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
Anime & Manga
- An ad by Stan Freberg for Sunsweet Pitted Prunes. "Today the pits, tomorrow the wrinkles!"
- In Excel Saga, Il Palazzo wants to conquer the city today, the Earth tomorrow!
- In The Devil Is a Part-Timer! the first step in extra dimensional demon overlord Mao's plan to take over our world is getting promoted to manager at MgRonalds.
- 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!" Cardingthen calculates that this means "on Friday the universe!" and Speltzer reflects that this will leave the weekend free.
- This same trope is likely what Pterry had in mind in a scene towards the end of Night Watch, when newly-appointed Patrician Lord Snapcase points out that Sergeant John Keel of the aforementioned Night Watchnote has managed to all but take over the entire city in a single day, and "Who knows what he might do tomorrow." This serves notice that he's not going to be as big an improvement over the outgoing Winder as his backers had hoped.
- 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?"
- 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!"
- 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!"
- Subverted in Girl Genius where a would-be usurper of the Master of Paris has a helpful sign in his lab reading:
Don't get greedy
- 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!"
- 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 originally intended to take over the world, but received advice from an ex-girlfriend (Linda) stating that he should settle on the more reasonable Tri-State Area. Appropriately, he occasionally states "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!"
- Played with in an episode of Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero. After Rippen spouts this phrase, Larry comments that he should give himself at least a week to conquer the entire world.
- Benito Mussolini makes this declaration during his fight on Celebrity Deathmatch: "Today, I conquer the Deathmatch ring! Tomorrow, the announcer's booth! The day after that, the world!"