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.
Live Action TV
- Afterlives are based on where the person in question believes they'll be going, which means you can have cases of the innocent suffering in hell and villains going to a heaven (those who don't believe in anything end up in a desert). This might not seem fair, but nobody ever said it had to be.
- Although it was subverted in Raising Steam when a dwarf terrorist says he'll be going to paradise. Death lets him down none too gently (the gods of the Disc are shaped by belief, and the terrorists are a minority group whose fundamentalist interpretation of dwarf religion is followed by only them).
- 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.
- 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.