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Sugarbowl

A sugar bowl is a setting in a story that is lively and happy and where bad events rarely, if ever, happen. Any place with friendly locals (human or not), idyllic landscapes, rustic yet hygienic towns, and No Poverty is likely a Sugar Bowl.

There is No Antagonist. The only villians here are Harmless Villains. Sometimes you can have a sweet setting with unexpectedly creepy and/or evil bad guys, but even in that case, the kind of permanent damage they can do is likely minor. Expect a Heel-Face Turn via Care Bear Stare and/or Defeat Means Friendship.

They're often intended to be a Utopia, so don't worry about the details.

Be advised that proximity to, prolonged stays within, or merely entering such places may "naturalize" you into a local in body and/or mind.

Compare with: Level Ate, which covers settings that are literally made out of sugar. Contrast with Crapsack World, the Mirror Universe of this trope. Crapsaccharine World appears to be this, but turns out to be Crapsack World. Also, Sugar Apocalypse, where bad things happen to good universes. Not to be confused with Tastes Like Diabetes, which is a reaction.

We have one of these. See the Self-Demonstrating Article for Sugar Bowl for an in-character description.

Not to Be Confused with the MacGuffin in A Series of Unfortunate Events, or the hangout spot in the Arthur series (the animated TV show, not the films), or with the Collegiate American Football game held annually in New Orleans on or around January 1st or The Super Bowl, or with the California ski resort of the same name, or with a two-handled porcelain bowl sitting on a dining table that contains granulated sucrose.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • Kids and grownups love it so! The happy world of Haribo!

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The French comic series Les Womoks, a sci-fi parody series about a bunch of sub-par space troopers, features the Albon, an alien Sugar Bowl civilization of Ridiculously Cute Critters. They seldom come out of encounters with the Womoks without getting the business end of an explosion, yet somehow never lose their ludicrously optimistic view of life, even after their world gets invaded by the setting's Proud Warrior Race bad guys. And after their homeworld gets blown to pieces in the following liberation? They happily live on the resulting Floating Continent Islands, happily enjoying the view.
  • In the Belgian comic Olivier Rameau, the Dream Land setting of Rêverose ("Pink Dream") is very much this; a happy and fantastic place "strictly forbidden to boring people". It isn't entirely devoid of a dark side, though, as some places are governed by nightmares. Nor it is entirely childish, as evidenced by Colombe Tiredaile, the hero's Love Interest, who has since become quite the sex symbol, thanks to the cartoonist Dany not being shy about drawing her rather au natural.
  • The Smurf Village in The Smurfs started off as Mordor in the Johan and Peewit comic book story The Flute with Six Holes (later renamed The Smurfs and the Magic Flute), located in what was called The Cursed Land. When the Smurfs got their own series, the village was relocated to a flourishing animal-filled forest until eventually it became a Sugar Bowl.
  • Widgey Q Butterfluff is a Deconstructive Parody of shows like this, where the attempts by Widgey and her friends to deal with Very Special Episode fodder like adolescence and G-rated drug addiction tend to end in surreal disaster.

    Comic Strips 
  • While theoretically set in our world, Rose Is Rose is constantly on the brink of this.
  • Love Is...: 'Nuff said.

    Fan Works 
  • Crowns of the Kingdom has the "It's a Small World" ride.
  • The Smurf Village in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, though with less sugar than its mainstream media counterpart. In fact, the Psyche Master sees it as more of a Wretched Hive, hence the creation of his emotionless and pleasureless race, the Psyches.
  • Unicornicopia from My Little Unicorn, with its population of winged unicorns and places named after colors.
  • Turnabout Storm: As far as Phoenix is concerned, he is stuck in one; the colorful equine filled Equestria. As far as Equestria's concerned however, the real one is overseas; a land where ponies and humans coexist.
  • Chapter 59 of You Got HaruhiRolled! deliberately makes the setting of Haruhi Suzumiya into this trope, as a parody of how 4Kids Entertainment would have treated the show had it gotten its hands on it. Haruhi's powers are reimagined as the power of imagination, and everyone else in the SOS Brigade is only there to learn about the true meaning of friendship from her. Taniguchi is chaste and Sickeningly Sweethearts with Ryouko, and even the Anti-SOS Brigade is nice.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Heartland USA in Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band pretty much fits the bill. But once Mean Mr. Mustard steals the magical instruments, installs evil 24 hour Video Arcades, and puts the ultimate sign of evil... a giant hamburger... atop the town square bandstand, everything goes to heck!

    Literature 
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events parodies these quite beautifully with a fictitious novel (or movie if you feel inclined to watch a dreadful movie like A Series of Unfortunate Events.) called The Littlest Elf. The reader is told constantly that it would be a better idea to read The Littlest Elf seeing as the book you are reading is unhappy and therefore should not be read by anyone. The Littlest Elf is a running gag that even comes up in Lemony Snicket's "Biography".
  • In Hyperion the Priest's Story combines this with Body Horror.
  • The philosophical novel Ishmael has a bit where the eponymous gorilla attempts to illustrate his main point by making the case for how a world in which people eat other people could be one of these.
  • The Land of Oz under Princess Ozma, despite periodic threats from outside and certain parts of Oz of being way out there, generally follows this trope. Only when ruled by Ozma, though. If someone else takes the throne, generally you get a Crapsaccharine World (e.g. Jinjur's revolt, the witches running wild).
  • For all its attempts at Darker and Edgier, The Looking-Glass Wars really turned Wonderland into one of these. Its capital city is known as "Wondertropolis", there are foods with names like "Tarty Tarts", and even worms are known as "gwormmies". Of course, then Redd takes over and the place becomes a Crapsack World until Alyss returns to dethrone her.
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Fairyland is this whenever Jack Frost isn't causing trouble, as is the human world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Captain Kangaroo's Treasure House.
  • The Puppet Land that "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" was set in.
  • Pushing Daisies: An example that is not a kid's show. To balance it out, we get Deadpan Snarkers Lily and Emerson, and a whole lot of murder. Adorable murder.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba.

    Music 
  • The work of Adam and the Couch Potatoes is very much this, in a good way. The music is full of life and happiness, and very uplifting.
  • Aqua's 'Lollipop' has music and lyrics which define this trope. It also helps its genre is a super sugary brand of eurodance.
  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's stage persona is very sugary sweet, though with a side of the excessively strange.
  • The Polyphonic Spree
  • The Big Rock Candy Mountain, a hobo song from The Great Depression era, describes a more adult-oriented Sugar Bowl with geographical features like a whiskey lake, fauna like chickens that lay hard-boiled eggs, and flora like cigarette trees.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible has the Garden of Eden. Plenty of food, all animals are vegetarians (yes, even lions, female mosquitoes, and fleas), no disease, no guilt, and you never die. Also, everyone is perfectly formed and naked. The next world to come will be identical, after this one's inevitable destruction. Many Christian offshoots emphasizing the end of the world have a tailor-made second Earth; fundamentalist sects ignore the nudity, while indigenous versions, such as the Ghost Dance, tend to ignore the vegetarianism. Of course, the nudity pretty much ensures the FCC will never have a children's story in Eden.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons setting Planescape, the Outer Plane of Elysium isn't quite this goody-goody, but it's still filled with magical Good-aligned humanimals, brims with bounteous natural beauty, and has an inconvenient habit of turning anyone who stays for more than a week or two into a blissed-out hippie zombie who has completely forgotten why he came there and has no desire ever to leave. This trait is only shared by the planes evil counterpart, the Gray Wastes of Hades, and endless plain of gray dusts. Except that it doesn't make you happy at all. The only reason people don't just lay down and die is that it's futile as most of them are already dead to begin with.
  • The Madolche archetype from Yu-Gi-Oh! is like this. (Although, while these monsters are cute, adorable creatures with a dessert theme, they may not truly be pacifists. A deck that uses them still requires the player to have them battle the other player's monsters.)
    • While not quite as cutesy as the Madolche deck, the Naturia archetype is based around adorable cartoon forest life like bugs and flowers.

    Theater 

    Toys 
  • Charm Warp of Puzzlebox.

    Video Games 
  • Animal Crossing: In all the worst ways, in Chewbot's Let's Play. Yahtzee did one too; this one used the "indoctrination" aspect of the trope.
  • BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea: Episode 2 starts with a leisure stroll down a vibrant and gorgeous esplanade over Seine, Paris, filled with nice, friendly people (and a little birdie). The game being what it is, it quickly descends into Nightmare Fuel.
  • The world of Eversion starts out as one of these. It definitely doesn't stay that way, though.
  • Melodia of HarmoKnight is this, but in a more musical way. Everything is in the shape of notes and instruments, but it just looks so happy! You could even think that this could basically be a musical Pop Star with more human characters. This place is a musician's dream come true.
  • Most Harvest Moon games are this sort of world. A Wonderful Life is a little darker, but only in the fact that it deals more with actual real life issues than the other ones do.
  • Hello Kitty Online, as it extends the Tastes Like Diabetes Sanrio franchise into the world of MMORPGs. However, to some players, the fact that ever time you step outside of a town you're surrounded by hordes of dangerous, aggressive (but still painfully cute) animals makes it seem more like a Crapsaccharine World. One of the buildings in the first town after the starting town is a giant sugar bowl (another building is a giant teacup).
  • Kirby
  • Marvel Land: World 3.
  • My Sims and the sequel MySims Kingdoms, wherein your job is to make it even better.
  • Nippon in Ōkami, once the protagonist gets through with it. However, as she finds it, it's a Sugar Apocalypse.
  • Pokémon
    • Hoenn, Snap Island even more so.
    • Hearthome City in Sinnoh is one of the best examples of this trope, having babies everywhere and a park allowing entry only to cute Pokemon.
    • Maybe. As nice as the above-mentioned places are, Hoenn still has its fair share of problems (its villains manage to cause global warming), and there is a school of thought that some aspects of Hearthome City (much like Sinnoh in general) are not quite what they seem.
    • In Kalos ironically the only characters that are actually evil, want to reset civilization (In a Biblical flood sense) because they think the world has gotten too corrupt despite Kalos is not only the most beautiful region, filled with gorgeous scenery, lots and lots of atmospheric cafes filled with friendly people, but also has tons of random people giving the player (A complete stranger) helpful items and advice for no reason other than to be friendly, even the street punks are generally well mannered.
  • Rayman: In the first game, they have a world made entirely of musical instruments, a world based on pencils and a final level made entirely out of candy.
  • Style Savvy. You're an up-and-coming designer in the cutthroat fashion industry, struggling to succeed amidst the pettiness, politics, and backstabbing of— wait, no. Everyone is utterly sweet, polite, and encouraging. You could create the most horrific outfit on the face of the planet, and the worst someone might say to you is that it's not really their style, but thanks so much for your time! The worst possible criticism you can get during a fashion contest is along the lines of "Your outfit didn't fit the theme, but you have potential — keep trying and your skills will shine through!" No matter how badly you fail a contest, your model will do her best to cheer you up and express her faith that you'll win next time.
  • The entire Super Mario Bros. series could probably qualify. The Mushroom Kingdom is an idyllic land where Toad people romp happily and the only real problem the kingdom ever seems to have is Bowser's penchant for kidnapping the Princess. A problem Mario consistently resolves in short order.
  • Super Mario World is the best-known, with areas named after donuts, vanilla, chocolate and many cute (though often deadly) creatures.
  • Both Zool games were actually sponsored by a lollipop sweet manufacturer (Chupa Chups), which subsequently turned up a lot in the game, making things even worse.
  • Team Fortress 2: Apparently this is how The Pyro sees the world. Melee weapons are lollipops, the other team is cherubs, and fire is rainbows. Ammo crates are presents and Health packs are cakes/cupcakes too. Unfortunately, it's a bit of a Crapsaccharine World as well- Mayor Balloonicornnote  is an alcoholic with a hair-trigger temper, appears to be in debt, has a bit of a nicotine addiction, and his wife's cheating on him. But isn't he the cutest thing ever?
    • And now with special googles, provided by the same company, that also made Pyro's mask, every class can experience it.
    • Let's put it this way: the Pyro appears to have the mind of Pinkie Pie, and many videos edit in her voice or appearance to the Pyro. The Pinkie Pyro. None of it seems incongruous.
  • Played for laughs with Toonstruck's Cutopia, ruled by a giant smiley face.
  • Touhou: Once you get past the customary greeting, Gensokyo could very well qualify. Nobody ever dies (except that one bat), all the notable locals are Moe Moe girls, and whenever something goes horribly wrong, inevitably the Miko and the Cute Witch save the day and befriend whatever was causing the problem.
  • Vigilante 8 on the N64 had a bonus map called Super Dreamland 64.
  • Common to the point of cliché in 8-bit and 16-bit platformers, especially those with an Excuse Plot. E.g. Zool, James Pond: Robocod, Putty and others.

    Web Comics 
  • Hello Cthulhu is about Lovecraftian horrors trapped in Sanrio's Sugar Bowl. Dagon, for example, runs a fish-and-chips shop.
  • The below quote from The Order of the Stick is some kind of inversion of this trope: the place Belkar is calling "Happy Fun Sunshine Land" is actually a city where it is not odd to walk down the street carrying a corpse with your dagger still in it. He calls it that because he's feverish and delusional from the Mark of Justice curse, and has no idea what's actually going on. The magical fairy part is the only accurate part.
    Belkar: Be very quiet, Mr. Scruffy! If we make any noise, the magical Cart Fairy might not take us on the enchanted trip to Happy Fun Sunshine Land!
  • Sluggy Freelance
    • During the "Dimension of Pain" Saturday story arc, the Dimension of Pain was taken over by a sneaky angel who managed to briefly turn the Dimension of Pain into the Dimension of Fun. The demonic hordes became Care Bear parodies of themselves and the Demon King was turning into Mister Rogers. Fortunately, Lord Horribus returned from his exile and managed to make the angel Fall and become demonic, allowing the Dimension of Pain to be restored to its original evil. Yay!
    • The "Dimension of Lame" is naturally like this, even if it looks more like our world.
    Torg: Why the BLEEP  does it smell like flowers down here?
    Alternate Zoë: It's a sewer, silly!
  • Sugar Bits has Confectionaria, which is exactly what it sounds like.
  • Wuffle, full stop.

    Web Original 
  • Uni Creatures is set in one, right down to their being no carnivores (that big scary lion on fire? He eats fruit.) to avoid the violence and pain of creatures hunting each other.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears may be an exception to this — or at least not as happy go lucky as the other Disney shows. True, they live in a pretty happy Medieval world standard to the trope, but they are the last remnants of their once great race/civilization on Earth (well, the European part of it anyway) with a certain amount of sadness and Zeerust thrown in as well.
  • Adventure Time, which is odd considering that it's After the End and there's dangerous monsters everywhere.
  • Barbie And The Secret Door has the world Zinnia. It's a magical land full of fairies, unicorns, and mermaids, and its entire color palette is very bright and almost like candy. This is subverted when Malucia drains the entire land of its magic, though.
  • Bob the Builder, what elevated this trope to its own rights.
  • Care Bears.
  • Chorlton and the Wheelies.
  • Danny Phantom has "Gothapalooza" turned into this briefly by one of the Reality Gems. The protagonists were understandably shocked.
  • Disney Fairies's Pixie Hollow.
  • Dragon Land in Dragon Tales.
  • The Dreamstone has the Land Of Dreams, in contrast to the desolate Land Of Nightmares, the former is colorful utopian Medieval World. The majority of it's civilians are perpetually cheerful and sparse on jerkish or cynical traits, usually their only wrathful actions are towards Zordrak and the Urpneys which even then are rather leniant cartoony punishments.
  • The Happy Tree Friends appear to inhabit one of these until you keep watching.
  • "Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty/ we all think you're, very pretty/We all love to, hug and kiss you/ You make boys and girls so happy when they're with you/ Little Twin Stars, are so charming/ And My Melody, is such a darling/ We all love to, come and see you/ In the happy little world of Sanrio!"
  • Lalaloopsy (the TV series) is one of these. The characters are all very friendly and helpful with each other (despite a few times where they don't always help right away), the worst problem seems to be running out of ingredients for each characters' favorite food(s) or a Little (Sister) getting lost. Everyone leads happy lives in a low-tech setting (they use can-and-string as phones!) with no need for paying back another character's helpful deed or even asking for favors in return for doing the deed. There's no villain and no monsters (except the various Pet animals each character has, but they are always as nice as their owner).
  • The Magic Roundabout would almost certainly count if it weren't for both Dougal and the Blue Cat and the recent movie
  • My Little Pony has a reputation for this. Not entirely undeserved, especially in the cartoons for the G3/G3.5 toyline, but the pilot specials, The Movie, and the original My Little Pony and Friends show had the ponies frequently dealing with supernatural threats to their peaceful lives, ranging from rampaging monsters to wicked witches to Evil Overlords.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic takes place in a world where ponies can move the clouds around to make it rain or shine, and plants and animals need to be told to grow or hibernate. Thus, changing seasons is a large community project. The inhabitants are so accustomed to this way of life that the Everfree Forest - an untamed wilderness where animals take care of themselves, plants grow on their own, and weather occurs independently of pony intervention - is considered spooky and unnatural. And again, there are monsters aplenty.
      • Not that Ponyville (or Equestria as a whole) is a paradise on Earth. Plenty of species intolerance (the townsponies' reaction to Zecora, the racial conflicts between the three types of ponies depicted in "Hearth's Warming Eve," etc.) and generally bad attitudes (the episode "Putting Your Hoof Down" is chock-full of Ponyville residents acting like real douches) are present. That's not to mention the various monsters that are quite willing to kill anypony they come across (the main protagonist was Taken for Granite offscreen by a random monster in one episode), the occasional but regular nation-/worldwide threats posed by rogue gods and cruel dictators, and the gate to Tarturus itself less than a day's trot away.
  • Parodied by Meap's home planet on Phineas and Ferb. The Meaps' society is explicitly based on cuteness, and the harshest legal punishment they have is a fifteen minute time out. This does not stop them from having an effective military force.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Him tricks Bubbles with one of these in "All Chalked Up". Clever — who would suspect a place like this of secretly being the creation of an evil, manipulative demon?
  • In an episode of Project Gee Ke R: Geeker, Noah, and Lady MacBeth are chased into a run-down amusement park. They encounter interactive holograms that adapt to the visitor's "play setting" — with adorably goofy, brightly-colored cartoon bunnies being the default mode. (That is, until Lady MacBeth's short temper triggers their "battle mode".)
  • Rainbow Brite: Rainbow Land.
  • The Simpsons
    • In an early episode, Homer sarcastically evokes this trope in a bitter moment.
    Homer: Oh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the Magical Man from Happy-Land, in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane!
    • The Happy Little Elves, a Show Within a Show seen in some early episodes, seemed to be an example of this trope.
  • The Smurfs. Gargamel has only succeeded in making one permanent change to the Smurf Village — introducing a female smurf.
  • Imaginationland from South Park is most definitely this, until the terrorists broke down the wall that was keeping evil imaginary characters in. It's up to Butters to save the realm from being destroyed.
  • Strawberryland in Strawberry Shortcake.
    • And Berry Bitty City of Berry Bitty Adventures is even more so.
  • In the Teen Titans episode "Nevermore", between all the nightmarish landscapes that Beast Boy and Cyborg run into is one of these. Complete with floating strawberries. Beast Boy quips, "This must be where air fresheners comes from."
  • ThunderCats
    • The Ro-Bear Berbils seems to be space-colonists from the Sugar Bowl. And true to their nature, they've set up a little piece of Sugar Bowl right in the middle of the mutant-infested swampland of Third Earth. A place filled with houses shaped like giant, pink mushrooms, where candy-canes grow in orchards. They also talk like Smurfs, and all have names starting with a B. Isn't that right, Ro-Bear Bill? Berbil-fruit, anyone?
    • In the ThunderCats UK comic we saw that Sugar Bowl was a deliberate choice. They used to be cyborg-Bears rather than cyborg-Teddy-Bears but they are trying to be Space Amish while still having the Superweapon Surprise technology in their underground facilities to rebuild themselves in their spacefaring warlike image (the ThunderCat they showed the hologram of what they used to look like was impressed enough to instantly agree to help them restore their façade of cute harmlessness).
    • In the Darker and Edgier ThunderCats: Dogs of War, they are wiped out by the Lizard Men after welcoming the invaders with flowers. This can probably be seen as trying too hard.
    • The new series' Berbils home is a bit more conservative (though they're are a lot of pink flowers everywhere).
  • From the late 1960s, the Happydiculous World of the Upsy Downsys was definitely this.
  • Wonder Showzen: Parodied in an animated segment "The Boogie Noogie Bunch".
  • League of Super Evil: Doomageddeon, the team's pet/mascot a pan-dimensional Doomhound (Originally Hell Hound before the Getting Crap Past the Radar failed) once lost a tooth, causing the hole left behind to suck everything into another dimension. Doktor Frogg saw the other dimension briefly but the viewers couldn't see except that it was mentioned as a "Land of endless nightmares" Later on when everyone does end up within, the "Land of endless nightmares" is a world of rainbows, singing mountains, candy, and Unicorns. To a evil mad scientist like Doktor Frogg, this is Hell.

Setting as a CharacterSetting GimmicksThat Nostalgia Show
Strawberry ShorthandRule of CuteSuper Cute Super Powers
Standard Superhero SettingSettingsTelevision Geography
Still Wearing The Old ColorsIdealism TropesTake a Third Option
Band LandImageSource/Video GamesRed Dead Redemption

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