[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cleveland_5610.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Now with less fire![[note]]That's a single river, the Cuyahoga. It joins in the middle just beyond the pic. The name even means "Crooked River".[[/note]]]]

->''"Now, I make fun of Cleveland because everybody makes fun of Cleveland. I mean, every country has one city that people make fun of. In Russia, we used to make fun of Cleveland."''
-->-- '''Yakov Smirnoff'''

Known in some circles as "The Mistake By The Lake" (i.e., Lake Erie) or "The/Tha Land," Cleveland is the largest urban area in UsefulNotes/{{Ohio}}. Located on the state's northern coast, it's often considered a WretchedHive and a PlaceWorseThanDeath, a joke that's been ongoing for years. Recent polls and news articles only reinforce this image, as it was once rated the [[http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/11/americas-most-miserable-cities-business-beltway-miserable-cities.html most miserable city in America]]. It was also the original {{Trope Namer|s}} for AliensInCleveland, as the city is considered by many the image of mundane mediocrity (at best).

Possibly the biggest reason why this goes unchallenged is because all but the most anal-retentive of locals have a sense of humor about it -- they'll tell you ''themselves'' how Cleveland is America's ButtMonkey. With the brutal winters, massive [[DyingTown urban decay]], a river that was once [[FreakierThanFiction so polluted that it caught fire]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyahoga_River#Environmental_concerns thirteen times]], several political scandals leading to multiple FBI raids, and the fact that road construction is ''never'' finished (also a staple of Ohio in general), most residents have no illusions of being in paradise, and often speak with GallowsHumor. Some choose to stay, however, as the city has a low cost of living, a growing healthcare industry (the world-renown Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals), and decent nightlife. It can even be called a mini-UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}, due to its patchwork of ethnic neighborhoods, Midwest atmosphere, public rail that's both elevated and underground, and division by a major river (east and west in this case, with people on either side almost never going further than downtown).

The term "RockAndRoll" was coined in Cleveland by local DJ Alan Freed, and the city has a proud musical heritage and is home to both the RockAndRoll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Orchestra, one of America's "Big Five" symphonies. Also, Playhouse Square in downtown is the second-largest theatre complex in the United States, behind UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity's Lincoln Center. The city is also sometimes used as a stand-in for NYC or Chicago in film, due to lower filming costs, since it has similar architecture[[note]]Many a local has {{squee}}d upon seeing the Trust Company Rotunda in ''SpiderMan 3''[[/note]]. It possesses a surprising number of truly beautiful churches, more museums than a city thrice its size generally has, and two of the best library systems in the country. Cleveland's the home of Case Western Reserve University, one of the more bizarrely named colleges in the country[[note]]The Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University used to be two separate institutions until 1967. "Western Reserve" itself refers to an old name for northeast Ohio, the Connecticut Western Reserve, claimed by the state of Connecticut for its veterans to settle in following the American Revolution until the state agreed to give it up to the newly-formed state of Ohio.[[/note]], and Cleveland State University. An hour southeast is Kent State University, a [[StrawmanU Berzerkley]] known for an infamous shootout in 1970.

Its baseball and basketball teams -- the Indians and Cavaliers, respectively -- are fairly solid, although the Indians have currently gone for over sixty years without a World Series pennant, longer than any other team in the American League and longer than any Major League Baseball team that hasn't been [[UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} cursed by a goat-owning bartender]], and the Cavs lost star player [=LeBron=] James (from nearby Akron) to the UsefulNotes/{{Miami}} Heat, who went on to finally win two titles. And supporting its football team, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRBDMMVctu8 Browns]] [[note]]Before you ask what a "Brown" is, the team was named after its first owner Paul Brown, former Ohio State coach and a highly respected figure in Ohio athletics. It wasn't even his idea and he was against it at first, but later went along with it. For an animal mascot, dogs have long been popular due to the city's first pro football team, the Bulldogs.[[/note]], tends to be [[ButtMonkey/{{Sports}} a lesson in masochism]]. The city has had a rivalry with UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}} for decades. Also, never, ''ever'' say anything nice about the [[BerserkButton Baltimore Ravens]][[note]]The original Browns team moved to Baltimore through some shady dealing on owner Art Modell's part, and then went on to achieve SuperBowl success that Clevelanders believe should be theirs. The new Browns debuted in 1999 and have not fared nearly as well[[/note]].

The city was named for surveyor Moses Cleaveland (the first 'A' was reportedly dropped so the name would fit on a newspaper masthead) and has no connection to [[UsefulNotes/NorthEastEngland the English county of Cleveland]], or the [[UsefulNotes/GroverCleveland 22nd and 24th President of the United States]] (who was only distantly related to Moses Cleaveland).

Has been the subject of some rather infamous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY but hilarious]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM&NR=1 videos.]]
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!!Cleveland in fiction:
* ''Antwone Fisher''
* ''Film/HowardTheDuck''
* ''ComicBook/AmericanSplendor''
* ''Film/TheFortuneCookie''
* ''Film/MajorLeague'' (filmed in Milwaukee)
* ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'' (whose one-time theme song is the former TropeNamer, used in full irony here)
* Overton from ''Sereis/LivingSingle''
* [[Franchise/MarvelUniverse Marvel]] superheroine Dagger (of ''ComicBook/CloakAndDagger'' fame) is from Shaker Heights, a wealthy suburb in the East Side.
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', passing references are made to a Hellmouth in Cleveland. Robin is shown to have moved there with his own squad of slayers.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': the main character of the show, Ted Mosby, is from Cleveland, namely Shaker Heights. Series creator Carter Bays (he based Ted’s character off of himself) also hails from Shaker.
** Ted’s best friend from school, Punchy, still lives in Cleveland with his fiancée. In season 6, he asks Ted to be the best man at his wedding, [[spoiler:which may or may not lead to a major turning point in the series]].
* ''Series/BosomBuddies'': Kip and Henry went to high school in Shaker Heights.
* The ''Series/ThirtyRock'' episode of the same name [[http://www.hulu.com/watch/856/30-rock-cleveland-get-away portrayed Cleveland as an idyllic paradise]], albeit through the eyes of harried New Yorkers. In actuality, Public Square should have a lot more homeless people and pigeons hanging out.
* ''The Escapists''
* The opening scene of ''Film/AirForceOne'' was filmed from the roof of Severance Hall.
* Fat Freddy of TheFreakBrothers was briefly elected mayor (after trying to replicate Literature/DickWhittington's adventures and become Lord Mayor of London, Cleveland was reckoned second best). People mooned him and threw bottles during his inaugural parade.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' takes place in Cleveland, according to [[http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/File:Borealis_plans_01.png information]] in ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}: Episode Two''. Later retconned, ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' takes place in a salt mine in the state of Michigan, though both settings could have been used.
* ''Welcome To Collinwood''
* ''TheSoloist''
* ''Stranger Than Paradise''
* ''KappaMikey'' main character Mikey Simon is said to be from Cleveland
* Not fiction, but a number of Cleveland's restaurants have been featured on TLC.
* Several books/movies based on the Torso Murder (a Cleveland serial killer) such as Butcher's Dozen or John Peyton Cooke's novel Torso.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' had an episode with a serial killer in Cleveland.
* Blood and Rust by S. A. Swiniarski a book that contains two vampire stories set in Cleveland.
* A few ''Series/{{Route 66}}'' episodes take place in Cleveland.
* The short story [[http://sfreader.com/contest-2008-1.asp "On a Clear Day You can See All the Way to Conspiracy"]] by Desmond Warzel.
* The {{Infocom}} game ''VideoGame/LeatherGoddessesOfPhobos'' includes a small area of Cleveland, where it is compared (unfavorably) to the slime pits of Venus and sandstorms of Mars.
* A few ''GetFuzzy'' strips mention Cleveland such as the one that rates it the smelliest city in America.
* In ''View From The Top'', Cleveland is the hub of Royalty Airlines' commuter-class sibling, Royalty Express, and serves as the setting for the middle third of the film.
* ''HotInCleveland''
* The short story "Fields" by Desmond Warzel takes place in Cleveland during the final days of humanity, after most plant life on Earth has been choked out by genetically modified wheat.
* In ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors'', [[spoiler:Audrey II eats]] Cleveland.
* In ''KidsNextDoor'' Numbuh 1's history report decribes the founding of an adult paradise, "they named it Cleveland."
* In Deadpool's ending in ''MarvelVsCapcom3'', [[spoiler:he accidentally destroys Cleveland during a drunken party aboard Galactus' ship.]]
* CarlSandburg's poem "[[http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15265 Honky Tonk in Cleveland, Ohio]]" seems to paint the Cleveland of the first half of the 20th century as a happening jazz and blues scene, albeit with a darker undertone of hedonism and disappointment for the common worker (in keeping with Sandburg's [[UsefulNotes/PoliticalIdeologies socialism]]).
* Les Roberts's series of detective novels featuring Milan Jacovich (fifteen books as of 2011).
* In ''SkinHorse'', the transgenic convention takes place in Cleveland.
* In a darkly humorous twist of fate, Cleveland is left as the largest city left standing in North America within the AlternateHistoryDotCom timeline, [[ProtectAndSurviveATimeline Protect and Survive]].
* ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' is set in the fictional town of Rutherford, Ohio. Throughout the series, Cleveland is treated as being the nearest big city.
* S. Andrew Swann, a local, set the first book of his Literature/MoreauSeries and both books of his ''[[Literature/DragonsAndDwarves Dragons of the Cuyahoga]]'' series in Cleveland.
* ''Film/TheAvengers'' was partially filmed in Cleveland, probably in response to ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' being filmed in UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}}. Locals found it hilarious when "Germany" looked like the Cleveland Museum of Arts. Also, the exterior of the opera house in Stuttgart is actually the entrance of the Terminal Tower, one of Cleveland's most recognizable buildings.
* Cleveland was seen in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents''. Cosmo and Mr. Turner call it "the magical land of Cleve".
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!!Celebrities from Cleveland and the surrounding area:
* Ernie Anderson (Creator/{{Ghoulardi}}, Tim Conway's comedy partner, and longtime Creator/{{ABC}} announcer)
* Avant
* Jim Backus
* Creator/HalleBerry
* Music/BoneThugsNHarmony
* Drew Carey
* Music/TracyChapman
* Tim Conway
* Creator/WesCraven
* Mike Douglas
* Creator/HarlanEllison (Grew up in the nearby town of Painesville)
* Filter
* Alan Freed
* Teri Garr
* Arsenio Hall
* Steve Harvey
* Patricia Heaton
* Anne Heche
* Hal Holbrook
* Creator/BobHope (born in UsefulNotes/{{London}}, but grew up in Cleveland)
* Langston Hughes
* Music/KidCudi
* Bernie Kosar (Who famously played the NFL Draft system so he could end up with his hometown team.)
* Lady Akashia (DragQueen who appeared in the first season of ''[[Series/RuPaulsDragRace [=RuPaul=]'s Drag Race]]'')
* Wrestling/JerryLawler (Spent some of his childhood there, life-long Cleveland Browns fan. We're sorry, King.)
* Gerald Levert
* Burgess Meredith
* Wrestling/TheMiz
* Mushroomhead
* Creator/PaulNewman
* Music/NineInchNails
* Harvey Pekar, creator of the autobiographical comic ''ComicBook/AmericanSplendor''
* Pere Ubu
* Award-winning sportswriter Joe Posnanski
* Monica Potter
* Wrestling/PerrySaturn.
* Joe Schuster and Jerry Siegel (the creators of Franchise/{{Superman}})
** Siegel and Schuster originally wanted Franchise/{{Superman}}'s adventures to be set in Cleveland before ExecutiveMeddling vetoed that idea. We can only speculate how this would have affected Cleveland's image in the public consciousness.
* Molly Shannon
* George Steinbrenner (Who tried to buy the Cleveland Indians before [[WhatCouldHaveBeen settling]] for the [[UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity New York]] Yankees instead.)
* Michael Symon (Food Network Chef)
* Bill Watterson (creator of ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'') is from Chagrin Falls, a suburb of Cleveland.
* Mary Ann Winkowski - Television personality whose claims of paranormal experiences are the basis for ''Series/GhostWhisperer'', on which she is also a paid producer.
* Frank Yankovic (musician, known as "America's Polka King")
* Wrestling/DolphZiggler (born there, according to ThatOtherWiki)
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-->''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM It could be worse, at least we're not Detroit!]]'' ♪
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