A smallish island, off the shipping lanes. It is completely uninhabited, and hence devoid of [[TheoryOfNarrativeCausality Story]], until the protagonists arrive.

These islands come in five main varieties.

* FarSideIsland: A circular island approximately ten feet in diameter, with a single palm tree situated near the center -- the stock setting for many cartoons, with many comedic uses (including MeatOVision). As this is a subtrope, examples of it go on its own page.
* Castaway Island: A larger island with enough flora and fauna for Literature/RobinsonCrusoe and his [[{{Robinsonade}} marooned imitators]] to strut their stuff.
* Treasure Island: the favourite spot for {{Pirate}}s to bury [[PirateBooty their treasure]], usually found by means of following a map. Yarrr!
* Monster Island: The abode of monsters. If it's a LostWorld, the heroes might escape with a dinosaur to show off; if it's covered in Eldritch Ruins, they'll be lucky to escape with their sanity intact.[[note]]Also, [[NonIndicativeName despite the name]], [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons it's actually a peninsula.]][[/note]]
* IslandOfMystery: An island containing combinations of monsters, mad scientists, castaways, ancient temples and other mysterious phenomena.

The typical Deserted Island is full of JungleJapes, involving [[BambooTechnology bamboo devices]], coconuts and [[PollyWantsAMicrophone parrots]].

Often found on [[WelcomeToTheCaribbeanMon The Spanish Main]], spectacularly uncharted as it is.

In past centuries such islands could be found in every ocean, but these days it takes loads of {{Phlebotinum}} to keep them hidden. Note, however, that even though in this day and age about any island you can set foot upon was probably already visited by a human being, that doesn't mean you'll find any signs of human presence left on it. There are absolutely tons of islands that hardly ever see anybody visit them for a variety of reasons: maybe they're just too far away from the nearest inhabited place, maybe there's just nothing interesting on them to find. In fact, the very name "deserted" implies that somebody must have been there to desert it in the first place. At any rate, while your chances of finding yourself on one of them are miniscule compared to, say, the 18th century sailors, it's still 100% possible and does happen every once in a while.

In ScienceFiction, a deserted moon or planet makes an acceptable substitute. Leaving these [[ClosedCircle closed circles]] is often made difficult.

Grammatical note: these are more classically referred to as [[http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/desert desert islands]] (see definition 2). This does not, in fact, imply that they are dry places, although the misinterpretation means they are sometimes depicted as such.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Manga/BattleRoyale'', and therefore ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'', take place on deserted islands where classes of high school students are dumped with explosive collars and forced to kill each other until only one is left. [[spoiler:Two still survive in ''Battle Royale'', but nobody has escaped a game yet in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest''.]]
* In ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'', the deserted island scenes are pleasant enough to be {{Beach Episode}}s. One time ("We're Shipwrecked") is the Axis Powers just there in no rush to be rescued, another time ("We're Shipwrecked Too") has America and England having a difficult time trying to deal with the island and [[{{Tsundere}} each other]]. The Drama CD version has the entire up-until-then cast, in a combination of the two strips.
* This is where the characters of ''Manga/LetsLagoon'' end up though [[spoiler: it's not so much spatially as temporally displaced from the main ship routes.]]
* "Two characters from different sides of the war get stranded together in a desert island, character development and bonding issue" seems to be a common plot point for Creator/{{Sunrise}} mecha shows, ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'', ''Anime/CodeGeass'' and ''Anime/BuddyComplex'' all have an episode with such premise.


* ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'' has ''multiple'' desert islands, all of which fit one or more tropes to a T:
** The Monster Island in ''Recap/TintinTheShootingStar'' is a [[BabyPlanet sinking asteroid of bare rock]] full of [[FungusHumongous giant mushrooms]] & [[AttackOfThe50FootWhatever scaled-up animals]];
** The Treasure Island in ''Recap/TintinRedRackhamsTreasure'' is [[JungleJapes jungly]] and {{pirate}}y;
** The Castaway Island in ''Recap/TintinFlight714'' is an [[AncientAstronauts Alien Landing Strip]] hidden in a volcano!
* Frequently used in old adventure strips in ''ComicBook/TheBeano'' a good example being the strip The Shipwrecked Circus.


[[folder: Fan Fic ]]

* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' has the family get stranded on their camping destination in "Camping Trip Part 1".
* One serves as the setting for the WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic fanfiction ''Fanfic/MotherOfInvention.''
* ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'''s sidestory Laramie Gaiden takes place in one. It's of the Castaway Island variety, and it follows Leeroy Laramie (grandfather of Lara Laramie) as he tries to survive along with a Pokémon Ranger named Jenkins Jackrum (they were the only survivors of their respective battleships, which shortly before getting stranded had been engaged in combat in open sea).
* ''Fanfic/SoulEaterTroubledSouls'' has one of its StoryArcs set on a deserted island named Cobra Island. [[spoiler: The protagonists were lured there by Medusa as part of a scheme to eliminate them while Shaula ambushes Death City]].



* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'':
** ''[[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl The Curse of the Black Pearl]]'' has Jack and Elizabeth marooned on a desert island.
** The titular [[Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanDeadMansChest Dead Man's Chest]] of the second film is housed on another.
* ''Disney/TreasurePlanet'', B.E.N. is Marooned on a [[strike:desert]] ''planet''. It's [[ThatsNoMoon actually a]] BigDumbObject.
* In {{Film/Castaway}}, Tom Hanks's character washes up on one.
* The protagonists of ''Film/DeepRising'' end up on one in the ending, only to hear the roar of yet another monster somewhere inside.
* The protagonist in ''Film/CastawayOnTheMoon'' winds up on an unusual example. It's deserted all right, and it is an island--but it's ''right in the middle of Seoul'', under a bridge spanning the Han River. The protagonist winds up getting stuck there for months, because after all, who's looking for people on an island under a bridge?
* This is Silva's hideout in ''Film/{{Skyfall}}'' and where James Bond first meets him.
* The corporate team of ''Film/WelcomeToTheJungle'' are sent to one for their wilderness team-building retreat. Subverted in that they later find a deserted bunker, indicating there was, at some time, people.
* In ''Film/Siren2010'', the island where the protagonists discover Silka has no one on it aside from her.

* In the novel ''Literature/{{Beyond}}'' this is subverted. The island they encounter is [[spoiler: populated by castaways.]]
* Ibn Tufail's Arabic novel ''Hayy ibn Yaqzan'' (also known as ''Philosophus Autodidactus'') from the 12th century is possibly the UrExample, about a boy abandoned on a deserted island and raised by an animal.
** A spiritual successor was Ibn al-Nafis' Arabic novel ''Theologus Autodidactus'' from the 13th century.
* Daniel Defoe's ''Literature/RobinsonCrusoe''.
* ''Literature/BabySittersClub Super Special 4: Baby-sitters' Island Adventure''. The island was somewhere off the coast of Connecticut.
* In Creator/JimButcher's ''Literature/SmallFavor'' and ''Literature/TurnCoat'', we have the island that [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]] names "Demonreach". It was not only abandoned decades ago, but removed from government records, and Harry says he'd bet that no flight lanes pass within 5 miles of the place. This island, to be clear, is on Lake Michigan, within relatively easy reach of Chicago if you know how to avoid rocky shoals or something. Its desertedness is justified by magic, namely the fact it's a GeniusLoci and isn't very friendly.
** ''Literature/ColdDays'' establishes that the GeniusLoci psychically broadcasts an inexplicable feeling of overwhelming dread that increases the closer you get to the island, effectively causing anyone who might stumble across the island to steer well clear of it without ever knowing that they're doing so, or why.
* Johann Wyss' ''Literature/TheSwissFamilyRobinson'', explicitly named after ''Robinson Crusoe'', takes place on a rather lush and serviceable desert island.
* The setting for the first part of Walter Farley's ''Literature/TheBlackStallion.'' Only the boy and the horse inhabit this Castaway Island.
* ''Literature/LordOfTheFlies''
* [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] quite cleverly in ''The End'', final book of Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents, which takes place on an island where "everything eventually washes up on the shores"(its coastal shelf is very cluttered), including a whole band of castaways with [[MeaningfulName names alluding to stories of this genre]].
* Creator/HPLovecraft: R'lyeh, when above water, as in "Literature/TheCallOfCthulhu".
* Mono Island in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''The Last Continent''.
* R.L. Stevenson's ''Literature/TreasureIsland''.
* Creator/JulesVerne's ''Mysterious Island'' appears to be deserted, but the resident castaways eventually learn that [[spoiler: Captain Nemo has retired there.]]
* ''The Invention of Morel'', by Adolfo Bioy Casares, in which a nameless narrator falls in love with a holographic woman on a deserted island and is slowly driven mad by the machinery that is creating the holograms. Supposedly one of the inspirations for ''Series/{{Lost}}''.
* Justified in the Literature/HarryPotter stories, as islands populated by magical creatures are sometimes made Unplottable as part of TheMasquerade.
* ''Literature/IslandOfTheBlueDolphins''. The protagonist is accidentally left behind on her home island after the rest of her people emigrate.
* A princess and an ambassador flee to an island in the fairy tale "''[[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/authors/aulnoy/1892/princessmayblossom.html The Princess Mayblossom]]''. The island is full of plants and animals that offer food to the princess. However, the ambassador is desperate to get food - and the princess must keep her food gifts away from him. But when she does, the ambassador decides to [[ImAHumanitarian eat the princess]], which results in the princess murdering him in self-defense. [[spoiler:She does get off the island and gets her HappilyEverAfter.]] Unlike most examples, this island seems to be in a temperate climate.
* The titular ''Literature/NimsIsland''. It's portrayed as a kid-friendly paradise. Most of the time.
* In Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs's ''Literature/TheMonsterMen'', Professor Maxon chooses one to restart his experiments. (Conveniently away from the law.)
** Burroughs reused the trick with Ras Thavas, who lives on a solid patch of land in the Great Toolnolian Swamp in the Barsoom novels TheMasterMindOfMars and SyntheticMenOfMars. Guess what he's doing in the latter (or, more accurately, just before the latter actually starts).
* The Isles of Syren in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'', which also double as [[TownWithADarkSecret Islands with a Dark Secret]].
* In Bryan Miranda's ''The Journey to Atlantis,'' the main characters end up on one when their ship sinks. It's actually [[spoiler: not deserted, in two fashions. There is one other human that they meet, a boy who has been living there for three years. And also Loki, a malicious deity in the form of a red wolf, who scours the island causing trouble for Mickello, and also the others when they arrive.]]
* ''Literature/DrFranklinsIsland'' appears to be this when the protagonists get to shore. They call each other "prisoners in paradise" and struggle to survive. As the title suggests, though, it does belong to [[MadScientist someone]], who waits until people stop looking for them.
* The island in Enid's Blyton series Literature/TheFamousFive.
* Former ChildProdigy [[http://www.farksolia.org Barbara Newhall Follett]], who continued to write as an adult while working as a clerk-typist in New York, wrote ''[[http://www.farksolia.org/lost-island-part-1/ Lost Island: A Romance]]'' in 1934. It's about an adventurous [[AuthorAvatar clerk-typist in New York]] who takes a trip on an old schooner[[note]]Barbara had [[PluckyMiddie actually done this]] as a teenager[[/note]] and ends up shipwrecked on a beautiful island with a friend. When they're "rescued" she ends up back in New York, restless and miserable.
* Henry De Vere Stacpoole's original novel ''Literature/TheBlueLagoon'', also the novella ''[[http://www.erbzine.com/mag18/robertson.htm Primordial/Three Laws & the Golden Rule]]'' that inspired it, were just two of [[http://www.erbzine.com/mag18/1899.html a type of story popular in Victorian times]]: "strand innocent toddlers on a Crusoe-type DesertedIsland and see how they live, with plenty of resources but without parents or culture". ''Literature/{{Tarzan}}'' and ''Literature/TheJungleBook'' are probably the two best known versions of this.
* In ''Literature/TheMidnightFolk'', Kay's sea-captain grandfather was hired to transport a great treasure, then lost it when his crew mutinied, stole the ship and treasure, and stranded him on a deserted island. While tracing the subsequent history of the treasure, Kay learns that shortly afterward the crew mutinied again and stranded the ring-leader of the first mutiny on another, even more bleak and inhospitable, island.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'' takes place on a "deserted" island that's about as deserted as UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity.
* ''Series/GilligansIsland'' takes place on one and many episodes involve attempts to leave. Unfortunately, many of these are screwed up by Gilligan himself.
* ''Rough Science'', a British television special where five scientists from different fields are stranded in a hostile environment and are required to make advanced devices out of natural materials and miscellaneous scrap, has several episodes take place on deserted islands.
* Parodied in ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' (of course), a Christmas special with guest star Paul Simon.
** The "Captain Jim and Pedro" sketches show the aftermath of this with the titular pair trying to readjust to society after escaping from one. Captain Jim seems to be adjusting well, but Pedro seems to have been driven crazy.
* ''Series/TheKidsInTheHall'' - the flamboyant Buddy Cole, musing on his three 'desert island picks', finds himself on one with his favorite book, record, and person - Oscar Wilde, who quickly gets shunned when his wit isn't up to scratch.
* Many seasons of the RealityShow ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' have used this setting, and it has come to be associated with the series.
* ''Series/MythBusters'' had an episode ("Duct Tape Island") which used this plot as a setting to test various survival methods using DuctTapeForEverything. (The episode itself had several obvious signs that the island was ''far'' from deserted; these were [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by the hosts. As they admitted in their Aftershow--and as could be deduced by depictions of the island in their animated 'blueprint drawings'--the actual setting was [[spoiler:a beach on the island of Oahu, the most populated island in the Hawaiian chain. They also admitted that most of their nights, they'd slept in a hotel. The builds themselves were all real, though]].)
* ''Series/GoodEats'' has a special on tropical cuisine in which Alton Brown is stranded on a deserted island. [[spoiler: He's in Hawaii and stumbles across a pineapple farm among other signs of life, until finally running into a surfer on vacation.]]
* The third season finale of ''Series/{{Scorpion}}'' has the team trapped on an island and work on ways to escape. They finally do after three weeks.

* "Message In a Bottle" by Music/ThePolice is about someone stuck on one and slowly going insane from isolation...unless the island is a metaphor for loneliness in general.

* Though not technically a fictional series, Radio/DesertIslandDiscs uses the hypothetical scenario of the guest (some notable person) being stranded on a desert island and being asked, if they were allowed to take so many records with them (along with other items like a book and a luxury) which they would pick. (It's meant as a way of them describing themselves and their life.)
* Crops up in ''Radio/BleakExpectations'' as one of many tropes it parodies when Pip Bin washes up on one. He starts to GoMadFromTheIsolation after a few days until he finds a "primitive" human[[note]]who turns out to be his best friend in need of a bath[[/note]] who saves him from starving by revealing it is a ''dessert'' island and the beach is made of apple crumble. There it veers into {{Robinsonade}} until the BigBad, Gently Benevolent, turns up with an army of dinosaurs and calls it a LostWorld.


* In ''Theatre/{{Philoctetes}}'', the eponymous character was stranded by Odysseus on one of these for years. Others did anchor off of it from time to time, but no one would take Philoctetes off the island in spite and ''because of'' the fact that he was crippled.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The first game in the ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' series. The island's also a ForbiddenZone--since it's not that near anywhere, it was used for scientific research until something [[GoneHorriblyWrong went horribly wrong]] and the entire place was abandoned. Naturally, you're about to find out ''why'' it was abandoned.
* ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Pokémon Emerald]]'' has Faraway Island, a deserted island in the middle of the ocean that has nothing of interest, except for [[spoiler:[[GameBreaker Mew]]]].
* All of these are present in the ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' series.
* ''VideoGame/TheSims2'' has a spin-off called Castaways revolving round the player's sim getting stranded in such an island. The mobile phone version is essentially the same.
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon: Island of Happiness'' has your character stranded there with a few other survivors. In a bit of a subversion, other ships DO find them, and there are, in fact, at least two other people already living on the island. The main point of the game is to fix the island up so that it can become populated.
* ''VideoGame/MystVEndOfAges'' has one on the Age of Laki'ahn, which once served as a Treasure Island to the Age's inhabitants, according to Esher, and now holds part of the Bahro Keep.
* Indie game ''VideoGame/StrandedDeep'' puts the player in the role of the sole survivor of a plane crash, who winds up in an archipelago of small islands and must find a way to survive.
* ''Dyscourse'' has the player character and five other plane crash survivors on a fairly typical Castaway Island. Whether they make it ''off'' the island depends on how you deal with clashing personalities and various events.
* ''Videogame/MonsterHunter'' has a map ''called'' the Deserted Island. Subverted, in that it's supposed to be devoid of human life, but still has a spot of civilization, Moga Village, thriving on it. This is because during the events of ''Monster Hunter tri'' and ''[[UpdatedRerelease Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate]]'', [[spoiler:the village received an order to evacuate the island due to a series of earthquakes threatening to level the village, but the village's inhabitants refused to leave, instead sending out the PlayerCharacter to hunt and defeat the source of the earthquake, which as it turns out is a massive underwater Elder Dragon.]] The map remains named such in ''Monster Hunter Generations'' despite taking place chronologically after ''3'' with several returning characters explicitly stating they're visiting from Moga, but the name was presumably kept for nostalgia purposes.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Parodied in ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}''; after Khrima [[spoiler:accidentally shatters the Crystal of the Kildracks]], Ardam and Karn end up on one of these. Ardam mentions that he'd often thought about being on a deserted island, but he always hoped it would be one ''without'' Karn. He also makes a fishing rod to give Karn something to do, but Karn sees it as a minigame and nearly covers the island in fish. But soon enough [[spoiler:it turns out it wasn't an island, just ''a movie set of an island'', but the movie set part was BehindTheBlack]], which just ticks Ardam off.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Done in the WesternAnimation/WoodyWoodpecker short ''Fair Weather Fiends''.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has the episode of ''Das Bus'', which has Bart, Lisa, Milhouse, Nelson, Martin and others stranded on a deserted island. It's a takeoff on ''Literature/LordOfTheFlies'', of course.
** Parodied with the episode of ''Lisa On Ice'', where Lisa imagines being sentenced to "Monster Island" for having failed gym class in the second grade.
*** [[SubvertedTrope Luckily]], Monster Island is a NonIndicativeName. [[spoiler:[[DoubleSubversion It's really a peninsula.]]]]
* The [[WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}} Dethklok Home for Wayward Kittens]] is populated only by handicapped mutants. [-[[KillerRabbit "RELEASE THE KITTENS!"]]-]
* Originally Dinobot Island in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', to give the Dinobots somewhere to live away from civilization. By season 3 it's gotten rather crowded, now home to Meltdown's labs, Blackarachnia [[spoiler: until she teleported somewhere]], and [[spoiler: Scrapper. The other Constructicons are probably around somewhere too.]]
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys'', the family gets stranded on an uncharted island after Nigel accidentally locks them out of the Comvee with a security system he designed.
* ''JimmyNeutron'' used this plot for shipping between Jimmy and Cindy. The pair argue wether there is an actual line around the equator or not, so they go to check in the hover car... cue falling off of it and ending up on a deserted island and growing closer to each other. By the end of the episode Cindy didn't even ''want'' to leave the island and suggested she and Jimmy stay there forever.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has Peter, Joe, Cleveland, and Quagmire become stranded on a lone island after being shipwrecked, causing their friends and family back home to believe they had died in the storm. The guys pass the time by playing the "who would you rather do" game and at one point, try to start an orgy to satisfy their sexual urges. Naturally, a cruise liner passes by when this happens and everyone stops to take a look as if it was part of the tour.
* The ''WesternAnimation/GerryAndersonsNewCaptainScarlet'' episode "[[PunBasedTitle Fallen Angels]]" saw Destiny and two other pilots [[DieHardOnAnX Die Hard on a Deserted Island]] after being shot down.
* One shows up in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' episode "Island of Deception".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Where There's Smoke", after [[PlayingWithFire Volcana]] is defeated, Superman decides a normal prison wouldn't be able to hold her, so he strands her on an island instead. He regularly visits and gives provisions. She is grateful and treats it like a GildedCage. Later, she manages to escape.
* The ''[[Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians 101 Dalmatians: The Series]]'' episode "Shipwrecked" has Lucky and Scorch end up on one after falling overboard on a cruise.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' episode "Hate and Let Hate", Otto gets stranded on an island that had previously been inhabited by Hermando De Soto and his health spa after Tuddrussel and Larry accidentally forget about him after the mission was complete.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* These can often be found. Unlike fictional islands, the climate of desert islands can vary since some of them can be found near the polar regions.
** And survival on a deserted island is generally even more problematic than it is made out. Most islands that people can survive on already have people living on them.
* Rottumerplaat is a tiny island off the coast of the Netherlands - off limits to the general public. In 1971, two authors stayed on the island one week each (the island has a small living quarter). Each day they had a short contact by radio with the main land (this contact was broadcasted). One author, Jan Wolkers, absolutely loved it. The other, Godfried Bomans, went almost mad. The stay may have contributed to the decline of his health; Godfried Bomans passed away less than half a year later, aged 58. (Jan Wolkers would live on for another 36 years, reaching the age of 81).
* The Galapagos Islands were never permanently settled by Pacific or South American peoples, and qualified as this trope until the 16th century. It is for this reason that they, unlike other islands such as Hawaii, New Zealand, and Madagascar, have kept all of their native wildlife up to the present day. Today, some of the smaller isles have been declared off-limits to everyone except the occasional researcher, to protect their unique native species.
* The largest uninhabited island is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devon_Island Devon Island]], as it is so close to the North Pole.