Created By: EdnaWalker on November 30, 2011 Last Edited By: EdnaWalker on March 5, 2012

Indoor Only Location

A live action TV show that takes place mainly in an indoors location

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Rolling Updates.

Many live action TV series take place mainly in an indoor location, like inside a house, inside spacecraft, or inside a submarine. The show has to be set in an indoor location and it can't show an outdoor setting beside an establishing shot of what city or town the show takes place.

Generally, this is more common in Sit Coms with a Three Cameras setup Filmed before a Studio Audience.

See also Bottle Episode where it happens in individual episodes of shows which generally avert this.


Aversions, Subversions, Exceptions, and Inversions:

Live Action TV


Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • November 30, 2011
    Tuomas
    Frasier has about one or two outdoor scenes per season. It doesn't use estabishing shots either, so outdoor shots are really scarce.
  • November 30, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Would series that take place primarily aboard spacecraft or submarines count?
  • November 30, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Generally more common in Sit Coms with a Three Cameras setup Filmed Before A Studio Audience. Also many plays are designed to take place on one set.

    See also Bottle Episode where it happens in individual episodes of shows which generally avert this.
  • November 30, 2011
    LeeM
    Most episodes of The Royle Family don't have any exterior shots - even when the characters are looking out of the window the audience doesn't see what they're looking at.
  • November 30, 2011
    fulltimeD
    Some episodes of The Twilight Zone (original) are like this; many use primarily one set, and several, like the one with the magic camera, are set completely indoors.
  • December 2, 2011
    atheywa
    How is this not People Sitting On Chairs?
  • December 9, 2011
    SeanMurrayI
    ^I have a concurring opinion on this.

    It would probably make more sense if this was limited to stories or shows that only take place in one room or location.
  • December 9, 2011
    Trotzky
    Big Bang Theory has scenes inside a car, or just outside a house. Come to think of it, most of the outside of a house scenes are at night-time, so the whole show could be filmed in the studio.
  • December 9, 2011
    SeanMurrayI
    ^Okay, that definitely shouldn't be an example. And Filmed Only On A Soundstage would be an even worse concept to trope.
  • December 9, 2011
    Duncan
    Actually averted several times on Saved By The Bell, despite the Fan Wank that the entire show is inside Bayside High.
  • December 10, 2011
    Vyctorian
    Mister Rogers Neighborhood takes place mostly inside the home of the Mr.Rogers.
  • December 10, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    ^^^^^ That might be good, though it'd be pretty much an exclusively theatre trope.
  • December 10, 2011
    SeanMurrayI
    ^Not necessarily. The first couple of seasons of Cheers took place exclusively at the bar, for instance. Other shows may have individual episodes that follow this premise (Seinfeld and the one in the Chinese Restaurant lobby, or the one when the characters are lost in the parking garage). There's a lot of movies we could probably list, too. Exam...
  • December 10, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    Well, I meant that most would be theater, which isn't a bad thing. We have tropes that can't really exist for any medium other than Video Games or Literature. I think that a lot of the movies that fit the bill would be based on plays.
  • December 10, 2011
    SeanMurrayI
    In any case, it's still an idea that's concrete and has a strong enough foundation to stand on its own.

    This article, however, I just feel is looking a little soft and flabby and should be more rigidly defined.
  • December 14, 2011
    Duncan
    David Mamet's play Oleanna, and the movie based on it, takes place entirely in a college professor's office.
  • December 14, 2011
    SquirrelGuy
    The Brady Bunch took place mostly indoors, in the Brady house. This is why viewers are so familiar with the floor plan. Even the backyard was in a soundstage -- note how in "What Goes Up..." when they're on the trampoline, the jumpers cast 3 shadows at once. Only a handful of episodes took place in other locales (Sam's butcher shop, Mike's office, a store, etc.), and even fewer were actually outside, most notably the vacation episodes, and a few short scenes of them biking or jogging around the neighborhood.
  • December 14, 2011
    nman
    Should you even list examples of sitcoms? It would be better to list aversions.
  • January 17, 2012
    DracMonster
    Rather than People Sit On Chairs this is more an Omnipresent Trope.

    It might also be more of a trivia item, it's more a limitation based on cost and other factors than a story-telling tool as such.
  • January 17, 2012
    SonofRojBlake
    "Mostly indoors locations" is People Sit On Chairs.

    "Entire episode on a single set" is a trope. Taken to the ultimate extreme by the movie Buried, in which the sole actor on screen spends the entire movie in a 6'x3'x2' box.

    While Friends took place almost exclusively in a coffee shop, two apartments and the corridor between them, was there ever an episode that took place entirely in the corridor? Or the coffee shop? That would seem a worthwhile trope.

    The UK soap Eastenders, usually a large ensemble piece taking place across multiple locations around an East London square, once did an episode that took place entirely in one room and featured just two characters (Dot and Ethel) talking.

  • March 3, 2012
    Vidor

    "Mostly indoors locations" is People Sit On Chairs.

    "Entire episode on a single set" is a trope. Taken to the ultimate extreme by the movie Buried, in which the sole actor on screen spends the entire movie in a 6'x3'x2' box.----

    It was my impression that an entire episode of a show set in a single location was a Bottle Episode. And in fact the description of that trope says "Note that the term has become synonymous with "single-location" episode". I agree that the original trope as suggested, Mostly Indoor Location, is People Sit On Chairs--for starters, virtually every television comedy AND every drama ever made would fall under this trope.

    If there is a trope here, one that is distinct from Bottle Episode, wouldn't it be an entire series, or an entire film, set in a single location? For example, the entire first season of Cheers took place exclusively at the bar. Most of the entire series of Barney Miller took place at the police station. Almost all of My Dinner With Andre is at the restaurant where the titular dinner was filmed.
  • March 3, 2012
    Met
    A single-location episode is a Bottle Episode. Almost all soap operas also take place mostly indoors- not a trope, just a money-saving device. I've never heard of a television series that takes place in a single location with NO exceptions. There are some movies, plays, and short stories that take place in single locations.
  • March 3, 2012
    Vidor
    Well, as I noted, most episodes of Barney Miller were staged only in the police station, and the first season of Cheers never left the bar.
  • March 5, 2012
    cygnavamp
    The characters from All In The Family were always indoors. If any action took place outdoors, it was only discussed, never seen. The closest we got was occasionally the Bunkers' front porch. (Notably in the episode where someone drew a swastika on their door.)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=0bje5ow6t8tfm3sfdhiaq0of