HIMYM vs. FRIENDS

How I Met Your Mother would not be a show if it were not for the audience. How well is the show received by the audience? Well, every show has people that like it and hate it. After reading numerous reviews on the International Movie Database, I noticed something: a good amount of people who disliked the show were claiming it was a “terrible rip-off of FRIENDS.”

Everybody needs to stop trash-talking How I Met Your Mother. If you simply Google “Friends VS How I Met Your Mother”, numerous articles and blogs will come up debating about the subject. Are they similar? Well…yes. There are some similarities (such as both shows have a meet-up spot, a married couple, and a guy considered a “player” among the ladies, etc.)

What are some differences? In both of the shows, the “players” are Joey Tribbiani and Barney Stinson. In both shows, a female character is more or less known for dating more often than the others. I mostly saw Robin Sherbatsky and Rachel Green being related to each other. Robin is a Canadian teen pop star, while Rachel works in a coffee shop. In HIMYM, Barney ends up marrying Robin’s character. Does Joey end up with Rachel? No, Ross does. Some of the arguments I read seemed to be illogical and compared Ross and Ted. There are many problems with this. One: Ted doesn’t even end up with Robin, but he ends up with a character that is not introduced until the last season and she is nothing like Rachel’s character. “OOH! But both Ross and Ted are teachers!” Seriously? Is being a teacher really that uncommon? How is Ted even compared to Ross? Ross is fighting for a girl the entire series, and Ted is fighting for many girls throughout the series.

To be honest, I don’t see how the story line is a “rip off” of the other. The only aspect that is relatively similar is the fact that there are a group of friends that meet up at a location every day. Which apparently is infrequent for a group of friends. This article compares both of the shows. Fans of FRIENDS seem to defend HIMYM because it has “better writing.”

I don’t know. Ultimately, I do think the shows are similar. But why can’t FRIENDS fans just take that as a complement? No one is claiming HIMYM is not similar. FRIENDS is a great show (I am a fan) that created a impressive overall plot line. Many shows have been claiming to use this plotline as their own. Why can’t it be used as a compliment?

I do think that FRIENDS is a legendary (insert “legen—wait for it—dary” joke here) show from the 90’s. I do think the two shows are similar, but I do not think they are identical.

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9 thoughts on “HIMYM vs. FRIENDS

  1. While it is fun to draw those comparisons, I’ve always found those articles to be Illuminati conspiracy-esque, somehow trying to imply that Hollywood is duping us all by repackaging Friends, which certainly isn’t the case. I didn’t know that some even argued that the main characters had a hang-out spot as a point of similarity, because, I mean, come on, every sitcom has a hang-out spot or “home-base” so to speak. I’ll always defend HIMYM (and it sounds like you will too) for having an extremely ambitious and engaging method to its story telling.

    • I wanted to mention that because there are so many shows that have a group of friends with a regular hang out spot. I have even rarely seen articles that compared shows like Big Bang Theory to FRIENDS. I do think HIMYM and Friends are somewhat similar, but if you do some research you can find articles that go deep into finding “parallels” between the different characters and even some plot points within both of the series. I think it’s dumb, really. You can compare any show by drawing parallels if you look deeply enough. Some people just take it too far with the two shows being compared.

  2. I’m not a HIMYM fan (mostly because the only episode I watched I was suckered into by my sister because Britney Spears guest-starred), but it seems like stans of Friends are being just that: stans. And stans think their favorites can do no wrong and are the originators and creators of everything. So when anything comes along that is even remotely similar, it’s a copy, even if it’s kind of not. But maybe it kind of is, because it’s Hollywood and unless it’s some obscure show no one has heard of, the cool thing is to by cynical towards media.

    • (For the record: the Britney Spear’s episode was not even that good…) I will admit that Friends and HIMYM are similar, but they are not copies. Like you said, this happens all the time in Hollywood. There have been times when movies have been very similar (For example: No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits). There’s a certain point in the HIMYM and Friends articles where the writers were simply looking for things to complain about, versus actually having something to complain about.

      • I meant to add in my comment that stans of pop stars do that too. Specifically what you said about finding things to complain about. Case in point, Britney Spears fans say other pop peers/contemporaries copies her if they so much as pose similarly in a picture (an extreme example, but still).

  3. Before reading this I had no idea that there was such controversy over HIMYM being similar to Friends. I agree with your assesment because honestly aside from some pretty standard tropes that are found in almost any sitcom, the debate seems rather pointless. You could draw much stronger parallels between Weeds and Breaking Bad plot wise, and those shows are on completely different sides of the spectrum.

    • I agree. The people arguing that it’s a “bad copy of FRIENDS” all were huge fan of the show. The debate is extremely popular, but it seems as if its one of the two extremes: how HIMYM is a copy of FRIENDS or they are similar, but not the same.

  4. I’ve never watched HIMYM, and can’t say I’ve heard of any comparisons to Friends. But, if they’re really that similar I’ll definitely have to catch up and get on the HIMYM train. Friends is one of my all time favorite shows. Watch it nearly every night before I go to sleep on Nick and it never gets old. From what I’ve seen and read, I don’t really get the sense that the two shows are identical or that HIMYM is a rip off of Friends, at all. I agree, if the plot or writing is that comparable fans of Friends should take it as a compliment. Though, in my opinion, no attempt, no matter how popular or successful, could ever really top Friends.

    • I had never heard of the debate either. But once I saw that the majority of the bad commends on IMDB were trashing the show for that specific reason, I did some research and found out its a huge topic. I love Friends and I think it was a great show. It is argued that HIMYM has better writing than Friends, but overall I do agree that nothing can ever top Friends. Such a great show and cast.

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