4 Famous TV Pads That Gave Us Unrealistic Home Goals

4 Famous TV Pads That Gave Us Unrealistic Home Goals


As house prices and rents continue to rise, it’s becoming increasingly hard to resist fantasising over many of the homes we’ve come to know from our favourite TV shows.


And by fantasising, we mean enviously salivate over.


Watching many of the most popular shows it’d be easy to wonder “Am I the only one without a walk-in closet?


Where are my multiple king-sized bedrooms? What about my bay windows, cavernous ceilings, exposed brick and furniture that looks like it was taken directly from an Architectural Digest photoshoot?”


From Friends to Frasier and Sex and the City to The Big Bang Theory, most of our favourite characters live in spaces that are to die for.


But just how much have producers have been pushing the boundaries of reality when it comes to housing?


Let’s take a look at four of TV’s most iconic pads and investigate just how realistic the characters living situations are.


Monica Gellar’s Dreamy Apartment in Friends


Via: Apartment Therapy


Few shows made us laugh, made us cry and portrayed young adult life in all of its glory like Friends. However, the producers made one big mistake.


When they designed Monica’s apartment, they probably provided more false hope to millennial renters than anybody else.


How much false hope? Well, Trulia, an American real estate company, evaluated Monica’s West Village, NYC apartment and they estimateed that her rent in today’s money would come to the tidy sum of $5,100/month (€4,657).


Apart from the fact that no landlord would ever let you paint your walls an outlandish purple colour, there’s surely not many Bloomingdale’s assistant buyers who could cough up north of five grand each month for rent - even if Rachel was chipping in a few quid from waitressing in the early seasons.


So, thanks to the producers for such a great show, but for the false real estate hope, know that there’s a generation of young adults who may never forgive you.


Carrie Bradshaw’s Flash Pad in Sex & The City


Via: TLC Interiors


With the possible exception of shoes, Carrie Bradshaw adored her Upper East-Side apartment more than anything else.


Adorned with luxurious furniture and sporting a walk-in wardrobe the size of most people’s bedrooms, you’d be mad to say no if she offered to swap apartments.


That is until you hear what she forks out for it.


The New York post estimate that the market rate for her swish pad would be a cool $3,200/month (€2,923).


Of course, Carrie was a successful columnist, so she probably had a decent salary.


But we still think it’s unlikely she could afford to drop almost $40k a year, especially given her penchant for cosmos and designer gear, unless she was secretly disgusting herself behind a pen name that started with J.K. and ended with Rowling.


Dr Crane’s Genteel Penthouse in Frasier


Via: Thrillist


Frasier’s exclusive 530sqm penthouse would be without a doubt one of Seattle’s top properties – with its unobstructed skyline views, three huge bedrooms, four trendy bathrooms and high-end fit-out, it’s typically the type of place only a millionaire or business mogul could dream of calling home.


While Dr Crane is a well-to-do psychologist with a popular radio show, it’s unlikely that he could foot the bill for his place without inheriting a monster fortune.


Yes, houses were more affordable in the 90’s, but a similar property that sold last year for… wait for it… twelve million dollars (€10,957,500).


Borrowing 90% of that value sees a monthly repayment of an incredible €40,790.56.  A figure which was surely a very large stretch outside the doctor’s budget.


Penny Hofstadter’s Pasadena One Bed in The Big Bang Theory


Via: CBS


Sure, Penny’s place sits in a building that’s a little run down and yes, the lift hasn’t been serviced in several years.


But such efforts from the producers to try and make her housing arrangements believable fall on their face when you consider the numbers.


To rent a one bed apartment in Pasadena, California costs on average $1,983/month (€1,810). 


As a waitress working at the Cheesecake Factory with an average monthly income of $1,889, it’s unlikely she’d be able to keep up the payments.


Even if we assume, she’s paying a reduced rent of $1,500/month for the state of the building – she’d still be dropping a whopping 80% of her earnings on rent.


We’re not saying it’s totally inconceivable – she does get a fair amount of food from the guys across the hall, but she’d want to be making serious dosh from her tips to avoid getting the boot from the landlord.



While all great TV programmes require us to suspend our disbelief, sometimes the least believable thing about them is our favourite characters living arrangements.


Next time you’re watching an episode, don’t feel bad looking around your place during the ad break.


Because in the absence of a team of writers to script your life to perfection, most of us will have to accept far more modest living situations that are in-line with our means.


While less false hope would be appreciated, it’s worth pausing to consider how charming Friends would have been if Monica and Rachel shared a bunkbed in a damp flat.


Perhaps in TV, a little stretching of the real estate truth isn’t the worst thing after all.


If your abode is a little smaller than some of what you’ve been seeing on TV don’t despair – a smaller footprint doesn’t have to mean cramped. Check out our top 8 tips for living large in a compact home.