25 Sitcoms People Can’t Stop Talking About

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A sitcom—or situational comedy—is a television series that follows the same cast of characters over a series of episodes, often in a succession of comedic circumstances. For many, sitcoms provide comfort, stability, and a lighthearted and comedic escape from everyday life. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular sitcoms of the past few decades, many of which are still prevalent within today’s cultural zeitgeist.

1. Seinfeld (1989-1998)

Photo Credit: West-Shapiro.

Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld follows a group of friends in New York City as they deal with the absurdities of everyday life. A little autobiographical, Seinfeld plays a fictionalized version of himself with his character of Jerry Seinfeld, a stand-up comic living with his friends in NYC. Although the show ended in 1998, it is still discussed quite a bit today, solidifying the show’s continued relevance within the current cultural zeitgeist.

2. I Love Lucy (1951-1957)

Photo Credit: Desilu Productions.

Starring Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy is a sitcom from the 1950s centering on Lucille and Ricky Ricardo. In the show, Ball plays a homemaker who dreams of making it in show business, often concocting plans with her friends to accomplish this feat. I Love Lucy was enormously popular during its six-season run. Ball is credited as one of few women at the time willing to undertake slapstick comedy, solidifying herself as a pioneer for women in comedy.

3. The Simpsons (1989-Present)

Photo Credit: Fox.

The Simpsons is an animated sitcom documenting the lives of the Simpson family, led by the idiotic Homer Simpson, who is the antithesis of the typical family man. With over 750 episodes, the show is the longest-running animated series, sitcom, and scripted primetime series. For many, The Simpsons accurately depicts quintessential suburban life and the everyday average working-class family.

4. Cheers (1982-1993)

Photo Credit: National Broadcasting Company.

Based in Boston, Cheers follows womanizing bartender Sam Malone and the revolving door of patrons he encounters while working at an Irish pub in the city. The show ran for eleven seasons on NBC and had 275 episodes. In 2013, Cheers was included in a GQ online poll, for which it was voted the best sitcom of all time. The show is mainly known for launching the careers of several of its notable stars, such as Ted Danson, Shelley Long, Rhea Perlman, Woody Harrelson, and Kirstie Alley.

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5. The Office (2005-2013)

Photo Credit: Reveille Productions.

The Office—based on the U.K. series of the same name—follows the employees of the Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, PA. The show saw breakout performances from several notable actors, including Steve Carrell, Mindy Kaling, John Krasinski, and Rainn Wilson. Perfect for everyone, The Office is probably one of the most popular rewatched sitcoms to this day, with plenty of hilarity to go around.

6. Friends (1994-2004)

Photo Credit: The Warner Bros. Television Network.

Friends follows the lives of six friends in New York City: Phoebe, Chandler, Ross, Monica, Joey, and Rachel. The show, which ran for ten seasons, is classified as one of the most iconic sitcoms of all time. Each episode depicts the various misadventures the group often gets up to. Friends starred Matthew Perry, Matt Leblanc, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer. All episodes are currently available to stream on HBO.

7. Veep (2012-2019)

Photo Credit: Dundee Productions.

Veep is a political satire starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Vice President Selena Meyer. The show follows Meyer and her staff throughout her tenure in the White House. Many of the characters are written to highlight their incompetence; the show’s primary goal is to make a bit of a mockery of our current political system and those who operate within it. It highlights the irony of the U.S. government and how little seems to get done on a day-to-day basis. Veep won several awards throughout its seven seasons, including seventeen Emmy Awards, four SAG awards, two Television Critics Association Awards, and three Writers Guild of America and Directors Guild of America awards each.

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8. 30 Rock (2006-2013)

Photo Credit: Broadway Video.

Created by and starring Tina Fey, 30 Rock portrays the writers and performers of a fictional late-night comedy sketch show. The show, also produced by Lorne Michaels, is meant to be a parody of Saturday Night Live. Much like the real SNL, this workplace sitcom takes place within 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City, hence the title. 30 Rock is often referenced as one of the best sitcoms of the past twenty years.

9. Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)

Photo Credit: Deedle-Dee Productions.

Parks and Recreation follows the employees of the fictional Pawnee Parks Department, who try to make their community a better, safer place. Spearheaded by Leslie Knope, the team is often depicted organizing events, scheduling community clean-ups, participating in outreach programs, and overseeing the parks and public land of Pawnee, Indiana. Parks and Recreation stars Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott, Chris Pratt, Rob Lowe, Retta, Aziz Ansari, and Jim O’Heir.

10. Frasier (1993-2004)

Photo Credit: NBC.

Starring Kelsey Grammer as the titular character Frasier Crane, Frasier follows Crane’s life as he moves from Boston to Seattle to begin working as a talk-show radio host. Existing within the same universe as Cheers, Frasier saw many guest stars from the lovable Boston-based sitcom throughout its eleven-season run. Characters from both shows appeared across programs, delighting fans of both series’ with their crossover episodes. In 2021, a revival series of the beloved sitcom was ordered, with Kelsey Grammer returning as the lead. The show premiered in October 2023 on Paramount+.

11. Arrested Development (2003-2006, 2013, 2018-2019)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

Arrested Development follows the family dealings and real estate business of the Bluth family, led by Michael Bluth (played expertly by the sarcastic, perfectly cast Jason Bateman). After his father is arrested for white-collar crime, Michael becomes the new head of the family’s affairs. The show is known for its highly talented ensemble cast, its quick-witted, sardonic humor, and its use of irony as satire. The show initially ran for three seasons but was later revived by Netflix and given another two, which aired in 2013 and 2018, respectively. The second half of the last season was released on May 15, 2019.

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12. The Good Place (2016-2020)

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Being a philosophical sitcom, The Good Place deals with questions about what happens when we die and often contemplates many real worries people have about the afterlife. In the show, the characters are placed into an afterlife pool, where humans are designated to either The Good Place or The Bad Place after their time on Earth has come to an end. The perfect balance between comedy and examining the frailty of the human condition, the show is unlike any of its predecessors in its willingness to attempt to address several of humanity’s impossible-to-answer questions. Starring Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, and Darcy Carden, The Good Place ran for four seasons on NBC and is now available to stream on Netflix and Peacock.

13. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-2024)

Photo Credit: HBO.

A semi-autobiographical look at creator Larry David’s life, Curb Your Enthusiasm follows a fictionalized version of comedian Larry David as he goes about his day-to-day life in Los Angeles. The series is famous for being heavily improvised and recruits a revolving door of talented and funny comedians to recur as guest stars. Each episode is often written at David’s character’s expense, frequently highlighting his social ineptitude and grumpy, disgruntled nature. All seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm can be streamed on HBO.

14. New Girl (2011-2018)

Photo Credit: 20th Television.

New Girl follows the lives of four roommates in a loft in downtown Los Angeles. When Jessica Day, played by Zoey Deschanel, catches her boyfriend cheating on her, she puts an ad on Craigslist seeking new roommates. The result is that she moves in with three single men, setting the stage for several heartwarmingly unconventional relationships and the chaos that comes with them. New Girl has grown in popularity in recent years, partially due to its availability on Netflix and its increasing notoriety on TikTok.

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15. Abbott Elementary (2021-Present)

Photo Credit: ABC.

Abbott Elementary follows the teachers of a Philadelphia elementary school and the struggles they face as a school in a low-income community. Created by Quinta Brunson, the show stars Brunson as good-natured Janine Teagues, who, along with her fellow teachers, attempts to make a difference in the lives of her students and bring about change within the school district, all while facing pushback and obstacles from the administration. The show also stars Tyler James Williams, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lisa Ann Walter, Janelle James, and Chris Perfetti. It currently airs Wednesday nights on ABC.

16. Community (2009-2015)

Photo Credit: NBC.

Community follows a group of students at a community college who are forced to form a study group for one of their classes. Comprised of quite the cast of characters, the group becomes unexpectedly tight-knit, often getting up to escapades and stunts around campus. The series catalogs the group’s various shenanigans as they are met with resistance by the school’s dean. Community stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, and Chevy Chase.

17. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-Present)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia chronicles the lives of a group of childhood friends who own an underperforming bar in South Philadelphia. The show is known for its brazen humor and use of cringe comedy to tell of the group’s misadventures. Starring Charlie Day, Glen Howerton, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlyn Olsen, Danny DeVito, and Mary Elizabeth Ellis, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia started as a very small-budget show that quickly gained a cult following and was soon picked up by FX. After its fifteenth season released in 2021, the series became the longest-running live-action sitcom in U.S. television history.

18. Modern Family (2009-2020)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

Modern Family is a mockumentary-style show centering on the lives of the Pritchett-Dunphy families. Many of the show’s episodes depict the hilarity and chaos of family life, especially when it comes to having a big family. Featuring a large ensemble cast, the show does an excellent job balancing several storylines at once and giving each character ample air time per episode. During its eleven-season run, Modern Family won a total of twenty-two Primetime Emmy Awards. With so many characters to choose from, there’s something for everyone in this lovable dysfunctional family sitcom.

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19. The Big Bang Theory (2007-2019)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

The Big Bang Theory follows the lives of several socially awkward physicists as they attempt to interact with the beautiful woman who moves across the hall. The show chronicles the friends’ lives as they have difficulty traversing the traditional social landscape and blunder their way through everyday life. While the group are all brilliant intellectually, many aspects of ordinary life are elusive to them, proving to be the perfect pairing of comedy and heart. Throughout its twelve-season run, The Big Bang Theory won a total of ten Primetime Emmy Awards, including the award for Outstanding Comedy Series for four consecutive years from 2011 to 2014.

20. Sex and the City (1998-2004)

Photo Credit: HBO.

Sex and the City chronicles the lives of four friends living in New York City: Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte. The show primarily focuses on the group’s dating lives, cataloging the ups and downs of finding love in Manhattan. Throughout the series, each woman has a series of courtships, several of which have become infamous within popular culture (e.g., Carrie and Big). Sex and the City stars Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon, and Kristen Davis. A spinoff series, And Just Like That…, premiered in December 2021.

21. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013-2021)

Photo Credit: NBC.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows the detectives of the fictional 99th precinct of the NYPD. While some of the show depicts the squad solving various crimes, much of it is written to highlight the characters’ joking personalities and the hijinx they get up to while on and off duty. The ensemble stars Andy Samberg, Andre Braugher, Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Stephanie Beatriz, and Chelsea Peretti. With eight seasons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is an excellent binge for those looking for a show with quick wit, feel-good storylines, and the guarantee of a good laugh.

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22. The Golden Girls (1985-1992)

Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures.

The Golden Girls follows four female friends living in Miami as they live out their “golden” years, often referred to as the years from age 65 to 80. Throughout its seven-season run, the show broke several boundaries, including being one of the first sitcoms to center older women as the main focus of its story. The Golden Girls won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series twice and is only one of four sitcoms to have all four of its main stars win an Emmy Award for their performance over the years. The show has been ranked on several publications lists of top TV series of all time.

23. Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)

Photo Credit: Apatow Productions.

Freaks and Geeks, set in a typical American high school, follows a group of misfits struggling to fit in amongst their peers. The show highlights the benefits and pitfalls of trying to fit into the classic high school social hierarchy, all while trying to figure out who you are. Freaks and Geeks is infamous for having only one season, which has been the subject of outcry from the show’s dedicated fanbase over the years. Freaks and Geeks has become known for launching the careers of several prolific performers, including Linda Cardellini, Jason Segel, John Francis Daley, Martin Starr, Busy Phillips, James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Samm Levine. The series has achieved “cult” status over the years.

24. Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)

Photo Credit: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

From writer-creator Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek follows the Rose family after they lose their family’s fortune and are forced to move into a run-down motel in an extremely small town. The show catalogs the family’s difficulty adjusting to their new life and showcases how different it is from the life they had once lived. The show stars father-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy, Emily Hampshire, Jennifer Robertson, and Chris Elliot. In its final season, Schitt’s Creek swept the Primetime Emmy Awards, winning in all four major acting categories: Outstanding Lead Actor, Outstanding Lead Actress, Outstanding Supporting Actor, and Outstanding Supporting Actress. Both Levys, O’Hara, and Murphy were praised for their performances on the show.

25. Fleabag (2016-2019)

Photo Credit: Two Brothers Pictures.

Fleabag—created and starring Pheobe Waller-Bridge—chronicles the life of a sarcastic and chaotic woman, only ever referred to as Fleabag, as she goes about her daily life in London. The show follows her character as she deals with dating ails, familial relationships, and the death of a close friend. Fleabag is often praised for its dry humor and cynical wit regarding how it views the world. The show is based on Waller-Bridge’s one-woman show, originally performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013. For fans of dry humor, this show is definitely worth a watch! And with only two seasons, it is a worthwhile, albeit quick, binge.

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Image Credit: Lionsgate

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