[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/FistOfTheNorthStarKensRage http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_12fist_of_the_north_star_punks_8886.jpg]]]]

->''"It was 1906, but we screwed the timeline up.''
->''It wasn't just for kicks, but I'm afraid that the jig is up!''
->''We traipsed through time at the count of jump,''
->''Smashed the past, and messed the whole thing up -''
->''Now there's nothing left but Post-Apocalypse Punk!"''
-->-- '''Music/AbneyPark''', "[[SteamPunk Lost Horizons]]"

-> ''Welcome to the apocalypse, Mr. Squidward. I hope you like wearing leather.''
-->-- Mr. Krabs

Societies collapse. This is a law of nature.

In fact, according to this trope, it seems all societies degenerate into lawlessness with punks and other toughs roaming the streets ([[Film/{{Waterworld}} or waves; thank you Kevin Costner]]) and doing naughty things AfterTheEnd of civilization.

This degeneracy is part and parcel of The Apunkalypse. Effectively, this trope says that one of two things happens:

# the rise of lawless punks leads to the downfall of civilized society (a social apocalypse wherein maintenance of lawful order is overwhelmed by lawlessness)
# any apocalypse (nuclear war, disease, meteor impact, etc.) leads to a breakdown of the usual civilized system of lawful justice and the emergence of tribal, punkish, modern primitive or otherwise post-Apunkaclyptic living.

This state of affairs only goes on so long as nobody decides they have [[TheUnchosenOne had enough]] or nobody gets [[TheChosenOne volunteered]] to fix it. But it may be a while before either happens, since the Apunkalypse is [[ApatheticCitizens just another day in the neighborhood]].

This generally falls within the bounds of dystopic worlds, post-apocalyptic worlds, {{crapsack world}}s, and various punk genres. While this trope may overlap with other such as DesertPunk (specific to deserts and wastelands, on or off-world, with or sometimes without a proper [[ApocalypseHow Apocalypse]]), this trope deals with the sociology of the apocalypse (a general agreement on [[PostApunkalypticArmor fashion choices]] and anarchic, punkish, tribal governance) more so than the landscape of the apocalypse. The Apunkalypse befalls [[MegaCity Big Cities]] and societies [[OceanPunk riding the waves]] just as surely as it does those cowering in the [[RagnarokProofing Ragnarok-proof]] ruins of a bygone era or those [[WalkingTheEarth walking]] the face of a [[DesertPunk scorched Earth]].
If there was in fact a major disaster or production breakdown to the point that nothing new is being produced (food, clothing, machinery, etc.) or the Apunkalypse has gone on long enough that everyone has forgotten how to produce things, people may become DisasterScavengers in a ScavengerWorld. If so, PostApunkalypticArmor may be all that's available to the goodies or the baddies for protection (typically consisting of, though not necessarily limited to, things like motorcycle helmets, football shoulder pads, baseball catcher padding on the front, soccer shin guards, or other items resourcefully scavenged or bartered for and a few feathery adornments complete the ensemble).

This should not be confused with the 2006 album ''The Arockalypse'' released by Finnish hard rock band {{Lordi}}.
Contrast CosyCatastrophe

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''FistOfTheNorthStar'' -- After nuclear armageddon, most life goes extinct except mankind, which lives on in the post-Apunkalyptic world.
** This is parodied in ''Anime/ExcelSaga'', but limited to one city.
* Downplayed in ''{{NEEDLESS}}''. It's only post-Apunkalypse in the Black Spots. Elsewhere the world was rebuilt and now functions just fine. This is after WorldWarIII.
* The anime adaption of ''LightNovel/AccelWorld'' uses the aesthetic trappings of this trope every time [[BadAssBiker Ash Roller]] appears in the ''End of Centuty'' stage's post apocalyptic background. The ''Weathered'' stage can also fit in a sort of Mad Max style desert theme.

[[AC:{{Film}} - Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Doomsday}}'' -- After a viral outbreak, Scotland is walled off and its inhabitants return to their tribal, modern primitive roots.
* ''Film/JudgeDredd'' -- Lawless punks, taken to the extreme after nuclear wars force humanity a little too close together into cramped quarters, would overrun this post-apocalyptic dystopia if not for the over-zealous ministrations of Dredd and the other Judges.
** In [[Comicbook/JudgeDredd the comics]] at least, they at least try to explain the roving street gangs and block wars as something more than just HumansAreBastards. Between robots and other forms of automation, nearly all physical labor is done without the need of humans. Unfortunately, this also means that there's over an 85% unemployment rate. In "an area housing 65 million people, that was barely designed to handle two million." Yeah, bad situation.
* ''Film/MadMax 2'' (aka ''Road Warrior'') and ''Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome'' both feature examples of post-Apunkalyptic tribes of ne'er-do-wells wearing scavenged PostApunkalypticArmor and clothing encountered in the wastelands of the apocalyptic world they inhabit. The films pretty much codified the look. The original film, despite common misconception, takes place JustBeforeTheEnd, with the villains simply being a motorcycle gang.
* ''Film/ThingsToCome'' -- Where ''Film/MadMax'' codified the trope, the film adaptation of H. G. Wells' 1933 novel ''Literature/TheShapeOfThingsToCome'' could be the UrExample in film. A world war breaks out in 1940 and lasts for decades, [[ForeverWar until the humans left alive have long since forgotten why it started, or what peace looks like.]] Most relevant for Wells' depiction of a desolate 1970, with horse-drawn cars and neo-feudal warlords bedecked with animal skins.
* ''Film/ThePostman'' -- After a bout of unspecified [[AfterTheEnd Doomsday]], society breaks down, and people revert to either insular villages or large authoritarian, sometimes punkish, communes for survival.
* ''Film/{{Waterworld}}'' -- In large part this is Mad Max-at-sea, in a post-Apunkalyptic world, wherein the polar icecaps have melted, humanity is adrift and the Smokers are the punks-du-jour.

* Peter Clines's ''Literature/ExHeroes'' is about how the world has been overrun by zombies. The street gang called the Seventeens then promptly proceed to take over the ruins of Los Angeles, keeping all the other survivors as serfs.
* ''Literature/MortalEngines'' went through this stage (most obvious in the prequels) going for steampunk punk but has now transitioned largely into ApocalypseNot.

[[AC:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* ''Series/TheTribe'' -- Living in a TeenageWasteland isn't so bad right? Apparently, TheVirus, which was largely [[OnlyFatalToAdults fatal to adults]] created a CozyCatastrophe and now the teens are living it up in this Brave New [[IncrediblyLamePun Zealand]] Post-Apunkalyptic world. Its sequel ''The New Tomorrow'' picks up some time after the original series and focuses more on tribal children living the Post-Apunkalyptic life in rural areas.
* Parodied in a sketch of ''Series/TheDailyShow'', in which Rob Riggle claims to be reporting from after an apocalypse caused by the latest political kerfuffle. He sports PostApunkalypticArmor, saying that it's standard "leathers 'n feathers" wear for post-apocalyptic warriors.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** In the story "Paradise Towers", the post-apocalyptic tower block of the title is overrun by teenage punk girl-gangs called Kangs. They turn out to be the least dangerous or evil of the story's various factions.
** In the JustBeforeTheEnd episode "Utopia", much of humanity has devolved into animalistic punk cannibals called the "Futurekind".
* In the ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' episode "Taking the Stone", the Clan have this as their dress sense and image, although they're more amiably nihilistic stoners than violent.

* The premise of the Music/DavidBowie ConceptAlbum ''Diamond Dogs'' (which emerged from an aborted stage musical version of ''[[Literature/NineteenEightyFour 1984]]''): After an unknown catastrophe, the remnants of humanity in "Hunger City" form decadent, scavenging tribes.
* ''DangerDaysTheTrueLivesOfTheFabulousKilljoys'' is something like this -- BLI/nd, their employees, and the drugged-out masses live in shining, sterile Battery City (a rebuilt post-apocalyptic Los Angeles), and the punked-out rebel Killjoys live in the dusty, derelict, but more colorful and alive Zones.
* The video for Music/TupacShakur's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWOsbGP5Ox4 "California Love"]].

* Creator/RobinWilliams jokes about how violence in society is slowly escalating and references ''[[MadMax The Road Warrior]]''.
--> '''Robin:'''...And it's escalating! Pretty soon it's gonna be ''Road Warrior'' on the freeway. People with twin .50 caliber machine guns mounted on the front of their Cheverolets, going, "Look Helen, a slow chinese driver".
--> '''Robin:''' And he's going, "No you don't you wonton asshole!" WHOOSH! Flamethrower in the trunk!
--> '''Robin:''' And a little old lady in a Volkswagon Bus with a grenade launcher going, "Make my day!"

* ''TabletopGame/DarkFuture'' was a wargame created by Creator/GamesWorkshop and set in a United States falling apart.
* Being designed as a crossover of ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons, ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'', and ''Film/MadMax'', artwork for the people of DarkSun shows them in quite punky outfits.

* The ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series has played with this over the years. Since the very first game, people have been banding together to form peaceful back-to-basics tribes as well as towns, companies, governments and charities. However, for every New California Republic or Followers of the Apocalypse, there are hundreds of bands of raiders, slavers, ruthless mercenaries, sadists, drug makers and the like. The games often feature a struggle between attempts to civilise the Wastes and conflicting desires to live a hedonistic life of base pleasures.
** Speaking of the Followers of the Apocalypse, their leader is a bit of a subversion: She certainly [[PostApunkalypticArmor dresses the part]] (complete with a [[DelinquentHair garishly-colored mohawk]]), but she wants to help make the Wasteland a better place by providing aid and education to the needy.
** [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas Caesar's Legion]] are an interesting example. Their leader aims to create a totalitarian state using bits and pieces of ancient Roman culture and aesthetics to create a single, unified tribal identity for his slave soldiers. The result is a powerful, well organized army that's nonetheless fairly punkish as far as their technology level is concerned (primitive medicine and emphasis on low tech, reliable weapons and melee are deliberate, to emphasize personal sacrifice). On the other hand, Legion subjects in territories its controls (which reach from Arizona to Colorado) enjoy a well developed modern infrastructure and unparalleled safety.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' plays this trope straighter, with only a handful of decent town structures, and the entire wasteland filled with small gangs of raiders who have no organization amongst themselves at all.
** The factions described most closely as punk in the original games were mostly good people - the original followers of the apocalypse looked like a biker gang, the tanker vagrants were good natured nomads who found the Shi welcoming, the other "punk" faction in the Boneyard in the first game were just poor people trying to fend for themselves and you can end up helping them liberate one of the Boneyard's towns from the military dictatorship the mercenaries in charge of official security there have imposed. As a general rule, when it comes to Fallout, you can tell the degree of black in a faction by how stuck in the past they are.
* Each bandit tribe in ''[[{{VideoGame/Rage}} RAGE]]'' comes in its own distinct, punky flavor: [[ImAHumanitarian cannibals]], [[TheAlcoholic drunken]] [[BritishAccent Brits]], gadgeteering FacelessGoons, [[PyroManiac Pyro Maniacs]] and gibbering [[WildMan Wild Men]], to name a few.
* The ''TwistedMetal'' series as of ''Black'' and the ''2012 reboot''. While the world hasn't suffered any kind of great cataclysm and normal society still marches on, the characters and vehicles have a definite Apunkalypse style about them.
* In ''VideoGame/CrudeBuster'', two crude dudes with mohawks and CoolShades fight a gang of mutants that now infests the ruins of New York City.

* ''FreakAngels''.
* During the 2013 Government Shutdown in ''Webcomic/ManlyGuysDoingManlyThings'' Commander Badass dressed in leather, claiming that "it's a well-documented fact that in times a' social anarchy that folks respect the authority a' th' most leather an metal looking dude." And his main competition is actually a cenobite.

[[AC: Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSpongebobMovieSpongeOutOfWater'' when the Krabby Patty secret formula is stolen Bikini Bottom turns into Mad Max.
--> '''Mr. Krabs:''' "Welcome to the Apocalypse. I hope yeh like leather."
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'', [[AlternateTimeline Farmworld]].

* [[RedOctober Russian Civil War]]. It went both ways: the collapse of the society was caused by a rise in crime, riots and general lawlessness after the February Revolution, and during the war itself, if you were not a soldier, odds are you were some kind of moonshine-addled bandit looking like a RummageSaleReject (remember, this was way before the punk subculture formed). And the border between "soldier" and "moonshine-addled RummageSaleReject bandit" was very, ''very'' fuzzy.
* Also, the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Warlord Era]] in China, [[FromBadToWorse before the Communists came]].
* Somalia now.
** Subverted by Somaliland, which not only kept its regional government but "upgraded" it to a separate nation by declaring independence from the Somali Republic. It hasn't been recognized as an independent country, though.
* Both [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in practice: modern society despite the appearance of endless freedoms depends on law and order to survive. Money needs a central bank to issue it, older forms of money based on precious metal need a convention between people to use them, industry requires a complex system of relationships between those who mine the raw materials, transport them, work them, deliver the finished goods and sell them. The fact Roman Law is the basis of many modern law systems is not coincidental, 2000 years ago they still needed all these to make a state and a society. Punks, bastards, bandits and scoundrels have the precious skills and training needed to survive in a ScavengerWorld since it has been their province even before the fall.