How Schitt's Creek Got Its Name - True Story Explained

Schitt’s Creek’s iconic title underscores the podunk life of the town, with its name coming from a real-life dinner had by Eugene Levy exposing the exact opposite of the show’s message. The series ran from 2014 to 2020 following a wealthy family who loses everything, leaving them with only one asset: a small Canadian town named Schitt’s Creek that was originally purchased as a joke. As the Roses adjust to their brand new style of life in Schitt’s Creek, they learn the importance of compassion and hospitality in a small town that helps them become something they’ve never had to be before - a family.

Within the show, Schitt’s Creek’s name comes from the last name of Roland’s historic family, the Schitts. Outside of the series, the title is a play on the popular idiom “up sh** creek without a paddle,” which is used to describe someone in trouble or a difficult situation - the perfect description for the Rose family losing their entire fortune and starting anew. While the puns of the name initially worked to contrast the upper society life the Roses were coming from, the real story behind Schitt’s Creek’s title comes from a dinner had by Eugene Levy that mirrors a season 2 episode.

Related: Everything Dan Levy Has Done Since Schitt’s Creek

In the Schitt’s Creek behind-the-scenes book Best Wishes, Warm Regards, Dan Levy reveals the town name came from Eugene and his friends mocking a hypothetical town in which local shops like “Schitt Hardware” would openly feature the profanity-laden name. While it began as a pun to mock small-town sentimentality, the Levys later realized this was the exact message Schitt’s Creek would need to avoid. Instead, those who mock "Schitt’s Creek" are the villains, and the Roses’ change of heart toward loving the town is secured once they embrace the name. This exact moment was written into Schitt’s Creek season 2, parodying Eugene Levy’s real-life dinner by underscoring how wrong he and his friends were to mock it. When the Schitts and Roses have dinner with the latter family’s friends from the old days, the wealthy outsiders mock Schitt’s Creek, but not before Johnny berates them for their cruelty and announces that the name isn’t “Schitt’s Town… it’s called Schitt’s Creek,” and it’s their home.

In the same book, Dan Levy makes it clear that using Schitt’s Creek as the title was a powerful way to “celebrate small towns” and make them as intelligent and legitimate as big cities, acknowledging that they aren’t oblivious to the jokes of the town name. To further this distinction, the David Rose actor explained they made a conscious decision to not use the word “sh**” in the series as an expletive in order to avoid more jokes at the town’s expense. Instead of putting the joke on the Schitt family and the townspeople, the ignorance is largely placed on the Roses, realizing only in this town do they finally feel safe. The title comes from a pun that immediately positions itself as a comedy, but it’s how the name is used within Schitt’s Creek that makes the townspeople the heroes, and the supposedly sophisticated big-city personalities the ignorant ones.

Schitt’s Creek’s core message flips the stereotypes of ignorant small towns, allowing viewers to drop their prejudiced notions of the town and associations of the name along with the show's Rose family characters. The explicit ties to the title may have initially put off certain viewers from their expectations of what the show would involve, but Schitt’s Creek is really asking audiences to see around such stereotypes. Once they can, Schitt’s Creek’s town and series will become as safe and accepting to viewers as it does to the Roses.

Next: Will There Ever Be A Schitt's Creek Season 7?

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