Created By: batgirl1 on July 24, 2015 Last Edited By: EdnaWalker on June 8, 2017
Troped

Fictional Province

A fictional state, province, or similar subdivision of a real-world country.

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Trope
This is when Where the Hell Is Springfield? actually has an answer, and that answer is pretty nonsensical even by fiction's usual standards. It's easier to suspend disbelief for made up cities and countries, since there tend to be a lot of those and only the most hard-core geography nerds would have all existing cities or countries memorized. However, American children for instance are taught early on to know all 50 US states (and their capitals), so setting a story in a "state" called New Troy or Calisota can require a lot more co-operation from the audience, as well as leading to Fridge Logic about whether flags in this world have more than 50 stars.

Of course, this isn't necessarily restricted to US States, as it can apply to the states and provinces of other countries as well.

Fictional counties and parishes also count.

Compare to:

Up for Grabs


Examples

Comic Books

Film - Animated
  • The Cars franchise has Carberator County, a fictional county.

Live-Action Television

Other
  • In the American law schools, "Franklin" is often used as a placeholder for a State.

Radio

  • In the world of Lake Wobegon from A Prairie Home Companion, Lake Wobegon isn't just a fictional town, it's the county seat of a fictional Minnesota county called Mist County. Supposedly Mist County is what happened when the initial surveyors of Minnesota missed a chunk of land. The mapmakers didn't want to go back and redo all their work (i.e. putting Lake Wobegon on the map), so they fudged the map to ignore Mist County.

Theatre

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle had the fictional state/province of Moosylvania, a swampy little island on the US/Canada border. (The US insisted it was a Canadian province, Canada insisted it was a US state.) Jay Ward tried once to defictionalize it as a publicity stunt; he leased a small island in Minnesota's Lake of the Woods and campaigned to make it the state of Moosyvania. The attempt fizzled after the Cuban Missile Crisis broke out.
  • King of the Hill: the town of Arlen is located in fictional Heimlich County, Texas.
  • Steven Universe:
    • According to Word of God, Beach City is located in Delmarva State, named after the Delmarva Peninsula, where the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia converge.
    • In "Keystone Motel", the characters visit the Keystone State, which is the nickname of Pennsylvania, only here it's the actual name of the state.
  • Moral Orel takes place in the city of Moralton, the capitol of Statesota, the geographic center of the US. (In real life, if you're just counting the 48 contiguous states, it's just south of the Kansas-Nebraska border. Include Alaska and Hawaii, and the geographic center shifts to the western edge of South Dakota.)
  • Word of God is that The Simpsons live in North Tacoma.
Community Feedback Replies: 54
  • July 24, 2015
    StarSword
    This is covered by Expanded States Of America.
  • July 24, 2015
    batgirl1
    I just checked that trope, and it doesn't mention fictional extra states anywhere; it seems to be more about America taking over existing places.
  • July 24, 2015
    jayoungr
    Finians Rainbow takes place in the fictional state of Missitucky.
  • July 24, 2015
    BKelly95
    Video Games
  • July 25, 2015
    eroock
    Supertrope to Ruritania.
  • July 25, 2015
    Chabal2

  • Western Animation
    • Rocky And Bullwinkle had a swampy little island that was its own state known as Moosylvania; it was situated right on the U.S./Canada border, and both countries continually fought to dump it on the other because neither wanted it as part of theirs. At one point, as a publicity stunt, creator Jay Ward attempted to defictionalize Moosylvania by campaigning to turn it into a real state after leasing an island in the Lake of the Woods in Minnesota, however by the time Ward and his campaign reached the White House the Cuban Missile Crisis happened, bringing the campaign to an end.
  • July 26, 2015
    rcmerod52
    Does San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6 count?
  • July 26, 2015
    TonyG
    • The Disney Mouse And Duck Comics take place in the state of Calisota.
    • Arlen, Texas, the setting of King Of The Hill, is located in fictional Heimlich County.
    • Steven Universe:
      • According to Word Of God, Beach City is located in Delmarva State, named after the Delmarva Peninsula, where the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia converge.
      • In "Keystone Motel", the characters visit the Keystone State, which is the nickname of Pennsylvania, only here it's the actual name of the state.
  • July 26, 2015
    BKelly95
    If we're including counties:

    Live Action Television
  • July 26, 2015
    Kartoonkid95
    • The Simpsons: The episode "Future-Drama" shows that the U.S. has a 51st state called Saudi-Isrealia.
    • Futurama: Besides the main setting of New New York, several other states are shown in "Bendin' in the Wind".
      • California has been split into HighCal and LoCal.
      • Nevade has become Nukevada.
      • Pennsylvania has been split into the Penn Republic and Sylvania.
      • West Virginia has become East West Virginia.
      • Idaho has become User ID:aho
      • Kentucky has become just 'Ucky
  • July 26, 2015
    TonyG
    ^The Simpsons example falls under Expanded States Of America.

    ^^^^San Fransokyo is only one city. This is for a whole state.
  • July 27, 2015
    randomsurfer
    Moral Orel takes place in the city of Moralton, the capitol of Statesota, the geographic center of the US. (In real life the location would be somewhere in Missouri.)
  • July 27, 2015
    Antigone3
    I pulled most of the examples over, but wasn't sure if the Futurama ones were this trope or simply renaming.
  • July 27, 2015
    Lord-Jaric
    VideoGames
    • Most of the games of the Ace Combat series take place on a fictional Earth with fictional nations that have real world comparisons; such as Osea=Usa, Yuktobania=Soviet Union/Russia, Belka=Germany, Sapin=Spain, and so on.
  • July 27, 2015
    Str8taim
    Films-Animated

    • In Meet The Robinsons, Lewis tries to cover-up his time travelling from the past by telling the Robinson family that he is from Canada. However, he is informed that, in the future, Canada has joined the United States and is now a gigantic super-state known as North Montana. South Montana must feel really puny by comparison.
  • July 28, 2015
    robinjohnson
    The title is a problem. "Fictional state" reads pretty much interchangably with "fictional country" outside the US. "Fictional US State" would be fine if it applied just to US states. Trying to take it outside the US probably won't translate well everywhere - for example, there's no stretch by which an English county, as in the Midsomer Murders example, can be called a state. (If anything's parallel to 'states' in the UK it's the constituent countries - England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland - and they're never called states.) "Fictional Province" might work, but can you call a US state a province?
  • August 4, 2015
    69BookWorM69
    ^ I concur. "State" is rather an elastic term.

    Also, would this be a supertrope to Barsetshire as well?
  • May 22, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    ^^ I have to agree with this. Especially because the trope Fictional Country already exists.
  • May 30, 2016
    HighCrate
    • In Batman The Animated Series, the state which contains Gotham City is never specified, but a Freeze Frame Gag reveals its nickname to be the "Dark Deco State", an in-joke referencing the production team's term for the show's art style.
  • May 22, 2016
    DAN004
    So... discard?
  • June 6, 2016
    EdnaWalker
    Red Dead Redemption has two fictional US states (New Austin and West Elizabeth) and a fictional Mexican state (Nuevo Paraiso).
  • June 6, 2016
    rmctagg09
    Would Fictional Province work better?
  • November 5, 2016
    MiinU
    deleted post - moving to Fictional Country.
  • June 6, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    No, there's no reason to discard this. The only issue is the current name meaning one thing in one region and another thing in other regions.
  • June 6, 2016
    Prfnoff
    • In Of Thee I Sing, Throttlebottom's Senate roll call includes "The Senator who's from Alaska," which the libretto notes is "A new state, by the way." While Alaska did become a state with Senate representation and all in Real Life several decades after the musical was written, it was given premature statehood here just to provide a convenient rhyme for Nebraska (since Throttlebottom "simply can't be bothered when their names don't rhyme").
  • June 6, 2016
    EdnaWalker
    The Cars franchise has Carberator County, a fictional county.
  • June 6, 2016
    DAN004
  • November 2, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Why not just make it Fictional U.S. State? Short and sweet.
  • November 2, 2016
    AHI-3000
    Do we have a trope for fictional countries?
  • November 2, 2016
    JujuP
    ^^

    Could we provide for the case of the subentities of federal states (Brazil, Russia, Spain, Australia, Canada)?

    Real Life
    • In the American law schools, "Franklin" is often used as a placeholder for a State.
  • November 3, 2016
    MarqFJA
    Tweaking the "Compare to" part of the description.

    Also, I think the "not limited to US states" part may need to be a bit more emphasized.

    ^^ Yes, we do. It's called Fictional Country.
  • November 5, 2016
    MiinU
    A lot of the examples in the OP are ZCE. The first four is basically a list of names that amounts to 'this series has this fictional place'.

    Also, there's no need to repeatedly say each one is fictional, since that's generally assumed, given they're being used as examples.
  • November 10, 2016
    Morgenthaler
    Anyone else in favor of renaming this to "Fictional U.S. State"?
  • November 13, 2016
    AHI-3000
    ^ "Of course, this isn't necessarily restricted to US States, as it can apply to the provinces of other countries as well."
  • November 14, 2016
    GrigorII
    What about "Fictional district"? It should work for any fictional geopolitical area that is not a country, regardless of the local name (state, province, county, etc.)
  • November 14, 2016
    GrigorII
    And now that we are at it, what about completely fictional cities, such as Batman's Gotham, Superman's Metropolis or the PPG's Townsville? I have not seen a "fictional city" trope (unless it has some other name), but if there isn't, we should expand the examples with fictional cities.
  • November 14, 2016
    naturalironist
    I second Fictional Province- covers non-US examples and is fairly indicative.
  • November 14, 2016
    EdnaWalker
    ^ But that doesn't cover fictional counties and parishes. Which title would cover fictional counties and parishes (Carberator County is a fictional county in the Cars franchise) as well as fictional states, provinces, departments, and prefectures, any fictional geopolitical area that is not a country, continent, or city?
  • November 14, 2016
    TropesForever
    Word Of God is that The Simpsons live in North Tacoma.
  • January 3, 2017
    rmctagg09
    ^^ We could just make Fictional County, Fictional Province, and Fictional Parish redirects.
  • January 25, 2017
    lakingsif
    I don't think fictional counties should be included - States are much wider recognised, whereas creating fictional cities and counties is a staple of Where The Hell Is Springfield.
  • May 16, 2017
    Morgenthaler
    Let's just make it Fictional Province and call it a day. We can then make Fictional County, Fictional Parish, Fictional State, Fictional Shire or whatever into redirects. "Province" seems to be the most neutral term since "Fictional State" will also be confused with Fictional Country by non-US readers.
  • May 16, 2017
    WhirlRX
    The Steven Universe should be expanded as an Alternative History brought about because of Homeworld Gems settling on Earth ages ago.
  • May 16, 2017
    hszmv1
    Wouldn't this be similar to Fantasy Counterpart Culture? Very few of these are unique to themselves and most are at least partially based off of real provinces.
  • May 16, 2017
    Getta
    ^ The only point to this draft is that the state is fictional. It doesn't matter whether it ends up being based on a real state or not.
  • May 16, 2017
    NateTheGreat
    In the world of Lake Wobegon from A Prairie Home Companion, Lake Wobegon isn't just a fictional town, it's the county seat of a fictional Minnesota county called Mist County. Supposedly Mist County is what happened when the initial surveyors of Minnesota missed a chunk of land. The mapmakers didn't want to go back and redo all their work (i.e. putting Lake Wobegon on the map), so they fudged the map to ignore Mist County.
  • May 27, 2017
    rmctagg09
    Added.
  • May 28, 2017
    rmctagg09
    • Far Cry 5 takes place in the fictional Hope County, Montana.
  • June 7, 2017
    Morgenthaler
    Since this is Up For Grabs and already has 12 hats, I'll go ahead and launch this in a day or so.
  • June 7, 2017
    EdnaWalker
    Can examples of fictional counties and parishes be put on this trope page?
  • June 8, 2017
    EdnaWalker
    Since this YKTTW is Up For Grabs, can I put a few examples into this trope?
  • June 8, 2017
    ZuTheSkunk
  • June 8, 2017
    TonyG
    Nowhere is a town, not a state. The state is Kansas, which is real.
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