Hell on Earth

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
If Hell is a can, this is what happens when that can is opened.

So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him.

"Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time."
The Bible, Revelation 12:9,12

A subtrope of The End of the World as We Know It, Hell on Earth is what happens when The Legions of Hell decide to invade our world. Maybe some ancient ritual went horribly wrong (or All According to Plan) and opened a Hell Gate, maybe the border between our world and Hell got torn asunder, maybe our heroes unleashed it themselves by mistake. What the demons want mainly depends on the type of story and the type of demons involved. Whether they want to enslave us, annihilate us, eat us or worse, expect things to get a whole lot worse for anyone who isn't a demon.

As an End of the World scenario, most of the time when this shows up in media, it's an Evil Plan that has to be stopped lest all be lost, and usually does get stopped Just in Time. But in some stories and series, the end has already happened, or happens in story, and now the heroes have to survive and hopefully find a way to either kill the demons or send them back where they came from and make sure that this doesn't happen again.

Examples of Hell on Earth include:

Anime and Manga

  • The latest arc of the Berserk manga has this happening due to Griffith/Femto redirecting the Skull Knight's dimension-warping attack into Shiva, the Eldritch Abomination form of Emperor Ganishka, and using its power to fuse the planes of existence together with the mortal world.
  • Devilman ends this way. The human race is completely annihilated, down to the hero's love interest, her little brother, and the hero himself.
  • In The World God Only Knows, the ultimate goal of the New Hell terrorist organization Vintage is to restore the Weiss (Old Devils) to power and create a new Hell on Earth as the war which resulted in the sealing of the Weiss rendered Old Hell an uninhabitable wasteland.

Comic Books

  • This is the backstory of Battle Pope.
  • Hellboy will potentially cause and/or prevent this. Indeed, the second cycle of BPRD comics is even entitled Hell on Earth.
  • Angel: Inverted: Los Angeles was dragged into Hell instead of vice-versa. Nevertheless, the effect is pretty much the same for those trapped there.
  • This is the plot of the Inferno storyline in Marvel, with all New York-based superheroes wrapped up in the madness (though the main storyline happens in the X-Men titles).
  • In the Venom storyline Circle of Four, Blackheart unleashes hell on Los Angeles and attempts to spread it across the world.


  • The Arnold Schwarzenegger movie End of Days focuses on Arnold's character trying to stop a plot to bring Hell to earth.
  • The second Warlock movie has its title character, the son of Satan, trying to bring his master to earth and bring about this scenario.
  • Constantine has Satan's son Mammon and the Big Bad Gabriel trying to bring Hell to Earth.
  • In Swimming to Cambodia, Spalding Gray thinks the world is bad enough as is.

Spalding: Who needs metaphors for hell, or poetry about hell? This actually happened, here on this earth. Pregnant mothers disemboweled, eyes gouged out. Kids, children, torn apart like fresh bread in front of their mothers. And this went on for years until two million people were either systematically killed or starved to death.


  • Older Than Feudalism: The Bible: The Biblical Tribulation and Armageddon.
  • Some mythologies say that at the end of time, the dead or damned would overrun the Earth, either leading it to be a utopia (some Native American religions), or signaling the time of Ragnarok (Norse Mythology).
  • In James Blish's Black Easter, the Valley of Death materializes (appropriately enough) at Death Valley.
  • Mike Carey's Felix Castor novels
  • In the Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand, a Slaneeshi cult is trying to turn an entire planet into a warp portal where daemons can enter the physical plane at will.
  • This is the ultimate plan of The Nameless One in the Griffins Daughter Trilogy: He plans to open a portal to the demon world and use a magical artifact to turn the demons into his personal army. That the world gets turned into the demons' playground is pretty much a bonus for him.

Live Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • The Wishverse, which was created when Cordelia wished that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, definitely counts as this.
    • Glory intended to use Dawn to get home. This would incidentally cause every other dimension to fuse into earth, leading to massive influx of demons. The Master also intended to open the Hellmouth to cause this.
  • Angel''s fourth season featured the Beast blotting out the sun, making L.A. a haven for vampires.
    • And the end of season 5 and After The Fall gave us the Hell-A demon playground, at least until it was undone by the Powers That Be.
  • In Supernatural, Sam breaks the final seal by killing Lilith and unleashes Lucifer from his imprisonment. Lucifer's intention now is to do this, make Hell on Earth. And he's going to do it soon. Really. Any day now. We promise. It's coming...

Tabletop Games

  • In the fan-made Feng Shui adventure, "The Day the Human Race Died," a critical shift results in Hell on Earth as the demons take over and round up humans in concentration camps to be exterminated. One of the PCs is even the commandant of one of the camps, and sweet little Shih Yet Kwai, who the PCs rescued from a Serial Killer in a previous adventure, pulls a Sarah Connor and becomes the leader of the human resistance against the demons. The heroes have to battle a demon worshipping ninja cult aboard the Titanic as it's about to get sunk in order to get things back to normal.
  • Obviously, Deadlands: Hell on Earth. The demons in question were the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
  • Oh, and while we're at it, Warhammer Fantasy Battle. The poles of the Warhammer planet are literal gates of Hell.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has daemons of Chaos invading mortal worlds every now and then, either because of a Warp Storm, an unfortunate psyker getting possessed, or simply because the daemons managed to tear a rift in reality. Unless the Inquisition manages to stop the daemonic incursion, things tend to get very, very bad for the inhabitants of the unfortunate world. Hell, even if the incursion is contained, things tend to get bad for the inhabitants of the world, as the Inquisition usually judges them to be tainted by Chaos and purges them all, just in case.
    • To make things worse, because the number of psykers born is increasing every year, and the Astronomican (Humanity's source for Faster-Than-Light Travel) is losing power, daemonic incursions are becoming more and more common. One fifth of the galaxy overlaps with the Warp.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, the Phyrexian invasion. After a certain point, the invasion continued by way of physically overlaying another plane, filled with millions of demonic soldiers, onto Dominaria. Fortunately, Urza had been running a Xanatos Roulette across thousands of years to prepare; still, it very nearly wasn't enough. The Phyrexians would later go on to infect the plane of Mirrodin, with much better results (Well, better if you're a Phyrexian).
  • In Exalted, the Yozis are trying to cause an unusually literal form of this trope. Thanks to their surrender oaths, they're physically incapable of leaving Hell...so their big plan is to have their agents corrupt all Creation until it's indistinguishable from Hell, thus rendering the distinction moot.

Video Games

  • Doom II: Hell On Earth has this right in the title, and the plot involves a demonic takeover of Earth and the hero having to get everyone else off the planet and find a way to close the portal the demons are using, kicking ass on every demon in sight along the way.
  • The entries in the Silent Hill series which involve the Order and its God imply that a successful birth of God would result in Hell on earth. Whether or not this is possible is actually questionable, but the easy assumption is that the result would resemble the Otherworld, so none of the protagonists ever feel inclined to let it happen and find out.
    • Well, it depends on which part of the Order you listen to. Some think their god will bring about Paradise (above-said Otherworld, which may or may not simply reflect an individual's or group's psyche), while others think the Hell on Earth will simply be the purifying flames that will ready the "wicked world" for the TRUE Paradise... Considering that their beliefs are a mish-mosh of evangelical Christianity, apocryphal pseudo-demonology and misapplied Native American beliefs, not to mention there are a minimum of three distinct sub-cults within the Order and the entire town might possibly also have simply been driven mad by hallucinogenic drugs that were smoked up in a fire/explosion or any other number of effects (it's that kind of series), it's no wonder there's such a broad selection of interpretations.
  • Hell a Cyberpunk Thriller
  • Warcraft III, Diablo, and Hellgate:London. All by the same folks.[1]
  • Shin Megami Tensei.
    • In Nocturne, you can make Earth into Hell. As in, a world for demons until the next Conception occurs.
    • In Strange Journey, a Negative Space Wedgie known as the Schwarzwelt is spreading across the Earth and a research team is sent in to investigate. What they find inside is an Ironic Hell representing humanity's sins, filled with demons whose leaders are hostile at best towards humanity. The angels who oppose the demons are just as bad.
  • Darksiders
  • Infernals and Hell terrain the Fall From Heaven mod for Civilization 4.
  • Technicly it's not Earth, but this is what Zenon's Curse does in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories.
  • Tales of Monkey Island: More like "Hell on the Caribbean" in Chapter 5, since LeChuck has regained his voodoo powers after killing Guybrush and has captured Elaine. And since Guybrush isn't around to stop him, the villain not only pillages and plunders the islands in the Gulf of Melange, but he also destroys Spinner Cay, damages Flotsam (where Guybrush has fallen, though his decaying body survives intact in Club 41), slaughters many people and some Vaycaylians (and a few animal species), and sets fire to many islands, creating his own Villain World that is right between Class 0 and Class 1. (It gets a bit worse when the Crossroads are opened, and he becomes a Demon Pirate God.) Thankfully, the entire Gulf of Melange starts getting better once Guybrush comes Back from the Dead and destroys him once and for all.


  • Sluggy Freelance: The story "That Which Redeems". The world the demons invade is otherwise so nice and correct that one of the subchapters is titled "BLEEP on Earth."

Web Original

  • Inverted in The Salvation War. Hell breaks into Earth, Earth pushes them back and breaks into Hell.

Western Animation

  • On South Park: Bigger, Longer And Uncut, this happens when Terrence and Phillip are executed.
  • On one episode of Disney's |Hercules, Hades tricks Poseidon into diverting the river Styx so that Athens becomes part of the Underworld, and turns Herc's school into an Ironic Hell.
  • Shows up in Teen Titans, of all places—creating this is the goal of season four's Big Bad, and he actually succeeds, frying the planet to an ash-choked cinder populated by demons and killing all the mortal inhabitants (or turning them to stone, which isn't exactly better, and might even be worse). Mercifully, the effects are reversed by the Anti-Anti-Christ, an Enemy Mine team-up, and much awesome.
  • In the episode of The Simpsons where Homer thinks that the Apocalypse is occurring after watching a parody of the Left Behind films, no one actually believes him, and as a result one night, Homer actually imagines himself going to Heaven and notice this happening to Earth on one of God's monitors.

Real Life

  • While only theory and conjecture, the Hadean Era of Earth's prehistory (4.6 billion years ago) might have certainly have resembled this Trope.
  1. Hellgate was made by a group of former Blizzard developers.