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Minneapolis and St. Paul are the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Famous for the Mall of America (in one of the suburbs).

A number of Speculative Fiction authors live in or near the Twin Cities, including Neil Gaiman, Lois McMaster Bujold and Patricia C. Wrede.

Many musicians also are from or got their start there, including Prince and his associates, Bob Dylan, The Replacements, Soul Asylum and Hüsker Dü.

Minneapolis and St. Paul, and many of their suburbs, are known as "The Cities" by inhabitants of Minnesota and neighboring states. Minneapolis and St. Paul essentially function as one large metropolitan area, hence the name "Twin Cities". However, residents are trying to move away from this image, and promote each city separately. St. Paul is slightly smaller, and viewed as very friendly, clean, blue-collar, and family-oriented. It is the capital of Minnesota. Situated just across the Mississippi River, Minneapolis is younger and trendier, and contains more of the Cities' art scene. Despite the differences, the Cities do function as one metropolitan area.

Also, Minneapolis and St. Paul have some of the largest Hmong and Somali populations in the United States, but you never seem to see those on TV. Despite the Twin Cities' reputation for dowdy Midwesternness, it is the 12th largest media market, they also have the second-most theatre seats per capita of any metro area in the country, and the metro area ranks eighth on the list of metropolitan areas with the largest percentage of GLB residents (with Minneapolis itself in fourth on the list of top cities, by percent), but, again, not something you'd hear every day.


In fiction:

  • Jingle All the Way
    • Just for the record, herds of wild caribou do not roam the suburbs....
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show. To this day, the corner where Mary tosses her hat in the opening has a statue of MTM.
  • The Mighty Ducks (the live-action movies, not the cartoon). Each movie has a sequence designed to show off the sights, usually with our heroes in-line skating through them.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 originated on a UHF channel here.
    • There are a lot of Bilingual Bonus jokes for locals who get the references to local institutions.
  • Jack O'Neill of Stargate SG-1 was born here, and he maintains a cabin in the North Woods, near a lake that, until the season eight finale, didn't have any fish in it.
  • The early-nineties cult TV series Get A Life! presumably takes place somewhere in the Twin Cities, as Chris Elliott's paperboy character is seen delivering copies of the Pioneer-Press (Saint Paul's local newspaper) during the opening credits.
  • Coach: While most of the cast lives near a fictional university, Christine lives in downtown Minneapolis.
    • At the time the show was on, living downtown in a high-rise as Christine is depicted was fairly unusual for someone of her presumed income. More likely she would have lived in a posh suburb.
    • The hunting/fishing/going to the cabin leisure activities of Coach and his staff are actually fairly believable.
  • Peanuts creator Charles Schulz was from St. Paul, and there are a few hints that Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang live here as well. You can also find 50 statues of the characters on the streets and in some of the public buildings.
  • Purple Rain is actually fairly accurate, given a bit of Television Geography. Not all that surprising, as the film is semi-autobiographical.
  • A Prairie Home Companion is based there, being distributed by Minnesota Public Radio, and some of the skits, particularly "Guy Noir", explicitly take place there.
  • Major portions of Fargo
  • Emma Bull's War for the Oaks makes spectacular use of Twin Cities locations. Another of her novels, Bone Dance, is also set there, although since it's an After the End story, it's easy to miss.
  • The Betsy the Vampire Queen books by Mary-Janice Davidson.
  • Web Comic Wapsi Square takes its name from a fictitious Minneapolis neighborhood. Creator Paul "Pablo" Taylor is a Twin Cities resident himself, and there are occasional gags about the region's changeable climate.
  • Juno is set in the Twin Cities, and several local attractions get a shout out. Interestingly, though the Lorings live in St. Cloud, which is considered a distant satellite city at best, Juno seems to have no problem commuting back and forth on a regular basis to visit.
    • St. Cloud is only 65 miles via the Interstate and depending on how you define 'the cities' and where in St. Cloud they are, you could easily take another 15 miles off, and plenty of people make that commute or longer daily without issue.
  • The students from Survival of the Fittest Version 4 came from a fictional St. Paul high school.
  • The webcomic Alpha Shade takes place in the Twin Cities. (At least, the parts of the comic that don't take place in another world do.)
  • The Prey series of novels by John Sandford and their spinoffs take place in the Twin Cities.
  • After Last Season. No, really.

The Twin Cities provide examples of:

  • Abandoned Area: Most notably the Landmark Brewery in St. Paul.
  • Bizarro World You can literally live on either Twin City for most of your life and be completely and utterly unfamiliar with the neighborhoods of the other.
  • Goddamn Bats: The Cities are extremely bike-friendly. Cyclists consider outstate drivers to be Goddamn Bats, and outstate drivers feel the same way about cyclists.
    • Pedestrians in the city (and they do exist) find cyclists to be pests.
  • Hipster: St. Paul and Minneapolis are the largest cities in the most hipster state in the union.
  • Mind Screw: The names of the neighborhoods, particularly in St. Paul.
    • Under a railroad bridge on I-94 is the footbridge to nowhere. There is a footbridge that starts at a solid wall, runs 14" under an active railroad bridge, and ends at a solid wall. Boggles the mind.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The West Side is in Southern St. Paul. See Mind Screw.
    • Similarly, West St. Paul is to the EAST of St. Paul.
    • And the West Side and West St. Paul are completely different things.
  • Planet of Hats: The stereotype of being blonde, Swedish, Lutheran, and polite. But it's not true. Some of the Swedes are brunettes.
  • Wrong Side of the Tracks: Most visitors won't go any further north than where the light rail ends
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