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Playing With / Crapsaccharine World

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Basic Trope: A place or setting that seems nice, but really isn't.

  • Straight: Sugarville is a beautiful, tidy town with kind and smiling citizens and virtually no poverty or crime. Eventually it turns out that the town is secretly run by a murderous cult.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Sugarville has perpetually nice weather, every day is a holiday, and everyone is singing, dancing and having fun all the time. Eventually, it turns out the townspeople are prisoners in their own bodies that are controlled like puppets by an Eldritch Abomination. It also turns out all of them is very much aware of this, but are absolutely, thoroughly conditioned to not give out any details their true situation by the thing holding them under its control. Because of this, throughout their lives they all secretly live in fear of the risk of being forcefully killed should they be caught showing any emotion other than bliss and joy.
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    • Sugarville is a Vice City.
    • Sugarville's criminals are all locked up, visitors are welcomed by beautiful women, nobody does everything without the approval of the majority, and everyone has a place. Except the "criminals" are actually innocents Convicted by Public Opinion and are subject to brutal public executions, while the actual criminals run free. The public is a bunch of sheep easily led by a couple corrupt maniacs, and those beautiful women? All begin their careers as "Welcomers" at the age of sixteen, and are lusted after and sexualized constantly by older town members, any attempt to make something of themselves overshadowed by their beauty. And at night, aforementioned actual criminals stalk the streets, and brutalize anybody unlucky enough to cross their path. When the only sane man finally snaps and begins to give the town a collective "The Reason You Suck" Speech, he's treated by everybody as a liar and a spoilsport.
  • Downplayed:
    • Sugarville looks like a decent town, but citizens have an extreme political ideology.
    • Sugarville is a beautiful, tidy town with kind and smiling citizens and virtually no poverty or crime. However, it's more nuanced and realistic than it looks. Actual violent crime does happen even if it's much less frequent (it's not just Mr. Meanie stealing a little food for selfish reasons like in a Sugar Bowl; it's actual murder, robbery, arson, rape, jaywalking, and those kinds of things). It seems more jarring because of how bright and happy everything is. Hence, in this case, the setting is more of The Pollyanna than a Stepford Smiler.
    • From Bad to Worse: Sugarvile already looks bad as a Gangster Land.
    • Most of the world really is as pleasant as it looks, but the resident vile villain operates out of a Stepford Suburbia that doesn't initially look any different than the rest of the cheery world.
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    • Beacon seems to be a basically functional, sane town, and this is enough to make it a beacon of hope in a Crapsack World. It isn't functional or sane.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted: The people that talk about the dark secrets admit that there were rumors.
  • Double Subverted: Except that was the result of the Big Bad's mind control.
  • Parodied:
    • Bob the unsuspecting traveler tours cheerfully around the town, oblivious to the black robes on cloth-lines, the hanging rope that doubles as a children's swing and surprisingly large knives in his hostess' kitchen.
    • Alternatively, Bob finds out everyone in Sugarville is having a giant sex party.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • The nice and peaceful city turns out to have traps placed in all the homes! But they only activate if somebody other than those on an approved list, keeping intruders out. But they seem to get oddly violent when you talk about the outside world. Actually, one of their best citizens who helped to get the city running as well as it is write a guide to talking with people outside of the community named "the outside world".
    • Sugarville is a dirt-poor hamlet in an inhospitable wasteland, and all villagers are ugly, grim-faced and snarky. However, most of them seem content with their lives and have a warm community. Then it is revealed they are prisoners in their own bodies controlled and mind-raped by an Eldritch Abomination who farm and eat their souls.
  • Averted: Sugarville is either as good or as bad of a place as it appears.
  • Enforced: "So we need a Crapsack World, but let's make it a Sunshine Noir."
  • Lampshaded: "But it all looked so cute and nice!"
  • Invoked: The Big Bad disguises his People Farm as a utopia to lure people into it.
  • Defied: Sugarville really is a Sugar Bowl despite having some real world problems, it only seems Crapsaccharine because it's not 100% perfect.
  • Exploited: The hero steals all the unused items and sees all the cameras before entering. He loads all the items in his caravan before interacting with the town.
  • Discussed: "This place is way too happy for a show like this. I bet half of those people are psycho murderers."
  • Conversed: "Why does it seem that the nicer a place is, the worse a secret it has?"

Back to Crapsaccharine World, where everyone is happy! Granted, it's because those who refuse to take their mind control drugs are quietly disappeared, but still...

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