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Gibbs: Says here you're from Boston.

Petty Officer Drew: South Boston, actually.

Gibbs: Does it matter?

Drew: If you're from Boston it does.
NCIS, Sub Rosa

Residents of South Boston, MA.

In fiction, this mostly Irish-American neighborhood and its still-distinct accent continue to be associated with organized crime. Providence, Rhode Island is usually mentioned to suggest scope. It might be the base of a rival syndicate. As a general rule, they're put in opposition in fiction as Providence has a strong Italian-American background, so obviously it's a hotbed for The Mafia.

The real Southie is, in actuality, much less dangerous than in years past. Currently, a surprisingly large portion of the population consists of... Yuppies. As with New Englanders in general, Southie folk are really nice people -- on the ten or fifteen days a year when it isn't freezing cold or blisteringly hot outside.

That said, we must strongly caution readers against wearing anything with a New York Yankees logo when visiting anywhere in the upper-right hand corner of the USA. Wearing orange in South Boston, especially on St. Patrick's Day, is also not a very smart thing to do. (Oh, you're free to wear it... just wear something else over it. Like body armor.) Also, if you see a lawn chair in a parking space, don't touch it.

The good folks of Boston hope that Hollywood will eventually stop assuming that fun things can only happen in New York City, and that someday we will get a movie set in Boston about sunshine and happy music and cute puppies and basically anything other than the mob, violent crime, Harvard, and so on. Expect this to be an increasingly common complaint if economically minded filmmakers follow the trail of The Women (2008) and start using "Boston Doubling" for scenes set in New York City. Ouch.

Incidentally, no two Boston residents will agree exactly where Southie begins and ends. Is the Waterfront part of Southie? How about Dorchester? Is Dorchester "really" part of Boston or is it a suburb? What about the other suburbs? Have we put way too much thought into this? (Note that the actual compass direction "South" hardly factors in.) In fact, many residents feel that "Southie" and "South Boston" are two different areas, with Southie being a tight knit Irish community and South Boston being the yuppie area right next to it[1]. The short version is "if you're in Boston and surrounded by working-class Irish, you're in Southie."

Compare Hollywood New England, The Irish Mob (for the real crooks), Brooklyn Rage, Violent Glaswegian.

Examples of Southies include:



  • As All Souls shows, this trope does have some basis in Real Life. In the 1970s and 80s, this was one of the worst places in the country to live in, as Michael MacDonald found out growing up there.
  • In The Black Dagger Brotherhood novels, Butch is an Irish-American cop from Southie who chain smokes, drinks scotch, consorts with whores, occasionally indulges in police brutality (though few object) and otherwise tries to fulfill every applicable stereotype he can think of. Then he finds out he's a vampire.

Live Action TV

  • Faith Lehane from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a Southie. But the actress playing her, Eliza Dushku, was raised in Watertown, a city near Boston, and isn't.
    • One of Echo's imprinted personalities in Dollhouse, Jordan (a backup singer and secret bodyguard for a pop star) claims to be a Southie as well - and is also played by Dushku.
  • NCIS provides the page quote while interviewing a standard suspect who's just there to give a few facts about the case. The actor doesn't actually have a Southie accent. Because he's the impostor.
  • Dr. Donald Westphall of St Elsewhere is a Southie.

Video Games

Web Original

  • "The Real Housewives of South Boston", a sketch sending up the Yankees/Sox baseball rivalry.

Western Animation


  • "Southies" has become something of an inside joke here, due to the YKTTW for "Southies" having had no text other than "Self Explanatory". That led to the page "Not Self-Explanatory" and similar "it's not obvious to everyone" examples.


  1. Never confuse the two areas in front of someone from Southie, it's a bit of a Berserk Button, and don't even try to compare it to the South End
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