TV Tropes Monday: Crapsack World

Tweet of the Day: Man Against Nature-How to Make it Work


Is your book, TV series or movie set in a happy-go-lucky universe of rainbows and unicorns?

Well, this ain’t it.

This place sucks. This place stinks. It sucks the life out of you and stinks of brimstone and cat piss.

You ain’t in Kansas any more, Dorothy.

Welcome to the Crapsack World. It is a world where things start badly for everyone (and I do mean everyone) and gets worse.



Lucky enough not to be born a guttersnipe? Good for you! Guess what, that’s a lead lined silver spoon in your mouth son and there are hundreds of your fellow classmates, relatives waiting to rip it off your mouth then beat you to death with it. This is the kind of world/universe where things are bad right now and will get worse the moment your turn the corner or simply wait five minutes. Dystopias, zombie apocalypses and states under oppressive rulers. A reality in which the MC has to fight for every scrap of respect because nothing in this world is for free. Now, a crapsack world might appear to be peaceful on the surface (see dystopia) but scratch the surface and a whole lot of suck gushes up.

Happiness might exist in a crapsack world, but the characters have to earn it and even when they do, it is almost always bitter sweet.

It is common for many a writer to kick off their story right in the middle of the crap this type of world is made off, but you can pile it on slowly to built up the tension. Or you can go the opposite route and make it a deadly world to boot.

So what are your favorite crapsack worlds?


4 comments on “TV Tropes Monday: Crapsack World

  1. Detroit. 😀


  2. haha! BigWords comment cracked me up.

    Hmm, can’t think of any such worlds right now. But I loved this bit from your post, “…it stinks of brimsone and cat piss”. Very effective description, Ralfast. 😉


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