Five Actionable Life Lessons That Made ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Win Over My Heart
Few TV shows in the history of TV have impacted viewers quite like Schitt’s Creek. The six-season TV series covers everything from love to loss to learning how to properly store wigs. In between the laughs — and sometimes during them — there were actually a lot of important actionable life lessons the characters of Schitt’s Creek bestowed upon fans. I won’t go into details about the show because if you haven’t seen it yet you need to, however what I will do is give you what I feel are significant lessons that you can take from the show and apply to you both your business and your life.
Schitt’s Creek is a TV show that steadfastly captured the hearts of viewers of all age groups as it progressed with each season.
The premise of Schitt’s Creek — a rich, mogul family moving to a small town after unexpectedly going bankrupt — sets up the plotline that, over time, has drawn in a devoted audience. Whether you’ve watched a few episodes of Schitt’s Creek, or have binged each season, you’ve probably noticed that the show has an effective understated appeal to it that’s both compelling and endearing. The show is full of comedic genius, but also takes on real-life morals and values with a warmth and empathy that gets its audience emotionally invested.
The Rose family did some soul-searching to find out what their career paths should be, and taught audiences a lot of valuable business lessons.
One huge aspect of Schitt’s Creek that isn’t talked about nearly enough is the business side of the Rose family. Upon meeting the Roses, viewers were told that Moira was an actress and Johnny was a businessman who owned a franchise of video stores. When they lost everything in season one, the Roses were starting from scratch. While Moira stuck to acting, the rest of the family dug deep to find ways of growing their own businesses. And as is the case with any business, mistakes happen but the best way to overcome those mistakes is by getting up and trying again — just as the Roses did.
Classified as a sitcom, Schitt’s Creek is certainly hilarious. But it’s also much more than 25 minutes of laughs.
Under all that humor is some of the best writing I’ve seen in years, with a host of life lessons tucked neatly into each carefully crafted scene. And as I laughed (and sometimes cried) along with the Rose family and all the wacky residents of Schitt’s Creek, watching them learn, grow, and love, in what is for them, a strange new world, I realized that I was learning and growing too.
Here are just some of the stand-out life lessons from the much-loved Rose’s, and their Schitt’s Creek community.
With a historic Emmys sweep in 2020 and a vast community of dedicated fans, the show has made a lasting impression. But what exactly makes Schitt’s Creek so special? Schitt’s Creek has established itself as the cult classic sitcom, the most therapeutic watch of this decade, bagging 7 Emmys and millions of hearts around the globe. Here’s what Schitt’s Creek teaches you about life.
Schitt's Creek Lesson #1: Like The Wine, Not The Label
If there’s one thing the Roses showed throughout the series, it’s that you should strive to be your biggest, boldest, brightest self. Even when they felt out of place — whether it was performing an off-season mother-son duet at the Asbestos Fest or sporting a different wig for every occasion — there’s no need to hide what makes you unique. Embrace it, and you might actually find the best possible version of yourself.
When David said ‘Like the wine, not the label’, he was talking about his sexuality. But this goes for everything in life. Labels are just that — labels, and nothing more.
This line also hints at the inclusivity and representation of people from all walks of life, as well as all the different kinds of people who live in the town. David’s character deepens, and matures with such authenticity. His powerful line is just one of the moments that communicates the shows positive message of representation and inclusivity, in a natural, beautiful way. Powerfully, this message’s sentiment is resounded in the town that meets David and Patrick’s marriage with harmony and love. David Rose and Patrick Brewer develop a love that is delightfully sweet, leaving us wanting to see more of their genuine connection — no label required.
When you open yourself up to others you show courage and strength. When you show courage and strength you attract people to you.
We all have emotions and crazy thoughts and weird reflections because of life and it’s encouraged to share those things with someone else because that is how we connect. That is how we build relationships with our partner, our friends, our family. Throughout Schitt’s Creek we see how many characters struggle with letting their walls down or asking for help when they need it. being vulnerable and sharing those moments with someone never makes you weak and trust me, you never come off as fragile as you feel.
No matter what someone says or does, understand that your values, thoughts, and beliefs do not have to change.
Remind yourself what led you to hold these beliefs in the first place — whether you do this mentally, through meditation, or by physically writing down and journaling your thoughts. Writing out your emotions and thoughts is extremely powerful and therapeutic. You may be surprised by revelations that come up as you do this! Remember that you are an individual. With that comes the freedom of thought, expression and holding views that align with your core being. These do not have to change for anyone or anything.
Making yourself a priority enables you to be a better person, not just for yourself, but for the relationships your forge along the way.
The choices we make from a more loving space are far more beneficial than the ones we make from a place of guilt, lack and overextending. Start to shift your focus on things that are going right in your life and pay attention to the person looking back in the mirror. He or she has their own unique attributes. Let go of the inner perfectionist and start to appreciate your smile, your talents, what you have to offer. Starting to see your value is the fastest way to shift focus to the right place. Listen to the things that are ticking at your heart’s door and find a way to do one thing at a time if you can. You can encourage yourself to do it all and to find a way for life to support you while you do.
Schitt's Creek Lesson #2: Life is Fickle
While having a plan is pretty standard when goal-chasing, the on-screen family highlights how to navigate life when those plans change. Whether it’s by fate or by choice, you’re not pigeonholed into one set path. Learning to thrive in the midst of chaos and being flexible when things don’t go your way is probably the reason they all ended up fulfilled by the series finale.
Life is the most fickle thing, anything could happen in a given moment of time, which is why we should be happy and cherish these fleeting moments.
One of the best things about Schitt’s Creek is that it managed to showcase all types of situations — from loss to inadequacy to coming out to fear — in a way that was not only relatable and honest but lighthearted as well. We can’t escape incessant changes that are taking place, rather we can learn to be fluid and adjust according to the requirements. Even in the darkest of times, pandemic, losing your business and/or job, poor economy etc., there are opportunities all around us. What separates those who bounce back from those who don’t is what they focus on and the actions they take each and every day.
When life knocks you down, you have to get back up.
David and his family were shocked when they went from being incredibly wealthy to living in a run-down motel in a small town. Sure, they were down on their luck, and they wallowed in their misery for a period of time. David was arguably the one who wallowed the worst. He was constantly putting down Schitt’s Creek, and basically said he was miserable on multiple occasions. However, he soon learned that he wasn’t going to accomplish anything by sitting around in his misery. He decided to get out that room he shared with his sister and did something productive.
When life hands you lemons, keep squeezing.
Before they lost it all, Johnny Rose was an entrepreneur who made his fortune by investing in video stores, and Moira, played by the lovely Catherine O’Hara, was a daytime soap actress. They flounder as they try to figure out how to fit into their new lives, but they keep trying, and all eventually find their way, with Moira landing acting gigs, and even spoiled trust fund kids David and Alexis end up establishing their own careers. It’s a reminder that no matter what kind of curves life throws us, we can’t give up on our dreams. We have to keep moving forward, even when it seems like it will never happen. Because in the end, things tend to work out just the way they are supposed to, and it’s our perseverance and willingness to fight for what we want that makes our dreams come true.
The world is going to change whether you like it or not, with or without you, so if you refuse to embrace that, then you’re going to be left behind.
Change is happening all around us, but sometimes instead of embracing the possibilities, we retreat in fear and allow our overactive imaginations to take hold, and that’s never a good thing. You’ve been growing and changing from the day you were born and it’s what’s made you who you are today. So the next time things begin to look different, just remember that it’s likely it’s not for the worse and confront it head-on. You never know what’s just around the corner, and that’s an exciting prospect, isn’t it?
Schitt's Creek Lesson #3: Dress to Express
Just because the Rose family lived in a small town, that didn’t mean they let their individual styles change. With Johnny’s suits, David’s high-fashion pieces, Alexis’ on-trend lewks, and Moira’s use of costumes and wigs, they continuously dressed how they felt best. As someone who owns loads of fun pieces I’m not always bold enough to rock, I’ll remember the family before reaching for that plain T-shirt I always wear.
Fashion is inherent to the show. A shout out is due to David Rose who always comes forth with his own David-Rose-esque Gothic Couture that lets everyone know his distinctive style.
But Mrs. Moira Rose has to take the cake on this one. With her transatlantic accent, and eccentric vocabulary, Moira wins us over one outrageous wig and costume choice at a time. The lady knows how to make an entrance, to say the least. It’s almost as if her character is too big for the show, yet fits in the most perfect way that no one would dare to change. As Moira works pieces from Alexander McQueen to Isabel Marant, and more, she uses her appearance to make a statement and distinguish herself, but does so in a way that is so unapologetically genuine to who she is, all the while showcasing her heart of gold.
Multiple studies have shown that dressing well increases your performance and heightens others’ impressions of you.
For example, wearing clothes that make you feel important or intelligent can change the way you interact with others as well as your cognitive functioning. What’s more, other people will make different assumptions about you based on the way you dress. This means you can make yourself smarter or more powerful based on your clothes alone. A change of wardrobe can help you get the job you want, the deals you want, the recognition you want, and even the mate you want. It’s that powerful.
Moira Rose is never afraid to show the world exactly who she is, and I can’t help but wonder how great it would be if we could all be that confident.
She manifests herself as the Queen bee, and even when her friends and neighbors bring her back to earth on a regular basis, she never stays down for long. And while she evolves and grows over the course of the show, she remains unequivocally, and undeniably, true to herself. Moira is always exactly herself, regardless of the situation. She isn’t afraid to go to breakfast at the town’s lone diner in a glittering, full length gown, and she isn’t afraid to sing for a crowd (whether invited or not) because, well, she’s Moira Rose.
Simply changing the way you dress can have a drastic impact on how you think about yourself.
Self-esteem and self-efficacy are extremely important in determining the judgment of your own worth, and they function as indicators of your beliefs in your ability to successfully achieve goals. Moreover, having a higher degree of self-perception can result in positive outcomes when encountering new experiences and interacting with others. So, next time you pick out an outfit, think about how the clothes you wear may turn you into a different person!
Schitt's Creek Lesson #4: Money Can’t Buy Everything
The Rose family moved into a motel that’s — how should I say this — not quite up to the standards of the luxury they’re used to. They lost basically everything and felt shocked, sad, and angry. As the seasons roll on, whether it’s a family hug, a thoughtful discussion, or a little Alexis-boop-on-the-nose, the most authentic beauty is found by each character in the little moments. The understated moment that sticks out most, of course, is when Patrick serenades David with his version of Tina Turner’s “Simply the Best”.
The show communicates just how much beauty and meaning there is in simplicity.
In Season 3, Episode 12 their old, giant family portrait shows up at the motel because it didn’t end up being sold. Stevie catches John looking at it and reminiscing as he says, ”The family often wasn’t all together back then, but I could look at this and there we were.” But Stevie’s response says it all, “Well, you guys are together like all the time now, so who needs this?” Yes, they may have lost their material wealth but that loss instigated the reunion of their family, making them richer than ever. Yes, it’s nice to have money, but it certainly isn’t everything.
As amazing as high-end designers, mansions, and cars are, money isn’t everything.
The Roses learned that life really began for them when they lost their millions. Without the distraction of money and everything that money buys, the Roses focused on their family, health, and their happiness. Without money, the Roses became a family again. They missed the money of course, but there was a point in the series where the family was glad they lost everything as a way to reconnect and rebuild. For people like David and Alexis, they didn’t create their own businesses as a way to become wealthy. They created their own companies as a way to have something for themselves and to make their families proud.
You never know what life might hold for you in the next second.
All we get are the little moments to rejoice and celebrate. Celebration of little achievements make us happier and fuels us to do bigger things in life. If we wait for that one extravagant moment we might miss these little prezzies life has bestowed upon us, and perhaps forget to be happy; finding happiness is what life is all about. Life throws curve balls and sometimes that means, settling in a town in the middle of nowhere, losing an empire, and starting anew. Was it easy for the Rose family? Absolutely not! But, as Johnny Rose says, you miss 100% of tapes that you don’t watch. Take that chance in life.
As the seasons progress, we see the family becoming less concerned with material things, and more invested in their relationships with each other.
There are poignant moments when Johnny realizes how little he knew his children while they were growing up, and times when we see a connection between Alexis and David that the siblings never even realized they had. The bond between the family grows, and they forge real and genuine friendships with the residents of the town. Alexis finds her footing and her own career, and a new sense of pride that goes with the satisfaction of a job well done. David realizes that the friendships he had in his other life weren’t really friendships at all, and what the family finds in Schitt’s Creek has more currency than any of the money that used to line their pockets. They might not be rich anymore, but they are wealthy in all the ways that matter.
Schitt's Creek Lesson #5: Love is Love
The humanist lens on Schitt’s Creek allows us to explore the critical value of human understanding and connection. The Roses, through each of their warm-hearted and hilarious adventures, resound this value. The time they spend connecting with and forming an understanding of one another proves, in the end, to be transformational — for both them, and their viewers.
Support the people you care about — whether they ask for it or not.
Achieving a goal is so rewarding, especially when you’re able to celebrate it with someone. The Rose’s dramatic attitudes and sassy remarks made me not want to watch the show at first, thinking that’s all it was going to amount to. But soon I came to find that each of them are more genuine than they first appear. Countless times throughout the show we watch the way they support each other. Subtle signs of support at times? Yes. Support along with sarcastic comments? Oh hell yes. But, support nonetheless. Giving your time and energy to others can be just as nourishing to your soul as taking care of yourself. When people are going through challenging times or struggling with health issues, it’s much more difficult for them to practice self-care.
Family stays no matter what.
The Roses, whom the story revolved around, remained together through the ups and downs. They started to appreciate the existence of one another and helped each other at times, which is what the family is about. Showing up for the people we love, the smallest of gestures can mean so much. From Moira showing up for Alexis in her graduation to Patrick pushing David out of his comfort zone, Schitt’s Creek shows the simplest and intricate lessons on love. When you are committed to showing up for the people you care about, you are intentional about reaching out to them without them having to take the first step or to ask for help. It’s about putting yourself in their shoes and imaging what you would want if you were in a similar situation.
One of the most important takeaways from the show comes from the relationship that grows between David and his boyfriend, Patrick, played by actor Noah Reid.
David, who hides his fragility behind sarcastic wit and an “I don’t care” attitude, finds himself falling hard for sweet Patrick, and best of all, the whole town falls in love with them too. This world that the Levys created doesn’t know homophobia. These small-town people, rather than having the stereotypical small-town minds, not only accept Daniel and Patrick’s relationship, they embrace it. There’s no ugliness, no divisiveness, no hate. It’s all love, in the same way the townspeople accept each other, and accept the Rose family. Everyone gets to be exactly who they are, exactly who they’re meant to be, giving us a window into what the world could be like, if we could only love and respect each other, all the time. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Be more open to others that are not like you. Be more open to others who you may not understand.
If you want more love of any kind in your life, the best way to start is by showing more love to other people. You get what you give. Do things for others, simply out of the goodness of your heart, expecting nothing in return. Make a point of spending more quality time with the people who are most important to you and doing things that you know will make them happy, just because you can. Or why not volunteer for a good cause and spread the love that way. The more love you give to the world and the people around you, the more worthy you’ll feel of receiving it.
Ultimately, Schitt’s Creek is our chrysanthemum of hope, low-key therapy, and a gift for 2020 where the most optimistic people can run out of silver linings. Schitt’s creek was true shits and giggles with wisdom drizzled on top. All I want to say to the Schitt’s Creek cast and crew is that thank you for the wonderful moments and inspiring lessons.
In summary Schitt’s Creek is a show about kindness, resilience and acceptance.
Success is not determined by, or a reflection of our bank accounts. True success I believe is determined by two things. The way we show up and the company we keep. No wonder the show won so many Emmy Awards. Perhaps the biggest lesson is that money isn’t all about the bottom line: You’ve got to invest in human relationships, too. The Roses do just that and come out winners, again, in the end. While the show is over, these lessons hopefully live on in our hearts and minds.
Ultimately, Schitt’s Creek characters were truly a team.
Likewise, David and Patrick were a great team at work when their communication synced. David wasn’t always the brightest or most forthcoming at work, but when he and Patrick spoke their thoughts open and honestly it made the business run smoother. As partners, the Roses didn’t leave Stevie or Patrick out to dry. They worked together for the betterment of their businesses. As the family’s story shows, everything can change in an instant. When shit happens, learn to roll with the punches and there’s a good chance everything will come up roses.
Pursue people, love, real worth and real life, not clicks, likes, and all the empty trappings of wealth.
We need friends, family, something to lay your hands on and make grow, we need to understand that fulfillment lies in interdependence and relationships. How much better to have a few people who you care about care about you than to have thousands of people know your name. Schitt’s Creek may have started as a joke about the wealth and the status that keep us apart, but it became a show about all the things that unite us.
Perhaps, by following the steps that the Schitt’s Creek cast took, you’ll find your very own Schitt’s Creek, the slice of paradise that Moira Rose likes to call, ‘the town where I currently am.’
These were the few lessons I’ve learned from watching Schitt’s Creek so far. If there’s any more you can think of, do share them in the comments below! I would be curious to know what life lessons you have learned from Schitt’s Creek. If you have not yet watched it, you have some homework to do!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.