While villains love to TakeOverTheWorld or cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, the {{heroes}} are most likely motivated by the polar opposite, [[TitleDrop Saving The World]]. A fairly simple plot/motivation related to ForGreatJustice and what not, this trope is pretty broad and ''very'' common for many stories not focused on character interaction only.

Most of the time, this is the result of TheCall, or occasionally may be someone who JumpedAtTheCall and is just trying to be able to do this. Note, this doesn't always ''happen'' and it's entirely possible for [[TheBadGuyWins the bad guy to win]] and the Earth to be destroyed. Sometimes, the villain will actually help with this goal, [[EvilVersusOblivion as what's the point in taking over a pile of rubble after all]]? (Especially if it's NotMeThisTime.)

Extremely common in some genres, such as HighFantasy, soft SciFi, and TheEpic.

If the plot escalates to this, it's SaveTheWorldClimax.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Tsuritama}}'': What Yuki is supposed to be doing by being forced to fish... somehow.
* ''Anime/FinalFantasyUnlimited'': Or in this case, several worlds.
* ''Anime/PersiaTheMagicFairy'': Persia is sent with [[NonHumanSidekick three kappa]] into the regular world with the mission of [[GottaCatchEmAll collecting love energy]] to [[SavingTheWorld thaw the frozen Lovely Dream]].
* ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'': Van ''has'' to take every level in {{Badass}} he can if he wants to stop TheEmpire and [[SavingTheWorld save the world]].
* ''Anime/TransformersCybertron'': The Unicron Singularity is sucking the universe up, and only the Cyber Planet Keys can save it.
* ''LightNovel/KamisamaNoInaiNichiyoubi'': Ai's goal is to save the world God has abandoned, and part of her journey involves learning what exactly it means to save the world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Yet another of the tropes deconstructed in ''ComicBook/{{Watchmen}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/BloodBondBloodOmenSeries'': Not just Kim's schtick in this series. Eventually nearly everyone gets in on it.
* ''FanFic/KingdomHeartsLinkToLife'': Well, worlds. However, they're actually all little worlds that were broken off from one world, so technically that's still one world.... My head hurts.
* ''FanFic/ToTheStars'': Several of them, all colonized by humans.
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'', formerly just best friends in suburbia, end up doing this several times in the {{Actionized|Sequel}} FanSequel ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'': "If we don't stop it, there won't be any home to go back to!"
* ''Film/TheAvengers (2012)'': Tony and 6 other [[DysfunctionJunction dysfunctional]] heroes [[SuperTeam team-up]] to [[SavingTheWorld save the Earth]] from an AlienInvasion.
* ''Film/QueenOfTheDamned'': Marius (Vincent Perez) and student of the paranormal, Jessica “Jesse” Reeves (Marguerite Moreau) are trying to stop [[MonsterProgenitor Akasha]] from mowing down humans and vampires alike in her ascent to power.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/TheQuestportChronicles'': The goal of the first two years.
* The protagonist of ''Literature/TheLastDragon'' is the subject of an ancient prophecy stating that he must do exactly that.
* ''Literature/CassandraPalmer'': [[spoiler:By preventing the return of the ancient gods.]]
* [[spoiler:''Literature/EdgarAndEllen'': The plot of the Nodyssey books.]]
* ''MaximumRide'': Max left her parents to do this.
* Literature/HarryPotter
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TreintaYUnMinutos'': In 'Maguito explosivo' and the 'La Amenaza Siluria' StoryArc.
* Standard recurring plot in ''Series/DoctorWho''.
* Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer has saved the world more times than she can count.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* Featured in the very title of ''Pinball/PopeyeSavesTheEarth''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Game]]
* Despite being rooted in the effort to SaveThePrincess, most games in the ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' series fit this trope. In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', for example, you're trying to prevent the destruction of the world by keeping the moon from crashing into the realm of Termina. Several of the games involve preventing Hyrule from falling under the control of Ganondorf -- or, in the case of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', wresting it away from his control.
* Particularly galling in ''IllusionOfGaia'', where your goal is generally exploring ancient ruins and collecting mystic statues.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' subverts this -- while your inevitable goal is to prevent Big Bad from taking over the world, you can't actually save the world. It's in ruins and your choice is who to hand the reconstruction contract to [[spoiler:a largely insane AI, a "compassionate conspiracy" leader that keeps his mentor in cryogenic almost-stasis in his basement, or global anarchy.]] If any of that counts as "saved" is largely a matter of opinion (or, as the game would put it, choice).
** ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' goes one step further and allows you to pick any faction, even [[UnwittingPawn the until-then Bad Guys]], and hand the world over to them. Or [[OmnicidalNeutral kill them all]]. According to canon, none of these choices prevent ''Deus Ex 1'' from taking place, again reducing your choices to "smite the world," "rape the world," or "trash the world" rather than "save the world."
* Being epic [[ScienceFiction sci-fi]] trilogies, ''{{Halo}}'' and ''Franchise/MassEffect'' use the scaled-up version: the protagonists are out to save all sentient life in the galaxy.
* ''VideoGame/{{Drakengard}}'' is notable here in that, while the first and fourth endings employ this, the second ending straight-up tells you that FailureIsTheOnlyOption, the third ending is mildly ambiguous as the world still needs saving, and the fifth ending...[[DroppedABridgeOnHim well, it's hard to tell really.]]
** According to WordOfGod, the fifth ending caused the downfall of [[VideoGame/{{Nier}} another world]]...
*** And in ''that'' world, [[spoiler:Nier ultimately destroys the last hope for humanity, driving them all to extinction within a generation.]]
* In ''BanjoKazooie: Nuts & Bolts'', one of the characters, Klungo, creates a [[StylisticSuck horrendous]] 8-bit arcade platforming game (which he proclaims to be the best ever), titled ''Hero Klungo Sssavesss Teh World'', in which you save the world by ''holding it over your head''.
* ''JakAndDaxter'': Jak does this every game. Not that he ever gets a "thank you" lasting more than 30 seconds into the next game...
** Actually, he does get ''some'' respect in the third game, mostly from your allies and commoners, but it's easy to miss because literally everyone (yourself included) is preoccupied with the [[MeleeATrois three-way war]] that's slowly reducing the city to rubble.
** Also, the fact that the upper class (reduced to consisting of [[EvilChancellor one guy]]) still hates you in the third game is a plot point.
* Many [[SuperMarioBros Mario]] games mostly focus on [[SaveThePrincess rescuing Princess Peach]], but a good handful of the RPG spinoffs have saving the world as the main plot. For example, in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'' Mario is tasked with finding the [[MacGuffin Crystal Stars]] before [[BigBad Grodus]] does, otherwise he will use the Crystal Stars to unlock an ancient power to conquer the world with.
* Despite appearances of a plotless pretty-looking PuzzleGame, ''VideoGame/WorldOfGoo'''s WhamEpisode sets you down this path when you have to journey down [[CyberSpace the Information Superhighway]] and discover you can thwart the enemy by [[spoiler:flooding all their inboxes with spam, and not just any spam, all and any messages deleted in the history of the internet.]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' did this in different quantities at the end of each game. Since the setting of the game is universal, the first game, which merely threatens the existence of a planet, can't really be a "Saving the World" scenario. The second game is rather unclear in whether or not the characters are saving the world or just fighting some bad guys. The 3rd game is phenomenally epic in scale.
* One of the complaints against the plot of ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' is that you aren't saving the world, and the titular city isn't attacked in the BadEnding, because StatusQuoIsGod in the Forgotten Realms.
* Frequently the case in ''FinalFantasy'' games. The trope is played straight in I - V, VII, and VIII and [[InvokedTrope invoked]] in VI, IX and XIII by the villains and in X by the heroes.
** XII has the team of heroes trying to save the kingdom/city-state from becoming the battleground between two rival empires. Not the same scale, but played for just as much drama.
* Crono from ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' wants nothing more than to go to the Millennial Fair, but ends up roped into a {{time travel}}ing quest to save his planet from annihilation at the hands of an incomprehensible EldritchAbomination.
* ''VideoGame/SkiesOfArcadia'' spends most of its time as a charming adventure revolving around exploration and piracy... until the final ten hours or so, when TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon is raised from the depths of the planet, a devastating superweapon is unleashed, a country is leveled, and {{Heroic Sacrifice}}s abound.
* ''ShadowHearts Covenant'' shows why it's important to save the SaveTheWorld element for last. Being told that the end boss is going to destroy the world loses a lot of kick when you've already saved the world twice; even once before the halfway point of the game.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' games have actually managed to avoid this trope for a long time. The closest they've come is the last two games, ignoring the fact that Mehrunes Dagon's forces don't understand the concept of invasion too well, and Dagoth Ur was in no rush to do anything (his racist religion powered by the heart of god might not have even done anything in another thousand years ...).
** Dagoth Ur was preparing to seize control of Morrowind from the Tribunal and the Empire. Although he operated on a long time-scale, he was getting his forces into position for the all-out conflict. This makes ''Morrowind'''s objective saving a small part of the world. ''Oblivion'', however, plays this trope straight, with the entire world of Nirn being threatened by the encroachment of Mehrunes Dagon's plane of Oblivion.
** Played straight in [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]. Alduin The World-Eater's purpose is to destroy Mundus, and [[PlayerCharacter the Dragonborn]] is destined to defeat him.
* Every ''{{Wild ARMs}}'' game.
* ''StarOcean''. All of them. ''[[StarOcean3 3]]'' and ''[[StarOcean4 4]]'' replace "world" with "universe".
* Most of the ''{{Pokemon}}'' films. And in the Diamond, Pearl, and Platnium games, replace "the world" with "all existence".
* One of the (many) notable aspects of ''PlanescapeTorment'' was that the plot had nothing to do with saving ''anything'', be it city, world, plane etc. Rather, your main quest involved an amnesiac immortal trying to figure out who he is, who took his mortality, and eventually ''die''.
** On one occasion you do have to save a town that had literally gone straight to hell. Or, more strictly speaking, it restores itself to its rightful place once you defeat the local villain.
** Similarly, ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2: Mask of The Betrayer''. While there is a (in the grand scheme, rather small) danger to the world involved if you fail, but the majority of your motivation is that solving [[spoiler:the spirit eater curse]] prevents you from dying, the fact that it no longer terrorizes the world at large is only casually mentioned. This is due to many shared developers.
*** Averted by the ''real'' evil ending which has [[spoiler:the player devouring the curse thus ''becoming'' the curse itself, getting him/herself expelled from the City of the Dead, then cleansed countless githyanki cities by devouring the souls of all the adults and then delivering their children to their mortal enemies, the ''brain-sucking'', ''mind-raping'' mind flayers aka Illithids. If that's not enough, he/she devours the spirits/souls inhabiting the land where he/she once helped (or screwed depending on your playing preference), turning it into a wasteland filled with the walking dead. As if that is still not enough, the player then travels to the planes of existence where the souls of his/her dead former treacherous companions are now resting... and eats them. Whoa. Understandably, the gods get so pissed off, they assembled a humongous army to kill the player and guess what? He/she eats some of the gods too!]]
* [[NonIndicativeName Ironically]] [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou''. The world never even comes close to being destroyed. The plot of the game is about getting [[spoiler: BackFromTheDead. A more appropriate title would have been ''A Small District of Tokyo Ends With You'']].
** [[spoiler:Except for the fact that the title refers to the fact that Neku needs to expand his horizons and stop being a gloomy loner]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' plays with this trope. While ''technically'' you are saving the world by stopping the Blight (i.e. a vast horde of [[AlwaysChaoticEvil evil]] [[TheLegionsOfHell monsters]] led by a corrupted Dragon-God), the game's codex makes it quite clear that failure on your part will not actually lead to [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the end of the world]]. Blights reoccur every few centuries in Thedas, so people who dedicate their lives to stopping them have created a military organization, the Grey Wardens, just for that purpose. If you do not succeed, then one of the other members of your organization, which is thousands strong, would finish it in your place. By stopping the Blight, all you really do is keep the country that you live in from being destroyed before the other Wardens could act. Your victory simply means that the threat ended before the rest of the world noticed the problem.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' averts this: [[spoiler: Templars and mages ''will'' end up fighting one another]], but [[ForegoneConclusion how that]] [[FrameNarrative comes about]] is up to [[PlayerCharacter Hawke]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'''s WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld plot really only involves saving random people in your city, but the heroes act as if they've saved the world. [[spoiler:Then it turns out that the entire world really is at stake, the heroes' lives included]], and they ''[[HeroicBSOD freak out]]''.
* One of the driving plot points for ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' and ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2''. The other point is trying to figure out why a bunch of animals are mutating and attacking people.
* In the RPG parts of ''VideoGame/HalfMinuteHero'', saving the world is so mundane task that while the hero is busy killing the boss to prevent it from catching world destruction spell, he will do other things like put out forest fires in the meantime.
* The ''ShinMegamiTensei'' games twist this around: the world is [[AfterTheEnd already destroyed]], and you get to "save" it by choosing how the pieces are put back together.
* UltimaIV averts this entirely, as there is no threat to the world whatsoever. UltimaVIII kind of subverts it, as you wind up doing a great deal of damage to one world in order to have the opportunity to try to save another. The rest of the main Ultimas play this trope varying degrees of straight.
* In ''VideoGame/BlackSigil'', your ultimate goal is prevent the world from being [[spoiler: destroyed by The Forbidden]].
* The entire plot of the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' franchise is stopping the [[EldritchAbomination Reapers]] from wiping out every spacefaring species in the galaxy, [[spoiler:as they have done every 50,000 years for, according to the "Leviathan" DLC for ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', at least ''ten billion years'']].
* The plots of three of the first four ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' games revolved around stopping two separate {{Alien Invasion}}s from destroying the [[TheAlliance Community of Planets]]. ''X: Beyond the Frontier'' saw [[YouCantGoHomeAgain fish-out-of-water]] Major Kyle William Brennan join up with the Argon Federation to stop a [[AIIsACrapshoot Xenon]] planet-killer. ''X2: The Threat'' had his son Julian Gardna working to destroy a [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Kha'ak]] planet-killer before it could be used a second time. ''X3: Reunion'' continued this storyline with Gardna working to stop the Kha'ak warfleet itself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomic]]
* ''Webcomic/OffWhite'': [[spoiler: Hugin said Munin's name]] after the former got blasted by [[spoiler: a spell Sköll cast.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Bard}}'': [[http://barred.smackjeeves.com/comics/814058/lunchbreak-saviour/ Averted and lampshaded]].
--> '''Shelia:''' Vaaas, what have I told you about saving the world?
--> '''Vas:''' ''(sigh)'' "I am not to save the world or otherwise prevent its destruction during work hours."
--> '''Shelia:''' Good boy.
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'': MadScientist Kevyn Andreyasn wants to [[SavingTheWorld Save The Galaxy]], but the [[ObstructiveBureaucrat UNS]] is blocking.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GadgetBoyAndHeather'': Gadget Boy, from the [[BigBad evil]] [[FemmeFatale villainess]] Spydra.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'': A recurring plot for the titular Avatar each arc. Korra had to save her world from non-bending terrorists, an EldritchAbomination, and a cabal that seeks to eliminate the world's governments.
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'': The monsters earn respect by doing this.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'': A recurring plot.
** The earlier Ben10 series had this as a recurring theme (on several occasions, extending to the entire universe), but ''Omniverse'' makes it almost OnceAnEpisode and it seems like TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed despite this being the LighterAndSofter series.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'': One of its advertisement slogan is ''Saving the world before bedtime!''
* In {{Futurama}}, Fry and the rest of the Planet Express crew have saved the world (and sometimes the universe) more times then they can count.
[[/folder]]
----