By now, most people will admit that not everyone would want to spend eternity in the same place as everyone else, and really Fire and Brimstone Hell
seems a bit boring by now. One potential solution is, assuming an infinite amount of space for everybody, is to give people their own individual heavens
of Self-Inflicted Hell
, Ironic Hell
and Nostalgia Heaven
. Polar opposite of Only One Afterlife
. The Artificial Afterlife
may or may not involve this level of personalization.
- In the French comic Le Dernier Troyen (the Trojan War, Recycled In Space) has the protagonists visiting the underworld, seeing some of their friends and enemies who'd died. To their consternation, some of their friends are in horrifying torment, while their despicable enemies are enjoying perfect bliss. When they ask Hades about it, he answered that everyone shares the afterlife, but the dead decide what they become in it. Their friends thought they deserved to suffer eternally for failing to defend Troy, while their enemies had such a high opinion of themselves that they thought they deserved no less than the Elysian Fields.
- Queen of Blood shows this happening with the Slaughterhouse Nine, doubling as Ironic Hell. Each gets sent to a separate environment crafted to torment each one individually based on their sins in life ( There are two exceptions- Bonesaw/Riley gets to go to heaven because Jack tortured her to the point where she was not acting under her own free will in performing her atrocities, and Burnscar/Mimi gets to be reincarnated because most of her evil deeds were because her power messed with her head).
- Shatterbird, a silikinetic who caused perhaps the most direct pain of the Slaughterhouse Nine through using her power as a terror weapon, is sent to a beach and tormented with the screams of her victims until she has experienced all their pain.
- Mannequin/Alan Gramme was a tinker specializing in enclosed environments who went murderously insane after his family died. He gets trapped inside a replica of his family's house, with his actual family gone (with all the pain he caused, he can't go where they've gone) and his dad stopping by to give him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- The Siberian/William Manton's cannibalistic serial-killing rampage was caused by his failing to save his daughter Annie, and his punishment is Annie telling him how she hates him for what he'd done and never wants to see him again, followed by a "Groundhog Day" Loop of the moment she died, followed by her turning into The Siberian and eating him alive.
- Hatchet Face, a Hero Killer, is pursued by a wolf pack, now the prey instead of the predator.
Live Action TV
- Afterlives are based on what the individual soul believes them to be, although it can be played with, such as a murderer who doesn't believe in ghosts being pursued by the ghosts of his victims because they believe in him. You can't go to hell if you don't think it exists (but not believing in anything at all isn't an escape, as if you don't know where you're going to be going, you'll be waiting a very long time to figure it out). The Discworld Companion clarifies that this means where the soul believes it goes sans any form of self-deception.
- In The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "A Nice Place to Visit", a robber is killed by a policeman and finds himself in a world where a mysterious man named "Pip" gives him as much money as he wants, a luxury apartment, soulless facsimiles of people to do whatever he wants with, and everything goes his way all the time. But, eventually he gets bored with the lack of challenges and asks Pip to take him to "The Other Place", only to be hit with the Wham Line "This is The Other Place!".
- The Good Place is divided up into neighborhoods of about a hundred people designed specifically to accommodate them. Eleanor for instance has a modest house decorated with clown pictures as the "other" Eleanor who was supposed to go there in her place would have liked. But this particular "Good Place" is actually an experiment of the Bad Place to psychologically torture the four human main characters; the rest of the residents are demonic actors.
- Preacher (2016): Hell seems to consist of the damned being trapped with their own sins, reliving them forever.
- Lucifer (2016) takes the same approach, with the damned reliving their sins until they genuinely believe they've served their time. According to Lucifer, no one has ever managed this.
- Heaven appears to work like this - an enormous cluster of personalized Nostalgia Heavens, with the Garden at the very centre. When Sam and Dean visit, they each get to relive some of their fondest memories - Dean's are associated with family, Sam's with freedom and independence. It's possible to move between them if know how, but only "soulmates" ever share a heaven by design. Dean is less than impressed, viewing it as a Lotus-Eater Machine.
- In season six, Castiel and Raphael borrow Ken Lay's heaven for a chat.
- Assassin's Creed Origins: The Curse of the Pharaohs DLC has Bayek travel to four different afterlives, one for Ramses II, one for Nefertiti, one for Akhenaten and one for Tutankhamen, each designed to reflect the pharaoh they're for. So for example, Ramses II is devoted entirely to making people Look On His Works... or would, if there was anyone there. Akhenaten gets a perpetually sun-lit city where he's worshipped as the only god, and Nefertiti gets an endless farmland dotted with temples.
- In Jack everyone who manages to earn one gets their own personal Heaven, except angels who share a massive tower at the nexus of all the Heavens.
- The episode of American Dad! with The Rapture shows Steve and Haley being shown to their rooms in Heaven after their ascension, where everything meets their desires and needs. A unicorn trots out of Steve's room and poops out a pile of pepper-jack cheeseburgers. After Stan dies at the end his room is shown to be an exact replica of his pre-Rapture home.