I’ve watched both shows many times over the years, and I have to say FRIENDS. And just based on rankings, # of viewership, amount of salary each FRIENDS character was able to negotiate vs HIMYM, seems many others agree. HIMYM is not as re-watchable over and over as is Friends to me.
Joey > Barney: Barney has his funny moments, his theories, and his confidence. But sometimes I feel like he is trying way too hard to get women, and after a while it comes off as desperate, and incredibly douche-y. “I’ve only had proposal sex.. 5 times”. Although yeah it’s meant to be extreme as this would never happen in real life, but the underlying current of doing whatever you can to get a in a girls pants can be a little disturbing and just a sad reminder of what you actually do sometimes witness in real life. And for whatever reason it’s okay he’s like this because he had a messed up childhood and had his heartbroken, and it’s okay he was shitty to 100+ girls as long as he turns to mush for his future wife. Joey is more chill, and if it happens it happens. But he never goes out of his way to try to get girls by lying and making up elaborate scenarios like dropping off bags at an airport and pretending he just got back from a trip. I feel like if Barney really had game he wouldn’t have to go to such extreme lengths to get a girl, or have to make that his goal for almost every single episode.
“When Joey starts rooming with a girl”
Rachel > Robin: I feel like Rachel is the cool girl you wanted to be when you were younger. I feel like Robin is the kind of girl writers thought would be the stereotypical cool girl guys would all like - she drinks whisky! she loves cigars! she loves blowing off steam at the shooting range, she’s afraid of commitment and sleeps around but bails when it gets too serious. I just don’t find that character as believable, realistic or relatable. Also some of the storylines sound like something a guy would want to believe would happen, but just seem retarded. Lily having a crush on Robin, like really…?
“When Ross was asking how his new hat looked”
Ross > Ted: Ross owns being a nerd with his dinosaur facts and interests. He makes light of bad situations he’s in. His lesbian wife. Saying the wrong name at his wedding. Ted is too “woe is me” for me to like his character as much. Doesn’t own the nerd quality quite as well or as proudly.
“When Ross goes for a spray tan”
“Ross trying to have others share in his interests”
Chandler/Monica & Ross/Rachel > Lily/Marshall: As a couple, I think Lily/Marshall was supposed to be the couple you want to be, but sometimes I find their relationship just unrealistic and a little too over the top. The bedtime singing, the way they have to talk everyday for hours about every mundane detail, even their nicknames. Sometimes it’s cute, sometimes its just annoying. Whereas the friends couples, they make me laugh, and it was more endearing to watch.
“After Rachel reads a book about feminism, and something about windkeepers”
“When Monica’s brother Ross starts practicing bag pipes to play at her wedding”
Chandler’s one liners:
“When Chandler switches careers and gets an internship in marketing”
No Phoebe equivalent. =(
Friends has all kinds of humor - silly, perverted, out there, situational, irony, self deprecation, wit.
HIMYM I feel like they are trying to force being cool. Drinking at the same bar every single day — who does that? Getting coffee before going to work at the same spot everyday, much more common. HIMYM: Going to strip club for Thanksgiving, again who does that. Friends: Getting stripper for bachelor party, and accidentally getting a hooker, comedic. Watching other people getting high on weed, not sure why that is funny, maybe if you are getting high yourself I could get that. Friends is more finding the comedy in everyday life and situations. The characters in Friends seem more close, high school classmates, brother/sister, roommates. The only people in HIMYM that seem close are Ted/Marshall/Lily. Ted & Marshall seem amused by and tolerate Barney. Robin is kind of in the group because Ted likes her but doesn’t seem to get any closer to anyone else. Also FRIENDS has each others back outside of acting, banding together and jointly negotiated record breaking salary in 2002.
There are more “jokes” in HIMYM I just don’t get or find that funny — Canada. Slapsgiving. Cockamouse. Swarley. General/Captain thing between Ted & Robin.
If you ask everyone for their fav HIMYM character, everyone raves about Barney, not many people name anyone else. If he was not in that show would anyone even watch? If you ask people for their fav FRIENDS character, everyone has a different opinion, because everyone brings something great to the show.