The cornerstone of any great sitcom is a place where the characters can come together and the hilarious magic can happen. That might be a bar, like in Cheers, or it could be a school, like Community, or an office, like, well, The Office. But, more often than not, the characters are a family or group of friends and the most natural place for them to interact is a sofa, and we’ve seen some famous sofas on TV over the years.
In The Big Bang Theory, two couches have been prominent over the years, the brown one in Sheldon’s flat and the blue one from Penny’s flat across the hall. We’ve seen characters gathering for all kinds of events on each of these sofas plus a whole load of incredibly geeky discussions about science and sci-fi, plus the odd romance, leading to Penny and Sheldon effectively swapping sofas towards the end of the show’s run.
One of the most famous couches in TV history plays such a big role that it has even spawned its own sub-type of humor – the ‘couch gag’. Yes, we’re talking about The Simpsons, of course. The family – especially Homer – spend a lot of their time sitting on their slightly scuzzy brown couch watching TV, but it’s best known for the series of gags that end each credit sequence.
The Griffin’s sofa from Family Guy has also seen more than its fair share of weirdness and plenty of depravity, while the couch belonging to the Smith family in Rick and Morty tends to have a quieter time while the duo are off on their time-travelling adventures. Rick and Morty actually made more of an impact on the Simpson sofa, appearing in a Simpsons couch gag where they crash-landed on top of America’s favorite family.
When it comes to visual gags and quirky references, it’s not just animated sitcoms that rule the roost. Arrested Development has been breaking and shifting the traditional sitcom rules for years, but it still has some famous sofas of its own, which have been used for that old classic of bringing characters together for the purposes of hilarity, whether it’s Lucille Bluth’s couch or the corner sofa from the model house, which has survived all many of craziness, not least the peril of a plummeting Mrs Featherbottom.
This compendium of sitcom sofas certainly offers a great snapshot of the different styles of couch and interior design that have dominated the various eras featured, from the gaudy floral pattern of the Bundy’s sofa in Married With Children and the sofa from The Golden Girls to the Lay-Z Boy recliners used by Joey and Chandler in Friends.
Which of them do you think would fit best in your home? If you’re thinking of redecorating and looking for inspiration from your favorite TV programmes, you could do worse than picking one of these featured here. As long as you don’t pick the basement sofa from That 70s Show or the half sofa from Friends, we wouldn’t recommend either of those.