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The White House

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1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington D.C.

"Did you know the city planners, when they sat down to design Washington, DC, their intention was to build a city that would intimidate and humble foreign heads of state? ... The White House is the single greatest home advantage in the modern world."
President Andrew Shepherd, The American President

The White House is the home of the U.S. President, invisible or otherwise, and the headquarters of the Government Conspiracy. It's heavily guarded by men in black. A Government Procedural may call it home. Scary Dogmatic Aliens may destroy it with their Wave-Motion Gun; friendly aliens and monsters will land on the lawn and ask to speak to the being in charge. Our Hero may be called to The White House to be recruited for a top-secret mission, or to be decorated for preventing The End of the World as We Know It.

The building itself is nice-looking, and fairly big—big and nice enough to qualify as a Big Fancy House—but not incredibly so; it's certainly a lot smaller than the literal palaces that most heads of state around the world live in. It's also smaller than most of the private residences of the American rich, although it wasn't at the time it was built: Thomas Jefferson said at the time he moved in that it was "big enough for two emperors, one pope, and the grand lama in the bargain;" he then proceeded to conduct the first significant expansion of the residence, building two colonnadesnote  on each side of the building (to hide the stables and laundry from public view; today they connect the central Executive Residence to the East and West Wings). The grandeur in American government architecture was saved for the Capitol, home of Congressnote ; the Supreme Court didn't even get its own building until 1935 (before, it shunted about various rooms in the Capitol). You can see what the founders of this country were going for...

The White House, being in Downtown Washington, DCnote  is served quite heavily by the Washington Metro, with several stations nearby. The closest are McPherson Square and Farragut West on the Blue and Orange Lines and Metro Center on the Blue, Orange, and Red Lines.

On British Telly, Whitehall (or sometimes 10 Downing Street) is the Establishing Shot equivalent of The White House, and the P.M. speaks to the Invisible President by trunk call. The Korean equivalent, the Blue House, will show up occasionally in k-dramas with political themes (or as a coveted invitation).


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    Comic Books 
  • Blown up twice in Give Me Liberty.
  • Shows up from time to time in Captain America comics.
  • During the time in Superman comics when Lex Luthor was president, the White House showed up a lot.
  • Destroyed by unknown forces at the beginning of We Stand on Guard, prompting a surprise invasion of Canada by the United States.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): As the Themysciran ambassador Diana is sometimes invited to events at the White House. Her most memorable visit there was probably that time she accompanied Themyscira's Archon Eponymous (Philippus) and Polemarch (Artemis) to discuss the warships the US had off Themyscira's coast only to end up fighting off an attack by Medusa, that ended up leaving the building and continuing on in the Themysciran Embassy.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  • The movie Dave, where the title character (played by Kevin Kline) acts as a look-alike for the President.
  • The Signature Scene of Independence Day was the destruction of the White House.
  • It was supposed to be the eponymous house in House of Re-Animator, that would have had Herbert West resurrecting the suddenly died President with hilarity ensuing. Unfortunately, it got stuck in Development Hell.
  • Female staffer is found dead there in Murder at 1600.
  • Aliens attack it in Mars Attacks!! when two protagonists are visiting it.
  • Wild Wild West sees our two heroes head on up to meet with the president. You can easily walk right up to the front door without being bothered, and there are goats on the lawn.
  • National Treasure requires Ben and co to break into the oval office to open the president's desk, to get an ancient Indian clue to the lost city of gold.
  • Resident Evil Film Series:
    • The novelization of Resident Evil: Extinction has a chapter set in the White House where an angry President threatens to shutdown Umbrella Corporation for good due to the T-virus and Raccoon City's nuclear destruction. The White House Chief of Staff suddenly reanimates before being shot by Secret Service agents. The White House is put on lockdown and we do not hear from them again.
    • Resident Evil: Retribution: The White House becomes a forward operating base for the remaining U.S. military and Umbrella security forces, all led by Chairman Albert Wesker who has taken residence at the Oval Office. Wesker states that this combined resistance was humanity's Last Stand.
    • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: Alice awakens in a bombed-out White House right after Wesker's betrayal.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X2: X-Men United: Nightcrawler breaches security at the White House and comes within an inch of stabbing the president before being winged by a Secret Service agent, allowing Nightcrawler to break free of his mind control.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: The 1973 portion of the climax occurs on the lawn in front of the White House, which culminates in Magneto's attempt to assassinate President Nixon and his cabinet.

  • In post-apocalyptic Victoria, the White House is abandoned when the Government hurriedly evacuates Washington to escape the advancing Neo-Confederates, and ends up ravaged and looted by local criminals.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The West Wing.
  • Commander in Chief.
  • Appears in House of Cards (US), but the Capitol Building is a more prominent setting.
  • Veep, the American adaptation of The Thick of It, is set at the office of the Vice President. While the VP has his own residence (Number One Observatory Circle), that is almost exclusively a residence, and his office tends to be in the West Wing. That said, that office doesn't start being used on the show until Season 2 and at the end of Season 3, Selina ascends to the presidency upon the President's resignation, and from then on, the show is set in the White House.
  • Cory in the House had the The White House as its main setting.
  • JAG: Harm & Mac first met in the Rose Garden in "We The People", following an presidential awards ceremony where Harm recieved his first Disthinguished Flying Cross from Bill Clinton.
  • Designated Survivor tries to envision what would happen if the entire U.S. government is killed in a terrorist attack and the designated survivor is promptly sworn in to lead the country. Most characters are White House or Pentagon staff.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Doonesbury has some portions take place in and around the White House, or uses exterior shots if Trudeu hasn't settled on a symbol for the Invisible President.

  • Much of the second act of Of Thee I Sing. Wintergreen shares an office with his wife, who uses her half to keep perfumes and makeup.

    Video Games 
  • In the late '90s, there was a trend of First Person Shooters set in detailed recreations of the White House and surrounding environs, a gimmick which probably wouldn't go over very well nowadays:
  • The final stage of the PlayStation shooter, Apocalypse, is set in the White House, which has been converted into a portal towards hell by the only undefeated horsemen, the Beast (which turns out to be The President).
  • Hitman: Blood Money had 47 infiltrating the White House to assassinate the corrupt Vice-President.
  • Subverted in The Conduit. While one stage is set at the White House, it is not the headquarters of the Government Conspiracy. Although a former resident is...
  • The Modern Warfare 2 level Whiskey Hotel features a Army Ranger assault on the captured White House.
  • Command & Conquer games feature the White House with some fequency.
    • In the Nod ending of Tiberan Dawn, you can target the White House for an Ion Cannon strike.
    • White House appears the Washington DC missions in both Soviet and Allied Campaigns in Red Alert 2.
    • In Tiberum Wars, capturing and liberating the White House is an objective of Nod and GDI respectively. By 2047, it has lost its political importance due to GDI absorbing the US government (alongside many others). It is still a strong cultural and historic symbol though.
  • Streets of Rage 3 Had the two final levels on the bad ending path take place outside and inside the White House, although sloppy censoring by Sega referred the White House as City Hall.
  • Metal Wolf Chaos starts at the outskirts of the White House. It is fought as a boss fight later on.
  • Splinter Cell: Conviction has the finale level here, as Sam Fisher tries to stop a coup.
  • Empire Earth 2: The penultimate American mission has an understrength National Guard base rescue the President from a rogue general's coup (involving giant warbots) before dealing with the attackers.
  • The final goal in Octogeddon is to destroy the White House. However, when you arrive in front of it, it rises from the ground on top of a giant mech. And then detaches itself from it and hovers above Octogeddon to fire a massive Wave-Motion Gun upon it.
  • In PAYDAY 2, the White House is visible from the Benevolent Bank in the Big Bank heist, being just down the street - the Dentist notes that Benevolent is at 1500 Pennnote .
    • The White House is the setting of the final heist in the game, aptly titled "The White House". The goal is to steal a ream of blank presidential pardons from the Oval Office in order to escape the country scot-free.
  • In The Division 2, the White House was repurposed as the main base of operations for Division agents in DC.

    Web Original 
  • In the Alternate History Decades of Darkness, it is burned down by the Halifax Powers (Britain and New England) and rebuilt in the new capital of Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Economy Watch: David visits Washington D.C., in the Fairfax county, which he grew up in. While he doesn't go inside the White House, he compares monuments like the Washington Monument to that of a specific body part, before getting cut off.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama has a White House with an elevator leading to another White House in a cavern underground.