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Not Where They Thought

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"We're not on the moon! We're in the Hundred Acre Wood!"

A character looks around them and sees that things are a little different, then concludes that they're somewhere else. Or perhaps, something happened (such as an explosion or stepping through what they thought was a portal) that they believe moved them but it didn't. Or maybe they did go somewhere, but they're mistaken as to where. This character is Not Where They Thought.

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Commonly, they think they're in a very strange place, such as the moon or another dimension. Their reason for thinking so is usually because they tried to go there and didn't realise they failed. Common for children, who are naive enough to both attempt to go somewhere in a way that wouldn't actually work and believe they succeeded in getting there when they didn't.

However, they may also think they're in a perfectly normal place, such as New York or Paris, and made the mistake because they accidentally got onto the wrong vehicle (see Missed the Bus) or otherwise goofed up. The Ditz and the character with No Sense of Direction are especially prone to goofing up like this.

Usually Played for Laughs. Mistaken for Afterlife, Earth All Along, Mistaken for Imprisonment, and This Isn't Heaven are subtropes. Compare Bait-and-Switch Time Skip and Faked Rip Van Winkle for when a character is Not When They Thought, and Tomato in the Mirror for when they're Not Who They Thought. Can lead to Mistaken for Aliens, You Can't Go Home Again, and Mistaken Nationality. Compare Where Do You Think You Are? for when someone knows where they are but has a misconception about the place. Sometimes played for Cringe Comedy if they turn out to be somewhere embarrassing such as the wrong bathroom (which could be the result of a "Which Restroom" Dilemma but not necessarily) or a shower room, or Right on Queue if they end up at the wrong line. Can lead to a Not in Kansas Anymore remark or result from someone taking a Wrong Turn at Albuquerque or if they Failed a Spot Check, were Going in Circles, or are in an Unnaturally Looping Location.

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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: In one comic, Mr. Weatherbee is yelling at Archie and his friends for supposedly loitering in the school hallways. Archie informs him that they're actually at the mall. Mr. Weatherbee misses the point and tells them not to be late for class.
  • One Green Lantern story has a disoriented Hal crash land on a planet which his damaged ring is unable to identify. He has no battery, no idea where he is, and enough power left to send three messages. After that, his ring will be out of charge, and he'll find out whether the local atmosphere will kill him. Hal sends his last goodbyes to the Corps, Bruce, and Carol, the ring runs out of power, and... he finds himself breathing normal air, because he's a few miles away from Las Vegas. It takes a while before the rest of the League stops laughing.
  • The Simpsons: At the start of "What Would Possibly Happen If... Cletus Went to College?" from Simpsons Comics #51, it is mentioned that Cletus has mistaken a photo booth for an outhouse twice.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: In this strip, Calvin appears to be in his house as usual and he notes that there's a door that wasn't there before. A puppet version of his mother comes out holding a bowl of oatmeal, which gets him to realize he's not at home. He looks out the window and sees that it's just a fake house that two aliens have put him in. This turns out to be All Just a Dream.
    Calvin: Oh no! That's not our yard outside! It's... it's a cage! Aaaughh! I'm trapped in a lab and they're trying to get me to imprint on my own species before they return me to the wild!
    Alien scientist 1: [holding the puppet] He's on to us, Wayne.
    Alien scientist 2: [giving an aside glance] There goes our funding.
  • The Far Side: In one strip, an alien is telling off another for getting not only the wrong planet but the wrong solar system.
  • At one point in Mutts, Earl and Mooch are blown over the garden fence into the watchdog's yard. Mooch is certain that they've ended up in Mexico, despite the watchdog angrily trying to tell him otherwise.
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    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami: Baron Leopold and crew, due to a moved hero gate endpoint, think they're in Ami's dungeon, and start disparaging it, when it's actually Baron Leopold's attic.
  • Junior Officers: In the chapter "The Queensland Lungfish", Kingsley the titular Queensland lungfish is found in the Boyne River. Barnacles informs him of where he actually is and Kingsley reveals that he thought he was in the Herbert River up until now.
  • In The Simpsons fanfic Lay Me Down, Ned Flanders accidentally walks into an adult bookstore, thinking it to be a regular bookstore.
  • Discussed in My Immortal, where Ebony pretends that the reason she was in Slughorn's (or, as she calls him, Slutborn's) office was that she "thought it was class". He believes it.
  • In the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls fanfic Pinkie's Potty Problemnote , Pinkie desperately needs to pee and dashes into Sunset's house. Sunset starts to tell her that the bathroom is past her room, but before she can even finish, Pinkie runs into Sunset's closet, mistaking that for the bathroom (much to Sunset's horror). Weirdly enough, though, a toilet is heard flushing from inside the closet.
  • In this LittleBigPlanet 2 fan animation, a guy named Ray is having a serious Potty Emergency and unknowingly rushes into the girls' bathroom. This ends up jumpstarting the plot for the rest of the video, as now he has to sneak out without getting caught (and get some toilet paper).
  • In the The Loud House fanfiction Unfunny Business, Leni runs off in tears after Luan verbally destroys her and bursts into Lynn and Lucy's room, briefly mistaking it for her own room. She then runs into the bathroom and sobs there for a bit until Lori tells her that this also isn't her room.
  • What You Wish For: Lori wakes up after chewing Lincoln out for accidentally destroying her expensive perfume. When Lincoln doesn't show up for dinner, she thinks he's avoiding her because he's angry with her, but then she learns that Lincoln isn't her brother because she's in an alternate universe where he's Carol's brother. (The reason it qualifies is that she thought she was at home) At the end, this is revealed to be All Just a Dream.

    Films — Animation 
  • Madagascar: When the Central Park Zoo animals are shipwrecked on Madagascar, they initially believe they're in San Diego. They are eventually straightened out by King Julien.
  • Monsters University: Sulley enters Mike's room through the window with Archie the Scare Pig. Mike asks him what he's doing here, and it dawns on to Sulley that this isn't his room after all. This is also sort of a misdirection for the audience before the movie came out in theaters as they were led to believe that Sulley was Mike's roommate in college, but the movie shows that this wasn't so.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Jack tells Lock, Shock, and Barrel to go through the door leading to Christmastown so they can catch Santa Claus. They come back with the Easter Bunny, having gone through the door leading to Easter by mistake.
  • Penguins of Madagascar: The penguins surface from the sewers and believe they're in Dublin, Ireland when they're actually in Shanghai. After deducting that Dave's next target of penguins to kidnap were in Shanghai, they decide to pack themselves in a box and mail themselves there. They don't even notice that they were dropped off at the exact spot they were picked up from.
  • Soul: When Joe falls off the conveyor belt leading to the Great Beyond after he's fallen to his death in a manhole, he ends up in the Great Beforenote . He briefly mistakes it for heaven and hell, but one of the Jerrys tells him where he actually is.
    Joe: Uh, hey, uh, is this heaven?
    Jerry: [chuckles] No.
    Joe: ...Is it H-E-double hockey sticks?
    Young souls: Hell, hell, hell hell, hell!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 1994 Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Returns has the brilliant detective get thawed from a Human Popsicle in the 20th century. He meets Doctor Amy Winslow and is flown to San Francisco. While motoring along a California highway, Holmes forgets that Americans drive on the right side, and ends up a victim of road rage. Holmes phones Winslow, claiming that he's back in London. Actually, he was at Lake Havasu and didn't know London Bridge had been reconstructed there.
  • Dumb and Dumber: Lloyd gets distracted while driving and takes the wrong exit at a highway interchange, and winds up thinking he and Harry are in Colorado when they're actually driving through Kansas. They look at the completely flat plains surrounding them and wonder why the Rocky Mountains aren't rockier, before realizing the mistake.
  • The plot of the The Irony of Fate kicks off when Zhenya, drunk to the point of unconsciousness, is put on a plane from Moscow to Leningrad by his equally drunk friends (one of them had in fact planned to go to Leningrad that night). By coincidence, there is an apartment with the same address as Zhenya's in Leningrad, so, as he has slept through the flight and doesn't remember it, it takes him quite a while to learn he isn't at home anymore.
  • The stranded humans of Predators initially assume they've been dumped off in a jungle on Earth until they emerge into a clear area and get a look at the Alien Sky.

    Jokes 
  • A man is asked to play music at a funeral, and he finds a place with a crowd and some dug-up ground, assumes that's the place, and plays music so sad that Everybody Cries. As it turns out though, he'd gotten the wrong address and they'd actually been putting a septic tank in.

    Literature 
  • In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice thinks the rabbit hole leads to New Zealand or Australia.
  • Arthur: In "Arthur's Eyes", Arthur goes into the girls' bathroom after ditching his glasses and is initially confused as to why Francine is in there until she screams at him to get the heck out because this is the women's room.
  • Corduroy: In the first book, Corduroy mistakes a room full of beds at the mall for a palace.
  • At the end of Cuzzies Find the Rainbow's End, the two cousins get taken to an amusement park called Rainbow's End (which is a real amusement park in Auckland) and think it's literally the magical realm at the end of the rainbow.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid:
    • In "Rodrick Rules", Greg remembers accidentally walking into the women's bathroom at a retirement centre thinking it to be the men's bathroom, and being mistaken for a Dirty Kid.
    • In "Wrecking Ball", the Heffleys go to what they think is their Aunt Reba's funeral. Greg is wondering why no one looks familiar. When they all go to the gravesite, they see that the grave belongs to someone named Robert Law, meaning that they had been at the wrong funeral all along.
    • In "The Long Haul", Greg tries to catch his family's car right before it goes through the tollbooth. He bursts into what appears to be their car, but he fails to notice that there's no boat attached to it and quickly finds out that there's a woman and her daughters in there. Cue screaming from both daughters.
  • In a Dirty Bertie story, Bertie, Darren, and Eugene try to carry a sleeping Nick into Trevor and Warren's dormitory, but they accidentally wind up in Miss Boot's dormitory instead.
  • In Dougal the Garbage Dump Bear, when Bumble first arrives at the dump, he half-jokingly wonders if he's on Mars.
  • Dragon: At the beginning of Dragon Gets By, Dragon (in a fit of Exhaustion-Induced Idiocy) looks into a closet, thinking it's his front door. The inside of the closet is dark, and thinking that he's outside and that it's still night, he goes back to bed.
  • In a choose-your-own-adventure Goosebumps book, titled "Tick Tock, You're Dead", the nameless protagonist thinks they are on a plane at one point when really they're on a spaceship.
  • Cold War black comedy Hullo Russia, Goodbye England by Derek Robinson is set in an RAF squadron responsible for delivering Britain's nuclear deterrent. The Vulcan nuclear bomber crews receive the best possible training, which includes long periods spent in a flight simulator where crews are trained to deal with every possible thing that can go wrong on a flight. The squadron's Intelligence Officer is taken on a simulated mission, lasting hours, which reproduces a bombing run over Russia where every possible hazard is thrown at them. The simulation is so real that the IO has a complete breakdown and his nerve fails - despite never leaving the airbase.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: "The Gang Goes To The Grand Canyon." After a daylong struggle to get on the road to the Grand Canyon, the Gang allows a young hitchhiker to drive Dee's car so they can get drunk and pass out in the U-Haul. The next morning they realize they've stopped, and get out at what they think is the canyon... and realize the hitchhiker stole the car and stranded them right in front of Paddy's Pub where they started.
  • Little Bear: In "Little Bear Goes to the Moon", Little Bear jumps from a tree in an attempt to get to the moon, and believes he's landed on the moon. When he sees Mother Bear, she humours him, but by then he's realised his mistake and tells her to "stop fooling".
  • Invoked in Ringing Wet by Paul Jennings, in which Simon tricks his sister Misty into going into a ride called the Rotor, thinking she's just in the audience.
  • Sam Pig: Invoked in one story, where Sam wants to ride Sally the horse to York like a character in his favourite book does, so Sally takes him to a nearby field and lies that it's York.
  • In one of the Treehouse books, Andy, Terry, Alice, Albert, and Alice and Albert's baby sister all end up in a different dimension in a closet. One of them wonders if they're all in Narnia, but everyone else agrees that the place is just too bananas to be Narnia, so they end up nicknaming the world "Banarnia".
  • In What an Absent-Minded Guy by Samuil Marshak, the eponymous character's absentmindedness culminates in him getting into a detached train car. He goes to sleep and, when he wakes up, believes himself to have traveled and doesn't believe it when people tell him he's still at the same train station as before.
  • Winnie-the-Pooh:
    • In "In Which Eeyore Has a Birthday and Gets Two Presents", Piglet falls over and bursts the balloon he's meaning to give to Eeyore. He doesn't realise that the noise was the balloon popping and thinks he's blown up and been transported to the moon.
    • In "In Which a Search is Organdized [sic] and Piglet Nearly Meets the Heffalump Again", Pooh and Piglet fall into a pit and think it's a trap dug by a Heffalump. It isn't, and neither is it the pit they dug back in "In Which Piglet Meets a Heffalump"— it's a separate pit called the Gravel Pit.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of Bewitched, a man replaces the Stephenses' lawn with astroturf because he thinks he's at the house it was meant for (162). The Stephenses' address is 192, but the nine had fallen upside down. This causes an argument ending with Darren being Exiled to the Couch because he thinks Samantha is the one who changed the grass.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Three Doctors", UNIT headquarters gets teleported into the Anti-Matter dimension. For some reason, the Brigadier thinks they are in Cromer, a coastal town in Norfolk. The Cromer reference would become a Continuity Nod/Brick Joke decades later in "Twice Upon a Time".
  • In the M*A*S*H episode "They Call The Wind Korea", Klinger and Major Winchester get hopelessly lost on the way to Seoul trying to catch Winchester's flight. They get caught in a massive windstorm that also knocked over a Greek troop truck. After spending the night out in the elements, Winchester orders Klinger to scout out the area. Klinger, grumbling, does so — to find out that they were stranded no more than 200 yards from the 4077th the whole time.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): The episode "The Light Brigade" sees the crew of a human military spacecraft on an urgent mission to deliver a Doomsday Device to an alien homeworld — the last hope of humanity to win a war that they've been on the losing side of for some time. During the final legs of the mission, they come under attack by the aliens, and everyone on the crew is killed or knocked unconscious. It turns out the one of the crew is a a traitor who is attempting to sabotage the mission and has managed to expose everyone onboard to fatal radiation poisoning that will kill them soon, making it vital that they complete the mission ASAP. The crew is stalked and killed one by one by the "traitor", who turns out to be an alien disguised as the commanding officer, Major Skokes. A cadet, the Sole Survivor, finally manages to kill Skokes and deliver the ship to its destination. As intruders try to breach the ship, the Cadet launches the bomb just in the nick of time...only to find out that he just launched the bomb at Earth. While everyone was unconscious, "Skokes" turned the ship around, and the Cadet can only watch in horror as the bomb falls toward Earth.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • In "Parallel Universe", Holly invents a method of getting the ship back to Earth. After trying it, Holly claims that they've gotten back to Earth, but the Earth is missing. The crew later finds that they haven't ended up where the Earth should be, but rather in a parallel universe where everyone's the opposite gender.
    • In "Backwards", Lister and the Cat think that they're in their universe, in Bulgaria, near a place known as Nodnol. It turns out that they're near London in a universe where time goes backwards.
    • In "Meltdown", Lister assumes that he and the Cat have time travelled and ended up in Nazi Germany. They are in fact on a planet populated by waxdroids, in their own time.
  • Sesame Street: A Running Gag in the "Monster Clubhouse" skits is a man mistaking the Monster Clubhouse for a different clubhouse.
  • In the Stargate SG-1 episode "Solitudes" O'Neill and Carter believe that the Stargate malfunctioned and sent them to a deserted ice planet. It turns out that the wormhole jumped to the previously unknown second Earth Stargate, inside a glacier in Antarctica.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Invoked in "Ship in a Bottle", when Moriarty tricks the Enterprise crew into thinking they're in engineering when really they're still on the holodeck. He also assumes he's on a boat when really it's a spaceship.
    • "Future Imperfect": After passing out on an away mission, Riker wakes up on the Enterprise with the medical staff claiming he's now the captain, having suffered Laser-Guided Amnesia of the sixteen years that have passed since the mission. Riker eventually realizes he's been tricked: the Enterprise turns out to be a holodeck illusion created by his Romulan captors. The Romulan captivity itself turns out to be a holodeck illusion cast by a lonely alien child, whom Riker takes back to the Enterprise.
    • Zigzagged in "Frame of Mind", when it's unclear whether Riker is on the Enterprise and hallucinating that he's in an asylum or the other way round until the very end.
    • In "The Neutral Zone", three people from the late 20th century, who had been frozen in stasis, are woken up on the Enterprise four hundred or so years later. When they hear they're on a "ship", they think it's a boat, but it's a spaceship.
    • Invoked when Worf's adoptive brother Nikolai kidnaps some aliens and transports them to another planet (due to their homeworld being doomed), but uses the holodeck to make them think they're still on the same planet and travelling by foot to skirt the Prime Directive.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • In "The Chute" Tom and Harry have been tossed into a prison that looks like a cave. Everyone believes that the prison is underground, but it turns out that it's actually in a hollowed-out asteroid.
    • In "Non Sequitur", Harry initially thinks he may be on the holodeck when he wakes up in an alternate reality.
    • In one early episode, everyone except the EMH starts to hallucinate. At one point, Janeway thinks she's still in her quarters when really she's been taken to sickbay.
    • In "Concerning Flight", a holographic Leonardo da Vinci is sent to another planet but thinks it's America.
  • Played for Drama and tragedy in The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "I Shot an Arrow into the Air". A manned space flight crashlands on what the crew believe to be an unknown asteroid. One of the astronauts, desperate to survive, kills the others and takes all their water. Then he learns that they've been on Earth All Along — specifically, the Nevada desert, just outside Reno. Cue Villainous Breakdown.
  • The Upside Down Show: In every episode, David and Shane try to find some kind of destination, but they go to several wrong rooms first and initially mistake those for their destination until someone corrects them.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Animaniacs episode "Meatballs or Consequences?", The Grim Reaper takes the Warner siblings to a dimension where he will officially make them dead if they lose a board game. Dot wonders if the place is Ohio.
  • Arthur: In "Arthur's Eyes", Arthur (who is not wearing his glasses) accidentally wanders into the women's room, mistaking it for the boys' bathroom. Francine and Muffy both freak out when they see him and then more girls come in.
    Arthur, Muffy, and Francine: [in unison] What are you doing here?!
  • BoJack Horseman: The end of the episode "Free Churro" reveals that BoJack spent the entire episode giving his mother's eulogy at somebody else's funeral. He doesn't even realize this until he opens the casket.
    "Is this Funeral Parlor B?"
  • Clarence: In "Field Trippin'", when Clarence comes back from the gas station, he mistakenly enters the bus to West Aberdale Elementary instead of Aberdale Elementary. He realizes that he's on the wrong bus when he sees a kid he doesn't recognize in one of the seats.
  • Dragon Tales: In "To Do Or Not to Do", the dragons, Emmy, and Max wander inside a dragonoceros's mouth, mistaking it for the inside of a cave. They realize their mistake once they meet a firefly named Glimmer, who tells them where they really are.
  • Family Guy: In "Pawtucket Pete", Peter gives a moving eulogy for his deceased boss Angela. At the end of his speech, it's revealed that the funeral is full of Asians and it dawns on to Peter that he was actually at the wrong funeral the whole time. He then awkwardly excuses himself and leaves.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Cryonic Woman", not only do Fry and Morgan think they've gone a millennium forward in time when they haven't, they also think they're still in New New York (or what's left of it), when actually they're in LA.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: At the start of "Billy and Mandy Save Christmas", a very frantic Billy is in a long line. He assumes it's the line to the men's room, but a kid in front of him informs him that it's the line to see Santa Claus.
  • Hotel Transylvania: The Series: In "Exit Sandman", the Sandman has put everyone to sleep. In the dream world, Hank has to pee. Later, the gang finds Diane chilling in a jacuzzi. Hank whispers to Pedro that he thought the jacuzzi was a bathroom, implying that he relieved himself in there.
  • Invincible: Played for Laughs in "Here Goes Nothing" when Allen the Alien shows up to Earth and fights Mark. He was sent on behalf of the Coalition of Planets to evaluate the defenses of a planet called "Urath", but it isn't until he has a brief conservation with Mark that Mark informs him he's at the wrong planetnote . Making it even funnier is that it's implied he's been coming to Earth for years (and fighting Mark's father, Nolan/Omni-Man every time) and never once realized his mistake.
  • The 1950 Looney Tunes cartoon "Big House Bunny" has Bugs Bunny bamboozle prison guard Sam Schultz into becoming a convict. Bugs later gives Sam a loaf of bread with a zipper on top: it's actually a satchel full of digging tools and a map. Sam tunnels his way out of his cell and emerges in a lush jungle (or so he thinks). Parting the leaves, he hears the warden yell at him, because Sam was actually amid a cluster of potted plants in the warden's office. Sam gets bawled out fiercely for this.
    • Pretty much any cartoon where Bugs takes the Wrong Turn at Albuquerque. In some cartoons, it takes him a little while to figure out he's not where he was going.
  • The Loud House:
    • In the episode "Schooled!", Leni accidentally gets on the wrong bus and attends preschool instead of high school. When she gets there, she still thinks she's in high school, and even when she realises the truth, she goes back there so she can bounce on the trampoline.
    • In "One of the Boys", Lincoln initially thinks the interdimensional portal didn't work and he's still at home, but then he realises that he's in a dimension where his sisters are now boys. At the end of the episode, he thinks he's gone home, but then he turns out to be in another dimension, where everyone has swapped genders including himself. Luckily, however, it turns out to be All Just a Dream.
    • In "Tripped!", the Louds miss their bus and unknowingly enter a prison bus. Lynn Sr. and Rita realize what kind of bus it is after they find a pair of handcuffs.
  • In a Martha Speaks episode, Martha, during her dream, thinks she's in the Boxwoods' living room, but really she's been sucked into a digital photo of their living room.
  • The Mighty B!: In one episode, titled "Body Rockers", Bessie and Penny believe they have been shrunk down and entered somebody's body. In reality, they've accidentally stumbled into a giant, mechanical exhibit meant to teach people about the human body.
  • Happens frequently in Mr. Magoo, due to the title character's bad eyesight:
    • In "Thin-Skinned Divers", Mr. Magoo thinks he's gone to a dance school when really it's a gymnasium. He even notes to himself that it seems a lot like a gymnasium.
    • In "When Magoo Flew", Mr. Magoo boards a plane thinking it to be a movie theatre.
    • In another episode, Mr. Magoo thinks he's at a fishing zone when really he's at a game preserve because he misread "Game preserve- no fishing" as "Reserve for fishing".
  • In an episode of My Friends Tigger & Pooh, the Super Sleuths and Eeyore try to go to the moon but they fail. However, when Tigger jumps higher than usual and Eeyore feels happier than usual, they think they've actually landed on the moon.
  • Nina Needs to Go!: In "Beach", Nina and her mother accidentally go into the shower room, thinking it to be the toilets.
  • Pat et Stanley: In the short "Pee 2", Stan is desperately waiting outside of what he thinks is the bathroom door. Pat comes by and fixes the door, so Stan runs in. That's when Pat reveals that it was actually their closet door.
    Pat: That's funny. Why is he going in the closet? The bathroom's right here.
  • PAW Patrol: Whenever Traveling Travis appears in an episode, he'll usually mistake the place he's in for someplace else. Some examples include mistaking the jungle for the North Pole in "Pups Save a Wrong Way Explorer" and mistaking Antarctica for Mars in "Pups Save an Antarctic Martian".
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: In one episode, the penguins try to land on the moon, but end up on a rooftop instead. They still think they're on the moon, and refer to a cat they meet as "Moon Cat".
  • Ready Jet Go!: In "Sunday Drive", Jet, Celery, and Carrot go to a desert and mistake it for Mars. They get suspicious once they see a lizard and plants in the area, and Jet realizes it's Earth when he notices that the air is still breathable.
  • In the Robot Chicken episode "Happy Birthday, Calvin!", Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes gets sent to an asylum but thinks it's Mars, due to either having been born Ax-Crazy or because his pills and shock therapy drove him insane.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In "Popcorn Pandemonium", Rocko and Heffer run into what they think is one of the cinemas while the lights are off. They sit down and Heffer says his seat is wet. A guy walks in and turns on the lights, revealing that Rocko and Heffer have unknowingly entered the men's restroom and are sitting in urinals.
  • Rugrats:
    • In "Mirrorland", the babies bump into a mirror and land behind it, thinking they've gone through it and landed in a Dark World.
    • In one episode, "The Age of Aquarium", the babies go to an aquarium, but they think they're on a leaky boat instead.
    • In "The Big Flush", the babies go to a swimming pool but mistake it for a giant toilet. They go in search of the flusher, because they think it'd be fun to flush a giant toilet.
    • In "Graham Canyon", Angelica and Tommy wander into a garage, mistaking it for the Grand Canyon.
  • South Park: In "Casa Bonita", Cartman convinces Butters that the apocalypse is happening so he can lock Butters in a bomb shelter and prevent him from attending Kyle's birthday party. When police begin searching bomb shelters for the missing Butters, Cartman blindfolds Butters to lock him in an old refrigerator instead, which gets picked up by a garbage truck and taken to the city dump. When Butters emerges from the refrigerator, he mistakes the city dump as a post-apocalyptic Earth with himself as the sole survivor.
  • Special Agent Oso: In "Potty Royale", Aiden says he has to use the bathroom, so Oso tries to look for the bathroom. Oso briefly mistakes a broom closet and a bedroom for the bathroom, but Aiden (who actually knows where the bathroom is) finds it before him.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Sandy's Rocket", SpongeBob and Patrick mess around with the rocket and assume they've landed on the moon when in actuality they never left Bikini Bottom. This causes them to think all of their neighbors and friends are actually aliens, and they proceed to catch every other citizen of Bikini Bottom in their traps.
    • In "SpongeBob, Sandy, and the Worm", Sandy thinks she's in a cave when really she's in a worm's mouth.
    • In "Plankton Gets the Boot", Plankton decides to stay with SpongeBob (though he mostly goes with him because he has to pee really badly). After they get home, Plankton comes out of a door, thanking SpongeBob for letting him use his bathroom, but SpongeBob informs him that it wasn't his bathroom. Plankton then tells him that he should probably get new shoes, implying that he relieved himself in SpongeBob's closet.
    • In "The Inmates of Summer", SpongeBob and Patrick accidentally go to a prison camp, but they mistakenly think it's a summer camp.
    • In "Rock Bottom", SpongeBob and Patrick ride on a bus, thinking it's the bus to take them home. Actually, they've entered the wrong bus, and it ends up taking them to the eponymous Rock Bottom.
  • WordGirl: A Running Gag is one character (dubbed Exposition Guy) running to wherever Becky happens to be and screaming about the newest crime taking place. He then asks, "Is this the police station?" and runs elsewhere once the characters inform him that it's not. This cues Becky to transform into WordGirl.

    Real Life 
  • The reason why Native Americans used to be known as "Indians" is that an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus arrived in America (which European people didn't know existed at the time) and thought it was India.
  • There was one case of some people taking children to stay in a city district, and they expected the children to find the place too dreary, but instead they clapped and cheered because they thought the adults had taken them to Sesame Street.

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