[[caption-width-right:310:Gin Lane: Not a good place for a holiday.]]

->''"Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious."''
-->-- '''Obi-Wan Kenobi''', ''[[Film/ANewHope Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope]]''

Take the worst or grimmest and darkest side of society, give them a place where [[SevenDeadlySins all their sins]] are given free roam to be expressed, and collect it into a system that can [[CrapsackWorld just barely sustain itself]] and you get the Wretched Hive.

[[AnarchyIsChaos It will be a mostly lawless setting]], [[MoreCriminalsThanTargets usually (over) populated by criminals]]. There may be no actual government in this WildWest or ScavengerWorld because it is miles or ''light years'' away from civilization, and if there is it's probably a {{Dystopia}} that's [[BadCopIncompetentCop corrupt, incompetent]], {{obstructive|Bureaucrat}} or perhaps [[PoliceAreUseless just uncaring enough]] to not bother to spread its reach to all corners of society. If this hive has any truly good authorities, expect them to be extremely overworked, incapable of controlling the skyrocketing crime everywhere, or just [[WideEyedIdealist too idealistic]] to survive. An alternative is to have it as a gang-like system ruled by a mob boss, BigBad or EvilOverlord who allows evil, [[EvenEvilHasStandards but only to a certain standard]]. It could be truly lawless with no authority other than the [[MightMakesRight big stick you carry with you.]]

The economy is often no better. Public facilities are usually falling apart, and the subways and buses are often full of crooks and junkies. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking And they're always late]]. Any schools in this place will almost inevitably be [[InnerCitySchool impoverished]] or [[SuckySchool sadistic]]. The roads may be cracked and broken, with a TrashcanBonfire ever fifty feet or so. Many buildings have been abandoned, to be occupied by vermin, hobos, or criminals. Decent jobs are few and far between. Housing (if you can get it) is unsafe, filthy, and overcrowded. In short, poverty is the norm, not the exception.

This lawless setting is often wonderful for [[WideOpenSandbox allowing all varieties of creativity, ideas and/or tropes to flow in, be played and interact in interesting ways]], and many plot conveniences that the protagonists need to get away with doing active work rather than just handing problems over to the police or running into FridgeLogic when they [[HeroInsurance don't get arrested for taking the law into their own hands]], while there are several takes on all sorts of unlawful or devious acts. Gangs, cons, gambling, underground fighting, rampant prostitution, a thriving black market (ranging from [[TheBarnum one guy]] with some watches under his coat to a literal market), [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking jaywalking]] and many more. This can be portrayed as anything from guilty fun, inevitable underbelly of humanity to constant danger. The heroes can always find some misdeed around them to solve and the villains will have little problem finding a safe hideout or BadGuyBar to get together and plot schemes.

The Wretched Hive has a few {{Sub Trope}}s in increasing size:
* DenOfIniquity[softreturn]A room in the BigBad's lair where the mooks get to indulge in various forms of debauchery.
* BadGuyBar[softreturn]A tavern of ill repute where the crooks get together to scheme or get a drink. The tenuous peace is only held together by TheBartender and his {{Bouncer}}s. Bar room brawls and aggressive drunks optional.
* TheCityNarrows[softreturn]The back alley to the entire town; a small section of a city that has a bad name for a good reason and gets avoided by decent folk with any sense.
* RedLightDistrict[softreturn]A street, block, or even complete district of a city devoted to prostitution and other illicit trades.
* OutlawTown[softreturn]A settlement run by criminals, for the benefit of criminals.
* DyingTown[softreturn]A town or city whose reason for existence disappeared a long time ago and left behind those who couldn't get out; when you have a lot of poor, desperate people in the same place, some of them will inevitably turn to crime, and that same desperation will also bring plenty of other social problems.
* NotSoSafeHarbor[softreturn]A port, harbour or coastal town that has fallen into wretchedness due to the flux of sailors and pirates and the sort of rough entertainment they desire.
* ViceCity[softreturn]An entire urban sprawl that has fallen to wretchedness including its authorities which provide little sense of escape but also [[WideOpenSandbox little constraint]]. Often overlaps with CityNoir.
* SoiledCityOnAHill[softreturn]A city so far gone {{it is beyond saving}}. Wipe it off the map and start again.
* UrbanHellscape[softreturn]A glimpse TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture where violent crime rules the streets and police are either incompetent or have to be even more brutal to stop it.

See also GangsterLand, CityNoir or IndustrialGhetto. When RealLife UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity is portrayed this way, it's TheBigRottenApple. Has nothing to do with [[BeeAfraid bees.]]

Often paired with CrapsackWorld, but differs in that while the setting is less than ideal, the people in it [[BeingGoodSucks need not]] [[BeingEvilSucks be unhappy]] or universally sociopathic, nor is the [[YankTheDogsChain worst result]] the [[StatusQuoIsGod most likely to happen]].

Opposite of the SugarBowl and {{Utopia}} in general, and ShiningCity more specifically.

!!! If an example fits into one of the more specific subtropes better, please list it there, rather than on this page.
* WretchedHive/{{Literature}}
* WretchedHive/TabletopGames
* WretchedHive/VideoGames
* WretchedHive/RealLife


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The fictional Thai city of Roanapur from ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' is regarded as the criminal capital of the world.
* The Zaraki region of Soul Society in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''. When the BloodKnight comes from there and treats slicing up people and smelling like blood as everyday activities, that's because there's a really bad place. Makes one wonder how Hell would be...
* In the English translation of ''Manga/TheKurosagiCorpseDeliveryService'', Kereellis, [[DemonicDummy the sock-puppet from outer space]], [[ConversationalTroping complains]] once that the Russian night club the group visits once is not the wretched hive of scum and villainy he was promised.
* From ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Since the World Government only controls one Island there, the second half of the Grand Line, dubbed the "New World" controlled by the Four Pirate Emperors, is rather chaotic.
** Mock Town on Jaya is a partial example. While pirates have the run of the town and often fight and kill each other, they tend to leave the townsfolk alone, if only so there are people to buy food and booze from. Also, the fact that pirates spend money like water means that the economy is booming.
** Saobondy Archipelago, while has lovely shopping areas and a thriving theme park, has a "Lawless area" where crooks and slavers operate uninhibited. After the TimeSkip, during which the Navy moved their headquarters to the other side of the Red Line, the size of the lawless area increased.
** Fishman Island has the Fishman District an area underneath Fishman Island proper (The "Island" is encased in a gigantic bubble), where the New Fishman Pirates have set up base. It was supposed to be a home for orphans, but quickly fell into disarray. [[spoiler: King Neptune has the entire district closed down when it becomes apparent that the negative enviroment was what contributed to the New Fishman Pirates' warped mindsets]]
* Subverted in ''Anime/PrincessMononoke''. When seen for the first time, the Ironworks are a bunch of grey roofs and tall smoking chimneys crowded together on a small hill surrounded by heavily barbed barricades inside the rotting stumps of a razed forest. But once Ashitaka gets inside, the steel workers are astonishingly well mannered and cheerful people who hold their equally charming director in very high regard.
* Lux in ''Anime/{{Texhnolyze}}'' ''is'' this trope. The parts of the city that aren't in the control of three vicious gangs struggling with each other are in hopeless squalor, and the "normal" populace can easily be more dangerous than the gangsters in those parts.
* Crashtown in ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds.'' This was originally founded as a mining town to mine a precious mineral called dyne which is used to build D-Wheels, but was eventually taken over by two criminal gangs, who fought each other over the mining rights, eventually using dueling to conscript members into slave labor. The whole arc shows that there is NoHonorAmongThieves when Yusei is used as an UnwittingPawn for one of the leaders to win the conflict, only for him to be double-crossed by his brother. [[spoiler:(At the end, the whole roster of Team Satisfaction comes together to bring the criminal rule to an end, making the conclusion both symbolic and satisfying.]]
* The city that Alka visits in episode 2 of ''Anime/BladeAndSoul'', and the one Karen runs a restaurant at. At one point, a guy dies on the street, only for a nearby guard and then several other people to start searching for valuables on his body.
* The Underground from ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' is an abandoned settlement built in caverns beneath the Capitol, and a place where the most destitute struggle to survive. Overrun with criminals and those with nowhere else to go, it is a place even the military avoids whenever possible. [[TheAce Levi]] grew up there, and describes it as a trash heap he and his friends were desperate to escape.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Snowtown in ''ComicBook/{{Fell}}'' is described as a "feral city" where nearly all infrastructure has fallen apart.
* Calia, the so-called "Republic of Desperados" that was founded by escapees from Devil's Island, appears in the ''ComicStrip/ModestyBlaise'' serial "The Jericho Caper".
* Cynosure from ''ComicBook/GrimJack'', where all the dimensions meet. In many dimensions you need to hire a bodyguard/private cop or a whole private army. Or just be a total badass.
* Downlode in ''ComicBook/SinisterDexter'' is one that covers most of Central Europe.
* ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' gives us Rimbor, the homeworld of Legionnaire Ultra Boy. Yes, the planet is a Wretched Hive.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** Gotham City. Comic writer and editor Dennis O'Neil has described Gotham as "Manhattan below Fourteenth Street on the coldest night in November" -- only year-round, and on the scale of a city. (For context, recall what a Wretched Hive New York was in the early 1990s, when O'Neil wrote that.)
*** In the ComicBook/{{New 52}} continuity, Gotham's miserable state is partly due to the influence of the [[ComicBook/NightOfTheOwls Court of Owls]], a secret society that relies on Gotham being a Wretched Hive to maintain their power. They are devoting all of their resources and risking their own secrecy to getting rid of Bruce and his associates because Bruce's work as Franchise/{{Batman}} ''and'' as Bruce Wayne might actually make Gotham a better place.
** Even worse was Bludhaven, the focus of ''ComicBook/{{Nightwing}}'', a city 30 miles out of Gotham that seemed to pick up all the filth that Gotham was too saturated to hold. Eventually it got nuked during ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis''.
** ''ComicBook/TheQuestion'': Hub City, which can legitimately claim to be worse than Gotham and Bludhaven ''put together''.
* ''Comibook/SinCity''. If the name was no indication, the fact that it was based on the worst parts of Las Vegas, LA, New York, and Chicago should fill you in.
* ''ComicBook/{{Aztek}}'': Vanity City. It's explicitly stated to be worse than Gotham. It is hinted that most of its buildings have AlienGeometries that increase violent tendencies in their inhabitants. The town turned its resident superhero from CaptainPatriotic to a NinetiesAntiHero.
* In ''Comicbook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck'', the town Dawson evolves into one during the height of the gold fever. The local mounties keep far away from the town, citing that: "There's only twenty of us!" Don Rosa makes a disclaimer in his foreword that the real Dawson City was in fact remarkably peaceful and law-abiding place for a town founded in the Gold Rush thanks to the efforts of the Mounted Police, and that apart from the name the town in the stories is based on its counterpart on the United States' side of the border, Skagway, which in contrast lacked any kind of law enforcement.
* Mega-City One from ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' is permanently suffering from criminals with military-grade weaponry. One might be able to go so far as to say EVERY Mega-City is one of these. [[note]]Well, there's bad and there's worse. Texas City is somewhat more open to mutants and Cursed Earth inhabitants, with predictable results. The Latin-American Mega-Cities are ruled by Judges who openly rule for their own benefit. The Sov-Cities are megalopolis-sized gulags. On the other hand there's Hondo City, which is very shiny, clean and safe -- by maintaining a standard of order and discipline which makes Mega-City One look libertarian by comparison[[/note]]
* ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'': Several Far West towns (notably Fenton Town) that Luke usually brings back to the law.
* Faith name-drops the TropeNamer when she and Series/{{Angel}} investigate such places, including a demon bar where Harmony is stripping. Faith looks on in envy.
-->[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Those are so fake.]]
* 1980's British science fiction comic ''Starblazer''
** Issue 194 "Cabel and the She Warrior". The planet Netherworld is populated by thieves, murders, sadists, terrorists, arsonists and the infamous Vytronian Slavers.
** Issue 208 "Planet of the Dead". The planet Vegas Prime's entire surface was covered in all manner of vice dens and it is home to various criminals both petty and serious. Law enforcement is thin on the ground and murder is commonplace.
* ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'': In "The Cornucopia Caper", the Doctor visits Cornucopia, an entire planet ruled by an alliance of different criminal guilds.
* Supervillainess ''ComicBook/BombQueen'' rules over a city where she has outlawed superheroes and crime is more or less part of daily life.
* New Hong Kong, in ''ComicBook/BuckGodotZapGunForHire''. It has one Law Drone, but since New Hong Kong ''has'' no laws, it spends a lot of time meditating up on a tower. New Hong Kong may have only one law ("There shall be no laws on New Hong Kong") but it has a great many ''customs'', and the populace enforce them so effectively that it's actually quite peaceful-- in the same sense that Ankh-Mopork is peaceful under the Thieves' Guild. Or as the residents of New Hong Kong put it: "There are no laws here. That doesn't mean that there aren't rules". Some of these customs do include the fact EveryoneIsArmed and the New Hong Kong Wake, which involves drugging your dead friend/relative's killer with TruthSerum to get him to confess then leaving him to die of an overdose.
* The planet Garnet, aka Hellhole. So bad that the local Franchise/GreenLantern, Jack T. Chance, still uses lethal force (just not through the ring since they're programmed to not do that).
* Creator/DarkHorseComics ''Comics' Greatest World'' setting had two:
** Arcadia, the setting for ''ComicBook/{{X}}'' and ''ComicBook/{{Ghost|DarkHorseComics}}''. Arcadia is an orderly, smoothly run machine of a city. This is a world of shadow, danger, and bloody retribution. It is a city of corrupt officials and organized crime. The policemen who are not on the take are criminals in their own right.
** Steel harbor, the setting for ''ComicBook/BarbWire''. The city was based on a combination of Detroit and Watts during the period of their 1960s riots, only in the comic the violence is between superpowered gangs fighting for turf.
* Madripoor is one of the X-Men's choices when they need a WretchedHive. Marvel's version of UsefulNotes/{{Singapore}} - sort of - how much it fits the Trope tends to ebb and flow. It certainly did in the past, being a haven for pirates and other outlaws, and in the present day it can vary depending on who's in charge. Regardless of who's in charge, the place ''does not'' extradite criminals, and seedier parts of it are thick with crime and lawless activities.
* Dogpatch, the setting of ''ComicStrip/LilAbner'', is described by creator Al Capp as "an average stone-age community nestled in a bleak valley, between two cheap and uninteresting hills somewhere." An extreme exaggeration of burlesque stereotypes of Appalachia, the place is a ramshackle backwater town full poorly made log cabins, neglected turnip farms and hog wallows, and half the inhabitants are lazy, dirty, ignorant, and with a few exceptions, ugly; the other half are scoundrels and thieves. The place was founded by Confederate General Jubilation T. Cornpone, a woefully incompetent general and notorious coward. (The statue in the town square was donated by a grateful President Abraham Lincoln, as said incompetence was a key factor in the Union's victory; Dogpatch residents are ''proud'' of this.) Of course, [[EnforcedTrope there's a good reason the town was designed this way.]] As the strip was introduced to the public during the Great Depression, Capp used it to let Americans laugh at people worse off than ''they'' were.
* Shareen in ''ComicBook/PathfinderWorldscape'' is the capital city of an alternate dimension populated by killers, fighters and thieves from all over the multiverse, usually the worst of the worst make their home here and they prey on the weaker all the time. The only reason it isn't a completely lawless state is because its governed by a DeadlyDecadentCourt who is just as bad as their subjects and the local faith is a repressive ReligionOfEvil that takes its job very seriously in rooting out heresy and the guilty are forced to fight in the [[GladiatorGames arena]].
* Coryana, an island nation that serves as the setting for the first arc of ''ComicBook/BatwomanRebirth'', is one of these, and has even been described using the full ''Star Wars'' quote by the writers.
* ''ComicBook/{{Copperhead}}'': The Bastion out past the last vestige of civilization is a loose settlement/fortress composed entirely of criminals that have been exiled from everywhere else.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* The DarkWorld segments of ''Fanfic/DungeonKeeperAmi'' have a certain vibe that reads like this. Actually played with to some extent- the waylaying, slavery, debauchery, and general amorality aluded to is pretty typical and even expected of the underworlders. Further enforced by the various cults of the [[GodOfEvil Dark Gods]]. Some of the cities are actually fairly clean, leading to ViceCity feel.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfiction:
** In quite a few fanfics, the towns of Manehatten and Fillydelphia are often treated this way.
** ''Fanfic/EyesWithoutAFace'' takes place in one.
** The ''FanFic/PoniesOfOlympus'' series uses this exact phrase to describe the Storm Alley neighborhood of Cloudsdale.
** Hoofington in WebComic/MoodyMarkCrusaders:
--> '''Apple Bloom:''' This is my kinda town. Dark, crowded, full of ponies that aren't you two nut jobs.
** In [[Fanfic/TheLifeAndTimesOfAWinningPony the Winningverse]], there is Freeport, a NotSoSafeHarbor run by a cabal of greedy merchant-princes, with guards so corrupt they are ''expected'' to supplement their income with bribes, and a haven for mercenaries, spies, and legalized piracy. Since it sits on an archipelago right between Equestria, Gryphonia, and Zebrica, none of those nations can make any move on it without the other two seeing it as a threat, which is what allows it to remain a Wretched Hive.
** FanFic/TheBorderworld has ''[[https://www.fimfiction.net/story/359426/dragonfall Dragonfall]]'', described as the murder capital of Equestria, which [[PlayedForLaughs plays this trope for laughs]].
* In the eyes of the Psyche Master in ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'', Smurf culture in general is seen as this.
* In ''[[Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX Gensokyo 20XXV]]'', we have "The Forbiddens", which are considered to be a no man's land, and, compared to the rest of the setting, these are the worst places to be, especially if one be woman or child.
-->'''Amoridere''': The Forbiddens is where the worst of the crap that tends to occur in this society occurs. Women and, sometimes, children are sold into prostitution where they tend to die and children are traded for just about anything or killed just because, as well as the fact that most of those areas are laced with various traps, the which of include landmines, snares, bear-traps, and vicious dogs, on top of the fact that those areas are best know for their pollution and toxins, as well as its corrupting influences.
* ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'' portrays the [[Videogame/PokemonColosseum Orre region]] this way. It's a barren wasteland where only the strong survive, and Cipher pretty much controls it. Agate Village is one of the few safe havens where they don't have any influence.


* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Mos Eisley from ''Film/ANewHope'', the {{trope namer|s}}. On a broader scope, the planet Tatooine. It's ruled by the Hutts, a race of gangsters. Every single city -- not just Mos Eisley -- is shown to be incredibly hostile and filled with criminals. As far as natives go, take your pick. You've got the thieving Jawas or the AlwaysChaoticEvil Tusken Raiders. Or TheEmpire. The Trope Namer is oddly inverted in ''Film/TheStarWarsHolidaySpecial''. The Cantina is more ''Series/{{Cheers}}'' than a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
** The Prequel Trilogy has the lower levels of the city planet Coruscant like this.
** And the Expanded Universe has Nar Shaddaa, a moon of it. This is because it orbits Nal Hutta, homeworld of the Hutts.
** ''Film/TheLastJedi'' has a double-subversion in Canto Bight. According to Rose, it's a hellhole filled with the vilest people in the Universe. However, when Rose and Finn get there, it's a beautiful luxury resort. Finn is enamoured, but Rose points out two stark truths, the laborers' lots are as bad or worse than in the more conventional hellholes on the Outer Rim, and that the only way anyone gets these levels of rich in this day and age is from war profiteering.
* ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'' can qualify as well. Technically, in this film the island of Manhattan is a ''prison'' if you observe it from the ''outside'', but if observed from the ''inside'', it's a Wretched Hive. The film was shot in downtown St. Louis, Missouri. and East St. Louis, Illinois. the former of which was a real life wretched hive at the time (the area has since been cleaned up and restored) and the latter still is.
* ''Film/{{Casablanca}}''
** As a way-station for people from all over Europe who hope to escape the Nazis, it has acquired a strong criminal element, whose police force is headed by a self-described "poor corrupt official". Ferrari, the head of all illegal activities in Casablanca, is "a respected man". A pickpocket swipes a man's wallet while warning his mark to look out; "There are vultures, vultures everywhere!"
** Rick mentions it would be a bad idea to try conquering New York for this reason. The Germans simply wouldn't stand a chance against the local population.
* ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'': The Knowhere space station, a severed Celestial head located at an unspecified place just outside of the galaxy. It's a port of call and observatory for intergalactic travellers, and it also serves as a mining colony for various valuable materials that are sold on the black market.
* ''Film/GangsOfNewYork'': 19th century UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity is one of these (At least in the Five Points and Bowery neighborhoods, which are just about all we see).
* ''Film/{{Candyman}}'': The Cabrini-Green housing projects in UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} are the main setting, and the fear and desperation of the inhabitants give supernatural power to the title villain.
* ''Film/StreetsOfFire'': The unnamed city that the work is set in.
* The Troll Market in ''Film/HellboyIITheGoldenArmy''.
* St. Petersburg in ''Film/{{Brother}}''. One of the songs of the movie's soundtrack has line "this city of murderers, the city of thieves and whores". TruthInTelevision for Ex-USSR during the Nineties.
* Spoofed as Sogo the City of Sin in ''Film/{{Barbarella}}''. Since it was made in the 1960s for general release, the evil shown on the screen mostly consists of people in weird costumes looking darkly at the protagonists, plus some very mild bondage games. And women smoking from a giant hookah with a man floating in it.
* The [[TheBigRottenApple New York City]] of the real world is portrayed this way in ''Film/LastActionHero''. Two people are shot dead in the middle of a public street, with bystanders visible in the background, and one of the shooters takes the time to shout to the rooftops that he did it and wants to confess. The only reaction is [[BystanderSyndrome someone yelling at him to shut up]].
* Tortuga in the ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' films.
* Subverted in ''Film/BattleBeyondTheStars'' when the hero lands his spaceship on the [[PlanetOfHats Planet Of Lawless Hats]] only to find the local worlds have raised an army and cleaned it out.
* The setting of Indonesian action flick ''Film/TheRaid'' is this. It's a rundown apartment controlled by drug lord and populated by drug soldiers.
* The title ghetto in ''Film/CityOfGod'' -- a place controlled by drug gangs where little children murder each other in the streets.
* ''Film/{{District 9}}'' in the film of the same name is this all over -- an alien ghetto of makeshift shacks whose inhabitants are listless, unemployed and often criminal, nominally run by a corrupt multinational but infested with gangsters, and the only authority is backed up by sadistic mercenaries. To get that authentic feel, the movie was filmed in a real-life Johannesburg slum.
* The railhead town of Hell on Wheels visited by the Lone Ranger and Tonto in ''Film/TheLoneRanger''.
* Los Angeles and presumably all major cities in ''Film/{{Elysium}}''.
* ''Film/FromHell'' paints a grim picture of London around 1888 (Especially Whitechapel, which, like St James was seen as TheCityNarrows in real life).
* Red and the Blackwater Gang turn Edendale into one in ''Film/DeadInTombstone'', even changing its name to Tombstone.
* ''Film/AGirlWalksHomeAloneAtNight'' has "Bad City", an Iranian oil town which has rampant crime, no apparent police force at all, and a ravine that is permanantly full of freshly-dumped corpses.
* ''Film/DodgeCity'': A title pronounces Dodge City "the town that knew no ethics but cash and killing." A montage of gun duels and brawls and gambling houses follows. The main street is called "Hell Street". The citizens eventually look to Wade to clean up their town.

* Titan, the official setting for the ''Literature/FightingFantasy'' gamebook series, has a couple of these. The most notorious are Port Blacksand, well-known as the City of Thieves, and Khare, called the Cityport of Traps. One is a ramshackle collection of pirates, thieves and murderers who'd slit their mothers' throats for a few copper pieces (if mommy didn't get them first), and the other is a debauched collection of cultists and slavers of every conceivable race, who only manage to live together without killing each other because their city is the only thing resembling civilization in a wild, hellish wasteland.
* ''Literature/LoneWolf'':
** Ragadorn, main city of the Wildlands. It's a big commercial hub, but it's also teeming with thieves and cutthroats. The lord of the town and his SecretPolice are no better.
** Vakovar, in Magador, even more so. At least by the time Lone Wolf visits it, it's full of brigands. The worst part is that the current state of affairs is apparently an improvment over what it was like back when the Darklords were still in power.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'': Downbelow.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven'': Freedom City.
* ''Series/{{Deadwood}}'': Deadwood itself. Eventually gets a telegraph, employs a sheriff and elects a mayor. Remains a place where the preferred way of getting rid of inconvenient corpses is by feeding them to Mr. Wu's pigs.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': Quite a lot of King's Landing in the Crownlands can be said to be this underneath some lovely or even outright stunning architecture, in a StepfordSmiler kind of way. Flea Bottom, however, doesn't try masking what it is, at all.
* ''Series/{{Justified}}'': Harlan County is the rural version. The sheriff's department is on the take, the economy depressed, and the when it comes to employment the choice is between criminal gangs and families like the Crowders and the Crowes, or the brutally oppressive Black Pike mining company. [[TheCartel The Miami cartel]], the Detroit Mob, and the latter's Dixie Mafia subsidiary all have their tentacles in the region, further worsening the violence and the crime rate, as different factions within them jockey with each other and local criminals for control of the county. That's not even mentioning [[OutlawTown the town of Bennett]], which is ruled by the eponymous [[HillbillyMoonshiner Bennett clan]], who use the town as a front for their marijuana operation, or Noble's Holler, an all-black community that keeps their racist white neighbors at bay by playing the rest of the county's gangsters off against one another. We've yet to meet anyone from Harlan who isn't caught up in illegal activity of one sort or another, and the efforts of the protagonists seem to do little beyond creating swiftly filled power vacuums.
* ''Series/MastersOfHorror'': In the episode "Imprint", the remote island is "only inhabited by demons and whores".
* ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' and ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'': There's the wretched hive ''planet'', Onyx. Well, it has this reputation, at least; for budget reasons we only ever see one town and its BadGuyBar.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': All cities are apparently like this now: "If you were smart, you left the city. If you weren't, you died there."
* ''Series/TrailerParkBoys'': Sunnyvale trailer park Nova Scotia, a mockumentary about three career criminal conmen, and their kin. This property is supervised by a drunk deranged discharged cop and his dimwitted obese underling. Overrun with feral children who randomly throw bottles at residences, and 3 career criminals who naturally cause hilarious hell during the course of the season which revolves around that seasons "Big Dirty" (career heist).
* ''Series/TheWire'': AvertedTrope. While the lion's share of the show takes place in neighborhoods of Baltimore where everyone is either a drug dealer or a drug addict, the show takes time out to illustrate there are nice parts of UsefulNotes/{{Baltimore}}. Further, it takes a close and careful look at how such disparate places can be so close together and yet so far apart. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEQUR7Fts-w As Bubbles says]] when riding with [=McNulty=] in season 1, "Thin line 'tween heaven and here."
** In season 3, Major Colvin's "Hamsterdam" - a project wherein he essentially legalizes drug usage in three designated areas in the Western District - shows what happens when you concentrate all West Baltimore crime in one place.
** In the season 4 premiere, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Di2H2cbekE a lecturer is giving a presentation]] to Western District cops on [[TheWarOnTerror counterterrorism]]. Santangelo isn't too impressed by the lecturer, eventually interrupting to say, "No disrespect to your appendix, but if them terrorists do fuck up the Western, could anybody even tell?" which draws laughter from the other cops as they take their turns poking jabs at the counterproductiveness of counterterrorism training in their district.
* ''Series/TheMusketeers'' has the "Court of Miracles" where Porthos grew up.
* The eponymous city on Series/{{Gotham}} is this by definition. When the mob controls the cops, you know things are going to be ugly. Of course this is to help tie it into the Franchise/{{Batman}} mythos.
* ''Series/TheFugitive''. Richard Kimble encounters one in the ironically named episode "A Clean and Quiet Town".
* ''Series/{{Taboo}}'': London is basically this, [[AristocratsAreEvil with the debauched excesses of the aristocracy,]] the brutal intrigues of warring nations, and the wealth, power, and privilege of [[CorruptCorporateExecutive amoral corporate executives]] serving to crush the common people beneath the heels of their masters.
* ''Series/ChannelZero'': The Butcher's Block neighborhood of the city of Garret is a [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrifice_zone sacrifice zone]] which is completely rundown, with little-to-no infrastructure or police input, with criminals and crazy people all over the place. And that's not even getting into the CannibalClan of AxCrazy murderers running around abducting and eating people.

* In the Alestorm song "Nancy the Tavern Wench", the titular Nancy's tavern is such a hive.
* The song "Night City", by The Sword, is about such a place -- a metropolis on the dark side of a tidally-locked planet, ruled by slavers and pirates.
* The street in the Music/{{Space}} song 'Neighbourhood' is definitely one. It's got an OmnicidalManiac, an AxCrazy vicar and a family of criminals, amongst others.
* {{Music/Savatage}}'s ''Music/StreetsARockOpera'' depicts New York City as a grim and miserable place filled with criminals, drugs, and ApatheticCitizens who will watch a man die rather then help.
* Music/MotleyCrue's song "Wild Side" takes place in a Wretched Hive.
* {{Music/Suede}}'s "We are the Pigs" is set in a distinctly dystopian city.
* Music/GunsNRoses' song "Welcome to the Jungle" also depicts a Wretched Hive. In fact, the line "You know where you are? You're in the jungle, baby! You're gonna die!" was said by a cab driver to Axl Rose during a trip to visit a friend.
* Music/WarrenZevon's ''Transverse City'', which opens:
-->Told my little Pollyanna
-->There's a place for you and me
-->We'll go down to Transverse City
-->Life is cheap and Death is free

* Hell, when it's not all [[FireAndBrimstoneHell fire and brimstone]], is this in some interpretations, like "eternal separation from God". Believers consider this to be terrifying enough.
** Sodom, Gomorrah, and Ninevah as portrayed in Literature/TheBible. Sodom and Gomorrah were considered so vile that nothing short of divine obliteration was enough to clean them. This trope was actually subverted in the case of Ninevah. God told Jonah to preach the people there to repent, or else the city would be destroyed in three days. The king of Ninevah saw the error of his ways and told his people to mourn in sackcloth and ashes in hopes that they would be spared. God did not destroy the city, much to Jonah's chagrin. The last part of the book of Jonah is God giving Jonah a big TheReasonYouSuckSpeech because he would rather see thousands of people die than come to repentance.
*** Sodom's population has been estimated by some to be between 600 and 1200 at the time of its destruction. And in all the city, not ''ten'' righteous men could be found, thus God destroyed it.
* In Literature/TheBible, after King Solomon's reign, Israel divides itself North and South, and lots of corruption and idolatry take place. And then it goes FromBadToWorse as they got involved in wars with neighboring nations such as the Assyrians.

* The title city of Kurt Weill's and Creator/BertoltBrecht's opera, ''Theatre/TheRiseAndFallOfTheCityOfMahagonny''.
* Richard's explanation in ''Theatre/ThrillMe'' of why he and Nathan wouldn't get caught if they murdered a kid is, "there's no shortage of perverts they could blame it on"--basically presenting Chicago as one of these.
* Fort Pike from {{The Hammer Trinity}}
* Thenardier's Inn in ''Theatre/LesMiserables''. Bonus points for the fact that Thenardier ''himself'' describes it as much in "Master of the House".

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids''
** Obi-Wan's well know quote about Mos Eisley is referenced in [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0059.html episode 59]]:
--->'''GM:''' You walk into the town. It's a wretched hive of scum and villainy.\\
'''R2-D2:''' Oh, how I love stock descriptions.
** Picked further apart in [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0740.html episode 740]].
** CallBack in [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/1564.html episode 1564]].
* The aptly-named Greysky City in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''.
* Erossus in ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan''. So kinky that you can buy little candies shaped like certain body parts and the police wear {{Stripperific}} outfits.
* The ''Webcomic/CiemWebcomicSeries'' features the cities of Craterville, Dirbine, and Viron. Contained therein are: Monsters, {{Mutants}}, alien gangsters, pedophile gangsters, serial rapists, international spies, thugs that break down motel room doors at random, arsonists, ex-government agents-turned-pedophile kidnappers, suicide bombers, [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking debit card thieves]], [[AIIsACrapshoot mass-murdering AI]], and more. Guns (and darts!) are everywhere. Upon a visit, Miriam wishes to ask Candi: "[[LampshadeHanging How does anyone]] [[WhoWritesThisCrap tolerate living here?]]"
* [[http://techfox.comicgenesis.com/d/20010820.html Subverted and rewritten]] in ''Webcomic/TwentyFirstCenturyFox''.
* In ''Webcomic/NipAndTuck'', the ShowWithinAShow ''Rebel Cry'' features [[http://www.rhjunior.com/NT/00700.html Midway, which is depicted as this in-universe, though it's not a bad place.]]
* In ''Webcomic/GalacticMaximum'', [[http://maximumcomic.com/?strip_id=7 Earth, after the war.]]
* In ''Webcomic/BlueYonder'', [[http://www.blueyondercomic.net/comics/1201813/blue-yonder-chapter-1-page-13/ Jared thinks he's been brought to one.]] (No cops. He overlooked all retired capes, though.)
* In ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'', [[http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00674.html the Tumbledowns]] which is nothing but back alleys.
* Haven Hive from ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''. Let's make a list: lack of any semblance of law with criminal gangs everywhere, check. A monopoly on medical treatment with legitimate doctors being forced to leave or killed, check. NoOSHACompliance with multiple highly flammable objects out in the open on a space station, check. [[spoiler: People being kidnapped to be used to grow medical nanites for the medical monopoly, check.]] [[spoiler: Fortunately [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2011-09-29 Shep is now able to watch Pau]] and [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2011-11-12 Shep's mother has taken over]] so it's become AWorldHalfFull.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Inverloch}}'', the early town of Rhyll is like this in its walled outer district. It's a ''de facto'' prison because the guards won't let any known criminals leave. (Varden, being among this group, attaches himself to Acheron and Lei'ella so he can slip out.)
* ''Webcomic/BasketsOfGuts'' has most of its story set in Ancard - a heavily urbanized city on a mountain with a population filthy enough to fit into FilmNoir.
* ''Webcomic/AwfulHospital'': The "community" living to the east of the Horrible Ghastly Death Woods, at least according to Celia and Balmer. [[spoiler: Subverted entirely once we meet them.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The fallen space port of Svoboda in ''Roleplay/NexusGate'' fits the bill. It is controlled by crime syndicates and the playground of criminals of every stripe. Kovolis holds no stake in the port's ground.
* ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' has this with Denton, New Jersey. Criminal gangs are everywhere in the city, which is practically run by the most powerful of them instead of by the Mayor himself, as the whole police force is either too corrupt or too inept to do anything. Like any other gangs, they've divided the city up between themselves, and they maintain a tense peace between them, as the bloodshed brought by a gang war is bad for business. Even then, though, shootouts and gang brawls are common, while anyone who sticks their nose in the wrong place turns up dead. This is considered highly unusual in SOTF's world, though, and no other city that has been seen is quite as bad as Denton. This came about as an attempt to justify all the gang members in Pregame, and the city apparently disintegrated into full-scale warfare after v2.
* After the events of Extermination in ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', parts of Brockton Bay have become this. Imagine New Orleans right after Katrina, with super powered criminals and psychos who regularly steal supplies and worse. Then it went FromBadToWorse and the government considers condemning the entire area.
* Wiki/RationalWiki uses the TropeNamer quote to describe 4chan

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* [[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} Teddy Bear Junction, the worst scumpit in the galaxy!]]
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'': Superhero Hawkgirl's favourite bar is located in one of these.
* Episode XLV has the Scotsman takes WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack to one in order to restore Jack's memory.
-->'''Scotsman:''' Heckbucket Seaport. You will never find a more wretched dive of scum and villainy... and the crabcakes aren't bad either!
* Miracle City from ''WesternAnimation/ElTigreTheAdventuresOfMannyRivera'', "a spicy cesspool of crime and villainy" according to the OpeningNarration and is in fact the town's slogan. The nearby town Calavera takes it UpToEleven.
* Stormalong Harbor of ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack''.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePiratesOfDarkWater'': Janda Town -- "Only the scum of the sea drop anchor here."
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' holds a couple of these; the ice spring in the middle of the desert, the bar that Jun the bounty hunter is at, and the lovable port with the pirates. "Who's brave enough to look into this bag?"
** Republic City from ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' has a rather substantial problem with poverty, and some of the lower income areas are overrun with Bending gangs. This only gets worse once the Equalists get involved and launch an all out war against the city's Bending population.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''--The family visits New York City. According to Homer's flashbacks to his last visit NYC conforms to the trope. Every living thing is corrupt in some way. On his last visit, a random guy steals his coat, a cop steals his wallet, and a pigeon steals the very hot dog he was eating. Right from his mouth. A New York pigeon. Also the teller he was reading claimed that "crime was up eight million percent".
** Springfield is constantly referred to this.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]'' had Tortuna. Nominally controlled by [[BigBad Her Travesty]], though the {{Mooks}} are [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy receptive to bribes]]. It's crawling with criminals of every stripe, and any human setting foot there at risk of being handed over to the local torturers to be mashed down for LifeEnergy. Yup, the heroes end up having to head there on many occasions.
* Brakmar in ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'' is a place rife with criminal enterprise, violent shenanigans, and prostitution (yes this is a children's cartoon). The kicker is that this is a ''massive improvement'' over what it was like in the ''Dofus'' era before Sacrier tried to civilize the lot of them. It went from [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}} Commorragh]] to [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Gotham City]].
* {{Franchise/Transformers}} has Kaon, the underbelly of Cybertron, where in several different continuities it is always the birthplace of the rebellions that later become the Decepticon movement, and typically houses a gladiatorial arena where underground blood sports are run. Megatron typically makes his name here as a gladiator before he becomes the commander of the Decepticons.