"There apparently exists... a computer that generates concepts for sitcoms. When TV executives need a new concept, they turn on the computer; after sorting through millions of possible plot premises, it spits out, 'THREE QUIRKY BUT ATTRACTIVE YOUNG PEOPLE LIVING IN AN APARTMENT.' We need to locate this computer and destroy it with hammers."
Three to six young people living in an apartment (or seperate apartments) in The City
- either New York
or the creator's hometown
- usually abusing rent control
, spending way more money on food and clothes than normal
, going to work for about an hour a season
, and talking endlessly about their relationships
. At least one of them will be gay. At least one more will be in a crappy band.
By far the largest subgenre of Slice of Life
- especially in webcomics, where it tends to overlap with Two Gamers on a Couch
and Journal Comics
- and a formidable chunk of sitcoms. This trope seems to have peaked in the 1990s (thanks to the Follow the Leader
trend of Friends
), but it's been popular ever since.
Anime And Manga
- Friends: A group of six best friends ever, three young women and three young men. Rachel moves in with Monica who lives across the hall from Joey and Chandler. They also hang out with Phoebe and Monica's brother Ross. The room-mate sets were sometimes mixed during different seasons.
- The Single Guy. A young man living in New York City. He lives alone, while he has two sets of married friends, one with a baby. As originally pitched it was half of a pair of sitcoms to be shown back-to-back, along with The Single Gal. The only crossover character would be the doorman in the apartment building they both live in.
- The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon and Leonard are room-mates and genius level physicists. They also hang out with fellow scientists and equally geeky and nerdy Howard and Raj. Penny, an attractive blonde, moves across the hall and becomes involved in their life.
- How I Met Your Mother: Ted lives in New York with Marshal and Lily who have been together since college and get engaged in the pilot. Ted realizes he's ready to settle and goes on a quest for a perfect soul mate. A womanizer Barney and Ted's gorgeous love interest Robin complete the group.
- Spaced: Two thirty-somethings sharing a flat in London, plus the various odd characters around them, with added pop-culture based surrealism. However, despite their improbably cheap flat, the depiction of their economic situation is pretty realistic (worries about jobs, no disposable income).
- New Girl: Jessica Day is a socially awkward young woman, fresh out of a break-up with her ex-boyfriend. She persuades a trio of men to let her move in with them.
- Girls: Four women in their early-to-mid-twenties live in New York City. Their life is depicted a bit more realistically, as their apartments are less glamorous than usual, some of them have shitty jobs, they have to rely on their parents' income (at least in part) and have almost no money.
- Sex and the City: The four women from New York are not actually room-mates and in their thirties, but otherwise the pattern fits very well — they date a lot and sleep around a lot, and most of the time they are seen at parties, shopping for shoes or having a brunch together.
- The Columbo episode "Death Hits the Jackpot" has the murder victim living in an apartment where he has an endless supply of wacky neighbors (who keep dropping in after his murder) and a pet monkey.
- Parodied in The Comeback's Show Within a Show: a ghastly sitcom called "Room and Bored". It's about four young horny singles, but a washed-up older actress was brought into the show against the will of the screenwriters. They cast her as the disapproving "Aunt Sassy". (Typical Show Within a Show lines: "Aunt Sassy, can we keep these puppies?" — "Where you see puppies, I see Korean barbecue.")
- Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place
- Three's Company
- Real World
- Caroline In The City
- Happy Endings
- Will and Grace