[[caption-width-right:350:And that, folks, is the [[BlatantLies entire]] state of UsefulNotes/{{Ohio}}.]]

->''"In 1912, a tumbleweed lazily blew across the dusty prairies of Oklahoma on a soft summer breeze, an event long remembered as the only thing ever to happen in the state."''
-->-- '''''Website/TheOnion: Our Dumb World'''''

To Hollywood writers, the [[FlyoverCountry midwestern United States]] consists mainly of farms and towns of fewer than 10,000 people. The only cities of note are UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} and UsefulNotes/{{Detroit}}. The cities of [[UsefulNotes/TwinCities Minneapolis]], [[UsefulNotes/StLouis St. Louis]], {{UsefulNotes/Cleveland}}, UsefulNotes/{{Milwaukee}}, Cincinnati, UsefulNotes/KansasCity, and UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} only appear if the writer feels like being different.[[note]]This might seem like a large list, but the odds of any ''one'' of these cities appearing in fiction are relatively slim. And for reasons known only to Hollywood, the city of Columbus, Ohio is never seen in media outside of college sports, despite being one of the largest and most affluent cities in the region.[[/note]] In the minds of most TV and film writers, the [[{{Arcadia}} idyllic culture]] of ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'' persists into the 21st century.

This comes from the pre-1950s idea of life in the Midwest as it actually used to be. Since then, however, much of the region has been urbanized or at least suburbanized (that famous Prairie is probably a strip-mall now), but the image has persisted despite being a mostly [[DeadHorseTrope idealized]] version of [[RealLife modern]] times. In old theatrical cartoons with farm settings, the soundtrack may include such {{standard snippet}}s as "Old [=MacDonald=] Had a Farm", "Chicken Reel" or "Turkey in the Straw". And of course, HilarityEnsues when the CityMouse tries to fit in.

It is a part of FlyoverCountry and you can expect it to cross into WildWilderness if it's a remote part of the country, or to dip into SweetHomeAlabama even if it's set in the Midwestern region. Can overlap with EverytownAmerica if it's near or set around a town. Do not confuse it with it DeepSouth (that is a trope dealing with social structure and people, not the region itself), or a 'countrified version' of {{Suburbia}}, as this trope exemplifies the openness of an area, sparseness of population, and lack of housing.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Hiromu Arakawa's manga series ''Manga/SilverSpoon'' takes place in Hokkaido (considered the "farming" prefecture in Japan), and is about farming.
* ''Manga/{{Softenni}}'' is set in Hokkaido, and Asuna the main protagonist lives on a farm. Her family cow Hanako wandering loose is a RunningGag.
* ''Manga/NonNonBiyori'' is set entirely in a rural rice growing community that is '''six''' hours by bullet train from Tokyo, has a school with a total of only five students, where no one locks up their houses, public buses comes by once every couple of hours and [[SceneryPorn a view of the mountains to die for]]!


[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* In the Franchise/DCUniverse, pretty much any presentation of Franchise/{{Superman}} (be it comics, movies, [[Series/{{Smallville}} live-action TV]], or in the Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse) is bound to depict Clark Kent's ([[ComicBook/KingdomCome only rarely]] [[DoomedHomeTown doomed]]) hometown of Smallville this way.
** Late in the run of the 1980s ComicBook/{{Superboy}} series saw Smallville deal with the possibility of getting a shopping mall (Superboy's [[ComicBookTime time-era]] by this point having just entered [[TheSeventies the 1970s]]), which prompted concerns it'd ruin the town's economy (with the locally-owned businesses, including the Kents' general store, unable to compete with the mall's chain stores). The mall also had shady connections involved in its approval. While the storyline was unfinished (the title being canceled), it did see Pa Kent decide to run for a city council seat.
* the ComicBook/AstroCity story "Pastoral" takes place here -- with the CityMouse main character frequently discussing it as something alien.


[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* Animator Creator/DonBluth grew up on a farm and several of his films involve them; ''WesternAnimation/BanjoTheWoodpileCat'', ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'', ''WesternAnimation/RockADoodle'' and ''WesternAnimation/{{Thumbelina|1994}}''.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* Paige in ''Film/ThePrinceAndMe'' lives on a Wisconsin dairy farm. Where they race tractors despite having no other reason to own them. '''[[CriticalResearchFailure And still milk cows by hand.]]'''
* Dorothy's Kansas farmyard from ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'' is an iconic example.
** At the time the original book was written, however, this was [[TruthInTelevision fairly accurate]].
** And has become permanently affiliated with Kansas ever since, [[NeverLiveItDown whether they like it or not]].
* ''Film/{{Hoosiers}}'' shows a good portrayal of life in the Midwest, Hoosiers being people from Indiana, where the movie is set.
* Used fairly realistically and sympathetically in ''Film/TheStraightStory''.
* In the Lifetime movie ''12 Men of Christmas,'' a New York CityMouse is transferred to Montana. Before she leaves, she only knows two things about it. 1) The only person who lives there is the guy who hangs up the sign. 2) It doesn't actually exist. "It's just a hole... Says "Montana"... That's it."
* ''Film/ASimplePlan'' is set in rural Minnesota. Hank is one of the few college graduates of the town. His brother Jacob wants to buy a farm with his share of a money they found, but Hank thinks he is being ridiculous as neither of them know anything about farming.
* ''Film/OurDailyBread'' is about a CityMouse who goes off to work his wife's uncle's farm, because it is UsefulNotes/TheGreatDepression and he has no better options. He winds up recruiting a real farmer and various tradesmen to work the farm with him, and they eventually establish a socialist commune.
* In ''Film/NowAndThen'', grown-up author Sam Albertson, after living in New York for years, describes her home town of Shelby, Indiana as a very safe, uneventful place to live, being small and surrounded by rural land.
* Most of ''Film/CityGirl'' takes place on the bucolic Tustine wheat farm. The film is a {{Deconstruction}} of the idea of peaceful, pastoral farm life, as Mr. Tustine is a cruel tyrant who abuses his daughter-in-law Kate, and the farmhands leer at her crudely.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''The Bridges Of Madison County''
* Creator/JamesJones was born and raised in Robinson, Illinois (population 6,000) and wrote famously about UsefulNotes/WorldWarII (see ''From Here To Eternity'' and ''The Thin Red Line''), but he also wrote ''Some Came Running'', in which his hometown is [[TakeThat not portrayed very positively]].
* In ''Literature/ThePrincessDiaries'', Mia's maternal grandparents and cousin Hank from Indiana stay with her. They're from a farm, talk like hicks, and for Domini's Pizza in a city famous for diverse restaurants (though Hank is very handsome and ends up becoming a model). Interestingly, while the book stereotypes Hoosiers as if the author had never met any, the author herself is from a bustling Indiana city.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'', of course, which took place in a landscape that looked suspiciously like the [[CaliforniaDoubling perpetually sunny fields of California]].
* The portrayal of Lt. Col. Mitchell's family's Kansas home in ''Series/StargateSG1''.
* An episode of ''Series/JohnDoe'' involved this, but subverted this when it was revealed that it was a trick to convince the title character of a false history.
* The Canadian equivalent is parodied relentlessly in ''Series/CornerGas'' whenever an out-of-towner visits, and with one recurring character from Toronto.
* "''Series/GreenAcres'', we are there....!" Dun nuh, d-dun nuh, dun dun!
* Deployed clumsily in Season 4 of ''Series/TwentyFour'' when six terrorists casually hijack a nuclear missile convoy in [[TheMountainsOfIllinois "the mountainous terrain"]] of eastern Iowa. Dialog indicates that the 24verse's Midwest lacks any and all of the communication technology, surveillance measures and rapid response capabilities that Los Angeles-based CTU take for granted.
** Especially ironic as Cedar Rapids, Iowa is home to the company that basically created military radio, invented GPS, and provides a large portion of comm gear for commercial airlines the world over.
* Certain interpretations of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' look like this.
** Averted in later seasons when we learn that Metropolis is only a long commute away from the Talon apartment and the Kent's Farm, close enough that Lois, Jimmy, Chloe and Clark can work in the city while still living in the titular town, meaning Metropolis in this version is probably more closely compared to Kansas City than New York. Smallville itself is largely depicted as this trope though.
* Averted on ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'', where Cleveland is a city like any other.
* Appears to be somewhat averted in the Amy Poehler comedy ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' which takes place in a fictional Indiana town, though the characters all seem to act as quirky as the guys on ''Series/{{The Office|US}},'' the creators of which had a hand in this show as well, so don't know if that's a good or bad portrayal.
* Dave of ''{{Series/NewsRadio}}'' is often mocked on for coming from Wisconsin:
-->'''Dave:''' I think radio is a fascinating medium.
-->'''Bill:''' You're from Wisconsin. Artificial light is fascinating to you.

-->'''Bill:''' You're not in Wisconsin, Dave. The big story isn't about a cow wandering into the town square.
-->'''Dave:''' Bill, I worked in Milwaukee, you know. It's a city with a population of a million people.
-->'''Bill:''' So that must have been quite a hub-bub when that cow got loose.
** And then there's the episode where Dave and Bill get stuck in Lambert International Airport in St. Louis Missouri, and everyone is ''extremely'' nice and helpful. Dave, of course, is nice to them, but Bill treats them like jerks because he thinks they don't know how to be mean. Eventually, the St. Louisans give him a "Show-Me Hello", which is just a punch in face. Bill learns that Midwesterns can be just as jerky as people from the coasts [[BewareTheNiceOnes when pushed far enough]]. He takes comfort in this, noting that "deep down, we're all the same". Dave rolls his eyes.
* James of ''Series/SpinCity'' is a naive Wisconsin farmboy who often refers to cheese, cows, and milk when speaking. One time, after getting conned once again he asks rhetorically if he has a sign on his chest that says that he's a simpleton and to take advantage of him before opening his jacket to reveal an "I Love Wisconsin" T-Shirt.
* The ABC comedy ''Series/TheMiddle'' seems to take this concept and avert and subvert in one fell swoop, showcasing a family living in a suburban Indiana city where everyone, including themselves, is a tad off the mark.
* Roz from ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' comes from Wisconsin and in one episode describes going back for family reunions on her uncle's dairy farm where they put pants on the cows and speak in a special cheese language.
** Another episode had a random Wisconsin woman call into the show, and it turns out that she and Roz know each other through distant relatives.
** The idea of Roz's mother being the Attorney General of Wisconsin was initially played for laughs.
* Woodrow Tiberius "Woody" Boyd from ''Series/{{Cheers}}'', native of Hanover, Indiana. He seems to take to the big city well enough. Though most references to his family paint them as stereotypical rubes, this is subverted in one episode when Woody reveals that they found the pretentious film Diane created about his life in Boston "derivative of Godard." (Fun fact: the character was named "Woody" before Woody Harrelson was cast.)
* Sonny from ''Series/SonnyWithAChance''. She's from Wisconsin. Cue many jokes about Wisconsin farmland, including Sonny's ringtone being a cow mooing.
* Linda Zwordling from ''Series/BetterOffTed''. Naturally, she jokes about staying in Wisconsin and majoring in Cheese sciences.
* Bailey from ''Series/TheSuiteLifeOnDeck'' is from the town Kettlecorn, Kansas.
* Subverted all to heck (but charmingly!) in ''Series/LoisAndClark''. The hand-crocheted cover for the fax machine in the Kents' parlor says it all. "I was just thinking if you're expecting something then I'd better check the paper!" Of course, that was the ''nice'' Smallville, before the rural Gothic makeover.
* On ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', Penny's Nebraskan origins are a frequent source of jokes at her expense in which all the stereotypes about mid-Western people are mercilessly aired. When Sheldon is meticulously researching a new part of the USA to move to, he looks at Penny, confirms she is from Nebraska, then draws a great big cross through the entire state.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. Lampshaded by Riley Finn when he describes to Buffy the farm he grew up on, and admits he's making it sound like a [[AmericanGothicCouple Grant Wood painting]]. Later when Buffy finds out Riley is a secret agent, she naturally assumes this is all a front. Riley says that no, he really did grow up on a small farm in Iowa.


[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* ''ComicStrip/USAcres'', which is far more known in its AnimatedAdaptation (see Western Animation, below).
* Any time ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'' used a farm setting for a gag, this trope was present in full force.


[[folder: Radio ]]

* Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, the setting for Garrison Keillor's "News From Lake Wobegon" on ''Radio/APrairieHomeCompanion''.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* The musical ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}'' is another iconic example.
* Subverted in ''Theatre/BuriedChild''.
* ''Theatre/BeyondTheHorizon'' offers a particularly grim example, as life on the farm is presented as a trap. Robert hates it and is terrible at it, and hates Ruth for making him do it--he elected to give up a life at sea and stay home on the family farm after he and Ruth fell in love. The farm eventually decays into ruin as Robert and Ruth's life descends into hatred and bitterness.
* ''Theatre/TheMusicalOfMusicalsTheMusical'' parodies this in its first musical, "Corn!", whose setting is [[Theatre/SouthPacific "Kansas in August."]] Big Willy sings of being so fond of farming that he's now "in love with a wonderful hoe."


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Lampooned ''repeatedly'' by ''Website/TheOnion'', a satiric newspaper founded in Madison, WI. Examples of its self-referential mockery of the Midwest: "Rural Nebraskan Can't Handle Frantic Pace of Omaha." "Rural Illinois' Sexiest Moms." [with a picture of an overweight Soccer mom].


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* US Acres, again, in ''WesternAnimation/GarfieldAndFriends''. For that matter, the life of Jon's [[http://garfield.nfshost.com/1988/01/26/ hayseed folks]] in ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' (the two farms are canonically neighbors). Jim Davis is a native son of Muncie, Indiana.
** Which is a city of 70,000 or so people, (100,000+ when you include suburbs). A big city it ain't, but it isn't a small town DownOnTheFarm, either.
* If it's not in the Northeast or on the West Coast (or sometimes even if it is), ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' will pretty much lambaste it without mercy. One example (a CutawayGag, typically for the show):
-->'''Stewie:''' ''(sitting in a diner next to three men)'' Soooo...anyone seen any good movies lately?\\
'''Nebraskans:''' No. Nah. Nope. Nuh-uh.\\
'''Stewie:''' Read any good books?\\
'''Nebraskans:''' No. Nah. Nope. Nuh-uh.\\
'''Stewie:''' Anything new with corn?\\
'''Nebraskans (excited):''' Corn?! Are you kidding me?! Oh yeah! Corn, corn, corn! Corn is great. Corn is always interesting!
** Another example is when Peter claimed the Sticks Downey character from ''Series/HappyDays'' was "the only Negro in the state of Wisconsin." This, despite Milwaukee (where ''Happy Days'' took place) being over 40 percent African-American. Then again, this is probably more a shot at the lack of diversity on ''Happy Days'' than a shot at Wisconsin itself.
*** Of course, Happy Days [[CaliforniaDoubling wasn't actually]] [[TheMountainsOfIllinois filmed in Milwaukee.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/IAmWeasel'' episode "I.R. Mommy" opens on I.R. Baboon prancing through a cornfield while singing "There's no place like Nebraska/Except for Oklahoma!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'', Rita and Runt hop a train for Chicago, and end up in Nebraska. Rita was hoping for the big city, but 'They ain't got/ What we got/ Corn.'
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Apparently, Homer Simpson grew up here. His family's old farmhouse becomes important in the episodes "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)" and "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy"
* ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'': "Brain Acres"