It’s not a secret that the idea of two young women who are finding their way in the world while they’re still hot and haven’t been beaten down by learning the way things really are is something that basically all straight men find attractive. And for those who don’t have the funds or the guts to rent the kind of stuff that comes on Channel 9780 on their cable systems, hot roommates are as good as it gets.
Despite the fact that women have been roommates for hundreds of years, TV has only been sharing this phenomenon for the last 40 -- and not always in the most flattering light. We think the sexiest girls are the strongest, and for a long time, women were shown as weak and not too bright. Fortunately, the last couple of decades have ushered in new characters who sleep around because they want to, not because they’re trying to trap a man. That’s a woman we can respect!
As the television world splinters with web series and reality shows (both on TV and the web) growing in popularity and options become endless, we expect to see more of the roommate dynamic because it’s something we can all relate to, either having gone through it ourselves and knowing the truly non-sexy truth... or by letting the fantasy of slumber parties, pillow fights, and lingerie fashion shows constantly stream in our heads as men.
We don’t think the Smithsonian Institute or The Museum of Television and Radio is probably going to devote an exhibit to hot roommates anytime soon -- although we do offer to curate if it’s an option. But we’re here to do the historical honors and recognize the Hottest Pairs of Roommates in TV History.
While Phoebe, played by Lisa Kudrow, did live with a few different roommates during the run of the show, we’re talking here about the core of Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston and Monica, played by Courteney Cox. These two women were able to pull off characters who, while hotter than any girls you knew in real life, were a lot like the women you hung out with, or would like to hang out with in real life. They were insecure, yet strong and funny, yet vulnerable. They didn’t act like prostitutes, but they didn’t pretend like they were virginal characters like many people on television in the early 1990s were still doing when Friends came along. Unfortunately for both their careers, the show never went off the air because of syndication, so they always had to fight for roles different from those characters. But being known as probably the hottest roommates prior to the Two Broke Girls ladies is a nice title to have for a couple of decades.
14 Two Broke Girls
When you think about the money mega producer Chuck Lorre has probably made in syndication with TV shows like Two Broke Girls, Two and A Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, Mike and Molly and so on, it boggles the mind, but the guy knows his stuff. It shocks us it took him this long to put your classical blonde hottie and your stereotypical big-chested sassy brunette together since it seems like such an obvious recipe for success. But thankfully, he finally did, and thankfully, these two gals have always been game to go for the cheap laughs, either with their outfits or with their dirty jokes. It’s going to be hard for a show to put two women together in the next 20 years and not have them be compared to this duo.
13 Don’t Trust the B in Apt. 23
This was one of the funniest shows on TV in the last 10 years, and it never found the audience it deserved. Had it been on a network like FX, it probably would've had more of a fighting chance. It didn’t break any new ground with its female characters. There was the naive and sweet June played by Dreama Walker and the slutty and entitled Chloe played by Krysten Ritter, but both were supremely hot and were starting to develop some real chemistry when the show was canceled after only two seasons. It’s a little frustrating watching shows like this that have two of the hottest women on TV because you know being a network show, the most you’re ever going to get is maybe some lingerie. Thankfully, both actresses have done skin-baring scenes elsewhere to fill the void. Still, we’d urge you to check the show out on Netflix or Hulu. We stopped hating James Van Der Beek because of it. That’s saying something, right?
12 Modern Family
Here’s our roommate rationalization on this one. When the show started, Alex, played by Ariel Winter, and Haley, played by Sarah Hyland, are supposed to be children living at home with their parents (regardless of what Hyland’s real age has ever been). However, now that the show has Alex a couple of years into college and Haley is portrayed as being in her mid-20s, yet they’re both still living in at home, we’re going to claim that they're living there by choice, therefore they are roommates. Just because you had to live together while you were minors under your parents' custody doesn't mean you have to continue to do so. They’re both hot. Therefore, they are hot roommates on TV. Case closed.
11 Saved by the Bell: The College Years
This might have made No. 1 in the list if Jessie Spano (Elizabeth Berkley) would have joined her Bayside High friends at California University instead of going off to Las Vegas to find fame and fortune as a stripper. But with Kelly Kapowski meeting roommates Alex Tabor and Kiersten Warren, we quickly forgot about the old high school and readied ourselves for years of bikinis and double entendres. That was quickly taken from us when NBC canceled the spin-off after only 19 episodes then sent Zack Morris and Kelly off to Vegas to get married. HBO could have picked up the show and made it really sexy and followed Elizabeth Berkley back in at that point, but nobody wanted to keep things going. NBC got rid of everybody and started over with a new class.
10 Sam & Cat
Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel are always very good at casually not mentioning any of their characters’ ages once they hit around 16 or 17 years old even if their shows last another 7 or 8 years. In the melding of iCarly and Victorious you had Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande, both well over 18 years old in real life since dirty pictures of them were already starting to get leaked onto the internet. So how were producers going to pretend that the title characters of Sam & Cat were even close to the age of the audience? The show only lasted two seasons allegedly because the stars couldn’t stand each other and they both had musical careers they wanted to pursue. Grande is selling out stadiums, and we’re guessing you can find McCurdy on your lesser known Southern California piers with an open guitar case.
The UPN Network was a failed attempt at another network after Fox Network proved that NBC, ABC, and CBS weren’t the only players in town. WB also tried its own network at the same time, but with the Internet siphoning off audiences, basic and premium cable producing better programming than ever, and people just looking elsewhere for entertainment, the era of new “real” networks passed and UPN failed (morphing into CW) with few successes. An argument can be made, though, that Girlfriends was its biggest success. It ran from 2000 to 2008, and while the living situations changed frequently on the show, the level of hotness of the cast never did. While it never crushed in the ratings, an interesting bit of trivia is that when it was airing in the fall of 2007, it was the longest-running sitcom on television at the time.
8 The Facts of Life
We’re not talking about the creepy early seasons when they were children in boarding school and wore the least sexy schoolgirl outfits in the history of the universe. We’re talking about the later seasons when they owned the store -- when Mrs. Garrett was long gone and they were all past the age of consent. They weren’t supermodels, but all four of these women were decent-looking in their early 20s regardless of whatever weird beliefs they espoused in real life or what they ended up looking like in their 40s. If we have to go with two, we’re picking Lisa Whelchel and Nancy McKeon They’ve mostly disappeared into obscurity or Hallmark Channel movies at this point, but for several years in the 1980s, there wasn’t much else to pick from if you were looking for groups of women on television who were funny and supportive of one another and weren’t 75 years old.
7 Three’s Company
You can take your pick whether to go with the Janet/Chrissy or the Janet/Terri season on this entry. We’re going with the earlier Suzanne Somers episodes simply because there had never been anything like Three’s Company on American television before. The idea of two sexy women and a good-looking guy who were all single and living together broke a lot of taboos for the late 1970s despite the fact that people were behaving just as crazy in real life as they do now. The story of Suzanne Sommers is a fantastic cautionary tale for anybody who thinks they’re something special when they're just a cog in a much larger machine bigger than any one person. After her stint on the show, she thought she’d be a world-famous movie star, but ended up becoming more known for the Thighmaster infomercials than anything else. We’re not complaining. We enjoyed watching those, too.
6 Laverne and Shirley
Much like the ladies from Facts of Life, nobody was ever going to confuse Penny “Laverne” Marshall or Cindy “Shirley” Williams with a Playmate of the Month, but back in 1980, both were cute enough to help carry an ensemble TV show featuring female roommates -- which actually hadn’t been done on such a large scale before. What made it even more daring was that these girls were single, it was set in the 1950s, and they worked at a brewery. Ironically, later seasons rarely featured both Laverne and Shirley, and the show imploded under its own weight. But the idea of female roommates and this list as a whole may not have existed if not for this TV show. They never went for the easy sex jokes the way that Three’s Company did, which probably made the show more palatable for parents in reruns, but it may also explain why 40 years later, we’re still able to find Three’s Company in reruns. Sex will always sell.
5 Yes, Dear
There's going to be somebody who feels the need to put into the Facebook comments that the sisters on the show aren’t technically roommates since one lives in another’s guesthouse, but to those people, we say, keep clicking. It’s how we all get paid. There’s nothing interesting about Yes, Dear whatsoever. You’ve met every stereotypical character on 100 other shows, and it was during that glut of late 90s/early 2000s family sitcoms pumped out by CBS like Everybody Loves Raymond or King of Queens about how wacky families can be, except this one wasn’t wacky enough to be shown to death in syndication. The one thing Yes, Dear had over those formulaic shows was the sister, played by Jean Louisa Kelly, who really should've gone on to be an Oscar-winning actress -- and Liza Snyder -- who peaked exactly where she should have.
4 Double Trouble
Back in the 1980s, one of the more memorable TV advertising campaigns was for Doublemint Gum. It featured a pair of wholesome looking twins, Jean and Liz Sagal. The catchy “Double your pleasure, double your fun with Doublemint, Doublemint, Doublemint Gum” got caught in everyone’s heads, but it was the hot sisters everybody wanted more to see more of. NBC gave the audience what it wanted with Double Trouble, a sitcom that lasted two seasons from 1984-85 but was rerun into the ground in the early days of the USA Network. It was your typical “two people who look alike get into all kinds of mischief” premise, never delivering on the promise of two hot girls living together with their aunt in New York City. The twins’ older sister, Katey, is probably the most well-known member of the family, with parts in both Sons of Anarchy and Married with Children.
3 A Different World
This was the only spin-off of The Cosby Show, and it was moderately successful, depending on what standards you use as a measuring stick. It didn’t pan out as a vehicle for Lisa Bonet, who left after the first season to return to Cosby after some interesting professional decisions. But for six seasons, it followed the lives of co-eds and then young adults at fictional Hillman College in Virginia. There were a lot of different roommate configurations here as women entered and left the show, but one look at the members of the cast over its 145-episode run shows just why it makes this list. There were names like Marisa Tomei and Jada Pinkett-Smith, who were among the more famous. We also thought Jasmine Guy, Cree Summer, and Charnele Brown were the three hottest during the show’s lifespan. We wouldn’t have minded more dorm pillow fights, but that’s just us.
Maybe, technically, perhaps this isn’t a sitcom, but really, are sitcoms made anymore? The closest thing to them is what Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel are putting out, and those aren’t even good sitcom structures compared to the classics like Seinfeld and Cheers. Maybe this is more of a “dramedy,” but unlike everything else on this list, it’s on HBO, which means that they’re allowed to take their bras and panties off. That also means unlike every other show on this, there are real-life naked ladies! Now that’s a show about roommates! Most of the time, we find this show irritating because it takes itself far too seriously although some of the writing can be funny. We wish there were more hot women on it, but when the creator is also the star, expectations have to be minimal. At least she’s cool enough to write lots of nude scenes. Gold star for her there.
Once again, we’re playing fast and loose with the definition of sitcom -- and perhaps even the definition of “roommates” because technically, if you’re sisters who are part of a witches’ coven, does that put you in a stratosphere beyond that of mere mortal roommates? Eh.. who cares? If you’re in a show with Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, and Shannen Doherty (Rose McGowan in the later seasons), then we’re going to allow for a lot of gray area. It was one of Aaron Spelling’s last productions, and it’s hard to say that he ever did drama or comedy or sitcoms or anything of any real definition. He had his own genre of cheesiness dating back to The Love Boat and Fantasy Island, and Charmed continued that proud tradition of ridiculous storytelling featuring well-endowed girls wearing low cut sweaters. He really was a pioneer. and we wish more schools taught classes on his impact in the industry.