When and Where Does Paper Girls Take Place?

Amazon’s ‘Paper Girls’ is the story of four young girls who travel in time and land in the middle of a war between two factions. The story takes a complicated turn as the past collides with the future, and the 12-year-old girls meet the older versions of themselves, living different lives than they’d imagined for themselves. As they try to understand how time travel works and whether or not they can ever go back to their original timeline, a lot of things get tangled up. Understandably, it becomes hard to keep track of all the timelines and the places as the girls go back and forth. If you want that simplified, we’ve got your back. Here’s all you need to know about the where and the when of ‘Paper Girls’. SPOILERS AHEAD

When Does Paper Girls Take Place?

Image Credit: Anjali Pinto/Prime Video


‘Paper Girls’ is a time-travel show, which means that there is no fixed time in which the story takes place. It begins in 1988, in the early hours of post-Halloween. It is called Hell Day, and marked as the day “when the world as we know it ended”. After their encounter with two teenagers who turn out to be time travelers, the girls find themselves in the future. They land in 2019, where they meet older Erin. With her help, they discover a lot of things about the new world, like the Internet, smartphones, and the fact that there is no such thing as paper girls now. This is also where they meet Larry, who tells them about The Old Watch and STF and his own role in the war between the two factions.

Larry, it turns out, is waiting for two time-travelers who have to go back to 1999 and finish a task for STF. However, when they don’t show up, because they are dead, he decides to take the girls to the past. He tells them that he is going to take them to their original timeline, but they discover his lie when they find themselves in the July of 1999. The only way that the girls can travel to another timeline, if not their own, is when a folding in time appears. It is a huge letdown when they discover that the next folding won’t appear for the next seven years. Just when it looks like they are stuck now, a turn of events separates them, and they end up in a completely different time, which is to be explored in the second season of the show.

Considering that the first season already tackles three different years and its ending promises at least two more timelines in the next season, it’d be better to buckle up for the ride. According to the comics, the girls travel much farther in the future as well as in the past. With more characters to be introduced in the future, the show could soon catch up with the comic books and throw its characters as far back as 11,000 BC and as far in the future as billions of years later when the Earth is destroyed.

Where Does Paper Girls Take Place?

Image Credit: Anjali Pinto/Prime Video


The story of ‘Paper Girls’ begins in Stony Stream, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It is a fictional place created by Brian Vaughan, the writer of the comic book series on which the show is based, who also hails from Cleveland. While the girls go back and forth in time a lot, the place where they land every time remains the same. They are taken from their town, and repeatedly find themselves, as well as their older versions, in the same place. Considering this, the entire story takes place in Stony Stream, even though the world changes considerably, every time the girls travel and end up in another timeline.

Read More: Paper Girls’ Timeline and Time Travel, Explained