Many movie and TV homes exist only on a studio lot—or are mockups on a soundstage that exist for the duration of filming and then are torn down. But some real-life homes feature prominently in big- and small-screen productions and become stars in their own right. Take Culture Scan’s new quiz to see how many of these camera-ready residences you recognize.
1. This lovely Italianate Victorian home in San Francisco hosted a fictional household that included a young father, his three daughters, his brother-in-law and his best friend. Originally airing in the 90s, the show was recently rebooted on Netflix. What was the name of the show?
a. “Family Ties”
b. “Family Matters”
c. “Full House”
d. “Boy Meets World”
Answer: c. Though many fans assumed the characters of “Full House” lived in one of the Painted Ladies on famed Postcard Row, the real-life house that doubled as the Tanner home is actually 12 blocks away on Broderick St. The 3-bedroom, 3-bath, 2,985-square-foot house returned to feature in the 2016 reboot “Fuller House.”
2. This gracious Southern gem played an important role in a 2004 hit film based on a bestselling Nicholas Sparks novel. What was the name of the romantic film that portrayed remodeling as an act of courtship?
a. “The Choice”
b. “The Notebook”
c. “The Best of Me”
d. “The Lucky One”
Answer: b. The house that Noah (Ryan Gosling) rebuilt for Allie (Rachel McAdams) in “The Notebook” is actually a private home on Wadmalaw Island in South Carolina known as Martins Point Plantation. Filmmakers created a false façade to make the well-maintained property built in 1875 appear as if it was dilapidated and in need of extensive repair.
3. In a popular ’90s sitcom, a musically inclined young man makes a cross-country trip to live in this palatial mansion with his mother’s brother and his family. What was the name of that sitcom?
a. “Silver Spoons”
c. “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper”
d. “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”
Answer: d. “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” featured Will Smith (playing a character of the same name) leaving Philadelphia to move into this 1930s, Colonial-style, 6,438-square-foot residence—which is actually located in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles rather than in Bel Air. The 5-bedroom, 5-bath house was last sold in 1978 for $732,000. REALTOR®.com estimates that the property is now worth ten times that amount.
4. This 1920s Georgian-style home witnessed a ton of chaos created by a pint-sized mischief-maker around the holidays. What movie was it featured in?
a. “Dennis the Menace”
c. “Home Alone”
d. “Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish”
Answer: c. This stately Winnetka, Ill., home played host to the hijinks of precocious tyke Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) as he battled the Wet Bandits in “Home Alone.” A private residence, the house was opened to one lucky in fan in December 2021 as part of an AirBnB promotion(link is external).
5. A young man and young woman from very different backgrounds experience some nerves as he introduces her to his parents in the spacious kitchen of this modern marvel in the Pacific Northwest. What was the name of the film that included this fraught family scene?
a. “Meet the Parents”
b. “The Fault in Our Stars”
c. “A Walk to Remember”
Answer: d. Skylab Architecture’s “Hoke House” was the place where vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) introduces ordinary mortal Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) to his undead relatives. Though the Portland, Ore., home was originally built for another client, it takes its name from current owner, Nike Chief Design Officer John Hoke, who purchased the property in 2007 for $2.5 million.
6. This venerable 6-story New York City apartment building was the home for four good friends who frequently hosted visitors—two in particular—for hilarious hijinks. What was the name of the sitcom that made this multifamily property a weekly hangout for millions of viewers?
b. “Living Single”
c. “Sex in the City”
d. “How I Met Your Mother”
Answer: a. “Friends” roomies Monica (Courtney Cox) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) lived across the hall from Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry), and the quartet received regular visits from Ross (David Schwimmer) and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) at this 22-unit West Village apartment building built in 1900. And there really is a café on the ground floor, though the real-life eatery is named Little Owl—Central Perk exists only on a Los Angeles soundstage.
7. In this family-friendly feature film, two young trick-or-treaters stop at this picturesque 18th century Georgian home before accidentally reviving three ancient witches in Salem, Mass. What is the name of this Disney Halloween treat?
a. “The Addams Family”
b. “Hocus Pocus”
d. “The Haunted Mansion”
Answer: b. Though much of the movie was filmed in Burbank, Calif., (including a visit to the fountain made famous by “Friends”), actors Omri Katz and Thora Birch (who played siblings Max and Dani) really did shoot scenes at the Ropes Mansion in Salem, Mass. Listed on The National Register of Historic places, the property is owned by the Peabody Essex Museum and is open to the public for self-guided tours.
8. In a post-apocalyptic world gone mad, survivors hole up in this Craftsman-style house in an attempt to escape the horrors outside. The 4,478-square-foot house figured prominently in which streaming hit?
a. “A Quiet Place”
c. “Bird Box”
d. “Don’t Look Up”
Answer: c. This seven-bedroom house in Monrovia, Calif., sheltered headliner Sandra Bullock and her costars from a mysterious unseen enemy in the Netflix sci-fi smash, “Bird Box.” Fans of the film now flock to this 1908 home designed by famed architect Frank O. Eager in order to pose in front of it while wearing blindfolds.
9. This unassuming ranch house was the TV home of a mild-mannered high school teacher who transformed into a notorious criminal. What was the name of this intense drama featuring morally ambiguous characters?
a. “Sons of Anarchy”
b. “Prison Break”
d. “Breaking Bad”
Answer: d. Walter White (Bryan Cranston) committed numerous felonies while residing at this Albuquerque, N.M., home in “Breaking Bad.” Built in 1972, the house is the residence of a long-suffering family who report that overeager fans sometimes toss pizzas onto the roof in an effort to recreate an iconic scene from the show.
10. In a 2001 blockbuster film, an orphan living in this quiet suburban home discovers that his nefarious relatives have been keeping the truth about his identity from him. What was the name of the movie that kicked off a long-running young-adult film franchise?
a. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
b. “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief”
c. “Artemis Fowl”
d. “The Batman”
Answer: a. The disagreeable Dursleys attempted to keep their wizard nephew’s supernatural heritage a secret from him in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” Number 4 Privet Drive in the film was played by this three-bedroom private home situated on a cul-de-sac in Bracknell, Berkshire, UK. The exterior and parts of the interior were used in the first film.
11. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, a large, blended sitcom family made this charming suburban property their fictional home, and both the family and the house became pop-culture phenomena—this home was once reportedly the second-most photographed house in the country after the White House. What was the name of the series that featured the popular brood?
a. “The Brady Bunch”
b. “Good Times”
c. “The Partridge Family”
d. “Eight is Enough”
Answer: a. The split-level, ranch-style house that was home to “The Brady Bunch” from 1969 to 1974 is a real residence in Studio City, Calif.—though the home’s iconic interior once existed only in a studio. In 2018, cable network HGTV purchased the single-family home and gave it a thorough renovation. The house’s once-familiar exterior had been altered by the previous owners to discourage trespassers, and HGTV restored its former famous façade. The interior was also redone to match the original TV layout and sets.
12. This 17th century castle boasts 300 rooms—61 of them bedrooms—and houses one of TV’s aristocratic families. Which drama series covers the triumphs and travails of this estate’s titled and untitled denizens?
b. “Upstairs Downstairs”
d. “Downton Abbey”
Answer: d. The home of the aristocratic Crawley family on “Downton Abbey” is actually Highclere Castle in Highclere, Hampshire, UK. The 30,000-square-foot structure on 6,000 acres is the real-life abode of the 8th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The couple welcomes visitors for tours in the summer and on holidays (for a fee) and reports that the increase in paid admissions thanks to the show has helped finance much-needed repairs to the venerable building.
How did you do?
Give yourself one point for each correct answer and see which Tinseltown accolade you’ve won.
- 10 to 12 points: Golden Castle. You’ve got an eagle eye for A-list architecture.
- 7 to 9 points: Silver Villa. You’re pretty good at picking out photogenic properties.
- 4 to 6 points: Bronze Manor. You don’t notice every piece of onscreen real estate, but you know a few headliners.
- 1 to 3 points: Crystal Cottage. For you, fictional fare just doesn’t hold the allure of the real-life properties you’re helping clients buy and sell.