One of the qualities of a good hang-out show is getting to live vicariously through the crazy adventures of a group of friends that are far cooler than we’ll ever be, for their quick-witted banter, complex schemes, unlimited brunch/booze budget, and ability to sleep with one another without getting weird. And because Happy Endings — one of the most underrated hang-out shows on TV, in our opinion — is returning tonight, we decided to pay tribute to some of the most awesome friends in TV history. Is there a clique you would like to hang (or not hang) with? Let us know!
Happy Endings: Jane, Alex, Penny, Max, Dave, and Brad
These guys are wicked sharp, have an incredible repertoire of pop culture knowledge, and aren’t ashamed to be wacky and weird. Case in point: they once took on a group of hipsters. Sort of. Also, they have a competitive streak, participating in events like, “Who’d survive the zombie apocalypse?” and John Hughes-themed scavenger hunts. And, Dave owns a food truck, so hanging out with these guys = unlimited steak sandwiches!!!
New Girl: Jess, Schmidt, Winston, Nick (and sometimes Cece)
We appreciate that these guys keep it real (see: the douchebag jar), but we also wouldn’t mind being invited to one of Schmidt’s ridiculous events, like his recent penis re-launch bash (replete with scary fire tricks) or his 29th birthday on the school bus. Also, we love that they’re a dance-friendly household and that they play drinking games that involve standing on furniture because the floor is molten lava.
Friends: Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Phoebe
They may be tame in comparison to the breakneck (and laugh track-free) banter of today’s TV hang-out shows, but we still dream of having a neighbor like Monica whose apartment we can stroll into at any time. We’d probably want to hang with these six in the pre-baby years, when they were spying on Ugly Naked Guy and competing in a fake game show based on trivia from their lives (see The AV Club for more on the brilliance of this episode), but the later seasons would be fun too, because who wouldn’t want to go to Dino Week in Barbados?!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Scooby Gang
They made nerdy look good (before everyone was doing it) and always managed to have a sense of humor while saving the world. Also, we’d love to learn how to speak like a Whedon character.
Saved by the Bell (the high school years): Zack, Slater, Kelly, Lisa, Screech, and Jessie
In today’s messed-up world, we wouldn’t mind some squeaky-clean fun with six carefree walking archetypes. Whether coming up with a complex scheme to outsmart Belding, wreaking havoc on whatever after-school club they’re in for the week, or taking an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii, these teenagers somehow continued to have adventures without sex or drinking, while thwarting the ugly parts of high-school social hierarchy altogether. Bayside — what a fun, magical place!
How I Met Your Mother: Robin, Barney, Ted, Lily, and Marshall
Our appreciation of this show might be waning, but we still would love to kick back with the group at MacLaren’s. They are great at complex storytelling, always have creative advice to offer on relationship or work problems, and Barney usually has a dramatic scheme and/or bet going to keep things interesting. And although they usually are at the bar, they aren’t afraid to broaden their horizons, for instance seeking out the best hamburger in New York City or going emotional rooftop jumping (see above). Also, being friends with these guys means potentially receiving a Marshall Eriksen video montage Evite.
The Golden Girls: Dorothy, Rose, Blanche, and Sophia
We’d be on a plane to Miami in a second for the chance to hang out with these ladies. Never short of a good geriatric joke or story about life (and sex!), having tea with these four in sunny Florida would be the ultimate restoration trip for the soul. At the same time, these roomies had quite the social calendar, and frankly we don’t know if we’d be able to keep up (see: a clip of the ladies getting down at the Dance-a-thon).
Community: The Greendale 7
Blanket forts, paintball wars, and getting to live out classic film and TV tropes like they’re real life. Do we need to say more?
That ’70s Show: Jackie, Donna, Fez, Hyde, and Kelso
Although That ’70s Show was ostensibly a teenage sitcom, it rarely got into high school politics. The show was mostly just about a group of kids who liked to hang out in the basement, their cars, and on the water tower. It’s been our experience that the best friends are the ones you can have the most idiotic conversations with, which is exactly why we’d like to hang out with this group. That and they got to live in the golden era of Star Wars!
Entourage: Ari, Vince, Turtle, E, and Drama
The mention of Entourage nowadays is often followed by a long groan, but we’ll totally admit we’d wouldn’t mind indulging in the Vinny Chase lifestyle. Private jets, movie sets, free dinners, and grown-up toys, not to mention unlimited access to Drama — who wouldn’t want to dally in that for a few weeks? While there are parts of this show we hated (namely, the grating carousel of personality-less women), we watched all 8 seasons (and will probably see the movie), for the sheer thrill of their lifestyle, some great celebrity cameos, and the friendships, which felt real and oftentimes pretty sweet.