Will the ‘2 Broke Girls’ Ever Not Be Broke?

Max and Caroline’s cupcake hustle has been real for five years. Now part owners of the diner and set on revamping their dessert bar, are the ‘2 Broke Girls’ on the road to riches?

When CBS’ 2 Broke Girls met each other back in 2011, Caroline had lost her multi-million dollar fortune while Max pushed and shoved her way through Brooklyn with the ease of a seasoned New Yorker. Together, they combined their talents to form an unstoppable duo determined to takeover the dessert world one cupcake at a time.

Five seasons later, they’re still rocking their ketchup and mustard colored diner uniforms, flying under the rent radar, and tirelessly slinging their cupcakes day and night. When, if ever, will these poor (literally and figuratively) girls hit their big break and cover a magazine rather than each other’s backs when they’re swiping toiletries from the drugstore?

In Season 6, Max’s Homemade Cupcakes might become a force to be reckoned with. The girls’ business upswings in a big way this season, as they used the colossal check Caroline received from the film rights based on her misfortune to purchase half the diner and expand their cupcake window. Before, they were your average bakery. Now they’ll serve buttercream and booze.

For viewers, it’s fulfilling to see Max and Caroline making positive strides toward achieving some form of success. They have taken two steps forward only to be thrust three steps back every season, and that format won’t soon dissipate. 2 Broke Girls doesn’t glorify the act of chasing one’s dreams. It realistically approaches the concept of starting from the bottom and climbing up the highest ladder imaginable. In Max and Caroline’s case, a few rungs are broken and someone keeps shaking it. But they can’t afford a new ladder.

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Other viewers, however, might find their constant tug of war between success and failure exhaustive. We want to see them get somewhere, to pull themselves out of their dingy Williamsburg apartment and make a living with more than bad tips from annoying hipsters. It’s the basis for the series: These girls are broke, and their goal is to no longer be broke.

Do they need to not be broke, though? Obviously, it would be both unsatisfying and close to science fiction for Max and Caroline to easily attain their careers. And, in turn, they would probably lose themselves to a few dollars. (Because you know once Max has a couple hundred dollars burning a hole in her pocket, she’s not about to waste it on toothpaste and cupcake wrappers.) Instead, we want to see them struggle along that journey since it’s one with which we can all relate.

Having nothing and reaching for more from the cold, hard world grounds the show. Without the chase and the familiar setbacks (within the realm of sitcom contrivance, of course), Max and Caroline’s story wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. They are representative of their generation, and their down-and-out lifestyle gives their lives higher stakes – something most college graduates know all too well.

But as 2 Broke Girls winds down to its natural conclusion in the next few seasons, we’ll continue to see Caroline complain about her dismal social standing with as much veracity as she fights for her business. We could see them launch another successful venture and watch it dissolve, too. They could continue pinching pennies, or they could make enough money to move into a two bedroom apartment in a better neighborhood. There are a million options and a thousand outcomes.

2 Broke Girls/CBS via Tumblr

They don’t need to suddenly sell a successful franchise to Martha Stewart. But the series does need to get the pair out of their standstill. While they have had their own shop and have worked double duty at their window and the diner, it’s time for actual progression that sticks. Coming up with the revolutionary idea to merge baked goods with alcoholic beverages, while out of character for the proudly lazy Max, sets their course for much-needed upward momentum.

Finally, their hard work will pay off one way or another. Whether their expansion results in a decent payout or it’s just one more hurtle crossed on the race to turning a profit will be seen in Season 6. May the odds be ever in their flavor. (Specifically their spring break cupcake. Beer battered chocolate with maple-bacon frosting? How aren’t they famous?) But their business doesn’t denote their wealth.

Max and Caroline might make millions. They might keep up their cupcake hustle in the back of Han’s greasy spoon well into their thirties. It no longer matters if they hang up their tacky aprons for good to run a dessert bar empire. 2 Broke Girls became less about the dollar amount in Max and Caroline’s bank account and more about the bonds they made with each other and their crew. Successful or not, they are already no longer broke.

2 Broke Girls returns for its sixth season on Monday, October 10 at 9/8c on CBS.