The Greatest Sitcoms of all Time


 |  | By 


For more than four decades, the television has acted as a unifying device, bringing families and friends together. In the days before DVR, you had to be parked in front of your TV in time to catch your favorite sitcoms when they aired the first time around.

And honestly, the reruns were never as fun to watch. Besides, everyone you knew would be talking about said shows after they aired, so you didn’t want to miss them.

Gradually, as technology has evolved, TV as we know it has changed. The introduction of DVR erased the necessity of catching a program live. Services like Hulu now meant that the average person didn’t even need to be home or watching their TV to see their favorite shows: they could access this programming on their phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

Today, with the rise of Netflix and other streaming services, people often prefer this original programming over what’s aired on cable today. That means the lifespan of the cable TV show may be shorter than it once was; if it doesn’t catch on in just a season, it could be cut loose from the cable lineup.

That said, when someone falls in love with a show, they’ll often devote huge blocks of time to it, watching it in one sitting, otherwise known as “binge-watching.” That kind of fanaticism was impossible even 20 years ago unless you recorded the shows when they aired or bought them on DVD when they were released.

There are more shows to watch today than ever before, even if a lot of people’s TV sets are sitting at home collecting dust. Yet if you ask someone to tell you what the best sitcom of all time is, you’re probably going to get some divisive answers.

And that makes sense. Some prefer the classic shows of the ‘60s and ‘70s, when it was a novel thing to see a show aired in full color. Others prefer the campiness of ‘80s television programming, which also delivered some gems. More people still are holding on to the shows of the ‘90s, which remind the younger generation of their childhoods. Even still, others like the programs that debuted in the early to mid-2000s before Netflix became the norm.

It seems impossible to try to determine which show is the most beloved, but it’s far easier to pick a handful of favorites. These shows had great ratings when they first aired, yes, but they live on even in today’s Netflix-obsessed society (some of them have even been featured on Netflix’s lineup).

These are the shows we can’t forget all these years later. The characters are like old friends; the storylines are ingrained in us. We can recite whole episodes and maybe have taken certain popular quotes from these shows and added them to our own vernaculars.

In this list of the 25 best sitcoms, we’ll be revisiting shows from the ‘60s through the 2000s, so get ready for a trip down memory lane.