Our favorite characters on T.V. oftentimes seem more like old friends or family that we’ve grown up with, rather than two-dimensional images on a screen. Their lives don’t seem like fiction; their decisions don’t seem trivial; and the laughter and sorrow that they deliver is no less real because, well, they’re not.
So we got to thinking, what if our favorite characters really were real? What would it look like if the Homers and the Carries from our T.V. families joined us out here in the real world, in today’s economy?
Well just keep reading to find out. We’ll cover seven icons of television and tell you just much they’d earn and how much they’d spend, in today’s real world economy. (Looks like some of them are better off sticking to T.V. land – $40,000 on shoes, Ms. Bradshaw?!)
1) Homer: The Simpsons
- Profession: Safety Inspector at the Nuclear Power Plant
- Income: $65,360 per year
*Did you know that Illinois has more nuclear power plants than any other state in the USA?
- City of Residence: Springfield, USA (The Simpsons live in “Springfield,” though it’s never mentioned which Springfield.
- Home: roughly 50 feet wide, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, attached garage, basement and loft.
- Value of Home: $189,900 (price based off of a 4 bedroom, 2 bath, attached garage, basement home located in a suburban area in Springfield, Illinois)
- Car/Cost of transportation: pink 1973 Plymouth Valliant: Approximately $2,000 (car has seen better days: EX: in the beginning of every episode Bart lands his skateboard on top of the car)
- Extras: Duff beer: roughly 12 pack/day: $8.99 each = $250/month = about $3,000/year
Doughnuts: about 3/day at $8.00/ 1 dozen = $2.00/day = $56/month = $670/year
2) Cosmo Kramer: Seinfeld
- Profession: None – various harebrained schemes (EX: gambling, working on various theater projects, acting out illnesses at a medical school, etc.…)
- Income: anywhere from $0-$10,000 depending on the flip or flop of his current scheme (EX: the Coffee Table Book panned out well; however the illegal rooster fighting did not…)
- City of Residence: New York City (Upper West side of Manhattan)
- Home: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment that he sublets from a filmmaker
- Value of Home: Though Kramer doesn’t exactly pay rent, as he is subletting it from somebody who doesn’t keep regular tabs on such things, rent for a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment in Manhattan’s Upper West Side is an average of about $2,500 per month
- Car/Cost of transportation: No car/ walks most places or bums rides from Jerry/ occasional cab fare: approximately $100/month
- Extras: Partagas Padre Cuban Cigars: $154 for a box of 20, roughly 5 cigars/week = $38.50/week = $154/month = $1,848/year
3) Carrie: Sex and the City
- Profession: Columnist for The New York Star with 10 years experience
- Income: about $57,000
- City of Residence: New York City
- Home: Brownstone, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom on the Upper East Side
- Value of Home: $750 (Her apartment was rent-controlled. Today a typical 1×1, non-rent-controlled apartment on the Upper East Side, however, would cost about $3,000/month)
- Car/Cost of transportation: No car—takes cabs and walks. At about $25/cab ride, at least once a day, that’s $175/week = $700/month = $8,400/year
- Extras: Designer shoes: Miranda once calculated that at about $400/pair, Carrie’s designer shoe collection has cost her about $40,000 over the years, as she has at least 100 pairs
Marlboro Lights: 3-4 packs/week (in earlier seasons): roughly $7.50/pack in New York = $22.50/week = $90/month = $1,080
Cosmos: In Manhattan, about $14/drink = roughly 4 drinks/week = $56/week = $224/month = $2,688/year
4) Don Draper: Mad Men
* Since this series takes place in the 60’s, we’ve included the price then (1962) and today’s equivalent price!
- Profession: Junior Partner at an ad agency
- Income: in 1962: $45,000/year; in 2012: $322,000/year
- City of Residence: Westchester County, New York
- Home: 4 bedroom, 2-3 bathrooms
- Value of Home: Then: $15,300; Now: $363,000
- Car/Cost of transportation: 1962 Cadillac Coup De Ville: Cost then: $5,385, Cost now: about $40,000
- Extras: 1 Pack of Lucky Strikes/day: Then: $.35/pack = $2.45/week = $9.80/month = $117.60/year, Now: about $7/pack (in Manhattan) = $49/week = $196/month = $2,352/year
Personalized Ballpoint pen set: Then: $4.98, Now: $11.00
5) Dr. Miranda Bailey: Grey’s Anatomy
- Profession: Attending General Surgeon at Seattle Grace – Mercy West Hospital
- Income: $148,000/year
- City of Residence: Seattle, Washington
- Home: 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
- Value of Home: approximately $700,000
- Car/Cost of transportation: BMW 5 Series 2005: about $17,000 according to Kelly Blue Book
- Extras: Cost of her divorce: non-contested divorce in Seattle with child: About $2,000
* Did you know that Dr. Bailey started playing the oboe in 5th grade? She was later accepted into the prestigious New England Conservatory, but never went—maybe because the real life price tag is a whopping $35,000 per year!
6) Liz Lemon: 30 Rock
- Profession: Head writer for the hit (fictional) show TGS
- Income: roughly $1.5 million/year
- City of Residence: New York City
- Home: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment on the Upper West Side (60 Riverside Drive)
- Value of Home: about $2,500/month
- Car/Cost of transportation: no car/ takes the Subway, 30-day Unlimited Ride MetroCard: $104 = $1,248/year
- Extras: Liz does not have many vices, but she is known to enjoy a glass of Pinot Grigio to unwind: 1 bottle = about $10, 3 glasses/bottle, about $3/glass = $21/week = $84/month = $1,008/year
*Did you know that the character, Liz, is pretty closely based off of Tina Fey, the actress who plays her? Big difference though: their salaries. Where “Liz” makes about $1.5 per year, Tina Fey makes $350,000… per episode. Last year Fey earned over $13 million from book sales and her salary as executive producer of 30 Rock.
7) Ross Gellar: Friends
- Profession: Paleontologist
- Income: About $80-$90,000
- City of Residence: New York City
- Home: 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment in Greenwich Village (in “Ugly Naked Guy’s” old apartment across from Monica’s in later seasons)
- Value of Home: $4,500/month
- Car/Cost of transportation: Ross walks/cabs/subways for the early seasons, but in season 7 he buys a red MGB sports car: About $50,000
- Extras: Cups of coffee: Roughly 2/day at “Central Perk,” the group’s favorite hangout = roughly $2.50/cup = $5.00/day = about $150/month= $1,825/year
Bagpipes: A “decent set” costs between $950-$1,600, Ross tries to learn to play the bagpipes for his sister’s wedding
Who is your favorite character on T.V.? How come?
Sources: BLS.gov, IMDB.com, Realtor.com, cars-on-line.com, WineAccess.com, NEIS.org, TheCigarStore.com, Netseekers.com, SavvySugar.com, TheJaneDough.com, Experience.com, QuoteCigarettes.com, ThoughtCatalog.com, Apartments.com, Padmapper.com, MTA.info, TheWineBuyer.com, Indeed.com, Trulia.com, WAUncontested.com, SalaryBlog.org, MNS.com, IMCDB.com, LivesInABox.com, SportsCarShop.com, ThemaCleods.net, TheGreysAnatomyWiki.com, CelebrityNetworth.com,