The famed apartments we’ve come to love on TV often don’t quite line up with the salaries of our favorite TV characters. Usually, this is excused with a throwaway line about rent control, like Monica and Rachel’s apartment on Friends, or we justify it with talk of inflation or the significantly lower rent prices of the past. All that aside, we’re here to break down what it would cost to live in the apartments from your favorite TV shows today—and how much you would need to earn per year to comfortably afford rent, given that the recommended general rule of thumb is to commit no more than 30 percent of one’s annual income to housing.
Monica’s Apartment on Friends
Perhaps one of the best examples of an iconic (and way too big) apartment is Monica’s two-bedroom, where each of the six friends live at some point. When Friends begins, Monica is living in the apartment alone, illegally subletting from her grandmother who moved to Florida. We are also told it is rent controlled, which explains how she affords this NYC apartment on a chef’s salary, and how Rachel is later able to move in and pay her share of the rent on a barista’s salary.
In one episode of the show, an envelope reveals their address as 545 Grove Street, New York, NY, 10001. While the street address seems nonexistent in that part of New York, the zip code firmly places them in Midtown.
- According to our rental data for New York City, the current median rent price of a two-bedroom apartment in Midtown is $6,049.
- To rent this apartment alone, your annual income would need to be $241,960 to afford the annual rent of $72,588.
- To rent with one roommate, as Monica did throughout the show, you’d each need to make $120,980 to afford the individual annual rent of $36,294.
Jess’s Loft on New Girl
The penthouse loft that Jess moves into with Schmidt, Nick, and Winston in the beginning of New Girl is truly a Los Angeles, CA fantasy. With exposed brick, lots of natural light, a large bathroom, and four large bedrooms in Downtown Los Angeles’s trendy Arts District, this one-of-a-kind loft is every interior designer’s dream—and it’s never quite explained on the show how a public-school teacher, marketing professional, bartender, and police officer could afford the giant space.
It's been revealed that the exterior shots of the building are of Binford Lofts, where a studio apartment is currently being listed for $3,390.
- According to our rental data for Los Angeles, the current median rent price of a three-plus-bedroom apartment in Downtown Los Angeles (if you can even find one) is $8,155.
- To rent this apartment alone, your annual income would need to be $326,200 to afford the annual rent of $97,860.
- To rent with three roommates, like Jess, Schmidt, Nick, and Winston, you’d each need to make $81,550 annually to afford the individual annual rent of $24,465.
The Humphreys’ Loft in Gossip Girl
The CW teen drama Gossip Girl begins with a class divide that places the Humphreys—Dan, Jenny, and Rufus—in Brooklyn, NY on the wrong side of the East River. But while Dan and Jenny are often mocked by their Upper East Side–residing peers for their address, their two-bedroom flex loft (as it appears that Jenny and Dan’s room is one large space divided in two) above the art gallery that Rufus owns is also a unicorn when it comes to New York real estate.
There has been confusion about the exact location of the loft in the show—as the pilot places them in Williamsburg, but all future exterior shots are in DUMBO—but we will be analyzing the data for Williamsburg. (And no, we won’t begin to factor in the price of private school education for two teenagers.)
- According to our rental data for New York City, the current median rent price of a two-bedroom apartment in Williamsburg is $6,396.
- While Rufus owns his loft, your annual income would need to be $255,840 to afford the annual rent of $76,752 alone.
Carrie’s Apartment in Sex and the City
Carrie Bradshaw’s one-bedroom apartment, where she famously used the oven as an extra shoe closet, was meant to be cozy and eclectic—much like the main character of the HBO comedy herself. Throughout the show, Carrie mentions that the apartment is rent controlled, and she only pays $700 a month as a result, which explains how she could afford the space on a newspaper columnist’s salary (and credit card debt, we’re told, is how she affords the endless supply of clothes and shoes).
While exterior shots were down in the West Village, the show places Carrie in an Upper East Side apartment.
- According to our rental data for New York City, the current median rent price of a one-bedroom apartment in the Upper East Side is $4,019.
- To rent this apartment alone like Carrie, your annual income would need to be $160,760 to afford the annual rent of $48,228.
Jerry’s Apartment in Seinfeld
One of the most famous TV apartments of all time, Jerry Seinfeld’s one-bedroom actually looks more realistic than most Manhattan abodes we’ve seen—despite the fact that fans have since discovered that his floor plan couldn’t exist. A kitchenette off the living room, a living room taken up mostly by a couch and television set, a workspace in the corner, and a single bedroom and bathroom complete the comedian’s on-screen home, which is next door to Kramer’s home.
The real-life Jerry Seinfeld and his counterpart both live in the Upper West Side, with the show placing his on-screen address at 129 W 81st Street, New York, NY.
- According to our rental data for New York City, the current median rent price of a one-bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side is $4,189.
- To rent this apartment alone like Jerry, your annual income would need to be $167,560 to afford the annual rent of $50,268.
Frasier’s Condo in Frasier
Famed radio psychotherapist Frasier Crane, the titular character of NBC’s Fraiser, lives in one of the most luxe apartments in sitcom history—and he’s shown to be quite successful. In addition to his elevated décor and grand piano, his three-bedroom condo—where he lives with his father, Martin, and his father’s physical therapist, Daphne—also comes with breathtaking (and impossible) views of the Seattle, WA skyline.
The exact location of Frasier’s condo is never revealed, and due to its location and panoramic views, it couldn’t exist in real life. For this reason, we analyzed the median rent data in Seattle rather than focusing on a specific neighborhood.
- According to our rental data for Seattle, the current median rent price of a three-bedroom apartment is $3,495
- While Frasier owns his condo, to rent this apartment alone, your annual income would need to be $139,800 to afford the annual rent of $41,940 (not accounting for the Armani suits and the grand piano).
Ted’s Apartment in How I Met Your Mother
Perhaps the most enviable part of main character Ted Mosby’s digs in the CBS hit How I Met Your Mother is that he lives right above his favorite bar, and noise isn't enough of an issue to drive him away. The two-bedroom apartment is the first place Ted, an architect, rents with his best friend Marshall, a lawyer, after college, and many of the characters end up living there at least temporarily.
We are told in the show that the apartment is located at 150 West 85th Street in the Upper West Side.
- According to our rental data for New York City, the current median rent price of a two-bedroom apartment in the Upper West Side is $7,900.
- To rent this apartment alone like Ted does at certain points, your annual income would need to be $316,000 to afford the annual rent of $94,800.
- To rent this apartment with one roommate, like Ted and Marshall, you’d each need to make $158,000 annually to afford the individual annual rent of $47,400.
- To rent this apartment with two roommates, like when Lily moves in with Ted and Marshall, you’d each need to make $105,333 annually to afford the individual annual rent of $31,600.
For these calculations, we used data from our Market Reports, which update daily to provide the most current rent price data for the most populated cities in the U.S. and their neighborhoods.
It’s clear that some of these TV characters got great deals on their apartments, and we’d like to help you do the same. If you are looking for a new place, start your search here. At ApartmentAdvisor, we give every listing a deal rating to let you know if an apartment is fairly priced for the market.
We rate and sort every listing based on fair market rent.
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