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17 TV shows to binge-watch if you still miss 'Friends'

It's been nearly 15 years since "Friends" aired its final episode on May 6, 2004, and some of us are still trying to fill that Central Perk-shaped hole in our lives.

True fans may never be able to find a worthy replacement to the NBC sitcom, but these shows about groups of buds sure come close. Looking for a laugh of Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) proportions? The close-knit work family at Pawnee's "Parks and Recreation" department or the Cloud 9 "Superstore" will do the trick.

Here are 17 picks for what you should watch after "Friends."

'Parks and Recreation'

Does anyone really know you better than the
Photo Credit: NBC / Tyler Golden

Does anyone really know you better than the people you work with? The co-workers on "Parks and Recreation" are not just friends -- they've also solved some important Pawnee crises over the years: the shutdown, bankruptcy, merging with their rival town, turning an empty pit (or Lot 47, as it's known) into a park, planning the Harvest Festival, dealing with the death of Lil' Sebastian, making the summer parks catalog, the flu, evil ex-wives named Tammy and having 94 meetings in one day.

'New Girl'

You probably don't have roommates as cool as
Photo Credit: Fox / Adam Taylor

You probably don't have roommates as cool as Jessica Day's in real life, but you can turn on an episode of "New Girl" and pretend. This extended gang (Schmidt, Nick, Coach, Winston and Cece) spends just about every minute of the day together and even has their own drinking game called "True American." Jess is probably the only reason this sometimes dysfunctional group stayed friends for seven seasons.

'How I Met Your Mother'

As with any sitcom, there are many romantic
Photo Credit: Fox / Ron P. Jaffe

As with any sitcom, there are many romantic storylines in "How I Met Your Mother." But the friends have more than their share of adventures together: Ted teaching Barney how to drive, slap bets during Thanksgiving, taking over the bar, tracking down the best hamburger in NYC, and even the pineapple incident. Even if we never did find out how that pineapple got there. A good group of friends (and a good friends show) is all about inside jokes, after all!


Photo Credit: NBC

Transport "Friends" to Detroit and what do you get? A group of pals who, well, can't land dates. This awkward gang even has a go-to hangout spot like Central Perk (Justin's bar), only they help solve each other's life problems over beers instead of coffee.

'That '70s Show'

Apparently there wasn't much else to do in
Photo Credit: FOX

Apparently there wasn't much else to do in Wisconsin in the '70s except hang around in your friends' basements and cook up trouble. That's what Jackie, Michael, Donna, Fez, Steven and Eric did for all eight seasons. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher (who played rocky couple Jackie and Michael) are even married in real life -- what's cuter than that?

'The Office'

Photo Credit: NBC Universal Inc.

OK, "The Office" is another workplace sitcom. But what set the American version of "The Office" apart from the British version is that the crew from Dunder Mifflin actually liked each other. While the colleagues were forced to spend working hours together, they also hung outside the office (this photo is from Jim and Pam's rehearsal dinner). They came together to help each other out in some their happiest and toughest times.

Michael Scott sums it up: "I'm best friends with everybody in the office. We're all best friends. I love everybody here. But sometimes your best friends start coming into work late and start having dentist appointments that aren't dentist appointments, and that's when it's nice to know you could beat them up."


Photo Credit: NBC / Brandon Hickman

"The Office," take two: "Superstore" is another workplace comedy that'll leave you realizing you don't talk to your co-workers nearly as much as these Cloud 9 employees do. Amy, Jonah and the rest of the crew tackle coupon-crazed customers, holiday sales and even help deliver a baby in the middle of the seasonal aisle. If that doesn't form an unbreakable bond, what will?

'The Big Bang Theory'

Photo Credit: CBS

"The Big Bang Theory" gave us one of the most important ways to explain friendship -- the Friendship Algorithm. It was designed by Sheldon to help him figure out how to become friends with his enemy, Kripke. Plus, of all the friends on television, "Big Bang" might have one of the best hangouts: The Cheesecake Factory, where Penny worked until the seventh season.

'2 Broke Girls'

If anyone has taught us how to bounce
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television

If anyone has taught us how to bounce back after being down on one's luck, it's Max and Caroline. These co-workers, roommates and best friends met at The Williamsburg Diner and bonded over cupcakes and schemes to earn cash quick.

'The Golden Girls'

Photo Credit: Hallmark Channel

"Thank you for being a friend ..."

Sarcastic quips by Dorothy aside, "The Golden Girls" was a show that proved romantic relationships can come and go, but friends are forever. Despite being women in their 60s, the show's lessons about friendship and love speak to any age. When Dorothy left the house in the final episode, she told the fellow ladies, "I'll love you, always," before rushing back inside and telling them, "You'll always be my sisters. Always." The feeling is mutual, Dorothy.


Any medical professional knows, you spend a lot
Photo Credit: ABC / Richard Cartwright

Any medical professional knows, you spend a lot of days (and nights) with your colleagues on the job. In "Scrubs," J.D, Turk, Kelso and Dr. Cox lean on each other in Sacred Heart Hospital for far more than medical advice.

'30 Rock'

Photo Credit: NBC / Mary Ellen Matthews

The "30 Rock" plot isn't exactly on the same track as "Friends," but at least it's another sitcom set in your city. Drama and comedy aside, there were some real friendships budding here from season one between Liz, Tracy, Jack, Jenna and Kenneth.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

The "Community" gang learned more about friendship than anything else in their five years at Greendale Community College. The heart of the show is the bond between the characters -- even in the fifth season when they replaced Pierce and Troy. Most of the gang's adventures center around the study room, and most of those adventures are disastrous. Jeff best sums it up: "Maybe we are caught in an endless cycle of screw-ups and hurt feelings, but I choose to believe that this is just the universe's way of molding us into some kind of super group."


The cast of
Photo Credit: NBC

The cast of "Seinfeld" certainly spent a lot of time together for people who never even really seemed to like each other. The show was about nothing, so many of their adventures basically just involved talking and eating -- which, come to think of it, is what most real-life friendships consist of. Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer were all united in their horribleness, and maybe that makes it the best friendship out there.

'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'

It's not that the cast of
Photo Credit: FX / Aaron Rapoport

It's not that the cast of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" aren't friends. It's just that they're not exactly the people you'd like to be friends with. In fact, the original name of the show was "Jerks," according to Maxim.

The gang even made their own "Friends"-like promo. It didn't go so well. If you've ever watched "Always Sunny," that wouldn't surprise you. The gang regularly tortures and humiliates each other (especially Dee). It's not exactly the show to watch if you want to feel warm and fuzzy. But who needs TV friends when you can laugh with these jerks?

'Cougar Town'

What happened to Monica after she moved to
Photo Credit: TBS / Doug Hyun

What happened to Monica after she moved to Westchester with Chandler (and crushed your dreams)? Maybe she took on a whole new identity: Jules Kiki Cobb in "Cougar Town." The sitcom, starring Courtney Cox, also features guest appearances by Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow. It may not technically be a "Friends" reboot, but at least you'll see some familiar faces.


Don't worry: Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Joey and
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television

Don't worry: Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Monica, Joey and Phoebe are still hanging out at Central Perk. Well, they are on Netflix at least. You can watch all 10 seasons again and relive the fun if you miss the show that much.


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