Sugar Apocalypse

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Don't mess with UNICEF.
"Pepperland is a tickle of joy on the blue belly of the universe... It must be scratched."
The Blue MeanieYellow Submarine

Oh, how beautiful a place is the Sugar Bowl! As are the Ridiculously Cute Critters that live in it. The best part? Even when menaced by Mr. Meanie, nothing bad will ever happen!... Right?

Not quite. A popular subversion and parody of the Sugar Bowl setting and its overly cute residents is to have them get hilariously and painfully massacred. Whether it's "Mr. Meanie" going stir crazy, invading armies, firestorms, disasters, or other acts of Powers That Be, the residents will suffer for their adorableness with pain.

The inverse of this parody is when the cute critters decide to take the offensive. Whether they're really a gang of Killer Rabbits, or secretly evil and planning to conquer our world, they mean our heroes harm in lovably cute musical numbers.

Yet another inverse is when someone throws a Genesis Effect at the Crapsack World, possibly changing it into anywhere between a World Half Full or even a full blown Sugar Bowl.

It should be noted that this can be played seriously in the case of a Vile Villain Saccharine Show or Knight of Cerebus making themselves know. In this case, it's not for parody and is instead showing the new villain is not to be taken lightly. Done right, this version is normally downright heartbreaking.

Contrast No Endor Holocaust, where, by all rights, the actions of the main characters should have led to massive destruction and death, but didn't, because The Word of God says so.

See also Subverted Kids Show, Superweapon Surprise, Crap Saccharine World, Surprise Creepy, Troubled Backstory Flashback, and Sliding Scale of Comedy and Horror. Vile Villain Saccharine Show is when the show has a villain that by all rights should cause it, but doesn't... most of the time.

Examples of Sugar Apocalypse include:


  • The page picture is part of a UNICEF campaign in Belgium using The Smurfs to raise awareness of child soldiers in Africa. The full commercial is here. UNICEF had to run the advert late at night to avoid scarring any children for life with it. The words at the end are something to the effect of "Don't let war destroy the world of children."
    • It's effective, heartbreaking, and had to be done.
    • If you're familiar with other UNICEF ads, you probably won't be surprised to hear that they seem to have thing for this trope. Among other things, they had a little girl play with her dog and step on a landmine (all done in what appears to be crayon drawings), followed by a picture of several heavily bandaged, realistically drawn children. Or the other one where storks drop several babies over a city, they slowly land with parachutes, smiling while looking down on the city or up at the sky with those big eyes, then a squadron of evil looking airplanes show up, carpet bombing the entire city, using bombs with psychotic grins painted on them. The ad ends with the babies landing on the smoking ruins of the city, looking frightened and hopeless. You can tell something like this leaves a big impact if someone can recall it after 12 years with great detail, after seeing it exactly once.
  • In an old issue of Nintendo Power, there was a full-page ad for the Nintendo 64 game Battle Tanx: Global Assault which featured tanks blowing up a world of absolutely-not-Teletubbies-honest.
    • Likewise, TV ads for the game had the so-totally-not-the-Snuggles-fabric-softener-bear chased down and mauled by one of the tanks.
  • The initial advertisement for Super Smash Brothers was Nintendo's mascots kicking the crap out of each other the tune of "Happy Together".

Don LaFontaine: "Something has gone wrong in the happy-go-lucky world of Nintendo."

  • An infamous animated promo for a 1983 special report entitled “Green Street Reds” for the KGO (San Francisco ABC affiliate) local evening news showed Soviet ICBMs shooting Santa Claus and his sleigh out of the sky. This resulted in many angry calls from parents with inconsolable children and the offending clip was quickly pulled. You can watch the clip here.
  • This ad for 13eme rue, a French action and thriller network. The statement translates to "This is how we'll do a children's show if we have to do one".
  • The "Let's All Go to the Lobby" promo parody, Follow the Sun...

Anime and Manga

Video Games

-- I'll rid this world of Wishes and fill it with Weapons.

  • The entire point of Eversion.
  • The Adult Swim game Candy Mountain Massacer is the essence of this trope. You go play as a Badass character with a gun in a Tastes Like Diabetes land killing everything in sight.
  • The little known shareware game Blip & Blop: Balls of Steel by defunct software house Loaded Studio is all about this: the titular balls start by murdering an entire village of Smurfs (which, incidentally, killed the "great scientist" Gargamel), then destroy (very) thinly-veiled expies of Care Bears, Snorks, Lemmings and various other videogame and cartoon characters. Which are almost all equally evil and murderous.
  • The end of Doshin the Giant: The final monument is the Tower of Babel, which blocks out the sun. Since Doshin is an embodiments of the sun, that's bad news. Barudo Island begins to collapse, and the villagers flee in terror while Sudoru ponders the nature of life and death. Doshin holds up the tower to let them escape, but since we've never seen any other land mass, we never see anyone actually get to safety, and it's possible for Doshin to walk off the edge of the world, the only conclusion is that everyone drowns. Finally, with the island sunk beneatht the waves, Doshin collapses and becomes a new island.
  • The Maw: Your world is a brightly colored land full of cutesy, silly critters. You're going to EAT THEM ALL.
  • Hello Kitty Roller Rescue has evil aliens invading Earth with the intention of turning everyone on the planet into a cube, complete with a Downer Ending if you fail to defeat the final boss.
  • Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards opens with Dark Matter taking over Ripple Star.
    • Hell, the entire series is like this; a demon trying to give everyone horrible and painful nightmares, the Mirror World imploding on itself, a once-cute-then-suddenly-fanged-beast trying to take over Dreamland by destroying Dreamland... All the while, Kirby is eating everything he comes across. Give or take the apparent thousands of years Kirby could live...
  • Diablo III has Whimsyshire, a bright and happy land filled with teddy bears and unicorns that are all trying to kill you.
  • The whole idea behind Naughty Bear is playing the role of a serial killer amongst a group of Care Bear-like teddy bears.
  • What the player has to hold off in Thwaite.

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

  • There's an episode of The Fairly OddParents involving "the Giggle Pies", which are adorable, cuddly, rhyming puffballs of cuteness. They actually are evil, though, and plan to take over the world by subjugating the populace to their cuteness. They are said to taste like manure, which is how the Yugopotamians beat them: Yugopotamians find manure delicious.
  • Happy Tree Friends enjoys both repeatedly massacring the cutesy Gang of Critters and causing wholesale destruction of their wooded homeland.
  • South Park
    • The three-parter, "Imaginationland", in which the land of good thoughts is being slaughtered by the land of bad thoughts.
    • "Woodland Critter Christmas". The sickeningly cute, (yet devil-worshiping) Woodland Critters are subject to a Sugar Apocalypse.
    • In "Dances with Smurfs", the Smurf village is destroyed by bulldozers. It wouldn't have been so funny if UNICEF had not already been there.
    • The Amazon is commonly a victim of the Sugar Apocalypse in Green Aesops. To prevent this, the kids are forced by their parents to join a choir to travel to the Amazon. The choir is even more sugary. By the end of the episode, nature abhors a vegan, and they all want to destroy the Amazon.
  • Robot Chicken—Uses the trope to exhaustion. Serial-killing Smurfs, genocidal Care Bears, bitter Strawberry Shortcake, etc. And the Horsemen of the Apocalypse in the form of My Little Pony. See the page for a picture.

Death Pony: "And I am DEATH PONY!"
Woman: "Oh, how sad! The poor thing can't hear."
Boy: "No mom, I think he said-"
Death Pony: "RAAAAAAAH!"

    • They die, by the way.
    • Let's not forget the gummy bear gnawing her foot off.
  • Drawn Together
    • The Strawberry Shortcake parody people launch a genocidal campaign of dehumanization and consumption of the Sockbat race.
    • The Smurf village is destroyed by a lawnmower.
    • Clara lures in cute forest animals so they could get eaten.
  • In Yellow Submarine, quoted above, one of these gets the plot moving. The heroes must resort to the Power of Rock to save Pepperland.
  • Wizards. An evil wizard unleashes his hellish forces on an ugly little hippy-dippy land populated by cutesy elves and fairies. Then there's the big battle scene in which little Rice Krispies mascot look-a-likes get mercilessly slaughtered.
  • Watership Down. Played straight, then inverted when you find out what the rabbits are capable of doing to each other.

Fiver: The field... the field... it's covered with blood!
Hazel: Blood? Don't be ridiculous... Why don't you go fetch me a cowslip? There's some fine grass over here.

  • Rainbow Brite: Inverted in The Beginning of Rainbow Land when you find out that Rainbow Land was originally a lifeless wasteland.
  • People in the Candy Kingdom on Adventure Time explode when they're scared. So Princess Bubblegum has to resurrect the dead. This results in zombies. So she has a huge slumber party with everyone, with Finn guarding the castle, and he can't tell anyone about the zombies. It's actually a subversion.
    • The Cute King and his army of Cuties accidentally do this to themselves. They always fall apart or explode if they work themselves too much.
  • "Five Fat Sausages" is a disturbing take on the nursery rhyme about apparently sentient sausages slowly burning to death in a heated pan.
  • In Trollz, this happened in the backstory, with the old Trollzopolis being destroyed by Simon, as well as a lot of their magic being corrupted and taken. The world almost bit it, too.
  • The pilot special for the My Little Pony and Friends series. It starts off with the cutesy sweetness usually associated with the franchise, then reptilian monsters come out of the sky and snatch up ponies to be turned into the dragon-like servants of a demon-centaur named Tirac. My Little Pony the Movie had some evil witches unleash The Smooze on Dream Valley, and several episodes of My Little Pony and Friends had Ponyland being threatened with danger, such as the chauvinistic penguins from "Baby It's Cold Outside" and the magic-stealing Lavan from "Quest of the Princess Ponies".
  • The season 2 premier of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic gives us the cloud city of Cloudsdale crumbling apart in a vision caused by Discord. What's worse is that there's nothing to imply this isn't actually happening! Then Discord unleashes chaos on all of Equestria.
    • And before that, the series premiere ends on a cliffhanger as a Sealed Evil in a Can Big Bad is freed from imprisonment, captures the resident sky-goddess, and plunges the world into endless night.
    • In the final two-parter of Season 2, the glorious capital city of Equestria, Canterlot, is invaded by changelings, an insect-like race of shapeshifters that feed on love and in their natural form resemble black zombie insect ponies with fangs. By the thousands. It's actually pretty creepy.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, a Unicorn Omnicidal Maniac Twinkles the Terrible causes planets to explode in an explosion of pink dust, which settles in a heart-shape.