Friends vs. How I Met Your Mother: The existential question

I had a revolutionary realization this week. It was big, guys. And it had to do with the debate that has been on everyone’s mind.

No, no that one.

I’m talking about the existential crisis that pits fans against fans: Friends vs. How I Met Your Mother.

You see, I have one foot squarely planted in each camp, believing that both are the two most entertaining and well-written comedies in TV history. But while I was watching episode 7, season 3 of HIMYM, I had the aforementioned realization. img_0988
The realtor that sells Marshall & Lily their apartment is… JANICE! Mind. Blown.

And once I picked my jaw up off of the ground, I realized this is not the only hidden Easter Egg that links the two seemingly separate shows. I researched, I rewatched, I remembered.

I officially opened Pandora’s Box. Below are my findings.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, they are both based in NYC. Yes, they both have their respective hangouts: Central Perk & MacLaren’s Pub. Yes, they focus on a group of twenty-somethings finding their paths in life.

But things get weirder…

  • In each show, there is an epic/”will they, won’t they” romance. They pine after each other, they finally get together in season 2, they date for a year, they break up, they hook up on & off throughout the entire series only to end up together in the series finally. Yes, I am talking about Ross & Rachel and Ted & Robin.Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 8.05.12 PM.png
  • But there is a really awkward moment where the girls date the best friend… Which as Barney says, totally breaks the “bro code.” Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 8.05.22 PM.png
  • Both Ross and Ted end up becoming professors. And both date their students (Ted eventually marries her).Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 8.05.28 PM.png
  • Those same two characters buy a car to show off their success/celebrate their quarter-life crises. screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-8-49-22-pm
  • They were also ridiculed for being a little too highbrow for the rest of the group. The Friends cast falls asleep when Ross talks dinosaurs, and the cast of HIMYM blows raspberries when Ted recites Dante’s Inferno in the original Italian. Although, who wouldn’t?Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 8.48.42 PM.png
  • As for the other main couple – Chandler/Monica and Marshall/Lily – both are married by their womanizer best friend.Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 8.48.54 PM.png
  • And both of those women were at one point a little, well… chubby…Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 8.49.02 PM.png
  • Two of the main male characters in each show were college roommates.Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 8.49.13 PM.png
  • Also, a cast member from each show have a Star Wars sexual fantasy.screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-8-57-38-pm
  • In episode 7, season 2, Barney makes fun of coffee shops and maintains they are not nearly as fun as hanging out in a bar. Subtle dig? I think not.Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 8.57.46 PM.png
  • Both groups are forced to attend the crappy play of one of their friends. I will admit that Joey’s “All you want is a dinkle” is a little more memorable than Lily’s “envy.” screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-8-05-01-pm
  • Let’s talk secondary characters. In each of the shows, one of the main cast dates a therapist that psychoanalyzes the group.screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-8-57-55-pm
  • And a girlfriend who will not allow contact with an ex-GF, also a main cast member.Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 9.07.23 PM.png
  • There’s an annoying ex-girlfriend who ends up with a guy that’s hard of hearing.screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-9-07-29-pm
  • In the perfect description of rebound guys, there’s absolutely no similarities between Rachel’s Paolo and Robin’s Gael. Oh wait… Foreign? Check. Hot? Check. Hated by both Ross and Ted? Check. Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 9.07.38 PM.png
  • Don’t forget The Naked Man! Joey was the original inventor of this play, and for him, it probably worked more often than 2 out of 3 times. screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-9-12-14-pm
  • Last but definitely not least, we can’t forget the girl who was dumped on her birthday. Not once, not twice, but three times… Poor thing can’t catch a break.Screen Shot 2016-09-28 at 9.12.20 PM.png


I will admit there is one MAJOR difference. The finale of ‘Friends’? Satisfying. The finale of HIMYM? Devastatingly disappointing.

So what do you think? Coincidence? Plagiarism? A conspiracy between the shows’ creators? For me, I am not sure whether to be impressed or disturbed. I will let you decide for yourselves. Post your comments below.

Oh and in case anyone is wondering which character I most relate to, I am Rachel Green. And proud of it.

3 thoughts on “Friends vs. How I Met Your Mother: The existential question

  1. savannahgilbo says:

    All I have to say is OMG!!! That is crazy! Great example for writers who are worried about writing an “original story.” Look how many similarities there are, yet they feel like different shows and were both super popular!


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