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Big Star Small Town
a stock plot where a big star ends up in a small town


(permanent link) added: 2012-09-29 05:55:54 sponsor: HeartOfAnAstronaut (last reply: 2013-01-28 20:09:25)

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A stock plot for any series set in a small Quirky Town is the episode/chapter/etc where a huge celebrity (in-universe or otherwise) comes to visit. Maybe a crew has come along to shoot some scenes from the latest Hollywood blockbuster in a picturesque village, maybe the star just wants to escape the paparazzi and the trappings of fame, or maybe it's a less sympathetic version of this plot and the star is using the town for their own ends. Either way, Hilarity Ensues!

Expect potential romances with the locals (who at the very least are likely to have a crush on the celebrity), new light shone on the town's oddest quirks and traditions, and the star to go back to where they came from almost as soon as they got there.

The celebrity character can represent any number of ideas or themes that may be absent from the town the rest of the time, for example, wealth, mainstream culture, the idea that celebrities are beautiful and superior people or the idea that fame corrupts.

Weirdly, some television series will use this trope even if they have celebrity guest stars all the time. Similarly, fictional towns can vary greatly in size and sometimes seem almost like cities (especially in a Long Runner such as The Simpsons). As a rule, it still counts if the appearance of the celebrity emphasises the fact that the town has it's own way of life, is like nowhere else in the country, has such a unique character, etc.

  • The Simpsons had an episode where a movie star came to Springfield and started dating Ned Flanders. I'm afraid I can't remember the characters name, or the celebrity who voiced her, so it would be very useful if you could remind me.
  • The Vicar of Dibley did this twice, with Hugo's crush Kylie Minogue showing up in Dibley at a random and convenient moment, and a visit from Johnny Depp at the peak of his hotness (Geraldine's crush).
  • South Park has used the plot of a celebrity visiting the small town of South Park a number of times but not every example fits this trope (not least because South Park itself seems to be of indeterminate size). One episode that does fit is Paris Hilton's visit to South Park when she gets frustrated with the lack of nightclubs, tries to buy Butters as a pet and is eventually overthrown and, er, ingested, by the locals.
  • On Father Ted Mrs Doyle won a competition with the prize being a visit from her favourite television star. He's pampered, spoiled and stupid, and completely confused and disgruntled by Craggy Island culture.
  • Truth in Television to a certain extent: if you live in a small town in Wales or Ireland for example, you may have encountered a film crew for a famous television series or big film. Also a number of celebrities do move out to tranquil second homes in the country.
  • Hannah Montana The Movie, Miley/Hannah ended up back home in Crowley Corners or whatever that little place just outta Nashville was called.
  • The plot of Beverly Hillbillies is an inversion of this - a group of nobodies end up living the lives of rich people.

Compare to City Mouse, Fish out of Water, Culture Clash possibly Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense, Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Up for Grabs.
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