[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/{{Tropico}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Tropico3.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:And you said a country can't have one city...]]

When a country is a city-state, i.e. the city is the country, or the other way around: the country has only one city.

Although this can be justified by the country being small (e.g. Monaco, Vatican City, Singapore), it is NOT justified when a country of this size has an economy the size of the US economy. This is a perfect opportunity to mix this trope with a hearty helping of CityOfAdventure. In {{Anime}} a city like this is usually a {{Utopia}} or {{Dystopia}}.

Note that the area with one city DOES NOT have to be a country, it can be a [[{{Planetville}} planet]] or county or etc...

Compare BritainIsOnlyLondon when an entire Real-Life country is reduced into consisting of nothing more than its most popular city.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* In ''{{Appleseed}}'', Olympus, the most powerful country, apparently has only one city.
* Almost all (or maybe all) the "countries" in ''LightNovel/KinosJourney'' are like this. Even if there are a few that aren't, Kino never stays long enough to find out.
* At the end of ''SuperDimensionFortressMacross'' (or the first season of ''{{Robotech}}''), humans have been nearly wiped out by the Zentradi, and have only one city left. Nonetheless, they still field a very powerful military.
* Academy City in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex''. While located inside Japan, it is its own nation, one of the most powerful influences in the world, and can even declare war.
* {{Exaggerated|Trope}} in ''Anime/CodeGeass R2'', where Zero announces the formation of [[spoiler: the United States of Japan]] by declaring its first territory (and thus "city") to be the very ''room'' he is currently broadcasting from. Everybody reacts just about how you'd expect them to by this point, since it's [[RefugeInAudacity Zero]] and all.


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* The various [[MegaCity Mega-Cities]] in ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' each only have direct authority over their respective urban areas, though MC-1 at least does have some influence over parts of the Cursed Earth.
* Attilan, home of TheInhumans.
* Also from Marvel, Madripoor - which, conveniently enough, is next-door to Singapore.
* From Wildstorm (recently transplanted into the DCU) is the small island nation of Gamorra, which is the home base of Kaizen Gamorra.


[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TheMatrix'' had Zion, the last human city. Within the Matrix is a single, gigantic megalopolis that houses the entire matriculated population, and is known only as the City.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Coruscant is a city that has [[CityPlanet grown to cover the entire planet it is on]]. Its name is therefore synonymous with the city and the planet.
** Its presumed to have had multiple cities at some point in the distant past. Now, like with New York City and London, several once-separate municipalities have been devoured by the more dominant one and turned into boroughs, albeit on a slightly larger scale than either of those.
* In the live action Film/SuperMarioBros movie, the parallel world where Koopas reside had only one city, surrounded by endless tracts of desert.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Quite a few locations in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' are city-states. Of particular note is Ankh-Morpork, wherein most of the books are set, and which is also surrounded by other city-states, the likes of Quirm and Pseudopolis. Each is a [[FantasyCounterpartCulture stand-in for a real-world country]]. At one point these were all part of a single Ankh-Morpork empire, but said empire [[VestigialEmpire went into decline]] and its wider surroundings are now largely autonomous. However, Ankh-Morpork is still the economic powerhouse of not just the region but the entire continent, and thus has significant political influence over these.
* Trantor from the {{Foundation}} universe is a planet whose entire surface has been urbanized, thus making it one big city.
* Tar Valon from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime''; also, the (less-important) city-states of Mayene and Far Madding.
** In fact, the time of the books this is somewhat true of most of the nations in the main continent of the setting. The powerful nations may have large borders, at least on a map, but they only have one city that deserves the name, and usually hold little if any authority beyond that city. Most of the countryside is populated by tiny villages who rule themselves.
* Grantville in ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' is effectively this (for the first book -- they end up joining/helping to form a new state at the end of the first book, and a couple of books later they're one of the major cities of a powerful confederation). Interestingly there were a number of independent cities like that at the time. Unfortunately they didn't possess repeating rifles.
* PerdidoStreetStation and IronCouncil feature New Crobuzon, which in the latter book is at war with the city-state of Tesh. TheScar also features a city-state made of pirate ships stuck together.
* The crumbling city of Literature/{{Gormenghast}} appears to be the only city in the world. In fact, it seems to ''be'' the world. (Until the third book, "Titus Alone" when the titular hero runs away from Gormenghast and ventures out into the world.)
* The Queens in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'' rule only over the Castle.
* The entire ''Marîd Audran'' mystery/crime series takes place in one moderately sized Middle Eastern city based on New Orleans. Hell most of the stories set in the city is set in one neighborhood, the Budayeen (think an Arabic {{red light district}})
* Melniboné is one of these, by the time the events of TheElricSaga begin. It used to be the capital of a vast conquered empire but now it's just an insular little city-state in the middle of the sea.
** Melniboné itself is a fairly large island which at one time contained several large metropolises: by the time Elric ascended to it's throne, its society had grown so decandant and its nobility so apathetic that all of the island appart from its capital was abandonned and reverted to wilderness, while Imrryr (the aforementioned capital) itself is still by far the largest city in the world, although half of its buildings are empty.


[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''MagicTheGathering'' has Ravnica, a plane with only one city. That said, that one city is large enough to occupy the entire plane.
* [[{{Exalted}} Lookshy]], a relatively small city state, is capable of fielding military forces comparable to [[TheEmpire the Realm]] (which on its own is an island the size of the continental United States and recieves tribute from across the world), through a combination of an extremely militant society and huge stockpiles of artifact weaponry. Lookshy is comparably disadvantaged in that it doesn't have nearly the same power projection as the Realm (they can protect themselves and their neighbours, but are unable to be as expansive).
** Nexus has economic power comparable to the Realm, partially because it is at the heart of the [[ScavengerWorld Scavenger Lands]] (and benefits from some protection by Lookshy) and partially because it serves as the headquarters of a powerful, worldwide mercantile guild. [[MysteriousProtector The Emmissary]] is also important in maintaining the autonomy and power of the city.
* The ''DarkSun'' setting for DungeonsAndDragons has several city-states, each of which controls one of the few remaining fair-sized spots of fertile land and not much else ([[SpaceWhaleAesop centuries of sorcerous warfare and use of magical WMDs millenia past]] [[GreenAesop reduced most of the world to desert]], natch).
** In the Tippyverse setting, the existence of Teleportation Circles has reduced the world to city states, since noone has any reason to go outside when they can just teleport between cities and farming is unnecessary thanks to limitless magically created food.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* As revealed in ''[[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry Donkey Kong Land]]'', Donkey Kong Island has one city: Big Ape City.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' has Lindblum and Burmecia, which control a goodly portion of the continent with only one city. Also, narrowly averted in that Alexandria has a whopping three cities (or two, it's [[EpilepticTrees ambiguous]] where Treno stands)
** ''FinalFantasyVII'' has Wutai, though this may be a result of Wutai's war with Shinra. ''CrisisCore'' showed that the post-war resistance movement against Shinra had more people than Wutai itself had in the original game. Given that the rest of the Wutai island is made up of dead earth interspersed with rope bridges, it's entirely possible that the one small town is all that's left of Wutai.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'''s nations of [[TheKingdom San d'Oria]], [[TheRepublic Bastok]], [[TheFederation Windurst]], and [[HubCity Jeuno]] are all technically city-states in the present time, although the first three have historical areas that they controlled in the past that are now up for grabs. [[TheEmpire Aht Urhgan]] is seemingly the only in-game nation with actual vast stretches of territory.
* The [[RetCon now-destroyed]] Zendar from ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tropico}} 3'' has only one city to build on, and you CAN STILL have a thriving economy.
* Although it's not very clear in the game itself at first glance, according to lore [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Stormwind]] is actually a city-state, and the adjacent regions are independent governments that just allow Stormwind to protect them with its military.
* ''Franchise/{{Bioshock}}'': Rapture isn't especially large compared to most real-world cities, but it's definitely self-contained, self-sufficient, and a sovereign nation as far as anyone's concerned.
** Coumbia was originally part of America, but has since declared its independence and become a self-sustaining city.
* [[FourX 4X games]] typically start with every empire consisting of only single city. Though establishing or conquering additional cities is usually the first thing the players do.
** VideoGame/{{Civilization}} series veterans have popularized a [[SelfImposedChallenge variant]] called the One City Challenge in which the player restricts himself or herself to a single city at all times, thus radically changing the gameplay and the methods or mindset needed to secure a victory. Some later iterations of the game [[AscendedFanon made this an official game mode]].
*** Also from ''Civilization'', ''Civilization V'' introduced "city-states", which despite the name typically control a substantial amount of surrounding territory. Realistically, they're more like small-to-midsize countries than what we usually think of as city-states, as evidenced by the fact that many of them take the names of real-life cities from countries that have only one large, well-known city (e.g. Stockholm, Seoul, Dublin) or only a small handful of them (e.g. Warsaw, Sydney, Quebec City, and Hanoi).
*** In the ''Civ V'' update ''Brave New World'', one of the new player civilizations (Venice) makes this obligatory by disabling the creation of Settlers and preventing the 'proper' annexation of any city you conquer. In exchange for that, you get extra influence over the "city-states" and extra opportunities to become [[{{Fiction 500}} ludicrously wealthy]].
* What are commonly called One Province Minors([=OPMs=]) in games designed by ''ParadoxInteractive'' are these, states with only one province, and thus, in game terms, only one city.
* ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}'''s [[CityWithNoName The City]]. In fact, there are only two other cities mentioned in the series, and they're both feudal city states as well. Civilisation of any kind outside the City certainly exists, but it is hardly ever elaborated on.
* The Good strategy in ''VideoGame/BlackAndWhite 2'' involves building a huge city that will, eventually, house everyone on the island, as neighbors will immigrate.


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* The eponymous village of ''TheQuestportChronicles''.
* ''MetamorKeep'' consists of the titular keep and a few outlying villages. By the time of ''MetamorCity'' the keep has developed into an arcology covering most of its original territory and is the capital of an empire spanning most of the continent.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': The north and south poles are inhabited by the Water Tribes. The Northern tribe have one huge city[=/=]fortress, while the Southern tribe started out similarly before being decimated by the Fire Nation and scattering into dispersed hamlets.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Phantom 2040}}'': Following the Resource Wars, the United States no longer exists as an entity but as a bunch of independently-ruled city-states.
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperforceGo'' gives us a ''Planet'' of one City; Shuggazoom City is the only one on the planet of the same name, with the rest of the planet being a vast wasteland.
* Spoofed in the ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' episode "E. Peterbus Unum" when Peter turns his house into the nation of Petoria.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* UsefulNotes/{{Monaco}} and UsefulNotes/{{Singapore}} are RealLife examples, while [[UsefulNotes/VaticanCity the Vatican]] takes it UpToEleven by being an enclave ''within'' the city of Rome. That makes this trope TruthInTelevision.
** The Italian peninsula also has UsefulNotes/SanMarino, made notable by being the last survivor of Italy's ancient city states and the oldest surviving sovereign state in the world (as the continuation of a monastic community traditionally founded on September 3, 301), with the oldest republican constitution still in effect (ratified in 1600, beating the runner-up, the US Constitution, by 189 years)
* Similarly, UsefulNotes/HongKong and UsefulNotes/{{Macau}} are not exactly states, but they're self-governed enough to be considered as such.
* TruthInTelevision historically. Ancient Greek city-states were just that, cities that controlled relatively small amounts of the surrounding land. Similar conditions prevailed during large parts of Medieval Italy, co-existing with larger realms like the Papal States or the kingdom of Sicily.
** The Italian city-states, despite their name, actually subverted this save at perhaps their very beginnings. Most were the size of small countries, incorporating numerous surrounding settlements and townships (which often started out as Lands of One City themselves). They were only city-states to the extent that power was concentrated in the hands of the eponymous cities, such as Florence and Venice.
** Actually, ancient Greek ''poléis'' had other towns in their territory. They were called ''démoi''. The important thing in a Greek city-state was not the city, but its citizens. A citizen of Athens could live outside Athens, in a small village at the other side of the Attic region, but he was still Athenian.
* Also many of the smaller states that made up the HolyRomanEmpire. Fully 51 were officially deemed ''Freie und Reichsstädte'' (Free and Imperial Cities) as of 1792; while a number of the monarchies, prince-bishoprics, and abbeys sharing representation in the Imperial Diet were often even smaller than most of said cities. There were even five ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Village Reichsdörfer]]'' directly under the emperor's authority[[note]]yes, they were as small as the name implied[[/note]] on record as of 1803.
** The Italian city-states mentioned above were also part of these, as the vast majority of them lied into Imperial territory (the Holy Roman Empire technically controlled the northern part of the Italian peninsula ending at the borders of the Papal States and the Byzantine Empire), the only exceptions being Venice (nominally Byzantine territory) and those south or ''into'' the Papal States.
** This also applies to some of the states that made and make up the successors of the Holy Roman Empire. For instance, one of the cantons of the [[UsefulNotes/{{Switzerland}} Swiss Federation]] is the self-explanatory one of Basel-Stadt (Basel city, as opposed to the canton of Basel-Land (Basel countryside)). The [[UsefulNotes/TheBerlinRepublic Federal Republic of Germany]] contains three city-states, of which UsefulNotes/{{Berlin}} and the Free and Hanseatic City of UsefulNotes/{{Hamburg}} consist only of one city, and the third, the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen consists of two (Bremen proper and Bremerhaven). This is also reflected in the fact that these three states do not have a ''Ministerpräsident'' (prime minister), but a ''Bürgermeister'' (city-master or mayor).
* There are numerous first order administrative divisions worldwide (States, to use a US-specific example) that are made up of a single city. They all qualify for this trope to whatever extent the central government permits them to handle their own affairs.
* "Free cities" Gdansk (Danzig), Fiume, Memel (Klaipėda) created after UsefulNotes/WW1 and Triest after UsefulNotes/WW2. Only Gdansk/Danzig stayed independent more than a few years, though. West Berlin wasn't officially called that, but it probably qualifies too.