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Trapped in Another World

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"Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."
Dorothy Gale, The Wizard of Oz

A standard plot/Myth Arc for Speculative Fiction: The Ordinary High-School Student, frequently his friends, and sometimes his enemies are all transported (often summoned) to another world — distant planet, a Magical Land, Alternate Universe, the past, The Future — where they find they have an important role to play in Events of Significance that are occurring at the same time as (or sometimes because of) their arrival. Usually there is no hope of their finding a means to return home until after the great threat facing them has been defeated. Occasionally, they will then question if they even want to leave, especially when there is an ongoing Fantastic Romance. These stories often feature alternate methods of bringing the protagonist to the new world, such as Reincarnation, swapping bodies with an inhabitant of the new world, or becoming their own video game avatar, though simple bodily transport is still common.


In Japanese media, this is known as "Isekai",note  with such protagonists typically being their local demographic's flavor of hero, note  and usually involves said character gaining RPG-like powers on arrival (or at the very least, is set in a Role-Playing Game Verse). Expect The Protagonist to possess some form of New Life in Another World Bonus. Though it's been around in many forms of media long before the term was coined, the majority of isekai stories as we know it are derived from Web Serial Novels or old stories reworked into Light Novels, with their premises and writing style even being noted as a subgenre: Narou Isekai.note  A lot of these are also Harem Series, to the extent that a party of sexy heroines (or heroes) who are attracted to the protagonist has become part of the standard formula. During the 2010s, these types of stories became so popular thanks to Japanese publishing companies like Alphapolis and Media Factory that, by the end of the decade, it had become an Undead Horse Trope: being parodied, subverted and even ridiculed to hell and back, while straight-forward examples still remain very much present.


In Literature, this is often referred to as a "Portal Fantasy". This plot device is also extremely popular in Crossover events, as it's a good way of bringing together disparate settings in a semi-logical manner.

If it's the hero's job to bring back a trapped person, it can become an Orphean Rescue; while if someone else turns up to bring back the hero, it's Weirdness Search and Rescue.

The inversion of this, where a person from the other world comes to ours, often inverts the premise along with it: Whereas an Earth hero usually gets called over to where the action is, the Otherworldly hero is usually transported where the action isn't, or becomes the action when they get there.

Super-Trope to Portal Book, Portal Picture, Summon Everyman Hero, Fourth Wall Shut-In Story and Trapped in TV Land. Often overlaps with Down the Rabbit Hole, Fish out of Water, and You Can't Go Home Again. (When returning home proves to be relentlessly mundane and you wish you'd stayed in the magic world, it's So What Do We Do Now?.) The inverse of Alien Among Us.


Compare with Kidnapped by the Call. Contrast with Constructed World, which doesn't involve present-day Earth at all. For generic types of other dimensions, see Another Dimension. See also The Homeward Journey. For the reincarnation flavor of this plot, see Reincarnate In Another World or new world was fictional in universe Media Transmigration. If the protagonist is lucky, it comes with a New Life in Another World Bonus.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In 00-man no Inochi no Ue ni Ore wa Tatte Iru, Yotsuya and two female classmates are suddenly sent to another world where they must work together to battle for their lives. Since Yotsuya is a lone wolf, this isn't easy for him.
  • In +a no Tachiichi, both the heroine and her best friend are dragged to an alternate world where the people have summoned a Holy Maiden to save them.
  • In Aku no Joou no Kiseki, university student Mari finds herself in another world, in the body of a queen. Upon learning that she is unable to return to her original body, and that the queen's bad government has lead to war, Mari decides to reorganize the ruined country.
  • In Amagoi, protagonist Sora ends up transported to a fantasy world full of gigantic mushrooms after trying to save his sister from being erased from existense by a mysterious force.
  • Long-running shoujo series Anatolia Story and Ouke no Monshou both feature this trope, a girl from modern day trapped in Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt respectively.
  • The main premise of Arata: The Legend; Arata of the Himezoku is transported to modern-day Japan, while Arata Hinohara is trapped in the world of Amawakuni.
  • Aura Battler Dunbine, but then it twists it by having all the people from the other world get sent to Earth.
    • The Wings of Rean, made by the same director and in the same setting, is like-wise, although both are more like "people from Earth get sent to another world who then get sent back to Earth and then get stuck there with otherworlders."
  • This also occurs in Super Robot Wars Compact and Super Robot Wars Alpha with the Argama and its crew, who meet the Dunbine characters there.
  • Blood Lad: Not only is Fuyumi Yanagi a human girl trapped in Hell, she dies in it. And the story is then focused on bringing her back to life.
  • Carol: A Day In A Girl's Life: The heroine is transported to a fantastic world where she must fight against the evil monsters who are stealing the music from Earth.
  • In High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even In Another World, seven high school students get into an airplane accident, and wake up to find themselves in a middle age-esque fantasy world where magic and beast-men (called juujin) exist. Like most protagonists in this kind of plot, they are high school students that excel at politics, economics, science and medicine, which enables them to build a nuclear plant in a world without electricity, control the economy of a large city in a short work's trip, and declare war on the evil nobles.
  • In CosPrayers, Koto and the others get stuck in the parallel dimension in the first episode, and spend the rest of the series fighting the forces of evil.
  • In Deadline Summonner, Mamoru Onodera, an Otaku fond of RPGs finds himself sucked into a fantasy world filled with monster girls. For reasons unexplained in its first and only chapter, he somehow ends up the master of ten girls who could easily rip him to shreds with their affectionsor get him caught in the crossfire of their inevitable fights.
  • Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody: Suzuki Ichiro is a 29-year-old computer programmer that, after several "Death Marches" (80+ hour work weeks) to finish a mobile game before release, falls asleep in his job... and wakes up in another world similar to that of the videogames he has been working on, as a level 1 character that looks like himself as a teenager. Then, he accidentally destroys a large army with a spell and his level shoots up to 310 in minutes. With no idea of what to do, he decides to treat it as a vacation and dedicates himself to explore the new world - and help people in need.
  • Occurs frequently in Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure starts with seven kids being unwillingly transported to the "Digital World", a dimension full of sapient creatures somehow created from data in the real world. The kids initially have no idea how to get back.
    • Digimon Tamers has the protagonist kids purposefully travel to the Digital World in an attempt to rescue someone, but they are left uncertain of how to return to the real world.
    • Digimon Frontier, much like Adventure, starts with a group of kids being transported (somewhat willingly, there is a Call to Adventure beforehand) to the Digital World. Although they don't precisely know how to go back, they are given several chances to, but in the end choose to remain or return.
    • Digimon XROS Wars begins with Taiki answering Shoutmon's plea for help from the Digital World, but he ends up dragging the unwilling Akari and Zenjirou with him, to their great displeasure. The three remain stuck in the Digital World until an enemy attack throws them back home in the middle of the series.
  • In Dog Days, the people of Biscotti summon Cinque to help them, but then find that they don't know how to send him back to Earth. This no longer becomes an issue once they find the return spell, with the following seasons instead treating his visits as a vacation.
  • This happens to Tsukasa from .hack//SIGN, with a computer game. However, the show essentially turns common isekai tropes on their head. Rather than being a happy Ordinary High-School Student who becomes all-powerful in the game, Tsukasa is a depressed kid with an abusive father. Rather than the game acting as an escapist fantasy for him, it ends up further exacerbating his depression. When he does gain great power in the game and tries to use it, all he ends up doing is hurting both others and himself. Rather than gaining a harem, he struggles to and finally succeeds in connecting with a group of genuine friends. Hell, at the end, it's revealed that "he" isn't even a boy, as most isekai protagonists are; the player behind Tsukasa is a girl named An Shoji.
  • Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure is a variation in that the other world is an Alternate Universe, one that split based on whether a construction worker threw away Lost Technology or decided to hang onto it. The protagonist can also see glimpses of the other, parallel world for years before finally entering it.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: When Ifurita sends Makoto to El-Hazard, and accidentally sends along Fujisawa-sensei, Jinnai and Nanami as well.
  • Endride has the protagonist get sucked into another world via a magic crystal. It turns out the other world, Endora, is just the inside of his own hollow world and the Endorans historically know of "the surface" even though "the surface" only has myths like Shamballa.
  • Saito in The Familiar of Zero. He is a normal teenager from modern Japan and is trapped in Louise's world that is a medieval fantasy world with young witches, wizards, elves, etc. In the novels, one of his main motivations is getting back to his own world. He managed to find a possible way back to Earth, via a Void-based portal spell. By then however, he became too attached to Halkeginia and decided not to leave. At least for now.
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited begins with two Kid Hero siblings being trapped in the Inner World/Wonderland. Said other world is also continually expanding and consuming other worlds, leading to entire dimensions being trapped there as well.
  • From Far Away: high school girl Noriko falls into a fantastical world.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the first Homunculus is trapped in the human world and in a flask, which he admits sucks, but he's not that bothered about it. Later he tries to use the human world to "eat" the entity that controlled him in his world. Ironically, he ends up trapped in his own world, presumable tortured for eternity.
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa, in an inversion, Ed and later Al are trapped in our world, having originated from another, where magic alchemy is fairly commonplace. They end up seemingly permanently trapped on our side of the Gate at the end of the film.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Miaka and Yui get pulled into a mythical world inside a magical book. The same thing happened to their predecessors, Suzuno and Takiko.
  • Garzey's Wing: Chris is summoned to an ancient world (well, his spirit is — his physical body remains on Earth) by an enslaved tribe who want him to lead a revolution.
  • Subverted in Gate: The titular gate is a permanent link between two worlds, our own and another world featuring magic and gods. The fact that the Japanese can constantly bring in Game-Breaker modern military tech like tanks, fighters and special forces is a continuous plot point.
  • Subversion: Yukinari from Girls Bravo gets trapped on the planet Seirun in the first episode, but is returned to Earth in the same episode.
  • Even the Gundam franchise gets in on the action with Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE - while the first season of Gundam Build Divers technically counts as "another world", being a virtual MMORPG, this season involves our heroes being summoned to a new "campaign mode" in a World of Funny Animals with a storyline divorced from any of the goings-on vital to GBN, which the heroes of the first season simply couldn't avoid however they tried. As the series progresses, the characters slowly realize that this isn't part of the game anymore...
  • In the Not Safe for Work OVA Hooligan: Quest for the Seven Holy Dildos, a botched science experiment transported the hero Yukito to another world, and he now has to find the Seven Holy Dildos in order to get home.
  • Kagome from Inuyasha in the first few episodes. Afterward she's able to go between the other world and her own at will. She willingly leaves her world behind, knowing she can never return home, to live with Inuyasha in his world in the series finale.
  • Isekai Quartet transports characters from Overlord 2012, Konosuba, Youjo Senki, and Re:Zero to an empty modern Japanese high school... just as their respective protagonists were getting used to living in the fantasy worlds they were already reincarnated into.
  • In Another World I Am Called The Black Healer: A 22 year old Japanese woman finds herself transported into an RPG-Mechanics Verse and soon realizes that she's a very powerful healer. In this world those with powerful healing magic are viewed as "Gaias Children" blessed by the setting's main god.
  • In Interspecies Reviewers, while the protagonists themselves are from the world itself, it's mentioned in a conversation that people from the Modern World are being sent to the fantasy world of the series, though the only importance of this so far is that people have tried and failed to replicate their tech.
  • Ixion Saga DT centers around a normal gamer from Earth who after accepting a request from a female character in a video game, gets sent into a fantasy world called Mira. He ends up stuck with a young princess and becomes part of her honor guard when all he wants to do is go back home.
  • Jewelpet Kira Deco!: the Kira Deco 5 travel to Jewel Land on an asteroid and stay there until their quest is concluded. Slightly different from most examples in that they're there willingly.
  • Jura Tripper sends no less than 15 people to a planet where humans and dinosaurs co-exist.
  • In Leda: The Fantastic Adventure of Yohko, Yohko is transported to the Magical Land of Ashanti, where she becomes the leader of La Résistance.
  • Legend of Himiko: Himiko and her schoolmate Masahiko are transported to the magical kingdom of Yamatai, where they have to fight alongside a resistance force to overthrow an evil empire.
  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi: After the first episode, the heroes fall from world to world, each one based on one of the main characters' geekish hobbies.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth does this to Hikaru, Fuu and Umi.
    • Rayearth OVA inverts this. Clef sends the rest of the people of Earth to another plane to keep more people from being killed.
  • The Mahou Sensei Negima! manga has Negi and a group of his student get stuck in the Magic World after Fate destroys the gateway between worlds.
  • Ginta of MÄR actually makes the willing decision to go to the other world (after wordlessly making sure his love interest is unable to follow him), and once there is overjoyed to find that getting back isn't going to be easy.
    • Although it is never confirmed, it implied that Nanashi is actually Joker from Flame of Recca with amnesia. Joker was last seen disappearing into a black hole after getting stabbed, and Nanashi was found wearing Joker's clothes and with the same wound. And it is noted that Nanashi and Ginta smell alike.
  • In Mask of Zeguy, the heroine Miki is attacked by mysterious warriors, and finds herself trapped in a world of monsters and madmen who plot the downfall of Earth. In order to save both worlds and return home, she must locate the mysterious Mask of Zeguy.
  • Melo Melo Melonpan has a short story about a gamer sucked into a Dragon Quest expy, then (being that this is an H-Manga) he realizes the NPCs don't have Barbie Doll Anatomy and functionally robotic humans that repeat the same programmed lines ad nauseum he proceeds to have sex with EVERY woman in the kingdom including, but not limited to his in-game "mother," potential party member, a nun, a mother right in front of her son in the town square as she walks, and the queen and princess while completely ignoring the mission. Unfortunately or fortunately for him, his real-life mother thinks he merely left the game on again, turning it off and stranding him there forever.
  • The plot of the Monster Rancher followed the adventures of Genki Sakura, a very hyperactive boy who wins a beta disk of "Monster 200X" (which has the same properties of the real MR game) in a video game tournament. No sooner does Genki start it, than he is transported inside the game, finding a real world of monsters inside.
  • Mujin Wakusei Survive involves 7 Ordinary High School Students and a robot cat getting stuck on another planet.
  • The Sorcerer's Curse arc of Mythic Quest revolves around everyone in the world being deposited in the dimension created by the MMORPG Mythic Quest with no way out and no extra lives.
  • Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja features the titular character and his teammate, Sakura, being sent to an Alternate Universe by Tobi.
  • Now and Then, Here and There: This is an exceptional example of this trope because the creators threw out every convention associated with it from episode 1. Shu sees a strange young girl sitting on a smokestack on his way home from school and goes to meet her. As he is introducing himself, he and the girl are attacked by people teleporting in from the distant future in pursuit of that girl. True to the genre Shu picks up a stick and fights to defend the girl. He immediately gets his ass handed to him and both he and the girl are dragged forward billions of years where Earth is a dying desert planet orbiting a sun in the early stages of nova. What follows is a relentless thirteen-episode trip through the ninth ring of Hell.
  • Overlord 2012: A VR-MMO player discovers that he's somehow been transported into the body of his game's avatar, the NPCs designed by his guildmates are now sentient and worship him as a god, and the world he's in is only similar to the MMO in terms of spells and monster stats: everything else is completely new. Also, he's a Villain Protagonist (sorta).
  • Panzer World Galient: At the climax of the story, the main character and all his friends and allies were transported to another planet. As they were trapped in that world, they had to fight the Big Bad and find a way back to their homeworld because that planet was about to blow up.
  • In Queen's Blade Grimoire, Alicia is a magic swordswoman from Gainos who finds herself in Mel Fair Land, which resembles Wonderland from Alice in Wonderland. Nobody knows how to return her to her home, so she decides to join the Queen's Blade tournament, hoping that winning will help her get home.
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero: Four Japanese teenagers/young adults are brought to a fantasy world where they are expected to become the new incarnations of the Four Legendary Heroes that must fight a series of monster attacks known as the Waves. Unfortunately, the Hero of the Shield, Naofumi Iwatani, gets the short straw as he is looked down on for unknown reasons and subjected to a Frame-Up, forcing him to survive on his own in a world that seems to hate his guts.
  • The main plot of the hentai, Slave Warrior Maya, where a young woman is magically sent to another world and then tricked into undressing so she can be sold into slavery.
  • Spider Riders plays with this, Hunter never seems to feel like he's "trapped" in the Inner World. The reason he ended up there in the first place is because he went looking for it!
  • Historical fantasy shōnen manga series Sengoku Strays involves a girl from a modern era trapped in the Sengoku Era
  • Sonic X:
    • The series starts with Sonic and his friends getting stuck in an alternate dimension. In this case, they're transported to Earth from their World of Funny Animals home.
    • In the adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2, it is shown that Eggman was born on Earth and later ended up on Sonic's planet.
  • Strange Dawn shows two high school girls being transported into an unknown world populated by chibi-sized humans.
  • While Sword Art Online isn't technically an Isekai, given the characters’ bodies remain in the real world, most pieces of media that run on the trope nowadays take cues from how this series handled something akin to it. To that end, this series can be considered the Trope Codifier, and this series' success is largely considered to be one of the biggest factors to the popularity of the Isekai genre. Though the scenarios of the Aincrad and Alicization arcs do resemble this trope quite a bit, as Kirito is stuck in SAO/Underworld respectively.
  • In Tamagotchi: Happiest Story in the Universe!, Kikitchi gets trapped in a book called "The World's Happiest Story", about a man named Happy who is doing everything in his power to actually be happy.
  • In There, Beyond the Beyond, protagonist Futaba is taken to a fantasy world due to a case of Mistaken Identity. In order to get back home, he needs to reunite the Amaranthine with her master.
  • Those Who Hunt Elves do so because the elves hold the secret to the spell that will return them to Earth.
  • In Thumbelina: A Magical Story, Maya gets trapped in her mother's dream world and the only way to return home is to find a way to wake up her mother. To do this, she must travel to a far away southern land to talk to the Crystal Prince, who will help her reach home.
  • Tis Time for "Torture," Princess: Parodied in chapter 49. The Hell-Lord, Princess, and Ex all get trapped in another world ruled by a malevolent Evil Overlord called the Black Monarch. As the Hell-Lord explains to the Princess and Ex, in the two hours between his and their regaining consciousness, he'd already Curb Stomped everyone and their overly excessive Power Levels to save the parallel world. They then return to their own world and the chapter ends with everyone getting ready to play basketball.
  • In Trip Lovers, Yasuda Yutaka is sucked through a portal on his way home from work and ends up in another world. Five years later, he's happily running an okonomiyaki shop in this new world.
  • Same author as Deadline Summonner, Eita Touga of 12 Beast becomes the saviour of Live-Earth by virtue of Aero dragging him through a portal against his will. While she can send him back, the power required is so absurd that if he actually wants to get back alive, he'll have to save the world first...
  • In spite of Mario not having been established to be from Earth in the early Japanese canon like was the case with the early American canon, The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach! had Mario and Luigi being summoned to the world of a Famicom video game.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne: A rare example of the other world not being treated as another dimension of some sort — they get stuck on an invisible moon, just past the actual one.
  • In World Customize Creator, Tagami Yusuke is summoned to a world called Caltsio, and discovers that he has acquired the ability to alter the world at his command.
  • In The Wrong Way To Use Healing Magic, Ordinary High-School Student Ken Usato is summoned to Lyngle Kingdom, along with his two respectable schoolmates. It turns out he was summoned by mistake, but his test reveals he possesses rare healing magic, and undergoes Training from Hell in order to help defeat the demon king.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! featured a couple of these in the anime-only Duel Monsters Quest and Virtual World Arcs. In both cases The Big Five trapped the protagonists in a video game as part of their plot to take over Kaiba Corp.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Capsule Monsters's main plot is Yugi and his friends being trapped in the Capsule Monster world and working to find a way home.

    Comic Books 
  • The tag line of the late Steve Gerber's Marvel comic Howard the Duck was "Trapped in a world he never made!" A native of a Talking Animal world of anthropomorphic ducks, Howard fell through a portal and wound up in Another Dimension—namely, the Marvel Universe version of Cleveland, Ohio.
  • CrossGen's Negation featured a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits trapped in an alternate universe that did not obey the laws of physics. At least one character started out convinced that it was All Just a Dream.
  • This is the raison d'être for the Marvel comic series The Exiles. Superpowered beings lost from their dimension, world hop until they get to go home.
  • This was Adam Strange's origin in DC Comics. An archeologist who accidentally discovered an alien transport system, Adam became the number one hero of the planet Rann. His problem was that the Zeta beams which teleport him are only temporary and he has started a family on Rann. He has since been able to stay there permanently, but on occasion he finds himself on Earth and this trope applies there.
  • Resident Alien features an alien protagonist stranded on Earth with little chance of ever returning to his home planet.
  • Mike Grell's DCU comic The Warlord, a deliberate homage to Pellucidar (in setting) and John Carter of Mars (in tone).
  • Happens to Donald Duck, his nephews and Uncle Scrooge in Dragonlords.
  • Sonic is trapped in the Special Zone for about fifteen issues in Sonic the Comic.
  • The premise of the Jinty story "Worlds Apart" — six schoolgirls find themselves in a series of strange worlds governed by their main characteristics. There's one way out, but it's not a pleasant one...the creator of that particular world has to die.
  • Power Girl. She was the Supergirl of Earth-2, but, after the first Crisis, Earth-2 didn't exist anymore, and Kara was trapped into the single surviving universe.
  • Birthright deconstructs this premise with the typical teenager from Earth thrown into a fantasy land ruled by the Big Bad whom he must defeat. And to do that, he is put through the grinder, forced to become a Child Soldier and see things first hand what no one else should see. The end result? He pulls a Face–Heel Turn, joins the Big Bad because he offered to return him home in exchange of becoming his enforcer and leaves the fantasy world to rot.
  • In I Hate Fairyland, Gertrude has been stuck in Fairyland for 27 years, and hasn't aged in all that time. To say she's not happy about it would be an Understatement.
  • In Transformers: Shattered Glass, Cliffjumper finds himself trapped in the titular universe after traveling through a mysterious portal.
  • The Unbelievable Gwenpool stars Gwen Poole, a young Marvel Comics fangirl from what is either our reality or a world very similar to it, who through a Noodle Incident that she doesn't like to talk about and is apparently subject to numerous Cosmic Retcons winds up on Earth-616, Marvel's "prime" universe. Using her encyclopedic knowledge of the franchise, she sets out to become a mercenary superhero in the hopes that it'll keep her from getting unceremoniously killed off.
  • Whitman Comics produced the official Comic-Book Adaptation of the film The Black Hole and actually continued the series for a few more issues past the end of the film's story, depicting the new universe the heroes wind up in after passing through the weirdness inside the black hole. It contains a parallel counterpart of Reinhardt, Maximilian, and the Cygnus. Reinhardt is a Galactic Conqueror there, persecuting a planet inhabited by Human Aliens and alien wildlife that happens to look like dinosaurs. It's an odd little comic.
  • DIE: In 1991, a group of teenagers in sucked into the world of a new RPG that one of them created. It takes two years for them to learn that all they need to do to leave is unanimously agree to do so — unfortunately, as they do so, one of them is grabbed by the Grandmaster and left behind, eventually killing the Grandmaster and taking his place. 25 years after the others returned home, he drags them back into the game and forces them to play again, refusing to agree to leave unless they win. Eventually he's killed, but by this point two of the others have decided to stay for their own reasons, leaving the other three trapped by default.

    Comic Strips 
  • Buck Rogers is about the titular hero who goes into suspended animation and wakes up in the 25th century. It was based on the novel Armageddon 2419, by the same author and with the same premise.
  • Flash Gordon is about the titular hero and his friends getting stranded on the planet Mongo. In the original comic strip, they do eventually escape Mongo, return to Earth, and engage in still more voyages to other worlds, but the Mongo arc is the one everyone remembers and on which most subsequent adaptations have been based. The long-running comic eventually brought them back to Mongo and found an excuse to bring back the supposedly-dead Ming because, well, Flash Gordon didn't quite feel like Flash Gordon without them.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: Inverted with Shinji and Asuka. They had been travelling between two different universes when the portal got shut down while they were in their native homeworld, trapping them in there. Played straight with the Avaloni soldiers accompanying them that got trapped in the Evaverse.
  • In the Slightly Damned fanfiction Blizzard Storm this is what kicks off the ENTIRE plot of the story. Of course, it's subverted starting from Chapter 17.
  • In Superman and Man, Christopher Reeve finds himself trapped in a world where he is Superman while the Man of Steel himself finds himself stuck in a world where he's a comic-book character, occupying a disabled person's body.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami features this prominently — with something of a twist. The Light Gods are capable of sending Ami back at any time, and Ami is aware of this fairly early. However, due to Ami's unfortunate bonding with a Dungeon Heart, they refuse to do so. Rightly so — if she returned to her world with a Dungeon Heart, she would inadvertently draw the Dark Gods after her. The story evolves around her attempts to discover a way around this.
  • An excellent example of this trope in fanfic is With Strings Attached. The four are scooped up and dropped on the planet C'hou with nothing except the clothes on their backs and some musical instruments; they're terrified out of their minds and have absolutely no idea why they're there. The reader knows they're there as the subjects of an alien undergraduate psychology experiment (at least initially, until the experiment breaks down), but the four don't learn anything for around a month, when they're told that they've been brought over and equipped to fetch the three pieces of a statue to end a continent-sized curse. The quest is legitimate in context, but was assigned to them after they were equipped.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
  • Time Will Tell is this done by a fan of the books. Jorryn from America appears in the Shire, and ends up living with Bilbo and Frodo. When Frodo must leave the Shire, Jorryn goes with him. Time Will Tell brings Jorryn through the Old Forest and to Tom Bombadil, in events from the books but Adapted Out of the movies.
  • Home with the Fairies is a deconstruction. Maddie lands in Middle-earth, but she is lost. When she finds a town, she hits a Language Barrier because no one speaks English or knows anything about America, her home. She almost dies, and lampshades the Plot Armor that seems to keep her alive. Unlike most of these characters, Maddie also wants to find a way home.
  • The Game of the Gods features a few Sues who try this, if they're not natives already. This can provide a very quick end to their storyline; jumping into a TV screen showing the LOTR movies won't realistically send you to another world, but it can electrocute you.
  • In Tales of Hetalia, the Allies and the Axis are sucked into the world of Rukassia by a magic book.
  • The My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fans have a whole slew of these, referred to as "Human In Equestria" fics.
    • My Little Wesker, in which the spectacularly evil Big Bad of the Resident Evil games becomes trapped in Equestria. He does not approve.
    • Shackles and Friendship has the protagonist, Rodney, become a minor Eldritch Abomination due to his weird reaction to magic — he can store limitless ammounts of it.
    • The Non Brony Verse has our protagonist summoned to Equestria when Celestia sees him get hit by a car. Like Wesker, he also disaproves.
    • The Rise of Darth Vulcan has the protagonist make THE Alicorn Amulet part of his Evil Overlord halloween costume, and gets teleported there when he vows its destruction.
    • The Displaced Verse, wherein a mysterious Merchant sells cosplayers a trinket that gets them sucked into Equestria at the earliest opportunity, as whoever they were cosplaying as at the time. They inevitablelly upset the natives somehow and become a Villain Protagonist.
  • Slipping Between Worlds, in which through the agency of the mysterious Mrs Tachyon and her old-bag-lady shopping trolley - which is not what it seems - a group of British soldiers evade death on Roundworld only to end up in Ankh-Morpork on the Discworld.
  • In They're Not Pussywillow Pixies, this is what happens to Azrael, Gargamel, and the Smurfs when they go through a portal and end up in Neverland.
  • Let us just say that Fan Fic writers LOVE this trope when they do crossovers, self-inserts, etc.
  • This trope is common in contemporary Russian fanfiction, having coined the neologism "попаданец" (literally "one who unwittingly arrived").
  • The story Bring Me Back Home involves Marinette falling through a portal into an alternate Paris, based on the Miraculous Ladybug pilot video, forcing her to deal with a much less friendly Cat Noir than she's used to. In turn, Marinette's counterpart Bridgette ends up in the familiar Paris, is forced to impersonate Marinette for the time being and quickly digs herself into a hole with Alya and Adrien by not realising that Chat Noir is much more popular than she's used to.
  • Another Miraculous Ladybug fic, Ultrasonic, involves Marinette somehow ending up in Zootopia, in the body of a white cat.
  • The old crossover What Insertion? starts with Inuyasha and a real-world collegian being transferred from their respective worlds into the mind of Hellmaster Phibrizzo, then getting him permanently stuck in a more modern setting.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act VI: In response to the breakdown of the peace treaty and the HDA declaring war on the monster world, the Dark Lords close off the gateways to the monster world to prevent them from attacking, trapping Moka and co. in the human world and forcing them into hiding.
  • Elemental Flux revolves around Calvin, Hobbes and Susie getting trapped in the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • Amazing Fantasy involves Spider-Man being forcibly transported to Izuku's universe by Mysterio's portal. There he's homeless, considered fictional, and is on the run from the police for his vigilantism. After seeing Izuku leap out of traffic the way he had as teenager, Peter decides to teach the newly spider-powered teen how to be Spider-Man while trying to figure out a way home.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: According to his author-given backstory, the omake-exclusive character Reel somehow ended up in an alternate Equestria, just a hair to the side of the canon timeline, where he gained the powers of Kamen Rider Skull and then some (the author swears this is not a Displaced fic, since no conventions were involved and he didn't find his equipment until after he and it arrived there separately). While not strictly trapped there anymore after an encounter with Kamen Riders Decade and Double (which led to his gaining Decade's ability to travel around dimensions), he now calls it home and always returns between visits to other worlds.
  • Boldores And Boomsticks revolves around team RWBY venturing through an ultra wormhole into the pokemon world. A later chapter reverses the situation, with an Absol careening into Remnant moments before the wormhole snaps shut and joining Taiyang, Winter, Qrow, and team JNPR in their quest to go after their lost friends and family.
  • Similarly to MLP and LoTR above, TwoKindshas a slew of fics about the protagonist getting isekaied into Mekkan and bumping into an escaped keidran slave-girl, who immediately falls in love with him when he dispatches her master.
  • Point Me At The Skyrim plot starts off with the superhero Antares waking up on the cart to Helgen for execution. Suffice to say she does not take being held against her will in a fantasy world, with no idea how she had arrived there, well at all.
  • Mass Foundations has this as a basic plotline for Redemption in the Stars, A New Day, and All the World's a Stage. Something had caused the protagonist(s) to be transported to another universe and they have to adapt and maybe find a way back. Though in All the World's a Stage, the Doctor and the Lone Wanderer were able to travel between universes thanks to the TARDIS.
  • Abyssal Plain has the superhero and supervillain team of Breakthrough and Undersiders from Ward finding themselves in the Abyss from Pact. Bonus points for the teams to come from a universe without magic, now facing off against magical threats.
  • In crossover fanfiction Displaced, Spider-Man is dropped off in the DC Universe with no apparent way to return home.
  • In Son of Sparda D×D, Dante winds up in the D×D world aged down to 16 after his battle with Argosax the Chaos. He's not too concerned with getting back to his world and is mostly just trying to live life and pay his bills. This also applies to Vergil and Modeus, both of whom have been there much longer than Dante has.
  • Ragna ends up trapped in Fiore in Bonds Beyond the Boundary. Kokonoe manages to link the gap between their worlds so Ragna can now leave when he feels like it. He refuses, as Terumi is in the Fairy Tail world and Ragna will be damned if he lets him roam around and cause havoc.

    Films — Animation 
  • Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Ultimately subverted when it turns out to be All Just a Dream.
  • Manolo's predicament in The Book of Life once he gets to the Land of the Remembered. Because he's dead, he is unable to return to among the living to find Maria, unless he gets help from La Muerte.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, and every adaptation and remake that came after. With an 1889 publication date, this is the Trope Codifier.
  • Lampshaded, discussed, and ultimately defied in No Game No Life. A brother and sister NEET pair get pulled by into a world ruled by its "one true god" Tet, who has made 10 Pledges that force everyone to use games to decide almost everything. However, Sora and Shiro were both quite disillusioned with society back home and have absolutely no desire to go back; they even thank Tet for bringing them there.
  • KonoSuba is a parody of the isekai genre. Protagonist Kazuma, a shut-in NEET who dies an extremely Undignified Death, is offered a chance by the goddess Aqua to go to an RPG-Mechanics Verse fantasy world to fight in a war against the Demon King, and is even offered one game-breaking magical item of his choice. Annoyed by Aqua's condescension towards him, he decides to bring her along as his game-breaking item, only to find that not only is she pretty much useless most of the time, but that the life of a low-level adventurer is unglamorous and grueling (Kazuma spends much of the early first season just barely scrounging up enough money to eat while sleeping in a stable.)
  • Problem Children Are Coming from Another World, Aren't They? has three problem children invited by a Black Rabbit to the world known as Little Garden where competitive games decide one's living conditions.
  • In The Familiar of Zero, the male protagonist is "accidentally" summoned to another world by the female protagonist in a summoning ceremony. It is later revealed that many people have accidentally ventured into this world, including a soldier from the Vietnam War and Siesta's great-grandfather.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh!: Though Yuuri isn't really trapped, and can go back and forth between the two worlds with relative ease, he only considers himself trapped when he returns to his native world.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms: Youko Nakajima and her friends Ikuya Asano and Yuuka Sugimoto get dropped in the middle of a mostly hostile fantasy world by a 'Mysterious Protector. Though, this is apparently common enough for the locals to coin terms ("Kaikyaku" for Japanese people, "sankyaku" for Chinese) and for the government to have a regular policy in dealing with them. For example, The Kingdom of En has a standard naturalization/citizenship process while Kou just tries to round them up and kill them.
    • And before they came in, a farm girl named Suzu was spirited away from the Meiji era and thrown in the same world. Only to go through much heartbreak.
    • Shoryu, the king of En, also was from Japan. In fact, he was a daimyo or feudal lord whose clan was wiped away in the feudal wars. Having become a Fallen Prince, he accepted to become the King of En.
  • Played for Drama in Re:Zero. Every time Subaru dies, he goes back to a certain "checkpoint" in the story. Once he's dealt with the threat to his life, he tries to live peacefully in this new world until a new threat arises and a new checkpoint is established. Unfortunately, every time a threat is dealt with, the checkpoint is immediately established, so if Subaru can't deal with whatever is threatening him without undesired consequences, he's stuck with them.
  • It's taken a step further in The Rising of the Shield Hero; not only is the protagonist Naofumi one of four heroes who have been summoned into a fantasy world from their own (in fact, all but Naofumi himself followed the common isekai trope of dying in their own world before waking up in the new world), but it quickly turns out that all four of the heroes each come from alternate versions of Japan as well.
  • World Customize Creator is about a young Japanese gamer finding himself in a parallel fantasy world where most people have elemental magic. The main character has the power to freely customize anything around him, which he uses to create rare magical items, heal people, and build things. To the people in the fantasy world, nothing like this has ever been seen before.
  • Overlord revolves around a high-level MMORPG dungeon created by an evil-themed roleplaying guild, which is transported to an unrelated low-fantasy world. In the process, its Always Chaotic Evil NPC guardians become sentient, and the sole remaining member of said guild becomes trapped in his Elder Lich avatar as their master. As he is very fond of said NPCs (what with them being the only reminder of his old guildmates) but terrified of them turning against him, he is forced to play the role of a stereotypical Evil Overlord. Due to his undead body dulling his emotions, and his minions' attempts to "help" him, he slowly ends up Becoming the Mask.
  • In Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, 12 young adults wake up in a medieval fantasy world with no memory of how they got there. They know that they come from another world (and they are initially dressed in modern day clothing), but are unable to remember anything past that. Without a way back home, they must find a way to adjust to this new world.
  • In Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody, The main character falls asleep and wakes up to find himself in a valley. He decides to take a break from his job and tour this new world, which initially seems to be based on the game he programmed.
  • Log Horizon: At the exact moment the newest expansion for the MMORPG "Elder Tale" goes live, its entire playerbase blacks out and wakes up in the bodies of their Adventurer avatars, believing that they have been transported inside the game. At the same time, in the Medieval European Fantasy land of Theldesia, the monster-hunting "Adventurer" constructs that have served humanity for generations suddenly begin acting strangely, displaying individual personalities and calling humans "NPCs". Now Theldesia must deal with the impact of an entire nation springing up overnight - one where the inhabitants have completely alien values, the fighting strength of demigods, and no form of government or law enforcement. The protagonists must use all their political savvy to stabilize things and make sure that Theldesia doesn't descend into war because of their presence.
  • For better or for worse, Sword Art Online is the most famous Isekai anime, and while it isn't the Trope Maker it was responsible for the popularization of this genre since then.
    • In the first arc, the initial 9,000-something players of the MMORPG Sword Art Online discover that they cannot log out, and that their VR headsets have been rigged with a microwave generator that will kill them if they die in-game or attempt to take it off. The only way to set everyone free is to defeat the Final Boss on the last of the game's 100 levels. Over the next two years, some players throw themselves at the task, some give up and prepare to spend the rest of their lives in the game, and some go mad with power and decide to take Player Killing to the next level.
    • The Alicization arc features a virtual world inhabited by near-perfect AIs, unaware of their artificial nature. It resembles a Standard Fantasy Setting due to being built on a modified version of SAO's game engine, with the designers using magic as a convenient Hand Wave for system commands and any oddities in the simulation that they were unable to replicate. When Kirito suffers brain damage his friends connect him to the simulation in an attempt to heal him, but without offering him any clues as to how he got there.
  • In "The New Gate", deals double cases of this. Firstly trapped-in-Deadly-VR-games a la Sword Art Online above then protagonist is transported to dimension similar to video game but 500 hundred years later a la Overlord and Log Horizon when he, alone, killed last boss and completed the game. The story tells his reunions with old friends, meeting new friends, saving the day on frequent basis and finding the way home. Later, it is revealed that there are 6 other players whom are trapped twice like Shin for reason yet unexplained even if the systems recognize that they are already logged out.
  • In Magical Girl Raising Project Restart, 16 magical girls are trapped in a game world and are forced to go through the world and defeat the Evil King in order to permanently escape. In this case, they are only trapped in it for three days at a time from their perspective, then are allowed three days in the real world for a maintenance period, and then it repeats until the game is cleared.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! has the main character reincarnate as the villainess of two of the routes of an otome she once played.
  • Do You Love Your Mom and Her Two-Hit Multi-Target Attacks? offers a different spoof on the concept by having the main character's clingy and overly affectionate mother go with him into a virtual MMORPG...and like the title says, she turns out to be a major badass while still being just as clingy and affectionate as she is in the real world.
  • In Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero, this is actually only an uncommon occurrence in the world's backstory, with special schools being set up for those who make it back to further learn how to control and use the powers they inevitably gain there. The story actually picks up for the protagonist on his way back home.
  • In How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord, involves a shut-in NEET who is a Godlike Gamer in an RPG he plays, where he suddenly awakens in the world resembling his game and has become his overpowered player avatar Diablo the Demon Lord.
  • Outbreak Company: More like working there.
  • In The Ideal Sponger Life, Zenjirou is transported to an alternate world to be married to the queen, due to two of his ancestors being from the other world.
  • In In Another World with My Smartphone, Touya is reborn in a magical world after accidentally being struck by lightning along with his Smartphone. In addition to this, he is given magic powers.
  • The Devil Is a Part-Timer! inverts the usual set-up. A demonic Evil Overlord, on the verge of defeat at the hands of The Chosen One, opens a portal and flees along with his most trusted lieutenant — and they find themselves as powerless humans in modern-day Japan. The story picks up several months later and shows that they've adapted to modern life quite well, with the demon lord becoming assistant manager at the local totally-not-McDonalds. Of course, that's the point when the legendary hero shows up to finish the job (with a dollar-store pocket knife, since she can't summon her holy sword).
  • In Trash of the Count's Family, the in-series novel The Birth of a Hero features this with its protagonist Choi Han. Protagonist Kim Rok Soo is transported into the world of the novel, which could be considered either this trope or reincarnating into another world because it's not clear of he actually died or not before being transported (not that he has any interest in returning either way).
  • JK Haru is a Sex Worker in Another World is a satire of the concept. Chiba was once a hot-blooded idiot at his school, who attempted and failed to save a classmate from a runaway truck. He awakens in another world, with unique "cheat abilities", and so begins an otaku's dream come true!....For the classmate he failed to rescue, "JK" Haru, this world is a nightmare as she's trapped in a misogynistic society with her only real option is to become a sex worker to make ends meet.
  • L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Most of the first six-odd "Oz" books fell under this trope, with Dorothy finding her way back to Oz only to get back to Kansas by the last page, though eventually Baum just had Dorothy (along with Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, and Toto) move to Oz full-time and continue her adventures there. Whenever another human came to Oz from the outside world after that point, they generally ended up staying (Oz after the wicked witches died and Ozma took the throne being a much more utopian place to live, occasional monsters and baddies notwithstanding). It's implied even pre-Ozma that Oz was a much better place to live than Kansas; and Dorothy only kept going back home because she didn't want to ditch her family. That certainly is her only reason after meeting Ozma, whom she has a very close relationship with. This trope is downplayed as Oz isn't in another universe, but actually another country. It's just separated from the rest of the world by a huge desert.
  • Tales of the Magic Land starts off much the same as Baum (especially since the first book was a loose but recognizable translation of Baum); but Ellie and whatever relatives she takes along with her to the Emerald City always return home, and by the last book Ellie is studying in America and her cousin Fred is working on a factory, both having no intention to move to the Magic Land. It's stated that Scarecrow wanted to invite Ellie to the Emerald City as a teacher, but it's left unknown whether he did and whether she agreed.
  • The John Carter of Mars series and the Pellucidar series, by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
  • Older Than Radio: Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. One of the earliest and most famous versions of this trope and a template for many later stories.
  • Stephen R. Donaldson is fond of this one. It's the premise of:
  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. Richard Mayhew manages to pierce the Perception Filter that normally clings to muggles like himself, and notices a girl who is in dire need of medical attention. He pays dearly for this, as the girl is from London Below, where all the magic and forgoten history of London ends up, and he finds himself forgotten by his peers and unable to interact with them. His only hope to return to the life he knows is to delver further into London Below and its strange denizens.
  • In Diana Wynne Jones's Charmed Life this is what happens to Janet and her eight analogues in the other worlds in Series Twelve - when Gwendolen escapes from World 12A, she pulls Janet in from World 12B, and so on all around the circuit. Janet is the only one who doesn't find the change to be an improvement, and when she realizes this, decides to stay in 12A for the sake of the others. Janet's parents don't notice the change.
  • Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry. The five main characters are transported to Fionavar at the beginning of the first book, The Summer Tree, and return to their own world at the end of it; then they go back near the beginning of the second book, The Wandering Fire, and stay there through to the end of the third, The Longest Road, when their various fates are resolved. At the end of the trilogy the score stands with two going back to our world, one choosing to stay in Fionavar, one dead in a Heroic Sacrifice, and one sailing off to eternity with Lancelot and King Arthur as she is, in fact, Guinevere. The books are somewhat eclectic.
  • In Stephen King's The Dark Tower, Roland draws his ka-tet from New York City at various points in time to his own world.
  • C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; a slight twist here is that the characters age significantly during their stay in Narnia, then are returned to their original ages when they leave. The other Narnia books tend to follow this pattern as well, except for The Horse and His Boy.
  • Un Lun Dun by China Miéville - Zanna and Deeba are drawn into the titular world, a nonsensical mirror version of London, inhabited by various creatures and animated items that have been discarded by London's inhabitants.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series, the main character is summoned by a powerful wizard looking for another powerful wizard. Apparently, an engineer would be the closest thing to the alternate world's wizards. Unfortunately, the summoning spell latched on to the main character's job title...sanitation engineer. Fortunately, he does turn out to have magical abilities in that world.
  • LE Modesitt Jr:
    • In the Spellsong Cycle, the main character is summoned because of her skills as a singer.
    • In the Saga of Recluce series this trope combined with Lost Colony is used in two books.
  • The Merchant Princes Series, by Charles Stross features "worldwalkers" who regularly do this to others.
  • Actually inverted with The Princess 99, where an alien biker chick from the future finds herself stuck in the human world in the 1920s.
  • Barbara Hambly's Darwath series: Ingold could bring Gil and Rudy back to Earth any time, at the risk of the Dark learning how it's done and coming to eat Los Angeles. By the time the threat of the Dark goes away, so does our heroes' desire to go 'home'.
  • Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame series depicts a small group of college students who start a fantasy game (GMed by their professor), only to get magically transported into the bodies of their characters. Most of them end up deciding to stay, and use their modern knowledge to found a democratic nation that busts slave rings with firearms. Additionally, this trope is inverted for their professor, who came from the fantasy world with the specific intent of finding The Chosen One — the child that the main character and his girlfriend have once they're in the fantasy world.
  • The Summoning series by fantasy/romance author Robin D. Owens focuses on a group of Colorado women who are called, one by one, to be champions of the world of Amee. Unique in that any Earth-native brought to Amee will eventually face the Snap... a point where Earth tries to call the person back, and will unless she has made a stronger commitment to Amee.
  • The premise of The Inverted World is that a city has somehow become transported to a bizarre alternate world, one where they must constantly move forwards in order to survive.
  • Land of Oblivion has its Kid Hero protagonists transported to a place where dead children have their afterlife. The place is not all rosy, though, and they have to save the girl's brother from becoming Deader Than Dead.
  • Coraline is somewhat a Deconstruction of this concept, as the other world literally is a Trap for her (and others) — and nothing more. Unlike most examples, the heroine is very glad to leave it behind.
  • Dave Duncan's The Great Game explains why characters in this situation tend to become heroes—anyone who's in a different dimension than the one they were born in can absorb Mana. At low levels, this just makes them really, really charismatic. If they convince other people to make sacrifices to them (usually of blood), they can become Physical Gods. All "godly" beings are actually humans from other worlds, many "gods" of Vales are actually from our world. There are hazards to this, however...
  • In Warrior Cats, Jayfeather is stuck in the past until he can turn the Ancients into the Tribe of Rushing Water by teaching them tribe customs.
  • In Daughter of the Falcon, Jessie, a girl from our world is trapped in Mysteria, a Magical Land. This is then Deconstructed as she needs insulin injections and there is nothing comparable in Mysteria, so unless she can return home, she will die when her supply runs out.
  • The Rifter: John, Laurie, and Bill have (without intending to) passed through the Great Gates from Earth to Basawar, a strange, brutal land; the gates are shut (maybe destroyed). Getting home will not be easy at all.
  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's The Boy and the Darkness, the protagonist is a teenager named Danny who travels to another world covered in perpetual darkness. His way home is almost immediately destroyed. The other two portals get destroyed later. At the end, Danny gets the chance to go home by wishing for one thing from a godlike being. He uses the wish to save a friend rather than return home.
  • H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen was once a Pennsylvania state policeman named Calvin Morrison, who was accidentally dropped off in a parallel universe where the Aryans went east instead of west, and conquered North America. As it happens, he lands in a small kingdom that's about to be wiped out by the Corrupt Church that holds a monopoly on the secret of gunpowder manufacture...and he knows how to make gunpowder.
  • Grand Central Arena: The experimental starship Holy Grail and its crew find themselves stuck in The Arena, a vast extrauniversal construct, and can't get back home unless they learn how the rules of The Arena work. Unlike most of the other examples, this one is SF, not fantasy, although there is Sufficiently Advanced tech involved.
  • In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, going through the Veil to the Woerld means you can never return to Earth.
  • Enchantment by Orson Scott Card.
  • A Wizard in Rhyme.
  • In Dirge for Prester John, getting into or out of Pentexore is impossible most of the year, effectively trapping anyone who isn't keeping a strict eye on the Rimal.
  • The titular Id finds himself trapped in a world he has absolutely no knowledge about and has no idea how he got there - but where he comes from is another mystery.
  • Once you have entered Palimpsest once, you will go there whenever you have sex, whether you want to or not.
  • The Holiday House in The Thief of Always.
  • In Greystone Valley, the 12-year-old Sarah finds herself transported into the titular valley.
  • The Divide: Within the first five pages, Felix passes out above the eponymous Divide and finds himself stuck in a world where humans and science are mythical but magic and elves are real. Unusually, for most of it getting home is only his secondary objective; his primary is finding some kind of treatment for his terminal heart condition. Crossing the boundary gets a lot easier as the series goes on. At the end of the series, the Divide is closed and leaves copies of Felix and his elfin friend Betony on each side, meaning that you've got one Felix trapped in the fantasy world and one Betony trapped in the human one.
  • The main premise of the Across The Universe series. The main character is travelling in a spaceship to land on a new planet while cryogenically frozen, and she is woken up fifty years before the ship is set to land. She is trapped on a tiny ship filled with people who don't understand her and are extremely confused at how she looks (since everyone on the ship is monoethnic, and she's not).
  • This trope is very common in contemporary Russian fiction, having coined the neologism "попаданец" (literally "one who unwittingly arrived").
  • Schooled in Magic: Emily, a lonely, depressed modern girl, is abruptly transported to a parallel world by an evil sorcerer who believes she's the chosen one meant to defeat him. She's rescued by another sorcerer and sent to a wizard school because it's revealed she can do magic. Emily really never even wonders if she can go back, in spite of having a lot to adjust living in a very medieval world, as her only relatives were a negligent mother and an abusive step-father. As a result, she has no incentive to even try.
  • Literally the entire premise of the trilogy The Secret Country by Pamela Dean, except with a slight twist as the main characters seemed to have created the world themselves and then somehow fallen into it.
  • Played with in The Balanced Sword, in which a group of teenagers are brought from Earth to the magical world of Zarathan by a mysterious wizard and tasked with restoring the long-lost connection between the two worlds — but they're not the protagonists, or even in the story much; they just cross paths occasionally with the actual protagonists, Kyri and Tobimar, who are natives of Zarathan busy with a quest of their own. They do play a role in the resolution of the trilogy, though: during Kyri's climactic battle with the Big Bad, there's a mystical aftershock portending that somewhere offstage the connection between the two worlds has been restored, and the distraction this causes the Big Bad helps Kyri to win the day. The author has said that he does intend to do a straight telling of the teenagers' story someday, but if he only got to tell one story about Zarathan he wanted it to be Kyri's.
  • In Everworld, the main characters David, Christopher, Jalil and April get sucked into the titular world when Loki breaches the space between worlds to abduct Senna. (Senna specifically planned this.) Everworld is populated with various mythological gods who came there from our world ("the Old World") centuries ago, along with their mortal followers. There are also weird alien creatures who came from completely different worlds, along with their gods, one of whom is an Eldritch Abomination seeking to eat all the others. Senna could bring them home, but unlike most MacGuffin Super Persons, she has her own agenda, and it's not pretty.
  • In Critical Failures, four friends invite a random guy online to be their Cave Master for a Dungeons & Dragons Expy called Caverns & Creatures. The guy, Mordred, gets annoyed with them not taking the game seriously and insulting him, so he uses a set of magical dice to send them into the game as their characters. Then he does the same to a sister of one of the boys, who comes back unexpectedly, and her boyfriend. The trapped friends are forced to survive in a world that is suddenly real and deal with the consequences of their thoughtless actions from back when they thought it was just a game, such as lopping off the head of a guard for no good reason. They also have to abide by the rules of the game, and their skills are limited by whatever character stats they rolled before they started playing. For example, Cooper ends up being a half-orc with extremely low intelligence and charisma stats, so he constantly does something disgusting without meaning to and can't read, even though Cooper is normally literate. This doesn't apply to reading their character sheets, since those items aren't treated as of the game world. Also, Mordred keeps an eye on them through any person, creature, or object. He also reveals to them that they're not the first people he has sent into the game world.
  • The main characters in Eden Green and sequel New Night spend at least part of their adventures stuck in an alternate dimension later named Fortuna, from which alien needle monsters have been invading Earth. The portals that allow travel between the dimensions are fickle, impossible to control until late into the second book, and even then, behave in unpredictable ways.
  • In The Way Series, Patricia gets trapped on a parallel world, and remains there until she dies of old age.
  • In The Wandering Inn, Erin Solstice, Ryoka Griffin, and dozens of others find themselves suddenly in a completely different world. Some appear in monster-infested places, resulting in many deaths.
  • Welcome to Japan, Ms. Elf! plays with this: in another world, yes, trapped, no. The main character Kazuhiro has the ability to travel to another world while he's sleeping in Japan, and travels back to Japan while sleeping in the other side. He though the other world is merely a dream world (albiet a persistent one) until he accidentally brought his elf friend to Japan.
  • In BladeArc, Yuuto is summoned to the Magical Land of High World to save the world from Eternal Nidhogg, a world-eating ancient worm.
  • In Summer in Orcus, a girl named Summer is transported to the world of Orcus, which is under threat from the warlord Zultan Houndbreaker and the mysterious Queen in Chains.
  • In Unicorns of Balinor, the heroine was actually born and raised in the other world, but due to plot-related amnesia thinks she's always been on Earth. As is typical for the trope, she initially fears the more magical aspects of her life, but eventually realizes that they feel more her than any of the (well-intentioned) lies her caretakers fed her to keep her safe. And as they guessed she would, she runs off to risk her life fighting the Big Bad who killed her family the moment her memories return.
  • In Cooking With Wild Game, the protagonist is not given any sort of direction or exposition. All he knows is that he was running into a burning building, and then woke up in a primeval forest at night, completely unsinged. However, there are so many helpful coincidences about where he arrived, who was walking nearby at the time, what he ends up doing to affect that world's bigger picture, etc, that it seems...unlikely...his transplantation was entirely random.
  • Jack Chalker's Changewinds and Flux & Anchor serieses both deal with the themes of being stuck in worlds other than the main character's original one, though the details are complex, and (as is common with Chalker) very strange.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:


  • In Ace Lightning, not only are the video game characters stuck in the real world, a few human characters also get trapped in the videogame over the course of the series.
  • Angel, where Cordelia ends up trapped in Pylea and quickly goes from a slave to becoming queen. Naturally Angel and the gang soon follow to rescue her. At the end of the adventure, they end up overthrowing the ruling demon priests and freeing the human slaves. Fred was stuck there too for five years before the others arrived, though she didn't do nearly as much as Cordy.
  • Doctor Who: Rose is trapped in a parallel world, but returns with knowledge of "the Darkness" threatening to destroy the multiverse (as her universe is ahead of ours). She is then forced to remain in her parallel world to take care of the clone-Doctor, despite wanting to stay with the real one. Former boyfriend Mickey, however, decides to leave the parallel world for his old one.
  • As expected, this is the central premise of Emerald City. However, it's also revealed that Jane, the lead engineer on the experiment that threw her, Dorothy's mother, and the Wizard into Oz, is also trapped there. In fact, Dorothy was born in Oz, but her mother managed to get back to our world with her and left her with foster parents.
  • Farscape, where Crichton travels through a wormhole to another part of the universe. His overriding goal for most of the series is to get back to Earth...but when he finally does, he leaves very shortly to go back to the other side of the universe. He later returns and makes it impossible for himself to ever go back in order to protect Earth from the bad guys. John, being John, makes many a reference to The Wizard of Oz in relation to his situation. Title of the episode when they really go to Earth: Kansas.
  • Fat Guy Stuck in Internet is about...a fat computer programmer trapped in a surreal cyberspace world.
  • In season 3 of Fringe, Olivia is trapped a good deal of the time in an alternate universe. Peter has been trapped in another universe since he was seven years old.
  • In Kyle XY, Josh frequently suggests that Kyle is an alien from another world (although this is later subverted when Kyle's true origins are revealed).
  • Life on Mars:
    • Though we are Left Hanging as to the true nature of the world; is it Time Travel, an alternate reality, or All Just a Dream?
    • And the sequel Ashes to Ashes (2008), which resolves the mystery: note  the world is a purgatory for select dead police officers.
    • The American version is much less ambiguous. note 
  • The island of Lost is sufficiently weird that a case could be made.
  • In the first episode of MythQuest, Matt Bellows gets trapped inside a mythical world with a trickster god. His children accidentally (and later deliberately) get trapped in myths when they go to look for him.
  • Once Upon a Time loves this trope. The main one involves an inversion, with various characters from a fairy-tale world trapped in our world, but throughout the series different people keep getting stranded in different worlds and have to find a way out.
  • The premise of the series Pirate Island is that three children are trapped in a video game.
  • Likewise Quantum Leap, where Sam continually leaps into the bodies of various people between when he was born (1953) and the show's present of 1999.
  • Sliders: The Sliders have a device that can take them between worlds, but it malfunctions, and they're stuck going between worlds without any control in the hope of eventually finding home.
  • This happens a lot in the Polish/Australian children's series Spellbinder. Paul gets trapped in the Spellbinder universe, Kathy's family gets trapped in the Land of the Dragon Lord, and Mek and Kathy end up trapped in first the Land of the Immortals and then the Land of the Moloch.
  • Stargate:
    • Season 1 of Stargate Atlantis — trapped in the Pegasus Galaxy. This is a variation, because the expedition went to Atlantis knowing full well that they might be stranded there.
    • Stargate Universe takes this tack as well, stranding the heroes on a space ship headed away from known space. They are billions of light years away from home and if they could control the ship, the journey would take millions of years. They don't have enough power to dial home and dialing IN from the Milky Way needs a special kind of planet but even then, a small mistake in the calculations WILL cut off the supply line permanently via an Earth-Shattering Kaboom. This happened in the first episode. Later on, it was revealed that the Lucian Alliance found another planet which the SGC attempted to capture; the Alliance however activated the gate prematurely and this planet blew up as well.
  • Star Trek: Voyager — Trapped in the Delta Quadrant.
  • This is the story arc of Season 1 of Stranger Things. Will gets trapped in the Upside Down dimension by the Demogorgon but is nevertheless able to communicate with his family and friends via Christmas lights and Eleven's psychic powers. Eventually, Hopper and Joyce come to his rescue in the season's finale.
  • The Time Tunnel - two guys trapped in the past (or occasionally the future).
  • Zapped is a British TV series revolving around a temporary office worker who receives a mysterious amulet which teleports him to Munty, a place in a fantasy universe controlled by a police state. The rest of the series revolves around his attempts to get back to the real world.

    Manhua and Manhwa 
  • In Infinity Game, a slacker high-school student gets pulled into a world where he is named the "Dungeon Master" and creates a new game world to escape his boring school life. The cast end up trapped in the world after a Computer Virus stops them from escaping.
  • The Reason Why Raeliana Ended Up At The Duke's Mansion has the protagonist pushed off a bridge and reincarnated into the world of a murder mystery she read as Raeliana, the dead centerpiece of said mystery.

    Mythology and Religion 

  • This happened to Arnie in Hello, from the Magic Tavern, who fell through a magical dimensional portal behind a Burger King in Chicago and found himself in the fantastical, magical land of Foon. Luckily, he's still getting a wi-fi signal from the Burger King through the dimensional rift and so he hosts a weekly podcast from the tavern the Vermilion Minotaur in the town of Hogsface, in the land of Foon.
  • Dungeons & Daddies begins with four dads, their sons, and their minivan being pulled into the Forgotten Realms.

  • At a book signing, Sam from ElvenQuest is dragged into LowerEarth when a group of heroes kidnap The Chosen One, aka. Sam's dog, and he wouldn't get them go. Naturally the only way to get back is to go on their quest to get the Sword of Asnagar, which will (a) defeat the Lord Of Darkness and (b) let Sam go back home).

  • This setting is currently the most popular for multifandom Journal Roleplay Games. The community has even coined a phrase for games based around this setting—"spooky jamjar". Which has now come full circle- meet Roleplayedingly. A roleplay where the characters are sent to a new world every week- and every world is an existing LiveJournal roleplay.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The frame story of Castle Falkenstein involves computer game artist Tom Olam being magically summoned into the Victorian-fantasy world of the game. Though as it turns out, it was actually the copy of Leonardo's Sixth Codex in his backpack that his summoners needed...
  • GURPS: A short supplement, GURPS Fantasy: Portal Realms, covers this topic in detail.
  • Heroine always starts off with the eponymous protagonist's ordinary life in the real world, before quickly bringing her over to the Magical Land, which she can only leave after overcoming her personal flaws and completing an arduous quest.

  • Most of the Tsukiuta stage plays feature original stories where the idol characters are trapped in another world. The worlds will have a different theme each time, and different fantasy costumes. So far, there have been multiple ''wa-fuu'' worlds, an Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired Rabbits Kingdom, and an upcoming Cyper Punk world.

    Video Games 
  • Danmachi: Memoria Freese:
    • The Kino's Journey crossover campaign Travelers and the Labyrinth Country involves Kino and Hermes(The motorcycle, not the god); Photo and Sou; and Shizu, Riku and Tifana ending up in Bell's world after getting caught in a fog.
    • In the Date A Live crossover campaign Ais Catastrophe, Shido, alongside several of his Spirit friends find themselves transported from their world into Bell's through an unknown cause. Not only does the Kaguya Yamai that came with them turn out to be an impostor, she also is revealed to have been the cause.
    • Bell and company find themselves on the receiving end of this when they end up in Goblin Slayer's world during the crossover campaign Dungeon and Goblins.
  • In Dragon Quest III, the Hero falls into the world of Alefgard, the setting of the first two Dragon Quest games. Once they defeat Zoma, the hole between Alefgard and the Hero's world closes, sealing them in Alefgard forever where they become known as the hero "Erdrick"/"Loto".
    • The Dragon Quest Monsters series has former party members Terry and Kiefer being transported to alternate worlds in the first game and Caravan Hearts respectively while the rest star new characters who have always lived in their respective worlds.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 both use this as the main plot for the player character, but handle it in different ways. Advance has the main character wanting to go back to the real world because running away from life's problems is not healthy. A2 has the main character wanting to go home so he doesn't worry his aunt, but is in no rush to go home and tries to enjoy the time spent in the fantasy world.
  • Final Fantasy X. Main character Tidus is a sports star from the great city of Zanarkand, who one day finds himself transplanted in the world of Spira, and his city was apparently annihilated... one thousand years ago. It's revealed that Tidus's world, and Tidus himself aren't real to begin with.
  • Another World, where the story starts with the protagonist accidentally teleported to an alien world.
  • The Dig involves a group of astronauts who get transported to an alien world.
  • Outcast, with a lot of Time Travel causing the issue.
  • The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games combine this your character being a human stranded in a world full of other talking Pokemon, transformed into a Pokemon themselves. Except in Explorers, where they were from the future.
  • Nox, with the protagonist's character class affecting (among other things) whether or not he returns from the titular fantasy world back to present-day Earth, or stays there.
  • ZanZarah: The Hidden Portal is a subversion: its protagonist Amy is tricked into traveling to another world (which she is supposed to save) but among the first things she finds there is a magical rune that teleports her back to London. Not that she wants to, since her home is a very dull place, constituting one bleak location among hundreds found in the game.
  • This is the premise of Myst, in which the player stumbles across a mysterious series of worlds after accidentally using a Linking Book. Actually, even if you win the game, you don't get to go home. In the opening of the sequel, Riven, Atrus promises that, if all goes well, he might be able to send the player home. Subverted in Myst III and IV, where the player willfully returns to visit Atrus.
    • It's implied at the end of Riven that when Atrus drops his D'ni Linking Book into the Star Fissure, he's leaving the player with both a way home and a means to visit him. This was before D'ni turned out to be Earth All Along.
  • In Brütal Legend, roadie Eddie Riggs winds up in a world based on Heavy Metal album covers after injuring himself and spilling blood on his belt buckle. Turns out that it's a really important belt buckle. Also, unlike other examples, he has no inclination whatsoever of going back.
  • The Avatar of the later games of the Ultima series (from IV onward) is explicitly stated to be a normal human from Earth before he or she is summoned over. According to a Word of God Retcon, this is true of the first three games as well.
  • In Half Life 1, Gordon Freeman is trapped in a hellish alien dimension until he can take down the Nihilanth.
  • In the first Persona game, the party ends up spending a good deal of the game in an alternate version of their city. It eventually becomes a non-subversion: they were actually trapped in Maki's mind (they've just defeated Kandori in the real world when they learn this). Now, Maki herself has been acting strangely since the whole crisis began, and told the group she was from the Alternate Universe they were in- oh, crap.
    • Persona 4 has a series of murders that were revealed to be caused by trapping people in the TV world.
    • Persona 5 has the protagonist and Ryuji being locked up in Kamoshida's palace (which is a part of the game's cognitive world) before eventually escaping.
    • While the Persona franchise is no stranger to the characters traveling to cognitive worlds, Persona Q is the only one aside from the first game where the heroes are trapped until the end of the game.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de has the main character and her two friends summoned into a place that looks quite like Kyoto in the Heian period.
  • The old, America backstory of the Mario franchise states that Mario and Luigi are actually from Brooklyn, and accidentally ended up in the Mushroom Kingdom. As of 1995's Yoshi's Island, Mario and Luigi were, instead, established to be from the Mushroom Kingdom since birth, and the "Brooklyn" thing was mostly swept under the rug.
  • The Hero of Albion ends up trapped on another planet, when losing contact with the factory ship he came with. After he saves the world from the ship's on-board supercomputer that was programmed to destroy it, he essentially traps the crew.
  • Jak and Daxter are sent through a rift gate to Haven City at the beginning of Jak 2 and lack any means to leave. Subverted in that it's actually the same place, just hundreds of years in the future, and Jak was originally from there anyway.
  • Brad, the player's character in Curse of Enchantia, is boy from our dimension who has been kidnapped to a fantasy world ruled by an evil witch and now has find a way back.
  • The plot of The Longest Journey and its sequel Dreamfall. The main character April Ryan ends up travelling between two worlds, Stark and Arcadia, and ends up as of the second game choosing to live permanently in Arcadia.
  • In Scaler, Scaler gets trapped in a world filled with Lizard Folk, when escaping from a torture session. We later learn that his father, Leon, is also is trapped there. The rest of game is then spent with Scaler trying to get his claws on a 'Portal Beacon', that can get him and Leon home.
  • Some of the supplemental material for Touhou states that people quite frequently fall into Gensokyo from our world. Apparently the Great Hakurei Border is not absolutely impermeable.
  • In Date Warp, Janet and Bradley are trapped in an alternate universe where The American Revolution never happened, and the country is called Atlanta. However, it turns out it's more complicated than that.
  • Heart no Kuni no Alice.
  • You help two people with this problem in The Trail Of Anguish. But it eventually turns out that they may not be the only ones trapped somewhere unknown...
  • Astyanax (NES version)
  • Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito (although in this case it's more like "trapped in several worlds").
  • Rule of Rose.
  • A recurring theme of Super Robot Wars since Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, since it's the easiest way to put shows that have totally contrasting worlds and backgrounds together.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, this is what happens once the Yamato Perpetual Reactor is turned on. The three Samurai are desperate to go home, but the only way back is turning on the Reactor again in the parallel worlds. This is a trap engineered by the White, to show the Crapsack Worlds that could arise from choosing pure Law or pure Chaos, in an effort to have The Hero Mercy Kill the multiverse by overloading the reactor and creating a massive black hole to "return all to nothing".
  • Luigi is accidentally summoned to the Bears' World in Something Else because they wanted his brother, Mario.
  • Another World: The main character is transported to a distant planet, or possibly a different dimension when lightning strikes him in his lab one evening. As seen in the sequel, Heart Of the Alien, he never makes it back.
  • In Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, Dekar is thrown into a hellish otherworld through a Heroic Sacrifice. He fights his way out, blows up the entire dimension behind him, and gets back to the party in time to save the day.
  • Happens in all of the video games in the Silent Hill series, with the protgaonists trapped in one or more alternate dimensions centered around the titular town and its surrounding environs. Overlaps with Closed Circle, since the alternate version of the town is also physically cut off from the rest of the world.
  • In Super Robot Wars BX, the ruins on Austral Island somehow sends the protagonist's group to Arst, leaving them stranded on an alien world for a few scenarios.
  • This is the premise of Rakenzarn Tales. The main character, Kyuu, is an ordinary student who's sent in the Constructed World of Rakenzarn by the local Interdimensional Travel Device. Rakenzarn is a fantasy world with everything you would expect from a fantasy world in a RPG (guns, swordfights, magic, monsters and of course the local Big Bad trying to take over the world...). So, Kyuu has to learn and train in order to adapt to this new world and to survive. In Chapter 5, after being sent back to his own world, he has the choice to return to Rakenzarn, this time willingly.
  • In Holy Umbrella, the adventure begins as the protagonist picks up a mysterious umbrella and is instantly transported into the fantasy world of Margence.
  • Wario Land 3 starts with Wario finding a music box in a cave, which suck him into another world. A mysterious voice promises to return Wario home if he can find the five music boxes. It’s eventually revealed this voice is a Monster Clown named Rudy who turned everyone in the world into monsters. After his defeat, the people are restored to normal.
  • A double whammy in Aëdemphia - not only is the heroine Irzyka is sent away from the world of Estarzall and trapped in the world of Akzalfir; but according to her backstory she's from a post-apocalyptic world and ended up in the land of Estarzall after escaping said world's destruction.
  • One Shot has Niko waking up in a dark world, designated as the world's messiah. Unfortunately, while everyone seems to know what Niko is there for, they aren't so sure how to get them home - a process that ends up being rather difficult.
  • This is how Granblue Fantasy justifies its crossovers with various properties like Cardcaptor Sakura, THE iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls, and Sakura Wars as something magical drags the characters into the world of Granblue Fantasy. The crossover with THE iDOLM@STER: SideM adds another layer to the trope where the cast was filming a Granblue movie, only to find out the world was Real After All once they transported.
  • In Love Nikki - Dress Up Queen, Nikki and her talking cat Momo are transported to the world of Miraland, where conflicts are resolved via Fashion Shows, and have to save the world before they can return home.
  • The Graveyard Keeper of his eponymous game is some random shmuck from the modern day killed in a car accident, then transported to a dark, magical Medieval world. The entire game is spent trying to find a way to get back home.
  • In Kyle & Lucy: Wonderworld, the eponymous Kyle and Lucy are trapped in a Magical Land known as Sunova, the game centers around them trying to secure a way out.
  • League of Legends has a set of "Arcade" and "Battle Boss" character skins that developed into its own noncanon, but official Alternate Continuity, following several champions after they were sucked into the "Arcade World", an amalgamation of several retro arcade games brought together by the code-ripping Final Boss Veigar, who seeks to Take Over the World with his army of "Battle Bosses". Fortunately, said champions are Speedrunners and Challenge Gamers and are joined by their gaming heroes, so he's probably made a big mistake.
  • In East Tower, Sakuya Morita is given a chance to try the latest virtual game attraction, East Tower, which enables the player to transform into whatever they want to, but then a sudden accident happens and she and the other four participants end up trapped in the virtual world.
  • The roguelike Omega's "play as yourself" mode starts with the player running the mysterious "omega" program without permission, and it somehow transporting them into Omega's world.
  • In Soul Calibur VI, Geralt's Guest Fighter appearance is canon, at least to the Soul series world; he gets pulled through a portal, and his storyline is about him trying to get back home.
  • Blazblue Cross Tag Battle centers around the characters of BlazBlue, Persona 4, Under Night In-Birth and RWBY being pitted against each other by a myserious entity who trapped them in an unknown world, and told them that the first team that obtains some objects called "keystones" will be the one going back home. Subsequent updates added characters from Arcana Heart, Senran Kagura and Akatsuki Blitzkampf to the equation.
  • The protagonist of Twisted Wonderland, Yuu, is transported to the setting of the game through the Night Raven College's mirror and find themselves unable to return to their original world, and enrolls in the college as a student until the headmaster, Dire Crowley, finds a way to send them home.

    Visual Novels 
  • YU-NO: The Isekai plot twist that precluded the second act of the visual novel was genuinely revolutionary in 1996. The second act of YU-NO was a Trope Codifier of the Isekai genre.

    Web Animation 
  • Happens to Geo in Gwain Saga, but he takes it well.

  • In The Dreamcatchers Masquerade, Kai and Vena are both yanked into another world as their own reality falls to pieces.
  • Invoked in Erfworld, with the summoning of the protagonist, Parson Gotti.
    Parson: What's the lesson here? "Be careful what you wish for?" This isn't what I wished for!
    Wanda: Ha! You didn't wish for this world, Parson Gotti. It wished for you.
  • If you count the "Torg Potter" stories as examples, this happens over a dozen times in Sluggy Freelance.
  • Fur Will Fly: The protagonist is trapped in another world populated by furries.
  • The main character of Astray 3, Emily, is transported to another world by walking into a closet. She's not the only one to be magically whisked away like this, either.
  • Kagerou starts out with this trope, and then does really nasty things to it. It's a long story and involved multiple personality disorder, among other things.
  • Lucco in Fite! though it's actually a Journey to the Center of the Mind.
  • The whole plot of Miamaska, as Amity and Guere are stuck there.
  • Homestuck: Anybody who plays SBURB will be transported into the Incipisphere. However, the series is more of a Deconstruction of the trope, as the home planet and eventually the universe of the players is destroyed once they leave.
  • The plight of the titular characters in Bob and George, but eventually one character even points out that they are not from any megaman dimension, but nobody seems to care anymore. Given that it was actually a conspiracy to do it to Bob, and he tried to do it to George in revenge...
  • Fiona is summoned to an Alternate Universe Earth by Jim and Van in Supernormal Step.
  • In Dubious Company, after Izor's plan goes haywire, the AntiHeroes and AntiVillains are thrown into another dimension and struggle to find a way back.
  • Zoophobia: Cameron is stuck in the world of talking animals and insane entities when she is unknowingly employed to work as a guidance counsellor there.
  • In The Wormworld Saga, Jonas finds a portal to another world on the attick of his grandmother's house. He's Genre Savvy enough to take a thread of yarn with him to prevent the portal from closing behind him. Too bad their cat Wiggins ends up cutting his safety rope while playing with it.
  • Reman Mythology starts with a curious young woman who finds herself trapped after following a young man with suspiciously supernatural abilities.
  • A courier in Kukuburi delivers a package only to find a crazy technicolor world.
  • Winters In Lavelle siblings find that their father's shiny rock leads to a world with more shiny rocks.
  • Vacationers contend with deadly water in Between Two Worlds while looking for a lost cat.
  • Sul from Kiss Wood is caught in a fire that destroys his home and blinds him. After a couple of days in the hospital, he loses consciousness and is trapped in a place called Hill. He later learns he's not the only one who has been transported this and left; Ahbon is another person this happened to.
  • This comic from Penny Arcade suggests this type of plot for the in-development WarCraft film, as well as demonstrating other tropes such as the Jerk Jock, The Cheerleader, and the Lovable Nerd who chooses to stay behind in the end.
  • At Arm's Length: A new character was introduced, coming from another reality. Sadly, nobody knows how he got there, aside from him just appearing on a roof top, or how to send him back. In the mean time, he will be disguised as a native, and is technically an Alien Among Us as well.
  • In the first chapter of Snarlbear, the main character is pulled into the Rainbow Dimension with no obvious way home — much to her glee.
  • Children of Eldair: The main characters are snatched away from Earth and deposited in the world of Eldair.
  • In Goodbye to Halos the main character was send through a portal to another world by her father, with no idea how to reopen the portal to get back. Played with in that both worlds are equally fantastic, populated by Little Bit Beastly people, and the Ambiguously Human protagonist fits in in neither.
  • In Accidental Centaurs, Alex and Sam not only get transported into another world, they get turned into centaurs as well (or at least they SEE themselves as centaurs - in reality, they transformed into something so strange that they'd go insane if they knew what they REALLY were).
  • In El Goonish Shive, Andrea the griffon gets lost in the human "half" of the world and has to be retrieved by her partner Tara.
  • In Ocean Labyrinth, Karen is transported to an underwater world after getting lost at the beach.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Grace travelled from Earth to Cisum via the Mirror Path, located in a Las Vegas museum basement. It didn't appear as though travel back to Earth the same way was possible, though Grace is enjoying her time as the Token Human, and hasn't been shown even trying to find a way back. There has been mention of other humans living within the Metals Clan.
  • Chitra follows the standard isekai plotline — the protagonist, an average 21st century high school girl, is run down by a speeding truck, and a god offers her a second chance at life in a fantasy world. She'll have to complete quests, gain power, and utilize RPG mechanics to level up her skills. Not to mention the harem of beautiful men she can acquire to help her on her journey, which she gains by using the god's exclusive gacha system to summon powerful pretty-boy allies.
    Phobinus, the God of Beauty: The reason why I'm here is to give you a new opportunity — The chance to live a second life! Of course it's not for free. You'll have to complete tasks given by me in your new life.
  • The story of Star Trip follows modern-day human Jas on a journey around the galaxy after she's taken by a mysterious alien named Khut. After leaving the system, it's impossible for her to return to Earth for at least a year. After Earth is devastated off-screen by a solar flare, she won't be going back at all.

    Web Original 
  • While their trip to Creturia was intentional, the Dimensional Guardians from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes find themselves trapped in the world until they can find the objects they need to both save the world and return home.
  • The serial web novel Elcenia starts out with protagonist Rhysel being summoned to the titular Magical Land. Unusual in that Rhysel is from a different Magical Land herself.
  • This happens in the gender bender The Finite Life of a Dating Sim Heroine to the main character Michio, which takes place in the titular dating sim.
  • The heroes of The Dragon Wars Saga are examples, although it's insinuated they could leave if they knew how and really wanted to do so.
  • In Trinton Chronicles very first story (Fantasia), all of the characters end up in a portion of the Fairy Realm or something similar.
  • According to Robert Brockway of Cracked, the need for a "straight man" in a Magical Land story is one of the 4 Realizations That Will Ruin Science Fiction for You.
  • Engines of Creation features an entire town and its people from western Canada trapped in a world known as the Pactlands.
  • In Cradleland, a passenger airliner is transported by a portal to another planet.
  • The Travelers of Worm are eventually revealed to be an example of this trope seen from the other side. Initially a professional gamer group in the significantly less apocalyptic Earth Aleph, they were transported to Earth Bet by a freak accident and gained superpowers. In their search for a way home, they became supervillains, and cause a great many deaths, eventually culminating in Noelle going on a rampage that sees dozens of superheroes dead. In the end, only four of the original seven get to go home.
  • This is the central premise of The Lay of Paul Twister: the main character is from Earth, and he doesn't know how or why he ended up stuck in a Magical Land, but with technology just barely at early Renaissance levels, most of his modern skills aren't applicable to society, so he has to live by his wits as a rogue of sorts to get by...
  • Parodied in The Onion's Investigators: First 48 Hours Most Critical In Locating Missing Children Who Entered Portal To Fantastical World, which expounds tips to parents for finding children who are already inside one of these before it's too late and advice to prevent this situation from occurring altogether.
    "When Elizabeth and William went out to play in the garden one day last summer, I thought it would only be a matter of time before they came home hungry for supper," said Tabitha Newsom, whose children went missing after crawling through a hollow log into a world where everything is made of gemstones. 'But once I’d contacted the authorities, they had already been enlisted to lead the Army Of The Seven Pendants and were embroiled in a tense battle with the Ruby Kingdom... I never should have allowed them to follow that giant, glimmering butterfly"
  • I Went to Another World but Got Sent Back with My Party: Damian Nemeth had been pulled into a Cliché Storm medieval fantasy world, formed an party and had many weird adventures...but the story isn't about those adventures. When the story begins, it's not him that's trapped in a strange world, it's his party members, courtesy of the Demon Lord. And the world they're trapped in? Ours.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Samurai Jack plays with this. On the one hand, he's still on Earth, but on the other, he's on a far-future sci-fi Earth world populated by countless alien races, and magic and the supernatural aren't uncommon.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: One weird rollercoaster ride later, and the kids are in a world resembling a D&D campaign setting.
  • Captain N: The Game Master involved the main character Kevin Keene being sucked into "Videoland", a world where Nintendo games were real (and often very misrepresented in comparison to their actual video game counterparts). Strangely Kevin seems to have no interest in going back to the real world and very rarely, if ever, expresses a desire to go home. What must his mother think...
  • In King Arthur & the Knights of Justice, Merlin needs replacements for King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, who have been captured by the series' Big Bad. His odd solution is to bring a contemporary American high school football team (whose quarterback happens to be named Arthur King) to Dark Age Europe to become Camelot's new defenders.
  • Kidd Video: A teen rock band is abducted by the evil Master Blaster and transported to a cartoon fantasy world. They are rescued by a fairy, and spend each episode trying to find their way home.
  • The Super Mario Bros Super Show!, where Mario and Luigi are from Brooklyn, but were transported to the Mushroom Kingdom through a warp pipe.
  • Fry from Futurama gets frozen in 1999 and wakes up 1000 years later. Somewhat subverted, in that even with the robots, aliens, mutants, and new technology, The Future isn't really all that different.
  • Goliath and the remains of his clan in Gargoyles are trapped in stone for 1000 years, thus arriving in 1994 New York from 994 Scotland.
  • An episode of Adventure Time had Finn get transported to another world made entirely out of pillows. (The landscape, the wildlife, the people, etc.) He ended up spending the rest of his life there, forming a family and dying of old age, then somehow got sent back to his world a few minutes after his disappearance, with no memory of his time there. It's left ambiguous as to whether or not this actually happened.
  • Over the Garden Wall is about teenage Wirt and his young brother Greg being trapped in a world called The Unknown.
  • The parents of the eponymous Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero are experienced heroes that are currently trapped in an extremely dangerous dimension and can only communicate with their son via the MUHU, a small hologram-projecting device that Penn keeps with him at all times.
  • Kaeloo: At the end of Episode 70, Mr. Cat manages to get all the Alternate Universe counterparts back through the Portal Door and then smashes the door so they can't come back. As it turns out, he got rid of the wrong Kaeloo; now he is stuck with Alternate Universe!Kaeloo and the Alternate Universe main four are stuck with Kaeloo.
  • In Here Comes the Grump, Terry Dexter comes from Earth. We never learn how he got trapped in the Magical Land, though.
    • Inverted in The Movie - the Grump's girlfriend Mary is banished to Earth as punishment for helping him and becomes Terry's grandmother.
  • Blackstar is about astronaut John Blackstar getting "swept through a black hole into an ancient, alien universe" where magic and science coexist. Filmation had earlier produced a very faithful adaptation of Flash Gordon, itself an example of this trope, and it's clearly an influence on Blackstar.
  • In Shazzan, Chuck and Nancy are transported to an Arabian Nights-esque world, and will only be sent home once they find Shazzan's true owner.
  • In Amphibia, Anne Boonchuy finds herself trapped in a world inhabited by Frog Men after she opens a mysterious musical box on a dare from her friends.
  • In The Owl House, Luz Noceda ends up in a world called the Boiling Isles, a land inhabided by magical beings and mythical creatures. However, she's only there involuntarily for the first episode, after which she's able to leave but chooses to stays.
  • In Animalia, Alex and Zoe enter a mysterious portal in the town library and find themselves in Animalia, a World of Funny Animals. They're not too preoccupied about finding a way home, however.
  • In Infinity Train, the titular train picks up people who are having issues in their lives and keeps them there running through the infinite parallel universes inside of the train cars until their problems are solved, with their progress conveniently displayed to them via a number on their hand. Of course, it's also possible to make negative progress, which leads to one's number getting bigger. One woman who spent at least THIRTY-THREE YEARS running from her issues has a number that winds around her neck, and she's well aware that she'll likely die of old age before she can zero it out.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Portal Fantasy, Isekai


The Rising of the Shield Hero

Naofumi finds himself transported to another world where he's expected to help save the world from strange portals in the air that allow monsters to invade the world. After he is falsely accused of rape, he insists on being sent back home only to learn he can't be sent home until the Waves are defeated.

How well does it match the trope?

4 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / TrappedInAnotherWorld

Media sources:

Main / TrappedInAnotherWorld