What the British Know of Philadelphia: Rocky, Will Smith

BuzzFeed UK polled its workers on what they know of each state. Philadelphia gets recognized for contributions on big and small screens.


Tom Philips, BuzzFeed UK senior writer, asked people in the company’s London office what they knew about each U.S. state. They put the results on a map. Pennsylvania and other nearby states are on the map above.

Last year I was in Montreal, and was attempting to tell a liquor store clerk where I was from. I didn’t know what in Philadelphia she might know, so I took a guess: Will Smith and Rocky Balboa? She knew immediately what Philadelphia was! Or, she immediately knew two Philadelphians, one fictional. Or maybe she just wanted to sell me the bottle of booze.

This isn’t too bad! We fare better than the rest of the state, stereotyped into steelworkers (from a Simpsons episode!) and the Amish. Nothing wrong with either steelworkers or the Amish, but neither is all that memorable. But Rocky Balboa is a beloved fictional character with anywhere from one to five good movies about him, depending on how much you like the series. And Will Smith is an Academy Award-nominated international megastar! We could do worse.

Please also note the U.K. opinions on New Jersey (fake tans, unfortunately probably from Jersey Shore) and Delaware (what?).

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