The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
4 Points

Friends is the greatest TV show ever

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/20/2014 Category: TV
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 799 times Debate No: 63545
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




I will be arguing that 'Friends' is the best show ever. First round acceptance.


Since the first round is acceptance, I accept. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting.

1. Friends is a comedy. Comedy shows are the best TV shows because television was made for entertainment. The easiest way to entertain is to make the audience laugh. Laughter makes you happier, thus people like comedies more.

2. Friends is unique in the fact that it is one of the only shows with 6 main characters. With a higher amount of main characters, it allows for a show to be much more relatable. Each of the 6 characters are very easily related to someone everyone knows. From the idiot-handsome Joey, to the awkward-weird Chandler. Being relatable is good because it allows for each and every joke or issue to become funnier imagining it was that person you know.

3. Friends touched on many "real life" issues, and stayed consistently realistic. Where most shows attempt to place their characters in impossible situations, Friends made the everyday occurrences hilarious. Whether it was the realistic constant job switches, the relationships the characters have, or even the holidays that they celebrate, everything stayed realistic.

4. Could this show BE anymore timeless? (Friends pun) It has already been 20 years since the first episode aired. Even though it has been so long, Friends is still talked about in the discussion of best TV show. Why? Because there are so many one liners, and quotable lines that no one will let it go away. The show will remain popular forever because the fan base is constantly expanding, and each one line and quote is said.

5. Friends is one of the most popular shows of all time. Over 55 million people tuned in to watch the series finale, the 5th most watched of all time. What sets Friends apart in terms of popularity is that Friends consistently had 50 million people for their shows. In fact, the most watched episode was in 1996, which got more viewers than even the season finale.


For my opponent to win he must present a clear methodology to establish “Greatest Television of All-Time,” otherwise, it is just a statement of personal preference. However, I do believe we can move behind subjective tastes and enter a realm of some objectivity by looking at critical reviews of series through aggregate numbers of reviews from established critics. For example, in this round I will attempt to establish a coherent counterargument extracted from reviews.

Let me introduce my first piece against Pro

Here is an article of the “Best Written Television Series of All-Time.” If Friends is the Greatest Television Show of All-Time, then it would follow that it should be first on this list.[1] But no, it does not. Friends does not even crack the top ten. We find friends where? Number 24.

Second Piece of Evidence:

TV Guide Magazine’s list of the 60 Best Television Series also acknowledges Friends but at position 28.[2] Already we see a pattern: Friends while acknowledged as a good television show fails to compete in the top ten. What makes Friends better than say The Sopranos? If my opponent is going to win, he must address why voters should not believe The Sopranos, The Wire, or Seinfeld are the “Greatest Television Shows of All-Time.

Rebuttals to Opponent’s points:

Argument of Genre:

Not only does my opponent not differentiate why Friends is better than The Simpsons or Arrested Development or other comedies but he fails to provide a credible method for determining “Greatest.” Moreover, can we really say Friends is a comedy since it relies on Canned Laughter and Laugh Tracks dubbed over the writing? There videos of Friends after the laugh track is removed, not only does it reveal the bad writing but also makes scenes unbearable to watch.

2. Argument of Quantity of Characters:

This is an arbitrary number and fails to explain why character quantity matters. Plus, if quantity of relatable characters matters than The Sopranos, Mad Men, The Wire, The Walking Dead are the better than Friends based on the standard here.

3. Argument it showed Real Life:

How is canned laughter realistic? How many gay characters were on Friends? How often did Friends address deep psychological issues? It was realistic for white, upper-class audiences. The lesson of friends is everything turns out in the end. If it was realistic of everyone, shouldn’t we see poverty, drug-addiction, and sex depicted honesty instead white middle class character sipping coffee?

4. Argument of Timelessness:

Seinfeld is quoted continues as a cult-classic. Seinfeld has produced quotes and shorthand for a variety of situations. Nevertheless, let me emphasize this is simple conjecture on my opponent’s part, it overlooks the issue of “greatest,” a standard my opponent has not established.

5. Argument of Audience:

I am not obligated to send time on this argument since it is undermined by its status as the 5th most watched television show. This might have more credibility if it was 1st—and please provide a link to any quantitative claims in the future to check.

Debate Round No. 2


Mitch12 forfeited this round.


Due to the forfeiture in round two, Con will keep this brief.

Pro has yet to develop to state how “Greatest” is measureable. The closest thus far comes from the assertion that Friends registered as the fifth most watched television series. Where does this “fact” come from? It is unclear.

Pro has 100% BOP.

Pro so far has relied on personal taste and preference.

Pro cannot answer why The Sopranos or The Wire or any show is better or worse than any other is. Apart this failure, Pro’s personal standard and reason for elevating Friends (see numbered rebuttal by Con in Round Two) above other shows with under any scrutiny.

Therefore, until Pro tries to develop some system there is little to add. Con has thoroughly rebutted the arguments, including those of personal taste.

Debate Round No. 3


Mitch12 forfeited this round.


Since full BOP is on Pro, there is nothing else to add. Pro failed to establish a reliable method for determining what qualifies as the greatest, and Con has rebutted the claims made in the Second Round thoroughly. Therefore, please vote for Con if for no other reason than Pro’s forfeitures.

Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
Cheyenne Bodie is my personal best.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
You are wrong. It is Seinfeld which is the best.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture