Where is the most dangerous place on the planet to live? Not the city where something exciting is always happening. Not Mordor. Not a Haunted Headquarters. Not the crime-ridden big city. Not even Tokyo. Not even a Place Worse Than Death. The most dangerous place to live in is the small, quiet, unknown town where "nothing exciting ever happens."
Aliens landing in UFOs? They're parked in the middle of a deserted cornfield in a rural town where cattle outnumber people. Is there a magical gateway between worlds? It's in the big house in the country where you were preparing to spend the most boring summer of your life. Is there a mysterious gigantic cavern hidden just beneath the Earth's surface, wherein aliens once upon a time created all life on Earth? There's probably a secret door in your friend's dad's basement that leads right to it. New serial killer on the loose? Bodies are piling up in a small town where nothing like this has ever happened before. Plague or Zombie Apocalypse spreading? The epicenter was in that middle-of-nowhere redneck town that your grandpa hails from. Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny? The county fairgrounds have your front row seats. Looking for the leader of a secret global organization of werewolves? He's enjoying a sub at the mom-and-pop pizza parlor downtown. Emo Teen moving with their divorced mother out of the Big Applesauce into the sleepy suburbs? They'll be hiding Batman in their basement, recruited into a team of superpower-granted teenagers or starting a mission to Save Both Worlds by the end of the first episode.
How can I turn my own boring, mundane neighborhood or small Flyover Country town into a Weirdness Magnet, you ask? Just say the magic words "Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here," and let Tempting Fate do its work. Be Careful What You Wish For (after all, you don't know what genre you're in) and don't say we didn't warn you!
Everyone's going to assume that wherever you live, nothing exciting has ever happened, and if you live in a city that no one has ever heard of, it's because Nothing Exciting Ever Happened There, so no straight Real Life examples should be mentioned.
- Bakegyamon: Sanshiro has this opinion of his island home. He lives on a pretty small island, so there's not a lot of places for him to explore and find anything new or exciting. Then Fue shows up.
- In Code Geass, right before the Battle of Narita, two soldiers monitoring the area are actually in the middle of complaining about how boring their station is when Zero walks in and Geasses them to ignore any unusual activity. So from their point of view, they're right.
- The plot of Ergo Proxy happens in "Romdeau City. This place is undoubtedly our final paradise. Today is just another day here. Nothing changes for the better in this cradle...A boring paradise."
- Renton spends approximately half of the first episode of Eureka Seven saying this. Of, course, this is right before the Super Robot crashes into his garage.
- The Trope Namer is FLCL: Naota remarks in the first episode, "Nothing amazing happens here. Everything is ordinary." Only a few minutes after saying this, he gets run over by a Vespa-riding self-proclaimed Space Police officer and smacked in the head by her gas-powered guitar. Next thing he knows, giant robots are climbing out of a portal in his head and he's embroiled in a farcical space opera/coming-of-age story. Curiously enough, none of these events seem to change his mind about his life and hometown being boring and ordinary.
- In Jagaaaaaan, this is Jagasaki's opinion about his life, much to his dread until ''excitement'' finds its way in his life in the bloodiest way possible.
- Part 4 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure takes place in Morioh, a fictional small unremarkable town in Japan. This small unremarkable town just so happens to be home to lots of dangerous Stand users and a Serial Killer (who also has a Stand). Mind you, all the Stand users appeared because the holder of the bow was trying to find the right Stand to cure his father-turned-monster and was led to Morioh.
- Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science opens with Robo remarking gloomily that "Nothing exciting ever happens around here"; within pages, he's become tangled up with a masked vigilante and a sinister mastermind with a crystal skull. It's played with a bit, though, with the intervening pages reminding us that Robo's baseline for "exciting" is a bit unusual in that for him Nikola Tesla attempting to pierce the subatomic veil with giant arcing electrical machines is an everyday occurrence. (Also, he's a talking robot.)
- Played With in an Italian Disney ducks story: a side character reads a newspaper (with headlines such as "two cases of the flu", "chicken stolen") and laments "Humph. Nothing ever happens here", with an expression of heavy-lidded boredom. Immediately, the Duck family on one of their adventures crashes near his house on a rocket. The newspaper reader reacts with "Humph. Now what's happening?", with the exact same facial expression.
- Misfit City is set in Cannon Cove, Oregon. It's a small seaside town where the only reason anyone comes is that it was where a classic 1980s film, "The Gloomies", was filmed.
- Superboy #149 (July 1968), the issue with special guest villains Bonnie and Clyde, opens with Lana Lang noting to Clark how nothing ever happens in Smallville. (This is despite an alien invasion, disaster, or criminal scheme happening every other issue.) Her line's almost immediately followed by Bonnie and Clyde robbing the bank Lana and Clark are visiting.
- One Bloom County comic has a teen working in a convenience store. He notes "Ah America, you are great. But you are also very boring." Cue the last panel, where Rosebud the Basselope and a cockroach come in to order "a lifetime supply of rancid Ding-Dongs". (This being the community of Bloom County, there's also plenty of bizarre political plans, visits from the government over computer hacking, and other weirdness)
- In Garfield, one strip has Garfield hanging on the screen door, lamenting how bored he is. He thinks "I wish something would happen". A panel later, John throws open the screen door to call Garfield to lunch, inadvertently smashing Garfield against the house.
Garfield: "I'm in pain, pain, pain, pain, pain."
- Jeremy from Zits has complained on a number of occasions how dull his town is. In one case, he and his friend Hector play a game in which they spin a globe around and randomly point at different cities or towns that are more exciting than their own. On another occasion, he laments this aloud pretty much word-for-word. In response, his dad takes his shirt off and dances around singing "Shake your bon-bon" while, well, shaking his bon-bon. When he's done, Jeremy goes to wash his eyes out while his mom warns him to Be Careful What You Wish For.
- Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Ren Serizawa observes that no less than three Titans — Godzilla, Rodan and Monster X — converging on a relatively little-known Japanese island community like Yonaguni is abnormal, since the Titans have always converged on or smacked down in major cities in the past.
- This trope is discussed in the Doug fan series Another Day in Bluffington Duology. This is the exact reason why people are moving out in droves. No one wanted to move to Bluffington because nothing interesting happened there. The only noteworthy event in the town's recent history was a sex scandal involving former mayor Bob White.
- In Episode 5 of Dragon Ball Z Abridged, the show briefly cuts to Nail and Guru on Namek, where Nail is complaining about how boring things are. Cue Freeza's arrival 12 episodes later...
Nail: Oh God, this is so horribly dull. I hope something exciting happens around here soon. I don't care what it is.
- In The Iron Giant, Special Agent Kent Mansley misguidedly believes that "big things happen in big places", and he's all too keen to get back to those places when he arrives in the sleepy Maine village where the action takes place. And then the action takes place.
- Kokaua Town, in Kauai, Hawaii, the home setting of Lilo & Stitch, starts out more or less like this, and then everything changes when Experiment 626, a.k.a. Stitch, a fugitive alien experiment lands on the island, who is pursued by Jumba and Captain Gantu, with Jumba and Stitch initially destroying Nani's and Lilo's house, and offering to rebuild it after the Grand Councilwoman sentences Stitch, Jumba, Pleakley, and Gantu to exile on Earth; applies to the film and its sequels as well as the first TV series.
- The first post-opening-credits scene of Yellow Submarine (at least, the first that isn't set to music) features Ringo Starr moping around Liverpool, complaining that nothing ever happens to him — until he realizes that he's somehow being tailed through the streets by a yellow submarine.
- Alien 40th Anniversary Shorts: In "Night Shift", the LV-422 Mining Colony is considered a "shitpile" where there's nothing for the locals to do except "leave". Then a missing space trucker comes home with a chestburster in the oven.
- At the very end of Can't Hardly Wait, the two "X-Philes" complain that nothing ever happens in their town. A suspicious shadow falls over them with an unworldly sound, and they look up and grin as a blue light shines on them.
- This is the basic concept behind the Rear Window remake Disturbia.
- Vietnam vet and ex-Green Beret John Rambo makes the mistake of stumbling into such a town in First Blood. Its sheriff Will Teasle wants it to remain a boring town where nothing ever happens, and he’ll do anything to keep it that way. Including running a PTSD stricken combat vet out of town, because he doesn’t like the way he looks. Then arresting that vet for “vagrancy” when he walks back into the town just to get something to eat. Then inflicting Cold-Blooded Torture when Rambo is triggered by his experiences as a POW during the booking process at the jail. Then Rambo escapes and the town gets way more excitement than it can handle.
- The 1932 film Grand Hotel famously opens and closes with a character stating that "nothing ever happens" at the title locale. This is, of course, an ironic counterpoint to the many dramatic episodes which take place over the course of the film.
- The Happening — the massive group of people running from the unexplained mass suicide that may or may not be linked to natural causes or very intricately orchestrated terrorism (it's a long story) find themselves dumped in an isolated town in the middle of the Northwest. Mark Wahlberg says to his best friend's daughter, "Don't worry, nothing's going to happen to us here." Oh boy, is he wrong.
- In Home Alone, Buzz claims that the family lives on the most boring street in the country "where nothing remotely dangerous will ever happen"...while Kevin is preparing to fight off burglars Harry and Marv.
- Deconstructed in Hot Fuzz, where the reason nothing ever happens in Sandford is that the Neighborhood Watch Association kills anyone who threatens their village's perfect image and covers it up.
- Because "nothing ever happens here ", the authorities decide to close the local police station in Kopps. The police officers don't put up with that and begin to increase the criminal statistics on their own to prove that their station is needed.
- Nightcrawler: Los Angeles is a city of millions, but TV stations still struggle to get news footage of dramatic events, and if enough people decide that Nothing Exciting is happening, then they might, God forbid, switch off. It doesn't help that the crime rate is falling, so when our anti-hero shows up with the pictures, not many questions are asked.
- In No Man of Her Own, Connie (Carole Lombard) says this word for word, and Clark Gable walks in to change everything.
- Dinah has this lament at the beginning of The Philadelphia Story.
- In Star Wars, Luke complains of Tatooine that, "Well, if there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from." In the first episode of the radio dramatization of A New Hope, Biggs tells Luke that he only feels that way about Tatooine because he hasn't been anywhere else. It turns out Luke is quite wrong: everything happens on Tatooine. More than half the Films have a major plot point on the planet, which just might be why everybody likes it most.
- Even the Expanded Universe isn't all that expanded; everything still happens on Tatooine. Clearly Tatooine is the most significant planet in the entire galaxy — everyone who is anyone has been therenote . But you wouldn't necessarily expect Luke to know about all this, or suspect that Tatooine would become famous partly because of himself. Anyway, this trope could just as easily be called "The Tatooine Effect".
- Strange Nature: According to Chuck, most of the town's young residents have moved away. The only reason to stay there is if you want to work in pesticide.
- Lampshaded in Suddenly, where a policeman and a traveler discuss the idea that the town's name should be changed to Gradually. The plot of the movie: A man takes hostages in the town when it is realised that a family's window is just the right place for a sniper rifle pointed at the president.
- Lampshaded in Superman II where the reporter is broadcasting in the small, obscure town of East Houston, Idaho, when the invading Zod, Ursa, and Non lay waste to the town and even the Army is no match for the three Kryptonian rebels.
- Thor: The small town of Puente Antiguo, New Mexico. Even though nobody ever invokes the trope by name, it's clear that the arrival of Mjolnir, then S.H.I.E.L.D., is the most exciting thing that's happened to the town in a long time.
- The home-spun play of Blaine (from Waiting for Guffman), in which an alien's musical number is "Nothing Ever Happens On Mars".
- Dee Dee from Voyage of the Rock Aliens grumbles "They should change the name of this town to Boringsville. Nothing ever happens here," shortly before the titular aliens arrive.
- Absolutely Truly: Truly is NOT wild of her family's move to the small town of Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire. That is, not until finding a letter in a copy of Charlotte's Web in her family's bookstore.
- Maggody, Arkansas, the setting of Joan Hess's Arly Hanks mysteries, is a too-small-for-the-mapmakers flyspeck town where the locals consider the burning of Hiram's barn to be the sole event of historical note in decades. In those same decades, said flyspeck has variously been invaded by porn movie-makers, a rehab clinic, pot farmers, UFO fanatics, tabloid reporters, militia nutjobs, golfers, Civil War buffs, country-western music groupies, fake psychics, the Internet, televangelists, and feminists, all of them with a distressing tendency to get themselves murdered. And people still play this trope straight if asked.
- Around the World in Eighty Days is a somewhat more ordinary example. Phileas Fogg's house in Saville Row has been running like clockwork for years. Fogg himself never wavers in his routine; he never travels, he has no business to attend to, and he never makes a public appearance except for his daily trip to the Reform Club to play whist. Enter Passepartout, Fogg's new manservant. He's looking forward to a nice quiet gig, and he delightedly comments on how mundane and predictable his master is. On the very day that Passepartout enters Fogg's service, however, that same ordinary gentleman makes an extraordinary wager and embarks on a mad dash around the world.
- In Adam R. Brown's Astral Dawn, the protagonist, Caspian Knoll, believes this of his life in the city of Baltimore. His main gripe, however, is that nothing exciting ever happens in his personal life.
- The main characters of the Brentford trilogy by Robert Rankin claim Brentford is this. In spite of being the place where Julius Caesar invented football, having a nesting griffin, existing in four dimensions simultaneously and having an Eldritch Abomination attack per book...
- In A Brother's Price, the protagonist complains that he's bored, not just because nothing happens, but also because there is no work to do while he's a guest at the royal palace. When he discovers a dark secret, he realizes he was very wrong ... lots of interesting things happen at the palace.
- The Cat Who... Series: Moose County is "400 miles north of everywhere," and is described as an idyllic but boring rural location. The locals insist that crime is something that happens "Down Below," as they refer to the rest of the U.S., despite the fact that Moose County seems to have a per capita murder rate to rival Cabot Cove or St. Mary Meade.
- The Dark Side of Nowhere centers on the protagonist discovering that everyone in his Norman Rockwell-esque town, including himself, is really an alien. The frequent booster shots they've received all their lives have been chemicals to suppress their Adonis-level good looks and blend in with humanity. And the message has just come through that the time has come to gear up for the invasion...
- In Daughters of Darkness, Mary-Lynette and Mark both remark that nothing interesting ever happens in the small Oregon town of Briar Creek, with Mark especially wishing at the start that "something wild" would happen. Then vampires show up in town, their eccentric neighbor Mrs Burdock goes missing and the siblings get a supernatural murder mystery on their hands.
- Common in the Goosebumps books, although Sammy Jacobs of "My Best Friend Is Invisible" is the only one to say this phrase word-for-word.
- Harry Potter: The world's most feared dark wizard, Tom Marvolo "Lord Voldemort" Riddle, was conceived in a small Muggle village called the Little Hangleton. Tom was actually disappointed when he learned that his father was not a wizard, but rather the vain heir of the village's richest landowner. This didn't stop him from making it his headquarters.
- In Hill Of Fire, based on the true story of the appearance of the volcano Parcuitin in 1943, the main character is a farmer who spends the whole story using this trope's very title to gripe about his hometown. At the end of the book, there's been a volcanic eruption in his cornfield.
- Blackbury from Johnny Maxwell Trilogy.
- Stephen King's horror stories are often set in the town of Derry, Maine, which is King's fictional version of Bangor, Maine, population 31,000. Bangor itself makes an appearance in The Langoliers.
- Visually implied in The Lost Thing. The suburbs are ridiculously identical, the city manages despite all its Steampunk design to be incredibly drab and filled with almost nobody but businesspeople, and, oh yeah, there are random biomechanical creatures wandering about the place. Then again, it's implied that for most people there's a Weirdness Censor involved.
- The Midwich Cuckoos has a few pages describing the almost completely uneventful history of the out-of-the-way English village of Midwich, where a mysterious incident is beginning to unfold.
- Moongobble and Me: This is Edward's opinion of Pigbone, and he longs for excitement. His mother doesn't though, to the point where when someone new moves to town in book 1, she tells Edward to just ignore it.
- Pale takes place in Kennet, Ontario, a tourist town of about five thousand people that's slowly dying. This makes it a perfect hideaway for various supernatural creatures who mostly want to be left alone, but then the Carmine Beast, a greater power, is murdered in the heart of the town and abruptly the community of Others there is on everyone's radar.
- Paradox Bound: Eli's hometown of Sanders, Maine, seems to be stuck in The '80s. The town still has a working video store, no Internet or cell reception, and comic books still sold on wire racks. Eli later learns that Sanders is one of those towns that got "stuck" in history, 1988 in this case. He refuses to accept it at first, but then realizes it's true after thinking back. Apparently, it's not unusual to have towns that are stuck at a certain period in history. They make a useful transition point for Searchers. After the events of the novel, Sanders gradually rejoins the early 21st century over the next several months.
- Plenty of Sherlock Holmes stories start with Holmes complaining at length to Watson of how there aren't any interesting crimes anymore. Cue the arrival of his latest client...
- Sweet Valley High Sweet Valley, CA. Whenever someone is murdered, a serial killer comes to town, drug dealers show up and start taking hostages, vampires enroll in the local high school, or another one of Jessica Wakefield's boyfriends dies a horrible death, the inevitable reaction from the locals is "How could such a thing happen in Sweet Valley? Things like that never happen here!"
- Played with in T*A*C*K. Agent-on-remote Abby visits from Pleasantville and complains about how boring it is. When she asks Toria and Will if anything is going on Sandy Harbor, they claim nothing exciting is going on there. Except for the boat smugglers. And the incident at the spelling bee. And the sailing lessons they got as a reward...
- In The Twilight Saga, Bella Swan finds out that the small town of Forks, WA is home to vampires and werewolves.
- Isaac Asimov's "The Watery Place": The crime rate of zero is why the aliens choose to land in Twin Gulch and speak with the sheriff. Unfortunately, said sheriff had a short temper, and thought they were aliens from Italy, asking him to call the President over. It didn't go well.
- In an odd variation, Virginia Lewis of The 10th Kingdom, despite living in the Big Applesauce, thinks to herself (in voiceover narration) on the way to work at the beginning of the miniseries that she knew "nothing exciting was ever going to happen" to her and "some people just lead quiet lives". Cue her running into a golden retriever on her bicycle who is actually a transformed prince from the world of fairy tales, and...
- In the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode "The Tale of the Midnight Ride," the new kid in town at first says that, although he likes Sleepy Hollow (yes, that Sleepy Hollow), it's "kind of boring." One Chase Scene with the Headless Horseman later: "And I thought this place was boring."
- Sunnydale, the hometown of Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer is built right over a Hellmouth. But most citizens studiously ignore the vampires, demons, monsters, and strange occurrences or explain them away as "gang violence". Slightly subverted in that the town's founders actively work to support this masquerade.
- Corner Gas. If your main theme is "Not a lot going on" (by Craig Northey and Jerry Valenzuela), you must be living in a very sleepy community. Fortunately, it's never boring.
- Doctor Who:
- The Doctor and Ace are visiting the suburb she grew up in, in "Survival".
The Doctor: So what's so terrible about Perivale?
Ace: Nothing ever happens here.
- She is, of course, 100% wrong.
- In "Boom Town", the Doctor deems Cardiff the "safest place in the universe" for a getaway. Cut to the Margaret Slitheen engineering her Evil Plan for the city, which ultimately culminates in a world-threatening earthquake and almost causes an Apocalypse How.
- Leadworth, home of Rory and Amy. It's a completely boring, normal English town... of course, then the Doctor lands there, so you know it won't stay like that for long.
- "Amy's Choice": Rory and the Doctor both say this about Upper Leadworth, although Rory meant it as a compliment. Naturally, because it's a dream created by the Doctor's Enemy Without, things aren't going to stay that way.
- The Doctor and Ace are visiting the suburb she grew up in, in "Survival".
- Eerie, Indiana, which was selected by the protagonist father as their new home because it was the most "normal" town in the country, statistically speaking, and whose many inhabitants complain about the bleakness of their lives (unaware of what's really going on). The thing was parodied in the second series, where its protagonists complained about how boring their lives are while living in a world whose quotidian is truly outrageous.
- Eureka; the town looks painfully normal. Except, in a subversion of the trope, for the experimental laboratory complex where almost the entire town works, and which, for lack of a better term, leaks weirdness into the town. So it is a normal and unexciting town... strictly by their standards.
- One of the recurring skits in the 1970's variety show The Hudson Brothers' Razzle Dazzle Show was about a very small tropical island where nothing supposedly happened. In every sketch, the infamous words would be lamented: "Ho hum. Another boring day on the island of Pegi Pegi (pronounced Peegee Peegee)." Cue the arrival of something like a huge shark fin or lava spewing from the island's only volcano.
- The Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town takes place in the fictional town of Shuckton, Ontario, Canada, which, prior to losing its bid for the 2028 Olympic Games, was famous for its rat fur industry.
Mayor Larry Bowman: What do you think of when you hear our name? Probably nothing. We're not very well known.
- And then he ends up dead. Doesn't really change the boredom factor, though.
- The League of Gentlemen opens with Benjamin Denton on a train to Royston Vasey, reading a letter from his aunt, which includes: "I hope you...don't find our little town too boring."
- Played for Laughs in Malcolm in the Middle. The boys are sitting together on a curb and lamenting how dull and boring their neighborhood is when a new mattress seemingly falls from the sky and lands in front of them, prompting Dewey to give us this gem:
"...Even our miracles are boring."
- Misfits contains a rather amusing exchange in the tail end of the first episode that suggests the entirety of England fits this trope.
- Variation on this trope in Sherlock when John says "Nothing ever happens to me." Then he meets the titular protagonist and hoo boy...
- Smallville, naturally. Chronologically, one of Chloe's first lines is something like this (in a flashback in Abyss).
- Stargate SG-1: When a bored Vala begs Mitchell to take her with him to his high school reunion, he says "It. Is. In. KANSAS!" in an effort to convince her that she would just be bored because nothing ever happens in Kansas, right? When they actually go there, bounty hunters descend on the reunion. Of course, the only reason the bounty hunters are even there is that Mitchell is there. If he hadn't gone, it would have been the typical boring, awkward reunion.
- The Strange Calls takes place in the small, beautiful seaside town of Coolum. Despite Sgt. Neil's insistence that the town is perfect and uneventful ("There's no X in Coolum", X being something crime-related is a bit of a catch-phrase for him), at night the town becomes full of supernatural goings-on. The show focuses on Officer Banks' attempts to deal with these events, which include ghosts, undead cats, and an addictive jingle that drives people mad.
- Hawkins is an anonymous, sleepy small town, so those locals who happen to appear in Stranger Things are unlikely to believe a supernatural Government Conspiracy. Things are so uneventful the chief of police waves off a woman's concerns about her missing son and a reporter goes on TV to describe Hawkins as "a safe town where nothing ever happens."
"This is Hawkins. You wanna know the worst thing that’s ever happened here in the four years I’ve been working here? The worst thing was when an owl attacked Eleanor Gillespie's head because it thought that her hair was a nest."
- Teen Wolf Pilot episode has this trope. This is what motivates Stiles and Scott to go into the woods looking for half a body in the middle of the night. This, of course, leads to Scott getting bitten.
Stiles: You're the one bitching that nothing happens in this town.
- The Young Ones episode "Boring" is devoted entirely to this trope. The main characters are bored out of their skulls and yet incredibly blind to all the exciting things happening around them.
- In his epic song/monologue "Alice's Restaurant", Arlo Guthrie mocks Stockbridge, Massachusetts as being this kind of town because they react to his (admittedly excessive) littering as being the "biggest crime of the past 50 years", bringing in policemen and equipment from the next town over and taking dozens of crime-scene photographs to use in a court case against him.
- Pretty much the entire point of Del Amitri's song "Nothing Ever Happens"
The Martians could land in the car park and no one would care
- There was a line like this in "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "The Hardware Store"
Nothin' ever (ever) happens in this townFeelin' low down (down), not a lot to do around hereI thought that I would go right out of my mindUntil a friend told me the news
- Jesus H. Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse's song "Connecticut's for Fucking" is about how boring and forgettable the state is except sex.
Connecticut’s for fucking.There’s nothing else to do.I wanna listen to classic rock and have sex with you.
- Metallica's "Ronnie", a song about a person named Ronnie from a small town that ends with him killing a bunch of kids.
Nothing happens in this boring placeBut, oh my God, how it all did change
- A song by French-Canadian comedian François Pérusse about a village called "St-Néant" (Saint-Nothing) goes in great detail about how there's nothing of note, including lines such as "I'm neighbor with the school and I've never seen a kid", "in the evening every now and then, a dog howls at the moon, it makes the headlines", "nothing ever happens here, even the bugs seem to say What the heck am I doing here, might as well leave but not in a hurry" or "I don't know why I bought a house here, you never get visitors in St-Néant"
- Henrik Ibsen seems to have been fond of the trope. In a number of plays he wrote, action is set by the fact that Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here. Thus:
- Ghosts has captain Alving getting destructive because he is confined to a small town with dull people.
- Hedda Gabler makes her own action, because her life is similarly uninteresting.
- The Lady from the Sea and The Master Builder both comment on the little community where Ellida Wangel is looking for a purpose, and also where Hilde Wangel (her step-daughter) grew up. She left for town as soon as she was able to, and it didn`t end well — for the master builder Solness, at least. But Hilde found the thing more exciting.
- The League of Youth has newspaper editor Aslaksen, who solely lives for stirring things up, because nothing ever seems to happen. On a dark note, Ibsen shrewdly states that the consequences of this line of thought seldom end well. In fact, things may get more exciting than the characters actually want.
- Alan Wake takes place in a remote, small town. That should give you an indication of how horrible things go.
- Deadly Premonition is a game about serial murders, alternate dimensions, ghosts, imaginary friends, Eldritch Abominations, split-personalities, and child abuse. It occurs in Greenvale, which seems to have a population of about 40 people, and many, MANY lines of dialogue emphasize what a small town it is.
- The final battle theme of Dissidia 012 Duodecim Final Fantasy, God in Fire, touches on the backstory of Chaos and the origin of the cycle of conflict, and makes reference to how this trope applied with respect to the town of Lufenia, where he had been created by Cid of the Lufaine as the first Manikin, and raised before being taken by the Onrac army as a weapon.
Backwater town where nothing happens
Don't let disguises fool you
- The town of Hometown in Deltarune is a quiet community where everyone knows everyone else. Police Chief Undyne laments that there's nothing to do, and mostly ends up causing trouble for other people. However, anomalies known as Dark Fountains begin appearing in the area, turning ordinary places in the town into Dark Worlds and threatening to cause The End of the World as We Know It.
- Doom: The backstory of the game has the protagonist (a nameless marine only known as "Doomguy") physically assault his superior officer during an incident where he was being instructed to gun down civilians. To save face for having to admit to committing such an atrocity by putting him on court-martial, the marines simply reassign him as far out of the way as they could to oversee a very mild-mannered operation being undertaken by a large government contractor, the Union Aerospace Corporation, on the moons of Mars. However, thanks to their experiments with teleporting matter through Hell, The Legions of Hell end up overrunning the bases stationed on Phobos and Deimos and what was supposed to be a mundane mission turns into a brutal fight for survival.
- In Dragon Quest VII, Auster and Prince Kiefer tirelessly try to find anything exciting in Estard island and don't believe the fact no other islands are out there in the world, constantly being told that they're crazy to believe there are more islands out there. Well, the fact is there really aren't any islands in the world...because the Demon King sealed them away in the past, which the duo finds out by doing a bit of sleuthing around their island for answers.
- In Eternal Darkness, Ellia wishes for something exciting and significant to happen to her. And boy does she get it, though not exactly as she imagined it. Again, be careful what you wish for!
- Fallout 4 is set in Boston, 200 years after the nuclear apocalypse. In one side quest, you meet a boy who thinks he can see a sea monster. It turns out to be a pre-war submarine, which is still running. If you tell him that it was a submarine, he says "Nothing exciting ever happens here!" Depending on how much time you have been spending on side quests and exploring, it is entirely possible that you will find the quest after Boston has been invaded by an airship full of soldiers in power armour, and maybe even after a nuclear explosion. The boy will still say that nothing exciting ever happens there.
- Nibelheim in Final Fantasy VII until a defective Mako reactor triggers out a catastrophic and unlikely chain of events.
- Lampshaded in Crisis Core, during the very first meeting between Zack and Cloud as they talk about their respective hometowns Gongaga and Nibelheim.
Zack: A Mako reactor outside Midgar usually means...
Cloud and Zack (in unison): ... nothing else out there.
- Lampshaded in Crisis Core, during the very first meeting between Zack and Cloud as they talk about their respective hometowns Gongaga and Nibelheim.
- Fur Fighters:
1st Bear: Nothing exciting ever happen to this bear.
2nd Bear: This bear also.
(Seconds later a large explosion consumes them both.)
- A certain guard in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time says this verbatim while complaining how boring the day watch is in the Castle Town. At night, he wishes that ghosts would come out once in a while because he is "really interested in ghosts". We all know what happens next, and now there's a certain little... thing in the ruins of the Castle Town who buys ghosts. Be Careful What You Wish For, kids!
- Tazmily Village in Mother 3 is a rather sleepy middle-of-nowhere burg until the events of the plot start to disrupt its peace. The zero crime rate there is a plot point. The final chapter reveals that the tranquil state of Tazmily Village was deliberately engineered by its inhabitants as part of a plan to erase their memories of a previous world that was destroyed.
- Possum Springs from Night in the Woods is a small, slowly dying mining and factory town in the middle of the woods. Highlights of the hamlet include the new superstore that just opened up near the highway, the hokey but charming harvest festival every Halloween, and the cult of robed townsfolk kidnapping vagrants and delinquent teens to be fed to an elder god as a sacrifice to keep the town alive.
- Inaba in Persona 4 is portrayed as a lazy country burg whose most exciting conflict is the new Wal-Mart-stand-in Junes putting the mom-and-pop stores out of business. Of course, the first thing that happens once the main character gets into town is a serial murder, and, by the end, teenagers are fighting a god (or two, who's counting?) with the fate of the soul of humanity at stake. Said Serial Killer turns out to be a local police detective who committed the murders specifically because nothing interesting ever happened.
- In the intro movie for Psychonauts, Lili tries to reassure a nervous Dogen by telling him "I've been coming here for years, and nothing ever happens." Shortly afterward, Razputin falls out of a tree right behind them. As it turns out, this year at Whispering Rock will be far more eventful than the last few, what with the campers' brains being stolen to be turned into weapons to take over the world.
- Inverted on Homestar Runner: In the Strong Bad Email boring (really), a viewer complains that they are bored out of their mind, and asks Strong Bad if anything exciting happens in Free Country USA. Although exciting things do indeed normally happen there, nothing exciting happens in the episode. The characters instead act as if various extremely boring things are interesting, and engage in thrilling activities such as counting bricks in a wall, practicing closing their eyes, and naming all the three-letter words they can think of.
- The first episode of Red vs. Blue is all about the two squads in Blood Gulch noting how nothing happens in that canyon. Of course, two episodes later two rookies arrive, the Red one is sent on a Snipe Hunt that culminates in one of the Blues dying, and it all goes downhill from there.
- In Bob and George, George gets prompt results.
- Counting The small, quiet town of "Thirston" is mass poisoned via the water supply by the Colonel.
- Dragon Ball Multiverse: When selecting the fighters in U3, the Vargas were surprised to find a strong fighter on Earth, and one of them said "I don't think we'll find powers there in other universes". Check the Earth Is the Centre of the Universe entry...
- The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! is set in "the pleasantly innocuous hamlet of Generictown," where nothing much ever happened until one of their residents, Mr. Bob Smithson, suddenly became the biggest Weirdness Magnet on Earth.
- Meaty Yogurt: Middleville's curse, cults, aliens, and occasional sitcom hijinks don't stop protagonist Jackie from bemoaning it as a deeply boring hometown.
- RPG World had Cameotown, which was the place where people who weren't doing anything lived until they had something to do again.
- In Sluggy Freelance Katie Zalia complains that the tiny town of Podunkton is too boring. Turns out this boringness is just a lull, however, in the town's ongoing conflict with Canadian drug lords.
- Wilde Life: Set in Podunk, Oklahoma, which has ghosts, werewolves, helpful spiders, talking bears, and a landlady who's a "real witch".
- Tandy Gardens, setting of The Wotch, is said to be this sort of place in the first strip. By now, everyone in the city's probably been turned into something once. At least once. Two words: Myth Virus.
- Tribe Twelve:
- Noah: "All people do around here is just come and fish and it's just really boring."
Milo: "I never saw the point in fishing. It's kinda boring."
- The opening scene of Galaxy Rangers episode "Galaxy Stranger." Ten years later, Mandell and company lifted the speech nearly verbatim and put it in an episode of Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders as a Shout-Out.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang is first found at the South Pole the sleepy home
Inuitsof the Southern Water Tribe by a couple of kids where nothing has happened for over a decade.
- Mai laments, "This place [Omashu] is unbearably bleak. Nothing ever happens." Cue La Résistance trying to assassinate her and her mother.
- Amusingly, after surviving the assassination attempt and chasing the Gaang for a while, she immediately goes back to being bored.
- Mai laments, "This place [Omashu] is unbearably bleak. Nothing ever happens." Cue La Résistance trying to assassinate her and her mother.
- The whole point in Courage the Cowardly Dog. No character actually says it, but the world itself does since the town the characters live in is called "Nowhere", and yet crap happens ANYWAY.
- A Running Gag on Danny Phantom was displaying various billboards and signs all over the City of Adventure that read things like, "Amity Park: A Safe Place To Live" or "Amity Park: It's Quiet Here." Wishful thinking by the Genre Blind.
- If you're talking signs, how about "Bellwood: The Most Normal City in America" from Ben 10?
- The sign for Gravity Falls includes, WELCOME TO GRAVITY FALLS: "Nothing To See Here Folks"
- The opening of the Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines episode "Ceiling Zero Zero" opens with the narrator telling that nothing exciting ever happens in the town of Dunkelville until an earthquake shatters the skyline. It was a sonic boom caused by Vulture Squadron pursuing Yankee Doodle Pigeon with a giant amplifier.
- Donkey Kong Country episode "Booty and the Beast" has the main plot start with Cranky Kong feeling a bit lonely. "Huh. The quiet life. Nothing ever happens around here. No one calls me, no one comes to visit..." At which point Kaptain Skurvy fires a cannonball through the front door and nearly takes off the geriatric ape's head.
- In the Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats episode "Cat Balloon", Cleo says this exact phrase about Westfinster. Twist #1: At the moment Cleo says this, exciting things are happening all around her, but she's too busy complaining to notice them. Twist #2: When Cleo and the Catillac Cats use a balloon to go to a neighboring town, it's hijacked by a similar gang of cats who want to leave their hometown because—you guessed it—Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here.
- The official trailer for Jellystone! starts off with the narrator saying, "Nothing strange ever-" only to be cut off by a montage of wacky hijinx.
"Okay, well, it's... still... a place."
- Parodied on Jimmy Two-Shoes where Jimmy sighs "Nothing exciting ever happens in Miseryville" while dinosaurs and aliens attack the city in the background.
- In the King of the Hill episode "A Rover Runs Through It", Bobby is at his grandmother's ranch and wandering through a field playing his Game Boy commenting how boring it is out there. While he is saying this he passes by several animals including a pair of deer fighting for dominance, a flock of pheasants, and an elk; he never notices all this because he is focused on his Game Boy game.
- An ep of Pepper Ann sees Hazelnut (her hometown) making a big deal of an apparent earthquake because of this trope (to the point where TV news coverage precedes CCTV footage of a single jar of food falling off a supermarket shelf with disclaimers suited for more intense things)... and ends with using this trope for a gag.
- Absolutely, completely, totally subverted in Regular Show. It's not so much that the crazy shenanigans are considered mundane, so much as Rigby and Mordecai possess the inexplicable capacity to take utterly mundane situations and transform them into world-stake epics.
- In Victor and Valentino, this is Victor's opinion of Monte Macabre. He's quickly proven wrong when he and his half-brother Valentino fall into an underground labyrinth and have to work together in order to get out.
- There's a sketch of a Polish cabaret, where everyone is shocked by the fact that nothing is happening there. Can be watched (with English subtitles) here