Who hasn’t watched a sitcom and wondered how nice it would be to live in the main character’s shoes, have their job, friends, and above all, their apartment? For years, television shows have set unrealistic expectations regarding the cost of rent and living in big cities such as New York.
As a bold reality check, interior design studio Hovia made a list of popular sitcom apartments and calculated how much the characters living in them would really have to pay for rent in 2022.
Monica’s Apartment in ‘Friends’
Probably one the most popular apartments in TV history, the purple walled apartment has been at least two generations’ dream for the perfect New York lifestyle.
As we know from the series, Monica and Rachel pay a ridiculously low rent for it, as Monica’s grandmother left her a rent-controlled lease that allowed them to pay only $200 a month. In reality, a two-bedroom apartment in West Village, Manhattan, like theirs, costs an average of $6,554 a month right now.
Ted and Marshall’s Apartment in ‘How I Met Your Mother’
The Upper West Side apartment shared by Ted and Marshall has become a statement of TV apartments, a setting for unforgettable scenarios such as the infamous “Interventions,” the group’s holiday celebrations, and so much more.
A real two-bedroom in that neighborhood would rent for an average of $7,100 a month, a number that Marshall and Ted would probably be able to afford with their salaries as a lawyer and an architect.
Sheldon and Leonard’s Place in ‘The Big Bang Theory’
Sheldon and Leonard’s Pasadena apartment across from Penny’s are explained to be in the ‘Los Robles Apartment Building,’ an apartment complex one block away from the City Hall and adjacent to a lamp store. The building, with its infamous out-of-order elevator, has at least five floors and sixteen apartments.
The main characters' apartment is on the fourth floor; a spacious two-bedroom, which in 2022 would be posted for rent for an average of $2,894, the least expensive on the list. Penny’s apartment 4B, which seems smaller than Sheldon and Leonard’s, might even be cheaper.
Nick, Jess, Schmidt, and Winston’s Loft in ‘New Girl’
The primary filming location for almost all New Girl episodes, the loft, almost serves as a fifth main character, as the story begins with Jess moving in with the three guys, and then it unfolds from there. Located in the Arts District, Los Angeles, the loft is a three-bedroom that the characters converted into a four-bedroom to split the rent even further.
A similar loft in the neighborhood today would run a renter an average of $4,800 a month, which the characters might be able to afford.
Meredith’s House in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
Inherited from her mother and therefore owned by Meredith, the large house on Queen Ann Hill, Seattle, had seen almost every character live in it, from Meredith’s fellow interns to the next generations of doctors of Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital before she moved out to live with Derek in the woods.
The house has three bedrooms, and to rent a similar place in 2022, the monthly costs would be an average of $4,200 a month.
Carrie’s Apartment in ‘Sex and the City’
Yet another legendary apartment in TV history, 64 Perry Street is and always will be Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment, as it was recently used once again for the series revival last year on HBO Max.
A one-bedroom apartment similar to Carrie’s infamous one on the Upper East Side would cost an average of $4,072 a month, meaning that the “it” girl would most likely not be able to afford it with her writer’s salary.
Richard Castle’s Apartment in ‘Castle’
Speaking of writer salaries, Richard Castle’s was an entirely different story. Castle is a best-selling author who follows Detective Kate Beckett as a consultant on cases to overcome writer’s block and get back to writing thriller novels.
His apartment in SoHo, New York, is a two-bedroom to accommodate his teen daughter, and in real life, it would cost a whopping $10,450 a month, as SoHo is among the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. However, it is possible to believe that thanks to his successful career, Castle would easily be able to afford it.
How Much Your Favorite Characters Would Pay for Rent in 2022
A spokesperson for Hovia commented on the findings: “When writing a TV show, showing a realistic depiction of what life would be for the characters based on their salaries might not be a priority, however when watching any sitcom or similar, viewers will probably catch up on whether their favorite character could be able to afford their apartments.
“The reality is that most of those apartments are often more expensive than they might look, as they’re located in popular neighborhoods of big cities. Combined with today’s average prices, they will prove just how unrealistic expectations are when watching TV.
“In fact, Friends seems to be the only show that attempts to explain just how Monica and Rachel could afford such a luxurious space, which goes in stark contrast to Carrie Bradshaw’s living arrangements, which are among the most unrealistic of all.”
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Mark is the founder of Financial Pilgrimage, a blog dedicated to helping young families pay down debt and live financially free. Mark has a Bachelor’s degree in financial management and a Master’s degree in economics and finance. He is a husband of one and father of two and calls St. Louis, MO, home. He also loves playing in old man baseball leagues, working out, and being anywhere near the water. Mark has been featured in Yahoo! Finance, NerdWallet, and the Plutus Awards Showcase.