Some TV characters have lifestyles that many of us could only ever dream of. But as it happens, their own lifestyles would only be possible in their dreams, too! We’ve noticed a few things about the lives of our most-loved TV and movie characters that just don’t add up. So, we donned our Columbo raincoats, examined the characters’ spending habits and their jobs, and calculated just how far beyond their means they’re actually living.
1. Carrie Bradshaw
TV show: Sex And The City
Average salary in 1998: $35,500
New York Star columnist Carrie Bradshaw famously had an appetite for expensive shoes. In one episode, a thief helped themselves to a $485 pair of her prized Manolo Blahniks. In another, the writer priced her shoe collection at around $40,000. And that doesn’t even take into account her love of parties, fine dining, and Manhattan cocktails — not forgetting the cabs home. Even though Bradshaw’s rent is a seemingly unrealistic $700 a month due to rent control, her salary could never have supported this lavish lifestyle.
2. Rachel Green
TV show: Friends
Average salary in 1994: $24,000
A very astute writerhannah31 noted to Buzzfeed, “Nothing against Rachel Green being a waitress, but after cutting up her dad’s credit card, would she really be able to pay rent, get that flawless hairstyle maintained, and still afford the latest fashions constantly? Not so sure.” Rachel’s reaction when she receives her first paycheck says it all: “Who is FICA, and why is he taking all my money?” We feel you, girl...
3. Frasier Crane
TV show: Frasier
Profession: Radio psychiatrist
Average salary in 1993: $56,800
Dr. Crane’s salary would have been the envy of many city-dwellers around 30 years ago; it was more than double that of the average wage in metropolitan areas in those days. But could it really have supported his lavish lifestyle? With his fancy car, fine dining, and expensive recreational habits, not to mention a luxury apartment overlooking Seattle estimated to be worth $1.6 million, that paycheck suddenly looks kind of inadequate.
4. Diane Chambers
TV show: Cheers
Average salary in 1982: $7,850
When Cheers debuted in 1982, Chambers was ditched by her fiancé, Professor Sumner Sloane, so she took a job at the bar. Since they weren’t married, she wouldn’t have been entitled to alimony. So it’s hard to fathom how her $650 pre-tax salary would have allowed for many luxuries after paying the rent on her $360 a month studio apartment. It’s possible that her next financé, Dr. Frasier Crane — who frequented the bar before scoring his own spinoff series — might have supported her discerning tastes, but season four started with the psychiatrist left standing at the altar.