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"Well we spread the word through the underground
—Todd Snider, "Talking Seattle Grunge Rock Blues"
A city situated on the eastern bank of Puget Sound in the state of Washington, and its surrounding metro area. Named for a 19th century Duwamish tribal chief from the region, who did not give an environmental speech often attributed to him. Home base of (or at least origin-point for) Microsoft, Nintendo of America, Starbucks, Boeing, Amazon and several other companies of note, and the birthplace of Grunge music (Nirvana in particular, despite not being from here). Its landmarks include Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square (which pre-gentrification was the original Skid Row), The Experience Music Project, a half-mile Monorail constructed for the 1962 World's Fair which exemplifies Zeerust to a tee, the Seattle Underground which was a partial inspiration for Ankh-Morpork, and the Space Needle, also constructed for the World's Fair .
In media, thanks to the cheaper filming costs, Vancouver, British Columbia is often used as a stand-in for Seattle or for unidentified parts of the USA resembling Seattle, leading to the term "Seacouver" for such settings.
Trails only Cleveland as the Butt Monkey of the U.S. sports world due to their spotty track record in regards to major league sports. (Three, count 'em, three, championships in the entire city's history. Many local football fans, however, will tell you that the Seahawks were the rightful winners of Superbowl XL, but were cheated out of it by one-sided officiating. This is a subject you should broach carefully, if at all.) In recent years, the situation has been particularly grim, with even the once-powerful University of Washington Huskies NCAA football team having the worst single season record in history, and the Seattle Supersonics NBA team being spirited away to Oklahoma City. Not helping matters is the fact that the city is famous for coffee, computers, grunge music, liberal politics, and rain, which are decidedly at odds with the interests of the typical sports fan. The sports fans who do call the area home responded to the aforementioned pirating of their NBA franchise by latching onto Seattle Sounders FC, the newest MLS expansion team, and making it one of the few teams in the league to regularly sell out the stadium. Qwest (now Century Link) Field, the home stadium to the Sounders and Seahawks, was from 2007 to 2010 true to the city's rebellious spirit by being the only stadium in the NFL to serve neither Pepsi nor Coca-Cola beverages on its grounds, having instead awarded its concession to the locally-based Jones Soda company. The rights have since been granted to Coca-Cola, which definitely makes going to Sounders games a lot less fun.
Bruce Lee grew up in Seattle, and graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Washington.
About half an hour to the south is the city of Tacoma (the "Tac" in SeaTac International Airport). It used to be a fairly industrial town, infamous for the horrible "Tacoma Aroma" produced by the city's paper mills, but has undergone revitalization in recent years due to increased port traffic, various downtown renewal projects, and an influx of consumer dollars from troops stationed at the burgeoning Joint Base Lewis-McChord, an Army/Air Force facility just to its south. Even the former site of the ASARCO smelting plant is being turned into luxury housing (why anyone would want to live over a former toxic waste site is another question). Its most famous son is arguably the one-eyed glass artist Dale Chihuly, whose works are all over the city (even in one of the McDonald's). Unlike Seattle, Tacoma hosts no major league teams of its own, though the Mariners' triple-A affiliate (the Tacoma Rainiers) is regionally popular, and the Tacoma Dome (in addition to being a frequent WWE venue) has occasionally hosted Seattle's teams while their home venues were being renovated.
Fiction set in or near Seattle:
- One of Bill Cosby's early comedy routines is about the city, and its supposed lack of sun.
- Battle in Seattle: A film about the fascinating Real Life WTO Riots that engulfed the city in 1999. Filmed mostly in Vancouver. Mixed reactions.
- The Parallax View.
- The Ring. Surprisingly was filmed in Seattle and the surrounding area, in particular a lot of the nature. As a result, there's some major Scenery Porn.
- Hype! a documentary about the grunge scene.
- Sleepless in Seattle', which suffers from a particularly egregious case of You Fail Geography Forever.
- Ten Things I Hate About You is supposedly set in Seattle (the opening shots show the Space Needle), but was actually filmed mostly in nearby Tacoma.
- Trouble In Mind: Future Noir.
- Excellent use of the King Street Station, and of the streets under the Monorail.
- Rose Red was partially filmed in downtown Seattle and partially in Tacoma.
- Harry and the Hendersons
- Say Anything.
- Boneshaker is set in a version of Seattle in which the Klondike Rush occurred before the Civil War ended, when Alaska still belonged the Russia... and the accidental release of volcanic gases from Mount Rainier turn most of the population into zombies.
- Twilight takes place in Forks, over on our Olympic Peninsula, but Bella does seek visits Seattle.
- Elizabeth Anne Scarborough's "The Godmother". The author makes a point of stating in the forward that the novel takes place in an alternate universe version of Seattle, possibly to avoid being sued for libel; in the novel, the entire City Council is corrupt and many members are pedophiles who have hamstrung the department of Social Services in order to create an environment where abused pre-teens have no choice but to run away, making them easy prey.
- Wikipedia has a category for television shows set in Seattle. Some of these include:
- Dark Angel: Filmed in Vancouver.
- Dead Like Me: Filmed in Vancouver.
- Frasier: Filmed in Los Angeles, except for the 100th episode, which was actually filmed in Seattle. And the episode gets as much mileage out of Seattle landmarks as it can, including Niles getting a fish thrown at him in Pike Place Market and Frasier getting trapped on the Monorail on the way to the Space Needle.
- Grey's Anatomy
- Highlander the Series: at one point it's outright called Seacouver.
- The Killing
- Kyle XY: Filmed in Vancouver.
- Millennium: Filmed in Vancouver.
- Reaper: Filmed in Vancouver.
- Smallville: Vancouver doubles for Kansas, but one episode was set in the Seattle docks.
- The 4400: Filmed in Vancouver.
- Twin Peaks
- John Doe, filmed in Vancouver, to the point that the Television Without Pity recapper just kept calling the city "Seacouver."
- Almost Live: Actually filmed in Seattle.
- Also Bill Nye the Science Guy who got his start on the above.
- The second of the Kolchak TV movies was set in Seattle, and several scenes were actually filmed there.
- The 1968-70 Western Here Come The Brides. Its theme song was "Seattle", a tribute to the city, and Perry Como's version became a Top 40 hit.
- Bing Crosby (Tacoma)
- Bob Rivers
- Death Cab for Cutie (Bellingham)
- Jimi Hendrix-- born in Seattle, got famous in Britain first, buried in Renton.
- The Gits, formed in Ohio but got famous in Seattle.
- Green River
- Modest Mouse (Issaquah)
- Nirvana (via Aberdeen and Olympia)
- Rockin' Robin Roberts and the Fabulous Wailers (Tacoma)
- Pearl Jam
- The Presidents of the United States of America
- Sir Mix-A-Lot (Tacoma)
- Sleater-Kinney (Olympia)
- Soundgarden (Tacoma)
- Young Fresh Fellows
- Neko Case(Tacoma-- her song "Thrice All American' is about how lovably awful Tacoma is)
- Blue Scholars
- Quincy Jones
- Genius: The Transgression includes a premade setting, the Seattle of Tomorrow.
- Shadowrun: Features Seattle and most of south Puget Sound as a walled-off metroplex. Considering its central location between several nations and status as a transportation hub between North America and Asia, it is treated as the setting's "home base".
- Word of God has it that Seattle was singled out by the (Chicago-based) game designers because, at the time (80s), it wasn't sufficiently prominent in pop culture to constitute a trope of its own; thus, they could freely make stuff up about the area without most of their game's audience catching on. They were aiming for Aliens in Cardiff, not realizing how Grunge and various movies and TV series would elevate the city's prominence in the near future.
- Deus Ex Invisible War
- World in Conflict: The first and last missions take place in Seattle.
- Phantasmagoria 2 happens in Seattle.
- In Mass Effect 3, the opening levels take place in a Seattle/Vancouver hybrid megacity, where the two grew so large they sprawled into each other.
- Hey Arnold: The city is never named, but according to Word of God it's an amalgam of Seattle, Portland, and New York City. Arnold's house is underneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
- Appears briefly in The Simpsons Movie.
- And in an Itchy and Scratchy short. Itchy saws the top off the Space Needle, and it gets stuck in Scratchy's eye.
- Springfield itself is an amalgam of several urban areas throughout the northwest, including Seattle as well Portland, Oregon (where Matt Groening grew up), Olympia, Washington (where he went to school). On one instance, a letter addressed to the Simpsons had the state abbreviation "NT", which Word of God claimed stood for "North Tacoma".
- A setting for one episode of Scooby Doo. Features a sequence set at a "Space Needle" that was evidently animated by someone who had the structure described to them third hand over a bad telephone connection.
- Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 is nominally set in Seattle, although the backdrops are competely unchanged from the earlier seasons when the show was set on the Jersey Shore. One promo refers to the setting as "Seattle and/or New Jersey".
- Phineas and Ferb though not set in Seattle, the city is mentioned more than any other U.S. city, and at the end of "The Chronicles of Meap" the credits were played beneath a "promo" for Meapless in Seattle which was originally not going to be made, but it was and was released.
- Ozy and Millie.
- Penny Arcade
- PvP - The characters in the comic relocated to Seattle simultaneously as their creator, Scott Kurtz, as he now works out of the Penny Arcade offices.
- In Homestuck, John Egbert and Jane Crocker both live in one of Seattle's southern suburbs. (21605 Fir Dr., Maple Valley, to be precise, which is an actual location.) Not that it matters.
- Survival of the Fittest: According to the mods, the students of v5 will be from a school in Seattle.
- ↑ widely considered the real main tourist attraction, the Space Needle being little more than a giant tourist trap
- ↑ which looks a lot bigger on TV than in Real Life, due to the fact that it's usually photographed from Queen Anne Hill, from an angle that makes it look taller than anything in downtown. Oh, and by the way, the Space Needle itself is around a mile north of the rest of downtown.
- ↑ Two by the women's basketball team, the Seattle Storm, and one by the NBA team that moved. The University of Washington Football team won between two and four national titles depending on how one recons such things. And waaay back in the day, the Rainiers baseball team won a few Pacific Coast League pennants.
- ↑ though the rain, to be honest, isn't much worse in the city itself than it is on most the Eastern seaboard on average; the Olympic Peninsula on the other hand, right next door to the west of Seattle, is probably the wettest place in the continental United States
- ↑ Actually, Tacoma is