in Books, Movies, Television

10 Fictional Universes We Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead In

We all have those moments where we wish we could enter the pages or scenes of a book, movie, or television show and escape from our everyday lives.

Being a witch or wizard in the world of Harry Potter would be fantastic. Living amongst the happy-go-lucky hobbits of The Shire chugging pints sounds like a perfect spring getaway. (These examples are post-Voldemort and Sauron, of course, because you couldn’t get us to go there under their regimes if you paid us in gold.)

Then, there are those universes that we enjoy watching or reading about, but would much rather stick to our boring, uneventful, and mundane lifestyles than take a trip into. Here are just a few of them!

1. Zombie Apocalypse, The Walking Dead


This goes without saying but The Walking Dead universe – or any zombie infested world to be honest – has to be the worst place you could possibly find yourself in. You’re in constant danger and most likely will have to watch your loved ones turn into flesh-eating undead monsters before turning into one yourself. In some cases, you might be forced to kill your loved one before they get the chance to eat you.

Andrea watched helplessly as her sister got attacked by a horde of zombies, Carl had to shoot his own mother, and the Governor was so distraught over his daughter’s zombification that he decided to keep her teeth-less, chained up, and well-fed (on human meat). The common cold turns into a life-threatening disease, and if you happen to get knocked up, good luck, because you’re going to need it.

2. Panem, The Hunger Games

Photo: Lionsgate

Imagine being forced to fight to the death in a tournament where your only chances of survival is killing everybody around you, and they’re all ruthless little kids and teenagers armed with knives, bows, and arrows. No thank you, President Snow. Not that you have the luxury of saying no, of course. Even if you’re not fighting in The Hunger Games tournament, you still have to contend with abject poverty – unless you lucked out and happen to live in one of the more wealthier Districts. Even then, you have to deal with pretty tacky fashion – an overabundance of wigs, fabric, and make-up.

3. Westeros, Game of Thrones

Photo: HBO

Whether you’re a man or a woman – though it’s far worse being a woman – the Game of Thrones universe is no place for you, unless you have a fondness for senseless, nonstop violence (see: Ramsay Snow). It’s better to be highborn than birthed in the slums of Fleabottom, but the Starks will tell you that being highborn is not all that it’s cracked up to be. People are always going to want to challenge you and steal your lands and – as Khal Drogo once said – rape your women… yeah.

Not to mention you’re basically living in medieval Europe, so there isn’t a whole lot of plumbing or technology. There’s also slavery, the White Walkers, arranged marriages to deranged child rulers named Joffrey, and much, much more.

4. Anywhere in the Marvel Universe

Photo: Marvel

At first glance, living in a superhero-infested world sounds awesome. But with superheroes also comes supervillains, like Loki, who could pull an alien invasion down on Earth at any moment. Why? Just to show that he can. If you are “lucky” enough to have landed a superpower of some sort, you’re pretty much always going to be at the beck and call of S.H.I.E.L.D. or the helpless public, because humanity gets itself in trouble a lot. No vacation time for you.

If you’re just a civilian, on the other hand, then you’ve got to deal with a whole lot of destruction of property while these superpowered heroes and villains are battling it out on the streets. Good luck trying to get a hold of Black Widow’s insurance information.

6. The Fleet, Battlestar Galactica

Photo: British Sky Broadcasting

First of all, anyone around you could be a cylon. Your significant other could be a cylon. That random grumpy neighbor in the bunk next to yours could be a cylon. You could be a cylon and not even realize it – or worse, get accused of being one and be thrown out an airlock or ditched on some godforsaken planet when really, you’re completely human. Can you even imagine how stressful it must be to constantly live in that level of paranoia?

Plus, the responsibility of repopulating the earth and making sure humanity lives on falls squarely on your shoulders, so you better get started on having those babies.

7. Wonderland, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Photo: Walt Disney Pictures

Wonderland is basically a very long acid trip – one that isn’t all that enjoyable. Everyone is slightly deranged, or outright crazy – there’s the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, and a cantankerous Queen of Hearts who won’t hesitate to chop your head off over the slightest indiscretion. It makes good, sensible conversations hard to come by.

And imagine encountering the Jabberwocky, a fearsome creature that has “eyes of flame”, “jaws that bite,” and “claws that catch.” There’s also strange, magical potions that can either make you shrink or turn you into a giant. It all sounds way too fantastical  to enjoy for more than the first few seconds of novelty.

8. Beacon Hills, Teen Wolf

Photo: MTV

For a supposedly small town, there are a lot of unexplained murders going around. And if you’re a woman or person of color, then forget about it, because your chances of survival are extremely slim. Just ask Boyd, Erica, Kate, Victoria, Laura, Kali or the countless other minorities that have been killed off by the writers of Teen Wolf. Getting bit and turning into a werewolf isn’t all its cracked up to be, either. Sure, it might skyrocket you to the top of the high school food chain, but if you’re stuck with a shitty pack leader, then life isn’t going to be all smooth sailing. You’d also have to watch out for a family of werewolf hunters, Kanimas, Darachs, and lots of messy werewolf dynamics.

9. Dystopian Future, Revolution

Photo: NBC

This is going to sound insanely shallow, but we really, really, really love technology. (Who doesn’t? Honestly, now.) It’s not even just the computers, cell phones, music players, televisions, game consoles, etc. that we’re addicted to. There’s also hot showers, working cars, 12-cup coffee machines… the list is too long to count. It’s safe to say that a technology wipe transporting humanity back to the Dark Ages would suck, especially knowing everything you’re missing out on.

Add to that the dictatorship that humanity apparently will undergo post-wipe, and the world of Revolution doesn’t sound like a nice place to live at all.

10. The Universe of Inception

Photo: Warner Bros.

Okay, so it’s not like we have any interesting trade secrets or corporate power that would make us a target for “extractors” like Cobb’s team, but it’s more the principle of the matter. Living in a world where potentially anyone could enter your dreams to manipulate you or see your darkest thoughts sounds really unappealing.

Sure, you could hire someone to teach you how to protect your mind, and it might be cool to be able to consciously control what you’re dreaming of, but let’s face it – those things would cost a whole lot of money that we do not have. Besides, if a rich and powerful guy like Robert Fischer still got “incepted,” there’s a good chance machine gun-toting mental bodyguards won’t be enough to save you.

What are some other fictional universes you’d think twice before stepping into? Let us know in the comments!