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Big Fancy House

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"This place is huge! Dammit, why do rich people have to live in such huge houses?"
Hayate Ayasaki, Hayate the Combat Butler

A big, well-appointed home is a symbol of wealth and status almost anywhere, varying based on facets including its location and relative opulence.

There are many culture specific variations on this these, based on the economics situation of the culture depicted. What is considered an impossibly huge dwelling in one culture may be a standard middle class house in another culture. For more information on how this applies to Japan, see the Anime & Manga section.

If a house is awe-inspiring for reasons other than size, it might be a Cool House, though there's certainly quite an overlap. Compare also to Old, Dark House and Big Fancy Castle. Symbolic Glass House is almost always a subtrope. Contrast "Friends" Rent Control, where the home (or apartment) doesn't have to be all that large or luxurious objectively, but it's enough so for the location that there's no logical reason why the character should be able to afford it. Also the indication of wealth is not always solid if the home has a dark history or was offered cheaply for obvious reasons. This trope is the antithesis to Horrible Housing, which is small, cramped, and meant to emphasize the poverty of its inhabitants.

Often a hideout for the supervillains, especially of the rich nobles.

Not to be confused with "the big house", a slang term for prison, which is usually the opposite of this.

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    Asian Animation 
  • YOYO MAN: Xiao Guang is shown to live in one. Funnily enough, his friends at first assume that the small wooden shed right across from the mansion is actually his house.

    Comic Books 
  • The Lodge Estate from Archie Comics, home of the super-rich Veronica Lodge and her family that's also the biggest house in Riverdale.
  • Rich Manor in Richie Rich. In one cartoon, the father used LONG distance to call eastern part of house from INSIDE the same house...
  • Batman: Wayne Manor is a multi-level sprawling historical estate where there was never any concern about finding bedrooms for his many wards, at least two kitchens, a ballroom, an extensive library, a conservatory and numerous outbuildings, such as the old carriage building which was converted into a guest house. Of course, that's says nothing of what's underneath it...
  • Eat the Rich (2021): Joey is in awe at her boyfriend's childhood home:
    Joey: I've never been in a house this big. It's not just big. It's like another planet. They have two dining rooms that are only just for parties. They have a whole room just for gifts.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): South Haven, where Sunny South grew up, is an old southern mansion with enough rooms to house a family reunion and a bunch of the Holliday Girls at once without people tripping over each other. It's implied history as a plantation house and the gators present in the waters give the place a eerie feeling however, even before the murders start.
  • The X-Mansion where the X-Men are based. Although more interesting that the fancy manor is the Elaborate Underground Base underneath it, featuring advanced labs, an advanced holodeck, a complex machine that telepaths can use to locate mutants...

    Fan Works 
  • As Fate Would Have It has the Ruri Estate, the home of Yancy's parents (who are the owners of one of Unova's largest companies) located near Undella Town. She and her now-boyfriend Nate visit her parent's place in Chapter 17 in order to introduce him to them in person.
  • Proving this is all relative, the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal has the Smith-Rhodes-Stibbons family. Career Wizard Ponder Stibbons is Vice-Chancellor of Unseen University. He has a salary for this post, plus getting on for thirty lesser academic positions, all of which attract small stipends. If he had to live on any one of those small sums on its own, he'd be in trouble. But getting on for thirty of them puts him on a wage which is not insignificant. He has married a career Assassin who has a few contract completions behind her, as well as independent investment income of her own. She believes a young professional couple need the best house possible to bring up a family in. They move into the Nap Hill district, acquiring a large detached house with a good-sized garden. Their oldest daughter only realises she is privileged and well off when she brings schoolfriends home. her friend Shauna cannot believe a girl of her age has such a big bedroom and she gets it all to herself, and is not expected to share a space a quarter of the size with three of her sisters. Bekki realises the home she has been brought up in, which she has seen as perfectly ordinary and everyday, is atypical by Ankh-Morporkian standards and for somebody from a terrace in Dimwell, it's a great big rambling palace. And Bekki's mother points out that there are still more upmarket suburbs like Scoone Avenue and King's Way, where their Nap Hill home would easily fit inside the garden shed.
  • In Decks Fall Everyone Dies, the Duke's big fancy house is in stark contrast to the crumbling Domino City around it.
  • What little we know about the Smash Mansion in the Super Smash Bros. New Look Series makes it look like this. Every Smasher in the house has their rooms specifically designed to suit their tastes prior to their arrival. For example, Young Link's room is a nearly identical copy of his treehouse from the Kokiri Forest.
  • In Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox, the Hyugas and Uchihas—the two richest families in Konoha Town—naturally each have one of these. The Hyuga mansion is a two-story, 10-bedroom structure on 300 acres of land atop a hill overlooking the town. The Uchiha mansion is roughly half a mile wide and three stories high, with the road from the front gate to the front door being a mile long with multiple small gardens, gazebos, water fountains and trees in between, and the whole property is surrounded by a perimeter wall.
  • Dawn's Canterlot house in The Dusk Guard Saga is a large Gothic-style villa, complete with columns and stained glass windows.
  • Nell's house in A New World, A New Way - Swarm is indeed big and fancy, but it's the size of the yard that is used as in indicator of wealth.
  • In Origin Story, the house that Alex and Louise buy in Chapter 25 is a mansion overlooking the Gulf of Mexico on Big Pine Key. And it's on stilts.
  • In Broken Souls, Harry inherited a sizable estate from his family when he turned 21, which includes a sprawling Tudor mansion named Gwynafor, after a nearby river.
  • Beyond the Winding Road, a Continuation fic of PandoraHearts, shows examples of what happened to the properties of the Dukedoms after they were removed from power at the end of the series. One of the main settings is an old Barma summer house, now the family home of the Tales, and though it isn't exactly a palace, it's big enough to have three stories, a caretaker's cottage, a greenhouse, and a small disused ballroom. A more typical example is Lamontre Estate, the old Vessalius main house, which has since become a museum.
  • The Institute Saga has the Xavier Institute, which gets the Fortress of Solitude as its basement.

    Film — Animation 
  • The castle of La Muerte in The Book of Life.
  • Edna Mode's mansion in The Incredibles is a massive mansion on a massive property, with plenty of space inside for both normal rooms such as the kitchen as well as for designing and testing supersuits.
  • In Incredibles 2, the spare house Winston Deavor puts the Parrs in while Helen is working with him is gorgeous. It's spacious and tastefully furnished, with a customizable remote-controlled living room with fancy waterworks, a big yard, and a pool.
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish opens with Puss throwing a wild party in a lavish mansion. The problem? Itís not his house - itís the Governorís.
  • In Turning Red, Tyler lives in a pretty fancy house which evokes the typical upper-middle-class Forest Hill mansion in Toronto and is shown when he throws his party there.

  • Blur's bright and shiny-sounding song "Country House" describes a successful man who moves from the city into one of these, and the emptiness he feels in spite of his success.
  • The Titular Two Story House in the George Jones/Tammy Wynette song about a couple that buys one and then finds their marriage falling apart.

  • Gottlieb's Haunted House takes placed in one of these. It's represented in-game by having a table with three playfield levels.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: The residence of The God-Emperor of Mankind. All anyone knows is that it was visible from space, and fans have jokingly concluded that many millennia ago it was called "France". The third edition rulebook states that it covered about half of Terra.
    • From the depiction in Draco, the Imperial Palace appears to be a massive city. It doesn't just house the Emperor, it houses the central imperial government and the surrounding population of butchers, cleaners, guards, priests etc, as well as being a massive shrine to the history of the Imperium, the deeds of the imperial military and the lives of all the saints. Even so, the bit where the emperor does live is pretty big - the front door is guarded by a pair of Imperator Class Titans.
    • In a sense, all of Terra itself could be considered the Emperor's house. Terra is entirely covered by a single city. The planet (and indeed the whole Solar System) is one enormous fortress and shrine whose primary purpose is to protect the Emperor and power the Astronomicon (the beacon that allows Warp travel, itself so big it's housed inside Mt. Everest).
  • The board game Mystery Mansion takes place in one of these.

  • In The Taming of the Shrew, Gremio and Tranio argue over who has more of these to offer Bianca, the girl they're wooing. As it happens, Tranio isn't really wealthy; he's a servant impersonating his master and playing the role to the hilt.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kira-Kira: Due to being extremely rich, Sarina's family have several mansions.
  • In Marco and the Galaxy Dragon, the rich Isezaki sisters live in a sprawling castle.
  • Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow includes some of these, located in the very rich and very corrupt Nagasaki from the last isolation days:
    • The Meiko Salon is not only a Local Hangout but it's set on the front of a big traditional house in the merchnt district, and there are several back rooms used for storage and as the living quarters of Makoto, Kagura and the Player Character. According to Kagura, Makoto purchased and outfitted it solely with the earnings from his artwork; the guy is that rich.
    • There are several homes like this, actually, like Suetsugu's just as fancy (if not more) Japanese-style mansion and a Western one that houses some Dutch merchants that work in the Dejima harbor (and where Eduard, as a Dutch-Japanese interpreter, seemingly lives in).
    • Yuzuki's house belong to his very loaded Honest Corporate Executive of a father. What the Player Character gets to see from it is lovely.
    • The most luxurious brothel in the Red Light District of Nagasaki, Maruyama, is located in what's implied to be one of these. It becomes a vital hangout in the paths of the most morally ambiguous potential boyfriends, Toru and Tsubaki, with the second working there as the working ladies' personal doctor. Even more: Tsubaki, as the son of a beautiful High-Class Call Girl, was raised in that luxury brothel.
    • In Toru's Sweet Ending, he and Saori are seen in a luxurious Western bedroom that seemingly belongs to a BFH. Justified, they ran away from Japan and he used his smarts to reinvent himself as a Honest Corporate Executive.
  • The Tohno mansion of Tsukihime, big and fancy even for Japanese standards.


    Web Original 
  • When The Nostalgia Critic wanders around his huge house (both of them, Doug and Rob moved into their own home during The Room review), you get an awful lot of Scenery Porn.
  • Mutterwald in the Whateley Universe, the massive mansion on the huge estate where the Goodkinds live. It used to be Phase's home, right up until chapter 2 of "Ayla and the Late Trevor James Goodkind."
  • Brown Manor in The Molly and Pippin Show is a large mansion which is basically a cross between Neuschwanstein, the Taj Mahal and The Biltmore Estate.
  • McMansion Hell is all about making fun of the McMansion flavor of these, although the author will occasionally post about big fancy houses she likes and why (usually, cohesive architecture and good construction, as opposed to the tacky foam-quoined messes usually featured).
  • The Victorian Way: Mrs Crocombe works at the estate of Lord and Lady Braybrooke called Audley End House in England. It's massive, exquisite and positively gorgeous with vast gardens (with both ornamental plants and useful plants for the kitchen). Mrs Crocombe is proud that she has such a good and prestigious job.
  • Peter in Minecraft For Noobs used to live in a gigantic skyscraper made of diamonds and gold before part 9, where he destroys it.
  • My Story Animated: In "i found my friend things in my dad's car, whaaaattt?", Kelsie comes from a wealthy family, so she lives in a nice sizeable house, complete with a cinema room.
  • RWBY:
    • When Sun follows Blake to Menagerie because she wanted to go back to her family, he asks which house is hers. Most of Menagerie consists of small homes about the size of Blake's room back at Beacon. She's therefore a bit embarrassed when she points out the mansion in the center of the village, clearly the biggest and most important house in Menagerie, as hers.
    • The Belladonna estate is a fittingly large home for Menagerie's chieftain. By comparison, Schnee Manor is an exercise in ridiculous opulence. Vast hallways, huge rooms, an overly long dining hall, and numerous massive gardens. If one exterior shot (from the Hollywood-sized drive-up) is anything to judge by, the foyer alone is the size of the Belladonna home.
  • Bleacher Report's The Champions features the teams of the UEFA Champions League in a mansion large enough to fit 32 soccer teams (players, managers, and occasionally others), which boasts a full size pitch, a pool shaped like the Champions League trophy, a large garden, and exquisite decoration.
  • On the Dream SMP, Punz's house features a glass roof and many beehives for beekeeping, while his massive backyard has a tower with floors rented out to various members on the server. The property is so large that it's even bigger than the territory L'Manburg ó a whole city-state ó used to occupy.

    Real Life 
  • Istana Nurul Iman, the palace of the Sultan of Brunei, is considered the world's largest private residence, at over 2 million square feet. It even contains hundreds of Rolls-Royces, has air conditioned stables, and houses a Mosque with a dome made of pure gold.
  • Antilia, home of Indian bussinesman Mukesh Ambani in South Mumbai maybe the world's largest non-royal private residence. It is a tall skyscraper-like house with over 400,000 square feet of interior space on 25 floors. Itís also absurdly ostentatious in a city with such deep poverty.
  • Windsor Castle, home of the British Royal Family, is the largest inhabited castle in the world and, dating back to the time of William the Conqueror (1066), is the oldest in continuous occupation. The castle's floor area is about 45,000 square metres (480,000 sq ft); it contains over 1,000 rooms and the surrounding parkland is over 20 square kilometres.
  • Bleinheim Palace, ancestral home of the Dukes of Marlborough - and birthplace of Winston Churchill - is the largest private residence in England. It is also a regular money pit that kept generations of Dukes in debt up to their ears.
  • The residence of the Emperor of Japan. A palace, several Big Fancy Houses and several square kilometres of open parkland. In central Tokyo. One estimate of its "market value" (if a market for it existed) is that the palace and grounds is worth, roughly, California.note  There are bigger, fancier palaces out there for heads of state, but none anywhere in the world on more valuable real estate than this one.
  • Canadian Governors-General (and the Canadian monarch, whenever he/she visits) are lodged at Rideau Hall, a superb manor in Ottawa where the GG holds receptions and diplomatic events, though the vast majority of it is working offices for various Crown functions. Another official residence is maintained at La Citadelle, in Quebec City. Both are quite large and very well decorated. Of course, it is important to point out that this is not as ostentatious as it first appears: Canada is one of the largest countries by land area in the world, and lacks the large population of it's southern neighbor. In some provinces, the Lieutenant Governors (who fulfill the Governor General's role at the provincial level) also have their own official residences.
    • Some other high positions get their own official fancy houses.
    • The Prime Minister's official residence, 24 Sussex Drive, is actually a subversion. It's the architectural equivalent of a Master of None - too big for a residence, but too small to use for work or official functions. It's also run down, long overdue for a renovation, and filled with dated decornote . There's some debate on whether it would be more economical to tear it down and start over. The PM also gets a summer cottage at Harrington Lake.
    • The Leader of the Opposition gets Stornoway.
    • The Speaker of the House of Commons lives at The Farm.
    • The Secretary to the Governor-General lives at Rideau Cottage.note 
  • In Newport, Rhode Island, there are the famous Newport Mansions. These were built mostly in the late 1800s, by very wealthy people during The Gilded Age. Several movies have filmed scenes at the various mansions.
  • The largest house in the United States is the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, the country estate of railroad heir George Washington Vanderbilt II. It occupies a gross area of 175,000 square feet and is larger than some royal palaces. It's been used in several films as the residence of somebody who obviously has enormous amounts of money, especially ''old'' money. Examples:
    • Mason Verger's mansion in Hannibal, set in Virginia and shot at Biltmore.
    • The movie adaptation of Being There, the Rand estate was represented by Biltmore.
    • The movie adaptation of Richie Rich was also shot at Biltmore. One of the kids idly speculates that it must have its own ZIP code.
  • The Barclay Brothers in have built a faux-gothic castle on the private island of Brecqhou in Sark, with landscaped gardens covering most of the rest of the island. Features include the Servants Helipad and an ornamental lake.
  • After the Great Fire of Rome in 64, the emperor Nero ordered the construction of a gigantic new palace, the Domus Aurea ("Golden House").note  If Suetonius is to be believed, the entrance hall alone was a mile long and had a 120-foot statue of Nero as a solar deity; there was a huge artificial lake, gardens and woods rife with plants and animals, petal- and perfume-sprinklers and a banqueting hall with a constantly revolving roof, and gold, jeweled and ivory decorations throughout. When it was finished, Nero is supposed to have said, "Good - now at last I can begin to live like a human being." No wonder people accused him of starting the fire (though most scholars believe that he probably didn't). As Nero was less than popular with the Roman establishment by the time he died and the palace was a gigantic reminder of him, most of it was later demolished. Of course, Nero's profound unpopularity means that this description should be taken with a large grain of salt. That said, some elements are definitely true. Nero's giant statue, for example, survived the destruction of the palace, and later on the Flavian Amphitheatre was nicknamed Colosseum (yes, that one) because it stood next to the place and dwarfed the statue. The banquet hall with revolving floor—long thought to be one of the things the "historians" made up about the palace, and one of the more ludicrous ones at that—has actually been found in an archeological dig, since it was simply buried instead of being wrecked, and it's considered a marvel of engineering.
  • The White House is pretty damn fancy, though its size comes more from the fact that it's also full of a lot of office space for the President's staff than the residential part. Still, the Executive Residence—the middle part with the staterooms and so on where the President lives—is big and fancy enough to qualify. However, it's substantially smaller than most other official residences of heads of state and government—most private mansions are larger than the Residence, and the parts that are actually exclusively the President's (the private apartments on the second floor) amount to little more than a moderately large three-bedroom penthouse over a building open to the public and otherwise given over to areas for public entertaining.note  On one hand, this is remarkable, considering that the United States is the world's richest, most powerful country; on the other hand, it's not terribly remarkable, given the egalitarian sensibilities of most Americans.
    • The White House does achieve an unusual level of fanciness in one regard: land value. Similarly to the Japanese Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the White House has a lot of open space in the heart of a city with astronomical real estate prices. Even the part of the Residence reserved for the President's exclusive use, a "moderately-large three-bedroom penthouse", goes for a ludicrous amount in today's DC. As of March 2018, the going rate for a 3-bed, 3-bath apartment in Downtown DC is, on the low end, about $1.7 million to buy and $5000/month to rent. And of course, those listings are for apartments without an 18-acre back yard and prime location near Farragut West Metro station.
    • As an example of Americans' schizophrenic attitude regarding things of this kind, Thomas Jefferson thought that the White House was too big when he moved in in 1801, calling it "big enough for two emperors, one pope, and the grand lama in the bargain." And then he conducted the first expansion of the White House, building the colonnades that now connect the Residence to the East and West Wings. (They were originally designed to disguise the laundry and stables). That said, Jefferson did seriously reduce the size of the White House grounds, allowing Pennsylvania Avenue to cut across them much closer to the house than planned, and repurposing the land north of Pennsylvania Avenue as a public park (today called Lafayette Square).
  • "La Cuesta Encantada" ("The Enchanted Hill"), a gigantic, highly-eclectic house built by William Randolph Hearst in San Simeon, California, often called the "Hearst Castle" because of its size and some of its architectural features. Hearst being the obvious basis for Kane in Citizen Kane, it's pretty clear that Xanadu is based on this place.
  • The Ottoman Empire's Topkapi Palace, which functioned as a seat of government as well as the personal residence of rulers, and as a result was a huge complex of buildings.
  • Romania basically has one huge castle for every leading figure. Its Parliament's Palace brings this to a new level, being the biggest civilian building in the world. An American billionaire tried to buy it, offering $4 billion. The Romanians were unimpressed. If that's not enough, rumours say that its underground space is twice as big as the above. Try to imagine that size for a moment. The Top Gear presenters drove their cars inside the legal part of the underground to emphasise its size. And if even that's not enough, there are huge underground tunnels connecting the building to some handy escape places. Just to be on the safe side. All these Big Fancy Houses, the President's, the Royal Family's, the PMs', the Senate's and the Parliament's are all located in the historical center of the capital, occupying way too much space, judging by common sense. But at least it looks cool, right?
  • Subverted with the new Federal Chancellery building in Berlin: while it is the largest government headquarters in the world (being eight times the size of the White House) and contains a 200 square meters "Chancellor's Apartment", only 28 of those square meters are reserved as private living space for the sitting Chancellor, the rest being occupied by rooms intended for public entertaining. Of the two Chancellors who have held office since the edifice was completed (Gerhard Schröder and Angela Merkel), only Schröder lived in it for any amount of time; Chancellor Merkel has preferred to live in her own private flat.
  • Casa Loma in Toronto, built by the eccentric Canadian businessman Henry Pellatt because his wife really wanted to live in an European castle.
  • David McMurtry's Swinhay House, which is so flashy that the owner himself can't bear to live in it, instead renting it out year-round with the proceeds going to various charities.
  • While many celebrity homes certainly fit this trope, Stephen King owns a distinctive one, complete with a custom wrought-iron spiked fence, asymmetrical towers, indoor pool and special writing studio.
  • Russia is peppered with old crumbling manor houses, estates and mansions dating back to the Imperial era. Most of them were re-used as resorts during the Soviet era, which added a couple of decades to their longevity. Right now, most of them are pictureque ruins.
    • The New Russia era added quite a lot to the amount of mansions in the country. There is a joke: "If you are in backwater Russia, follow the smoothest road to find the governor's mansion".
  • The Blue House in Seoul is the presidential residence of South Korea. The estate, which is located at the foot of Mt Bukak near downtown Seoul, is 62 acres wide and the residence consists of several buildings. The residence was named after the blue roof tiles of the reception center.
  • The Forbidden City was the center of Chinese Imperial power for approximately 500 years from 1420 to 1912. It had 980 rooms covering a ground of over 180 acres, rendering the Forbidden City the largest palace complex in the world. It should be noted however, the Forbidden City is only a fraction in size compared to many of its predecessors, such as the Daming Palace complex (roughly 768 acres) of the Tang Dynasty or the Weiyang Palace (roughly 1200 acres) of the Han Dynasty.
  • Averted with George Lucas and his Skywalker Ranch. George built it as a self-contained movie ranch and while he has his offices there, it is not his residence. Unfortunately, while he built it provide facilities to struggling independent film makers, it is too remote and fancy for most artists of that level to use it that much, although some have like Kevin Smith.



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