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Today X, Tomorrow the World!
A resident Mad Scientist, Dark Lord or Evil Sorcerer is seeking World Domination, but first he has to practice small scale. How about his hometown? Or maybe the nearest city? Some of the time, most of the plot happens in his small-scale practice, making him an insignificant, yet amusing, force. Sometimes he succeeds and becomes a very serious threat to the world.

Can result in a Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot situation for the good guys.

The Trope Namer is the song "Es zittern die morschen Knochen" ("The Decayed Bones Tremble") by Hans Baumann (1914–1988). Strangely enough, he wrote it in 1932 when he was still a member of the Catholic youth organization Neudeutschland (New Germany). The following year, he became a member of the Nazi party and the song was sung by the Hitler Youth and other party organizations, and in 1935 it became the official song of the Deutsche Arbeitsfront (German Labour Front), the Nazi trade union surrogate. The line in question came in two versions, about one-third of songbooks preferring Denn heute gehört uns Deutschland und morgen die ganze Welt ("For today Germany belongs to us and tomorrow the entire world") and two-thirds the slightly less controversial Denn heute da hört uns Deutschland und morgen die ganze Welt ("For today Germany listens to us and tomorrow the entire world"). The trope has, unsurprisingly, often been misattributed to Adolf Hitler.

Examples:

Advertising
  • An ad by Stan Freberg for Sunsweet Pitted Prunes. "Today the pits, tomorrow the wrinkles!"

Anime & Manga
  • In Excel♥Saga, Il Palazzo wants to conquer the city today, the Earth tomorrow!

Film
  • The villain in Tomorrow Never Dies says, "The front pages today, tomorrow the world!"
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again: After Dreyfus destroys the U.N. building:
    Charles Dreyfus: Today, the U.N. building. Tomorrow, who knows?
  • Mr. Freeze said this ("First... Gotham... then... the world!") in Batman & Robin.
  • In The Rocketeer, the alleged Trope Namer appears at the end of a Nazi propaganda film demonstrating their plans for the rocket pack. Oddly enough, it depicts an invasion of America, not Europe, although it may be hinting that Germany would have already taken over Europe. It helps that the phrase, in German, reads, "Heute Europa, Morgen die Welt".
  • In the VeggieTales movie "The Rumor Weed", the titular weed says, "Today Bumblyburg, tomorrow the world," but she's attributing it to Alfred, whom she's rumoring about.
  • Tagline for the 1972 movie Frogs: "Today the Pond... Tomorrow the World!"
  • Yellow Submarine: A variation on this is spoken by the Chief Blue Meanie: "Let us not forget that heaven is blue... TOMORROW THE WORLD!!!"
  • In Jetsons: The Movie, Mr. Spacely says, "Today Spacely Sprockets, tomorrow the universe!"
  • In The Borrowers, Ocious Potter sets his sights awfully high for a lawyer.
  • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie, the bad guy announces his plan to "annihilate Angel Grove, and then, the universe!"
  • Franz Leibkind in The Producers, at the opening of "Springtime For Hitler": "Today Broadway, tomorrow.." (makes a globe-shaped gesture with his hands.)

Literature
  • One of The Illuminati's creeds in the Illuminatus! trilogy is "Heute die Welt, Morgens das Sonnensystem" (today the world, tomorrow the solar system).
  • A character in Secret Valley once exclaimed "Today Secret Valley, tomorrow the world!"
  • When the wizards get Drunk with Power in Sourcery, one of them shouts, "Today the city, tomorrow the world!" Carding then calculates that this means "on Friday the universe!" and Speltzer reflects that this will leave the weekend free.
  • The Tagline for Bunnicula was, "Today, vegetables... tomorrow, the world!"
  • When a member of a "community-of-the-future" called Tomorrow Town is revealed to have been plotting to use a Master Computer to take over the country, the protagonist quips, "The day after tomorrow, the world?"

Live-Action TV
  • Doctor Who, "The Green Death": "Today Llanfairfach, tomorrow the world."
  • The Goodies: Played for Laughs when Graham Garden goes Drunk with Power in "Radio Goodies".
    Graham: Today...the post office...tomorrow...the worrrld.
  • Also done by Graham Garden in the British Sketch Comedy show Broaden Your Mind. A scientist with a noted German accent is on TV describing a disease.
    Scientist: Turgonitis is just another of the new and exciting diseases developed here at the British institute of Applied Science and Technology and Not Germ Warfare. Today, turgonitis...tomorrow, the world!
  • A character in Secret Valley once exclaimed, "Today Secret Valley, tomorrow, the world!"
  • Said by Freddy when he decides to cause a nuclear war in the Freddy's Nightmares episode "The End of the World".
    Freddy: Today Springwood, tomorrow the world!

Music
  • The Ramones' song "Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World"
  • Appears in the Dire Straits song Ride across the river
    And we sing as we march with our flags unfurled / Today in the mountains, tomorrow the world.

Newspaper Comics
  • In Peanuts, Linus once spent a morning building a crowd of snowmen so that he could declare from an upstairs window, "Today, the neighborhood, tomorrow the world!"

Pinball

Radio

Theatre
  • In The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, which is a roman à clef about Hitler's rise to power, but set in Gangsterland Chicago, Ui (Hitler) gives a New Era Speech at the end that alludes to the Hitler quote. It's all about how he's now "protecting" Chicago and Cicero (Germany and Austria) and now he plans to "protect" other cities across the country as well Take Over the World). One translation/adaptation of the speech actually concludes something like "Philadelphia (one of the cities on his list) today, the world tomorrow!"

Video Games

Web Original
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • The Nostalgia Critic says something to this effect while listing the reasons for invading Molassia in Kickassia.
    • On his "Top 11 Villain Songs" review, as he compares the goose-stepping hyenas in "Be Prepared" to a Nuremberg rally, a film clip of Adolf Hitler appears with the subtitle "Today: Pride Rock; tomorrow: the world!"

Western Animation
  • Superman: The Animated Series: The Daily Planet crew is watching Livewire on TV, bragging about how she controls all the media like TV, phones, Internet, radio...
    Perry White: Typical. Today the airwaves...
    Lois Lane: ...Tomorrow the world.
  • Voltar from League of Super Evil has said, "Today the neighborhood, tomorrow the world!", at least in the episode "Full Throttle".
  • Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb sometimes says, "Today the Tri-State Area, tomorrow the world!"
  • Duke Inghorn in the very first episode of Adventures of the Gummi Bears: "Today Dunwyn, tomorrow the world!", just before realizing that the Gummi Berry Juice gives super strength to a human for just one minute.
  • Negaduck from Darkwing Duck: "Today St. Canard, tomorrow the world! I Always Wanted to Say That."
  • Mojo Jojo when he was the host in Cartoon Cartoon Fridays: "Today, Cartoon Cartoon Fridays, tomorrow, the world!"
  • Don Karnage from TaleSpin.
  • Queen Chrysalis in season 2 finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic uses a variation:
    Chrysalis: First, we take Canterlot. And then, all of Equestria!
  • In Walt Disney's WWII-era propaganda short, "Education for Death", the Nazi teacher is heard yelling, "Heute gehört uns Deutschland – morgen, die ganze Welt!", which the narrator loosely translates as, "Today we own Germany, tomorrow the whole world!"
  • Dr. Robotnik from Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: "Today, Mobius. Tomorrow....THE UNIVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRSE!!!!!!!!!
  • In the "Spud Dud" short on The Huckleberry Hound Show, the sapient potato's first utterance is, "Today the potato field, tomorrow the world!"

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