8 TV Shows That Will Remind You How Awesome Having Neighbors Can Be

published May 28, 2019
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I live in an apartment in New York City, where—quite honestly—no one really cares to get to know their neighbors. While I’ve morphed into a New Yorker in some ways since moving from my small town in Connecticut (less small talk, more yelling at cars), this is one trait I have not inherited. The core reason: I think having neighbors is wonderful.

To prove my point, I turn to some of the most popular shows in the history of television. Yes, I could go into my personal experiences, but well-known TV flicks give more concrete examples that can be understood across the country. From the classic “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” to the more recent “Younger” series, these shows have deeply rooted neighbor relationships that prove how great people in close proximity to your living space can be.

See below for our list, and let us know in the comments what your favorite is!

“Friends”

This is probably the most neighbor-emphasized sitcom in the existence of sitcoms. Rachel and Monica live across the hall from Joey and Chandler, where Phoebe and Ross frequently visit them. Each episode, they basically co-habitate in one of their apartments. And while “Friends” provides an unrealistic friendly neighbor scenario in an apartment building, that doesn’t mean it stops us from wishing we had it.

Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

“Home Improvement”

Whenever Tim had a problem that needed solving, his neighbor Wilson W. Wilson Jr. was the man with a plan. Known for his behind-the-fence appearances, Wilson’s extensive knowledge in various cultures and destinations made him a worldly characters with plenty to share. Every residence should come with a neighbor like Wilson.

Credit: Courtesy Everett Collection

“Family Matters”

Halfway through the first season of this beloved sitcom, Steve Urkel walked into viewers’ lives and hearts. Yes, there are certainly moments when Urkel causes chaos (count how many times he says “Did I do that?”), but he usually means well. And despite how many times Carl Winslow gets annoyed at him, Urkel’s sense of humor and innocent intentions are characteristics that truly brighten up the neighborhood.

“Gilmore Girls”

Next to the mother-daughter duo lives Babette Dell, a raspy-voiced woman who is known for oversharing—but with the friendliest intentions. She, her husband Morey, and their cat Cinnamon (who later on passes away, which leads them to get their new cat Apricot) frequently walk by the Gilmore home, often sharing too much information that make for awkward yet entertaining moments. But Babette has a heart of gold through and through, as she shows when Rory goes to college and brings Lorelai seeds to help her feel better.

Credit: ©TV Land/Everett Collection

“Younger”

When 40-year-old Liza Miller underwent a divorce and headed to NYC to live with her Brooklynite friend Maggie, she decided to pretend to be 26 to compete with the youthful publishing industry. Along the way, Liza started dating their neighborhood tattooist Josh, who also forms a friendship with Maggie. Even when Josh learns Liza’s real age and they go through spurts of distrust, the three of them all somehow find a way to remain friends (although you never know what the next season will bring!).

Credit: ©Focus Features / Everett Collection

“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”

This show really needs no further explanation when it comes to its connection to a neighborhood. Each 30-minute episode consisted of Fred Rogers exploring the “Neighborhood of Make-Believe,” plus interviewing “neighbors” who varied in profession and their role within the community as well as taking tours of various sites—from a crayon factory to a behind-the-scenes look at “The Incredible Hulk.” To put it simply, Mister Rogers is the warm neighbor we’d all love in our lives.

“Full House”

Before cell phones were a thing, if you had a best friend in the neighborhood, they would walk to the front door and ring the doorbell to see if you were around. Well, while Kimmy Gibbler might have waltzed right in, she definitely proved how convenient growing up with your BFF down the street would be (even though Danny, Joey, and Jesse might not agree.) Yes, she often annoyed the Tanner family, but there were light moments with her, too—and she certainly always made things more interesting. Maybe, you know, just lock your door from time to time.

Credit: Greg Gayne / © 20th Century Fox Film Corp / Everett Collection

“That ‘70s Show”

Before the world of dating apps, single folks met their SOs the old-fashioned way: in and around their community. That was the case for Eric Foreman in “That ’70s Show,” who ended up falling for his longtime neighbor Donna, proving that at one point in time it wasn’t abnormal to meet someone after actually stepping outside. Plus, Eric’s home served as a temporary home for many characters to stay in when they needed to, like Hyde and Fez. The Foreman residence served as a neighborhood safe haven for all to sleep in.