At some point while watching a favorite television show - comedy, drama or cartoon, we thought about what it would be like to live in those fictional towns that were as much about the storylines and plot twists as the characters we loved.
Here are some of the most notable fictional communities in TV history.
Though it's never been officially established, the safe money is that the home base of this widely popular Hallmark Channel show is Illinois. We've seen Illinois license plates on cars, plus references to Chicago, the Bulls, Cubs and White Sox are ample. Not to mention, in the early days of the show, the name "Middleton" is placed on a map of suburban Chicago (we're thinking DuPage County). Anyway, it's quite the magical place - at least with the bewitching, but helpful, powers of Cassie Nightingale (Catherine Bell) on display. Plus, we hear the food at The Bistro is pretty good.
Sure, Stuckeyville is your typical small town. But quite unique in the sense that the law office of Ed Stevens (Tom Cavanagh) happens to be housed inside the bowling alley he also happens to own. The people are relatively friendly, though Phil Stubbs (Michael Ian Black) can be a little annoying. Meanwhile, Carol Vessey (Julie Bowen) needs to stop giving Ed the runaround when it comes to their friendship/relationship.
Home to one of the best high school basketball teams in the state of North Carolina. But the drama runs far deeper off the court in this relatively small town, thanks to half-brothers Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan (James Lafferty) Scott. Said drama is pretty much all the doing of their father, Dan (Paul Johansson). They're just some of the many pretty people who live in the town, also notable are Peyton (Hilarie Burton), Brooke (Sophia Bush) and Haley (Bethany Joy Lenz).
Located in northern California, about an hour away from Oakland. It's also home to the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. While the gang from the club obviously draws plenty of attention, Charming should be celebrated for its many mom-and-pop, local businesses. This is not a place for the big box stores, yet the drama - within the club, mostly - is quite large. Whether we're talking loyalty, friendship or betrayal, things are pretty lively in Charming.
This NBC series lasted just one season in the early 1990s. Yet, for those who remember the show, they probably can't forget the elements within this strange community. From those keenly smart dogs to the idea that Elvis Presley might still be alive and taking up residency in the town, Eerie, Indiana was funny, yet dramatic, enough to get a shot. This would have been a fun place to visit.
A historical railroad town, Rosewood mostly filled with old money. The upper-class living in Rosewood is passed down from generations. The houses are big, the land expanse and the King James Mall is high-end. So are the egos and attitudes. Like Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and the gang, whose lives are filled with overblown competitiveness and drama. Which makes for intriguing, guilty-pleasure TV, of course.
Mystic Falls has quite the history. At least from a supernatural standpoint. That's what makes this town special - especially for those generations of witches, werewolves and, of course, vampires. It really is the perfect setting, since the town offers a perfect blend of modern-day, wholesome living with a past full of mystery and secrets that shape the way its resident live their current lives.
Much like Tree Hill, Capeside has a lot going on for a relatively sleepy town. Plus, the kids dress really well and are all perfectly groomed. Starting with Dawson, (James Van Der Beek), who has dreams of becoming the next Steven Spielberg while nativating his teens and early 20s with goofball friend Pacey (Joshua Jackson) and NYC bad-girl transplant Jen (Michelle Williams). But man, how did Dawson not end up with best friend/love of his life Joey (Katie Holmes)? It's his creek for crying out loud.
Located somewhere in the depths of the Pacific Ocean, Bikini Bottom is a very interesting place. Following the lives of SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward, the community is well known for its popular food stops. Particularly, the famous Krusty Krab and equally charming Chum Bucket. Let's not forget the Goo Lagoon, a fun hangout for the locals.
Like some of the other towns on this list, it was never established, on either show, where exactly this rural community is located. We're thinking in the South. There is plenty of farmland, most notably owned by Oliver (Eddie Albert), who tends to do his daily chores in a suit. But there are other famous establishments, like Sam Drucker's Store and Mr. Haney's monkey race track.
Fun fact: There is, more like was, a Texas town called Dillon, located in Hopkins County, but left for a ghost town. TV fans probably know it better as one of the great high school football communities in the country. Home to the Dillon Panthers, and also East Dillon High. Coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler), quarterback Jason Street (Scott Porter), running backs Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) and "Smash" Williams (Gaius Charles) are some of the local legends.
Now, this is quite the community. From what we know, residents of Neptune are either rich or poor. There's really no in-between. The wealthy, known as "09ers," really have little tolerance for those beneath them. Of course, Veronica (Kristen Bell), and her constant digging and nosiness, challenges the class divide, thus making for much more fun while investigating the mystery within this coastal California town.
Of the three stops in the afterlife - Good Place, Medium Place and Bad Place - one hopes to be in the best possible location. Actually the "Good Place" - created by Michael (Ted Danson) - that we know of in the first season, is actually a fake spot in the "Bad Place." Still, there is plenty of frozen yogurt (we prefer the Full Cell phone Battery) to eat, a community assistant known as Janet (D'Arcy Beth Carden) and, of course, Eleanor (Kristen Bell) to enjoy.
Sunnydale is more than just your garden variety town usually associated with horror or supernatural programming. Maybe because we're really really invested in the lives of their residents. Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Willow (Alyson Hannigan) are likable people within the realm "between this reality and the next." Once you get past the vampires and other demon-like figures, Sunnydale is a rather warm place with good schools and many, beautiful parks.
Residents of Hawkins probably did not know what they were in for when moving to town. Sure, it's mysterious and always seems drab, but the kids have a good time. That said, the idea of secret human experiments and a portal toward some kind of an alternate dimension isn't something that's usually promoted in town brochures. But, the Starcourt Mall (and Scoops Ahoy) was a pretty cool.
Located near Providence, Quahog is home to the Griffin family. A dysfunctional group that features a lazy, underachieving husband, a talking dog and a baby with a football-shaped head who also spouts inappropriate and questionable comments. Most teenagers make their way through James Woods High and adults like to tip a few back at the The Drunken Clam. Just beware of that evil chicken.
This remote Alaskan town earned its charm mostly because of its quirky residents. Though, transplant Dr. Joel Fleischman wasn't one of them - until the area ultimately grew on him. Cicely is also home to tomboy, small-plane pilot Maggie (Janine Turner), a rich, former astronaut, one-time Miss Northwest Passage and the free-spirited disc jockey who also happened to be an ex-convict. All this in the wilds of Alaska.
Having Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) in charge of our safety on the not-so mean streets of Mayberry provides a certain warm and fuzzy feeling. Of course, when he's out of the station and Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) is in charge, that's another story. There are also some decent fishing spots in town and Aunt Bee will always oblige with a home-cooked meal to welcome visitors.
Clark Kent (Tom Welling), aka Superman, called Smallville home growing up. And, this version of the Superman tale offered a more modern take on the famed story. It's pretty much "Small Town, USA," expect for the fact one of its prominent residents has superhuman strength and powers. Of course, in this case it's relatable in the sense that there's plenty of teen drama and people take pride in hard work - but are not often open to change.
The home of the Caped Crusader has traditionally resembled that of New York City. Yet, even though NYC has had its share of notorious criminals, none are as colorful as those in Gotham City. The Joker, Penguin, Riddler. Just to name a few. Gotham City, at least in the series Gotham, also offers an eerie presence and, almost, mysterious vibe which adds to the drama and intrigue that surrounds the famed super hero and those villains he takes on.
Really, who wouldn't want to live in South Park? Well, maybe not if we had children, because the school system doesn't seem too good. Mr. Garrison. That's all we'll say. Though Chef seemed like a responsible enough adult compared to the rest of the town. And, those residents with kids might want them to stay away from Stan, Kyle, Kenny and, of course, Cartman. To the outside observer, though, the town of South Park is sure a lot of fun to take in.
One of the great mysteries of The Simpsons, is the exact location of Springfield. There are several Springfields throughout the country, but this one is pretty much a representation of "Anytown, USA." This Springfield has pretty much something for everyone. There's Apu's Kwik-E-Mart, Moe's Tavern, Krusty Burger, and the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Not to mention all the characters who live in the town, highlighted, of course, by Homer, Bart and the rest of the Simpson clan.
Aside from its polluted river and obesity problem, Pawnee is a fine town to visit - or even live. Make it a point to stop at Paunch Burger for a bite and ridiculously oversized soda. Roughly 90 miles from Indianapolis, the town is also known for its parks and recreation department - run for a long stretch by the hilariously incompetent Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman). Though Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) is likely to give you a warmer welcome than Ron.
Back in the 1990s, Twin Peaks was all the rage. In the years since, the popular series, and subsequent off-shoots and reunion, have earned cult status. Some critics and fans suggest the town is as much a character as the often-eccentric human residents of the community - like Laura Palmer, Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) and Donna (Lara Flynn Boyle). Memorable establishments such as the Double R Diner, and the Great Northern Hotel are equally important to mystique of the town.
When it comes to notable fake TV towns, Stars Hollow takes the cake. It might the quirkiest, yet most charming, residence in television history. From Luke's Diner to Miss Patty's dance studio, to pie at Weston's and that quaint town square. Plus the events the town holds: The Festival of the Living Art, the lunch basket auction and that widely popular dance marathon. Who wouldn't want to live here?
Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago. You can follow Jeff at @jeffm401.