Possessive Paradise

So you've just parked up your spaceship on this new planet, and WOW! Everything is beautiful and sparkly, with every kind of pleasure available to satisfy you.

However, there's no place like home, so you decide to make your merry way back to Earth, which is when the problems begin... You see, this place would rather like you to stay, ideally forever, and if it can't have you, no one can.

Essentially, it's a sentient setting with a possessive yandere complex for anyone unfortunate enough to visit. Or fortunate enough, if you fancy staying to enjoy the party. Sometimes, however, the party is just a build-up to you being the main course…

Compare Lotus-Eater Machine (the trope namer for which is a mild example of this trope)


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Memories episode Magnetic Rose, when Heintz tries to break free from the ship, and take Miguel with him, the ship starts to employ certain measures, such as eating their ship, and sending little lazer-firing cherubs after Heintz.
  • The fourth part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a telephone tower on the edge of Morioh. The tower is actually sentient, and has a Stand, Superfly. And it really hates people trying to leave once they've come in. That being said, it only works on one person at a time, as you can escape the tower if you lure someone else in.

  • The caves in The Lotus Caves by John Christopher.
  • In Ray Bradbury's short story Here There Be Tygers, the paradise planet seems to be this way. Once almost all the astronauts leave, since one was killed (eaten by a tiger since he was trying to drill into the planet) they see the beautiful planet now covered with nasty storms, volcanic eruptions, lightning storms and the likes. The twist is one astronaut stayed behind; the nastiness is an illusion, as the one who stays will be spoiled rotten by the planet
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe book Sick Building features a highly advanced, mechanised housed monitored and controlled by an AI called the Domovoi. It soon turns out that the Doctor, Martha and the family living in the house need to leave. The AI... doesn't take it well, even threatening to not kill them, but maim and injure them in such a way that they will not be able to leave and will be forced to rely on it for survival in a manner horribly like I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream out of a misguidedly motherly instinct.
  • The Quiet City from Labyrinths of Echo is a mysterious location outside of regular time and space that kidnaps individuals it likes from other worlds and is known to be completely inescapable. When Max ends up there in the final chapter of the series, he eventually figures out that the City actually loves every single one of its inhabitants and will go out of their way to make their stay as comfortable as possible, until they no longer even think of leaving. He also realizes that the only way to escape (alive or dead) is to make the City hate him, specifically by repeatedly rejecting its kindness and being disruptive to it and its other inhabitants.

    Live Action TV 
  • The planet of the robots in the Star Trek episode "I, Mudd".
  • Justified on The Prisoner, where the Village - despite resembling a quaint seaside resort - is essentially a prison/forced retirement home for spies.
  • Red Dwarf: The crew come across a luxurious space station manned by an entity calling itself "Legion". It was built by the greatest human intellectuals who ever lived, but they have all died three million years ago. He's delighted to cater to the crew's every whim and treat them like honored guests. However, he forbids them from leaving because he's a formless entity that is created from the collective minds of the residents on the station. If they leave, he'll become nothing again.

  • Hotel California by Eagles.
    You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dungeons & Dragons Planescape setting has a literal example in the form of Elysium, one of the Outer Planes serving as final resting place for the Neutral Good. Visitors who are not petitioners (spirits of the dead who have earned their place in the afterlife there) must make regular Will saves, or they decide to take up permanent residence and become petitioners (in the case of PCs, they cannot be played anymore). At no point does the place become anything other than a peaceful, pastoral paradise - it's just so pleasant, you don't want to leave.

    Western Animation