Is ‘How I Met Your Mother’ the 2000s Sitcom Remake of ‘Friends’?

Is ‘How I Met Your Mother’ the 2000s Sitcom Remake of ‘Friends’?

Vivian Mwikali
July 26 2022 - 04:36pm

Both How I Met Your Mother (HIMYM) and Friends are among the greatest American sitcoms ever made! The shows debuted exactly ten years apart, Friends in 1994 and HIMYM in 2004, with the former running for ten seasons and the latter nine seasons. 

Their premiere years and long airing periods aren't the only linking factors of the two-comedy series. If you've watched the sitcoms from beginning to end, you may have noted several similarities concluding that HIMYM is the 2000s version of Friends.

Read on to find out the things that HIMYM borrowed from Friends.

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1. Life in New York

Both groups of close-knit friends navigate their lives in New York. Coincidence or not? In Friends, Joey Tribbiana (Matt Le Blanc) and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) are best buddies and roommates, while their neighbours across the hall are long-time childhood friends Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) and Monica Geller (Courteney Cox). 

In HIMYM, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) and Marshall Eriksen (Jason Segel) are also roommates and best friends. 

Oh, in both shows, the friends live in two-bedroom apartments.

2. Close Knit Friends

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It's hard to miss how both shows focus on a gang of extremely close twenty-something-year-old friends, with some friendships beginning in childhood or college. Find it hard to believe? Friends' Chandler and Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) meet in college and remained friends since. Similarly, in HIMYM, Ted and Marshall meet in college and manage to stay close. 

Moreover, both shows' characters seem to have oddly similar stories. But we'll get into that later. The slight difference is that Friends' gang has six members while HIMYM only has five. Find out the missing member in HIMYM.

3. Hangout Joint

The gangs in both sitcoms have a regular hangout spot. The crew from Friends often met at the Central Perk coffee house where they would sit on an orange couch and two side chairs. In HIMYM, the gang would hang out at Maclaren's pub at their usual booth near the bar.

HIMYM made an ironic pop culture reference to Friends in season 2 episode 7, 'Swarley’ where Ted, Marshall and Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) tried hanging out at a coffee house but concluded it wasn’t as fun as their usual bar. Hilarious, right!

What's more, both groups would also unwind at one of their members' homes. In Friends, they would always meet at Rachel and Monica's apartment, with holiday celebrations such as Christmas and Thanksgiving, held there as well. The same case would occur at Ted and Marshall's apartment.

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4. Ted is Ross

Another glaring resemblance between the two sitcoms is the characters, Ted and Ross. There are several similarities between the two that you can't miss. First, both Ted and Ross careers consider them nerds, and their friends would often make fun of them for this. 

Ross is a palaeontologist who later becomes a college professor. Ted is an architect who ironically also becomes a college professor. 

Second, both protagonists have conspicuously unsuccessful love lives. Ross married and divorced three times, while Ted spent years searching for the love of his life and was even left at the altar at one point.

5. Barney is Joey

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Both crews had womanizers. So it's safe to say HIMYM's Barney is Friends' Joey. Both men pursue women only to sleep with them and never call again. But despite their stereotypical ways, both characters share a sweet side and deeply care for their friends.

6. Ted and Robin Are Ross and Rachel

Aah, remember the on-again-off-again relationship between Ross and Rachel? Their love-hate relationship dragged on for ten years, including them getting married and divorced and having a baby together while not together, but the series ended just in time to see them reunite again. 

In HIMYM, that epic couple is Ted and Robin Scherbatsky (Cobie Smulders). Their love story may be as messy as Ross and Rachel's, but the entire show is about how Ted could never stop loving Robin since the moment he laid eyes on her. The series ends with Ted showing up at Robin's apartment with the blue French horn he stole for her in the first season. They presumably rekindle things again.

7. Monica and Chandler Are Lily and Marshall

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Though their love stories pen out in completely different ways, the two couples share many undisputed commonalities. They may have kicked off as mere friends, but Monica and Chandler grew stronger as a couple since their first hook-up at Ross’s second wedding.

Lily and Marshall are the show's IT and cutest couple, nicknamed marshmallow and lilypad. Though they break up temporarily at the end of the show’s first season, they reunite and get married. The rest of the show depicts the couple supporting each other through thick and thin.

Other Similarities

I’m sure by now you can guess the missing Friends character in the 2000s sitcom. Yes, HIMYM is missing a Phoebe. Phoebe Buffay, portrayed by Lisa Kudrow in the 90s sitcom, isn’t replicated in the latter. 

These are only a few of the many similarities between the two sitcoms. Another resemblance as we windup is in both series; the womanizer hooks up with the female lead. In Friends, Joey had a crush on Rachel and the two dated briefly, but their relationship didn't progress beyond kissing. 

Meanwhile, in HIMYM, Barney and Robin slept together and then later dated before breaking up. Though The show's ninth season emphasises the couple's wedding, the two tragically divorce after a three-year marriage. 

What other similarities can you point out between Friends and HIMYM? We’ll be happy to read your comments.

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