Sugar Bowl

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Any place with overly friendly locals (human or not), idyllic landscapes, rustic yet amazingly hygienic towns, Harmless Villains (or a case of Vile Villain Saccharine Show), No Poverty and Talking Animals is likely a Sugar Bowl. Be advised that proximity to, prolonged stays within, or merely entering such places may "naturalize" you into a local in body and/or mind, and if there isn't, keep in mind that some baddies don't care for the thematics.

Compare with: Level Ate, which covers settings that are literally made out of sugar. Contrast with Crapsack World, the Mirror Universe of this trope. Crap Saccharine World is a subversion of this. Also, Sugar Apocalypse, where bad things happen to good universes.

We have one of these. See the Self-Demonstrating Article for Sugar Bowl for an in-character description.

Not to Be Confused With the MacGuffin in A Series of Unfortunate Events, or with the Collegiate American Football game held annually in New Orleans on or around January 1 or The Super Bowl.

Examples of Sugar Bowl include:


Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Kids and grownups love it so! The happy world of Haribo!


Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • Many of the later Pretty Cure movies involve the heroes having adventures in various Sugar Bowls. In addition to that, the alternate worlds that the girls have to save in each season are inhabited by ridiculously cute critters.
  • Jewel Land in Jewelpet Twinkle is very much a sugar bowl. The only thing that's evil in it is a book of forbidden spells locked away IN SPACE on a rock orbiting the planet.
  • The mysterious star in Fushigiboshi no Futagohime. About the worst thing that can happen is hurting someone's feelings.
  • Tomoeda in Cardcaptor Sakura qualifies.


Board Games[edit | hide]


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • The French comic series Les Womoks, a sci-fi parody series about a bunch of sub-par space troopers, features the Albon, an alien Sugar Bowl civilization of Ridiculously Cute Critters. They seldom come out of encounters with the Womoks without getting the business end of an explosion, yet somehow never lose their ludicrously optimistic view of life, even after their world gets invaded by the setting's Proud Warrior Race bad guys. And after their homeworld gets blown to pieces in the following liberation? They happily live on the resulting Floating Continent Islands, happily enjoying the view.
  • Widgey Q Butterfluff is a Deconstructive Parody of shows like this, where the attempts by Widgey and her friends to deal with Very Special Episode fodder like adolescence and G-rated drug addiction tend to end in surreal disaster.
  • The Smurf Village in The Smurfs started off as Mordor in the Johan and Peewit comic book story The Flute with Six Holes (later renamed The Smurfs and the Magic Flute), located in what was called The Cursed Land. When the Smurfs got their own series, the village was relocated to a flourishing animal-filled forest until eventually it became a Sugar Bowl.
  • In the Belgian comic Olivier Rameau, the Dream Land setting of Rêverose ("Pink Dream") is very much this; a happy and fantastic place "strictly forbidden to boring people". It isn't entirely devoid of a dark side, though, as some places are governed by nightmares. Nor it is entirely childish, as evidenced by Colombe Tiredaile, the hero's Love Interest, who has since become quite the sex symbol, thanks to the cartoonist Dany not being shy about drawing her rather au natural.


Comic Strips[edit | hide]

  • While theoretically set in our world, Rose Is Rose is constantly on the brink of this. The word "die" has never been used and will never be used, nobody ever suffers even minor injuries, no one is ever more than mildly embarrassed unless they're overreacting, no one has ever gotten a bad grade on their report card, and swatting a fly would be a major Out-of-Character Moment for anyone in the cast. It's slightly disturbing to realize that Sesame Street has gotten darker at times than this ever will. No wonder the main character fantasizes about becoming a Badass Biker so often.


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • Heartland USA in Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band pretty much fits the bill. But once Mean Mr. Mustard steals the magical instruments, installs evil 24 hour Video Arcades, and puts the ultimate sign of evil... a giant hamburger... atop the town square bandstand, everything goes to heck!


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Land of Oz under Princess Ozma, despite periodic threats from outside and certain parts of Oz of being way out there, generally follows this trope. Only when ruled by Ozma, though. If someone else takes the throne, generally you get a Crap Saccharine World (i.e. Jinjur's revolt, the witches running wild).
  • In Hyperion the Priest's Story combines this with Body Horror.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events parodies these quite beautifully with a fictitious novel (or movie if you feel inclined to watch a dreadful movie like A Series Unfortunate Events.) called The Littlest Elf. The reader is told constantly that it would be a better idea to read The Littlest Elf seeing as the book you are reading is unhappy and therefore should not be read by anyone. The Littlest Elf is a running gag that even comes up in Lemony Snicket's "Biography" .
  • For all its attempts at Darker and Edgier, The Looking Glass Wars really turned Wonderland into one of these. Its capital city is known as "Wondertropolis", there are foods with names like "Tarty Tarts", and even worms are known as "gwormmies". Of course, then Redd takes over and the place becomes a Crapsack World until Alyss returns to dethrone her.
  • The philosophical novel Ishmael has a bit where the eponymous gorilla attempts to illustrate his main point by making the case for how a world in which people eat other people could be one of these.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Pushing Daisies: An example that is not a kid's show. To balance it out, we get Deadpan Snarkers Lily and Emerson, and a whole lot of murder. Adorable murder.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba!.
  • The Puppet Land that Pee-Wee's Playhouse was set in.
  • Captain Kangaroo's Treasure House.


Music[edit | hide]

  • The work of Adam and the Couch Potatoes is very much this, in a good way. The music is full of life and happiness, and very uplifting.
  • Aqua's 'Lollipop' has music and lyrics which define this trope. It also helps its genre is a super sugary brand of eurodance.


Myths & Religion[edit | hide]

  • The Bible has the Garden of Eden. Plenty of food, all animals are vegetarians (yes, even lions, female mosquitoes, and fleas), no disease, no guilt, and you never die. Also, everyone is perfectly formed and naked. After Armageddon, the new Earth will be identical. Many Christian offshoots emphasizing Armageddon have a tailor-made second Earth; fundamentalist sects ignore the nudity, while indigenous versions, such as the Ghost Dance, tend to ignore the vegetarianism. Of course, the nudity pretty much ensures the FCC will never have a children's story in Eden.


Puppet Shows[edit | hide]


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • In the Dungeons & Dragons setting Planescape, the Outer Plane of Elysium isn't quite this goody-goody, but it's still filled with magical Good-aligned humanimals, brims with bounteous natural beauty, and has an inconvenient habit of turning anyone who stays for more than a week or two into a blissed-out hippie zombie who has completely forgotten why he came there and has no desire ever to leave. This trait is only shared by the planes evil counterpart, the Gray Wastes of Hades, and endless plain of gray dusts. Except that it doesn't make you happy at all. The only reason people don't just lay down and die is that it's futile as most of them are already dead to begin with.


Theater[edit | hide]


Toys[edit | hide]

  • Charm Warp of Puzzlebox.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Animal Crossing: In all the worst ways, in Chewbot's Let's Play. Yahtzee did one too; this one used the "indoctrination" aspect of the trope.
  • My Sims and the sequel MySims Kingdoms, wherein your job is to make it even better.
  • Rayman: In the first game, they have a world made entirely of musical instruments, a world based on pencils and a final level made entirely out of candy.
  • Kirby
  • Common to the point of cliché in 8-bit and 16-bit platformers, especially those with an Excuse Plot. E.g. Zool, James Pond: Robocod, Putty and others.
  • Super Mario World is the best-known, with areas named after donuts, vanilla, chocolate and many cute (though often deadly) creatures.
  • The entire Super Mario Bros series could probably qualify. The Mushroom Kingdom is an idyllic land where Toad people romp happily and the only real problem the kingdom ever seems to have is Bowser's penchant for kidnapping the Princess. A problem Mario consistently resolves in short order.
  • Played for laughs with Toonstruck's Cutopia, ruled by a giant smiley face.
  • The world of Eversion starts out as one of these. It definitely doesn't stay that way, though.
  • Vigilante 8 on the N64 had a bonus map called Super Dreamland 64.
  • Touhou: Once you get past the customary greeting, Gensokyo could very well qualify. Nobody ever dies (except that one bat), all the notable locals are Moe Moe girls, and whenever something goes horribly wrong, inevitably the Miko and the Cute Witch save the day and befriend whatever was causing the problem.
  • Most Harvest Moon games are this sort of world. A Wonderful Life is a little darker, but only in the fact that it deals more with actual real life issues than the other ones do.
  • Marvel Land: World 3.
  • Pokémon
    • Hoenn, Snap Island even moreso.
    • Hearthome City in Sinnoh is one of the best examples of this trope, having babies everywhere and a park allowing entry only to cute Pokemon.
    • Maybe. As nice as the above-mentioned places are, Hoenn still has its fair share of problems (its villains manage to cause global warming), and there is a school of thought that some aspects of Hearthome City (much like Sinnoh in general) are not quite what they seem.
  • Hello Kitty Online seems to be this trope incarnate; as it extends the Tastes Like Diabetes Sanrio franchise into the world of MMORPGs. However, to some players, the fact that ever time you step outside of a town you're surrounded by hordes of dangerous, aggressive (but still painfully cute) animals makes it seem more like a Crap Saccharine World. One of the buildings in the first town after the starting town is a giant sugar bowl (another building is a giant teacup).
  • Nippon in Okami, once the protagonist gets through with it. However, as she finds it, it's a Sugar Apocalypse.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Hello Cthulhu is about Lovecraftian horrors trapped in Sanrio's Sugar Bowl. Dagon, for example, runs a fish-and-chips shop.
  • The below quote from The Order of the Stick is some kind of inversion of this trope: the place Belkar is calling "Happy Fun Sunshine Land" is actually a city where it is not odd to walk down the street carrying a corpse with your dagger still in it. He calls it that because he's feverish and delusional from the Mark of Justice curse, and has no idea what's actually going on. The magical fairy part is the only accurate part.

Belkar: Be very quiet, Mr. Scruffy! If we make any noise, the magical Cart Fairy might not take us on the enchanted trip to Happy Fun Sunshine Land!

  • Sluggy Freelance
    • During the "Dimension of Pain" Saturday story arc, the Dimension of Pain was taken over by a sneaky angel who managed to briefly turn the Dimension of Pain into the Dimension of Fun. The demonic hordes became Care Bears parodies of themselves and the Demon King was turning into Mister Rogers. Fortunately, Lord Horribus returned from his exile and managed to make the angel Fall and become demonic, allowing the Dimension of Pain to be restored to its original evil. Yay!
    • The "Dimension of Lame" is naturally like this, even if it looks more like our world.

Torg: Why the [1] does it smell like flowers down here?
Alternate Zoë: It's a sewer, silly!

  • Sugar Bits has Confectionaria, which is exactly what it sounds like.
  • Wuffle, full stop.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • UniCreatures is set in one, right down to their being no carnivores (that big scary lion on fire? He eats fruit.) to avoid the violence and pain of creatures hunting each other.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Care Bears.
  • Chorlton and the Wheelies.
  • Danny Phantom has "Gothapalooza" turned into this briefly by one of the Reality Gems. The protagonists were understandably shocked.
  • Dragon Land in Dragon Tales.
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears may be an exception to this—or at least not as happy go lucky as the other Disney shows. True, they live in a pretty happy Medieval world standard to the trope, but they are the last remnants of their once great race/civilization on Earth (well, the European part of it anyway) with a certain amount of sadness and Zeerust thrown in as well.
  • The Magic Roundabout would almost certainly count if it weren't for both Dougal and the Blue Cat and the recent movie
  • My Little Pony has a reputation for this. Not entirely undeserved, especially in the cartoons for the G3/G3.5 toyline, but the pilot specials, The Movie, and the original My Little Pony and Friends show had the ponies frequently dealing with supernatural threats to their peaceful lives, ranging from rampaging monsters to wicked witches to Evil Overlords.
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic takes place in a world where ponies can move the clouds around to make it rain or shine, and plants and animals need to be told to grow or hibernate. Thus, changing seasons is a large community project. The inhabitants are so accustomed to this way of life that the Everfree Forest - an untamed wilderness where animals take care of themselves, plants grow on their own, and weather occurs independently of pony intervention - is considered spooky and unnatural. And again, there are monsters aplenty.
    • Not that Ponyville (or Equestria as a whole) is a paradise on Earth, in the G4 series. Plenty of incidence of species intolerance (the townspeople's reaction to Zecora) and generally bad attitudes (The episode Putting Your Hoof Down is chocked full of Ponyville residents acting like real douches.)
  • The Smurfs. Gargamel has only succeeded in making one permanent change to the Smurf Village—introducing a female smurf.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Him tricks Bubbles with one of these in "All Chalked Up". Clever—who would suspect a place like this of secretly being the creation of an evil, manipulative demon?
  • In an episode of Project Gee Ke R: Geeker, Noah, and Lady MacBeth are chased into a run-down amusement park. They encounter interactive holograms that adapt to the visitor's "play setting"—with adorably goofy, brightly-colored cartoon bunnies being the default mode. (That is, until Lady MacBeth's short temper triggers their "battle mode".)
  • The Happy Tree Friends appear to inhabit one of these until you keep watching.
  • The Simpsons
    • In an early episode, Homer sarcastically evokes this trope in a bitter moment.

Homer: Oh, look at me! I'm making people happy! I'm the Magical Man from Happy-Land, in a gumdrop house on Lollipop Lane!

    • The Happy Little Elves, a Show Within a Show seen in some early episodes, seemed to be an example of this trope.
  • Wonder Showzen: Parodied in an animated segment "The Boogie Noogie Bunch".
  • Thundercats
    • The Ro-Bear Berbils seems to be space-colonists from the Sugar Bowl. And true to their nature, they've set up a little piece of Sugar Bowl right in the middle of the mutant-infested swampland of Third Earth. A place filled with houses shaped like giant, pink mushrooms, where candy-canes grow in orchards. They also talk like Smurfs, and all have names starting with a B. Isn't that right, Ro-Bear Bill? Berbil-fruit, anyone?
    • In the Thundercats UK comic we saw that Sugar Bowl was a deliberate choice. They used to be cyborg-Bears rather than cyborg-Teddy-Bears but they are trying to be Space Amish while still having the Superweapon Surprise technology in their underground facilities to rebuild themselves in their spacefaring warlike image (the Thundercat they showed the hologram of what they used to look like was impressed enough to instantly agree to help them restore their façade of cute harmlessness).
    • In the Darker and Edgier Thundercats: Dogs of War, they are wiped out by the Lizard Men after welcoming the invaders with flowers. This can probably be seen as trying too hard.
    • The new series' Berbils home is a bit more conservative (though they're are a lot of pink flowers everywhere).
  • Strawberryland in Strawberry Shortcake.
  • In the Teen Titans episode "Nevermore", between all the nightmarish landscapes that Beast Boy and Cyborg run into is one of these. Complete with floating strawberries. Beast Boy quips, "This must be where air fresheners comes from."
  • Disney Fairies's Pixie Hollow.
  • Rainbow Brite: Rainbow Land.
  • Bob the Builder, what elevated this trope to its own rights.
  • The Dreamstone has the Land Of Dreams, in contrast to the desolate Land Of Nightmares, the former is colorful utopian Medieval World. The majority of it's civilians are perpetually cheerful and sparse on jerkish or cynical traits, usually their only wrathful actions are towards Zordrak and the Urpneys (Your Mileage May Vary whether they deserve it or not) which even then are rather leniant cartoony punishments.
  1. Yes, the dimension has naturally occurring censor bleeps.