The Roaring Twenties

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The '20s actually were just like this.

"There seemed little doubt about what was going to happen. America was going on the greatest, gaudiest spree in history and there was going to be plenty to tell about it."

"The era of wonderful nonsense", as conservative newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler later termed it. A dizzy, giddy time of petting parties, bootleg gin, jazz, and flappers. When coffee and movie tickets cost a dime, trolley rides cost a nickel (the same as hot dogs or hamburgers), newspapers cost two cents... and sliced bread was considered the greatest invention ever.

The setting of many an Agatha Christie mystery, this is one era that absolutely lives up to the stereotypes and then some. The Great War was over, (most of) the Western world had never been so prosperous — time to par-tay! And after four years of trench warfare and a flu pandemic that killed over 50 million people, most everybody needed cheering up.

Style is almost exclusively Art Deco moderne, all minimalist lines and coolly fluid shapes. There were plenty of additional opportunities for employing that style in the many new consumer appliances that came on the market. Electric refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, fans, toasters, phonographs, radios and other gadgets were sold by the millions, with installment plans allowing more people than ever to buy them. And automobiles stopped being referred to as "horseless carriages" mainly used for Sunday rides and became a wanted everyday commodity, ´pretty much helped by its wartime use, the same for "flying machines" and "air balloons" (unfortunately, one of the two would have a tragic end in mainstream terms in the late 30s).

Dresses are short and so is ladies' hair. Bobbed hair had actually emerged earlier, around 1915, and was popularized during the late 1910s out of convenience during the war, as well as through the earlier 1920s. Hemlines gradually rose from ankle to calf-length during the First World War and to knee-length by 1925. Hosiery and high heels were on display, and younger women sometimes rolled down the tops of their stockings and applied rouge to their knees. Despite those costumes you buy these days, most dresses were not fringed or figure-hugging, and above-the-knee hemlines were nonexistent for grown women at any time. Dresses had boxy and boyish silhouettes, dropped waists and were minimally or highly decorated depending on the occasion. Women's hat styles included a head-hugging shape called a cloche (after the French word for "bell").

Characters include gangsters and G-men, flappers and their "sheiks" (sort of proto-metrosexual young males), languid white movie idols and jolly black jazz singers and dancers, and lots of cheery collegiate types who wear huge fur coats, straw hats and wide "Oxford bags" (flared trousers) and play ukuleles while dancing the Charleston and shouting "23 skidoo!" People sat on flagpoles and swallowed live goldfish, and stunt men swung golf clubs and played tennis while standing atop airplanes in flight. The basic idea was to shock, amaze and amuse at all costs; there were apparently some women of the era who would greet their guests in the bath.

The fun and excitement is only heightened by the fact that much of it is totally illegal, at least in the USA. There Prohibition is in full swing, so gin is made in bathtubs, smuggled by the likes of Al Capone and served in 'speakeasies', hole-in-the-wall bars highly prone to raids by stolid, humourless cops, or an ambush by the eccentric Izzy and Moe prohibition agent team in disguise. Hip flasks are handy for taking your booze along for the ride, and the mixers in cocktails will take the edge off the cheap stuff. Unless you're Treasury Agent Eliot Ness or one of his elite team of incorruptible agents, The Untouchables, be extra cautious to never insult a tough-looking Italian in a sharp suit, or you'll find yourself looking down the barrel of a Tommy Gun (some of those Jewish and Irish guys are no pushovers either).

However, this growth of the influence of modern life in urbanized northern states ran headlong into more conservative communities (especially in the south) which tried to keep modern ideas like the theory of evolution out of their schools. The state of Tennessee tried to do so with the Butler Act, which banned evolution from school curriculums. The small town of Dayton, suffering from an economic slump, took advantage of this and persuaded the local teacher, John Scopes, to be indicted under this law in order to have a big publicity trial to bring in the tourists. The plan worked perfectly, and the resulting "Monkey Trial" (as journalist and satirist H. L. Mencken famously dubbed it) proved to be one of the most dramatic and publicized of the century, with the confrontation between the noted populist leader and religious conservative William Jennings Bryan and the famed defense lawyer and noted agnostic Clarence Darrow being the highlight of the event. As it happens, the prosecution's win was never seriously in doubt, but the victory was a Pyrrhic one for religious fundamentalists, with Bryan being publicly embarrassed by Darrow's questioning that forced him to concede that a literal interpretation of the Bible was indefensible; Bryan died less than a week later. (The trial would later be immortalized, albeit with certain dramatic liberties taken, by the classic play Inherit the Wind and its subsequent film adaptations.)

Meanwhile, the African American community started to finally gain its voice in American culture. Many black Southerners moved to Northern cities during the 1910's and the early part of this decade, leading to the emergence of a black middle class. Harlem, a neighborhood in New York City, was the most famous African American community, and so many of the most famous African American writers, artists, and musicians were based there that many historians call this period the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and other famous authors wrote stories that captured the African American experience and were read by millions, and Jazz started to spread throughout the country when white people realized that Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington and the others sounded really awesome. This trend would continue in the 1930s, leading to Big Band and Swing music. Such progress had its limits, though: lynchings continued, the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) enjoyed a peak in membership, and while African-American Josephine Baker became a big star in Paris, she faced racial hostility in America. Meanwhile, intellectuals of the community, such as W. E. B. Du Bois, planted the seeds of what would eventually become the Civil Rights Movement.

Shorter work hours, coupled with higher wages and a larger part of the population working in cities paved the way for the beginning of a proper entertainment industry, which itself heralded the birth of what we call "pop culture": While in the decade before the first "true" celebrities came around (Houdini and Chaplin), the term would become popular as many personalities would become worshiped by their followers.

Silent films became an art medium of their own with classic films like The Wind and Metropolis setting new heights for screen drama and the great silent comedians like Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton gaining enormous popularity, along with fellow film stars Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino and child actors Baby Peggy and Jackie Coogan. The fact that they didn't have sound meant that movies still hadn't killed off Vaudeville or Minstrel Shows just yet, but the advent of talkies late in the decade finished the job, however. Radio progressed quickly through the last of its experimental phases and was firmly established as a mass-market medium by the end of the decade (including radios in cars, brought to you by some lowly company called Motorola), also establishing what is now known as "popular music" in the process. Sports became items of true passion with star slugger Babe Ruth, portentous pugilist Jack Dempsey, pigskin powerhouse Red Grange, golfing great Bobby Jones and others became heroes for the common man. Basketball, golf, pool and hockey also gained popularity, and bowling became a popular informal sport decades before becoming a sitcom staple.

Magazines and newspapers enjoyed a booming circulation, including plenty of tabloids (New York had the Daily News, the Mirror and the Evening Graphic, not that the broadsheets like the World, the American or the Evening Journal were too objective) to fill everybody in on sensational trials in New York, graphic pictures of shootouts in Chicago, the scandalous doings of celebrities in Hollywood, and the typical tales of daring people sitting in poles for several hours. Magazines were subject to new ideas such as investigative reporting and the digesting of articles of different magazines into a single publication. Lurid "dime novels" printed on pulp were also very popular. Meanwhile, ultra-low-def mechanical television had brief success with early adopters (essentially beta-testing it) before The Great Depression killed it off by the mid-'30s. The advent of (relatively) high-definition all-electronic TV would have to wait until another postwar prosperity boom.

During all this, of course, the relics of The Gay Nineties and The Edwardian Era, now doughty dowagers and grumpy old Colonels, look on disapprovingly, condemning everything from short skirts and hair, to make-up and swimming wear. Of course, the "Bright Young Things" weren't really listening, and since those killjoys were among the ones who thought Prohibition and that not-so-great Great War were such good ideas, who could blame them? The new-fangled movies took a lot of the heat, as much for the off-screen antics of the stars (paging Mr. Arbuckle) as for the films' content. That said, resentments against immigrants (most prominently towards Jews and Catholics) played a part in a time when the Irish-Catholic Al Smith faced bigoted attacks on his religion during his failed bid for the U.S. presidency in 1928note . Many studio execs were immigrants, Jewish/Catholic, or both, and critics charged they were intentionally corrupting America's youth with their films. Local censorship boards threatened to make life impossible for the studio bosses, who started thinking that guy who ran the Post Office might be able to help.

One should also note that while things were just swell in America, Britain and (to a lesser extent) much of Western Europe (where it was dubbed The Golden Twenties across The Pond), if you were in an area hard hit by World War I (say, Germany, Italy, Russia, Turkey or the entire Caucasus Mountains region... before the Soviets annexed it) this was not a fun time. However, it doesn't mean that they didn't try, once they were able to pull themselves together again. But in Germany, there are rightwing paramilitary groups who have some very grand ambitions and there will be a few people who get a chilling feeling that one loudmouth Austrian with a toothbrush mustache is going to be very big trouble.

America's booming wealth and newfound geopolitical importance meant that lots of American writers and intellectuals (many of them disaffected by what they saw as the country's political complacency, puritanical moralism, and empty materialism) spent most of their time in Europe during this period, soaking up Europe's old culture even as European thinkers dreamed of wiping it all clean and starting over. The contrast between "naive" Americans and "decadent" Europe set a fictional pattern which has endured nearly a century.

Soviet Russia (called USSR since 1922), after a devastating civil war, experienced a short period of economic growth thanks to the NEP (new economic policy), a series of reforms that allowed free enterprise and private property. A new Soviet bourgeoisie was born, with a penchant for over-the-top parties and a slavish fascination with American fashion, music and dance. The Soviet Nouveau Riche (typically called a nepman) was a stock character in 20's Russian satire. Rather funny, they left behind the most durable heritage in Soviet arts and design, as most Soviet architecture and industrial design from the 1920s to the 1970s was ludicrously similar to period American design.

This period lasted sometime after World War I till the Crash of 1929 or just before the New Deal of 1933, or the entire Prohibition era (1920-1933). In cultural terms however, the 20s didn't end until 1935. Understandably, there was much nostalgia for this period as soon as it ended, with a lot of 1930's movies (especially the gangster ones) being set during this decade, and it was often a nostalgic setting during The Forties, The Fifties, The '60s, and well into The '70s and The '80s. Actually, it has gotten to the point of people from almost a century later still relating to this decade.

For the 1939 movie of the same name, click here.

Also see: The Gay Nineties, The Edwardian Era, The Great Depression, The Forties, The Fifties, The '60s, The '70s, The '80s, The '90s, Turn of the Millennium, and The New Tens for more decade nostalgia.


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    Twenties Slang 

This ain't baloney, this is Serious Beeswax, as most words and phrases we use nowadays originated from this decade, so here are some examples, see?:

  • "Ab-so-lute-ly"
  • "And how!" - I agree!
  • "Applesauce" - Nonsense!
  • "Attaboy!/Attagirl!" - well done, son/lad/lass/boy/girl/kid.
  • "Baby" - sweetheart, also a respectable word.
  • "Bank's closed" - No Hugging, No Kissing
  • "Baloney" - Blatant Lies or just nonsense
  • "Bear cat" - Tsundere
  • "Beat it" or "23 skidoo" - get lost or GTFO!
  • "Bee's knees" or "Cat's meow" - an extraordinarily splendid person, idea or thing.
  • "Big cheese" - important person
  • "Big six" - The Big Guy
  • "Blind date" - dating a stranger
  • "Bootleg", "hooch" or "giggle water" - alcoholic beverage
  • "Bump off" - to kill
  • "Butt me" - I'll take a cigarette, please.
  • "Cheaters" - eyeglasses
  • "Crush" - infatuation
  • "Dick" - no, not that dick, a private investigator
  • "Doll" or "Dame" - sexy woman
  • "Double cross" - backstabbing
  • "Dogs" - shoes
  • "Drug-store cowboy" - ladies' man
  • "Dumb-bell" - stupid person
  • "Dumb Dora" - a pretty, but dim-witted girl (she may not be that dumb)
  • "Earful" - enough
  • "Egg" - big cheese living the big life.
  • "Fall Guy" - frame victim
  • "Flapper" and her "Dapper" - a girl and her dad.
  • "Fire extinguisher" - cock blocker or chaperone
  • "Fish" - first timer in college or in prison.
  • "Fly boy" - aviator
  • "For crying out loud!" - the period's Big "OMG!"
  • "Gams" - woman's legs
  • "Gin mill" - illegal liquor joint
  • "Gold Digger" - woman who marries a man for his wealth
  • "Goofy" - in love
  • "Hard-boiled" or "bimbo" - tough guy. Overlaps with "big six".
  • "Hit on a sixes" - to perform 100 percent
  • "Hoofer" - dancer
  • "Hotsy-totsy" - pleasing
  • "I/You/They is" - replacing "am" or "are"
  • "It" - sex appeal
  • "Jock" - high school/college athlete
  • "Kisser" - mouth
  • "Middle aisle" - to marry
  • "Moll" - gangster's girl
  • "Nertz" - "Aw, nuts"
  • "Nifty" - great
  • "Nix" - No!
  • "Pipe down" - shut up
  • "Putting on the Ritz" - go high style
  • "Sap" - fool
  • "See?" - essentially a Verbal Tic that comes at the end of sentences, see?
  • "See a man about a dog" - an old excuse to where he's leaving without any apparent reason
  • "Sheik" and "Sheba" - man and woman with sex appeal, respectively
  • "Spiffy" - an elegant appearance.
  • "Swell" - wonderful
  • "Tomato" - sexy woman
  • "Torpedo" - hired gun
  • "What's eating you?" - What's wrong?
  • "Whoopee!" - having a gay old time
  • "You slay me" - that's funny.

note 


     Popular tropes 
  • Art Deco in her full blossomed glory.
  • B Movies: Surged around this time as bigger budgets became more common, with the film industry ending up differentiated between larger studios such as Paramount and Universal from "Poverty Row" companies.
  • Banned In Boston: and the rest of America, alcoholic beverages.
  • Barely-There Swimwear: nowadays it's an Old-Timey Bathing Suit, but it was completely daring on that era. Two-piece bathing suits (the forerunner to the bikini) were specially controversial (even though it were just the same type —better known as the "pin up" nowadays— used in The Fifties and The '80s).
  • Black Face: It was the 20's...
  • Cosmic Horror Story, if you're H.P. Lovecraft
  • Dance Sensation/Happy Dance: In prosperous times like these, dances like The Shimmy, The Charleston and The Black Bottom would set the dance floor ablaze with sensational flappers cutting the rug. The former was banned as bootleg, yet praised as a good aerobic dance; the latter two became the rage during the rest of the decade. Josephine Baker became a dance sensation in Paris.
  • The Dandy: Also known as the "Sheik" during this time.
  • Damn, It Feels Good to Be a Gangster : With the onset of Prohibition, organized crime became rampant.
  • Diesel Punk, just starting out with Fritz Lang's Metropolis
  • Dry Crusader: to those who supported Prohibition.
  • Dumb Blonde: While the trope has older example the modern dumb blonde stereotype was given a huge surge in popularity via Anita Loos's Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1925).
  • Evolution: Started to really enter the public consciousness during the 1920's, especially because of the Scopes trial.
  • The Flapper: All women in this dance era are usually "flappers". She would typically wear a:
    • Dangerously Short Skirt: Despite being knee length due to a flourishing economy (the lengths were seemingly influenced by how the stock market performed that week), they were scandalous, at the time, according to their Victorian parents.
    • Short Skirt And Knee Socks: Flappers often had grade A or B.
    • Petite Pride: The "washboard" look of the flappers.
    • Cool Crown: Though not royalty, the feathered sequinned headbands give added glamour in the evening.
  • Foreign Culture Fetish: Following the discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb in 1922, a wave of Egyptomania followed suit.
    • A minor one, at least for Chanel, are all things Russian like Cossack coats and constructivist motifs.
    • In this decade, Berlin became a cultural mecca for any budding artist whose streets and Kaffeehäuser are filled to the brim with intellectuals and writers writing off their Lost Generation woes, films filled with expressionist motifs, and art filled with abstract and deconstructive tones.
  • The Fundamentalist: Religious organizations became influential forces in many fields.
  • The Gay Nineties: A nostalgic setting during the period, with many sketches poking fun at all those "Belle Epoque" fashions.
  • The Generation Gap between flapper girls and their Victorian parents.
  • Genteel Interbellum Setting
  • Good Old Ways: The activism of the Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson eras faced a serious backlash during the era. Warren G. Harding's campaign proposed a "return to normalcy".
  • Jive Turkey
  • Ku Klux Klan: A major organization during the decade. The number of members was over 5 million, and they were so powerful that they had a 50,000-person strong march on Washington in 1925.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy
  • Music of the 1920s:
    • Blues: Popular throughout the 1920s and 1930s.
    • Jazz: Became universally popular thanks to the orchestras of Paul Whiteman ("The King of Jazz"), Rudy Vallee and Ted Lewis among others, while songwriters such as Cole Porter, George Gershwin and the team of Rodgers & Hart began the "Great American Songbook". Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington also became wildly popular with black and white audiences alike.
  • Nice Hat: Fedoras, newsboy caps, straw hats and top hats for men; tight-fitting, head-hugging swanky cloche hats for women.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Perhaps the most prominent decade of the 20th century for this trope. There's the figureless beaded chemise dresses as you see on old photographs and fashion magazines, the little black dresses made by Chanel, and then there's the 1920s alternative dress, the robes de style,. Popular couturiers at this era include:
    • Coco Chanel: co-pioneer of The Flapper chic, debuted Parfum #5 and the Little Black Dress, focused on simple and sporty cuts;
    • Jean Patou: Chanel's contemporary, also codifying The Flapper, the guy who shortened the hemlines to the knees, only to lengthen it back later in the decade.
    • Madeleine Vionnet: perfected the bias-cut note  in 1922.
    • Jeanne Lanvin: Designer for matching mother-daughter outfits and is the prominent user of the robes de stylenote 
    • Elsa Schiaparelli: a latecomer throughout the decade, her early collections included knitwear with fake bows and sailor collars knitted in the sweater.
  • Pretty in Mink: Dyeing furs different colors became popular, whether it was the raccoon coats worn by men, or the feather boas by women.
  • Red Scare: Thirty years older than you think. Russia succumbed to it, and almost all of Europe being more threatened with it, Germany the most, after the war.
  • She's Got Legs: For the first time since antiquity. Whether she had Knee Socks or none.
  • The end of the Silent Age of film and animation.
  • Slapstick: The big three are Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton, joined by the end of the decade by Laurel and Hardy and The Marx Brothers.
  • Stepford Smiler: Inside the parties and the booze-laden shell lies an empty core filled with economic downturns, depression and wartime trauma waiting to crack.
  • Suburbia: Surged during this time as automobiles and bungalow houses became increasingly popular and affordable.
  • The New Rock & Roll: Jazz is really the Trope Maker.
  • Trope Makers: Everything we know as "popular culture" emerged at one time or another during the decade, thus making TV Tropes possible. Popular tropes that originated and/or popularized in this era are:
    • Charlie Chaplin Shout-Out: In 1914 Charlie Chaplin became such a huge movie star that he became the first pop culture icon, with countless references to his character the Tramp.
    • The Cheerleader: Before about 1925 all cheer squads featured only men (yup, even in "co-ed" campuses, believe it or not), but soon after some flappers decided to get in the act, and the rest its history...
    • The Little Black Dress: Which Chanel first designed during this period.
    • Product Placement: While this trope is actually Older Than Dirt, it only became popular during the decade thanks to radio and movies.
    • The Vamp: The more seductive counterpart of The Flapper, with her shadowy makeup and sultry looks, popularized by actresses Theda Bara and Gloria Swanson.
    • Women Drivers: As cars became more commonplace, and more women pursuing a more active role had little experience of driving at first, we have this trope.
  • '20s Bob Haircut: from the classic Irene Castle bob to Josephine Baker's boyish Eton Crop, from the sleek Louise Brooks shingle cut to the Clara Bow puff and the wavy Joan Crawford perm; different styles, same cut.


Works set in this time period:

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin. First appeared in January, 1929. Tintin Tintin In The Land Of The Soviets (1929-1930).
  • The Necronauts comic is set during this period, and involves several celebrities of the time.
  • King Mob of The Invisibles gets to travel back in time to the Roaring Twenties.
  • The Grace Brannagh incarnation of Promethea held that role in the Twenties and Thirties.
  • An Abrafaxe arc (Mosaik No. 301-322) is set in America in 1929. Prohibition-era gangsters abound, Abrax is a G-man and Califax makes a fortune selling hotdogs, but as he invests his profits on the stock market he loses it all on Black Friday.
  • The Italian Disney series The Amazing Adventures of Fantomius-Gentleman Thief is mostly set in this period, crossing in the Thirties in its eleventh story.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Most works of H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) not set in a Dream World.
  • Several Jeeves and Wooster stories (1917-1966) by P. G. Wodehouse, and a decent number of his many other ones, too.
  • The first published works by Agatha Christie appeared in this decade.
  • Bulldog Drummond. The novel series started in 1920.
  • Babbitt. First published in 1922.
  • Lord Peter Wimsey. The novel series started in 1923.
  • The Most Dangerous Game. First published in January 1924.
  • Charlie Chan. The franchise began with a series of novels that started in 1925.
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (the novel first published in 1925 and the musical later based on it, but not, however, the movie musical)
  • The Great Gatsby (1925) is probably the best-known novel set in the 1920s. It features a number of classic elements of the era, including the wartime memories, Jazz Age parties, and wealthy bootleggers. For that matter, much of F. Scott Fitzgerald oeuvre was produced in the 1920s and set there.
  • Sannikov Land (1926)
  • Some of Ernest Hemingway's work.
  • The Hardy Boys. Series started in June, 1927.
  • Elmer Gantry (1927)
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928)
  • The Twelve Chairs (1928) is a famous depictions of the Soviet 20's culture.
  • Albert Campion. This series of novels started in 1929.
  • Bony. This series of novels started in 1929.
  • Tender Is the Night (1934) is set in France, but mostly portrays Americans of the era.
  • Practically the entire published output of Edward Gorey (1925-2000).
  • The Phryne Fisher mysteries (1989-) are set in 1928 and 1929, in Melbourne, Australia.
  • The novel Maisie Dobbs (2003) by Jacqueline Winspear is set in 1929, and introduces a series of books following a woman who went from a life "in service" (working as a maid in a grand house at 13) to university student, front-line nurse in The Great War, and eventually a private detective.
  • The Full Matilda (2004) has events starting in this period. Matilda's main storyline starts here, and she continues to live this lifestyle until the day she dies.
  • The Princess 99 (c. 2009) takes place in 1924, in New Orleans... but with wizards!
  • Bride of the Rat God takes place in the Hollywood silent film era.
  • The Diviners (2012) (pub. 2012)
  • Nya tider by Solveig Olsson-Hultgren takes place in 1920 and 1921. A brand new fashion has started to emerge (Greta and Rebecka even cut their hair short!), in the fall women vote for the first time. Jazz is the new popular music for young people.

    Live Action TV 
  • Poirot, the TV series; the books actually span a much longer period. (The Miss Marple series, meanwhile, is set in a different version of this trope - what might be called the suburban one. Middle-aged housewives sit around musing how hard it is to get good help since The War gave the rabble ideas.)
  • Upstairs Downstairs (seasons 3-5)
  • Boardwalk Empire
  • In the Charmed episode "Pardon My Past", Prue, Piper and Phoebe time-travel back to the Twenties.
  • The House of Eliott
  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
  • Downton Abbey: Starting in Series 3.
  • Ken Burns produced a three-part documentary entitled Prohibition about, well, Prohibition. The Roaring Twenties take up most of the second and third episodes.
  • Underbelly: Razor begins in 1927. The prequel, Underbelly: Squizzy, ends in 1927.
  • Though we never get to see it, the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Course: Oblivion" has a holodeck program set in Chicago of that period, which would have been the place for the duplicate Voyager's Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres' honeymoon.
  • The Roaring '20s, a 1960-62 crime drama on ABC, was naturally set in this period.

    Magazines 

    Music 

    Pinball 
  • Capcom's unreleased Kingpin is centered on mobsters and gangsters of this period.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Gangbusters was set in an Expy of 1920's Chicago, with player-characters on both sides of the law.

     Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • Lackadaisy, whose only inaccuracy is that the world is populated by anthropomorphic felines.
    • And the presence of a cathedral radio, and a few anachronistic cars (by one year). And, maybe, checkbooks.
  • Chess Piece takes place at the near end of this decade. Of course, it being an alternate universe, some things are very, very different. Like ghosts inhabiting Antarctica, demons ruling Australia (no, really), and America being ruled by a kindly demonic-looking king.
  • Problem Sleuth, save for the occasional Anachronism Stew.
  • Alleged Whiskey is set in 1928 California, just before talking motion pictures became popular.

    Western Animation 

    Other 
  • At Knotts Berry Farm, the "Boardwalk" area, which now holds most of the park's thrill rides, was previously called "The Roaring 20s," a literal theme park version of the era.

Works made in (but not necessarily set during) the twenties:


Alternative Title(s): Roaring Twenties, The Golden Twenties, The Twenties, Prohibition Era, The Jazz Age

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheRoaringTwenties