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Crapsack World / Western Animation

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  • An episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius had an evil clone of Jimmy managing to create another Earth, where every single person there, parents and teachers included, was evil, the sun was never bright, and doing anything good was severely frowned upon.
  • Argai: The Prophecy: By 2075, Earth has become this.
  • The world at the beginning of Avatar: The Last Airbender. The world has been enduring war for a century, with the person given the duty to stop the war having been missing for the same amount of time (and when he comes back to the world, is a 12 year old boy). What isn't colonized by the Fire Nation has been severely depleted of their population and benders (with the Avatar being the last of the Airbenders after the Fire Nation killed them all) or a brainwashed utopia, a 15 year old male with no bending capability is placed in the role of being the sole guardian of the Southern Water Tribe, and we see multiple lives and families ruined by the war, on both sides. Thankfully, the story chronicles Aang's journey to restore balance to the world. At least for the moment.
    • The world in The Legend of Korra is less crapsacky, as peace has been restored, but Republic City resembles Depression America, or perhaps even Germany, with poverty being rampant and radical politics and popular unrest widespread. The benders abused their power, and that caused the Equalist Revolution, which is pretty much a terrorist movement lead by a highly manipulative Knight Templar and that manages to conquer Republic City. Afterwards, Amon is defeated and the Equalist movement is seemingly losing power, but the next season features evil spirits running rampant.
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    • The episode "Beginnings" reveals what the world was before the Avatar and the Bending Arts existed. The spirits invaded the material world and killed most of the human race on the grounds of "disrespecting nature" (which seemingly included capturing and eating wild animals out of self-preservation). To survive, humanity was forced to live in the shells of giant, magical turtles that also gave a few of them Elemental Powers (the precursor of the Bending Arts) to ward off the spirits and gather food. But even then, life was hard since the turtles could only carry so many people, social inequality was high, and only a few people were given the elemental power of fire to gather food. If it had not been for Wan, the world would have continued this way.
    • It turns out things have already been much worse prior to Book 1. Every country in the world (except for the Fire Nation) has an evil head of state. At the end of each book though, that changes. By the end of Book 3 however, things only got worse after the evil Earth Queen is dead. Even with the evil rulers defeated and replaced with better ones, the new world leaders are now being targeted by a global anarchist organization.
  • The Gotham City of Batman: The Animated Series is almost as bad as its comic counterpart. In most other action shows of its time, there were space monsters and futuristic skyscrapers. Gotham was the only kids' show setting you had to walk the streets of while worrying about getting mugged and/or shot.
    • Batman Beyond is similar, only more Cyberpunk.
      • In the promotional commercials in the days leading up to Batman Beyond's premiere, the narrator described Gotham as "a city without a hero. Its people, no hope. Its youth, no future." With a setting like that, this show can just as easily be called Adult Fear: The Animated Series.
  • The French cartoon The Bear's Island (French: L'Île Aux Ours): takes place in a very unfriendly and inhospitable world that is pretty much at the mercy of the Four Elements, four capricious and petty deities whose whims and attempts to seize more power cause catastrophic and deadly damage. Apart from the serene Rabbit's island no place is safe and travelling is always dangerous not only because of those cataclysms but also because of lurking pirates who sell prisoners to the slave market since in the big country that appears slavery is legal. There is also at least one psycho scientist who lives in an isolated laboratory perched upon a rocky island and who conducts painful experiments on the unlucky animals that he captures who dared to travel abroad.
  • Highland, Texas in Beavis and Butt-Head. The adults are either mean-spirited and ill-tempered or peaceful yet clueless, the kids and the teenagers following suit are similarly stupid and/or violent, and the whole town looks like the extension of a junkyard. The Only Sane Man is Daria Morgendorffer, a cynical Deadpan Snarker, which pretty much says it all.
    • In the spinoff Daria, one gets to know Lawford even more. Daria and her friends are the sole island of sanity in a school where athletic accomplishment is valued over academic achievement, where the popular kids are too stupid to actually be malicious, and where the entire faculty is composed of mental basket cases. Back home, their parents are either neurotic or absentee, and their siblings are vapid. Sick, Sad World, a tabloid shockumentary show that Daria watches, even used to lend its name to a separate trope here (before it was redirected to this one).
  • Ben 10 would count, as despite its cartoony portrayal, it's not a nice place to live in. Basically, Earth is constantly visited by hundreds of aliens, who are only interested in exploiting the planet for its resources or schemes, or destroy it as part of their evil plan, or that they can. There are Space Cops to deal with that sort of thing, but Earth is considered a backwater planet, so many of them are outright reluctant to waste resources in order to defend it (though this seems to improve over the course of the franchise). You also have Lovecraftian cosmic horrors from another dimension, crazy Cape Busters who dress and behave like literal Knight Templars, and an entire Empire of frog-like Blood Knights who don't follow the previously mentioned Space Cops' rules and are a huge example of Aliens Are Bastards. Also, Death Rays capable of destroying planets are available even to comedic villains.
    • And that's just what drops in from space. There's plenty more monsters, mutants, and mad scientists native to planet Earth.
  • The world of The Boondocks. Negative stereotypes of people with black or brown complexions are rampant, corrupt people with lighter complexions and greater wealth get away with everything, a group of Muslims owning a gas station are arrested for defending themselves when their station is robbed and the robbers (the aforementioned people with greater wealth) are cheered for stomping out terrorism, and any world where Uncle Ruckus isn't locked inside an insane asylum is a bad one.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door. From Congress passing laws to hurt kids even though they break the Constitution, to constant battles, to the fact a huge-ass ship manned by Candy Pirates can plow through your city at any moment, it's surprising that no one in the universe is suicidal.
    • Though adults and kids outside of the conspiracy seem to be completely unaware that anything abnormal goes on at all, though that changes from time to time.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog is full of jerks, idiots, psychopaths, and horror villains in general. The only seemingly decent characters are Muriel, who is oblivious but very likable, and the titular dog Courage, the only moderately sane and reasonable main character.
  • The universe of Cow and Chicken is a huge trailer park and everyone acts like white trash.
  • Dante's Inferno: An Animated Epic: Imagine an afterlife where very few people actually ascend to heaven, but most suffer in the nine circles of Hell for the sins they committed in life. In Hell, where mankind's sins have caused Lucifer to grow in power, not worshipping the Christian faith not only sends you to limbo for all eternity despite the good deeds you have done in life, even unbaptized babies must reside in the first circle through a fault not entirely their own (this was where Dante's stillborn malformed child was held). Then there's Dante's mother, who upon committing suicide, was sent to the Wood of Suicide by Minos where she is turned into a fleshly tree growing in eternal pain. And there are the rest of the nine hells, like Gluttony, a wet fleshy realm where Cerberus (who looks nothing like a three-headed dog) swallows the gluttonous and condemns to a fate of everlasting hunger. This all isn't surprising since the animated short is based on the video game which itself is based on Dante's The Divine Comedy. Lucifer sums it up to Beatrice perfectly:
    Beatrice: "It is not our fault. None of it. Man is good."
    Lucifer: "No... you don't understand. The Earth is another form of Hell. And men are its demons."
  • In the other Dante's Inferno, Hell is a huge urban landscape in total disarray. The punishments of the damned are more or less the same as the original, but the images (and the actual damned themselves) are updated so viewers will recognize them. Marilyn Monroe is among the suicides turned into trees, Limbo is a slum where Virgil and company are essentially bums, and identity thieves take on the appearance of whoever passes by. In this case, it's played for laughs.
  • Dan Vs. starts in a Crapsaccharine World before quickly delving into this. It's initially crapsaccharine because despite being a normal world, the protagonist is a petty, paranoid psychopath who takes out revenge on people for the smallest of felonies. It becomes this trope when you realize, Dan ended up the way he is because of this world. Every job is Serious Business: dentists hurt patients to ensure they keep coming back and a demon from Hell runs your office. If you don't have enough insurance, hospitals hire an actor pretending to be a doctor. Cyborgs run your local gym and they're going to replace you. New Mexico sacrifices someone every year for a hot air balloon. The main population, including police forces, have the intelligence of a fly. This was planned by other countries hoping to dumb down America until they aren't a threat. People hoping to steal your identity or eat you alive are everywhere. The government can't deal with minor issues like that because they're busy ensuring peace between nations and hiding dinosaurs from the public. The only person who does anything is Dan. He only cares if it affects him, and he's blown up countries because he's had a bad day.
  • Like the newspaper comic strip where it originated, the animated version of Dilbert is also an incredibly crapsack world. Everyone (except Dilbert, and to a lesser extent Dogbert) is either stupid, greedy, or deceptive. Dogbert, while he is greedy, is more The Barnum, and delights in taking advantage of the complete idiocy of humanity. Dilbert is (quite possibly) the Only Sane Man, and tries to be a nice guy, attempting to come up with solutions to problems that he had nothing to do with (but is forced into lending a hand anyway), or don't even exist in the first place (such as "Cubicle Syndrome"). If said solution works, then all credit will either go to his Pointy-Haired Boss, the guys in Marketing, or the problem will simply go away on its own, making Dilbert's solution moot. If normally Nice Guys Finish Last, in Dilbert, they probably won't cross the finish line.
  • Dreamland, the primary setting of Disenchantment, is quite a medieval shithole, and it's all played for laughs at every opportunity. This kingdom is ruled by King Zog, a brutal tyrant who often sentences people to death and/or torture for a variety of offenses, such as attempting to sleep with his daughter. Most citizens are poor peasants, and even the nobility are going bankrupt. The country is being ravaged by disease outbreaks, with the bodies of plague victims regularly being collected to be cremated in a mass grave/pyre. Dreamland's relations with neighboring nations are tense at best, even with their allies, and the threat of war is always possible.
  • Definitely the point of Drawn Together.
  • Ditto Duckman. Even the animation depicting the show is deliberately ugly, even if it's the studio's style.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy was one of Cartoon Network's few examples that was Played for Laughs. Let's review, shall we?
    • The Eds are con artists with no money to get jawbreakers and thus resort to unsuccessfully (usually) scamming children out of their money to buy some. Because of this, they are ostracized and bullied, even if A.) they haven't done anything or B.) only one of them (usually Eddy) has done something.
      • Ed is only going along with what Eddy because he's either Lethally Stupid, a Cloudcuckoolander who can't tell right from wrong, or Obfuscating Stupidity at the cost of other people's pain and tons of property damage. If that's not enough, he is constantly physically harassed by his little sister for the pettiest of reasons, if any. His mother does nothing to stop her, and instead punishes/neglects Ed while his father doesn't seem to care either way.
      • Edd is The Conscience who tries to steer Eddy on the right path, with no luck. Despite being the nicest of the Eds, he's still treated the same way by all of the other Kids. Beyond that, his parents are almost never home, communicating to him through sticky notes.
      • Eddy is The Leader and Schemer of the three, without whom Ed and Edd might've possibly been accepted with the Kids. It's hard to say which Eddy loves more: himself, money, or his huge stack of porn he got from his brother. His scams always get himself and his two friends in trouble, and he never admits it. Other than that, he's the biggest Jerkass on the show. The only reasons Ed and Edd haven't bailed on him yet is because the former is too stupid to realize what he's doing is wrong and the latter is too much of a doormat to leave him until the The Movie, which also gave Eddy a brutal Freudian Excuse.
    • The Kids the Eds scam aren't innocent, either. The payback they give to the Eds is either going too far, given to an Ed(s) that hasn't done anything, or completely unprovoked.
      • Sarah is an Enfante Terrible who dishes out Curb-Stomp Battles to her brother (and sometimes the other Eds or Jonny) for just existing.
      • Jimmy may seem like even more of a sensitive kid than Edd, but he's really a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who gave the biggest case of Disproportionate Retribution to the Eds on the show.
      • Rolf is the nicest kid to the Eds on the show. But if they (or anyone, really) messes with his heritage or Urban Ranger pride, they find out Rolf is a force to be reckoned with, from smacking Eddy senseless with a fish because Eddy accidentally offended him to smashing Edd into a pancake with a giant mallet for dressing up his pig in a tuxedo after Edd's parents (actually Ed and Eddy) told him to. Rolf even admits he admires Edd's obedience to his parents while hitting him.
      • Jonny 2X4 is just an innocent Cloudcuckoolander. But his Not-So-Imaginary Friend Plank has convinced him to do terrible things to the Eds.
      • Nazz tries to bring order to the Kids like Edd does with the Eds, but even she gives the Eds as much grief as the others.
      • Kevin is a textbook example of a Jerk Jock who messes with the Eds more than the other Kids, sometimes with little to no reason Depending on the Writer. He's sometimes a Jerkass to Jimmy and Jonny because he finds them pathetic.
    • The Kankers are worse than the Eds and Kids combined. They attack everyone else on the show, especially the Eds, who they dish out Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male almost every episode they appear in.
    • The Movie makes the Crapsack World worse, then turns it into A World Half Full. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Family Guy's Quahog, Rhode Island is a textbook example.
    • Everyone is a moron, a pervert, a Jerkass, a racist, abusive, greedy, violent, mentally ill, morally corrupt, or some combination of the above. Peter was once a casual family man with a knack for making impulsive choices in his everyday life, often leading to him having to face the inevitable and deciding to set things right, has become a manchild with an increasingly violent streak who consistently evades the law, frequently gets into unnecessary conflict with others (sometimes outright murdering them) and could possibly be the major instigator for the town's disharmony without any repercussions. Brian was a voice of reason amongst the nonsensical nature of the other characters until he turned into a huge Small Name, Big Ego and a jerkass, (at least in later seasons). Not to mention that he's so desperate for sex that he tries to get a hand job from a woman he knew for only 45 seconds and tries to have sex with high school teenagers. Joe seemed to be nice, probably since he moved from another town, but he's become more of a jerk too. Although Meg can be kind and she isn't a jerkass, she has rage issues, Yandere tendencies, and huge self-esteem problems (this was all brought on by the fact that she's the Butt-Monkey, and significantly abused by her family as well as the townspeople). Also, the mayor is a corrupt lunatic who's gotten away with killing people in public, and a rapist is allowed to walk the streets and live like a normal person (presumably because he has an amusing Catchphrase). Bonnie used to be low-key, but she turned out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who prioritizes her personal desires before her family, even abandoning her own daughter for a supposed life of excitement with Brian, and seems to be intent on murdering Joe. Even Cleveland Brown and his family turned out to be prejudiced idiots who accused someone he knew for decades of a hate crime. All in all, if you take away the humorous tone of the show, Family Guy becomes creepier than Gummo.
    • The original point was actually lampshaded by Meg in a later season, her claiming that if anyone else saw her life with the Griffins, Peter would be in jail for a lifetime, Chris would be jobless, and Lois would be alone with no friends or family. Then we get her awesome "Reason You Suck" Speech subverted by her being forced to be the family's Butt Monkey since it "keeps them together."
  • F is for Family takes place in one that's Played for Laughs - everyone's a Jerkass, a moron, a pervert, a creep, or some combination of the above.
  • The world of Futurama has many attractions to it, but at base it's a stereotypical American trailer park expanded to world size: nearly everyone is annoyed and annoying, credulous, stupid, bigoted, and rude; vital human organs are removed from unwilling donators on the city streets, at least moderately-intelligent animals, including humans, dolphins, and whales are killed for food or fuel; it is implied that there will be no qualms about synthesizing a needed oil in the cells of gene-spliced third-world orphans who would then presumably be violently harvested. The Earth's most looked-up-to figure is a megalomaniacal, genocidal (of both aliens and his own troops), jerk who's lousy in bed. And Richard Nixon, or at least his head, rules over the whole shebang, his tyranny (as before) limited only by his incompetence and self-hatred. Even Santa Claus is a postal invincible psycho who has turned Xmas into a night of terror and despair, where the populace huddle in military-grade bunkers and hope to survive his brutal rampage. Now do you want your flying car?
    • New New York is pretty well off, though, when compared to the hellhole of 31st century Los Angeles. The latter would not look out of place in a Mad Max film, and they don't even seem to have the luxury of flying cars.
    • In the episode "The Late Philip J. Fry," Bender has traveled to the year 10,000, in which society has crumbled, and has this to say:
      "Man, the future's a total craphole, and whoever lives here is a crap-faced sack of crap!"
  • In Generator Rex, after the Nanite Event, the world got a lot nastier. Everyone is infected with nanomachines that can go rogue and cause horrible mutations at any given moment. Imagine you're sitting on the bus, and out of nowhere, the guy sitting next to you screams in pain and turns into a rampaging monster that'd give H. R. Giger nightmares. Bad day to be you. Quite possibly an even worse day to be the guy who was sitting next to you. This happens around the world every day, and only one person in the entire world might be able to turn the monster back into a normal person. And if he can't turn you back, you're either killed outright, or else "contained" indefinitely, by Providence, the morally-gray (at best) international consortium that more or less runs the post-Event world.
  • In the Gorillaz universe, Murdoc Niccals was permitted, nay, required as part of his community service sentence, to look after a coma patient whose condition was Murdoc's fault in the first place. Plus three single men — one a well-known criminal and all-round sleazebag, one a ditzy prescription drug addict, and one a possession victim who may not at that time have had UK citizenship — who were, at the time, living in a building haunted by demons and zombies, apparently ran into no legal obstacles whatever when they decided to raise a ten-year-old non-English-speaking girl they found in a FedEx crate. Okay, so Noodle actually worked out fine (at least until El Manana), but ...
  • Gravity Falls's Oregon. The town is a ground zero for all sorts of weird and dangerous anomalies. There are many cryptids, monsters and even Eldritch Abominations lurking about in the shadows, and the people are either ignorant about it, or are kept in the dark of their existence.
  • The world of Invader Zim, where humans are generally stupid, ignorant, and repulsive and the world they live in is polluted and unclean. The episode "Halloween Spectacular of Spooky Doom" featured creatures from another almost hell-like dimension crossing over under the impression that the other side is a perfect world that they can ruin, but they are so repulsed by their first impressions that they immediately retreat back into their own world. The Irkens, the other main civilization featured, are a cheerfully xenocidal species that decide rank by the individual's height and whose main form of entertainment is the extermination of entire planets while eating nachos and curly fries. The main characters — being somewhat more intelligent than most of the others — nevertheless only seem able to cope by being delusional (Zim), apathetic (Gaz) or ridiculously persistent (Dib).
    • The episode "Door to Door" plays with this idea well, as Zim shows a cretinous family what will happen if they don't buy his candy — the Crapsack World will become even worse.
      • And the future he shows them is, in actuality, the fate Zim has in mind for Earth when he succeeds.
  • The appropriately named Miseryville of Jimmy Two-Shoes. The whole town has been ruled/owned by the Royally Screwed Up Heinous family for countless centuries, and they run a sadistic Mega-Corp called Misery Inc. that is wholly dedicated to making the people (who are all different kinds of demonic creatures) as miserable as possible through awful products that May Contain Evil. And to top if off, it's heavily implied to be Hell. However, Jimmy's optimistic thrill-seeking and contagious cheer helps to alleviate everyone's unhappiness to some extent, making surprisingly more tolerable than it sounds.
  • The animated series of Jumanji, more so than the film, depicts the game world as a brutal place to live, in which Alan can barely survive. Unlike many of the other examples on this page, Jumanji is not a dystopian and human Crapsack World, but a terrifying,monster-filled jungle. It's Darkest Africa on steroids.
  • Canada, according to Kevin Spencer. Kevin himself becomes somewhat Out of Focus and the storylines start being more about his drunken welfare-chiseling father, obese slut of a mother, and other minor townsfolk right about season three or so. The system has failed royally, the police, news media, and teachers don't give a shit, and the town itself is a converted landfill. Just look at season four and that happy, whistling tune playing over scenes of chaos as Kevin strolls through town, and one begins to wonder, psychological issues aside, if Kevin isn't actually the normal one here.
  • Clamburg in Making Fiends. It's been overrun by a kid in grade school with the power to create monsters, almost all the shops are closed down, and the inhabitants can't find any joy whatsoever. At one point, it was deemed unlivable, and the residents were forced to leave.
  • During the intro of The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack, Bubbie expresses the desire for Flapjack to stay in Stormalong Harbour, as she believes it safer than the many strange areas that surround it. However, this turns out to be incorrect, as many of the titular misadventures and dangers actually happen on the docks as it's a grim, dystopian place plagued by violence, dinginess, poverty, the plague, corrupt officials and jerks who can be riled up to a mob at an alarming rate. The fact that the whole universe is surreal and makes no sense plot-wise, fitting like a glove with all the characters' perception, makes it both worse and better than it would otherwise be. To be fair, that's a fairly realistic depiction of 17th-century piracy and ADVENTURE! only in a blend of modern time.
  • Megas XLR has the alternate dimension, as shown in "Rearview Mirror, Mirror".
  • Moralton in Moral Orel. Originally this was played for laughs, but by season 3 it got downright depressing with just how horrible everything was.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Magic Duel," the city of Ponyville turned into this when the Amulet-corrupted Trixie started taking control.
    • Equestria under control of any of the previous main villains was this as well — arguably.
  • Hill Valley in The Oblongs, where the wealthy residents of the Hills never receive any comeuppance for their treatment of the Valley people.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Townsville is threatened by giant monsters, super villains, bank robbers, natural disasters, and aliens on what seems to be a daily basis. On top of that, the city is always restored to it's normal state before the events of the episode with no explanation as to how the damage was repaired so quickly and how the economy hasn't collapsed from this happening constantly.
      • More explicit Crapsack Worlds were portrayed in a Bad Future where Him took over, and the Townsville portrayed in The Movie before the Powerpuff Girls were created. Even the narrator has the tone of "abandon hope all ye who enter."
    • There's also The Town of Citiesville from one episode whereas Reality Ensues, criminals run amok unstopped and everyone else there is a complete Jerkass to everyone, and especially the Girls and the Professors, being considered freaks and the Girls' heroism aren't welcome there.
  • In season 3 of ReBoot, the formerly-bustling city of Mainframe has been turned into a really nasty world.
    • It didn't help that there were 3 internet and/or computer related wars they had to deal with.
    • It gets better, but by the cliffhanger ending of the fourth season, it looks like it might be on its way back to Crapsackdom, as Megabyte takes over the mainframe. Cue the Downer Ending.
  • Rocko's Modern Life isn't safe from this trope either. Aside from the titular wallaby himself, almost everyone in O-Town are either mentally unstable or complete jerkasses. Hell, the title of the show is pretty much self-explanatory.
  • The setting of The Ren & Stimpy Show looks bright and cheerful while being messed up. It is a city full of Ax Crazies, sociopaths, perverts, jerks, morons, greedy maniacs and Nausea Fuel, not to mention the two main characters of the show: Ren is a clear mentally unstable guy, and Stimpy is a Manchild who — though in spite of sometimes acting like an idiot — is clearly more normal than his friend.
    • And George Liquor. He's an animal abuser (albeit unintentionally), Jerkass, Comedic Sociopath and Ax-Crazy, capable of the most extreme things to be the best one.
  • The Bad Future Villain World of Samurai Jack. Aku has conquered the entire planet of Earth, inflicting chaos and cruelty on its inhabitants for his own amusement. If you're not one of Aku's many slaves, chances are you're being terrorized by some ruthless criminals or predatory monsters. Half the world is technologically stuck in ancient times, while the other half is a futuristic dystopia (fragile ecosystems are destroyed for senseless industrialization, and the major hubs are cyberpunk mega-cities that put Mos Eisley to shame). Also, Aku's finally gotten bored of Earth, so he's branching out and expanding his tyranny to other planets across the known universe.
  • The Simpsons plays the trope to the extreme; Homer chokes Bart in nearly every other episode while neglecting the kids in general or brushing off whatever Marge says to him. Lisa is the only sane girl of the whole town, but even she gets caught up in whatever schemes the family gets into due to peer pressure. Bart is a mischievous Book Dumb boy who would do literally anything to get out of going to school or doing homework and nearly every shenanigans he pulls is always done for a quick giggle no matter who gets hurt. Marge is the voice of reason unless the plot demands she does something out of the ordinary. And then there's Maggie, a baby who does a better job looking after herself than her family does.
    • The whole town in general is so full of crapsack that it's the norm. The school is always dangerously underfunded while its staff pretty much barely pretends to care about its students. The police force are nothing but a group of corrupt morons that hardly catch any criminals or they always go after people for very minor infractions, such as littering. The mayor is so heavily corrupted that people don't even bat an eye at it and when the town does get angry over it, they quickly forget about it. Even the nuclear power plant practically has zero safety for its employees and the town itself due to the corruption of the multi-billionaire owner. When it comes to the town itself as a whole, everyone has taken pride in every negative light they get thrown into, such as being the most depressing town in the country, the most polluted, and the most obese. Word of God confirms that it's a horrible place to live and the only person who would have any hope of ever escaping is Lisa.
      • The heavily toxic environment is a plot point in one episode when character Frank Grimes is introduced. He's an average man who has worked hard for everything he needs to have a decent living and what does he have to show for it? A small apartment on top and below two bowling alleys, a lousy car, and having to subsist on subpar meals for dinner. Frank is heavily appalled by Homer's life being virtually perfect despite the fact he's a deadbeat parent and an irresponsible employee at his workplace, let alone an incompetent idiot. Frank's attempts to prove that this isn't how things should work fail constantly until he eventually snaps from it all and he sees everyone is blissfully oblivious of Homer's idiocy and winds up killing himself by accident from the sheer madness. The writers stated they created the Frank Grimes character to show that a "normal" person could not survive in a place like Springfield. Although generally this is discussed among fans, as many see him as a Jerkass with a short temper.
    • "The Boys of Bummer" is pretty much the textbook definition of this trope, with almost every citizen driving Bart to suicide over a lost baseball game. This episode proves how awful Springfield can be. It's safe to say that while the show plays the trope for laughs, it is also dark on a deeper level.
    • However, other secondary characters, such as Carl and the cop Lou, are the exception, and often they are the brains of those who work.
    • Another example of how awful life in Springfield is shown in the twist of the episode "The Fool Monty," where it was revealed that not only is Mr. Burns apparently immortal, but in order to be so he has to be at best a mean jerk and at worst an evil monster. So unless someone can find a way to either bankrupt or kill him (which, given the nature of the status quo in this show, neither of which is very likely), Springfield is going to be stuck with Mr. Burns forever and ever.
  • South Park is the archetypal comedic Crapsack World: it's full of racism, violence, jerks, idiots, murder, et cetera.
    • It also has the deadliest diseases in the world. As any long-time fan of South Park knows, in the eponymous town, the more common diseases like the cold and flu don't exist. When a character gets sick, it's always, and we do mean always with one of those terminal life-threatening diseases that land you in the hospital. Without Negative Continuity, the place would be heading into "Life After People" territory. In the early seasons, going to Hell's Pass Hospital for a non-life threatening condition, e.g. for a tonsillectomy or a hernia operation would indeed have killed you because the hospital staff are incredibly inept.
    • Turns out Mormonism is the only faith that's actually true, and only Mormons go to Heaven and that no matter what anyone does in their life, they'll go to Hell for pagan worship. Gandhi is in the same place as Hitler. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though. All the condos are great and there is a luau every Saturday, and Heaven is portrayed as so boring that only Mormons would enjoy it anyway.
      • Later subverted when Reality Ensues and God is forced to start letting in non-Mormons because Heaven doesn't have the manpower numbers of Hell.
    • Two words: Eric Cartman. Any world with him in it has to suck.
    • Initially, Kyle's mom could also make any place she was in a hellhole, what with declaring war with Canada over a movie. While she has gotten better over time, the rest of the parents' lack of common sense makes living in South Park hell.
  • The whole point of Stressed Eric.
  • There's a reason why in Superjail! business is always booming. The world is violent, cold and crime-filled everywhere. Do not show any signs of kindness or the predatory masses will see it as weakness. You will be robbed and beaten savagely within seconds of giving a kind word. And that's just life outside the jail. Inside the jail, led by a Reality Warper Psychopathic Manchild Warden, the inmates (thugs, terrorists, rapists and the occasional comedic — but still lethal — supervillain) are brutally murdered by a killer robot, an overly-violent Transgender woman, a Mad Scientist obsessed with Half-Human Hybrids and a couple of alien twins who wreak havoc just For the Evulz.
  • Dougal County in Squidbillies certainly qualifies.
  • SWAT Kats: For random civilians, Megakat City seems to apply. The city, or large parts of it, seems to be destroyed on a regular basis, the police are too incompetent to prevent supervillain attacks before they happen, and the local eponymous vigilantes can only stop the attacks from consuming the whole city, but usually several skyscrapers, at the least, are destroyed in the process.
  • Shredderville in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode of the same name. The Turtles think they have traveled to an alternate reality where they never existed, in which Shredder has managed to become the ruler of the world. Bebop and Rocksteady are still humans, April O'Neil and Irma are their servants, and there's a whole anti-mutant sentiment among the humans because of Krang and his Dimension X allies. On top of all that, everything in that world is falling apart, and Shredder is so inefficient as a world leader that he begs the Turtles to take him back to their world where he was never the ruler of anything.
  • Teen Titans Go!: It lives off of idiocy and jerkassery. All Played for Laughs, of course.
    • The crossover with The Powerpuff Girls (2016) does a good job of pointing it out. Mojo Jojo describes the Titans' dimension as a place where superheroes don't fight villains, and the narrator asks "What kind of horrible place is that?" When the Girls arrive, the Titans do nothing but belittle and dismiss them as "tiny, harmless babies", even as they best them in every way possible. In the end, Blossom outright calls them horrible superheroes.
  • Jefferton in Tom Goes to the Mayor, which seems to be an unpleasant mix of Suburbia and Industrial Ghetto that's shown to be an extraordinarily drab and ugly place where the people are all either apathetic, bitter, stupid, or flat-out insane. Jefferton also celebrates idiotic local holidays like Tootle Day (where dogs are married) and advertises utterly impractical and useless products like the Eez-Zee Stoolstrip Tester (a home starch detection device). Word of God says not only is it an amalgamation of every real-life crapsack town the creators had been to, it is actually the titular character's own personal Hell.
  • Cybertron, home of the Transformers, is either a burnt-out urban wasteland sucked dry of energy after eons of warfare (see Generation 1), a natural Death World for any species that aren't Mechanical Lifeforms and may be a hazard even for them (see the comics, where Cybertron's natural ecology includes huge lightning storms and seas of acid), or both.
    • Earth often isn't much better after the Transformers show up. Two armies of sentient Humongous Mecha that have been fighting for probably longer than the human race has existed have chosen our planet for their latest battleground. For extra Paranoia Fuel, those giant robots can disguise themselves as anything even vaguely mechanical, including buildings.
    • Don't turn your back on appliances either. Your boombox could turn into Soundwave or one of his minions...
  • The Venture Bros. features this pretty heavily. All of the primary characters are neatly defined by their failures, and the same goes for most secondaries. There will be no Affectionate Parody; cameos are more along the lines of a drug-crazed Johnny Quest, a world-dominating Walt Disney expy, or the Fantastic Four where Mr. Fantastic isn't the most useless one. The ONLY good character besides the Venture Brothers themselves in the whole show is a necromancer who doesn't care a whit about messing with the powers of beyond and black magicks.
    • However, Dr. Girlfriend and The Monarch have proven themselves to be a genuinely loving couple, and as shown throughout the third season, plenty of the other characters have shown to have some unselfish positives about themselves, too.


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