Hark, all urbanites. Raise your hand if you have a walk-in closet. How about an open-air kitchen? Multiple bedrooms, all with the space for a king-sized bed and matching Louis XVI armoire? Do you have exposed brick? Cavernous ceilings? Bay windows? What about stainless steel appliances paired with furniture that looks like it was ripped from the latest RH catalogue?
Let’s face it: Unless you’ve got a plush financial cushion, if you live in a major urban metropolis, you know full well how unrealistic it is to have just one of those amenities. And yet somehow, our favorite TV characters live in places that sometimes have all of them! From Friends to Frasier, Suits to Supergirl, House of Cards to How I Met Your Mother, production designers all across the industry seem to love pushing the boundaries of what’s believable—at least when it comes to housing. Just take a look at these sumptuous pads and see for yourself. And for more on your favorite television characters, check out these 30 Funniest Sitcom Characters Of All Time.
Monica Gellar (Friends)
According to real estate company Trulia, Monica Gellar’s (Courteney Cox) West Village apartment would cost around $5,100 today—a sum that the struggling chef and Bloomingdale’s assistant buyer would probably not be able to afford. Further, what are the odds that your landlord would let you paint your walls this outlandish purple color? Or that you would somehow end up living across the hall from your brother’s best friends? And for more television gold, check out The 30 Most Outrageous Late-Night TV Moments Ever.
Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother)
His sweet living quarters on the Upper West Side gave Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) his nickname, Teddy Westside. But how much did the rent really put him (and his rotating roster of roommates) back? According to the New York Post, the rent for his apartment would cost somewhere around $3,000 a month, a sum that an architect—who brings, on average, about $75,000 per year—may be able to handle, but with not much room for many other purchases. (Also, the odds of your apartment building housing your favorite bar just downstairs is also very, very slim.)
Jessica Day, et al. (New Girl)
Despite the rent of this Los Angeles loft being relatively manageable for four working professionals ($4,500 a month), the space isn’t exactly representative of normal abodes in the area, which are rarely laid out in such a stylish way, with modern fixtures, enormous windows, and cavernous ceilings. In fact, simply finding a loft in Los Angeles’ Arts District that comes with four sectioned-off bedrooms is, as reported by Curbed, literally impossible—especially with the spacious qualities that they all seem to possess. And for more of the inside scoop from your favorite on-screen indulges, check out these 25 Funny Pranks from the Sets of Your Favorite Movies.
Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)
More than anything (except shoes, we suspect), columnist Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) loves her Upper East Side apartment. Though her one-bedroom costs around $3,000 a month in today’s market, back then, Carrie only had to pay $700 a month to chain-smoke and occasionally sleep in her rent-controlled apartment. As a writer who only wrote one column, we think it’s safe to assume that even she would struggle to pay her rent back then.
Kimmy Schmidt (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt)
Despite Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) and Titus Andromedon’s (Tituss Burgess) apartment being in the much more affordable neighborhood of Greenpoint in Brooklyn, the fact that both characters can live there without being able to hold down jobs is enough cause for doubt. To make the process even more unrealistic, Kimmy actually finds this apartment on her first day in the city, a fact that would make any current New York City resident roll their eyes in envy.
Abbi Abrams (Broad City)
Though the two women of Broad City live in more down-to-earth digs than characters of other shows, Abbi’s (Abbi Jacobson) constant unemployment—save for a brief stint as the janitor at a gym—would definitely not have been able to cover her rent.
Caroline and Max (2 Broke Girls)
Though Caroline (Beth Behrs) does sleep in the living room, the most unrealistic part of this setup is the massive front yard space that the girls have been able to find (and afford) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. According to an agent at Caliber Associates, this apartment would easily go for around $2,700 a month—a price that these two self-identifying “broke” girls would most likely be unable to pay.
Peter Russo (House of Cards)
Yes, Peter Russo (Corey Stoll), as a U.S. rep, pulls a nice salary ($175,000). Still, it’s common knowledge that members of congress, who only live in D.C. part-time, often shack up in twos and threes and fours. (In fact, Chuck Schumer, the IRL senate minority leader, lives in a house with two other guys—a fact that inspired another TV show: Amazon’s short-lived political satire, Alpha House.) It’s tough to believe that Russo, a junior congressman, would be able to afford—or would be willing to splurge on—a sumptuous K Street loft all by his lonesome.
Dr. Frasier Crane (Frasier)
Despite being a well-to-do radio psychologist, Dr. Frasier Crane’s (Kelsey Grammer) digs are among the best in the entirety of Seattle—with panoramic views of the Space Needle and expansive skyline. According to Windermere broker Jeff J. Reynolds, his beloved condo would cost somewhere in the ballpark of $3.5 million—likely far outside of the doctor’s budget. And for more of what makes the penthouse’s inhabitant so lovable, check out these 10 Hilarious Jokes That Prove Frasier Is the Greatest TV Show Ever.
The Humphrey family (Gossip Girl)
Rufus Humphrey (Matthew Settle), retired musician and current art gallery owner, lives in a not one-, not two-, but three-bedroom, open-brick space in Williamsburg? Sure, rents today in Williamsburg might be precipitously dropping—some reports indicate as much as 20 percent—since the L line, the neighborhood’s primary form of public transportation, is set to close for 18 months—but as recently as a few months ago, 3-bedroom apartments were on the market for more than $7,000 per month. Do you know any retired musicians who can afford that?
Mindy Lahiri (The Mindy Project)
Though successful OB/GYN Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) is certainly well-to-do enough to live an extravagant lifestyle, this Manhattan apartment, worth around $2.5 million, would have been outside her means. In fact, the show’s production designer admitted as much to EW. (The apartment’s square-footage was exaggerated so the crew could fit cameras, booms, microphones, and other equipment.)
Hannah and Marnie (Girls)
On Girls, Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Marnie (Allison Williams) struggle monetarily, to say the least, yet they can somehow afford their adorable New York City apartment, with spacious rooms, perfectly quirky accents, and a fully functional kitchen? Yeah, suuure.
Penny Hofstadter (Big Bang Theory)
As a waitress at the Cheesecake Factory, we highly doubt that Penny (Kaley Cuoco) would have been able to afford her $1,250-per-month apartment in Pasadena, California, let alone have the cash to outfit her digs in such a colorful, thoughtful way. We can only believe that this apartment’s rent is doable when her husband, Leonard, moves in (spoiler alert!).
Dev (Master of None)
Despite only having one real acting gig, Dev (Aziz Ansari) from Master of None is somehow able to afford this retro-inspired Lower East Side walkup on his barely-there income. Not only that, but to have exposed brick like his doesn’t exactly come cheap—and we doubt that any of those fixtures and furniture came from IKEA.
Matt Murdock (Daredevil)
This spacious apartment—a dreamy bachelor pad that looks like an RH catalogue—in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City is the perfect spot for a crime-fighting guy like Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox). That said, though he is a lawyer, he’s more of the street lawyer variety than the Park Ave one—and could no way splurge for a reportedly million-dollar pad.
Chuck Bartowski (Chuck)
For a guy who works at an electronics store, Chuck (Zachary Levy) sure scored a nice apartment in Hollywood. Not only that, but his apartment was a part of the El Cabrillo apartment complex—one of the priciest places in all of Hollywood, with an expansive courtyard and intricate landscaping out back to boot.
Jane Sloan and Sutton Brady (The Bold Type)
Sutton (Meghann Fahy) works as a fashion assistant and Jane (Katie Stevens) works as a writer for a popular women’s magazine—and yet, these two twenty-somethings are somehow able to afford a roomy apartment, equipped with a full-sized living room, a full-sized kitchen, a ton of storage space for their seemingly endless closets, and—get this—a foyer! As any New Yorker working in editorial can attest, having just one of those amenities is a stretch.
For years, Felicity (Keri Russell) made us all believe that our dorm room would also be incredibly spacious—and that it would come without a nosy or noisy roommate. Not only that, but that, as students, we would be able to afford to furnish the space in ultra-cool adornments, like Felicity inevitably did with her own New York University dorm.
Rachel and Kurt (Glee)
When Rachel (Lea Michele) and Kurt (Chris Colfer) finally make it to the big city to pursue their dreams, it seems as though they were never hit with the rude awakening of budgeting. Though they apparently live on the “last stop on the F train” in Brooklyn—that would be Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue, in a relatively affordable part of the city, at least compared to the sky-high rents of Manhattan—they wouldn’t even be able to afford a pizza with their unpaid jobs. Dreams don’t pay the bills, kids.
Chloe and June (Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23)
Similar to many other Manhattanites, both Chloe (Krysten Ritter) and June (Dreamer Walker) are chasing after careers—con artist and Wall Street analyst, respectively—that are seemingly illusive. And yet, the duo can somehow afford their fancily-outfitted digs. We’re not buying it.
Tom Haverford (Parks and Recreation)
Parks and Recreation departments aren’t exactly known for their cushy salaries. But, despite that, Tom Haverford (Ansari) has maintained his “treat yo’ self” lifestyle in all areas, right down to his posh apartment, which is adorned in chic amenities (and bottomless cheese platters). And for more quips from the show, see the 30 Funniest Jokes From Parks and Recreation.
Kara Zor-El (Supergirl)
How in world does Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist)—whom you may know as Supergirl—afford a luxuriously-large apartment that she can fly into and out of? Simple answer: She doesn’t. As an assistant-level employee at a (fictional) government agency, her paychecks would only put a small dent in the rent that it would cost to live in this beautifully-furnished apartment in the fictional National City.
Barry and Iris (The Flash)
It’s a stretch to believe that Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), a crime scene investigator (median salary: $52,000, per the BLS), and Iris West (Candice Patton), a journalist (media salary: $37,700), can afford a cavernous loft in downtown Manhattan. According to Zillow estimates, the average price of a pad in Soho—where all lofts like this are located these days—is around $3 million.
Jessica Jones (Jessica Jones)
A personal office in Hell’s Kitchen? On a private investigator’s salary (around $45,000)? No way Jessica Jones (Ritter), despite her immense talents, can pull that off.
Will and Grace (Will & Grace)
Though Will (Eric McCormack) makes a killing as a successful attorney, Grace’s (Debra Messing) salary as an interior decorator ($44,000) would by no means have allowed her to share a space in this enormous Upper West Side apartment.
Maggie and Liza (Younger)
When struggling divorcee Liza (Sutton Foster) moves in with her friend, Maggie (Debbie Mazar), in her sprawling Williamsburg abode (which she claims to be struggling to afford, despite its posh interior), we watch as both women attempt to move up in the workforce. This $4,500-per-month prime location in Williamsburg would be difficult for a successful professional to afford, let alone two struggling women on a barely-there budget.
Don Draper (Mad Men)
When Don Draper (Jon Hamm) moves into this Upper West Side apartment with his new wife, Megan (Jessica Paré), his advertising agency is struggling to stay afloat. The idea that he could afford a sumptuous pad with floor-to-ceiling windows and a balcony—plus a sunken living room—while financially insolvent boggles the mind.
Amy Santiago (Brooklyn Nine Nine)
Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) is only a New York City police department detective—a gig that averages $95,ooo per year, though that figure is skewed higher thanks to salary reporting from grandfathered-in employees who’ve been on the force for decades—and would likely having trouble affording this luxurious Upper West Side apartment.
Olivia Benson (Law and Order: Special Victims Unit)
Though she is a hard-working detective and one of TV’s favorite heroines, there is almost no way that Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) would have been able to afford her Upper West Side walk-up, worth an estimated $3,000 per month, on a sub-six-figure salary. And for more amazing on-screen personas, check out these 30 Funniest Movie Characters of All Time.
Rachel Zane (Suits)
Sure, Meghan Markle might have the money of a royal now, but back when she was paralegal Rachel Zane on Suits, she was living on a five- figure salary—fictionally, to be clear—and somehow still paying her way through law school (six figures) while living in a stunning New York pad with bay windows and a working fireplace (six figures….at least). Something just isn’t adding up.
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