open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- An episode of the Kirby anime involved aliens trying to turn Popstar into one of these, as part of Dedede paying off his debts. Key word: Trying.
- The ironically named Shangri-La colony from Gundam ZZ is mostly used as a scrapyard, collecting all the wreckage from the space wars that have been raging intermittently for the past 9 years. Unsurprisingly it's mostly populated by devil-may-care teens who dream of running away to a better world & lots of people with names ending in vowels.
- In the American manga EV, the robotic alien Evie encounters seems to come from a world like this—specifically, a world based on Junkion from The Transformers.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Astral World is being destroyed... by humans intentionally dumping their garbage in it.
- An episode of Doraemon involves how littering is wrong. The gang travel to an Earth-like planet where littering is Serious Business. Gian and Suneo got caught littering and sent work at a disposal site where all garbage is compressed into giant balls and illegally launched into orbit.
- This become a Broken Aesop due to a certain earlier episode. Nobita and Doraemon couldn't agree on how to split a dorayaki, so Doraemon lets out a gadget that will make something perpetually split into two while retaining the mass of the original (i.e. matter ex nihilo). Greed gets the better of them, and they let at least 1 dorayaki to remain so they will always have a dorayaki to eat. However, they eventually reach their stomach's limit, and can't do anything about the infinitely splitting dorayaki. The solution? Round up all the affected dorayaki and launch them to outer space. Out of sight, out of mind... at least for their lifetime.
- In issue #12 of the Marvel comic of Battlestar Galactica (1978), Starbuck, Boomer, and Athena, on recon patrol, stumble across Scavenge World, a planet composed entirely of spare parts and inhabited by alien scavengers. They are captured and brought before the throne of Eurayle, the leader of the scavenger "family." Meanwhile, the Galactica is buffeted by a unexpected Cylon attack. The Cylons are momentarily averted, and the Fleet arrives at Scavenge World. Learning of the Galactica's situation, Eurayle makes a proposal - she will use her powers of the mind to free Commander Adama from the Memory Machine, if she can receive Lieutenant Starbuck in return. Starbuck eventually agrees to her offer. After the Cylons are defeated, Starbuck stays behind with her while the Colonial fleet moves on. Starbuck escapes from Scavenge World and returns to the fleet in issue #19. Eurayle pursues the fleet in issue #20, and Starbuck and Apollo meet with her. Starbuck agrees to fight her in a duel to the death. Eurayle wins, but after she leaves it is revealed that Starbuck faked his own death. The Scavenge World ship that Starbuck used to escape winds up giving the Colonials the coordinates to Earth, and the series ends with the fleet making a hyperjump to their final destination.
- Morbus in the Archie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comics is garbage planet within Dimension X, where Krang is banished by Cherubae.
- 2000 AD: In the short strip Life Cycle, a child wakes up onboard a space station with no memory of how she got there. It turns out that it's inside of a giant waste plant.
Films — Animated
- Transformers: The Movie: The Planet of Junk. While entirely comprised of junk, it is not a sphere so much as part of a crescent, implying that it is an artificial world. Whether the Planet of Junk was built by the Junkions is never actually explained.
- WALL•E: Earth itself has become a junk planet, and humanity has gone beyond the stars instead. Not a usual example of the trope, as Earth was not intentionally made such, but the visual aesthetic is the same.
Films — Live-Action
- In the film Soldier the main character had been dumped on a "landfill planet" because he was taken for dead.
- Star Wars:
- Raxus Prime.
- Along with its somewhat interchangeable counterparts Ord Mantell and Lotho Minor.
- Star Wars averts it with Coruscant. The planet's waste is recycled or composted where applicable, and the truly hazardous, irreclaimable garbage gets packed into containers and shot into orbit, where it gets a subsequent heave toward the sun.
- The planet Caamas was used as this after the planet was utterly devastated by orbital bombardment. This was something of a charitable endeavour, as the Caamasi were paid for the use of their (now mostly useless) planet.
- Raxus Prime.
- Larry Niven's short stoy "The Woman in Del Rey Crater" involves humanity dumping most of their nuclear waste into a single crater on the Moon. This is actually explained pretty well: the radioactive waste is hideously dangerous NOW, but we may find a way to use it at some later time. The Moon has no environment to damage, is very sparsely populated, and is relatively easy for this near-future society to reach, so it makes an excellent landfill until recycling technology catches up.
- Garbage World by Charles Pratt. An asteroid is used as the dumping ground for the trash of the pleasure asteroids.
- In the Red Dwarf novelizations, the Garbage World on which Lister ended up stranded turned out to be Earth, after being voted such in a Eurovision Song Contest vote.
- In one of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers stories, Rod Portlyn, a Corrupt Corporate Executive, turns the planet Phantas 61 into this.
- The Cyberiad featured a substory about a piece of junk dumped into a landfill planet, triggering a chain reaction that led to the creation of an AI.
Live Action TV
- The Expanded Universe has Beylix, essentially a giant storage yard for the United Reclamation company.
- Also, to some degree, Boros.
- The '70s sci-fi spoof Quark was set on an interstellar garbage truck, presumably headed to one of these planets.
- In the "Shatnerverse" corner of Star Trek's Expanded Universe, a resurrected Kirk gets dumped onto a Borg planet used as a holding station for refuse before it's recycled. This is partially explained in that the Borg canonically have easy interstellar "transwarp", but it's still a Class-M planet (inhabited, even) when any random location in space would do, and far less efficient than just recycling on-site.
- In a different version of this trope, the Malon in Star Trek: Voyager dump their dangerously radioactive "antimatter waste" (no, we don't know how that works either) in other regions of space, with less scrupulous captains not bothering to look for uninhabited ones. They do give a brief Hand Wave about why they can't just Hurl It into the Sun, though; doing so often enough would apparently cause a star to explode. Why they persist in using a power generation technique that produces so much appallingly hazardous waste as a byproduct is not explained, however. Voyager even tried to offer them waste-cleaning technology, but the one captain they tried this with cared more about his job than saving his society.
- Anti-matter-matter conversion produces a lot of radioactivity. On a ship something would have to absorb that radiation and then become radioactive itself, otherwise the engine would kill everyone. It is possible that whatever absorbs that radiation is what is being dumped.
- The setting of a Lexx episode. The system's other planets were mutually annihilated by war, leaving a few hundred employees stranded on the landfill planet. It got worse.
- Gerry Anderson's Space: 1999 started with the moon being used as a nuclear waste dump.
- The darkly humorous Ho L (Human Occupied Landfill) takes place on one of these planets. It also takes the concept one step further and turns it into a landfill for people: the planet is the Confederation Of World's only prison.
- The Phase World setting has a unique justification: the planet in question is a deliberate social experiment to see what kind of civilization will emerge from such a place. It was set up by a Mega Corp. that operated across three galaxies, and a few dimensions besides, and collected debts that were sometimes measured in planets.
- The Rifts megaverse builder sourcebook also has an entire Landfill dimension. Seems when you can use magic to open Rifts and just dump your garbage it has to all go somewhere.
- The GURPS setting of Infinite Worlds features Empty worlds, parallel Earths where no intelligent life has evolved, and some where no life has evolved at all. The latter are occasionally used as dumping grounds for hazardous waste. Nonetheless, Homeline's Greenpeace is still opposed to the idea.
- Given the sheer scale and variety of environments, it's almost impossible for Warhammer 40,000 to NOT have a bunch of these. Interesting twist though: they weren't dedicated trash planets, but rather "hive worlds" that are so overpopulated, overdeveloped and over-mined that they're literally out of obtainable resources, the surface covered in barren rock, polluted (if not boiled-off/siphoned-away) seas and sprawling arcologies that house billions. Many of these worlds subsist on simply scrounging for material in sub-continent-sized piles of industrial refuse, and mass recycling of all water and organic products. Yes, that includes people. The lucky ones that reach this state are able to trade off millions of people a year (or month, or week)) as labor or military in exchange for fresh sustenance, although they of course just squander it away just as quickly.
- Total Annihilation had one of those planets, the moon of one of the factions' capital planet. Good thing about the junk, too. The moon was all mined out to cover the surface of said world in a metal shell, so the wreckage was the only source of war resources.
- New Junk City, the first level of Earthworm Jim, looks like one of these on the surface, but according to the game's documentation the level actually takes place in Texas.
- A more reasonable version appears in Mass Effect 2; the planet Korlus is used as a junkyard/recycling plant for old space-craft, and only those that were near a Mass Relay. It's a dirty and dangerous task due to the various volatile chemicals released during the process. So it is less of a planetary junkyard, and more like a planet whose primary industry is ship-breaking.
- In Escape Velocity, you can take random missions to dump garbage on uninhabited worlds.
- Stage 2 of Gradius Gaiden, named "Requiem for Revengers". Like the level name suggests, you'll meet the partially-functioning wreckage of past Gradius bosses trapped in the junk.
- In Starcraft II, planet D-3794(aka, "Deadman's Rock") comes off as this. A lawless planet far outside of Dominion space, its surface is littered with debris and scrap, even near its two main settlements.
- Some of the planets in Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 had planets covered in garbage in which the Gearmo living on it wants to get rid of it, and as a result he wants Mario to dispose the garbage by either blowing it up with Bob-ombs or burning it with the Fire Flower in order to give him a star as a reward.
- The Deponia series takes place entirely on a world like this.
- Star Fox 64 has the planet Zoness. Formerly a popular vacation spot of the Lylat System, Andross turned the place into his own personal wastebasket, which noticeably horrifies your team-members. It also appeared as though the copious amounts of toxic waste also mutated the native life on the planet. The usual Fridge Logic about whether it's really more economic to haul all this junk to another planet instead of recycling it or something is averted because Andross was pretty clearly doing it just to be a dick.
- By Star Fox Assault, if Zoness being a multiplayer map is any indication, it seems that a cleanup effort, first hinted in the Corneria stage, was successful.
- Scraparap from Jazz Jackrabbit. Described by the game's manual as "the junkyard of the universe", Big Bad Devan Shell sent his scavenging underlings to loot the planet for spare parts with the objective of building his Mega Air Bases.
- The Force Unleashed returns to the planet Raxus Prime, which was so polluted from its long history as a manufacturing center that it eventually became this.
- In Battleborn, the Detritus Ring the home of the Rogues faction is this. When the remaining beings in the universe started clustering around Solus the last star, the asteroid belt became a safe dumping ground. Everything from massive dead capitol ships and moonbase-sized colony ships now float among the near-moon-sized asteroids throughout the ring. Along with miners hunting for mineral deposits and salvagers making a tidy profit off the spacecraft graveyard, it quickly became the perfect hiding spot for outcasts from the universe's remaining civilizations.
- Pandora in Borderlands is half junkyard, half desert. It gets so bad around the settlement of New Haven that a cave system nearby has walls and ceiling made out of garbage.
- The Litter Glitter galaxy in Ring Runner Flight Of The Sages is where all the garbage produced in the nearby Galawynde galaxy ends up. The main environmental hazards are pieces of junk several times the size of your ship, and there's enough profit to be made in scavenging for salvager gangs to go to war over prime spots.
- Planet Dirt from Invader Zim, one of many Irken planets dedicated to a single purpose.
- Junkion in Transformers: The Movie, and Goo (as well as Junkion) in The Transformers (Season 3). Goo seems to be specifically purposed to catching floating garbage in space. That its full name is Goo 8739B suggests there may be a lot more like it.
- The junkyard planet in the Justice League episode "War World."
- One episode has the crew of Planet Express sent to destroy a ball of garbage that was previously thrown into orbit, Armageddon-style. The bomb, however, "misfires", and the Earth resorts to a different tactic: rolling up an identically-sized garbage ball and tossing it at the big ball of trash.
- Another episode has the characters disposing of electronic waste on "The Third World" (of the Antares system).
- Megas XLR features one in the episode "Junk In The Trunk", which on the surface looks quite similar to Junkion from Transformers. May be coincidence, although given the number of Shout Outs to Transformers in the series...
- Real World example of the sort of thinking that leads to this trope: the Apollo astronauts jettisoned urine (they said it made a beautiful sight) but were required to store all feces and return it to Earth; apparently the idea of turds in lunar orbit was too much for the mission planners, despite the fact that such matter would quickly desiccate in the cold vacuum.
- The Soviets had plans to use their Energiya rocket to launch nuclear waste into a safe, planned solar orbit, but the plan came to nothing thanks to the fall of the USSR. This was less dangerous than it sounds, because the Soviets sited their launch facilities in such a remote and lightly-populated part of their territory that they probably had less chance of hitting some innocent bystander with a failed rocket than NASA did with flightpaths aimed over the sea. Of course these days we can recycle nuclear waste a lot more easily than we could in the late Eighties anyway...
- Having excessive amounts of space junk floating around is becoming a real concern for engineers. Generally, space garbage can either be burnt up in the atmosphere or tossed up into a graveyard orbit, which is beyond a geosynchronous orbit. This isn't a perfect solution, but requires less fuel in some cases, like for satellites in geosynchronous orbits. And that's where the space garbagemen come in...