Roseanne, hubby Dan, Becky, Darlene, D.J. (and later on, Jerry) are one of the most identifiable families in television history. They were a working class bunch in Illinois who fought to pay the bills and struggled with being less than perfect. Their living room was … lived in. Everything was a cluttered mess, the couch was well-loved (everybody has that famous afghan too), and you could always picture the chip crumbs scattered about. Their beautifully flawed lives and home made us feel normal.
All in the Family
Everything that happened on All in the Family rarely happened outside the living room where Archie Bunker was king of the castle. Edith and Archie’s armchairs were as ugly as Archie’s temperament.
The Brady Bunch
The Brady’s suburban split-level home represented an ideal in the 1970s — a time when everything seemed to be falling apart in the real world. Their living room was symbolic of this. The Brady’s were a blended family, but traditional in almost every sense of the word. They were attractive, well-liked, and upper-middle class enough to be able to afford a maid (poor Alice). Dad was a dashing architect who built their iconic house, and he always made it home so he could spend time with the family.
The Cosby Show
You would think that with a doctor and lawyer’s salary combined, the Cosby family would have been able to afford better living room décor. The Huxtables were likeable, however, and fancy furniture doesn’t exactly go with dad’s famous, ’80s-riffic sweaters.
The Frasier living room is important because of one guy: Marty Crane. The retired police officer and his ratty green chair were permanent fixtures there.
Oh, Friends. You had the apartment that most New Yorkers would kill to rent. Not because of your living room’s purple walls and cutesy decorations, but because there was actual space. Yes, all the friends’ living rooms were enormous, unrealistic, and the envy of many a studio-dweller who used a milk crate as a coffee table that sometimes doubled as a cat bed.
The Golden Girls
Even though all the real action on The Golden Girls happened in the kitchen (with cheesecake), the ladies’ living room is memorable if only for the atrocious Miami décor and rattan/wicker furniture. If pastel puked, it would look something like this. Thankfully the girls’ larger than life personalities overshadowed the scenery.
I Love Lucy
“Lucy, I’m home!”
The whole premise of The Jeffersons was that they were “Movin’ on up,” and their luxury apartment in Manhattan was a huge improvement from the working class neighborhood they left in Queens. Now, George and Weezie finally had a view and some swanky furniture to go in their living room.
Married With Children
Peg Bundy took up permanent residence on the Bundy’s living room couch smoking, eating bonbons, and watching Oprah.
INT. JERRY SEINFELD’S APARTMENT
JERRY, GEORGE, and ELAINE sit on the living room sofa arguing about something random.
Enter KRAMER (shouting)
All your TV thrones are belong to Homer. The Simpsons is American satire at its finest — and in the most meta sense of the word — thanks to the indelible image of one family glued to their television in their living room.
Even though the Three’s Company living room couch was as big of a comedy of errors as the show was, the Santa Monica apartment where Jack, Janet, and Chrissy lived was your typical sitcom setup. The front door opened right into the living room so characters could instantly interact with the rest of the cast. The living room was also the showcase for many of John Ritter’s incredible physical comedy routines.
How I Met Your Mother
In the early seasons of How I Met Your Mother, Ted and Marshall’s living room (which would eventually become Ted, Marshall, and Lily’s living room, and then Ted and Robin’s living room) was where you were most likely to find the gang assembled — outside of their booth downstairs at MacLaren’s, of course. While we always thought the place looked pretty good for what was originally a total dude apartment, we can’t imagine living anywhere with tacky swords adorning the walls.
The Emmy award-winning Modern Family has the unique advantage of having multiple living rooms to choose from, but we feel like Phil and Claire’s sees the most action on the series — especially the couch, where the ever clueless Phil tends to deliver some of his best lines. Production designer Richard Berg has described the vibe of the Dunphy home as “Pottery Barn-Restoration Hardware traditional modern”; we wonder how that broken stair fits into the equation.