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Sick and tired of all the rules the US government makes you follow? Well, good news! It turns out there was a tiny, some would say ridiculous mistake made in the zoning laws, and your house is actually not part of the USA. You are your own country, my friend. Then of course, for the more pro-active protagonist, there's always good old-fashioned secession.

Expect a Snap Back or a Reset Button at the end of the episode, in either case. The new country is often an Egopolis.

Compare Property Line.

The New Confederacy of Example Nations:


 Dilbert: I don't remember voting on that.

Dogbert: Here's your green card.

  • In one of Don Rosa's stories, "His Majesty, Mcduck", Scrooge McDuck finds an old copper plaque that makes the Money Bin hill its own kingdom. He declares independence to evade taxes, but it backfires when the scheming Akers Maccovet teams up with the Beagle Boys to invade and conquer "McDuckland".
  • In Birth of a Nation: A Comic Novel, a small, exclusively African-American city in Illinois secedes from the Union after a dim-witted Texas governor fraudulently wins the presidency by claiming its citizens are all former felons (and therefore ineligible to vote under US law). Being an Author Tract co-written by Reginald Hudlin and The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder, they manage to thrive somehow.


  • UK Example: Passport to Pimlico, a movie in which the London area of Pimlico are found to actually be part of the (now-defunct) Kingdom of Burgundy, and therefore exempt from Britain's rationing laws.
    • Which inspired the satirical Swedish radio series (and later TV, and books...) Mosebacke Monarki, in which a few blocks of Stockholm form their own kingdom. Generally used to poke fun at current Swedish affairs by having the "Mosebaskes" copy the bigger country but to absurd degrees.
    • Passport to Pimlico was inspired by a real incident. When the Nazis invaded Holland in May 1940, the Dutch royal family fled to Britain and Canada ... including Queen Wilhelmina's daughter, who was pregnant with a possible heir to the throne. Under Dutch law, only a person born on Dutch soil can succeed to the throne. A special act of the Canadian Parliament designated one room in a Canadian hospital officially part of the Netherlands, so that the Princess could give birth in her "native" country.


  • In G. K. Chesterton's The Napoleon of Notting Hill, not only does Notting Hill secede, it then proceeds to conquer the rest of the British Empire.
  • The novel Puckoon by Spike Milligan describes a pub on the Irish border: most of the pub is in the Republic of Ireland but one small corner is in Northern Ireland, where alcoholic drinks are cheaper. All the pub's customers always crowd into that one corner so that they can pay less for drinks.
  • A running joke in Lake Wobegon Days involves how Lake Wobegon regards itself as part of Minnesota (and the United States) despite not officially being part of the state because of a cartographer's error when Minnesota was offically surveyed.

The Live Action Republic of Television

  • Donna from The West Wing was retroactively made Canadian when the State Department clarified the border.
  • There's an episode of Mr. Show that centers around a man who demands that his cabin in the woods in Wyoming be recognized as a sovereign nation. The US government yields to his demand, setting a precedent that leads to the formation of countless other nations within Wyoming. Later, the man decides to emigrate to America, where he serves as a host for the Olympic Games featuring the leaders of all the other newly-formed countries.

Peoples' Republic of Real Life

  • Uh, you guys forgot Sealand. Yes, that is true.
  • Under French law, all males born in France can be conscripted into the French army regardless of actual citizenship. The English parents of future author Somerset Maugham were living in France at the time of his birth; they made arrangements for Maugham's mother to give birth inside the British embassy in Paris so that Somerset Maugham was officially born in Britain and he was exempt from this law.
  • There's an old joke about a farmer whose homestead was on the border between Canada and North Dakota. For many years, he assumed that he lived in Canada, until a surveyor told him that he'd actually been living in North Dakota all these years. The farmer was delighted: "No more Canadian winters!"
    • Also heard it about the Russian/Ukrainian border, and half-a-dozen other countries with similar logic.
  • Actually surprisingly common in the US at state borders - roadside businesses are often constructed straddling the line. Where state laws differed this can have comical effects. Before the federal standardization there were taverns in such locations with different drinking ages at different ends of the bar.
    • There's a small town in the northeast that actually straddles the US/Canadian border. The Library straddles the border, and has the border. Running down the middle. Meaning you have to have a Passport to cross from one side to the other.
  • Some tellings of the legend of El Tigre de Santa Julia (a mexican bandit from the 1900s) say that he hid himself in the bathroom where he was finally taken because of a zoning difference that protected him from being arrested by the cities police (only the bathroom was outside the jurisdiction).


  • Lightnin' was a hit Broadway play at the time of World War One, subsequently made into a movie starring Will Rogers. The play takes place in a hotel on the California-Nevada border. Occupants of the hotel are able to avoid arrest warrants and subpoenas without leaving the hotel, simply by changing rooms so that they cross the state line.

Western Animationia

  • In one Family Guy episode, the town zoning map revealed that the Griffin's land was not even a part of the US. Thus was born the tiny, four-bedroom republic of Petoria (It would have been Peterland, but that was already the name of a gay club by the airport).
  • In the Sealab 2021 episode "Let 'Em Eat Corn", Capt. Shanks has Sealab declared a sovereign nation (to get out of paying income taxes), which sets off a wave of increasingly goofy sub-secessions amongst the crew. By the end of the cartoon, even Stormy's furniture and bathroom fixtures (which he claims are robots known as "Change-A-Trons" and "Plumb-bots") have declared their independence.


  • Episode 2 of Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People starts with Strong Bad revolting against the King of Town's rule and making Strong Badia into an independent nation. The other main characters then proceed to form their own nations, which Strong Bad has to convince (or force) to join his side. Highlights include Bubs' neutral city-state of Concessionstantinople, the Homsar Reservation, and Strong Mad's country of... Country.
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