[[quoteright:350:[[Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/20070916.gif]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:It takes about six hours to realise you're in hell.]]

->'''Valentine:''' I don't belong in Heaven, see? I want to go to the other place.\\
'''Pip:''' Heaven? Whatever gave you the idea you were in Heaven, Mr. Valentine? This ''is'' the other place!
-->-- ''Series/TheTwilightZone'', "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS1E28ANicePlaceToVisit A Nice Place To Visit]]"

Bob dies and goes to the afterlife. At first he seems to have gone to FluffyCloudHeaven: it's beautiful, there's wonderful music playing, he has everything he ever wanted, etc. But then he realizes that there's one essential thing missing or wrong, and the sudden realization dawns: This Isn't Heaven! Cue the frantic screaming of a [[{{Hell}} damned soul]]...

Often the thing missing or wrong is something superficial, like "no beer" or "eternally noisy neighbors." Or the thing missing might actually be the feeling of adversity itself; NoChallengeEqualsNoSatisfaction after all, and so having every your need, wish and whim catered to instantly all the time drives you insane from boredom. Can be a form of IronicHell, but it's not necessary. This is specifically for actually being in hell (or thinking that that's the case), not just still being alive or something similar; see MistakenForAfterlife.

When they are actually in heaven and things are still like this, you get HellOfAHeaven.

Not to be confused with ReroutedFromHeaven, where they've actually gone to the wrong afterlife.


[[folder: Advertising ]]

* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnIjgw5A-iI An old "got milk?" commercial]] has a {{Jerkass}} business executive get hit by a truck right after [[KickTheDog firing someone by cell phone]]. The afterlife's a beautiful place, there's nice music, and giant cookies! But when he opens the fridge, all the milk cartons are empty! He asks, "Wait a minute... where am I?" [[{{Hell}} Cue the "got milk?" logo on fire.]]
* This UsefulNotes/McDonalds [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SWD2QGBbvU advertisement]] has a man end up in a Hell that resembles a FluffyCloudHeaven and is offered a burger by an attractive woman. Immediately after he questions whether or not this is Hell, a muzzle appears over his face to prevent him from eating and enjoying his burger.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* One arc in the "Celeb" strip in ''PrivateEye'' had the protagonist apparently dead and in FluffyCloudHeaven. After a few strips, he becomes dissatisfied and complains to an angel that "this is purgatory". The angel replies "Of course it is. Where did you think you were?"
* In ''ComicBook/CerebusTheAardvark'', the title character suspects this after he notices his friend Rick is missing.[[note]]When asked about the matter, Dave Sim has generally supported this interpretation, but also raised the possibility that the ever-paranoid aardvark was "just freaking out for no reason".[[/note]]


[[folder: Film ]]

* At the end of ''Film/BadGirlsFromValleyHigh'', the two AlphaBitch {{Villain Protagonist}}s die and wake up in a luxurious hotel room and are convinced they went to Heaven. Then the school dork shows up, claiming that he committed suicide to be with them and that he will be their roommate for the rest of eternity. He then briefly turns into a demon, prompting the girls to realize where they are and scream.
* Possible example in ''{{Beetlejuice}}'' - Adam and Barbara have been dead a while and can't leave their home. Barbara is frustrated.
-->'''Barbara:''' I can't clean anything properly. The vacuum's in the garage and we can't leave the house. Why don't they tell us something? Where are the other dead people? Why is it just you and me?
-->'''Adam:''' [smiling] Maybe this is Heaven.
-->'''Barbara:''' In Heaven there wouldn't be dust on everything.


[[folder: Jokes ]]

* A classic Islamic joke: A man dies and meets God. God says, "You may have anything you ask." The man has as much food, wine, women, etc, as he wants. Then he gets bored and asks, "May I have some work?" God answers, "No, you can't. Enjoy!" The man says, "Then I want to go to hell!" And God smiles and says, "But you ''are'' in hell."
* There are a number of jokes based on the idea that Hell is like Heaven where you have everything you want, [[IronicHell but some detail is missing that prevents you from enjoying it.]]
** A crossword puzzle maniac would find a whole library of them, only to realize that no-one has a pencil.
** The stoner who chooses between the afterlife with fire and the afterlife without fire. He chooses the latter and finds himself in a huge field of marijuana plants. [[note]] Of course, this could end up as an {{Unishment}}, as smoking is not the only way one can indulge in cannabis.[[/note]]
** The room is full of beer kegs and beautiful ladies but, as one inmate states, "The kegs have holes in their bottom. [[BarbieDollAnatomy The girls don't]]."
* A variant -- a [[SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll hedonistic rock star]] dies and goes to Hell. Considering that he's been a sinner all his life, he thinks he might be of some use to Satan, and so is eager to meet him -- but before he can do so, he's made to sit in a drab waiting room, with nothing on the walls, five-year-old magazines on the coffee tables and two old biddies gossiping in the corner. Bored out of his skull, he grows increasingly impatient waiting for Satan, wondering how long he'll have to spend in the waiting room -- upon which it dawns on him that [[IronicHell he's not actually in the waiting room of Hell]].
* A priest that firmly believed SexIsEvil had a disciple. The priest died and some time later, the disciple died too. At the afterlife, the disciple saw the Priest with a gorgeous woman at his lap.
--> "Master," he cried, "I see that God appreciated your sacrifices on Earth, and now you will be rewarded with paradise's pleasures!"
--> "YouFool" answered the priest. "In the first place, ThisIsntHeaven! And in the second, I am not being rewarded, she is being punished!"
* Inversion where the addition of an element makes what seems to be Hell in fact Heaven: A journalist dies, and not having been a particularly good ''or'' bad person, St. Peter says he gets to choose whether to go to Heaven or Hell. He shows him Hell first, where a bunch of journalists slave away at typewriters, while bossy demons crack whips over their head and scream about deadlines. Then he shows him Heaven, where a bunch of journalists slave away at typewriters, while bossy angels crack whips over their head and scream about deadlines. Confused and upset, the journalist says "''This'' is Heaven? But it's just as bad as Hell!", and St. Peter answers "No it's not. In Heaven, your stories get ''published!''"
** Or, as a variant "Heaven ''makes'' the deadline".
* In another joke, Bill Gates, the developer of Microsoft, dies, and he's given the choice of either going to Heaven or Hell. He sees that Hell resembles a beautiful tropical island paradise, while Heaven is a large expanse of fluffy clouds, and opts to go to the former instead. However, when he arrives, he finds nothing but fire, brimstone, and torture awaiting him; Satan then explains that the tropical island was "Hell's screensaver."
* A pair of jokes with a similar structure:
** A woman dies and goes to Hell, where she's told that she must choose to stay in one of three rooms for all eternity. The first has people burning in agony in a pit of fire; the second has people being impaled over and over again by sharp spikes; and the third has... people standing waist-deep in feces, drinking coffee. She figures that the third is the least bad of the three, picks that room, and goes inside. After a minute, the demon running the place announces "All right, everyone, coffee break's over! Back on your heads!"
** A hellbound man is led through a series of rooms with various punishments, until he discovers one where a beautiful blonde woman is giving oral sex to an unattractive man. The newly dead guy eagerly chooses that room, and the demon escorting him says "You heard him, he's taking your place!" The woman eagerly gets up and leaves.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''The Last Trump'' by Creator/IsaacAsimov has the Devil convince God to bring about the end of the world, with everyone dead being resurrected. Since every group has their own idea of the afterlife, the Devil designs it at the greatest common divisor -- nothing but eternal existence. One of the people claims this is heaven, but then another points out that there is nothing beyond Earth, buildings are crumbling, hills are flattening, desires are gone... Soon, there will be nothing but a featureless plain and people. FireAndBrimstoneHell is unworthy of divine imagination; an eternity of nothingness is a different matter.
* "Howard's End" in ''More Horowitz Horror''. A delinquent teenage boy is run over by a bus and finds himself in Heaven--or so he thinks. He becomes bored with the idyllic existence, and wants to move to Hell--but it is revealed he was there all along.
* Creator/StephenKing's novel ''Literature/{{Revival}}'': a scientist obsessed with death is trying to bring someone back from the afterlife in order to tell what's there. It turns out it's a hellish world with every single human tormented by {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' (original):
** "A Nice Place to Visit", a burglar is killed and goes to a place where his every wish is fulfilled by a man named Pip. Eventually, he gets bored, leading to the page quote above.
** In "The Hunt" this could have happened to the protagonist, if not for [[YouAreWorthHell his strong bond with his dog]].
* One episode of ''Series/NightGallery'' has a man murder his nagging wife (played by Phyllis Diller) only to be visited by her ghost at her funeral. She tells him that she's in Heaven and intends to spend all eternity nagging him. [[spoiler: Realizing that ''he's'' dead too, he replies that then he doesn't have to listen, since in Heaven you can do whatever you want. She answers that that's only in ''Heaven.'' "I'm afraid the organization you've been assigned to is much less accommodating." ]]
* In ''Series/TheITCrowd'' there's an episode where Douglas has a near death experience. His father is welcoming him towards a big white door, and it's all very white and glowy. Then Hitler pokes his head out, and Renholm tries to explain that "[[ImplausibleDeniability we're having a fancy dress party in Heaven]]."
* In ''Series/TheGoodPlace'', it's the [[spoiler: twist ending]] of the first season.


[[folder: Music ]]

* In Music/SoundHorizon's "Eru no Rakuen [-> side:A ->]", [[spoiler:Elise]] wakes up in what she believes to be paradise -- until she hears crying, and since she knows that no one would cry in paradise...
* King Missile's "Heaven" has the singer waking up in paradise, wondering why he feels so good when he was in such a rotten mood yesterday...and then, suddenly, the bird he was holding is a bloody mangled mess in his hand and the backdrop changes.
* Music/Phish's songs "Olivia's Pool" (A play on "Oblivious Fool") and "Shafty" are both about this.


[[folder: Religion ]]

* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_long_spoons The Allegory of the Long Spoons]] plays with the Trope of Heaven and Hell being NotSoDifferent. The only difference is [[SelfInflictedHell the attitude of those in either place]].
* This is actually a point in Mormonism. In the afterlife, spirits are sorted into three kingdoms, each divine in their own right, but only the highest Celestial kingdom has the full light and presence of God. Those left in the lowest Telestial kingdom (the Mormon equivalent of Purgatory) are essentially left without much other than the afterlife itself, so despite the divine /appearance/ of the kingdom, it doesn't take long to realize that something will just feel off. Forever.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* One ''TabletopGame/InNomine'' supplement has a Heaven which redeemed demons eventually figure out is worse than Hell. They are required to memorize dull, "uplifting" sermons; the Malakim (avenging angels) may abuse them at will; the Archangels are insane. Eventually they escape and go back to Hell, to warn other demons. [[spoiler: It's actually a fake, set up by Hell as a propaganda ploy to discourage demons from redeeming.]]


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'':
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'', "Paradise" is a realm of Oblivion created by [[TheDragon Mankar Camoran]]. His followers in the [[ApocalypseCult Mythic Dawn]] cult are taught that it is a place of eternal bliss, and that if they believe enough in/sacrifice themselves for their cause, they can go there when they die. While it ''[[SceneryPorn looks like]]'' a CrystalDragonJesus type of heaven and the cultists are indeed given the eternal life they are promised, it turns out to be a [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Daedra infested nightmare]] where that immortality is put to good use to torture undying cultists. In fact, the tortures suffered there would be more expected in [[DestroyerDeity Mehrunes Dagon]]'s actual plane of Oblivion, the Deadlands, which resembles the traditional view of {{Hell}} ([[FireAndBrimstoneHell fiery lakes, demons, torture devices, etc.]]). Unlike many examples on this trope, it is ''not'' played for laughs and [[ColdBloodedTorture the reasons to despair are very reasonable]]. Naturally, as part of the main quest, [[spoiler:you must visit and ultimately destroy the place from the inside]].
** In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', this trope is invoked with Sovngarde, a [[HornyVikings Nordic]] WarriorHeaven expy of Valhalla. [[spoiler:It normally ''is'' a proper heaven for the ProudWarriorRace Nords, but it has been invaded by BigBad Alduin who feeds on the souls of the dead within. Naturally, you get to visit, banish Alduin, and make it into a proper heaven once again]].
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' has Soul of Rebirth, which is set in the afterlife. It actually inverts this trope. Cid is actually the first of the dead characters to realize that the local MundaneAfterlife isn't hell.
* In ''VideoGame/OverlordRaisingHell'' the first abyss gate is disguised as a portal to heaven, complete with a cardboard likeness of pearly gates.
* A variation in the InteractiveFiction game ''Perdition's Flames''. At the start, you're told that Hell is no longer a place of punishment -- eternal torment was mostly abolished to compete with heaven after deregulation, and people are now randomly assigned to Hell or Heaven upon death. However, this seems to quickly prove to be a lie, as Hell as depicted in the game is a banal, torturous experience with all the meaninglessness and annoyances of mortal life exaggerated to grotesque degrees. [[spoiler: It's a subversion -- once you finally get to Heaven, it has more fluffy clouds and angels, but is just as soul-crushingly obnoxious and banal. Your goal ends up being to join a group that explores other afterlives and other versions of Heaven and Hell that are, if not more pleasant, at least less meaningless and obnoxious.]]
* Played with (in a "This Isn't Earth" sense) in ''{{VideoGame/Fall From Heaven}}''. Originally, Hell was having problems [[EscapedFromHell with mortals like the Bannor escaping damnation through portals back to Erebus]], so the local god of deception, Esus, created a LotusEaterMachine version of Erebus where [[CrapsackWorld everything was even worse]] than [[WorldHalfEmpty Erebus usually is]], with hopes that would-be escapees would enter, be sent over the DespairEventHorizon, and then return to the more honest hells of their own accord. What happens if someone is GenreSavvy enough to catch onto the ruse is unexplained...
* Creator/LucasArts' sim ''VideoGame/{{Afterlife}}'' has a "Faux Heaven" as one of the possible Hell's punishments for slothful souls:
-->"Many of the Slothful Damned believe that they deserve to be in Heaven, little realizing that their lazy ways have earned them a place in Hell. For these self-deluded fools, Hell hath created these cheesy replicas of Heaven. They're just like the real Heaven...except that they suck."


[[folder: Web Animation ]]

* The TropeNamer is an EasterEgg in the program Macromedia Central that features a WebAnimation/HomestarRunner [[http://www.hrwiki.org/mirror/egg.html cartoon]] where Homestar and Strong Bad are stuck in "blue-fadey-land." Homestar thinks they died and went to heaven, and Strong Bad agrees after they find a Twinkie. Then Homestar says that it's just Strong Bad and him, forever! It suddenly dawns on Strong Bad that they're definitely not in heaven. He pounds on the edge of the frame screaming frantically as the background turns red...
-->'''Homestar''': Yeah you're right. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint I think it's]] [[TakeThat Massachusetts]].


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* ''Webcomic/TheNonAdventuresOfWonderella'': [[http://nonadventures.com/2008/06/07/what-would-doobie-doobie-do/ What would Doobie Doobie do?]]
-->'''Wonderella''': "Wow, you guys are watching me from '''Heaven?!'''"
-->'''Music/FrankSinatra''': "Well, assholes don't exactly go to ''heaven'', kiddo... ...but we're watchin' all the same."
* ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'':
** "[[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=936#comic That's so weird. I've stubbed my toe every 42 seconds since I got here]]."
** Also, [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3497#comic Sysadmin Heaven]].
** Played with [[http://smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3916#comic here]]: [[spoiler:it ''is'' heaven, but philosophers [[WrongGenreSavvy afraid of this happening]] can turn it into a SelfInflictedHell]].
* The Tumblr based comic Floccinaucinihilipilification featured one [[http://floccinaucinihilipilificationa.tumblr.com/post/129225758371 comic]] where the protagonist goes to Hell. At first the protagonist doesn't believe it because it's just a birthday party, until they start singing "Happy Birthday"...in a neverending loop.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'''s ShowWithinAShow, ''The Scary Door'', parodies the ''Twilight Zone'' episode above. A man is hit by a car and wakes up in a casino. He gets jackpot and thinks it's heaven. When he hits jackpot the second time, he thinks it's boring and that means he must be in Hell. [[spoiler: But he's actually in a plane. [[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS5E123NightmareAt20000Feet And there's a goblin on the wing!]] But nobody will believe him because he's UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler! And Eva Braun is actually a giant fly!]]
-->'''Bender:''' Called it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'', Grandpa Phil was convinced he would die that night, as no man in his family had ever lived past that particular birthday. When he wakes up the next morning to the crowded people, he remarks about how it must be Heaven... until he sees [[LazyBum Oskar]], declaring "Oh no, Oskar's here! This must be the other place!"