No Communities Were Harmed

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Fictional cities are often obvious stand-ins for real-life cities. They have a different name, different landmarks and a different population, but the look, conventions and society at large are the same. This gives the setting more flavor than just calling it City of Adventure. Where names or street numbers are obscured, or not obscured at all, but accurately based on real locations, Real Place Background applies.

See also Hollywood Atlas, Big Applesauce and Fantasy Counterpart Culture. Occasionally involves Istanbul (Not Constantinople). Contrast with City with No Name, Where the Hell Is Springfield? and Canada Does Not Exist when the city's location is deliberately concealed or seems to contradict itself.

Examples of No Communities Were Harmed include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Anime series often have a version of Tokyo rebuilt or moved after some cataclysm; Akira and Neo-Tokyo, Bubblegum Crisis and Mega-Tokyo, Sailor Moon and Crystal Tokyo, Neon Genesis Evangelion and Tokyo-3.
    • The webcomic Megatokyo employs Lampshade Hanging on this, as there is an entire police division dedicated to rebuilding Tokyo after the numerous disasters.
    • This prefix-Tokyo practice is parodied in the first Phoenix Wright game, where an in-game TV show, The Steel Samurai, is set in "Neo-Olde Tokyo".
    • This is something of a Truth in Television, as in its modern history Tokyo was completely rebuilt no less than four times. The first time was in the 1870s, when it went from the seat of Bakufu to the imperial capital (and started being called Tokyo, for that matter), then it was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1923, after Great Kanto Earthquake, then again it was firebombed almost into oblivion in 1945 by the US, and in the early 1960s much of the city was remodeled in preparation to the Olympic Games, creating modern street plan in the central districts. They just didn't stick any fancy prefixes/suffixes on its name.
  • In the Excel Saga anime, the City of Adventure, F City in F Prefecture, is a thinly veiled stand-in for the real-life Fukuoka City in the Fukuoka Prefecture of Japan. The original manga actually calls the city its proper name, and even in the anime, the map of F City is that of Fukuoka.
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya series is set in the author's hometown of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture, with the serial numbers filed off: Kanji in actual place names (or their readings) are changed—the Uegahara Pirates of Kwansei Gakuin University become the Kamigahara Pirates, for instance—and the name of the actual town is never directly mentioned ("Kitaguchi Station" is Nishinomiya Kitaguchi Station, and "North High" is Nishinomiya-Kita High School). This is made especially blatant in the anime, where Kyoto Animation saw fit to recreate the actual locations in and around the city, including undisguised shots of passing Hankyu Railway trains, and the skylines of nearby Osaka and Kobe. Since Nishinomiya is located in the heart of the Kansai region it would run the risk of being stereotyped, but Kyo Ani's attention to detail actually gives it an "everytown" quality.
    • What really takes the cake is a scene in the anime version of "Endless Eight", which shows a photorealistic establishing shot of the Kobe waterfront. Sure, they don't come out and say it, but they're getting really, really obvious.
  • The unnamed towns in Kanon and AIR are exact copies of real towns (although Kami, home of AIR, has been absorbed into a larger city since the game's release). The train station in Kanon is based on Moniguchi station in Osaka.
  • The town in Princess Tutu (called Golde Krone in text shown in the anime, but translated as Kinkan in the Japanese audio and Gold Crown in the English dub) is based heavily on the German town of Nördlingen. In fact, almost all of the locations in the anime can be found in the town itself.
  • Hinamizawa, from Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, is largely based off Shirakawa-go, Gifu... That is, exactly like. So much, that their local shrine wall was terrorized with Higurashi stuff, so they had to make a new wall for Higurashi things.
  • Kamichu! is obviously set in the town of Onomichi, Hiroshima. The town's profile, with its shoreline and steep hills, is so recognizable that it's actually a bit baffling why the makers just didn't flat-out call it by name.
  • Where does K-On! take place? The town's name never gets mentioned, but judging by the locales it's set in Kyoto; Shugakuin station is clearly recognizable, for instance. The high school is modeled after a renovated elementary school in Toyosato, Shiga, which is not too far from Kyoto either. Still, the makers try to convolute the issue by having the girls go on a Class Trip to Kyoto, where they are even seen passing Mount Fuji. Kyoto Animation, you're not fooling anybody!
  • Sketchbook takes place in Shime, a small town near the Japanese city of Fukuoka, as evidenced by the old coal mine winding tower that appears in the background every now and then.
  • The original Science Ninja Team Gatchaman has Amegapolis, a stand-in for New York City. Then one of the sequel series has (seriously) New Jork.
  • The settings of the Pokémon movies are based off of real locations: Altomare is Venice, Forina is Wulingyuan, Larousse City is Vancouver, Cameran Palace is Neuschwanstein Castle, Samaya is Rome, Alamos Town is Barcelona, and Michina is Athens.
  • Although it seems to combine elements of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, and some fans believe it's in Hawaii, Word of God says that "Port Mery" in Kaleido Star is actually L.A.
  • The Flowercrest department store in Planetarian is based on the (defunct) Matsubishi department store in Hamamatsu, a town in Japan's Shizuoka prefecture. The game also extensively uses other locales and sights from that town.
  • While Ikoku Meiro no Croisee has a rather faithful depiction of late-19th century Paris, Galerie Du Roy appears to be based on Galerie Du Roi in Brussels.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam had the Zeon occupation headquartered out of "New Yark"(sic), which looked nothing like New York City. The manga adaptation averts this, by explicitly putting the Zeons in Los Angeles, HQ'd out of Los Angeles City hall.
  • Distinctly averted by the OVA Gunsmith Cats which does its darnedest to match up with real Chicago landmarks. Locals claim to be able to actually trace the climactic car chase in Episode 2.


Comics -- Books[edit | hide]

  • There is dispute over which is The DCU's New York City -- Metropolis or Gotham City. Both are named after NY nicknames. Frank Miller said that Metropolis is NYC in the daytime, and Gotham is NYC at night; Denny O'Neil said that Metropolis is New York above 14th Street, and that Gotham City is New York below 14th Street. It should be noted that The DCU also has an actual New York City, although it is reportedly a much smaller, less (ahem) metropolitan burg than its real-world counterpart (and, for that matter, than Metropolis and Gotham, leading to its nickname "the Cinderella City" in Seven Soldiers of Victory). Right now, the Justice Society of America forms much of NYC's superhero community, and the city was the target area for the Anti-Monitor's bid to destroy the Multiverse (again) during the Sinestro Corps War arc.
    • In the sourcebook for the Mayfair Games' DC Heroes RPG, Metropolis is set in Delaware and Gotham City in New Jersey. For a while, that sourcebook was treated as official canon, and even today, a comic page will occasionally include a peek at a map showing Gotham City clearly located in what would be New Jersey—but with no actual state names visible.
      • The same sourcebook gives the Metropolis area code as 123. It also says that Gotham was originally a Swedish colony. What we now know as Delaware was once called Nya Sverige, and was a Swedish colony. If Gotham is in Delaware, this makes perfect sense.
      • There exists yet another map that firmly places Gotham on New Jersey's Great Egg Harbor Bay, just south of Atlantic City.
    • In the novelization of Batman Begins, the author felt it was necessary for Bruce Wayne to take a trip to New York, (in order to get research on Ra's) just to give him a chance to point out that Gotham is not New York, and to compare and contrast the two.
    • The DCU is filled with these. Among others, Coast City, Bludhaven, Central City, Star City, Fawcett City, Keystone City, Vanity, Midway City, Gateway City, and Dos Rios. (Most of these are viewed as expies for real cities as well -- for example Bludhaven for Providence, RI, Star City for L.A., Keystone City for Philadelphia and so on.) Originally, the Marvel Universe was thought of as extremely original for using New York itself.
      • While The Dark Knight Saga is clearly filmed in Chicago, it is implied that Gotham City is an island, much like New York. This is somewhat surreal, especially when the bridges over the Chicago River are implied to connect the island to the mainland. Pittsburgh, the primary shooting location for The Dark Knight Rises similarly has large rivers running through the city, but is not itself an island.
      • The 60s Batman TV series took Gotham-as-New York to a ridiculous extent; at one point Catwoman escapes across the state line to "New Guernsey" (Guernsey and Jersey are both Channel Islands).
      • Batman Forever managed to outdo even that by having a Statue of Liberty Expy in Gotham for unexplained reasons.
    • Metropolis is occasionally referred to as "the Big Apricot" in the comic books—an obvious reference to "The Big Apple". In at least one comic, Gotham is "the Rotten Apple".
      • This is also enhanced by the producers of each movie: Batman Begins and The Dark Knight both were filmed in Chicago, while Events in the older Superman series looked to be shot in New York.
    • The Superman movies, on the other hand, go whole-hog and present Metropolis as being New York City—subway, Times Square, World Trade Center, Calgary Tower and all.
  • Basin City from the Sin City comics and films, while supposedly located in western Washington, east of Seattle, is more an amalgam of Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
  • Zein takes place in Origin City, which is based on Cairo.
  • The title character of Jalila protects the City of All Faiths, which is quite blatantly Jerusalem. She got her powers from an accident at the 'Dimodona nuclear plant', which is just lazy.
  • The Tintin book The Seven Crystal Balls very accurately depicts the French port of Saint-Nazaire. The English translation renames it Westermouth for no good reason.
  • Like New York City, New Orleans exists in the DC Comics Universe, but also has an analog: St. Roch, the current base of operations for Hawkgirl (there is both a St. Roch street and a St. Roch neighborhood in the real New Orleans).
  • In Wet Moon, the eponymous town is based on Savannah, Georgia, with many of the backgrounds containing clearly recognizable local landmarks and buildings.

Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • The Grand Theft Auto example under Video Games is parodied in this LP, since GTA Radio uses the names of real communities. "Yeah, that lawsuit . . . Got told they can't use real names and places or they be encouraging gang violence... stupid, as if people don't know they mean Ganton when they sing about Compton."[1]


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]

  • "Paradise Falls" in Up strongly resemble Angel Falls, right down to both being in Venezuela.
    • Possibly a case of Did Not Do the Research given that Angel Falls have nothing to do with heaven-type angels but are named for Jimmie Angel, an American pilot who was first to fly over them.


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • For most of the film Speed Dating the city, or even the country it is set in is unclear—Ireland is vaguely implied, but it could be England, Scotland or Wales, or even New Zealand. Accents are heavily toned down, names generic (eg. "the City university"), landmarks and newspaper headlines are obscured and very few clues afforded. Despite the crime related plot we never even see police cars or the front of police uniforms - those would have given it away. A throw away shot ten minutes from the end reveals it to have been set in Dublin.
  • The Matrix was filmed in Australia, and the cars all drive on the left, but every street name is from the Wachowski Brother's home town of Chicago. To add to the Mind Screw, the sequels threw in California highway numbers and signage.
    • This was deliberate, trying to make the city look like a generic representation of every city. The view out of the office tower in the first film did use real world landmarks, but modified in such a way that it would be impossible to see them all in the same vista without computer assistance.
  • Parodied in the film Haiku Tunnel, which is set in lovely San Francisco.
  • The Last Hurrah is set in an unnamed Northeastern American city; given the similarities between the main character and real-life politician James Michael Curley, it's pretty clear that the city is a stand-in for Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Weird one in Little Giants... which is set in Urbania, Ohio. Either they don't know how to spell Urbana (a real city in Western Ohio), or they just wanted to change the name so the announcer sounds that much more impressive when he calls the game between the Cowboys and Giants "The Mania in Urbania".
  • Forrest Gump is from Greenbow, a fictional town in Alabama which basically could be any rural small town in Alabama (there are real ones named Greenville and Greensboro).
  • The "another place" of Streets of Fire was a thinly-disguised Chicago. Several districts like "the Richmond" and "the Battery" were mentioned but the city that included them remained anonymous.
  • Its never actually mentioned by name, but Fight Club is implied to take place in Wilmington, Delaware. (This is more explicit in the film than in the novel, as New Castle County and the nearby Delaware City are namedropped)

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Many places in Discworld have Roundworld parallels: Ankh-Morpork as London, Klatch as Africa/the Middle East, the Agatean Empire as China, Fourecks as Australia, Llamedos as Wales, and Uberwald as Eastern Europe/Transylvania/Germany, to name a few.
    • Although they're often parallels to more than one place: the Empire has some Japanese elements, Lancre while based on Pratchett's childhood in Bucks is really anywhere rural, and Word of God is that Ankh-Morpork is "Renaissance Florence, 18th century London, 19th century Seattle and modern New York". And medieval Tallinn.
  • The Last Hurrah is set in an unnamed Northeastern American city; given the similarities between the main character and real-life politician James Michael Curley, it's pretty clear that the city is a stand-in for Boston, Massachusetts.
  • Maniac Magee is set mainly in Two Mills, Pennsylvania, a fictional small town on the Schuylkill River. The nearby towns mentioned, such as Bridgeport, exist in Real Life.
  • The Egypt Game basically takes place in Berkeley, California with the names filed off. Within the story, the city is never named and the local university is only ever referred to as "the university".
  • In the Harry Potter series, the Weasley family lives near the Muggle town of Ottery St Catchpole, which is generally assumed to be a fictional stand-in for Ottery St Mary.
  • Ed McBain's Eighty Seventh Precinct series of police procedurals are set in Isola, a district of an unnamed, fictional city closely resembling New York. Isola includes many features of Manhattan, and the other districts mentioned are clear stand-ins for New York City's other four boroughs.
    • In particular, according to The Other Wiki, "Calm's Point" is Brooklyn, "Majesta" is Queens, "Riverhead" is the Bronx, and "Bethtown" Staten Island. Then there's the Harb (Hudson) and Dix (East) Rivers, and the similarly unnamed "next state" (New Jersey). George M. Dove's unofficial 1985 companion to the series, The Boys from Grover Avenue, analyzes the geography of McBain's "Imaginary City" and describes it as NYC shifted to the side, so that north becomes east, east south, etc.
    • Oddly enough, New York itself is occasionally mentioned in the books. Apparently McBain's universe has two huge and virtually-interchangeable metropolises co-existing very close to one another on the East Coast of the United States.
    • The 1972 film adaptation of Fuzz, meanwhile, is set in Boston for some reason.
  • Although they co-exist with real New England cites, including, oddly enough, the ones they are based on, H.P. Lovecraft made clear that he based his three fictional towns of Arkham, Innsmouth and Dunwich on real places: Arkham is a mix of Providence, RI and Salem, Mass and Boston. Innsmouth is Newburyport, and Dunwich is a mix of Ipswich, Mass, Greenwich, Mass and East and west Greenwich, RI.
  • Likewise, Stephen King makes it clear that Derry is Bangor, Castle rock is a mix of Durham, Maine and Lisbon Falls, Maine, and Jerusalem’s Lot is probably a mix of Falmouth, Windham, and Cumberland, Maine.
  • Thomas Hardy's "Wessex" is the south of England, with every single town and city given a fictional name.
  • The town sent through time in the 1632 series was nominally Grantville, West Virginia—but except for specifics of individuals and the power plant, the town is identical to Mannington, West Virginia.
  • Robert Westall's work is full of this trope; The Machine Gunners is set in Garmouth as a version of the author's home town of Tynemouth and Urn Burial is set in the fictional village of Unthank near the real town of Penrith in Cumbria. So much so in The Machine Gunners that there's a Westall Walk around the area.
  • Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingamen is set on and around Alderly Edge, a real location near Macclesfield in Cheshire. Many of the buildings, caves and natural landmarks mentioned in the novel exist and can be visited by walking along the Edge.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has Sunnydale, California, a large town or small city (it's never really clear, but "Chosen" shows it as a city for sure). The occasional map or bird's eye view of Sunnydale uses Santa Barbara, which is an appropriate distance from Los Angeles (to justify the series' frequent references to L.A. being within reasonable, but not close, driving distance). "Pangs" also refers to a "lost" Spanish mission church (destroyed by an earthquake sometime prior to the founding of Sunnydale in 1899) and identifies the local Native American people as Chumash, which would indicate the general region around Santa Barbara and Point Conception (interestingly, in real life, a Spanish mission church was actually located near Point Conception, destroyed by an earthquake, and relocated to Lompoc). Sunnydale also has a University of California campus (as does Santa Barbara). However, many scenes in the series imply that Sunnydale is closer to the inland deserts (with scenes that were filmed near Victorville) and has improbable underground caves.
  • Flashpoint doesn't have the city named, but is clearly Toronto, Canada. Season 2 on they stopped bothering—fire crews are frequently seen wandering around in "Toronto" call-out jackets.
    • In what appears to be a trend, Rookie Blue is also filmed in Toronto, with scenes of the skyline, including the CN tower, signs for well-known streets, badges with crowns on them, mentions of landmarks, neighborhoods and even the climate in the dialogue.
  • Cybergirl is set in the fictional River City, but doesn't bother covering up the fact that it was filmed in Brisbane (popularly nicknamed the River City, due to being named after the Brisbane River). There were a few obvious inaccuracies: the River City Museum is in fact the Brisbane Powerhouse in New Farm (itself a mini-cultural centre), although the geography of the place is itself accurate. The Top Dog building, however, was invented for the series.
  • The city and state where Hill Street Blues took place were never explicitly identified, though it clearly resembled Chicago.
  • The UK's Casualty launched in 1986, set in the city of 'Holby' (filmed in, and very clearly similar to, Bristol), the smokescreen not being of much concern at the time. Over the years, however, two sequel shows (Holby City and Holby Blue) and the popularity of the original have meant increasing use of real-world locations, all of which have to get re-dressed where references to Bristol appear. There's been some regrets voiced about the change in the first place as a result.
  • Similar to the Casualty example above, The Bill originally took place in the real life borough of Tower Hamlets, something which was confirmed in dialogue (and which seen them filming in those genuine locations). Industrial disputes at a nearby printing plant in 1986 resulted in even actors in police costumes being fairly unpopular, and the entire production was moved to North London instead. Shortly afterwards, to cover the fact that they were very clearly not in Tower Hamlets anymore, the characters started refering to being in a fictional borough named 'Canley', where it has remained ever since.
  • Corner Gas takes place in Dog River, Saskatchewan, which does not exist. Rouleau, Saskatchewan, where the show is filmed, does, while the whole thing may well just be a stand in for writer and star Brent Butt's hometown of Tisdale.
  • The Red Green Show: Possum Lake does not actually exist, serving mainly to represent the stereotypes of small-town Canada. Steve Smith once noted how far too many of the show's viewers thought Possum Lake was actually a real place. He described how people would try and book their vacations there, and one couple even asked if they could be married in Possum Lodge.
  • Most Soap Operas are set in indiscriminate locations:
    • Pine Valley, Pennsylvania in All My Children and Llanview, Pennsylvania from One Life to Live (both Philadelphia suburbs)
    • Port Charles, New York in General Hospital (on Lake Ontario between Buffalo and Rochester)
    • Though Salem in Days of Our Lives has explicitly never had a state named, everyone's always rooting for the Cubs and Bears and taking quick trips to Chicago, implying it's a large Chicago suburb.
    • Genoa City, Wisconsin in The Young and The Restless (totally unlike the real city of the same name)
    • Springfield in Guiding Light (no relation)
  • Rutherford, Ohio from 3rd Rock from the Sun is probably more-or-less a fictionalized version of Kent, Ohio. Bonnie Turner, one of the show's creators, was an alum of Kent State University, likely making it the basis for the show's Pendelton State University.
  • Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show is said to be based on Andy Griffith's real life hometown of Mount Airy, NC. References to neighboring Mount Pilot probably refer to the town of Pilot Mountain, as well as the actual mountain it's named after.
  • Midsomer Murders is set in the fictional English county of Midsomer, and its myriad of murder-filled villages. There is a real town of Midsomer Norton somewhere in Mid Somerset
  • Point Place, Wisconsin on That '70s Show is likely based on the actual town of Pleasant Prairie just outside of Kenosha as the show's creators grew up in Kenosha County.

Music[edit | hide]

  • Stan Freberg's "Incident at Los Voraces," about a Nevada city which met its untimely demise thanks to a rivalry between two casinos.


Theater[edit | hide]

  • Played with in the Irving Berlin musical Louisiana Purchase, which according to its Opening Chorus is set in the "mythical state we call Louisiana," so all likenesses to real people are just coincidences.
  • Call Me Madam, another Irving Berlin musical, had a program note reading: "The play is laid in two mythical countries. One is called Lichtenburg, the other the United States of America."


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The location of Act 3 in Metal Gear Solid 4 is always refered to as Eastern Europe, without anyone mentioning the cities name. However, Meryl does refer to the river as the Vtlava in Act 5, which does run through Prague, and the bike chase briefly leads over a bridge that is a quite accurate rendition of the Charles Bridge.
  • Accidentally averted by Prototype, with Hope, Idaho. There IS a small town in Idaho named Hope. Disturbing fail.
    • Unlike In Famous, which takes place in a expy of Manhattan, Prototype's action takes place in a very accurately-mapped Manhattan.
      • Speaking of inFAMOUS, the second iteration is based on New Orleans. One of the game's areas, interestingly if not tragically, is flooded.
  • The original Grand Theft Auto had Liberty City, San Andreas and Vice City, which roughly resemble New York City, San Francisco and Miami. When the series was moved to full 3D, GTA III, Liberty City Stories and IV were set in Liberty City (though the Liberty City from IV is different from the one in the previous games), Vice City and Vice City Stories were set in the eponymous city, and San Andreas was expanded into an entire Vice State with three cities: Los Santos (Los Angeles), San Fierro (San Francisco), and Las Venturas (Las Vegas), with the countryside being largely a mix of California and Nevada. GTA V returns to Los Santos (Los Angeles), with the rest of San Andreas being rumored.
    • And Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 was set in, erm, London.
    • While none of the Grand Theft Auto games have taken place in it, there are several references to Carcer City, where the game Manhunt does take place (Which are both made by Rockstar Games). According to a news segment from GTA III, Carcer city is "nearby" to Liberty City.
  • City of Heroes takes place in the fictional Rhode Island metropolis of Paragon City; similarly, City Of Villains takes place in the Rogue Isles, a chain of islands northwest of Bermuda. The background goes into depth to explain it's an Alternate History, where Paragon City is basically New York in a different place.
  • It's still called Shibuya in The World Ends With You, but every non-Public Domain Landmark and store is given an obvious send-up or parody.
  • Several missions in Modern Warfare 2 take place in nondescript locations like "Northeastern Virginia" (obviously in the DC commuter belt, though). or "near Petropavlovsk". Averted in the Moscow and Washington DC missions.
  • Played with in the MMO Champions Online . The primary city for mid-level adventurers is Millennium City - but rather than being a completely fictional city, it's the name of a rebuilt Detroit, Michigan, after having rebuilt following a massively devastating battle between the superheroes and the lead supervillain of the millieu, Doctor Destroyer.
  • The city in which the City Escape and Radical Highway levels of Sonic Adventure 2 takes place is somewhat San Francisco-esque... except, of course, for the Chaos City Planning.
  • Skate and its sequel Skate 2 take place in San Vanelona, named after the cities that inspired the setting (San Francisco, Vancover, and Barcelona).
  • Terranigma is full of these. It even includes a version of Chicago, complete with the Great Fire and following reconstruction as an industrial center.
  • Tokyo Field from Backyard Baseball 2007 is just Tokyo Dome.
  • Just Cause 2's Panau, with its location names and BOLO SANTOSI accents, is some Southeast Asian hybrid-thing. There're even ersatz Petronas Towers.
  • Red Dead Redemption takes place in parts of the fictional US states of New Austin and West Elizabeth, and the Mexican state of Nuevo Paraiso. New Austin is an Expy of Texas and the Southwest, West Elizabeth looks like Colorado (it features snowy mountains in the west and a Great Plains area to the east), and Nuevo Paraiso appears to be based on Sonora and Chihuahua.
  • Dead Rising 2 is set in the Nevada casino resort town of "Fortune City". Las Vegas, we are told, had already been destroyed by zombies three years prior, making it likely that Fortune City is Reno.
  • Mario Party 7 had a cruise ship theme, and the boards were set in Grand Canal (Venice, Italy), Pagoda Peak (China), Pyramid Park (Egypt), Neon Heights (New York City), and Windmillville (The Netherlands).
  • The department store in the Visual Novel Planetarian is based on the Matsubishi store in Hamamatsu, a town in the Shizuoka prefecture in Japan. In reality it lacks the dome of the planetarium, though. The shots of the dystopian city shown in the game are based on the store's surroundings.
  • Every town and region in the Pokémon series is based off of somewhere in real life (e.g. Kanto and the real-life Kanto region of Japan, Johto and Kansai, Unova and Manhattan/parts of New Jersey).


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • COPS is set in "Empire City", which is certainly not New York City. No sir.
  • Springfield from The Simpsons is largely based on creator Matt Groening's home town of Portland, Oregon, with elements of Olympia, WA, where he attended college. (The city square with its statue of Jebediah Springfield, to cite one example, is highly reminiscent of Olympia's Sylvester Park.) Its location is a running gag in the series, with writers finding obvious delight in throwing in more and more conflicting hints on it. Fans even started a whole game of trying to strong-arm all these references together, to find where the hell is that town for real? Semi-officially, though, Springfield is located in a fictional state of North Tacoma. To make matters more interesting, West Springfield is the size of Texas and Oklahoma put together—needless to say, there's no way it can exist for real, and was likely the very intention behind this. And in case you're wondering, the "North Tacoma" bit comes from Homer's driver's license in an early episode, and is yet another reference to Groening's Northwest upbringing (as in Tacoma, Washington). Of course, the creators threw even more fuel on the fire by actually announcing a state during the "Behind the Laughter" episode. But they made several versions, each saying a different state. Flanders threw another monkey wrench into the works by listing the states that border Springfield. States that are nowhere near each other (such as Maine and Kentucky) and have vastly different geographies. Lampshaded (most blatant example) in the episode "Blame it on Lisa": Ronaldo says he wanted to write to Lisa, but he did not know what state Springfield was located in. Lisa replies with something like "It is a bit of a mystery, but if you put the clues together, you can figure it out." The original area code is 636, which is west St. Louis county in Missouri, but the split is 939, which is in Puerto Rico.
  • Teen Titans never names the city (according to supplementary material somewhere it's Jump City) but considering the its west coast location and the great big bridge, it's probably San Francisco (which it is, for the comics' counterpart). The Titans East take up shop in Steel City, which seems to be Detroit.
  • Arguably Code Lyoko. The school and the factory are precisely modeled after real school and factory in Paris suburbs. But too far away from each other for the show.
  • Hey Arnold! supposedly takes place in Washington State, but the city has elements of New York City, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon where the creator grew up.
  • Some elements of Highland in Beavis and Butthead are based in Albuquerque, NM, including the schools (there's a real Highland High there, after which both the school and the city were named), which was the city where Mike Judge grew up.
  • South Park. It's stated to be somewhere in in the South Park Colorado Basin, in Park County, Colorado, all of which does exist. But there is no actual city or town called South Park located there. However it has been confirmed that the town is loosely based on the city of Fairplay in Colorado.
  1. Compton is the real community, Ganton is the game's stand-in.