TV Show Casts that Clearly Couldn’t Afford to Live in their Home

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Have you ever noticed how nobody on TV seems to worry much about paying rent or utilities? Occasionally they have a minor money issue that seems to resolve itself by the end of an episode but in reality it’s never that simple. TV isn’t always accurate and sometimes slight, unrealistic changes need to made for dramatic effect or simply ease of production. However, some things are just too difficult to believe. What teacher, bar tender, radio show assistant and marketing associate live in a giant loft in downtown Los Angeles? Here’s a few TV living arrangements that don’t seem to add up.

Modern Family

The Dunphy’s of Modern Family live in a gorgeous Los Angeles home worth more that $2 million on Phil’s salary as a realtor and Claire’s (sometimes) work as an office manager. If that wasn’t unbelievable on its own, they have the expense of raising 3 children in what looks to be a very nice neighborhood with great public schools. Something isn’t right.

Photo: Kelsey McNeal/ABC


This is one of the greatest mysteries in TV real estate to date. No one on Friends could’ve really afforded their places. At one point, Phoebe, Ross, and Joey even live alone, which is totally not feasible. Rachel is a waitress at a coffee house for a couple of years and after Monica loses her job she is unemployed and subsequently waitresses at a cheap diner yet they manage to keep their huge apartment. Joey is a (mostly) out of work actor living with Chandler as he…”transponds”? Ross manages to have a large one-bedroom apartment working at a museum and somehow Phoebe, probably the least employable of them all, lives alone. Plus, they all sure seem to spend a lot of money at Central Perk. Let’s call the logic police on this one.

Photo: Warner Bros. Television

New Girl

I’ve never seen an apartment  in Los Angeles quite like the loft on New Girl. But while I know they exist, I have doubts about the ability for a teacher, bar tender, radio show assistant and marketing associate to be able to afford the gigantic loft with exposed brick, large closets and an even bigger bathroom. Add in the fact that they discovered a parking spot is included and this is the unicorn of LA housing.

Photo: FOX

Full House

The number of people that manage to live in The Tanner’s San Francisco home on Full House only reinforces the size and thus inability for them to afford it on Danny’s “Wake Up, San Francisco” income. Plus he’s providing for not only his kids, but the other adults around the house that aren’t exactly bringing in the cash as a stand-up and musician. Basically, unless Danny was independently wealthy in a past life, there’s no reality in this home at all.

PhotoCredit: ABC

Hey Arnold!

Arnold of “Football Head” glory manages to have the coolest kid apartment ever. He’s got remotes to control everything in his room, a giant glass ceiling to stare at the stars and that couch that folds out from the wall. All of this resides in the attic of his grandparents’ boarding house in what appears to be a kind of poor section of New York City. Yet the moment he climbs up the ladder to his haven, he’s transported to a world of nice stereo systems and top of the line gadgets. Let’s face it, Arnold is just a kid living with his grandparents who are barely making it by. How’d he afford every kid’s dream pad?

Photo: Nickelodeon

What’d we miss? Let us know which TV show housing situations you find the least believable.

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