|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
A beautiful, seemingly utopian community which is not what it seems. Often either under control of a morally questionable conspiracy or demented super computer, or protected by a Deal with the Devil. May even be an entire town of Well Intentioned Extremists.
Not quite the same as Town with a Dark Secret as these are usually not particularly idyllic nor do they have The Village's uncanny quality. May overlap with Stepford Suburbia. Contrast Quirky Town. A Wrong Genre Savvy character may take it for a Close Knit Community — or vice versa.
Anime and Manga
- Can you say Hinamizawa? A gorgeous little Japanese town in the country where everyone knows everyone's name can't possibly be bad.
- It would probably be faster to list the towns in Kino's Journey that don't fit in the description, than those that do.
- And practically the only ones that don't fit the trope are the ones that are obviously quirky or dangerous.
- Soil New Town: It's so picture-perfect you just know something bad's happening. Compared with the possible alternate dimension shenanigans ripping apart the whole world the Adult Fears like a pedophile dentist raping all the boys for about a decade while keeping the whole town under survailence with hidden cameras are much worse fortunately he gets his; unfortunately his favorite victim's the one who wants to destroy the world.
- Shyamalan's The Village, former Trope Namer.
- Sandford from Hot Fuzz is a textbook example of this setting.
- Subverted in Big Fish - the whole town just seems... off, but there's nothing actually wrong with it.
- Nothing more wrong than the fact that they're something between The Fair Folk and the dead, and want all visitors to stay forever. They don't make you, though.
- Of course, when he comes back it's turned into a real place, and faded into poverty and age.
- Rockwell Falls in Population 436.
- Idyllic Stepford from The Stepford Wives.
- The setting of The Giver.
- In Watership Down, the rabbits come upon a warren where food is abundant and everything seems perfect, except that the entire place has been set with traps by the local farmer. The inhabitants know this but don't care, even as their population is dying off.
- It's hinted at being a metaphor for socialism.
- In Running Out of Time, the protagonist finds out that her whole village that she thought was in the eighteenth century was actually a tourist attraction. It turns out their true use is to make a master race of people stronger than the disease there.
- In Candor by Pam Bachorz, the protagonist's father created a town where everybody is happy and there is no crime by putting subliminal messages in the music played through speakers in the town.
- Harfang from The Chronicles of Narnia. Seems like a beautiful, luxurious city, until you find out that the so-called Gentle Giants will eat any creature that isn't a giant, including their guests.
- This is pretty much the basis of the story The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Also contains all the creepy tropes associated with such.
- The Prisoner has The Village, the trope namer.
- The Star Trek original series episodes "The Return of the Archons", "The Apple", "Shore Leave", "This Side of Paradise", "Errand of Mercy", "Plato's Stepchildren" (Though that one's more a Town with a Dark Secret), and "The Cloud Minders". Star Trek: The Next Generation had "Encounter At Farpoint" and "Justice".
- The Invisible Man TV series had an episode set in "The Community", a Village for secret agents who blew their cover.
- An episode of The Avengers called "Murdersville".
- The X-Files has Arcadia (6x13), a beautiful, peaceful planned community with a sinister secret.
- Stargate SG-1 had an episode Revisions featuring a town so pretty and perfect that this troper knew at once the Team was in trouble.
- The village of Milbury in Children of the Stones
- The Torchwood episode "Countrycide" explores a nice-looking country village, where the villagers have a decennnial event in which they eat whoever passes through.
- American Gothic situates in such a town, with their very own devil acting as the sherif.
- Bright Falls, WA is an excellent example, with the twist being that most of it's denizens are hopelessly unaware of the ongoing horror because it is technically captured inside a Stephen King-esque horror plot itself, implemented by said dark forces with the help of the human protagonist. In other words, it was literally written to be this trope.
- Earthbound has several of these.
- Haven from Dragon Age.
- Tranquillity Lane from Fallout 3.
- Andale from the same game.
- The quaint little town of Wychford in the Real Adventures of Jonny Quest episode "Village of the Doomed" turns out to be this (as if the title wasn't ominous enough). When Jonny and his father Benton Quest arrive at the town for a bonding fishing trip, the townsfolk all seem very nice and polite. Then the Quests get attacked by a rabid man and they find out he has a microchip implanted in the back of his neck, which can be activated to control his emotions and has malfunctioned, setting the man on a permanent Unstoppable Rage. They start to investigate the case. Turns out, Dr. Smallwood, the Mad Scientist who created the controlling microchip had been experimenting with all of the town's inhabitants, only everybody else's chips are set to "permanently nice" mode. Once Smallwood figures out that the Quests are sticking their nose in his business, he flips the switch on the chips, transforming the whole town into a horde of zombie-like, mindless, aggressive, drooling Mooks. Not quite the quiet vacation Jonny and Benton were hoping for.
- The second half of The Simpsons episode "The Computer Wore Menace Shoes" centers on The Island, an Affectionate Parody of The Village from The Prisoner.
- "There is no war in Ba Sing Se."