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The Most Important TV Sitcoms

Updated June 10, 2021 68.7k votes 4.9k voters 74k views184 items

List RulesVote up the most important sitcoms in television history.

These are the most important sitcoms in TV history because they either influenced a generation's culture or because they permanently influenced the art of television. What makes a sitcom particularly important? Because over the decades, the shows listed here are groundbreaking comedy programs. Sitcoms have some specific quirks that make them stand out from regular TV comedies - a sitcom is about situational comedy, with stories that show characters sharing the same common environment, like a home or workplace, and a comedic narrative. They have a relatable aspect, and that is what can make sitcoms so influential.

From the early days of the American sitcom (I Love Lucy, Leave it To Beaver) to the genius animation of 'The Simpsons,' each monumental comedy TV show listed here is important in the annals of television history. Many are also considered among the greatest sitcoms in television history, not surprisingly.

No list of the most important TV sitcoms would be complete without some of the domestic comedies of the 1940s and 1950s, including The Honeymooners and, later, I Love Lucy. In the 60s, sitcom families expanded to include extended and blended families (The Brady Bunch) then, in the 1970s, things really got interested, with 'All in the Family. Enter the totally dysfunctional family! Sitcoms were everywhere in the 1980s, with such influential shows as The Cosby Show or Cheers, and beginning in 1989, Seinfeld.

Which sitcom do you think is the most influential of all time?  Vote up the important sitcoms you think are the most influential and see where the vital sitcoms you loved to watch rank.

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List Rules: Vote up the most important sitcoms in television history.