[[caption-width-right:320:St. Paul]]
->''"Hey, look at that. Twin Cities. That's the IDS Building, the big glass one. Tallest skyscraper in the Midwest - after the uh, Sears, in, uh, UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}, or John Hancock Building, whatever."''
-->--[[Creator/SteveBuscemi Carl Showalter]], ''Film/{{Fargo}}''

Minneapolis and Saint Paul are the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Minneapolis is the most populous city in the state and situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River, while state capital St. Paul sits right across the river on the east bank and is the second-largest city. Minneapolis is the county seat of Hennepin County while St. Paul is the seat of Ramsey County. This is mildly important for people who live there.

Minneapolis and St. Paul, and many of their suburbs, are known as "The Cities" by inhabitants of Minnesota and neighboring states. They essentially function as one large metropolitan area, hence the name "Twin Cities". However, both cities have distinctive cultures and personalities. St. Paul is slightly smaller and viewed as very friendly, clean, blue-collar, and family-oriented. Minneapolis is younger and trendier, and contains more of the Cities' art scene. Despite the differences, the Cities do function as one metro area.

Despite the Twin Cities' reputation for dowdy Midwesternness, the area has the largest Hmong and Somali populations in the United States, but you never seem to see them on TV. It is the 12th largest media market, has the second-most theatre seats per capita of any metro area in the country, ranks eighth on the list of metropolitan areas with the largest percentage of LGBT residents (with Minneapolis itself in fourth on the list of top cities, by percent), and is one of the five main concentrations of UsefulNotes/{{neopagan|ism}}s in the US (the others being UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco, UsefulNotes/NewOrleans, UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, and [[HollywoodNewEngland Salem, Massachusetts]]), leading to the nickname "Paganistan". But again, not something you'd hear every day.

Perhaps its most famous landmark is the Mall of America in the suburb of Bloomington, the second-largest indoor mall in the US and the most visited mall in the world. The mall's popularity is helped by only being a couple of miles away from Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, and just a few stops away by light rail, so it is not at all uncommon for people to fly in just to go shopping.

Many musicians are from or got their start there, including Music/{{Prince}} and his [[Music/PrincesAssociates associates]], Music/BobDylan, Music/TheReplacements, Music/SoulAsylum, and Music/HuskerDu. A number of SpeculativeFiction authors also live in or near the Twin Cities, including Creator/NeilGaiman, Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold, Creator/PatriciaCWrede, and screenwriter Creator/DiabloCody.

Twin Cities residents eat a '''lot''' of [[SweetTooth ice cream]], and outdoor cooking is also extremely popular. The region is also known for a particular form of cheeseburger with the cheese cooked into the middle of two patties that have been crimped together. It's called a Jucy Lucy (or Juicy Lucy) and after a long time of being the exclusive product of a pair of working-class South Minneapolis bars (the 5-8 Club and Matt's Bar), it's finally started to develop a nationwide reputation, one that was enhanced in 2014 when President Barack Obama visited Matt's for a burger.

!!In fiction:
* Much of ''Film/{{Fargo}}'' actually takes place in the Twin Cities. Very little actually happens in Fargo, and although the [[spoiler:murders]] that set the main action off occur in Brainerd, most of the interesting stuff happens in Minneapolis.
* ''Film/JingleAllTheWay''
** Just for the record, herds of wild caribou do ''not'' roam the suburbs....
* ''Series/TheMaryTylerMooreShow''. To this day, the corner where Mary tosses her hat in the opening has a statue of MTM.
* ''Film/TheMightyDucks'' (the live-action movies, not the cartoon). Each movie has a sequence designed to show off the sights, usually with our heroes [[TelevisionGeography in-line skating]] through them.
* ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' originated on a UHF channel here.
** There are a lot of BilingualBonus jokes for locals who get the references to local institutions.
** [[RunningGag Circle Pines]] is a small suburb of Minneapolis, described by Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester in Seasons 7-10) as "Everytown, USA."
** Osseo is a real city, a third-ring suburb of Minneapolis. There was never a Hot Fish Shop there, however - that restaurant was a landmark of Winona, approximately three hours away (and, ironically, closed the week before "[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S10E01Soultaker Soultaker]]" aired).
* Jack O'Neill of ''Series/StargateSG1'' was born here, and he maintains a cabin in the North Woods, near a lake that, until the season eight finale, didn't have any fish in it.
* The early-nineties cult TV series ''Series/GetALife'' presumably takes place somewhere in the Twin Cities, as Chris Elliott's paperboy character is seen delivering copies of the Pioneer-Press (Saint Paul's local newspaper) during the opening credits.
* ''Series/{{Coach}}'': While most of the cast lives near a fictional university (some years after the series ended, the real Mankato State University, whose proximity to Minneapolis would make it a plausible counterpart for Minnesota State, changed its name to Minnesota State University, Mankato - this was ridiculed at the time by students in the state university system), Christine lives in downtown Minneapolis.
** At the time the show was on, living downtown in a high-rise as Christine is depicted was fairly unusual for someone of her presumed income. More likely she would have lived in a posh suburb.
** The hunting/fishing/going to the cabin leisure activities of Coach and his staff are actually fairly believable.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' creator Charles Schulz was from St. Paul, and there are a few hints that Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang live here as well. You can also find 50 statues of the characters on the streets and in some of the public buildings.
* ''Film/PurpleRain'' is actually fairly accurate, given a bit of TelevisionGeography. Not all that surprising, as the film is semi-autobiographical.
** Lake Minnetonka is an actual lake that sprawls through several western suburbs of Minneapolis, including Minnetonka, Wayzata (which does not sound a thing like it's spelled), Minnetrista, Mound, and Shoreview.
*** The closest approximation of the pronunciation of Wayzata's name is "Why-zeh-ta."
* ''Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion'' is based in the Twin Cities, with most episodes being broadcast from the Fitzgerald Theatre in St. Paul or (less commonly) from Minneapolis, from the State Theatre ([[CatchPhrase here on Hennepin Avenue]]), being distributed by Minnesota Public Radio. Some of the skits, particularly "Guy Noir", explicitly take place there.
* Emma Bull's ''Literature/WarForTheOaks'' makes spectacular use of Twin Cities locations. Another of her novels, ''Literature/BoneDance'', is also set there, although since it's an AfterTheEnd story, it's easy to miss.
* The ''Literature/BetsyTheVampireQueen'' books by Mary-Janice Davidson.
* ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' takes its name from a fictitious Minneapolis neighborhood. Creator Paul "Pablo" Taylor is a Twin Cities resident himself, and there are occasional gags about the region's changeable climate.
* ''Film/{{Juno}}'' is set in St. Cloud, a satellite town about an hour's drive away from the Cities. The characters make many trips to the Cities.
* The students from ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' Version 4 came from a fictional St. Paul high school.
* X Middle School from ''WesternAnimation/{{Fillmore}}'' is in an unnamed suburb of the Twin Cities.
* The webcomic ''Webcomic/AlphaShade'' takes place in the Twin Cities. (At least, the parts of the comic that don't take place in another world do.)
* Creator/JohnSandford's novels - the ''Prey'', ''Kidd'' and ''Virgil Flowers'' series of novels almost all take place in the Twin Cities - and the ones that don't prominently feature characters from the cities.
* ''Film/AfterLastSeason''. No, really.
* The VillainProtagonist of ''Film/YoungAdult'' resides in Minneapolis.
* Riley Anderson of ''WesternAnimation/InsideOut'' was born in either Minneapolis or St. Paul. Since the premise of the movie is Rylee adjusting to her new life in San Francisco, we can never be sure.
* In the AlternateHistory story ''Literature/TheFalconCannotHear'', St. Paul serves as the capital of the Red Oak Pact, the coalition of democratic socialists and agrarian populists in the [[DividedStatesOfAmerica Second American Civil War]]. [[spoiler:When the Red Oak Pact wins the war, St. Paul briefly becomes the capital of the entire United States, with President John Lewis even considering making this status permanent. However, his successor, UsefulNotes/DwightDEisenhower, has it moved back to UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC.]]
* ''Film/DearWhitePeople'' was filmed in Minneapolis.
%%!!Tropes as portrayed in fiction: