[[quoteright:350:[[Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rushmore_base.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Surprise, Cockfags!]]

A hidden base would probably be best hidden in some bland ubiquitous building or under some random field or street. After all, bases would be easier for the enemy to find if you give them easy points of reference.

However in fiction that simply [[RuleOfCool isn't dramatic enough]], not only does your EvilTowerOfOminousness gain Evil Brownie Points for being cool and domineering, it also gains them if it is actually a well known RealLife landmark you've taken over. An ElaborateUndergroundBase also gains kudos for being underneath, or very close to, somewhere with which viewers will be familiar. This actually goes both ways as heroes seem just as prone to settling in such a location as villains are.

Mount Rushmore is an oddly popular location; perhaps because it's easy to imagine those presidential heads not being made up of solid rock but instead holding masses of secret rooms inside. It must get ''awfully'' crowded in there.

Note this trope does '''not''' cover bases in or under ''fictitious'' landmarks like ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'''s Baxter Building or [[FictionalCounterpart "almost" landmarks]] like "The Jeffersonian Institute" in ''Series/{{Bones}}''. It also does not cover a fictional agency openly using a landmark as their base, such as [=UNIT=] operating out of the UN building in ''Series/DoctorWho''.

Of course this makes a MonumentalBattle all the more likely to happen if and when the series has the [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs base attacked]].

Also see WeaponizedLandmark, where the landmark shoots back.


* In ''Manga/{{X1999}}'', The Dragons of Heaven have their headquarters under the Diet Building, while the Dragons of Earth reside under the Tokyo Government offices.
* ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' has its network of superspies based in a secret underground lair beneath the British Library. {{Justified|Trope}} in that they also work ''for'' the [[MilkmanConspiracy British Library]].
* ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' used several floors of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building as HQ for HYPNOS.

* Franchise/TheDCU:
** The All-Purpose Emergency Squad (APES) from ''ComicBook/YoungJustice'' had its headquarters inside Mount Rushmore.
** The Quorom, an all purpose evil organization, had one of its main bases under the Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C. (and a villain containment pod under the Washington Monument). Not quite a good idea when heroes smash in through the roof.
* In ''Comicbook/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'', the League's headquarters is inside the British Museum.
* Franchise/MarvelUniverse:
** Possibly Avengers Mansion, which is based on (but not confirmed to be) Frick House, a museum in Manhattan's Upper East Side.
** Luke Cage operated out of an apartment above the (fictional) Gem Theater, near Times Square.
** In ''Superior Iron Man'', while visiting San Francisco, Tony Stark built himself a futuristic base on Alcatraz Island. The X-Men also temporarily had a base on Utopia, an asteroid that crashed into San Francisco Bay.
** Spider-Man temporarily operated off of The Raft, a former prison on Riker's... uh, excuse me, ''Ryker's'' Island.
** The Weird Happening Organization in ''ComicBook/{{Excalibur}}'' had their offices inside the Tower of London, but it seems not to have been a secret, since a Yeoman Warder identifies some of the top operatives to some tourists rather offhandedly. [[note]] You might amused to note that WHO is clearly intended as a reference to ''Doctor Who'''s UNIT (as described below) and was stationed at the Tower a good thirty years before the reboot relocated UNIT there [[/note]]
* The ''Comicbook/{{Runaways}}'' second "Hostel" is an ElaborateUndergroundBase underneath the La Brea Tar Pits; it used to belong to their evil parents.
* Mr. Majestic, Wildstorm's AlternateCompanyEquivalent of Franchise/{{Superman}}, has his headquarters inside (where else?) Mount Rushmore.
* Which makes their neighbor the teenaged {{antihero}} ''Comicbook/{{Anarky}}'' as he has his base of operations ''in'' the Washington Monument.
* A ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'' tie-in novel had a supervillain (The Mad Thinker) craft a base in Mount Rushmore. Cue Reed sliding out of a nose. In the regular Marvel Universe, Mount Rushmore just tends to get blown up. Yes, more then once.
* The ComicBook/AllStarSquadron was based in the Trylon and Perisphere from the 1939 New York's World Fair. The Perisphere was their headquarters, and the Trylon was their CoolGarage.
* In Creator/PeterDavid's ''ComicBook/SpyBoy'', the "good" spy team S.H.I.R.T.S. (Secret Headquarters International Reconnaissance, Tactics, and Spies) had their invisible headquarters suspended between the tops of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. (This got moved later, for obvious reasons.)
* In ''ComicBook/{{Invincible}}'' spinoff ''Guarding the Globe'', Cecil shows team leader Brit around a new Guardians of the Globe satellite base -- inside Big Ben. Brit isn't sold on the idea, and Cecil suggests having the Sphinx hollowed out to make room for a base there, too, maybe with a jet hangar. Brit can't tell if he's joking or not. He wasn't; a couple of issues later it's revealed that this is exactly what he did.
* In ''Spyman'', a short-lived title from Creator/HarveyComics in the 1960s, the eponymous hero worked for the secret spy organisation LIBERTY who were headquartered inside the Statue of Liberty.
* In ''[[ComicBook/JonahHex Hex]]'', the Franchise/{{Batman}} of the future had his secret base inside the Statue of Liberty. Granted in the post-appocalyptic future, it was probably no longer a tourist attraction, but it was still definitely a landmark.
* ''ComicBook/GIJoeARealAmericanHeroMarvel'': The Joes have secret base that controls a KillSat hidden inside the Chrysler Building.
* In the earliest issues of Marvel's ''[[ComicBook/AlphaFlight Alpha Flight]]'', the super-secret Department H and their team of Canadian superheroes are headquartered directly beneath the Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Apparently we WANT supervillains to regularly blow up the historic seat of Canada's government, located on the busiest street in downtown Ottawa.
* ''ComicBook/WynonnaEarp'': Black Rock, the top-secret containment facility for paranormal threats, is hidden inside Mount Rushmore. In this case, Mount Rushmore was constructed specifically to hide Black Rock.

* In 1978's ''Film/SupermanTheMovie'', ComicBook/LexLuthor is hiding in a defunct wing of the DC equivalent of Grand Central Station. This example is unusual in that the police ''actually suspect'' Luthor's presence in there, but one detective is mowed down by a train when he gets too close.
* ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' has the base in Mount Rushmore again.
* The villains in ''Film/NorthByNorthwest'' have a house on Mount Rushmore's peak.
* ''Austin Powers''
** In ''Film/AustinPowersTheSpyWhoShaggedMe'', Dr. Evil has a base in the Space Needle which houses a Starbucks.
** And in ''Film/AustinPowersInGoldmember'', Dr. Evil's base is behind the Hollywood sign.
* ''Film/TransformersFilmSeries''
** The first live-action ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' movie had the FBI keeping Megatron and the All Spark inside Hoover Dam, which in the story was actually built to block out the Allspark's energy signature...or something.
** ''[[Film/TransformersRevengeOfTheFallen Revenge of the Fallen]]'' had the Fallen's superweapon hidden ''inside'' of a pyramid in Egypt.
* In ''Film/NationalTreasure2BookOfSecrets'' the ancient mythical city of Cíbola was hidden behind Mount Rushmore. Or rather Mount Rushmore was created to hide Cíbola.
* The huge movie studio in ''Film/TheTrumanShow'' was behind the Hollywood Sign.
** Of course, there's nothing hidden about it, given that it's a gigantic dome clearly visible from space.
* ''Film/QTheWingedSerpent'' nests in the top of the Chrysler Building in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity.
* CONTROL headquarters was under the Smithsonian Castle in ''Film/GetSmart''. Inside an exhibit about CONTROL itself (which the exhibit claims was disbanded at the end of the Cold War), no less.
* ''Film/TheManWithTheGoldenGun'': The wreck of RMS ''Queen Elizabeth'' is used as an [=MI6=] base.
* ''Film/TheReturnOfCaptainInvincible'': Captain Invincible had a hidden base in the head of the Statue of Liberty... when he wasn't drunk off his mind in the Australian outback
* In the 1995 ''Film/JudgeDredd'' film, Rico's secret cloning lab is located in the head of the Statue of Liberty.
* Part of the backstory for ''Film/StarGate'' is that the Pyramids of Egypt were built to be landing pads and support facilities for AncientAstronauts and their massive starships. The only pyramid we actually see being ''used'' for this in the movie is on the planet of Abydos, [[EarlyInstallmentWeirdness in the Kalium Galaxy]].
* The end of ''Film/NowYouSeeMe2'' reveals that The Eye has its headquarters inside [[spoiler:Greenwich Observatory]].
* In ''Film/MechanicResurrection'', an ArmsDealer has somehow turned the Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria into a submarine pen.

* In the Franchise/DocSavage novel ''World's Fair Goblin'', the villain has his secret lab hidden inside the Trylon and Perisphere at the New York's World Fair.
** Doc himself lived on the top floor of the Empire State Building, although this wasn't a secret base. It was public knowledge.
* Creator/KimNewman's [[TwoFistedTales pulp homage/parody]] character Dr Shade apparently lives in a "secret" apartment in [[ClockTower Big Ben]]. Since in Newman's world he's both a real adventurer ''and'' a magazine character (in a sort of takeoff of the LiteraryAgentHypothesis), readers of the magazine wonder why it's described as secret.
* Literature/ArseneLupin's base in the Hollow Needle happens to be ''inside'' the Étretat Needle, a natural landmark of the Seine-Maritime.
* In ''Literature/TheExtraordinaires'', the Immortals lair was beneath the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. {{Justified|Trope}} in that being at the prime meridian granted the location mystical significance.
* In the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' series, Olympus is located above the Empire State Building, accessed via the elevator. {{Justified}} in that it's there precisely ''because'' the Empire State Building is so famous.
* In the ''Literature/AlcatrazSeries'', our hero needs to infiltrate the Highbrary, the capital and ultimate base of the Evil Librarians, in order to bring his LoveInterest out of her coma. It is, naturally, located directly under the Library Of Congress.
* In ''Literature/BrownGirlInTheRing'', Toronto crime lord and [[HollywoodVoodoo obeah man]] Rudy has his offices in the main pod of the CN Tower.
* In the ''Literature/PresidentsVampire'' series, [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Cade's]] lair is in a secret chamber underneath the Smithsonian Castle.

* ''Series/StargateSG1'' had the Stargate under Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, which was the real-world home of NORAD. NORAD has since moved to Peterson Air Force Base, but the Cheyenne complex is kept on warm standby.
** Justified up the wazoo by the fact that this is an actual military base, so sticking a military base in it is hardly surprising.
** There's supposedly a door in the actual base marked "Stargate Command", though noone seems to have a key for it...
** There really was such a door and it was a broom closet.
*** Sure it was.
* ''Creator/NeilGaiman's Series/{{Neverwhere}}'' has an entire culture of "lost" people and things inhabiting the various stops of UsefulNotes/TheLondonUnderground.
* Averted in ''{{Roswell}}''. For some reason, the government keeps alien spaceships in secret basements under convenience stores, and in movie studios.
* ''Series/BuckRogersInTheTwentyFifthCentury'' had a second season episode in which Buck was accused of having helped foment the big nuclear war in the late 20th century. A device to visualize Buck's memories seems to confirm his guilt, but he keeps flashing on Mount Rushmore. Buck manages to get to Mount Rushmore and finds that the President had a secret bunker inside. [[spoiler: It turns out that Buck had been to the secret bunker where he was hypnotized to act as a double agent as part of a government operation to catch the conspirators who were trying to start the war.]]
* The Canary Wharf Tower one was done by the 90s remake of ''Series/TheTomorrowPeople''. The reasoning was that the immortal Egyptian villain needed to hide a power-focusing pyramid in the middle of London, hence the pyramidal top of the tower.
* The notorious Belgian {{mockumentary}} ''Bye Bye Belgium'' (a Flemish secession hoax reminiscent of Creator/OrsonWelles ''Radio/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' broadcast) at one point reported the Brussels government holding an emergency meeting in a fictitious underground tenth ball of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomium Atomium]].

* The Torchwood Institute has had bases:
** In One Canada Square (a.k.a "Canary Wharf Tower") in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E12ArmyOfGhosts "Army of Ghosts"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E13Doomsday "Doomsday"]].
** Under the Thames Barrier in [[Recap/DoctorWho2006CSTheRunawayBride "The Runaway Bride"]], where it's {{lampshaded}}:
--->'''Donna:''' What, there's like a secret base hidden under a major London landmark?\\
'''The Doctor:''' I know! Unheard of...
** Under Roald Dahl Plass, near the Millennium Centre in Cardiff, where The Hub is based in the Franchise/{{Whoniverse}} spin-off ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' (and in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E11Utopia "Utopia"]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E12TheStolenEarth "The Stolen Earth"]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E13JourneysEnd "Journey's End"]]).
* UNIT has one: Under the Tower of London in "The Christmas Invasion" (revisited in "The Power of Three" and "The Day of the Doctor"). It beat their early place that had a conspicuous "Keep Out" sign.
** In ''AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho'' audio dramas, UNIT's top secret MuseumOfTheStrangeAndUnusual, "the Vault", is under [[UsefulNotes/NorthEastEngland the Angel of the North]]. {{Lampshaded}} when Captain Matheson says "You thought we only had bases under [[BritainIsOnlyLondon London landmarks]]?" [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor"]], however, {{Retcon}}s it to be under the National Gallery in London instead - which was then duly retconned again by Big Finish who stated that obviously you sometimes need two archives to keep certain exhibits apart from each other. So according to this, UNIT has both the Black Archive under the National Gallery and the Vault under the Angel of the North.
* Various bad guys have based themselves in/under:
** Gatwick Airport (The Chameleons in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E8TheFacelessOnes "The Faceless Ones"]])
** The Post Office Tower (WOTAN in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E10TheWarMachines "The War Machines"]])
** The London Eye (The Nestene Consciousness in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E1Rose "Rose"]])
** The Empire State Building (The Cult of Skaro in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E4DaleksInManhattan "Daleks in Manhattan"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E5EvolutionOfTheDaleks "Evolution of the Daleks"]])
** Trafalgar Square (Operation: Golden Age in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS11E2InvasionOfTheDinosaurs "Invasion of the Dinosaurs"]])
** Stonehenge (The Pandorica in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E12ThePandoricaOpens "The Pandorica Opens"]])
** The Shard (The Great Intelligence in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E6TheBellsOfSaintJohn "The Bells of Saint John"]])
** Battersea Power Station (The Cybermen Factory in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E5RiseOfTheCybermen "Rise of the Cybermen"]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E6TheAgeOfSteel "The Age of Steel"]])
** St Paul's Cathedral ([[spoiler: The 3W facility/Cyberman factory]] in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E11DarkWater Dark Water]]" and "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E12DeathInHeaven Death in Heaven]]")
* They make an attempt to [[JustifiedTrope justify]] many of these, explaining there is something important about the location or nature of the structure that they need. For example, the Torchwood Tower (Canary Wharf) exists because there was a rift high in the air, so they had to build a giant tower to reach it, The Hub's location was chosen due to its proximity with yet another rift and the Nestene Consciousness was using the London Eye as a giant transmitter to broadcast the signal controlling the Autons. In "Daleks in Manhattan", the Daleks attached Dalekanium strips to the top of the Empire State Building (which at the time was the tallest building on Earth) to kick-start a new race of hybrids with a solar flare.
* Canary Wharf is also the headquarters of the British time travelling military in an [[AlternateUniverse alternate 2006]] visited by the First Doctor in the Literature/PastDoctorAdventures novel ''The Time Travellers''. ''And'' the villain fought by the Sixth Doctor in the Literature/DoctorWhoMissingAdventures novel ''Millennial Rites'' (for reasons broadly similar to the ''Tomorrow People'' villain).

[[AC:{{Video Games}}]]
* In ''Creator/TomClancy's VideoGame/RainbowSix: Vegas'', a top-secret Army Weapons Research Lab is located inside the lower levels of the Hoover Dam, which contains numerous highly dangerous weapons and vehicles. Why they just didn't do the research at nearby {{Area 51}} isn't explained.
* Similarly, in ''Creator/TomClancy's VideoGame/GhostRecon: Advanced Warfighter 2'' apparently a computer system linked to the United States anti-ballistic missile defense grid's mainframe is located under a dam in El Paso Texas.
* Nearly ''everything'' in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', since the game takes place in Washington, D.C. AfterTheEnd. The most recognizable are probably the Washington Monument (Brotherhood of Steel and Three Dog's communications relay), the Pentagon (Brotherhood of Steel), the Mall and Museum of Science (Super Mutants), Museum of History (Ghouls), the Jefferson Memorial (Project Purity), the Lincoln Memorial (Slavers and eventually freed slaves), the ruined Capitol Building (in some ways the BonusDungeon), and the White House Crater.
** Justified with the Pentagon and the Lincoln Memorial. The Brotherhood chose the Pentagon both because it was easily defensible and because it contained plenty of pre-War technology (including [[spoiler:Liberty Prime]]). The slavers don't want slaves to be exposed to anything related to UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusEx'', UNATCO's HQ and therefore [[spoiler: a major [=MJ12=] facility]] are both built on Liberty Island.
** This one is justified in game as a symbolic decision. UNATCO was founded in response to a terrorist attack that destroyed the Statue of Liberty.
* ''VideoGame/{{STALKER}}'' is all about the [[HiveMind terrible]] [[AssimilationPlot secret]] at the center of the Zone of Exclusion, buried deep within the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. [[ConspiracyTheorist Conspiracy Theorists]] might also get a shudder at the inclusion of the Duga-3 Over-The-Horizon-Radar array's inclusion, known in NumberStation circles as the Russian Woodpecker, suspected [[GovernmentConspiracy by some]] as being a MindControlDevice or WeatherControlMachine. In the series, [[AllMythsAreTrue it does both.]] Not to be confused with the Brain Scorcher from the first game, which is merely [[FictionalCounterpart based on]] the Duga-3.
* In ''Videogame/EvilGenius'', a rival genius tried to build an underground lair inside the Great Wall of China, consisting of a single corridor.
* ''Videogame/{{Earthbound}}'' has a secret lab underneath Stonehenge.
* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'' has the [[GovernmentAgencyOfFiction JP's]] headquarters located right underneath the Diet Building in Tokyo.
* In the ''Videogame/NasuVerse'', the headquarters of the [[MagicalSociety Mage's Association]] is located under the British Museum, despite being referred to as the Clock Tower.
* Due to the nature of the [[DeathWorld surface]] of post-apocalyptic Moscow in ''VideoGame/MetroLastLight'', this is not a common trope, but it hasn't stopped the [[TheOrder Rangers]] from establishing an outpost in the ruins of St. Basil's Cathedral. Meanwhile, the Rangers' home station of Polis is located directly beneath the Moscow State Library.

* Though they maintain more conventional safehouses, The Chain in ''NecessaryMonsters'' maintains a base under the Statue of Liberty called Liberty's Price. It's a huge cavern with occult symbols, and an inverted, chained, tortured version of the Statue of Liberty as its centerpiece. However, Liberty's Price is implied to be ''older'' than the landmark built over it.

* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' has The Plumbers base be inside the ever-popular Mount Rushmore. It's been destroyed more than once, but holograms are used to hide the damage.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' Dr. Doofenschmirtz has a hidden base inside Lincoln's head at Mount Rushmore.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'', the Kingpin's lair is in the Chrysler building. There's a secret underground entrance so people not in the know won't find out where his base is (even though the lair's high ceiling ''looks'' like the interior of the Chrysler Building's spire might be expected to look). Of course, five seasons later, enough airborne bad guys have waltzed in and out that ''someone'' oughta suspect that something about that [[VillainWithGoodPublicity nice philanthropist]] Wilson Fisk isn't kosher.
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' The Monarch brags about how his base is in such a secret location that he flies by radar alone to get there, that it could be anywhere and nobody would find it...except that it's in the Grand Canyon and ''very'' visible.
* Parodied on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. In one "Treehouse of Horror" episode, a missile launch pad is under the Eiffel Tower.
* The indie computer-animation short ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEjUAnPc2VA Pigeon: Impossible]]'' has a pigeon accidentally fall into a CIA agent's briefcase, activating a BigRedButton that [[OhCrap launches a nuclear missile]] out of the Washington Monument.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'': In "Darksied Descending!", it is revealed that Batman has an auxilary Batcave located under the Lincoln Memorial.
* ''WesternAnimation/TotallySpies'': Whoop's European HQ is located underneath the Effiel Tower.

* The White Cliffs of Dover hide a network of formerly secret underground tunnels.
* Gustave Eiffel built a private apartment for his own use on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
* Similarly, Walt Disney had a secret apartment within the iconic castle in the heart of Disney World.
* A civil defense bunker was built into the masonry architecture of the entrance ramp of the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge for use in case of Soviet nuclear attack. It was then forgotten about until a routine inspection came across it by accident in 2006, still stockpiled with blankets (marked "For Use Only After Enemy Attack") and cookies. Such bunkers and shelters were ubiquitous in cities across the US when nuclear attack was an everyday concern, but most were cleared out and closed down with the end of the Cold War.