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File:Bending destiny 4603.jpg

A bending road, a tiny raincloud, a city in the middle of space, and a sun and starry night right next to each other. All seems pretty normal to me.


"...Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain

Where rocking-horse people eat marshmallow pies...

Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers

That grow so incredibly high..."
The Beatles, "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"

Improbable fauna, impossible flora, and--oh my--the sky's started melting. Yep, looks like you're in a World of Chaos.

This setting is a bizarre mixture of elements from our world thrown into a blender, with a few squirts of lemon and a pinch of LSD. Everything comes together in outlandish and unpredictable combinations. Bright colors, strange creatures, and total disregard for logic are all in play. Anything can and will happen.

It may be the result of a Mushroom Samba, or be All Just a Dream of someone with a particularly vivid imagination. But if it's real, the characters will need a lot of luck, and their intuition will be more valuable than intellect. Worlds of Chaos are places of great whimsy and danger, much of which stems from the inability to comprehend what's at work in them. In this respect, they're like The Fair Folk in the form of a place.

Alien Geometries may be commonplace. Not to be confused with Planet Eris, which is a more mundane world with some fantastic elements. Worlds inhabited by Starfish Aliens may not qualify, as they may have a little more internal consistency even if they're beyond our comprehension, plus the inclusion of recognizable elements is what gives this setting much of its edge.

There's a good possibility you'll find yourself having tea with Cthulhu--possibly literally, if someone is simultaneously homaging Alice in Wonderland and H.P. Lovecraft. Compare Eldritch Location, Cloudcuckooland, Planet Eris and Reality Is Out to Lunch.


Anime and Manga

  • Paprika.
  • The place things (and people) go when Guu swallows them certainly seems to qualify.


Comic Books

  • The fictional world in Grant Morrison's Flex Mentallo can be probably considered an example of this trope before it's revealed it actually was weirdly intermixed with the normal world. Or was it?..
  • The realm of Dream in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, being the world where dreams happen. His sister Delirium's realm, even more so.
    • To elaborate, The Dreaming is where your mind goes every night when you fall asleep. It has a sort of logic of its own, but the laws of physics are more like guidelines. Delirium's realm is where your mind goes when you're crazy, and what little is seen of it is pure stream-of-consciousness chaos.
  • Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Jim Steranko, among many others, were highly adept at depicting these.
  • Dr. Strange wandered into these frequently when battling the villains Nightmare (dream worlds) and Dormammu



Live Action TV


  • Some songs by The Beatles are set in such a world:
    • "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", quoted in this article.
    • "I Am The Walrus"
    • "Glass Onion"
    • The animated film Yellow Submarine, which features The Beatles, is mostly set there, too.
  • Music videos by Chad van Gaalen.

Tabletop Games

  • Daemon Worlds in Warhammer 40000 are literally worlds of Chaos, where the laws of nature do not apply and everything is governed by the will of the Chaos Gods and their daemons, which is VERY bad because the moods and desires of Daemons change more often than you would think possible.
  • As you might expect, the lower levels of Wonderland in JAGS Wonderland.
  • Limbo in Planescape is another literal chaos world, a roiling mixture of all the elements that forms a vast primordial soup out of which emerge the strangest damn things. Order can be imposed temporarily by the willpower and imagination of sentient beings--but that just means that you really need to pay attention.
  • And while on the subject of Dungeons and Dragons, the Far Realm, as expected of a Lovecraft-inspired plane, definitely qualifies.
  • The Wyld of Exalted.
  • Arcadia from Changeling: The Lost is so defined by chaos that the True Fae stake their existence on constant conflict with one another for more glories and titles; if they don't, they fade away into the background and are eventually undone.

Video Games

  • While the later Super Mario games tried to establish a viable, somewhat consistent Wonderland, the first one just plunged you right into a world where you were a plumber of Italian descent who must rescue a "princess Toadstool" by defeating a turtle-dragon while killing evil walking mushrooms with eyes, turtles with wings, carnivore plants growing out of green pipes and other similar enemies. Oh, and if you eat a mushroom which comes out of a shining floating block with a question sign, you grow bigger, and if you pick a flower, you can shoot bouncing fireballs. Jumping stars, climbable beanstalks, walking on clouds and jumping several times your height ensue.
    • In fact, one could say that the series has used this as a "spring off point", so to speak; because it makes little sense, anyway, Mario can go anywhere-Space, inside other characters, and the past are some examples.
  • Chaosrrealm in Mortal Kombat.
    • Inverted with Seido, which still has bizarre alien geometry. (It's torus-shaped and made of floating rectangles connected by bridges which make perfect lines.)
  • In an old Macintosh children's game called The Manhole, you could climb a beanstalk growing out of the titular manhole: at the very top, you find a forest at night, in the middle of which is a tower that's actually a chess piece sitting in the corner of a vast network of underground canals- which you only realise when you reach the top of the tower. With the aid of a gondola-rowing elephant, you can use the canals to pay a visit to a walrus captain who operates an elevator that somehow arrives in a sunken ship, or you can carry on rowing and find yourself in the teacup of a talking rabbit who lives inside a fire hydrant just across from the Manhole.
    • Said sunken ship can also be reached by climbing down the beanstalk, thereby making the whole thing circular. And there's a door on the sunken ship that takes you into a room full of flowers. Plus if you go inside the fire hydrant house, you can use a copy of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to go back up to the tower.
    • Cosmic Osmo, by the same developers, is built on the same trope (but IN SPACE). Said developers were later responsible for the Myst series. This explains a lot.
  • Possibly the Wario Land series, as a spinoff of Super Mario Bros.. For example, the Big Board level, where every single thing that happens relies on the dice blocks found in the level, and getting certain numbers can result in anything from being struck by lightning to enemies appearing to being set on fire.
  • Speaking of Alice in Wonderland, there also was an eponymous Commodore 64 game which featured a world which was a mix of all the nonsense from both original books plus some extra nonsense added, like a house inside a chess board inside a house inside a bath machine inside a house inside another house which is located underground. You may read a Let's Play of this game here.
  • And American McGee's Alice, which is a darker version of this.
  • Endermen in Minecraft, given enough time, will inevitably turn the world into something along these lines with their block moving abilities. See this video for the damage endermen can cause over a period of 3 years on a server.
  • The Mystery Vortex in Sam and Max Hit The Road. The overall setting of the game is faintly surreal, but inside the Mystery Vortex, Reality Is Out to Lunch and won't be returning in any foreseeable future: warped perspectives, M. C. Escher furniture, doors that make you too small or too tall to open them, inverted gravity, booths that contain chaos dimensions, control rooms hidden inside mirrors, forests of shoe trees, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!
  • A Roguelike named Ragnarok (not to be confused with the manhwa or the MMORPG of the manhwa), while purportedly based on Norse mythology (but with plenty of other stuff thrown in for no particular reason), has a plane called Chaos that you can travel or be banished to. Every step you take, the entire terrain re-randomizes.
  • Final Fantasy IX has "Memoria", a mindscape created above the Iifa tree where Zidane and his party face off against Kuja in the final disc; it's a jumble of scenes and buildings gathered from the collective memory of the entire planet, where it's possible to walk through a giant, city-destroying eyeball into the ruins of a town it just attacked, walk up a staircase leading into space, pass through a waterfall and find yourself swimming through an ancient coral reef, or climb a ladder that overlooks the birth of the planet itself. Thankfully, Garland's around to explain what's happening.
  • The final world of Kingdom Hearts follows this trope. The world is made of bits and pieces of destroyed worlds mixed in with lots of darkness to hold things together.
    • Additionally, the final boss is actually called "World of Chaos."
  • I Wanna Be the Guy.
  • Yume Nikki. Somewhat justified in that it's a dream, but even as far as dreams go it's weird.
  • This is the schtick of Mira, the 'continent of illusions' from Baten Kaitos.
  • The "End of the World" stage in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Every stage features a different character to play as, and different levels altogether, there are giant wormholes that warp the colors while simultaneously vacuuming you into them, monsters made of lava and purple stuff attack you at any given moment, the environment changes from lava to forest to temple to desert at a moment's notice, and it is more or less designed to freak you out and confuse you.

Web Comics

  • This trope is a major part of the appeal of Axe Cop, where everything that happens is driven by whatever seems cool to its six-year-old writer.
  • Someone in the cast of Dominic Deegan Oracle For Hire has found themselves in one of these at least once per story-arc.

Web Original

  • The flash games Samorost and Samorost 2.
  • Possibly, the Grow series of flash games.
  • The forum adventure Problem Sleuth is set mostly in one, only accessible through the forts the main characters make from their desks.
  • Parodies on the Nightmare City flash movies made by a guy called Nch from a certain Image Board transform the setting from a furry sci-fi one into a World of Chaos composed of various Image Board memes.

Western Animation

  • Earthworm Jim lives in such a world universe.
  • Several cartoons by Aleksandr Tatarskiy, especially The Last Year's Snow Was Falling, which gained a cult status in the USSR.
  • The cartoon Porky in Wackyland and its spinoffs.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series
    • "The Magicks of Megas-Tu. The planet Megas-Tu is totally chaotic, and the only order is that imposed by its residents, the Magicks. Because of the time they spent on Earth, the things they create resemble those from Earth's past.
    • The so-called "Mad Planet" in "The Jihad" may not technically violate any physical laws, but it undergoes constant radical geophysical changes combined with unpredictable weather.
  • Adventure Time crosses over into this often, leaving the established D&D-inspired setting for places like Lumpy Space and the Crystal Dimension, often with little warning.
    • The Nightosphere, a hellish world where Marceline's Eldritch Abomination father resides, is explicitly stated to thrive off chaos. Most of Marceline's dad's job (which also became Marceline's job when she briefly wore his evil amulet) involved ruling over their realm like an Obstructive Bureaucrat, dishing out pointless rules and cruel tricks on apathetic and confused demons.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: This is what Equestria becomes under Discord's influence, he being the embodiment of strife and disharmony. Features include cotton candy clouds that rain chocolate, fresh corn being popped, and the animals that feed on the giant apples fed by the rain growing long deer legs. And that's just after the opening credits.
    • Soon enough he's got day and night switching every few minutes, chunks of land flying around upside-down, flying earth ponies, giant houses of cards, roads turning into soap...

Real Life

  • Dreams.
    • And drug-induced hallucinations.
  • Turbulence. Many cases where a simple equilibrium solution is unstable. In fact, classical mechanics got a renewal in physics research a few decades ago, in the study of chaos.