The best TV friend groups to hang with while you’re social distancing
Sigh. We miss our friends.
As the important practice of social distancing continues into the foreseeable future, it’s easy to feel a little lonely. Yes, we’ve got our phone calls, our group texts, our Zoom sessions, and our daily pet check-ins. But they’re just no substitute for the eye-watering laughter that comes from goofing around with our besties in real-life. For now, TV will have to do.
Ranked from least to most inviting (though they’re all great), here are 15 TV friend groups to hang with while you’re stuck home. They won’t make up for your actual relationships, but these perfectly curated crews will get you laughing, chanting, dancing, and playing True American in no time.
Note: We’ve limited this list to friend groups outside of the work place. Our apologies to The Office.
With a never-ending supply of petty squabbles, love triangles, and behind-the-scenes turmoil, Community‘s study group isn’t exactly “healthy.” But they’re still a super entertaining hang! Join Annie, Britta, Jeff, Abed, Troy, Shirley, Pierce, Chang, and (occasionally) Dean Craig Pelton for all the antics of Greendale Community College. Comprised of excellent stand-alone eps and solid multi-chapter plot lines, Community is perfect for casual viewing or a full-blown binge.
How to watch: Community is now streaming on Hulu.
Longing for your friends being kinda gross, kinda mean, and extremely irritating? Us too! Luckily, FX’s The League is a great substitute for all of that. Watch as middle-aged members of a hyper-competitive fantasy football league torture each other across NFL seasons through ridiculous bets, stupid rules, and an utterly valueless trophy. It’s a solid distraction from our socially-distanced, sport-less world. Fair warning: You’ll love the dirty inside jokes. You’ll love them less in mixed company. Maybe wait ’til the kids are asleep.
How to watch: The League is now streaming on Hulu.
Lovesick might be about missed or failed romantic connections, but what makes the show so irresistible is the friendships at its center. Luke, Dylan, and Evie are always there for each other, through every relationship misstep, one-night stand, broken engagement, and everything in between. A broken heart hurts slightly less with waffles, rose, and a Point Break reenactment. And let’s not forget Angus, an endlessly positive addition even at rock bottom, and Jonesy, always the life of the party. With friends like these, who has time to think about chlamydia? — Proma Khosla, Entertainment Reporter
How to watch: Lovesick is now streaming on Netflix.
Yeah, OK. They’re “the worst,” but they’re our worst. Starring Chris Geere, Aya Cash, Kether Donohue, and Desmin Borges, this FX series brings you some of the most self-centered characters on television. They aren’t good people, they don’t pretend to be good people, and very little indicates they’re going to become good people. Still, this fearsome foursome knows how to be there when it counts and make the most of a weekend. (Sunday, fun day, better than a Monday!) Revel in their complex relationships and shared appreciation for breakfast foods.
How to watch: You’re the Worst is now streaming on Hulu.
On paper, Happy Endings doesn’t sound terribly unique: It’s yet another sitcom about a bunch of mostly white, mostly middle-class, uniformly attractive young people hanging out in a big city. But it benefits from unusually good cast chemistry, even by the high standards of this list, and a willingness to commit to the bit, no matter how bizarre it gets. Each joke becomes ten times funnier as it ricochets around the room, and there’s often nothing but jokes — this isn’t a show that leans hard on feelings. If snarky pile-ons are your friend group’s love language, Happy Endings should be your happy place. — Angie Han, Deputy Entertainment Editor
How to watch: Happy Endings is now streaming on Hulu.
Few women in this world are as unabashedly kick-ass as The Golden Girls. Whether you caught this classic series in its ’80s heyday or are watching for the first time, Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and Sophia will grab your heart faster than you can say, “It thrusts my breasts forward.” Tune in and you’ll get sage advice on everything from self-confidence to aging. Well, unless you’re a banana.
How to watch: The Golden Girls is now streaming on Hulu.
If you’re thinking the 2020s are off to an awfully ugly start, might we interest you in a trip back to a more [Queen Latifah voice] ’90s kind of world? A precursor to Friends, Living Single invites you into a Brooklyn brownstone to follow six young adults navigating their personal and professional lives together — while, of course, occasionally hooking up with one another. Combining warm chemistry and sharp humor with a distinctive cast of characters, Living Single feels like coming home to a particularly charismatic group of besties. — A.H.
How to watch: Living Single is now streaming on Hulu.
Life is tough enough as a millennial woman trying to Have It All, but it would be a lot more fun letting off steam with the friends from Insecure. They thrive as much at the girls’ drug-fueled Coachella weekend as at a demure movie night in the park — and if they’re well-behaved, the guys can come too. Just prepare to be called on your bullshit and have to adjust your feelings about Lawrence week-to-week, nothing the show isn’t doing to us as viewers anyway. — P.K.
How to watch: Insecure is now streaming on HBO Now.
We’ve all been dubbed a Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer, or…Newman at least once in our lives — and, there’s no better time to settle that sort of debate then right now. The O.G. New York City hangout sitcom, Seinfeld hits on nearly every corner of city life in the ’90s in a way that practically transcends time. The observational jokes and topical quips still slap, and the situational comedy could apply to any number of 2020 shenanigans. Hang with this crew if only to find your answer to one of TV’s most-enduring questions. (I’m a Susan. Yeah, it sucks.)
There’s never been a better time to chill in Eric Forman’s basement. Unwind with Eric, Jackie, Donna, Kelso, Hyde, and Fez as the group battles the trials and tribulations of Ford-era high school through vinyl, hash, and circular table talk. That ’70s Show is the ideal distraction — offering a double dose of nostalgia, some truly lovable characters, and just a hint of anti-capitalist anarchy.
How to watch: That ’70s Show is now streaming on Netflix.
Social distancing can feel like it takes a lifetime, so we might as well watch one. Follow Cory, Topanga, Shawn, and Eric as they graduate from middle school to high school to college in one of the most spectacular sitcoms ever created. Set in a suburb of Philadelphia, Boy Meets World gives you all the warm and fuzzy feelings of watching the Harry Potter cast grow up, but without the stress of Voldemort taking over the Wizarding World. (Though there is Mr. Feeny…)
How to watch: Boy Meets World is now streaming on Disney+.
Do you like wine, warm Florida sunsets, and unceasing jokes about really bad titles? Then Cougar Town is your next show! A timeless classic among TBS stans, Cougar Town chronicles the 40something years of Jules Cobb and her wealth of delightful friends. Come for the promise of Busy Philipps completely crushing it. Stay for the Ellie zingers, title card jokes, and “penny can!”
How to watch: Cougar Town is now streaming on Hulu.
Need a drinking buddy? Or ten? Well, Cheers is the enduring bar sitcom here to save us all. Set in a Bostonian watering hole tended by a super hot Ted Danson, this ’80s sitcom surveys the many life paths that conclude with a cold one at the end of the day. A warm and inviting world to enter at any hour, Cheers will have you passing the beer nuts and asking Norm “What’s up?” ASAP.
If you’re using all this at-home time to bond with your roommates, then it’s time you played and/or watched “True American.” New Girl follows a group of friends united by Craigslist (and a mutual love of patriotically-named drinking games) as they explore their early 30s from a ludicrously underpriced loft in Los Angeles. Equal parts quirky and sweet, this series starts as your typical hangout sitcom but develops into a heart-tugging emotion fest. JFK! FDR!
How to watch: New Girl is now streaming on Netflix.
They’ll be there for you — when the rain starts to pour, like they’ve been there before, cause you shouldn’t go outdoors. Although Friends stopped streaming on Netflix in December, you can always commit to hanging with Phoebe, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Joey, and Monica via purchase or rental. Splurge on a few seasons and you can catch all the goings-on of Central Perk from the comfort of your own totally iconic couch. PIVOT!!