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Pittsburgh is the second largest city in Pennsylvania, behind Philadelphia. It is located at the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers combine to form the Ohio River, and has more bridges than any other city in the world (even beating Venice, Italy by three). It was originally named after William Pitt the Elder, later Prime Minister of the UK, for his role in the Seven Years War.

Home of KDKA, the oldest commercial radio station and one of the few exceptions to the "W*** east of the Mississippi, K*** west of the Mississippi" rule. Pittsburgh is more of a Midwestern city than Philly; the two have little in common other than being in the same state. It is also known as Steel City, due to its being a booming (and polluted) mill town for much of its history. Most of the steel industry has left, but the city is having a minor renaissance as a health care and high-tech center, helped by the fact that several prestigious universities are in the area. It is also the only city in the United States that was allowed by the Postal Service to end in "burgh" throughout the 20th century; see the entry under Please Select New City Name for details.

Pittsburgh has arguably the best baseball stadium and the worst professional baseball team in the country. Its football team, the Steelers, have more Super Bowl trophies than any other and has tied with Dallas in having the most Super Bowl trips. They also have a longstanding rivalry with Cleveland Rocks (against whom they have a lot of Curbstomp Victories). The Penguins are most known for Sidney Crosby, who you've probably heard of, along with his rival Alex Ovechkin even if you don't watch hockey. All three of Pittsburgh's major league teams wear black and yellow, the colors on the city flag.

Despite rumors (and colorful accent) to the contrary, Pittsburghers do not import R's from New England. The most noteworthy colloquialism is "yinz", which is generally used in the place of "you all". Other, lesser used terms are "nebby" (nosey), "gumban" (rubber band), and "buggy" (shopping cart). The city's residents themselves are something of a Broken Base. Depending on who you ask, Pittsburgh is either a clean, beautiful, artsy, vibrant city with affordable housing, low crime, and plenty of good schools and job opportunities; or it's a rusted out, blue-collar shithole with no jobs, bad weather, an aging populace, and notorious racial tension. Your Mileage May Vary of course.

As a side note, Pittsburgh is also the filming location of our very own Echo Chamber.

Pittsburgh in Fiction

Pittsburgh in fiction:

(For quotes about Pittsburgh in real life and fiction, see the quotes page.)




  • Harry Turtledove's Timeline191 series, depicting a World War II which took place in a world in which the South won the Civil War, featured the Battle of Pittsburgh as the series' analogue to Stalingrad.
  • Pittsburgh gets destroyed by aliens in the Lensman novel Triplanetary (they have invaded Earth in order to steal iron).
    • It is also mentioned to be destroyed in the Novelization of Independence Day, but not the movie.
    • And it's not in a very good state in the novel When Worlds Collide.
  • Christine, the novel about a killer car by Stephen King, was entirely set in Pittsburgh. The narrator, Dennis, has a summer construction job working on Interstate 376 [2] . Also, King shows that he was familiar with the area when writing the book, as he mentions Monroeville and it's "miles of malls." At the time the book was written, Monroeville, PA was (and is even more so today) a hub of mall- and strip mall-based retail commerce. It had two: Monroeville Mall and Miracle Mile Shopping Center as well as several other retail stores and restaurants.
    • Also it could be a reference to King's friend George Romero filmed Dawn of the Dead in that town.
    • The film was set in Los Angeles, for cheaper production costs. All the snow scenes would have added a fortune to the budget.

Live Action TV

  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (Fred Rogers was born in Latrobe and lived most his life in Pittsburgh).
  • Queer as Folk - But really shot in Toronto
  • In the second season of Weeds, Shane went through a phase of being obsessed with Pittsburgh.
  • Three Rivers based on residence at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospitals. The pilot was filmed at a hospital in Butler County, but production was moved to Los Angeles to cut down on costs. Shots seen of the city are stock footage.
  • The TV Movie version of The Stand, the local Armstrong Tunnel (which goes under Duquesne University and empties out onto the 10th Street Bridge), stands in for the Lincoln Tunnel in New York.

Video Games

  • Fallout 3's second expansion, The Pitt, is centered on the post-apocalyptic version of the city. Many landmarks like PPG Place and the Cathedral of Learning make appearances.
  • Screenshots of the demo for The Last of Us show pictures of a post-apocalyptic version of Pittsburgh, featuring such Pittaburgh landmarks such as the US Steel Building, One Mellon Center, Oxford Center, and the Fort Pitt Bridge.

Web Video

Western Animation

  • On Teen Titans, "Steel City" is the hometown of Titans East and is quite clearly based on Pittsburgh (the regular team is based in an expy of San Francisco).


  • The Fish that Saved Pittsburgh
  • Bloodsucking Pharaohs In Pittsburgh

Things locals pick up in fiction

While you're enjoying Pittsburgh in fiction, please enjoy these assorted "local Pittsburghers pick this stuff up" items:

  • Innocent Blood:
    • The city side of the Fort Pitt tunnel does not face the rising sun - it faces northeast. Vampire Sal should be fine.
  • Striking Distance:
    • The route of the Chase Scene in Striking Distance only sort of makes sense - you can assume people who live in cities with a lot of chase scenes filmed in them deal with this often. The radio says they are "At the 31st Street Bridge, going westbound on Liberty", so Tom and his father take Bigelow Boulevard to downtown to meet up with the chase. They hook up with 7th Street, passing by the post office and crossing Grant to get to Liberty. Then they connect with Liberty from the other side of the street than they should. They pass Oxford Center and inexplicably pop into the Armstrong Tunnels, under Duquesne University. Out of the tunnels they cross the Monongahela River at the Smithfield Street Bridge... odd considering the tunnels they just pulled out of end at the 10th Street bridge ... why did the suspect backtrack 2 miles to cross the river? [3] There's the standoff at what looks like Carson Street under the Liberty Bridge, and then he manages to escape that and somehow gets to and drives up the PJ McArdle Roadway to Mount Washington. He skids to a turn down Grandview Avenue, runs into an Iron City truck, and from there it's hard to tell where they're going - but there's nothing like the area they end up in down Grandview.
  • Sudden Death
    • You know when they open the roof of the arena and Jean Claude Van Damme hangs from it over the ice? That's the last time any Pittsburghers saw it open, too. They never opened it - it got too windy inside. The arena was later redesigned to include more box seats, which made it so the roof would never open again. Now the Pittsburgh Penguins have moved across the street to the Consol Energy Center, and a large group of people were fighting to save this historically unique building... which couldn't even do the thing that made it historically unique anymore.
  • Driving Video Games
    • A missed opportunity - Pittsburgh would be great for one of those "drive anywhere" video games. We have some of the most confusing side streets and steep surprise hills you'll find in a major metropolitan area. We have spots that could give San Francisco a very good run for its money.
    • Not to mention the road conditions.

 "I think there's a bug. My car keeps taking damage while I drive down the road." "That's not a bug. That's a feature."]

  • Queer as Folk:
    • Liberty Avenue is an average downtown street in real life and not Pittsburgh's Gayborhood. That would be Shadyside[4].
    • The city's distinct terrain is conspicuously absent, as the show was filmed in Toronto.
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno
    • The titular characters go to their ten-year reunion at Monroeville High School. Graduates from their class would have attended Gateway High School.

Pittsburgh provides examples of these tropes

Pittsburgh provides examples of:

  • Alien Geometries: The downtown area is a triangular, but the angles are wide enough, and streets that curve ever-so-slightly that you can think you're making three 90 degree turns but somehow ended up right back where you began.
    • You get get that quite a bit throughout the entire city. Since the roads have to follow all the hills, Pittsburgh is one of the least beginner-friendly cities in the country to navigate.
  • American Accents: the famous Pittsburghese accent
  • Berserk Button: for the love of God, don't badmouth the sports teams or the fans of said teams.
  • At the Crossroads: Two rivers join to form another here, and the National Road passed just south. Through history lot of people stopped here on their way west - Pittsburgh was (and still is) the first major city past the Appalachians.
    • In a more modern sense, we have several colleges and Universities. Many young people find themselves at a crossroads here when they graduate.
  • Fan Nickname: Steeler Nation for the gigantic fanbase of the Steelers
    • Cradle of Quarterbacks- named since some of the best Q Bs in NFL history came from the region
    • The Bucs or Buccos for the Pittsburgh Pirates
    • The Pens for the Penguins
    • Yinzer- A local of the Pittsburgh area
    • Fans of Fallout will never stop calling it The Pitt.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Inverted. "Mill Hunky," or just "Hunky" is a term that blue collar people of Eastern European descent use affectionately regarding themselves and their culture. At worst, it is a good-natured jab. However years ago it was a derogatory term for Eastern European immigrants, particularly Hungarians, who worked in the steel mills. The term was almost completely reclaimed, but in the 1990s it was still a sensitive topic at least for a small group who complained until the sculptor of a statue depicting a steel worker that was on display in Point Park for a summer had to change its name from "Mill Hunky" to something else.
  • Never Live It Down: when the city was heavily polluted due to its Steel Industry.
    • When the steel industry moved out of the area, the unemployment rate skyrocketed-nearing 25% in the 80s-and the region went into economic meltdown. Some still refer to the area as "economically depressed" despite the fact that many international corporations are headquartered here in addition to the area being a large hub of education and health care, resulting in a relatively low unemployment rate compared to other areas of the US.
      • Andrew Carnegie for as awesome as that Scotsman was, never lived down the Johnstown Flood and the Homestead Strike
  • Older Than They Think - though many Hockey elitist fans (especially Original Six teams) like to look down at Pittsburgh fans as up and comers and bandwagoners. Pittsburgh's hockey history is nearly as old as the sport. In fact the first artificial ice arena in North America was in Pittsburgh and the first professional players were in Pittsburgh while the sport was still amateur in Canada.
  • Polluted Wasteland in the 1960s, though it has cleaned itself up significantly since then.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: In city terms Pittsburgh is usually the Blue Oni to Philadelphia, unless you trigger the Berserk Button above.
  • Short Cuts Make Long Delays: The roads weren't planned as the city grew and usually follow the hills rather than going over or through. You can take what you think is a short cut and if you're lucky you'll just end up right back where you started an hour later. If you're unlucky, you wind up in a river.
  • The Rival: Cleveland Rocks, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, primarily involving pro sports, though it does trickle into everyday attitudes. Each rivalry has its own flavor:
    • Philadelphia is a Sibling Rivalry. Despite being in the same state, they're culturally a world apart (Philadelphia is thoroughly East Coast while Pittsburgh is a mix of East, Midwest, and Appalachian). There is a reason why when the Penguins and Flyers play, it is called the Battle of Pennsylvania.
    • The rivalry with Cleveland is mostly geographic, since it's the closest major city and is similar in culture and industry (though Pittsburgh has fared better economically). But while the Browns are almost always inferior to the Steelers, making the rivalry a bit one-sided, Cleveland still tends to support Pittsburgh at the Superbowl.
    • Baltimore is a Worthy Opponent. Despite all the trash talking between players and fans, the Steelers and Ravens show great respect for one another due to their similar ways of playing the game.
  • Scenery Porn: The hilly terrain provides some truly beautiful views, especially in the summer and fall. Mt. Washington is particularly famous for this; that's why every photo of the Pittsburgh skyline is taken from the exact same angle.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: The Primanti Sandwich, named after Primanti's Restaurant. It's a sandwich, fries, and cole slaw all in one. Pierogies are another favorite, particularly among the Eastern European crowd.
    • Don't forget the hotdogs and fries down at the O in Oakland!
      • Oh and Vincent's Pizza Parlor...or pizza in general, as the greater Pittsburgh area seems to have a pizza parlor on every street corner.

Famous Pittsburghers

Famous Pittsburghers

  1. Most of the houses within ten miles of the city lack driveways, as the city's growth predated automobiles. Street parking is such a commodity, locals have gotten in the habit of using lawn furniture to secure parking spots near their homes; moving somebody else's lawnchair to park your car is considered profoundly insulting, although this doesn't stop people from doing it occasionally.
  2. known as the Parkway or Parkway West to locals.
  3. Construction, obviously.
  4. While the Pride Festival is held on Liberty, that's only because flat stretches of land large enough to host a festival are hard to come by