"Ooh, swimming! Ooh, golf! Ooh, waving people! Ooh, creepy smiles
A beautiful, seemingly utopian community which is not what it seems.
Often either under control of a morally questionable conspiracy or demented super computer, or protected by a Deal with the Devil
. May even be an entire town
of Well Intentioned Extremists
Not quite the same as Town with a Dark Secret
as these are usually not particularly idyllic nor do they have The Village's uncanny quality. May overlap with Stepford Suburbia
. Contrast Quirky Town
. A Wrong Genre Savvy
character may take it for a Close Knit Community
— or vice versa.
See also Powered by a Forsaken Child
. No relation to Uncanny Valley
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Anime and Manga
- Can you say Hinamizawa? A gorgeous little Japanese town in the country where everyone knows everyone's name can't possibly be bad.
- It would probably be faster to list the towns in Kino's Journey that don't fit in the description, than those that do.
- And practically the only ones that don't fit the trope are the ones that are obviously quirky or dangerous.
- Soil New Town: It's so picture-perfect you just know something bad's happening. Compared with the possible alternate dimension shenanigans ripping apart the whole world the Adult Fears like a pedophile dentist raping all the boys for about a decade while keeping the whole town under survailence with hidden cameras are much worse fortunately he gets his; unfortunately his favorite victim's the one who wants to destroy the world.
- Shyamalan's The Village, former Trope Namer.
- Sandford from Hot Fuzz is a textbook example of this setting.
- Subverted in Big Fish - the whole town just seems... off, but there's nothing actually wrong with it.
- Nothing more wrong than the fact that they're something between The Fair Folk and the dead, and want all visitors to stay forever. They don't make you, though.
- Of course, when he comes back it's turned into a real place, and faded into poverty and age.
- Rockwell Falls in Population 436.
Live Action TV
- The Prisoner has The Village, the trope namer.
- The Star Trek: The Original Series episodes "The Return of the Archons", "The Apple", "Shore Leave", "This Side of Paradise", "Errand of Mercy", "Plato's Stepchildren" (Though that one's more a Town with a Dark Secret), and "The Cloud Minders". Star Trek: The Next Generation had "Encounter At Farpoint" and "Justice".
- The Star Trek franchise has a thing for this trope and the Aesop Utopia ain't possible.
- The Invisible Man TV series had an episode set in "The Community", a Village for secret agents who blew their cover.
- An episode of The Avengers called "Murdersville".
- The Vampire Diaries, Mystic Falls. May also count as a Town with a Dark Secret. The vampires, witches and werewolves are one thing but the level of civic pride shown by the good folk of Mystic Falls just screams weird.
- Just how many damn Founder's Day events does this town hold anyhow? They seem to go on for months! With additional events in between for good measure; this troper suspects a concerted effort to distract or brainwash citizens.
- The X-Files, "Arcadia": The Falls at Arcadia is a beautiful, peaceful planned community with a sinister secret. The peace is controlled by Home Owner Association, represented mainly by President Gene Gogolak. They have strict rules and regulations about everything and observing them is enforced by a killing monster. Most of the inhabitants know, but new-comers are not as lucky.
- Stargate SG-1 had an episode "Revisions" featuring a town so pretty and perfect that viewers knew at once the Team was in trouble.
- The village of Milbury in Children of the Stones.
- The Torchwood episode "Countrycide" explores a nice-looking country village, where the villagers have a decennnial event in which they eat whoever passes through.
- American Gothic situates in such a town, with their very own devil acting as the sherif.
- The walker-free fortified town of Woodbury in The Walking Dead seems like the safe haven the survivors have been dreaming of, but it's really not.
- Storybrooke, Maine.
- Bright Falls, WA is an excellent example, with the twist being that most of it's denizens are hopelessly unaware of the ongoing horror because it is technically captured inside a Stephen King-esque horror plot itself, implemented by said dark forces with the help of the human protagonist. In other words, it was literally written to be this trope.
- In Chrono Trigger, the floating continent of Zeal is a highly magical, beautiful city where people's every need is taken care of. The only problem? Well, there's a new power source for all of this magic Lavos which has a minor side effect making the Queen insane.
- EarthBound has several of these.
- Likewise for its sequel, Mother 3. Some places in the game don't even start out as this, but over the course of the game become uncanny villages due to Porky's influence.
- In The Secret World, it is said that Kingsmouth was this before the draug/zombie attack. Looking like a peacefull little coast town, with lots of creepy stuff going on behind the scenes.
- Haven from Dragon Age: Origins.
- Tranquillity Lane from Fallout 3.
- Andale from the same game, made all the more jarring by being smack in the middle of an irradiated, mutant-strewn wasteland, and one of the few settlements not surrounded by scrap walls and armed guards.
- Professor Layton and the Curious Village. The title says it all.
- Story Of The Blanks, Sunny Town.
- The township of Dimmadome Acres set up in one episode of The Fairly Oddparents by resident Corrupt Corporate Executive Doug Dimmadomenote . It appears to be a nice, clean suburb, but it's soon revealed that if you haven't drank Doug's mind-controlling milk yet, the hive-minded residents are going to make sure it doesn't stay that way.
- The quaint little town of Wychford in the Jonny Quest The Real Adventures episode "Village of the Doomed" turns out to be this (as if the title wasn't ominous enough). When Jonny and his father Benton Quest arrive at the town for a bonding fishing trip, the townsfolk all seem very nice and polite. Then the Quests get attacked by a rabid man and they find out he has a microchip implanted in the back of his neck, which can be activated to control his emotions and has malfunctioned, setting the man on a permanent Unstoppable Rage. They start to investigate the case. Turns out, Dr. Smallwood, the Mad Scientist who created the controlling microchip had been experimenting with all of the town's inhabitants, only everybody else's chips are set to "permanently nice" mode. Once Smallwood figures out that the Quests are sticking their nose in his business, he flips the switch on the chips, transforming the whole town into a horde of zombie-like, mindless, aggressive, drooling Mooks. Not quite the quiet vacation Jonny and Benton were hoping for.
- The second half of The Simpsons episode "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" centers on The Island, an Affectionate Parody of The Village from The Prisoner.
- Avatar The Last Airbender: "There is no war in Ba Sing Se."
- The LJ-RPG, Mayfield is built off of this trope.