8 Situations in 'Broad City' Nearly Every New Yorker Has Lived Through IRL

Everyone knows that Comedy Central's Broad City is the sweetest, most hilarious, accurate representation of New York City out of any show that's ever been set in this city. We know that's a bold declaration, but it's also quite possibly an incredibly true one.

In Broad City, creators, writers, show runners and stars, Abbi and Ilana bear hellishly long commutes on the subway, which is a comedy gold mine within itself. 

They buy counterfeit purses in Chinatown, they dance topless in Central Park, and they even spend one episode chasing a tourist through all of NYC's tourist destinations.

Broad City illuminates NYC in all its shimmering complexities. 

Abbi and Ilana party with the NYC's most pretentious in SoHo one second and fend off NYC's most ridiculous catcallers in the streets the next.

All-in-all, Broad City couldn't be nearly as amazing if it weren't set in NYC. That's why Abbi and Ilana have referred to NYC as a main character in the series. 

Read on to find out what "That's so NYC" situations the girls of Broad City have been through.

1. Catcalling

Abbi and Ilana get catcalled a lot during the series, and they handle it in a variety of ways.

Once, they're told to smile, and they hold up their middle fingers and use them to form their faces into a smile. Sometimes, they hiss at street creeps to get them to go away. 


Other times, they're candidly honest, and say things like, "You're grossing me out. I'm a person!"

The harsh reality for women in NYC that we have to put up with hurricanes of obscene comments and gestures on the street. It's a testament to Broad City's social awareness that it's able to take this reality and twist it into an exaggerated parody that's both empowering and hilarious. 

Good work, ladies.

2. Gentrification

When Abbi, completely blasted on a combination of Vicodin and marijuana, sneaks out of Ilana's apartment and to Whole Foods, she stands looking at the grocery store in awe.

Bingo Bronson, her giant, talking stuffed animal exclaims, "This is Whole Foods, the most wonderful place in the world!" 

Abbi says, "Whoa." Then Bingo Bronson says, "It's like a whole new Gowanus!"

Ilana also pokes fun at Gownaus' gentrification later in the episode, when she rides her bike to Whole Foods to find Abbi. Ilana spends a moment gazing at Whole Foods, then remarks, "Wow. This neighborhood really is changing."

When Abbi finally checks out, after throwing everything she can into her cart, her total comes to $1,087.56, a realistic Whole Foods price for sure.

3. The absurdity of the subway

Abbi and Ilana definitely recognize the subway for what it is: prime joke real estate.

As the Great Equalizer in NYC, people from all walks of life ride the subway. Like, really. We see people on the subway that we wouldn't believe existed if we hadn't seen them ourselves.


Abbi and Ilana ride the subway with these hard-to-process humans in the show, and it's not so much a parody as an exaggerated reflection of reality.

There's a whole train full of Hassidic rabbis. There's a guy clipping his toenails, a boy getting a haircut, and an entire family enjoying a giant hero. Like we said, the subway is ridiculous, and Broad City depicts it perfectly.

4. Stop and frisk

Stop and frisk is preposterous and a clear violation of the constitution, but whatever.

The point is, Abbi and Ilana also have to contend with the possibility of getting stopped and frisked, so when they're trying to transport their drugs, they have to get... creative about it.

We mean it. They get super creative. They find a natural, responsible way to transport their illegal substances.


5. Horrible brokers and tiny apartments

At some point, Abbi decides she needs to get away from her roommate's perpetually crashing boyfriend, Bevers, and find her own apartment. The chaos that ensues? It couldn't be more hilarious, and it couldn't be more true-to-life-NYC.

First off, Abbi and Ilana's broker is an insane woman who's completely disconnected from reality. This is typical for nearly all NYC brokers.

She shows them an apartment with a blood spattered wall, and apartment where the bed is an inch from the ceiling, and finally, she brings them to a tiny studio.


Abbi remarks, "It's a hallway." The broker responds, "It's a beautiful, railroad style, one bedroom apartment in your budget."

We're pretty sure every NYC broker has said those same words in that same order hundreds of times. When Abbi asks where the bathroom is, the broker responds, in one of the most classic Broad City lines ever, "Where isn't the bathroom?"

6. Penn Station ends relationships

You know Penn Station is the worst place in NYC, we know Penn Station is the worst place in NYC, and so does Broad City. That's is why Penn Station is the eventual cause of one of Abbi's relationships.

Abbi, Ilana, the boy Abbi's seeing, and some other characters are on their way to a wedding. Ilana assumes they'll be boarding the train out of Grand Central, so they go to Grand Central first. Then, they realize they've got to go to Penn Station, and take off running.

Lincoln hangs back, and says the truest phrase there is to say about Grand Central: "Holy sh*t, this place really is majestic."

Then, outside the terminal Abbi's date to the wedding pulls her aside, looks at her and says, with all the sincerity and accuracy with which anyone should discuss Penn Station, "Penn Station. I can't. It's disgusting. It's kind a deal breaker for me."

Broad City, you've done it again.

7. The Upper East Side is a horrible, vapid wasteland

Abbi's phone's been stolen, and she and Ilana use "Find my iPhone" and discover it's ... on the Upper East Side. They dread going to the UES. Abbi says, in terror, "I don't want to go there." Ilana whispers, "Must we?"

Cut to Abbi and Ilana racing up the Upper East Side's sidewalks, witnessing the most characteristically Upper East Side lines of dialogue.

One woman, decked out in a suit and skirt, says, "My son-in-law is such a disgrace. He went to Cornell!" 


Another woman, speaking to her friend, says, "I'm fine with a tsunami, but not in Saint Barthes, anywhere else is fine." 

The third woman says, "That's the tenth horse that's died this year. That's ten horses I've had to replace!"

Abbi and Ilana balance out this absurd, barely-hyperbolic dialogue by hilariously wincing in horror.

8. Unwanted encounters on Saint Mark's Place

For Ilana's 23rd birthday, she and Abbi spend the evening parading up and down Saint Mark's Place, and, obviously pandemonium erupts.

There's a giant guy in stilts dressed as a tree. There are bongs all over the place. Then, they finally go out to eat.

At the Saint Mark's dumpling restaurant (of course it's a dumpling restaurant) they see two people they really don't want to see, two extremely annoying, theatrical characters. It's funny because NYC is filled to the brim with these exaggerated, annoying, theatrical characters.

Abbi and Ilana's acquaintances force Abbi and Ilana to sit through the reenactment of an absurd one-man show, and then Abbi can't take any more. She purposely throws her wine on Ilana so they can get out of there. Yass kween.

Check out Broad City Is the Realest NYC Show You'll Ever See. Here's Why

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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