Friends and How I Met Your Mother are both long-running sitcoms with a large fan base. Besides the fact that they’re both hilarious shows about friends, there are many things that each show does in its own way.
For example, Ross and Rachel went on that famous break that everyone still thinks about, and that added to the tension on Friends for quite a while. HIMYM often made fans wonder if Ted and Robin would end up together but most people would agree that their relationship didn’t have the same conflict and drama that Ross and Rachel’s did.
Read on to find out five things that HIMYM did better than Friends and five things that Friends excels at.
10 HIMYM: A More Compelling Premise
It’s fair to say that when it comes to what How I Met Your Mother did better than Friends, fans could argue that it has a much more compelling premise. After all, both shows feature groups of pals hanging out and cracking jokes, but what sets HIMYM apart is its original and fascinating concept.
Ted Mosby is telling the story of how he met his children’s mother to his two teenagers, and viewers often see these scenes. While it might be frustrating to have to wait nine whole seasons for this (and we all know how that turned out…), it’s still a great idea for a sitcom.
9 Friends: A Solid 10 Seasons
Even super fans of HIMYM have to admit that not every season was not the best. There were definitely some dips in quality along the way. Like a lot of shows, it started off strong and then seemed like it was on for a super long time.
Friends, on the other hand, gave fans a solid 10 seasons. Not many sitcoms (or dramas, or a show of any genre) could pull that off because it’s just so much screen time. But thanks to its mix of good characters, funny storylines, and heart, Friends remained something that fans couldn’t wait to watch, right up until the very end.
8 HIMYM: Robin’s Quirks (And Quirky Job)
A running joke on How I Met Your Mother is that Robin wants to be a real news reporter and succeed in that industry but, unfortunately, she’s stuck reporting on the most ridiculous news.
Robin is a quirky character and has a quirky job, and this is something that How I Met Your Mother does really well. She never feels fake or forced, and instead, she’s an important part of the show.
7 Friends: Inside Jokes For Fans
From “pivot!” to basically every single thing that Chandler Bing has ever said, Friends provides plenty of inside jokes for fans. It’s impossible to love this show and have watched each episode multiple times and run into a fellow fan and not repeat at least a few of his quotes.
While Barney often says “Legen — wait for it — dary” and some fans liked it, it’s fair to say that became more annoying than anything else after a while. Friends totally wins in this category.
6 HIMYM: Ted’s Search For Love
While many How I Met Your Mother fans wanted nothing more than for Ted and Robin to be together, it’s fair to say that it was interesting to watch him date and look for love. In the first season of the show, he’s always searching for that special someone, whether at a wedding or at a Halloween party. Many people can relate to that struggle.
When the characters on Friends go on dates, it’s not that interesting at all… especially since everyone wants Rachel and Ross to just admit their feelings for each other already. It’s not fun to watch them go out with random people.
5 Friends: Monica And Chandler’s Relationship
While the gang on Friends have various jobs over the course of 10 seasons, their professional lives aren’t really why anyone is tuning in. But what did have people tuning in? That would be Monica and Chandler’s relationship.
Not many shows can depict what it’s like when two friends start a romantic relationship, but Friends did a great job with this storyline. Fans got to witness how nervous Monica and Chandler were about upsetting their dynamic and that of the larger friend group. And fans saw how everyone found out, which was, of course, totally hilarious.
4 HIMYM: Tough Times
While it was definitely sad to watch Ross and Rachel take some time away from each other and it was heartbreaking when Monica and Richard break out because of their huge age difference, those scenes don’t compare to the tough times that the characters faced on How I Met Your Mother.
Whether it was Lily and Marshall actually splitting up in the season one finale or Marshall’s dad dying in the sixth season, this show handled emotions and hard moments really well. These moments always felt real.
3 Friends: The Apartment Setting
The fact that Joey and Chandler lived across the hall from Monica and Rachel on Friends is not only fun to watch but a total dream for many people. Just imagine how great it would be to live so close to your best friends. This works so well since they’re always going back and forth and it’s easy for the characters to see each other all the time.
While Lily, Marshall, and Ted live together in an equally big (and equally unrealistic) apartment on HIMYM, it honestly just looks like yet another sitcom set and the setting isn’t quite as compelling.
2 HIMYM: An Interesting Final Season
While some fans might not love that the final season of HIMYM took place over the course of Robin and Ted’s wedding weekend, others enjoyed the different setting.
No matter where someone stands on this, it’s fair to say that it was an interesting way to structure a final season of a show. After so many seasons featuring the same typical sitcom set-up, it was definitely a breath of fresh air. It’s nice when a series does something unique.
1 Friends: A Great Series Finale That Fans Loved
When it comes to the Friends series finale, it was definitely better received than HIMYM. Almost no one was okay finding out that the mother had actually passed away.
Friends could only ever end the way that it did: with the gang saying goodbye to each other, Monica and Rachel’s apartment, and then going to Central Perk. It was emotional, sweet, and exactly what fans needed and wanted. It’s always great when a show can deliver on an ending like that.
NEXT: Friends: 10 Times Ross Broke Our Hearts