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"Inverted world, where the spazzes make fun of the cool guys!"
An Alternate Universe
where everything is the same... but different. Superman originated this, and it has been parodied by a number of shows.
A bizarro world is distinct from a normal Alternate Universe
in that a bizarro world has everything "reversed" in some way. Heroes are villains and vice versa; beauty is hated and ugliness embraced
; whatever the author decides to do. A good/evil flip
is the usual trope, allowing the heroes to work together with the bizarro version of their enemies (who are, of course, heroes in bizarro world).
Recent examples of bizarro universes have reduced the use of good and evil in favor of other reversals, such as who is the 'smart one' in a group of friends or who are the 'cool kids' at school.
A bizarro universe need not be a literal "other universe"; sometimes it is simply another city/country/planet or a counterpart organisation that has strangely familiar elements, but with some sort of reversals present.
Occasionally, a bizarro world will have inverted language (eg: "badbye" instead of "goodbye"). This is usually not done, however, since the rules are very hard to follow and are often changed.
Compare Opposite Day
, a similar idea on a much smaller scale. Compare Mirror Universe
, which sometimes has some Bizarro elements to mix things up.
: I wonder what this show would be like in Bizarro World? Statler
: Hm... Entertaining!?! Both
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- In the SWAT Kats episode "The Dark Side of the SWAT Kats", Razor and T-Bone are transported to a world where their counterparts work for Dark Kat, and Callie Briggs is a Corrupt Politician who, it's implied, killed the Mayor.
- Megas XLR has an episode where, in an alternate dimension, Coop is an evil warlord, Jamie is a disillusioned freedom fighter and the world is post-apocalyptic.
- Hey Arnold, "Arnold Visits Arnie", where (for example) Stumpy is the smart kid and Fifi is the idiot, as opposed to Stinky being the idiot and Phoebe being the smart kid. The episode itself is the opposite of an earlier episode, "Weird Cousin".
- In one episode of Codename Kids Next Door, the KND discovered a world where adults were slaves to kids, and a group of despotic kids ruled over the others. Not only were all the inhabitants the opposite of their regular world counterparts, but all names and acronyms were backwards (Lizzie became Eizzil, etc.).
- The Sealab 2021 episode "Bizarro" had the titular underwater research lab being taken over by bizarro versions of the crew who wanted diamonds.
- Don't you mean BIZARRO diamonds?
- "How come my guy is an egg? OH GOD!" "BIZARRO BIZARRO I LOVE YOU BIZARRO"
- I thought they wanted a laser beam.
- They eventually decided they wanted diamonds and the Destructo-Beam. BIZARRO!
- In the Beetlejuice episode "Dr. Beetle and Mr. Juice", the titular ghost invents a cologne that makes anyone exposed to it behave in a manner opposite to how they usually would. It hits Lydia, and she becomes a prank-playing biker.
- An episode of The Secret Saturdays has a magic mirror bring The Mondays, their evilcounterparts from a Mirror Universe, into their world. Each of them has their personalities reversed and some physical difference to tell them apart. In addition, they are supposed to be made of Anti-Matter, which causes reality t go crazy every time one of the characters approached his or her counterpart. (Actually, if they were made of antimatter they would have exploded like nuclear bombs the moment they entered the positive universe.)
- A Futurama episode, "The Farnsworth Parabox", features a Bizarro univere where the cast's counterparts have identical personalities but most have a different color scheme.
- There is a difference, the results of coin flips are opposite of the other universe which create new scenarios if the coin flip leads to an important event. Bizarro Fry and Leela got married, while the Professor has a scar from removing his own brain.
- In fact, it was implied that coin-tosses were the only differences between the universes. Which doesn't explain how the sky was a different color....
- After the episode comes back from a commercial, the screen pans in from a galaxy view down to the Earth, and a big pink and purple and yellow cloud can be seen over New New York—allow me to posit its origin as relating to the events of "A Big Ball of Garbage": Farnsworth was busy removing his own brain, and didn't stop the garbage-ball from colliding with the city, polluting it horribly. Just a thought.
- The characters (of both worlds!) originally assume that the other world is a Mirror Universe and begin fighting (hilariously).
- An episode of Recess had the main characters go to another school for a kickball game. Gus takes notices of the similarities to their school before they face their opponents. Which are near clear cut copies of themselves—except TJ's a girl.
- Orko's home world in He Man And The Masters Of The Universe was like this. Because everything, including the laws of magic were screwed up, Prince Adam had to say "Greyskull of power the by!" in order to transform into He Man.
- Which is why Orko's magic is messed up on Eternia. It's the magical equivalent of Engrish.
- The heroes of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe have encountered several of these. In addition to two of the "standard" good-to-evil-switch mirror universes, there was Neanderthal-Earth (all the people were the same, but they were all neanderthals), Ape-Earth (where gorillas were the dominant species and humans were just a kind of smart animal... though there was an entire city of "Smart Humans" hidden in the mountains of Africa), Lizard-Earth (where the dinosaurs never died out and everyone was a Deinonychus-like being), Medieval-Earth (modern society based on magic rather than technology, where science never got past the Dark Ages.
- In El Goonish Shive, the "AF04" universe has personality-reversed versions of all the main characters - except Elliot, where the the only difference is that he's wearing a white T-shirt.
- Terror Island theorem 040: panel 1 shows the logical problems with DC's Bizarro universe.
- In Shortpacked!, McAwesome's Parasailing and Chocolate Bakery (the place Ethan nearly went to work) is the Bizarro version of Shortpacked. As well as Ethan's counterpart Evan (who's dating That Guy) there's a Benevolent Boss (Bizarro Galasso), a fairly sensible ex-SEMME agent (Bizarro Robin), an employee who's obsessed with pirates (Bizarro Ninja Rick) and Franklin Roosevelt (Bizarro Reagan). There are also versions of Amber (Rose) and Faz (Zaph).
- And now that things finally seem to be going right for Ethan, Evan's in a coma.
- Note that there isn't a Mike counterpart...because Mike himself moonlights there, albeit in his nice, drunk persona.
- Sluggy Freelance appeared to have one of these when the Dimension of Lame first appeared, where Riff, Zoe, and Bun-Bun were all incredibly nice and polite to Torg, while the normally sweet Kiki was rude and vicious. It was later revealed that the Dimension of Lame was actually populated entirely by absurdly kind and innocent versions of people from the main universe. The only reason the Kiki there was so evil was because she originally came from a dimension populated only by extremely Jerkass versions of main universe characters.
- Teh Gladiators, in its third chapter, takes the protagonists into World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, albeit a completely different one from the third expansion pack to that notable game. Instead, a magical catastrophe has created an alternate universe in which everything is a complete role reversal of its standard characterization. Gnomes are nature lovers, Taurens are militaristic, Humans are cannibalistic savages, and Orcs are pacifists, to say nothing of the changes to the world and its NPCs.
- VG Cats features a strip in which Aeris and Leo envision a world in which Brawl has all you "favorite character and no...ice climbers". Cue cut to VG Dogs, the bizarro equivalent of VG Cats in which the Leo analog is the smart one and the Aeris analog is the stupid one. In this world, Sega appears to have won out in the console wars over Nintendo, and the Brawl equivalent, Sonic Heroes, has included Mario as a fanservice. Bizzaro Aeris mentions liking a game called "Yoshi the Dinosaur", an apparent analog to Shadow the Hedgehog. Then the crew from Sliders randomly shows up. The strip is appropriately titled "Bizzaro!".
- ... and there was a sequel to Daikatana!
- As a side note, the troper who posted this noticed that the random page title at the time he went to the strip to make his post was "Other Scotts update on time". He is unsure if this if this intentional on Ramsoomair's part or just awesome coincidence.
- Mountain Time turned its logo upside-down, and suddenly everything changed. It was River Valley Time.
- Moonside in Earthbound, where everything is black with neon outlines and people say things like "Hey! Parking meters! And you're walking around! Ha ha ha... that's so funny!" and "Mani Mani is always Mani Mani at Mani Mani with all Mani Mani Mani". Furthermore, "Yes" and "No" choices are switched (for, to name a few examples, when shopkeepers ask if you want to buy anything, or the innkeeper asks if you want to spend the night).
- Praetorian Earth in City of Heroes, which is the standard good to evil switch. Statesman becomes Tyrant, Ms. Liberty becomes Dominatrix, Manticore becomes Chimera, et cetera.
- Interesting use in that players will be able to play in it in the upcoming Expansion, as well as execute a Face Heel Turn or Heel Face Turn through it.
- Turns out they did a bit of a Retcon for the release; rather than "all the good guys are evil," it's more along the lines of "All the nice guys are ruthless". Where Statesman is the selfless hero of the world (but mostly America), Emperor Cole is the man who "grudgingly ascended to the throne" and quickly turned Praetoria - the last standing metropolis in the world - into a very pretty but VERY sternly run dictatorship. He also killed his best friend before they drank from the Well of the Furies, so Lord Recluse just doesn't have an alternate any more. The rest of the world is pretty damn inhospitable, what with a series of minor nuclear wars making the Devouring Earth rise up to destroy humanity, only getting pushed back by MORE nukes which, of course, made them angrier... It's not as nice a place as the shiny capital city seems.
- Gaia Online has released the Dark Reflection item, which is a minigame where the player searches for a lost NPC who went through the looking glass into a bizarro-Gaia. Among other things, the oily con man is now a priest who's good with kids, and the neighborhood playa is now a trampy woman.
- Termina is this to Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. While Hyrule is the home of the TRIforce and watched over by 3 goddesses, TERmina is watched over by 4 male giants.
- And more fittingly, many of the inhabitants are the counterparts of characters from Ocarina of Time, but with radically different names, occupations and/or personalities. The stuck-up princess is in a rock band, the same girl at two different ages is now a pair of sisters, etc.
- Pandemonium 2 has this towards the final levels.
- Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark has a quest where you deal with a town the queen of which tried to spy on an archmage. As a result of a Poke In The Third Eye, the town was transformed into that. Results include (aside from the town - inhabited by winged elves - transferred underground and liking it) a librarian's beautiful wife transformed into a gorgon and burning books, a merchant only selling at a loss to himself, and a wizard giving the tower to his apprentice. Oh, and the queen became evil.
- GURPS Alternate Earths has Bizarro Earth, where doing things backwards started as a harmless fashion in the early 19th century that quickly grew out of control. On this Earth, Kennedy was deposed for shooting at a book depository worker named Lee Harvey Oswald from his presidential car.
- Naturally, Mutants & Masterminds has these for it's Freedom City setting which features countless homages and amalgamations of Marvel and DCU concepts. This includes a Mirror Universe, and Earth-Ape, which is like our Earth but with intelligent apes instead of humans.
Sketch Comedy Show
- The History of the World Backwards takes place in a parallel world where history flows backwards. So Nelson Mandela started life as a popular politician, then went to the prison and became a terrorist, the United States fought to join Great Britain and Christopher Columbus loses the Americas and proves the world is flat.
Live Action TV
- Sketches set in "The Bizarro World" - done with a jerky low-frame-rate camera effect and funky audio filtering - were a frequent feature on Saturday Night Live during the early 1980s.
- "NBC am in third place! This am great!"
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Wishverse is not a Bizarro world, despite Cordelia's remark "I wish us all to Bizarro World", but a combination of For Want of a Nail and a subversion of Wonderful Life (Cordy wished somebody else had never come to Sunnydale).
- In Angel, in Cordelia's final episode after a long absence, she returns, and upon finding that Angel is working with their main enemies and an old villain has switched sides, asks "What Bizarro world did I wake up in?", referencing both the Wishverse and the trope itself.
- Charmed had an episode with a universe where the Charmed Ones are evil and demons are good. It also turned out that the "Power of Three" which normally requires three sisters could be used by combining the normal and reversed universe characters' powers as the Power of Four.
- Father Ted, where Rugged Island has another set of three priests with the same dynamic as the regulars on Craggy Island. Although Father Dick Byrne is more manipulative and evil than his counterpart, the "comparitively" good Father Ted Crilly. As for Cyril Mc Duff, he's such an eejit even Dougal knows it.
- Seinfeld episode "The Bizarro Jerry" (1996) posits Elaine as the focal point between two universes: Jerry, George, and Kramer being their juvenile, petty, and doofy (respectively) selves are contrasted with Kevin, Gene, and Feldman who are mature, considerate, and clever. The episode goes to great lengths to provide all the show's constants with bizarro versions. Some stuff The Other Wiki misses:
- Kevin's apartment is a mirror image of Jerry's, built from the same set. The paint scheme is reversed as well, as are the camera angles. It also has a statue of Bizarro, similar to Jerry's of Superman.
- At the Bizarro Coffee Shop (i.e., Reggie's), the Bizarro Gang sits in a booth by the window, which the normal gang does but rarely (and often to their consternation).
- Gene, in addition to his polite Bizarro George personality, is always over-dressed. A sharp contrast to his rival, who would "drape [himself] in velvet [jumpsuits] if it were socially acceptable" (and in fact, eventually does).
- Feldman apparently has several ideas for inventions that are both new and useful, but dismisses them as "not practical", whereas Kramer's ideas fall into two categories: bad ideas, and good ideas he claims were stolen from him.
- Feldman knocks on the door to Kevin's apartment, rather than barging in as Kramer would, and actually brings Kevin groceries.
- They also play the Seinfeld theme backwards near the end.
- Let us not forget Bizarro Newman (named Fargas). He and Bizarro Jerry are good friends, and Fargas is a FedEx delivery man.
- The last scene has the three hugging each other and Bizarro Jerry saying, "Me so happy. Me want to cry," Just as Bizarro in the comics would say.
- On The Daily Show, John Oliver referred to "Bizarro Hitler", who spent his time hugging Jews and got his ass handed to him by France. Also, his face was all moustache except above his lip- when Jon Stewart said he imagined Bizarro Hitler would be a black man with blond hair and a pencil beard, John Oliver told him he was thinking of Dennis Rodman.
- In another episode, Jon Stewart's Bizarro version is mentioned: the "ruggedly handsome, non-neurotic" Jon Leibowitz, who pretends to be independent, but actually is a "right-wing nutcase."
- And with the February, 2011 strike in Wisconsin, the Union strikers are apparently the Bizarro Tea Party.
- In a Red Dwarf episode, the boys visit an alternate universe with an alternate Red Dwarf, and meet female counterparts of Lister and Rimmer and even the computer Holly (it's a world with a female-dominated history). When the Cat runs off eagerly and lustfully to find his female counterpart:
Debbie Lister: I think he's in for a bit of a shock.
Dave Lister: Why?
Debbie Lister: His opposite isn't female.
Dave Lister: What is it?
Debbie Lister: It's a dog.
- Red Dwarf also features the episode "Backwards", where the crew visits a "backwards Earth". The digestive process was, let's just say, rather interesting there.
- In Star Trek: The Original Series an episode entitled "Mirror, Mirror", a transporter malfunction causes Kirk and some of his crew to be transported to a Bizarro World, where the Federation was a cruel, racist empire (complete with the
Nazi ancient Roman salute), and where Spock had a beard.
- The Mirror Universe was later revisted in a series of episodes on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine to show how Kirk and company's interaction affected things. Now, the human race is enslaved by a Klingon/Cardassian alliance, with Kira their Intendent and Worf their regent. Sisko was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold that became a rebel leader, Jadzia his mistress and O'Brien a timid tinkerer. Interesting, mirror-Tuvok appeared in one of these episodes, but was very much like his normal universe counterpart.
- Later Star Trek: Enterprise did a two-parter showing the Terran Empire in the 22nd century. Archer was a commander prone to Chronic Backstabbing Disorder, Reed a sadistic security officer, Phlox loose with medical ethics and Trip a bitter engineer suffering from radiation poisoning among other differences.
- The old Canadian kid's show You Can't Do That on Television had every so often their 'Opposite Sketches', featuring this.
- In the Power Rangers Ninja Storm episode "The Wild Wipeout", after failing to surf a wave, Tori winds up in an alternate Blue Bay Harbor, where Lothor is the good-natured mayor, his underlings are model citizens, Marah and Kapri are hippies, and the Rangers are super-powered juvenile delinquents. Even their hobbies are reversed: when they are arrested near the end of the episode, Bizarro Dustin expresses his desire to go skating, which Bizarro Shane dismisses as lame, preferring to ride motorbikes instead.
- The Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode "Stranger in a Strange World" introduces Other World when Iolaus accidentally trades places with his double. Here, Hercules is a brutal tyrant known as the Sovereign, Iolaus is his cowardly jester, Xena is a conniving schemer, Gabrielle is an infamous executioner, Ares is the god of love, Aphrodite is the prim and proper queen of the gods, and Joxer is a quick-witted rebel leader. And mentioned but not seen is god of war Cupid.
- The two most famous are from DC Comics: Bizarro World and the Crime Syndicate of America (or sometimes Amerika).
- Bizarro World is a planet (or sometimes a universe) that works on Bizarro logic, where everything is opposite of Earthly ways (the planet itself is actually a cube and named "Htrae"). Bizarro World in the Silver Age had a law stating it was a crime to do anything good or make anything pretty or to do things correctly. This was instituted by Bizarro #1 after Lois Lane called him a hideous, and backwards "Bizzaro" Superman. The inhabitants actually rejected the first Bizarro baby because it was perfect by human standards, then had tried to get it back when they found out it would turn Bizarro three days after it was born. All-Star Superman introduced "Zibarro," who was like a Bizarro on Bizarro World. That is, he was a normal person.
- What's weird about it too was, Bizarro was supposed to have originated because the duplicator ray just couldn't handle duplicating Superman, but later this was changed so that everything duplicated was a Bizarro style duplicate. Remember, Lex Luthor built the original.
- That's the Post Crisis explanation. The Pre Crisis duplicator ray always made Bizarro copies. Luthor wasn't even the inventor (the inventor considered the gizmo a failure), but he co-opted the design because he figured a Bizarro Superman might side with him. He was wrong, and Bizarro quickly flew off to pursue his own wacky agendas, regardless of what Luthor wanted.
- On the CSA's parallel world of "Earth-3" (later rewritten during DC's Post Crisis period to be in Qward the anti-matter universe), Earth history is reversed (Britain fought the Revolutionary war to gain independence from America, President John Wilkes Booth was assassinated by Abraham Lincoln, and so on) and everyone generally acts the opposite of their counterparts in the "normal" universe (i.e., all heroes are villains and vice versa). Also (Post Crisis) the laws of physics are changed so that evil always wins.
- Another version of this morality-swapped universe is the post-Infinite Crisis Earth-3, featuring the Crime Society of America, which differs slightly from the antimatter version. It's supposed to be the morality-swapped version of Earth-2, while the antimatter universe is the morality-swapped version of the main Earth.
- An issue of Cartoon Network Presents featured a tribute to Bizarro World in the form of a story where Peter Potamus visits a pyramid-shaped version of it, inhabited by Bizarro versions of Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters (among them: Yogi Bear would rather clean up Jellystone Park than steal picnic baskets, Mr. Peebles does not want to sell Magilla Gorilla, and Wally Gator wants to stay at the zoo).
- Bizarro has been around long enough (and had enough different people writing him) that in any given story it's possible for him to be embracing nearly any variation on this trope. Occasionally he's treated as a villain (actually evil) but usually he's portrayed as more of a hindrance (he tries to be helpful but is really bad at it, or perhaps he just has a decidedly twisted notion of what "helpful" means). He is, however, nearly always dumber than the box of rocks he appears to be made of.
- Requiem Chevalier Vampire Takes it to it's most hellish extreme: Where the sea was on Earth there is now land, and likewise for the oceans. Instead of growing older people regress in age, until they turn into foetuses and are then entirely forgotten, and most integreally to the plot, the more cruel a person was in life, the better they are rewarded in death...
- The Mirror Universe of Moebius in the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog series also has some Bizarro elements, besides the morality flip. A pacifist, Irish-accented Knuckles guards the Sunken Island, and instead of the rare and powerful Chaos Emeralds there is a bountiful supply of Anarchy Beryl, which gives Power at a Price (Sonic figures this out in an impressive moment of Genre Savvy).
- Transformers features the "Shattered Glass" universe, where heroic Decepticons fight evil Autobots.
- In Magic: The Gathering, Shadowmoor is effectively a Bizarro Universe of the previous block's setting, Lorwyn. A magical incident known as "the Aurora" causes the bright and light-hearted world of Lorwyn to become the dark and sinister Shadowmoor. The personalities of its inhabitants are likewise warped: the clannish kithkin are now xenophobic and paranoid, the mischievous and energetic boggarts are warlike berserkers, and the proud and domineering elves have become beleaguered preservers of beauty in a dark and ugly world (they're only slightly less smug, though).
- Except for faeries, they're pricks in both worlds.
- And it's rather neat that the races don't simply become opposite, but remphasize their core identity to fit the darker world (causing only one of their two colors to shift). Boggarts were always mass breeding, hostile to the outside, and crazy, but now they've traded in pranks for full out violence. Kithkin always lived in tight knit communities, but drew even tighter together when the outside world became dark. Elves still based everything around the importance of beauty, except now that there was so little they became valiant protectors of it rather than facist enforcers. The merfolk's focus on wealth and secrets quickly reverts to hording and theft rather than mutual trade. The giants surrender their noble side to their barbaric simplicity. The treefolk still defend the woodlands, but the woodlands are so fetid and diseased that they must be protected with greater savagery.
- The faeries, however, remain pricks.
- From where they were in Lorwyn, they really didn't have anywhere lower to go.
- More importantly, the faeries mostly live in Glen Elendra, which, thanks to it being partially removed from the rest of the world by Oona's power, doesn't actually change with the rest of the world. Their world isn't any darker, except when they decide to leave it.
Anime and Manga
- Zoku Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei had a segment on dreams where everyone but Nozomu had a reversed version of the traits that defined them. Cute Mute Meru was talkative, Hikikomori Komori was outside, and so on.
- And then there's the episode in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei where everyone goes to a spa and detoxifies, reversing all of their negative personality quirks.
- Chapter 16 of the Girls Bravo manga has Kirie walking through a magic mirror. On the other side, Yukinari and Fukuyama have each other's personalities, and Koyomi is in love with Fukuyama. She eventually returns to the normal world, but some of them follow her back.
- Fairy Tail has the Edolas arc, and it's apparent the mangaka likes this trope. Among other things, Natsu is an Extreme Doormat, Lucy is a Delinquent Tsundere, Gray wears multiple layers of clothing and stalks Juvia, and Erza is a villain. It's also revealed that Mystogan is actually that universe's counterpart to Jellal, who came over to the regular universe to stop his world from harvesting magic power that doesn't belong to it.
- It's interesting to note that Mira is basically the same kind and sweet person in both universes, except that regular Mira, used to be kind of a jerk, and went through a serious personality shift after the death of her younger sister which didn't happen to Edolas Mira except it did, and the regular universe version of her sister appeared in Edolas in her place.
- "Steel Ball Run", the 7th installment of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is entirely based on an alternate universe then the original setting. Some sections of the plot, as well as the characters, are basically the same, such as Diego Brando, Gyro Zeppeli and Johnny Joestar. These three were the main characters of the original setting.
- The Naruto Road to Ninja movie is set in some sort of reality where Naruto's parents are alive and Sakura's parents are dead. What makes this a full on Bizarro Universe is that several other characters have backward personalities, such as a flirtatious Sasuke and an aggressive Hinata.