"Cosy Catastrophe" is a term coined by Brian Aldiss note . The End of the World as We Know It has arrived and ... our heroes feel fine. Sure, it's a pity for all those billions who just perished at the hands of super-plague/aliens/nuclear war. But for our safe, middle-class heroes, it means a chance to quit their day job, steal expensive cars without feeling guilty, sleep in a five-star hotel for free, and relax while the world falls apart around them. Maybe things weren't as good as they were in The Beforetimes, but all in all, life is still enjoyable. Especially if you brought your dog.
Maybe later they'll band together to recreate a humble yet sustainable pretechnological society. Maybe, if they're of mixed genders, they'll see it as their duty to repopulate the species (wink wink). Maybe they'll just learn to accept the extinction of the human race with quiet dignity. Either way, the end of the world shouldn't be the ... end of the world, so to speak.
Expect Arcadia since there's not as much pollution and construction.
Many have noted that the popularity of the Zombie Apocalypse in media is probably in part due to this trope. For people's sensibilities, a future in which you may be prey to flesh-hungry ghouls is worth it if at least you don't have to face all of the pressures and responsibilities of modern life anymore. In many ways, it makes life more interesting.
A high form of Escapism, as who wouldn't want to drop all the pressures of modern life, with the odd chance to prove your bravery and resilience? Compare with Scavenger World, After the End. Usually goes hand in hand with Apocalyptic Logistics. See also Disaster Democracy and Angst? What Angst?.
- In a beer commercial, an average looking guy is stranded on a desert island with a supermodel, complete with several cases of ice-cold (don't ask how) beer. The two of them think they hear a rescue plane so the guy assures the girl he'll try and signal one if he sees it. By using shells, rocks, palm fronds and his own body (for the Y), he does get a message out to some would-be rescuers: "GO AWAY".
- Played with in Axis Powers Hetalia: Paint it White where the embodiments of Switzerland and Liechtenstein share a sweet picnic together while the rest of the world reels from an Alien Invasion.
- Also done at the beginning of the movie, when good chunks of the world are being turned into aliens. The meeting held to figure out what course of action to take ends with them arguing over which of them makes the best kind of movies.
- Beginning in episode 4 (out of 7) of Freedom, Takeru and Biz escape from the dystopian government on the Moon and crash-land their spacecraft in the ruins of Las Vegas. Even though the survivors on Earth After the End live in poverty, have lost most forms of technology and can grow crops only with great difficulty, for some reason seafood-flavored Cup Noodles are readily available, and everyone the protagonists meet is cheerful, friendly and optimistic. They safely drive 2400 miles to Cape Canaveral without getting waylaid by bandits or anything. This is perhaps the most sympathetic portrayal of Americans ever to be seen in an anime: possibly a subversion of Eagleland, the message seeming to be that Americans would be great folks to be around if they didn't have any money or government.
- "Freedom" was commissioned by Nissin Cup Noodles as a promotional film, so of course they've got to work ramen in there somewhere...
- Girls' Last Tour has Chito and Yuuri surviving the collapse of civilization after an Unspecified Apocalypse a century earlier. They're surprisingly optimistic about traveling their dying world where civilization has long collapsed, humanity's numbers are too low to repopulate, and most life has vanished. Each day is the same, with them searching for food, supplies, and shelter. All in all, they seem content with life as they spend it Walking the Earth, simply living day to day.
- Dragon Ball Z exhibits this trope in The History Of Trunks. Despite the fact that the androids have wiped out two-thirds of Earth's population, life in cities they haven't attacked yet is shown to be unaffected.
- Humanity Has Declined: Humans as we know them aren't going to last much longer, most technology is gone, starvation is a real threat... but society has survived, and the standard of living isn't all that low.
- In Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea, sea levels rise by some 20 meters around the island where the story takes place, which would likely wipe out everything on it. Still, most anyone in the movie is shown to have fun and the focus stays on the relationship between Sosuke and Ponyo. It's strongly implied that there are no casualties at all (no human ones, anyway).
- Zig-Zagging Trope in Recently, This World Became Only Mine (A NSFW manga bordering on Hentai). The plot focuses on the disappearance of most of humanity, seemingly leaving behind a lone Nymphomaniac named Miki. While there are some instances of Reality Ensues that makes life for her a little complicated, she gets through it and mostly exploits her situation to indulge in mindless hedonism such as exhibitionism while also trying to solve what happened to humanity, and later meeting other supposed survivors. The end of the story reveals that the whole situation was a sort of Afterlife Antechamber. In real life, all but one of the other survivors were Miki's online friends who she went on a boat trip with, but the boat capsized and killed them while leaving Miki in a coma. The friends desperately wanted her to come with them to the afterlife while the non-friend survivor turned out to be a psychic who was trying to bring her out of her coma. In the end, she chose to return to life.
- School-Live! is basically a School Girl Series set in a Zombie Apocalypse. While members of the cast periodically show the psychological toll the event had on them, one of them is subject to delusions in which everything is as it was before the apocalypse and she's living at the school as a club activity. Her clubmates and fellow survivors basically play along with it. The school also happens to have solar panels, a water purification system and plenty of supplies (though they sometimes need to leave the shelter to get more food), which is great help in the playing along. All that equipment gets destroyed later on, by circumstances beyond the girl's control.
- Despite having barely survived an apocalyptic war at some point, the world in Sound of the Sky is surprisingly doing well for itself. Sure there's the possibility that the Earth's dying but life had moved on.
- Episode 4 of Space Dandy results in the entire universe and every last life form (including robots and narrators) becoming zombified. Unlife continues on as normal for everyone and there is no more wars, sickness, or discrimination, though films from George Romero become obscenely popular.
- Sunday Without God: With no new life being born, the world is slowly coming to an end, but society has generally adapted to this lack of true death and new life, and Ai still intends to try to save the world, so she travels the world with her companions and helps those she meets.
- Urusei Yatsura: This is the prologue to the second movie, Beautiful Dreamer. The plot returns to this territory after the protagonists Pull the Thread on the surreal "Groundhog Day" Loop they had been stuck in, with the rest of Tomobiki crumbling to ruins except for Ataru's house... and a nearby abandoned convenience store that mysteriously remains stocked with fresh groceries for no apparent reason. It's all a Lotus-Eater Machine revolving around Lum and her wishes to spend time having fun with her friends and her Darling forever.
- Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou (Yokohama Shopping Trip) is one of the most laid-back depictions of the twilight of humanity ever; as seen through the eyes of an android coffee shop owner.
- Yuki Yuna is a Hero takes place on something of a post-apocalyptic Earth where the section of Japan the girls live on is the only surviving area. Aside from the Shinju-sama worship, everything is pretty normal.
- Zekkyou Gakkyuu has an epilogue for The Boyfriend Lesson reveal this to be happening. Virtual humans, created through cellphone apps, have replaced majority of humanity and the natural birthrate is at zero. After all, why bother going through the trouble of finding a partner and raising children, when one can so easily just create the perfect one with a few clicks? And the virtual humans are so pleasant to be around that even the Prime Minister, who may be one of the few real humans left, says that "nature should just take its course" and let things happen.
- Deconstructed in the Raymond Briggs comic When the Wind Blows, and its animated adaptation. A kindly but naive elderly couple hunker down as a devastating nuclear war begins. Due to the government's poor education of the public about the matter, coupled with their total failure to understand how serious the situation is (they lived through the Blitz in WWII and think it's just like that. It's not), they end up dying slowly and painfully from radiation sickness. The worst part is that their lack of understanding of radiation leads to them making things worse, as they don't realize how stupid and self-defeating the poorly written government pamphlets are (they're told to yank doors off hinges to use as a makeshift inner shelter, than a few pages later are told to leave the doors in place and barricades).
- El Eternauta starts out kinda like that... But then it gets much, much worse.
- Deconstructed in Ghosts of Evangelion. When Shinji and Asuka were the only humans left alive, they scavenged freely the ruins to find food. But when Shinji took a cello from a music store, Asuka pointed out he was stealing, and maybe the owner would return to the real world and find he was missing a cello.
- Zig-Zagging Trope in The Second Try. After TI, Shinji and Asuka take up residence in a subsistence farm that came out of the event mostly intact. The place was a nice find; fully self supportive with solar panels and batteries, a generator, rainwater collection system, usable garden, room for livestock, cozy living conditions, a fully stocked repair shed, and a working truck with the added bonus of being close to several city ruins ripe for scavenging. However, they had to work REALLY HARD to make it work.
- On a planet-sized level in Shepard's R&R. The Serenity system, home of the Ponies, was spared from the horror that was the Reaper War. Now that the galaxy is decimated from the conflict, the bountiful resources of the Serenity system plus the amazing magical abilities of the ponies are something the Council absolutely must acquire to prevent galactic collapse, so they send Commander Shepard to secure their aid.
- Zig-zagged in Ambience: A Fleet Symphony. On one end there are places like Inner Chicago that were not hit by the nukes and are barely changed from pre-war. On the other end are bombed out, irradiated and abandoned places like Houston or Atlantic City. Then there're places that are anywhere in between.
- Gensokyo 20XX, specifically, 20XXIII- most of 20XXIV seems play with this. For the most part, after the nukes drop, the characters struggle to live and survive, especially as the winter starts and things start running scarce. Adding to this, few characters (Sakuya, Reiko, Patchouli, and most of Ran's litter) die in the aftermath. It's only until much later in 20XXIV and 20XXV does things get cozy.
- My Name Is Molly reinterprets Animal Crossing as taking place in one. All adults have died due to The Plague and all the healthy children have been turned into Funny Animals, erased of their memories, and shipped away to live in secluded towns. They're happy and content, though a lot of the happiness is forced upon them using medicine.
- In Zombieland, the apocalypse actually improves the main character's life and learning to enjoy life is as much a survival trait as being able to fire a shotgun. Then again the apocalypse was so devastating that there may be as few as six people left alive at this point. Nobody left has any long-term goals besides survival and keeping themselves sane.
- The world of Delicatessen had a relatively cozy catastrophe, as the mail is still delivered, everyone's basically middle class, and while people are eaten (according to set rules), life goes on pretty a-ok.
- Played as satire in Night of the Comet, where Earth's passage through a comet's tail turns most animal life into red powder. The only survivors in Los Angeles, aside from some Zombie Apocalypse cannibals, are a pair of Valley Girl sisters ... who immediately hit the mall and play dress-up. The electricity just keeps on chugging through and beyond the end of the movie, and before the comet's effects are felt by the characters, a news reporter doesn't seem at all alarmed by reports that all communication has gone dead in the first region of the world to see the comet, and everyone else is too busy holding "comet parties" to notice.
- The Last Man On Earth and The Omega Man, both film adaptations of the original I Am Legend novel, have Neville living a relatively civilised post-apocalyptic life. Same with the 2007 adaptation of the same name: Neville is a Crazy-Prepared scientist with a fair amount of supplies which allows him to live in relative peace and luxury in his house, even playing golf and browsing through video stores. He's also slowly but steadily going insane from loneliness, with a good helping of Survivor Guilt on top, so maybe it's not quite as cosy as all that.
- Although not the end of the world, the end of Fight Club fits this description in a sense. In fact, the entire point is to create this, to break everything down and start over new.
Tyler Durden: In the world I see you're stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.
- Shaun of the Dead: This is exactly Shaun's plan. The "plan" being rounding up his friends and family, going to the local pub, and waiting there until it all blows over. Suffice to say, it doesn't exactly work.
- Dawn of the Dead (2004) has this in a brief montage, wherein the survivors simply enjoy the benefits of living in an abandoned, secure mall. At least until the fuse boxes go out in the desolate, abandoned basement. A similar event happens in the original, towards the end of the movie.
- Godzilla: Final Wars features a pair of Antarctic workers charged with watching over Godzilla's prison, one of whom apparently views the alien apocalypse as a chance to enjoy his croissants and comic books in peace. He and his co-worker are the first victims of the newly awakened Godzilla.
- In The Quiet Earth, almost all of humanity disappears, leaving the handful of survivors with everyone else's stuff.
- Juan in a Million: not only do the power plants keep chugging, the Internet is still up!
- Justified as it's essentially a modern fairy tale set in a post-apocalypse scenario, in How I Live Now a nuclear weapon explodes in London killing tens if not hundreds of thousands. However for the kids it's an opportunity to explore some first-cousin sex, play outside a lot and have sleepovers in the barn. Even the kids were hit by fallout material from the blast, no one is made ill by it. Additionally it appears that the nuclear attack may have been limited only to England or even just London, with the rest of the world unaffected. However the situation becomes a lot less comfortable once martial law has been instituted, and it's revealed that the terrorists have contaminated the water supply and control parts of England (they are powerful enough to successfully fight an off-guard UK military for now at least).
- At the end of The World's End, the alien Big Bad decides to leave Earth and destroys all human technology out of spite, sending the world into a psuedo-medieval state. Nonetheless, the protagonists seem to deal with it just fine along with either fixing some old relationships or establishing new ones. In the case of Gary, his hedonistic and selfish ways lend itself well into this new world.
- In Avengers: Endgame, Thanos' extermination of half of all life in the universe does not have the apocalyptic consequences you'd expect. While there are some deserted neighborhoods around the world after a Five Year Time Skip, the worst consequence anyone has to deal with is depression, rather than total infrastructural or societal collapse. Several characters even eat out at a restaurant in one scene.
- John Wyndham:
- The Day of the Triffids is one of the archetypical examples, with the eponymous killer plants running (well, lurching) amok after most of the human population is blinded. However, despite being the original target of the trope, it doesn't actually fit it at all. The protagonist faces constant danger and hardship, and the closest he comes to comfort before the end of the book is a rudimentary life of subsistence farming with the constant threat of death if anyone makes a single mistake.
- Another Wyndham book with this theme is The Kraken Wakes, in which the Earth's seas are colonized by unseen aliens; the aliens eventually melt the polar icecaps, causing world-wide flooding.
- In an interview about his sequel The Night of the Triffids, Simon Clark said he deliberately exaggerated the trope; civilization has collapsed, but there's still afternoon tea.
- Another author mentioned by Aldiss in the essay is R C Sheriff, whose novel The Hopkins Manuscript deals with an English farmer trying to get by in the tough times that follow a worldwide disaster. The tone of the book is set by the first scene, in which teatime is interrupted by the collision of the Moon with the Earth, but resumes.
- The Changes by Peter Dickinson (and BBC Children's Television spin-off). Funny noise/feeling causes everyone in England to reject all technology beyond the horse and cart.
- The Martian Chronicles features a man who, after a Martian colony was abandoned, is one of the last humans on Mars. He enjoys it for a while.
- Fredric Brown's short story "The Waveries" is about alien microbes that "eat" electricity, causing virtually all technology to stop working. People are surprisingly ok with this.
- The short story "The Highway" by Ray Bradbury takes place in a Mexican village after a nuclear war has destroyed the outside world. Despite the holocaust and the ensuing flood of refugees, the residents of the village continue to live their lives as if nothing happened.
- On the Beach, a 1957 novel (written by Nevil Shute), The Film of the Book (made in 1959, directed by Stanley Kramer), and a made-for-television movie based on the book (made in 2000) each handle the story slightly differently, although the plot remains that of a Cozy Catastrophe. Nuclear war has devastated the whole world, except for Australia. The winds will bring the radioactivity soon enough, but until then, life goes on largely as normal.
- "On the Beach" is a special case. Depending on the reader, it may either be this trope played dead straight, or it may be a psychologically-horrifying subversion: it takes place in a world decimated from nuclear warfare. The northern hemisphere barely exists anymore, but in Southern Australia the book's protagonists are drinking tea and waiting calmly for the fallout to reach them, knowing that when it does, virtually all life on earth will be destroyed.
- The 1959 movie focuses on the captain of an American sub that was at sea in the Pacific during the war. The sub makes its way to Melbourne, and a romance ensues. With the sub commander played by Gregory Peck, a nuclear scientist played by Fred Astaire, and Peck's Australian love interest played by Ava Gardner, how can their behavior be anything but civilized, gracious and dignified?
- The 2000 made for TV movie has a lot more conflict and angst than either the earlier movie or the book, but much of that is due to the trend toward Darker and Edgier that was in full swing when it was made. So the end is nearer, the American sub commander (Armand Assante) is more abrasive, the Australians in general are less welcoming, and the Australian Love Interest (Rachel Ward) and the scientist (Bryan Brown) are ex-lovers.
- S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series, in which the mysterious Change has killed off high-energy-density technology (electricity, gunpowder, steam engines...), is at least a partial example of this trope; while many of the successful survivors are unusual in some way—bush pilot, ex-SAS, member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, etc—the only "gangs" that do really well are the ones specifically recruited by a would-be warlord to serve as muscle. In general, having a sense of community and a willingness to work hard is more valuable than mere combat readiness. Sitting around waiting for the Army to show up and fix things is also explicitly noted as being generally fatal.
- All of this is true, but as the series progresses, the protagonists explicitly note they have either fallen into the luckiest string of fortunate coincidences ever or, far more likely, some powerful behind-the-scenes force is assisting and/or guiding them; by the end of the third book, they're receiving overt psychic visions. The chance that this is all somehow tied directly into the Change is very high.
- Sheer mathematics mean they have to be lucky. If 99% of the population dies, anyone who survives will be lucky; anyone who survives and does well will have to be very lucky. Someone has to be on the end of the bell curve.
- The survivors also note that their catastrophe isn't particularly cozy except compared to the slow or quick deaths of almost everybody else. One person is grateful to be carrying buckets of milk on a yoke across her shoulders—80 pounds total per trip—because she was carrying them at the ends of her arms—through more than one pregnancy—for years after the catastrophe hit because making a carry yoke was #1,032 on a looooong list of urgent priorities.
- The Girl Who Owned a City, a children's novel, where The Plague wiped out everyone on Earth over the age of twelve (in two weeks' time...). The novel's suburban children get on quite well in this curiously clean, decay-free world. Or at least they do once the novel's heroine steps in and teaches them.
- One of the ultimate examples may be George R. Stewart's timeless Earth Abides, which depicts most of humankind dying off due to a super-plague, and the ones left to repopulate the earth are fairly ordinary people who aren't at all badasses or Well-Intentioned Extremists. The protagonist, Isherwood Williams, is a Wide-Eyed Idealist who starts off with the intention of rebuilding civilization, but in his old age settles into comfort with the idea that, although technology has been set back to the Stone Age, the spirit of humanity lives on. The book also plays with this as the protagonist initially roams the US looking for survivors. On one hand, he finds a group fulfilling this trope living a reasonably comfortable life from looted goods in New York, but realizes they'll be doomed when the food runs out, or when winter comes. On the other, he meets a family of black semi-literate sharecroppers deep in the rural South, still growing their own vegetables and raising animals just as they did before the plague. Their descendants are probably doing just as well as (or even better than) Ish's tribe.
- In 'The City, Not Long After' a plague has wiped out a pretty large percent of the world population, but never mind. The remainder is too poor and diffuse to fight and, with the leftovers of civilization, they have plenty of support till they develop an agrarian society. The artists in the remains of San Francisco have pretty infinite art supplies.
- In Little, Big, the protagonists are largely untouched at first on their large private estate by the chaos gripping the American continent. As things get gnarlier, the place starts falling apart, the electricity goes out, and there's no way to get material to make routine repairs.
- Arto Paasilinna's Maailman paras kylä (non-translated) is about a quiet village where people till the fields, look after their own, and don't care overmuch about the goings-on in the wide world as don't concern them. Meanwhile the world's economy collapses, World War III starts, and a giant asteroid obliterates or floods two continents. The villagers send out a couple of folks to sell a crashed nuke, and have the children sing hymns to pass the time until the sun reappears. The thing doesn't have a plot as much as a saunter.
- Stephen King's Night Surf (appears in the collection Night Shift) is a kind of early version of The Stand that features a group of teens in a small New England town in a world that has been almost depopulated by "A6" superflu. They are traumatized by the deaths of almost everyone they have ever known, but at least they know they are immune. Then one of them catches A6. The Stand itself qualifies too. The characters are pretty upset as the superflu kills their friends and family off, but after the community in Boulder is settled everyone seems to be in pretty good spirits.
- Two nerdy college kids do pretty well during governmental collapse in Noise.
- In the short story "Fields" by Desmond Warzel, the world is overcome by mutant wheat that chokes out all other vegetation; after most of the people of Cleveland have fled (futilely, it is implied) for greener pastures, the narrator, a homeless man, relaxes by reading and eating canned food—he considers himself better off. When other stragglers arrive, they form teams and while away their days playing baseball.
- Evelyn Smith's short story "The Last of the Spode" is set in a gently post-apocalyptic England, where a handful of survivors play tennis, try to discuss the problem of repopulating the planet without getting too coarse, and drink tea from the last of the Spode.
- The world following the Rapture in the Left Behind books. Crashed airlines, mass disappearances, and political upheaval everywhere, but the trash is still getting collected, airline flights are uninterrupted, and it's safe to walk the streets at night.
- It arguably gets more cozy right on the day of Jesus' second coming, at least for the believers. Conveniently, the world's economic system crashes with the destruction of New Babylon on the same day that Jesus comes. Everyone on Carpathia's side who isn't in Carpathia's Unity Army, and who isn't so determined to go forward with destroying the Christians and Jews in Petra and Jerusalem, is in a world-wide panic.
- The latter half of the Tribulation gets somewhat cozy for the believers. Sure, they're still getting hunted down and beheaded by those who take the Mark of the Beast. But bloody rivers? God provides clean water. Sun-baking heat that scorches everything? Exposure to the Son will keep believers from burning. Pitch-black darkness over New Babylon? God will provide some level of visibility. Petra is basically a Place of Protection that nobody on Carpathia's side can even enter.
- Society is a bit like this in The Diamond of Darkhold. Of course, the events of that book take place about 200 years after The End of the World, so nobody actually has any idea what happened, and the simple farming life is all that the people of Sparks know.
- In World War Z, a handful of countries managed to get by almost unscathed through the Zombie Apocalypse: Israel was pretty much the only nation that took the initial zombie threat seriously while Ireland and Cuba were isolated enough to be zombie-free. On the other hand, the Israelis had to contend with a brief civil war against ultra-Orthodox dissidents over abandoning Jerusalem and letting in goyim, and Cuba faced democratic upheaval with Fidel Castro willingly giving it to his people, guaranteeing his own legacy and ensuring he didn't get toppled over by an increasingly overpopulated, diverse, and liberal populace. North Korea meanwhile attempted pulling this off through having its entire population go underground to wait out the zombie apocalypse. Decades later, no one's in a rush to figure out whatever became of them.
- The 1959 novel Alas, Babylon starts off making some serious points about nuclear war and the prevailing military doctrine of the time, but then quickly turns post-nuclear survival into a delightful robinsonade resembling The Mysterious Island.
- The protagonists of David Weber novel Out of the Dark are Crazy-Prepared militants who—somehow—successfully anticipate an alien invasion. This allows them to easily defend their homesteads, wives, and children for a good while, before they are finally pulled into the conflict by the arrival of Dracula. Yeah.
- The poem The Strange Horses by Edwin Muir, often included in school literature textbooks, depicts a Cosy Catastrophe in which farmers (presumably on the island of Orkney, where Muir grew up) experience from far off the "war that put the world to sleep": they see a battleship piled with bodies pass by, and then their radios go dead, and they never hear from the outside world again. Then the "strange horses" show up from the wild, willingly taming themselves to help plow their fields now that their tractors don't work. It sounds better in poetry.
- The reign of the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe appears to have been this for the native Narnians. Sure, the Witch is by all accounts a tyrannical ursurper with a ruthless secret police and a tendency to turn people to stone for annoying her, and her reign is marked by a hundred years of constant winter — but this doesn't keep locals like Mr. Tumnus or the Beavers from enjoying a modest-but-perfectly-cozy lifestyle, and once Aslan returns there are apparently plenty of healthy Narnians to flock to his cause and form a proper army while the Witch has her own servants and allies in some quantity, so it would seem that food, firewood, clothes (where needed) and in the case of Mrs. Beaver even her precious sewing machine all kept managing to come from somewhere in all this time. (For that matter, when Aslan's return puts a sudden end to the century of winter, the abrupt thaw seems to miraculously have no negative side effects whatsoever either, though that one can potentially be explained away by Aslan being rather literally Lion Jesus.)
- Alfred Bester's seriocomic novella "They Don't Make Life Like They Used To" features the last man and woman on earth — at least, they think they might be — carrying on near-normal daily lives in a decimated postnuclear midtown Manhattan. Linda has refurbished the Kerbs Boathouse in Central Park, living there with her collection of dolls, obtaining decorations, clothing and supplies by breaking into shops and leaving IOU's. Jim, a bartender and Vietnam vet, is Walking the Earth in search of people who know about television so he can restart a station in New Haven. They form a pleasant platonic friendship, and their conversation, even about the disaster and how they survived, is casual and everyday, until Linda checks out details of his story and realizes that Jim is in even more denial than she is. It takes an Alien Invasion to shock them into present-day reality.
- In Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy, 2014 was the year that cancer and the common cold were cured. Unfortunately the cure lead to a virus-based zombie plague. The good news is that the USA was able to beat back the zombies in their part of the world, leading to zombies regularly culled by gov't kill teams until they're down to managable sizes. Newsflesh takes place in 2039 and despite the zombie plague, the country's technological infrastructure was barely damaged, this means that their technology (especially smart homes, internet infrastructure and biotech) continues to develop and improve.
- Ahh, the '80s and their World War 3 post-apocalypses. Perhaps the most optimistic of these, was Ryder Stacy's Doomsday Warrior series. Sure there was nuclear war, Soviets enslaving large chunks of the USA and scummy mutants and road warrior thugs being assholes. However our heroes come from Century City, a futuristic protected domed city, where benign mutants including the main protagonist Super Soldier live, with the USA actually advancing in technology because of an Omni Disciplinary Scientist and a bunch of hyper-intelligent mutants (to the point where the American rebels were able to repel the Soviet invaders because of their superior tech and good ol' American pluck).
- The Year of the Cloud sees the main characters riding out the apocalyptic transformation of the world's water into a thick gel aboard a rich couple's yacht supplied with copious amounts of booze.
- The Last Man on Earth is an After the End story about the very few survivors of a virus that eradicated humanity, and how they group together. Phil Miller nearly falls into suicidal despair at one point, but is living a fairly comfortable existence in a world that's strangely lacking in either dead bodies or destruction. Or so it seems to the characters, most of whom are in denial about how bad things are. As time goes on they're increasingly forced to deal with the reality of their situation, such as the fact that their food (stolen from abandoned stores) will run out. The illusion is shattered completely in the second season when Phil II dies of appendicitis because nobody has the medical training or supplies to help him.
- Curiosity: One episode of this Science Channel's series, which addressed the question of if scientific advances could make people live forever, had a scenario where a transhuman Adam Savage not only survives an apocalypse triggered by a meteor hitting San Francisco, but thrives despite the fact that at this point, Savage is a cyborg who cannot survive without the advanced technology which the aforementioned apocalypse rendered quite scarce.
- Revolution: Despite the collapse of modern civilization, things don't look that bad. Indeed, episode 14 shows that the Georgia Federation is a pretty nice place to live, with business, wealth, and international trade.
- Survivors: The BBC series has a virus (according to the title sequence, created in China) spreading around the world. The mostly white, mostly middle-class survivors quickly band together and start creating small self-sustainable farming operations, and go travelling about Britain, meeting other survivors and trying to help them and set up communications and even establish some new sort of order. And everyone still drinks a Spot of Tea every now and then, too.
- Three Moons Over Milford: This short-lived series takes place after a meteor hits the moon and shatters it into pieces, with pieces of debris falling from the sky in growing numbers. Despite the fact that everyone is all too aware of the fact that eventually one of the larger pieces will inevitably fall and destroy them all, life on Earth goes on as normal with everyone trying to pretend things are fine.
- The Tribe: A genetically-engineered virus wipes out all the adults and quite a lot of the children in the world over some indeterminate timescale, but apart from some low-level fighting (the survivors are, after all, children), life continues. The children first scavenge what remains, and then return to farming to survive in small tribes dotted throughout the city and countryside. They seem able to recreate society to a roughly mid-20th century level (some machinery, electricity, computers/TVs) though a bit patchy in places.
- The sequel series, The New Tomorrow shows that attempts to rebuild modern society ended up falling short (perhaps caused by the second outbreak of the Virus at the end of the original series), leading to life reverting to a more decidedly iron-age level of technology (farmers, hunter/gatherers, feudal system among the Privs). This is apparently long enough after the events of The Tribe that said events have progressed into myth. Although bizarrely enough, there's still no adults around...
- The short-lived FOX series Woops! saw a ragtag bunch of Nuclear Holocaust survivors stumble onto an abandoned but viable farm.
- The Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring the film Warrior of the Lost World devoted a sketch to lampshading the ample greenery and well-maintained roads of the film's post-apocalyptic future.
Crow: You know, Joel, I have to say what with the lush, green countryside, the well-maintained roads and buildings, and the ready availability of transportation, food, and fuel, I'm kinda looking forward to the Apocalypse!
Servo: Yeah, provided that Paper Chase Guy doesn't survive!
Joel: Guys, that's a terrible thing to say - nobody's looking forward to the Apocalypse, though I do agree with you about the Paper Chase Guy.
Servo: Yeah, but — Look at it this way, Joel; factor out the unfathomable human loss, and a guy could really get a lot done!
- Another occasion has them talk about what they would do if the world ended. Tom would drive cars off of cliffs all day by putting cinderblocks on their pedals. Crow would wear football gear and jump through windows.
- The Alexandria arc on The Walking Dead shows the collision of one group of survivors living a Cozy Catastrophe with another who has been fighting for their lives for years. The former think the latter act like savages, and the latter think the former are weak and sheltered. Amusingly enough, both groups are right about each other.
- Deconstructed on Years and Years. The fact that the Lyons family's lives aren't too badly affected by the growing instability of the world means that they can safely go on ignoring it until it finally starts to affect them directly.
- Fairly obviously: "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M. It doesn't make oodles of sense, but one can assume it's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- One interpretation of the song is about how the rich of society are happy to let the end of the world run its course, whether it be due to their own negligence or unwillingness to change, as long as it doesn't affect them. (This requires actually hearing the ultra fast lyrics, however).
- Or that everything people crow about being the "end of civilization!" or "this changes everything!" isn't really that big a deal at all. It's basically an argument against knee-jerk reactions and the fear of change.
- The Decemberists' "Calamity Song", which is a refreshingly peppy and fun song about, well, the apocalypse.
"Had a dream, of you and me in the war of the end times
And I believe, California succumbed to the fault line
We heaved relief, as scores of innocents died."
- "Natural Immunity" by Supercommuter is about a man who specifically invoked this trope by hiding his natural immunity to a world ending disease so a vaccine wouldn't be made.
- Alice Cooper's song "Last Man On Earth" is about a guy who wakes up one morning to find that he's, well, the last man on earth. And instead of being depressed about it, he proceeds to sing about why it's awesome.
- "The End of the World" by Lenka is an upbeat song about a girl who is perfectly fine with dying as long as she dies with her loved one.
At the end of the world, we'll be together, be together
If I can spend it with you, then the end of the world don't matter
- The protagonist of "The Story Of Willy" by King Missile has this perspective on the impending apocalypse ("Today is a special day, the last day of planet Earth, and I'm going to enjoy myself"). Even when he finds his friend Bob has committed suicide, he resolves to wait until Bob's wife gets home and take her out dancing. Of course, because this is King Missile we're talking about here, Willy then gets run over by a runaway steamroller.
- Early Shadowrun products' Alternate History timeline depicted downtown New York City being virtually leveled by an earthquake in 2004, and tallied the damages around 200 billion dollars. Even at 1989 prices, that figure seems preposterously like this trope, as does the premise that even that game-setting's Mega-Corp powerhouses could finance its reconstruction in a matter of a couple of decades.
- GURPS Autoduel/Car Wars portrays Australia as having become a quasi superpower because it is the only continent not affected by grain blight, and their cars even run on gasoline. Pretty cushy place, if you can deal with the outrageous quarantine regulations and you're not trying to leap the Cobalt Curtain.
- The setting-defining event of Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine is that the sun went out (more specifically, she was shot down by an arrow) and the world collapsed into a metaphysical Primordial Chaos. Then a new sun rose in the place of the old and most people picked themselves back up and went on with their lives. Just how big a deal this is depends entirely on the campaign.
- Pathfinder had a horrible catastrophe 10,000 years ago as part of its backstory; a giant asteroid fell, destroyed an entire continent, and the resulting dust blocked out the sun for a thousand years. Empires crumbled, mass extinctions occurred, actual gods perished, and civilization as a whole was destroyed...except in Nidal. The people there made a deal with the god Zon Kuthon, who provided for them in return for their devotion, giving them food and shelter. Even now with things recovered, Nidal is basically the oldest civilization in the world, the only one that can trace its roots all the way back to before the disaster, and has knowledge and traditions dating from that time. The downside to getting such a Cozy Catastrophe? Zon Kuthon is the god of pain and darkness, and to date Nidal is under his thumb.
- You can achieve this in most apocalypse survival games that feature a base-building mechanic. Build a mighty fortress, stock enough scavenged supplies, and you can spend days on end within, with hardly a care and ignoring any zombies, raiders or monsters marauding outside.
- Ironically, this is usually the point where the game isn't much fun anymore.
- Exmortis 2 features a small and peaceful community of farmers isolated from the apocalyptic carnage that the Exmortis demons are unleashing on the rest of the world. Of course, by the time the PC actually finds this place, the inhabitants have been slaughtered, but one of the farmers was considerate enough to leave a lengthy journal recording the disasters in the outside world, the measures put in place to defend themselves from approaching Exmortis, and the foraging expeditions to abandoned settlements. Of course, with supernatural entities roaming the Earth in search of humans to torture and murder, the cosy catastrophe lasts only until the first air-horn sounds.
- In Fallout 3, Allistair Tenpenny lives (along with those who can afford it) in a giant fancy hotel in the middle of a Crapsack World.
- Fallout: New Vegas explores this further. On the west coast, instead of the land being rendered near-unlivable by the Great War, everything just reverted back to the 1880s save for locations and things like The Strip and the occasional Killer Robot or two. Most people seem to live fairly relaxed lives thanks to the NCR and the significant lack of raiders after a period of relative anarchy. Then things started improving, before getting downright civilized. However, a few of the descriptions for the Boneyard (former LA) suggest that parts are still pretty dodgy. The game tries to highlight every ending's positive and negative effects, but the only negative effect the developer could think of for supporting the NCR is slightly higher tax rates!
- In contrast to the aforementioned Crapsack World of Fallout 3, the American Southwest has running electricity, non-radioactive water, actual non-lethal wildlife and fully-functional communities, things that the Capital Wasteland denizens wish they had. This is best shown in Novac, where the town has all of the above, plus two snipers for protection, and one sniper's wife still thinks it's a hellhole. Some of other townfolk agree.
- Fallout: New Vegas might even count as a subversion for some of the escapist aspects. Living in the NCR or New Vegas means you'll have to face a lot of the same trials you face in real lifepaying bills, holding down a job, and so forth. It might not be as fast-paced as today, but it'd be comparable to the early 20th century.
- The entire point of the Vaults was to provide this for their residents in the event of a nuclear war, being heavily marketed with this trope in mind. After the Great War indeed came to pass, the reality of long-term survival underground proved to be a lot different from what people imagined, especially for those unfortunate to become unwitting participants of the Vault Experiments.
- While a lot of the Commonwealth in Fallout 4 isn't great, life in Diamond City is actually pretty good. There's a farm in the outfield supplying crops, a butcher supplying fresh meat, fresh water, a functional schoolhouse, and a few permanent stores as well as a pretty constant stream of traders. The city even has a barber, private detective, radio station, upscale restaurant, newspaper, and plastic surgeon. The only downside to living in Diamond City is the constant threat of the Institute and their synths, but even then, the so-called "War for the Commonwealth" barely touches its largest settlement.
- Depending on how much the player decides to work on settlement building, the Commonwealth can be transformed from a society barely scraping along to a region with a dozen booming metropolises and interconnected trade routes.
- Although the world isn't in a great shape, Francis from Left 4 Dead thinks the zombie apocalypse is the best thing that every happened to him. No cops, no law, no worries.
- The marketing department rebranded it as the "Awesomepocalypse", but Sunset Overdrive is self-consciously about this trope. What should you do when nearly everyone in the world has turned into soda-crazed monsters from too much partying? Grab a skateboard, a couple submachine guns, and party even harder! Just... don't drink the soda this time.
- This seemingly applies to most of Bright Falls' residents in Alan Wake; despite a dark presence engulfing the town at night, numerous residents going Ax-Crazy and a whole series of mysterious events being dictated by Dr. Hartman and the very real boogeyman Barbara Jagger, most of the residents seem to be either totally ignorant to the happenings or too drugged/mentally ill to notice. Even more notable in that people just seem to shrug off odd occurrences note due to their frequency around Deer Festival.
- Dead Rising and its sequel are pretty much "Cosy Catastrophe: The Game.'' The zombies are only dangerous in packs (though there are a LOT of them) and aside from rescuing survivors or running from the occasional psychopath, you're free to roam around, eating, drinking, stealing or wearing whatever you can find.
- The zombie apocalypse was initially restricted to a single city and contained (breakouts elsewhere do happen but only because of conspiracy forces), there's a vaccine that was rapidly developed and eventually a cure. And most of all, humans quickly adapted to violently dealing with the zombies - to the point where a Las Vegas gameshow pits BMX bikers in souped-up bikes against captured zombies and there are fanzines and clubs dedicated to making anti-zombie weapons. Your fellow survivors in Dead Rising 2 will easily massacre zombies and psychos if you give them a weapon (especially if they get a decent gun).
- Gears of War has Azura, a island-based five-star hotel/hideout/research facility protected by a maelstrom defense where the elite of the COG goverment spent their days in luxury while the rest of the surviving population dealt with starvation and constant attacks by the Locust and the Lambent.
- Eventually, the locust take over Azura, likely kill most of the elitists there, and turn it into a science lab for captured human scientists. By the time COG arrives, only one doomed scientist is still alive. It's unknown if Azura is still structurally intact enough at the end of the game to become a cozy island base for the COG.
- The setting of Hatoful Boyfriend could be considered one of these. Humanity is nearly extinct, birds are the dominant civilization, multiple political factions are in an uneasy truce, and our (human) heroine nonchalantly jogs past the ruined remains of a human city on her way to school to flirt with her bird classmates.
- Both Eddie and Laura quite enjoy the nightmarish hellscape that is Silent Hill 2. Eddie, a once heavily bullied victim is now having the time of his life taking his anger out on the monsters and eventually James, while Laura, being a completely innocent child, isn't being judged by the town and thus only sees a completely normal monster-free town.
- In Primordia, humanity was wiped entirely thousands of years ago. The robots living here (descended by the ones humans left behind) continue about their simplistic lives, blissfully unaware that the world isn't supposed to look like a desert where the sun rarely shines. They show little understanding of the state the world is in, acting almost like children that don't know better. Even the robots living in Metropol, who are watched and controlled by a cruel AI that has gone insane, seem barely aware of their situation, simply puttering about like nothing is happening. The ones who do understand are either exiled, in hiding, Obfuscating Stupidity, or dead.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes place in what's left of Hyrule 100 years after Calamity Ganon destroyed it; despite this, life has gone on as usual for the populace. Many of the villages Link visits are thriving (and even some of the ones directly threatened by the Divine Beasts are doing well for themselves), people travel at any time despite the threat of monsters along the roads, and goods are still being produced and sold (with some people even expanding their business). This is the result of Zelda sealing Calamity Ganon in Hyrule Castle, allowing the places that weren't destroyed in the initial catastrophe to survive and recover, and the monsters that should have been rampaging the countryside are without leadership and keep to themselves, only attacking anyone foolish enough to venture into their territory. By the time the game starts, however, there's a very real threat of Ganon breaking free and finishing what he started.
- Dark Souls is an odd example. The world is undoubtedly a Crapsack World, with humans cursed to remain immortal, insane undead, horrible creatures all over the land, and the last vestiges of civilization existing only in small pockets. However, for as bad as it is, it's implied that it used to be worse. The worst of the apocalypse has passed, and now all that's left is to either try to extend the time until the world truly fades away, or to sit back and watch as the last flames die out. For all the horror in the world, it's an undoubtedly quiet, melancholic, at times bittersweet place; its apocalypse is a gentle one. The arguable good ending of Dark Souls III is the End of Fire, in which you intentionally snuff out the last embers of the First Flame (the world's effective power source), allowing the world to finally come to its true end, thus ending the cycle and allowing new life to one day flourish again.
- Sonic Unleashed begins with the Earth getting fractured and split into several pieces by an Eldritch Abomination. Despite such an apocalyptic event, all the cities and locales you visit across the world don't seem any worse for wear.
- Metal Saga of the Metal Max series is basically an excuse to find tanks and upgrade them with future weaponry to destroy goofy monsters. The premise is that a rogue A.I. supercomputer had destroyed the world except for isolated cities. However mighty soldiers and hunters in tanks have ensured that the surviving cities are thriving and developing, to the point where there's a luxury train linking the cities. It gets A LOT WORSE though in later games.
- The world of Mutant Football League has endured a lot of nightmarish catastrophes in its history, starting with two more world wars, followed by The Legions of Hell invading, the dead reawakening, lycanthropic outbreaks, meteor impacts, apocalyptic earthquakes, a Robot War, rampant mutation, an alien invasion, orcs just appearing everywhere and MonSatan's questionable business practices. What this all means for you, however, is it's all an excuse for you to get to play super-violent football with teams made up of Mutant Humans, Undead skeletons, Werewolves, Demons, Orcs, Criminal Aliens and Warbots.
- Code Vein: Louis' base, which serves as the main hub. It's in an abandoned church, and apart from some broken windows, a couple of missing walls, and a crack going through part of it, it's in surprisingly good condition. Considering the the world has suffered multiple apocalypses and they're still in the middle of one, that's pretty impressive. It even has electricity, a fully-stocked bar, and a functioning hot spring.
- In the Gifts of Wandering Ice the old world died along with most of its population, only few people survived the catastrophe and an ice age that followed it. But they didn't become bloodthirsty savages. Quite the opposite: in many ways they are much better people than their ancestors were. There are no wars in their world, also people of the new era are kind and intelligent.
- Zig-zagged in ShootAround, where a girl's basketball team facing a Zombie Apocalypse enjoys it far more than they should; sometimes, however, the comic can get a lot darker about it.
- At face value, Stand Still, Stay Silent has a Just Before the End sequence focused on people who end up surviving The End of the World as We Know It, then jumps to 90 years After the End, during which humanity has had plenty of time to recover and the settlements we get to see in the end of the prologue and the first three chapters are the better-off ones. However, the less cosy aspect peeks just below the surface, with some characters originating from a place where small settlements sometimes just plain disappeared and the story mostly happening in the Forbidden Zone that fell victim to the apocalypse and still contains remnants of failed attempts at preventing its spread and later failed reconquest of the lands by the descendants of those who used to live there.
- "The Quiet Apocalypse" mentioned in Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne's Unreal Estate is one of these. All of those End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It scenarios came about (and at more or less the same time), but were far less catastrophic than expected and failed to finish off the human race. The story can be found here.
- 1983: Doomsday deconstructs and plays with this trope. South America, Australia-New Zealand and the Alpine countries managed to escape the nuclear holocaust (almost) unscathed. And while they do fare remarkably well, there were still some rather harsh moments, involving food shortages, refugees and mass unrest.
- The Mall could be on the verge of being obliterated, but the heroes of Mall Fight generally take it in stride. At one point, Mango starts having job interviews while the Mall is being destroyed by Eric and Diablo.
- 'Souls RPG depicts a post-apocalyptic world run by dogs, and they're having a grand old time.
- At the end of To Boldly Flee, the world gets swallowed up by a Plot Hole, allowing chaos to enter the world. After the end credits, no one seems to notice.
- The topic of the After Hours episode "4 Movie Apocalypses That Would Be More Fun Than Reality'', with the characters talking about which apocalyptic scenario from fiction they would find most enjoyable.
- Daniel likes The Twilight Zone episode "Time Enough at Last", as he is an introvert and enjoys the thought of being alone to read. Even the whole "broken glasses" Twist Ending doesn't bug him, as there are books on tape now. He changes his answer to one were there would be at least some other survivors when he realizes that he will never learn how Game of Thrones ends if George R. R. Martin dies.
- Soren prefers I Am Legend, since there's a level of safety guaranteed, due to the monsters only coming out at night. He also likes the idea of building elaborate monster traps during the day, as it "turns your entire world into Home Alone".
- Katie wants The Walking Dead instead, as the monsters in I Am Legend were sentient beings who could be cured, but a Zombie Apocalypse means guilt-free destruction as your victims are already dead.
- Michael decides on Waterworld, because the survivors in other scenarios spend their time trying to recreate the society they left behind and failing, whereas most of the characters of Waterworld have already accepted and adapted to the world. He also claims that the higher altitude would actually be a health benefit.
- In Twelve Hundred Ghosts zombies and vampires are mentioned a few times, but are never brought up again, and the story continues as normal.
- According to Word of God, Adventure Time takes place about a thousand years After the End, and many kingdoms have sprung up in the aftermath of an (implied) nuclear war. It's a pretty awesome place to be if you're a hero.
- There's a huge chunk missing from Earth, only one human left and skeletons turn up in random places. There's also a fairytale candy village and you can get nacho cheese and hazelnut-flavored coffee.
- Beavis and Butt-Head mistake an evacuation for the apocalypse in one episode. Naturally, rather than being horrified, they delight in how everything is now free and all the toilets in town are available to them.
- Deconstructed in in the 1986 anti-nuke film When the Wind Blows. The protagonists are a charming but frightfully naive old English couple who lived through the horrors of the Blitz, and so faced with the threat of nuclear war, they try to adopt that famous Stiff Upper Lip mindset. It doesn't protect them, needless to say.
- Tornadoes actually are this in Real Life, for anyone not in the damage track - and since even for the very worst tornadoes, the damage track is no more than a couple miles wide at the very most. Even in long-track, violent tornadoes, there are undamaged properties, available resources, and emergency crews often nearby - and if you're outside the damage track's width, you may not even know a massively destructive tornado passed you by aside from some weird weather or an unusual power outage.
- A perfect Real Life example of this trope would be a condominium complex in Ocoee, Florida hit by a tornado during an overnight storm in 1998. The complex — consisting of large single-story condos — was completely leveled with the exception of a single condo on the edge of the complex's property. Not only did the couple living in this condo not even notice a tornado was destroying their neighbors while it was going on, the family only found out it had happened when they turned their TV on in the morning and saw a picture of their own condo on the morning news with the scrolling headline "MIRACLE SAVES SINGLE CONDOMINIUM" running under it. They never even lost power.
- The Protect and Survive films and leaflets produced by the British government in the early 1980s seemed to imply that this would be the outcome of a nuclear conflict. Sure, you'd have to stay inside for a couple of weeks, but after that everything would be just fine and dandy. Threads and When the Wind Blows (see Comic Books, above) were produced in response. To some degree it actually made sense, because in the 1980s nuclear strategy generally shifted away from attacking population and industrial centers toward attacking enemy military infrastructure (bases, command centers, defense installations, missile silos, etc.) - under the assumption that if enemy military forces are depleted by nuclear attacks, then your conventional military could force him to surrender without resorting to mass civilian casualties. While numerous nuclear explosions around the cities are clearly not good for population, they also clearly much less harmful than nuclear attack against the cities. Still, this would mean mass death to civilians plus destruction of agriculture nonetheless. Though the latter would be naturally less than a direct nuclear attack on civilian centers, it still is something many couldn't survive in the aftermath. Radiation poisoning and the starvation due to crops dying would still kill millions.
- A lot of American Civil Defense material implied this as well. Like its British counterparts mentioned above, The Day After was produced to show how bad even a "limited" nuclear war would be.
- In October 2016, a photo of a Hong Kong man sitting in a Starbucks flooded due to heavy rain engrossed in a newspaper went viral.
- The Flooded London series of images by Squint/Opera depict a very Cosy Catastrophe.