[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Cleveland_5610.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Now with less fire, but plenty of steamers![[note]]That's a single river, the Cuyahoga. It joins in the middle just beyond the pic. The name even means "Crooked River".[[/note]]]]

->''"In Russia, we used to make fun of Cleveland."''
-->-- '''Yakov Smirnoff'''

Known in some circles as "The Mistake By The Lake" (i.e., Erie) or "The/Tha Land," Cleveland is the largest urban area in UsefulNotes/{{Ohio}}. Located on the state's northeastern coast, it's often considered a WretchedHive and a PlaceWorseThanDeath, and the source of a [[http://youtu.be/L_DEp1lz0CM?t=32s steaming joke]] that's been going for years. Recent polls and news articles only reinforce this image, as it was once rated the [[http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/11/americas-most-miserable-cities-business-beltway-miserable-cities.html most miserable city in America]]. It was also the original {{Trope Namer|s}} for AliensInCleveland, as the city is considered by many the image of mundane mediocrity (at best).

Possibly the biggest reason why this goes unchallenged is because all but the most anal-retentive of locals have a sense of humor about it -- they'll tell you ''themselves'' how Cleveland is America's down-pat ButtMonkey. With brutal winters, massive [[DyingTown urban decay]], a river that was once [[PollutedWasteland so polluted that]] [[FreakierThanFiction it caught fire]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuyahoga_River#Environmental_concerns thirteen times]], several political scandals leading to multiple FBI raids, and the fact that road construction is ''never'' finished (also a staple of Ohio in general), most residents have no illusions of being in paradise, and often speak with GallowsHumor. Some choose to stay, however, as the city has a low cost of living, a growing healthcare industry (the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals), and decent nightlife. It can even be called a mini-UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}, due to its patchwork of ethnic neighborhoods, Midwest atmosphere, public rail that's both elevated and underground, division by a major river (east and west in this case, with people on either side almost never going further than downtown), and massive crime rates.

The term "RockAndRoll" was coined in Cleveland by local DJ Alan Freed, and the city has a proud musical heritage and is home to both the RockAndRoll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Orchestra, the youngest of America's "Big Five" symphonies (the others are New York, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia). However, Cleveland also houses the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polka_Hall_of_Fame Polka Hall of Fame]] and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovenian-style_polka Cleveland Style Polka]] is a sub-genre of music named after the [[PolkaDork Polka Dorks]] of the city due mostly in part to the success of Frankie Yankovic but also to a large number of people of German and Eastern European (especially Polish) descent in Cleveland. Jazz musicians, including scat jazz, also have been and continue to be popular. The Playhouse Square in downtown is the second-largest theatre complex in the United States, behind UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity's Lincoln Center. The city is also sometimes used as a stand-in for NYC or Chicago in film, due to lower filming costs, since it has similar architecture[[note]]Many a local has {{squee}}d upon seeing the Trust Company Rotunda in ''SpiderMan 3''[[/note]]. It possesses a surprising number of truly beautiful churches, more museums than a city thrice its size generally has, and two of the best library systems in the country. Cleveland's the home of Case Western Reserve University, one of the more bizarrely named colleges in the country[[note]]The Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University used to be two separate institutions until 1967. "Western Reserve" itself refers to an old name for northeast Ohio, the Connecticut Western Reserve, claimed by the state of Connecticut for its veterans to settle in following the American Revolution until the state agreed to give it up to the newly-formed state of Ohio.[[/note]], and Cleveland State University. An hour southeast is Kent State University, a [[StrawmanU Berzerkeley]] known for an infamous shootout in 1970.

Cleveland's professional sports teams generally go through extended periods of crappy performance with losing streaks of several games on end, interrupted with periods where they steamroll through everyone in their way. Supporting its football team, the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRBDMMVctu8 Browns]] [[note]]Before you ask what a "Brown" is, the team was named after its first owner, Paul Brown, former Ohio State University coach and a highly respected figure in Ohio athletics. It wasn't even his idea and he was against it at first, but later went along with it. For an animal mascot, dogs have long been popular due to the city's first pro football team, the Bulldogs.[[/note]], tends to be [[ButtMonkey/{{Sports}} a lesson in masochism]]. The city has had a rivalry with UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}} for decades. Also, never, ''ever'' say anything nice about the UsefulNotes/{{Baltimore}} [[BerserkButton Ravens]][[note]]The original Browns team moved to Baltimore through some shady dealing on owner Art Modell's part, then went on to achieve UsefulNotes/SuperBowl success that Clevelanders believe should be theirs. The new Browns debuted in 1999 and have not fared nearly as well.[[/note]]. Its baseball and basketball teams -- the Indians and Cavaliers, respectively -- are fairly solid, although the Indians have currently gone for over sixty years without a World Series title, longer than any other Major League Baseball team that hasn't been [[UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} cursed by a goat-owning bartender]], while the Cavs (founded in 1970) never even made it to the NBA Finals until 2007. When it looked like the latter were poised to finally win a championship in the late [=2000s=], they ended up losing star player [=LeBron=] James (from nearby Akron, some 40 miles [64 kilometers] to the south) to the UsefulNotes/{{Miami}} Heat in 2010, with whom he won two titles... before he chose to return to the Cavs in 2014, leading them to their very first NBA title in 2016 (in which they became the first team ever to rally from a 1-3 hole in the Finals) and ending a 52-year championship drought which had affected ''all'' of Cleveland's pro sports teams ever since the Browns won a title in 1964 (two years ''before'' the Super Bowl even ''existed''). On the other sports, hockey is only represented through the second-tier American Hockey League (the NHL only had a Cleveland team for two years), where ten Cleveland teams won the Calder Cup, most recently the Lake Erie Monsters in 2016 - just 8 days before the Cavs' title;[[note]]The Monsters, farm team of the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets, are owned by the same guy as the Cavaliers and the teams share an arena![[/note]] and while Cleveland won some indoor soccer tournaments, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFC_Cleveland the town's only team]] is in the fourth tier (Usefulnotes/MajorLeagueSoccer is in Ohio, but in capital Columbus).

The city was named for surveyor Moses Cleaveland (the first 'A' was reportedly dropped so the name would fit on a newspaper masthead) and has no connection to [[UsefulNotes/NorthEastEngland the English county of Cleveland]], or the [[UsefulNotes/GroverCleveland 22nd and 24th President of the United States]] (who was only distantly related to Moses Cleaveland).

Has been the subject of some rather infamous [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY but hilarious]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM&NR=1 videos.]]
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!!Cleveland in fiction:
* ''Antwone Fisher''
* ''Film/HowardTheDuck''
* ''ComicBook/AmericanSplendor''
* ''Film/TheFortuneCookie''
* ''Film/MajorLeague'' (the first was filmed in Milwaukee, the second in Baltimore)
* ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'' (whose one-time theme song is the former TropeNamer, used in full irony here. The original version of the song was recorded by IanHunter in the late 1970s, who got tired of Cleveland being America's national ButtMonkey.)
* Overton from ''Sereis/LivingSingle''
* [[Franchise/MarvelUniverse Marvel]] superheroine Dagger (of ''ComicBook/CloakAndDagger'' fame) is from Shaker Heights, a wealthy suburb in the East Side.
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', passing references are made to a Hellmouth in Cleveland. Robin is shown to have moved there with his own squad of slayers.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': the main character of the show, Ted Mosby, is from Cleveland, namely Shaker Heights. Series creator Carter Bays (he based Tedís character off of himself) also hails from Shaker.
** Tedís best friend from school, Punchy, still lives in Cleveland with his fiancée. In season 6, he asks Ted to be the best man at his wedding, [[spoiler:which may or may not lead to a major turning point in the series]].
* ''Series/BosomBuddies'': Kip and Henry went to high school in Shaker Heights.
* The ''Series/ThirtyRock'' episode of the same name [[http://www.hulu.com/watch/856/30-rock-cleveland-get-away portrayed Cleveland as an idyllic paradise]], albeit through the eyes of harried New Yorkers. In actuality, Public Square should have a lot more homeless people and pigeons hanging out.
* ''The Escapists''
* The opening scene of ''Film/AirForceOne'' was filmed from the roof of Severance Hall.
* Fat Freddy of ''ComicBook/TheFabulousFurryFreakBrothers'' is briefly elected mayor (after trying to replicate Literature/DickWhittington's adventures and become Lord Mayor of UsefulNotes/{{London}}, Cleveland is reckoned second best). People moon him and throw bottles during his inaugural parade.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' takes place in Cleveland, according to [[http://half-life.wikia.com/wiki/File:Borealis_plans_01.png information]] in ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}: Episode Two''. Later retconned, ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' takes place in a salt mine in the state of Michigan, though both settings could have been used.
* ''Welcome To Collinwood''
* ''Film/TheSoloist''
* ''Stranger Than Paradise''
* ''WesternAnimation/KappaMikey'' main character Mikey Simon is said to be from Cleveland.
* Not fiction, but a number of Cleveland's restaurants have been featured on TLC.
* Several books/movies based on the Torso Murder (a Cleveland serial killer) such as Butcher's Dozen or John Peyton Cooke's novel Torso.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'' had an episode with a serial killer in Cleveland.
* Blood and Rust by S. A. Swiniarski a book that contains two vampire stories set in Cleveland.
* A few ''Series/{{Route 66}}'' episodes take place in Cleveland.
* The short story [[http://sfreader.com/contest-2008-1.asp "On a Clear Day You can See All the Way to Conspiracy"]] by Desmond Warzel.
* The {{Infocom}} game ''VideoGame/LeatherGoddessesOfPhobos'' includes a small area of Cleveland, where it is compared (unfavorably) to the slime pits of Venus and sandstorms of Mars.
* A few ''ComicStrip/GetFuzzy'' strips mention Cleveland such as the one that rates it the smelliest city in America.
* A proportionately high number of long running [[ComicStrip comic strips]] are written by Clevelanders and/or take place in Cleveland.
** ''ComicStrip/{{Crankshaft}}'' By Tom Batiuk and drawn by Chuck Ayers, and its spin-off ''ComicStrip/FunkyWinkerbean''. Both have various references to Cleveland show up in the comics.
** ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' creator Bill Watterson. [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calvin_and_Hobbes#Books The strip takes place in Watterson's hometown]] of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chagrin_Falls,_Ohio Chagrin Falls]], a suburb of Cleveland.
** ''Flo & Friends'' by John Gibel and Jenny Campbell definitely makes references to Cleveland
** ''BornLoser'' by Chip Sansom
** ''PajamaDiaries'' by Terri Libenson
** ''AskShagg'' by Peter Guren
** ''ComicStrip/{{Ziggy}}'' by Tom Wilson, Sr. and Tom Wilson, Jr. Senior lived in Cleveland while his son lived in Cincinnati, so there were references to both Ohio cities.
* In ''View From The Top'', Cleveland is the hub of Royalty Airlines' commuter-class sibling, Royalty Express, and serves as the setting for the middle third of the film.
* ''Series/HotInCleveland''
* The short story "Fields" by Desmond Warzel takes place in Cleveland during the final days of humanity, after most plant life on Earth has been choked out by genetically modified wheat.
* In ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors'', [[spoiler:Audrey II eats]] Cleveland.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' Numbuh 1's history report decribes the founding of an adult paradise, "they named it Cleveland."
* In Deadpool's ending in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3'', [[spoiler:he accidentally destroys Cleveland during a drunken party aboard Galactus' ship.]]
* CarlSandburg's poem "[[http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15265 Honky Tonk in Cleveland, Ohio]]" seems to paint the Cleveland of the first half of the 20th century as a happening jazz and blues scene, albeit with a darker undertone of hedonism and disappointment for the common worker (in keeping with Sandburg's UsefulNotes/{{socialism}}).
* Les Roberts's series of detective novels featuring Milan Jacovich (fifteen books as of 2011).
* In ''SkinHorse'', the transgenic convention takes place in Cleveland.
* In a darkly humorous twist of fate, Cleveland is left as the largest city left standing in North America within the Website/AlternateHistoryDotCom timeline, [[Literature/ProtectAndSurviveATimeline Protect and Survive]].
* ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'' is set in the fictional town of Rutherford, Ohio. Throughout the series, Cleveland is treated as being the nearest big city.
* S. Andrew Swann, a local, set the first book of his Literature/MoreauSeries and both books of his ''[[Literature/DragonsAndDwarves Dragons of the Cuyahoga]]'' series in Cleveland.
* ''Film/TheAvengers2012'' was partially filmed in Cleveland, probably in response to ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'' being filmed in UsefulNotes/{{Pittsburgh}}. Locals found it hilarious when "Germany" looked like the Cleveland Museum of Arts. Also, the exterior of the opera house in Stuttgart is actually the entrance of the Terminal Tower, one of Cleveland's most recognizable buildings.
** ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' was also filmed in Cleveland, leading one of the screenwriters to joke how he never thought one American metropolis would be willing to shut down part of the city for Marvel to film the SceneryGorn.
* Cleveland was seen in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents''. Cosmo and Mr. Turner call it "the magical land of Cleve".
* In ''Website/NFLQuarterbacksOnFacebook'', the city of Cleveland, as well as Browns fans, were DrivenToSuicide whenever someone mentioned the Baltimore Ravens' successes after the 1996 move, especially after they won two Super Bowls (XXXV and XLVII).
* ''Draft Day'', about the day in the life of a beleaguered Cleveland Browns GM.
* ''ComicBook/HaloUprising'' is set in a 26th century Cleveland, now a prosperous resort city after 500 years of improvement. Too bad [[ScaryDogmaticAliens the Covenant]] attack.
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!!Celebrities from Cleveland and the surrounding area:
* Ernie Anderson (Creator/{{Ghoulardi}}, Tim Conway's comedy partner, and longtime Creator/{{ABC}} announcer)
* Avant
* [[WesternAnimation/MrMagoo Jim]] [[Series/GilligansIsland Backus]]
* Creator/HalleBerry
* Ettore Boiardi, aka Chef Boyardee
* Music/BoneThugsNHarmony
* [[Series/TheDrewCareyShow Drew Carey]]
* Music/TracyChapman
* [[Series/McHalesNavy Tim]] [[WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants Conway]]
* Creator/WesCraven
* Mike Douglas
* Creator/PaulEiding
* Creator/HarlanEllison (Grew up in the nearby town of Painesville)
* Music/{{Filter}}
* Creator/QuintonFlynn (from Mayfield, a suburb)
* [[RockAndRoll Alan Freed]]
* [[Film/{{Tootsie}} Teri Garr]]
* [[Series/TheArsenioHallShow Arsenio Hall]]
* [[Series/FamilyFeud Steve Harvey]]
* [[Series/EverybodyLovesRaymond Patricia]] [[Series/TheMiddle Heaton]]
* [[Film/SixDaysSevenNights Anne Heche]]
* [[Film/AllThePresidentsMen Hal Holbrook]]
* Creator/BobHope (born in UsefulNotes/{{London}}, but grew up in Cleveland)
* Langston Hughes
* Integrity (originally based out of here, now based out of Belgium, as Dwid Hellion emigrated there)
* Music/KidCudi
* [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague Bernie Kosar]] (Who famously played the NFL Draft system so he could end up with his hometown team.)
* Dennis Kucinich (former Congressman from Cleveland; previous Mayor of Cleveland during [[TheSeventies the late 1970s]] [[NeverLiveItDown when the city declared bankruptcy]])
* Lady Akashia (DragQueen who appeared in the first season of ''[[Series/RuPaulsDragRace [=RuPaul=]'s Drag Race]]'')
* Wrestling/JerryLawler (Spent some of his childhood there, life-long Cleveland Browns fan. We're sorry, King.)
* Gerald Levert
* [[Film/{{Rocky}} Burgess Meredith]]
* Wrestling/TheMiz
* Mushroomhead
* Creator/PaulNewman
* Music/NineInchNails
* Harvey Pekar, creator of the autobiographical comic ''ComicBook/AmericanSplendor''
* Ringworm
* Pere Ubu
* Award-winning sportswriter Joe Posnanski
* [[Film/SawI Monica Potter]]
* Wrestling/PerrySaturn.
* Joe Schuster and Jerry Siegel (the creators of Franchise/{{Superman}})
** Siegel and Schuster originally wanted Franchise/{{Superman}}'s adventures to be set in Cleveland before ExecutiveMeddling vetoed that idea. We can only speculate how this would have affected Cleveland's image in the public consciousness]]
* [[Series/SaturdayNightLive Molly Shannon]]
* George Steinbrenner (Who tried to buy the Cleveland Indians before [[WhatCouldHaveBeen settling]] for the [[UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity New York]] Yankees instead.)
* Michael Symon (Food Network Chef)
* Bill Watterson (creator of ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'') is from Chagrin Falls, a suburb of Cleveland.
* Mary Ann Winkowski - Television personality whose claims of paranormal experiences are the basis for ''Series/GhostWhisperer'', on which she is also a paid producer.
* Frank Yankovic (musician, known as "America's Polka King")
* Wrestling/DolphZiggler (born there, according to ThatOtherWiki) was once acknoweldged during a show in Cleveland.
* Creator/BrianMichaelBendis (writer for Creator/MarvelComics)
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-->''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZzgAjjuqZM It could be worse, at least we're not Detroit!]]'' ♪
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