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5 Misconceptions You Probably Have About Fargo

If you’ve never been to Fargo but think you have a good idea of what it’s like from watching the Coen brothers’ movie and TV adaptation, you probably have the wrong picture. One of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. — and not because we just recently discovered electricity and paved our streets like some might believe — is a lot different in person than it's perceived on screen.

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We've got us some-a-dem accents dat sure are thick, yah?


Not quite. Yes, some of us say “pop” instead of “soda,” and many Fargoans talk with elongated A’s, so words like “bag” and “flag” are pronounced more like the word “weigh” than the word “bad,” but not every sentence starts with “Oh yah, sure” and ends in “Uff da.” This misconception makes us seem uneducated and laughable, which anyone who comes across one the area’s many inspiring artists and entrepreneurs would find is far from reality.

We’re way behind the times.


Just listen to the FX TV series character Pearl Nygaard rave about her brother-in-law’s “fancy” surround sound system like it’s a flying car from the future. With several colleges in the area attracting young people and a growing number of business people deciding to call Fargo home, the booming area has much more impressive accomplishments on its resume than the in-home technologies of its residents. Fargo has been ranked as one of the top 10 cities on the rise, with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. And our jobs aren’t limited to the local police force and insurance agencies like the TV series might suggest — Fargo is home to major healthcare, technology and agriculture companies, in addition to many thriving start-ups

We’re the nicest mean people you’ll ever meet.


The concept of Minnesota Nice, which characterizes Midwesterners as too polite to say anything mean to someone’s face but certainly not behind their backs does have a place in Fargo. But the idea that this niceness is just a complete façade that ignores a more prominent reality of complete mean-spiritedness simply isn’t the case. Fargo is home to some of the most genuinely nice and caring people you’ll ever meet — to the point where some Fargo residents go as far as inviting complete strangers into their homes for dinner.

We’ve all got a woodchipper just waiting to be fed.


The Fargo on screen is full of violence from people who appear to have been pushed over the Minnesota Nice edge. You’d think from the city’s on-screen depictions that our streets are filled with crime and vengeance, yet Fargo is one of the safest places to live in the United States. If there’s something in Fargo that should make you worried about your safety, it’s the roads in the winter — not unsuspecting villains who aren’t afraid to use their ice auger for something other than catching fish.

We’re just a small town.


Small in population? In comparison to the nation’s hubs, perhaps. Small in any other way? Not even a little. Fargo is like the 6-year-old kid who dreams of being president and has already started campaign planning. We might be small now, but we’re doing big things and people all over the nation are noticing. That’s why we’ve been ranked the best-run state (USA Today), the best place to find a job (USNEWS) and one of the smartest cities in the nation (Venture Beat), among others.

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