'', in the [[MegaCorp "city corporation"]] the game takes place, living on or near ground level is a sign of high social and economic status, while the poor and people with blue-collar jobs are forced to live thousands of feet above ground, not even allowed to visit lower levels.
* "The Author of the Acacia Seeds", by [[Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin Ursula K. Le Guin]], discusses a manifesto written by an ant, which ends, "Up with the Queen!" The narrator notes that to ants, the safe and desirable direction is down, while danger comes from above. Also, the author of the manifesto was a revolutionary. So a better translation would be, "Down with the Queen!"