This Is Why Sitcom Houses Usually Have The Same Layout

Sitcoms have been a hit since TV debuted, and let's be honest, picking a favorite of all time can be challenging. According to Rolling Stone's "100 Best Sitcoms of All Time," popular choices include Fox's "The Simpsons" and NBC's "Cheers" and "Seinfeld," which all feature storylines that so many people can relate to. "Family sitcoms can be really funny because there's so much stuff you can deal with. Kids can get in trouble. Kids can do stupid things. Parents can get in trouble and do stupid things. And it also appeals to an awful lot of Americans [because they] have had the experience of being in families. It's a pretty universal experience," said Robert Thompson, the director of Syracuse University's Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture to NY Daily News.

Have you noticed that some of your favorite sitcoms have the same layout, and have you ever wondered why that is? It turns out that the answer may not be what you think! Read on to see why sitcom houses appear to have a similar layout.

There's a reason for the similarities

One Redditor had the same question we did. "Why do living rooms all have the exact same layout?" they asked. They honed in on shows that look eerily similar such as "That '70s Show," "Everybody Loves Raymond," and even Stan's house in "South Park." One commenter responded, "I think it's mainly because sitcoms are often filmed in front of an audience. It's essentially a stage. Most [shows] take place in the living room and the actor can sit on the couch so that they face the audience or cameras. Also, if someone walks down the stairs or enters the room, they are clearly visible." Makes sense, right?

While the live audience is definitely an essential factor, lighting is another one of the main reasons sitcom rooms appear to look the same. So, it's not all about a sitcom's layout as to why shows may look similar. According to a video explanation created by Vox, popular TV shows from "Friends" to "Murphy Brown" seem like the same locations as well. Not only is the layout the same for these programs, but so are the camera shots and lighting. This style was perfected by film director Karl Freund ("I Love Lucy," "Dracula," and "Metropolis"), who came up with a three-camera sitcom shooting and lighting style, which is still used today — and is the real reason why many sitcoms have a similar look and feel!