Whether we first spotted them on the big screen at a theater or from the comfort of our living rooms, the homes of our favorite film and television series families become almost as memorable to us as the characters themselves.
As the opening and closing of numerous scenes, we can't help being curious about subtler details never mentioned in the plot: like how much it would cost to live in our cherished fictional families' houses.
Some, like the homes of our most-loved sitcoms and cartoon series, our based on entirely fictional towns and neighborhoods. Others are set in well-known cities but have us questioning whether the characters could afford to live in such extravagant quarters based on their occupations.
Seeking answers, Weird History dove into researching these homes. Based on location, Zillow estimates, and probable historical (or futuristic) factors, we found the actual home values of some of the most recognized fictional houses in 2022.
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Location: Springfield, OR
The Simpsons have been on the air so long that the family’s finances have gone from a joke to a fantasy for audiences. Decades of stagnant wages and soaring home prices make Homer’s cushy lifestyle achieved on the back of so little effort almost seem like a cruel joke today. This was touched upon in a 1997 episode, but the gulf has only widened in the quarter-century since.
The four-bedroom residence at 742 Evergreen Terrace is approximately 2,200 square feet. The property has a basement, attic, and generous front and back yards. The location of Springfield was deliberately vague for many years, but finally settled in 2007 with the release of the movie. Show creator Matt Groening presented Springfield, OR, with a plaque proclaiming it to be the "real Springfield." An equivalent property in the "real" Springfield would fetch at least $400,000.
- Photo: ABC
Holy real estate bubble, Batman! The 10 bedroom, 6 bathroom Pasadena, CA, mansion featured in the campy 1960s TV series - always referred to as “stately” - is a snip at just under $15 million. Unfortunately, Alfred the butler no longer works there.
- Photo: NBC
Location: 90 Bedford Street
Description of the apartment: Though the address seen in a wedding invitation would place the apartment in Brooklyn, the building used for the exterior shots is in Manhattan's Greenwich Village. The two-bedroom, loft-style apartment features open living space and a balcony. The eclectic decor and warm color scheme were the work of set decorator Greg Grande, who wanted to give the apartment a homey feel. The ever-changing furniture was secured from local swap meets and the forgotten depths of the Warner Bros. prop house in LA.
What they would have paid at the time: At the time the show began, in 1994, Greenwich Village was one of the hottest rental markets in the city. A two-bedroom apartment would have been in the region of $3,000 a month.
HOWEVER, Monica inherited the apartment from her grandmother, and Monica's rent throughout the duration of Friends was only $200 a month since it was protected by rent control since the 1940s. It's possible, however, that Monica was doing this illegally due to rules about who can take over a rent-controlled apartment.
Today's value: $7,000
Can they afford it?: In the '90s, the apartment was way beyond the means of a line cook and a waitress; today it’s an even more ludicrous prospect. But because of Monica's Nana (and Monica possibly breaking some rules), the duo was able to live for basically for free in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
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Show Location: Arlen (fictional), TX
Value In 2022: $170,000 - $200,000
A modest three-bedroom ranch in a fictional small town in Texas makes this animated home one of the most realistic items featured here. The location and size of Arlen are ambiguous and contradictory. One episode suggests a population of 145,300; in another it's 1,454, and the location is similarly unclear. A town sign suggests Arlen is 96 miles from Dallas, while the different zip codes place it within spitting distance of Houston or even in Oklahoma.
Arlen could conceivably be anywhere within the vicinity of Dallas, though Richardson has been suggested as the main source of inspiration. Using Richardson as an example, a similar single-family home would still just about be within the means of a frugal propane salesman and substitute teacher.
- Video: YouTube5107 VOTES
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Show Location: Quahog (fictional), RI
Value In 2022: $300,000 - $400,000
The Griffins were described as a "lower-middle-class Irish Catholic family" in a news segment in an early episode. Although Lois comes from a wealthy family, Peter's lineage is far less affluent. The family's financial situation varies wildly over the course of the show, but they are generally shown to be barely keeping afloat. The show is set in a fictional Rhode Island town; its coastal location would make either Providence or Cranston the nearest real-life equivalents.
An equivalent four-bedroom Cape Cod would fetch somewhere north of $300,000 in Cranston. One of the more affordable properties on this list, it would still be quite a reach for a brewery worker and a part-time music teacher to cover the mortgage, especially with three children.