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Doomed Hometown

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Now where is the convenient survivor of this flashback? Note

"It starts, as all historical epics must now do, with a hideous massacre seen from the point of view of a terrified child."
Mark Kermode, reviewing Pompeii

The town the hero first appears in is often his hometown. There is a very high chance said town will be demolished by evil forces (typically The Empire or some other authoritarian government), prompting him to go on his quest while also demonstrating how evil the antagonists are, although sometimes the town is inaccessible for other reasons (banishment, for example).

This is not strictly limited to hometowns. It's almost guaranteed that wherever the hero starts out — be it town, planet or even universe, depending on the scope of the story — is likely to be rudely destroyed by the forces of fate as soon as his back is turned.

Frequently paired with Refusal of the Call, since The Call Knows Where You Live, and often the reason You Can't Go Home Again after Easing into the Adventure. Often results in the hero watching the town burn, emotionally overcome at having their source of joy destroyed. Rarely, the Final Boss may take place in the very same town.

One of the worst examples of this trope, reserved for the most heartless of villains, is for when they are eventually confronted for it by the hero, and they don't even remember doing it.

Note that this trope does not include stories in which survival (within the town) during disaster or war, and its aftermath, are the main focus. For that scenario, see War Comes Home which can overlap if said war is responsible for allowing this town's oblivion. The key aspect of this trope is not that the town is destroyed, but that the destruction of (or banishment from) the hero's old home becomes an impetus to the later adventures.

See also Where I Was Born and Razed, when the character is the doom of their own hometown. Can overlap with Conveniently an Orphan if the hero is the sole survivor.

Not to be confused with Domed Hometown, although these are easier to doom, or Forced from Their Home. See also Sugar Apocalypse.

Example subpages

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Given the historical destruction of most of Japan's major cities during World War II, this comes up frequently in anime set in this period:
    • Hiroshima, in Barefoot Gen. It gets rebuilt, of course, but hope for a new beginning is enveloped by bitterness, as many surviving residents suspect—perhaps rightly—that the future Peace Park in the center of town is partly supported by land speculators buying up property which conveniently has no one left to claim ownership.
    • Kobe, in Grave of the Fireflies.
    • Tokyo, in Who's Left Behind? Kayoko's Diary.
  • Aka Akatoretachi no Monogatari, Itsuki's village is razed by vampires and its people hunted to eaten.
  • In Aposimz, Etherow's White Diamond Beam village got wiped out by Rebedoa soldiers in the first chapter, with Biko abducted and him being the only survivor.
  • Attack on Titan features several, as a direct result of Wall Maria being abandoned at the beginning of the series.
    • Shiganshina District, the home of Power Trio Eren, Mikasa, and Armin is the most prominent example. Its destruction is the focal point of the beginning of the series, and it serves as a symbol of everything lost when Wall Maria was breached. Reclaiming it becomes vital to the plot, since the mystery of Eren's powers may be hidden in the ruins of his home.
    • Reiner and Bertolt come from a remote mountain village in Wall Maria, and briefly describe it being destroyed because the Titans reached it before they could receive any warning. This is part of their cover story; they found the Sole Survivor of the village, learned about it, and then staged his suicide.
    • Jean's hometown, the Trost District, is badly damaged during the battle there, but manages to narrowly avoid this fate thanks to the discovery of Eren's powers.
    • Connie's village is found abandoned and destroyed during the breach of Wall Rose. The hints about what happened are chilling to say the very least.
  • In Back Arrow, Edger Village gets destroyed due the fighting against the forces of Iki and Elsha's accidental unearthing of the Granedger. However, unlike most instances of this trope, most if not the entirety of the villagers survived and relocated to the ship so that they can find a new home.
  • Brave10 opens with the Izumo shrine where Isanami grew up being burned to the ground and all the priests and shrine-maidens killed by Tokugawa Ieyasu's ninjas, with only Isanami escaping.
  • In Chrono Crusade, Chrono and Rosette's motivation for joining the Order is to find Rosette's brother, Joshua, who was kidnapped by Aion. When he was kidnapped, he was given Chrono's horns—and the power overwhelmed him and he ended up "stopping" the time of the orphanage Rosette and Joshua lived in, freezing everyone inside in stone. Chrono, Joshua and Rosette are the only survivors from it.
  • Frieza does precisely this to Planet Vegeta, the Saiyan homeworld, in Dragon Ball Z, although it actually takes place before the series proper starts, and is shown in flashbacks. The Bardock special also recounts the events leading up to this Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • The Elusive Samurai: Kamakura, the political capital of Japan, goes from Tokiyuki's peaceful home to a city reduced to blood and ruin by the end of the first chapter. This prompts him to flee to the Suwa Shrine, where he embarks on a quest to win over support from loyal retainers across the land who are still willing to fight for the Hojo cause.
  • Flame of Recca: The destruction of Recca's hometown and the wholesale slaughter of the Hokage clan is what causes Recca to be sent forward in time to the modern day.
  • This is subverted in Fullmetal Alchemist where Ed and Alphonse Elric set fire to their own house so they can't turn back. Their attempts to redeem themselves from this "original sin" drive the plot. They do, however, make relatively frequent visits to their hometown to call on childhood friends.
    • This is further subverted, and may be even lampshaded, in the fact that during the Ishvalan civil war, Ed and Al's hometown is reported to have been run in and destroyed (which is used as an official excuse for Ed's limbs), but now it seems to be thriving again.
      • Various points indicate that while it hardly seems devastated, it would have been more of a bustling city had the Ishvalan civil war not happened.
      • Other points suggest it was simply attacked and damaged slightly rather than completely destroyed. As Ed is the only character we hear referring to it being destroyed this can probably be chalked up to him exaggerating things.
    • Hohenheim has an alternate interpretation of Ed and Al's motives, saying that they did it to forget trying to transmute their mother.
      Hohenheim: Pinako, where is my house? I can't seem to find it.
  • Goblin Slayer has one straight example involving the slaughter of the titular character's village by goblins, which set him on the path of becoming the living bane for the entire race, but interestingly enough it has several other defied examples. The gods have a habit of trying to give a Dark and Troubled Past to adventurers they view as having potential for interesting "stories", mainly through having their hometowns slaughtered by goblins, but Goblin Slayer's status as Immune to Fate has resulted in him preventing such circumstances from occurring, which has led to divinely intended cases of dark and brooding people instead growing up happy and well-adjusted, along with preventing seasoned adventurers from experiencing a My Greatest Failure by losing their hometowns due to being unable to make it in time.
  • Gundam:
    • Side 7, Amuro Ray's (incomplete) home colony from the original Mobile Suit Gundam, is attacked by the Principality of Zeon, as the colony is housing the development of the Earth Federation's Project V. While Amuro and his friends were left homeless from the attack, the colony recovered and was later completed, now named "Green Noa 1".
    • Shiro Amada, from Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, is the lone survivor of his home colony's gassing by the Zeon in the first weeks of the One Year War.
    • Green Noa 2, Kamille Bidan's home colony from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, is taken over by the main antagonists, the Titans, and made the organization's headquarters, now renamed "Gryps".
    • Seabook Arno's home colony, Frontier IV from Mobile Suit Gundam F91, is invaded and taken over by the aristocratic Crossbone Vanguard, and made the capital of its new nation, "Cosmo Babylonia".
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, starting out as a quasi-remake of the original Mobile Suit Gundam, has Heliopolis, Kira Yamato's home colony and main facility of the Earth Alliance's G Project, which includes the development of the Gundams. Unlike Side 7, Heliopolis doesn't survive ZAFT's assault and is totally destroyed in the aftermath.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, a Middle Eastern country called Krugis; in this case, the protagonist was one of those that brought chaos and destruction to the village as an unwitting Child Soldier.
    • In Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer, the ELS homeworld was destroyed in a supernova. This is why they are spreading out through space, looking for a new home.
    • The prologue of Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury details the destruction of Folksvangr, the home of Ericht Samaya and her mother, where a covert operation intent killing all those connected to the GUND-Format development forces both to flee for their own safety. Ericht then reappears some years later under the new name of Suletta Mercury.
  • Colin's home in Highlander: The Search for Vengeance gets destroyed by the Big Bad Marcus. Particularly brutal as Colin had recently been made chief of the village.
  • In Inuyasha, the Demon Slayers' village and Sango's hometown was completely wiped out for Naraku to get the Shikon Jewel shards that were being protected there.
  • Kazuma's hometown was destroyed before the beginning of Kagerou-Nostalgia; the village he's defending in the opening doesn't last long either (although in his defense, it would have been gone even quicker without him).
  • The Lyrical Nanoha franchise has Amia, a mining town found in the 3rd Administrated World — Vaizen. It was destroyed in year 74 of the new Mid-Childa calendar, seven years before the events of Force. Official records state that it was an accident involving earthquakes and poisonous fumes. Tohma, the main character of Force and the only survivor of that event, believe otherwise and has made it his life's goal to find the true culprit behind the disaster.
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms: The Iorph homeland gets attacked by Mezarte's troops near the beginning of the story. A series of coincidences results in Maquia escaping both death and capture.
  • Many of the princesses of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch have run away from their destroyed kingdoms, or been caught in the attempt; curiously, the heroine is the only one whose home turf is safe.
  • The Mystical Laws: Theta explains to Shou that her home planet Vega was razed by a "forbidden weapon". While there were survivors, said weapon affected the crust and the core so severely that the planet started to die. To ensure their people's survival, Theta and her father the King of Vega started a migration plan, eventually choosing Earth as their destination after its God permitted them.
  • Sara from Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry has a Doomed Space Academy that is attacked by her brother; she is the only survivor.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Negi and Anya's hometown is attacked by demons that turn nearly all the townspeople to stone. Negi is saved by his father who gives Negi his staff before leaving. Much later on, it's revealed that the Megalomesembrian Senate was responsible, and that the entire attack may have been an assassination attempt on Negi.
    • Fate's minions all have this as their Backstory, as well as all other orphans that he rescued.
  • In One Piece, there were two hometowns that were destroyed:
    • Ohara, the home island of eventual-protagonist Nico Robin is the product of this. Given that she is hunted by the World Government precisely because she is the sole survivor of the Marines' otherwise utter annihilation of her hometown.
    • Trafalgar Law was a victim of this. His hometown and country, Flevance, was quarantined with all its citizens, including children, getting summarily executed. The only way Law escaped was by hiding in the piles of corpses of his loved ones.
    • A downplayed example in that Gray Terminal was an inhabited landfill and scrapyard where protagonist Luffy and his childhood friends Ace and Sabo used to spend most of their time, which was then destroyed—with its inhabitants still in it — in an attempt by the corrupt aristocracy on the island to impress a visiting powerful politician, with the boys as the only known survivors. The towns where the three of them actually live, however, have remained intact.
    • Nami and Nojiko's original hometown was destroyed in a fight between Marines and pirates, which left the two orphaned and adopted by a Navy soldier named Bell-mere. Downplayed since this happened when both were very young (Nami was too little to remember at all), they both consider Cocoyashi Village where they were raised to be their home.
  • In Pokémon Adventures, the XY chapter starts off with Xerneas and Yvetal duking it out with each other to the point that Vaniville Town gets destroyed while simultaneously Team Flare goes after X's Mega Ring and burn down his house to get to him.
  • In Slayers, Copy Rezo destroys Sairaag, Syphiel's hometown. In Slayers Next, Lina Inverse destroys Xoana, Martina's hometown.
  • Sunday Without God opens with the massacre of the protagonist's village by a gunslinger in black, and once she comes to terms with that she sets out on a journey to save the world.
  • This is how Exa of Superior became a hero, in keeping with his "deconstructed '80s JRPG hero" nature. Very briefly, he resolved to kill all monsters, but when a little monster he'd tamed found and comforted him in the ruins, he changed that to "kill the demon queen." (Incidentally, the demon queen is the protagonist.)
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, this is what prompts Kurogane to become a ninja serving under Princess Tomoyo in hopes of finding the one who did the deed and killing him.
  • In UFO Robo Grendizer, one of the Mazinger Z sequels, Duke Fleed's planet gets destroyed two years before the beginning of the series, forcing him to flee to Earth.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has a villainous example. Kul Elna, a village of former tomb builders turned tomb robbers, was burned to the ground and had its inhabitants slaughtered as components in the spell that forged the Millennium Items. Luckily for one small boy who managed to stay hidden, the sorcerers only needed the lives of the other 99 villagers, which left him as the sole survivor. Flash forward about ten to fifteen years, and Thief King Bakura is out for revenge...
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, if Satellite counts as a Doomed Hometown (seeing as Zero Reverse reduced what was left of it to a crime-ridden slum) then Jack, Kiryu, and Crow are genuine examples, and Yusei in spirit. (Yusei grew up thinking he was born there, only learning later that he was sent there as an infant by his parents, who were killed in the disaster.) However, neither they nor any other survivor could leave it, at least for a while, as the corrupt government used the inhabitants like underclass serfs until it was liberated after Godwin's death.
    • And in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Yuto and Shun's home, Heartland was destroyed by Academia before the events of the story, prompting the formation of the Resistance.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS has the Cyberse World, Ai's homeland, razed by the Knights of Hanoi. While he was able to lock it away at the nick of time, another party was able to destroy it while he was gone, and all the Ignis scattered to different directions.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman (1986) starts when Ocean Master blows up the seaside town of New Venice, where Aquaman was currently living.
  • ElfQuest. Humans burn down our heroes' forest holt, forcing them to go on... well, the entire rest of the story, basically, rather than just staying home.
  • The Extremist Vector: The homeworld of the Extremists, Blue Jay and Silver Sorcerer, was destroyed in a nuclear war.
  • Green Lantern: Hal Jordan's home base of Coast City was destroyed, starting a chain of events that turn him into an insane killer/possessed victim of an entity called Parallax.
  • Invoked in Infinite Crisis, when Deathstroke orders Nightwing's city, Bludhaven, destroyed as revenge against the hero. However, this really didn't become an impetus for Nightwing's later adventures.
  • Lobo subverts this by wiping out the inhabitants of his home planet all by himself.
  • Martian Manhunter's entire civilization was destroyed when his evil brother Mala'faak released a virus that set all Green Martians exposed to it aflame. Which was pretty much all of them.
  • In Rom Spaceknight, Claireton, West Virginia, which served as the setting for much of the series and is home to Rom's girlfriend Brandy Clark, is completely overrun by Dire Wraiths during Rom's absence, its inhabitants slaughtered. Brandy, by then a Spaceknight herself, becomes obsessed with exacting vengeance against the Wraiths for this atrocity.
  • What happens to All in Red Hood and the Outlaws, which Red Hood feels is his real home and where he truly grew up.
  • Arwyn's hometown is wiped out by the Dark Lord Mordath in the first issue of Sojourn. This is what starts Arwyn on her Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • The home planets of the eponymous seven in Sovereign Seven.
  • Superman:
    • Krypton is the quintessential example of a Doomed Hometown, being a doomed home planet.
    • In Krypton No More, Clark is so frightened of losing Earth after losing Krypton that he is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Supergirl and the Kandorians are so worried about his mental health that they lie to him about his origins.
    • In Kingdom Come, it happened to him again, this time with Kansas.
    • In an Armageddon 2001 alternate timeline, Metropolis is destroyed by a nuclear bomb.
    • Later to be topped by Power Girl, whose entire universe was destroyed.
    • Supergirl lost her home-world twice. She tried to settle down in Earth but in Red Daughter of Krypton she left the planet because she felt she didn't belong there. Later on, she got kicked out of the Red Lanterns and had to leave planet Ysmault.
    • In Last Daughter of Krypton, Kara arrives on Earth unaware of Krypton's tragedy. She is horrified and shocked when she meets Superman, and he reveals that their birth world blew up. Later, she finds her hometown Argo City floating in space near a blue star. Unfortunately, Argo has become a ghost town inhabited by corpses, and she can only watch while the floating city slowly plummets into the nearby sun.
      Supergirl: My old life is over. I knew it already. I knew it the moment I stepped out of the crater on Earth. I wanted to believe it was a dream. I wanted to wake up in father's lab to see him staying up late working on his latest plan to save Krypton. I wanted to wake up to see the red Sun bringing out the auburn in my mother's hair. I wanted to wake up on the morning of my graduation to face the future alongside my closest friends. But the truth is... I'm awake now. My home is gone. And I have only one place left to go.
    • The Matrix version of Supergirl loses the Pocket Universe Earth to the Phantom Zone criminals in The Supergirl Saga.
    • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, a flashback showed how Kara lost her planet... and then her hometown.
      Kara: First Krypton died. Then, I was the only one to escape the destruction of Argo City...
    • In Supergirl (Rebirth), Lar-On -a citizen of Argo City- is trapped in the Phantom Zone a while before the destruction of the city. When he leaves the Zone, Supergirl has to explain to him that his hometown is gone.
    • In Bizarrogirl, Bizarro sent his cousin to Earth because their homeworld was being devoured by the "godship".
    • In Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, Pre-Crisis Bizarro Superman purposely destroyed Bizarro World as part of his self-improvement plan to become "the perfect imperfect duplicate of Superman".
  • Inverted in Watchmen's "Tales Of The Black Freighter" comic-within-a-comic, where the protagonist believes his hometown is due to be visited by the eponymous ship only to realize (too late) he is batshit crazy and mistook the innocent villagers for undead aberrations after he murders them.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman: Odyssey: Nemesis destroys Themyscira when Diana is a young child, killing most of the Amazons including Queen Hippolyta. This leads to Diana being raised by Philippus in hiding as a refugee in hiding.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Despite the way the adults brush her off the danger Diana feels encroaching on Themyscira is not imagined. The power of the gods has waned to the point that they are begining to fade even in the pocket demension of Themyscira which they retreated to, and shortly after Diana leaves the island the infighting among the gods as they try to stave off death and force the Amazons to help them enslave humanity to get new worshipers leaves Themyscira in ruins and all the Amazons besides Hippolyta dead or turned to stone.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Nix in the Mill-Pond", The huntsman and his wife's hometown is flooded by the titular water sprite in revenge for the heroine rescuing her kidnapped husband.

    Fan Works 
  • It happens systematically and repeatedly in Children of an Elder God. The main characters live in Tokyo-3, the whole country is destroyed. They move to NERV Germany, and their Home Base is destroyed. After the War they settle on America, but Shinji and Asuka can't lead a normal life anymore and leave.
  • In Chapter 2 of The Egg Team, Honeycomb Village is introduced, and after a short amount of time, destroyed. This is the hometown of Teddy, who ends up being forced into working for Eggman as a result of this event, kickstarting his adventure with Luna and Kit.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Days Of Future Smurfed", the Smurf Village is eventually destroyed by an earthquake, resulting in a dispersion of its remaining Smurfs and Empath living alone in the forest with his great-grandson, who becomes Traveler Smurf.
  • Hunters of Justice: Remnant serves as this for Teams RWBY and JNPR, after the planet is destroyed by Braniac and its major cities are shrunken and bottled up for his studies. Because of this, both teams choose Starting a New Life when they arrive on Earth, since they have nothing to go back to.
  • In I Against I, Me Against You, Dodge Junction is this for Sunny Side, courtesy of the Meta.
  • The Keys of the Kingdom: Near the beginning of the story, Earth gets attacked by the Heartless, and eventually falls. Unlike most examples, however, most of the characters were whisked away from the planet either before the attack began or early on into it, with no way back. Consequently, they are not actually aware of what happened.
  • Last Child of Krypton: Shinji has kryptonian powers because planet Krypton was about to explode (in the rewrite Krypton did not blow up but its inhabitants were dying), and Jor-El (Kal-El in the rewrite) sent a rocket with a DNA sample to Earth. Yui Ikari found it and used it to alter her unborn child's DNA. So that Shinji is technically kryptonian but his homeworld has disappeared.
  • The Sabrina Gaiden sidestory of Pokémon Reset Bloodlines features Turquoise Town, where Sabrina was born and raised. Fed up with the citizen's apathetic and lazy attitude, and disgusted that they force her to use her psychic powers for mundane tasks, she begins to terrorize them until someone stands up to her. Even after she leaves, in less than a year the town is all but abandoned, and by the present time it's been effectively erased from the maps.
  • In Raven Child's The Smurfette Village series, the Smurfette Village is destroyed in the second story by a volcanic eruption, then the Smurf Village is destroyed in the third story by a Synthetic Plague known as "The Blue Plague".
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Asuka has kryptonian powers due to her biological father's planet exploding. Before Krypton blew up, Jor-El sent his son to Earth, but due a miscalculation on his part, the baby died when his rocket crashed. Later his DNA got used to impregnate one of the eggs of Kyoko, and thus Asuka was born.
  • In Son of the Desert: Trisha's original village, Eshkolit is destroyed during the Ishval War and her family is killed with it.
  • The Victors Project: Arrow reveals that Lyme's home village Redfern (a hotbed of rebel sentiment) was massacred immediately after the Rebellion started, although a fair portion of the residents survived.

    Films — Animation 
  • The village in An American Tail, which is sacked in a cat-Cossack pogrom at the very beginning, in a Fiddler on the Roof parody. Surprisingly, this is intended to be a real town, which has in fact survived.
  • BIONICLE: Mask of Light: Ta-Koro gets pillaged by Rahkshi shortly after Takua and Jaller leave. Tahu and Gali fail at defense and at best manage to evacuate everyone before it sinks under lava.
  • Dinosaur:
    • Lemur Island, since it was unfortunately located very close to the meteorite's blast radius.
    • Also the region where Kron, Bruton, Neera, Eema, Baylene, Url, and the rest of the Herd came from. Subverted, however according to Dinosaur: The Essential Guide, which confirms that the Nesting Grounds is indeed their original home. The reason why they all do not stay there all the time is because in the winter, the Nesting Grounds actually becomes too cold for the dinosaurs to lay their eggs.
  • DreamWorks Animation:
    • In Monsters vs. Aliens, Gallaxhar's planet was destroyed by Gallaxhar himself.
    • In Megamind, both Megamind's and Metro Man's planets (and to a much lesser extent, possibly their home solar system) are sucked in by a black hole. They both end up being sent to Earth, as a parallel to Superman's origin.
      Megamind: I came from what you might call a broken home. Literally broken.
    • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po's home village is burned to the ground by Shen's wolves and cannons. Po witnessed the event, but was too young to remember it at the time.
  • In Kubo and the Two Strings, the Sisters attack the village near where Kubo lives and where he goes to school, buys things, and generally interacts with people. Having no means to defend himself, Kubo has no choice by to run away, letting the village get completely consumed by the Sisters' black mist. Much later, he returns to the village and discovers many survivors hiding among the ruins.
  • The village in Mulan the troops encounter before the Tung Shao Pass. The houses were on fire, pieces of cloth were torn, innocent people were murdered, and the army led by Shang's father were killed by the Huns, including the general himself
  • In Titan A.E., the main character's home planet is destroyed by the Drej for reasons that are, at the time, obscure. Turns out the Drej were scared of humanity and wanted to weaken them.
  • Pepperland, in Yellow Submarine.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Near the beginning of Apocalypto, the jungle village of the protagonist gets razed to the ground by city Mayans, and its inhabitants are captured as slaves and human sacrifices.
  • Hometree in Avatar, and possibly Earth.
  • The Beastmaster. When Evil Rip Torn attacks Dar's village and kills his dog, Dar dresses in leather, burns the bodies and goes on a grand quest.
  • In Beyond Sherwood Forest, Will Scarlet's village is destroyed by the dragon searching for Robin Hood.
  • Cloud Atlas: The Kona destroy Zachry's camp and kill his family and people.
  • Come and See has Florya's home village, which ends up slaughtered some time after he joins up with the partisans. He's in denial about it at first.
  • In Conan the Barbarian (1982), the main villain Thulsa Doom destroys young Conan's village and mercilessly slays his mother before his eyes, leading him to be sold into slavery where he is hardened by forced labor and trained as a champion gladiator. When he eventually wins his freedom, embarks on a career as a warrior, and seeks out Thulsa Doom to take his revenge, the villain calmly points out to Conan that everything he became is because of Doom himself and Conan actually owes him. (He even fits in a bit of the But for Me, It Was Tuesday, too.) Of course Conan is anything but grateful, but still the point stands.
  • Conan the Barbarian (2011): Conan's village is burned and its people slaughtered when Khalar Zym's forces overrun it, though they put up a very good fight first.
  • In Cry Blood, Apache, Vittorio returns from a hunting trip to discover everyone in his tribe's camp has been massacred by the prospectors. This sparks his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Ghost Rock opens with Pickett's gang attacking the Starr ranch and massacring everyone there except for Johnny Slaughter (who was visiting and hid in the barn) and Savannah. Or so it seems. The ending reveals that Savannah has been Dead All Along.
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire tells about the annihilation of Katniss' home district.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay shows the ruins after the annihilation of Katniss' home district.
  • In The Last Starfighter, when Alex Refused the Call and wants to go back to Earth, he finds the hard way The Call Knows Where You Live, as an alien assassin comes to his hometown. Centauri implies this trope (as well as Alex's death) will result unless Alex takes part in the war. Alex reluctantly agrees.
  • In the film adaptation of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Allan Quatermain is living in self-imposed exile in a British colony in Africa, and has no interest in accepting the position of League leader. He accepts, however, when agents of the film's primary villain invade the colony, killing some of Quatermain's friends and blowing up the pub.
  • Superman's homeworld of Krypton is destroyed in Man of Steel's opening. Also Smallville and Metropolis get wrecked in the battles between Superman and Zod.
  • Shirin's Bedouin village in Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, as shown in flashback. It is Shirin's determination to reveal the truth of what happened to her village that drives much of the plot.
  • The Western movie The Outlaw Josey Wales begins with the eponymous hero's house being burned down and his family killed.
  • Parodied in Mel Brooks' Robin Hood: Men in Tights:
    Robin Hood: Blinkin, listen to me. They've taken the castle!
    Blinkin: I thought it felt a bit drafty. Cor, this never would have happened if your father was alive.
    Robin Hood: He's dead?
    Blinkin: Yes.
    Robin Hood: And my mother?
    Blinkin: She died of pneumonia while... oh, you were away...
    Robin Hood: My brothers?
    Blinkin: There were all killed by the plague.
    Robin Hood: My dog, Pongo?
    Blinkin: Run over by a carriage.
    Robin Hood: My goldfish, Goldie?
    Blinkin: Eaten by the cat.
    Robin Hood: (on the verge of tears) My cat?
    Blinkin: Choked on the goldfish.
    Blinkin: Oh, it's good to be home, ain't it, Master Robin?
  • In Starship Troopers, Johhny Rico's native city, Buenos Aires, gets destroyed by the bugs just as he resigned from the armed forces. Of course, now It's Personal.
  • Star Trek (2009): It involved as a key plot point the destruction of Vulcan by a Romulan lunatic from the future, and its effect on Spock.
    • The destruction of the Kelvin may also count, since James T. Kirk would've been born there otherwise. JJ Abrams explained in the commentary that the attack by Nero created premature labor, else he would have been born in Iowa.
    • The reasoning for the key plot point? Nero, said Romulan lunatic, watched Romulus get obliterated by the Hobus supernova.
  • Star Wars:
  • In the Street Fighter movie, Chun Li reveals she's pursuing M. Bison because he destroyed her village and killed her father. This leads to the single most awesome bit about the movie, in an echo of Thulsa Doom above:
    M. Bison: For you, the day Bison graced your village was the most important day of your life. But for Me, It Was Tuesday.
  • Triple Threat (2019): Jaka's village is sacked by Devereaux and company on the orders of Collins, their leader, to release him from his prison.
  • The Wolfhound begins with the eponymous protagonists village being sacked, Conan-style, by the evil druids Zhadoba and Man-Eater.

  • In the gamebook series Lone Wolf, the eponymous character's journey begins with the Darklords' destruction of his monastery, leaving him Last of His Kind.

  • In Eric Flint's 1632 and successor books, the 'hero' is in some sense Grantville, West Virginia, displaced in time and space to Thuringia in 1632. None of the characters in it can go home to Modern Earth, and they have no idea if Modern Earth has been destroyed by the event that moved them, or continues to exist in another 'branch' of time.
  • Subverted in The Adventures of Stefón Rudel. In the beginning, the Mars colony is attacked by something named Großraum Centauri, and implied to be destroyed. Nevertheless, said colony turns up again later in a quite good shape.
  • All The Skills - A Deckbuilding LitRPG: Subverted. It's teased several times that Arthur's village could be destroyed; the red dragon threatens to, and the Baron bluffs that he'll do it. But the dragon will only attack if the Baron gets Arthur's card, and the Baron can't lose an entire village of workers for no good reason. In the end, Arthur is sent away, but the village is fine. When he returns years later, things are a bit worse, but his father and most of the people he knows are still alive.
  • In Animorphs, Bug fighters destroy the kids' hometown in the second last book to create a giant dead zone around the Pool ship's landing site. They reduce the entire city to a desert of ash, so the nothing can get close without being seen.
  • In An Outcast in Another World, most of the people in The Village survive the invasion by The Infected, but the area is turned into a Blighted zone that will kill them if they stay in it any longer, forcing them to relocate.
  • In The Big Wave, Jiya's seaside village of more than twenty houses is destroyed by the eponymous tsunami.
  • In the Cambridge Latin Course, hero Quintus Caecilius Iucundus grew up in Pompeii. After the fiery destruction of his hometown and everything else in a ten mile radius, he leaves to destroy the forces of evil and corruption in Roman Britain.
    • This also occurred to a certain extent in real life: Caecilius, Metella and Quintus were actually based on real people from Pompeii, (although Quintus' later adventures were fabricated) which made it funny when the family turned up in Doctor Who.
  • In Candide, Candide, a while after being expelled from Thunder-Ten-Tronck, is told that its inhabitants were raped and slaughtered by an invading army.
  • In the first book of Chronicles of the Emerged World, Nihal's home city of Salazar is attacked by Dola and his army of Fammin and her adoptive father Lovin is killed while trying to buy her some time to flee.
  • In James Blish's Cities in Flight series, the flying cities are forced off Earth by the disaster of world conquest by a totalitarian state, then later because Earth has become a Crapsack World. The spindizzy surrounds them in a protective bubble as they travel through space, so they are a Doomed Hometown that has become a Domed Hometown.
  • Cradle Series: Variant. The Li Grand Patriarch, an ascendant being from beyond the world, comes back to Sacred Valley in order to kill all his clan's enemies. Lindon tries to stop him, but this does literally nothing; the Grand Patriarch kills him without even noticing the attack. Then Suriel descends from the sky, stops time, puts the Grand Patriarch in prison, reverses all his damage so that it never even happened, and praises Lindon for his bravery. She then shows him his future—including the part where, in thirty years time, the entire Valley will be destroyed. Lindon leaves in order to gain enough power to save his home. Unfortunately, in the course of leaving he pisses off one of the most powerful organizations in the Valley, they assume he went back to hide with his family, and they declare vengeance on them. When Lindon finally returns, he finds that his family has been hiding in the wilderness for years.
  • The same thing happens to the rebuilt city of Babylon in the Christ Clone Trilogy.
  • In The Dark Tower series, Roland Deschain's hometown, the royal city of Gilead, was destroyed by the forces of John Farson.
  • In The Demon Princes, the destruction and enslavement of the Mount Pleasant colony is what kicks off Kirth Gersen's Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • This happens in Dragoncharm to South Point, Fortune and Cumber's home.
  • Dennagon's home city of Drakemight in Dragons: Lexicon Triumvirate, as it was destroyed in a barrage of nuclear missiles from humans.
  • Subverted in The Dreamside Road. Nimauk survives the Wintertide Festival arc and is still standing when Enoa departs her home, seeking the Dreamside Road.
    • However, it is later suggested that Tucker, despite his collusion, was actually part of the reason Nimauk stayed as safe and well provisioned as it has since societal destabilization, and it might be in more danger without him.
  • In The Elder Scrolls: The Infernal City, Annaïg's and Mere-Glim's hometown of Lilmoth undergoes a miniaturized Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Everland: Evergreen is destroyed by Katt's forces early on in Ozland, leaving Gail to rescue King Oswald on her own.
  • At the beginning of the second book of the Gor series, the protagonist Tarl Cabot wants to go back to his home city of Koroba, only to find it destroyed and its inhabitants spread all around the world. It turns out the Priest-Kings of Gor did that just to piss him off, since home cities are a really important and touchy subject on Gor and they knew it was the surest way to make Tarl go to them.
  • In The History of the Galaxy series, the Norls are a race of Heavy Worlder humanoids, whose homeworld is rendered near-uninhabitable by a supernova. Unfortunately, their new home is about to suffer the same fate (apparently, even with FTL outrunning a supernova is difficult). Fortunately, the humans find out about this just in time and manage to shield the new planet from the destructive wave using powerful gravity generators.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy opens on a Thursday morning as Arthur Dent looks outside his house at a bulldozer poised to demolish it to make way for a bypass. Coincidentally, the Vogon Constructor Fleet demolishes Earth later that day in order to build a hyperspace bypass. Before blowing up this Insignificant Little Blue Planet, the Vogons tell its inhabitants that they should have seen it coming: as with Arthur's house, the plans for the bypass were on file, even if some Obstructive Bureaucrat did store them in a slightly out-of-the-way location without telling anyone that there were plans that someone needed to look at and file an objection to ("What do you mean, you've never been to Alpha Centauri?") "I could never get the hang of Thursdays." Arthur remarks as all this happens.
  • In Book 12 of the Honor Harrington series, Mission of Honor, this happens not just to Honor's hometown, killing half her extended family, but also to a treecat clan and to Manticore's assets and people in orbit.
  • In Suzzanne Collins' The Hunger Games series, Katniss Everdeen's hometown District 12 is bombed into oblivion under the orders of President Snow as retaliation for the occurrences of book two, Catching Fire. The book ends with some one telling her it's gone, so you know it's important. Later on, Katniss visits the District 12 ruins and is noticeably guilty over the fact that it's gone, and the bombing of 12 is brought up multiple times throughout the last book.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, first of all Eragon's home is destroyed and Garrow killed, then in Eldest, the Empire come for Roran which results in the destruction of Carvahall and the villagers all leaving for the Varden.
  • Inkmistress: Ina's village of Amalska is attacked by some bandits when everyone but her gathers for a meeting, with them all being burned alive.
  • In the Left Behind series, the Antichrist's capital city New Babylon is destroyed by God at the end of the Tribulation. Before that, Chicago (the home place of the inner-city ministry known as The Place) was destroyed by a nuke.
  • In The Licanius Trilogy, the three main characters have grown up at Gifted Academy in the seaside town of Caladel. Aside from them, literally everyone at the Academy is brutally massacred five chapters in.
  • Inverted, to an extent, in The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbits return to the Shire, but home is not the same: the Big Bad is defeated, but the homeland they set out to protect has become a Dystopia. There aren't even any hints of this (except a brief glimpse via Galadriel's mirror, by Sam, and even then it's not clear whether it's really going to happen — Galadriel warns of a possible Self-Fulfilling Prophecy if Sam tries to go back and stop it) until the main plot of the book is over. It's compelling enough to avert the Ending Fatigue you'd expect when the climax is in Chapter Three of the last book, and its omission is one reason that Ending Fatigue exists in the movie, as it's a new source of tension in the Scouring of the Shire, which has to be resolved before the final ending of Frodo's and Bilbo's trip into the west and Sam's epilogue. With the Scouring removed in the film, so is the tension; as the rest remains the same, the plot spends its last half-hour just coasting downhill.
  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet Captain Tulev's Back Story was the destruction of his home system. He offers to draw up the list of highly critical systems because he's unbiased.
  • The Maze Runner: The Kill Order opens with Mark living peacefully in a small Appalachian village with the other survivors of the Flare. No guess that it's going to meet a grisly end, if only so Mark can go outside his comfort zone.
  • In The Name of the Wind, Kvothe never had a hometown, but his parents and their caravan of traveling performers are slaughtered by the Chandrian. This sets him off on his adventures alone and will eventually lead him to seek out the Chandrian for revenge.
  • Navigating Early: In the story Early tells, Pi returns from his travels only to find that there's been a raid. Most of his village has been burned, and everyone is gone. The only thing left of his family is a shell necklace his mother made.
  • Elin's hometown in Of Fear and Faith is destroyed before the story begins. This has clearly left its mark on poor Elin, as when she tells this to Phenix it's the first time we see her not jovial and bubbly.
  • In The Pilgrim's Progress the City of Destruction (the main character's hometown) will be destroyed in the end of days by fire and brimstone, prompting him to escape to Celestial City (heaven).
  • Invoked in A Practical Guide to Evil Amadeus' home farm gets destroyed by the Heir some time after Amadeus became the Squire, and his remaining family is killed. He remarks on it being inevitable, some way or the other, because Squires don't get a home to return to.
  • The player character in Prophecy Approved Companion recognises when this trope is about to activate, and uses glitches to protect the overpowered tutorial healer character, Qube, so that he doesn't have to pay for healing potions. He also lies to Qube that the rest of the village survived, which looks like it'll bite him in the end. By the time she finally discovers it, she's developed into a full person, and doesn't react well to the news, nor to him having lied about it.
  • In Return of the Reaper, we have Holtz's hometown, along with pretty much every other human city in the novel.
  • In Saintess Summons Skeletons, the protagonist Sofia didn't just lose her hometown, the entire Sovuln Kingdom was destroyed when something strange happened in a forgotten underground dungeon that led to widespread disaster, including the land being flooded by monsters. The people who managed to escape became refugees in the neighboring Skyreach Kingdom, with Sofia herself ending up in an orphanage near the border for the rest of her backstory, until she gets Kidnapped by the Call. About a year later, she visits the orphanage and discovers that every many, woman, and child in the entire village have been slaughtered by members of Skyreach's Corrupt Church who have been waiting to ambush Sofia.
  • The Seichi Chronicles: Britan's hometown, Thebes, gets destroyed by the ice-breathing wyvern Asager Shell in the first arc. To make matters even worse, Britan gets a front row seat as he tries to warn the villagers and escape himself.
  • Small Medium: Discussed. Chase wants an adventure, but her sister goes on a long rant about how this will result in their entire town being destroyed (their people are Genre Savvy specifically so that they can stay the hell away from adventure). Ultimately, the town of Bothernot survives the ensuing excitement, with some property damage but minimal loss of life. Chase and her family have to leave because the local law will happily kill them all to cover up their own mistakes.
    Greta: Next you'll be finding a sword meant for a prophesey'd hero, and revealing an old birthmark, and then FOOMP, the village will get burnt down and it'll all be your fault Chase Berrymore.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Winterfell, the Starks' castle, is gone by the end of Book 2, being first invaded by Theon Greyjoy and then sacked by the Boltons.
  • In Son of the Black Sword by Larry Correia, finding out that this was done to the Vadal casteless quarter where his mother lived sets Ashok Vadal into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge. This is a particularly nasty example, as to preserve secrecy about Ashok's past, not only were his family killed, but the rest the casteless with them. And the house servants who might have seen him. And the guards who enacted the slaughter.
  • The Southern Reach Trilogy: The director of the Southern Reach lived in "the forgotten coast", as the place that became Area X used to be known, as a child. This is why she was driven to work at the Southern Reach in the first place.
  • Subverted in the second book of The Sovereign Stone Trilogy. The Evil Overlord sends his henchman to the home village of one of the protagonists with orders to burn the village, massacre the inhabitants and torture the survivors to death for information.The villagers, however, are part of a tribal culture whose main exports are fearless barbarian mercenaries. They massacre the henchman, torture the boss henchman to death and stake out his body as an example to those who will follow, before burning their village to the ground so the enemy (who knows where they live) will get no use from it then go off to found a new home elsewhere.
  • Mino, Takeo's village in Tales of the Otori, does not outlast the opening chapter of the first book.
  • "The Tamarisk Hunter": It is implied that Travis once lived farther down in Lake Havasu City before the drought and whatever disaster happened to the city forced them to flee.
  • In the second Warrior Cats series, the forest — the home of the Clans — is destroyed, prompting a journey to find a new home where the rest of the series takes place.
  • Watership Down, Waif Prophet rabbit Fiver has a vision of their warren being destroyed. He, his brother and few others escape on this revelation and learn later that the vision was completely correct.
  • Played with in The Wheel of Time: though Emond's Field is attacked by Trollocs in the first hundred pages and the father of The Hero is severely wounded in the assault, both the hometown and the main characters' families and friends all survive this and later defeat a second, worse invasion in the fourth book. Played straight for Perrin, though, whose whole family gets killed and his home burned to the ground.
    • Averted as of the most recent book: far from being demolished, the Two Rivers is thriving, having emerged from its sleepy isolationism, discovered the military application of being the home of some of the world's best archers, produced some of the most powerful young magic-users (both male and female) in the world, peacefully absorbed one nearby nation-state and built strong ties to two others, and gone from being a forgotten backwater of the queendom of which it was only nominally a part to being officially recognized and elevated above all other member states in what is quickly becoming one of the largest and most powerful empires on the continent.
    • Lan Mandragoran, the Uncrowned Prince of Malkier has monstrous hordes overrun his entire homeland while he's still a baby. He spends the next twenty years of his life training to be a warrior and promptly sets off to go mano-a-mano with the entire freaking Blight and all the minions of the Dark One. Of course, he gets sidetracked by becoming Warder to Moirane, but fast-forward twenty years and he's mentoring and helping The Chosen One to battle the Big Bad who, incidentally, was responsible for razing Malkier. Now, again, he's on his personal vengeance-for-the-homeland quest with practically all the Malkieri survivors.
    • Also true for Olver, whose parents were killed by Shaido and who has basically committed himself to avenging them someday.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andor: Cassian was abducted from his homeworld to prevent his being killed by the Republic reprisals against his little village for killing a Republic officer. By the time of the series the Empire is claiming the entire planet's population was killed in a mining accident and has forbidden any travel to the planet.
  • In Andromeda, Dylan's Commonwealth (which spanned three galaxies) fell while he was in the black hole, and his own world in particular is gone and is widely believed to have been mythical by people in the future he returns to.
    • Also Harper, who fled Earth after it became a Crapsack World after being attacked by the Magog and then enslaved by the Nietzscheans.
  • Arrow: In Season 4, Felicity Smoak is forced to redirect a stray nuclear missile from hitting the metropolitan city of Monument Point to its suburb of Havenrock, reducing casualties from millions of people to a "mere" tens of thousands. Things get awkward come Season 5, when one of Team Arrow's New Recruits, Rory Regan, happens to be Havenrock's sole survivor.
  • In Battlestar Galactica (2003), all twelve planets occupied by humans are razed by the enemy Cylons, using nuclear weapons. It is the catalyst that begins the events in the series.
    • Not only that. The humans' original homeworld, Kobol, was also devastated by war. The 12 colonies were founded after the devastation of Kobol. The 13th tribe, comprised of the Kobol equivalent of humanoid Cylons, left Kobol 2000 years prior to the other 12 tribes and landed on the first Earth. After the 13th colony created their own version of robot Cylons, the same cycle happened again and that Earth was destroyed, save for the final five. The final five being the ones who later help the 12 colonies' robot Cylons create the humanoid Cylons, which end up destroying the 12 colonies.
    • The same thing happened in the original, as well, though it was aerial bombardment / strafing from Cylon fightercraft that did the damage rather than nukes.
  • The Book of Boba Fett: The sand people village that Boba is captured by and eventually becomes a member of is brutally destroyed and most or all of its inhabitants murdered off screen to give him character motivation later in the series.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: The Chicago that Buck Rogers knew was destroyed (along with most of the rest of Earth) in a nuclear war some 500 years before the series proper takes place. A new, if somewhat more sterile city has been built close to the blackened, mutant-infested ruins.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Nyssa of Traken, companion of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, saw her homeworld and the rest of the Traken Union gone when the Master accidentally destroyed part of the Universe in "Logopolis".
    • "The Ghost Monument": Angstrom, one of the finalists in the Galactic Relay, says that her homeworld Aldar is being "cleansed". It's later revealed that the Stenza are responsible.
  • According to Firefly's background information, Malcolm Reynolds' homeworld of Shadow was rendered uninhabitable during the Unification War, and remains quarantined.
  • Heroes: The Haitian is revealed to have come from one of these in 'It Takes a Village'.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • Galadriel narrates how Morgoth destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor and turned the city of Tirion into a wasteland. After that, the Elves had to leave Valinor for Middle-earth.
    • Hordern, the place where Bronwyn was born has same fate. She discovers the town being entirely destroyed with no lead on what happened to the inhabitants.
    • In episode 6, Tirharad and other unnamed towns from the Southlands got completely destroyed by Orodruin's eruption.
  • In Lost, one of the antagonists, "the man in black", has his village burned down.
  • The Mandalorian:
    • The titular character has suffered this three times by the first season finale. When he was a child during the Clone Wars the Separatists attacked his home village, and he was rescued and adopted by Mandalorian commandoes. Then Mandalore was purged by the Empire. And finally the Imperial Remnants wiped out his covert enclave.
    • In the first season finale we learn that Cara Dune's homeworld was Alderaan, which was completely destroyed in A New Hope. The destruction left her with a severe hatred of the Galactic Empire and its remnants.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "The Grid", Scott Bowman discovers that almost everyone in his hometown of Halford, Washington has been taken over by a computer.
  • The Outpost: A key part of protagonist Talon's backstory is that when she was a child, her village was massacred by a band of mercenaries sent by the Prime Order. She's spent her entire life since preparing for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • In Robin of Sherwood the title character, a.k.a. Robin of Loxley, is a bit miffed when the Sheriff of Nottingham torches the village of Loxley.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 two-parter "Moebius", which is partly an Alternate Reality Episode, where the alternate SG-1 travel to Chulak and inadvertantly let Apophis find out about Earth, causing him to send a full fleet to attack it. Realizing they have no hope of stopping it, they decide to try to restore the original timeline, which they were initially unwilling to do.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Data was created in a colony on the planet of Omicron Theta on which all life was mysteriously and utterly annihilated (right down to the level of soil bacteria) by a space entity that resembles a giant snowflake. After the disaster, Data was found by the crew of the USS Tripoli when they came to investigate. He was deactivated during the attack, so the creature didn't count him as alive, and is effectively the sole survivor of the entire colony. Several later episodes see them either dealing with the return of this creature or tracking it down.
    • Similarly, Worf was rescued as a child from the wreckage of the Khitomer outpost by a Federation starhip after a Romulan attack wiped it out. Not his "home" exactly, but his whole family more or less was killed in the attack.
    • Tasha Yar also managed to escape Turkana IV, which literally became a Crapsack World when its government collapsed and law and order effectively vanished overnight.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Kara was sent alongside her cousin to Earth moments before her home planet Krypton was destroyed, making them and the Fort Rozz prisoners the only surviving Kryptonians. In Season 3, it is revealed that select Kryptonians, including Kara's parents, were able to relocate to an asteroid, where they established a new Kryptonian settlement called Argo City.
    • Mon-El's homeplanet, Daxam, was devastated during Krypton's destruction, which affected its moons, causing gravity to fluctuate and solar storms to ravage the planet. While not destroyed, the planet was made uninhabitable.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021): Though not completely destroyed, much of the protagonists' home village Emond's Field is burned and many residents killed in the pilot by attacking Trollocs.

  • In The Adventure Zone: Balance, Magnus's hometown, Ravensroost, ended up being attacked once more by the tyrant he drove away — not to conquer it, but to destroy it. Only a portion of it got damaged, but it was enough to scare the surviving locals off, leaving the place a ghost town. Later on, it's revealed that the Starblaster crew's home planet fits this trope, too.

  • Brand by Henrik Ibsen used this trope in 1866. Brand`s hometown is sited in a narrow fjord, with a glacier hanging almost precisely in balance over it. It is a known fact that a sudden, sharp sound, like a rifle shot, will make the glacier fall. And by the end of the play, it does — and everybody in the vicinity perishes. Because of this glacier, Brand`s hometown is already doomed.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Thanks to a Running Gag-cum-meme in Exalted fandom, if the city of Gem is your hometown, this trope will happen to you at some point. Gem is always doomed.
    • Outside of memes, the city of Thorns is a good target for this kind of backstory, seeing as Mask of Winters laid siege to it right after the Scarlet Empress vanished. And in Return of the Scarlet Empress, it becomes this twice over, seeing as one of the Empress's first orders upon her return is to nuke Thorns off the map.
  • Warhammer 40,000, happens a lot. The Dark Angels homeworld was destroyed, and their HQ The Rock is on a chunk of what's left of their home planet, and Magnus' homeworld of Prospero getting utterly annihilated by his brother was a big part of why Magnus became a Champion of Chaos.

  • The BIONICLE character Tobduk's time in the Order of Mata Nui began after his home island became the first victims of the Visorak horde. The attack and his survival changed his personality a great deal.

  • Inverted in Blue Moon Blossom; the bunny returns to their hometown to find that it was ravaged by incorporeal snake demons that turned all the inhabitants to stone, leaving the bunny and the rabbit spirit to restore the village. The others tried to fight back, as evidenced by the villagers wielding swords and other weapons, but to no avail.
  • Crimson Knights starts with Judoch and Wilburg's village being destroyed by werewolves, forcing them to flee into the night.
  • In DMFA, this is the backstory of the Insectis character Chiki: She was on a scouting mission aboveground when her hive was exterminated by a stronger one.
  • In Endstone, the day Kyri met Jon, her tribe was massacred.
  • Girl Genius: Years before the start of the comic Klaus returned to a world in chaos with the long war going strong and revenants terrorizing the countryside and his own family's historical seat and castle in ruins. He responded by creating a flying fortress, destroying the remaining forces of the Other and conquering every Spark and noble house that refused to stop fighting, creating the Pax Transylvania.
  • What happened to Lance's hometown in Gold Coin Comics.
  • In Guilded Age, averting this is a major factor in why and how Harky began to gather allies to fight the human invaders.
  • Homestuck has an entire doomed homeworld.
    • And now, as of the end of Act 5, two entire doomed home universes.
  • Deliberately invoked in I Killed the Hero?!, in which the main characters are NPC characters in a game. Many of them are concerned over the story starting because the starting town always gets demolished at the beginning of the game.
  • In Impure Blood, apparently happened to Mac, off-stage. Here, it appears to be sinking in.
  • Hillsnest, the hometown of the main character from Invincea and the Warriors from Hell is quite pleasant, aside from the way many of its inhabitants treat her. Enjoy it while it lasts.
  • in Knights of Buena Vista, Ilene plans for this to be her Snowlem character's backstory.
  • Inverted in Looking for Group. A contingent of the Legarian forces try to convert a little town up the coast. Said town happens to be the source of Richard's power. The hometown instead doomed them.
  • Beartato from Nedroid hails from a doomed home planet according to his secret origin comic. Then Reginald happens. (Of course, Negative Continuity combined with an Unreliable Narrator render this all suspect.)
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • A variant: On the Origins of PCs reveals that Durkon was sent away from the dwarven lands due to a prophecy that said it would get destroyed if he ever returned. Durkon does not know this, and a second prophecy has confirmed that he (or at least his body) would get to come home one day. Uh-oh...
    • Start of Darkness shows that Redcloak's village and all of its inhabitants (except for him and his brother) were destroyed by the Sapphire Guard shortly after his initiation as a cleric.
  • The first thing we see the villains do in Order of Tales is burn The Protagonist's ancestral home (after murdering his parents).
  • In Pokequest 2, evil fairies destroy Onii-Chan's house along with the rest of Nuvema town.
  • Unsounded: Ruffle's home Inaktown was inadvertently destroyed by Rroan when he triggered a self destruct spell to destroy a Crescian weapons facility and the Aldish troops who'd slaughtered the inak rebels when they tried to help them inside. He claims it a victory while sobbing, and as far as he knows he was the only survivor though Ruffles made it out too.
  • The plot of White Noise is kicked off when when the underground colony Wren lives in is destroyed by unknown attackers, forcing him into the unfamiliar post-apocalyptic surface of Earth.

    Web Original 
  • Critical Role:
    • In the first campaign, this is the backstory of the half elf twins Vax'ildan and Vex'ahlia. Their elven father took them away from their human mother to raise them as elves. When this didn't go so well and they sought to return to their mother's home in Byroden, they found the town and their mother had been destroyed in a dragon attack. They later spy the dragon responsible (Thordak, the Cinder King) during a jaunt on the Fire Plane, and encounter him again when he leads the Chroma Conclave's attack on Tal'dorei.
    • This also is the backstory for any Dragonborn characters in the Tal'dorei Campaign setting as their homeland Draconia was razed and literally cast to the ground by the Chroma Conclave.
  • Fallen Kingdom: Twice for the Prince. His kingdom is destroyed when he's a child, and then as an adult, his adopted Village is attacked by Piglins. In both cases, they're rebuilt, though.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, this happens to Skye when the Clergy of Mardük and Yamatians raze her hometown because it helped the Grand Alliance on its quest to liberate Remon from the Yamatian yoke.
  • Look to the West: This happens so often, and so nonchalantly, during the background of various revolutionary leaders it is almost a running gag. Look To The Burning House Where Your Family Used To Live. It's also not only lampshaded in Part 71's title — For Want Of A Burned House — but played with. If that house in Part 71 had been burnt down like so many others, Pablo Sanchez would have died as a boy hiding in a cupboard and the world would have been spared a tremendous amount of misery.
  • Not an entire town, but the game Peasant's Quest on the Homestar Runner website kicks off with Rather Dashing's thatch-roofed cottage being burninated by Trogdor and Rather Dashing swearing revenge.
  • Happens to no fewer than three of the eight heroes in The Questport Chronicles: Gawain's hometown is wiped out by a plague, Shadowa's is destroyed by darkness, and Emmy's home forest is flattened by a hurricane. All three are implied to have been caused by the Big Bad.
  • In ProZD's "RPGs with tons of characters," Gunther was the only other survivor when his brother Lysanderoth killed everyone in their village, for which Gunther swore revenge. Immediately subverted, as the player finds Gunther boring and leaves him out of his party. To add insult to injury, at least one of the characters he does bring along doesn't even know who Lysanderoth is.
  • In RWBY, it is common on Remnant for Creatures of Grimm to destroy towns and villages that exist outside the protective confines of the Kingdoms. Huntsmen exist to protect the people from the Grimm, but they can't match the sheer amount of Grimm that exist. Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie want to become Huntsmen, having survived an attack on Ren's home village Kuroyuri during their childhood. By Volume 4, they eventually defeat the Grimm that caused Kuroyuri's destruction. Later, in the Atlas Arc, their childhood experiences drive their behaviour towards the threat the Big Bad Salem poses to Atlas; they take different paths to each other, triggering imposter syndrome in Ren and an identity crisis for Nora.
  • The Saga of Pretzel Bob begins with the destruction of the unnamed town of Platz (no, that's not a typo), whose town drunk happens to be the eponymous Bob.
  • SCP-2424 ("Hostile Walrus Cyborg ''research ongoing''"). In the anomalous Video Game Eskimo Moe, the title character's home village was burned down by Emperor Penguin when he kidnapped Moe's girlfriend Anaaya.
  • A lot of them in The Solstice War but most obviously, Leander loses Bika village a few days after becoming a citizen and settling down, this on the heels of being exiled from his home.
  • StacheBros: In "Goomba's Revenge", Goomba's village is destroyed by Mario sitting on it and only Goomba himself survives, vowing revenge.
  • In Unlikely Eden this happens twice technically, but the very first installment chronicles the escape of the two protagonists from a hometown in a state of current dooming.

    Western Animation 
  • The title location in The Animals of Farthing Wood is this, with the location's impending deforestation jumpstarting the plot and making the animals depart for White Deer Park. When Owl travels back to Farthing Wood in Season 3, it is gone, and in its place lies a town named Farthinghurst.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Not one, not two, but all four cardinal point Air Nomad temples were destroyed by Fire Lord Sozin in his campaign to wipe out the airbenders and prevent the Avatar from stopping him.
    • Pointedly subverted with Katara and Sokka's village to establish Zuko as an Anti-Villain. Aang agreed to turn himself in if Zuko left the village alone, and even though he breaks out and two villagers helped him, he doesn't do anything for revenge and just leaves.
    • Subverted with Jet in the sense that he plays the trope to the letter, but isn't the hero. Or even A hero.
  • Centaurworld:
  • Dinotrux: The story's events are set into motion when the main character's original home is destroyed in a volcano eruption, forcing him to move.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "The Return of Harmony, Part 2", Discord uses the threat of this in a Sadistic Choice on Rainbow Dash, forcing her to choose between allowing her hometown of Cloudsdale to be destroyed or helping her friends stop Discord. Even worse, there's nothing to imply it isn't happening for real and Discord is just enough of a psycho to go through with it.
  • Star Wars Resistance: Kazuda Xiono is from Hosnian Prime, the capital of the New Republic, which was destroyed by the First Order in The Force Awakens. In "No Escape, Part I", Kaz sees it happen.
  • Cybertron, the homeworld of the Transformers, has been destroyed in at least two continuities, rendered uninhabitable or slowly dying in a couple others, and ravaged by war pretty much across the board. To those who remember its golden age of peace and prosperity, "tragic" is an understatement. Not quite the doomed homeworld Krypton is, but on the flip side that makes it hit closer to home in a lot of ways, everyone dying one by one in a millon-year-long war that could very well tear the world apart.
    • What makes it worse is that their home planet is also their God. It talks to them.
    • And in the 2007 movie, the Allspark, which the Autobots are searching for to bring life back to their world, is destroyed in order to kill Megatron, leaving Cybertron doomed to be barren forever. Optimus Prime, upon Bumblebee's suggestion, sends out a signal suggesting Earth as a new home for any Autobots scattered amongst the stars.
    • The latest entry in the series makes it deader than dead. apparently being barren isn't just enough, they had to pull it halfway through a wormhole, then force it back in while the wormhole collapsed on itself. Cybertron, at least in this continuity, is pretty much erased from existence.
    • There was once a security officer named Depth Charge, in charge of a small colony called Colony Omicron. Then one day, Protoform X showed up...
    • In Transformers: Prime, the planet has been contaminated by Dark Energon at it's very core, rendering it uninhabitable.
      • It's so bad that, upon needing to take one of the human companions back there for something, tough-as-nails Action Girl Arcee seems to be sadder than she's ever been, even sadder than when her partner Cliffjumper died...
        "This isn't how I wanted you to see my home..."
      • After Season 2, Jasper, Nevada becomes this for the human protagonists.

    Real Life 
  • Ronnie Brunswijk is a Surinamese Maroon, a descendant of African slaves in the Americas who had escaped from slavery and formed independent settlements. In the early 1980s he served as the bodyguard of military coup leader Dési Bouterse, but became disgruntled with his disregard for the Maroon minority. In 1986, Brunswijk left the government and formed the so-called Jungle Commando militia to gain equal rights for his people. Outraged at his decision, Bouterse's first action was to attack Brunswijk's home village of Moiwana. His forces murdered at least 39 villagers, mostly women and children, then burned down Brunswijk's house and destroyed the village.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Beloved Peasant Village, Destroyed Hometown


Olaf's Ruined Hometown

At the end of the mission "Toy Box" Olaf sadly reminisces about growing up in his home town, before an angry declaration against the ones responsible: the Black Hole army.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / ThisIsUnforgivable

Media sources: