Created By: DannyVElAcme on August 25, 2011

Fake Building

Looks like some kind of building on the outside, but inside it's completely empty and non-functional.

Name Space:
Page Type:
Needs examples, I'll build it up in a few days

Basically, for some covert or sinister purpose, a building is set up to look like a certain type, but is actually non-functional for its supposedly intended purpose. For example, a house that is completely barren inside without even plumbing or electricity, or a supposed office building that is in fact empty like an abandoned warehouse. Another usual characteristic is that snooping around the building counts against your life expectancy.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • August 26, 2011
    Jimmy Dell's fake office/apartment in The Spanish Prisoner. When Jow brings the FBI back there, the door that supposedly led to the aprtment leads into a single empty room.
  • August 26, 2011
    This A common staple of RTS games, especially for the "Subversive" faction. These are supposed to distract or confuse their opposition, but more often, they are a waste of time and resources because either some minor detail makes them easily spotted as fakes, or their hitpoints are extremely low, resulting in them going down like Thai hookers when the shooting starts.
    • Command And Conquer series games that featured them:
      • Command And Conquer Red Alert: The Allies could build them, but their lack of hitpoints made them hardly a distraction. Their in-game effect was to annoy Allied players who had to constantly scroll through a long list of fakes to find the structure he wanted to build.
      • Command And Conquer Generals: The GLA had actually useful fake structures. They could be built quickly and cheaply, and as a bonus, they could later be turned into real structures by paying the price difference.
  • August 26, 2011
    Do cardboard cutouts of buildings (like in old movie sets) count? I'm thinking of Blazing Saddles, when they trick the villains into looting a fake town that's composed of a bunch of cardboard cutouts of buildings.
  • August 26, 2011
    If you have a whole town of these, you have a Potemkin Village. (Which I guess isn't a trope yet either -- see the other wiki.)
  • August 26, 2011
    • There was a French cartoon short called Villa Mon Reve, where a con man sells a family a house with a palatial exterior that turns out to be a wooden front for a rather drab little suburban home.
    • In real life there are some house fronts in London that don't have interiors - they overlook a rail line, and they're only there to block the noise and make the street look like a continuous row of buildings.
  • August 26, 2011
    In Arrested Development, in The One Where They Build A House, the house they build is this trope.
  • August 27, 2011
    The Simpsons: In an elaborate scheme to capture the Simpson clan, Sideshow Bob constructs a fake restaurant which is empty on the inside. In order to get the Simpsons to come to it he produces a commercial for it filled with something each of them likes.
  • May 1, 2012
  • May 1, 2012
    A Potemkin Village is a XVIII century Urban Legend. Supposedly, Catherine The Great's minister and lover Grigory Potemkin built entire villages of fake houses to show off the alleged prosperity of the newly-conquered Southern Ukraine.
  • May 1, 2012
    • According to Foucaults Pendulum (itself based on urban legends), there are several such buildings scattered around Paris (as well as other cities) and used for ventilation of its sprawling undercity, better known as Parisian catacombs.
  • May 2, 2012
    Another Real Life example: Kij┼Ćng-dong, a North Korean village near the border, created as propaganda, filled with empty wall-only buildings where workers switch lights off and on everyday to create the illusion of a real, populated place. This was built in the 1950's, when it represented a level of luxury unheard of even to South Koreans - and the masquerade worked until telescopic lens technology improved.