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A successful, ongoing not-quite-but-sort-of-a-Roommate Com centering on the lives of 4 quirky yet admirable people.
There's the geeky but Only Sane Man Philip, the eccentric but passionate Patrick, the overly hyper but easy-going Ike, and finally... err, Scott. As the four kind of 20-somethings tackle life together, they also bond in humorous and often wacky ways. Often, each episode would center around 2 of the buddies doing something, and the sub-plot would involve another buddy doing something on their own. Sometimes the plots would intertwine near the climax to allow for the writers to create some unique solutions and reactions; both of the characters and the audience watching.
The show was also notable for relying heavily on catchphrases and other stock sitcom elements in an interesting or, at the very least, captivating way. For instance, the Scott character would often say something to the effect of "The answer is SEVEN!" to a point where the characters In-Universe tended to expect him to say it early on, and eventually the gag became how easy it was to subvert their expectations of the phrase (along with the ever growing ways Scott would say something similar but not the original phrase), while at the same time the original gag would (and often did) pop up in the same episode. Is it clever writing? That's for you to decide, of course.
Whether it was the show's heavy usage of Lampshade Hanging or its preferred humor (Anti-Humor was almost always Ike's method of cracking a joke or two), the show gathered a relatively large fanbase and remains on the air to this day, although it's currently hanging on the edge of finally being cancelled.
Unrelated to the short-lived largely forgotten sitcom Friends, which only existed because Buddies existed.
The Truth A page centering on the antics of me and my friends as if they are a sitcom, because why not? A lot of this really did happen, and the rest is based on things that happened, so there's that!
This series provides examples of:
A Day in the Limelight: Philip held the distinction of not having an episode mostly all to himself... that is, until Season 4's "The One With The Vintage Car Show".
All Just a Dream: "The One Where Philip's Actually Gay". Interesting in that it's set up to seem like Scott's dream, but it's actually Patrick's.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the best possible example of Throw It In ever conceived, the ending of the episode "The One Where The Jig Is Up, Scotty" is Geoffry Sanders (the actor who plays Scott) breaking character and walking off stage while muttering "oh, fuck this shit" much to the applause of the audience. Cue end-of-episode credits appearing on screen.
Brick Joke: In "The One With the Mountain," Patrick offhandedly mentions that he can't find his watch. At the end of the episode, Scott finds it... in his horse head mask that he'd been wearing the entire time.
Catch Phrase: Each of the four titular Buddies have things they say a lot:
Philip (who's often the one who delivers news of anything) will enter the room saying "Well, apparently X happened, which means Y. Talk about Z, huh?"
Patrick likes to jokingly insult Scott in an over-the-top manner, such as saying "Well aren't you a little midget?" and then laughing manically. He's also fond of saying "Buddy buddy buddy", or "You are buddy!" or, well... he just likes using the word buddy a lot.
Ike enjoys saying "but I'm a hoooorse!" when someone mentions "people" in a sentence. He also tends to casually spout out some non-sequitur as a response to a question directed at him if he's already per-occupied with something. Sometimes he does it anyways. By the end of Season 1, this trait was passed on to Scott.
Finally, Scott's most prominent catchphrase is "The answer is SEVEN!", usually said enthusiastically. It became so prominent that he started subverting it as the series went on, saying things like "It appears the equation's solution is half of 14 or, alternatively, the number between 6 and 8" or "A question won't be ELEVEN!", etc. Scott also has many other catchphrases - enough to probably fill a whole page. To be fair, though, the same could be said of any of the four characters.
Caught with Your Pants Down: Scott being caught pleasuring himself by everyone (and the door lock breaking off when Ike accidentally shuts the door) is what sets "The One Where They're In The Bathroom"'s plot in motion.
Early Installment Weirdness: The first season or so, while overall amusing, lacked a lot of character distinction between the four. For instance, many lines that Ike or Philip say can easily be interchanged among each other, and likewise with Patrick and Scott. By the end of Season 2 however, Ike became more stubborn, Philip became more geeky, Patrick became more perky, and Scott became more delusional. This helped to make the show stand out more among many other sitcoms, and is a very big reason why it's as iconic as it is (prior to this, the various sitcom character archetypes were more or less the same handful).
First Girl Wins: Ultimately subverted for Ike concerning his relationship with Ali, as he finds out she got married to her friend Zack when she finally gave up stalking him throughout the series.
Foreshadowing: In "The One Where Patrick Becomes A Night Cop" Ike remarks that he always pictured himself dating a woman named Alex when asked where he sees himself in the near future. During that season's finale, Ike hooks up with someone on the sidelines - guess what her name is.
The Ghost: Ike's best friend Matt never appears on-screen, although he's alluded to often by Ike in their "fantastic wacky adventures" as Scott once put it. One of the series' most memorable moments was Ike having a particularly loud conversation with Matt over the phone about how much they both like the Queen album "Made In Heaven" all the while blissfully unaware that he was annoying a very ill Philip.
Sometimes, the episode titles don't exactly match up with what is best remembered about the episode. For instance, "The One Where Ali Comes Back" is better remembered as the episode where Scott and Patrick become professional wrestlers and end up having to fight each other. The biggest offender by far is "The One Where Philip Buys A Condo", aka the episode where Ike and Alex break up, resulting in Ike confronting his past lovers through his memories of them.
Multiple-Choice Past: Although he himself doesn't bring it up very much, both Patrick and Scott like to remind Ike of that time he used to be in the game making business. It started to become a Berserk Button of his later on, though. Aside from this, he's also been a horse riding champion, a magician, a music producer (this one and the game making remark are the only two that have stuck), the creator of a Cult Classic cartoon, and a really big, like, huge tree.
Never Live It Down: In-Universe: When Philip tried video calling Ike and Patrick while on vacation in "The One Where Scott Plays Mario 2", he rather famously glitched out and could only be heard saying "E-e-e-e-e-e-e-E-E-E-E" while the video freeze-framed on him making an amusing face - Ike and Patrick were in stitches. He could never go a couple of episodes per season without being reminded of the incident somehow, and it became a Running Gag for him to reply defensively, "Ugh, I blame Skype".
Once a Season: The New Years episodes, which always involve Mr. Malone's New Years party, Ike and Patrick's antics in and around said party, and Scott and Gerald's father, Ray. Starting with the third one, each one is titled "The One With The (Third, Fourth, Fifth, etc.) New Year".
Reality Ensues: Scott's wacky antics in "The One With The Headphones" are Played for Laughs the whole way through... that is, until the very next episode, where it's revealed he was arrested because of what he did.
When Scott announced he was seeing a psychiatrist visiting from Seattle, Ike quickly asked, "Does he toss salads and scrambled eggs?". What really set the joke in was when it turns out Scott's psychiatrist is played by David Hyde Pierce.
Synchronous Episodes: "The One Where They Spend A Day At The Races" has Scott become a horse rider while Philip and Patrick tag along and rig the races in favor of Scott as a means to get rich quick. A typical episode, right? Well, Ike is nowhere to be seen, and it's never explained at all. Well, exactly one episode later... "The One Where He Spends A Night At The Opera", which focuses entirely on Ike's antics out of town as he tries to get into a famous opera.