The 5 Things You Need to Improve Your Life (As Seen in Sitcoms)

Yeah fair enough, you might think your life is pretty good. But is it? I mean, really? Because if I’m being truthful, I think things could be going a lot better and deep down, I think you know it too.

For starters, we all have to wake up everyday and realise we’re never going to be as good looking as Ryan Gosling, and if that isn’t enough we then all have to slowly come to terms with the fact that we don’t even bloody know Ryan Gosling!

And frankly, that’s a tough pill to swallow.

But luckily for you (and me) I have five great ways to improve your stuttering life, all scientifically proven by being used on Sitcoms. So sit back, put away the Ice Cream you’ve been eating to numb the pains of life, and enjoy as I transform your life with these wonderful televisual examples.

5. A roof hang-out

Looking for that ultimate hang-out spot where you can escape the pressures of modern life and spend some quality time with your pals? Perhaps you’ve recently got some bad news and you don’t know how to react to it? Or even if you’re just looking for that ultra swanky location to host your next big party that no one will forget. Well, look no further my friends, for the roof contains the answer for all of these predicaments.

As shown in New Girl
The perfect Roof Hang-Out as shown in New Girl

Romantic gestures your thing? Where better to make them then under the stars, nothing quite says I love you, like dining on top of a massive building with night skies as your backdrop. A word of warning though, if there are multiple relationships that could possibly take advantage of this high vantage hang-out, then perhaps you should start a rota system so your intimate moment isn’t ruined by Schmidt turning up with his telescope in hand a la New Girl.

The roof can also provide you with great therapy, whether you’ve had a hard day at the office, struggling with your romantic entanglements or perhaps you just need to clear your head, the inhabitants of many a sitcom have proved that sometimes there are situations only the roof can handle. So take a leaf out of their books and try tackling your problems a couple of hundred feet in the air, just make sure you don’t get yourself locked up there, classic Joey and Ross.

Other notable mentions: Friends, How I Met Your Mother

4. A black best friend

Human beings are decidedly ego-centric, it’s not exactly a bad thing and we can’t really help it, it’s programmed into our nature, but rather then finding near identical copies of ourselves to hang around with (so we can remind ourselves of ourselves without actually sitting in a room by ourselves), we should perhaps cast the net a little wider and pick out someone with a completely different upbringing and background to ourselves. Because if Television has taught me anything, it’s always awesome when you have a group of diverse friends.

JD and his Brown Bear Turk in Scrubs
JD and his Brown Bear Turk in Scrubs

Now I’m not saying this strictly applies to gaining a black friend, just someone who is overtly different to you, the reason I chose to word it as a black friend is strictly because it is the easiest dynamic to pinpoint when using TV as a resource, perfectly evidenced by JD and Turk in Scrubs.

So get out there and mingle, because apparently strangers are just friends you haven’t met yet, which is a thing people say. But then again people also often say, “do you think I was born yesterday?” Obviously not, that would be mental, I would be talking to a baby.

Other notable mentions: Family Guy, Community 

3. Sport-chats

Right so you’ve got your mates, hopefully your new ethnically diverse best friend now among them, and you wanna spend some time with them and talk about feelings and stuff. But you’re getting to that age where you can’t just simply hang out anymore, you need an excuse.

Jim trying to impress his new boss in The Office

I present to you the concept of Sport! I don’t know if you’ve heard of it before, but it’s this crazy thing where people compete in varying games in an attempt to best each other and over the years since it’s conception its morphed into something that people do for fun. This makes it ideal for two or more great friends to get down to some real friend business and acquaint each other with their lives. And if you’re worried about not having the right apparel for said sporting activities, don’t sweat it because if you do decide to partake in the sport, then the right outfit and equipment will find its way to you. Just as Jim found it in The Office when he turned up to play Squash in a suit and was magically transformed into a seasoned pro in a matter of minutes. So yeah, don’t worry about that small detail.

Whether it’s shooting hoops, playing golf or simply a cheeky bit of catch, Sport provides the perfect opportunity to cut loose and hang with your friends without getting all emotional about it, you know, because of all the testosterone and stuff.

Other notable mentions: Scrubs, Entourage

2. A series of casual romances

I’m a firm believer in monogamy, I truly think that the most logical path through life is hand in hand with someone that you love, but I’m also adamant that you can fall in love with pretty much anyone as long as you have a few basic areas in common. So why not do what most characters in sitcoms do? Accrue a long and varied list of lovers, because the best way of finding Mr or Mrs Right is trial and error.

Leslie Knope with her current beau and one of her old flames in Parks and Recreation
Leslie Knope with her current beau and one of her old flames in Parks and Recreation

This formula can be applied to pretty much any main character in any sitcom, because with the exception of Marshall and Lily in How I Met Your Mother, single characters afford the most room for their respective writers to experiment. Not to mention that it also gives shows countless opportunities to cram in appealing guest stars. I mean if you analyse it further still, even one of modern sitcoms most lasting couples in The Office’s Jim and Pam have had their share of varying love interests, looking at you Amy Adams and Rashida Jones.

Like I said earlier, I really do believe that you should endeavour to find the right companion to share your lives with, but why be content and settle for the first one you find? Yeah it may have seemed like Leslie was really happy with Louis C.K’s Dave in Parks and Recreation, but now you see her with Adam Scott’s Ben, it seems so obvious that she held out for all the right reasons, because she then found her perfect man.

The best current representation of this formula is New Girl, in the show’s two seasons, the characters have amassed an inspiring list that would put any modern lothario to shame, having each experienced at least 4 notable love interests each, being portrayed by such acting luminaries as: Dermot Mulroney, Justin Long, Lizzy Caplan, Lake Bell and Carla Gugino. And with Season 2’s climactic cliffhanger, this formula might prove successful for the characters just as it did for Leslie Knope and Jim and Pam.

Other notable mentions: Friends, Scrubs

1. Knowing the owners

Wanna be known as the cool regulars of your local joint? Want everybody to look at you in your favourite bar and think “How come they never ever pay for drinks?” Well the answer is right in front of you, because apparently the only thing you need to achieve this look, is knowing the owners. So get yourself acquainted with the proprietors and your cool status will sky rocket.

Befriending a barman will also suffice as Nick has proved for his roommates in New Girl, but what would really hit the nail on the head, was if you were the owners.

Taking it one step further in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Taking it one step further in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Being drunk is always fun and as the gang in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia have proved, there’s no easier way of getting drunk than if you own the bar. But don’t worry, I realise that this is probably the most difficult step to take in improving your happiness, so maybe just start small and work your way up. Perhaps find a lonely looking fellow who’s in need of a friend and be nice to him, let him hang around on the outskirts of your group and maybe even get one of your girl friends to flirt with him a little, cos’ that never hurts. Put in the time over a couple of months or so and then soon you’ll be reaping the rewards, I mean look at Gunther in Friends, he’s just happy to be included, bless him.

And those guys in Central Perk always look bleeding chipper, because as we all know. Being cool and respected is the only sure-fire way to make you happy. So get on it people.

Other notable mentions: Cheers, Saved by the Bell

There you have it, happiness in 5 easily referenced (although difficult to implement, but the less said about that the better) televisual steps.

So get out there and try your best and even if they don’t work for you, something else life-changing might happen in the process, because as that famous scribe John Lennon once said “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

But then again he also said he was the walrus, which is ridiculous.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. Actually have a roof where me and my compadres meet on the weekends and socialize. You should join us!

  2. I do always find it funny how sitcom people have the coolest lives, yet are always so miserable. How can you be miserable with a rooftop hang out!?

  3. LOL I like your final one, so true though.

  4. Jemma Baddock

    Thanks for a great read, and a great laugh! So funny. Loved this article.

  5. Jamie Walsh

    Suddenly getting the urge to go to my friends and shout “We should buy a bar! We should totally buy a bar!” Love this list, it’s just a shame the practicality of actually doing these things is slim. For one thing, my roof is slanted and difficult to get to!

  6. Michelle Webb

    This was really entertaining, thank you for giving me a good laugh!

  7. Kelsey Clark

    Ha ha so very true. Great article!

  8. Nick Santoro

    I found this so funny and incredibly true! Great job.

  9. Samar Ziadat

    The ‘Sports-chats’ bit killed me, a much less obvious one than the others, I’ve always noticed those scenes and thought they were odd! Also, I am a Walrus, and I am not ridiculous.

  10. New Girl is a huge guilty pleasure of mine, and its always funny to see things that you like being called out for their tropey nonsense. After reading this article I am inspire to write my own sitcom… or maybe just set up a rooftop hangout.

  11. Stephanie M.

    Nice tongue-in-cheek article, especially the part about the black best friend. I have true friends, but I’ve also been the “disabled best friend.” Fortunately, sitcoms, literature, and other art forms have given me a lot of potential snappy comebacks to the attitude, “Diversity = friendship/usefulness,” while making me appreciate true diverse friendship more.

  12. I think that there could be more both in terms of tropes and covers of sitcoms, but this provides a good, basic (albeit limited) overview on sitcom devices.

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