Fans of both ‘Friends’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’ have noticed strikingly similar plots between the two sitcoms. Here is what our dream crossover would look like between characters, settings, and storylines of both shows!
Fans of sitcoms can’t deny the parallels between Friends and How I Met Your Mother, especially since both shows are centered in New York City and feature characters in their 20’s navigating relationships, friendships, and careers.
In fact, HIMYM even references the similarities in Season 2, Episode Seven, “Swarley”, when main characters Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), Barney Stinson (Neill Patrick Harris), and Marshall Erickson (Jason Segel) are in a coffee shop and discuss about how hanging out in the coffee shop is not as fun as hanging out at their usual setting: MacLaren’s Pub. They continue the conversation by talking about how hanging out at a coffee shop is “not nearly as fun” and they probably wouldn’t do it again, and fans were quick to pinpoint the reference to the popular sitcom Friends where the main character’s regularly hung out at the coffee shop: Central Perk.
Both sitcoms have lovable characters, relatable situations, and comedy. Sadly, Friends ended in May 2004 and HIMYM began in September 2005, meaning that fans were never given the possibility to see the two cross paths. Instead of comparing the two shows, we want to share what we think could have happened if the timeline universes were the same and the characters happened to cross paths for one episode.
Since Marshall, Ted, and Barney were not a fan of the coffee shop setting, I would picture them all meeting at MacLaren’s Pub. Older Ted would narrate the episode like usual and the opening scene could feature the Friends cast in the HIMYM’s regular booth causing them to all interact with each other.
First, let’s compare characters and who would ‘get along’ versus who would contrast with each other. Since HIMYM is the retelling of Ted’s youth and journey to finding ‘the one’, it’s safe to say that the crossover would have to feature Ted’s interest in one of the characters – therefore mixing the friend groups and causing everyone to mingle.
Right off the bat, the first character that comes to mind would be Rachel (Jennifer Anniston). Let’s say this crossover episode takes place when Rachel and Ross (David Schwimmer) are on ‘a break’ or just not together at all. Yet, this episode could feature both Ross and Ted butting heads over the girl and trying to win her over. Both Ross and Ted are very similar characters, meaning they would be competing for her attention but also weirdly getting along – paving the way for comedic laughs and banter.
With Rachel as the “It Girl” character and similar to some of Ted’s past girlfriends, it makes sense that she would be the one to catch his eye right away and inspire some classic Mosby romantic gestures.
In order for all the characters to connect, let’s imagine the crossover takes place where Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courteney Cox) are married and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall are married. Marshall and Lily are constantly looking for ‘couple friends’ giving the perfect opportunity for these characters to be the dream couple duo. With Monica’s “type A” personality and Lily’s constant meddling, the dream duo would definitely have some conflicts as well – giving Marshall and Chandler the chance to jump in with comedic relief that their characters are known for.
Since Barney spends the majority of every episode pursuing women and doing elaborate tricks to win them over, let’s make Joey (Mat LeBlanc) his match for the episode. Instead of working together as ‘wingmen’ they would probably be competing for different girls at McLarens Bar and even picking up on each other’s habits. Joey could suit up and Barney might use Joey’s classic pick-up line “How you doin?”
Since Robin (Cobie Smulders) is known for being jealous of other pretty girls in the show, I picture her going through the episode trying to win the attention of everyone and even clashing with Rachel over their looks and the attention of Ross and Ted. Phoebe could just be doing her own thing, getting hit on by Barney, or maybe even bringing live music to MacLaren’s like she performs at Central Perk.
Just the way the characters are developed, this episode has a ton of directions it could go in but would ultimately… work! The ending would feature some valuable lesson that the characters learned and a reason why the show is remembered when Ted is telling the story.
Of course this fictional crossover wouldn’t impact the ending of either show. Friends still results in Rachel and Ross ending up together, Monica and Chandler living happily ever after, Phoebe and Joey finding their own happy endings and the show seeming to fully end. How I Met Your Mother would still end with Ted meeting the love of his life, finishing the story he was telling his two kids, and each character seeming to have a happy ending as well.
Even though fans will never see the two cross paths, it’s fun to imagine what would happen since the group of characters all seem to be able to mix well. Every character would bring something new to the show and fans would be beside themselves with the opportunity to see them all together. If only they were in the same universe – the possibilities would have been endless!