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The 10 Most Iconic Sitcom Locations, Ranked


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Summary

  • Sitcoms rely on instantly recognizable locations to provide a safe space for characters and viewers.
  • Some sitcom locations are more iconic, such as the Parks and Recreation department, the Dunphy household, and Bob’s Burgers restaurant.
  • These locations often serve as the heart of the show and play a significant role in the storylines and comedic moments.

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All the best sitcoms of all time have at least one instantly recognizable location. Sitcoms tend to explore one particular area of day-to-day life and the challenges it can present. To counteract the comedic chaos of the format, sitcoms will often have a safe space for both the characters and the viewers. Allowing everyone involved to have an area to reset can enhance so many other aspects of an episode, as well as serve as a location to enact more funny moments.

Some famous sitcom locations are featured so heavily throughout the show’s run that it feels possible to navigate them in the real world. Whether the sitcom is animated or live-action, it’s important to have a constant space that characters can use for various tasks. However, certain settings come to mind more than others due to factors such as the show’s profile and the moments that unfold there. One thing is for certain: some fictional locations are more iconic than others.

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10 The Parks And Recreation Department In Parks And Recreation

The Amy Poehler show drew its title from the name of the workplace

Workplace comedies like Parks and Recreation tend to focus much of the story within the walls of an office. This show definitely ticks that box, but the time spent indoors is well-balanced with events that take place in other locations across the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. The pandemonium from outside often follows the cast back to their office, and while a few of the Parks and Recreation main characters each have their own individual spaces, it by no means makes them immune to the chaos.

9 The Dunphy Household In Modern Family

The Dunphys’ home has harbored some colorful characters

Ty Burrell as Phil Dunphy sitting on a couch and looking at Julie Bowen as Claire Dunphy in Modern Family

Modern Family focuses on various branches of the same extended family, but the home of the Dunphys is arguably the most chaotic. As such, the layout of the house sticks more lucidly in the mind. From the heartfelt emotional moments to the zany comedic sequences, the walls of the Dunphy house hold the spirit of the entire show more than any other Modern Family location. As the home with the most simultaneous residents, it’s where some of the best storylines begin and end.

8 The Restaurant In Bob’s Burgers

Bob also lives above his restaurant with his family

Bob Belcher in his restaurant in Bob's Burgers while his children sit at the counter in Halloween costumes

Sitcoms tend to generally focus on the workplace or family dynamics. Bob‘s Burgers boasts the rare achievement of blending the two themes almost seamlessly, and the feat is reflected in the show’s main setting. Bob Belcher not only runs his restaurant with his wife and kids, but they also all live in the apartment directly above their workplace. That way, the family-based plotlines and the work-centric narratives become inseparable, leading to many memorable scenes across the two locations. The title of the show may come from the restaurant, but the heart of Bob’s Burgers comes from their family home above.

7 31 Spooner Street In Family Guy

The Griffins’ home is no stranger to high jinks

For all the show’s cutaway gags and non-sequiturs, some of the best Family Guy episodes take place in the Griffin household. While it looks like a fairly unremarkable building from the outside, the distinctive animation style makes it instantly recognizable. The house itself has been damaged and even destroyed on a number of occasions due to the chaos that follows Peter Griffin and his family around. Fortunately, everything is repaired by at least the start of the next episode, so viewers can see the havoc in Quahog for which the Griffins will likely be responsible.

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6 The Fourth Floor Of The 99th Precinct In Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Peralta and company essentially had a home away from home

Peralta and Holt talking in the squad room in the Brooklyn 99 episode Show Me Going

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a little more action-packed than most workplace comedies due to its police precinct setting. While the characters are putting their lives on the line regularly outside the 99th precinct, the offices on the fourth floor serve as a satisfying safe haven. The precinct has many corners to explore, including Holt’s office, the interrogation room, and the evidence room, among others. Each sub-setting within the Nine-Nine’s workplace has at least one iconic moment attached to it, with most of them having far more. Some of Brooklyn Nine Nine‘s best guest stars have shone in this setting.

5 Sacred Heart Hospital In Scrubs

The authentic Scrubs set allowed for 360º immersion

The main set for Scrubs, via Giggster, was actually a decommissioned medical facility called North Hollywood Medical Center. As such, Sacred Heart was one of the most authentic sitcom sets ever. Scrubs‘ fitting location helped to add to the realism of the medical aspects of the show while providing a terrific stage for its comedic elements. From the nurse’s station to the break room, almost every inch of Scared Heart became recognizable as a result of it being the primary setting for the first 8 seasons of Scrubs.

Scrubs season 9 was not shot at North Hollywood Medical Center, being primarily shot in a traditional TV studio instead.

4 Leonard And Sheldon’s Apartment In The Big Bang Theory

Penny’s home was also just across the hall

The Big Bang Theory cast in the retraction reaction

The Big Bang Theory cast grows as the show goes on, which isn’t too common for a sitcom. Thankfully, the main apartment is huge, and big enough to accommodate the expanding roster of characters. The open-plan living space being blended with the kitchen allows for an even greater range of interactions than already exists. Such a huge portion of The Big Bang Theory takes place in this apartment that scenes could quickly grow stale. Luckily, the characters can easily pop over to Penny’s apartment, which is just a few footsteps away.

3 742 Evergreen Terrace In The Simpsons

This Springfield family home is easy to pick out of a lineup

An exterior shot of the Simpsons' family home with their two cars parked outside

For a town that boasts a poorly run nuclear power plant and an endlessly burning tire yard, it seems surprising that a standard house would be Springfield’s most recognizable feature. However, the home of the Simpson family is surprisingly hard to miss. The layout of the house is so familiar that many fans of The Simpsons could likely draw the entire floor plan from memory. The incredibly long-running animated sitcom hasn’t been without its changes through the decades, but the legendary house itself has remained untouched.

2 Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton Branch In The Office

Most of the show takes place in this famous space

The Office's Andy's Play with Jim, Pam, and Kevin watching the cast of Sweeney Todd in the office

For arguably the most successful workplace comedy of all time, the main set for The Office takes the form of a shockingly drab workspace. However, the sheer amount of time spent with the characters in Scranton’s branch of Dunder Mifflin has seared the layout in the minds of many of the sitcom’s fans. Although there’s nothing remarkable about the office itself, it’s impossible to ignore the larger-than-life scenarios that have taken place between its walls. As a result, the space becomes just as iconic.

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1 Monica’s Apartment In Friends

A very honorable mention goes to Central Perk for Friends’ most recognizable set

The main cast of Friends watching TV in Monica's apartment

Every main Friends character lived in Monica’s apartment at some point during the show’s run. Even when it wasn’t their place of residence, they were hanging out there anyway. The enormous, airy space allowed for any number of social occasions as well as housing some of the characters’ key announcements and milestones. It may not have been the only apartment to feature in Friends, but it’s the first one that comes to mind whenever the show is mentioned. Without this setting, Friends wouldn’t have had the chance to become the smash it quickly became.

Source: Giggster

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