Syracuse, New York in fiction

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A list of mentions of Syracuse, New York popular culture.

Film and television[edit]


  • Adult World (2014) filmed in downtown Syracuse and suburbs, such as DeWitt.
  • A Clouded Name (silent film, 1923), starring Norma Shearer - Scenes were filmed at the State Fair, the Calthrop mansion, and at the Liverpool's solar salt fields (which closed three years later).
  • All the Right Moves (Feature film, 1983) - At a party, someone asks Tom Cruise's character if he had heard anything from Syracuse (Cruise is a Syracuse native).
  • In a deleted scene from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Veronica Corningstone mentions that she has a degree from Syracuse University.
  • Big Daddy (Feature film, 1999) - Several mentions; Adam Sandler's character attended school at Syracuse University College of Law and wears various Syracuse sweatshirts and T-shirts.
  • Blue Chips (Feature film, 1994) - Syracuse University men's basketball coach Jim Boeheim has a small speaking part.
  • Born on the Fourth of July (Feature film, 1989) - Tom Cruise's character attends a Vietnam War protest which is held at Syracuse University.
  • Enemy of the State (Feature film, 1998) - Congressman Sam Albert, a character who is murdered in the film's opening scenes, is mentioned as being from Syracuse.
  • For Love of the Game (Feature film, 1999) - Kelly Preston's character is from Syracuse.
  • Freak Talks About Sex (also known as Blowin' Smoke) (Feature film, 1999) - Filmed in Syracuse; life in Syracuse is part of the plot.
  • God Bless America (film) (2011), which was written and directed by Syracuse-born Bobcat Goldthwait and is set and shot in Syracuse for the first portion of the film.
  • Heat (Feature film, 1995) - Detective Vincent Hanna's dossier alludes to his experience in Syracuse (shown in scene with De Niro/Voight in Cadillac).
  • Highlander (Feature film, 1986) - Connor MacLeod's modern namesake was born in Syracuse.
  • In the movie Jack the Bear (Feature film, 1993), John Leary (Danny DeVito) and his two sons moved to Oakland, CA from Syracuse, NY.
  • Lady in White (Feature film, 1988) - Opening sequence filmed in Syracuse Hancock International Airport; much of the rest of the movie was filmed in the villages of Lyons, Newark and Phelps, approximately fifty miles west of Syracuse.
  • "Nixon (film)" (Feature film, 1995) - While at the Lincoln Memorial, President Richard Nixon, played by Anthony Hopkins runs into a student from Syracuse University and Nixon tries to make small talk by mentioning the football success of Jim Brown and Ernie Davis.
  • In Since You Went Away (feature film, 1944) - While in the train station, Syracuse is mentioned as one of the upcoming stops.
  • Slap Shot (Feature film, 1977) - One of the hockey teams is the (fictional) Syracuse Bulldogs, and parts of the movie were filmed at the Onondaga County War Memorial in downtown Syracuse.
  • Snow Day (Feature film, 2000) - Syracuse is portrayed as a small village with high snowfall. The film was filmed in Edmonton and Calgary.
  • Superman (Feature film, 1978) - The train scene featuring Otis in the film's beginning features Syracuse as one of the announced stops that a train is making.
  • The Bone Collector (Feature film, 1999) - A character makes reference to Denzel Washington's character's past work in Syracuse which got him convicted.
  • The Express (Feature film, 2008) - The movie is about Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman trophy, and a Syracuse University football player. Parts of the movie were filmed in Syracuse, and the world premiere took place at the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse.
  • The Jerk (Feature film, 1979) - When Navin (Steve Martin) asks his carnie friends to name an emotion, one of them says "Syracuse." (This scene appears in the version edited for television, but not in the theatrical or DVD version.)
  • The Perfect Score (2004) - Kyle mentions attending Syracuse University for Architecture at the end of the film.
  • Tootsie (Feature film, 1982) - Syracuse is mentioned as the locale where character Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) has done some acting work. A theater in Syracuse is depicted as a rustic wooden structure.
  • When in Rome - 2010 - The main character graduated from there.
  • The Purge - 2013 - Syracuse appears in Purge Feed (during the 2017 Purge) in the film's introduction.


  • In 30 Rock, Jack Donaghy mentions that a character, Bradley, "never graduated from Syracuse. He’s four credits shy of his degree in Bro studies"
  • In a 2011 episode of the CBS drama Criminal Minds, Syracuse figures prominently in the investigation; Syracuse University is mentioned many times. A reference is made to the criminal John Jamelske in his Syracuse suburban home.
  • Law and Order: Special Victims Unit - a criminal mentions intercepting a victim on their way through Syracuse.
  • My Name Is Earl (television) - Syracuse is mentioned as the place where Buffalo wings come from.
  • In an episode of NCIS, one of the characters mentions he arrested a suspect selling drugs to his frat brothers in Syracuse.
  • One Tree Hill (television) - One of the main characters attended Syracuse University and has mugs and other items with Syracuse logos.
  • The Quantum Leap episode "Catch a Falling Star" was set in Syracuse.
  • The Chris Isaak Show (television) - Chris Isaak's publicist, Yola Gaylen (played by Kristin Dattilo), mentions that she has a degree from Syracuse University.
  • In The Sopranos episode "Walk Like a Man", AJ participates in punishing a student (Victor), who borrows money from Jason Gervasi and Jason Parisi's sports betting operation and does not repay his debt on time. After the deadline, the Jasons find Victor sitting on a couch at a fraternity house party, unconcerned about paying his debt, telling a girl he is only 11 credits away from transferring to the business program at Syracuse University.
  • The short-lived 1993 CBS sitcom The Trouble with Larry, which starred Bronson Pinchot and Courteney Cox, was set in Syracuse. The show was cancelled after three episodes.
  • The Twilight Zone (television) - Syracuse is mentioned in several episodes, especially those written by Syracuse native Rod Serling.
  • The West Wing (television) - Makes several mentions of the Maxwell School, Syracuse University's renowned school of public administration, which is the number-one ranked graduate program in public administration (according to U.S. News & World Report's rankings); the series creator Aaron Sorkin is a Syracuse University alumnus.
  • The X-Files (television) - Several mentions, visited by characters on more than one occasion.
  • In Unforgettable, two of the main characters used to work for the Syracuse Police Department and flashbacks often take place in Syracuse.
  • In Cold Case- It is stated in the episode "Breaking News" that the victim, a television reporter,

attended Syracuse University and that her station manager was one of her professors.

  • In multiple episodes of Pretty Little Liars (TV Series) it is mentioned that Byron Montgomery goes to Syracuse University for seminars.
  • In Black Mirror Season 3 episode 2, Cooper mentions that he is from Syracuse.
  • In the episode "Off Duty Cop" of The Looney Tunes Show, Bugs Bunny freaks out at a doctor's office, and mentions that his doctor is possibly not a real doctor. Bugs Bunny looks at his doctor's college diploma, which says the doctor went to Syracuse University, and Bugs says, "Syracuse? That's a basketball school!" Bugs then tears up the diploma.
  • In the episode "Quagmire's Quagmire" of Family Guy, Quagmire dates a girl named Sonja, and she mentioned that she went to Syracuse University.
  • In Showtime's "The Affair" season 1, episode 4, the character Alison mentions her husband, Cole, is in Syracuse buying a horse.
  • In TBS's "The Detour" a Syracuse family goes on a wild road trip. In the first episode you can see a sign for the Syracuse Airport as they start their trip.
  • In "New Girl" (television), Schmidt and Nick both attended Syracuse University. It is also implied that Winston played basketball at Syracuse, possibly under the leadership of Coach Jim Boeheim. [1]
  • In "The Office", the Syracuse branch of Dunder Mifflin is mentioned several times throughout the series.


Video Games[edit]

  • In L.A. Noire, Syracuse was mentioned as a place where someone committed a crime and held a criminal record.


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