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Possessive Paradise

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So you've just parked up your spaceship on this new planet, and WOW! Everything is beautiful and sparkly, with every kind of pleasure available to satisfy you.

However, there's no place like home, so you decide to make your merry way back to Earth, which is when the problems begin...You see, this place would rather like you to stay, ideally forever, and if it can't have you, no one can.

Essentially, it's a sentient setting with a possessive yandere complex for anyone unfortunate enough to visit. Or fortunate enough, if you fancy staying to enjoy the party. Sometimes, however, the party is just a build-up to you being the main course...

Compare Lotus-Eater Machine (where the place's tactics extend to making sure you don't want to leave), and Gilded Cage, which is a more mundane version, in which the obstacles to leaving come from the place's staff rather than the place itself. See also Departure Means Death for cases in which a person stays somewhere because their life force is now tied to the place rather than because the place or locals are keeping them there.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The fourth part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a telephone tower on the edge of Morioh. The tower is actually sentient, and has a Stand, Superfly. And it really hates people trying to leave once they've come in. That being said, it only works on one person at a time, as you can escape the tower if you lure someone else in. Its current inhabitant is a decent guy who just really wants to leave, and offers to help Josuke and friends any way he can if they just switch places with him (among other things, suggesting Josuke's friends grab a criminal and throw him into the tower so Josuke can leave).
  • In One Piece, this is one of the themes of of the country ruled by Big Mom, one of the Four Emperors. It is sweet and happy if you enter and stay (provided that you pay some of your lifespan in tribute to Big Mom), but if you attempt to leave, you will most likely die.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Reconstructed in the Teen Titans (2003) fanfic Transition, K'naa wants people to be able to leave, because then they could tell others where she is, which means more visitors. The problem is she's at a location in the universe that is both hard to find or reach, and while she can teleport people to her, everyone she does this to has to find their way back on their own. She uses her powers to abduct Raven because Raven's own teleportation powers potentially mean she could be the first person to actually leave and make it back to any civilization; conventional means of traveling through space wouldn't make it to a civilized planet before the pilot died of old age.

    Film — Animation 
  • Yivo, the Beast with a Billion Backs in the Futurama film of the same name, proposes to and marries the entire population of Earth and brings them to shkler paradise of a home dimension... except for the robots. Yivo's one condition is that none of them are ever allowed to communicate with another universe ever again. It's treated as a cross between romantic jealousy and the First Commandment (Thou shalt not have any other gods before Me). Fry gets everyone kicked out after he sends a letter to Bender, who wasn't invited.
  • In the Memories segment "Magnetic Rose", when Heintz tries to break free from the ship and take Miguel with him, the ship starts to employ certain measures such as eating their ship and sending little laser-firing cherubs after Heintz.

  • The caves in The Lotus Caves by John Christopher, which are controlled by an alien who provides an idyllic life fulfilling all their needs. However, the caves also gradually remove the will to escape, and, eventually, to ability have any desire beyond worshiping the alien.
  • In Ray Bradbury's short story Here There Be Tygers, the paradise planet seems to be this way. Once almost all the astronauts leave, since one was killed (eaten by a tiger since he was trying to drill into the planet) they see the beautiful planet now covered with nasty storms, volcanic eruptions, lightning storms and the likes. The twist is one astronaut stayed behind; the nastiness is an illusion, as the one who stays will be spoiled rotten by the planet
  • The Doctor Who Expanded Universe book Sick Building features a highly advanced, mechanised housed monitored and controlled by an AI called the Domovoi. It soon turns out that the Doctor, Martha and the family living in the house need to leave. The AI... doesn't take it well, even threatening to not kill them, but maim and injure them in such a way that they will not be able to leave and will be forced to rely on it for survival in a manner horribly like I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream out of a misguidedly motherly instinct.
  • The Quiet City from Labyrinths of Echo is a mysterious location outside of regular time and space that kidnaps individuals it likes from other worlds and is known to be completely inescapable. When Max ends up there in the final chapter of the series, he eventually figures out that the City actually loves every single one of its inhabitants and will go out of their way to make their stay as comfortable as possible, until they no longer even think of leaving. He also realizes that the only way to escape (alive or dead) is to make the City hate him, specifically by repeatedly rejecting its kindness and being disruptive to it and its other inhabitants.
  • In Coraline, a lonely little girl discovers another world run by her "Other Mother", who offers her all sorts of fantastic delights in order to tempt her to stay. The Other Mother starts to show her true colors when Coraline hesitates.

    Live Action TV 
  • The planet of the robots in the Star Trek episode "I, Mudd".
  • Justified on The Prisoner (1967), where the Village - despite resembling a quaint seaside resort - is essentially a prison/forced retirement home for spies.
  • Red Dwarf: The crew come across a luxurious space station manned by an entity calling itself "Legion". It was built by the greatest human intellectuals who ever lived, but they have all died three million years ago. He's delighted to cater to the crew's every whim and treat them like honored guests. However, he forbids them from leaving because he's a formless entity that is created from the collective minds of the residents on the station. If they leave, he'll become nothing again.

  • Hotel California by Eagles.
    You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
  • "Rose In Paradise" by Waylon Jennings. A ravishingly beautiful young woman named Rose marries a rich banker, who promises her a rich, lavish, never-wanting-for-anything-ever-again lifestyle. It soon becomes a prison for her, as he reveals himself to be a jealous, possessive husband behind closed doors; he remains a soft-spoken, humble and respected man in public ... except when the conversation turns to Rose (I would walk through Hell on Sunday/To keep my Rose in paradise). He goes so far as to hire a gardener to keep an eye on her during his many extended business trips, and make sure she never leaves. Whether Rose escapes her predicament or dies is deliberately never made clear, as there are equal numbers of rumors circulating that they (Rose and the gardener) ran away together and never revealed to anyone their destination, or that Rose simply vanished without a trace and those circumstances left unknown. In fact, several people close to Jennings have mentioned that he deliberately did not want a video made of the song, to leave Rose's disappearance ambiguous and to the imagination of the listener.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Dungeons & Dragons Planescape setting has a literal example in the form of Elysium, one of the Outer Planes serving as final resting place for the Neutral Good. Visitors who are not petitioners (spirits of the dead who have earned their place in the afterlife there) must make regular Will saves, or they decide to take up permanent residence and become petitioners (in the case of PCs, they cannot be played anymore). At no point does the place become anything other than a peaceful, pastoral paradise - it's just so pleasant, you don't want to leave.

    Video Games 
  • In Sunless Skies, Langley Hall is a comparatively pleasant place lost in the dreary and dangerous Eleutheria. Though while it won't physically stop you from leaving, if you do, you and your crew will be plagued by weird nightmares until you return.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Wander over Yonder episode "The Lonely Planet", Wander befriends a talking planet named Janet, who becomes obsessed with Wander for being the first person to ever say anything nice about her. She molds herself into a paradise to try and make Wander stay, and frequently tries to keep Sylvia out of the picture.
  • Bounty Hamster has one planet like this. It gives Marion his family to hang out with, and lets Cassie find her long lost dad and spend time with him. When they realize everything is fake and attempt to leave, the world is furious and tries to force them to stay; until shallow people arrive and the planet frees them in exchange for these inhabitants.
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends special Destination: Imagination, imaginary friend World is anything and everything in the toy box Frankie opens, transferring to a new object, person or animal through moving his face to it, unless they have a face already. When Frankie discovers him, he tries to get her to stay as much as possible and does everything he can to stop her friends from reaching her. Initially, Frankie does want to stay due to how she's overworked in the real world, but World's desperation to escape loneliness ends up getting the better of him and at the end he undergoes a Villainous Breakdown, taking the world, and everyone else, with him. He does end up undergoing a Heel–Face Turn with Frankie's help.