Being the ubiquitous food stuff that it is, it should come as no surprise that pizza often features in movies and TV. There are even full movies and TV shows where the central theme is the characters working in a pizzeria.
While some directors and show runners opt for product placement to feature pizza on screen, many others create their own fictional restaurants and chains instead. Some of these fictional spots have become cultural icons in their own right. Here’s a rundown of the five best fictional pizzerias from TV and movies:
5. Panucci’s, Futurama
The very premise of Futurama is that Fry, a pizza delivery guy, gets accidentally cryogenically frozen for 1,000 years, during a delivery. The pizzeria he worked for? Panucci’s. Panucci’s itself didn’t feature much in the run of the show, except for the occasional flashback. One of those flashbacks, however, was probably one of the most memorable and emotional moments of the entire show, as Fry’s dog, still in the present day, waits for him to return:
4. Jimmy Pesto’s, Bob’s Burgers
Jimmy Pesto is the eponymous Bob Belcher’s business rival. Fittingly, he owns a pizzeria that competes with Bob’s burger business. Normally, we’d root for the pizza guy, but Jimmy is pretty unlikeable, often trying to sabotage the success of Bob and his business. This rivalry drives the plot of many episodes, including “Burger War”:
3. Pizza King, Daria
A sleeper hit, MTV’s Daria managed to capture the attention (and reflect the mood) of late 90s / early 2000s Gen Xers. To many in that generation, the acerbic, cynical, and often misanthropic Daria was a “mood”, who had no trouble saying what was on everyone’s minds, even if they were too afraid to say it.
Daria and her friend Jane could often be found at the town’s pizza spot, Pizza King. The pizzeria acted as the background to many of the show’s most poignant moments – this is where Daria and Jane would express their collective frustration with the world over a slice.
2. Little Nero’s, Home Alone
Unlike the others on this list, we never actually see Little Nero’s pizzeria. We do, however, meet one of its delivery guys in one of Home Alone’s most memorable scenes. After making a brief appearance at the start of the movie, delivering pizza to the McCallister family, he is called back a few days later to deliver pizza to Kevin, who is at home…. alone.
Almost twenty years later, we’re still unsure why Kevin couldn’t answer the door himself. Instead, he opts for a note on the door and a tape recording from a gangster movie to handle the particulars of the delivery:
1. Pizza Planet, Toy Story (and other Pixar Movies)
This one makes the top of the list not only because of its importance to the movie Toy Story itself, but also its role in connecting most of Pixar’s movies into one shared universe. Pizza Planet is where we first meet the claw-worshipping aliens, and it’s where Sid “wins” Buzz and Woody in the claw machine, setting up the finale of the movie.
The Pizza Planet truck, however, is what connects all of Pixar’s movies together. It can be spotted in Monsters Inc., A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Up, Inside Out, Coco, The Incredibles 2, and the Cars movies (as a racing car, obviously). It’s appearance even transcends time and international boundaries, also making cameos in WALL-E (set in 2805) and Ratatouille (set in Paris). A wooden model of the famous truck can even be seen in Brave, set in medieval Scotland.
Here’s some of the famous fictional pizzerias that didn’t make the list:
- Pizza by Alfredo from The Office (Alfredo’s Pizza Cafe is real!).
- Antonioli’s from Gilmore Girls
- Beacon Street Pizza from Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.