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Whenever an adventure far from civilization is needed, a tropical island is where it usually will be set. Typically located in the Caribbean, Oceania, East Africa, Southeast Asia or created after a Great Flood, tropical islands are a very popular location for adventures due to their exotic environment and wildlife, remoteness and disconnection from the rest of the world, allowing for more fantastic elements than would be seen in a more civilized setting, and being popular places for vacations, due to their usually sunny weather, warm climate and pristine beaches. The protagonist could be there on a vacation, exploring the island due to rumors of treasure or be shipwrecked there and looking for a way off the island. Pirates (of either the classic or modern type) and their loot, coconut trees, dense jungles, carnivorous plantlife, temples, volcanoes, mad scientists and angry cannibalistic natives tend to be common in these settings, and the island can potentially overlap with Deserted Island, Island of Mystery and Isle of Giant Horrors. If the islands are specifically Hawaiian, they can fall under Aloha, Hawaii! as well, and if they are specifically Caribbean or Indonesian, they can also fall under Welcome to the Caribbean, Mon! or East Indies respectively.

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Remember that this trope is specifically about TROPICAL islands. Just regular islands do not fit under it.

Compare Beach Episode, Jungle Japes, Palmtree Panic and Vacation Episode.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Cage of Eden has this as its main plot, which is about a class of Japanese high schoolers crash-landing on the way back from a trip from Guam on an unknown tropical island filled with extinct prehistoric creatures (but not dinosaurs) and plants where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, and trying to survive the hostile environment.
  • One Piece, which is set on a series of tropical islands on the equator known as the Grand Line, with the Straw Hats and other pirates being after the titular treasure hidden there.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats has "The Terror of Prisoner Island", where the Pizza Cats are sent to the titular tropical island by Al Dente to get information. Turns out the "prison" is actually a resort.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Incredibles: Syndrome establishes his Super Villain Lair on Nomanisan Island, located in an unspecified sea and covered with thick jungle foliage to keep prying eyes from seeing what exactly is going on there.
  • The first Madagascar features the main crew getting stranded on the titular tropical island after the Penguins take over the ship transferring them to Africa and send the crates they are in careening into the ocean.
  • Moana is set on a series of tropical islands in Polynesia and draws inspiration from the region's culture, history and mythology.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked has the titular characters, Dave and the Chipettes getting stranded on a tropical island and trying to find a way off.
  • Father Goose takes place on Matalava Island somewhere in the South Pacific, where the main character, Walter Eckland, is left as a lookout for Japanese planes. Eventually, a French diplomatic staffer and her entourage of schoolgirls are stranded there as well, and have to learn to get by in the island jungle. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Similar to the book, The Island of Doctor Moreau takes place on a tropical island in the Java Sea, with it's predecessor, Island of Lost Souls, also taking place on a tropical island.
  • King Kong, specifically King Kong (1933), King Kong (1976), King Kong (2005) and Kong: Skull Island, with most of the movies following a group of humans exploring the eponymous tropical Skull Island.
  • Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman has a tropical resort in The Bahamas as the setting of the movie. Don't ask how a killer snowman doesn't melt on a tropical island.
  • Jurassic Park, set on two fictional tropical Costa Rican islands known as Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Given the setting, it's no surprise that any islands they land on will be tropical in nature, where treasure, sword fights, supernatural creatures and danger await. And rum. Don't forget the rum.
    (Captain!) Jack Sparrow: Welcome to the Caribbean, love.
  • Scooby-Doo has the gang invited to Spooky Island, a tropical island resort with a ghostly and mystical theme.
  • Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams has Carmen and Juni send themselves on a mission originally meant for Gary and Gerti to investigate the titular tropical island, located near Madagascar.
  • Like the book, Swiss Family Robinson is about the titular family getting shipwrecked on a tropical island and trying to survive.
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    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gilligan's Island, set on the titular tropical island.
  • Lost is about a group of survivors of a plane crash being stranded on a tropical island and learning to survive by working together.
  • Most of the Survivor series is set on tropical islands.
  • Like Lost, Wrecked takes place on a tropical island that the main cast ended up on after a plane crash.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • The Adventure Island series is set on a tropical island, as the name suggests.
  • ARK: Survival Evolved is set on the titular ARK, a tropical island full of dinosaurs and other giant beasts which you must try to survive on.
  • The ClayFighter titles made for Nintendo 64 (ClayFighter 63 1/3 and Sculptor's Cut) got as their setting the Klaymodo Island, a paradise island where the meteorite "Betsy" is found, primordial for Dr. Kiln to make his clay formula and Take Over the World. In fact, various of the characters went to Klaymodo for vacations without knowing this to later find this scheme and then choose to help Kiln or stop him.
  • The main setting of the Crash Bandicoot series is a tropical island called N. Sanity Island, off the east coast of Australia. This is particularly prominent in the first game, which had you go through a series of three islands known as the Tasmanian Islands to free them from Cortex's control.
  • The Donkey Kong Country series, with the exception of 3. 1 and Returns are set on Donkey Kong Island with 64 and Tropical Freeze also being set on it and the nearby islands, while 2 is set on Crocodile Island, the home of the Kremlings.
  • The Shipwrecked DLC of Don't Starve has this as it's setting.
  • Duke Nukem 3D has the expansion pack Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach, set on a tropical island resort with the weapons and enemies palette-swapped to fit the theme (i.e. a super soaker instead of a shotgun, Pig Cops wearing hula skirts, etc.) and featuring new bouncing dinosaur life preserver enemies.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind takes place on the island of Vvardenfell, a tropical island off of mainland Morrowind centered around the largest volcano in Tamriel, Red Mountain, home to all sorts of weird exotic beasts and scenery.
  • This is the setting for Far Cry and Far Cry 3, both being set on fictional tropical islands with the Rook Islands of 3 implied to be somewhere near Thailand, and the sequel to the console version of Far Cry 1, Far Cry Instincts: Evolution, takes place in Indonesia.
  • Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine has the Palawan Lagoon level, taking place on a tropical island chain in the Philippines.
  • In Kingdom Hearts, Sora, Riku and Kairi's home world is Destiny Islands, a tropical island which acts as the tutorial area for the first game and a late-game world in Chain of Memories, and has several cutscenes set there in other games in the series. The 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep incarnations of Neverland are also a series of tropical islands, as are Port Royal and The Caribbean from Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III respectively.
  • The Mega Man Legends series has this as its main setting, being set on a series of tropical islands created after the world was flooded long ago.
  • The Monkey Island series, being set in the Caribbean, takes place on various tropical islands, including the titular Monkey Island.
  • Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening has Link shipwrecked on the tropical Koholint Island after a storm while at sea, and the adventure is about him trying to wake the Wind Fish so he can escape it. The island and its inhabitants aren't actually real, being manifestations of the Wind Fish's dreams, and once he awakens, they disappear, with Link waking up on the wreckage of his ship in the middle of the sea.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages has a section where Link is shipwrecked on a tropical island called Crescent Island, where the third dungeon, Moonlit Grotto, is located. Link's equipment is stolen by a race of native lizard-like creatures called Tokay while he's unconscious, and he must search around the island to get it back and be able to access the dungeon.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is set on a series of tropical islands on a sea known as the Great Sea, being a departure from the Medieval European Fantasy setting of the rest of the series. These islands are actually the mountaintops of Hyrule, which was flooded by the Gods in a desperate attempt to stop Ganon after he returned and Ocarina of Time Link disappeared, and the inhabitants are the descendants of survivors of the flood.
    • Being a direct sequel to Wind Waker, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is also set on a series of tropical islands on a sea, this time called the World of the Ocean King, and like Link's Awakening, it's also seemingly a dream world, with Link and Tetra winding up back on their boat after Bellum is defeated and the Ocean King regains his strength, though Link finds the Phantom Hourglass on him after waking up and sees Linebeck sailing away in the distance.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has a trial taking place on Eventide Island. Doubles as a No-Gear Level as any weapons or armor Link has up to this point is stripped away, forcing Link to get new weapons to use until the trial is completed.
  • Leisure Suit Larry 2: Looking for Love (in Several Wrong Places) and Leisure Suit Larry 3: Passionate Patti in Pursuit of the Pulsating Pectorals take place on Nontoonyt Island, a tropical island in the South Pacific ruled by the evil Dr. Nonookee.
  • The setting of Lets Go Island is a tropical island.
  • The Lost in Blue/Survival Kids series, with the main character being stranded on a tropical island where they have to survive and find a way off it.
  • Monster Hunter Tri, and by extension 3 Ultimate, are set in the tropical Moga island, though some of the hunting areas are located elsewhere (this includes Misty Peaks, which is part of Yukumo Village).
  • Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, set in the Hoenn region, a series of tropical islands based on Kyushu, Japan. This is also the setting of Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon, this time in Alola, a region based on Hawaii.
  • Poptropica has a series of tropical islands as it's setting, as the game's name suggests.
  • In the Dreamcast version of Rayman 2, the Hall of Doors is replaced with the Isle of Doors, placing the game on a tropical island. The Sanctuary of Water and Ice is also located on a tropical island in every version except the PS1 version, where it is instead merged with Whale Bay.
  • In Red Dead Redemption II, Chapter Five takes place on an island in the Caribbean called Guarma that the protagonists get shipwrecked on. Unfortunately, the owner of the island is already aware that they're wanted men with a large bounty in the US.
  • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus has Episode 3, "Vicious Voodoo", set in the Haitian jungle where Mz. Ruby is hiding out, and Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves has the final two Episodes, "Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "Honor Among Thieves", the former set on a series of tropical islands in the Caribbean known as Blood Bath Bay, inhabited by hostile hermits stuck in the pirate traditions of their forefathers, and the latter (as well as the prologue of the game, "Beginning of the End") set in Kaine Island, a tropical island in the South Pacific home to the Cooper Vault and currently taken over by Dr. M and his mutant henchmen.
  • As the name implies, a tropical island is the primary setting of the Startropics series.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog, the Game Gear version of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic Chaos take place on South Island, a tropical island in the middle of the ocean and Sonic's home.
    • Sonic 3 & Knuckles, set on the tropical Floating Island, with the first zone, Angel Island Zone, being particularly tropical.
    • Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island is set on the titular tropical Flicky Island, home to a species of birds known as Flickies who can travel through dimension via giant rings, which Robotnik plans to use to seize the seven Chaos Emeralds and take over the world.
    • Sonic Rush Adventure is set on a series of tropical islands, with Sonic and Tails waking up on one after the Tornado is struck by lightning and crashes.
    • Sonic Unleashed has Sonic visit Adabat, a country consisting of a series of tropical islands based on a mishmash of various Southeast Asian countries, including Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
  • Super Lucky's Tale has the Gilly Island DLC, set on a tropical island currently being harassed by Lady Meowmalade.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, set on Pi'illo Island, a tropical island in the middle of the sea where the Mario Bros. and Princess Peach were invited to for vacation.
    • Chapter 5 of Paper Mario 64, Hot Hot Times on Lavalava Island, as well as Chapter 5 of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, The Key to Pirates, set on Keelhaul Key, a tropical island and former pirate hideout where the Sapphire Star is hidden.
    • Super Mario Odyssey has Mario crash-landing in the Lost Kingdom, a series of tropical islands over a sea of poison, when the Odyssey is shot down after the first fight with Bowser, and having to explore the islands and find Power Moons to repair it and continue to the Metro Kingdom.
    • Super Mario Sunshine, set on the tropical Delfino Island, where Mario was going on vacation but is framed and not allowed to leave until he has cleaned up the pollution around the island and collected the Shine Sprites.
    • The Yoshi's Island series, set on the titular tropical Yoshi's Island.
  • Tomb Raider III has the South Pacific Islands, a series of levels set in tropical islands full of cannibal tribesmen and dinosaurs in, judging by the location of the marker on the map, the Philippines (or at least the Sulu Sea).
  • The Tropico series takes place on a tropical island country in the Caribbean called Tropico, with you in the role of El Presidente, the dictator of the country.
  • TY the Tasmanian Tiger has the levels "Ship Rex" and "Rex Marks the Spot", set on a series of tropical islands. The third game has an Escort Mission with Dennis on KakaBoom Island, another tropical island.
  • Uncharted:
    • The majority of Uncharted: Drake's Fortune takes place on Versteckte Insel, a tropical island and former Spanish colony where El Dorado is supposedly located. El Dorado is actually a sarcophagus containing a deadly plague that turns people into zombies, and the descendants of the Spaniards and Nazis that later discovered the island still inhabit the place.
    • Chapters 3 & 4 of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves take place in Borneo, with Drake being there in search of the Cintamani Stone, taking down one of Lazarevic's camps there and finding a Phurba and map to the location of Shambhala in Nepal.
    • Most of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is set in Madagascar, with Drake searching for pirate Henry Avery's treasure hidden in the pirate colony of Libertalia, and the latter part of the game takes place in Libertalia itself, also a tropical island.
  • Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana takes place on the deserted Isle of Seiren after the ship the protagonist, Adol, and several castaways were on gets destroyed by a sea monster.

    Western Animation 
  • Coconut Fred's Fruit Salad Island, being about the adventures of the titular character on his tropical island.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog has the episode "Klub Katz", where Courage, Muriel and Eustace end up shipwrecked on a tropical island while going on a vacation cruise, which turns out to be a front for Katz, turning people into machines and having them fight each other for his amusement while under the guise of being the owner of a five star resort.
  • Evil Con Carne takes place on Bunny Island, a tropical island owned by Villain Protagonist Hector Con Carne and his henchmen. His rival, Estroy, also has his own tropical island, Skull Island.
  • This is the main setting of Mike, Lu & Og, set on a tropical island called Albonquetine.
  • Teen Titans Go! has the "Island Adventures" arc, which was 5 episodes with the Titans stranded on a tropical island. Each episode focused on some different island-themed pop culture parody like Jurassic Park, Gilligan's Island, and Predator.
  • Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers and Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest are both set on tropical islands.
  • The primary setting of Wakfu, set on a series of tropical islands created after the world got flooded by the tears of a giant Ogre.
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