Follow TV Tropes


Cool House

Go To
Too cool to actually be in the movie.
Welcome to my house party
It's a giant mansion, baby, don't slip on all my money
Yeah, there's a lot of models and some supermodels, too
Don't touch my diamond fridge
It costs more then the country of Perú
Ninja Sex Party, "Mansion Party"

As a member of the Fiction 500, you own an awesomely cool car, boat, planenote , and a garage to keep them in, but where do you get your mail delivered? Where do you hang out when not on amazing adventures? A Big Fancy House? No, too normal. It must be a Cool House.

To be a Cool House, the standard suburban mansion, Sleek High Rise Apartment or Big Fancy House just doesn't cut it. The Cool House is Wish-Fulfillment in real estate form. It might look like an ordinary home or something that wouldn't normally be used as a house, but in either case the briefest of tours of its features will reveal that it is no ordinary home.

To qualify for Cool House status a dwelling should be sufficiently unique that any "normal" person aware of its full capabilities would be either in awe, concerned about the owner or designer's sanity, or concerned lest the house fall into the wrong hands. Thankfully Cool Houses are often protected by a Weirdness Censor.

In addition, it should have at least several of the following:

  1. Features that no sane, mundane person would expect to have in their home.
  2. A feature that no mundane person would be ABLE to have in their home.
    • Alien tech.
    • Magic portals.
    • An object that is unique in the world, illegal for others to own, etc.
    • A physical Weirdness Censor.
    • Surrounded by a yard with grass, trees, pool, etc., in a location where construction or normal survival would be impossible, for example, at the north pole, inside a volcano, on top of Mount Everest, etc.
    • Sentience.

There are a lot of Zero-Context Examples that have been commented out.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 

  • Casa Madrigal a.k.a. Casita in Encanto is magical and sapient. On each member of the Madrigal family's 5th birthday when they get to see if they have magical powers they also get a bedroom that is much bigger than space should allow that fits their personality and powers. For example Antonio can talk to animals and gets a jungle for a bedroom. Poor Mirabel is stuck in the nursery however as she never got powers.
  • Syndrome's volcano home in The Incredibles.

    Film—Live Action 
  • The Deadly Spawn: Very much averted with Bunny's house, which is the epitome of that '70s-early '80s kitschy decorating style that we associate with grandmas. Millie looks physically pained to see that her mother has bought yet another porcelain animal statue.
  • In Ex Machina, Nathan's home looks like a few wooden buildings from the outside, but it's largely a spacious subterranean compound. Nathan describes his home as being primarily a research laboratory, but it has all the comforts of a futuristic mansion. There is an elaborate security system and a huge amount of advanced technology in the labs. He also owns the vast tracts of pristine forests and mountains around it, such that two hours of the helicopter ride are spent flying over them.
  • The house Marvin (John Malkovich's character) in the film version of Red (2010) has certainly qualified. The house you see is a front. The real house is entered through the broken down trunk of a car. It has no electronics or phone; Marvin is a Cloud Cuckoo Lander who is almost always 'right' about his conspiracy theories. Inside is a full house, including an old-style safe vault with all the secrets he's collected.
  • In Help!, The Beatles have a variation on this; they appear to live next door to each other in four rather humble houses on a terraced estate, but it's revealed that the interior walls have been knocked down to make it one large mansion inside with separate color-coded areas (Ringo = blue, John = red, George = green, Paul = white) full of cool stuff inside (Ringo's got several vending machines for snacks, John's got a spinning bookshelf, Paul's got an organ brought up from the basement, and George's got a lawn with a live-in gardener).
  • In the The Princess Diaries, Mia and her mom live in a fire house, located in San Francisco. It functions somewhat differently than a regular house:
    • The fire alarm is used as the doorbell.
    • The fire pole serves as a way of going downstairs.
    • The living room has a giant studio for making art.

  • The Aerie, the Colorado cabin in Aunt Dimity Goes West, is one of these. It seems to have grown organically from the mountainside, and it features a variety of decks and windows in many shapes (including portholes and stars). The place also has a variety of luxuries (a massive indoor play fort in the boys' bedroom suite, sauna, hot tub, arcade game room, home theatre, library, outdoor firepit, indoor fireplaces, and so on). One of the characters calls it the owner's treehouse, explicitly stating that he was forbidden a treehouse while growing up and used his wealth as an adult to live the dream. The local pastor's wife comes for a visit and is visibly impressed with the place from the moment she enters.
  • Jasper Fforde's Sergeant Mary Mary lives in a re-purposed plane, specifically a Short S.25 Sunderland, a British flying boat patrol bomber. Thursday Next lives there while in hiding during her first pregnancy, and the location also features in one of the Nursery Crimes books.
  • Duumvirate: First-time visitors to the Dominator's island may think it's just a mirrored-steel Big Fancy House with lasers on top. There's a weapon embedded in every wall, jets hidden under the grass outside, and an elevator that goes down to a massive basement with its own pool, video arcade, library, enormous warehouse of weapons...
  • Myth Adventures: Skeeve's flat on Deva looks like a small tent on the outside, but the inside is in a slightly different dimension, and is much bigger. Of course, he has vampires living in his back yard, so that's a little less cool.
  • Artemis Fowl's home. He has any technology you can imagine, awesome visitors, and it's basically a friggin' castle. A wine cellar, a holding room, and a room dedicated to watching news. Here's one of the elevator things. Fowl Manor = Win.
  • Nanaki's house in the Tantei Team KZ Jiken Note novel The Youkai Computer Knows to the point it looks quite jarringly fantastic for a premise within realistic Greater Tokyo backdrop. Not only Nanaki uses his AI skills to manage a Big Fancy House while in the state of Minor Living Alone, including driverless cars, robotic servants, and large numbers of sensors to reporting literally everything in the house (to the point of precision agriculture). It's also self-sufficient in terms of food production, involving a fish farm and what the novel refers as miniature farm animals. On top of it it's egg-shaped, highly unusual in Japan where strict building codes mean most houses are pre-fab.
  • The house in The Dragon House by Darrell Schweitzer, which is in fact a hibernating dragon that has what appear to be ordinary rooms inside, some of which are portals to other worlds.
  • The house in Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi. No, it's not made of you-know-what, but its rooms move around at random.

    Live-Action TV 
  • SARAH from Eureka (as normal looking as any underground bunker/house can look).
  • The TARDIS on Doctor Who, the ultimate mobile home.
  • Mine: It isn't just that the filthy rich Han family lives in an absurdly large, lavish house with big windows and modernist decor, a gigantic pool, and a private exercise room. What makes it really cool is that they can increase the oxygen level in the house. At the touch of a button one of the Hans can raise the O2 level in the mansion to 30%. That's cool. (And it would obviously require a ridiculously huge storehouse of oxygen tanks.)

  • Ninja Sex Party: The song "Mansion Party" takes place in a house with such features as a diamond fridge that costs more than the entire country of Peru, an entire battle arena just for watching pandas engage in gladiatorial combat, and a tiger. It's so huge that just getting to the dance floor requires elaborate directions and possibly a horse.
    Hey, girl, heard you couldn't find the dance floor
    Just walk right past the garden, go through the Spanish French doors
    Turn right at the seventh bathroom, then a left at my laser car
    You can ride my purebred stallion, if you hit my moat you've gone too far
    (You've gone too far)
    Take an upside down left at the M.C. Escher stairs
    Okay, you're almost halfway there

    Video Games 

  • Repelista Jahad's floating castle with the Opera light house from Tower of God.

    Web Original 
  • Stampy's Lovely World: Stampy's House is a Big Fancy House made of oak wood and sandstone, and there is a large tower with water streams connecting the house with the farm and the lake, which is also home to his not-so-Secret Base. It also has an underground Nether portal and if Wonder Quest was anything to go by, there is also a portal to the world of Wonderberg in the basement. It also happens to be the largest house in the neighbourhood, especially when most of his Helpers either sleep at his house, especially in earlier episodes, or have far more humble abodes, e.g. Polly's stable.

    Western Animation 
  • The Propulsion household in Ready Jet Go! can convert into a huge starship.

    Real Life 
  • The White House in Washington, D.C. now has, or has previously incorporated, most of the features listed under category 1. Especially the security system. And the application process to move into the place is tricky, to say the least.
  • 10 Downing Street, residence and office of the UK Prime Minister, also arguably qualifies. From the front, it's an unassuming 3-storey house on a small London side-street. Inside, it has over 100 rooms and offices. The door is bomb-proof steel and cannot be opened from the outside, only from inside.
  • YouTuber Tom Scott has covered some of these in mini documentaries on his channel for example:
    • A Rotating House in San Diego, California, USA which is disk shaped and has a complex system that allow the house to move so you can have any room in the house pointing towards the sunrise or sunset or the view of San Diego itself. It even manages to move the bathroom and kitchen as it has a special system set up to deal with the plumbing.
    • The Bolwoningen houses in 's-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands which are spherical public housing homes. They resemble golf balls or some sort of alien structures dotting the land. They're really cool to look at but not that practical to actually live in as they are cramped, prone to leaking, and expensive to replace as everything has to be ordered bespoke. They were designed by architect Dris Kreikampa and funded as part of the Netherland governments' post war experimental housing project.


Video Example(s):


Casa "Casita" Madrigal

Casa Madrigal, nicknamed Casita, is a sapient magical house that houses the entire Madrigal family.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoolHouse

Media sources: