'Friends,' 'How I Met Your Mother' Reportedly Ripped Off By Chinese Sitcom 'Ipartment'

Ross, Joey, Rachel and the rest of the "Friends" gang seem to have invaded China.

The popular Chinese sitcom "Ipartment," which features a group of attractive 20-somethings who live in adjoining apartments in Shanghai and hang out in a coffee shop, is being accused of being a little too much like "Friends." One of the characters is even a university lecturer (Ross, anyone?)

"Is ['Ipartment'] only intended for those born after 1990, who have not watched 'Friends?'" a viewer wrote on Weibo, the "Chinese Twitter," according to the Global Times.

"We didn't copy the American sitcom," a show rep said in an interview with Southern Metropolis newspaper. "Comedies have stereotypes, like the handsome man, the gorgeous woman, the cheap man and so on. They have that in many comedies. Our creation is not plagiarism, but more a homage to the American sitcom."

The sitcom has also reportedly lifted jokes directly from "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Big Bang Theory." While neither series seems to be going anywhere, "Ipartment" may want to reconsider its comedic source. According to HuffPost's Mark Lashley, the jokes in "How I Met Your Mother" are getting a little stale.

"It seems creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have lost the thread of their own memory, allowing their best comedic instincts to fall under the weight of heavily orchestrated plot concerns," he wrote in his recap of the CBS sitcom's season finale in May.

What do you think of the "Ipartment" dispute? Do you think the recycled jokes, characters and settings as a homage to the American sitcom or a rip off? Sound off in the comments.