Follow TV Tropes

Following

Context Main / CrapsaccharineWorld

Go To

1%%%˛%%˛%% This page has been alphabetized. Please add new examples in the correct order. Thanks!˛%%˛%%%˛˛%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1313441864060249000˛%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.˛%%˛[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/ToyStory3 https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/crapsaccharine2.jpg]]]]˛[-[[caption-width-right:350:At [[IronicName Sunnyside]], [[BigBad Lotso]] will make sure you stay ''forever.'']]-]˛˛->''"You can see your breath hanging in the air. You see homeless people, but you just don't care. It's a sea of smiles in which we'd be glad to drown."''˛-->-- '''Stan Marsh''' on his [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNNOeEDB19E#t=2m18s home town]], ''WesternAnimation/SouthParkBiggerLongerAndUncut''˛%%˛%% One quote is sufficient. Additional quotes go to the quotes tab.˛˛A setting which, at first sight, ''looks'' nice and cute. The world is full of cheery colors, people are smiling, happy and helpful, and you're probably thinking you've just stepped into a SugarBowl that seriously TastesLikeDiabetes. Suddenly, you notice something ''wrong'', and upon investigating, you realize that ''every single thing'' below the surface is ''horribly wrong and dysfunctional''. Maybe the society is PoweredByAForsakenChild. Maybe the cheeriness is maintained by [[KnightTemplar totalitarian rulers]] that dole out [[AllCrimesAreEqual horrible punishments for the slightest infractions]]. Maybe the bright and shiny part isn't the only part, and the more traditional CrapsackWorld is kept hidden from the public eye. Maybe people who ask too many questions or don't meet the standards the society pushes for [[MakeItLookLikeAnAccident suffer unfortunate accidents]], or disappear, or are labled as criminals. Maybe it's just a [[ArtificialOutdoorsDisplay manufactured atmosphere]], [[FakeTown full of nice-looking but fake towns and cities]], or even a [[LotusEaterMachine manufactured reality]]. Basically, this is a StepfordSmiler on the scale of an entire setting, where behind the bright, cheery and colorful appearance, it's really a CrapsackWorld.˛˛Compare with FalseUtopia, when one of the main points of the story is the contrast of how perfect the world looks and how imperfect it truly is, TownWithADarkSecret, PeaceAndLoveIncorporated, LightIsNotGood, StepfordSuburbia, and TechnoDystopia. Often involves FridgeHorror, SugarApocalypse, GrotesqueCute, and {{Glurge}} as well as SunshineNoir. A Type B cynical portrayal of ThePromisedLand that isn't a used-up and barren wasteland is likely to be one of these.˛˛If the seemingly perfect world is a full-on illusion, created to entrap or otherwise fool someone, then it is a LotusEaterMachine.˛˛See also CityInABottle, where CrystalSpiresAndTogas meets GovernmentConspiracy, SoiledCityOnAHill, which can be a former ShiningCity that retains its shiny exterior even though its heart has become corrupt and rotten, and ViceCity, a city whose have already been overrun by criminals and other serious issues under its face value of being a ShiningCity. UrbanSegregation can result in this if the viewer is initially shown only the utopian parts of the setting. A child-oriented AdventureFriendlyWorld or a CityOfAdventure is prone to being this, so does GraffitiTown.˛˛Contrast with SugarBowl, the (usually) non-ironic version of this trope. Compare and contrast VileVillainSaccharineShow and the similar UncannyVillage wherein a world becomes a perfectly ordinary SugarBowl if its horrifying villain were removed, whereas a Crapsaccharine World is fundamentally rotten to the core. The two can overlap, however, if the villain is bad enough to make their world look good in comparison. Contrast PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny, FauxtivationalPoster, AWorldHalfFull, where it looks like a CrapsackWorld, but it ''can'' get better, and HeelFaceTown, where the town (or city) is a ShiningCity which was reconstructed from a Crapsaccharine World. HappinessIsMandatory can be this, but often fails to create even a pleasant veneer over things.˛˛Note that this trope is about a setting. If the art style clashes with the mood of the work, that is ArtStyleDissonance instead.˛˛'''As this trope involves the revealing of a world's true nature, expect spoilers ahead.'''˛˛[[noreallife]]˛----˛!!Examples˛[[index]]˛* CrapsaccharineWorld/AnimeAndManga˛* CrapsaccharineWorld/{{Literature}}˛* CrapsaccharineWorld/VideoGames˛** ''CrapsaccharineWorld/{{Fallout}}''˛[[/index]]˛˛[[foldercontrol]]˛%%˛%%[[folder:Advertising]]˛%%* The Damned Ponies in this Brazilian [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AFna6R-rAo Nissan ad.˛%%* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnIjgw5A-iI This "got milk?" commercial]].˛%%[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Art]]˛* How Creator/HieronymusBosch's masterpiece ''The Garden of Earthly Delights'' portrays the world. Everything seems bright and cheery and people of every race seems happy and content but everywhere are grotesque situations and bizarre creatures representing sin and immorality.˛%%* [[http://www.motherjones.com/files/imagecache/top-of-content-image/kids-cook-master.jpg This illustration by Ben Dreyfuss]] turned up in an article in ''Mother Jones'': for now, never mind what the article was about, just let that picture sink in.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Asian Animation]]˛* In the Korean Animated series called ''Animation/RunningMan'', the plot goes about a bloody war that happened years ago because the seven tribes want a powerful energy source called the Soul Tree. The leaders of the tribes decided to hold a competition so people can get a share a piece of the Soul Tree if they win. There's already a Literature/TheHungerGames vibes in this, but it goes deeper:˛** First, the Running Man found out about the game [[spoiler: being rigged by the show's host, Charming Gold. He was bullied by his peers because he looked ugly as a monster before. That scenario caused him to discover his powers in sucking the life of his fellow kind. Not only he will look young, but he will stay immortal for a thousand years. Not only that, his plan is actually to 'restart the world' and make his own kind considering he killed his own kind]]. Then they found out that the [[spoiler: other competitors they battled, the D.V 7, are actually the kidnapped champions from different tribes who were forcefully experimented and brainwashed to fight against the Running Man]]. ˛*** What's worse? This happened to Gai and [[spoiler: Liu's older sister, Jean]].˛** But the biggest reveal is that the world is actually being judged by the God of Earth named Ulcus. Miyo and Dr. Mala were able to uncover the true story of Ulcus, but they were horrified when they did. [[spoiler: Ulcus wasn't meant to save mankind, he was meant to save the world by destroying it ''without the concern on whoever lives in that world'' and 'recreate' it again. Ulcus said that this happened years before the Running Man series started. If Ulcus did the same thing once again, the characters will ''die a horrible death'' because of Charming Gold's greed. He really messed it up big time, even though [[TragicVillain he has a reason for his attitude]].]]˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Comic Books]]˛* And to a greater extent, the entire Franchise/DCUniverse, which is full of fantastic worlds and costumed heroes with amazing abilities and origins, but also psychotic supervillains and other megalomaniacs from all over the galaxy who threaten the world and even the universe on a regular basis.˛* The real world in ''ComicBook/GoddessMode'''s future is even more polluted and stratified than ours, but with the Azoth AI running everything, most people are constantly distracted.˛* ''ComicBook/{{Gothtopia}}'' has the normally dark and melancholic Gotham City become a bright and sunny paradise. Crime is low, people are living their lives, and the Batfamily is operating in the daylight and wearing bright, inspiring costumes. However, suicide rates are unusually high and the heroes start to figure out what's really going on.˛* "Legend", a story by Creator/WaltSimonson in the ''ComicBook/BatmanBlackAndWhite'' anthology series, is set in the distant future, in "a stainless steel city of light" where a woman is telling her child a bedtime story about how evil was banished from the world by the great warrior Batman. Then she starts crying, and we learn that the brightly-lit, peaceful city is a dictatorship with tanks and soldiers on every street.˛* The Franchise/MarvelUniverse has loads of courageous costumed heroes and adventurers... with a slew of emotional problems, who are constantly underappreciated, if not outright feared, by the people they save. And that's not even taking into account all the supervillains who make their lives a living hell. For all the superheroics, the world is still a terrible place, especially in more mundane parts of TheVerse, like [[ComicBook/{{Daredevil}} Hell's Kitchen]].˛** The ''ComicBook/AgeOfXMan'' is this. Written at an intentional counterpoint to the classic comics dystopia, the ''ComicBook/AgeOfApocalypse'', it was created by a former native of that reality, [[ComicBook/XMan Nate Grey]] (Cable's AOA counterpart), and Apocalypse's arch-enemy and opposite. Unfortunately, where the SocialDarwinist Apocalypse encourages chaos, Nate is a ControlFreak. So while everyone's a mutant and encouraged to achieve their highest potential, the world is peaceful, and the 'villains' are the X-Tracts, a bunch of hippies preaching free love, even at first glance, something is... off. It transpires that the world is ruled by the 'Guiding Principles', which ban all relationships and are enforced by disturbingly [[AffablyEvil cheerful and friendly]] secret policemen who treat it like an ordinary job. The slur "'grade'" (short for retrograde) is used for those who break the rules, and MindRape is casually used to erase their memories. Inhabitants get three strikes before they're {{unperson}}ed, [[MindRape mind-wiped]], and locked away.˛*** Unusually, however, the better sides of it (the X-Men don't have to constantly fight to survive/be accepted, mutants don't face discrimination, and they're free of their obligation to live up to others' standards, allowed to be their best selves) are discussed towards the end and considered to have merit. And while the X-Men leave to return to the real world, Magneto stops to thank Nate for showing him a world that's completely the opposite the one he grew up in, before Nate sets about reforming it (no secret police, for starters), with the help of a copy of AOX!Magneto, making it more of a genuine utopia.˛* How Overman views the utopia he built on Earth-10 in ''[[ComicBook/TheMultiversity Mastermen #1]]'', disliking the fact that it was built on the brutal deaths of so many.˛* Corona from ''[=Pk2=]'', the sequel of ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'', is an alien planet that managed to obtain a perfect balance between technology and nature and an incredibly high level of life. It is also a place where kids are raised in a flat-out abusing way, being a member of the government requires you to be emotionally stunned, and anyone that isn't 100% behind this is treated as a criminal. In fact, [[spoiler:Everett Ducklair]] is a fugitive from it.˛* A strip by Argentinian cartoonist Creator/{{Quino}} depicted a tourist first arriving to a foreign country, who is first delighted when he sees that ''everyone'' from the cab driver, hotel employees and people on the street are always singing a merry tune... until policemen, TheMenInBlack and government agents surround him suddenly, and menacingly observe that he is ''not'' singing.˛* The world ''Comicbook/ScottPilgrim'' lives in. Sure, everyone has superpowers, and everything is incredibly awesome, but there seem to be no repercussions for challenging someone to a fight and beating them to death.˛* Before Franchise/{{Superman}} and ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}'' arrived on the scene, Metropolis was a ViceCity. It's a bright and shiny metropolis... that was being ruled by EvilOverlord VillainWithGoodPublicity ComicBook/LexLuthor.˛** In ''ComicBook/ElseworldsFinestSupergirlAndBatgirl'', Lex Luthor's discoveries, especially his solar battery, have apparently turned Metropolis into a place where pollution, waste, unemployment, homelessness... were no longer a concern. Then it was revealed that [[spoiler:the design of his solar battery was based on analyzing the corpse of baby Kal-El, whom he murdered himself.]]˛** In ''ComicBook/{{Bizarrogirl}}'', when something gets to leveling a chunk of the city, ComicBook/JimmyOlsen calls it a typical day.˛--->'''Jimmy:''' Okay, so. A something is tearing up Metropolis. Typical Wednesday for us, really...˛** Some versions of Krypton (John Byrne's amongst them) describe Superman's home planet as a fantastically evolved society that has left war, disease, poverty, and even death way far behind... at the price of conformity, conceitedness and lack of physical contact.˛* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in ''ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye'' when the crew visit the aptly-named planet Hedonia. Rewind mentions that every outwardly pleasant civilization must have a less pleasant side, which he then sets out to find. As it turns out, Hedonia's actually pretty tame compared to the other examples he lists off-- though they are some of the galaxy's foremost suppliers of high-end weaponry.˛** The Lost Light becomes one after Getaway's mutiny. After exiling Rodimus, Megatron, and their supporters Getaway puts the quest back on track, ending the [[TakeYourTime silly diversions]] that distracted the crew from their mission, and no one wants for anything. However, as the crew learns more about what he did to Rodimus and the others, he resorts to brainwashing and murder to keep up the image that all is well.˛* ''ComicBook/TheUnfunnies'', full on.˛* A thief in ''ComicBook/TheUnwritten'' finds himself turned into a rabbit and transported into a magical ''Franchise/WinnieThePooh''-like forest setting with other {{Talking Animal}}s. His life there consists of escape attempts and nervous breakdowns. [[spoiler: He eventually meets the author of the books in her fictional avatar as a young girl and tries to tear down her image of innocence and expose her as a middle-aged fraud desperately clinging to childhood innocence. She reveals she's rather well-adjusted, in fact, but that means keeping all her adult fears hidden in the world of her books.]] Mr. Rabbit learns the hard way what this means. He got out, and corrupts every world he touches ever since. The next place he ended up was a slightly less idealistic TalkingAnimal land and a lot more straight example of this trope, where he became an EvilOverlord in all but name, just his "subjects" (or at least the narrator) were too naive to notice. It's chilling to read the overly optimistic narration while as a reader understanding the horror of it all.˛* Woodbury in ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead''. It promises salvation from the ZombieApocalypse but is ruled by the despotic Governor.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Fan Works]]˛%%* ''LetsPlay/TheTerribleSecretOfAnimalCrossing'': Even though the world always seems a little... off, the protagonist doesn't actually figure out anything too strange until about halfway through.%%ZCE˛* Any ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' fanfic that frame the [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas Silver Millenium]] as a dystopian future.˛* In ''Fanfic/SonicXDarkChaos'', Sonic's home planet is a nice and rather peaceful place to live. [[CrapsackWorld The rest of the galaxy]]? ''[[CosmicHorrorStory NOPE]]''.˛** Episode 69 has Marmolim. A planet inhabited by cute beady-eyed aliens with a penchant for magic. Sounds great -- except for the fact that they've nearly been wiped out by Shroud, and are torn in a religious civil war between Christians and Maledict-worshipers.˛** New Jerusalem, the Angel capitol city, is subtly implied to be this with the BigBrotherIsWatchingYou and HappinessIsMandatory overtones.˛* ''Fanfic/TheGamesWePlayTheGamerRWBY'' depicts Mistral as this. Between the fact that open misery draws the Grimm and {{The Mafia}}esque grip the ruling Families have on the kingdom, [[http://forums.spacebattles.com/posts/16385046/ Granny's city is crime infested in such a way that people can cover their eyes and pretend its (sic) clean.]]˛* ''Fanfic/TheLastGreatTimeWar'': The outermost Time Lord colony seemingly becomes a peaceful utopia. In reality, it's an illusion created by the [[EldritchAbomination Horde of Travesties]] to lure in victims so they can [[AFateWorseThanDeath devour their timelines.]]˛* ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World''.˛** C'hou. Since the four pretty much viewed C'hou as a CrapsackWorld in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'', they are initially pleased by the changes wrought by the Pyar gods when they return. The new city Tevri'ed is beautiful and full of interesting things, money is easy to make, and the guards are friendly and helpful. In particular they like the new inhabitants, the G'heddi'onians, who are pleasant and civilized. Less than a day later, they've been jumped five times by both outworlders and inhabitants, and within a few more days they thoroughly hate the “Geddies,” who viciously turn on the four when they don't act heroic in the proper way. For example, George saves a library full of people by ripping up an evil magic book—and the Head Librarian fines him heavily for destroying a unique item. And things just get worse from there. While everyone blames the Black Tower for making things bad, the lousy behavior of nearly all the people wasn't created by them.˛** In-story, the Flying Island of Tipaan, a luxury resort run on the backs of the Svenjaya, an oppressed servant race. The four at least manage to alleviate their lot.˛* ''Fanfic/ABrighterDark'': The kingdom of Hoshido is revealed to be this. Like in [[VideoGame/FireEmblemFates the game,]] Hoshido is a beautiful land with excess food and water that seems like a perpetual golden age. However, it becomes quickly clear that Hoshido was made for Hoshidans, and anyone else, be them [[FantasticRacism tribals, shapechangers, non-humans, and ''especially'' Nohrians face heavy discrimination and violence.]]˛* ''Fanfic/AmbienceAFleetSymphony'': Charlotte is a glitzy, glamorous casino city, as long as one doesn't look too closely at what Premier Kerrigan Badeau is up to.˛* ''Fanfic/SlayersTrilogy'': The alternate future with the Dragons. Peace and order everywhere, death was rare, massive technological advancements, and criminals were extinct! The problem? To make sure that this peace and order is never disturbed, all humans were purged of any and all evil thoughts, stripping them of their free will.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:''My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic'' -- Fan Works]]˛''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fan works seem particularly prone to this, possibly because the world is shown to be a Sugar Bowl but is also full of dangerous mythological monsters. Everything from Celestia [[RonTheDeathEater being depicted as an oppressive tyrant]] to Pinkie Pie having some [[Fanfic/{{Cupcakes}} rather unpalatable hobbies]] turn up regularly.˛˛!! Multi Media˛* ''WebOriginal/FluffyPony'' works (works involving a species of [[LegoGenetics genetically engineered "magical pony" pets]]) offer an interesting inversion; Fluffy ponies are ''designed'' to see the world as a SugarBowl, regardless of how cruel and harsh the world may be-DependingOnTheWriter-making their world this trope through their eyes, while the human characters see the world for what it really is. Though it is not impossible, for a Fluffy that has [[BreakTheCutie had enough experience with the world]] to [[TookALevelInCynicism realize how dangerous the world is.]] Combine this with them being programmed to be naturally innocent, trusting, weak, and naive, and throw them in a world full of natural predators, many other things in nature that can kill them, and a surprisingly dis-appropriate number of humans who want to mistreat if not outright torture them for little to no reason, (Again, how prevalent this is depends on the writer and there are usually just as many people who genuinely want to help and care for them.) and those who aren't lucky enough to be taken into a loving household, will often either have to learn they live in a Crapsaccharine World or end up either dead or [[DrivenToSuicide just saying "Wan di" on loop, till something kills them.]]˛˛%%!!Video Games˛%%* Famously, the fan-game ''VideoGame/StoryOfTheBlanks'' goes in an... [[MoodWhiplash unexpected direction]] halfway through.%%ZCE˛˛!!Fanfiction˛* ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureau''. The ponies are willing parties to the genocide of humanity...and it's considered a good thing.˛** In the [[RecursiveFanfiction spin-off story]] ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauTheOtherSideOfTheSpectrum'', [[MirrorUniverse TCB!Equestria]] paints itself up as a paradise, but any veneer of niceness is easily broken if you dig deep enough. For one thing, it's shown that the Empire is very dreadfully unprepared to support the massive influx of newfoals coming in, and if you even so much as question [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Celestia's]] "wisdom", you could get sent to a prison camp where you'll be worked to death or tortured, [[spoiler: as TCB!Spike learned the hard way]]. There are also mentions of re-education centers; PHL members Aegis and Verdant Tract allude to having had brushes with those in the past, something which neither of them want to go through again. And according to TCB!Granny Smith, the whole land is "poisoned and dying".˛* In ''Fanfic/{{Jericho}}'', most of Equestria appears to actually be sweet, but there are... darker parts. It starts to get dark in chapter 3, where the main character, [[FirstPersonSmartass Jericho]], a pony from a faraway land, stumbles across a dark GovernmentConspiracy around the western borderlands of Equestria. It gets lampshaded.˛* ''Fanfic/{{Chains}}'' actually pulls this off in a far more subtle fashion. In this story, Equestria basically follows mostly to being the SugarBowl it always has been in the MLP canon, it even has Princess Celestia as still mostly a benevolent ruler and the resident BigGood. However, if you're a human living in Equestria (yes, they fully exist in this story) [[WhamLine consider yourself]] [[SlaveRace enslaved]].˛--> "What the hell is going on with this country? It all looked so sugary and nice up until an hour or so ago."˛* ''Fanfic/LinesAndWebs'' Equestria appears to be a SugarBowl because it has been socially ''designed'' as such by Celestia, who is using the Elements of Harmony to slowly strip all ponies of free will.˛* ''Fanfic/RainbowFactory'', both the song, the original fic, and its many spin-offs portrays the titular factory as a cover-up for a '''death camp''', where children who have failed their flight test are ''ground up'' for material to make rainbows, so they can [[ANaziByAnyOtherName eliminate weaker children and preserve Cloudstale's own idea of strength.]]˛--> (from the song): ''in the Rainbow Factory, where fears and horrors come true, in the Rainbow Factory, where not a single soul gets through.''˛* ''Fanfic/CupCakes'': While the fact that one of Equestria's greatest ''heroes'' turns out to be SerialKiller is bad enough, some of the '''many''' spinoff works present Pinkie's murders as part of a larger conspiracy, going up to the highest levels of Equestrian Government.˛* ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestria'': In true ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' fashion, the backstory reveals that past-Equestria slowly became one do to the brutal war with the Zebra Nation, splitting the government between six ponies ''who had no experience in politics'', invention of mega spells equivalent to nuclear bombs [[spoiler: [[NiceJobBreakingItHero thanks to Fluttershy's well meaning efforts]]]], and the increasingly morally questionable actions Equestria had to resort to, up to and including [[BigBrotherIsWatching spying on its citizens]] to make sure everyone is "[[StepfordSmiler happy]]" and [[MindRape getting into the heads of anyone who may be a threat]] in a desperate attempt to keep things together. It goes without saying, things just kept going FromBadToWorse.˛* ''Fanfic/{{MLP}}'': Despite seeming to be very similar to the Sugar Bowl world of the original show, the story's world features such things as child prostitution, oppressive, soul-destroying cults, and a flourishing culture of bigotry.˛* ''Fanfic/ChrysalisVisitsTheHague'' is all about Queen Chrysalis' indictment for ''war crimes'' at the (RealLife) International Criminal Court in [[UsefulNotes/TheNetherlands The Hague]]. A B-plot meanwhile covers the Equestrian kingdom's efforts to stomp out the Changelings once and for all in her absence. The story soon starts dropping hints that a good portion of Equestrian society has been erected on a hotbed of horrific [[HoldYourHippogriffs crimes against sapiency]], with allusions being made to -- among other things -- UsefulNotes/TheYugoslavWars. Needless to say, it gets a ''bit'' dark and cynical at points.˛* ''Fanfic/TheAssassinationOfTwilightSparkle'' universe has Unicornia, a pretty sweet place to live, what with the advanced technology, healthcare, food, fashion and bright smiling children. Just as long as you can stand the culturally ingrained racism, the politicians dragging their children into their power plays, and the casually institutionalized slavery. ''Path of the Dragon'' even reveals that there's inequality even among the unicorns themselves, with the nobility being the only ones holding majority, if not all, of the power aside from the Royal Family. To put this into perspective, if an average Unicornian can get by without getting screwed over by the nobility, it's considered a lucky break.˛˛!!Abridged Series˛* In ''WebVideo/FriendshipIsWitchcraft'', ponies pride themselves on ignorance, [[FantasticRacism slavery, racism, and general abuse to non-pony races]] is not only tolerated, but openly encouraged, dark forces plague the world on a regular basis, an unknown but no doubt sizable proportion of the population are unknowingly robots who apparently ([[UnreliableNarrator if anti-robot propaganda can be believed]]) go on murderous rampages if they learn their true natures, there was a massive World War One-esque conflict not long ago, [[BigBrotherIsWatching the government has spies everywhere]] [[VillainProtagonist Twilight is allowed to cause mayhem and commit evil dead on a regular basis]], [[KarmaHoudini without any negative effects to herself]], Fluttershy openly runs an ApocalypseCult, and the ponies in general are either too ignorant to notice horrors of their world or just don't care... Lampshaded by a paragraph from one of Episode 8's ending spinning newspapers: ˛--> ''Citizens hope to set a trap that will lure the panther into the smoking crater left by last week's [[ColonyDrop moon crash]], where it will be eaten by the spiders. The Ponyville Rescue Squad assures citizens that they have a Plan B, which involves herding the panther close enough to come within reach of the downtown [[EldritchAbomination Tentacle Monster]].''˛* ''WebVideo/MyLittlePonyTheMentallyAdvancedSeries'' has Equestria ruled by the AxCrazy AffablyEvil MadGod Celestia, whose "teachings" turned her student into a cynical alcoholic mess, most of the ponies are either shallow and self serving or mentally unstable, there is a secret war being fought between {{Eldritch Abomination}}s that ponies are too ignorant to notice, FantasticRacism is rampant throughout the three species of ponies, [[DysfunctionJunction the entire cast live depressing lives]], and the various events of the series rarely end with any real resolution.˛* ''WebVideo/ScootertrixTheAbridged'': Though LighterAndSofter than the examples above, it is still ruled by a ''very'' irresponsible Princess Celestia, who usually leaves her subjects to fend for themselves and recruits three school aged fillies to serve as her '''generals''' in a war between Equestria and two different evil empires closing in from both sides. Oh, and the series also deconstructs the idea of characters being aware of the fourth wall, by showing how mentally and emotionally draining it would be, knowing that their lives are nothing more then a show, that can be cancelled at anytime and having to live with the burden that if the general public found out, it could have devastating consequences to the world, and if they uses their fourth wall abilities too much, it could create {{plot hole}}s that ''will'' come back to bite them in unsee-able circumstances.˛* ''WebVideo/UltraFastPony'': Equestria is ruled by a self absorbed immortal, who openly treats her subjects however she fills at the moment without a care in the world, the world is populated almost entirely by selfish {{jerk ass}}es, murder has been illegal for all of ''ten years'', criminal organization commit acts of violence with very little in their way, and Ponyville is in such deplorable state, its rat infestation is the only thing keeping their crocodile problem confined and the water is contaminated with ''arsenic''.˛--> '''Rainbow Dash''': There's one thing I'll never understand, Scootaloo. Why can't everyone in Ponyville just accept me for who I am?˛--> '''Scootaloo''': <Maybe because we live in a corrupt society where the lower class are mistreated while unelected dictators take all they want without thought towards building a more stable future for us all to live in.>˛--> (and later)˛--> '''Chrysalis''': My changelings need to consume pure love!˛--> '''Twilight''': And you came looking for it in Equestria?˛--> '''Chrysalis''': Yes.˛--> '''Twilight''': That's stupid. You're stupid!˛˛!!Webcomics˛* ''Webcomic/StarMares'' uses the more saccharine elements of the setting as a smoke screen for the more unsavory elements of the ''Star Wars'' universe, such as FantasticRacism. The fact that all the characters are brightly colored in contrast to the largely monochrome backgrounds helps drive the point home.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Films — Animation]]˛* The ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'' series and its MouseWorld. A world where talking, singing clothed mice and other animals secretly live among humans may sound adorable on the surface, until it is revealed they have their own equivalents to racism, wage slavery, gangs, protection rackets, government corruption and more. ˛* This is a bit of a LostAesop in the CGI version of ''WesternAnimation/AstroBoy''.˛* ''WesternAnimation/CatsDontDance'' has a world with a glamorious looking Hollywood, and humanoid animals who work alongside humans in that Hollywood... as movie extras, and are often [[FantasticRacism discriminated]] against. The main protagonist learns this bitter truth the hard way.˛* The world inhabited by the Other Mother in ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}''. It goes from full preschooler to full '''''hell''''' so gradually that it's downright ''creepy''.˛* The Lego world presented in ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'' is a very bright, merry, and cheery place, with people complimenting each other and getting along well... except that there are a lot of posters and signs emphasizing obedience to President Business, any creativity is suppressed and destroyed (with everyone living their lives via instructions, with anyone who deviates being killed via melting), [[spoiler:and the world is heavily segregated]].˛** The Systar System in ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie2TheSecondPart'' is even brighter and more pastel, being based on a preteen girl's toys and tastes, complete with AnthropomorphicFood, LevelAte style ''arms and armor'', and glitter everywhere. They're also ruled by a queen with a mysterious plan who sings songs about how she's MostDefinitelyNotAVillain, and have apparently mass [[{{Brainwashed}} brainwashing]] techniques that turn the population into a zombielike horde. [[spoiler:Ultimately subverted, as the place is a genuine SugarBowl that's [[PoorCommunicationKills really bad at conveying that]], and everyone was just very enthusiastically happy.]]˛* Thneedville in ''WesternAnimation/TheLorax''. Everything looks great, but all of it is manufactured, fresh air has to be bought, and right outside the wall is a dystopian wasteland.˛* Pleasure Island from ''WesternAnimation/{{Pinocchio}}'' is a perfect textbook example of this. The Coachman takes disobedient boys here to allow them to do anything at all that they want, including smoke cigars, drink beer or play pool, but eventually, they are turned into donkeys and sold off by the Coachman. (Of course, the fact that Pleasure Island is a gigantic carnival-world -- and [[CircusOfFear not the wholesome kind of carnival]], either -- should have tipped ''somebody'' off.)˛* ''Anime/RingingBell'' has a great example of this trope. The first half of the story starts out with a world where everything appears to be great and the [[SweetSheep sheep live happily]]. Then the Wolf King kills Chirin's mother. Things get progressively darker and darker until the DownerEnding of all {{Downer Ending}}s comes. [[spoiler: Chirin kills the wolf. Despite this, Chirin gets rejected by the other sheep, and lives a desolate life alone in the wilderness until he finally dies, having killed his only friend.]]˛* Though the point isn't emphasized, Duloc in ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' is one of these: it is squeaky-clean and Disney World-like, but ruled by the tyrannical Lord Farquaad. Anyone who doesn't meet his standards gets rounded up and dumped in Shrek's swamp.˛* Sunnyside, the daycare center in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3''. What originally seems like a utopia for abandoned or donated toys is actually a dictatorship run by Lotso the bear. The new toys are brought into the room where the toddlers play with and misuse them until they're broken, and anyone who tries to break out of their intricate security system is either imprisoned or tortured. [[spoiler:But after Andy's toys manage to overthrow Lotso, Sunnyside became much more hospitable]].˛* Frivoli from ''WesternAnimation/TwiceUponATime'' may be the land of sweet dreams, but it's not much better than the Murkworks on a few levels. Their ruler, [[AuthorityInNameOnly the Chef of State]], is an illiterate doofus, the "Pantry of Pomp" is an apparent KangarooCourt, and our heroes Ralph and Mumford are treated like crap for ultimately minor screw-ups, apparently [[FantasticRacism because they're "funny-looking"]].˛* Another Pixar film, ''WesternAnimation/WallE'', features this on the ''Axiom'' space liner. What was meant to be a five-year cruise for Earthlings while the titular robots cleaned up the polluted planet instead turned into a perpetual cruise. Everyone has gotten so fat from living in microgravity while being pampered by robots that everyone is traveling on hoverchairs meant for the infirm -- no one has actually walked in centuries. Even the entertainment consists of watching robots play golf at the driving range.˛* Cowslip's warren (the Warren of the Shining Wires) from ''Literature/WatershipDown''. TheMan leaves food daily, there's lots of poetry and [[WickedCultured culture]], and whatever you do don't mention [[TheScottishTrope the wires]]. (Granted, given that their choices were "near-complete extermination" or "guaranteed collective survival", the rabbits ''may'' have been justified in their choice.)˛* The Sugar Rush world in ''WesternAnimation/WreckItRalph''. It seems like a sugary paradise, but it is utter hell for Vanellope von Schweetz who is cruelly treated as a "mistake." [[spoiler:Worse is that it wasn't always like that. The place was usurped by King Candy, a.k.a. Turbo, and the population reprogrammed to treat her like that.]]˛--> '''Ralph:''' What's going on in this candy-coated heart of darkness?˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Films — Live-Action]]˛* Most of the films of Creator/TimBurton run on this in one form or another. ''Film/PeeWeesBigAdventure'' begins with a typical day of breakfast and a bike ride to the shopping mall -- and ends with Pee-Wee's bicycle being stolen and his becoming so distraught that he [[SanitySlippage slowly goes deranged]]. The Deetzes and their rich friends in ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'' think it would be fun to conduct a s&eacute;ance with the dead... and the fun suddenly stops when the ghosts they resurrect begin to crumble into dust before their eyes. ComicBook/TheJoker holds a parade in [[Film/Batman1989 downtown Gotham City]] to celebrate the town's 200th anniversary, showering 20 million dollars on the streets to lure the crowds in... so that he can gas them all to death. And in ''Film/EdwardScissorhands'', the neighbors who are so kind to Edward in the beginning turn violently on him once they suspect (incorrectly) that he's a burglar. And his version of ''Film/AliceInWonderland2010'' isn't exactly set in a proper Wonderland. This may be former Disney animator Burton's way of demonstrating that "Disneyland" isn't all it's cracked up to be -- especially since his more realistic movies (''Film/BigFish'', for example) depict worlds that are neither wholly good nor wholly bad.˛* Neo Seoul in ''Film/CloudAtlas'' has all the features: established early on as a fantastically advanced metropolis complete with glittering spires and dazzlingly colorful interiors, it's also made abundantly clear that it runs on slave labor; most of the menial work is performed by the genetically engineered Fabricant underclass, who are forbidden by law ''and'' religion to hold rights until the day of their Exaltation -- a lavish retirement ceremony in which they are allowed to become full citizens. [[spoiler: Of course, it's later revealed retired Fabricants are secretly executed and [[HumanResources recycled into cheap protein to feed the rest of the Fabricant population]].]] Plus, all the color and luxury is a hologram fa&ccedil;ade, and places like Papa Song's and Hae-Joo Chang's apartment are just bare concrete rooms, while outside the upper-class regions of the city, illegal marketplaces and Fabricant brothels flourish, and the flooded ruins of Old Seoul serve as a constant reminder that the metropolis is in very real danger of running itself into the ground.˛* The Gotham City of ''Film/TheDarkKnightTrilogy'' seems more prosperous and optimistic than the Gotham of the older ''Batman'' films, but we learn rather quickly that at the ground level crime is eating the streets whole while the upper class just chooses to ignore it, wrapped up in their own success. The citizens of Gotham do care enough to take some action to rebuild their city, and thanks to the Bat himself corruption and crime are taking a beating and the PoliceAreUseless mantra is cut down, and EarnYourHappyEnding is in full effect.˛** The [[Film/BatmanBegins first film]] of the saga reveals that the League of Shadows are partly responsible for the current state of Gotham, having tried to destroy the city, which they perceived as a WretchedHive, using economic means. Which mostly just made it more wretched.˛-->'''Rachel''': Look beyond your own pain, Bruce. This city is rotting. They talk about the Depression like it's history and ''it's not.''˛* The future city of [[NewNeoCity San Angeles]] presented in ''Film/DemolitionMan'' looks just rosy. No crime, no war, everything is bright and shiny... Yeah, it's a real SugarBowl. Too bad sugar is banned by the government because it's bad for you. In fact, absolutely ''anything'' that might be the least bit harmful, offensive or disruptive to anybody is. No meat products, no alcoholic drinks, no contact sports, no swear words, no spicy food, no uneducational toys, and no physical contact (up to and including sexual intercourse). In the words of the film's villain, it's like if [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Oceania]] was run by an evil [[Series/MisterRogersNeighborhood Mr. Rogers]]. This namby-pamby, "oppressing you for your own good" society is why there's a [[DarkIsNotEvil gang of well-armed but actually pretty friendly hobos]] trying to avoid it all by scraping out a free living in the city's sewers. [[spoiler:In turn, the city's founder groomed the villain in cryosleep to exterminate undesirables like them, to keep his idea of a perfect society alive.]]˛* This is the plot of the Norwegian movie, ''Den Brysomme Mannen'' (''The Bothersome Man''). A man steps off a bus in a desert and is taken to a city where everything seems nice on the surface. He gets a nice house, a pretty girlfriend and almost anything he desires, but there is one catch. Turns out that the place is a dystopia where emotions are nonexistent, food and drink is flavorless and there are no children anywhere.˛* The Creator/DisneyChannel Original Movie ''Film/{{Descendants}}'' features the United States of Auradon, which is a world settled by the Disney Heroes and their offspring ([[HighSchoolAU all teenagers]]). On the surface, it is a pleasant place filled with {{Crowd Song}}s and other general goodness. In reality, Auradon is a PoliceState with a strong BlackAndWhiteMorality that banishes [[AllCrimesAreEqual all criminals]] (such as the Disney Villains) to the Isle of the Lost, and deprives them of basic human rights, including decent food and modern technology, as well as [[FantasticRacism shunning the children]] for the crime of [[SinsOfOurFathers being related to the criminals]]. Their own residents are even subjected to extreme sexism[[labelnote:*]]females can only become DamselInDistress {{Princess Classic}}s[[/labelnote]]. The second film has [[AntiVillain Uma]] outright decrying Auradon's crimes below a goody-facade, citing how only selecting a few children to a better life and leaving the rest behind to starve, does nothing but fuel a cycle that causes abused children [[ThenLetMeBeEvil to embrace villainy]].˛* ''Film/GoliathAwaits'': The community surviving inside the air pockets of the sunken ship ''Goliath'' has a certain amount of luxuries and is miraculous in its mere existence. But it also has a somewhat dictatorial system, a certain amount of lies told too its people and the constant threat that one day the water might break in and kill them.˛* The United States in ''Film/HarrisonBergeron'', inspired by the short story by Creator/KurtVonnegut. A world where everyone is finally equal -- by lobotomizing the overtly talented, if needed.˛* ''Film/HotFuzz'': "Statistically, Sandford, Gloucestershire is the SAFEST village in the country!" Tell that to the [[spoiler:castle crypt filled with the [[DisproportionateRetribution corpses of every minor nuisance]] to step foot in Sandford.]]˛* The Italian film ''Film/ImNotScared'' features this, largely due to the fact that the main character is a naive young boy. His quiet little rural village seems nice enough, but most of the villagers (including the main character's parents) are involved in the kidnapping of a young Milanese boy. ˛* The city from ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' is well-maintained and prosperous on the top, but the entity maintaining that fa&ccedil;ade is the proletariat living underground.˛* In ''Film/ParadiseBeach'', Thailand is at first presented (both visually and in dialogues) as a colorful sunny haven full of beautiful beaches, mansions, cafes & night clubs, which contrasts the gray & rainy France from the prologue. However, as the story unfolds it becomes clear that the protagonists are stuck in a dangerous hellhole full of murders, shootouts and corrupt police. Indeed, Thai beaches don't seem like such a nice place after we see people get brutally executed there.˛* The titular town in ''Film/{{Pleasantville}}'' is an example of this. There is no poverty, serious illness, or hostility. All the residents go through their lives seemingly constantly being "pleasant". Even the laws of physics seem to conform to "pleasantness" as there are no fires, all thrown basketballs will always go into the basket, and roads out of Pleasantville only ever lead back into town. But as the protagonists soon realize, the fictional lives of the Pleasantville townsfolk are shallow and devoid of meaning. Their society lacks any form of culture, depth, genuine emotion, sexuality and even color. People are only capable of performing the tasks they are specifically shown doing on the show and lack the knowledge to do anything else[[note]]To the extent that even their informed job is not what they do; the fire department has no idea how to actually deal with a fire, as their only role on the show was to rescue cats from trees[[/note]]. Furthermore, as changes begin to set in, the previously "pleasant" townsfolk react in fear by destroying all forms of cultural expression such as books and paintings, imposing cruel laws, and implementing segregation. You might say it's a {{deconstruction}} of '50s shows like this by displaying some actual problems of the times.˛* The future setting in ''Film/ThePurge'' seems like a utopia, and actually, it almost ''is''. The only catch is, you have to be able to survive the 12-hour period once a year where the government lets the citizens do (almost) ''anything'' without any legal repercussions[[note]]what you ''can't'' do however is attack the government or its officials themselves (at least until the third sequel), or use weapons that would cause massive, uncontrolled harm (missiles, nuclear, etc.)[[/note]]. Of course, it's actually worse than that. If you survive being attacked by someone you thought you could trust, like the protagonists did, you'll never trust them again. It's also hinted that the biggest reason for this event is the government's way of [[TheSocialDarwinist weeding out the poor and the weak.]] Worst of all, the movie portrays humanity itself in a ''very'' grim way, showing that, if given the opportunity to commit murder and get away with it, [[HobbesWasRight most will take advantage of the opportunity, simply because they can.]] ˛** The sequel, however, downplays it, with a resistance that rises up against the Founding Fathers [[spoiler:who decided that not enough people were dying, so hired some death squads to {{kill the poor}}]].˛* In ''Film/RunningScared2006'', the home of the torturing, murdering pedo couple, decked out like a kindergarten playroom. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLrEUhuOZvs Video]]˛* Eden Parish in ''Film/TheSacrament'' initially comes off as a self-sustained utopia where people can live together regardless of the race or background. It's only until later that we find out that the people aren't allowed to leave, and those that disobey the rules are severely punished.˛* ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' has Miranda, a planet that was a failed attempt at creating a utopia by dosing the population with a chemical designed to curb their violent impulses with the ultimate aim of doing this to every world. The result is a ghost planet filled with abandoned buildings, the corpses of people who became so docile because of the aforementioned chemical that they laid down and died, and those who had the exact opposite reaction to the chemical, becoming the cannibalistic and psychopathically violent Reavers.˛* In ''Film/StarshipTroopers'', the United Citizen's Federation is a place where society is entirely militarised, only military veterans are citizens, you need a license to have children, and you can be tried, found guilty and executed (on television no less) all within the same day. And the Federation is fighting an endless (and also implied to be [[HopelessWar hopeless]]) war against a race of implacable insectoids with superiority in strength, tactics and numbers. All presented in a sunny, bright, matter-of-fact way by the news reels that intersperse the film.˛* Coruscant in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' prequels. Although the films mostly show the glittering, affluent urban paradise of the top level, the ''Revenge of the Sith'' {{novelization}} mentions that the sublevels of the [[SingleBiomePlanet planet/city]] can be "worse than Nar Shaddaa," a notorious crime hub.˛** This is established before the prequels, in the form of an essay [[FramingDevice written by]] an Imperial propaganda minister, who cheerfully describes the planet's technological wonders, mentions in passing that crime is being wiped out, and points out the ''magnanimity'' of the Emperor in granting aliens [[FantasticGhetto designated housing areas]] regularly patrolled by Stormtroopers, to better protect them from [[FantasticRacism any intolerant locals.]] Said author was [[BoomerangBigot a nonhuman himself]].˛** [[WebVideo/RedLetterMedia Harry S. Plinkett]] also notes in [[http://www.slashfilm.com/watch-red-letter-medias-review-revenge-sith/ his review]] that daily life on Coruscant is busy, bright, and chipper, even when ''the most traumatic and horrific war to ever be fought'' in the galaxy is going on. Coruscant is filled with the Republic's ultra-wealthy and privileged elite, and emblematic of the decadent and corrupt society that was the Republic in its final days. And, Harry notes, it's ''still going strong'' after 20 years under Emperor Palpatine, whose most redeeming quality was, apparently, being smart enough not to shit where he ate.˛** Canto Bight in ''Film/TheLastJedi'' is a gorgeous, glamorous casino world with classy galactic high rollers living it up at swanky parties. Of course that’s before you get to the [[spoiler:arms dealers selling weapons to both sides of the war, the child slavery, and the animal abuse]].˛* The Finnish science fiction film ''Ruusujen aika'' (''Time of the Roses''). The future Finland of 2012 where class differences have been eliminated, diseases eradicated, wars are history, everyone is finally [[GovernmentDrugEnforcement chemically happy]], the world is ruled by scientists and civil servants instead of politicians -- and under the surface everything is ''horribly'' wrong.˛* ''Film/TheTrumanShow'', where the whole world in which Truman Burbank lives is a giant television studio situated in Hollywood and he is the main character (and the only inhabitant who isn't an actor) in an incredibly epic reality show. He grew up in that world, which is portrayed like a mix of the modern age and a stereotypical 1950s American suburb, but is "''On air, unaware''" the whole time. He starts finding out when things begin to fall apart; first a floodlight falls from the sky, then he accidentally discovers a make-up room for the actors behind the doors of a fake elevator. Then he notices he can't leave his hometown, ever: all flights out are full, every bus out of town he tries to leave on breaks down, and when he tries to leave the city with his own car, the local nuclear power plant coincidentally has a ''meltdown'' and the whole area is sealed off. He finally manages to get out by sailing away and ''crashing into the horizon''.˛* ''Film/TheUntouchables'' director Creator/BrianDePalma deliberately made Chicago crime lord Al Capone's surroundings very lavish and sumptuous:˛-->"My image of ''The Untouchables'' is that corruption looks great. It's like UsefulNotes/NaziGermany. It's clean. It's big. Everything runs smoothly. The problem is all the oppressed people are in some camp somewhere and nobody ever sees them. So the world of Chicago is a slick world. A world that's run by money and corruption and it looks '''fabulous'''."˛* Summerisle in ''Film/TheWickerMan1973'' may count as this, as it is not as peaceful and joyous as it seems to be.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Live-Action TV]]˛* The kids in ''Series/The100'' are told to make their way to Mt. Weather, as it's the only safe haven left on earth. When they get there, it appears to be a charming rustic shelter, shielded from the terrors of the outdoors, and run by a just and benevolent leader. In reality, they plan on harvesting blood and bone marrow from the kids, even at the cost of hurting or killing them.˛* On ''Series/{{Angel}}'', Lindsey and later Gunn were at one point trapped in a hell dimension that appeared to be an idyllic peaceful suburban neighborhood superficially, but had them living in a home that had a demon in the cellar that would rip their heart out every day, only to have them heal and relive the same thing the next day. And if anyone interfered or tried to upset the status quo all the residents would mindlessly shoot at them with machine guns.˛** Jasmine's utopian UsefulNotes/LosAngeles in the previous season, where everyone is happy and fulfilled, but at the cost of mind control (and Jasmine eating people). Yet despite that Jasmine's way is incredibly attractive, even after people have been removed from her influence; all of the main characters at some point or other talk about how they miss Jasmine's love and the feeling that everything was finally good, to the point that [[spoiler:after Jasmine's death, representative of demonic law firm Wolfram & Hart Lilah shows up to congratulate the main characters on ''ending world peace''.]]˛* ''Series/BatesMotel'': Pines White Bay is seemingly idyllic town... whose wealth comes from drug dealing, sex trafficking, and all the dangerous criminals that follow this trade, a corrupt sheriff's department. And that's ''without'' getting into the family of Norman Bates...˛* ''Series/BlackMirror'':˛** "[[Recap/BlackMirrorNosedive Nosedive]]" takes place in a world where people are obsessed with social media, and rate each other on their daily interactions. On the surface, this means that everyone is bright and cheerful with each other, but there are profound, genuinely disturbing implications to it all, including the fact that having a higher rating can get you ''preferential treatment from hospitals''. Needless to say, this breeds in (most) people a ruthless pursuit of those high ratings and can utterly destroy those unable to achieve them.˛** [[Recap/BlackMirrorSanJunipero San Junipero]] also [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation comes across as this]], with many viewers pointing out that this virtual tropical paradise where residents party all day and night is only fun when that lifestyle is a rarity but will inevitably get boring and empty when that's what you're stuck with for eternity a la ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'' episode [[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS1E28ANicePlaceToVisit "A Nice Place To Visit"]].˛* The ''Series/{{Charmed|1998}}'' double episode "It's a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World." The heroes team up with their evil counterparts from a MirrorUniverse introduced in the same episode, causing "a shift" in both worlds when they perform an act of good in the other world. Their world turns into a manically happy world, complete with an anthropomorphic cartoon sun that never sets, where minor infractions are punished severely; Phoebe is shot by a police officer for having parked illegally, and the hospital is mainly in the business of amputating the limbs of lawbreakers--and those of people who violate hospital rules. The Charmed Ones from the mirror world reveal that the opposite has happened to their already-evil world; mutilation is now the standard punishment for exhibiting a minor kindness like saying "Gesundheit" if someone sneezes. After Leo commits an act of "great evil" in the main narrative world by killing the Elder Gideon--ostensibly a good guy but who is actually the antagonist of the season arc--both worlds regain their respective status quos.˛* The [=UnSub's=] house in "The Uncanny Valley" in ''Series/CriminalMinds''. To go into further detail, the [=UnSub=] in this episode is a childlike woman named Samantha who loves to play with toys and has set up a perpetual tea party for herself and her favorite dolls. The problem is that [[LivingDollCollector the "dolls" in question are actually adult women who Samantha kidnaps]] and [[AndIMustScream paralyzes with an IV-administered drug, locking them into complete immobility while totally conscious of everything going on]]. To make matters worse, the victims eventually die from severe dehydration, and Samantha has to go out and collect another "doll" to replace the broken one. In other words, the women are being forced to watch their own slow, painful death, all while wearing pretty dresses and makeup and sitting at a bright pink table. Granted, Samantha has an [[FreudianExcuse extremely good reason]] for her insanity, but that doesn't make her personal play-world any less creepy.˛* ''Series/DoctorWho'' has done this several times.˛** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E9TheSavages "The Savages"]]: The advanced and idyllic society of the Elders. It is revealed this is maintained by draining the life force of savages living outside the city for the Elders.˛** "The Celestial Toyroom", a PocketDimension ruled over by [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E7TheCelestialToymaker the Celestial Toymaker]], though even at first glance it shows its evil aspects.˛** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E7TheMacraTerror "The Macra Terror"]]: A society fashioned after a holiday camp... with mind-controlling giant crabs lurking beneath the surface.˛** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS24E2ParadiseTowers Paradise Towers]]", in which the titular condominium has crumbled into a ComicBook/JudgeDredd-style {{Dystopia}} AfterTheEnd, though some still put on a cheery fa&ccedil;ade.˛** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS25E2TheHappinessPatrol "The Happiness Patrol"]], where the government has made good cheer mandatory, although, largely because of the direction and production design, this comes off more as an InformedAttribute.˛** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS38E3Orphan55 "Orphan 55"]]: Tranquillity Spa is an absolutely gorgeous holiday resort... where most of the gorgeousness is provided via hologram to conceal the fact that it's actually built inside an environmental dome on a DeathWorld with vicious predators that are getting inside the dome to kill people.˛%%** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E5TheKeysOfMarinus "The Keys of Marinus"]]: Morphoton is also an example.˛* ''Series/KamenRiderExAid'' is a video game themed CyberPunk medical drama. The dissonance has caught people off-guard, character and viewer alike.˛** [[ManicPixieDreamGirl Nico]] [[TheThingThatWouldNotLeave Saiba]] thought that fighting in the colorful game battles perpertaining this tokusatsu series is just harmless fun. She was horrified upon actually witnessing a fight and realizing just how brutal [[MatterOfLifeAndDeath Life Or Death Situation]] it really is. That the doctor riders are not playing for funzies, but putting their lives on the line to save a patient from the [[EverythingFades Game Disease]].˛** The VR game ''Kamen Rider Chronicle'' is essentially an old RPG upgraded with modern technologies. Players can become heroes of their own story by clearing all the levels and defeating the final boss as the legendary warrior, Cronus. Its ridiculous graphics, perky guide NPC and BloodlessCarnage mechanics led to it being rated A, japanese equivalent of the E for Everyone rating. Once you get in though, you either defeat the level's boss, die of the Game Disease that all players contract upon activating the Chronicle [[TransformationTrinket gashat]] or [[DeadlyGame die]] fighting. ''Kamen Rider Chronicle'' is the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Bugster]]'s [[KillAllHumans final]] weapon against humanity.˛* ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' played this with their usual flair in the "Fairy Tale" sketch:˛-->'''Narrator:''' Once upon a time, long, long ago, there lived in a valley far, far away in the mountains, the most contented kingdom the world had ever known. It was called "Happy Valley", and it was ruled over by a wise old king called Otto. And all his subjects flourished and were happy, and there were no discontents or grumblers, because wise king Otto had had them all put to death [[GuiltByAssociationGag along with the trade union leaders]] many years before. And all the good happy folk of Happy Valley sang and danced all day long. [[HappinessIsMandatory And anyone who was for any reason miserable or unhappy or who had any difficult personal problems was prosecuted under the "Happiness Act".]]˛* ''Series/MurderSheWrote'': The small town of Cabot Cove might look peaceful at first glance, but it also has a homicide rate that far exceeds even the most dangerous places in the real world. No matter how many (alleged) criminals Jessica catches, more always seem to take their place.˛* ''Both'' the modern-day town of Storybrooke, Maine and the Fairy Tale kingdoms of ''Series/OnceUponATime'' are this. The fairy tale realm is littered with corrupted rulership, thieves, and dark magic. Prince Charming's kingdom is flat broke. Cinderella's kingdom is suffering from a drought. And no matter where you look, Rumpelstiltskin is [[DealWithTheDevil cutting deals]]. The town of Storybrooke looks like a quiet, idyllic community, but everyone's been ground to submission under Mayor Mills's stiletto heels and Mr. Gold owns everything through a ChainOfDeals like he did as Rumpelstiltskin.˛* One ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' alternate dimension is a world where everything looks great, and there's a great big lottery which they enter. Wade wins. However, she may have wanted to read the fine print: [[spoiler:the lottery does give the winner anything you could ask for, but also requires you to give up your life soon afterwards. It's a voluntary population-reduction program, and the real benefit is mainly to the next-of-kin.]]˛* The town of Charming in ''Series/SonsOfAnarchy'' is an understated example. It's a happy, peaceful small town that's free of suburban sprawl, excessive wealth inequality, and chain stores, in which all businesses are locally-owned and independent. That is enforced by the titular Sons of Anarchy, a violent, criminal motorcycle gang who finance their activities by selling illegal firearms on behalf of terrorists, with the tacit and sometimes explicit cooperation of the local police force. As Tara laments, Charming is toxic, and it infects everyone who lives there.˛* ''Franchise/{{Stargate|Verse}}'':˛** In ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Revisions", SG-1 finds a small idyllic village. It looks like a perfect town until [[spoiler:people start disappearing, and everybody but SG-1 forgets they ever existed]].˛** An episode of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' had the team come across a seemingly beautiful world untouched by the Wraith and with no crime. [[spoiler:It turns out the worst criminals were originally sent to an island where the Wraith would devour them. This was so effective crime virtually stopped, so standards became a lot more lax. One man who had been wrongfully convicted of murder was sent there, and a woman who tried to tell the Atlantis team about it was sent to the island for treachery.]]˛* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has done plenty of "planet where everyone is happy and everything is perfect, except it turns out everything is really horrible" stories.˛** Landing on one of them [[spoiler:which is filled with beings empowered by human imagination]] is the only crime that still is punished by the death penalty in the Federation.˛** One such example in ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' is the episode "The Return of the Archons", in which Kirk & co. beam down to a world, finding that the town they're in resembles an American 1900s-era town. They only find out later that the idyllic atmosphere they witness among the people they see is bought at the cost of an all-controlling computer regulating their behaviors for six thousand years.˛** In an early episode ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', the ''Enterprise'' arrives at a planet that seems idyllic -- except that the punishment for ''every'' crime is death.˛** One example is the Changeling homeworld in ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', a planet of islands, beautiful gardens, and monoliths. Most of the planet is covered by the Great Link, a [[AlienSea sea]] of liquid Changelings living in constant, blissful union with each other. Did we mention that it's the base of operations for the Dominion, and that the Changelings are the Founders of the Dominion, cruel tyrants who want to stamp out freedom in the Alpha Quadrant just like they've already done in the Gamma Quadrant?˛* Played for comedy in ''Series/SuburbanShootout'', where a picture-perfect English village is dominated under the surface by rival gangs of upper-middle-class housewives.˛* ''Franchise/TheTwilightZone'': ˛** The episode "It's a Good Life" in [[Series/TheTwilightZone1959 the original series]], from the Jerome Bixby story of the same name. Smalltown USA with everyone bright and happy about to celebrate the birthday of a 6-year-old boy with lots of presents and love. Until we find out that the 6-year-old boy (played by Billy Mumy of ''Series/LostInSpace'' and ''Series/BabylonFive'' fame) is a telepath who requires everyone to be bright and happy all the time, otherwise he kills them in rather horrible ways. Everyone constantly mumbles to themselves about how happy they are, otherwise they die. Or worse -- if they are people he loves, he might try to ''help'' them. He still tries to "help" them in the 2002 revival because he was never taught that this was wrong; everybody, including his own mother, hates and fears him because of this.˛** The [[Series/TheTwilightZone2002 2002 version of the show]]'s example is the titular gated community in "Evergreen", where children considered "unsalvageable", as in not fitting their definition of a happy household member, are sent to "Arcadia Military School", [[spoiler: really a fertilizer plant, where they are killed and turned into fertilizer, so they can "help the world in someway for a change".]] The cold indifference of the people, [[MoraleEventHorizon who allowed this to "bring peace to their household"]], makes this one of the most unsettling episodes of the reboot.˛* ''Series/UltraSevenX'' exhibited and downplayed this trope at same time. Given the show's darker, adult-oriented CyberPunk setting, the locations are pretty futuristic, brilliant and luxurious, but the people living here and there have [[BlueAndOrangeMorality bizzare]] [[GreyAndGreyMorality moralities]]. To make it weirder or worse, EnemyMine phenomena are common all over the place, and a few MonsterOfTheWeek [[BreakingTheFourthWall questions on aspects]] of [[Franchise/UltraSeries the franchise]].[[labelnote:spoiler]][[spoiler:Ultras are non-existant in this universe so this is why Ultra Seven X was sometimes referred to as "[[BrandX the]] [[BlandNameProduct red]] giant" in the show]][[/labelnote]] Since it's made by Creator/TsuburayaProductions who knew adult fans better, it's not a kid's show.˛%%* The backdrop of ''Series/{{Weeds}}''.˛* ''Series/{{Wonder Woman|1975}}'': Queen Hippolyte claims [[HiddenElfVillage Paradise Island]] is an Utopia because is a LadyLand. (No men means no wars, no greed, no barbaric... masculine behavior). They also are an AdvancedAncientAcropolis of [[{{Immortality}} immortals]]. Once Princess Diana [[GenderRarityValue has seen a man for the first time, she dares to disagree:]] Paradise Island is a Crapsaccharine World for that very same reason.˛--> '''Queen Hippolyte:''' [[CulturalPosturing We are stronger, wiser and more advanced than all those people in their jungles out there]]. [[LadyLand Our civilization is perfection!]] \˛'''Princess Diana''': '''No!''' There's something missing, Mother. [[GenderRarityValue When I look at Steve Trevor]], [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove I feel things. Things I've never known before]].˛** This is completely canon, with even some of the dialogue (and certainly the sense of it) taken straight from the original comic book.˛* The "Paradise" in ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' season 4 looks like Eden inhabited by a guru who will teach anyone techniques on how to achieve complete peace but he's actually a parasite who feeds on people's goodness and lack of that will turn one to stone. The ones who are immune are eventually driven mad by their own demons.˛* ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Arcadia" is set in a seemingly pleasant gated community. The community has some very strict rules [[spoiler:enforced by a horrible monster that kills anyone caught breaking them]].˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Music]]˛* Music/{{Devo}}'s "Beautiful World". It starts off talking about how great the world is. Then it becomes apparent that this is someone else's opinion and that the narrator of the song doesn't agree with it. The idea is that the person who says the world is beautiful has been conditioned to believe it is and doesn't know about the bad things. The video makes this apparent.˛* Definitely exemplified in the song "Handlebars" by the Flobots (by extension, this song makes an example out of RealLife). The first half is well enough off, describing the [[HumansAreGood good]] that we people can do. It's "good to be alive" in a world where we can do anything. However, the song takes a sharp turn in the middle:˛-->''I can hand out a million vaccinations\˛Or let them all die in exasperation\˛Have them all healed of their lacerations\˛Have them all killed by assassination''˛%%* Hotel California by Music/TheEagles.˛* Music/{{REM}}'s "Shiny Happy People" is sometimes [[AlternativeCharacterInterpretation interpreted as]] a parody of Communist Chinese propaganda machinery, despite WordOfGod indicating that it is supposed to be straightforwardly cheerful.˛%%* Oh, You Pretty Things by Music/DavidBowie.˛* The PV and lyrics of the Music/{{Vocaloid}} song "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geUeWJfoLJE&feature=related Hello, Planet]]".˛* Music/LilyAllen's song "LDN" about London and how everything looks exciting and wonderful at first, but when you take a second look... Indeed, most of Lily Allen's songs come across this way due to the musical style they use and the sound of her voice. "Smile" and "The Fear" come to mind.˛* "The Future Soon" by Music/JonathanCoulton starts out about a nice and sweet song about unrequited love, but soon takes a sinister turn into escapism, cyborgs, and kidnapping.˛* ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXQQyOIXgYU Perfect Lawns]]'' by Curse in the Woods lives and breathes this trope:˛-->''Prettyville, perfect lawns\˛Sprinklers programmed to go off at dawn\˛Luxury car in every drive\˛Ain't it grand to have a trophy wife.\˛...\˛So take all your vitamins, sterilize everything,\˛Lock all your windows like they tell you on CNN.\˛Don't forget to set your security alarm\˛'cause the rest of the world is out to do you harm...''˛%%* Dmitri Shostakovich's 5th and 9th Symphonies are portrayals of this trope.˛* In the video for Music/{{Travis}} [[SoundtrackDissonance cheery tune]] "Flowers in the Window", the band drives into a small town in the middle of nowhere that is inhabited solely by beautiful pregnant women. After about four minutes of the band wondering how this could be, Creator/FranHealy wanders to the outskirts and [[spoiler:comes upon a [[SexSlave solitary shackled man in a pen]], screaming and presumably begging Fran to free him. Fran and the boys, fearing a similar fate, high-tail it out of there.]]˛* The Music/{{Mastodon}} music video for [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr9_e4ySRYA "Deathbound"]] depicts an eclipse making the inhabitants of the puppet world of Magicland AxCrazy. PlayedForLaughs.˛* ''[[http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/there-is-no-depression-in-new-zealand-1981 There Is No Depression in New Zealand,]]'' by 1980s UsefulNotes/NewZealand rock group Blam Blam Blam. The song is told from the viewpoint of the Government of the day, which maintained a fa&ccedil;ade of civil order while public unrest was threatening to boil over.˛* The Music/DeanMartin song "Do You Believe This Town?" is about a town that, on the outside, seems like [[Series/TheAndyGriffithShow Mayberry]], but is actually brimming over with greed, corruption, and bigotry.˛* Corey Hart's ''SunglassesAtNight'' comes across as this, after [[ExecutiveMeddling record label executives wanted a more romantic context to the song]].˛* Suggested in Music/PeterSchilling's "(Let's Play) U.S.A." with this line:˛-->"Did you hear the master plan? One nation under Disneyland."˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Tabletop Games]]˛* ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheDreaming'' counts, despite being set in the literal ''[[TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness World of Darkness]]''. You are a fairy, living off of the imagination you inspire in others, and doing courtly fairy things and adventuring in a dream world. Except the modern world is so poisonous to fae that you can literally die of boredom waiting in line at the bank, and all the best ways to stave this off will slowly drive you crazy.˛* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': The First Age was a CrystalSpiresAndTogas paradise filled to the brim with life-improving {{Magitek}} and ruled over by three hundred divinely empowered god-kings [[MarySue singled out for just how awesome and special they are]]. Only said god kings are hard-wired to [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity become more unstable as they become older and more incredibly powerful]]. After a thousand years, they're willing to do anything for amusement and to prove their excellence, from starting wars for fun to creating life to capricious and random murder. And although they don't admit it, most of them don't consider ordinary mortals to be real people and are more than willing to expend them in country-sized art projects, personal wars or horrific experiments. The flying city of Tzatli is a particularly clear example. On the surface, it's a wonder of technology even by First Age standards and its citizens lead luxurious lives envied by mortals everywhere else. In practice, however, its Exalted god-queen and her secret police strictly regulate every aspect of life to keep up the appearance of a perfect, ideal city. Slack off during your work shift, arrive too late for family time or argue too loudly over dinner, and you'll be hauled away to an unknown fate while a new set of citizens is sat down to your still-warm meal.˛* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'':˛** There is nothing inherently wrong with Lorwyn. The plane itself is a perfectly nice place; not all of [[MasterRace its]] [[SuperiorSpecies citizens]] [[TheFairFolk are]], though. Oh, and don't stick around there when the Aurora comes (every fifty years or so), because it turns into [[DarkWorld Shadowmoor]], [[EverythingTryingToKillYou where you don't]] [[DeathWorld want to end up]].˛** Ravnica counts while you're at it. It looks like an okay place to live, then you realize everyone is trying to kill you, rob you, kill you, steal your identity, [[OverlyLongGag kill you]], and generally screw you over. Even the "good" people. [[YourSoulIsMine And you don't get any rest after death.]]˛** Kaladesh is little better. Praised for following the GrimDark ''Battle for Zendikar'' and ''Shadows Over Innistrad'' blocks (both defined by grim struggle against EldritchAbomination hordes and, in Innistrad's case, the world itself going mad), Kaladesh is brightly colored with strong themes of invention, discovery, and progress. It is also home to a brutally thorough Consulate that restricts what ideas are allowed in polite society and a vast network of renegade cells dedicated to fighting consulate tyranny. Oh, and Tezzeret, TheDragon to Magic's current BigBad, seems to be running the show. ˛** Amonkhet is mostly vast desert populated by undead, exactly the kind of blasted hellscape the Gatewatch expected a plane ruled and created by Nicol Bolas would look like. Then they find the city of Naktamun, a beautiful place where benevolent gods watch over the populace and mummies perform all the labour, allowing the mortals to devote their time to training and preparing for their glorious God-Pharaoh's return. [[spoiler:Amonkhet is arguably the most nightmarish plane seen so far. Nicol Bolas ''corrupted'' the plane by killing and corrupting its resident gods so that they would raise a population of unwitting mortals for him to harvest as superpowered mummy warriors. The entire place is one giant PeopleFarm.]]˛* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}''. Friend Computer wants you to be happy. Happiness is mandatory. Failure to maintain sufficient levels of happiness is treason. Treason is punishable by summary execution. Are you happy, Citizen?˛* The Dreamlands in ''TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful'' are a magical, mystical land which you can visit through dreams, populated by plenty of mystical creatures, with [[BenevolentMageRuler benevolent all-powerful mage Queens]] ruling near-perfect utopias and living peacefully side-by-side... and the reason for this is because this place actually is a LotusEaterMachine created by the servants of a cosmic force MadeOfEvil: the Queens and their servants are a race of {{Hope Bringer}}s they trapped here to prevent them from interfering while they freely corrupt the ''real'' world. And while the Queens have recently defeated their wardens and taken control of the Dreamlands, allowing them to send some of their servants back outside, the LotusEaterMachine's influence is still present, gradually warping and modifying the memory of its visitors until they forget their life in the real world, convinced they have always been here. And that's not even getting in the fact some of the natives who ''know'' their world isn't real are trying to escape by using dark magic to play {{Body Snatcher}}s with humans...˛* ''TabletopGame/SirenTheDrowning'' features a possible future for crossovers where [[TabletopGame/PrincessTheHopeful Princesses]] have successfully destroyed [[TheDarkSide the All-Consuming Darkness]], resulting in a bright and shiny world where there is no evil and people are nice and friendly... except that's because the Light has now gone full KnightTemplar and eradicates anything remotely evil or bad. The people are so nice because they are utterly terrified they will be eradicated if they show even the slightest hint of being mean.˛* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'':˛** Bretonnia. A bucolic feudal kingdom with idyllic countryside, Disney-esque castles, knights in shining armour and princesses in colourful dresses, Bretonnia looks like heaven on earth compared to the grim and less romanticised Empire to the immediate east. Bretonnia is also home to an almost unbelievably oppressive and brutal feudal system where the vast majority of the population toil away in practically inescapable poverty, the nobility are meanwhile regarded as infallible and control almost every single aspect of their lives, knights can kill serfs for pretty much any reason they feel like (such as daring to lay eyes on their prized Pegasus), and the local religion is a cult dedicated to a "Lady of the Lake" who is more a Lovecraftian horror than an Arthurian legend and also known for kidnapping small children with magical abilities -- the girls come back as priestesses, and the boys, [[AdultFear well, nobody really knows what happens to them]].˛** Ind. It is a land of exotic spices, legendary treasures, fertile fields, great palaces, golden temples, beautiful art and deeply spiritual people. However the disparity between fabulously wealthy rulers and poor commoners rivals that of Bretonnia, people live in constant fear of their myriad deities and everyday life is dictated by almost impenetrable system of rituals and taboos which means that the outsiders are at constant risk of being executed for unwittingly committing a sacrilege, that is if they don't fall prey to numerous [[Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom temple of doom]] style cults beforehand. The jungles of Ind besides the expected [[HungryJungle bizarre flora and fauna]] also harbor scores of tiger-headed beastman who are just as likely to defend a human village from attackers as raze it to the ground. And on top of that the area is frequently raided by the ogres from the north and the dark elves from the sea.˛* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'':˛** Upon the introduction of the politely expansionist, harmonious Tau Empire, many fans cried foul for the newcomers not fitting in with the crapsackiness of the setting. Subsequent fluff, however, has offered hints that its peaceful society is the result of mind control, and that rather than being dissident-free, dissidents are instead quietly taken out of sight, resulting in something closer to ''Literature/NineteenEightyFour'' than a true paradise.˛** Inverted with Nurgle. Falling in with the worshipers of the God of Decay may look pretty atrocious, but in truth Father Nurgle's children are just as AffablyEvil as their patron. In the Grim Darkness of the Far Future, at least these guys are happy with their lot in life.˛** The ultimate proof that this trope is relative to the setting is the world Q'sal in ''TabletopGame/BlackCrusade''. On the one hand, it is in constant progress through dazzling inventions, full of people locked in the prime of their life, holds the prestige of being one of the biggest industrial and economic powers in their region, and is generally considered to be one of the best places to live ''in the setting''. On the other hand, they openly run one of the biggest and most stygian slave markets outside of Commorragh, mostly as a mean to get "raw" ''souls'' in bulk, which powers their society and inventions. It's also led by people whose faith in a god (who is, among other things, the [[LightIsNotGood God of Hope]]) actively drives them to fuel their welfare with so many souls, to the point that souls are the main currency on the planet. To make matters worse, it's an open secret that the three city states of Q'sal are locked in a permanent cold war that drives them to outperform and use espionage on each other. If they ever did get into an open war, their combined influence could bring the entire sector into a savage war from which it might never recover.˛* In ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', the Malfean abode of Empress Aliara is a magnificent castle filled with pleasures and addictions. Unfortunately, her realm offers only insatiable longing, never fulfillment. Heady perfumes and incense merely cover up the odor of rot, and the realm's servants are actually slaves who cannot leave.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Visual Novels]]˛* ''Franchise/{{Danganronpa}}'':˛** Hope's Peak Academy in was officially a government-funded private school whose goal was to raise hope for Japan's future, where students lived in harmony and were guaranteed success in life. However, the school's small pool of Ultimate students wasn't enough to keep the academy afloat, so they opened their doors to the public and began actively defrauding [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent reserve course students]] out of their parents' money with massive tuitions. Said students were also often bullied by the Ultimates [[spoiler: and one was manipulated into undergoing a surgical augmentation procedure by the school intended to make him a transhuman genius, which eradicated his old personality. The GaidenGame ''VideoGame/DanganronpaAnotherEpisodeUltraDespairGirls'' reveals that the school's staff may have even been ''actively abusive'' toward their own students, including the [[WouldHurtAChild elementary branch]]. And this is all before The Tragedy even begins.]]˛** The world in ''VisualNovel/DanganronpaV3KillingHarmony'' [[spoiler:is actually quite nice, and completely peaceful. So much so that people are bored out of their wits and willing to watch teenagers murder each other in the killing game as reality tv. A show which is on its ''53rd'' season. With the mastermind claiming that all of the students willingly signed up to be brainwashed into thinking they're someone else and put on TV. All of this [[UnreliableExpositor assuming we can trust what Tsumugi says.]]]] ˛* ''VisualNovel/DokiDokiLiteratureClub'' seems like the idyllic setting of your typical harem comedy. Then you peel back the bright colors and learn some of the deeper layers, which include charming topics like depression, domestic abuse, self-harm, alienation, and suicide. And then there's the gradual, apparent breakdown of reality and numerous horrifying encounters. [[spoiler: All of which are revealed to be the result of Monika manipulating the game's code, because she (and any president of the Literatue club) [[GoMadFromRevelation knows they're all in a video game]]. One where she doesn't have her own route, and she's a {{yandere}} [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou for the player.]]]]˛%%* Beyond Coast in ''VisualNovel/{{Policenauts}}''.˛* The Nagasaki of the years prior to the Meiji Restoration is portrayed as this in ''[[VisualNovel/ShallWeDateNinjaShadow Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow]]''. The city itself is bursting with riches, businesses and entertainment, but the BigBad Suetsugu and his influence have corrupted the merchant guilds and ther'es a lot of crime, illegal trade and slavery under the facade. It's so bad that the VigilanteMan group the PlayerCharacter joins (as a SweetPollyOliver) was specifically formed to deal with such horrible things.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Web Animation]]˛* ''WebAnimation/BravestWarriors'' has Venus Five, a cutesy world, inhabited by adorable, sexually liberated aliens ... or so it seems, until the crew find out that every now and again [[AGlitchInTheMatrix the world bursts into fire, only for things to immediately go back to normal with no explanation]]. [[spoiler: They eventually find out that the world they see is just a holographic projection set up by the planet's rulers to fool both outsiders and even most of the planet's population and in reality, Venus Five is a hellish fire world inhabited by grotesque aliens.]]˛* Everyone remembers ''WebAnimation/HappyTreeFriends'', right? [[TastesLikeDiabetes Those cute, innocent creatures]] from Mondo Media where nothing could go wrong? Well, if you watch one whole episode, eventually you'd be wrong. The show largely focuses on the sweet forest animals getting killed in every single way possible. [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids Stay out of this one, kids.]]˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Webcomics]]˛* ''Webcomic/AnecdoteOfError'' starts off as a cute story about a girl at a magic school. Then the oppressive caste system is revealed, and the ghastly dismemberments, and the women forced into domestic servitude, and the brutal war that’s been waging for years between two sides that are both guilty of war crimes.˛* ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'', like ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'', remains lighthearted and happy only because everyone's used to the utter savagery of their world. Here rather than the normal food chain, the majority of sentient creatures of all species, "[[{{Muggles}} Beings]]," are hunted for food and sport by stronger races, protected only by vigilantes (including the eponymous Dan) who themselves are nearly all guilty of VanHelsingHateCrimes against those of those races ([[spoiler:a category that [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie also includes the eponymous Dan]]]]) who don't take this attitude. Meanwhile, the whimsical, godlike fae (like the eponymous Mab), while not aggressive in the same way, treat ''everyone'' else as playthings, with all that entails. Although the ramifications are treated more seriously than ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'', a little bit of MoralMyopia in this world goes a ''long'' way.˛* ''Webcomic/FabulandHousewives'' is a StepfordSuburbia with [[TastesLikeDiabetes extremely cute]] [[BuiltWithLego Lego]] {{Funny Animal}}s.˛* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', as pointed out in its YMMV page. Yes, the world is full of cool SteamPunk tech, which is almost {{Magitek}} in its sheer scope (for example, genetically engineered lifeforms created via alchemy), there's a noble, chivalric attitude, and the people seem to be genuinely content. On the other hand, actual scientific process has ground to a halt. For similar reasons, at least the entirety of Europe is trapped in a functionally Victorian cultural level, albeit with some more "modern" attitudes like women's rights and anti-racism. The aristocracy is exclusively reserved for [[MadScientist Mad]] {{Emperor Scientist}}s who can cause incredible harm and destruction by virtue of the fact that the Spark genuinely drives them mad, and who ''will'' pick enormously destructive fights with their neighbors if there's no strong hand preventing it. The world is crawling with all manner of highly dangerous monsters, diseases and rogue devices that want to kill everything in sight, courtesy of the abundance of {{Mad Scientist}}s who tend to lose control over their own creations more often than not. There's a reason one minor character in an official side-story points out that Othar Tryggvassen, GentlemanAdventurer, and his belief that world peace [[WellIntentionedExtremist requires the annihilation of all Sparks]], is a valid case of VillainHasAPoint.˛* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': [[spoiler:Beforus]], if one reads between the lines of [[spoiler:Kankri]]'s HolierThanThou babbling, falls under this heading. Instead of [[spoiler:being killed, lowbloods and the defective are placed under the care of highbloods, which sounds very nice until one realizes this is mandatory, and they are never permitted to do anything useful or fend for themselves. It's mentioned that Latula, who lacks a sense of smell but is otherwise healthy, would have had this happen, and would probably have preferred death]].˛* While ''Webcomic/HoovesOfDeath'' has a adorable visual style that takes cues from later generations of [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic My Little Pony]], it's still a bloody world full of zombies and danger, and shows early on it won't pull any punches. [[ArtStyleDissonance While still looking adorable]].˛* ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell''. A cute, quirky world of FunnyAnimal characters... where fangs are more powerful than ideals and savage instinct triumphs over reason and empathy. By the world's local ethos (its ok to kill as long as you eat it) ethnic cleansing could just be another name for a BBQ. Perhaps even worse, a RippedFromTheHeadlines storyline reveals that there is an organization dedicated to opposing this -- [=WikiBeaks=], which publishes confidential data that has the potential to cause the predators some serious harm: They post [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/2011/kk0204.html which species are targeted, confidential hunting areas, that sort of thing]]. Sounds nice? Too bad they are being ''directly persecuted by the government''. That's right, if you're a prey species, there's nothing out there to protect you, and the only effective organization that even tries is acting ''illegally''.˛* ''Webcomic/{{Mokepon}}'' is based on the idea of deconstructing the basic setting of ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', resulting in a world that is shiny and happy on the surface, but violent and depressing underneath.˛* The world of ''Webcomic/NightTerror'' is one, big time. As Father Time's neverending visions of the future show, the Dreamscape is extremely dangerous, with characters dying at obscene rates (albeit those deaths being their alternate timeline selves). It gets worse when Night Terror 2 reveals that [[spoiler: [[BigBad the Boogeyman]] can break in seemingly whenever he wants, killing and maiming whoever's unfortunate enough to be nearby when it happens.]]˛* ''WebComic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': While the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the Empire of Blood]] is ObviouslyEvil and Elan is just too happy to be with his father to notice, this trope is played straight within small sections of the empire. For example, Elan plays in a child's ball pit, only for the comic's wide angled shot shows that there are several skeletons at the bottom.˛* [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2008-06-28 This]] ''Webcomic/SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal'':˛--> Talking Bean: "I think Mayor Fluffypotamus is a doodoo-butt!"˛--> Happyland Gazette headline: "Snugglebean executed for sedition! On page 2: Bunnies."˛* 4U City in the recent ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' dimension-hopping arc TRIES to be this... It's referred to as a 'Utopia', and everybody is mandatorily happy -- any sign of unhappiness results in being immediately pumped full of 'Happy drugs', while any serious departure from the accepted happiness-standard gets you thrown down the 'Judgement Chute', never to be seen again. However, despite this, it fails MISERABLY at looking like a utopia at first glance, because it's ''always raining''.˛** Also, the "Dimension of Lame", whose inhabitants are so pacifist that they embrace the invading demons and readily offer to sacrifice the one person who has any chance of saving them, all in the name of preventing more bloodshed.˛* ''Webcomic/{{Snarlbear}}'': "If you happen to like lurid hell holes, this place is a magical wonderland"˛* In ''Webcomic/{{Sparklecare}}'', despite all the bright colors and friendly characters in Sparklecare Hospital, it's a really messed-up place with some sick minds on the staff, as well as disturbing diseases and treatments.˛* ''Webcomic/{{Tamberlane}}'': The Silver Sage islands are a fairly peaceful place and seem to have a good standard of living but as the comic goes on we see that it is steeped in nationalism, xenophobia and a great dislike of "desenting" ideas, to the point that they talk about going "abroad" like it's going into Hell itself.˛* ''Webcomic/{{Unordinary}}'': It soon becomes apparent that underneath the sunny plazas and candy-coloured hair the world is a rather awful place to live, with superpowers creating a class system where the low-tiers can be freely bullied by high-tiers. The authorities ignore social injustice, instead supporting the high-tiers, while mentally crippling the god-tiers to control them and, if Remi's speculations are correct, [[spoiler: assassinating the superheroes to preserve the existing status quo.]]˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Web Original]]˛* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick's BFF Nella's ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' story thing crosses very quickly into this, involving loveless marriages and a HookerWithAHeartOfGold pony.˛* {{Inverted|Trope}} by ''WebOriginal/{{Mortasheen}}''. The setting is [[{{Mordor}} a sprawling continent-sized toxic urban wasteland]] of twisted science and sorcery that is home to degenerate humans and hundreds of species of horrific bloodthirsty monsters (many created by the humans as living tools or weapons) where life is either nasty, brutish and short or agonizingly drawn out for far too long... and yet most sentient beings who live there cheerfully take it all in stride, and behave like you'd expect if this was a standard happy-go-lucky Pok&eacute;mon-like world instead of a hell-world that could otherwise give '''''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''''' a run for its money. However, all the horrible monsters are still nice to their trainers, including [[OurDemonsAreDifferent the Devilbirds]], [[EldritchAbomination the Unknowns]] and [[PuppeteerParasite the Wormbrains]]˛* ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pw4LstqkNcw Natsumi Step!]]'' is a cute, relaxing flash video about a girl on an adventure in a magical place, where she meets cute animals has a lot of fun. She seems to have suffered some heartbreak and depression in the past, but that's all better now, and she gets a [[BlatantLies happy ending]]! But there's something... [[http://koshiandoh.com/flash-gallery01/natsumi-step/naki.swf off]] about it. [[spoiler:If you're familiar with Japanese culture, you can see that there are many, many symbolisms of death hidden throughout the video. The actual story is that Natsumi killed her boyfriend with a crowbar, then committed suicide. She's in purgatory, and is on her way to Hell at the end of the video. "Natsumi Step!" is meant as "Natsumi stepping" down a train station platform and killing herself.]]˛* Website/{{Facebook}}, given how many people treat it as SeriousBusiness. Parents and grandparents watch your every move, and companies are sure to go straight to Facebook to see if you are worthy of hiring.˛* Heaven in ''Literature/TheSalvationWar''. The Eternal City is filled with temples, covered with jewels from a thousand worlds, and all designed to praise the almighty God, made to dazzle the angels with its beauty. The humans, however, get to live in slums as serfs, constantly living in fear of offending the insane God who is too blind to see [[MugglesDoItBetter that humanity is on the brink of destroying them]]. The city itself, as noted by several characters, has many cracks and structural problems below the jewels and artificial beauty.˛* Combined with FridgeHorror, here is a Website/{{Cracked}} list of [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19496_6-classic-kids-shows-secretly-set-in-nightmarish-universes.html 6 Classic Kids Shows Secretly Set in Nightmarish Universes]]˛* [[https://www.youtube.com/user/nana825763?feature=watch nana825763]] is a master of this on Website/YouTube. When he isn't producing just straight up NightmareFuel, he's hiding it [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSER3yml1iM underneath sickeningly]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=fvwp&v=NVlqGe5YXfU&NR=1 sweet content]] that's like a mix of TastesLikeDiabetes meets ''Franchise/SilentHill''. Even his relatively benign [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knd5Sw6xJgA videos about an ant farm]] has him throwing in random shots of creepy, bloodstained dolls. And that's when he's not inverting the trope to mess with people, like the video with one of the aforementioned bloodstained dolls and utter MindScrew...[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn7SWpctUL4 that's about cooking.]]˛* ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale'' is about a small town in an EldritchLocation suffering all sorts of oddities as a simple fact of life and part of the daily grind. In ''The Sandstorm'' we meet Night Vale's rival town, Desert Bluffs, and its radio announcer Kevin, who seems much nicer and more cheerful than Cecil, Night Vale's announcer. Then the creepiness starts to set in as Kevin describes the mysterious Strex Corp. that controls Desert Bluffs -- despite having no clear purpose, business plan, or mission, beyond being a sinister MegaCorp with tendrils in every aspect of Desert Bluffs -- and how they manipulate everything. It still seems like a slightly better place to live than Night Vale though -- there seems to be a lot less random death and sinister supernatural forces. Until Cecil shows up and sees [[EvilIsVisceral what's actually going on...]]˛** Gets both barrels in Episode 47, where [[spoiler: Desert Bluffs finally takes over all of Night Vale.]] The episode is hosted by Kevin and a representative of [=StrexCorp=], who are both happy, cheerful, and friendly, and want to celebrate the recent decision by awarding ''everyone'' with a big company picnic! Even those who don't work for [=StrexCorp=], because now ''everyone'' works for [=StrexCorp=]! And when you get there, you ''must'' make sure to check in with the Picnic Overseers -- y'know, the friendly chaps with the gas masks and night sticks -- and take care not to touch the electrified "volleyball nets" that keep you in there. And everyone's going to stay at the picnic now, "until the work is complete." ˛* When you get right down to it, [[{{Website/Neopets}} Neopia]]'s a pretty depressing place to live, what with the countless wars, attempted genocides, and multiple [[FateWorseThanDeath fates worse than death]]. The only reason none of the inhabitants have lost hope is that they have enough badass [[KnightInShiningArmor Knights In Shining Armor]]/{{Lovable Rogue}}s/{{Noble Demon}}s to deal with them.˛* Website/RottenDotCom: The site shows the world as a frightening and, well, rotten place. Several articles in the Rotten Library talk about cruel rulers and conquerors, corrupt politicians and religious leaders, execution methods, torture devices, massacres, natural disasters, diseases, weapons, racist ideologies, yet they also have fun with it, by keeping an ironic style. Apart from the worst atrocities in mankind's history the Rotten Library also offers articles about more amusing and less nihilistic topics.˛* Roleplay/VoidOfTheStars seems to be normal aside from the fact that the Equestrians seem to be a MarySuetopia, but the backstory has an entire universe destroyed and all galaxies aside from the Milky Way devoured by invaders. The Triarian Collective routinely wipes the memories of their citizens, there are ''two'' species that want nothing more than to consume everything, and one species that is literally from hell. Even the Equestrian Empire has dystopian elements.˛* ''Webcomic/AsteroidQuest'' has one: the neumono farm Penn visits in part 6. There are far more kids than adults, and everyone is exceptionally hospitable and accommodating... except for some visiting neumono, who are extremely aggressive and even abusive towards their own hivemates. [[spoiler:Penn discovers that some scientists are using MindControl administered via the neumono's natural [[TheEmpath empathy]] to forcefully rewrites every neumono's personality to suit their needs, usually making them extremely subservient to the crime bosses and visiting hivemates. This includes forcing them to feel happy even if their aggressive hivemates decide to abuse them.]]˛* ''WebVideo/DontHugMeImScared'' takes place in a beautiful and vivacious world of felt, covering the cruelty and evil of some of the world's inhabitants.˛* While everything is really cute there, the Daily Flash universe of Website/{{Walfas}} arrests people and randomly administers the death penalty. It's entirely possible for a school activity to end with someone being killed.˛[[/folder]]˛˛[[folder:Western Animation]]˛* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' started off like this, with the cheery adventures of [[ABoyAndHisX A Boy and His Dog]], and a ''literal'' SugarBowl in the Candy Kingdom, hiding that it was an AfterTheEnd setting filled with dangerous threats and brutal monsters. Then it started delving deeply into various [[BackstoryHorror horrible backstories]] and the DysfunctionJunction of the cast, ultimately showing that while there are plenty of nasty things out there The Land of Ooo is still ''overall'' a pleasant place to live.˛* ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'': On the one hand, Elmore is a colorful world filled with cartoon characters animated in different styles where the impossible is possible. On the other hand, Elmore is pretty much an exaggerated take on 21st century American society, where the education system is a joke, TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed (often because of The Wattersons' antics), crime is freely committed by anyone and everyone and the PoliceAreUseless, and the jerkass and Idiot Ball get tossed around with surprising frequency. The only differences between this and the real world is that ToonPhysics enhances all of these problems and there's a surprising amount of [[SapientEatSapient certain characters getting eaten]] (since most of the people in Elmore are based on food products, like Banana Joe, Sarah G. Lato, Anton the slice of toast, and the town's police force).˛** And that's not even getting into how the ''the entire universe is sentient'' and can remove whatever it deems a "mistake" and banish it to [[EldritchLocation the Void]] forever. ˛* ''WesternAnimation/{{Amphibia}}'': The setting is in a bright colorful world with talking frogs in it. But the rest of the world is full of dangerous creatures that are a threat to the frogs and Anne. [[BigCreepyCrawlies Giant bugs]], [[DireBeast huge snakes]], [[ManEatingPlant killer plants]] and more. And that's not even getting into the FantasticRacism that the toads have over the frogs (and possibly other amphibians as well).˛* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': Ba Sing Se. A giant, bustling city that is efficient and pleasant to live in (at least for the middle and upper classes), but the world war with the Fire Nation is kept secret ([[spoiler:even from the Earth King]]) and those who try to reveal the truth find themselves spirited away and brainwashed by the Dai Li (their SecretPolice).˛-->"There is no war in Ba Sing Se."\˛"Hi, I am [[VoiceOfTheLegion Joo Dee]], welcome to [[StepfordSmiler Ba Sing Se]]."˛** Things have hardly improved by ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' since many people in the Outer Ring still live in poverty. One could say things are worse since they are the result of the oppressive, kleptocratic Earth Queen who [[spoiler: conscripts airbenders into her army in secrecy.]] And then [[spoiler: said Earth Queen dies]], and the city's centuries of inequality cause it to devolve into [[WretchedHive an anarchic hellhole]]. Thankfully, the situation seems to be improved at the end of the series, after [[spoiler: the Earth Kingdom is dissolved into several republics.]]˛* The future that Scrooge [=McDuck=] visits in the ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'' episode "Duck to the Future" looks [[CrystalSpiresAndTogas shiny and technologically advanced]] at first glance, but his nemesis Magica [=DeSpell=] managed to steal his Number One Dime in his absence, eventually [[TakeOverTheCity assuming complete control over every aspect of life in Duckburg]]. The triplets now work for Magica as {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s, and everyone else who works for Magica-[=McDuck=] Enterprises has to turn all of their earnings over to ''her'' on "pay day", making it even harder for them to afford the [[RidiculousFutureInflation outrageous prices being charged for basic services]].˛* On ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'', the planet of the Giggle Pies, the cute things that come in Invader-Os cereal already mentioned in SugarApocalypse.˛* The Creator/{{Disney}} universe, in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. It's a happy, musical, funny land of enchantment, but... well, it turns out it was created (and is apparently enforced) by the Walt Disney of [[UrbanLegend popular legend]], so as soon as a Jewish character shows up, he is promptly ripped to shreds by everyone else present.˛* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', the world of the future looks exactly as we envisioned; flying cars, jetpacks, lasers and a cure to everything. Except that everybody's too poor to afford anything, war is fought on a bigger scale than ever, and everything everywhere is run by idiots. As the creators put it, it's present-day Earth with a thousand years of technological advancement.˛* ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'': In "Weirdmageddon 2: Escape From Reality," Mabel turns out to be a willing prisoner in a LotusEaterMachine called Mabeland, [[SugarBowl a colorful and cutesy alternate dimension]] where anything she wants magically appears. Of course, this place was still made by [[BewareTheSillyOnes Bill Cipher]], and if someone actually questions Mabeland too harshly, its denizens [[TheWormThatWalks turn into piles of bugs]] and start getting violent. [[TheSmartGuy Dipper]], at least, was savvy enough to foresee this:˛-->'''Dipper:''' Do you see what's happening here?! Don't forget this world was created by ''Bill.'' That punch is probably blood! And that glitter rain is probably ground up bones, or babies, or something.˛* ''WesternAnimation/{{Green Eggs and Ham|2019}}'': It's the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss full of quirkily bloodthirsty beasts, dangerously whimsical architecture, charmingly stupid or mischievous citizenry, and an almost Kafka-esque fixation on inane trivium.˛* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'': The Skool Facility that Zim attends is just like the metropolis he also lives in, modern, technological, and fair on the exterior, but cruel, mean, evil, fascist and totalitarian from within.˛* From ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'':˛** One episode has several of the characters end up in an AlternateUniverse which was almost exactly like UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} {{Superhero}} comics the Green Lantern used to read as a child. On first glance, the world looked like a stereotypical wholesome and child-friendly '50s superhero setting. Upon closer inspection, the world turned out to be [[spoiler:a post-nuclear war landscape whose survivors were forced to live in a psychic {{Masquerade}} generated by the mutated KidSidekick of the original heroes of that world]].˛*** There are other hints of the slightly crappy nature coming through as well, in the form of NostalgiaAintLikeItUsedToBe: Hawkgirl doesn't take too kindly to having the only other female superhero suggest they make cookies for the menfolk, and Green Lantern doesn't know how to take a white superhero calling him "[[YouAreACreditToYourRace a credit to [his] people]]."˛** At a cursory glance, [[RepressiveButEfficient the world]] the Justice Lords created might look like this. All the super villains are caught, Gotham City is actually ''clean'', and crime has been so thoroughly eradicated that police are reduced to settling disputes over restaurant bills. The saccharine side of things is really paper-thin, as it's no secret that the reason for all of this was because the League went KnightTemplar on the world and took to ruling it with an iron fist as the Justice Lords.˛* The characters of ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'' live on a planet named Smileyland. It's a beautiful setting where everything seems nice, you can have almost anything you want, and there are flowers everywhere. The trouble is, Smileyland is inhabited by the cast, who are all insane in some way or the other (Mr. Cat is AxCrazy, and Kaeloo herself is [[AmbiguousDisorder implied to be schizophrenic]], for example.) In fact, a RunningGag on the show is to mention the ongoing economic crisis. Episode 94 showed the true cynicism of Smileyland.˛* On the surface, Pure Heart Valley of ''WesternAnimation/MaoMaoHeroesOfPureHeart'' seems like your typical Sugar Bowl, with bright vivid colors and ridiculously cute inhabitants. But they are ruled by an egotistical yet (mostly) ineffectual King who gladly abuses his power for petty reasons, they're constantly swindled and scammed by a group of foxes, and ever since Mao Mao accidentally crashed his aerocycle into the Ruby Pure Heart, the barrier protecting them from the outside world has disappeared and they are constantly being attacked by Sky Pirates and horrible monsters.˛* ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'': In "The Worm-Guy Guy Syndrome", the planet Kalifadik is an ''extremely'' LawfulStupid society where [[AllCrimesAreEqual all crimes]], [[MattressTagGag no matter how minor]], are punishable by life imprisonment in their gulags. When Agent J asks why aliens would still travel there, Agent K and a captured Kalifadik enforcer answer "The beaches".˛* ''WesternAnimation/MoralOrel'': a [[StepfordSuburbia seemingly nice]] suburban town full of depressed, miserable, and extremely disturbed souls trying their damnedest to appear wholesome and normal. Seasons 1 and 2 played it for laughs. Season 3... not [[TearJerker so]] [[HiddenDepths much]].˛* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Motorcity}}'', Detroit Deluxe is a state-of-the-art, clean, efficient, and nearly-crime free metropolis ran by CorruptCorporateExecutive Abraham Kane. The price of admission to live in Detroit Deluxe is the revocation of one's personal liberties. Old Detroit is the [[InvertedTrope exact opposite]], with many Motorcitizens, including the Burners, being defectors to Kane's regime.˛* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Downplayed. While Equestria is largely a SugarBowl, the world as a whole has a few features of this. While the heroes always win in the end, there seems to be some sort of villain conquering the place (not the standard fare), [[VileVillainSaccharineShow genuine evil world conquering sorcerers, magic-eating demonic centaurs, sociopathic children, and embodiment of chaos]]. In fact, if the ponies aren't in harmony, then evil icy embodiments of hate show up, feed on the hatred, and freeze the place to death. Not only that, but there is also the Everfree Forest, an untamable woodland EldritchLocation filled with dangerous monsters. And then, if Klugetown is any implication, a lot of the places outside Equestria are in dissaray and filled with crime. Granted, it's still a world of happiness and sunshine, and the villain attacks and scary stuff only happen occasionally.˛** A more obvious example is Starlight Glimmer's old village. It appears to be a place where everyone is happy and peaceful with no fights, but it is actually a cult where everyone is stripped of their individuality, and, if new residents refuse, they are locked in a room and conditioned.˛* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', the city of Townsville. It's frequently shown to be a friendly big city with people that are willing to help, but it's always attacked by monsters and is inhabited by all sorts of criminals and villains. TheMovie {{Prequel}} reveals that Townsville was actually much worse then it is now, a straight-up crime-ridden CrapsackWorld until the Professor created the girls and they became its resident superheroes. ˛* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'': The fantasy type world in the adventure that Morty makes seems at first glance to be a stereotypical medieval fantasy[=/=]fairy-tale world. Until [[spoiler: Morty gets nearly raped by a friendly Jellybean, who turns out to be the King of the country -- and has been using his position to sexually assault countless children.]]˛** There's also the Galactic Federation, which claims to promote peace among the rest of the galaxy but when they occupy Earth they "pay" the population in pills to keep them docile (including force-feeding them if they won't eat). This, and everything else they do over the course of their appearances, makes some fans sympathize with ''Rick'' when he [[spoiler:engineers the Federation's collapse in the premiere of Season Three.]]˛** The Citadel of Ricks. On the surface, it's a highly-advanced space station where the Ricks and Mortys of the multiverse can live and work without fear of their many enemies, featuring CrystalSpiresAndTogas-style cities, lush farmland, deep forests, and all the amazing technologies that Ricks could conceive. Unfortunately, Ricks being Ricks, it's also immensely dysfunctional: Mortys are on the bottom rung of the Citadel hierarchy, and are only considered valid if they remain partnered with Ricks; those who lose their Ricks and can't earn a new one through the Citadel's AssimilationAcademy are segregated to [[FantasticGhetto Mortytown]], a cesspool of urban decay, drug addiction and organized crime. The police force is violent and [[DirtyCop usually on the take]], and the "sensitivity training" undergone isn't enough to stop bigotry against Mortys -- even by [[BoomerangBigot Morty officers]]. Meanwhile, despite having the same genius intellect as the others, many Ricks are forced to work menial jobs with no opportunities for promotion, and thanks to the government's strict regulation of portal technology, they are never allowed to leave the Citadel. Finally, the Citadel is ruled by a corrupt, hypocritical oligarchy fully prepared to kill or enslave more individualistic Ricks if they don't toe the line... [[spoiler: Up until our Rick killed all of them... [[NiceJobBreakingItHero only to end up creating the political conditions that allowed Evil Morty to take control of the Citadel]].]]˛** Froopy Land. Initially, it really was as perfect as it seemed: Rick built it for Beth when she was younger, so he ensured that the entire world was essentially child-safe, so, along with the permanently blue skies, the rainbow-colored rivers and the lush forests, Froopy Land also features breathable water and bouncy ground with no possibility for FallingDamage. And the wildlife was perfectly harmless... the key word being ''was.'' [[spoiler: Basically, Beth invited her best friend Tommy to Froopy Land, only to abandon him there in a fit of jealousy; worse still, he soon found that the only way he could find food was by impregnating the wildlife and [[EatsBabies eating their hybrid offspring]]. Decades hence, Froopy Land is populated by half-human monsters and ruled by a tribe of violent, incestuous cannibals who worship Tommy as a god.]]˛** "Look Who's Purging Now" depicts a world full of friendly CatFolk who Rick quickly twigs to, nominally, a working world of sustained peace with an annual outburst of crime and violence immediately and directly compared to the film ''Film/ThePurge''. He claims to have seen it a few times before. That said, in addition to the obvious, it all turns out to be orchestrated by an insulated rich cabal who are cool with this system as long as it doesn't touch them. [[spoiler:They end up being messily slaughtered, leaving a just-Purged society uncertain what to do. The distractable Rick drops a few words about how to make society work, leaving them to start arguing, getting the knives out and [[HereWeGoAgain suddenly thinking, maybe they should have a night to let it all out...]]]]˛* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has three in-universe examples:˛** The ''WesternAnimation/TreehouseOfHorror'' segment "The Bart Zone" a parody of the aforementioned ''Series/{{The Twilight Zone|1959}}'' episode.˛--->'''Jasper:''' Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts. Boy, I'm getting mighty sick of this. ''(pop! Jasper is transformed into a dog with his head on it)'' Woof! Woof!˛** Also, in the "Treehouse of Horror V" story "Time And Punishment", when Homer returns from the past to find that Flanders is ruler of the world. And people who aren't happy under his rule are at risk of a full frontal lobotomy.˛*** Parodied during the same story, when Homer creates a world where The Simpsons are rich, Patty and Selma are dead, Bart and Lisa are well-behaved, but no one knows what a doughnut is, making Homer conclude it's this. Subverted in that they're called "rain", but Homer ran off before he could find that out.˛** Subverted also in "Hungry Are the Damned", part of the very first ''Treehouse of Horror''. The family is abducted by Rigelian aliens (Kang and Kodos in their first appearance) who [[GildedCage want them to be happy all the time]], cooking them gourmet foods and providing them with free entertainment. Lisa suspects that this might be BreadAndCircuses and uncovers evidence that the Rigelians are actually [[ToServeMan making the Simpsons fat so that they will be delicious to eat]] -- but it all turns out to be a misunderstanding. And the Rigelians are so offended at Lisa's prejudice and ingratitude that they return the family to Earth and tell them that they missed their chance at paradise.˛* Bacchus' paradise in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode "Paradise Smurfed" is an example of this. A globe from an Atlas statue breaks through a wall and reveals a dark castle in which a chef is given a menu for preparing "souffle a la Smurf". Fortunately, this ends up being AllJustADream.˛* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' was like this until Season 5 came along, and at that point it just became a textbook example of a CrapsackWorld.˛** In Season 19, the town, in a [[PoliticalCorrectnessGoneMad PC frenzy]], decided to gentrify Kenny's neighborhood, turning it into [=SoDoSoPa=], with fancy lofts and restaurants and a slick ad campaign. The town however becomes an overpriced cesspool of PC excess. PC frat boys bully everybody for any random FelonyMisdemeanor, and homeless people are abused by the police, while the residents ignore it while claiming to be "enlightened". [[spoiler: Of course it later turns out that living ads are pushing PC and gentrification in a bid to price humanity out of existence]]. ˛--> '''Nathan''':"What is PC but a verbal form of gentrification? Spruce everything up, get rid of all the ugliness and create a false sense of paradise."˛* After TheMovie (the first one, at least), Bikini Bottom from ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' qualifies as one. Despite its colorful and friendly appearance, it's full of grumpy people, manchildren, {{Jerkass}}es, [[TooDumbToLive idiots]] and even [[FantasticRacism extreme racists]] who are heavily prejudiced against mammalian species (like squirrels) and even other aquatic inhabitants that aren't fish (such as crustaceans, invertebrates, and cephalopods) unless they have some sort of social standing (I.E. Squilliam is rich, Larry is buff, and [=SpongeBob=] is the one person stopping Bikini Bottom from destroying itself, either by his numerous acts of heroism, or just the simple task of working at the Krusty Krab and providing the masses with Krabby Patties). ˛* ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'':˛** Part of the show's DeconstructiveParody of the MagicalGirl genre is that Star's homeworld of Mewni is not the shining kingdom it appears to be. Star is a MagicalGirl Princess who's been given too much power and freedom at too young an age and more than once terrorized her own people by accident. Her family rules over a beautiful, pastel-color-schemed kingdom styled after Medieval Europe, in that all of the people outside of nobility and the Royal family [[TheDungAges live in total squalor]] and the political structure is based heavily on MightMakesRight. To top it off, her family's history [[WrittenByTheWinners isn't exactly clean either]]--the hordes of monsters they keep out of the kingdom [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters have very legitimate reasons to resent them]].˛** Later seasons expand upon how bad things are, revealing that not only are Mewmen blatantly [[FantasticRacism racist]] toward the aforementioned monsters, said racism is a ''heavy'' case of DoubleStandard-- several inhabitants or allies of the kingdom, such as [[OurDemonsAreDifferent the Demons from the Underworld]], the Pigeon Kingdom, the Pony Heads or the Magical High Commission are very blatantly as non-human and scary-looking as the monsters, but still get classified separately (and as such spared from most of the racism) on the sole basis they are either [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney rich]], [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections have been allies for generations]] or happen to have an important rank in the hierarchy. Eclipsa, the "Queen of Darkness" hailed as the BlackSheep of the royal family, turns out to have been a rather nice (if a bit selfish) woman whose sole crime was to leave a husband she hated for a monster she fell in love with- and said husband then [[spoiler:had her half-monster daughter [[{{Unperson}} erased from the records]] before handing her over to be raised by an abusive robot mother while he replaced her with a peasant girl, just because he refused to have someone half-monster inherit the throne.]]˛* In ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}} ThunderCats (2011)]]'' this is quite deliberately employed as the premiere's opening minutes treat the viewer to a gorgeous aerial EpicTrackingShot of a ShiningCity, the {{Catfolk}} kingdom of Thundera, while a soothing narrator tells of the kingdom's "peace and prosperity" and its ruler's "just heart." Less than a minute after the narrator finishes speaking, the camera {{tilt}}s downward from a bright, painterly city vista to dark, miserable slums where "Alley Cats" are violently beating a hapless [[{{Dogfaces}} Dog]].˛* ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' is set in the year 100 Million AD, where there is no more crime, war, pollution, disease, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking bacon is good for your heart.]] The problem is, as the residents of the distant future have discovered, time itself decays the further into the past an event becomes. Larry explains it like a stretch of rope that grows longer, but also starts fraying at one end. This can mean everything from a species never going extinct to an important historical figure's personality changing or them deciding to follow a different path in life, all of which can result in huge and potentially disastrous changes to the future. That's where [[TimePolice Time Squad]] comes in: [[SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong their job is to keep history on its proper course.]]˛* ''WesternAnimation/TwelveForever'': Endless Island, at first glance, seems to be the perfect paradise: it's bright, colorful, the residents are (mostly) friendly, and you can basically have anything you want. However, as we discover later on in the series, [[spoiler:the longer someone stays in the world, the more warped their body and mind become, until they forget about any life they had before the island. Todd and Esther spend five days in a row there and end up fun-loving, rambling wrecks (with the former suffering serious PowerIncontinence), and Elmer, who's lived there for ''decades'', has long since become a shell of his former self.]]˛[[/folder]]˛----

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report