Many stories prefer a [[MajorWorldCities big city]] because it's exciting. But sometimes a story instead needs a small town setting, where people know each other, and "time slows down to a crawl". Of course, size is relative, and a small town can be anywhere from tens of thousands, to a few hundred, depending on your perspective.

A good example in fiction: In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series, the heroes come from Emonds Field, which is a small town of a few hundred people. They get to a city (regional capital) and are all amazed at the size: thousands of people! Then they go to the capital city, and discover that "big city" they were so impressed by is considered a small town, and that nobody has even heard of Emonds Field.

There are a lot of specialized subtropes of the small town:
* AdventureTowns are often small
* {{Arcadia}} can contain really low level population towns
* CleanUpTheTown
* CompanyTown: Usually fairly small, as the town's entire purpose is just to support one company's work.
* A CloseKnitCommunity is often a small town.
* DownOnTheFarm can also contain them.
* DyingTown
* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether
* EverytownAmerica
* FlyoverCountry and the DeepSouth are famous for these
* IOwnThisTown
* LovecraftCountry might contain these
** As might a work in a SouthernGothic setting
* NothingExcitingEverHappensHere
* OnlyShopInTown occurs most commonly with small towns.
* QuirkyTown
* SmallTownBoredom
* The TownWithADarkSecret is usually small as it's easier to keep a secret if only a small number of people are in on it.