Usually when there's a ZombieApocalypse, AlienInvasion, or some type of pandemic thanks to TheVirus or ThePlague, there will eventually be rumors that start to spread amongst survivors and refugees about a "safe zone" or an "outpost" or something to that effect. After hearing this news of a possible refuge, the desperate characters go on an arduous and harrowing pilgrimage to said place where there's hopefully food, shelter, and uninfected (and sane) humans.

Of course the characters eventually reach said destination only for them to find out [[AwfulTruth the hope- and soul-crushing truth]]. Truth being that the outpost/Safe Zone has been either overrun, abandoned and desolate (and probably has been for hours, days, weeks, or months), or maybe even a trap. Or worse, there ''never'' was a outpost or safe zone to begin with, likely due to misinformation (or false hope). Could result in a ShootTheShaggyDog moment, and or DownerEnding.

Compare RoomFullOfZombies and UnsafeHaven. Overlaps with AbandonedArea and the cynical variants of ThePromisedLand in some cases.




[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Shinzo}}'': The whole plot is about Yakumo, after waking up from hibernation centuries AfterTheEnd, trying to reach the last human stronghold somewhere out west. Only at the end of the season does she learn that Shinzo was already destroyed by the Dark King of the Enterrans at the end of the war.

* ''Film/ResidentEvil'':
** ''Film/ResidentEvilExtinction'': Thes plot is partially driven by Alice finding an old notebook that indicates that the virus that killed off the planet itself is unable to travel north to Alaska. Claire Redfield takes the remaining survivors in a helicopter in that direction at the end of the film, but it isn't shown whether or not it was true.
** ''Film/ResidentEvilAfterlife'': Alice arrives at the aforementioned coordinates in Alaska that she found on ''Extinction'', only to discover that Arcadia, the so-called safe haven where survivors are supposed to have gathered, is in fact a trap laid by the BigBad.
* Sanctuary in ''Film/LogansRun''. Note that this is only true in the movie; in the book it's quite real.
* ''Film/{{Zombieland}}'' has one specifically named safe zone (Pacific Playland) and two more vague locations. Each one contradicts the others and all of the characters except one are aware that the zones are just rumors and gossip fueled by desperation and ignorance; Tallahassee explains that people on the West coast say it is safe on the East coast, and people on the East coast say it is safe on the West coast. Wichita is deliberately lying about Pacific Playland to her little sister in order to give her hope and something to look forward to. [[spoiler:Cut out from the film was Wichita's plan to kill Little Rock and herself after they reached Playland, because she knew there was no real hope to surviving.]]
* In the film ''Film/{{Carriers}}'' the main characters hear of a safe zone where supposedly there's a group of scientists who found a vaccine. By the time the travelers get there, the outpost/safe zone is abandoned with garbage trucks stuffed cartoonishly to capacity with body bags. They eventually find ''ONE'' scientist doctor inside a plastic chamber with 2 kids. He does a FaceRevealingTurn showing that he's infected. He tells how the vaccine was a failure, and how everything fell apart. He pours himself and the 2 kids something in red cups, which was indicated to be poisoned fruit punch. Later on, the characters find an abandoned golf resort that is as luxurious as it can get, as well as stocked up with massive amounts of food... [[spoiler:the big problem is that it had already been taken over by a CrazySurvivalist group, and if that in and of itself wasn't enough, one of them (that they had left behind to keep the place safe) had gotten infected somehow (even if they had their own strict biohazard rules in place to try to prevent this) and died on the resort's pool, turning only-God-knows how much of the place into a "poisoned well".]]
* In ''Film/ChildrenOfMen'', the final destination of the MacGuffinEscortMission is to bring Kee in contact with a mysterious, non-governmental group called the "Human Project", supposedly based in the Azores. This group is sought to be humanity last hope for curing infertility. The movie ends right before Kee is being picked up by the group and we never learn if they manage to live up to their expectation.
* ''Film/TheBirds'' fades out on the survivors leaving Bodega Bay for San Francisco, hoping to find help. Hitchcock's original plan was to have it fade back in to a shot of [[MonumentalDamage the Golden Gate Bridge covered in birds]], but the studio felt that was ''too'' dark and made him leave it open.
* There are a couple in Romero's ''Of The Dead'' series;
** In the original ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978'' there are rumours that the infection isn't so bad in Canada and that was where the gang was originally heading before they entered the mall.
** With ''Film/DayOfTheDead1985'' you could say the bunker was one before the events of the movie but at the end the survivors don't seem to be having any problems on their tropical island, perhaps the happiest Romero ending.
** In ''Film/LandOfTheDead'' Pittsburgh was one of the last remaining cities in the world (perhaps the last) to survive the zombie horde but the events of the movie soon changes that.
** ''Film/SurvivalOfTheDead'' has an island that is meant to be free of zombies but it turns out that isn't 100% correct either.
* In ''Film/DawnOfTheDead2004'', this happens twice. First, the local army base, Ft. Pastor is overrun. Second, they attempt to head off to a island in Lake Michigan... [[BolivianArmyEnding which doesn't end so well either]].
* Played bleakly straight with ''World Of The Dead: The Zombie Diaries 2''. A group of British soldiers was told to go to a military outpost where survivors would be evacuated by boats, cause the British military was gonna bomb Britain's cities. Whats left of the military unit finally arrives as the bombing sirens sound only to find that the base was over run during a firefight and that every one was dead presumably the zombie attackers as well. The group decides to hold up there anyway. Turns out this was a bad idea as there were SEVERAL dozen zombies hidden in the bunker. The unit attempts a LastStand only to be overrun themselves. [[FinalGirl The final guy]] survives the SafeZoneHopeSpot just due to the fact he had a HeroicBSOD and decided to go to the beach and look for the boats anyway while the rest stayed behind in the outpost. He makes it to the beach only to realize that the boats left (or maybe they never arrived). Later on the beach he meets a couple who say they're ''coming from'' the area the survivor was trying to get to. Telling him they heard that it was safer where he was, because Britain was an island. The survivor just gives a subtle disturbed [[ThousandYardStare horrified glare]] to the oblivious couple, [[FridgeHorror while the woman caressed her pregnant belly]].
* Subverted in the [[AfterTheEnd post-nuclear]] film ''Film/DamnationAlley''. The main characters receive a radio signal from Albany, New York, the only major American city to survive Doomsday. When they reach their destination, it appears that the people of Albany have been doing just fine. This Trope is discussed early on with Tanner fearing that, after they have sacrificed so much to arrive to Albany, they end up finding that the radio station is some kind of automated system that managed to survive the apocalypse while everything else on the city did not.
* In ''[[Film/TwentyEightDaysLater 28 Days Later]]'' a broadcast on the radio claims that there is a safe zone north of London and a cure for the virus. When the main characters arrive, it turns out that the point of the broadcast was to attract more people [[ImAManICantHelpIt (specifically women)]] to the tiny group of soldiers holed up there, and the "cure" for the virus is waiting until the Infected die off.
** Incidentally, this was actually a perfectly reasonable strategy; the location was reasonably defensible and the Infected were {{Technically Living Zombie}}s who weren't smart enough to operate a tin opener; within a few more weeks they'd starve. The trope would have been totally averted if the commanding officer of the squad hadn't [[SanitySlippage gone off the deep end]].
* This happens in ''Film/{{Pandorum}}''. They find a survivor in a secure room who seems to be relatively sane and healthy, and are confused as to how he's getting enough to eat. Then he drugs them and tries to eat them.
* Inverted in ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', where [[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger the T-800]] tricks John into thinking that they're going to [[spoiler:Skynet's core]] to stop Judgment Day. Instead the T-800 is taking him to [[spoiler:a hardened bunker so John can survive Judgment Day and lead the resistance.]] It still serves as a HopeSpot and leads to a [[ShootTheShaggyDog depressing ending]].
* In ''Film/WorldWarZ'', a city in Israel is one of only places not overrun by zombies due to a giant wall, so many people head there. However, [[TooDumbToLive many of them feel the need to celebrate their safety to the point that it attracts enough zombies that they form a tall pile and are able to get over the wall]].
* In ''Film/IAmLegend'', Anna and Ethan are traveling north to a supposed outpost filled with other people who were immune to the virus that wiped out mankind. They heard Robert's radio transmissions and travel to New York along the way. At the end of the film, [[spoiler:it is shown that a well defended walled settlement did exist, and Anna & Ethan made it there safely]].
* ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad''. Furiosa is taking the Five Wives to "the green place", an oasis where she was born and raised before being abducted by Immortan Joe. [[spoiler:She eventually learns that since her abduction, the green place turned toxic and dried up, forcing her tribemates to scavenge like everyone else. It's Max who realises there is a 'green place' -- the Citadel they all fled from is fed by artesian wells, and if they can just blast their way through Immortan Joe's pursuing forces...]]
* The train in ''Film/TimeOfTheWolf''. The hope that the survivors are holding on to that someone will eventually come and they'll be rescued. We [[NoEnding never learn]] if the train actually comes to take them away.
* In ''Film/RedPlanet'', most of the crew is forced to evacuate the ship. They end up crash-landing far away from their intended destination, a prefab outpost, that has been set up by automated probes. With not much air in their suits, they are forced to walk the Martian landscape. They end up making it with only a few minutes of air left... only to find the outpost destroyed by something. [[spoiler:While suffocating, one of them cracks open his helmet and realizes that Mars has a breathable atmosphere thanks to humanity's attempts at terraforming the planet]].

* ''Literature/TheRoad'' has a boy and a man heading south to get to a warmer climate. Of course, this place doesn't exist.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Cell}}'', the rumors about an area protected from the cell phone ZombieApocalypse turn out to have been manufactured to lure and turn the remaining humans. The main charactersaren't dumb enough to believe it though; they're just forced to go there regardless.
* Not strictly this trope but in the same vein -- ''Brotherhood of the Rose'' by David Morrell has safehouses kept by international agreement among the world's intelligence agencies where no-one is allowed to be harmed, including three luxurious 'retirement homes'. When the main characters finally arrive at a retirement home it's revealed they've actually got a massive suicide rate, as their formerly-ambitious residents can't cope with being cooped up in a GildedCage from which YouCanNeverLeave.
* ''Literature/WorldWarZ'' was filled with stories and allusions to this trope. One story (the mercenary's) stands out in that the "hope spot" part was self-inflicted by the people ''in'' the safe zone ([[TooDumbToLive who were stupid enough to broadcast on the Internet that they were partying and feasting on that place]], making thousands of desperate, hungry people break down the stronghold's walls and kill everybody inside).
** The Redeker Plan is a pretty rare version in that it is a Subverted ''and Invoked'' version of this Trope: the Plan has people who are strategically unimportant to the Zombie War placed in (comparatively) less safe places than those who ''are'' important, in order for be live bait for the zombies.
* [[spoiler:Cowslip's Warren]] in ''Literature/WatershipDown''. Traps and despair and lies, oh my.
* Ray Bradbury's short story "The Long Rain". A group of men is trapped on Venus. They journey in search of one of the human-built Sun Domes, where they can find shelter from the constant rain. The first one they find has been attacked and destroyed by the native Venusians, causing them to despair.
* In Dmitry Glukhovsky's Literature/{{Metro 2033}}, dwellers of UsefulNotes/MoscowMetro believe that Russian leaders survived the nuclear holocaust and are pulling the strings from their deep underground hideout Metro-2, somewhere below Kremlin. When the main characters finally find the Metro-2, [[spoiler:it is dead and empty, and right under Kremlin there's a [[EldritchAbomination giant man-eating gelly mutant]]]].
* ''Literature/TheDayOfTheTriffids'' has at least three of these, depending how you look at it. Only the fourth safe zone turns out to be really and truly safe.
* ''Literature/OnTheBeach'': After WorldWarIII and the nuclear fallout cloud has enshrouded the world, leaving only Australia un-irradiated (and this is expected to end soon), communications (a radio Morse transmission on the original book and film, a web broadcast on the 2000's remake) are intercepted coming from the United States, which leads to an expedition being sent in the hope that this may mean another un-irradiated area (or at least some survivors). It turns out that (in the book and first film) some branch had smashed through a window and occasionally tapped a telegraph key when the wind picked up and (on the remake) a solar-powered laptop on a TV station booted up every time it recharged and sent out the webcast.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* [[spoiler:Utopia]] in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode [[spoiler:[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E11Utopia of the same name]]]] is revealed to have been this in the season finale [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E13LastOfTheTimeLords "Last of the Time Lords"]].
* ''Franchise/BattlestarGalactica''
** ''Series/BattlestarGalactica1978''
*** Pilot episode "Saga of a Star World". The Colonial refugees reach the planet Carillon and find it to be a paradise, with plentiful food, fuel and gambling. It turns out that the native aliens capture humans as food for their larvae.
*** ''Series/{{Galactica 1980}}''. The refugee fleet reaches Earth but discovers that its technology is too primitive to fight the Cylons, so the fleet has to leave in order to avoid drawing the Cylons' genocidal attention to the planet.
** In the ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' episode "Revelations," [[spoiler:they finally find Earth! And it's a nuclear wasteland. Frak.]]
* ''Series/TheWalkingDead'': This trope is the franchise's greatest (and darkest) RunningGag. Most of the time, because the characters didn't BewareTheLiving hard enough.
** The show starts with Rick Grimes trying to reach UsefulNotes/{{Atlanta}}, only to find out that there's no one there.
** And again with the CDC. Safe place, exposition that tells them what is going on (mainly that the zombie virus is incurable), hot water... [[spoiler:pity that at the time they arrive there's only a little less than half a day or so to go ''before it self-destructs''.]]
** They ''do'' manage alright on Hershel's farm for a while, but even that gets overrun with zombies eventually.
** The prison arguably fares much better until [[spoiler:The Governor sends a truck full of zombies through the front gate]]. They do manage to hold it and seem to have a good and safe life by the start of season four until [[spoiler:an epidemic breaks out, zombies start breaking through the fence, and the Governor returns with a tank]].
** And then we have Terminus, a supposed "sanctuary for all". "Those who arrive, survive" as they say. [[spoiler:Most of the cast finds themselves locked in a train car, and it is not-so-subtly implied that Terminus is actually run by cannibals who are simply luring other survivors in as a source of food]].

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' pulls this one over and over and over again. The finale's safe zones are never safe, but they're usually still valid evacuation points (Mercy hospital, the corn farm military outpost).
** There's the military holdout in Riverside, that is overrun when the survivors get there.
** [[TonightSomeoneDies The Sacrifice]] comic deals with how it appears that the Florida Keys safe zone is real. We never get to find out if it's a true safe haven or not, as the final shot is of [[spoiler:Zoey, Louis and Francis navigating towards the Keys]].
** The main destination in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'' is New Orleans, based on a map in the hotel in Savannah[[note]]where the first campaign, "Dead Center", takes place[[/note]] that notes it as being the last city standing near the US's east coast. When the survivors reach the place, the military's already pulled out, and their only presence is the bombing jets and a single transport helicopter near the Veterans Memorial Bridge. The entire portion of the city that is explored in the "The Parish" campaign has signs of evacuation, like tarps and tents, line-separating rails and posted warnings on nearly every surface, as well as [[spoiler:the corpses of several living people, either uninfected or carriers, shot dead near outposts like the bus station]].
** On a lesser scale, there are the Savannah Mall and the Whispering Oaks Amusement Park. They both turn out to be abandoned evacuation zones.
* Every room in the game ''VideoGame/{{Shivers}}'' could be one. No matter where you go, there is the possibility of an Ixupi hiding somewhere nearby.
* Technically this is always in effect in ''VideoGame/FatalFrame''. Most gamers believe that an area with a save point will be safe, and granted, they are ghost-proof... for a time. If you stay in ''any'' room for too long, a ghost WILL find you. Pray that it's not the [[ThatOneBoss Wandering Monk]].
* Your previously safe apartment in ''VideoGame/SilentHill4'' becomes haunted in the game's second act. [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration You no longer regenerate health by resting there, and have to purge the hauntings that periodically pop up]] [[spoiler:unless you're going for certain endings]]. It's signified by the ceiling fan breaking off its fixture and dropping to the ground.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2''
** The RPD building is not a good safe zone at all. The building has overrun barricades and is crawling with zombies and lickers ([[BewareTheLiving and an insane police chief]]). The last survivor turns into a zombie right before your eyes.
** In one of the save rooms[[note]]that turns out to be the very first save room in the B scenario[[/note]], opening the second door out of the room (opposite the one the player entered) allows a small flock of zombies to enter.
* The safe point from ''VideoGame/{{Deadlight}}'' is this. It's basically a trap for [[RightWingMilitiaFanatic Seattle militia rebels]] to round up people.
* ''[[VideoGame/MassEffect1 Mass Effect]]''
** The Citadel is an ancient, massive, heavily fortified - and sealable - space station protected by a fleet of warships, and serves as the seat of galactic government and civilization. [[spoiler:The station is in fact a giant Mass Relay from which the Reapers intend to ''launch'' their invasion of the galaxy, and a smaller mass relay located inside allows the villain Saren to launch a ground assault and seize the station by surprise.]]
** On Noveria, the surviving researches and staff of the Peak 15 labs are holed up in a secured part of the complex, guarded by the lab's security staff. [[spoiler:If you deal with the Rachni before visiting this part of the station, the security staff (secretly under Benezia's employ) attack you, and it is implied that they killed the researches and staff themselves.]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''
** Sanctuary was claimed to be a place where people could wait out the Reaper invasion. The installation is ultimately revealed to be [[spoiler:a Cerberus base using refugees in experiments to create controlled Husks]]. And then the Reapers show up.
** One or two background characters mention having their children relocated to Thessia, the homeworld of the Asari, which has yet to be attacked. [[spoiler:The planet is rapidly overrun within a few hours near the end of the game.]]
** And of course, once again, The Citadel, [[spoiler:which not only gets invaded by Cerberus, but later is attacked and seized by the Reapers during the Endgame.]]
* TheStinger of ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}} 3''. [[spoiler:The CELL Board of Directors are being evacuated to a safe house. And then it turns out Psycho got there first.]]
* ''VisualNovel/TheBottomOfTheWell'' has a comparatively mild version. Alice can learn of a bomb shelter which would provide protection from the impending nuclear attack, and presumably contain supplies, but there are two problems. First, it's under the control of a self-appointed leader and her thugs, who aren't happy to share it. Second, sheltering there leaves Alice trapped by rubble after the bombs hit, with attempts at escape being potentially lethal (one of them involves digging through piles of radioactive ash, for example). Later on in the game (or quicker, if players don't go to the shelter at all), Alice gets word of a government-run evacuation site further towards the edge of town; this time, it turns out to be [[spoiler:exactly as advertised, perhaps surprising more cynical players although just because Alice gets there, it doesn't mean she hasn't already been exposed to enough radiation for it to be too late]].
* ''[[VideoGame/TheWalkingDead Telltale's Walking Dead]]'' naturally seems to make this a main point in its series just as it's comic and TV versions. To wit...
** Season 1: All the main character convene at Hershel's farm but are kicked out when Walkers breach the farm and kill his son. After hooking up with some more characters, they hole up at a abandoned motel for a few months, with a brief hope spot when invited to a farm, which turns out to be run by cannibals. Though eventually forced to flee the Motel when bandits and Walkers make it no longer safe. After some travels, they come across Crawford which ''tried'' to be one of these, but was revealed that the citizens had killed the children, elderly and the sick to ration their supplies which failed miserably. The characters had hoped to use a boat to make their way to a secluded island. But things go south fast before they could even attempt it with only three of the cast ultimately surviving to the end of the story.
** Season 2: Clem ends up meeting up with a group of survivors staying in a cabin. It lasts a bit till it's found by a figure the survivors were trying to escape from. They pack up and leave, finding another group in a wind powered abode. But said figure soon finds them and forces the group to come to a makeshift fortress he built himself. While the place is safespot, under his tyrannical rule, it's no safer than being with the Walkers. The cast eventually null the safety by luring the Walkers to the place which they use to escape and forced to travel where the rest of the game proceed along. Two of the endings could have you go back to the fortress, now abandoned and all yours or go to another community that'll just barely allow Clem and an baby born during the event in due to population and supplies.
** Season 3: If you chose to stay at the community, we find out it got overrun by scavengers. The new heroes of the story come across a junkyard that you can decide to stay in. But of course more scavengers, who were staying there first, soon arrive to make things complicated. After being separated, the main character is taken to a community that converted an air strip into a safe zone. However the next episode afterwards, said place is destroyed by vengeful scavengers via Walkers. After some traveling, they reach a new safezone, but it's lead by the leader of said scavengers who happens to be the older brother of the protagonist. Thankfully though it's subverted a bit as the brother is (somewhat) reasonable and just part of a larger pack guarding the safezone. Until you find out that one of the leaders is ''intentionally'' destroying Safe Zones to provide more supplies for their own and the woman is utterly unreasonable to boot. After a standoff, a wall of the community gets breached during a scuffle and lets in the Walkers. Surprising though in a bit of subversion, the residents manage to clear out the Walkers, the wall is repaired and the former leader is either killed by the protagonist or just manages to escape in the chaos (likely due to the fact her megalomania was exposed) leading to the protagonist taking over as the new leader of the community. Though time will tell if it lasts come the next game.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied in the [[AfterTheEnd nuclear apocalypse]] episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': The Griffins' trek through the wastes brings them to an incongruous patch of fertile land, with plenty of food and clean water for everyone. Seems like paradise... except for Music/RandyNewman. Just sits at his piano, 24 hours a day, singing. They move on.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' episode "Longest Monday", Arnold and Gerald try to get home without suffering the school tradition of having the fifth graders shove them into trash cans. Along the way, they find a safety zone where victims of the tradition are aided, only for it to be discovered by the fifth graders.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror'' segment based on ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater''. The Simpsons have just fled the overrun town and are wandering the woods in search of the "Safe Zone". They encounter a ragged, crazy looking survivor.
--> '''Survivor''': ''SAFE ZONE?!'' You really think there's a safe zone?!! [[LaughingMad AHAHAHAHAAH!!!]] [[SubvertedTrope Yeah, its right over there]] *points out a peaceful community a small distance away*