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California Doubling / California

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California Doubling involving the Trope Namer.

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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Little Indiscretions has an LA Irish pub and flat double as London pub and apartment.
  • Much of the theme park in Beverly Hills Cop III were filmed nowhere near Beverly Hills - still in California, but farther north. Most of the theme park scenes were filmed at California's Great America in Santa Clara, just south of San Francisco.
  • According to Being John Malkovich, the New Jersey Turnpike has palm trees and oil rigs in the background.
  • The Matrix series again; the beginning of the highway chase battle in Reloaded was filmed on the streets of Oakland and transitioned to a fabricated set in neighboring Alameda by including a quick shot inside the underwater tunnel connecting the two cities.
  • Spoofed in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me; as Austin and Felicity Shagwell drive through what is ostensibly the British countryside, along a desert highway with the ocean visible in the background, Austin remarks "You know what's remarkable? That England looks in no way like Southern California!" The only concession towards making what is obviously southern California even remotely like England is the addition of a red phone box next to the road, and having them driving on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Wayne's World is set in the Midwest, but there are palm trees in some exterior shots.
  • Phone Booth is filmed on possibly the only LA street which could plausibly pass for Manhattan. However, the effect is blown in long shots when you can see the skyscrapers ending after a few blocks.
  • Killing Zoe takes place entirely in Paris, France. With the exception of two tracking shots that plat over the opening/closing credits, it was filmed completely in L.A. Because the movie takes place almost entirely indoors and features a large French cast, it would have been pointless to go to France in the first place.
  • Stockton CA has been used for a large number of movies and TV, mostly because it doesn't look much like LA/Southern CA. Prime examples, the roadbuilding scene in Cool Hand Luke (shot just outside of town on 10-mile road) and the "Eastern College" in The Sure Thing (which is actually University of the Pacific).
  • Army of Darkness is quite, quite blatantly not shot in whatever quasi-British kingdom it's set in (it was filmed in Bronson Canyon and Vasquez Rocks National Park, both of which are in California).
  • The movie The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (a comedy which revolves around a Soviet submarine running aground in Massachusetts) was filmed in California.
  • The Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941) was filmed in the deserts of Southern California, despite the fact that the first episode supposedly takes place in the jungles of Siam. In fact there seems to be some confusion between Thailand and the Middle East.
  • In the movie Love Actually, Colin travels to the city of Milwaukee, WI. However, the airport shown has a sign that says "Milwaukee International Airport" (the real one is "Mitchell Int'l"). The bar he goes to has California license plates and prominent Budweiser signs. Milwaukee is the home of Miller brewery, the chance of finding a bar that looks like that are slim to none.
  • The outdoor scenes in The Lost World: Jurassic Park have significantly more redwood trees than you'd expect from a equatorial island. This is because they were filmed near Eureka, CA (no, not that one).
  • Many of the Endor scenes from Return of the Jedi were filmed near Eureka, in a place called Cheatham Grove. The fallen tree that Luke ducks under while flying is still there. Scenes from the 1995 film Outbreak were also filmed in Cheatham Grove (not an example of doubling, though, since Outbreak was set in California).
  • The Tennessee scenes in Death Proof were filmed in California, unlike the Texas scenes which were actually filmed in Texas.
  • The Cannonball Run was about an illegal cross-country race that started in Connecticut, ended in Los Angeles, and never, ever left California.
    • Not exactly true, as a good portion was actually filmed in Georgia.
  • Older Than Television: A map of California from 1927 (current page image) includes locations such as the Mississippi River, South Africa, Spain, Wales, the Nile River, the Sahara Desert, Venice, Kentucky Mountains, and Siberia.
  • 2008's Iron Man was filmed in the Antelope Valley in Southern California, while portraying the Middle East.
  • Some Gothic films, supposedly set in Europe, actually had their church exteriors filmed in Perris, California.
  • In Starship Troopers, the airport that Rico and Carmen go to before shipping out is clearly shot from the interior of the LA Convention Center, despite the fact that they live in futuristic Buenos Aires.
  • Thelma & Louise was set in various locations across the U.S., including Arkansas, Oklahoma City, and whatever lies between Oklahoma and Mexico that's not Texas. Most of the film was shot in various California locations.
  • The little-seen Vietnam War Mockumentary (played seriously) 84 Charlie MoPic was clearly shot in California, as the budget was so small they couldn't afford to go overseas.
  • Halloween is set in the fictional town of Haddonfield, Illinois, but filmed around Burbank, California. The palm trees in the background make this more obvious. It's sequel and the reimagening from Rob Zombie were also filmed in California instead of Illinois.
  • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, all the scenes that take place at Kevin's uncle's house in Manhattan were shot in Hollywood, CA, while the scenes with Kevin's family in Miami were shot in Malibu.
  • Dawn Patrol, a World War One movie set in pancake-flat Belgium and northern France, has some very anachronistic and easily recognizable Southern California hills in all of the flying scenes.
  • The Hopalong Cassidy B-Westerns of the 1930s and '40s were set in just about every Western state, with visits to Argentina and Arabia. All these places looked curiously similar, because they were all shot in the same stretch of California's Sierra Nevadas.
  • Gunga Din, an adventure film set in Northen India, used the exact same locations as many Hopalong Cassidy movies. Supposedly, even some genuine Indians were tricked into thinking the movie had been filmed in India.
  • Charlie Chaplin made California double for Germany and France in his 1917 movie Shoulder Arms, taking place during World War I. This may be one of the earliest examples of this trope, and has two visual giveaways: The mountains around Hollywood, and cars running in the background. Germany in the 1910s didn`t have motorways yet, but California clearly had some in the greater Los Angeles area.
  • In Speed, the freeway depicted as I-10 was actually part of the then-unopened I-105 with the signs changed.
  • Tess of the Storm Country (1914) features the cliffs of the California coast doing a hilariously bad job doubling as the Finger Lakes of upstate New York.
  • Larry Buchanan's awful The Loch Ness Horror was filmed at Lake Tahoe... but is set in Scotland!
  • The conspicuous desert that is supposed to pass for small town Indiana in North By Northwest is actually near Bakersfield.
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is set in Iran, has entirely Farsi dialogue, was written and directed by an Iranian-American, and has mostly Iranian or Iranian-American actors. But it was filmed in California.
  • While the first film of Critters was shot in Kansas, where it takes place, the second, also set in Kansas, was shot near Los Angeles.
  • Patriot Games: The highway that is supposed to be Route 50 in Maryland is clearly a freeway somewhere in Southern California.
  • Rocketship X-M. Death Valley doubles for an After the End Mars.
  • The Indian Dunes ranch, just north of Six Flags Magic Mountain, had a busy career in the 1970s and 80s, mainly doubling for Vietnam but it could also stand in for any jungle terrain. The Santa Clara River that runs in the middle of it easily qualifies for Hey, It's That Stream status. The fact that it looked exotic but was on the outskirts of the Thirty Mile Zone made it so popular. But the fatal accident during the shooting of Twilight Zone: The Movie cast a pall over the site, and the increasing use of location shooting hurt the site's revenues even more, so it permanently closed to film production in 1990.
  • Denton from The Rocky Horror Picture Show is implied to be in America but was filmed in Berkshire, England and the remake was filmed in Canada.
    • The sequel, Shock Treatment specifies Denton to be in America but was filmed in Wembley, England.
  • In Hail, Caesar! Los Angeles doubles for itself. The beaches of Rancho Palos Verdes stand in for Malibu, and "Pacific Coast Highway" is actually Palos Verdes Drive South.
  • Road House takes place in Missouri (At least, it's implied. They don't say whether "outside Kansas City" meant Kansas City, Missouri, or Kansas City, Kansas). However, during the scene where the car dealership gets smashed up, there are signs for Los Angeles and Bakersfield in the background.
  • Some Like It Hot had its two musician protagonists run away to Florida to perform with their mutual Love Interest's band; the actual beach and hotel they were at was really on Mission Beach in San Diego. In fact, if one were to visit the hotel there, you could find photos of the cast and parts of the movie in the hotel's lobby.
  • In Firefox, Alaska was filmed in Cassel, Hat Creek, and Lassen Peak in Northern California.
  • The Universal Studios Backlot tour has a corner of buildings that can stand for any old city in Europe with just the wave of a flag.
  • Zigzagged in Killer Tomatoes Eat France!, which takes place in France. Some of the scenes are filmed in Paris, but others were in San Diego, allegedly in a perfect French recreation of a California mall.
  • Karla, a True Crime thriller about the Canadian husband-and-wife serial killers Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo, had to be filmed in California even though Canada is a famous center of low-budget film production, largely because of how raw a nerve it touched. The real-life murders the film is based on are so notorious in Canada, and this film seen as so exploitative, that nobody in the Canadian film industry wanted anything to do with it, forcing the producers to shoot in the US with an all-American cast and crew.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Knight Rider, The A-Team, The Incredible Hulk (1977) and dozens of other 70's and 80's action shows never left the general southern California area either. For all the Walking the Earth the heroes did, they were never able to go anywhere that didn't have scrub grass and Joshua trees.
  • Funny how Culver City, California looks a lot like Nazi Germany and Mayberry, North Carolina at the same time.
  • Happy Days is set in Milwaukee, but was shot entirely in Hollywood, California. The same can be said about it's spinoffs.
  • Both Matlock and Profiler were set in or around Atlanta, GA. Were it not for establishing shots, dialogue references, and the opening credits of 'Matlock', no Atlantan would know this.
  • 24: Redemption features several African jungle scenes set in what are clearly eucalyptus groves — while the eucalyptus tree is unknown across all but a few regions in Africa, it grows wild in much of California. The show's seventh season takes place in Washington, D.C., but the (partial) California Doubling becomes obvious when you see palm trees and dry brown hills.
  • Alias did this practically every episode. So often in fact, a DVD featurette was called "From Burbank [home of a number of studios in LA] to Barcelona".
  • Angel had a few episodes supposedly set in places like Rome and U.K. For the U.K. one, they went to a forested area of northern California but were still disappointed at how little it looked like the English countryside. Minutes before they were to film, however, a fog bank rolled in and gave the setting a much more UK feel.
  • The fourth-season premiere of Bones was set and filmed in London. However, the show set in Washington, D.C., with special locations such as Washington State, Las Vegas, and New Orleans, has NEVER left California to shoot any of those episodes. An episode set in Baltimore, complete with Baltimore accents ("Welcome to Bawlmer"), had the opening scene was clearly filmed at the Sepulveda Dam.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine is filmed in Los Angeles, aside from establishing shots.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century: 500 years in the future, Buck is supposed to be in New Chicago, but the background is downtown Los Angeles.
  • Body of Proof: Set in Philadelphia. Shot in California.
  • Castle is set in New York. Only the pilot was actually filmed there. The episode set in Los Angeles takes advantage of that fact.
  • Cold Case has occasional location shots in Philadelphia, but has many scenes clearly filmed in LA: the architecture that is supposedly "Germantown" or "the River Wards" has no business anywhere that gets harsh winters. Los Angeles Metro Rail has stood in for the Broad Street Subway at least once, as well. Any scene involving the cops standing outside their workplace is a bit strange since it's the same building that the FBI's LA bureau uses in NUMB3RS, shot from below the bridges.
  • Combat!, while set in WWII France, did most of its non-backlot shooting in Griffith Park, specifically Bronson Canyon.
    • Some insert shots from a few season 4 episodes actually were shot around Loire, France, but they're very much the exception.
  • Community takes place in Colorado, which apparently has palm trees and a rather mild winter.
    • Possibly lampshaded in "Comparative Religion" where an outdoor 'Winter Wonderland' display was fueled by a snowmaking machine (which came in handy as a weapon).
  • Cougar Town is set in Florida. Some of suburban Florida superficially resembles the Southern California, but the palm trees are actually quite different. Remember, there are two mountain ranges, multiple river valleys, a few hundred miles of ocean, and a desert between Florida and LA.
  • Criminal Minds (set near Washington, D.C.) is filmed in California, and the one episode that averted this was one set in San Francisco.
  • The CSI franchise is famous for this with all three of its shows doing the majority of their filming in Cali, only filming in the actual places they're set in (Las Vegas, Miami and New York City) when they have to. An early episode had the Japanese American National Museum doubling for a police station, but didn't bother editing out the sign over the gift shop, and a more recent episode had Grissom and Catherine walking through Universal City Walk subbing for The Strip.
    • Another failure occurs when a corpse is being exhumed from under a bridge by the LVPD, while a clearly-marked Metrolink train passes over the bridge.
    • Another episode featured a gun range in the episode... this gun range is in Burbank near the Empire Center.
  • Dexter took place in Miami, but was filmed mostly in Long Beach, CA.
  • Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman substituted Southern California for the Colorado mountains... poorly. Especially with such sights as the cast climbing the gentle, rolling slopes of Pike's Peak, lush with the dry brown grass of summer.
  • The Drew Carey Show was set in Cleveland, Ohio, but filmed in Burbank, California.
  • A horrifying example of California Doubling in the United States was the short-lived Fox series Drive. The series started in Florida, going through Georgia, and through the desert of southern California every step of the way. Florida has no mountains, period, end of discussion.
  • Firefly takes advantage of this phenomenon, as the show has a Western feel to it, so it is entirely appropriate for every outlying backwoods planet to look like Old West California.
    • Despite the fact that it had a comparatively higher budget than the TV series, the movie sequel to it, Serenity, nonetheless has a planet that, CGI aside, is represented by a local high school campus. The chase scene around the Companion Training House seems to have been similarly filmed in local woods, with the rest of the landscape around it having been filled in with CGI and basically all of the other settings being either soundstages, the Universal lot, or CGI.
  • Assuming this is a good example of California Doubling, Fresno, a miniseries that parodied Dallas and shows like it, was mostly filmed in Los Angeles. The first 1 1/2 days, however, were spent filming in the actual city of Fresno. However, due to the extreme 100-degree heat, production moved 205 miles down south.
  • Friends was set in New York City, but was filmed in Burbank, California. However, the fourth season finale was shot on location, in London. On the other hand, "The One in Barbados" was more like "The One in Hollywood".
    • The previous show filmed in that studio lot, Full House, had the variant of Southern California Doubling, given the setting was San Francisco.
  • Speaking of Full House, the two-part episode "The House Meets the Mouse" involved the Tanners visiting Walt Disney World in Florida, but some sequences, including the scene where Michelle rubs the lamp, were actually filmed at Disneyland in California.
  • A Gilmore Girls episode in which Lorelai and Rory visit Harvard includes scenes of the "campus" which are actually filmed at UCLA and Berkeley. Also, USC was Yale for Rory's graduation.
    • The beach scenes set at Martha's Vineyard in season 6 were filmed in Malibu, California.
  • Grace and Frankie is an example of California doubling for California. Although it's set in San Diego, many scenes (such as one in a restaurant on Larchmont in episode 2) are filmed in Los Angeles.
  • Greek: Set in central Ohio. Filmed in Southern California. You can tell because It's Always Spring, and winters in Ohio have been known to kill people.
  • A multiple part episode of Growing Pains had the Seavers traveling to a Europe that at one point conspicuously resembled Catalina Island.
    • According to Maura Tierney (who was on the show at the time) they were actually due to film in Europe, but Kirk Cameron - there's a shocker - vetoed it. (In his defence, he cited a fear of flying, but it can't have helped his popularity with the cast and crew.)
  • Heroes does a pretty good job of making Los Angeles locations double for New York, Las Vegas, India, Japan, etc. It's helped by frequent use of CGI backgrounds.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has plenty of scenes (and brief introductory shots) from Philadelphia, including both well-known recognizable sights and neighborhoods that only a native would be able to distinguish from another city. But many of the interiors - and even the exterior of Paddy's Pub! - are filmed in soundstages in California.
  • JAG A series about the lawyers in the Navy & Marine Corps, mostly takes place (when stateside) in the greater DC area, but most of the location shooting is done in LA. The episodes show the cast wearing proper seasonal uniforms (at the time of airing) and did a remarkable job at averting this trope. Most ship scenes were filmed aboard actual US Navy ships in San Diego or on museum ships. Also the Los Angeles subway was used to represent the Washington Metro, ignoring the Metro's unique honeycomb architecture.
  • Jane the Virgin, like Dexter, has Long Beach substitute in Miami. Lampshaded in the chirons for an episode about Rogelio's reality show: "Shot in Costa Rica (actually Miami [actually Long Beach])"
  • Judge Judy is taped in Los Angeles despite Judy hanging a New York state flag behind her seat and the Eye Catches prominently showing New York City imagery.
  • Knots Landing is an interesting case. The series is actually based in Los Angeles, but the home cul-de-sac, Seaview Circle, is depicted as being near a coastline. The actual cul-de-sac used, Crystalview Place, is in Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley, 25 road miles from the nearest shoreline.
  • The more recent seasons of Leverage film in Portland, OR but are set in Boston.
  • Particularly ridiculous in Little House on the Prairie which is set in Minnesota, a state not exactly known for its mountains or its long stretches of lush green summery weather.
  • The "Korean" setting of M*A*S*H is actually a section of Malibu Creek State Park in California, which was then the "Fox Ranch". Other scenes were shot in Griffith Park. While the mountainous scenery is a reasonable approximation of mountainous Korea, the illusion falls apart in winter scenes with their green vegetation and lack of snow. Korea gets a lot colder than California in winter and the winters of the Korean War were especially bitter.
  • In the original Mission: Impossible it's astonishing how much of Eastern Europe looks like LA and its environs, or how Soviet cars (namely the KGB use-only GAZ M23 Volga and M13 Chaika) look remarkably like civillian Checker A12 Marathons.
  • Monk is set in San Francisco and filmed in Culver City. There are buses with the word CULVER written in five-foot-high orange letters that went through the end of the cult episode. One episode has Monk wander his way to the train station after three nights of sleep deprivation. The station used for the shot was clearly the LA Union Station, leading the audience to wonder just how far Monk had wandered off.
    • The first season was produced in British Columbia, which is why all the minor roles are filled by very Canadian-sounding Californians... eh?
  • Lampshaded by Mike in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Beginning of the End which ostensibly takes place in Illinois, but has many scenes taking place in mountainous terrain.
    Mike: Guys, this is so not Illinois.
  • Murder, She Wrote was set in New England, but filmed in Mendocino County, California, which often meant the ocean was on the wrong side.
  • NCIS is set in Washington, DC and filmed in California. When they had to go to Arizona in an episode they were still in California, surrounded by the unmistakable rock formations near Simi Valley.
  • The Office (US) had one episode taking place in Winnipeg, but shot in California. In fact, while they occasionally filmed exteriors for the U.S. version at real Scranton, Pennsylvania locations, most of the show was filmed near L.A.
  • Pretty Little Liars is set in the fictional Pennsylvania town of Rosewood and filmed on location... in California. (Unlike many, many examples of this kind, this is actually mentioned on the show's end credits.)
  • Roswell heavily featured Kirk's Rock for the wilderness scenes, while the town itself was actually Covina, CA.
  • Silk Stalkings was set in Palm Beach, Florida, but filmed mostly in San Diego. See also The Mountains of Illinois.
  • As alluded to in the opening, it's pretty rare for Star Trek to shoot outside of California, or at least it was prior to the 2009 reboot. From the original series through Star Trek: Enterprise, the Trek TV shows were filmed entirely in California. Much like Vasquez Rocks, Griffith Park has been used many times as many planets over the years. The pre-reboot Trek films sometimes ventured outside of California, but never outside the United States. The first Trek scenes shot outside of California were some shots of Yellowstone, doubling for Vulcan, in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. With the reboot films, on-location filming has become more commonplace. Star Trek Into Darkness has the first Trek scenes shot outside of America, albeit by a second unit in Iceland for the backdrop for the "surgery on a torpedo" sequence. It went a step further with the next film, Star Trek Beyond, which was filmed primarily in Vancouver, with Seoul and Dubai as additional locations. The sixth Trek TV series, Star Trek: Discovery, is filmed primarily in Canada, specifically Toronto, making a clean break from its California-based predecessors. Star Trek: Picard returns to California, filming the Chateau Picard scenes on a working vineyard in Santa Ynez, then actually subverting the trope by filming at Vasquez Rocks to stand in... for Vasquez Rocks.
  • If you live near the Trona Pinnacles, you will see the road leading out of the Center of the Galaxy in Star Trek V.
  • Inverted in Teen Wolf; the show takes place in Northern California, but for its first two seasons was shot in Atlanta. Effective Season 3, though, principal shooting actually moved back TO California; the show won a lottery that rewarded it tax credits for shooting.
  • Ugly Betty is set in New York but was shot in LA for it's first two seasons (except the pilot, which was shot on-location). The first episode of season three after they moved filming to New York simply reveled in shooting outdoors.
  • Another case of California doubling for California in Zeke and Luther, where Torrance doubles for Gilroy. The fact that the show is set in Gilroy is mentioned at least every other episode, but anyone who has ever actually been there will spot the lie right away.
  • Seemingly averted by The Middle. They seem to have found a neighborhood of ranch houses which could plausibly be in Indiana, and have shown similar discretion in finding other locations. They have also been able to make those exteriors seem like winter or autumn when need be (largely by limiting the scope of the shots), and the footage shown in the background when they're driving also looks like Indiana.
    • However, in "The Concert", during the third season, one plot thread takes place by the side of a road, where the surrounding landscape looks a lot more typical of California than central Indiana.
  • Inverted in the HBO miniseries version of Mildred Pierce, where New York doubles as Depression-Era California. Fortunately many LA buildings were modeled on ones in NY, and there's even some California-style bungalows built so CA-based actors could feel at home — all they needed was a sunny day and a greenhouse's-worth of tropical plants!
  • Seinfeld was filmed almost entirely in LA, and with the exception of Jerry's apartment (an LA building with visible earthquake retrofitting) used Stock Footage of New York where appropriate. Sometimes, they slipped up. note 
  • Same goes for How I Met Your Mother and, like Seinfeld, the street scenes are clearly filmed on Southern California movie lots, not actual streets. Another TV series that frequently shows off its New York City pride (and hate for New Jersey) in its scripts but that is entirely produced in California.
  • Rizzoli & Isles theoretically is set in Boston. Between the inexplicable palms growing in a climate that would theoretically kill them off, the abundant architecture in a style that developed centuries after most of Boston was built, and even the orderly layout of the streets (Boston being founded before things like "urban planning" were ideas), it's quite obviously filmed in Los Angeles even before getting into the accent issue.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard originally averted this early on, shooting in and around Atlanta and Covington, Georgia; however, the remainder of the series was shot in Southern California.
  • A recent Volkswagen ad had a car driving around in what was supposedly "Fairbanks, Alaska". Only it was filmed in Vallejo, CA and looks NOTHING at all like Fairbanks.
  • In Roots: The Next Generation, the Los Angeles Arboretum doubles for Gambia in Africa. Most of the scenes used are acceptable to the untrained eye until the Queen Anne Cottage starts showing up in the background of a village made up of grass huts.
  • The made-for-TV Disaster Movie Category 7: The End of the World has a massive hurricane hitting and flooding New York. One shot shows water rushing into a subway station, the signs showing that, apparently, the New York City Subway has a stop on Wilshire Boulevard. Making this especially egregious is the fact that this was a special effects shot done on a soundstage, not in an actual subway station.
  • Many of the exterior shots in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are clearly set in the Los Angeles area, with only a wider establishing shot to set it as someplace else.
    • In "Girl in the Flower Dress", Los Angeles' Chinatown doubles as Hong Kong.
    • And the secretive S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy in "Seeds" is apparently located in downtown Los Angeles, with City Hall visible in the background.
    • The Japanese garden in Okinawa from "A Fractured House" is actually a Chinese garden in San Marino, California.
  • My Name Is Earl was filmed in California. While no one knows exactly where Camden County is or might be located, it's strongly hinted to be somewhere in the Southeastern US or maybe Appalachia.
  • In a now-forgotten show called The Mountain a girl dresses in skimpy clothes for a visit to her boyfriend. The California-based costumiers apparently forgot that the show was set at a ski resort with subzero temperatures.
  • Rescue 911 rarely, if ever used this trope. One of the few examples was in "Runaway Truck" - the actual incident recreated was in Nova Scotia but according to a YouTube comment by the daughter of one of the truckers involved the episode was shot in California.

    Real Life 
  • California has doubled for the Moon: certain rocks there contain the same minerals as the moon, and the astronauts did some training in Death Valley. There are even conspiracy theories claiming that California doubled for the actual moon landings.
  • Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim has areas representing different regions of California (San Francisco, Monterey, Hollywood, The Sierra Madre, Wine Country and the desert) all next to each other.
  • Often the Walt Disney World Resort parks are advertised with footage from Disneyland Resort. This has only become more common with the homogenous "Disney Parks" branding.
  • O'Reilly once used video from Sacramento, discussing the previous winter's protests in Wisconsin. ("Subtropical Wisconsin" in January.)
    • Likewise, FNC also used footage of protests in Athens in a report on similar protests in Moscow. An item on the Russia Today Channel helpfully pointed out that the street signs in the report were in the Greek alphabet, not Cyrillic.
  • The deserts of California are apparently a close match for Iraq, so the US Army stages its National Training Center out of Fort Irwin.
  • When sports stations for visiting teams cover games against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, their establishing footage before and after commercial breaks will inevitably show scenes of San Francisco — a city on the other side of the bay with its own baseball team.

    Other places doubling as California 
  • Some Zorro productions (the stories are set in Spanish California, early 19th century) were not filmed in California.
  • For the 1978 John Milius film Big Wednesday, the surfing scenes of the finale were not filmed in California (where the film is set) but at Sunset Beach in Pupukea, Hawai'i.
  • Back to the Future Part III: Hill Valley is a fictional Californian city. Marty travels back in time to the same place in 1885, and he gets chased by Natives in what looks suspiciously like Monument Valley, on the Arizona-Utah state line. Those scenes are the only ones in the Back to the Future trilogy that were not filmed in California.
  • Some scenes of Curb Your Enthusiasm use... Cardiff, in Wales, UK, as Los Angeles.
  • Some scenes of the San Francisco-set Rise of the Planet of the Apes were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Filming of some scenes still took place in the actual San Francisco.
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp is set in San Francisco, but was entirely filmed in Fayette County, south of Atlanta, in Georgia.
  • Georgia doubled for San Francisco again in Venom. The Chinese grocery store is located in Atlanta. The storefront where Dora speaks to Eddie is actually a beauty supply store; it's designed to look like a local place named J & J Jewelry, but the real one is nowhere near Chinatown. The pursuit in what should've been the Muir Woods was filmed at Panola Mountain State Park. The motorcycle chase alternates between San Francisco and Atlanta fairly often as well.
  • The California-set 2018 Romantic Comedy Paper Year was filmed in Toronto.


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