In short, the Planet Earth has become a giant fracking battlefield, or at least a significantly widespread number of sections of it have.
Louis Armstrong once had a song by the title of "What a Wonderful World". Which is pretty much the opposite of what it's like when
Earth is a battlefield.
That's because when Earth is subject to this trope, it's hard to find anywhere on the planet where there isn't violent fighting going on
. Anywhere you do find that's peaceful now could easily become thick with fighting at a moments notice, if it wasn't thick with fighting previously. Nobody on Earth is untouched by loss of loved ones. And making love instead of war isn't exactly an option for anyone who's serious about coming out of this ahead. If War Is Hell
, then having this trope means the underworld's unleashed its evil upon the planet, and they're having one hell of a field day.
It could range from countries engaging in a wide conflict to an Alien Invasion
Name is a pun on both the Pat Benatar
song "Love Is a Battlefield"note
, and Battlefield Earthnote
Often involves Humans Are Warriors
- Most Gundam series fit this trope.
- In particular, the rules for the Gundam Fight of G Gundam state that "Earth is the ring"... shown by the existence of laser boxing-ring ropes circling the planet, which a Gundam actually bounces off.
- Usually everything that involved a mecha, on the principle that any discovery man kind makes, it stays in the military first (and for the rule of dramatism in the media, used for bloody wars... many many bloody wars).
- Strike Witches has Japan, Germany, Finland, Russia, France, Italy, USA and the UK fighting an Alien Invasion at the same time. In panties.
- Same goes for its spiritual predecessor Sky Girls.
- This trope is played straight in Super Dimension Fortress Macross/Robotech where all of Earth bombarded and devastated in a planet wide assault. Furthermore, this experience was the driving reason in the aborted sequel Robotech: The Sentinels for the heroes to lead a major armed expedition to the Robotech Masters' world. Ostensibly, the major goal is to come to an accord with that power, but if it comes to fighting, then at least their world will be the battlefield this time.
- The Macross continuity has humanity specifically anticipating this to happen again in the future and taking precautions.
- In the final episode of Jormungand, nearly every continent has descended into this. A "New USSR" and the United States are locked in a second Cold War, the Indo-Pakistan conflict has started anew, a sixth Arab-Israeli Conflict has erupted in the Middle East, China has suffered an economic crash, race riots are breaking out in Indonesia, drug cartels and left-wing terrorists have turned much of Latin America into a smoking wasteland, the same can be said of Africa as its many civil wars have escalated, and Europe is under siege by a massive new spate of terrorism to the point that Big Ben has been destroyed. The only continent that seems untouched (besides Antarctica, of course) is Australia.
- Cornova's Poké Wars series shows Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Orre, Fiore, Oblivia, and Almia as war torn hell holes.
- In general, it's a poplar fanfic idea, and is usually melded with Crapsack World for an apocalyptic wasteland. Any fandom with a decent amount of fiction written about it will have a variation of this.
- The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum has the Eastern US coast (Boston in particular), Nairobi, New Dehli, and New Brunswick on the frontlines of a war against xenocidal aliens, while the rest of the world trapped in a life destroying barrier.
- Worldwar: War of Equals has the alien forces land in strategic positions around the world facing the best 21st century militaries can dish out. Unlike the situation in the source material, the world isn't wrapped up in World War II and even spotted them right outside our solar system almost two years ago, giving Humanity time to prepare itself.
- Earth vs. the Flying Saucers
- Battle: Los Angeles
- Independence Day, even if it focused on the United States.
- Terminator Salvation makes the trope particularly clear, with a radio message being received by sparse resistance fighters across the entire planet.
- Godzilla Final Wars: Giant monsters controlled by aliens destroying major landmarks while fighting Godzilla, anyone?
- Of course, Final Wars is essentially a remake of Destroy All Monsters which basically as the same premise. Aliens control giant monsters (Including Godzilla himself who attacks New York City) that destroy major cities.
- Battlefield Earth, albeit in the past tense (humanity was curb-stomped long before the plot gets going).
- An interesting case in Hackers, where hackers from all over the world are joining in a virtual attack on the Gibson supercomputer in order to overload its defenses.
- H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds is possibly the ur-example in fiction (although it's implied the invaders never got beyond Britain).
- John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata does this, with Posleen landings all over the place generally making life rather suck for most humans.
- The later books of the Animorphs series, after the morphing cube is stolen and Visser Three launches open war.
- World War Z - basically the complete opposite of America Saves the Day.
- The appropriately named Worldwar series by Harry Turtledove has alien landings in sites across the world in the middle of 1942. It's debatable whether Earth Is a Battlefield applies after the first three months of war: during that time the alien Race conquer and subdue most nations apart from the great powers who were mobilised to fight World War II. However, partisan resistance continues everywhere, the area Turtledove mostly writing about being China.
- The War Against the Chtorr, and humanity is losing.
- In Palladium's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles And Other Strangeness, this was what much of the Earth's future looked like: evacuated by all organic life and used as a killing zone by psychotic AIs hiding in underground bunkers.
- Palladium Books loves this trope. Rifts is also an example, as well as Dead Reign and Nightbane.
- Risk, of course.
- Warhammer 40,000 has a whole galaxy in constant war. Earth itself, on the other hand is relatively safe by Warhammer 40K standards, though back in the Age of Strife, around ten thousand years ago, it was divided into warring techno-barbarian empires that only stopped when the Emperor arrived to conquer it all and stop the fighting.
- The Command & Conquer series. The Tiberium series and Generals were global from the beginning. The Red Alert series was confined to Europe in the first game but quickly went global in its latter two installments.
- Most of the fighting in the Generals series happens in China, the Middle East, and Central Asia. The Zero Hour expansion pack takes this further: the United States has a mission in Somalia, the GLA visits the continental US to steal their newest weapon and then attacks Greece & Germany, while four-fifths of the Chinese campaign happens in Germany (the other one-fifth occurs in western China, probably the Xinjiang region).
- Probably the Seven Hour War from the Half-Life 2 backstory.
- That was more of a Curb-Stomp Battle. A more straightforward example is the uprising in the most recent games. It's humanity vs the Combine and it's unlikely the fighting is restricted to Eastern Europe only.
- The world has descended into something closely resembling this in the beginning of Metal Gear Solid 4. It's especially apparent in the fake ads that appear before the opening cutscene.
- The X-COM series is a prime example of this trope, where Earth is in the midst of a full-scale invasion of numerous alien species. So in essence, it seems that Earth has become China during the Mongol conquest.
- With the debut trailer for Mass Effect 3 showing the Reapers just annihilating London and presumably other cities, it appears that the game is going to have this trope.
- The game itself starts with the Reapers invading Earth. Over the course of the game, you hear from Anderson, who is leading a global resistance movement that's fighting back against the Reapers as best as they can, even when indoctrinated authority figures attempt to criminalise doing so. Then the final battle takes place in London, which looks rather like it's been hit with many, many hammers for a period of several weeks.
- Invoked in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, where the first sector of the Schwartzweld, Antlia, is modeled after a burning warzone. The reason? Its Tyrant, Morax, is the embodiment of humanity's warlike nature.
- Xenonauts is a mild case, since the war is rather limited, but nevertheless any place on Earth may become a target at any time. It is an Alien Invasion game after all.
- Final Fantasy IX Once the player finishes the events in Terra. Kuja plans on waging war back on Gaia. Which the mist that used to only cover a bit of said continent has now covered the whole world. Making it hard to see what's in front of the player.
- The world of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- In the American Dad! noncanon Christmas episode "Rapture's Delight", the Rapture comes and half the Earth's population ascends into heaven while the rest are left behind as Jesus returns to battle the Anti-Christ. In seven years the world becomes a wasteland in the war between the angelic forces of Jesus and the demonic armies of the Anti-Christ. One battle is mentioned, the "Battle of Boca Raton".
- In the Grand Finale of Justice League Unlimited, the entire League as well as the surviving remnants of the Legion of Doom team up and spread out across the entire world to battle the Forces of Apokolips, lead by Darkseid.
- In most Transformers incarnations, they Autobots and Decepticons take their fights to Earth.
- The Ur Example is actually the "Seven Years' War" in the mid-18th century, which had a bunch of simultaneous conflicts sprouting up over various points in the world. The part in North America is known as the "French and Indian War". Winston Churchill himself nicknamed it "The first world war".
- World War I, though mostly confined to Europe, saw fighting scattered throughout Africa and the Middle East, and at least one major engagement in the Pacific. Nearly every state on Earth was involved either directly or indirectly.
- World War II is a more direct example, as there was a lot of fighting all around Earth, in Africa, around North America, in Europe, in East Asia and the Pacific regions. Also small naval battles around South America.