The Office and Friends are both timeless sitcoms which have had a great impact on our pop culture, so much so that we constantly keep binge-watching them. The two shows made history as being among the most popular television shows of their respective times. They earned their places as exemplary tv-series with their iconic storylines and characters.
NBC launched The Office in 2005 and wound up with nine seasons in 2013. Whereas Friends aired on television in 1994 and wrapped up its decade-long run with ten seasons in 2004.
IMDb rated both equally with a score of 8.9 out of 10. Those two have made quite their stands in television history. Fandoms of these series are spread worldwide, and well there cannot be any question to that given their popularity!
FRIENDS VS THE OFFICE
Humour – The Office
Jokes from The Office are more witty, intelligent, and hidden. It’s all over the place and if you’re not attentive enough you’ll probably miss it. It is a very unique show in the way that it managed to break free of those conventional sitcom tropes. The series’ mockumentary format helps with that.
Whereas, Friends being a classic studio audience sitcom, the directors used laugh tracks. Some people consider putting the laugh tracks feels like the scene forces the joke on them. Since it was a 90’s sitcom, a product of its time, it was pretty hard to avoid that typical sitcom vibe. The writers focused too much on fitting multiple jokes into one episode. It falls short in this department due to its traditional way of injecting comedy into circumstances where it does not belong.
Friendships – Friends
The cast of Friends shows how best friends can turn into family. People would not love the show as much as they do today without the iconic bond that the gang shared. The show managed to give us more feels. Well, you’d be lying if you say you did not get teary-eyed in the last episode of this decade-long running sitcom. The characters had become like your family for sure.
In The Office, it is hard to pinpoint moments where they all are a family. Yes, they are each other’s friends and colleagues, but they don’t share the same relationship and attachment as the six characters from Friends do. Even though it had Michael and Dwight’s dynamic, honestly quite a few friendships featured were a tad bit dysfunctional.
Romance – The Office
Jim and Pam were, of course, the power couple of The Office. Sure, they had their issues. By the end of the series, their swoon-worthy romance had gone kind of boring. But with that aside, it took Jim and Pam’s romance seriously, this just made their relationship feel a lot more genuine.
There’s no denying how amazing Monica and Chandler were. Till today, people consider them as one of the best couples in television history. Even real-life couples look up to being like Mondler. But their romance felt much more like a fairytale from being best friends to soulmates, even though they had their problems down the road. Also, not to mention the infamous will-they/won’t they relationship between Ross and Rachel. Believe it or not, some Friends’ fans consider it to be very toxic.
Characters – Friends
Friends did a good job of keeping up with the personalities of the characters. Joey is the womanizer who is the loyal friend. Monica Geller is the clean freak and the glue that holds the six friends together. Rachel is somewhat the spoiled and naive protagonist of the show. Ross is the arrogant – if sometimes unfortunate – jerk. Phoebe is the quirky friend, and Chandler is the witty and sarcastic friend who is awkward with relationships. Although they developed and matured extensively throughout the series, the core of their personalities remained consistent.
When we consider Friends VS The Office debate, The Office lacked consistency with the characters. The show lost Steve Carell by the end of the seventh season, who held the series together. It presents its characters in several completely wacky scenarios which makes it unique and sets it apart from the typical sitcoms. But the later seasons go a little overboard with the off-the-wall situations in which the characters revolved around the plot, rather than the plot revolving around the characters.
Popularity – The Office
Everyone knows the iconic show Friends, but we cannot go anywhere on the internet without seeing an Office meme. But which one do people prefer? One might say that this generation is prone to like The Office because of its prevalence in pop culture. To be fair, Gen z favours the one which has more references they can use in their day-to-day life.
There are more witty references from The Office like:
- That’s what she said!
- Why are you the way that you are?
- How the turntables
- I am aware of the effect I have on women.
Whereas, Friends have a few references, but cannot be used extensively.
- How you doin’?
- I’m not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?
- We were on a break!
Consistency throughout the runtime – Friends
Not many Friends fans would term the series’ final season as good. The last season felt rushed and as a whole, out of character. It maintained an average rating through all the seasons. So it’s not that Friends‘ final season should be considered good in any way, but The Office‘s final season managed to be worse.
The quality of The Office that so many fans adored it for, fizzled out into nothing by the time the ninth season rolled around. The last season, save the final episode, was packed with lame jokes, countless out-of-character moments for just about everyone. The ratings of the last two seasons of The Office dropped severely owing to the void left by Michael. Dwight’s comedy moments landed because his banter was with Michael Scott. Those two were a great comedic duo. So when one of the comedic duo leaves, the other one suffers.
Series Finale – The Office
The Office had a weak final season, but by the end of the series, it managed to recover with a beautiful finale. This episode features the much-anticipated return of Michael Scott. The finale, as a whole, was good enough that it managed to make up for a lackluster final season. Hence the crown for this department goes to The Office.
The last season of Friends had many developments which are mostly considered very rushed. The two-parter episode was very emotional and some from the audience might cry their hearts out watching it for the zillionth time. Nonetheless, the finale worked to further the narrative of Ross and Rachel’s ever famous, but very unhealthy relationship.
The Office VS Friends debate could last forever, but there is simply no denying that both of these binge-worthy shows will remain immemorial for the generations to come.
Talking about immemorial, check out our previous blog on how Friends manages to remain so popular even after so many years!