3 TV Shows That Prove Schadenfreude Is Real

3 TV Shows That Prove Schadenfreude Is Real

It allows me to forget my own worries, setbacks, and responsibilities for an hour. Or two. Or seven...

First off, I'll begin by admitting that I love TV. What makes that even better is that we're living in TV's "Golden Age". We have Netflix, Hulu, even Amazon Prime Video, all of which I love. My Roku is one of my most prized possessions. There are so many great choices and endless story lines, and all you need is a username and password from a friend and you can potentially have it all for free. Seem like a dream? I does to me. I love getting absorbed into a television show, learning all about new characters, analyzing their actions, and creating my own internal commentary on the events that I see occurring. It allows me to forget my own worries, setbacks, and responsibilities for an hour. Or two. Or seven...

But often I wonder why myself and so many others find television so comforting. Why do we enjoy becoming absorbed in a story, often absurd, contrived, or even completely fake, like The Bachelor or The Kardashians? Why do we enjoy watching a shows with a implausible storylines like the ending of Dexter, or the entire premise of Scandal? Why are we willing to dedicate hours to a program of our choice, oblivious to the outside world, the real world, sometimes even neglecting to set foot outside? Back when Glee and Gossip Girl was popular, I had friends who would stay indoors and spend all day devoted to these shows. Most shows don't necessarily teach us anything or better our lives in any significant way. Yet, we still devote our time, our emotions, and sometimes our money to these shows. Why?

The strange thing about watching television is that for the entire time you're watching you're show, you're only doing one thing, and that on thing is observing. Why do we like observing so much? For me, I like the choices. I like being able to pick and choose what I watch, deciding what's worth my time and what isn't. I think being able to choose is a big factor in the widespread devotion to television in modern culture. But I also think that, myself included, what most people chose for entertainment is often representative of the idea of schadenfreude. By this, I'm referring to the idea that we derive pleasure from the suffering of others. We like to see others going through difficult times, because it puts our lives into perspective. Here are some examples.


One of my favorite shows Shameless is about a poor Chicago family held together by the eldest sister, Fiona in the midst of an intermittently present but alcoholic father and an often missing mentally ill mother. Clearly, their lives are all difficult. This show is extremely entertaining, but also puts my troubles into perspective. After watching an episode of Shameless I'm often inclined to laugh at my own so-called "problems" like having to write a paper for school, when the main character, Fiona just got thrown in prison for a minor mistake.

The Bachelor

This is a completely contrived, fake, and, in my opinion, "stupid" show. BUT I STILL WATCH IT. WHY? My opinion is that all watchers of The Bachelor literally enjoy watching heartbreak or at least enjoy watching a flimsy simulation of heartbreak. We also enjoy watching people fall in love or, once again, a simulation of people falling in love, even if we know it's contrived. The fact that we often enjoy watching individuals experiencing drama, heartbreak, and outbursts of tears suggests that many of us have an innate need to see others "fail" in order to feel relaxed or satisfied.


This Netflix original follows the life and career of Pablo Escobar. While viewers enjoy watching his lavish lifestyle, we are also constantly on edge and nervous because his illegal operations are almost always threatened. He has to continuously defend his lifestyle and fight for the survival of himself and his allies. His life in hiding is not necessarily one to be admired and viewers can compare his lifestyle to that of our our own, thus recognizing the comfort and stability we have.

I'm not saying we're inherently bad for taking pleasure in others' misfortunes. But we need to recognize this dark tendency in ourselves. Schadenfreude can be dangerous. We should work on controlling our inherent schadenfreude while developing empathetic tendencies in ourselves in order to treat each other with kindness and respect. I believe as long as we attempt to limit our schadenfreude to television, it's dangers may be mitigated.

Cover Image Credit: streaming observer.com

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."

Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."

3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."

4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.

"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.

“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.

Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."

25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.

"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.

"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."

30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.

"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"

32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."

34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."

35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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6 Ways To Decorate Your Dorm Or Apartment For The Holidays On A Budget

Baby, it's cold outside.


As the holiday season approaches, it's easy to get sucked into the Pinterest vortex of holiday decorations, party favors, clothes and more. Unfortunately most of us college students don't have the money for all of this cute stuff so we have to watch for bargains or DIY it. Here are my six recommendations to get into the Christmas spirit:

1. String some festive lights in your room


I have Christmas lights hanging up in my room all year around because I love them so much, but you can find some cheap lights at Target or Walmart. You can get snowflake lights, lantern lights, normal Christmas lights or anything else that you want. Use command strips to hang them up, and soon it'll feel more relaxing and you'll be more in the Christmas spirit.

2. Use window clings


I love window clings! You stick them on from the inside (obviously) and then you can see them from the outside. I have different window clings for almost every season. If you have some old window clings that don't stick anymore, just put a little bit of water on the back of them and they'll stick like they're brand new.

3. Raid the Target dollar section


So, this depends on where you live and how often your local Target changes out their dollar section, but you would be surprised in what you could find there!

4. Hunt around for a mini tree (real or fake)


I used to have a fake little green Christmas tree with cute little ornaments but sadly I don't have it anymore nor do I have room for it anywhere in my room. A little Christmas tree in your room or on your dresser just makes everything a little bit more festive. I used to have my little Christmas tree on my dresser until my cat found it. Yeah, you know where that is going.

5. Make easy DIY decorations


Pinterest is the best website for this, well actually they're known for DIY projects. Why spend $50 on one Christmas decoration when you can do a DIY and spend only $20?

6. Use Winter themed candles


I love Bath and Body works because they always have the best sales and you can usually get something half priced or sometimes something for free! Plus everything smells so good in that store and it's so tempting to buy everything but if you come into the store with a goal, you'll leave with your goal.

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