[[quoteright:300:[[Series/DoctorWho http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/doctor-who-experience-cardiff-invasion-10_7768.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Who said that monsters ''couldn't'' appear in Cardiff?]]
->'''Joyce''': Why '''''Canada'''''?\\
'''Head Alien''': I figgered "Who'd f***ing notice?" God''damn'' was I right.
-->--''Webcomic/ItsWalky''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please put additional entries on the quotes tab. %%

Looking for a place to set the disaster of the week/alien invasion/supervillain's base/origin of the bad guys etc? Well, you can use the classics: [[BigApplesauce New York]], {{Tokyo|IsTheCenterOfTheUniverse}}, [[BritainIsOnlyLondon London]] or UsefulNotes/{{Paris}} for the first three and places like [[CommieLand Russia]], North Korea or the Middle East for the last. Of course, you may think that's too cliché. Another alternative is having the last three take place in [[NothingExcitingEverHappensHere a fictional town in the middle of nowhere]] and have the villains come from some equally-fictional {{Ruritania}} or {{Qurac}}.

Or you may TakeAThirdOption. Have the center of the plot be in an actual place, but some relatively harmless semi-known non-exotic location which makes you ask [[PlaceWorseThanDeath "Why THERE, of all places?"]]. That is the basis of the trope. Are aliens landing in [[FlyingSaucer UFOs]]? They'll land in [[Film/{{District9}} Johannesburg, South Africa]], or [[RoswellThatEndsWell Roswell, New Mexico]]. Is there a neighborhood full of world-class martial artists with superhuman powers? It's in Luxembourg. Is there a [[HellGate Hellmouth]] opening? It's opening in UsefulNotes/{{Cornwall}}[[labelnote:*]][[http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?hl=en&sa=N&tab=lw#hl=en&tbo=d&sclient=psy-ab&q=hells+mouth+cornwall&oq=hells+mouth+&gs_l=hp.3.2.0l4.1928.8376.0.10300.15.13.2.0.0.0.209.1216.10j2j1.13.0.les%3B..0.0...1c.1.LDi2Kr3gIvM&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.41248874,d.Yms&fp=145e449a990997f1&biw=1440&bih=805 There is! Sort of.]][[/labelnote]]. Is there a magical gateway between worlds? It's in UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}. [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer One of them]], anyway. Is there a mysterious gigantic cavern hidden just beneath the earth's surface, wherein aliens once upon a time created all life on earth? It's underneath [[UsefulNotes/{{Brazil}} Sugarloaf Mountain]].

This is sometimes PlayedForLaughs, though in most cases it rather realistically points out events do happen in the world outside its largest cities. The trope namer is ''Series/DoctorWho'' and subsequent spin-off ''Series/{{Torchwood}}''. This is [[CreatorProvincialism due to the fact]] that the revived ''Doctor Who'' was produced by [[Creator/TheBBC BBC]] UsefulNotes/{{Wales}}. Though Cardiff very often found itself DoublingForLondon, UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, Space, or the Scottish Highlands for that matter. May also happen as a type of AuthorAppeal, when the author is a native of that location. Such an author may also prefer to [[WriteWhatYouKnow write what he knows]].

An author writing about their own country and for their own country may be seen as such by foreigners, even if it was not the original intention. For example, an Argentine sci-fi author writes a comic about [[ComicBook/ElEternauta an alien invasion that lands in Buenos Aires]]. Aliens in Buenos Aires? For an Argentine reader, it's [[CreatorProvincialism Buenos Aires is the center of the universe]]. For a reader from elsewhere, it an "Aliens In Cardiff" story.

Not to be confused with AliensOfLondon (though this doesn't mean they are mutually exclusive), NothingExcitingEverHappensHere (where the location is just generically boring). Contrast with CanadaDoesNotExist, where it's forbidden to name the semi-known location, as well as WashingtonDCInvasion, when the aliens don't feel like faffing around and cut right to the chase.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/SoulEater'', Death City, the home of TheGrimReaper and his school, is located in Nevada. It's a play of words on the grimly named desert, Death Valley, which spans parts of California and Nevada.
** This lead to anomalies like the world's most powerful ''{{ninja}}'' setting up base in Nevada.
* Vladivostok, gets to feature not just in one, but in ''two'' completely unrelated shows with a supernatural touch. But while ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'''s representation is [[RealPlaceBackground completely accurate]], [[BloodPlus Blood+'s]] was [[HollywoodGeography almost unrecognizable.]]
* Mizuho-sensei of ''Anime/PleaseTeacher'' lands her spacecraft in Lake Kizaki, Nagano Prefecture, presumably for the SceneryPorn. The spinoff, ''Anime/OnegaiTwins'' is set in the same area.
* The Maguar and the aliens fighting them in ''Anime/{{Figure17}}'' are confined to rural Hokkaido.
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', one would have expected the capital of [[TheEmpire Britannia]] to be somewhere on the North American eastern seaboard, perhaps in one of the original thirteen colonies or the other Britannian (British) New World settlements. Instead, it's located in the middle of Arizona, either around where Yuma (as it was located on a map) or Phoenix (going by the surrounding mountains and southwestern desert landscape) would have been.
* ''Anime/DominionTankPolice'' takes place in a heavily polluted, killer cyborg infested, futuristic version of Newport, Rhode Island.
* In ''Anime/AldnoahZero'', the Vers Empire's invasion of Earth begins with Martian Landing Castle slamming into four key cities. [[TokyoIsTheCenterOfTheUniverse Tokyo]] and UsefulNotes/{{Beijing}} are megacities you'd expect an extraterrestrial enemy to invade... but UsefulNotes/NewOrleans and [[UsefulNotes/{{Mozambique}} Maputo?]] But those cities makes sense when you consider the map of the Earth as it stands in ''Aldnoah.Zero's'' setting: [[FallenStatesOfAmerica the East and West Coasts of America are gone]], and [[ApocalypseHow nearly all of the western coast of Africa as well as northern Mozambique]] is devastated, so it stands to reason that New Orleans and Maputo have become megacities thanks to population explosions from fleeing refugees. Episode 9 shows us [[http://postimg.org/image/7taub5vzd/ a full map of the invasion.]]
** One of the Landing Castles settled in Dushanbe, the capital of the tiny and dirt poor Central Asian nation of Tajikistan, which is so awkwardly placed in the corner of the very inaccessible mountainous area of Pamir that it's literally nothing to see and do there: the mountains effectively preclude any meaningful economic development. Unless Martians are interested in meager amounts of cotton and aluminum ore, or prodigious amounts of unskilled laborers that are chief exports of Tajikistan, it's hard to imagine the reason for them to land there.
** Meanwhile, United Earth Headquarters is located in central southern Russia near the Mongolian border. Talk about way out in the boonies. On the other hand, HQ is actually a [[ElaborateUndergroundBase hardened bunker 600 meters underground]] that can survive a nuclear strike, so that's not exactly the kind of building that should be found in a major metropolitan area.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}: Uprising'', when a captured UNSC Soldier is [[ColdBloodedTorture tortured]] by the Covenant, he tells them the "Key of Osanalan" is in Cleveland. [[spoiler:It was a ruse to keep them from glassing the city where his brother was living.]]
* In ''ComicBook/GoldDigger,'' the Diggers family lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Consequently, all the supernatural and superscientific friends, enemies, and acquaintances they make during the course of their globe-trotting and multiverse-hopping adventures inevitably end up finding their way there.
* The Jaime Reyes runs of ''Comicbook/BlueBeetle'' deviated from the standard "stick the hero in a counterpart of a real-world city" DC formula by having Jaime patrol El Paso, Texas.
* In the 4-issue ''Comicbook/GreatLakesAvengers'' series, Maelstrom manages to create his universe-ending device successfully, and has only the titular D-List team to face him. He notes that he succeeded in creating his doomsday device because he didn't go to a major city like Los Angeles, London, or New York, but instead went to Milwaukee, Wisconsin!
* ''ComicBook/AlphaFlight'' are superheroes in Canada.
* Pretty much the whole point of The 50 State Initiative. A super Hero team for every state, even Iowa. And of course, our friends The Great Lakes Avengers patrol Wisconsin as The Great Lakes Initiative.
* In Creator/AlanMoore's first ''Comicbook/SwampThing'' story line the Franchise/{{Justice League|OfAmerica}} is caught completely off guard when the Floronic Man makes his move.
-->'''Green Arrow''': Man, I don't believe this! We were watching out for New York, Metropolis, for Atlantis... But who was watching out for Lacroix, Louisiana?
* ''ComicBook/HowardTheDuck'' was based in UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}}.
* ''RomSpaceKnight'': a major center of the Dire Wraith invasion is Clairton, West Virginia.
* ''Eduardo Risso's'' (with scripts by Barreiro) "Parque Chas" turns this into a joke, setting a detectivesque [[MostWritersAreWriters comic writer]] in the very quiet, middle-class, small and residential neighbourhood of Parque Chas, in Buenos Aires, where a lot of crazy paranormal stuff is going on due to a dimensional gate. The craziest part is that there are indeed urban legends about Parque Chas, due to its weird [[AlienGeometries circular]] streets.
* An escape pod carrying the infant survivor of an [[LastOfHisKind otherwise extinct alien species]] crash lands in Smallville, Kansas. [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Of course.]]
* ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'' has a ninja clan in New Jersey.
* The [[Comicbook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesMirage Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]] run into ''all kinds'' of supernatural crap. It's easy to overlook when they're in New York, but it feels jarring when they're constantly running into aliens and eldritch abominations in Northampton, Massachusetts.
* In the Post-''Comicbook/CivilWar'' Creator/MarvelComics world [[Comicbook/TheMightyThor Asgard]] - the home of the gods of [[NorseMythology Norse legend]] - is floating over Broxton, Oklahoma.
* ''Comicbook/SecretAvengers'': The secret empire has built their underground teleporting city beneath Toledo, Ohio for two reasons: It has no subway systems and there is very little chance of any government or media attention.
* The new ''Comicbook/{{Ms Marvel|2014}}'' is Jersey City's very own (well, only) superhero.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''FanFic/WorldwarWarOfEquals'', the aliens do land near or outside capitol cities such as Sao Paulo, Cairo, Kiev, Beijing, and Mumbai, they also choose to land in some place that aren't so popular such as Belleville, Bari, Al Basrah, and Bendigo.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* UsefulNotes/{{Cleveland}} is where ''Film/HowardTheDuck'' took place, complete with aliens trying to take over the world.
* The ''[[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]]'' B-Movie ''Film/TheGiantSpiderInvasion'' takes place in Merrill, Wisconsin.
** ''Film/TheFinalSacrifice'' takes place in Eagle Hat, South Alberta.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by Tom Servo while watching ''TimeChasers'': "So, Vermont was the epicenter of the dystopia?"
* From ''Film/DeadMenDontWearPlaid:'' [[spoiler: 'At least we managed to get... [[ThrowAwayCountry Terre Haute... Indian-uhh...]]']]
* In ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'', the aliens are first spotted in the town of Muncie, Indiana. They land at Devil's Tower, Wyoming (the mountain Roy keeps trying to sculpt.)
* ''Film/AlienVsPredator: Requiem'' takes place in the small college town of Gunnison, Colorado, about as far out in the sticks as possible. The movie exaggerates, however, making the town several times larger than it really is, and giving it a power station and other such accoutrements (it was actually filmed on Vancouver Island, Canada).
* In ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' the Vulcans first land in Montana, though they had a pretty good reason as they were looking for [[spoiler:the people who managed to create spaceship with warp technology in their basement.]] This is a case of AuthorAppeal: Brannon Braga is from Bozeman; he even named a USS starship after it.
* Except for the big battle in UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco, the President's WarRoom and the undisclosed location of the monster prison, most of the action in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'' takes place in Modesto, California. This is {{lampshade|Hanging}}d in the TV HalloweenSpecial ''Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space'': "Why is it always Modesto?"
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers'': The first city attacked by the aliens in Buenos Aires, which happens to be our hero's hometown.
* Discussed in ''Film/TheFaculty''. When one character points out the absurdity of aliens secretly invading via a HighSchool in [[EverytownAmerica small town Ohio]], another GenreSavvy character points out that it'd be easier to secretly invade in somewhere out of the way than try to blow up TheWhiteHouse, which the whole world will notice.
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in the first ten minutes of ''Film/{{District 9}}'', where the sick, malnourished aliens had the misfortune to make first contact with Johannesburg, and notes when the ship first appears over the city that it wasn't some place like New York, London, or Chicago. [[FantasticRacism Cue thinly-veiled apartheid parallels.]]
* The remake of ''Literature/TheStepfordWives'' {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this during the antagonist's speech near the end:
-->[[spoiler:'''Claire:''']] "I asked myself, where would people never notice a town full of robots? *mocking gasp* ''[[TakeThat Connecticut!]]''"
* In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dadPWhEhVk this]] short film ''Ataque de Pánico! (Panic Attack!)'', aliens destroy Montevideo. Where? Why it's the capital of Uruguay of course!
* ''Film/{{Thor}}'': upon being stripped of his powers, Thor lands in a small town in New Mexico; and his hammer, Mjolnir, in another location 50 miles away from his. Dr. Jane Foster and her colleagues seem to take this in stride as Thor has trouble adjusting to Earth customs.
* ''Film/AttackTheBlock'' has aliens landing in London, but it's not exactly the postcard version.
-->'''Dimples''': "What kind of alien, out of all the places in the whole wide world, would invade some shitty council estate in south London?"
-->'''Dennis''': "One that's lookin' for a fight!"
* ''Film/{{Looper}}'' is a hardboiled, time-traveling hitman tale set in... Kansas.
* In ''Incident At Raven's Gate'', aliens invade a small town in South Australia.
* ''Film/InBruges'', which takes place in "fuckin' Bruges," was chosen because the protagonists are laying low and it naturally makes sense as a result. However, since Bruges is relatively unknown in real life too, the characters frequently question where it actually is.
* ''Film/DudeWheresMyCar'': "We will now use the power of the Continuum Transfunctioner to banish you to Hoboken, New Jersey!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', Ford Prefect explains why aliens always seem to land in the middle of nowhere.
-->'''Ford:''' Teasers are usually rich kids with nothing to do. They cruise around looking for planets that haven't made interstellar contact and buzz them . . . They find some isolated spot with very few people around, then land right by some poor unsuspecting soul whom no one's ever going to believe and then strut up and down in front of him wearing silly antennas on their heads and making ''beep beep'' noises. Rather childish really.
* The first Martian ship to reach Earth in ''Literature/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' lands in Horsell Common in Woking, Surrey. Orson Welles' radio production, and many subsequent adaptations, move it to Grover's Mill, New Jersey.
* The small town of Illium, NY, is where the world-destroying substance Ice-9 is developed in Creator/KurtVonnegut's classic ''Literature/CatsCradle''. It's also where Billy Pilgrim is abducted by aliens in Vonnegut's ''Literature/SlaughterhouseFive''.
* In ''Literature/ThePuppetMasters'' by Creator/RobertAHeinlein, aliens invade Grinnell, Iowa (changed for very little good reason to Ambrose, Iowa, in TheMovie).
* This trope is openly discussed by Stan and Pete in ''Literature/HowToBuildASkydeck'', set in the small town of Columbus, Georgia.
* Creator/DanielPinkwater likes setting the weirdness in his books in odd places like Hoboken (''The Hoboken Chicken Emergency'') or other obscure towns (''Yobgorble: Mystery Monster of Lake Ontario''). And that's when the weirdness isn't happening in [[CityOfAdventure Hogboro]].
* In Creator/RogerZelazny's ''Literature/DoorwaysInTheSand'', the rogue terrorist threatening the world (or at least threatening the world's good relations with its new alien friends) does indeed turn out to be Australian.
* The ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants'' series takes place in Piqua, Ohio, a real city with a population of a little over 20,000.
* ''Literature/GoodOmens'' has Lower Tadfield, an unremarkable village somewhere in rural (probably) Oxfordshire, as the location of AntiChrist and start of the Apocalypse.
* The short story [[http://www.sfreader.com/contest-2008-1.asp "On a Clear Day You Can See All the Way to Conspiracy"]] by Desmond Warzel is a literal case of Aliens in Cleveland; well, actually, aliens in the upscale suburbs of Gates Mills and Lyndhurst (apparently even extraterrestrials have standards).
* The first scouting sortie of the alien collective in Creator/AlanDeanFoster's ''A Call to Arms'' encounters as its first human contact a musician in a fishing boat off the coast of Belize.
* The events of Scott Westerfeld's ''Literature/{{Midnighters}}'' trilogy takes place in Bixby, population: 13,000. [[spoiler: Though the location is important to the plot.]]
* ''Literature/TheChrysalids'' portrays a surviving enclave of civilsation after an implied nuclear holocaust. Naturally it's in Newfoundland (although New Zealand seems to be doing pretty well too.)
* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' is set in Forks, Washington, a place the residents have barely heard of. Another vampire clan lives in Denali, Alaska. Considering they've been there for a while and how rural, scenic and insular these places are, this may also overlap with LovecraftCountry.
* In the novels of the ''Literature/BlackDaggerBrotherhood'', the largest vampire population--and the headquarters of the eponymous secret society--is in Caldwell, NY. Yep.
* The Literature/MercyThompson series of books, sure people know OF the Tri-Cities in Washington, but few can name all three, and remember this is three cities that take up the same amount of mileage as the ONE city that Washington is known for.
* An entry for the Bulwer-Lytton [[ItWasADarkAndStormyNight worst-first-sentence contest]] discards the Big City and sets the putative action in a more unlikely venue:
--> "It had been three days since Torfongu had eaten Los Angeles, and now he sat staring down at Bakersfield... a tasty little morsel, indeed."
* In ''Literature/JohnDiesAtTheEnd'', the extradimensional shenanigans take place in an unnamed town in the American midwest. In early drafts of the story, the town was identified as Rockville, Indiana.
* The Literature/MediochreQSethSeries is primarily set in Scotland, due to CreatorProvincialism. The title character notes at one point that the highlands of Scotland are "good dragon country".
* Creator/RobertJSaywer’s ''Calculating God'': The aliens want to take a good look at Earth fossils, so they go to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.
** His ''Neanderthal Parallax'' books have a Neanderthal from a parallel universe appear in...Sudbury, Ontario. Sort of justified, since the device that sent him there was built in the same cavern as the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. You may have guessed by now that [[CreatorProvincialism Robert J. Sawyer is from Ontario]].
* In ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'', [[GodOfEvil Set]] initiates his plan to take over the world, obviously starting in New York, right? I mean, that's where the heroes are based and that's where [[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians the last group of evil gods]] started their attack. But no, he starts with Phoenix, Arizona.
* Apparently [[CreatorProvincialism Maine]] is [[Creator/StephenKing haunted as crap.]] Between the EldritchAbomination sleeping [[Literature/{{It}} under Derry]], the {{Wendigo}} doing his thing in an IndianBurialGround [[Literature/PetSematary just outside Ludlow]], the [[AncientAliens ancient alien spacecraft]] [[Literature/TheTommyknockers buried in the woods outside Haven]], and [[Literature/TheDeadZone all the]] [[Film/StandByMe crap]] [[Literature/{{Cujo}} that]] [[Literature/TheDarkHalf goes down]] in [[NothingExcitingEverHappensHere Castle Rock]]....
* ''Literature/RichardTheThirdInTheTwentyFirstCentury'' comes to call Portland, Oregon home after his initial trip through time there. Other important scenes take place in Rochester, New York, and the BigApplesauce shows up as a location only because of the [[JustifiedTrope justified]] use of New York Presbyterian-Columbia University Hospital as the site of some very specific medical research.
* S. Andrew Swann's ''[[Literature/DragonsAndDwarves Dragons of the Cuyahoga]]'' duology has a portal to a magical world open in Cleveland, and dragons, elves, dwarves and such come through, along with magic (limited only to the greater Cleveland region).
* ''Literature/TheRavenCycle'' takes place in small town Henrietta, Virginia, which is apparently (due to being on a ley line) a hub of psychic energy, ghosts, and magic in general. Oh, and the burial ground of an ancient magic Welsh king that may or may not grant wishes. The second book ''The Dream Thieves'' adds {{Dream Walker}}s to the list.
* While vampires in the ''Literature/HouseOfNight'' series exist all over the world, most of the action takes place in a House of Night in... Tulsa, Oklahoma. A comment by Aphrodite's parents, in the second book, actually suggests that going to the school in Tulsa was more notable and prestigious than going to a "no-name House of Night" in Europe.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* The Trope Namer is the Franchise/{{Whoniverse}}:
** Ever since the show returned in 2005, it made Cardiff, the capital city and most populous county of Wales and the headquarters of BBC Wales (the producers of the show), a WeirdnessMagnet courtesy of a dimensional rift. This trope is repeatedly lampshaded by several characters in both ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' by their dumbfounded reactions to the thought of supernatural stuff happening in Cardiff. While the Doctor only visits Cardiff on occasion (to "refuel" the TARDIS) the first two series of ''Torchwood'' are set there.
** Even gets {{lampshade|Hanging}}d during Season 2 when Gwen tries to tell Rhys what she really does at work. His reaction is (obviously)"Aliens?? In Cardiff??"
** When ''Doctor Who'' stories are set in America, they either take place in New York, Washington, the area around Cape Kennedy, or... Utah? [[spoiler:Utah's importance is due to the unusual properties of the location and time for them to create a fixed point in time and space in an attempt to kill the Doctor]].
** In an Eleventh Doctor audio story called 'The Ring of Steel', the aliens invade on Orkney, a small group of islands off the north coast of Scotland. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as the aliens in question were genetically engineered to survive by converting planets' atmospheres into hydrocarbons and eating the life trapped 'like flies in amber', but wish they didn't have to. Therefore, they choose somewhere quiet and out-of-the-way to invade in the hope that no one will notice.
** In the old series, especially in the UNIT era, it was Aliens in the UsefulNotes/HomeCounties. ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' had a short story {{justif|iedTrope}}ying this, by saying the standard operating procedure for an alien conqueror was to establish a beachhead in a relatively rural area of a small landmass, make their way from there to the local power centre, and then use that as a centre for taking over the rest of the planet.
* An episode of ''Series/MyHero'' had Thermoman stop an abandoned Russian space station from crashing into the center of Grimsby.
* Used in a ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'' sketch about aliens who come to destroy "the very heart of civilization." Their target: New Pudsey.
* Frequently used in ''Series/TheXFiles'' (e.g., a building full of identical clones in Allentown, Pennsylvania; a shapeshifter assassin in Syracuse, New York).
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' makes occasional references to a second Hellmouth in Cleveland. In fact, Cleveland is rather frequently a subject of this trope, hence its alternate title, Aliens in Cleveland. It's part of a long-RunningGag in popular culture that Cleveland is a depressing hellhole of decay, corruption, and a river of fire. The city's demonic influence permeates into its residents, who actually ''like'' it there.
* The Roswell episode of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' had Nog fabricate a story about alien conquest of Earth, randomly pointing to the initial landing site on a map (next to a 'blue blob'). The soldier who is listening to him leans in and exclaims, "Your people are going to invade... Cleveland???"
* One of the 'unseen' scenes from ''Series/HarryHillsTVBurp'' parodies an occurrence of this in some drama or other; a long list of cities scrolls past, from "Lagos", "New York", "Tokyo", and then the map zooms in and the final location affected is revealed: "Norwich". Harry starts to go into a panic: "But where will we go to see puppet dramas without the Norwich Puppet Theatre? And where will we buy our many varieties of mustard when [[RunningGag The Mustard Shop]] is destroyed? Oh no!" ''(AsideGlance)'' "I'm kidding. I love Norwich!"
** It's ''Series/EleventhHour''. They were listing cities that would be destroyed by [[GlobalWarming rising sea levels]]. The paradox was that they wanted to list a British city for impact but retain scientific accuracy, and that was the [[{{Narm}} narmy]] [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking result]].
* In the pilot of ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'', an interplanetary incident is set off when a Klingon crash-lands in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.
* ''Series/TwentyFour''
** Midway through season 7 Colonel Dubaku targets a pesticide plant just outside Kidron, Ohio (pop. 30,000), for his next terrorist attack.
** One season features a significant plotline involving terrorists in Palmdale, California, a mid-sized city a couple hours outside of the greater LA area. It's justified by the fact that the terrorists are hiding out and ''intend'' to target major cities when they're ready. [[spoiler:It's also small enough to get nuked without completely changing the world in which ''24'' takes place]].
* ''Series/BeingHuman'' has vampires planning a vast global empire from their headquarters in Bristol, England.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d by George, who directly asks the question of 'Why Bristol?'
** And later, in season 3:
-->[[spoiler: Mitchell]]: It can't happen like this! Not here! Not in ''WALES''!
* ''Series/CharlieJade'' takes place in three alternate universe versions - one dystopian, one ecotopian and one normal - of ''Cape Town, South Africa''.
* Other than the occasional Hollywood haunting, all of the action in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' takes place in small- to mid-size towns, mostly in FlyoverCountry. [[BigBad Big Bads]] have been vanquished in [[http://www.tv.com/supernatural/devils-trap/episode/677588/recap.html?tag=episode_header;recap Jefferson City, MO;]] [[http://www.tv.com/supernatural/all-hell-breaks-loose-1/episode/1003161/recap.html?tag=episode_header;recap South Dakota]] / [[http://www.tv.com/supernatural/all-hell-breaks-loose-2/episode/1003162/recap.html?tag=episode_header;recap Wyoming;]] [[http://www.tv.com/supernatural/no-rest-for-the-wicked/episode/1199072/recap.html?tag=episode_header;recap New Harmony, IN;]] and [[http://www.tv.com/supernatural/lucifer-rising/episode/1267467/recap.html?tag=episode_header;recap Ilchester, MD.]] Funny how all of the above (including Hollywood) seem to have the same general [[StargateCity climate.]]
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' goes all over the place. The most prominent cities are major population centers (New York, Tokyo, Los Angeles), but plenty of other locations are visited. Claire Bennet (and one of Primatech's major facilities) is in Odessa, TX. The Volume Three finale is set in Hartdale, NY and Fort Lee, NJ. The plane carrying all the heroes at the start of Volume Four crashed in Oklahoma.
* ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' is set in Rutherford, Ohio. The place is fictional, but it's obviously meant to be a typical Midwestern town.
* ''Series/TrueBlood'', and obviously the [[Literature/TheSookieStackhouseMysteries Sookie Stackhouse novels]] the show is based on, are set in Bon Temps, a fictional suburb of Shreveport, Louisiana. Dallas and Jackson, Mississippi have also been significant locations.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' tended to use this for its Earth episodes. The frequent use of Colorado Springs is justified by being where the main cast actually lives, being the closest city to the Cheyenne Mountain installation. Those examples tend to be a case of the cast being {{Weirdness Magnet}}s, for instance an ascended Ancient falling in love with Carter and following her home. Other examples include a rural area north of Seattle ("Seth"), and Steveston, Oregon ("Nightwalkers").
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* CharlieDaniels' "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." Although it ''is'' mentioned that he was "way behind" and getting desperate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Subverted-by-RealLife example: The designers of ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' originally picked Seattle for their game's home base, because as large North American cities went, it was relatively obscure in pre-90s pop culture. Little did they suspect that movies, TV shows, grunge and Starbucks would conspire to elevate Seattle's cultural prominence in the years to follow.
* White Wolf's website had a Java-based RPG chat room for their ''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'' also set in Atlanta, Georgia; the ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' chat had the fictional city of "[[IstanbulNotConstantinople New Bremen]]" instead.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend'', we learn that King Arthur's tomb is under a tacky Camelot tourist trap in Cornwall.
-->'''Lara''': As in take the M5 to the A30 Cornwall?
* A level of ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever 2'' has you fighting an army of ninjas in Akron, Ohio.
* ''VideoGame/LeatherGoddessesOfPhobos'' has the player start in a bar in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
* In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' the office of the entire planet's military administration is located in a small city at the Black Sea (unless it's in Latvia. Or northwestern Russia. Or [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield Somewhere]]). Which coincidentally is exactly the same place where the few survivors of Black Mesa have created their secret rebel headquarter. Though it might have been the cities exceptionally high rebel activity that caused the administration to relocate there.
* Any level in the ''{{Franchise/Halo}}'' series that takes place on Earth is set in Africa, specifically New Mombasa and Voi. However, one of Earth's space elevators is located in New Mombasa, making it less Cardiff and more Rotterdam (one of the largest ports in the world).
** It's also the location where [[spoiler: [[{{Precursors}} The Forerunners]] build the portal to the Ark, and also located right next to the area where the first modern humans originated]].
* ''VideoGame/SuperheroLeagueOfHoboken'' is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
* Played for laughs in an InteractiveFiction game, where part of the backstory details Satan's arrival on Earth to punish humanity for their sins and his construction of a hellish citadel to house his legions in New Jersey. Apparently it was a few years before people realized something was wrong.
* In ''VideoGame/{{MDK}}'', the population centers threatened with annihilation by the invading city minecrawlers were Laguna Beach, Lindfield, Livingston, Kirkaldy and Sparrow Pit. In ''VideoGame/MDK2'' the city minecrawler in the opening mission was targeting Edmonton.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', it turns out [[spoiler:that the identity of the Gas Station Attendant was Izanami, Goddess of the Underworld, who had been responsible for bestowing Adachi, Namatame and the protagonist the Persona of Izanagi, giving them powers to enter the Midnight Channel and created the being responsible for the fog.]] And all this is done from Yasoinaba, a town considered out in the "boonies" in Japan.
* Earth made its first real appearance in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', something that was heavily marketed in the game's advertising. Namely, the Reaper attack on London. However, the first we see of the Reaper invasion is the scorched remains of... [[CanadaEh Vancouver]]. Justified in that Creator/{{Bioware}} is Canadian and Vancouver is one of Canada's largest and most famous cities, and averted [[spoiler: in the final battle, which takes place in London]].
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', the entire middle of the game takes place in Denver, Colorado. Not exactly a small city, but definitely not the first to come to mind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* In an ''Webcomic/ItsWalky'' storyline, Head Alien experiments with his new time freezing technology in a small town in Canada, leading to the exchange in the page quote. It's also an excuse for a CrossOver with another webcomic, ''Webcomic/{{Avalon}}'', set in small-town Canada, which was in the middle of a long hiatus.
* In the flash series ''[[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/97573 21]]'' (a parody of ''Series/TwentyFour''), plumber Al Johnstone has 21 minutes to save Norwich from a nuclear explosion.
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' takes place in a heavily fictionalized version of Cumberland, Maryland. Nobody in the comic thinks anything of it.
* Although a very populous place, there are not many superhero stories that take place place in [[UsefulNotes/TheBerlinRepublic Germany's]] Ruhr Area, a fact that was one of the motivations of [[CreatorProvincialism Ruhr Area native]] Arne Schulenberg for creating ''Webcomic/UnionOfHeroes''.
* ''Webcomic/{{Spinnerette}}'' features superhero action in Columbus, Ohio.
* Fairville, the town where ''Webcomic/TheFAN'' takes place is actually the author's hometown, [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Targu_Mures a real Transylvanian city called Marosvasarhely]].
* The main setting of ''Webcomic/AtArmsLength'' and seemingly main magical entrance portal to Earth Houston. Apparently monsters like to target Hermann Park.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* The [[WebOriginal/ProtectorsOfThePlotContinuum PPC's]] main base in the real world (or "World One") is a city in New Caledonia, a French overseas territory. Nobody is quite sure why, though there are other doors to HQ scattered about Earth and the multiverse in general.
* BrentalFloss' ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' song includes the line "learn to write before you can read and build the Taj Mahal right in Cleveland".
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'' featured a bunch of supervillains known as "The Swiss". Who were dressed in uniforms bearing the Swiss flag and wielded giant Swiss Army Knives:
-->'''Die Fledermaus''': Listen to me! The Swiss are invading The City!\\
'''American Maid''': Switzerland is a neutral country, you goober.\\
'''Die Fledermaus''': ''[showing his arm in a cast]'' YOU CALL THIS NEUTRAL?
* Vlad from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' lives in Madison, Wisconsin. He's a Green Bay Packers nut.
* Minor example: While most of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' takes place in UsefulNotes/{{Detroit}}, Megatron's [[ItMakesSenseInContext disembodied head]] landed on the farm Isaac Sumdac grew up in near [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paw_Paw%2C_Michigan Paw Paw]], a village with a population of about 3,300. It's also [[CreatorProvincialism where the art director/lead character designer is from]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' a giant mecha ends up in Jersey City, leading to all manner of hijinks and invasions.
* ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'' has the epicenter of alien activity on Earth in Hawaii--it's not even on the most populated island, but Kauai. The fact that there weren't any major cities on the island was a plot point: Stitch [[SuperDrowningSkills can't swim]] so he wasn't able to immediately commence with the mass destruction he was built for; he pretended to be a dog so he could manipulate someone into getting him off the island.
** Apparently the original idea was for Stitch to crash-land into a very rural area of Kansas. Possibly, they changed it to cover the aforementioned issue of why he couldn't just walk to another city.
* Alien invasions were the order of the day in Terlawk, New Jersey on ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim''. {{Justified|Trope}} in one episode where it's revealed that one of the town's residents used to work for NASA, and spray painted "Hey aliens! I dare you to attack Terlawk!" on a satellite.
* WesternAnjmation/TheIronGiant landed in Maine.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DangerMouse'' episode "Multiplication Fable" DM and Penfold investigate a spaceship crash landing in Birmingham, England.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]
* [[RoswellThatEndsWell The events of Roswell, New Mexico]] come to mind. Aside from the odd military base, the closest notable landmark are the Carlsbad Caverns, and even that is a bit of a stretch.
** Of course, Roswell is ''now'' a landmark, but that's because of the [=UFO=] crash more than anything else.
** Following WWII (and at the time of the Incident) Roswell was the home base for the 509th Bombardment Wing, the world's only nuclear strike force. Which almost certainly has nothing to do with the Incident, but it makes ''great'' conspiracy theory fuel.
** It is also worth noting that Roswell is where Robert H. Goddard, a founding father of modern rocketry developed and tested rockets in the 1930s. A local high school is named in his honor.
** Given that it was a facility for rocket testing, locating it as far away as possible from anything was most probably intentional.
* Bonnybridge in Scotland has an average of three-hundred U.F.O. sightings per annum, earning it the nickname "U.F.O. Capital of the World" despite the fact it's a fairly obscure town (even in Scotland).
* The Flatwoods monster/alien that was seen in Flatwoods, West Virginia, in 1952. The town has a population of 348.
* The stereotypical monster/alien sighting is the redneck who lives out in the middle of nowhere.
* A non-alien example, but when the Live 8 concert locations were announced back in 2005, with concerts in places like London, Paris and Berlin, Canada's concert venue was held in Barrie, a cottage town about 60 miles north of Toronto. This was much to the bemusement of many, particularly residents of Barrie.
** For that matter, the original Woodstock concert took place on a dairy farm in the Catskills near Bethel, New York. Most of the area's few thousand residents felt the same way about its attendees and performers as they would have about alien invaders.
** Wacken Open Air is one of the largest Hard Rock festivals in the world, held in the small German village of Wacken, pop. 1,819. With about 80,000 visitors, "alien invasion in a small town" sounds about right.
* TheTunguskaEvent, largest asteroid/comet impact in recorded history, was in the middle of nowhere - fortunate, given had it hit a city it would have leveled it. Of course, conspiracy and fringe theories about the cause abound.
* The Niihau Incident, during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. One of the Pearl Harbor bombers crash-landed on the Hawaiian island of Niihau, believing it to be uninhabited. The island is privately owned and access is restricted, but a tiny community who still speak the native Hawaiian language are allowed to live there. The Niihauns, who could not communicate with the outside world, were left to deal with the Japanese pilot all by themselves.
[[/folder]]

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