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Inn Between the Worlds

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It may be an inn on a road in a Heroic Fantasy world, a Wild West saloon, a bar in a high-tech space station, or just a local pub — or it could be all of these at the same time. The Inn Between the Worlds exists simultaneously in different worlds, universes and/or times, or perhaps just jumps around in the fashion of The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday. Whether you can reliably return to where you came in varies.

Inns Between the Worlds, though they connect to some or all worlds, are not themselves part of any world. They are typically places of truce and/or sanctuary, and laws of physics and/or reality may be suspended as needed. (Quite a lot of them, for instance, are Bigger on the Inside.)

It is possible that the Inn was set up specifically as a Truce Zone by all sides both to allow respite from a war and to allow the combatants to have a place to discuss peace treaties or possible surrender. It's not in anyone's universe so it's a true place of neutrality. Plus they have really good chili dogs.

Always check the rules of the establishment very carefully before you or somebody next to you makes a jackass of themselves in the Inn; getting thrown out by the bouncer may well prove rather more hazardous than you could ever want to know about, but it could save your life to find out what the consequences are likely to be beforehand.

Sometimes Inns are used as a Framing Device for the patrons to tell strange and fantastic stories of their worlds. Sometimes it enables a Time Travel or Trapped in Another World plot, where the character leaves the inn through the wrong entrance (or the right entrance depending on your point of view). Perhaps it enables a Crossover for characters from different worlds or times to meet in a friendly environment. On rare occasions, if no one ever leaves, it may turn out to be a kind of afterlife.

Compare with:

  • At the Crossroads: The Crossroads are where roads meet. The Inn is where universes meet.
  • Bar Full of Aliens: The Inn is between worlds, so it's very much related to the Bar in that the patrons will come from a large array of backgrounds and from very far afield. In fact, they might be almost the same franchise simply with different managers, depending on the time of day wherever you find either. In both, however, even if everybody inside all looks "normal" to you, you can pretty much bet they're not. In the Inn, however, they might also not even be technically aliens, as such. Just people out of time and place, your own gods, random demons or angles, nature spirits, anthropomorphic personifications of abstracts, The Fair Folk... whatever... trying to have a quiet pint. As well as actual aliens. Common rules still apply: don't knock over anybody else's drink and never try to steal their chips.
  • Bazaar of the Bizarre: More social than Little Shops but less than the Inn. The Inn is also not particularly focused on commerce (except food, drink, and sometimes rooms).
  • Good-Guy Bar (or Bad Guy Bar): Or Grey and Gray Girl Bar or Blue and Orange Gay Bar. Always check before you ask for a running tab or try to use the bathroom.
  • Hub Level: What this place might serve as in video games.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: Also an island of the fantastic in the ordinary world, but Inns don't move around as much, are much more social than Little Shops (where your interactions are almost always limited to a single shopkeeper), and are less focused on the acquisition of magical items and more on traveling or swapping stories.
  • Portal Crossroad World: A world (or city etc.) existing in one universe, but containing access to many others.

Contrast with:


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Nasuverse has the Cafe Ahnenerbe, a rustic little restaurant noted for its excellent curry, which is noted as a "place of impossible meetings" since it connects to all dimensions of the Nasuverse. The end results of the meetings can be, well... eccentric. The one to blame is (as always when it comes to dimensional travel) Zelretch.
  • In One Piece, Brulee's house is located right in-between a rift or portal in the Mirro-World alternate dimension and the One Piece planet's real world. It essentially exists in both worlds at once.
  • The best ramen noodles in Space☆Dandy is sold by an alien from a cart in a pocket dimension, that it passed through wormholes to the rest of the universe.

    Audio Plays 
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who episode, The Wormery is set in Bianca's Cabaret. A bar on a distant planet full of wormholes for bringing in customers from all over time and space.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Who Magazine;
    • "Party Animals" is set in Bonjaxx's Bar on the planet Maruthea which sits at the center of the Time Vortex. Given the Massive Multiplayer Crossover characters that appear at the party, it could be connected to various dimensions of the multiverse.
    • "Hotel Historia" is about the eponymous chain of time travelling hotels with patrons from all over history.
  • Munden's Bar in Grimjack; in this case, it's a property of the city the bar is in, though Munden's itself gets more than its share of odd customers even by the standards of Cynosure.
  • The 2008 Guardians of the Galaxy had their base in Knowhere, a Giant Corpse World on the outer edge of all spacetime where the rest of time and space can be accessed. Although there are other features like a marketplace and facilities for observing the end of the universe, there is a bar called Starlin's.
  • Voodoo Mansion in Lori Lovecraft shows up wherever it needs to be, and there is no guarantee it will be in the same place you entered when you leave. In The Dark Lady, Lori enters the house in Scotland and leaves in Louisiana just outside of New Orleans. Doors inside the mansion open up into other realities.
  • Mark Millar's The Magic Order has the Abington Hotel, a wizard-only restaurant that exists on the borders of time and space. It connects to every point in time and guests aren't allowed to talk to other diners or leave through a different door that they came in through.
  • The White Rat in the Italian Mickey Mouse Comic Universe series X-Mickey is a XIXth-century-like pub where people from the Dimension of the Impossible go to meet their real-world clients who wish to visit the Dimension of the Impossible.
  • Book 8 of The Sandman (1989) (Worlds' End) is set in the titular extra-dimensional inn. Book 9 mentions that there are a total of four, although only one of the others ("The Toadstone") is named.
    • One of the House of Mystery comics from Vertigo has the House of Mystery itself set up as one of these. It doesn't count as one of the four mentioned previously, because it was set up as a bar some time after the events of Sandman.
    • The second to last act of The Books of Magic takes place in there.
  • The Oblivion Bar in Shadowpact, formerly a bookstore.
  • "The League Of Extraordinary Barts" story in The Simpsons Super Spectacular has three versions of Bart summoned to another universe. Bartman compares the situation to the "Last Call At The Parallel Bar" Radioactive Man comic. We see a panel of three alternate Radioactive Men that have been summoned to a bar.
  • The Crossroads from Sovereign Seven is a coffee shop version of this.
  • Roadhouse in Strontium Dog is a deserted bar full of doors leading to other dimensions. It was created by an artist to hold other artists prisoner.
  • The Transformers comics had Old Maccadam's Oil House, one of the best bars on Cybertron. It's run by the eponymous Maccadam, who is rumored to be one of the original thirteen Transformers (and thus a multiversal nexus in and of himself), and in one comic one of the backrooms served as a hangout for dead Optimuses from across the multiverse while they were waiting for resurrection. As soon as the Optimuses (Optimi?) got revived, a gaggle of dead Megatrons showed up. Notably, except for the dead Optimi and Megatrons, its patrons are unaware that they're dining in a cross-multiversal establishment.
  • In You Look Like Death: Tales From The Umbrella Academy Klaus can astrally project into a dimension called The Void. The only building is a bar/hotel where souls reside until the Celestial Bureaucracy decides whether to put them in Heaven or Hell.
  • Whatever Happened to The Caped Crusader? is set in a bar in Crime Alley where people who knew Batman give contradictory eulogies of how he died. It's implied to be a temporary afterlife that Batman's soul visits each time he dies before being Reincarnated In Another World as a new Bruce Wayne.
  • The Dark Alley Club, the hangout of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse is a strip club that was built over a portal to Hell. It's proprietor, Medusa is more concerned with running the club than stopping things escaping.

  • Sony made one that has various game characters hang out in a bar, who all end up cheering the player for being a great person who helped them in their time of need.

  • In the works of A.A. Pessimal, the Four Winds Bar, (from Blue Öyster Cult's Astronomy), is such a strange place, where the DEATHS of various worlds go for a social drink to discuss demarcation issues and problems arising where their jurisdictions overlap.
  • In the early times of the Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers fan forum Acorn Cafe, the Ranger Coffeehouse was established, a place where Fan Fiction characters hang out when they aren't busy in a fic. This includes characters from the show itself, and as fanfics tend to portray them differently, multiple instances of them are likely to meet each other. The Ranger Coffeehouse is located on the Dragon Planet and can be accessed via interdimensional portals. Also, the love of the Rangerphiles at the Acorn Cafe for roleplays and Round Robins has been taken into account: Self-insertion characters/fursonas ("Creators") are denied access to the Coffeehouse.
  • Arisugawa's Locket also exists simultaneously across many dimensions.
  • One of these shows up in Equestria: Across the Multiverse, which is a bed and breakfast for Dimensional Travelers located in between multiverses. It's also owned and operated by a version of Pinkie Pie from an Equestria where they ascended into tenth-dimensional beings.
  • New Look Series: Link's New Look has the Smash Mansion, where every member of the Super Smash Bros. series (and hence, Nintendo characters from wildly varying universes) co-exist.
  • The Lighthouse, a crystalline structure floating in the Void Between the Worlds, is this for the Magical Girl Crossover Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights. It's described as a "sanctuary" for those fleeing the destruction of their homeworlds.
  • Sunset's Isekai is a bar where people from just about any show, game, book, anime, comic book, or fanfic can have a drink and talk about their life, issues, or philosophy with Sunset Shimmer.
  • The open story Tales From the Barman (parts I and II) on Twisting the Hellmouth is set in a variant of this: Xander opens a bar in Cleveland, but given the local Hellmouth and the usual clientele of Slayers, demons, witches, etc. quickly becomes a multi-dimensional nexus, with every chapter being a new character or set of characters passing through and Xander trading drinks for stories.
  • This Time Round, the Doctor Who pub outside continuity, a meeting place for everything in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe — and every canon they've crossed over with. Inspired by the Subreality Cafe, which is this for comics characters.

    Film — Animation 
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Game Central Station is a surge protector that connects all the arcade machines together in reality, but serves as this for the game characters. It looks like a train station but it functions like a residence for characters of unplugged games.



  • The Old Phoenix Tavern in several works by Poul Anderson, most famously A Midsummer Tempest — where it introduces a character from his Operation Chaos and another from Three Hearts and Three Lions. (This enables Anderson to tell curious readers what happened to the hero of the latter, without writing a full-scale sequel).
  • A. Bertram Chandler once had Space Navy officer John Grimes inadvertently cross universes to a club for fictional naval personnel — though the original rules were bent a bit to allow non-naval ship captains such as Ahab to hang out there (it's hinted that Commander Bond had to strong-arm Captain Queeg somewhat to make him stop objecting to Ahab's inclusion). Jeeves is the chief servant at the club, is fully aware of the fictional nature of all involved, and asks Grimes (approximate quote): "The question is, sir, are you an enduring creation?"

Individual works

  • Callahan's Crosstime Saloon and sequels feature an inversion, as the pub is pretty ordinary. It's the patrons and barkeep that come from everywhere and everywhen.
    • Lady Callahan's is similar, but it is a brothel with a bar downstairs. Oddly, the innocent and regulated downstairs is so awesome that some never take advantage of the other services available.
    • Ditto with Arthur C. Clarke's Tales from the White Hart and L. Sprague de Camp's Tales from Gavagan's Bar.
  • The Captain's Table Star Trek novels use it as a Framing Device. This particular version can only be reached by those who hold or have held the Captain rank (or its equivalent) which, coupled with the fact it touches all of time and space, means it sees all sorts of visitors — like the Captain of a Roman Legion. About the only permanent occupant (other than Cap, the Bartender) is a dazed man in a tattered uniform who sits in a dark corner staring into nothing and mumbling about icebergs... yes, that's right, it's Captain Edward J. Smith of the Titanic, who remains in the Captain's Table due to a mixture of having suffered a mental breakdown and the fact that stepping out the door will place him back on the Titanic's deck as it finishes sinking into the ocean. It looks like whatever the particular captain thinks a bar should look like, Cap always knows exactly what each patron wants to drink, and to pay their tab each patron must tell a story.
  • The Cosmere has Silverlight, a colony made by Dimensional Travellers in the local equivalent of hyperspace where the worldhoppers meet, rest, trade or even settle down and have children.
  • In Steven Brust's novel, Cowboy Feng's Space Bar And Grille, the titular eatery jumps from world to world (and time to time) whenever an atomic bomb goes off nearby. And that's been happening a lot lately...
  • The Interdimensional Tavern in The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids is one of the only landmarks to exist in the Void Between the Worlds (and yes, that is every bit as paradoxical as it sounds, sorry) and a common stopping point for Dimensional Travelers. (The owner is a golf ball and Eldritch Abominations often stop by to bully him into giving them free drinks. One would like to say you get used to it, but no, you don't.)
  • Deadfall Hotel by Steve Rasnic Tem focuses on this trope; a hotel where monsters and ghosts can seek peace and solitude.
  • The Doctor Who Missing Adventures novel, The Crystal Bucephalus is about the eponymous restaurant/time machine that would take its diners to different points in history.
  • Iris Wildthyme visits an alternate 19th Century Paris where a Negative Space Wedgie links to other parts of time and space. The nearby Moulin Rouge has a clientel of time travellers and aliens.
  • The Draco Tavern in several Larry Niven short stories is a pub in Earth's main spaceport, equipped for a very diverse range of customers.
  • The Leaky Cauldron from the Harry Potter franchise is a metaphorical example. It's a run down bar in London that's enchanted so that Muggles don't notice and it's back entrance leads to various wizard-only streets like Diagon Alley.
  • Milliways, the Restaurant at the End of the Universe from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, after a fashion. In The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, due to their unusual form of travel to the titular eatery, the heroes briefly believe they're dead, and seriously consider the consequences of the afterlife being a fancy restaurant.
    • Also the Massive Multiplayer Crossover LiveJournal RPG named for it, although whether they're actually meant to be the same bar is unclear.
    • And don't forget the Big Bang Burger Bar, at the other "end" of the universe...
  • The House of Red Fireflies is a brothel between the worlds, currently there are three short stories set there.
  • The short story The Inn at Mount Either takes place at an inn located on an inter-dimensional mountain and is connected to alternate versions of itself. The story deals with the protagonist searching for his wife after she gets lost among the infinite worlds. It is implied that the wife he found wasn't "exactly" who he was looking for, and he may have not returned to the right Earth.
  • Young adult novel The Inn Between by Marina Cohen features a lavish hotel where everyone who arrives is greeted with "we've been expecting you", the staff are vague with any kind of question, there is no way to contact anyone on the outside, and people slowly disappear. The main characters eventually discover the hotel is a holding place for anyone who is between life and death, they were in a car wreck, and paramedics are currently trying to revive them.
  • Edmond Hamilton's "The Inn Outside The World": Events in this story takes place in an inn where famous historical figures regularly meet. Figures from different eras of history.
  • Played with in Phyllis Ann Karr's A Night at Two Inns in the second of the Sword and Sorceress anthologies, where there are not one but two such inns opposite each other. Each claims to be Heaven, and denounces the other as Hell. Actually, one was a Valhalla-type afterlife and the other a contemplative one — but the residents of either would find the other hellishly unpleasant.
  • Powers by James Burton has the palace/room with doors opening onto different places, times and dimensions.
  • Alfred Bester & Roger Zelazny's Psychoshop has a similar nature, but instead of a bar, it's a sort of pawnshop, "where you can dump any unwanted aspect of your spirit as long as you exchange it for something else".
  • The light novel and anime Restaurant to Another World has a weird and somewhat downplayed version of this: six days out of the week, Western Restaurant Nekoya is just a western-fare restaurant in Japan. But on Saturdays, the restaurants' door manifests to many places in a fantasy world, with the clientele going from businessmen, office ladies, Treasure Hunters, Fairies, Elves, Dwarves, Lizardfolks, Wizards, Knights, Samurai, Nobles, and one Admiral. More unusual is that it employs one of the six Dragon Gods of the fantasy world as a waitress, and is considered part of the treasure hoard of another one. Nekoyas' head chef had played a role in shaping the fate of many within the fantasy world: from feeding Fried Shrimp to a starving Knight three years ago that gave him the energy to reach the castle and save a Dutchy from destruction, to inadvertently kickstarting a Culinary Arms Race by many chefs and merchants seeking to recreate the modern dishes which served to uplift Pasta and Spaghetti from a bland Commoners' dish to a meal filled with cheeses and sauces that Nobles could also enjoy, to even selling a man a bag of potatoes so he could enjoy Croquettes whenever he wanted to; and thanks to the Cobblers' Tubers the man was able to save his nation from a great famine which helped him to become its newly-appointed Emperor. Though if you ask him how he feels about all this; he'll simply say that it was just another Saturday serving good food for people who would want to enjoy it.It's later revealed that the reason Nekoyas' front door connects to the fantasy world in the first place is because the Head Chefs' grandmother was The Chosen One of that world who wound up in Japan after defeating the previous Demon King, and decided to remain there.
  • Honest John's in The Riftwar Cycle. It's reached from the Hall of Worlds, by stepping off the path between certain doorways. You have to know the right spots... or else.
    • Any of the several right spots. Or else what is never really elaborated upon, but nobody ever comes back from it. Nobody ever says how, exactly, it was found, or for that matter how it exists.
  • The 1988 Hugo-Winning short story "Why I Left Harry's All-Night Hamburgers" by Lawrence Watt-Evans features a hamburger joint that exists in the same spot in nearly all universes, making it a popular late-night hangout for inter-dimensional travelers.
  • The Astral Cafe is a restaurant built on an interdimensional nexus, frequented by various gods and aliens.
  • The House Of The Rising Sun in the Faction Paradox novel, The Book Of The War is a brothel connected to several other brothels in different times and planets.

    Live Action TV 
  • The whole Bar Karma series is built on this trope. The characters who are doing something wrong with their lives open a random door and randomly enter in this bar where they have their karma balanced.
  • In the Doctor Who episode, "Hell Bent", Clara gets her own TARDIS that takes the shape of a diner and can travel anywhere in time or space.
  • On Fringe, the building on Liberty Island where the machine is kept.
  • The Interdimensional Hole Of Pancakes is an interdimensional crossroads in The Good Place. Isn't functional as a cafe because the pancakes eat people.
  • Hikari Studio in Kamen Rider Decade, which serves as Tsukasa's method of travelling between the parallel worlds. It is technically a photo studio, but as Natsumi's grandfather Eijiro is fond of making food and coffee for whoever wanders in, it effectively functions as a cafe as well.
  • The pub in Life On Mars, as revealed in Ashes to Ashes (2008), is actually the door between heaven and purgatory.
  • The eponymous diner of Nightmare Cafe was an example of a sentient Inn Between The Worlds.
  • Arguably, Al's diner/bar in "Mirror Image", the last episode of Quantum Leap.
  • In The Sopranos episode "From Where To Eternity", Chris has a near death experience where he visits Hell or Purgatory that's an Irish bar where it is Saint Patrick's Day every day, and Italian mobsters spend all eternity getting beaten in card games.
  • The "Astral Diner" of the Stargate SG-1 episode "Threads". The place is a midway point between the mortal dimension and the higher realms where the Ascended live. Played with in that it's actually an example of A Form You Are Comfortable With, as it was modelled after Daniel Jackson's memories.
  • A Doctor What Doctor Whomage fan sketch on Jeremy Beadle's Hollywood Hotshots had Doctor What travelling time and space in his fridge called the BARDIS (Beverage And Refreshment Dispenser In Space). It's a fridge on the outside but a Bigger on the Inside pub in the interior.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: At the end of Season 6, John Constantine gives his ex-girlfriend Zari a magical key before he leaves the Legends, which can send the holder to a replica of his mansion. This mansion becomes the Legends' temporary Home Base for the next season thanks to their regular headquarters the Waverider getting destroyed by another Waverider, and they can get to the mansion at any time and at any place as long as there's a door and keyhole to use the magic key on.



  • The Murderverse: The Murder-Free Hotel takes place in the eponymous "Murder-Free Hotel", a tower hotel in one of the Host's personal pocket dimensions. Murdergame characters have a mostly-unexplainednote  tendency to just, kinda, show up.
  • The eponymous Ulti's Bar & Grill, from, well, Ulti's Bar & Grill.

    Tabletop RPGs 
  • Though not precisely between worlds, the Hollows that characters in Changeling: The Lost can build do share characteristics with this trope: Built in a parallel dimension called the Hedge, a Hollow can, and usually will, open into both worlds, and its doors can be separated by vast distances in Earth-side terms (a Hollow could have entrances in Boston, London, Tokyo, and Moscow fairly easily).
  • Terra City, from Chaos, is more of a Multiverse-sized ecumenopolis-city between the worlds. Warriors, wanderers, travelers, traders, troubadours, and every other sort of strange folk come and go here every day from the most distant multiverses. It's probably not hard to guess that Terra City has hundreds of septillions (at a low estimate) of bars, inns, pubs, watering holes, and other, much stranger types of establishments, different ones of which are popular with beings from different parts of the omniverse.
  • There is a GURPS worldbook where every adventure starts in a bar where going to the bathroom can land you literally anywhere in the multiverse.
    • GURPS also has a semi-sentient Victorian Era-esque Gentleman's Club which has hundreds of doors which all lead to various alternate universes, listed in the original Time Travel supplement.
    • And the newer Infinite Worlds books gives a brief mention of the Infinity Patrol bars. The patrons might all be from the same world, but they've been just about everywhen.
  • "Chez Régis" in In Nomine Satanis / Magna Veritas, where angels and demons can drink without fighting each other.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Sigil from the Planescape setting is the city equivalent of this trope — located on the inside of a torus on top of an infinitely tall spire located in the exact center of the planes (which are infinite in size — no, don't think too hard about that one), it is simultaneously connected to almost everywhere in D&D cosmology through its virtually infinite amounts of portals, all of whom differ in size, place they lead to and what opens them. Because of this, Sigil is a place where one can expect to find almost anything. It's still a somewhat normal town with everyday life and time that flows normally, however. Well, as much "normal" as can be a city built on the inside of a torus so that you can see it curving above you, where belief can shape reality, visited every day by strange creatures from all over the multiverse, ruled by an enigmatic being who kills those who worship her by pulling her sharp shadow over them...
      • The Pentacle is a specific inn in Sigil known for hosting a surprisingly large number of portals, even by the standards of the City of Doors.
    • The World Serpent Inn mentioned in several Forgotten Realms sourcebooks was built in its own demiplane by an archmage from Toril, Arcane and Illithid as a neutral ground when Sigil turned out to be too violent and inconvenient for quiet business and rest. Not only is it connected to many worlds, but (unlike Sigil) it is accessible to powers, and some gods visit it to relax and chat with creatures they deem interesting. It's a form of Good-Guy Bar, since no one wants to annoy peacefully grazing deities, and some clients in a common room can turn out to be gods on a tea-break. And even if there aren't any, The Bartender is an avatar himself — if some god just likes to meet new people and thinks it's funny, why not?
    • The Dungeons & Dragons Mystara campaign world has two: the Comealong Inn and The Inn Between the Worlds. (Originally just one, they were split thanks to a Retcon.)
    • Among the many, many items in the 2nd Edition Encyclopedia Magica is the "Awl, Inn", a cobbler's tool that could be used to open a portal to such an Inn.
  • The eponymous Floating Vagabond from Tales from the Floating Vagabond is a variation of this — it only exists in one place and time, but has a device that will randomly cause people who enter other bars in any time, reality, or location in the universe to end up there... and once it's happened once, they can intentionally cause it to happen whenever they enter another bar from then on.

    Video Games 
  • Another Eden has an Inn Between Times in the form of the Spacetime Rift, which contains a bar filled with people stranded in time, and acts as an Hub World to travel between eras, at least prior to unlocking the Riftbreaker.
  • In Bayonetta, The Gates of Hell are a variant. While the bar does have a physical location (in a scumhole city known only as The Dump in lore), and normal but determined or well-connected humans like Enzo or Luka are able to enter it just fine, it mostly caters to the likes of Bayonetta. Go past the drinks menu and Rodin trades in exotic weaponry and artifacts, using angels' halos as currency, and portals to the place can be found in both Paradiso and Inferno.
  • Bear's Restaurant is in an Afterlife Antechamber where the dead get a final meal before boarding the Afterlife Express.
  • In the earlier part of Chrono Trigger but (suspiciously) right after the number of characters playable at once exceeds three, time travel happens through portals at the "End of Time", which is a claustrophobic collection of several connecting rooms. It's not nice enough to be an Inn, but it is an important juncture point between the eras of time.
  • "Pocket D" is a nightclub in a small Pocket Dimension, in the MMORPGs City of Heroes and City of Villains (and City of Heroes Going Rogue). It's accessible from multiple points in either games, and allows characters from all three to interact in a neutral environment (CoH and CoV have multiple PvP zones otherwise).
    • It's also the designated location for special events, including the Winter and Spring Events.
  • Control has the Oceanview Motel And Casino, which is a funny twist on this trope in itself. It's not a hub level despite there being many doors in it, but rather, it's somewhere you spontaneously end up transported to while traversing between realities, usually to form a very literal bridge between Thresholds of The Oldest House. The Motel resembles "every roadside motel" at once, and it's described to be something of a psychic Dream Land, meaning its form is likely a projection based off a collective subconscious understanding of what a motel is. There's no staff, but the mini-fridges keep getting restocked, and it's cozy enough that some FBC agents have reported chilling out there as a relaxing getaway with no ill effects.
  • The Quester's Rest in Dragon Quest IX. It is visited by several characters from previous Dragon Quest games; and you can meet with and travel with Alternate Universe versions of yourself. (IE, other players who have the game.)
  • The Cafe of Broken Dreams in Fallout 2 is the fourth-wall breaking version of this. It's a random encounter, but if you get it, you meet up with the NPCs of the first game, engage in jokes about character models, and get Dogmeat back.
  • Final Fantasy V has a stranger than usual example in a town that disappeared out of existence for centuries, only to reappear when two worlds were rejoined into the one on which the town was built. It gets even stranger during a sequence that takes you through nearly every location in the game via... dimensional compression... with the town and its inhabitants being frozen in place, and a previously sealed door now serving as another interdimensional portal.
  • In the Golden Sun series, there is an arena that you are able to go to anywhere from the main menu. The characters inside seem to acknowledge its existence, yet it is never visited in the main game of either of the games.
  • The Hub Level in Jazztronauts is Bar Samsara that can be accessed by beings from all dimensions. Its staff actually use it as a front for stealing from the rest of the multiverse. The other dimensions being various fanmade Garry's Mod levels.
  • Traverse Town, in Kingdom Hearts, serves as a refuge for survivors from all the different worlds that have been destroyed by The Heartless, and a launching point into the game's multiverse. The "corridors of darkness" that are ripped open during a world's destruction tend to take people to Traverse Town by default, which is how the hero first arrived after escaping his Doomed Hometown.
  • Necrobarista is set in a cafe called The Terminal where the dead get one final night to interact with the living.
  • Popular fanon is that NetHack protagonists who complete the game and Ascending to a Higher Plane of Existence end up in the Demigod bar. Players who believe this will try to ascend with coolers full of Potions of Booze and there's implied to be a God bar nearby.
  • The Nexus inside the Anomaly in No Man's Sky is located between instances of the universe. Because of its peculiar status, it's the only location completely out of reach of the Sentinels. It's also a good place to team up with friends or random players.
  • The Persona series has the "Velvet Room," a sort of cabaret lounge located "between consciousness and subconsciousness". It can only be entered by those who possess a connection to the spirit world. Its form also changes depending on this person and the circumstances, having taken the form of an elevator, a limo, and a karaoke club, among others.
  • The Inventory from the Poker Night at the Inventory games, which has thus far hosted (or employed) characters from Borderlands, Sam & Max: Freelance Police, Team Fortress 2, Portal, Homestar Runner, Penny Arcade, Evil Dead, The Venture Brothers, and Monkey Island (supporting character Reginald van Winslow runs the place). Characters from Gravity Bone and The Walking Dead have made cameos.
    Max: Whatever happens in the omnidimensional accretion nexus, stays in the omnidimensional accretion nexus.
  • Space Station 13 has the Afterlife Bar wher dead players hang out until they hopefully get revived on a clone body.
  • The Hakurei Shrine from the Touhou Project series technically isn't part of Gensokyo proper, instead being located on the eastern portion of Great Hakurei Barrier that separates Gensokyo from the Outside World and simultaneously existing within both. As a result of its dual existence, objects from the Outside World and occasionally even people can be spirited away to Gensokyo, though the exact mechanism remains unknown.
  • The aptly-named Tavern of Time, located in the Caverns of Time in World of Warcraft. It's simply a little house with a bartender NPC in it. The "between the worlds" part comes from the fact that the Caverns of Time are the home and workplace of the guardians of time and nearby NPCs are Unstuck in Time.
    • The mage's tower in Stormwind contains a portal leading to large room with tall Cathedral ceilings, where the mage trainers do their studies. If you listen to some of the mages' conversations around the district, they talk about stabilizing portals and creating small universes.

    Web Comics 
  • In Achewood, travelling between Earth and Hell is done through the restrooms in Friendly's.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja shows Purgatory as being a Restaurant Between the Worlds, in which one eats one's venial sins to purge them from the soul. However, since the restaurant is infinite and there's only one waiter, the process can take millennia.
  • The Cross Time Café webcomic exists to let webcomic characters meet up outside their own continuity.
  • The Pub Stub from Goats.
  • Halfway Hotel is a hotel where the newly deceased hang out until they're ready to pass on to heaven or hell. The staff is a mix of angels and demons.
  • The shop Phantasies in Incubus Tales is a prime example of this.
  • The proto-strips of Roommates took place in an unnamed Inn Between Worlds and also it's 'verse could be seen as this scaled up to town (if not a planet's) size, where every fiction in existence has a back door to. Welcome to the Buildingverse.
  • Subnormality's "Museum of the Theoretical" is a meta-fied edition of this trope.

    Web Original 
  • "The Inn Between Realms" was a thread in the now-defunct Science Fiction & Fantasy discussion board and its user-created continuation at Delphi that grew spontaneously from casual chatting through roleplaying to collaborative storytelling. It was mostly set in the titular Inn which, of course, was an example of this trope. How exactly it existed "between realms" wasn't entirely clear, but one explanation was that it carried with it a small area of geography whose edges linked to random places on various worlds at different times, without visible transition lines. In any case, everyone bringing in their various original characters reflected the world-connecting nature of the location. The story remained mostly an insider thing, but as a handful of the collaborators are published authors (no big names... yet) and many others are prospective, the setting may crop up somewhere yet.
  • GameFAQs has an invite-only board called "Restaurant at the End of the Universe"
  • In the various Glowfic, Millways is a bar/restaurant modeled after the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, which complementary window looking out at a bunch of perpetually exploding stars. It sometimes possesses doors, temporarily turning them into doors into Millways. Also, the bar itself is sapient, apparently female, and able to produce most non-living objects that exist in any universe, and some that don't actually exist (such as catalogs of fashion from multiple universes), for an appropriate price.
  • The eponymous House in The House Between, which sits outside of the Universe.
  • Stan's Place in I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC is this between the Marvel Comics and DC Comics universes, as well as the real world, indie comic distributors like Dark Horse Comics (where Hellboy hails from), and probably many more.
  • This is the general idea behind "dressing room" RPGs on Livejournal — the only difference being that your stay there is usually a lot longer than in other examples of this trope. The benefit of this setting is that players can come and go as they please; when a player wants to stop playing, they can simply stop posting and other characters will simply treat the disappearance as the dressing room sending your character home.
    • "Jam jar" Livejournal RPs tend to be a combination between this and a City in a Bottle setting.
  • The SCP Foundation;
    • SCP-1472 is the multiverse strip club that appears in an empty building for a few hours every Saturday night. Acts include velociraptors in cosplay gear, a talking orangutan that makes a headless woman perform tricks and a still-living Hellen Keller.
    • SCP-2713 is an extradimensional nightclub that has entrances all over the world and it's patrons seem to be stars in human form.
    • SCP-2830 is an extra-dimensional ballroom compete with a bar accessed by 15 linked Bigger on the Inside taxis. Its purpose is unknown as it was abandoned and emptied of its furniture before the Foundation found it.
    • SCP-3008 is an IKEA between the worlds. Its interior is seemingly endless and some of the humans trapped inside it claim to come from alternate versions of Earth.
    • The The Wanderer's Library works this way; it is a great library that connects with the entire multiverse.
  • The Sands of Time in Star Harbor Nights is an extradimensional tavern. Its existence has been used to justify at least one "incredibly pointless cameo" from a minor Tales of MU character. It also shows up in the second "year" of Tales of MU as the inn of the black door, where Mack goes to find Pala and encounters Morgenstern from Star Harbor Nights.
  • The Wandering Star Tavern on DeviantArt is an interdimensional Space Station Bar Full of Aliens with portals to several planets. It was made to crossover various aliens on the site.

    Western Animation 
  • The fabled 23rd Mr Smoothy location in Ben 10: Omniverse, which was intended to sell smoothies in every universe simultaneously, and instead takes Ben to the universe of Ben 23.
  • Mabel's Diner in Time Warp Trio exists in an a void outside of time. Patrons have to pay with their time meaning that short intervals of their life will be Cosmic RetConned out of existence.
  • In the What If…? (2021) episode "What If The Watcher Broke His Oath?", The Guardians Of The Multiverse meet inside an extradimensional pub based on one described in Captain Carter's biography.


Video Example(s):


William's Door

Sarah Gold having decipher her grandfathers' notes managed to stumble across Williams' Door leading into Nekoya: a Western-Themed Restaurant that only pops up every seven days on a Saturday.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheLonelyDoor

Media sources: