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How I Met Your… F•R•I•E•N•D•S?

When Friends ended in 2004, it left a vast void in my life.  Little did I know that another show would be hitting the silver screen within the period of one year. A sitcom that basically converted the characters of Friends, substituted the coffee for beer and added the mystery of the 6th ‘friend’.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Friends. I watched all the seasons , from rooting for Ross and Rachel and being shocked at Monica and Chandler’s relationship to crying at Pheobe’s wedding and laughing at Joey’s antics. Even though I watched the majority of the show in reruns considering that I was 14 at the time it ended, I felt that I grew up with this show as it was an era or reruns.

Like the majority of the Friends fan following, I was sad to see the show end – however television producers followed up with an equally entertaining show through the release of How I Met Your Mother in 2005. I actually was old enough to follow a show at this point, and watched every single episode eagerly as it tried to fit into the huge empty space that Friends  had vacated only a year ago.

The similarities in the show are uncanny, thus making a number of Friends fans turn to HIMYM. The only new element that this show brought to screens was intrigue – the mystery incorporated into the show from the very start – the character of the mother. The setting of the show is unusual, with each episode relating a story of the past as the main character relates the story of meeting his wife to his children.

Here are some of the main similarities of the two shows:

Both shows are based in New York City

Monica is the control-freak who everyone listens to – just like Lilly, while Rachel is the one trying to make it on her own in the big city – just like Robin.

Joey is the ladies man who performs the main couples wedding – which is pretty much identical to Barney, who performs Marshall and Lilly’s wedding.

They all hang out at one place – Central Perk and continuously drink coffee. Just like in HIMYM they chill at the bar drinking beer.

And the main character is in love with the independent character who is not ready for the relationship. Ross and Rachel Vs Ted and Robin.

These are just some of the similarities in the show, leaving out the whole Marshall is based on Chandler and that Ross and Ted are hopelessly in love with love. Despite their similarities, HIMYM has failed to reach the height of success that Friends experienced. The main reason for this is that Friends provided a unique experience whilst HIMYM started strong, the lack of the 6th character and the continuous mystery has taken a toll on the patience of audiences. If they had introduced the mother and related some stories with the perspective of both parents, the show would have entered a whole new era.

What do you think is the reason for the uber success of Friends in comparison to HIMYM? 


9 thoughts on “How I Met Your… F•R•I•E•N•D•S?

  1. I have not noticed these similarities before! I’m a big fan of Friends and HIMYM, but I really didn’t think to compare those two shows before. As for your question… even if the HIMYM characters are based on the Friends characters, I still find the latter more charming. Marshall can never be as funny as Chandler, and Barney lacks the element of stupidity that Joey had which made him super endearing. And don’t forget Joey’s ducks, haha.

    I’m also getting a little tired of the mystery element, so I really hope they reveal the mother soon. =/


    • I agree with that – the Friends characters are more original whilst the HIMYM characters try a bit too hard at times. The biggest difference is definitely the fact that there is no character to ever bring the hilarity of Pheobe. She was a one-time only for television.

      Hopefully the mother will be revealed soon, it is getting a bit old.


  2. Great post, but there was another show called “Happy Endings” that have similarities with “Friends” as well. The characters could well be the crazy cousins of each of the characters from “Friends”!
    Anyway, I love both shows. I also love Ted’s commentary. 🙂


  3. I miss that show terribly haha There are rumors that there might be a reunion season. One can only hope it’s true haha!! As for HIMYM, I agree about the mysterious mother. 🙂



  4. I’m recently re-watching friends and I must say that it’s completely a 90’s show. It was brilliant in its time and is still very watchable but the characters are a bit one dimension..I mean I LOVE friends but how unrealistic are Phoebe and Joey? All of the characters are very stereotypical and comedy wise it doesn’t really innovate. In HIMYM you find yourself surprised with the plot and the twists they take, and the type of humor and situations is very unique. Of course the whole mother thing has been dragging but I gotta say I love Lily and Marshal more then I love Monica and Chandler. I find Chandler hilarious but I think Marshal gives him a run for his money. 🙂 The whole Rachel/Ross thing was really dragging..and putting Jooey in the middle..I mean..come on.. 🙂


    • I see your point, but I have to disagree that the characters are one dimensional. I know some people who remind me of Phoebe and Joey – because they are such unique characters. Being someone who grew up with Friends, I think I will always side with them when it comes to comparison with HIMYM. Not saying that I don’t like HIMYM, but it just seems a bit too copied from Friends. Either way – they are both such amazing shows and it’s a shame that there aren’t such comedies coming out anymore. Once HIMYM ends, I don’t know if there will be another show that captures the dynamics of a group of friends so perfectly.


      • I like New Girl and Happy Endings is more like friends then HIMYM. Try those :))) Yeah I get what you are saying. I thought so as well. But as I’m re-watching years later you can tell the difference 🙂 Have a fab weekend hon**


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