THE BATTLE FOR THE BEST EVER SITCOM
FRIENDS VS HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
For almost two decades, everyone had an awesome time on TV because of these two shows. These shows still are the comparative standards for dating, careers and friendship. ‘Friends’ ended in May 2004 and HIMYM started in September 2005, so the era of comedy and awesomeness just continued till the HIMYM finale. The rivalry between two shows was even before the rivalry grew between their fans. Even in season 2 of HIMYM the creators poke the other sitcom when Barney says, “Hanging out in a coffee place, not nearly as much fun as hanging out in a bar.”
Both the shows had lovable characters, heart-bursting comedy and occasional tears but the main reason for the rivalry between the fans of the two shows is, a huge number of similarity between the stories and even the content. For settling this really long battle I have come up with the different criteria to judge both shows and award the winning show 1 point for every criterion. Let the battle begin:
1. Storytelling technique
This is the criteria whose judgement is totally about the writers and the creative team. Friends followed an ongoing storyline series with a primary plot and one or two secondary plot per episode. Friends had a live audience which made the performances a lot cooler but also gave some awkward pauses between the scenes which were to be left for the audience reaction. While HIMYM had the narrative storytelling technique as the show is about an old man telling his kids how he met their mother. The narration from the future Ted made many scenes even funnier. And this is also a reason why HIMYM didn’t have a live audience but they added the laugh track to each episode. It allowed the story to be more creative and helped HIMYM to feel more cinematic. Since HIMYM is a narrated story from future Ted, the writers never hesitated to show future glimpse and teasers. They even connected few episodes from different seasons with the same scene showing the truth behind what was shown few seasons back, like the truth about Ted and Robin’s breakup. This was something where Friends got beaten by HIMYM.
HIMYM: 1 FRIENDS: 0
As the shows are basically comedy genre, the most important factor in deciding the battle is this. Catchphrases like “We were on a break”, “Oh. My. God.”, “How you doing’” and much more will always stick inside our head but we also cannot forget “Legend…wait for it…dairy. Legendary”, “Daddy’s home”, “Haaave you met Ted?”, “Lawyered!”, and “Suit up”.
Friends had an awesome comedy appeal and the actors had very awesome comic timing. Phoebe is the most bizarre character you will ever get to see on the TV. She made the whole damn show even surreal. Chandler is still the face of sarcasm on this planet. The show had many emotional moments like when Phoebe has to give all her children to her brother, or when Rachel kisses Ross for the first time and few more but the writers always managed to end every episode with a gag or something funny. While on the other hand HIMYM is equally funny and even funnier at times because of more inside jokes but this is where HIMYM gets a thunderbolt attack from Pikachu. HIMYM had way more emotional moments than it should have as a comedy show. It should not but it does serve as a disadvantage when you are describing this show as a comedy show on IMDB. The emotional moments are highlights of the show and many of us have wept at many of those moments but it is a bit disappointing when the shows leave you crying at the end of the episode not once but almost 3-4 times every season.
HIMYM: 1 FRIENDS: 1
Friends didn’t have much music but no one can ever forget “The Smelly Cats”. Many episodes of the show ended with Phoebe’s made-up songs and a few times with Ross’s instrumental talent. Very few times the show used tracks to highlight a comic or romantic moment. While HIMYM had a great music and the actors were found singing and dancing on many moments like “the Slapsgiving song”, “Nothing Suits me like a suit” and not to forget that one of the main lead was a Canadian Pop Star. “Let’s go to the mall”, “Beaver’s Song” did create a lot of humour.
HIMYM: 2 Friends: 1
4. Ted Vs Ross
Both the characters are almost similar. The story revolves around them and they are somehow the main highlight of the stories. Both are nerds and have a geeky job of which they are very proud of. Both are elder brother in the siblings and are the favourite child of their parents. Both are obsessed with a woman who is the main female lead of the show and wants to marry her but they always fail. They hook-up with that girl more often even after their breakup. Later they turn to become the professor in their respective field. And the finale ends up with these two geeks finally getting the girls of their dreams. All this leaves a chaos to decide between the two characters but I’ll choose Ted over Ross because Ted is way more romantic than Ross. Ted always has better lines and sometimes even leads the entire episode on his own like that in “the pineapple incident”. Things like “Classic Schmosby”, “Mosby Brothers-detective” and “encyclopedia” helps the character to win easily over Ross.
HIMYM: 3 Friends: 1
5. Robin Vs Rachel
They both were the most beautiful girls of their respective shows with whom the main character falls in love with. Both are pretty and belong to a rich background but they choose to leave the comfort life to make their own place and fame in the society. Both get involved with more than one main lead of the show and also kiss a person of the same gender on the screen. Both got famous by their shows and fit the story really very well. But again I will have to go with Robin because of her major involvement in the story and more comic gestures in the show when compared to Rachel. And whatsoever not, I don’t want to mess up with the Avengers for not choosing their Maria Hill over some Rachel chick, lol.
HIMYM: 4 Friends: 1
6. Marshall Vs Chandler
They were the Best friends of the main lead and his college roommate too. Marshall and Chandler are the spice of their shows which enhances the taste much better. It’s very tough to choose between the two of them. On one hand Chandler is the funniest guy on the show and the most sarcastic man on the face of this earth while on the other hand Marshall is the cutest, strong, funny, witty and lovable character of the HIMYM. But to choose between them it’s easy to choose. I go to Chandler Bing. The guy who screws up all relationships and is least able to get laid gets to marry the earliest on the show that too with one of the main leads. He’s the guy you would never want to argue with, he has a smoking sense of sarcasm. Chandler is the reason I completed the show without giving myself any rest.
HIMYM: 4 Friends: 2
7. Lily Vs Monica
They both were the next female lead of the show and the female who is most closely related to main lead. Both the character has a unique relationship with every other main lead and loves to cook food for everyone. Both of them gets involves with main lead’s best friend and eventually marries him. Both are dominating and nutty. This is the most difficult to choose as we’re connected to both of the characters very closely. But on a rapid fire round, I’ll go with Monica for her being a clean-freak, hosting every occasion, inviting everyone on feasts and for being the motherly being to all other main leads.
HIMYM: 4 Friends: 3
8. Barney Vs Joey
They were the womanizer friend of the group with most crazy pick-up lines. Both the characters are very naughty when it comes to girls but are equally emotionally attached to the group and to every individual of them. This is a simple win for Barney. Joey has some of his own positivity to the show and some great comic moments but he really doesn’t stand a chance against Barney. Barney is HIMYM’s soul and heart. This is the character which makes the show alive and is the one with crazy tricks and crazy humour side. Barney has his own weaknesses like, gambling problem, strippers addiction, sex addiction, womanizing problem but he doesn’t care about any of them when it’s about helping his friends, whether it is when he asks Lily to come back or when he almost died to come and see Ted in the hospital or when he gambles to get $5000 for Lily and Marshall’s wedding in international waters or when he pays for lily and Marshall’s honeymoon in return of Lily painting him nude. Barney is the funniest and crazy character of both of these shows.
HIMYM: 5 Friends: 3
The finale episodes of the both show somehow concluded with the main guy getting his girl of the dream. More or less both the shows were always based on the main guy getting his girl. The finale of Friends and HIMYM were very much different from each other. Friends concluded the series with a one-hour episode showing the married couples (Monica-Chandler and Phoebe-Ross) happy and Phoebe helping Ross and Rachel to finally get back together. Joey gets a new chick and duck. The episode was completely filled with comedy and jokes and the Phoebe was on fire in that episode. Phoebe’s perfect timings and weird and crazy character made the episode even crazier. And the episode concludes with the couple getting together. The finale of Friends was very satisfying and full of hilarious jokes which gave a peaceful ending to the show while the finale of HIMYM was a much more of a disappointment for the audience and made us filled with tears throughout the episode. The episode fast forwarded to Ted and Tracy’s marriage and then Tracy’s death. The episode continues with the reveal of Barney and Robin’s divorce which again breaks our heart in a single hour. Finally, the last scene shows the old Ted in front old Robin’s window holding the Blue French Horn. HIMYM’s finale was a great disappointment to the fans and left a chaos and heartbreak in the audience’s heart. The fans have started a love for Tracy and had already settled Tracy as the perfect companion for Ted. Her death broke everyone and left a chaos in our hearts for eternity.
HIMYM: 5 Friends: 4
At last it very clear that HIMYM wins it 5-4. It is funnier, more romantic, more connective, has more deep characters and clearly it wins from the above criteria. Agree or disagree! Today HIMYM is the clear winner and for its true fans, it will always have a special place in their hearts.