Seinfeld Vs Friends: The Age-old Debate

The 25th anniversary of the first airing of Friends coincides with the 30th anniversary of Seinfeld and you need to pick a side. Which sitcom reigns supreme?

A milestone is upon us. It’s the 30th anniversary of Seinfeld, and the 25th anniversary of Friends and I find myself thinking back to that time in my life. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was 14 or 15, it was whatever year it was when it was 25 years ago, and I was hanging out with my Seinfeld-based street gang: The Low Talkers. We were arguing about the placement of the buttons on our shirts and eating bowls of cereal behind the servo when suddenly we were confronted. A group of surly looking teens rounded the corner, the girls with long straight hair, the boys with v-neck sweaters and hair parted in the middle. They looked like dweebs. “We’re the Friendos” they said, and explained that they were a rival gang, based on a new show that was going to “blow Seinfeld out of the water”. They called it “Friends” and we knew immediately what this meant: A sitcom-based gang war was about to ensue.

There was a lot of West Side Story-inspired clicking, a lot of quoting our favourite characters, and a lot of arguments about classic episodes. We lost a few of our members to Matthew Perry’s slick charm, but we gained a few when the Soup Nazi first aired. It was a brutal war that lasted years. Lives were changed, and bonds of brotherhood were forged in combat. Years later, as I look back on it, I often ask myself if what we did was right. I ask myself “Was I fighting for justice? Was I fighting for the good guys?” And I always come back to the same answer: Absolutely. I fought for good, and the Friendos fought for evil.

Name a single quote from Friends. TOO LATE. You can’t. Name a great episode. WRONG there’s none. Every episode is just Ross mumbling about his monkey, Joey dancing with a duck, Phoebe singing a song, or big Mickey driving around in his van and screaming obscenities (I think, I never really watched it because I’m too cool). Seinfeld has the great moments, quotes and set pieces that you still remember today. Lost in the car park, the contest, the Chinese restaurant, THESE PRETZELS ARE MAKING ME THIRSTY! You pull up any random episode and you are going to see a classic moment in television history.

Also Friends has friends, but in Seinfeld they are ALSO FRIENDS. You literally have one show about some friends in New York, and another show about friends in New York that is funnier. The question between whether Friends or Seinfeld is better is like asking whether ice cream, or ice cream with chocolate topping is better. If you pick the former: your opinion is wrong.

So on this the anniversary of the outbreak of the great Seino-friends war of the 90s, it’s not the time for peace. It’s not the time to put old rivalries to bed. It’s time to reignite those flames of conflict and resume this battle that shall henceforth rage. Which is better: Friends or Seinfeld? Time to pick a side and never look back. (It’s Seinfeld.)