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TV shows Like Friends

Updated on May 7, 2013

Looking for a TV show like Friends?

Friends was undeniably the best sitcom of the last generation. Debuting in 1994, it lasted for 10 years and achieved some of the highest ratings along the way until it ended in 2004. I don't watch a lot of TV shows as it usually takes me a while to get into something. A lot of the humor on TV shows these days seems really forced and often while clever, not actually "funny" enough to make you laugh out loud. Friends was one of those shows that I could watch over and over again, and still laugh every time. While none of the shows that I'm about to discuss reach that level of humor for me, they come pretty close. As of summer 2011, these are probably some of the best comedy shows on air right now. If you liked Friends, you should definitely give these a try:

How I Met Your Mother - Starting it's 9th season in September 2013, HIMYM is probably the closest thing to Friends on television right now. It revolves around 5 friends in their late 20's to early 30's who seem to have nothing better to do than hang out and get into strange situations. The main storyline of the show is the character Ted Mosby telling his children the story of how he met their mother. Each episode re-iterates a story telling of some event that happened in the past that may or may not (usually not) be relevant to how he found their mother. Similar to the City Perk in Friends, the cast of this show are usually found hanging out at MacLaren's Bar.

Many of the characters also bare a strong resemblance to the personality of the characters in Friends:

  • Ted Mosby - Ross Geller
  • Robin Scherbatsky - Rachel Green
  • Barney Stinson - Joey Tribbiani
  • Lily Aldrin - A blend of Monica and Phoebe's personalities
  • Marshall Eriksen - Somewhat similar to Chandler Bing

There's also a prominent ongoing romance between Tedd and Robin. While the show has its striking similarities to Friends, its fresh enough to stand out on its own and has its fair share of returning jokes such as the intervention, the super-bowl episodes, etc... The show has also featured such celebrities has Britney Spears, Bob Barker, Katy Perry, Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, etc...

Community - This show features completely different style of humor and set of characters. At first, I didn't like it all that much. It was a passable show to watch whenever I was bored, but eventually, around half-way through the first season it really picked up. The second season is filled with clever story lines that reference many current and past events in history. The series starts off with Jeff winger forming a study group of people for Spanish class. The group features people of mixed personalities, age, race, and various reasons for why the ended up at a Community College. The only thing is, at first the characters seem anything but believable. Their personalities are very fabricated and stereotypical, and the episodes somewhat predictable. Somewhere along the line though the show plays off of that makes itself somewhat of a satire of popular culture. The show at it's core is still basically a group of Friends that find themselves in various situations and have really nothing better to do. The City Perk of the show is the Study Room in which the group is often found "studying," and the on-going romance would be that of Jeff and Brita, the Ross and Rachel of the show, respectively (although the personalities aren't really similar, the roles are). Community is only 2 seasons in and so this is a good time to start watching!

Modern Family - Another comedy that has really picked up since the last season. The show focuses on 3 different families in different households that are all related to each other in some way. There's the traditional family with a husband, wife, and three children. The second family features Claire's (the wife) father in his second marriage with a much younger Latino wife and adopted child. The third family is Claire's gay brother and his husband with their adopted baby. The show is filmed in a mockumentary style featuring frequent monologues from each of the characters with their response to certain situations. The show isn't really similar to Friends at all but uses similar elements of humor. Modern Family is returning for its 3rd season in September of 2011 and is even rumored to feature guest star Lady Gaga. This is definitely my favorite show of the 3 and has the potential to become as much of a cultural phenomenon as Friends.

Every time I finish a TV show or am waiting for the next season to start, I'm always on the lookout for something new, but similar to my taste. These shows are definitely worth a shot if you haven't already tried them. All it takes is the first few episodes of each show and you'll be hooked!


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    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I'm an HIMYM fan. Interestingly enough, I've never seen an entire episode of Friends. every clip I saw, I had a hard time to get the humor.

    • Neerizzle profile image

      Neerizzle 6 years ago from Canada

      Ted it is, thanks for pointing that out!

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 6 years ago

      I hadn't realized before, but How I Met Your Mother is indeed quite similar to Friends. That is, the setting and relationships are. But it is indeed fresh to stand on its own and maybe even compete with Friends.

      I might take a look at Community sometime soon!

      Modern Family is also a great show. It is different, though, from Friends and HIMYM in the sense that it is about a family where everyone is related and that there are children in it. Still, everyone who even remotely likes comedies should be following it!

      Voted up and interesting!

      P.s. Just a little thing. It's Ted Mosby, isn't it? Not Tedd.