Circus of Fear is one way to show the circus...

...but what about the other?

Circuses, at least the non-Greek/non-Roman kind, were always meant to dazzle, amaze, to create wonder and awe.

This trope reflects that.

Much like the Non-Ironic Clown is about clowns being depicted as harbingers of joy and laughter, this is when a circus is presented as a wonderful, dazzling thing.

Values Dissonance often plays a huge part in this (most circuses don't hold up against a "modern", analytical view).

If a show aimed at children has a Circus Episode, the circus in question will most likely be this trope.

When a circus is this, but is then corrupted into a Circus of Fear, it's often a case of Tyrant Takes the Helm.


So tell me, do you wanna go?/Where it's covered in all the colored lights/Where the runaways are running the night/Impossible comes true, it's taking over you...

Examples of Welcome to the Greatest Show include:

Comic Book


  • The Trope Namer is The Greatest Showman, which depicts P.T. Barnum's circus in the most awe-inspiring and optimistic light possible.
  • The circus in Big Fish.

Western Animation

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