Viewers’ heads take in so many things when tuning into their favorite shows-from characters’ relationships to the story’s setting, but they often don’t think past the funny quips and breathtaking moments that scriptwriters present to them. There is so much to dwell in a show that we never think of what these characters actually do for a living considering how they live pretty lavishly.
These folks own some upscale Brooklyn apartments, seem to never have any money issues, despite the fact that everything the show points towards struggling to meet their ends, if not outright poor. Too bad our real lives don’t emulate television because most of us would love to own million-dollar mansions while holding down mundane jobs. This unrealistic and fictitious nature is one of the things that makes these shows so enduringly appealing.
So we are counting down our picks for the top 10 TV characters who live financially unrealistic lives. For this list, we’re going over the characters whose spending habits and expenses would not make sense with their income.
1. Joey Tribbiani (‘FRIENDS’ ; 1994-2004)
The characters on FRIENDS are consistently pointed out as living lives that aren’t financially sensible and while it is tempting to choose Rachel, she at least has pretty steady employment and lives in a rent-controlled apartment. Joey doesn’t. Mostly a struggling actor for most of the show, Joey does get some high paying gigs such as stint on days of our lives however most of the time, Joey doesn’t have a steady employment, only occasionally supplementing his income by working at Central Park or other odd jobs and owes his roomie/ bestie Chandler a lot of bucks.
2. Carrie Bradshaw( ‘Sex and the City’ ; 1998-2004)
Carrie is a weekly columnist for a newspaper for much of the early part of the show. With her writing about her and her friend’s sexual escapades, providing much of the fodder for the titular column and yet she is able to live in a nice apartment, afford designer clothes and all those cosmos with the girls, just by what? four or five pieces a month. It becomes less unbelievable after she starts writing for Vogue and some of her articles are made into a book but not by much.
3. Peter Griffin (‘ Family Guy’ ; 1999-2003 ; 2005-)
Considering he is in a long line of slovenly, idiotic husbands who inexplicably manage to have wives that are out of their league both physically and intellectually, you just can’t say he is well on money since his various jobs don’t seem to quite add up to the kind of income that you’d expect from someone who makes outrageous purchases and manages to get into all sorts of trouble through crazy schemes.
4. Rachel and Kurt ( ‘Glee’ ; 2009-15)
New York apartments in TV shows are notoriously more affordable than they are in real life and it is especially unbelievable for Rachel and Kurt to be able to afford theirs. Not only is it gigantic but the two of them don’t even have any paying jobs when they get it. Although it is possible that some of their combined three dads helped them with the lease, rent, and other expenses, having a dad who’s big on Broadway or a congressman isn’t really a reliable way to make your way in the world for most of us.
5. Spencer Shay(‘iCarly’ ; 2007-12)
Spencer Shay is the titular Carly’s eccentric older brother, her sole guardian. They live together in a huge apartment in Seattle. Spencer doesn’t hold down a steady job throughout the show, mainly pursuing his art projects, most of which tend to end up on fire just like everything else. Although their father is a colonel in the air force and is stated to send money home, it still stretches belief that someone like Spencer is able to budget responsibly particularly with everything that he and his sister get up to.
6. Dexter Morgan( ‘Dexter’ ; 2006-13)
Dexter may be a serial killer but what’s really criminal is how he juggles all the expenses he accrues. By day, Dexter works as a blood-spatter analyst for the Miami homicide. Most lab technicians make around $50,000/year and yet Dexter manages to buy or pay rent for a beachside apartment, a boat, and a car in the show.
Not only that, but he is also the sole bread earner for his wife, stepchildren, son and manages to pay for a nanny in later seasons. Then there’s all the money he spends on plastic wrap, gas for his boat and car, and all the other stuff that takes to be a successful murderer. Are we sure he’s not moonlighting as a thief too?
7. Hannah Hovarth ( ‘Girls’; 2012-17)
It’s really hard to take Hannah seriously as a struggling writer when her struggles are way easier than they would be in real life. Although initially supported by her parents, Hannah is cut off and goes through several jobs early on. Her time working at GQ paid well she quit and became a teacher which you, in the case are familiar with the American education system pays not so well. There’s no way that Hannah could realistically afford her apartment with the kind of money she makes.
8. Cosmo Kramer (‘Seinfeld’; 1989-98)
While other characters at least have a job, Kramer, not so much. Jerry Seinfeld’s wild-haired neighbor hardly ever seems to do any work and seems to do whatever he wants whenever. He even pretends to go on a normal job just for fun’s sake. Although he seems to get most of his food by leeching off Jerry, it’s still baffling how Kramer manages to make rent without a steady source of income.
9. Max and Caroline ( 2 Broke Girls; 2011-17)
It’s right in the title. These two girls primarily work for minimum wages or even less albeit with tips at a diner. Despite this, they are able to afford a decent apartment in New York.
Contrary to what the show would have us believe, the part of Brooklyn they live in is actually pretty upscale so it wouldn’t be cheap. After the duo launches several businesses, their lifestyle becomes slightly more believable but for much of the title and the premise with a grain or a bucket or two of salt.
10. Jack McFarlane (‘Will & Grace’ ; 1998-2006; 2017-20)
Jack may be an icon but he shouldn’t be a role model for your career path. For much of the show, Jack switches jobs practically every episode albeit with the ultimate goal of supporting his acting career.
Jack’s approach is inconsistent to both his dream and his need for a job although he does receive support from Will, Grace and especially Karen, it’s a little puzzling how he managed to meet ends without their help. Also, he didn’t pay taxes until after the show began.
If there is a financially impossible TV character that’s unrealistically super rich that we missed, let us know in the comments.
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