This is when Where the Hell Is Springfield?
actually has an answer, and that answer is pretty nonsensical even by fiction's usual standards. It's easier to suspend disbelief for made up cities and countries, since there tend to be a lot of those and only the most hard-core geography nerds would have all existing cities or countries memorized. However, American children for instance are taught early on to know all 50 US states (and their capitals), so setting a story in a "state" called New Troy or Calisota can require a lot more co-operation from the audience, as well as leading to Fridge Logic
about whether flags in this world have more than 50 stars.
Of course, this isn't necessarily restricted to US States, as it can apply to the states and provinces of other countries as well.
Fictional counties and parishes also count.
- The Disney Mouse and Duck Comics take place in the fictional state of Calisota (a portmanteau of California and Minnesota), which according to maps is located in what is really upstate California. This supposedly contains both Duckburg and Mouseton.
- When DC Comics doesn't want to bother pinpointing a real location, Gotham City is located in the state of Gotham and Metropolis is located in New Troy.
Film - Animated
- The Motion Practice series is set in the fictional Suffolk County, somewhere in the Midwest. The state containing Suffolk County is not named in the stories, but according to Word of God is a fictional state carved out of parts of south-eastern Nebraska and north-eastern Kansas.
- The Cars franchise has Carberator County, a fictional county.
- In the American law schools, "Franklin" is often used as a placeholder for a State.
- Borsetshire, a fictional English county, is the setting of The Archers.
- In the world of Lake Wobegon from A Prairie Home Companion, Lake Wobegon isn't just a fictional town, it's the county seat of a fictional Minnesota county called Mist County. Supposedly Mist County is what happened when the initial surveyors of Minnesota missed a chunk of land. The mapmakers didn't want to go back and redo all their work (i.e. putting Lake Wobegon on the map), so they fudged the map to ignore Mist County.
- Far Cry 5 takes place in the fictional Hope County, Montana.
- The Grand Theft Auto franchise:
- Red Dead Redemption has two fictional US states, New Austin and West Elizabeth, as well as a fictional Mexican state called Nuevo Paraiso.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle had the fictional state/province of Moosylvania, a swampy little island on the US/Canada border. (The US insisted it was a Canadian province, Canada insisted it was a US state.) Jay Ward tried once to defictionalize it as a publicity stunt; he leased a small island in Minnesota's Lake of the Woods and campaigned to make it the state of Moosyvania. The attempt fizzled after the Cuban Missile Crisis broke out.
- King of the Hill: the town of Arlen is located in fictional Heimlich County, Texas.
- Steven Universe:
- According to Word of God, Beach City is located in Delmarva State, named after the Delmarva Peninsula, where the states of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia converge.
- In "Keystone Motel", the characters visit the Keystone State, which is the nickname of Pennsylvania, only here it's the actual name of the state.
- In "Same Old World", Steven and Lapis visit Jersey, which is called New Jersey in our world.
- Moral Orel takes place in the city of Moralton, the capitol of Statesota, the geographic center of the US. (In real life, if you're just counting the 48 contiguous states, it's just south of the Kansas-Nebraska border. Include Alaska and Hawaii, and the geographic center shifts to the western edge of South Dakota.)
- The Simpsons: Word of God is that the Simpsons live in North Tacoma.