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[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TwoThousandTwelve http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/2012_waves.png]]]]

->''"We can live beside the ocean\\
Linger far behind\\
Swim out past the breaker\\
[[TropeNamer Watch the world die]]."''
-->-- ''Music/{{Everclear}}'', "Santa Monica"

It's TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Civilization is officially collapsing all around us. In this kind of situation, a person has two options: They can barricade their doors, and protect their homestead, or they can take everyone they care about out of the cities, to a safe vantage point, from which to watch everything crumble into dust. This is about the people who take this second option.

Common from the [[TheFifties 50s]] to the [[TheEighties 80s]] due to the fear of nuclear annihilation. See WhileRomeBurns, which is about not caring the world is ending, while this is watching it from a safe vantage point. Also compare FaceDeathWithDignity, which this is on a world scale.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{X 1999}}'' has a lot of this among the dragons of earth.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In the 1953 version of ''Film/{{The War of the Worlds|1953}}'', when it's clear nothing can stop the martians from destroying the cities, a lot of people can be seen camping out in the hills just outside UsefulNotes/LosAngeles.
%%* ''Film/MiracleMile''.
* At the end of ''Film/FightClub'', The Narrator and Marla watch as all the buildings around them collapse.
-->'''Narrator:''' You met me at a very strange time in my life.
%%* Happens at the end of ''Film/OnTheBeach''.
%%* ''Film/CountdownToLookingGlass'': The reporters, who know all too well how this will end.
%%* ''Film/TheDayAfter''
* Charlie from ''Film/TwoThousandTwelve'' not only Watches The World End at the site of Yellowstone's supereruption, but he ''narrates'' it on live radio so his listeners can share the experience.

* ''The Oblivion Society'', which parodies it strangely enough.
* The short story "The Nine Billion Names of God" by Creator/ArthurCClarke. It ends with the main characters standing outside a monastery, watching as God turns off the universe and [[TheStarsAreGoingOut the stars go out one by one]]. Subverted in that there's not really a safe vantage point from which to watch the end of the universe.
* ''Literature/TheRestaurantAtTheEndOfTheUniverse''. Also mentioned is its counterpart, the Big Bang Burger Bar, where you can go to watch the universe being born.
* ''Literature/BookOfRevelation'': The saints and angels in heaven (and John himself) get front-row seats for the Apocalypse.
* In ''Discworld/TheLightFantastic'', a lot of city people evacuate to the mountains because they believe the Red Star heralds the end of the Disc. One of them, when asked, remarks that it's not because the mountains are any safer: they'll just offer a better view.
* The Creator/RobertAHeinlein short story "Year of the Jackpot" is about a man who studies trends and realizes that the world is about to go to Hell in a hand basket. He and a young lady decide to live off the grid, as far away from civilization as possible, to avoid the madness and wait while everyone goes to pieces. [[spoiler: [[ShaggyDogStory His plan fails]], as the story ends with the sun dying.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The New Series episode "The End of the World", the second episode with the Ninth Doctor, features the natural end of the world, and the Doctor, Rose, and the Face of Boe (among others) are here to watch.
** In the ExpandedUniverse short story "Mondas Passing" the two companions present during "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E2TheTenthPlanet The Tenth Planet]]" reunite in their own version of 1986 to passively watch the adventure from an outsider's POV.
** Another ''Series/DoctorWho'' example, the Tenth Doctor, Martha, her family (minus her brother) and Jack Harkness watch helplessly as [[EvilCounterpart The Master]] lays waste to the earth using the Toclafane, while [[SoundTrackDissonance Voodoo Child]] (not to be confused with Music/JimiHendrix's song Voodoo Chile) plays in the background.
** Stated by the Eleventh Doctor when facing the sentient sun of Akhaten, which feeds on memories:
--->'''The Doctor:''' I've lived a long life. And I've seen a few things. I walked away from the last great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time, no space. Just me! I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman! And I watched universes freeze and creation burn! I have seen things you wouldn't believe! I have lost things you will never understand! And I know things, secrets that must never be told, knowledge that must never be spoken! Knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze! So come on then! Take it! Take it all, baby! Have it! You have it all!
%%* This is more or less the plot of ''Series/TheWalkingDead''.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': Subverted in [[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS04E10OurManBashir "Our Man Bashir"]]. Stalling for time to resolve the Holosuite/Transporter Mishap of the Week, Bashir facilitates the success of the holoprogram villain's plan, effectively destroying the virtual earth.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'': [[spoiler: a DistantEpilogue shows a human who has AscendedToAHigherPlaneOfExistence recording and reviewing important records from humanity's history, before flying away in an organic spaceship before Earth's sun goes nova.]]

* The TropeNamer is "Santa Monica" by Music/{{Everclear}}, though one look at the lyrics will reveal it's not a song about the apocalypse -- it just made a good trope name.
* Music/JethroTull's "Dun Ringill", which is about...basically this. The entire album, ''Stormwatch'', is one long "TheEndIsNigh" sign, and this is where the narrator decides to just go and wait the end of the world out.
* In Music/MarilynManson's ''The Last Day on Earth'' the protagonist witnesses the last day of this planet:
--> "I'm so empty here without you, I know they want me dead. I know it's the last day on earth, we'll be together while the planet dies, I know it's the last day on earth, we'll never say goodbye."
* In Music/TenaciousD's "City Hall", they talk about watching the collapse of civilization from an underground bunker.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Uncertain if it is a common trope in other [=RPGs=], but Creator/WhiteWolf goes on to detail how their worlds end.
** The ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' line had a battery of books about how the world AscendedToAHigherPlaneofExistence/[[CosyCatastrophe concluded]] / [[EndoftheWorldasWeKnowIt ceased to exist]] / [[OmnicidalManiac got destroyed]].
*** A scenario for ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' included a group of vampires hiding away from God's judgment to hold vigil and repent; even though the PlayerCharacters might not leave the church they are stuck in, the fates of vampires the world over were written with detail.
*** A scenario for ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension'' included an illustration where a [[OmnicidalManiac Nephandus]], in a form a mountain tall with [[GlowingEyesofDoom burning eyes]], is breathing atomic fire on cities. The [=PCs=] were welcome to survive long enough to see how the victorious Nephandi and their Malfean masters tore holes in Reality and raped it to death. Depressing as it is, the book for [=MtA=] included other scenarios where the player factions won and ended the world for a better, more comfortable age.
** ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' version 3.5 has a book called Elder Evils that contains a number of world-destroying horrors useful to end a campaign
** A few scenarios in the ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' line, where the [[AGodIsYou Exalted]] ''might'' lose to the looming threats to Creation, detail (excruciatingly) how everything ends.
*** In Return of the Scarlet Empress, the conclusion of the [[HellOnEarth Reclamation]] semi-metaplot, the [=PCs=] might choose to retreat from the final battle with the [[GodofEvil Ebon]] [[{{Satan}} Dragon]]. The result is a universe where [[AndIMustScream psychopathic hatred forms the core of physical reality, free will exists only to be broken and things exist so that they can suffer]]. The [=PCs=], being god-kings, might survive and gather enough strength to survive or even fight back. Still, the scenery around them is hopelessly bleak.
*** One possible implication of Autochthon's return to Creation is that [[ThePlague the Great Contagion]] infects the inhabitants of Autochthonia, accelerating Autochthon's sickness and killing him. A milder conclusion includes him becoming an undead OmnicidalManiac. One other includes the First and Forsaken Lion -- a millennia-old, ghost-god warmonger -- consuming weakened Autochthon and becoming the Onceborn. At least the Neverborn seeks to kill all things so that they come to eternal rest; the Onceborn kills billions at a time because it's ''fun''. Again, the [=PCs=] could stop him, but tough luck.
* Inquisitors in ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' do this whenever they declare an Exterminatus, where they destroy an entire planet that's believed to be too far gone to be worth saving, whether through alien invasion or Chaos corruption.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the ''Film/{{Interstellar}} Text Adventure'' online game, you eventually find out that the world you're on is going to be destroyed in a matter of years. You can either pull a Mann and send out a fake "all clear" signal or accept your fate and get into a pod, asking your robot to wake you up just before the end to enjoy the show. In the latter case, you are woken up and climb a mountain a few minutes before the planet a fiery wave gets to you.
* ''DawnOfWar 2: Retribution'': One cutscene has Gabriel Angelos narrating as a Blood Ravens show up to perform Exterminatus on [[spoiler:Typhon Primaris]] by Inquisitorial order. The very next level has your characters (having been lured there by the BigBad) [[SarcasmMode enjoying the view]] from the surface, during the bombardment.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The titular character in ''[[Webcomic/JackDavidHopkins Jack]]'' did this after triggering the collapse of civilization and the extinction of the human species: http://www.pholph.com/strip.php?id=5&sid=3077

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebOriginal/ColoringMedium'': Why Death leaves the graveyard in Medium for the first time in all of his existence.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'': Epsilon (a.k.a. Church) believes that the memory unit he's trapped in is dying, resulting in constant earthquakes that make it seem like the planet is falling apart. When the rest of the Blue Team leaves on one last adventure, he elects to stay behind with Tex to watch this simulated world's (and their own) last moments. [[spoiler:At least, that was the idea. Turns out the quakes were ACTUALLY caused by the real Reds and Blues trying to get Epsilon out of the memory unit. Church, who had just [[MercyKill let go of his forced-to-exist memory of Tex to spare her an apocalypse]], was not amused.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': On at least one occasion, the Simpson family gathers on the roof in lawn chairs watching the destruction of Springfield after yet another wacky series of adventures. Marge won't let Bart go loot with the others.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "[[Recap/FuturamaS6E7TheLatePhillipJFry The Late Philip J. Fry]]", Fry, Bender and Prof. Farnsworth watch the universe end in their time machine. [[spoiler:And then they watch it begin all over again. And end again. And begin ''again''.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Some scientists predict that just right before the Sun is beginning to transform into a red giant, the last animals on Earth, expected to be spiders, centipedes, insects such as ants, beetles, and cockroaches, lizards, birds, and small mammals will all be driven back into the ocean as by then the continents will be once again too hot to support life. Those critters will be long extinct much before good ol' Sun activates its [[OneWingedAngel red giant form]]. Bacteria will be the ones that will watch (or rather its bacteria equivalent) the world die... assuming they have not gone extinct before, in the already searing hot late-days Earth, that is.
* The fact that humanity may eventually flee to another planet when the Earth might become uninhabitable in the future may probably count.