[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/GodOfWar http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/God_of_War_III__Hades_Battle_by_andyparkart_6582.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The realm of Hades. Kratos [[LikeABadassOutOfHell comes here a lot.]]]]

->''Everyone goes to Hell. Everyone.''
-->--'''Danny Estacado''': ''Comicbook/TheDarkness''

The Underworld is often a gloomy, depressing realm, if only because it is often depicted as being BeneathTheEarth. [[CaptainObvious (The fact that people go there after they die might have something to do with it, too.)]] Still, [[DarkIsNotEvil it isn't evil.]] It's not {{Hell}}. ''All'' of the dead come here, whether they were [[LawfulGood saints]], [[ChaoticEvil total jackasses]], or [[TrueNeutral just kinda so-so]] in life. Some versions of the Underworld judge the dead and grant them different living standards (or unliving standards, if you prefer) depending on their conduct in life. In others, there's no real judgment, and life--or whatever--continues much as it did before. Possibly they receive, in due course, a chance to go back.

See also {{Heaven}} and {{Hell}}, the Underworld's more exclusive counterparts. Despite its normally neutral nature, the Underworld, especially the GreekMythology version, is susceptible to being HijackedByJesus and becoming {{Hell}}. Expect intrepid mortals to mount an OrpheanRescue for a loved one. See also AfterlifeAntechamber, which is a waiting room or brief rest stop on the way to the true afterlife.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]
* In ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'', all human characters who perish in the series (Apostles especially) end up being sent to the Abyss, a realm consisting of only nightmarish forms and a swirling ocean of writhing souls known as both Heaven and Hell.
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[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* ''Comicbook/TheDarkness''. According to Danny Estacado, a previous host of the Darkness Entity, and Nick (who is actually the true Devil that religious stories of Lucifer and The Devil are all based on) that all souls - whether they were good or evil in life - eventually fall into Hell. A rather disheartening side note is that there actually is a Heaven in the series but no human soul has ever been seen to enter it due to the fact only "beings of light" are allowed entrance.
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[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'' has the Neitherworld, which is pretty much the Underworld, with a Waiting Room From Hell.
* The Necromongers in ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'' speak of their promised land as "the underverse", an alternate plane where the dead go, and which has been visited by every Lord Marshal to have ruled their empire, gaining magical abilities because of it.
* In ''Film/BlackOrpheus'', a symbolic retelling of the Orpheus myth in 20th century Brazil, Orfeo is taken to a strange place where a pagan ceremony is taken place. He hears Eurydice's voice, and just as in the myth, he loses her forever when he turns to look.

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[[folder: Folklore and Mythology ]]

* In GreekMythology, the Underworld is Hades, the realm of the god of the same name. Depending on their conduct in life, the dead can end up in the Elysian Fields, which are basically paradise, in the Fields of Asphodel, where they just sort of...hang out, or Tartarus, whose inmates are tortured for all eternity for crimes against the gods.
* In JapaneseMythology, Izanagi, the father of the gods, went to the underworld to recover his wife, Izanami, after she died, but ran in terror from her when he saw she was now a rotting undead. Bizarrely, his son, the god Susano-o, on finding out his mother was there, just went to the underworld to live with her like nothing was wrong!
* In MesopotamianMythology, the dead go to Irkalla, ruled by Ishtar's DarkerAndEdgier twin sister Ereshkigal. [[InannasDescentToTheNetherworld Ishtar tries to take over.]] [[spoiler: She isn't successful, and in fact loses her beloved husband Dumuzi for six months out of the year. Sort of karmic payment for stealing Ereshkigal's husband and getting him killed.]]
* In the Literature/BookOfGenesis, everyone expects to "go down to Sheol" after death. The phrase suggests that Sheol is conceived of as an Underworld as opposed to a paradise.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Creator/RobertEHoward's ''Franchise/ConanTheBarbarian'' franchise:
** During "Literature/ThePhoenixOnTheSword", Conan describes his people's gods: "Their gods are Crom and his dark race, who rule over a sunless place of everlasting mist, which is the world of the dead."
** In "Literature/TheSlitheringShadow", Natala is convinced that she and Conan have died, so strange is the city they find themselves in.
* In Creator/UrsulaKLeGuin's ''Literature/EarthseaTrilogy'', the Underworld is characterized by strange stars and total lack of water. [[spoiler:Late in the series, it's revealed that it's the result of a botched attempt at {{Immortality}}.]]
* In ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'', God is a pretender who created an afterlife of near non-existence, where no one was happy; murderers and saints and poets and beggars all went to the same miserable, grey place.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' uses the underworld several times, although the movie interpretation is exclusively a FireAndBrimstoneHell.
* In ''Literature/Riverworld'', there are two afterlives: one for children who die before the age of five, and the Riverworld itself for those who die at an age where they'll be able to care for themselves once they're resurrected.
* In ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'', God had already accepted his most blindly devoted worshippers (historically ''maybe'' 10% of the population) and closed the gates of Heaven. This action had the effect of ensuring that [[GodAndSatanAreBothJerks everyone else (faithful or not) would burn in]] FireAndBrimstoneHell after death.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/MythQuest'', Alex walks into Hades to retrieve Euridice

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[[folder: Stand-Up Comedy]]

* Creator/RowanAtkinson had a sketch where he plays the Devil welcoming a batch of new arrivals to Hell, separating them by nationality, sin and religion. Turns out everyone but the Jews goes there.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'''s Underworld didn't exist until the titular Exalted Divided By Zero by killing the creators of the universe, who had never designed the world with mechanisms to cope with their deaths. The result was a gaping hole in existence, the Well of Oblivion, around which the remnants of the dead Primordials, the Neverborn, gathered, and a shadowy reflection of the living world formed.
* The Underworld in the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness is where ghosts who lose all their anchors to the living world end up. It's divided into the Autochthonous Depths, a massive underground labyrinth that bears a vague resemblance to the underworld myths of the nearest living civilization, and the Lower Mysteries, which are alien realms governed by strange laws enforced by the Kerberoi.
** The TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness, on the other hand, has the Dark Umbra, the place where [[TabletopGame/WraithTheOblivion wraiths]] materialize. It's split into layers; the Shadowlands, which mirror the living world, are at the top, while beneath them are a number of firmaments known as the Dark Kingdoms (America and Europe play host to the Dark Kingdom of Stygia) and an everswirling storm of unsettled spaces known as the Tempest. Below the Tempest lies the Labyrinth, [[{{Understatement}} which is not a nice place]].
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'', the prison of [[OurTitansAreDifferent the Titans]] drew the souls of the dead to it. When the gods noticed this - and that the dead still held a good measure of their humanity - each pantheon created an Underworld where the dead could go; as a consequence, most every mythological Underworld exists somewhere in ''Scion''. However, the Titans' escape from their prison has caused upheaval across the various Underworlds.

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In the ''VideoGame/FallFromHeaven'' backstory, most souls go to an underworld-like place when dead.
* The underworld map in the Fantasy game of ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}} 2: Test of Time''.
* The Underwhere of ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' is actually very close to how the Underworld works in GreekMythology. The dead that you meet there are even called "shades", and they'll tell you about how they [[BreakingTheFourthWall lost their last life to spike pits.]] Aside from being darker, it's really not that bad of a place. (Unless you decide to take [[NightmareFuel a dive into the River Twigz...]])
* The protagonist of ''VideoGame/{{Terranigma}}'' actually starts in the Underworld.
* The Netherworld in ''VideoGame/RomancingSaGa''. It also has Purgatory, a realm for those who choose to retain their memories of life until they abandon them and become reincarnated.
* The underworld is one of many Netherworlds in TheMultiverse of ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom'', and is implied to be the resting place of people too vile to even qualify as prinnies. It is ruled by Seedle, a former samurai who [[LikeABadassOutOfHell murdered his way to the top after being sent there]].
* In ''VideoGame/LostEden'', The Valley of Mists is this for the dinosaurs, and is accessible by humans only by eating the Root of Ages. [[spoiler: It's also where you learn the secret of the strange tablets you've been collecting throughout the entire game.]]
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestMaskOfEternity'': The Dimension of Death. Implied to be a temporary holding place for souls.
* According to ''VideoGame/{{Shadowman}}'', everyone who dies ends up in Deadside- basically, hell- where they gradually lose their identities and become mindless zombies. The sole exception is the titular protagonist, due to the power of the Mask of Shadows.

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', the Land of the Dead is where all the spirits of the dead go regardless of their alignment. It used to be a neutral realm ruled by Dis Pater until Death took over and turned the land into the verse's equivalent of Hell with his corrupting influence.
* Karzahni in ''{{BIONICLE}}'', where Matoran used to be sent to for repairs. Unfortunately, the ruler, also named Karzahni, didn't do a great job, so he sent some the badly repaired Matoran away from their islands or kept them. The Turaga realized Matoran weren't coming back, so they stopped and told stories of Karzahni as a scary place where lazy Matoran were sent to.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The Underworld in ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', based as the entire movie is on GreekMythology.
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has the Land of the Dead seen in "Death in Bloom".
* ''MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' has BigGood and sun goddess Princess Celestia put out lost dog flyers for Cerberus, and Twilight worries about the evils in Tartarus escaping. Putting something from GreekMythology into a world that has little to nothing to do with the world of the viewer was a bit jarring. However, it ''definitely'' still counts: much much much later, the final enemy of season four [[SealedEvilInACan was being held there]] and Cerberus' temporary absence so long ago was what allowed him to get free. No word on whether or not there are less nasty-looking areas for people who aren't imprisoned {{Big Bad}}s, or if it's where the souls of the deceased go at all (unsurprisingly, ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' doesn't bring up ''the souls of the deceased'' very often.)
* In a ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' sketch, a man dies and finds out that everyone goes to Heaven. He passes by several people before seeing [[PoesLaw Adolf Hitler]].
-->'''Hitler:''' I'm just as surprised as you are.

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