While sitcoms have produced their fair share of interesting characters, it would seem that the writers decided to call it quits there, failing to develop any moderately interesting places for them to hang out. Apparentl high school students still hang out in the same places that they did in 1952, while young adults drink approximately 11 cups of coffee per day. For characters that seem to have free time in spades, they sure didn’t invest much effort in finding a decent place to spend it.

These places might beat the DMV, but just barely. Here are 5 shitty television hangouts.

5. Central Perk – Friends

The friends, for all their prowess in negotiating the Manhattan real estate market, sure didn’t seem very discriminating when it came to picking a place to hang out. With a couple exceptions, they never seemed to meet anyone there, and it’s not like the opportunity to meet with that awkward albino Gunther was a real selling point. It looked comfortable, but so is my couch at home.

Further, that place must have been pretty dead if the gang was ALWAYS able to get the premiere couch. Plus, the place was rife with bullies that would take their seats. Don’t act like you don’t know what episode I’m talking about.

Finally, I have a pretty developed theory that if Ross Gellar patronizes an establishment more than three times, that establishment is ruined for all eternity.

4.The Max – Saved by the Bell

There are so many reasons this place sucked, it’s easier for everyone if I switch to bullet points.

  • “Max” was a magician, and not a terribly entertaining one.

  • The inside of the place looked like a Trapper Keeper.

  • Complete lack of Rod Belding

  • Home to so many school events, dance marathons, sock hops, etc, that it might as well have been an extension of Bayside

  • Entire menu consisted of cheeseburgers, fries, and shakes.

  • Constantly occupied by creepy students just standing around

  • It seems like all the people you meet there are either too short, in wheelchairs, pompous eggheads, or Screech.

  • Students once placed a duck (Becky) on the table, which is unsanitary. And depressing, considering the duck was later killed in an oil spill, which got us all to think about the environment and stuff.

3. Peach Pit/Peach Pit After Dark– Beverly Hills 90210

Were 1990’s teenagers hanging out in diners THAT much? Did I miss a whole phenomenon? Also, what did Nate ever do to prove he was wiser than Yoda? Because you’re in an apron at a diner doesn’t make you a licensed therapist.

Further, I don’t really understand the synergies that exist by combining a diner with a live-music nightclub, especially in Beverly Hills. I guess that rich marketplace was clamoring for a place to get a malted, then watch a triple bill featuring the Flaming Lips, Jade, and Powerman 5000. Don’t get me wrong, I like both those things, but I don’t really want them combined.

Don’t they know that they’re rich kids and should be reading Bret Easton Ellis novels for inspiration on how to spend their free time rather than living like extras from Happy Days? Do some cocaine, be bisexual, then wrap your dad’s Benz around a telephone pole.

2. Monk’s – Seinfeld

There are approximately 432,430 diners in Manhattan. So why do Jerry, Elaine, and George constantly frequent Monk’s for bad service, unremarkable (from what I can see) food, and a sterile environment where they keep running into people that they hate. I guess they needed some place to hang out in their busy schedules of seeing Friday-night movies and not drinking. Kramer, by far the most interesting one of the bunch, patronized the place far less often than the others, showing that he is the groups de facto arbiter of good taste, or at least interesting taste.

Monk’s was perfect for a group as boring and insipid as the Seinfeld gang. Tuna on toast for everyone!!!

1. Satriale’s (The Pork Store) – The Sopranos

Why the hell would any of these guys hold court in the back of a filthy butcher shop when they had the run of a strip club just down the road? The only discernible reason is that those rotund gentlemen appreciated the kitchen in the back, since if they go without eating for more than 48 minutes, they wither up and die.

Could you imagine how bad the back of a pork store smells? Also, the goodfellas ran a 43% chance of running into Agent Harris every time they stepped to the front of the store. I guess the convenience of geographically proximate pork outweighed the allure of perky, nubile breasts and the frequent opportunities to belittle and assault Georgie, the incompetent bartender.

Further, Satriale’s had a legacy of violence. Christopher made his bones there by executing Emil, the Czech gangster, and the other guys stabbed the hell out of a made man in the back after he didn’t know when to watch his mouth. Tony also dealt his short-lived driver an asskicking.

The only thing that ever happened at the Bing were covert blowjobs. Oh, and Ralphie kicked his mistress to death.

OK. So there’s no clear edge there, but the strip club still prevails.