California features many iconic locations like Hollywood and Santa Monica, but there are many ways that Fresno takes the spotlight as well.
Fresno has received its own share of shout outs and references over the years and we want to show them to you! Next time you find one of these shows or movies on your screen, you can catch the moment they reference this wonderful city!
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
In this film, the character Charlie calls the “Hotel Stewart in Fresno” to ask for a Mr. Graham.
The Music Man (1962)
In this musical, there are several different songs featured. One song, “The Wells Fargo Wagon” features various characters singing about what they hope is going to be carried by the “Wells Fargo Wagon”. One character in particular mentions, “Hope I get my raisins from Fresno!”.
The Muppet Show (1976)
The Muppet Show featured a recurring “Muppet News Flash” segment throughout all five seasons. One newsflash referenced Dateline Fresno, and the story of a resident who, “…spent the last 27 months teaching his pet chicken to dance classical ballet.”
Escape From New York (1981)
In this film, Fresno’s mention comes in the form of a nickname for a featured character. “Fresno Bob” is an accomplice of our main character, “Snake” Plissken. You can check out the film to learn more about the fate of “Fresno Bob”.
Airplane II (1982)
One character, remarking on their past trips, mentions that they did Europe in 9 days, then Bakersfield, and then finally, “…we ended up in Fresno. Fresno? No one goes to Fresno anymore.”
Karate Kid II (1986)
In Karate Kid II, Daniel’s mother accepts a job in Fresno and Daniel speaks to Mr. Miyagi about how he is going to lose his 2 months of summer because he, “…has to spend it in Fresno.”
Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)
In the sequel to “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, Rick Moranis’ scientist character Wayne Szalinski is being downplayed by some higher-ups in his company. In response to this, he exclaims “Wait a second, you think I’m just some guy from Fresno who tinkered with some crackpot ideas in his attic?”
Saved by the Bell: The College Years (1994)
In this sequel to the beloved Saved by the Bell series, a character mentions how they tell tales about extravagant trips they go on with their friends. While in reality, they always just “end up at my sister’s house in Fresno.”
12 Monkeys (1995)
In the film 12 Monkeys, Fresno is another key location that comes up mentioned in news reports from time to time. In an effort to avoid spoiling the film we won’t mention exactly what its role is, but if you pay attention throughout the film, you’ll hear the name Fresno mentioned now and again.
Pinky and the Brain (1997)
In this TV series, Brain asks Pinky to identify who a certain person is, Pinky explains, “That’s Tangelo Bayless, star forward for the Fresno Butternuggets.”
Con Air (1997)
The film Con Air mentions Fresno several times, due to it being a key area in the film. We wouldn’t want to spoil too much by revealing the significance of it, but one memorable line from the film could be, “I know a good body shop in Fresno, if it’s insured.”
The Sliders TV series involves a group of friends that “slide” between parallel universes, trying to find their way back to their original one. This leads them to many locations, many strange to them. However, in one episode when they arrive and are initially unaware of their location, one character says, “Beautiful Fresno, California. Being a military brat, this was one of my many hometowns.”
In this film, one of the main characters Rolfe is employed as a writer. When discussing his job, he mentions that he is syndicated in a few different papers, “…The San Diegan, The Fresno Bee, and The Chicago Tribune.”
Veronica Mars (2006)
Keith Mars is the father of this movie’s main character. Keith is also a private investigator and former sheriff. While he was referenced as a sheriff in the fictional Balboa County in California, there is another time when he remembers being a 22-year-old deputy in Fresno. This is referenced when he is speaking to a baseball player that he remembers pitching three times in triple-A because “There wasn’t much to do in Fresno as a 22-year-old deputy.”
Monsters Vs. Aliens (2009)
In the film Monsters Vs. Aliens, the main character Susan is speaking about a potential honeymoon with her soon-to-be husband Derek. On the topic of location, Derek says they aren’t going to Paris, because they’re going to go somewhere even better. Exclaiming that the new location is Fresno!
Power Rangers RPM (2009)
Funnily enough, “Fresno Bob” pops up as a character again in the show Power Rangers RPM. in what can be assumed to be an homage to Escape from New York.
Better Off Ted (2010)
In one bizarre quote, a character mentions a job opportunity in Fresno, stating, “I heard there might be a job out in Fresno selling baby proofing kits. Apparently, they’re having problems with babies breaking into homes out there.”
Frequent references in CSI (2000 – 2015), Psych (2006 – 2014), and The Mentalist (2008 – 2015)
These shows are all centered in or relatively near California/Fresno, so they frequently refer to the city. Whether it’s a case involving a suspect from there, or communicating with a local detective, you can expect to hear Fresno pop up often while watching these series.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
In a more recent entry, the first Captain America movie from the MCU features a Fresno reference. In short, when one soldier is questioned about whether they need to come back with the rest of the soldiers, seemingly because he is a “foreign” soldier, the soldier’s response: “I’m from Fresno, ace”.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (2018)
Season 3 Episode 1, “I Ava”, Fresno is referenced as a location on a screencap. Funnily enough though, the show was actually shot in Canada.
It is always fun to hear your hometown be mentioned on screen! We like to think that these references will add some intrigue to our wonderful town! There are always things to do and places to explore. As more shows and movies are released, there are sure to be more Fresno references. Stay on the lookout for more references, and check out our blog for more Fresno topics and ideas!