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The Best Small Towns in Television History

Updated June 14, 2019 7.5k votes 1.4k voters 23.7k views21 items

Oh, small towns: where everybody knows everybody, secrets eventually come out, and you always run into someone you know on your way to the grocery store. There’s no wonder so many TV shows are set in small towns – the setting brings characters closer and allows for charming exterior shots.

Plus, the best TV towns have the unique appeal of giving viewers the urge to leave the big city behind and retire to a quieter life. Maybe somewhere sunny, where attending town events is mandatory and locking your doors doesn’t always have to be on your to-do list.

However, not all small towns on television are safe and idyllic. Some are populated with supernatural creatures, while others lose tourism points due to their unusually high crime rate. And yet, viewers can’t help but imagine how it would be to live in a place where vampires throw the most epic parties and witches can totally bring you back to life if you lose your head along the way.

These are the best small towns in television history. Which one is your favorite?
  • 1


    Photo: CBS
    TV series: The Andy Griffith Show
    If you’re the nostalgic type, Mayberry is perfect for you. Townspeople may not have been technologically savvy, but they surely knew how to spend some quality time together. And more often than not, that’s what really makes a small town awesome.  
    Agree or disagree?
  • 2

    Stars Hollow

    Photo: The WB
    TV series: Gilmore Girls
    Although fictional, Stars Hollow wins charm points due to its eclectic inhabitants and engaging town events. If you’re a fan of Gilmore Girls, you likely already pictured yourself reading a book in the gazebo or trying one of Luke’s famous burgers. And no quaint adorable village is complete without a town troubador.
    Agree or disagree?
  • 3


    Photo: NBC
    TV series: Parks and Recreation
    Leslie Knope wrote a book titled Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America, and it's hard to disagree with her (despite its incredibly high obesity rate or the raccoons that ran rampant there). The fictional Indiana town that housed The Glitter Factory, Food and Stuff, and JJ's Diner clearly had a lot to offer. Plus, some of the show’s funniest moments came from the quirkiness of its setting. For instance, did you know for a brief time in the ’70s, the town was taken over by a cult?
    Agree or disagree?
  • 4


    Photo: FOX
    TV series: The Simpsons
    At first glance, Springfield doesn’t seem like an ideal destination, mainly because it’s home to a nuclear power plant. If you look closer, though, you notice there’s plenty to enjoy in this odd fictional town. You can go bowling at Barney's Bowl-A-Rama and chill with a refreshing beverage at Moe's Tavern. Plus, if all else fails, you can always move to Shelbyville.
    Agree or disagree?