Let’s admit it. We all love watching TV. It’s such an easy commitment because TV shows usually only go for about 20 to 50 minutes. So, starting an episode doesn’t feel like you’re giving up the entire night just to watch it like how it often feels when you're deciding to watch a movie. The trouble is, TV shows are designed with such great suspense that it makes you continue flicking to the next episode without even a thought as to how many you've sat through. Let’s be honest, we end up watching hours more of TV than we ever have of movies.
This article delves into some of our favorite TV shows pointing out some classic age similarities and even major gaps between characters, when you might have assumed they were of the same age. It’s actually harder to find characters in the same TV series that have the same age with each other than it is to find big age gaps between people whose characters are played as the same age.
The show we all know and love.
Well, most of us. Some say you are either a Friends fan or a Seinfeld fan. I say, over time you can be both...with my slow conversion to Seinfeld. I finally get and appreciate most of their jokes and enjoy watching the show, when I used to be just a Friends fan. That's a common factor with TV shows. They turn into something you’re addicted to and come to love after you’ve invested some time into making friends with all the characters and appreciate the storyline.
The main characters of the show are now in their late 40’s and early 50’s, while Janice (Maggie Wheeler), Chandler's ex-girlfriend and also recurring worst nightmare who somehow shows up randomly everywhere, and Julie (Lauren Tom), Ross’s ex-girlfriend who delayed Rachel and Ross’ relationship from blossoming for oh so long, are now both 55 years old! They are some of the oldest characters on the show.
14 How I Met Your Mother
Once I started How I Met Your Mother, I was hooked and couldn’t stop until about the last season which somehow lost its appeal. Might have had something to do with it having a whole nine seasons all answering the same one question about how one guy met his wife.
Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) would have to be the best character on the show with his all-time famous line “Suit Up” and “LEGEN-waitforit-DARY” and his tough but inwardly gentle personality. Well, Neil Patrick Harris shares the same age as Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan) with the age of 43. Lily Aldrin's character was a bit annoying, but she helped create the family dynamic for the show. Alyson Hannigan actually made Jason Segel give up smoking for a whole year because she was refusing to kiss his gross mouth without him giving the habit up. They started off with Jason giving Alyson $10 every time he smoked a cigarette, but this ended up causing too great a debt that he eventually gave it up for a year.
13 Game Of Thrones
This show seriously has everything! Action, plot, romance, revenge, history—you name it. It was originally based off a series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. The first volume was published in 1996. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) only had 24 hours to prepare for her audition and had to call in sick to her catering job to make it to the audition. She’s my favorite on the show, portraying this great meekness and innocence and yet being a powerful and strong woman at the same time. Emilia is the same age as Jon Snow (Kit Harington). Both are 30 years old. When the show starts off, Jon Snow is meant to be playing a 14-year-old character without parents and according to the novel, Daenerys Targaryen is playing a 13-year-old. Do you think the actors do a good job of pretending to be teenagers?
Suits. Another one of those shows that started off intensely great and then slowly dribbled off into a petty drama hardly worth watching. Even though the show is set in New York, only the pilot episode was filmed there with the rest of the show being filmed in Toronto. With most shows, you’ll find a very varied age group even when the characters are all playing the same age. However, Suits is different as it actually pairs people of the same age to work together. Rachel Zane (Meghan Markle), Michael Ross (Patrick J. Adams) and Jenny Griffith (Vanessa Ryan) are all the 35 years old. Patrick J. Adams is not just an actor, but also a photographer who took many great shots of Meghan Markle. And Harvey Spencer (Gabriel Macht) and Donna Paulson (Sarah Rafferty) were both born in 1972. Gabriel Macht is so good at playing the boss player lawyer Harvey Spencer's character because he actually comes from a family of lawyers.
11 The Big Bang Theory
According to Mental Floss, "In a 2014 interview with New York Magazine, Parsons gave his theory (if you will) on why The Big Bang Theory attracts more than 20 million viewers per week—a number unheard of since the Friends-era sitcom reign. 'There’s not anything to keep up with', he said."
Raj Koothrapoli (Kunal Nayyar) and Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) are both only 36 years old. Kunal Nayyar was picked for the show because of his great charm. They were specifically looking for an international actor for his role because they wanted the show to be diverse like a normal science department at a university and when they were interviewing, Kunal was the most charming, so he landed the role.
There are huge age differences on this show with Penny (Kaley Cuoco) only now being 31 years old while her boyfriend Leonard Hofstatter is now 42 years old. The pilot episode for The Big Bang Theory initially had an actress Amanda Walsh playing Penny’s character, but her name was Katie. She was replaced with Kaley and named Penny.
10 Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad is a crime TV Series filmed in New Mexico from 2008 to 2013. It’s about a broke high school chemistry teacher struggling to make ends meet. When he finds out that he has lung cancer, he starts to sell meth for money along with one of his students.
Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) and Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) are both aged 54.
Bob Odenkirk was partially picked because of his record of great humor. "If you can do comedy, you can do drama," Vince Gilligan said recently of his approach to casting. "It doesn’t necessarily flow the other way." Consequently, Breaking Bad is packed with funny men even if they’re not always given the chance to show it. Bob Odenkirk is well-known as the co-creator of US TV’s last great sketch series.
9 That 70’s Show
That 70’s Show was aired from 1998 to 2006, and as is self-explanatory, was set in the '70s. The show has an immense amount of genuine comedy, drama, and good looks. If the bright colors and the flair pants aren't enough to get you excited, perhaps the fact that it has Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher first starting out their careers will at least drive you a bit nuts. Even though the show is set with all the main characters in high school together, Dona Pinciotii (Laura Prepon) and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) are both 37 years old now while Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson) is now 41 years old and Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis) is only 33 years old, giving Hyde and Jackie’s relationship an 8-year gap on the show. This is pretty disturbing news considering that Jackie started in the show when she was only 14 years old, lying to the producers claiming she was 18 years old to meet the shows requirements.
8 House Of Cards
This TV Show is based on American politics and is both cutthroat and chilling. The plot is well done and the character development is exceptional. Kevin Spacey plays Francis Underwood and is convincingly intelligent and evil. He’s actually much older than Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly). Kevin is now 57 years old and Michael is only 48 years old. Maybe it was just the lack of hair on Michael’s head, but I always assumed he was older than Kevin.
Characters that are of the same age include Mahershala Ali, an actor and rapper who plays Remy Danton in House of Cards and Leann Harvey (Neve Campbell) both currently being the age of 43. You probably haven’t heard of Mahershala Ali’s rapping. That's because even though he released his album, Curb Side Service, in 2007, he didn't spend time promoting his music because he decided he wanted to focus on his acting.
Rep. Peter Russo (Corey Stoll) and Gavin Orsay (Jimmi Simpson) are both 41 years old.
7 Orange Is The New Black
One of the top Netflix originals, this TV series is based off a novel with the same title. This is about a girl leading a good and proper life and is then put in prison for something she did years ago. It’s all about how she gets on and adjusts to all the crazy personalities behind bars. Comedic and dramatic.
Nicky Nichols (Natasha Lyonne) and Tiffany Doggett (Taryn Manning) have both hit 38 years old, while Poussey Washington (Samira Wiley) and Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales (Jackie Cruz) are only 30 years old. Before Samira Wiley’s flashback scenes, she didn’t know any German and had to practice with a language coach and spent lots of time at home yelling random things in German to prepare. Samira is actually very intelligent. She’s a Juilliard graduate and was friends with Danielle Brooks (Taystee) from school.
Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Richards) was initially only going to film for one day for the show Arrow. They were so impressed with her and her character had sparked so much intrigue that she ended up staying on the show. Willa Holland, who plays Thea Queen in Arrow, was actually a model at the age of 7. You’ll also find Willa in Gossip Girl, The Flash, Legion, Tiger Eyes, and many others. Emily Richards and Willa Holland are only 25 years old; whereas Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) is 35 years old and John Diggle (David Ramsey) is 45 years old! It seems like the show likes surrounding older men with younger ladies. For example, Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Cupid (Amy Gumenick) are all only 30 years old. Most of the women are younger than the men.
5 Gilmore Girls
Gilmore Girls started in 2000 and has aired 7 seasons. It was such a hit back in the day that Netflix just recently made another season with the girls all grown up. It’s about a good-looking close mother-daughter relationship going through normal life in a small town. It’s very comedic, dramatic, and witty. Those girls talk so fast!
Liza Weil (Paris Geller, the girl that is mean to be the most annoying on the show and is somehow Rory’s best friend) and Matt Czuchry (Logan Huntzberger, Rory’s rich and smooth boyfriend in the later seasons) are both 39 years old.
For a little bit of trivia, Liza Weil was actually considered for the role of Rory Gilmore first, but didn’t end up getting the part.
More shockingly, Keiko Agena (Lane Kim) is 43 years old and is actually older than Sean Gunn (Kirk Gleason) who is only 42 years old!!
4 Stranger Things
Stranger Things is a science-fiction supernatural horror series set in the '80s. It was released last year in 2016 and is having great success. I tried to watch it but it felt too eerie for me. Probably didn’t help that I don’t usually like horror films.
Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin, the far left in the image above) and Finn Wolfhard (Mike, the skinny kid in the middle of the picture) are both 14 years old. Gaten (Dustin) seriously looks years younger. In the show Stranger Things, Dustin has a condition that affects the development of his bones called cleidocranial dysplasia. Unfortunately, the actor, Gaten, has this condition in reality. You might also recognize Finn Wolfhard from Supernatural, The 100, and Aftermath. He’s landed quite a few roles considering his age.
Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Sadie Sink (Max) are both 15 years old.
3 Modern Family
Modern Family is a comedic representation of the modern family, including a gay couple, a rich man with a sexy younger wife, and a heterosexual couple with three kids. With all of the varied characters, it was hard to find any that were even the same age. Except for Nolan Gould, the kid missing a tooth in the left of the photo (Luke Dunphy) and Rico Rodriguez, man-child on the right (Manny Delgado) who are both 18 years old. Rico Rodriguez is ahead of the game for an 18-year-old. He wrote a book in 2012, Real Life Lessons…So Far, which means he would have just turned into a teen when he wrote a self-help book.
Turns out they are both very intelligent. Nolan Gould doesn’t just look like a nerd, he graduated from high school at the age of 13 and has an extremely high IQ of 150.
2 The Mentalist
The Mentalist is an old gem that seems to have been forgotten. It has the perfect mixture of crime investigation, drama, humor, character depth, and storyline to keep you hooked. It has a bit more going for it than Law & Order because there is a backstory behind the entire series and mini dramas among the team that aren’t necessarily related to the plot within each episode. The man character, Patrick Jane, is a bit like a superhero with his amazing ability to solve anything without stressing and his suave.
Robin Tunney, who plays Teresa Lisbon and Tim Kang, playing Kimball Cho, are actually of the same age as they are both 44 years old now. They couldn’t be more opposite. Teresa Lisbon is by far the most annoying character on the show while Cho is hardcore.
1 Prison Break
Prison Break, as IMDb puts it, is a story about “an innocent man…sent to death row and his only hope is his brother, who makes it his mission to deliberately get himself sent to the same prison in order to break the both of them out, from the inside.” This show was from 2005-2009 and had a high rating of 8.5/10 on IMDb.
Sources: Imdb.com, whatculture.com, usanetwork.com, digitalspy.com, mentalfloss.com, Wikipedia.com, buzzfeed.com.