Imperial Officer: Lord Vader, the rebels have fled the ice planet of Hoth. After going to the swamp planet of Dagobah, Skywalker has rejoined his friends on the desert world of Tatooine. And now the rebel fleet is massing for an attack on the forest moon of Endor. Darth Vader: I sense a great disturbance in the Force. Imperial Officer: My lord? Darth Vader: How else can so many worlds be totally covered with only one terrain type without regard to latitudinal variations?
Earth is a wonderfully varied place with an amazingly diverse biosphere. On this single planet, you can find jungles, mountains, forests, deserts, prairies... we must be the most varied planet in the universe. Or you'd think so after seeing so many alien worlds trapped in solitary, homogeneous landscapes.
Planets in outer space will often be defined by a single setting. It doesn't matter if the events of the story only take place in on a small portion of the planet — we are still told the entire planet has one climate; specifically, the same climate as where the story takes place. Very rarely does any planet have the same level of environmental diversity as Earth, despite being as large and having a normal orbit. An ecological equivalent to the Planet of Hats. The locals will often have a hat that resembles the human cultures that inhabit similar environments.
A creature well-suited to the local environment may be upgraded to horse status, if it's big enough.
It should perhaps be noted that we usually only get very small views of these planets. Many times there are lines to the effect that it is a fairly standard planet. Almost never are we shown or told that a planet is entirely a Single-Biome Planet in television or movies, and the ones that are are almost always either very temperate, tropical, desert, ice, or water worlds, which all have a statistical probability of existing. We have several of them in our own solar system, in fact, missing only a breathable atmosphere.
Earth itself could fairly be considered a Water Planet. In its history, it has been an Ice planet more than once, though, as well as periods when most of the landmass was Desert (early Mesozoic) and of nearly uniform lush growth (mid-Mesozoic)note Studies have shown, however, that Mesozoic climates were far more diverse than previously thought, however; for instance, we have evidence of early Cretaceous glaciations. By similar standards, Mercury could be a Desert Planet, Venus a Cloud/Volcano Planet, and Mars another Desert Planet (a cold desert this time). If you allow the moons of the gas giants, you also have Io (a Volcano Planetoid - it has been said that the entire surface of the moon is repaved in just three years by volcanic activity) and numerous Ice Planetoids (such as Europa and Enceladus). Most of the outer solar system dwarf-planets are also Ice Planetoids.
Note that a Single-Biome Planet is not necessarily a Single Climate Planet. Even on planets and moons lacking atmospheres, there are bound to be variations in temperature due to latitude if the planet or moon receives a significant amount of radiant heat from a star. A planet or moon with atmosphere will of course have much more complex weather patterns due to wind and precipitation.
City Planets (Ecumenopolis) — Urban sprawl has taken over the entire surface of a world. Theoretically possible, but only with extreme technology and/or a constant inflow of resources from off-world. May serve as home base to a culture of Planet Looters. Often has a population in the trillions. The concept supposedly first appeared in the writings of 19th century spiritualist Thomas Lake Harris. The first recognised usage in science fiction would be Trantor in Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy. The planet Coruscant in the Star Wars movies would probably be the most familiar to modern audiences. The logistics of such worlds — how they get food, dissipate excess heat and so forth — can be a subject of geeky speculation, as shown in multiple Irregular Webcomics. See also Planetville.
Cloud Planets — The land is not where Newton wants it. If something or someone lives here, either the ground floats through the sky in chunks, or there are hover-cities. Either way, watch that first step. Sometimes Hand Waved by making them Jovian planets, although no known gas giants are anywhere near habitable. Venus again is a prime example, as some levels of its upper atmosphere would be pretty nice and potentially habitable — if not for these pesky sulfuric acid clouds around.
Dark Planets — Like the Desert, but owe their lack of plant life to perpetual night; usually due to constant opaque cloud cover or spooky ominous fog. If inhabited, this might be the product of industrialization run amok, with the clouds being clouds of pollution. Home of the Big Bad, look for the Evil Tower of Ominousness with the perpetual lightning storm. It's like Planet Mordor. This is kind of like the real-life Venus, which even comes complete with the lightning storms. However, such planets in fiction are invariably described as "barely habitable", whereas the real version is of course completely uninhabitable. Dark Planets could also be Rogue Planets that do not orbit any star, although then there is the issue of what is keeping the atmosphere warm enough and replenishing the oxygen. Some of these planets could be tidally locked to their star with one side permanently facing it, rendering the facing side uninhabitable due to temperature and the dark side extremely cold, usually with a small habitable strip on the divide. These worlds also generate extreme weather, which can add to this atmosphere.
Death Worlds — Not a biome in and of itself, but can be any of the aforementioned types. This is a world where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, but you still have compelling reasons to go there. After all, except Earth (and, possibly, Mars) all other Solar System planets are unquestionably those (though Venus takes the cake, as if it's some sort of planetary Australia), and there is thriving research activity around, with a regular expedition and terraforming proposals popping up.
Desert Planets — These look like the cheaper parts of California, and are thus very common. May have aliens that act like Bedouin or Touareg, and a thriving black market on water. Multiple suns are common. Mars is sort of a desert planet, but with no breathable atmosphere, although recent discoveries pretty reliably show that it's an Ice Planet as well — it's just that all that ice is under the desert. Desert Planets are fairly realistic as these sorts of planets go, as long as there is some water. Any place that is sufficiently arid becomes a desert, but some ocean (say, 20% of the planet's surface) would be needed to support the plant life needed to create a breathable atmosphere.
Farm Planets — If a Planet City is lucky, there will be another planet in the same system which is dedicated entirely for food production. Most of these are like a giant version of an American Midwest wheat farm. Complete with hicks. Technology level may range from highly advanced (in which case they are often largely automated with a population as low as hundreds or thousands) to feudal.
Forest Planets — A planet whose land surface is mostly or entirely covered by forest. While Jungle Planets tend to be tropical in nature, a Forest Planet tends to have a more temperate climate with trees similar to oak, birch, redwoods and so on. Sometimes found in the form of a Forest Moon orbiting a large planet.
Garbage Planets — The entire planet is being used as a dumping ground for useless waste. Likely to act as home for scavengers looking to make a quick buck, treasure hunters seeking some long-lost treasure, and large numbers of mercenaries and criminals. The actual surface conditions can range from desert-like to incredibly hostile if the Phlebotinum is leaking out of ships.
Ice Planets — Planets whose entire surfaces look like Greenland glaciers. Somewhat justified, as there actually are frozen-over planets and moons (for example, several moons of Jupiter and Saturn). Planets that normally have large oceans (like Earth) can look like this during a really deepIce Age, and paleontologists believe that this may have happened to Earth in the past in a controversial scenario known as "Snowball Earth". The obvious question on an Ice planet is how it sustains life if there are so few plants to provide oxygen and a food chain; this paradox can be somewhat solved by allowing for a narrow equatorial band warm enough to support plant life, or by limiting life to the sea and having the food chain be based on geothermal energy/chemosynthesis (i.e. how we think life on Europa would work). It's interesting to note that the Saturn's Moon Titan, while being an "Ice Planet" of −179.2 °C, seems to be in every way just as dynamic and varied a planet as the Earth.
Ocean Planets — These tend to have few, if any, mountains tall enough to breach the surface and make islands; if there are, they're prime beachfront vacation spots. Earth is arguably an Ocean Planet, just one with a lot of tectonic activity to create islands and continents (and even so, the average elevation of the Earth's surface is still well below sea level). This was even more true 500 million years ago, when the only life that existed was in the sea, and there was much less land above water than there is today. An extrasolar planet, GJ 1214b, has cropped up practically next door to us (a mere 42 light-years), which does appear to be an ocean planet, albeit a very hot one, and extremely non-livable.
Twilight worlds, a.k.a. Tidally Locked Planets. While not truly single-biome, they traditionally have only about three: blazing hot desert on the day side, temperate zone of perpetual twilight at the day/night terminator, and sub-freezing wasteland on the night side.
Volcano Planets — Defined by earthquakes, smoke, rivers of lava, and lots and lots of unchained mountains you don't want to climb. Featured in Revenge of the Sith; the Y-class planet in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Demon" is also similar to this. Equivalent in video games is Lethal Lava Land. In the real-life solar system, this is a fair description of Jupiter's moon Io. Earth used to look a bit like this, too. Planetologists expect that any rocky planet will look like this in the first few hundred million years of its formation, so expect to see a lot of them. The air almost certainly won't be breathable, though, so bring your ventilator mask.
Vancouver Planets — Planets noted for a striking similarity to the pine-covered, mountainous oceanfront regions around the Canadian city of Vancouver (which, by an odd coincidence, is the filming location of many sci-fi television series).
Justified on Outlaw Star with the explanation that since the planet in question is a resort planet, they terraformed it that way on purpose. Heck, it's not even a Single-Biome Planet, given the existence of snow-capped mountains.
The Five Star Stories has only two of these, out of the half-dozen or so habitable planets that orbit the eponymous stars. There's Juno, which is a relatively young planet currently in a jungle-covered mid-mesozoic phase & Pestako, a tiny, clapped out mining planet that has no natural atmosphere & is slowly being terraformed into a city planet, complete with roads so big you can see them from space. The rest are Earthlike, with some minor variations in their average temperature & terrain.
Terraformed planets and moons in Cowboy Bebop (e.g. Ganymede seems to be a water moon, Europa a kind of Western Prarie Moon, Titan a Desert Moon...)
Earth has also become one of these. As a result of being constantly bombarded by asteroids, almost all of the planet is a dry, craggy wasteland.
Trigun is set on the planet Gunsmoke, which appears to be nothing but desert. Like Mars (or, more to the point, Arizona), it does have canyons that suggest more plentiful water in the past.
Dragon Ball: Planet Namek, which, for all the viewer gets to see, is an ocean planet dotted with several very small islands.
Although Jerry Pournelle famously parodied this trope with the phrase "It was raining on Mongo that morning", the original planet Mongo in the old Flash Gordon comics is actually an aversion. It's specifically Earth-like, in that humans and near-humans can live comfortably there indefinitely without life support systems, which means it should be expected to have the full variety of potential environments as Earth...and it does. Jungles, forests, deserts, glaciers, etc. It's not a bad example of a relatively realistic habitable world, in some ways.
The 1980s British science fiction comic Starblazer had a variety of such planets.
The planet Oa (headquarters of the Green Lantern Corp) is a Desert Planet.
Also in the DCU, the presence of The Entity, a massive winged humanoid that is the manifestation of the White light that creates life, within Earth is the reason that Earth is NOT a Single Biome Planet, but rather has such a diverse array of life and environments.
Taken to ridiculous extremes by the Warhammer 40,000Fan FicPRIMARCHS to the point that the eponymous Primarchs cannot even fathom the concept of a planet having more than a single biome, proclaiming any such planet they encounter to be an abomination which must be destroyed.
Star Wars is known for them: ice planet Hoth, desert planet Tatooine, city planet Coruscant, Northern Californian forest moon of Endor, swamp planet Dagobah, cloud planet Bespin, ocean planet Kamino, volcano planet Mustafar etc. Nearly all the classifications described above occur in the movies.
At least, Bespin can be excused since it's a gas giant.
There are notable exceptions, however: Naboo, where the Everglades-esque area where the Gungans live in The Phantom Menace is contrasted with the temperate-forest-and-meadows area where Anakin and Padme vacation in Attack of the Clones. And the Earthlike Alderaan and Corellia.
Almost all of Naboo was filmed somewhere in Western Europe — South East England, the Italian Vistas etc. — which (mostly) have a similar climate, so you could still say that Naboo is a Single Biome Planet. This is subverted in the Expanded Universe, wherein Naboo is shown to have non-alpine glaciers.
And the Expanded Universe, particularly the Ewok cartoons and TV specials, show many other biomes on the moon of Endor including plains, mountains, and oceans. (So why did they call it "the forest moon" in the movie?)
Because its land areas are mostly forested?
It is stated that in Tatooine's distant past, is was more diverse... until the Rakatans bombarded it from orbit until the entire surface was molten glass. The glass eventually broke up into sand, making Tatooine as we know it today.
Also, Tatooine is divided into two hemispheres; a habitable one, and one even hotter than the sparsely inhabited areas.
Similarly, Hoth is only habitable on the equator- The rest of the planet is too cold for any sort of life. The real logistical question is... What do they eat and drink on Hoth?
There are geothermal vents and underground (underice?) cavern systems that have liquid water and support lichens and other hardy plants, which the herbivores feed on, which feed the omnivorous tauntauns and carnivorous wampas. The tauntauns and some smaller animals regularly trek out across the surface to find new territory, mates and food. The wampas find the thermal areas too hot and are the only creatures to spend all their time in the ice and snow, only going into the warmer places to quickly grab a meal if they can't ambush one out on the ice.
Subverted in the second Knights of the Old Republic game. You travel to the desolated Telos. Most of the planet has been bombed, and it's in the process of being terraformed. At first you land in a temperate forest, only to find out later that what you're really looking for is in the polar ice caps.
This trope is lampshaded in the second Star Wars parody episode of Robot Chicken. One sketch features a krayt dragon and his wife as sea serpents in a body of water on Tatooine; when the husband expresses his desire to explore the world beyond, his wife insists that, as far as they know, there's nothing but desert on this planet. The husband then retorts that a Single-Biome Planet is patently ridiculous, describing several planets that happen to exist in the universe as proof of his position and asking what kind of a cruel god would make a planet with a single topographical feature? About a week later his remains are passed by R2-D2 and C-3PO (in a scene taken directly from A New Hope). A water-adapted creature in a vast desert it has no idea how to traverse likely would end up dead in short order.
Another exception is Kashyyyk, the Wookiee homeworld. Famous for its forests that greatly resemble Endor's, but in Episode Three, there's a battle on a beach. It is still often regarded as a jungle planet though.
The Legacy of the Force novels have gone and shown that the wroshyr forests range from very short, to half a kilometer tall, to many kilometers tall.
In the Expanded Universe, the Twi'lek homeworld, tidally-locked Ryloth, is basically a three biome planet: desert planet where it faces the sun, ice planet where it faces away from the sun, and a narrow habitable band in between the two.
The Hutts' homeworld of Nal Hutta is a swamp planet, most of its natural resources were strip mined, and its environment makes it close to a Death World.
There are at least three different junkyard planets: Ord Mantell, Raxus Prime (like Ord Mantell, but with much older junk!), and Lotho Minor (like Raxus Prime, but on fire and populated by cyborgs!). Star Wars can get kinda redundant with these things at times.
Coruscant is far from the only city planet; there exist several others, like Denon, Christophsis, and Alsakan, and even a city moon in the form of Nar Shaddaa.
Kira: "If you mashed Hoth and Tatooine together, would you get a normal planet with decent weather?"
In Pitch Black, the planet the plot takes place on starts as a desert planet, then turns into a night planet due to an eclipse.
The Chronicles of Riddick starts on an ice planet, heads to a desert-ish planet, and winds up on the heat-scoured Crematoria. The latter at least has the justification of being so close to the sun that the facing side actually melts every day, but the air is still somehow breathable.
In Starship Troopers there is an entirely single biome solar system. Even the moons are desert.
In the TV movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Earth itself seems to have become a Cloud Planet, or at least a Single Weather-System Planet. While the song's "foggy Christmas eve" might merely have left Santa socked in at the North Pole, the movie shows the entire world drowning in a pea-souper from dusk to dawn.
Averted in Avatar. Although most scenes take place in a jungle region, far away shots show that Pandora has vast oceans as well as polar ice caps. When gathering allies they visit one Na'vi clan that's living along some sea-side cliffs and another dwelling in an area of large, open grasslands. Most of the plot just focuses on the jungle region. Word of God suggests the sequel will also show the oceans in detail.
Kevin Costner's film Water World is set in a future where global warming has turned our earth into an ocean planet, with dry land as nothing but a legend (and science be damned!).
Flash Gordon (1980). Two of the moons of Mongo fit this trope. Arboria is a Jungle/Swamp Planet and Frigia is described as an Ice Planet.
Beetlejuice. The afterlife (ghost) version of Saturn is a Desert Planet (complete with Sand Worm) instead of a gas giant.
Arrakis, the eponymous world of Frank Herbert's Dune is a justified textbook example of a Desert Planet, with the nomadic Fremen and the black market on water. For example, the planet's polar regions are mentioned as a source for water traders. Herbert also explains why a desert world without any forests can maintain the CO2/O2 balance required for humans to survive. (It has to do with the worms, which release oxygen into the atmosphere.) There's a massive amount of detail on the biochemistry, ecosystem and geography in the Appendices that really show he did the research.
Also, the reason it's all desert is mostly because the constant movement of the sandworms (which can grow to be hundreds or thousands of meters long and wide and are incredibly strong) means that the crust is being constantly churned into sand.
More accurately, it's due to the sandtrout encapsulating any and all free moisture outside the polar regions, and converting it into a Spice precursor as part of their lifecycle, which eventually results in a few of them metamorphosing into sandworms. There is also a very hardy sort of vegetation present in the polar regions, as well as isolated pockets living in certain types of rock formations, which trap moisture in small pockets (enhanced and elaborated on by the Fremen to form their moisture-collecting windtraps).
Partially averted in the sequels. As humanity terraforms the planet and the Sandworm population decreases, significant portions of Arrakis become lush temperate forests.
And significant portions of the universe, subsequently, become fucked for natural Spice. Be careful what you wish for!
And the Fremen who wanted more water so badly realize that after generations of adapting to a dry environment their bodies can't handle the increased moisture.
Subverted in Bruce Coville's Rod Albright series. When the characters are walking through a swamp on Earth, one of the aliens becomes nostalgic for his home. Rod asks if he comes from a swamp planet, and his companion retorts, "Do you come from a swamp planet?"
Played straight for dramatic purposes in Animorphs. One Yeerk in book 6 mutters about the insane number of species Earth has, while the Yeerk character in book 19 is even more impressed with Earth...
Another Animorphs-example that both does and doesn't fit the planet archetypes is Ket, homeworld of The Ellimist. At first glance it looked just like a standard volcanic planet. But it was in fact a low-gravity world with a very dense atmosphere, which allowed for giant crystals to float freely in the atmosphere. The planet's civilisation of winged aliens lived entirely on (and off) those crystals. One character calls it "the rarest of all environments".
Saturn's moon Titan has 150% of Earth's atmospheric pressure and one-seventh the gravity; a human could strap on wings and fly there. Pity it's all at -180 °C.
The Hork-Bajir homeworld is a valley planet (sort of. It's justified by a catastrophic impact in the past which left a ring of steep valley around the equator as the only habitable part of the planet. Come to think of it, between the valleys, the Outside, and the Deep, it's got quite a bit of diversity over quite a small habitable area). It's also stated that the Yeerks artificially make the planets they conquer Single Biome Planets because (as stated above) they find millions of species on one planet far too complicated and pointless.
The Hork-Bajir world apparently was once closer to Earth's atmosphere, just with less oxygen and more nitrogen. After the impact the 'real' race of the planet realized that the small equator, while liveable, was highly unstable. Unable to terraform but masters of genetics they created the Hork-Bajir (who feed on bark) and gave them a diet that would make THEM take care of the trees and the environment. The Deep, an area with numerous monsters, was created by the original race to keep the Hork-Bajir from bothering them (they live on the other side)
Lampshaded in the Planescape novel "Fire and Dust," where the protagonist points out that most people who claim to come from, say, an 'ice planet' just came from a polar region of a totally normal world, and never realized it because travel between planes is generally easier than travel between continents in D&D.
Several Territories in The Pendragon Adventure qualify. Cloral is an Ocean Planet, Zadaa is a Desert Planet, and Eelong is a Jungle Planet.
Cloral currently has one piece of dry land. Eelong is never stated to be completely jungle, the whole book just happens to have taken place in a jungle region. In the expanded works, Denduron is shown to be almost completely covered in ice with only some temperate zones near the equator.
Zadaa isn't entirely desert, either. The Rokador Elders blame the drought, which they are actually deliberately causing at Saint Dane's suggestion, in The Rivers of Zadaa on low precipitation levels in a mountainous region to the north of the desert Xhaxhu is located in. Then there's the fact that nobody questions Bobby's cover story of coming from a vast forest region.
In The Left Hand of Darkness, the planet of Winter (otherwise known as Gethen) is, predictably, an Ice Planet. However, what a few different characters observe is that Gethen is actually very similar to Earth, except that the story takes place in the middle of one of the Ice Ages. A native character remarks that the scientists have predicted a rise in temperatures across the planet and a mass melting of the ice. The character observes, "I'm glad I won't be around to see that."
The Word For World Is Forest - Naturally, a Forest Planet.
The Forest Planet Janus in Judgment on Janus and Victory on Janus.
The Ice Planet in Secret of the Lost Race.
Uncharted Stars includes an Ice Planet and a City Planet.
Night of Masks takes place mostly on a world whose star radiates only in the infra-red.
Justified in the To The Stars trilogy by Harry Harrison. An imperialistic Earth has terraformed a number of planets (with a custom-made culture as well), each one dedicated to farming, production or mining of one particular resource. The idea being that none of them have the diverse resources needed to launch a revolt.
Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos novels include several of these : The ecumenopolises of Tau Ceti Center and Renaissance Vector, the ocean planet of Maui-Covenant, the Forest Planet of God's Grove, etc. Because all the planets are connected together in a single WorldWeb this doesn't appear to be a problem, though the ecological absurdity of this becomes a plot point when the network of Farcasters connecting the planets collapse, causing single-city planets to starve...except for Renaissance Vector, which conveniently got its food from Renaissance Minor, an agricultural world in the same system.
Deeply averted in Dan Abnett's Ravenor novels, where the villains speak with Ravenor after he comes through a gate. He has to go back the same way, but he can identify the location: not just the planet, but the actual location, down to a small sector, by the plants he sees.
Many Humanx Commonwealth novels were set on his own versions of Death World (Prism in Sentenced to Prism), Desert Planet (Jast in Sliding Scales, Pyrassis in Reunion), Ice Planet (Tran-Ky-Ky in Icerigger, Treetrunk on Dirge), Ocean Planet (Cachelot), Jungle Planet (Midworld), Jungle In A Swamp Planet (Fluva in Drowning World), Even Soggier Than Vancouver Pine Forest Planet (Moth in For Love Of Mother-Not), etc. He's even got Cave Planet (Longtunnel) and Vacation Paradise Planet (New Riviera) thrown into the mix.
Parodied in Ray Bradbury's short story "The Earth Men" (incorporated into The Martian Chronicles). Some Earth-astronauts go to Mars, and the local Martians think they're nutters just claiming to be aliens, so the astronauts find themselves locked up in the loony bin. While there, several other loonies claim to be from Earth, and each say that Earth is a "massive jungle planet," a world covered with just oceans, or just desert, etc.
"It's not at all what I was expecting, from Barrayar."
"What were you expecting?"
"Kilometers of flat gray concrete, I suppose. Military barracks and people in uniform marching around in lockstep."
"Economically unlikely for an entire planetary surface. Though uniforms, we do have."
Beta Colony fits this, being a desert world where the base temperature is "screaming hot," although sports like desert trekking are mentioned, and everyone lives in protective habitats. Komarr fits this description to a degree, as it is a cold world undergoing terraforming, and like Beta, everyone is forced to live within domes.
In C.S. Friedman's Madness Season, the protagonist at one point looks up archive footage of the Tyr's home planet. He's somewhat unnerved to find endless unbroken kilometers of lush blue plant growth from pole to pole, broken only by oceans teeming with life. It turns out he's only viewing it during a very narrow portion of its solar orbit; nine years out of ten, the planet is either a frozen wasteland as its orbit carries it out to the far reaches of the solar system, or a boiling hellhole as it comes too near the sun. It looks as nice as it does during spring because all the planet's life has to put out as much growth as it can during the brief live periods.
The trope is justified with planet Droplet in Star Trek: Titan. It's an ocean world based upon genuine (and cutting-edge) scientific theories. While most such worlds wouldn't have higher order life, due to a lack of landmass to provide mineral runoff, the novel provides a reasonable explanation for the existence of a complex ecosystem on Droplet. Essentially, the life-cycle of a native plankton aids in bringing heavier elements from the hypersaline depths to the surface.
In almost every drawing or painting of Earth created prior to the famous Blue Marble photos, the Earth was apparently a single-weather-system planet, with not a cloud to be seen anywhere.
Beachworld, a short story by Stephen King, is a very creepy deconstruction of an all-desert planet.
Foundation and Empire has two mentions of farm planets: the agricultural planets of the Pleiades and the twenty agricultural planets that supplied food to Trantor.
Foundation and Earth features the planet Alpha, which is completely covered by water except for a single (though large) artificially created island.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has a few of these, including one planet that has a truly improbable geography of warm oceans and thin sandy strips of land, meaning the entire world is basically luxurious beachfront property. The absurdity of this is noted. Of course, the series also establishes that in ages past the planet of Magrathea used to craft planets to order for the very rich, so its entirely possible that these are all custom jobs.
C.S. Lewis' "Perelandra". The titular planet (which is Venus) is (mostly) covered by ocean.
In The Magician King Josh describes the worlds he visited in this way. When questioned about it he concedes that he never traveled more than a few miles from his starting location, and has no idea what the rest of the world was like.
While averted, for the most part, in Mikhail Akhmanov and Christopher Nicholas Gilmore's Captain French, or the Quest for Paradise, the planet Solaris is 97% water with several hundred islands making up the only dry land. The name, of course, comes from Stanislaw Lem's eponymous novel, and is lampshaded in-universe, although the first-person titular protagonist points out that this Solaris doesn't have a sentient ocean. The colonists live on those islands and enjoy nice weather (something you wouldn't have on a world that's mostly water). Additionally, the flora and fauna appears to be stuck in the Sillurian Period, meaning there's nothing in the water to threaten humans. Instead, humans have introduced fish (the kind that can be fished, not the kind that can eat you whole) and sea mammals (e.g. dolphins, whales).
Averted, with a few exceptions, in The History of the Galaxy series, although usually only a small part of the planet is described. Erigon is known as an ice world (Ice Planet), and the colonists had to dig in and build subglacial cities in order to survive. After 1000 years, most of the colonists have moved to other worlds. The only ones who are left run the tourism for anyone who still cares to see the ice world. Interestingly, after 1000 years of space exploration, most humans have emigrated from Earth. The oceans have somehow dried up, and are now replaced with lush jungles, effectively turning the planet into a jungle world.
Live Action TV
Star Trek has a tendency to either have totally Earth-like planets (class M) or Single Biome Planets. At least in the Original Series, they used so many Class M planets in order to keep production costs down. Most planets home to advanced civilisations have some degree of weather control, although the extent this is used to change the biome varies with some simply using them to prevent dangerous weather.
Ferenginar, the Ferengi homeworld, is a class M planet that's home to virtually constant, planet-wide torrential downpours, due to weather control technology and the Ferengi's preference for rainy days.
Andoria, home of the Andorians, is an Ice Moon.
Vulcan is somewhere between Earth-like and a Desert Planet.
Deep Space 9 once featured a minor character (a date of Jake Sisko's) who said she and her parents often visited lush forested parks on Vulcan. So much so, she thought it was a Forest Planet before realizing that that is not the biome most people associate with Vulcan. Also, she didn't realize that Vulcan had any indigenous people... You know, come to think of it, Nog may have had a point in suggesting she just keep quiet.
The homeworld of the Breen, who are always shown wearing opaque full body environmental suits, is known mainly as an Ice Planet, but according to Weyoun is "actually quite temperate". The planet itself is never actually seen, and this confusion serves to reinforce the mystique of the Breen.
Star Trek: Voyager. In "Thirty Days" the ship comes across an ocean world with no landmass whatsoever. In its center is a machine created by Precursors, that stops the water from dissipating out into space.
The Ocampan home planet is a desert planet where the only really habitable areas are underground. This is justified in that the Caretaker accidentally caused an ecological disaster that eliminated all the water from the surface.
Risa, the "pleasure planet", uses technology to make the entire planet into a tropical paradise, as long as your idea of paradise is a sunny day in Hawaii (as noted before, the Federation consists of a large number of diverse societies with a large number of diverse homeworlds, so relaxing at the beach may not suit everyone the same).
The Stargate Verse (both SG-1 and Atlantis) generally averts this trope by rarely showing much of the entire planet other than a small (i.e walkable) area around the Stargate. The Stargate itself tends to be in a Vancouver-like pine forest or nearby area, which is eventually lampshaded by the characters: the assumption being that the creators of the gate must have only placed Stargates on worlds and areas where they liked to live. The actual fact being that life on all of those worlds were recreated by some of the Stargate creators who survived a plague that destroyed everything.
Subverted in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Solitudes", wherein Captain Carter manages to get out of the cavern she and Colonel O'Neill are in, revealing the surface is a desolate ice planet. Only, it turns out they're on Earth, in Antarctica.
Also subverted in Stargate Atlantis with the planet where they find Atlantis. They assume it to be an ocean world, but later find out that it has several large land-masses that are inhabitable.
In Stargate Universe most planets might as well be of the single biome type; None of the crewers can explore further. With a timer on how long they can get back, they'll never know if this was truly a total desert planet or was just the Sahara of an Earth.
The third (second?) season of Lexx has the Lexx trapped in orbit between Fire, a volcanic planet covered in endless desert, and Water, a planet almost entirely covered by water. It could be somewhat justified as the planets are actually Hell and Heaven respectively, with the former being ruled by what's hinted to be the Devil himself.
Red Dwarf featured "ice planets" and "lava moons", and one ocean planet they picked for a fishing holiday.
At least the ocean planet is plausible. Look at an map of Earth 700 million years ago.
The lava moons are as well - look at a map of the Earth a few billion years ago.
Red Dwarf also has a tendency to make many planets Earth-like.
Earth is the only planet to evolve life in this show. Any planet where the cast encounters "life" has previously been wholly or partially terraformed by humanity, and the inhabitants originate from human science, in one way or another.
Andromeda's standard planetside-setting is the Vancouver Pine Forest Planet. This is somewhat lampshaded when the trees are once referred to as "terraforming Pines".
Deconstructed in Power Rangers RPM, which takes place on a Desert Planet. The thing is, three years before the series takes place, it was earthlike - and the series takes place in a Please Insert New City Name version of Boston, most certainly not in a desert region, showing just how much of the planet is sandy wasteland. The cause of the mass desertification is subtly implied to be nuclear carpet-bombing. The background radiation is so high that long-distance communication is all but impossible, and orphans with cancer are prevalent.
Lampshaded on the episode of The Muppet Show where the cast of Star Wars are the guest stars. "Seems we've landed on some sort of comedy variety show planet!"
Usually in Doctor Who, only a small part of any given world is shown, so it is not possible to generalise about the entire planet. However, there are a few cases were a world is explicitly stated as being a Single-Biome Planet: Aridus from The Chase (a desert planet) is one example, and in "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead", there's a library planet.
One of the parallel worlds in Sliders has Earth turn into a desert world after all the water dries up... somehow. Nations no longer exist, water is extremely valuable, and lawless gangs are free to do what they want.
Some Magic: The Gathering planes can come across as this. For example, Rath is virtually all flowstone (a magically animated substance under the control of the plane's ruler); Mirrodin is an all-metal world constructed by a planeswalker; Ravnica is a city that has ultimately expanded to fill its entire plane. Somewhat justified in that none of these worlds came to be that way naturally; also, even these places find room to squeeze in the five basic land types of the game (forests, islands, mountains, plains, and swamps) in some form or other.
Shards of Alara pushed this further. Naya is Jungle Japes, Bant is Arcadia, Esper is also a planewide city (although somewhat less packed that Ravnica, apparently), Grixis is Mordor and Jund is Lethal Lava Land.
Serra's realm from the Urza's block is a cloud world. You can even see it on Urza's Saga plains. By contrast, Phyrexia is a Death World, to the point that everything in Phyrexia is a carnivore.
Mirrodin only looks this way because of how alien the whole metal-and-flesh blend theme is. The place has at least as wide a range of climates as the real world, it just doesn't seem that way.
As noted above, many world in Warhammer 40,000 fit this. They designate their planets almost entirely like the above.
It's noted that City Planets, if cut off by a Warp storm are essentially screwed since it prevents food from being transported in, unless they are lucky enough to have an agricultural world in-system - hive worlds (see below) may well have a problem even if they do.
The homeworld of the Vespid is an interesting one - an entire world of stone islands floating in the upper atmosphere of a gas giant.
It also has some Single Biome Planets that don't technically fit. Hive Worlds are worlds where, for various reasons, humans have been forced to live into massive city-buildings that can house billions of people, usually because the rest of the planet has been rendered uninhabitable by untold eons of industrialization and rampant pollution. The most atypical Hive World is Necromunda; about ten thousand skyscraper-based Hives scattered amidst an endless desert of ancient ash and chemical dust, but there are many others. Valhalla suffered a cosmic collision that knocked it out of orbit, rendering it an Ice Planet, but with a twist: huge subterranean cities were promptly bored into the heart of the planet and the depths of the glaciers in order to escape the cold. Also, Catachan, a Jungle Planet so deadly that it's also a Death World.
Ciaphas Cain has several atypical worlds, notably a Hailfire Peaks-type that's split into desert and ice planet and doesn't rotate, so work and sleep cycles are a matter of convention.
Ocean worlds are occasionally mentioned, but rare.
Finally, we have Earth itself, the one and only Super Hive World. None of recognizable features are left, not even the oceans. Instead, it's covered in layers and layers of cities filled with countless holy relics and sites. The Imperial Palace takes up most of what used to be Asia, while Mount Everest was hollowed out and turned into a navigation beacon.
Classic Traveller had Desert Planets (hydrographic % = 0), Ocean Planets (hydrographic % = 100, called "water worlds" long before the Kevin Costner movie), and Ice Planets (such as Mithril in Double Adventure 2 Mission on Mithril). Note that though Traveller called some planets "agricultural", this was an indication that they could produce food products, not that they were Farm Planets (entirely devoted to producing food).
Traveller 2300 adventure Energy Curve. The adventure takes place on an Ice Planet.
FASA's Action Aboard: Adventures on the King Richard. The description of Dr. Rik-Havasu says that he once went on a hunting trip on the jungle world Stigworl.
Call of Cthulhu supplement Curse of the Chthonians, adventure "The City Without A Name". If the investigators are very unlucky they can go through a Gate to the home planet of the Chthonians, which is a "monstrous violent world of volcanic upheavals and earthquakes", i.e. a Volcano Planet.
4th Edition updated The Nine Hells of Baator◊ from Planescape's nine-layered stack of related but distinct sub-planes. The whole place fits the Death World biome, the surface is more along the lines of the volcanic. It can get fairly diverse (and considerably more horrible) the further you go underground.
1st Edition module Q1 Queen of the Demonweb Pits. The very end of the module had a list of worlds the dungeon master could create for the PCs to explore. They included a Cloud Planet, a Forest Planet, a Jungle Planet and a semi-Ice Planet which was entirely tundra (a treeless plain with permafrost soil).
With the 1st Edition AD&D Manual of the Planes and then Planescape, the planes - like described with Magic: the Gathering above - were often single-biome... places, but blatantly unlike anything in our cosmos. Most planes were sets of thematically-connected sub-planes, each of which had its own dominant biome. The three layers of Arborea, for example, were an infinite forest, and infinite ocean dotted with archipelagos, and an infinite desert. Given these are archetypal realms constructed of mortal belief and further influenced by the will of the gods, their nature is fairly justified.
The main rules: Cygnus 9 (Ice Planet and prison planet), Och Eleven (Ocean Planet), Pooh's World (Jungle Planet), Fundi 3 (Jungle Planet and Death World), Zunderland (Ocean Planet), Paprika (Desert Planet), Coriander (Jungle Planet), Q17 (Swamp World). Iceworld Zebra (Ice Planet), Aphid Majoris (Swamp Planet), Bles (Desert Planet), Kung and Hung (Desert Planets), Glauren (Ocean Planet)
In the Bounties and Warrants supplement a number of planets are of this type.
"Out of the Frying Pan": Calderon (Volcano Planet).
"Knowledge is Powered": Heapex (Garbage Planet)
"Howl at the Moon": Zhufi Moon (Desert Planet)
"A Needler in the Haystacks": Amoshe Prime (Farm Planet)
Terran Trade Authority RPG. In the Proxima Centauri system, Proxima III is an Ice Planet, and Proxima IV is an Ocean Planet.
Starfire. In the Nexus magazine #9 article "Heeaquii War Scenarios", Heeaq VII is an Ice Planet.
The Dragon Magazine 1998 Annual article "Alternate Frontiers" had information on converting Star Frontiers to Alternity. According to the article the home planet of the Dralasite race was an Ocean Planet called Flaginnor, which is 90% covered by water, with only a few land masses dotting the surface.
SLA Industries. The home planet of the Wraith Raiders is an Ice Planet. Other Wraith Raider Ice Planets provided water to Mort during the SLA Industries/Wraith Raider alliance after the Conflict Wars.
Ice Planet: The entire planet Turlog is very cold and under polar conditions.
Farm Planet: The planet Tiernarock is a great producer of food and the planet Hasockoth produces more food than any other planet in ISC space.
BIONICLE has Bara Magna, which is almost entirely desert, although it does have a few oases as well as icy peaks towards the north. Its two moons, Aqua Magna and Bota Magna, also count towards this trope; Aqua Magna is covered entirely with ocean, and Bota Magna is covered entirely with jungle. Bara Magna and its moons were originally a single planet, Spherus Magna, that had all three biomes before The Shattering, and it was the destiny of Mata Nui and Makuta Teridax to merge the moons with the planet to reform Spherus Magna.
In the North American version of the Slizers storyline, each of the Throwbots originated from a Single Biome Planet appropriate to that Throwbot's element. For example, Torch came from a volcanic planet while Ski came from an ice planet.
Many planets in Freelancer are themed. Pittsburgh, for example, seems to be a barren desert filled with mines, Cambridge is a planet full of blissfully green plains, Hokkaido is an Archipelago Planet, Manhattan is a Planet City, New Berlin seems to be a Snow Planet, Leeds is a Heavy Industry Planet capable of blowing out entire nebulae of smoke, and so on.
Rogue Galaxy has several of these, from the desert planet of Rosa, to the jungle planet of Juraika. The US release added an ocean planet to the mix.
Kirby Super Star and its Video Game Remake, in the "Milky Way Wishes" subgame, reveals Pop Star, which is pretty much Earth-like with its multiple biomes, to be in an entire solar system full of these - including three textbook examples in the form of Aquarius (Ocean Planet), Skyhigh (Cloud Planet), and Hotbeat (Volcano Planet).
Kirby 64 has you visit planets which subvert this trope, except for the planet where you fight the True Final Boss.
Both planets in Metroid Prime Hunters (one is fiery, the other is icy). The Pirate Homeworld in Metroid Prime 3 may have been built that way. Averted with the other planets in the series.
Meteos is chock full of these, containing most of the examples listed above and more. Canyon planet? Windy planet? Flower planet? Heated-iron planet? We've got it.
Thoroughly averted in Halo. While on the eponymous Halo rings, one encounters several different biomes, from swamps, to beaches, to snowy mountains.
Only two rings have been seen up close, and the control room of the Ark implies that each ring is mostly a single biome (when seen from a distance, at least).
The Ark both averts and plays the trope straight. It's shaped like a flower, with the massive ring production facility at its center. Each of the "petals" is a completely different biodome.
The Expanded Universe does contain a few examples of this trope, however. Such as the homeworld of the Drones, a (rain)Forest Planet; and the Grunt Homeworld, a swampy planet with a methane atmosphere.
Also in the Expanded Universe (the fifth novel, Contact Harvest) one finds the eponymous planet Harvest, which is a prime example of the earlier established Planet Farm.
According to Eric Nylund (who is responsible for establishing much of the extended canon) the reasons for certain planets to be devoted over to farming or mining or urban and industrial centers has more do to with economics than anything else. For example, some planets have more hours of daylight than is typical for Earth and happen to have huge tracts of very rich volcanic soil, leading to very large crop yields. Raising crops on such planets inevitably becomes very inexpensive, and it costs less on other planets to have the food imported from the farm worlds than it does to grow it locally. As the war rages on and many of the outer colonies where much of the farming goes on are lost, and the Cole Protocol restricts intersteller travel, many inner planets reluctantly take to growing their own food instead of having it imported.
Reach also averts this. There are mountains, urban areas, lakeside areas...etc.
Spore... technically counts, just because there's no biomes in the first place. Either a planet is an ice planet, a lava planet, or (varying levels of) lush and green.
According to the supplemental material, the planet of Kharak in Homeworld is a subversion that's gradually becoming a straight example; the huge equatorial deserts have been slowly expanding to cover more and more of the surface for tens of thousand of years at least, with the remaining temperate regions screened only by mountains. Since the planet is reaching the end of its geological activity, said mountains will eventually be eroded flat and reduce Kharak to a true Desert Planet. Except that the deranged ruler of a vast interstellar Empire orders it carpet-bombed with thermobaric weapons for no particularly sensible reason and it ends up being a Black Glass Planet instead.
The extreme conditions near Kharak's equator -daytime temperatures in summer can exceed a hundred degrees Celsius- and the presence of polar seas instead of polar ice capos tend to suggest that Kharak was probably always a strong candidate for this trope, even in its distant past.
StarCraft seems to follow this trope with Aiur a lush jungle world over its whole surface, Korhal a blasted post-atomic wasteland, Mar Sara a desert planet, Shakuras as an ice planet etc. The only planet in the whole game with varying surface features seems to be Tarsonis, the Confederate capital, and even that is only discernable in the rendered cinematics, not in-game.
However, to be fair, Korhal was blasted very thoroughly by the Confederacy fleet and pretty much all the Terran planets except for Tarsonis seem to have been undergoing terraforming (and no one is seen without life support systems, except for the Zerg).
Starcraft II covers mostl of these categories with some world or other.
Desert: Xil. Meinhoff and Mar Sara also lean in this direction. Wherever the Umojan research station is in Heart of the Swarm.
Jungle: Bel'shir, Aiur. Heart of the Swarm adds Zerus.
Dark: Shakuras, several nameless worlds seen in the Zeratul missions.
Volcano: Char, Redstone
City: Korhal, New Fulsom seems to be a planet sized prison.
Farm: Agria's name suggests it is one of these, and the terrain does indeed have numerous farms.
Garbage: Deadma's port.
Ice: Kaldir in Heart of the Swarm.
Cloud: Skygeirr in Heart of the Swarm.
Super Mario Galaxy has plenty of Single-Biome Planet bodies, in single biome galaxies. You've got the Good Egg Galaxy, which has a planet of each elemental type, Melty Molten Galaxy which is all lava planets, Beach Bowl/Drip Drop/Bonefin Galaxy which is all water planets and quite a few more strange single biome ones including a haunted house galaxy (Ghostly Galaxy), Hail Fire Peaks (Freezeflame Galaxy), two battlestation themed galaxies/planets (Battlerock and Dreadnought Galaxies) and one where all the planets are autumn themed. Might be justified in that the so-called "galaxies" are (at best) a collection of several small planetoids. This also applies to the levels of Super Mario Galaxy 2, of which there are even more per world.
Thunder Force series often has each stage a separate single biome planet. Sole exception is V where it take place on Earth.
Star Fox Adventures is an aversion as there are a variety of biomes, though the planet suffers the same problem the Metroid games do, and biomes change a bit too rapidly.
The original SNES game portayed Fortuna as being very Earth-like, complete with plant-filled plains and expanses of water. It also was home to big-ass creatures.
Fortuna is portrayed similarly in Star Fox Assault. The reason it looks different in 64 is due to a writer error: the Lylat System's resident Ice Planet is actually called "Fichina".
Subverted and justified with Aquas in 64. It used to be a perfectly normal planet, but after one of Andross's bio-weapons shattered the ice caps, it flooded over and became a pure ocean world.
Also justified with Zoness in 64. Whatever it was like originally, Andross has been using it to dump all his toxic waste. This has completely screwed up the planet, and turned it into a big waste site. The battle is over an ocean, but it in unclear whether the entire planet is supposed to be an ocean.
Sigma Star Saga had a Forest Planet, a Fire Planet, an Ice Planet, a Sand Planet, a Ghost Planet, and an Ocean Planet. the Ocean Planet is Earth
Most of the planets in the first two Master of Orion games appear to be this, although "Terran" planets are supposed to resemble earth. Of course, the only effect that environment has on gameplay is determining maximum population capacity, and preventing players of the first game from colonizing half the galaxy until they develop technology to cope with hostile environments. The third game averts this.
A lot of space colonization games appear to do this. Imperium Galactica 2, for instance, only has single biome planets, where the type of planet influences which races can settle there effectively. (Though the surface views of such planets do sometimes show a mix of terrain.)
There are four kinds of planets in Sins of a Solar Empire: Terran Planets (like Earth), Ice Planets, Volcanic Planets, and Desert Planets. Averted impressively by the planet textures, however. Some of the desert planets feature large seas, for example, and greenery can be found on peninsulas extending into the oceans.
The expansion pack for Rebellion adds another 7 planet types.
Averted in Killzone. The planet Vekta contains cities, beaches, swamps, jungles, snowy mountain tops and some other stuff inbetween.
Also averted in Killzone 2 and 3 where Helghan has oceans and at least two biomes- arctic and desert in gameplay- and is described in canon as having predator-filled jungles. Mostly wasteland, having a toxic atmosphere, and everyone there trying to kill you makes it a Death World.
Completely averted in Dwarf Fortress. Each of the randomly-generated planets created have dozens if not hundreds of diverse, interconnected biomes that track everything from vegetation, to temperature, to elevation, to even individual rock layers.
Subverted in Major Stryker. The planets are referred to as "Lava Planet", "Arctic Planet" and "Desert Planet," but all three have different biomes for different levels (for example, Lava Planet has "Water Zone" and "Land Zone" in addition to the "Lava zone")
Every planet/track in the F-Zero series. Ranges from Mute City (not specifically stated to cover the entire world, but is commented on in the manual as a single city of BILLIONS of inhabitants) to Port Town to Death Wind, Sand Ocean, Fire Field, White Land, you name it. A veritable catalogue of one biome worlds.
Populous goes nuts: There are plains worlds, desert worlds, ice worlds, volcano worlds, computer worlds, alien worlds, worlds made of cake, worlds where everyone's a pig, worlds where everyone's French, worlds where everyone's Japanese...The architecture reflects this, as do the inhabitants, but on plains, desert, ice, and volcano worlds, they'll always be toga-clad humans who are promoted to medieval knights, with the religious center being either an ankh or a skull.
Mortal Kombat Deception fits this trope. Even Earthrealm is single-biome in Konquest mode. Most of the other realms fit the Mordor pattern, though Seido (Orderrealm) is a cloud world, and Edenia is marked by a lot of waterfalls. Much less so in Armageddon.
Minecraft averts this: there are several biomes available, with varying degrees of probability. If you start in an arctic biome and don't like it, just keeping walking until you find a biome you do like (note: may take a very long walk).
It should be noted, however, that most of the biomes look alike. A grass block in one biome looks exactly like another in a different biome, only a different shade of green. Except for deserts, all biomes have grass; it is only the kinds and amounts of trees which separates them. And, since you can plant your own trees wherever you feel, you can create this in a limited area.
Except, y'know, that's how ''real'' biomes work. And unless they can manage to simulate every possible variable, that's how it's gonna stay.
A mod can create biomes so big they are effectively this. The same mod can also make them so small they are only a few blocks wide.
Before biomes were added to the game, however, the trope was in full effect.
Both played straight and spectacularly averted in MYST IV: Revelation. Spire is revealed to be a literal Cloud World, a series of floating towers apparently orbiting a cometlike body; while Haven has seacoast, jungle, savanna, and swamp within a few minutes' walk of each other.
Knights of the Old Republic goes along with the Star Wars mentions above—while you only ever see one biome of the planets you travel to (in the first game, at least), most of them are at least implied to have other biomes, or have their single biome explained away. Tatooine was bombed from orbit by the Rakatan, turning it into a desert, the "unknown world" (Rakata) is mostly ocean with small islands because of ancient wars, etc.
The Space Quest series had a few of these. Kerona is apparently all desert, Ortega is all volcanoes and lava, Labion is a Jungle-world, and so on. There's even Thrakkas, a Death World planet that's nothing but giant, toxic fungus.
Endless Space has Terran, Arid, Desert, Tundra, Arctic, Jungle, Lava, Asteroid, and three kinds of Gas Giant. It's an unusual example, because on top of that there's a system of "anomalies", planetary features not necessarily consistent with the planet type or star type. So while a Terran or Jungle planet can have the Garden of Eden anomaly... so can a Gas Giant. It adds a pleasing amount of variety to what would otherwise be just an expansive example of this trope. By far the silliest is when the Lava planet has the Polaris Factory (read: Santa on the north pole in space).
Dune II. Arrakis/Dune is a Desert Planet as in the original novels. Also, the home planet of the Ordos is said to be "frigid and ice-covered" in Dune II and just "icy" in Dune 2000...i.e. an Ice Planet.
This is the case for the planets in Doki-Doki Universe. There's an urban planet, an ice planet, a desert planet, and more.
Z: The star system around which the game is set has a desert planet, a volcanic planet, an arctic planet, a jungle planet, and a city planet.
The Algol star system in the Phantasy Star series has a few examples. Palma is a temperate Earth-like planet in Phantasy Star I, but gets blown up in Phantasy Star II. Motavia was a desert world in I, is terraformed into a farm world by II, and is in the process of reverting back into a desert world in IV due to the failing climate control systems. Dezoris remains an ice world through the entire series. Rykros is a crystal world due to having a comet-like elliptical orbit, only nearing its star once every thousand years. It turns out the entire solar system was created by a godlike entity known as the Great Light as the seal on the dimensional prison of its enemy, the Profound Darkness.
While the "real" planets in Homestuck are naturally realistically varied as far as we can tell, all of the Lands generated by Sburb, in addition to the Skaian Battlefield, are fairly creative examples of this. Justified in that being single-biome planets is the entire point of the Lands as game constructs.
As well as giving the quote above, Irregular Webcomic! lampshades this in one of its podcasts: when Admiral Ackbar calls Endor a forest moon, C-3PO corrects him heavily, saying that it has a small ocean, two deserts, and a mountain range with an extensive cave system. Thankfully, by then, he was turned off.
"50 years ago Dread Trooper scouts landed in a swamp on our planet and for some reason didn't bother exploring anywhere else! If they'd gone one mile to the left, they would have found some beautiful beach front condos. But they didn't. And now we're the "swamp planet". How do you think that makes me feel?"
The planet "Edict Zero" of Edict Zero Fis is assumed to be an ocean world with only five islands.
Futurama frequently makes fun of this, and the Planet of Hats, as every world the crew visits seems to have a single defining characteristic; Dr. Zoidberg's home planet of Decapod 10 is all beaches (referred to as "the Mud Planet" by its ambassador), Kif's is all swamp, etc. A notable example is the Nude Beach Planet, the entire planet apparently a coastline.
Nearly every planet in War Planets was a Single-Biome Planet. Admittedly, this was largely because the play-sets were designed first, but the writers have nobody but themselves to blame for the set-up whereby the inhabitants of the desert planet could only survive — on the planet on which they had evolved — by stealing water from the ice planet. This case, however, is justified by virtually every planet being designed and built, not evolved. The Cluster in particular was created as a quartet of interdependent worlds.
The adaptation took it a lot further. Bone provides food, Rock provides minerals, and Fire provides energy. They even have world engines inside.
Invader Zim has Zim banished to the planet of Foodcourtia, an entire planet of fast-food outlets. Similarly, Zim avails himself of the services offered by the planet Callnowia, which is devoted to the taking of catalogue orders and the shipping of products. Other Irken-dominated planets include Conventia, the convention center planet, recently-dominated Blorch, now a parking structure planet, and Dirt, the garbage dump.
This probably deserves a Justified Trope, as it's specifically mentioned (All There in the Manual) that Irkens just really like redesigning planets. Renaming them, too. See 'Blorch'.
SilverHawks features the Dollare Bank, a money vault planet, and Penal, a prison planet.
There's also the planets in Transformers: Cybertron. Velocitron the Speed Planet is a Desert Planet, the Jungle Planet is... well, that... and Gigantion is a City Planet.
In Energon and Cybertron, most planets are named "[Biome] Planet," or will have a name but be nicknamed [Biome] Planet, and the nickname will see more use than the name. In addition to the above examples, there's Blizzard Planet and Circuilt Planet (all racecourses. Same hat as Speed Planet, but it's covered with highways, while Speed Planet, as far as depicted onscreen, is all desert.)
In both the comic and cartoon humans visit Cybertron and are able to breathe with no problems, although logically there is no reason for there to be an atmosphere breathable for humans. The Beast Machines series seems to offer the suggestion that Cybertron was originally built around a habitable planetoid and that somehow has retained its atmosphere. This was actually the explanation given for the similar world of GoBotron in the Go-Bots cartoon series.
If Cybertron was originally Earth-like, the machines might incorporate a programming directive to keep it habitable that is so basic to their operating systems that they don't even think about it, they just do it.
Some series have partially subverted this and made it surprisingly diverse for a planet made of metal. It often has its own mountains, canyons, and even a sea of rust somehow. It's still made entirely of metal, though.
Gobotron from Challenge of the GoBots is a city planet. This is justified in that the planet's biosphere was destroyed ages ago in the inhabitants' civil war, forcing the race to become cyborgs. They then set about salvaging their now-dead home by converting it into a technology-based world.
"The Jihad". From what we were shown of it, the planet where the Soul of the Skorr was kept appeared to be a Volcano Planet.
"The Slaver Weapon", based on Larry Niven's short story "The Soft Weapon". As in the original short story, one of the planets in the Beta Lyrae star system is a "icy little blob of a world", AKA an Ice Planet.
"The Ambergris Element". The planet Argo's surface is almost completely covered by water, making it a Water Planet. It used to be more like Earth but violent seismic disturbances caused almost all of the land to sink beneath the waves.
In the old Flash Gordon animated series, this trope was averted (as in the comic strip that was the inspiration for it) by Mongo, which actually boasts a wide variety of habitable environments ranging from polar ice to tropical jungle, passing through various shades of desert and temperate forest in between, along with underground labyrinths.
Lampshaded in a Star Wars skit of Robot Chicken. The sea monster ends up as the skeleton C-3PO found in the middle of the desert.
Winx Club has two. Andros is a water planet with a few scattered islands spread out. This works out well for the mermaid population that lives there. The Omega Dimension is an ice planet where criminals are sent. Just about the entire planet is frozen, so anyone stuck on it has to rely on magic or scattered gadgets to survive.
In American Dad!, one of the few things known about Roger's home planet is that it's an ice planet. Roger has stated it has an atmosphere roughly 400 degrees colder than Earth, and he himself has shown an immunity to hypothermia.
GJ 1214b appears to be a prime candidate for an ocean planet. It's estimated that the ocean on its surface would be roughly three to four thousand miles deep. Yes, the ocean depth is a large percentage of the total radius of the planet. Additionally, because the planet is definitely hotter than boiling point, the ocean doesn't have a defined surface. Instead the atmosphere just gets thicker and thicker as you go down until it becomes as dense as water, which can't compress anymore, meaning the ocean and atmosphere just blend together.
Today, Earth is the only aversion in the solar system. In the very early stages of formation, Earth was a lava planet, and if the Giant Impact Hypothesis of the Moon's origin is correct, the Earth and the Moon were balls of magma for a while after the impact. It was probably a kind of ice planet at various points in the Cryogenian era (850-625 million years ago), particularly during the Marinoan Glaciation. This hypothesis is called (fittingly) "Snowball Earth". During Earth's Pangaea period, it was largely one huge desert surrounded with one gigantic ocean. Later, there was a period when the entire planet was a warm, moist planet covered with jungles - even Antarctica. This is how most of our coal reserves were created, by the way. Possibly the closest fit to the above archetypes would be an Ocean World, as the surface is over 70% water.
As for the other planets...
Venus has an extremely dense atmosphere that distributes heat very efficiently around the planet, so its surface of volcanoes and sulfuric acid is hot enough to melt lead from equator to pole and through the 60-Earth-day night. It could with a bit of engineering be a Cloud Planet, however: Earth atmosphere is a lifting gas on Venus, and conveniently the spot at which its density equals the density of the Venusian atmosphere is also where Venusian temperature and pressure is Earthlike—so if you put a colony in a giant bubble of ordinary Earth air, it would float in a stable manner on Venus in exactly the spot you want it to.
Mars is basically a desert world. A very cold desert world. It does have polar glaciers though—made of frozen carbon dioxide.
Jupiter is basically a liquid hydrogen planet, with a very large hurricane and possibly a rocky core. Neptune and Uranus are more like "slush planets".
Everything else (Mercury, most moons, asteroids, etc.) are pretty much airless rocks or ice balls.
Barring intervention, in a few billion years, the increasingly hot Sun will boil off the Earth's oceans, leaving a desert planet. Before, that is, it gets hot enough to turn it into a lava planet again.
Some of the moons also count:
Jupiter's moon Europa's surface is composed of one giant ice-covered ocean. It's also a prime contender for extraterrestrial life.
If you want a volcano world, look no further than Io. Most moons aren't large enough to retain sufficient internal heat for volcanic activity, but Io is being constantly stretched and crushed by tidal forces from Jupiter's gravity, like a stress-ball made of rock.
Titan (Saturn's moon) would be a dark ice planet. It's far from the sun, and the atmosphere has an organic haze that blocks most of the sunlight that does reach it. It does have lakes, though — they're just made of liquid methane. Any water on Titan would likely be called "rocks" by the locals as the melting point of water ice for them would be like hot magma to us.
Actually, every Earthlike planet we have found thus far fits this trope. However, what we can tell from light-years away is very limited.
For that matter, Earth herself, observed by modern or near-future technology from some light-years away, would almost certainly be interpreted as an Ocean Planet. So such observations should likely be taken with a grain of salt.