Another day in Pencilvania.
Welcome to Premiseville, Fictionland, where every city has a Meaningful Name
. In certain works, especially kids shows or more whimsical Speculative Fiction
the City of Adventure
, the place where our heroes live has a name that fits the premise, feel or ethos of the show.
For example, Dimmsdale in The Fairly Oddparents
is well-named because the residents of said city are quite stupid by and large. Soap City in The Cramp Twins
is also well named as the residents are obsessed with cleanliness to a frankly scary degree (and there's a Soap Factory there). Ponyville from the My Little Pony
series is named such because its inhabitants are all... well, you can probably figure it out by yourself...
Sometimes a name is chosen against the theme of the show, which is still an example of this trope rather than a subversion
because it is still using this trope but in an ironic manner. The most famous example of this would be Sunnydale in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
See also: Meaningful Name
, Theme Naming
, City of Adventure
, Descriptive Ville
, I Don't Like the Sound of That Place
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Anime & Manga
- Gotham and Metropolis are both named thematically as well as being substitute names for somewhere else (both New York City). Gotham evokes dark and grim imagery, Metropolis (which means Mother City) evokes more bright and hopeful feelings.
- Also, Smallville. It's not very big.
- Keystone City (home of The Flash) also fits. The name implies construction and manual labor, and Keystone is the blue-collar capital of DC's America (essentially an idealized Detroit).
Films — Live-Action
- The eponymous town of Pleasantville is an interesting one between playing it straight and playing it for irony. Pleasantville is indeed pleasant, but it is also generic.
- Sin City in its film and comic book forms is one example. The name is a shortened form of Basin City, and accurately reflects the denizens.
- The Amityville Horror and its sequels take the ironic route with its friendly name. Although it should be pointed out that there really is a city on Long Island called Amityville, and the supposedly true events did happen at a real house in the real Amityville.
- Amity Island from Jaws is a similar example.
- Mean Creek certainly is a creek where mean things take place.
- Dogville. There's a dog. Get it? Well, also the people act rather base. Rather, as Grace's father would say, like dogs, as it were.
- Champion City in Mystery Men — a parody version of this trope.
- In The Queen and I and Queen Camilla by Sue Townsend, Britain becomes a republic and the Royal Family is forced to live on a terrifying council estate named "Hell Close" (short for Hellebore Close.)
- The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld has New Pretty Town, Uglyville, and Crumblyville. In the guidebook, From Bogus to Bubbly, Westerfeld explains that this was done on purpose to show that every age group(pretties, uglies, crumblies, etc.) stays in its place.
- The Hardy Boys hometown, Bayport, qualifies.
- The trope is played with by Duncan Ball in his Selby series. Selby lives in "Bogusville" - so named by the author to protect Selby's "true identity".
- Chickentown in Abarat. They breed chickens there. Boring.
- The country A Brother's Price takes place in is named Queensland. It's ruled by several queens, sisters. More specific locations, like Annaboro or the capital city Mayfair, avert this trope.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sunnydale plays the trope for irony; it sounds like a lovely pretty safe place... and is where the Hellmouth is. Not to mention that the sun is supposed to be a weakness to vampires. The area's earlier Spanish name played the trope straight: it was Boca del Infierno.
- The eponymous town of Eureka, populated by scientists.
- Eerie Indiana, where the happenings are of an unusual nature.
- The Australian kids' show Wormwood is a set a town called Wormwood where the main industry is the worm farm producing worm castings. Wormwood can also mean something bitter or unpleasant, and the town is at the centre of a lot of supernatural strangeness. It's more likely a reference to the biblical "Star Wormwood".
- Saturday Night Live. "Give it all up to Homelessville!"
- Fuutonote , Kamen Rider Double's hometown, fits with both his own wind element powers and the underpinning theme of nature and the environment.
- Cour de Cours from Pushing Daisies, which translates to "heart of hearts", where both Ned and Chuck lived in childhood. Their romance as adults is a core part of the show's premise. It's incredibly cutesy name could also refer to the incredibly cutesy architecture of the show's world, though that quirk isn't really isolated to Cour de Cours.
- Bat Boy: The Musical: Hugely tragic story is set in Hope Falls.
- Zombie Prom: Enrico Fermi High is right next door to the Francis Gary Powers nuclear power plant.
- Raccoon City of Resident Evil is named after an animal popularly known for being the most likely victim of rabies, a disease causing insane hostility spread by bites and scratches. And it's a Zombie Apocalypse Ground Zero.
- Twilight Town from Kingdom Hearts is where it is always early evening. Likewise Traverse Town, which is a common hub for travel between worlds.
- Many Super Mario places are examples. Examples include "Lethal Lava Land", "Forest of Illusion", "Bianco Hills", "Honeyhive Galaxy", "Rogueport", "Dry Dry Desert", etc. Isle Delphino is an interesting one — it's got nothing to do with dolphins, but it's shaped like one.
- The Eagle Land cities in EarthBound are named after numbers that match the order that you encounter the cities in.
- The Sims
- The Sims 2 ships with pre-packaged towns Pleasantview (much like Pleasantville above), Strangetown (Alien Abduction and Mad Scientists) and Veronaville (based on William Shakespeare plays). Later expansions introduce other Premiseville neighborhoods with themes appropriate to the expansion's new functionality.
- The Sims 3 has the downloadable alternate city Riverview, which is distinguished from the default city of Sunset Valley by the big river running through it, and the pirate-themed town of Barnacle Bay. The Ambitions expansion ships with Twinbrook, which has a forked river running through it.
- In The Sims Medieval, you can name your own kingdom whatever you like, but the other territories in the world are Premisevilles. For example, pirates come from Aarbyville and craftsmen come from, well, Crafthole. Some are a little more subtle; adventurers come from Advorton and elves from Effenmont.
- A few of the games in the The Legend of Zelda series feature Hyrule's capital city of Castle Town...so named because it's the town around the royal residence.
- Rapture from Bioshock was suppose to be this as it represents a city not controlled by the government or religion, only the people that make it run. But those ideals were easily twisted and manipulated that it caused the city to fall into ruin and it namesake is now nothing but an ironic mockery.
- Professor Layton
- No More Heroes takes place largely in a small California city called Santa Destroy.
- 90% of all Facebook games made by Zynga, Inc. follow this trope. The most notorious is FarmVille, but they also have FrontierVille, Pet Ville, CityVille, CastleVille, etc.
- Moperville from El Goonish Shive is is downright confusing as to whether it is fitting or not. It depends on the story arc.
- A nice example is the lovely town of Murderville from the Hackgirl webcomic. Wanna guess what a large portion of the story is about?
- Dimmsdale from The Fairly Oddparents, because the residents are pretty dim. Subverted in the fact that there is a Real Life Dimmsdale, in Staffordshire, England, which means "dark nook of land". Also named for founder Dale Dimm, who was pretty dim anyway.
- Soap City from The Cramp Twins, probably called that in-universe because of the local soap factory. It fits because of the cleanliness obsession the residents (especially Mrs. Cramp) almost all have.
- Endsville from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy relates to "the end" (death, that is).
- Retroville from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron as the town is a Retro Universe.
- St. Canard from Darkwing Duck because the residents are (mostly) anthropomorphic ducks, (Canard is French for duck).
- And before that, there was Duckburg in DuckTales... and before even that, in the comics it was based on.
- My Life as a Teenage Robot has an amusingly subtle one: Tremorton, California. It's named either for the earth-shaking events that seem to happen there on a suspiciously regular basis, or for its proximity to the San Andreas Faultline. The Movie shows they built the town there when a split in the Earth open there until it stopped, and that had since had no seismic activity.
- Aron City in Johnny Bravo, though this is a hard one to get — Elvis Presley's middle name was Aaron.
- Frostbite Falls from The Rocky And Bullwinkle Show, which is cold.
- "Nowhere" in Courage the Cowardly Dog, with Courage and his family housed right "in the middle of" it.note Named because, well, other than Courage's house, there's nothing there... except for the ghosts....
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Ba Sing Se, which is written in Chinese as "Perpetually Strong City". It was actually remarked upon in-show as meaning Impenetrable city: "After all, it's not called Na Sing Se. That means penetrable city."
- They also have "Chin Village", whose mayor is named "Tong".
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Berry Bitty City
- Rainbow Brite lives, appropriately enough, in Rainbowland.
- Ponyland from My Little Pony, as well as Equestria from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- Almost all town names in FIM is generally horse related names, with the exceptions being appleloosa, which depends on it's apple orchards to survive, and cloudsdale, which is a city in the sky made of...well...clouds.
- Except that Appleloosa (Appaloosa) and Cloudsdale (Clydesdale) also reference horses, making this also Flintstone Theming.
- Miseryville of Jimmy Two-Shoes is strongly implied to be Hell, or at least part of it.
- Most of Team Umizoomi takes place in Umi City.
- Is sometimes Truth in Television, for settlements that are named after the main industry or some other aspect of the area, such as the mining town Silverton and any town name starting with "Port".
- Colorado offers the following examples in addition to Silverton: Leadville, Agate and Basalt. Guess what the major mining industries in each of those towns were?
- Similarly, Uranium City in Saskatchewan.
- On a country-wide example, Argentina was founded on silver mining. note
- Slovakia has the small industrial town of Svit under the Tatras. It's one of the newest cities in the country, founded during inter-war Czechoslovakia by then wealthy Czech industrialist Tomá Baťa. The town's name is both a Punny Name and an example of Fun with Acronyms : "Svit" can mean "Shine, Glare" or (to an extent) even "Dawn" in both Czech and Slovak. The name itself comes from the hilarious acronym (SVIT) of the town's main industrial plant ("Slovenská viskózová továreň = Slovak Viscose Plant/Factory").
- Unfortunately we cannot say if this trope applies to Idiotville, Oregon, because it is a ghost town nowadays.
- Towns of Magnitogorsk (town of magnetite mountain) Nikel (nickel) and Apatit (apatite) in Russia
- The small town of Pepperell, MA has a paper mill in it, and is frequently, mistakenly called Peppermill or even Papermill because of it.