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Playing With / A Hell of a Time

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Basic Trope: Hell turns out to be a fun place to be.

  • Straight: Character goes to hell, doesn't suffer the torments, uses the pit of eternal fire to keep his feet warm, has a party with the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • Exaggerated: Everyone goes to hell and indulges in every sin, turns Hell into a World of Badass, has parties also known as orgies all the time, has lots of sex with the Horny Devils.
  • Downplayed: While most of Hell is just as horrific as advertised, if you can get into management, you get to live in the decadent luxury suites and party.
  • Justified:
    • The Devil is basically a god of disorder and hedonism, like Dionysus, who got Hijacked by Jesus into a God of Evil.
    • God created Hell to scare people into acting morally, but is so loving that he doesn't actually want to torture anyone. He still sends people to Hell since he won't break his word, but it's made to be almost as good as Heaven.
    • Hell is Eternal separation from God's laws, which means more freedom, making Hell a Wide Open Sandbox compared to the monotonous totalitarianism of Heaven.
    • The Devil has to live in hell too, and he isn't particularly inclined to punish people on behalf of God — this is exactly his kind of people!
    • The damned have gotten used to any torture Hell can throw.
    • The people sent to Hell were good people, they just didn't believe in God. The Devil thinks they shouldn't suffer for that.
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    • The Ruler of Hell is a God of Evil. Of course he's going to make evil men have a Karma Houdini to spite morality!
    • Satan is doing it to spite God. He's no longer associated with the Almighty, so why should he do God's job for Him?
    • Satan's job is first and foremost to be a warden and keep them contained. It is far easier to keep them trapped in a Lotus-Eater Machine than it is having to deal with legions of the damned using an eternity to scheme their escapes. Allowing even one to escape would have dire consequences. Thus its inhabitants becoming Karma Houdinis is a small price to pay to protect innocents.
    • The character is a Sadist, but was too kind-hearted in life to act on their fantasies. God sends them to Hell as a reward so they can act out on the irredeemably evil. After all, every prison needs wardens.
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  • Inverted: Character goes to Heaven and finds it awful and boring.
  • Subverted:
    • A character goes to hell, gets shown rooms with various affairs that are actually quite nice, gets reminded that these are for the people the Devil likes and then gets shoved in a torture chamber.
    • Heaven takes the form of whatever paradise your heart desires. A Dark Is Not Evil metalhead's Heaven, therefore, seems to be this trope until an angel clarifies. Actual Hell sucks.
    • It's an Ironic Hell that looks great at first, but multiply by an eternity...
  • Double Subverted:
    • As above but then the character realises he doesn't have a body anymore and the torture doesn't hurt, or he likes the torture.
    • As above, but the Devil is Affably Evil, and it's very easy to get on his good side.
  • Parodied: Hell is A Party, Also Known as an Orgy and The Devil is a really prissy, preening host in a cocktail dress who is overly concerned with your well being.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Hell turns out to be a huge party, but the food causes extreme pain. The Devil admits he had made a mistake and cures everyone's pain, but accidentally takes out some of their organs. Eventually, people regrow them, and the party continues...
    • Hell is a place for the impure. Some suffer the classic hell. However, those who are only mildly sinful have a good time. Those who have properly atoned and/or suffered enough even get to join the good parts of it as well.
  • Averted: Hell is the fiery torture chamber it is usually known as.
  • Enforced: The Execs want a Darker and Edgier show with some demon characters and the trip to hell is just an excuse to get them to join the band of protagonists.
  • Lampshaded: "Wow, it's like the Devil made a version of hell designed to just disagree with the Bible."
  • Invoked: The devil is trying to win his war against heaven, and needs all the followers he can corrupt, so he stops torturing people and starts giving them a reason to follow him while corrupting them in the process.
  • Exploited: Striking down Emperor Evulz, Bob tells him, "I hope you rot in hell." Evulz just chuckles at this and dies with a spiteful laugh. He has seen hell, and he knows he will love it there.
  • Defied: "You are in Hell and by the Lightbringer you are going to hate it here!"
  • Discussed: Those "screams of the damned" you hear. Yeah, they're the fans of a local rock concert.
  • Conversed: "Eventually, someone would rather choose the wretched hive instead of spending an eternity of boredom with those Fundamentalists.''
  • Deconstructed:
    • The torments are far more subtle than a Lake of Fire, but over time (which the damned have nothing but) prove at least as effective.
    • Imagine being at a party where every rapist, cannibal, spree killer, mass murderer, and all the most heinous criminals to have ever walked the face of the earth were invited. Now imagine you can never leave.
    • The lawless party becomes a groundwork for widespread anarchy and the creation of a Wretched Hive, causing the people to lose all inhibitions and become more corrupt and shameless and less peaceful, eventually making them maltreat and/or rape each other, torment the weaker inhabitants and generally becoming mutual jerkasses in an orgy of Social Darwinism. It's revealed that the eternal punishment is not the Lake of Fire, and that Real Hell Is Other People.
    • The mindless party causes the inhabitants to become mindless animals themselves.
    • Mindless Hedonism actually gets boring after a few hundreds of years. The people in Heaven, however, having long detached themselves from any hedonistic acts, are actually content with their afterlife.
  • Reconstructed:
    • The complexities of the ironies of torments and chaos make the underworld as complex as mortal life and ultimately becomes just as under your control over how it turns out. Everybody ends up making an underworld not unlike the overworld including its good times.
    • No matter how much of a Wretched Hive it is, Hell's conflicts and complexities will still allow for all varieties of creativity, ideas and/or tropes to flow in, be played and interact in interesting ways, especially when compared to the monotony of heaven.
  • Implied: Character is rescued from Hell, but doesn't seem especially relieved.

We hope you have A Hell of a Time at the Styx Riverwalk and the Bottomless Bar-B-Q Pit!

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