Okay, here is a big similarity between Friends and HIMYM. Now granted it is something that trends in just about every sitcom every made, but Robots vs. Wrestlers
kind of drove the point home more so than most of the times it gets used.
You take one character that is a bit of an intellectual (Ross and Ted) and you constantly mock that point or what their ultimate passion is (archeology/paleontology and architecture) to the point where you have to dumb down the other characters in order to get the joke across.
I have no idea what Bays/Thomas views are on architecture, but the creators of Friends on one of the commentaries actually came out and said they thought paleontology was the worse field someone could go into, so that is why they constantly mocked Ross and what he did.
And of course this is a constant trope in sitcoms, as I've mentioned, where the "down to earth" main characters realize that their lives are much better than the high society that they briefly come into contact with, which if using the Friends example, probably says more about the producers of the show's feelings about high culture than anything else.
I've always wondered why television shied away from having characters hang out at bars, especially characters in their 20's. It might have something to do with showing responsible behavior, but most nights out end up in hangovers and more than a few bad decisions. I think it's more responsible to show the results of bad behavior than avoiding that behavior entirely and pretending it doesn't exist.
I always thought the Friends were lame because they hung out at a coffeehouse. And there were always the token episodes where one of the characters had too much to drink and did something stupid. That's not a once yearly occurence, dude. It's weekly or more.
The show Friends essentially replaced in the Thursday lineup was set predominantly in a bar though!
To be fair though, they did show the gang frequently drinking beers (with actual product placement logos) in their respective apartments, so it wasn't like they shied away from showing alcohol being consumed.
Also, if I recall correctly, the early to mid 1990s I believe was the high point of the coffee house "trend" as the destination to go to hang out at, so I'm going to guess the producers were trying to catch in on that "craze."
What I'd love to see is if Central Perk closed, forcing the gang, well I guess now there wouldn't be much of a "gang" but you'll see where I'm going, to hang at a Starbucks since it pretty much has taken over that whole coffee house industry.