10 TV Shows Like ‘Friends’: OtakuKart Recommends

One of the most iconic shows of our lifetime will be Friends. There isn’t an iota of doubt as to how brilliant Friends was and is. The show that featured six widely different twenty-somethings that part of a co-dependent group dynamic won our hearts. Friends aired on TV from 1994 to 2004, for straight ten years at the end of which its main castmates were taking paychecks worth $1 million for each episode. After the show stopped airing, many TV shows tried to follow the suit of this friendly dynamic of twenty-somethings trying to navigate through their lives. While some of them failed to do so, others cast their magic on the audiences. Though there are minor differences between these TV shows and Friends, the overall dynamic just remains the same.

COVID-19 has led to a surge in streaming services demands for such shows (that is in case they aren’t already present). Today we bring you our suggestions for the top 10 shows that you must binge-watch if you like watching Friends.

Seinfeld

Seinfeld is created by the duo Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. The show aired before Friends, and it ran for nine straight seasons. The first episode aired on July 5 1989 and the last one aired on May 14 1998. Seinfeld is known as one of the greatest sitcoms to be ever made. It didn’t just create a group of four dysfunctional friends, but it also gave depth to their characters. Kramer, for example, is known as the father of physical comedy, Jerry is known as the stand-up guy who makes hilarious jokes about everyday events, Elaine is the successful feminist whose love life is riddled with misfortunes and George is like Elaine, only less successful and angrier. Seinfeld is known as the forefather of Friends.

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother is created by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays. It ran on CBS for nine successful seasons, just like Seinfeld did. However, there is one significant difference there. HIMYM is known as a total rip-off of Friends. There are instances, episodes, storylines, subplots that HIMYM stole from Friends. If Seinfeld was the predecessor, HIMYM is the successor. The show has its solid fan base, and it paved the way for many legendary things, including slap bet, legendary, yellow umbrella. The show also stars a group of four twenty-somethings, Ted, Robin, Marshall, Barney, who try to navigate the course of their lives.

The Big Bang Theory 

TBBT is an American sitcom that brought nerd-dom straight into our living rooms. The show featured a group of four scientists with a penchant for comic books and all things nerdy, working at Caltech. The main characters were all doctors except Howard Wolowitz, who we think was the nerdiest, goofiest one on the show. The rest of the castmates were led by Doctor Sheldon Cooper, Doctor Leonard Hofstadter, and Doctor Rajesh Koothrappalli. TBBT had a longer run than rest. It ran for 12 whole seasons on CBS.

These four doctors were soon joined by a free-spirited neighbor living across their hall, who introduced them to other aspects of life. Slowly two more cast members entered the scene as regulars–Doctor Amy Farrah Fowler and Doctor Bernadette Rostenkowski.

The Office

The Office is a remake of the UK version of the show by the same name. It keeps comedy as realistic as possible, with the use of some of the basic cinematography, in that it used a single-camera setup without a studio audience or a laugh track in order to look like an actual documentary. The Office ran from March 24, 2005, to May 16, 2013, for a total of nine seasons. It is attributed more to the mockumentary style than a regular sitcom style. The premise consists of employees working at Scranton Branch of a mid-sized paper company called Dunder Mifflin Paper Products, which are led by an eccentric boss named Michael Scott who used deadpan and absurd humor on an everyday basis. Notable stars from the show include Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, and B. J. Novak.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation is an American political satire created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur. Greg is associated with The Office. It ran for seven straight seasons from April 9 2009 to February 24, 2015. It is a political satire that is lead by Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks Department in the fictional town of Indiana. Parks and Rec also featured some of the greatest comedy ensembles ever. Rashida Jones , Paul Schneider, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe.

Lovesick

If you loved Joey and Chandler from Friends, you will definitely love Lovesick as it features a similar friendship dynamic. It is a British show that features three castmates, led by Dylan who is a hopeless romantic at heart. He is on an unstoppable quest for love, in the middle of which he discovers that he has an STD. So he contacts everyone with whom he’s ever been to tell them about his diagnosis. The entire show basically consists of flashbacks, interspersed with real-life moments of his two best friends Evie and Luke. Lovesick aired for three seasons of Channel 4.

That ’70s Show

If you are a fan of Aston Kutcher and Mila Kunis, you will love That ’70s Show. It ran for eight whole seasons, each time telling the story of a bunch of teenage friends, who lived in 1970s Wisconsin. That qualifies the show for a period sitcom. The show gave stardom to people such as Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Laura Prepon. That ’70s Show is far too similar to Friends, in that it is an easy watch and a very contemporary one at that.

Friends From College

Now this one may not have broken records as Friends or other sitcoms in the list did. But Friends From College deserved much better. It was created originally for Netflix and it aired on the same on July 14, 2017. It was immediately canceled after the second season owing to low ratings. If you are a Cobie Smulders fan, you should definitely give it a go. The show is based in New York City and it talks of a close group from Harvard in their 40s as they navigate the mishaps of their lives in New York City.

Cheers

They say Seinfeld is the predecessor to Friends and Cheers is the predecessor to Seinfeld. Nevertheless, it isn’t about who copied what from whom, all of these shows evolved each other in the process. Cheers was first of a kind show that ran on NBC from September 30, 1982, to May 20, 1993, spanning across a total of 11 seasons. The premise of the show dealt with a group of people from varied walks of life who met everyday at a bar in Boston known as Cheers, run by Sam. The whole idea of drink, relax, and socialize was then  picked up by Seinfeld, Friends, and almost all successful sitcoms. It was created by James Burrows, the man originally behind Friends. Not only is Cheers utterly hilarious but it is one of the greatest sitcoms to be ever known to man.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, hands down in the longest-running American sitcom in this list. With season 14 ending in November 2019, Season 15 seems to be jinxed with COVID-19. The show seems to go on and on, it is like the comedic counterpart of Grey’s Anatomy. It aired earlier on FX and then it was moved to FXX. The story deals with five selfish friends who co-own a worn-out Irish bar. They are underachievers and more often than not, they are involved in various controversies.

Ayman Nazir
Ayman is an avid fan of American and British TV shows. You will often find her writing about Reviews on TV Shows. When she isn't working, she loves to read, write, and cook. You can reach her at Ayman@otakukart.com