Follow TV Tropes


Known by the Postal Address

Go To

"I'm going to P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Where are you going? I'm going to P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. If you're askin' where I'm goin'. I'll tell you that's where I'm going. It's P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Where? I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way..."
Dory, Finding Nemo

Specific postal addresses are rarely mentioned in fiction, never mind being the defining feature of a place. The location of a story is sometimes deliberately vague, as in the Where the Hell Is Springfield? effect. In Real Life, people rarely refer to the full address of somebody's house, unless they are doing so for a practical reason; they usually say the name of the homeowner. However, in fiction, occasionally a place will almost always be referred to by some or all of its postal address: the house number, the street, maybe even the zip code ("postcode" in the United Kingdom). The address is often as fictional as the work itself; those who like to believe stories are based on real places will often check Google Maps. Mentioning the address can be a way to show that a house is in an ordinary street, in an ordinary town, although it can have a Meaningful Name to go with it.

To qualify, the place must be referred to by the address, in or out of universe, preferably a number of times. Simply mentioning the address once or twice for a practical reason is not an example. If an address with no significance to the plot is spelled out in full for no practical reason, it's Narrative Filigree. This trope only extends to postal addresses (not phone numbers or web addresses), to emphasise the physical location.

In Real Life, this is done for some famous buildings with important inhabitants. For example, in the UK, newspapers use "10 Downing Street" to refer to the Prime Minister's official residence. Similarly, some hip restaurants use their street address as their name ("One Main Street").


    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • On various occasions, it is established that Tintin lives in an apartment in Rue de Labrador no. 26 in Brussels. Although there is no Labrador street in Brussels, there is a Newfoundland street that houses the same working-class apartment buildings that make up the fictional Labrador street. Eventually, when the Hergé museum in Louvain-La-Neuve was built, the city fathers decided to call the access road 'Rue du Labrador' just so the museum could have the official address of no. 26.
  • Quite a few Marvel characters have defined addresses, especially if they operate within New York City.

    Films — Animated 
  • Finding Nemo: The diver who took Nemo has his name and address written on the mask that fell overboard: P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. It provides Marlin with the only clue as to the whereabouts of his son. Dory, who suffers from short-term memory loss, is surprised that she is able to remember the full address, and recites it constantly on their way to Sydney.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane: The titular address houses the bunker in which the entirety of the movie takes place. The address is never mentioned until the very end of the movie, shown on a mailbox.
  • Home Alone: The McCallisters live at 671 Lincoln Blvd, Chicago.
  • The Ipcress File: Harry Palmer lives at 9 Stanlake Villas, Shepherd's Bush, London, W12 7EX.
  • Mary Poppins: The much-mentioned address of the Banks family is 17 Cherry Tree Lane. One of the songs in the theatrical adaptation is titled "Cherry Tree Lane".
  • Murder at 1600: A political thriller about a homicide at the White House, which is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, DC.

  • Zigzagged in the Adrian Mole books. In the earlier books, no addresses are mentioned at all; indeed, Adrian's hometown is fairly vague, only described as being "in the Midlands", and the town of Leicester is barely mentioned. However, in later books, specific addresses are mentioned a lot, such as "Old Compton Street, Soho", "Wisteria Walk, Ashby de-la-Zouch", "33 Rampart Terrace", "Rat Wharf", "The Piggeries".
  • American Psycho: Patrick Bateman lives at 55 West 81st Street, Upper West Side on the 11th floor of the American Gardens.
  • Bridget Jones lives at 8 Bedale Street, Southwark, London, SE1 9AL.
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: When Christopher is making an epic journey to his mother's house in London, he refers to it by the full address including the postcode every time he mentions it, which is justified because of his Hollywood Autism.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The Dursleys' house is frequently identified in the narrative as "number four, Privet Drive." The street name "Privet Drive" was possibly chosen to reflect the Dursleys' pride in their house, and that they are ordinary folk, with no connections to nonsense such as magic. Some of the letters brought by owls are very specific indeed with the addresses, saying "Mr. H. Potter, the cupboard under the stairs, 4 Privet Drive".
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Black family house is also usually referred to as "number twelve, Grimmauld Place"; this is significant as it is only possible to access it when specifically told the address by the secret-keeper.
  • A House Inside Out: The house in this story is referred to throughout the book as "fifty-four, Pavilion Road".
    He was wasted stuck at fifty-four Pavilion Road day in, day out.
  • Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street, and this location is iconic of the series and character. There's even a reference to it in the real Baker Street in London.
  • Tales of the City and its various adaptations have Mrs. Madrigal's boarding house, 28 Barbary Lane.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 1600 Penn takes place at the White House, or 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
  • The Avengers (1960s):
    • In seasons two and three, John Steed lived at No. 2, 5 Westminster Mews. In season four, he lived at 4 Queen Anne's Court, Tothill Street Westminster near Parliament. In seasons five and six, he lived at Stable Mews.
    • Cathy Gale lived at 14 Primrose Hill.
    • Tara King lived at 9 Primrose Crescent.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 was titled after the postal code of the town in which it was set. The series was the Trope Codifier for teen and twentysomething TV dramas of The '90s.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • The White family live at 3828 Piermont Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111-3416.
    • Jesse Pinkman lives at 9809 Margo Street.
  • Buffyverse:
    • The Summers residence was 1630 Revello Drive, Sunnydale.
    • Rupert Giles' house was at 4616 Greenwood Place in Los Angeles.
    • Faith Lehane lived at the Sunnydale Motor Inn until the Mayor moved her into 5121 Maple Court.
    • Cordelia Chase settled into Pearson Arms Apartment in Los Angeles.
    • Fred Burkle lived at 511 Windward Circle in Los Angeles.
  • Doctor Who:
    • There is hardly a Whovian who isn't familiar with the address 76 Totter's Lane, which is the junkyard where the Doctor had kept the TARDIS at the start of the first episode, and which is also featured in "Attack of the Cybermen", "Remembrance of the Daleks", and the 50th anniversary special.
    • Rose Tyler lived with her mother Jackie at 48 Bucknall House in the Powell Estate in Southark, Peckham.
    • Dan Lewis lives at 37 Granger Street, Anfield, Liverpool, L4 5GK.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, the Banks family lived at 251 N Bristol Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90049.
  • The Golden Girls lived in a house at 6151 Richmond Street, Miami, Florida.
  • Green Acres: Actual street addresses don't really exist in Hooterville; but most everyone apart from Mr. Douglas and Eb refers to the titular farm as "The Old Haney Place." This includes county officials with whom Mr. Douglas interacts. This Insistent Terminology also refers to Oliver's outsider status amongst the denizens of Hooterville.
  • Frasier lives at Apartment 1901 at The Elliott Bay Towers in Seattle.
  • In keeping with the Sherlock Holmes motif, House lives at 221B Baker Street.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In-Universe, Lestat de Lioncourt's townhouse (which also includes Louis de Pointe du Lac and Claudia as its residents) is located at 1132 Rue Royale note , New Orleans. In Real Life, this is the address of Gallier House, a 19th-century historic house museum in the French Quarter, and the exterior of the set matches the actual building. The fictional townhouse having a genuine address adds a layer of realism because the audience can imagine that the vampire family used to live there.
  • All of the Law & Order series makes references to 1 Police Plaza or "1PP", which is NYPD's headquarters. Law & Order: Criminal Intent is even set in the Major Case Squad, which is based out of 1PP. Usually, 1PP is used as shorthand for who to blame for directives that the detectives don't like.
  • It is often mentioned that The Munsters live at 1313 Mockingbird Lane.
  • In Only Fools and Horses, the Trotters lived on the twelfth floor of Nelson Mandela House, Nyrere Estate, Peckham.
  • Our Miss Brooks: It's mentioned several times that Miss Brooks boards with Mrs. Davis at 295 Carroll Avenue, Madison. The Movie Grand Finale begins by retelling Miss Brooks' arrival in Madison and Madison High School. On that occasion, Miss Brooks answers Mrs. Davis' ad by directly walking over to Carroll Avenue with her suitcase. It's also revealed Miss Brooks' dream isn't only to have Mr. Boynton marry her, but to live in the cottage around the corner. Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton finally get married at the end of the film
  • In The Prisoner (1967), Number Six lived at 1 Buckingham Place, London, SW 1.
  • Sesame Street: It is often mentioned that Ernie and Bert live at 123 Sesame Street.
  • Played with on All in the Family and Archie Bunker's Place: the follow-on series was called 704 Hauser Street, the address of the house where AITF and ABP took place. 704 Hauser Street was specifically said to be located in Astoria, Queens.
  • 77 Sunset Strip is named for the fictional Los Angeles-area street address the protagonists work at. ("Sunset Strip" is a popular but unofficial nickname for a certain stretch of Sunset Boulevard mostly within the city of West Hollywood.)
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane Smith lives at 13 Bannerman Road in Ealing.
  • Seinfeld's apartment is at 129 West 81st Street, Apartment 5A, New York City.
  • In Shameless (UK), the Gallagher family resides at 2 Windsor Gardens on the fictional Chatsworth Estate, a deprived council estate in Stretford, Greater Manchester.
  • The Sopranos reside at 14 Aspen Dr, Caldwell, NJ 07006.
  • Subverted by 3rd Rock from the Sun, in which the planet Earth is named in the title after its location in the Solar System.
  • 30 Rock is named for 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York, home of NBC Studios.

    Western Animation 
  • In Family Guy, the Griffin house is situated at 31 Spooner Street, Quahog, Rhode Island.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends is located at 1123 Wilson Way. The Halloween episode is even titled "Nightmare on Wilson Way".
  • In the Looney Tunes short Bowery Bugs, the fortune teller tells Steve Brody to go to "29 River Street". When he gets there, that exact address is on the store sign. (The place is actually "Grandma's Happy Home Bakery", but we only know that because the baker — Bugs Bunny in disguise — told us.)
  • The Real Ghostbusters: The 'Busters are called to investigate a haunted house, which Winston says is likely to be the real thing, unlike previous false alarms, because the address is 1313 13th Street.
  • Rosie's Rules: In "Abuela's Birthday," Rosie learns that her address is 26 Holden Street, San Antonio, TX. Meanwhile, Abuela's address is Bolivos 104, Mexico City.
  • Runaway Brain: Mickey goes to Dr. Frankenollie's laboratory for "a mindless day's work" at 1313 Lobotomy Lane.
  • The Simpsons: The Simpson family lives at 742 Evergreen Terrace, although this was inconsistent in earlier episodes.
  • 64 Zoo Lane is named after the titular house, which is situated next door to a zoo.
  • Wallace & Gromit live at 62 West Wallaby Street, Wigan.

    Real Life 
  • Most official residences for government officials in Canada have names, like Rideau Hall/Government House (the Governor General) or Stornoway (the Leader of the Opposition). The Prime Minister's residence, by contrast, is known only as 24 Sussex Drive. This becomes easier to understand when you learn that the building used to have a name, and that name was "Gorffwysfa".
  • The office and residence of the British First Lord of the Treasury, 10 Downing Street, is frequently referred to by media and by the government as "Number Ten". Although it's mostly famous as being the office and residence of the British Prime Minister, a PM is not allowed to live there unless they also take the position of First Lord of the Treasury.
  • The location of the Wimbledon tennis tournament is often referred to by the first part of its postcode, SW19.
  • The White House is sometimes referred to as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, or 1600 Penn for short.
  • Many newer skyscrapers built in New York City are named after their address rather than given a proper name (as opposed to older skyscrapers like "the Chrysler Building", "the Woolworth Building", or "the Empire State Building"). Some examples: One World Trade Center note , 432 Park Avenue, One 57 (located at 157 West 57th Street), One Vanderbilt, 53W53 (located at 53 West 53rd Street), 111 West 57th Street, 56 Leonard Street, and many others. This trend isn't unique to NYC, but it's most apparent there, given NYC's global cultural influence and status as the trope-maker for Skyscraper City.
  • The Polish Sejm is often referred to as "Wiejska", after its location on ul. Wiejska 4/6/8 in Warsaw.
  • Inverted in many locations, with buildings not only known by name, but using that name instead of a street address. For example, in many places in the UK, a valid street address could simply be "Ponderous House, Villageton, [postcode]." In Spain, important buildings, while possessing a street address, often officially lack any address number; the street address of the Royal Palace of Madrid is simply Calle de Bailén, s/n (for sin número, "without a number,") Madrid.
  • Hip restaurants in trendy downtown locations sometimes use their impressive street address ("One Manhattan Street") as their name, rather than calling their restaurant "Chez Gaston" or some other typical name. In defense of those strategy, it's simple and your patrons will never wonder where to find it.

Alternative Title(s): Known By Its Postal Address