You’ve been there. I know you have. When someone over drinks at the bar who’s been Netflix binging drops the question: so who would we all be on [insert popular and topical sitcom]?
Then the passive-aggressive arguments ensue. Everyone fights to be the “cool” or “funny” characters while the annoying ones are cast aside. No one is wiling to deem themselves annoying or, gasp, label someone IN THE SAME ROOM as an asshole — that’s what social media is for. P.S. ‘member sub-tweeting? That was fun.
To make this personality analysis easier, I present to you rules of the road (using recently popular shows/Netflix TV as examples):
- You can’t self-assess. No, JANET. You’re not “zany” like Phoebe or Jess, or “career-driven” like Robin. Hey Brad, I got news for you, homie — you’re not as cool, witty, or handsome as Jim Halpert. This is like picking yourself first for kickball — it don’t work and mistakes are sure to be made from the jump.
- You can have more than one of the same character. Friend groups aren’t always balanced perfectly among race, gender, and personality type. When someone is quickly identified as a Joey or Ted, don’t immediately veto the possibility of another cropping up.
- Forget gender. Self-explanatory: a chick can be a dude and vice versa.
- Forget relationship status. Just because two folks in your crew are married, that doesn’t mean they have to be the married couple in the show. Can you tell I’m single when I say: “your relationship status does not define you.” Now, it bears mentioning that some characters are so strongly intertwined with their relationship status that it transcends status and becomes part of their personality. A Barney from How I Met Your Mother, for example, is chronically single and womanizing.
- Forget occupation. While it’s true somewhat that your occupation could reasonably inform who you are as person, it makes the TV show comparison too biased if your day job mimics a character’s. So much so, it’ll cause everyone to ignore blatant contradictory personalities.
- As a matter of fact, forget fucking everything EXCEPT key personality traits. The point here (or so I thought) is to highlight WHO everyone is. Isolate those character traits. Put yourself in the situations gifted to us by these hilarious situational comedies. See who’s who by seeing who’s who.
First, y’all have to identify the key characteristics of each character. To do so, I’d give each person a piece of paper and have them write down ten descriptors for each character. Then, count out the top five most frequently identified descriptors — these will be the five characteristics you will apply to yourselves. This ensures two outcomes: (1) you are all assigned characters based on consistent data points and (2) the data points were created by the people assigning the characters, which should guarantee a result that your dang argumentative friends can live with.
Now, if you want a truly accurate identification, do this bitch auction-style. “I gotta Ron Swanson on the block.” Good with his/her hands, a Libertarian borderline Nihilist, carnivore to the max. Have everyone vote who is most likely that character via anonymous ballet. If there’s a tie, have a run-off. If there’s still a tie, ask the two people a question specific to the character. As detailed above, it may be that you simply have two Swansons in your gang. Side note: that’s a substantial amount of backyard-buried gold to fund friend outings.
Bang. No more frustrating arguments and passive-aggressive comments. Each person can be assigned the best possible character and y’all can move on to whatever stupid follow-up debate will surely follow. I’ve heard that googling “dirty would you rather’s” can also be rather, ahem, friend defining. Good luck. Don’t be a Monica, amirite?
[banner image from Scout Cheat Sheet]