What year do the bombs drop in Fallout? (Is it set in the 1950s?)

Fallout opens with the bombs dropping in what looks to be 1950s America. Is that the time period? Here's all you need to know?
Fallout. Image courtesy of Prime Video
Fallout. Image courtesy of Prime Video /

When Fallout starts, we’re in what looks to be 1950s America. Cooper is at a birthday party with his daughter as the bombs drop around them. The nuclear war has started.

We then jump more than 200 years into the future. The world is a dystopian wasteland with people living in vaults. Much of the world of the vaults hasn’t moved on from the 1950s appearance, which makes sense considering everything is as it was set up at the time the bombs dropped.

Of course, a lot of technology is far too advanced for what we know of the 1950s. Is the series set in an alternate history, or is it set in another time period?

The Fallout timeline explained

Fallout is not set in 1950s America. The costuming, TVs, and more do resemble the 1950s, but it just looks like that element of society has taken a step back. A lot of other elements, including interracial marriage and Black women holding positions of power, are not anything like what we know of the past.

The series is set in the same world as the games. The part with Lucy the Vault Dweller and in the apocalyptic world is set after the events of the games as we know them. The time the bombs drop is set just before.

The bombs drop in 2077.

Why does Fallout have a 1950s look?

It looks like the Cold War has started up again. As we see Cooper in the time before the bombs drop, we learn that there is a huge threat of nuclear war. We think that it’s whatever the Soviet Union is of the time, but the real mind behind nuclear war is shared in the Fallout Season 1 finale.

What’s clear is that society of the time has taken a slightly backward step when it comes to art, clothing, and technology inspirations. Everyone is looking back at the last time there was a constant fear of nuclear war, the 1950s.

What year does the post-apocalyptic world take place?

The series then jumps ahead a couple hundred years. When we pick up with Lucy, we learn that the time period is 2296. Cooper is still around as The Ghoul. Of course, it leads to a lot of questions about how he can be alive after 219 years. This is certainly something worth watching the show for to find out.

He is not the only one around since the bombs dropped. There are a lot of major reveals throughout the series, especially in the finale.

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Fallout is available to stream on Prime Video.