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"New Jersey is not 'pretty much New York', you are not 'pretty much New Yorkers'. [...] This is the greatest city in the world, you have to earn the right to call yourself a New Yorker! So why don't you girls crawl into the open sewer pipe you call the Holland tunnel and flush yourselves back to 'pretty much New York.' Because I will do a lot to get laid, but I am not going to New Jersey!"
Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

There are a few places in this world that nobody ever wants to go to. Not that it's immediately dangerous, like Hell. But its reputation is so bad that being sent there is a Cool and Unusual Punishment. The threat of sending someone there can function as a Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon threat. And willingly going there is an act of extreme bravery, insanity, and/or desperation. In a fantasy setting, there is a good chance your character will go there, for whatever reason (most likely because of The Law of Conservation of Detail).

Of course, sometimes this is merely a throwaway gag. I mean, who would want to actually go there?

See also Hell, Room 101, Maximum Fun Chamber, I Don't Like the Sound of That Place, Forbidden Zone, and Death World. See also You Would Not Want to Live in Dex and Reassigned to Antarctica.

Examples by location:

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New Jersey

  • It's said that New Jersey has the most toxic waste dumps per capita, while Washington D.C. has the most lawyers. The reason? New Jersey got to pick first.
  • It's also said that the most popular thing to do when visiting New Jersey is to leave.
  • Continuing that theme, why do all of the bridges over the Delaware and Hudson Rivers only have tolls on the Jersey side? Because no one would pay to get into New Jersey, but they'd gladly pay to leave.

    Comic Books 
  • Baron Zemo sends some of Captain America's allies there (and says sending people there is a Fate Worse than Death) during the Civil War Crisis Crossover.
  • Lampshaded in the lead-up to Secret Invasion:
    Spider-Man: Jersey? What are we doing in Jersey? Except, of course, for breaking my rule of never setting foot in Jersey.
    • When Spider-Man goes on live television to say that he's switching sides during Civil War, he says that the prison that unregistered heroes are being sent to is in the Negative Zone, which is like New Jersey... but worse''.
    • He gets in on this in Ultimate Spider-Man, too. After ending up in Brazil during a fight with Doc Ock (which involved Ock hijacking a plane), he hitches a ride on another plane, smuggles himself onto a third plane, and is finally woken up by baggage handlers. "Ugh! What's that smell? Oh, good, I made it to Jersey!"
  • An issue of The Mighty Thor involves Hercules telling a group of kids a story about him fighting Thor. He's going on about how easily he was winning until he realizes that one of them is a Thor fan and the others are just hoping to pick on him. He quickly changes the story to Thor simply feigning weakness, and it ends with Herc getting punched across the sky. "I landed in a place the Gods forgot - New Jersey!"
  • Various media (such as The Atlas To The DC Universe) make mention of Gotham City (and neighboring city Bludhaven) being located in New Jersey. Considering that both cities are pretty much the definition of Wretched Hive in DC (or at least two of the strongest competitors for the title), it's no wonder that people think of them in terms of this trope (and anybody who is willing to live there to be as insane as the super-villains that call the place "home").
  • Ms. Marvel (2014) is set in New Jersey, and Kamala herself will passionately defend the place, but during Loki's guest appearance in issue 12, he and the All-Mother engage in this (possibly with a shout-out to the The Mighty Thor comic mentioned above):
    All-Mother: You're being reassigned. For the time being.
    Loki: You can't be serious. Reassigned where?
    All-Mother: A corner of Midgard that has been too long neglected by the gods... New Jersey.
    Loki: WHAT?!
  • Steel: A quite divisive arc of the series had John Henry Irons moving Steelworks to New Jersey, which was represented as a humongous Wretched Hive in which he barely made a dent, either socially or through fighting supervillains, before moving back to Metropolis.
  • One issue of The Transformers (Marvel) had Scorponok brawling with Starscream and Shockwave. Several humans in New York looked on from across the river when one of them asked if they should call the army or something. The guy standing next to him said "who cares, it's just New Jersey."

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 
  • The Addams Family (2019): After being chased by an angry mob on their wedding day, Gomez and Morticia decide they need to move to a remote place so horrible, no one in their right minds would go there... cut to them driving past a sign that says "Welcome to New Jersey: What Are You Lookin' At?"
  • Felix the Cat: The Movie: Felix comes over a hill and sees Progress City, a seedy town surrounded by a deadly swamp, to which Felix says "Where are we, New Jersey?"
  • In The Mighty Kong, Carl Denham discusses a plan to buy land in New Jersey for King Kong to inhabit. Anne protests this: "He can’t survive in Jersey! No one can!"

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the movie version of James and the Giant Peach, the peach gets caught in a storm just as they are approaching New York, and the centipede yells out, "We'll wind up in Jersey!"
  • The whole point of The Toxic Avenger movies - where else would someone get turned into a hideous radioactive mutant?
  • Dude, Where's My Car?: "We will now use the power of the Continuum Transfunctioner to banish you to Hoboken, New Jersey!" Ironically, nowadays Hoboken is the one place in New Jersey that New Yorkers don't look down on — it's actually seen as quite a good place to live.
  • An outtake from Dogma has Loki and Bartleby wonder why they never tried to leave Wisconsin (see below) before. Loki says it's because they were afraid God would send them someplace worse.
    Bartleby: Where were we afraid he'd send us?
    Loki: New Jersey.
  • From Desperately Seeking Susan:
    "I thought you were dead."
    "Just in New Jersey."
  • Harold and Kumar live in New Jersey (Hoboken, to be precise), but after accidentally taking a detour near the beginning:
    Kumar: Now we're in Newark, of all places. We're probably gonna get shot.
    Harold: Maybe it's not as bad as they say, ya know? Maybe it's all just a bunch of hype...
    • And then they see two guys who Kumar describes as "a lame version of us" get the crap kicked out of them, prompting them to haul ass out of there.
  • In The Purple Rose of Cairo, Gil Shepherd finds out from his agent that the character he plays has walked off the screen to be with a moviegoer. Gil thinks it's physically impossible, to which his agent simply replies, "In New Jersey, anything can happen."
  • In the movie Fletch Lives, the protagonist has to track down a toxic chemical that only a few companies make. When his editor starts to list the names of the companies, he tells him, "Look, just tell me the ones that aren't in New Jersey." (The film takes place in Louisiana.) As you might expect, there's only one, and that's the right one.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight has this exchange:
    "I got out of Bagdhad, I'm pretty sure I can get out of New Jersey."
    "Others have tried and failed!"
  • Russell Crowe's character in American Gangster warns a corrupt New York cop, "Everybody from New Jersey's crazy."

  • Dave Barry Slept Here jokes that Richard Nixon left politics to live in a state of utter disgrace: New Jersey. (He was not making that up; Nixon actually lived out his last years in Park Ridge, New Jersey.)
  • In one of Dave Barry's columns, he says scientists believe "at one time the earth was nothing but a bunch of slime and ooze, sort of like Bayonne, New Jersey."
  • In a section of How to Be a Superhero suggesting disguising yourself as a state, it's mentioned you could disguise yourself as New Jersey by covering yourself in trash and playing Bruce Springsteen too loud.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On How I Met Your Mother, Ted insists that he has no problem moving to his fiancee's home in New Jersey. Cut to flashbacks showing Ted relentlessly bashing New Jersey, showing off his "I Hate New Jersey" T-shirt, and referring to the act of defecation as "taking a New Jersey".
    • Lily once told Ted that if he killed her and buried her in New Jersey, she would haunt him forever. However, she would be willing to forgive him if he buried her anywhere else.
  • All in the Family: Mike and Gloria are house hunting and Archie, wanting to get rid of Mike, keeps suggesting that he "Try Jersey":
    Mike: I hate Jersey!
    Archie: Everybody hates Jersey! But someone has to live there!
  • On The Drew Carey Show Drew is amused to learn that Kate's boyfriend (who claims to be the devil) was born in Jersey, although this could also be a reference to urban legends of a monster called the Jersey Devil.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): Both "Dealer's Choices" and "I of Newton" explicitly compare New Jersey (the city of Newark specifically in the latter) to Hell. In "Dealer's Choice", the Devil shows up for a card game:
    "What's the Devil doing here in New Jersey?"
    "What do you mean? I think he lives here!"
  • In a message he recorded for the 30th anniversary of the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum, Stephen Colbert mentioned trying to fire missiles at New Jersey as one of his favorite memories of visiting the Intrepid.
  • Played with in a Night Court episode where a crazy person who thought he was a space alien was brought before the bench:
    Defendant: I can't stand this oxygen atmosphere! I need methane and ammonia!
    Harry: Where's he from?
    Bull: New Jersey, your honor.
  • Burn Notice was originally going to be set in Newark, but network executives apparently found the idea of Michael Westen being exiled to New Jersey to be too depressing.
  • On the mid-season finale of the final season of Mad Men, Peggy and Julio (the son of the woman renting an apartment from Peggy) have this conversation:
    Julio: I don't want to move to Newark!
    Peggy: Nobody does.
  • Subverted in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Want." A dancer at a strip club refuses her boss's suggestion that she transfer to a club in Jersey, with a disgusted tone that suggests this trope. But later, we find out that's where her mother lives: the implication is that the girl just didn't want to bring her unsavory work so close to home.
  • Chucky: In the episode "Goin' to the Chapel", this is Chucky's reaction to the start of the heroes' attempted exorcism on him:
    Chucky: You think I'm afraid of going to Hell? I'm from Jersey!

  • The singer Voltaire did a song about his childhood home statenote ... called "Bomb New Jersey." It's about Exactly What It Says on the Tin. His song "Hell in a Handbasket" has another jab at New Jersey, when he says he'd rather be dead and in Hell than "alive and kicking in Jersey any day."
  • Likewise, Less Than Jake has a song simply called "Never Going Back to New Jersey".
  • The "Weird Al" Yankovic song I'll Sue Ya features the line "I sued Delta Airlines cause they sold me a ticket to New Jersey. I went there, and it sucked!"
  • Bloodhound Gang has a song called "The Ten Coolest Things About New Jersey". It's ten seconds of silence.
  • Bruce Springsteen was born and raised in Jersey and not afraid to praise or criticize his home state. There was a short-lived campaign to make "Born To Run" (a song about how Jersey sucks and the narrator wishes to leave even if it's the last thing he'll ever do) the state's song just because it has a cool melody (same thing happened to him often with "Born in the U.S.A.").

  • In Waitress, Becky suggests that Jenna open up a pie shop somewhere where they could use one, like Europe, "or New Jersey."
  • Be More Chill:
    Mr. Reyes: You think I wanted to teach high school drama? In New Jersey?
  • Hamilton pokes fun at New Jersey, but Word of God says it's "with love".
    • In "Farmer Refuted":
      Seabury: I pray the king shows you his mercy!
      Hamilton: Is he in Jersey?
    • When Philip is about to duel:
      Hamilton: Where is this happening?
      Philip: Across the river in New Jersey.
      Both: Everything is legal in New Jersey.

    Video Games 

  • An issue of Ctrl+Alt+Del has Zeke heading somewhere 'devoid of humanity but where I can observe it'. Ethan questions: 'Jersey?'

    Web Original 
  • On the photoshop website Worth1000, the word "Hell" is censored guessed it!
  • On Atop the Fourth Wall, in the review of Action Comics #593 Linkara has to explain about the New Gods. When he describes Apokalips, this is what he says "... Apokalips, which is New Jersey." A text blurb appears on the screen apologizing for the joke.
  • "New Jersey: You'll never get the smell out"
  • In Epic Rap Battles of History Thomas Edison boasts that he is "so dope that I even make New Jersey look good".
  • JonTron upon finding out that the Barbie Game Boy game was developed in Glenn Rock, New Jersey.
    Jon: No! Bad New Jersey! Bad state! Go to Your Room!!

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, one of the Rangers' semi-regular Rogues Gallery has bought all of New Jersey. Gooseman's tone of voice when Doc relates this fact to him is one of disbelief that anyone with that amount of cash would choose to live there, much less own it. Something of an in-joke, as the series was produced in New York.
  • In the Celebrity Deathmatch episode where the Super-Freaks are introduced, Nick Diamond says that to create them, "we had to break the laws of physics! And most of the laws of industrial New Jersey."
  • Codename: Kids Next Door:
    • The episode "Operation: D.I.A.P.E.R." has a shot taken at New Jersey where Numbuh Five tells the rest of the team where babies come from. The episode cuts off before Numbuh Five explains where babies come from, but we see the other operatives' reactions during the end credits. Most of them are sickened or confused, but Numbuh One (who has a reputation for being a Properly Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist) says, "Wait a second, that's preposterous! Babies don't come from New Jersey! They come from Philadelphia."
    • In "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S.", the Grand Finale of the series, the Disney Villain Death of the Delightful Children from Down the Lane is rather undignified and takes place in New Jersey, apparently. Numbuh One is struggling with them on a roller coaster at a condemned, toilet-themed theme park (which gives you a good reason why the place was condemned), which climaxes when they pass under a sign that reads "Now Entering New Jersey", and the five villains plummet into a giant toilet.
  • In Dinosaucers, when the Tyrannos are on the brink of success, Quackpot (based on a Hadrosaurus) says he wants Florida. Genghis Rex tells him that he'll get what he deserves, at which Quackpot laments, "Not New Jersey! That's too small!"
  • Futurama
    • In the episode "I, Roommate" had Fry responding to an advert for a "Suspiciously Fantastic Apartment". After Fry admitted that he gave up and couldn't see the catch, the estate agent revealed that technically, they were in New Jersey. Cut to Fry back at the office complaining that not one place he checked was even remotely liveable.
    • In "Hell Is Other Robots", the entrance to Robot Hell is in an abandoned amusement park in Atlantic City.
      Leela: Who would've thought that Hell would actually exist? And that it would be in New Jersey?
      Fry: Well, actually...
    • When Zapp Brannigan destroys the DOOP space station headquarters in "Brannigan, Begin Again", they relocate to their old condemned HQ in Weehawken, New Jersey. Why they located it there in the first place is anyone's guess, but returning added insult to injury.
    • Landfills were full! New Jersey was full!
    • In a later post-revival episode, the gang gets sent back in the past to the time period of the founding fathers, just as they're drafting the constitution, and there's a scene where they decide that New Jersey will be the official joke state.
  • In the U.S. Acres segments of Garfield and Friends, Orson the pig's overactive imagination is so powerful that when he reads a book, reality warps to look like whatever he's reading about. In one episode, he accidentally transports everyone to the surface of the Moon; one character, when asked where they are, responds, "Looks like New Jersey, except with more trees."
  • Megas XLR doesn't miss the chance of poking some jokes about the series taking place in New Jersey, mainly Jersey City, by comparing cities.
    Jamie: There's always Hoboken.
    Coop: Yeah, but that's Hoboken!
  • A running gag in The Penguins of Madagascar is the horror of the Hoboken Zoo in North Jersey.
    • In the episode "All Tied Up With a Boa" there is a news report of a snake escaping from the Hoboken Zoo. When the anchor points out the panicked people running in the background, the reporter says, "This has nothing to do with the snake, it's just Hoboken."
    • One episode has the penguins actually arrive at the Hoboken Zoo, only to find that it's actually a pleasant place where everyone is nicer. Double Subverted when it turns out that the new zookeeper is a Stepford Smiler obsessed with cleaning who has replaced all the animals with robots.
  • Jokes about New Jersey are common in The Real Ghostbusters. For example, in one episode, the heroes are dealing with an Eldritch Abomination that could consume the city:
    Egon: First it will be all of Brooklyn, then all of New York, then all of New Jersey...
    Venkman: Oh, what will we ever do without New Jersey?
  • An episode of Robot Chicken has the Care Bears ethnically cleansing Care-A-Lot by killing the Care Bear Cousins. Because of their actions, the Cloud-Keeper-In-The-Sky turns Care-A-Lot into New Jersey. It turns out to be a video reenactment on the history of New Jersey.
    Cloud-Keeper-In-The-Sky: Care Bears, I have watched your actions with great displeasure.
    Love-A-Lot Bear: But we've purified the land of Care-A-Lot.
    Cloud-Keeper-In-The-Sky: For your dark and terrible deeds, I shall turn Care-A-Lot into a dark and terrible place; a Hell on Earth. I shall turn Care-A-Lot into... New Jersey.
  • In "It's a Jersey Thing", the residents of South Park mount a desperate defense against New Jersey spreading like a plague.
  • Even Steven Universe makes fun of New Jersey in "Same Old World". While Steven is showing Lapis Lazuli some of the sights near Beach City, they fly over "Jersey", which is full of smog-belching factories and traffic jams. Steven jokes "The people here seem to hate the Earth too", and a grumpy local throws a boot at Lapis for "flying through our airways".
  • In the T.U.F.F. Puppy episode "Law & Odor" Dudley describes the Stink Bug's stench as "A hobo with an abscessed tooth driving a garbage truck in August in Atlantic City!" The "Atlantic City" part becomes a running gag throughout the episode.
  • In episode 7 of Ugly Americans, Randall gets hit by a bus, tearing him in half, with his top half stuck to the bus. Because Randall's a zombie, this kind of traumatic injury isn't all that serious, and he seems moderately annoyed at the inconvenience of the situation... until he realizes the bus is heading to New Jersey, at which point he lets out a Big "NO!".

Detroit / Michigan

    Film — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Supernatural, when Sam and Dean Winchester need to meet with Lucifer in person in order to implement their ill-advised plan, they find the Devil and his entourage in Detroit.
  • MADtv (1995) did a skit about words being removed from the dictionary and Detroit is one of those words.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Deliberately averted in Champions. In the Champions Universe, Detroit is leveled during an epic super-battle against Dr. Destroyer and is rebuilt afterward as Millennium City, a shining high-tech city of wonder that every other metropolis in the United States wishes it could be. Millennium City author Darren Watts specifically noted that he chose Detroit because of its underdog reputation and that "if any city deserved another shot ... it seems to me it's Detroit."
  • Every game line in the Chronicles of Darkness has a signature city. Vampires have New Orleans, mages have Boston, changelings have Miami, and so on. Prometheans, standard-bearers of Blessed with Suck? Detroit. The books explain it away as tying in with the themes of creation, something new rising from wreckage of old... and the Wasteland effect Prometheans inflict.

  • Trope inversion while almost playing it straight in the Triangle Show musical Doomsdays of our Lives in the song Urban Slight, where the safe haven is found to be Detroit...because it couldn't get any worse from the apocalypses.
    “I survive by eating rats! I have asphalt for a bed./But if I think carefully, it sure beats being dead!”
    “There's chaos and destruction; that's why it may appear/that nothing ever happened here!”

    Video Games 
  • The Care and Feeding of Adjuncts' description of the first room:
    A formless void. Empty. Dull. There seems to be no way out. Still, better than Detroit.
  • In the horror movie-themed levels of Gex, Gex will compare his surrounding to Detroit.
  • In PAYDAY 2's Slaughterhouse job, going into the toilet as Houston will make him remark it smells like Detroit.
  • Twisted Metal III: in Minion's ending, he wishes to spend eternity in Hell. Calypso obliges and sends him to Hell, Michigan.

    Web Original 
  • The Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism videos (see Cleveland below) admit that, for all Cleveland's (many) downsides that make it a shithole, at least they're not Detroit.
  • "Cairo: at least it's not Detroit. "Safer than Afghanistan (most of the time)"
  • Matt of Two Best Friends Play brings this up during one Let's Play.
    Pat: You're in Silent Hill! The shittiest town in America!
    Matt: I don't know... there's Detroit.
    Pat: Whoa, okay, hold on a second. Are you telling me that Silent Hill is better than Detroit?
    Matt: Have you been to Detroit?
    Pat: I will... I will make, I will compromise that pre-RoboCop Detroit is way worse than Silent Hill, but post-RoboCop Detroit way better than Silent Hill, if only for the fact that it has fucking RoboCop.

    Western Animation 
  • Earthworm Jim found it on a list of the worst places in the universe when searching for an Artifact of Doom.
  • On South Park, when people already in Hell are killed, they simply revive unharmed somewhere else in Hell. After all, where are they going to go? Detroit?
  • Transformers: Animated:
    • Inverted - 22nd century Detroit is the modern and shiny heart of the robot revolution. That is, the technological shift towards the greater use of robots, not a violent overthrow by robots. Although Soundwave does try that at one point. This seems to be mostly harkening back to the days when Detroit was a major hub of automobile manufactures.
    • The Botcon script reading "Bee in the City" still had to get a dig in, however.
      Narrator: Our story begins one morning in Detroit. Police sirens fill the cool morning air. This has nothing to do with our story, but it's Detroit.
  • In the original series of Biker Mice from Mars, Detroit is portrayed this way, being a decaying, dingy cesspit overrun by marauding bandits under the control of Napoleon Brie, a Plutarkian agent who has been strip-mining the entire city to sell its resources back to Plutark. The only ones who don't shun Detroit are the titular Biker Mice, who have a fascination with the city due to its motorcycle connections.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one episode, Homer makes a crack about Detroit, and Moe admonishes him, telling him that the people there are "living in Mad Max times" so they have it bad enough already.
    • In "Warrin' Priests", the welcome sign to Michigan questions the traveler's sanity.
  • Family Guy: Tom Tucker once gave a news report that the city of Detroit was "officially giving up", and that the mayor was giving the key to the city back to the Huron native American tribe, one of the tribes that originally inhabited the area. Tucker's report is less than sympathetic.
    Tom: From Bob Sieger to Axl Foley, we never really cared.

New York City

See also The Big Rotten Apple.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America White: After being asked what he would do if his home neighborhood of Brooklyn was taken over by Nazis, Cap jokes that there are parts of Brooklyn he wouldn't wish on even his worst enemies. Keep in mind that this was 1940's era Brooklyn, though.

    Film — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • The ESPN miniseries The Bronx Is Burning centers around the turbulent 1977 season of the New York Yankees set against the backdrop of a New York in massive turmoil between the NYPD's hunt for the Son of Sam, the city's financial turmoil and mass layoffs of municipal workers, and most of all the epidemic of arson that literally left the Bronx burning - the situation had grown so twisted that landlords frequently burned their own apartments to the ground to collect insurance because they can't turn a profit either selling note  or renting.note 
    Howard Cosell: There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning. (Said during Game 2 of the 1977 World Series when the telecast of the game cut to the neighborhood surrounding Yankee Stadium and filmed a building on fire)
  • Ted's fiancé in How I Met Your Mother was very very bothered by the crime rate and how fast the city was.

  • The Midnight Meat Train by Clive Barker (and its film version) shows New York as a real cesspit, even before the introduction of the serial killing Butcher and the ancient conspiracy he serves. The main character originally had hopes of "falling in love" with the city when he first moved there, but has become cynical about New York when the story starts. To be fair, he does love the city by the end, if only because he's been mutilated and brainwashed into serving as the new Butcher of New York after killing the old one in self-defence.

  • A Black 47 song: "You got two choices mate: castration, or a one-way ticket to New York!"
  • "If Heaven Ain't A Lot Like Dixie" by Hank Williams Jr.:
    Just send me to Hell or New York City
    It would be about the same to me.

    Web Original 
  • In Dimension 20: The Unsleeping City, while much of New York is celebrated, treating Staten Island like the worst place imaginable is a Running Gag. Whenever anyone who doesn’t live there talks of the idea of maybe going there, they come up with excuses not to do so. At one point, a monk treats his monastery as "far away, in a remote place, where only the most dedicated can reach it"… which turns out to be Staten Island.


    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons: Homer Simpson On New York City: "But Marge, New York is a hellhole! And you know how I feel about hellholes!"
    • It ends up subverted: Homer DOES have a miserable experience recovering his car, but the rest of the family have the time of their lives.


  • W.C. Fields frequently referred to Philadelphia in seriously disparaging terms. The final punchline was his proposed epitaph: "On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia." Might or might not be related to WC Fields, but some game show had a set of prizes based on this joke. First place got a week in Philadelphia. Second place got two weeks.

    Comic Books 
  • The Punisher MAX: "Six Hours to Kill" sees Frank get gassed and wakes up in Philadelphia, where yuppie criminals tell him they've injected him with a poison that will kill him in six hours unless he kills the people they tell him to. Frank kills the Smug Snake telling him this and goes around killing every Philadelphia operation he knows of. Then it turns out the yuppies are in league with the mayor of Philadelphia committing just about every crime possible (including corrupt cops used as hitmen). Frank is rescued in extremis (much to his chagrin: he didn't even bother looking for the antidote and spent those six hours removing as much scum as he could), and leaves, reflecting how much he hates the city (note that Frank lives in an even worse version of The Big Rotten Apple, where drug dealers, human traffickers, and snuff filmmakers operate in near-broad daylight).

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Eraserhead was partly inspired by David Lynch's stay in this city, which he claims left him with a sense of dread.

  • Philly also comes in for a snarking in Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Jubal is sending his handyman, Duke, out on an errand that includes dropping off a car in Philadelphia, and Duke wants to spend the night there rather than come straight home once he's done. Jubal is shocked that anyone would willingly spend the night in Philly:
    Jubal: What on earth is there to do at night in Philadelphia?
    Duke: Plenty, if you know where to look.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angela Martin from The Office (US) hates Philadelphia. This is somewhat expected for someone from Northeastern Pennsylvania, though the intensity is (as expected from Angela) on another level:
    Angela: In the Martin family, we like to say, "Looks like someone took the slow train from Philly." That's code for "check out the slut."
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is this, period. Most of the jokes are directed at the characters, but it certainly doesn't let the town off easily either.
    Dee: We're in a dark, scary alley in Philly, we might as well call it Rape Bar.
  • After John McCain announced that he would "chase Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell," The Daily Show decided to have a correspondent file a report from the gates of hell... which are in Philadelphia/South Jersey.
  • In Barney Miller, Fish once encountered a cult leader who claimed to be preparing his flock for an exodus to the planet Saturn.
    Fish: Have you really been to Saturn?
    Cult leader: I have.
    Fish: Tell me, what's it like?
    Cult leader: Heaven.
    Fish: If that's Heaven, then Hell is..?
    Cult leader: Philadelphia.

  • The early Rodgers and Hart song "Any Old Place With You" (possibly):
    I'd go to hell for ya
    Or Philadelphia,
    Any old place with you.
  • Starbomb's "It's Dangerous to Go Alone" has Link mention Hyrule looking "just like Philadelphia but even more shitty" at one point in the song.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Steve Jackson games once asked its readers to write in their submissions for "useless random tables". The results were published in Murphy's Rules. One winning entry was for "dead character soul destination" (roll d4):
    1. Heaven
    2. Hell
    3. Purgatory
    4. Philadelphia

  • In the short play The Philadelphia, a character is said to be caught in "a Philadelphia" when everything goes the complete opposite of what you actually want, likened to actually being in Philadelphia. He solves the problem by asking the opposite of what he really wants.
    • The play does this to other cities too... another character is caught in a Baltimore, which is "like death, without the advantages".
    • On the other hand, the character in Los Angeles is living large, taking the loss of his girlfriend and his job in stride - until the main character sucks him into his Philadelphia and he instantly becomes a nervous wreck.
  • In the musical 1776, John Adams laments:
    "At a time in their lives when most men prosper, I am reduced to living in Philadelphia!"

    Video Games 
  • Pico: Philly is depicted as a demented City of Adventure home to child terrorists, nefarious cloning projects, and aliens looking to level the place, and that's in Tom Fulp's games alone. In order of appearance, its main "heroes" are an arsonist, a suicidal knife-wielding Dirty Kid, and the titular gun-toting hothead.

    Western Animation 
  • Megas XLR takes a shot at Philly, too, it being Coop's go-to place to dispose of the giant monsters he had accidentally unleashed.
  • Futurama: In "All The Presidents' Heads", Professor Farnsworth has this to say:
    Farnsworth: I'm sure nobody's ever said this before, but I must get to Philadelphia as quickly as possible!


  • Mario Puzo's books have mobsters talk of being "sent to Siberia", meaning upstate New York prisons in general and Dannemora State Prison near Malone by the Canadian border in particular.
  • In Siberian Light a post-Soviet Siberian town is depicted as a dreary hell-hole everyone is trying to escape from- except one American company. Ostensibly looking for oil, it is actually investigating the possibility of using Siberian prison camps to relieve overcrowded American penitentiaries. When one prisoner is placed there as a test, he escapes fairly easily.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Hogan's Heroes the Russian front and Siberia is frequently used as a running gag, often by Hogan. Justified as the German soldiers running the prison camp were often threatened with being sent to the Russian front, and the Germans were not doing very well on that front.

    Western Animation 
  • Yogi Bear is frequently threatened by Ranger Smith to be sent there.

Cleveland / Ohio

  • Yakov Smirnoff: "In every country, there is a city everyone makes fun of. In United States, it is Cleveland. In Soviet Union, it is Cleveland."

    Comic Books 
  • Howard the Duck keeps ending up back in Cleveland, much to his chagrin.
  • X-Men: On seeing Krakoa (the Living Island) for the first time, Iceman quips that it could be Cleveland. After some rambling, he decides that yes, it definitely could be Cleveland.

    Fan Works 
  • The fluffy pony group fic The Fall of Cleveland has a developer build a theme park for fluffy ponies (small, fluffy man-made life forms often kept as pets) in Cleveland, a plan approved by the mayor in a desperate attempt to make some money for the city. However, the developer has rigged the park to explode as part of a plan to make his creations, "fuzzy ponies", the only biotoy on the market. The story ends with a massive tidal wave of fluffy ponies overwhelming the park, a herd getting into the local nuclear power plant, and Lake Erie swallowing the city.
  • In Sanity is Quite Simply Overrated Harriet destroys Azkaban prison with Fiendfyre.
    Makes me think of that quote at the end of Doom II, thank you, Dennis, for making me play it through. Now that Hell is destroyed, where are all the bad people going to go when they die now?
    Cleveland, most likely, would be my guess.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the second Percy Jackson movie Luke had to go through the depths of Tartarus to find Kronos's tomb....and Cleveland.
  • In the plot of the John Candy movie Delirious he plays a soap opera writer transported into his own show and can write out other people's words and actions. When one character (played by Robert Wagner, who Candy's character calls Robert Wagner in a No Fourth Wall moment) becomes a nuisance he writes for them a hasty exit.
    Robert Wagner: I have to go to... Cleveland. Jesus, I hate Cleveland!
    John Candy: What are you doing here? I sent you to Cleveland!
    Robert Wagner: I should kill you for that alone.
  • At the beginning of Mr. Baseball, over-the-hill ballplayer Jack Elliot gets told his team (The New York Yankees) has traded him, and that there was only one taker. He immediately asks with horror if they're sending him to Cleveland, and is visibly relieved when the manager says it's not Cleveland.
  • In the Disney Channel Original Movie, The Luck of the Irish, Big Bad Seamus makes a deal with Kyle to return the latter's lucky coin after losing a bet, and to "live forever in the land of [Kyle's] father, in the shores of Erie." Seamus misinterprets Erie as Kyle mispronouncing Eire, the Irish word for Ireland, and is horrified when Kyle corrects him that his dad's from Cleveland, and Seamus gets transported into Lake Erie.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The pilot of Hot in Cleveland refers to the city very negatively for the most part. The only reason the characters change their mind is that they're seen as attractive there, unlike in Los Angeles.
  • It's mentioned a few times in Buffy the Vampire Slayer that there's a Hellmouth in Cleveland.
  • The Disney Channel movie The Luck of the Irish ends with the bad guy being banished to the shores of Lake Erie, right by Cleveland.
  • The Good Place:
    • Downplayed example in the first episode. Eleanor insists there ought to be a "medium" afterlife for people who aren't good enough to get into The Good Place but didn't commit any crimes worthy of eternal torture—then decides that Cincinnati would fit the bill.
    • When Tahani finds out how she died (being crushed by a statue of her sister she was trying to knock down) her immediate reaction is horror to find out she died in Cleveland.
  • In How I Met Your Mother:
    Robin: An airplane ticket to Cleveland?
    Ted: I know it's not Canada, but it starts with a C and it's cold as balls. So get packed, you're coming home with me for Christmas!
    Robin: Nice try, dude. I wouldn't go to Cleveland for 120 million dollars paid over six years.
    Ted: Still with the LeBron jokes?
  • In Maude:
    "I hope I didn't lose it in the wrong places!"
    "When you lose that much weight there are no wrong places—except Cleveland."
  • Used on a quick gag on Hogan's Heroes:
    Kinchloe: (while checking various maps the Heroes have for planning) Cleveland? Why do we have a map of Cleveland? Is it in case we need to go in?
    Col. Robert Hogan: No. It's in case we need to escape from there!
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Used as a riff in the War of the Colossal Beast episode :
    Maj. Barrett: There's no place in the civilized world for a creature that big.
    Servo: ...So we're sending him to Cleveland.
  • Inverted in 30 Rock, where Liz visits her then boyfriend after he's moved to Cleveland. She finds it to be far better than New York, including being asked if she's a model.

  • The original edition of The Lorax, no less, contained a dig at the level of industrial pollution in Cleveland’s Lake Erie, when the humming-fish were forced to leave their home:
    So I’m sending them off, oh their future is dreary,
    They'll walk on their fins and get woefully weary
    in search of some water that isn't so smeary.
    I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie."
    • While in the 1970s it really was that bad, some years later environmental researchers informed Seuss that efforts at cleaning the lake water had been successful, and he fairly removed the line from later printings.

  • MAD: In a parody of American Idol, a judge tells a Dreadful Musician, "You know how when contestants do very well, they're told 'You're going to L.A.' or 'You're going to New York'? Well, you're going to Steubenville!"

  • In the Townes Van Zandt song "Pancho and Lefty", after Lefty sells out Pancho, he moves to Cleveland, where his fate is implied to be barely better than Pancho's.
    The poets tell how Pancho fell
    Lefty's living in a cheap hotel
    The desert's quiet and Cleveland's cold
    So the story ends, we're told
    Pancho needs your prayers, it's true
    Save a few for Lefty, too
    He just did what he had to do
    Oh, and now he's growing old
  • There's a Milwaukee-based musician (Sigmund Snopek) who wrote a ditty entitled 'Thank God This Isn't Cleveland', about how Milwaukee is far from the best place to live, but 'being anywhere is better than being in Ohio'.
  • Randy Newman's song "Burn On" is about that time that Cleveland's Cuyahoga River got so polluted it caught fire!
  • Electric Six's "Escape From Ohio" is all about the horror of finding yourself stranded in Ohio. They do also include shout outs to a couple of bands who happen to come from there though ("Except for GBV and Devo, nothing seems to redeem Ohio").
  • According to John Denver, "Saturday night in Toledo, Ohio, is like being nowhere at all." "Be thankful next time you get weighed... so wive and wet wive..."

  • Adeptus Ridiculous is a podcast about Warhammer 40,000. Sometimes, when the two stars (Bricky and DK) talk about a particularly horrible part of the galaxy (of which there are many), the editor (Shy) would display a picture of Cleveland. One time Bricky and DK noticed, and commented that the Warhammer 40k universe isn't that bad.

    Video Games 
  • In the Infocom interactive fiction game Leather Goddesses of Phobos, there is a scene in Cleveland. They make fun of it even in the InvisiClues. ('How do I get out of Cleveland?' 'Millions of people ask this question every day!')

  • Everyone in Skin Horse agrees... but the transgenic animals just love the place.

    Web Original 
  • Mike Polk's Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism videos admit that Cleveland is a shithole; however, as the second video puts it, "at least we're not Detroit!"
  • In United 300, a spoof trailer of both 300 and United 93, Xerxes begs Leonidas not to destroy his terrorists just yet, because otherwise they'll be forced to land the plane in Ohio. Leonidas responds with "Then tonight, we dine in Cleveland!"

    Western Animation 
  • In an episode of The Fairly OddParents!, Cosmo and Wanda get carried away by a tornado and end up in Cleveland (which Cosmo mistakes for the Land of Oz). Everything is grey and stormy, and there's a sign saying "Welcome to Cleveland. NOW GO HOME!"
  • A one-shot gag on The Simpsons had a bus coming to a fork in the road with one direction leading to Cleveland and the other heading to Cincinnati. The bus starts along the Cleveland road, backs onto the Cincinnati one, then heads back the way it came.
  • Animaniacs: In "Meatballs or Consequences", The Grim Reaper brings the Warner siblings to the bleak and ominous Land of the Dead.
    Yakko: (deadpan) All is strange and vague.
    Dot: Are we dead...
    Yakko: ...Or is this Ohio?
  • In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Nuisance", the Wattersons end up being such a nuisance to the town of Elmore that the mayor decides that they are to be relocated to Ohio. Anais comments that 8 people ended up becoming President of the United States just to get away from there.


    Comic Strips 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • From Sullivan's Travels:
    LeBrand: It died in Pittsburgh.
    Hadrian: Like a dog!
    John L. Sullivan: Aw, what do they know?
    Hadrian: They know what they like.
    Sullivan: If they knew what they liked, they wouldn't live in Pittsburgh!
  • In 42, being traded to Pittsburgh is used as a threat against some of the Dodgers.
  • Apollo 13, when asked why the networks aren't showing the astronauts' broadcast:
    "All the networks dumped us. One said we made putting a man on the moon about as exciting as a trip to Pittsburgh."
  • And then, when you thought Western PA didn't have anything more to throw you in the face, it shows it can go downhill... Pittsburgh, bad? Picture Punxsutawney. In winter. In a very, very silly festival. And then, every time you awake is February 2nd. Such is Phil Connors' fate in Groundhog Day.
  • In Videodrome, Pittsburgh is treated this way throughout the film. It is where the videodrome signal comes from, and "See you in Pittsburgh" is later used in lieu of the regular "See You in Hell".

    Live-Action TV 
  • Stephen Colbert on Pittsburgh, from The Colbert Report:
    "I know God hates the Steelers because he turned their hometown into Pittsburgh."
  • It's a running joke on Get Smart.
    KAOS Agent: We don't want Pittsburgh.
    Max: That's funny, neither does Pennsylvania.
    • Another one involves a retired bank robber who was deported... to Pittsburgh. "They really threw the book at him."
  • In one episode of Hogan's Heroes, while going through the POWs' collection of maps, Kimch is surprised to see a map of Pittsburgh amongst them and asks if they ever had anyone escape to Pittsburgh, getting this retort in response:
    Hogan: Not to. From.

    Video Games 
  • In the Fallout 3 DLC "The Pitt", the city of Pittsburgh has become a radioactive and highly toxic center for slavery.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, Jorgen Von Strangle lamented how Cosmo ended up stripping him from being a 4-star Fairy General down to 1 star because of his miraculous blunders, all in the timespan of a single day. First, with the reasoning that he was making it cleaner, he sunk Atlantis... nine times and erupted Mt. Vesuvius and destroyed the prosperous civilization of Pompeii (to make it warmer). Cosmo's last act displayed in this flashback is him changing the "high-tech, gleaming Utopia that was once Xanadu", turning it into a a factory-riddled city with a smog-covered sky, a murky, polluted river, and a perpetual traffic jam:
    Cosmo: "I call it Pittsburgh!"
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Billy enters Pittsburgh through a magical porta-potty. The entire city is completely gray, Billy remarks that it looks unsanitary, even for a portable toilet, and to top it all off, he gets a tricycle there made out of pure evil.

Milwaukee / Wisconsin

    Comic Books 
  • The Great Lakes Avengers are based out of Milwaukee and treated as something of a joke by other heroing teams (and Marvel's writers); Squirrel Girl notwithstanding. The location is treated with the same reverence as the team.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Dogma, Metatron tells Bethany that God punished Bartleby and Loki for their crimes until the Rapture occurred.
    Bethany: Were they sent to hell?
    Metatron: Worse. Wisconsin.

  • The headline in Our Dumb Century "Harry Houdini Escapes From Wisconsin", about the famed magician's death.note 

    Live-Action TV 
  • NewsRadio
    Beth: Hello Dave.
    Bill: Hello employee! You look miserable and oppressed!
    Beth: Oh I am! I can no longer take cab rides home from the office!
    Bill: Excellent! That's good news to me. You see I'm from Wiscoooooonsin, where taxi cabs are feared and hunted for the delicious meat under their hoods!
    Beth: Comedy?
    Bill: Or Tragedy?
    Both: You be the judge!
  • Naturally being made in Minnesota, Mystery Science Theater 3000 is chock-full of Wisconsin bashing. Head writer Mike Nelson was from Wisconsin himself, and even he gleefully joined in on the bashing.
    • For example, during the host segment for The Deadly Bees, Brain Guy manages to trump two Observers who had come to take him home. After taking their brains, thus making them idiots, he decides that the absolute worst punishment he could give is to make them live in Wisconsin where they will work for a small dairy co-op, and be rabid Packers fans.
    • The plot of Clonus involves a protagonist in a completely isolated community discovering the outside world by finding a discarded can of Old Milwaukee beer in the river. As he tries to research the text on this strange object, the MST crew joke that "This is probably the most interest ANYONE’S shown in Milwaukee."
  • An episode of Night Court had Bull asking Yakov Smirnoff why it was so bad living in the Soviet Union. Yakov tells him to close his eyes and imagine he is "standing in the middle of Milwaukee. No matter where you go, you will still be in the middle of Milwaukee. You could get in a car and drive a hundred miles, you will still be in the middle of Milwaukee. You could..." At which point Bull screams for Yakov to stop.
  • While ESPN Brazil transmitted the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, a comedian acting as a guest commenter went on to bash Milwaukee every time a Bucks player appeared ("I studied in Nebraska, it's a cold hell-hole with nothing to do! Milwaukee is a similar disgrace, only ice and fat women!"). A few times he called it a state to make his case worse.

  • The song/spoken word poetry "Deteriorata" reflects that "And whatever misfortune may be your lot, it can only be worse in Milwaukee."

    Video Games 
  • Upon reaching the climactic fights against the Jin Twins in Fatal Fury 3: Road To The Final Victory, Jin Chonshu declares their intention to take over the world and reinstate the Qin Dynasty after they're through with you... With the exception of Oshkosh, of course. The free world post its subjugation can have that part of Wisconsin.

    Web Original 
  • A bonus video for Suburban Knights reveals that Malachite was banished to a cafe in Wisconsin, forced to work as a barista there forever and be abused by the owner.

    Web Video 
  • CinemaSins: Milwaukee is sinned in the first episode of Wednesday.
    Enid: I've been to the best Lycanologist. I had to fly to Milwaukee, would you believe it?
    Aaron: That the best Lycanologist is in Milwaukee, or that Enid would actually go to Milwaukee? And I'm going to go ahead and call bullsh*t on both possibilities because... Milwaukee.

    Western Animation 

Los Angeles / California

See also Hellish L.A.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    Spike: Am I in Hell?
    Lorne: No, you're in Los Angeles, though a lot of people make that mistake.
  • Joss Whedon recycled the Angel joke in Dollhouse:
    Topher: Do you know where you are?
    Priya: I'm in hell.
    Topher: You're in Los Angeles. I can understand the mix-up.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: While watching Mac and Me in the revival series, one of the riffs is, "When visiting Bakersfield, California...reconsider."
  • One episode of the American Whose Line Is It Anyway? had as a Scene From A Hat "Versions of Hell without fire or brimstone". Greg presented it as driving eternally in Mississippi. They also repeat the joke for Fresno and Seattle.

  • The late comedian Robin Harris often made jokes that calling Hell from Compton, CA was a Local call (as opposed to Long-Distance). The joke was adapted into the animated adaptation of Bébé's Kids, with the titular kids' apartment building being the place: "Try to phone Hell from here, it'd be a local call."
  • During one of his shows, Jeff Dunham got into an argument with Peanut over whether or not they were currently in Santa Ana, California, or in Hell.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Marty and Doc invoke this in Back to the Future Part II, faced with an alternate 1985 ruled by Biff Tannen.
    Marty: It's like we're in Hell or something.
    Doc: No, this is Hill Valley, though I can't imagine Hell being much worse.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss: The episode Seeing Stars has Octavia run away to the human world in an attempt to see a meteor shower. Loona is able to determine that she went to Los Angeles based on the scent of "urine and desperation''. Blitzo comments that LA "doesn't look much different from Hell".

  • In Multiplex they are discussing the source of the zombie invasion of the movie theater.
    Franklyn: So what if the projector is opening a portal to hell, or, uh, whatever.
    Tease: Hollywood?

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama: In "The Cryonic Woman", Fry wakes up from a second round of cryo-stasis and finds himself in what appears to be a post-apocalyptic Earth in the year 4000. Turns out he was only frozen four days and he was really in Los Angeles in his own time period. When he tries explaining that there were ruins and children with guns, the other characters reply that L.A. is just like that.
    Bender: He just won't stop with the social commentary.


For mentions of Florida, see also Only in Florida.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Cowboy Bebop: "Nothing good comes from the Earth anymore."
  • In one episode of Urusei Yatsura, Mrs. Moroboshi wins the grand prize in a grocery's festival lottery — an all-expenses-paid vacation for two to Atami. AnimEigo's subtitles helpfully gloss that this is "equivalent to a trip to Ogdensburg, New York."
  • This is how Tomoya from CLANNAD perceives the town he grew up in, which is actually quite nice. This is more due to his Dark and Troubled Past rather than the actual town. His opinion changes by the end of the series.
  • Downplayed in Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Batou narrates that Berlin, Germany is the only city to have the "dubious honor" of having been bombed out in all four world wars, yet managed to rebuild after each time.
  • One Piece:
    • Impel Down is the World Government-controlled supermax prison housing many criminals and where all prisoners are tortured with various methods. It's referred to as Hell thanks to all the (mostly true) rumors floating around. The prison's Levels are based on various interpretations of Hell: the sharp and pointy "Crimson Hell" on level 1, the vicious and destructive beasts housed in the "Wild Beast Hell" on level 2, the scorching desert biome with minimal supply in "Starvation Hell" on level 3, the more conventional interpretation as home to constant inferno, smoldering brimstone and boiling lakes of blood in "Blazing Hell" on level 4, and the slow death by hypothermia and frostbite in the chilled "Freezing Hell" on level 5. There exists a Level 6, the "Eternal Hell" because anyone or anything sentenced there is considered a threat so great, it must be forgotten, and so they are wiped from the record completely and left to waste away. The Hanging Judge of Enies Lobby considers issuing a death sentence as a compromise — looking at Impel Down, it makes sense.
    • The New World, the second half of the Grand Line, is widely described as such by the average Grand Line pirate. It's such a hellish place that they call the first half a "Paradise" in comparison, which says a lot when the first half is already considered to be this trope by most pirates from the Four Blues.
  • Asuka throws out a line on Germany in the manga of Neon Genesis Evangelion: since the Second Impact, all she can remark upon is how the streets constantly smell like alcohol and garbage.

  • British comedians of a certain age often speak this way about the Glasgow Empire, a venue notorious for giving acts very short shrift. Des O'Connor fainted on stage and Morecambe and Wise were booed off. Glasgow in general often gets this too.
  • Hoosier comedian Jim Gaffigan, after listing somewhat cliched boasts for residents of other states, said of his home state, "We're from Indiana and we're gonna move!"
  • According to Saturday Night Live's incarnation of Joe Biden, Scranton, PA is the single worst place on earth. In fact, if you went down to the lowest circle of hell, you'd still be 45 minutes outside of Scranton.
  • In Robin Williams' special Live On Broadway, he talked about the 2002 Winter Olympics, wondering why they were held in Utah.
    Robin: "Utah, god, what a great place..." What, was Amish country booked? What happened?

    Comic Books 
  • The Sandman spin-off comic The Dreaming had one very lost character lament:
    Hell...I'm in hell...
    Mad Hettie: Nah, 's London. 's like Hell, but less crowded.
  • At one point the members of Justice League Europe believe they are going to be relocated from London to Vienna. They universally regard this with horror and dismay.
  • When Mockingbird is asked to rejoin the Avengers, she quietly whispers, "Please don't say West Coast Avengers. Please don't say West Coast Avengers..."
  • In a Decap Attack strip of Fleetway's Sonic the Comic, the crew are all bustled down into an infernal train station, where the intercom advises passengers bound for the netherworld, hell, and Milton Keynes to change trains.

    Comic Strips 
  • A common Running Gag in the Garfield comics is the titular cat's constant attempts to send Nermal to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Unforgiven
    English Bob: I thought that you were dead .
    Little Bill Dagget: I heard that one myself, Bob. Hell, I even thought I was dead. Till I found out I was just in Nebraska.
  • In Bruges regards the title city as such.
    "Maybe that's what Hell is, the entire rest of eternity spent in fucking Bruges."
  • Hairspray (2007): "Good morning Baltimore! There's the flasher that lives next door, there's the drunk on his barroom stool; they wish me luck on my way to school..." (Most John Waters films tends towards an affectionate mocking of his hometown, though.)
  • Cannibal! The Musical:
    Polly Pry: You made it to Wyoming, right?
    Packer: Yeah, but I would've been better off just letting those people catch me and kill me.
    Polly Pry: Why?
    Packer: You ever been to Wyoming? [cut to Packer in a lonely, barren wasteland] Heh-hello??
    Polly Pry: Oh god, it sounds horrible!
  • In Defending Your Life, Daniel Miller asks if he's in Hell. His defender explains that there is no Hell, but he hears Los Angeles is getting pretty close.
  • In Wayne's World, Wayne and Garth use a backscreen that's flashing exotic locales to which the two make fun of the stereotypes associated with those places. Then the backscreen flashes Delaware, and the two can't think of anything associated with Delaware.
  • In Easy A, Olive's narration commenting on a character's punishment for contracting a venereal disease:
    "Due to his 'condition,' Micah was sent on an extended visit to his grandparents in Palatka, Florida. And if there's one thing worse than chlamydia, it's Florida."
  • In Labyrinth, Hoggle is terrified of being banished to the Bog of Eternal Stench. Unlike many of the other places on this list, the audience actually does get to see it. Perhaps fortunately, however, we don't get to smell it.
  • In Alien: Resurrection, Johner half-seriously says that he'd rather face the Aliens than go to Earth.
  • As James Gandolfini's character in In the Loop so eloquently said, while talking about War Is Hell: "This is the problem with civilians wanting to go to war. It's terrible, horrible, and once you've been there you never want to go again unless you absolutely fuckin' have to.... It's like France."
  • In the film Disclosure, Tom Sanders is offered a transfer to Austin, Texas. This is later described as similar to "a duck making a lateral move to 'à l'orange'", or in other words similar to being roasted and eaten. Part of this may have less to do with any general shittiness of Austin, and more to do that Sanders knows that the transfer is a thinly veiled plot to get rid of him. The Austin branch is due to close in six months, meaning that the company could transfer him, pay him six months of salary and then quietly let him go, instead of having to handle the messy sexual harassment suit he is caught up in.
  • The LeQuint Dickey Mining Company in Django Unchained is a mining company infamous for its cruel treatment of their slaves, such that Stephen, the head house slave of Candyland, considers being sold to them worse than being castrated, whipped to death, thrown to the Mandingos, or even ripped apart by Stonesipher's dogs. Django narrowly avoids winding up there after the Candyland shootout.
  • Mr. Barron from Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children considers Florida to be this.
    Mr. Barron: I had to spend three weeks masquerading as a therapist in Florida! Have you ever been to Florida?!
    • Later on, he adds Wales to the list.
      Mr. Barron: I had to spend two- no, three days, in Wales, pretending to look at birds!
  • Instructions Not Included: During the trial to see if Valentin is fit to remain Maggie's father, it's mentioned that his job (stuntman) is one of the three most dangerous jobs in the world. The other two are construction worker and bus driver in Mexico City.

  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Arthur Dent says, "When I was little, I used to have this nightmare about dying — all my school friends went to Heaven or Hell, and I was sent to Southend!"
  • Much sport of the city of Milton Keynes is made in Good Omens (both the angel and the devil claim it as a success for their side), while Crowley is particularly proud of his work with Manchester.
  • The ultimate example may be Gehenna, an area near Jerusalem so unpleasant that it actually became the Hebrew word for Hell. Any time The Bible refers to "Hell", it's probably been translated from "Gehenna". It's only referenced as such in the Bible because, when Israel was pagan it was where children were burned alive to Moloch, which caused the place to be considered Unholy Ground. It's not actually a bad place for any other reason; in modern Jerusalem it's actually a very pleasant little valley.
  • "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" (John 1:46)
  • The mock-atlas "Our Dumb World" by The Onion (which was created in Madison, Wisconsin) has a part entitled "Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Retards"
  • There is a story by Isaac Asimov about a man being exiled, with his attorney insisting that the punishment is way too harsh. In the end, it is revealed that he is sent from the perfectly controlled and conditioned underground cities of the Moon, to the eternally unstable surface of Earth.
  • In Book of the Dead (2006), Agent Coffey threatens the prison guards with termination and transfer to North Dakota. When everything comes crashing down on him, Coffey is heavily demoted and transferred to North Dakota.
  • The Devil's Dictionary:
    • Man spreads so rapidly as to conquer "the entire habitable Earth and Canada".
    • It was the fool who founded "theology, philosophy, law, medicine and Chicago".
  • In the children's picture book The Moon Lady, the narrator tells her two granddaughters a story about her childhood in China. She attended the Moon Festival, and (because she was unsupervised, bored, and not content with staying still as she was expected to do) snuck into the kitchen and messed around with eels that were meant to go in the soup at dinner, and got her brand new outfit covered in eel blood. Her nanny found her, and after making sure she was okay, said something along the lines of "Your mother is going to banish us to Kunming!" The narrator, however, was excited to go, because of rumors that Kunming was a wild place, ruled by flying monkeys.
  • Domina: In a Wretched Hive most of the world won't even touch, Acheron is still considered one of the worst parts of it, populated by nothing but traitors. And then there's Nishrek, the Fifty Battlefields, which is hated even more for its stupid design.
    Robyn: Where is it?
    MC: Nishrek. In Acheron.
    Robyn: ...I hate that place.
    MC: Everyone hates that place.
  • A Field Guide to the Jewish People by Dave Barry, Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel states that some Jews believe that "the souls of the not-so-awesome" are posthumously delivered "to a kind of purgatory realm called Gehennom, She'ol, or the Department of Motor Vehicles, where they spend a year being tormented by the personal demons they created within each sin, joining the righteous in heaven thereafter."
  • Sh*t Towns Of Australia, a parodic travel guide which takes the reader through "all the best places not to visit or, heaven forbid, live" in Australia, going into great detail about the banal attractions, unpleasant features and awful locals who can be found in the titular awful communities. The observant reader will quickly detect by the merest glance at the contents that an entry on pretty much every town or city of some significance in Australia can be found within its pages.
  • In The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Mma Ramotswe (a proud Batswana) notes that she's not sure about Hell, but it must look something like Nigeria.
  • In PartnerShip, the Royal Brats who become known as the Nyota Five have all been assigned places in the distant Nyota system, in several cases as a result of their various failings that would have seen people with fewer connections severely punished. Three are assigned to spots on the most pleasant and habitable planet in the system. Polyon has been assigned to a factory staffed by prisoners on a world with a constant, biting north wind. He disables all environmental regulations as soon as he takes charge and makes it significantly worse. Blaize is assigned to a station on Angalia that's nothing but a plateau rising above a horizon-to-horizon sea of mud that's regularly swept with mud waves.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Being Human:
    • Nina asks Annie if she wants to talk about her experience of Purgatory:
      Nina: Annie. You were in purgatory.
      Annie: Yeah, I know. But I've been to the Isle of Wight so it's not really that much of a culture shock.
    • After rescuing her from Purgatory, Mitchell tells Annie that they've moved to a home in Wales. Annie jokingly replies that she'd rather go back to Purgatory.
  • In Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 3 ends with Jake and Captain Holt being forced to enter witness protection in Florida. It's pretty much portrayed as a hell of tanning beds, firearms, corn dogs, ATVs, and far-right conservatives. Jake refers to the state as "America's butt".
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Castrovalva":
      Tegan: What's a Zero Room, anyway? Doctor said something about non-interfaces.
      Nyssa: I suppose it's some sort of neutral environment, an isolated space cut off from the rest of the universe.
      Tegan: He should have told me that's what he wanted. I coulda shown him Brisbane.
    • "The Unquiet Dead": The Doctor explains to Rose that he's landed in the wrong place and time, and she's so taken with being in the past that she keeps saying "I don't care". Then he says "It's Cardiff!" and she stops dead in shock. Later in the episode, the Doctor himself is disgusted that he's "gonna die in a dungeon! In Cardiff!"
  • Firefly: The Academy is this to River.
  • History of the World Part II has this:
    Todd Lincoln: I'd follow you to the gates of hell!
    General Grant: Well, we're going to something worse than that: West Virginia!
    Todd Lincoln: Noooo!
  • A running gag in How I Met Your Mother is the gang (especially Barney) poking fun at Robin for being from Canada. This comes to a peak in "Return of the Slutty Pumpkin", where Barney is horrified to discover his paternal grandmother was born in Canada, making him one-quarter Canadian. Hilarity Ensues.
    Robin: Guys, I have a very important announcement to make. I was on Facebook, [...] and I just happened to be friends with Barney's long-lost father. And guess who thought my status update on Manitoba was so interesting because his mother was born in Manitoba?
    Barney: What?
    Robin: Which means...your grandmother...
    Barney: No...
    Robin: Which makes you...
    Barney: Don't say it.
    Robin: One quarter Canadian! Welcome to the tribe, hoser!
    Others: (cheering)
    Barney: No...that's not true...that's impossible!
  • In one episode of The Inbetweeners, Mr Gilbert threatens to sabotage Will's university prospects so that it's "Goodbye first-rate education, hello University of Lincoln."
    Will: Now this was serious. I've been to Lincoln, and it's a shithole.
  • Inverted in the second season finale of The League of Gentlemen, when the dim-witted and sheltered Tubbs, faced with the possibility of death, asks Edward, "Will heaven... be like Swansea?"
    Edward: Yes, Tubbs. Only bigger.
  • Often happens on 'Scenes We'd Like to See':
    Hugh Dennis: Bracknell, twinned with Hell!
    Ben Norris: You are leaving Croydon. Well done!
    Frankie Boyle: Both of you, welcome to Scotland!
    David Mitchell: Welcome to Butlins!
    Frankie Boyle: We had only been in there a day, but to us it felt like 15 years. That's Birmingham!
    Andy Parsons: Welcome to Mordor, twinned with Swansea.
    Russell Howard: Please, don't take photos of the natives, because they believe you're taking part of your soul. Apart from that, enjoy Norwich.
    Frankie Boyle: Of course, you have respect local customs. On the right-hand side, you'll see a woman being burned at the stake, and on the left, Dundee Town Hall.
    Kevin Bridges: We have now arrived into Sheffield. Could all passengers in first class please pull down your window blinds and take a look at the real world!
    Andy Parsons: For Middlesbrough, take the exit marked "Hell", and then lose the will to live.
    Angela Barnes: Now there is a big mess on exit 16 on the M4; Swindon!
    • The same programme has also had this:
      Frankie: (Question: If the answer is '27' what is the question?) 'In Dundee, how long does a day seem to last?'
      Dara Ó Briain: Is that 27 hours, or 27 days?
      Frankie: Just the number '27'; they have not come up with the concept of either hours or days in Dundee. They live in a timeless pit.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: The "Election Night Special" sketch has a series of jokes about the "swing-o-meter", which ends up leading into a joke about how "Wales is not swinging at all; no surprise there."
  • John Betjeman wrote the poem "Slough" to trash its transformation into a dreary factory town, inviting bombs to obliterate it in the first stanza. This was one of the reasons the town was chosen as the setting for the original The Office (UK). The DVD packaging includes the poem. David Brent also gives his analysis of the poem in the series proper.
  • Red Dwarf: "What's death like?" "Ever been to Swindon?"
  • Played with on a Saturday Night Live sketch in which a group of white nationalists are describing their perfect world, an agrarian society devoid of any ethnic minorities. A newcomer interjects to point out that they had just perfectly described Vermont. Overlaps with Damned By a Fool's Praise, since the white supremacists mean it as a compliment In-Universe.
  • As police commissioner Burrell says of his city during The Wire: "It's Baltimore, gentlemen. The gods will not save you."

  • Alexei Sayle's 'Ullo John! Gotta New Motor? takes a quick swing at a southern London district:
    Is there life on Mars? (Is there life on Mars?)
    Is there life in Peckham? (Is there life in Peckham?)
  • 1960s/70s folkie Dion Dimucci managed to zing four cities at once (none of them Cleveland or Milwaukee or Philadelphia, interestingly), in his song Sanctuary:
    There might be war in the core of Baltimore, A breakdown in L.A.
    They bring me down in the heart of Memphis town, And people look the other way
    Well, if the lights burn cold in New York City, It's sad, but, god, it's true
  • Axl Rose, and by extension, Guns N' Roses, have had a lot of bad beef with St. Louis, and especially the municipality of Riverport. Not only was it the place where Axl gained notoriety in 1991 for having a concert halted midway due to poor security refusing to take down someone allowed to have a camcorder in the audience and indirectly sparked a city-wide riot, which the blame was then laid onto the groupnote , but Axl also had some messy experiences in the town, including nearly getting raped by an ice machine repairman who hitchhiked him to a nearby hotel when he visited the city as a runaway teen. As such, the reason why Use Your Illusion I & II has the nice hidden message of "Fuck You St. Louis".

  • In the skit "Last Will and Temperament" by the Canadian radio comedy troupe, The Frantics, the will ends with the deceased leaving "my entire estate of 10 million dollars to the people of Calgary so they can afford to move somewhere decent."
  • In The Men from the Ministry Outer Hebrides (where all civil servants too incompetent are reassigned) are considered the worst possible place to go; apparently bowler hats will get moldy in a week and the climate is so cold that even germs can't live there.

  • Mel Brooks's original opening for the musical version of The Producers was Max Bialystock's horrible spoof of Oklahoma, titled "Hey Nebraska". The entire song was essentially this. Lyrics include "Oh, what a terrible morning/Oh what a terrible night,/Things in the state of Nebraska/Never will ever go right" and "Hey, Nebraska- You suck!"
  • London, according to Sweeney Todd:
    There's a hole in the world like a great black pit
    and the vermin of the world inhabit it
    and its morals aren't worth what a pig can spit
    and it goes by the name of London.
  • Often seen in farces with do-it-yourself-dialogue in the script along the lines of: "I shall put a curse on the lot of them, and doom them to live in [unpopular town or state]".

    Video Games 
  • Banjo-Kazooie: "You should be grateful, I could've sent you to Hoedown Town. It's awful. The music, the dancing! Oh my!"
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind: "Solstheim? A terrible place, I've heard. There's a boat from Khuul, if you have any reason to go."
  • Half-Life 2: "That's the old passage to Ravenholm. We don´t go there anymore." This isn't so much a joke, but rather serious commentary about the living conditions of Ravenholm. The player will later find out that the whole city has been completely overrun by Headcrab Zombies, and that nobody actually can live there anymore.
  • The entire world in Swan Song. A massive earthquake strikes the region on Christmas, while in the middle of a massive snowstorm that lasts for days on end. It just becomes so much of a Crapsack World where people are struggling to survive, that some comment that those who died in the initial earthquake were the lucky ones.
  • Occasional mention is made in Borderlands and Borderlands 2 of Promethea, which is said to be the only known planet where life is even more miserable than on Pandora, and Pandora is pretty damn bad. Borderlands 3 would show that Promethea is a modernized civilization with a very hard divide between the rich and the impoverished. Promethea is apparently so bad because the majority of the population just can't afford anything to live with.
  • Grand Theft Auto 2: It's hinted at through the radio that the city is on the verge of complete chaos. Poor Dean Frantz has had his car stolen five times in as many weeks.
  • Omega station, built on the core of a mined-out asteroid, has this kind of reputation in Mass Effect 2. The place is a Wretched Hive where there is no law enforcement, no government, mercenary gangs run amok, batarian slavers can wrangle victims out in the open, Collectors routinely abduct "interesting and rare specimens" for experimentation, bartenders poison people of a certain species, short-lived but sentient people are treated as vermin with "cleaners" advertising themselves, burlesque acts are implied to involve on stage taming of beasts, Ardat Yakshi can openly hunt for prey, and newbie storekeepers are forced to sell high by well-established competition.
  • Max gets a twofer in Poker Night at the Inventory as part of his anecdote about Artie Flopshark getting assaulted by Flint Paper for seeking payment from a person he'd taught to play a game that Flint believed didn't exist. When Tycho pressed him for the name of the game, Max replied that it was the name of 'someplace horrible', suggesting either Omaha or Topeka.note 

  • Nonspecific, but combines with Fate Worse than Death in Zebra Girl as the ultimate fate of Harold DuVase.
    "Wherever he doesn't want to be... that's always where he'll go."
  • In Overside, Surya: a frozen wasteland where criminals and dissidents are exiled.
  • In Blue Yonder, Black Dog is told his pilot, if lucky, is in the rings of Saturn, and if not -- Edinburgh.
  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • Brian Clevinger's opinion of Alabama - it's hell.
    • Corneria suffers from being 1) the base of operations of the Light Warriors and 2) the domain of King Steve, who can only be called a leader of men if you consider a combine harvester to be a "leader of crops".
      Princess Sara: Well, the poll only had two choices: One, be ruled over by King Steve forever, two, get a sword through your head. We lost 52% of participants.
    • Onrac may as well be cursed even by the standards of 8-Bit Theater, given that it loses the tourist destination its economy was based on, is cut off by sea monster attacks, and then plays host to the Light Warriors, which leads to it being repeatedly devastated and eventually totally obliterated.
      Red Mage: The resultant economic collapse reduced Onrac, to, well, Thief was right, to be perfectly honest. This place is a hole.
      White Mage: Then it is clear what must be done.
      Red Mage: Leave because it sucks?
      White Mage: No.
      Thief: No, I think he's right.
  • Light and Dark: New Hadden, the main setting of the comic, has a bad reputation for being a hellhole run by a corrupt mayor, where crime rates are high and gangs run amuck.
  • Terminal Lance: The suck that is deployment to Twentynine Palms has apparently reached memetic levels within the Marine Corps. However, according to the author's dispassionate analysis, Camp Lejeune is actually worse. While Lejeune is just as hot and the surroundings just as inhospitable as Twentynine Palms, the heat at Twentynine Palms is dry, and Twentynine Palms is within a couple of hours' drive from both Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Lejeune is stuck in the swampy ass-end of North Carolina nowhere and the humidity is murderous.
  • In All Saints Street, Australia is part of Hell's territory.

    Web Original 
  • Visiting Gore Calls Pennsylvania 'A Hellhole'
  • The Bastard Operator from Hell does this with Luton.
    BOFH: Well, coverage in the third world is always a bit dodgy...
    PFY: Really? Where did you go, Luton?
    BOFH: Luton, Hull, and Glasgow. A package hole-iday
    PFY: You didn't drink the water, did you?
    BOFH: Hell no, my interpreter warned me about that!
  • The Channel Awesome Anniversary Brawl begins with The Nostalgia Critic singing an ode to Chicago, (Oh what an adequate morning!) loaded with Take Thats to Chicago that make it sound like this.
    "Corruption's as high as an elephant's eye... and the meters cost $74.25..." (Rob Walker is shown angrily kicking a parking meter)
    • Malachite, who was banished to a Starbucks Expy after being defeated in the third year anniversary of Channel Awesome.
  • This forum is full of this trope. Some specific examples listed above. 14 of them were selected by Cracked.
  • Helloween4545 says that Swindon, England is this.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In the Strong Bad Email "mini-golf", Strong Bad gets an email signed from "Somebody No-one Cares About in Iowa", to which Strong Bad quips "Also known as, everyone in Iowa."
    • "Where The Crap Are We?", a short originally included as an Easter egg in Macromedia Central, has Strong Bad freaking out on realizing the "blue fadey land" he and Homestar were trapped in isn't heaven. Then Homestar chimes in with "Yeah, you're right. I think it's Massachusetts."
  • Rooster Teeth's Burnie Burns apparently feels this way about Houston (which is just a freeway away from the company's headquarters in Austin).
  • A meme created around the middle of 2020 features characters dreading the prospect of being forcibly sent to Brazil, often in over-the-top violent ways. Allegedly, the meme was the end result of internet celebrities being tired of Brazilian fans demanding they visit the country. Although the fact that Brazil is a notoriously violent country that was being hit hard by the 2020 pandemic around the time the meme popped up certainly helped things along.
  • Game Grumps: In the first episode of their Hollow Knight playthrough, Arin and Danny jokingly compare Dirthmouth to Pittsburgh, and Hallownest/the Crossroads to Columbus, OH.
  • God in Puppet History freely admits to crafting some of the worst natural catastrophies on Earth, but also includes creating "Tampa, Florida, and also the rest of Florida" with this list.
  • In Diva of Musical Hell's review of the 1986 Made-for-TV Movie version of Babes in Toyland, she is spectacularly unimpressed by the characters' fanatical pride in their hometown of Cincinnati, expressed in song form. When the song is reprised and protagonist Lisa's hometown pride counters the antagonist's magic, a disgusted Diva asks, "Have you ever actually been there?" and cues an unflattering picture of an inner-city street as she adds the scene to the film's sin count. As one of the film's punishments, "for singing the praises of a very un-praiseworthy city", she condemns the late Leslie Bricusse (who composed the new songs for the adaptation) to an extended stay there.
  • Campfire Stories: Zach claims Fort Polk, Louisiana (renamed to Fort Johnson in 2023) is by far the worst U.S. Army base in existence (even counting the ones near combat zones), and that everyone who ends up there never ends up re-enlisting. In his words, "I don't have PTSD from being in Iraq, I have PTSD from being stationed at Ft. Polk and its shittiness!".

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police: In "Dysfunction of the Gods", Max accidentally opens Pandora's box in the middle of a Las Vegas casino.
    Sam: You've just unwittingly liberated all the ills and horrors of society!
    Max: It's Vegas, who's gonna notice?
  • Animaniacs (2020): The short "Equal Time" has Dot doing a news report on the 2020 primary election in Iowa, which is depicted as a backwater farm covered in half-melted snow with no one around but a single bored cow. She also describes Iowa as "the one state we pretend to care about one January every four years."
    Dot: I'm cold and lonely... just like everyone else in Iowa!
  • In the Invader Zim episode "A Room with a Moose," Zim threatens to send the entire class into the titular room with a moose, a dimension that simply consists of a white plane with a giant moose noisily and graphically munching on walnuts, which apparently is worse than both a dimension of pure dookie and one of pure itching.
  • Futurama: Utah gets it in the episode "Mars University".
    Fry: I'm impressed. In my time we had no idea Mars had a university.
    Professor Farnsworth: That's because then Mars was an uninhabitable wasteland, much like Utah. But unlike Utah, Mars was eventually made livable when the university was founded in 2636.
  • In God, the Devil and Bob, God needs Bob to talk Satan out of his funk...which means Bob has to go to Hell. "You've been to Branson, Missouri. It's not that different!"
  • The Looney Tunes short "Devil's Feud Cake" (also known as the "Satan's Waitin' Segment in The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie) involved Yosemite Sam going to Hell.
    Sam: It's powerful hot here. Is this Dallas?
    Satan: No, but you're close.
  • South Park:
    • In "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson!", when Cartman and the boys go to visit his grandmother they pass a sign that says "Now leaving Colorful Colorado," on a mountain background with a rainbow. The scenery changes abruptly to a gray sky (that is literally split on the state line) and seemingly-endless corn fields and a new sign reads "You are now in NEBRASKA. ...Sorry."
    • There's also an episode where Kenny gets hit by a bus but doesn't die, instead ending up carried under the bus all the way to Mexico. In the next episode, Kenny manages to call his friends, and when he describes the place he wound up (i.e. drinking the water gives you bloody diarrhea), they're convinced Kenny is in Hell. In the same episode, Jesus decides to punish Cartman by sending him to a place "worse" than Hell. Guess where?
    • And:
      Mr. Garrison: And where are you from, Damien?
      Damien: The seventh layer of hell!
      Mr. Garrison: Ooooh, that's exciting, my mother was from Alabama.
    • When going to the Worldwide Recorder Concert in Arkansas, the sign when they entered declared "Yes, we are a state!".
  • In one of the episodes of the short-lived Dilbert TV show, two teams of engineers are competing, and the losing team will be transferred to Albany, NY — which is shown as being incredibly cold on the first day of summer. When the episode's Big Bad — no, not the boss but the rival team's leader — is decapitated, her head comments "Well, better this than Albany."
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one episode, Homer travels to Winnipeg, Canada, and the road sign on approaching the city proclaims "We were born here. What's your excuse?"
    • And in the episode where they move to Cypress Creek:
      Scorpio: By the way, Homer, what's your least favorite country? Italy or France?
      Homer: France.
      Scorpio Heh heh, nobody ever says Italy.
    • For Lisa Simpson, any university (and that is ANY university) that is not Ivy League is seen as an example of this. The very thought of the possibility that only Brown University will accept her if she doesn't ace a random test drives her to cheat on the episode "Lisa Gets an "A"".
    • In another episode, Marge stared in a musical version of A Streetcar Named Desire with a song that said some pretty bad things about New Orleans. This caused an outcry from quite a few actual citizens of that city, so much that Bart's chalkboard gag in an episode a few weeks later read "I will not defame New Orleans."
    • At the end of "Kill The Alligator and Run", the Simpsons are banned from ever returning to Florida. In the final scene of the episode, Marge is standing next to a map of the United States, with 48 of the states crossed off, leaving North Dakota and Arizona as the only remaining states where they haven't been banned from yet. Bart gives good reasons why they should never go there in the first place, and she crosses them off too.
    • In "Lisa Gets The Blues", Marge plans a family vacation to Gainsville, Florida. After immediate protesting by the family, the first thing she notices when buying plane tickets is that going there only costs $19. Getting out costs $999, much to Marge's annoyance. The airport employee consoles Homer after learning where they're going. Homer then incites a riot on board the plane, because nobody else wanted to go there either. This results in the plane landing in New Orleans instead.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle had Mooslevania, a place so bad that people would vacation there because afterwards any other place seemed like a vacation. It was also the subject of a territorial dispute between the US and Canada; Canada said it was part of the US, while the US said it was a part of Canada. Mooslevania almost became a real place thanks to a nationwide campaign. However, it was cut short due to the visit to Washington D.C. coinciding with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • Dan Vs.: In the episode "Dan Vs. Burgerphile", the local Burgerphile manager Jeff is terrified of the prospect of being sent back to Maryland.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "The Most Interesting Man in the World", Peter gets smarter from visiting America's smartest cities, so his family turns him back to normal by sending him to America's dumbest city: Tucson, Arizona. There, the people are giggling, snaggletoothed dolts who beat each other up, their philharmonic consists of wet t-shirt contests with chocolate milk, and the movie Battleship is still playing in theaters. (and apparently, this wasn't the first time Seth MacFarlane took shots at Tucson.)
    • In the episode "Into Harmony's Way", Peter and Quagmire go on tour as a singing duo; the first place they go to is New York, but it turns out to be a thin painting of New York over the road, with Delaware on the other side. The sign outside the state reads, "Sorry we had to trick you. This is how we get visitors."
  • American Dad!:
    • In "Minstrel Krampus", one of the songs Krampus sings has him lament his ex Sheila standing him up in "dirty-ass Baltimore".
    • After Krampus is killed and Stan's dad takes over as the new Krampus, Jack is then shown holding a steady job as a bus driver in Baltimore, and he's quick to rag on the city.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks gives us Starbase 80. Not much is known about this place, but mentioning the place is certain to put people like Military Maverick Beckett Mariner in line. When it's finally seen (albeit briefly) after Mariner is unjustly sent there, it's a rundown hellhole that drives her to resign her commission.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses. A Running Gag is Star dreading being sent there for causing trouble.


Video Example(s):


The Dark Web

Noah punishes The Big 5 for their failure by banishing them to the most horrendous places on the internet.

How well does it match the trope?

4.74 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / PlaceWorseThanDeath

Media sources: