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Quirky Town

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"This is Petalburg. The warm weather makes the locals laid-back and happy. Wow, and talk about unique personalities... Very... individualistic, to put it nicely. Or, not so nicely... Downright kooky..."

The town is small and filled with quirky, lovable characters. There is a strong sense of community. The audience is a little torn between wanting to live there, and being glad they live someplace else where not everyone knows your business.

This trope is very powerful, perhaps reflecting a desire to somehow make this place exist, even if only in fiction. The Disney Main Street is an example of the strength this trope has to force itself into something like reality.

Be careful, though, as it may have a dark secret underneath its quirky exterior.

For quirky towns in TV series, they will typically begin with the arrival of some outsider authority figure, such as a marshal, doctor or FBI agent, who will initially be baffled by the inhabitants, but soon will turn out to be every bit as quirky as they are.

Although quirky towns are usually small, quirky cities can exist as well. On a smaller scale, see Quirky Household. Generally free of Small Town Boredom, and anyone who says "Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here" either has lived there long enough that the eccentricity of their neighbors seems normal to them, or is just plain lying. Might also be a Cutesy Name Town.

No relation to Crazy Town, the Rap Rock band who did "Butterfly."


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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw has the hill town Erries which is populated by the plucky sheep people. inexplicably the other sheep towns all have phonetically similar names such as "Arris", "Urray", or "Harriz."
  • By the time Ryan Choi took over as The Atom, Ivy Town has become — even by DC Universe standards — a sheer Weirdness Magnet; highlights include a cult that worships a cancer-god that lives in the local sewer by watching B-movies at the drive-in, and a neighborhood that's reverted to 18th-century Puritanism. The locals are accepting of the fact that the laws of reality are just broken there.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast: The villagers in Belle's town are immediately established as this in the opening number "Belle". "I need six eggs!" lady even became a Memetic Mutation.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Halloween Town is populated by monsters, skeletons and mad scientists who take scaring as their "job". The opening song is basically about quirky they are. "I am the one hiding under your bed" etc.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Big Fish: Tim Burton loves this trope: see the hidden town of Spectre in this film. Nobody wears shoes, they always know who is set to come into town before they do and everyone is extremely cheery and serene.
  • Groundhog Day: Phil is able to get himself in everyone's good graces by learning their habits and quirks over the repeated time loops.
  • Local Hero: everyone in Furness, Scotland has at least two jobs, a hermit owns the beach, Rev. Murdo McPherson the pastor of the local church, is African.
  • Played with in True Stories with Virgil, Texas. The Narrator puzzles over their "Celebration of Specialness", because everyone in it is, according to him, completely normal, despite having a woman so rich she never gets out of bed, a woman who lies about everything in her life, a woman who is completely obsessed with cuteness, a lonely bachelor who is so desperate to get married he has a local television ad looking for a wife, the most important man in town haven't spoken directly with his wife for decades, despite still being married, and so on.

  • Discworld : Ankh-Morpork has a Patrician who believes that mime performance is a capital offense, a post master general who breaks into his own building for fun, a Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits for a City Watch, and those are just the civil servants.
  • Journey to Chaos: Roalt, capital of Ataidar, has some strange folks in it. The artists make their homes reflect whatever their style and medium might be, the warriors consider a giant snake sneaking in through the waterways as a boon of good fortune, and shenanigans regularly occur in places of worship, because the deities worshipped there are trickster gods.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Bunheads, the town of Paradise, California has many Eccentric Townsfolk to say the least, though ironically they see City Mouse Michelle as the odd one simply because she was a showgirl.
  • Eureka is populated by eccentric super geniuses whose inventions regularly go wrong. The sherrif is the Only Sane Man and in charge of dealing with all the fallout.
  • Gilmore Girls: Stars Hollow, Connecticut. They hold wakes over a cat and are sticklers to tradition to the point of staying out in blizzards to reenact war scenes. They seem very close-knit and happy in spite of this.
  • Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha: Gongjin, a seaside village with a large elderly population that the City Mouse protagonist moves to, is filled with lovable and nosy neighbors.
  • Cicely, Alaska in Northern Exposure.
  • Parks and Recreation: Pawnee, Indiana is "Fourth in Obesity, First in Friendship". The residents tend to be pretty out there and odd (and often times not always very bright). Their politics (the focus of the show) are screwy. Their history is over-the-top weird and often dark (such as its relationship with the nearby Native American tribe). And the people utterly adore a little miniature horse named Li'l Sebastian (which outsiders like Ben Wyatt simply can't wrap their heads around). Ben even lampshades it in a speech on the town, noting that the people are weird, but are truly passionate for their town and its traditions.
  • The town of Series/Saramandaia (formerly known as Bole-Bole), is the Trope Codifier in Brazilian television, featuring the likes of werewolves, winged beings, a man with roots on his feet, a woman who sees imaginary chicken and much, much more.
  • The eponymous Twin Peaks, which is arguably the Trope Codifier. Pretty much every townsperson is a little weird in their own way, even the Straight Man sheriff (named Harry S. Truman), and some of the town's residents, such as the Log Lady, cross the line from "quirky"" to straight up surreal. Arguably deconstructed, as the town also has a dark underbelly of drug running, prostitution, corporate corruption, and Demonic Possession.
  • The Vicar of Dibley: Dibley itself has no shortage of odd characters, with the eponymous vicar being one of the few who has any modicum of sense.

  • Tom Lehrer has great fun parodying this in his song "My Home Town", on the album Songs by Tom Lehrer. It starts out as a nostalgic piece about a town of "extra-special just-plain-folks" inhabiting a "place where no-one wears a frown", but goes on to describe such loveable eccentrics as the ice cream seller whose special garnish was made from the ground-up corpse of his mother-in-law, the young man who "burned down houses just to watch the glow", and the kindly parson whose depravity is such that the narrator refuses even to speak of it.

  • Welcome to Night Vale: Night Vale, albeit with a lot more death and existential horror than most examples. It starts with people living their lives like having a "Sheriff's Secret Police" is perfectly normal. The town's hottest restaurant is called "Tourniquet." The community radio host often waxes philosophical on darkness and death and the insignificance of human life.

  • Lake Wobegon in A Prairie Home Companion: It may seem like an ordinary town, but everyone seems to get up to shenanigans. But because they're Minnesotans, they don't comment.

  • Under Milk Wood is a day in the life of the quirky fishing village of Llareggub.

    Video Games 
  • Half the fun of Animal Crossing is letting the player live in a Quirky Town. The villagers that move in have idiosyncratic personalities (For unexplained reasons, they like to wander around town and ask you what their catchphrases should be). Many of the in-game Non Player Characters have odd quirks to them as well. For example, the museum is run by an owl that talks a lot but is also terrified of the bugs you bring in as specimens.
  • Deadly Premonition:In Greenvale, some of the townsfolk are downright goofy, which just adds to the Mood Whiplash regarding the horrific murders you investigate.
  • Dragalia Lost is about all kinds of different people moving together in a castle, where they all function as one gigantic Family of Choice. The amount of different and unique people who call The Halidom home has even sparked an unusual mana around it, making it unlike every other place in Grastea. Just one of the many reasons why it has attracted so many people and then some.
  • King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride: In Falderal, the china shop is run by a bull, the snake oil salesman literally has scales, and Archduke Fifi le Yip Yap is Mister Muffykins in Louis XIV attire. Be sure to take the Faux shop with a grain of salt.
  • Life Is Strange: Arcadia Bay, a small out-of-the-way seaside town which is stuck in the past in a lot of ways, would be considered quirky even without the apocalyptic weather.
  • Professor Layton: Basically every small village you come across and their puzzle loving inhabitants. St. Mystere in the first game and Folsense in the second. By the end of the game, you find St. Mystere's residents are all robots and Folsense is a product of hallucinogenic gas!
  • In Puyo Puyo, Primp Town has some... interesting inhabitants. Among them are a ditzy magician girl, a spacey blue-haired boy with a demon arm and a passion for Bug Catching, a significantly less spacey boy who carries around a possessed book, an effeminate skeleton, and a shy demihuman girl. That's not even all of them, either!
  • The Sims:
    • The Sims 2 has Strangetown, a town whose residents include aliens, a mad scientist couple, a man pregnant by aliens, and a serial killer.
    • The Sims 3 Supernatural has Moonlight Falls, a town consisting of witches, fairies, werewolves, and vampires.
    • Urbzville of The Urbz: Sims in the City is a reputation-driven town divided into 9 unique districts, each with differing subcultures.

  • City of Reality: for starters, their mayor is a bunny rabbit (actually, what looks like a living sock puppet of a bunny rabbit, and that's not just an art style!). Hawk even goes to great lengths in order to test how close it is to being a Town with a Dark Secret, thinking that secret is pent-up rage.
  • El Goonish Shive has Moperville. Weird things happen in Moperville, courtesy of a high concentration of magic... but the quirky populace takes it into this territory. When you have an Intrepid Reporter that parachutes down just to get to the scene a little quicker, an Anime Style Martial Arts school, parents that feel the need to print out a map of the local Swedekea furniture store to prepare you for your shopping trip, and a still-operating video rental store, you're safely into Quirky Town territory.
  • Life Sketch takes place in Hannah, Montana, where vampires, zombies and dragons are commonplace and nobody seems to bat an eye when people go out in public in full cosplay regalia.
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: It's not so much that there's a Weirdness Censor in place in Generictown (Mr. Bystander aside), it's more that most of the folks in town just don't seem to care very much about the spaceships and bigfeet and unicorns and such.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Exaggerated with the entire SMPLive server. Spawn City has a strip club and a crack house right across from the church, someone built an entire castle out of melons, the Nether is haunted by strange recreations of Sonic made out of blocks that chase the players down... Nothing on this server is ever normal.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: The residents of Elmore are so bizarre that the population sign reads "Population Weird".
  • Amphibia: Wartwood fits this quite well. A marshland village populated by a large number of Eccentric Townsfolk, its generally characterized as a rural backwater where outsiders often have difficulty being accepted (and even more difficulty gaining their respect). However, they prove to be quite endearing nonetheless, and are fiercely loyal allies once their trust has been acquired.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender showcases a few of these:
  • Daria: Lawndale seems to have a weird intermixing of locations, from the standard cookie cutter houses and high school of suburbia, big box corporate stores, small internet cafe store fronts, and "Degas Street" which seems to be a part of several city blocks in Lawndale (unlike the rest of Lawndale, and has quirky stores for the alternative crowd such as "Hair for Freaks", "Funky Doodle", and "Axl's Piercing Parlor" among others and a club called The Zon, which plays Siouxsie and the Banshees songs).
  • Gravity Falls: Sometimes it seems like the various monsters surrounding the town are more sane than the humans, who range from weird to borderline mentally disabled to outright insane, and are seemingly oblivious to the bizarre goings-on around town. There's a reason why the town is so weird; the Society of the Blind Eye has been using Laser-Guided Amnesia so much that most of the people are brain-damaged.
  • Hey Arnold!'s Brooklyn-inspired neighborhood, which is (among other things) known for throwing tomatoes at the British during The American Revolution.
  • Molly of Denali: Qyah, Alaska is a sweet little town where word travels fast, and all the residents are wacky in their own way. Anything and everything happens there.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Ponyville. The first impression asocial city-girl Twilight Sparkle gets is "All the ponies in this town are crazy!" Considering that this is a town with a pony who will throw a party or sing a song for everyone who moves in, considers a bugbear attacking the city as hardly worthy of comment yet is horrified by a stampede of bunnies, and has an extremely lazy yet competent weather manager, she's not far off.
  • Boxwood Terrace from Ready Jet Go!. A small, semi-mythical neighborhood full of eccentric, but loving people, all of which work at a JPL Expy. Never mind that there are actual aliens living there, unbeknownst to most of the townspeople.
  • The Simpsons's Springfield. Everyone is dysfunctional and they have to face off against various foes over the course of the long series.
  • South Park, a town full of seriously messed-up people, and is the perfect definition of a Weirdness Magnet.
  • In Steven Universe, Beach City is populated by an eclectic set of characters, including an Ax-Crazy Conspiracy Theorist, an Adorable Abomination from an onion-themed family, and of course our Magical Guardian heroes.

    Real Life 
  • True to its reputation, the state of Florida has many.
    • Cassadaga, FL is known as the "Psychic Capital of the World". The town was originally founded as a camp for spiritualists in 1875, and many mediums still live there today.
    • Seaside. (The Truman Show was filmed there.)
    • The town of Gibsonton, while now a fast-growing suburb of Tampa, is still best known for being home to a colony of carnival and circus workers. There's even a museum dedicated to them.
    • Foremost among Florida's weird towns has to be Key West. Long a home to writers and artists, as well as a large LGBT community, Key West embraces its quirky reputation. In the 1980s, the city famously staged a tongue-in-cheek secession from the United States as the Conch Republic as a protest of a US Border Patrol roadblock. The mayor once water-skied to Cuba (which is only 90 miles away).
  • College towns in the United States generally have a reputation for two things: drunkenness and quirkiness. Both of these have to do with their status as college towns, because young people getting their first taste of (relative) independence tend to express that in terms of both strange ideas and extraordinarily excessive alcohol consumption. Moreover, graduates with strange views and creative temperaments often end up staying in town, helped by the culture the university creates and sometimes even directly taking help from the college (which often fund arts programs and discussion forums and other things that encourage unconventional thinking). Other countries tend not to have these, as their universities were built in major cities.
  • Salem, Massachusetts: Where there are more occult shops and people walking around in robes than Diagon Alley.
  • Residents of Austin, Texas, have made "Keep Austin Weird" their motto. While as a state capital it hardly qualifies as a "town", it should be noted that Austin is home to the University of Texas's main campus.
  • Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is definitely a quirky place. Victorian aesthetics, highly popular with artists, Pagans, and LGBT individuals. Its aerial map is a spider trail that loops wildly, but in spite of this, has almost no traffic lights. It also boasts the World's Largest Tuned Musical Windchime.
  • Lawrence, Kansas. Not only is it a University town, but it also has a long history of oddball culture. It is not uncommon to see all walks of life represented on the street corners of Massachusetts Street (Mass Street to locals). Mentions of its colorful history abound, whether it is the hotel that has been shot at with a cannon and burned down twice, or Quantrill's Raid, or the long standing feuds with many other towns (Columbia, MO, Osceola, MO which is so extreme that the citizens of Osceola have said that they refuse to capitalize the name of the town or state, anywhere in Nebraska, or Manhattan, Kansas), or the atmosphere that in general makes this kinda like a real life Twin Peaks.
  • New Hope, Pennsylvania: Just far away enough from Philadelphia to have a real small-town atmosphere, New Hope is also genuinely strange. It's on the Old York Road, the main road from New York to Philly in the 19th century, and used to be a key ferry crossing on that route, where the road crossed the Delaware River to Lambertville, New Jersey. It was therefore considered the halfway point of the York Road, with a number of inns for people to stay the night after/before they crossed the river. The place soon became popular with wealthy Philadelphians and New Yorkers looking for a nearby getaway, and an artists' colony sprung up in town. This led to the large number of quaint and quirky crafts still in town. Later, the quirkiness attracted a lot of LGBT people, creating something of a gay colony, as well. And then (friendly) bikers showed up in the 1940s and 1950s. The end result is a town that, even after commercialization in the 80s, manages to give off a distinct vibe. (The town also spawned Ween, but whether that has anything to do with its quirkiness is unclear.)
  • The San Francisco Bay Area region as a whole has this reputation, but Berkeley takes the cake in terms of sheer weirdness as a haven for radical activists and New Age Retro Hippies. It's often nicknamed "Berzerkeley" for this reason. Again, it's also a college town, home to the University of California, Berkeley.