If you catch yourself humming “I’ll be There for You” at odd moments in the day or if you have laughed at random strangers using words like “pivot” and “we were on a break”, then congratulations! You are a F.R.I.E.N.D.S head. For most of the 90s’ kids, F.R.I.E.N.D.S has been the first American sitcom we were introduced to, and like they say, your first love is always memorable.
Created by David Crane and Marta Kaufmann, F.R.I.E.N.D.S aired from 1994-2004, a decade of amassing a worldwide fan following and an almost cult-like status in the comedy genre.
One of the best features about the show is its horde of relatable characters and the talented artists who brought them alive on the screen. I am sure we all have our favourites and most of us have even tried quizzes, to tell us which character we might be.
Here’s a list of the 20 Best Characters of Friends. Read on to see if your favourite made the list. *Spoiler Alert*
20. Estelle (played by June Gable)
She was an eccentric woman and a slapdash casting agent, but Joey wouldn’t be Dr. Drake Ramoray without her.
19. Erica (played by Anna Faris)
She became the birth mother to Monica’s and Chandler’s adopted twins, after Chandler’s iconic heart-melting speech about Monica’s motherliness convinced her.
18. Dr. Leonard Green (played by Ron Leibman)
Rachel’s father was a man of hard words and insane comic timing. Who doesn’t remember the hilarious confrontation between him and Ross’s girlfriend, Mona, with Ross stuck in the middle?
17. David the Scientist Guy (played by Hank Azaria)
Minsk really screwed it up for sweet innocent and oh-so-polite David, otherwise Phoebe may have had another husband altogether. He is considered among the best characters of Friends.
16. Marcel the Monkey (played by Katie)
Ross wouldn’t have survived his first divorce (of three, yeah, I know) without Marcel’s antics to cheer him up. Also, Ross, Joey and Chandler dancing to “In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle” for the umpteenth time because Marcel wouldn’t stop playing this song, was a memorable screen moment.
15. Carol Willick and Susan Bunch (played by Anita Barone/Jane Sibbet and Jessica Hecht)
Carol and Susan made for an accurate representation of the lesbian community at that time, without any drama. After Carol discovered her sexuality and separated from Ross, while being pregnant with his son, it was an amusing challenge as our “favourite parenting team” came through and made nice. Carol and Susan painted a progressive image of a family, alongwith Ross, in raising Ben, Ross’s son. They rightfully earned a place among the best characters of Friends.
14. Frank Jr. and Alice Buffay (played by Giovanni Ribisi and Debra Jo Rupp)
Frank Jr. is Phoebe’s step-brother, who married his home-ec teacher, twice his age, Mrs. Alice Knight. As unconventional and cute they were, their parenthood presented Phoebe with the challenge of surrogacy, and let’s face it, nothing will be as crazy funny as Phoebe’s “I’m having my brother’s triplets” joke.
13. Jack and Judy Geller (played by Elliot Gould and Christina Pickles)
Ross’s and Monica’s parents, Jack and Judy Geller are the epitome of “cool” parents and an old married couple still in love. They are overwhelmingly proud of Ross and unknowingly undermine Monica, with Judy going as far as picking on Monica’s “every little thing”. Anyone rolling their eyes here, because this is relatable?
12. Chick and Duck
When Joey bought a chick and Chandler saved a duck, it didn’t seem like much. But the Chick and the Duck soon became an integral part of the show. From the Duck swallowing Ross’s engagement ring to the Chick crowing at sunrise that brought about the epic apartment exchange, these two sure made us laugh.
11. Emily Waltham (played by Helen Baxendale)
Ross’s second wife, Emily caused quite the ruff what with her whirlwind romance with Ross, that culminated in the most disastrous wedding when Ross said Rachel’s name at the altar. The boundless pithiness afterward ended in a dramatic divorce.
10. Richard Burke (played by Tom Selleck)
Oh the dreamiest of men, Richard was the love of Monica’s life (before Chandler, of course). Cigars, whiskey and a penchant for treating blind kids, whose heart wouldn’t melt?
9. Gunther (played by James Michael Tyler)
Gunther, the quintessential coffee server, with hair “as white as the sun” and a heart full of love for Rachel, was the ever present voyeur to the squad’s drama. He definitely deserves a place among the best characters of Friends.
8. Janice (played by Maggie Wheeler)
Janice is what life gives you in return for your expectations, that one person with a singular nerve-screeching laugh and still, a very caring heart. Although Chandler tried to outrun her (to Yemen, no less), she circled back at least once each season of the show to provide us with an amazing screen presence and cackling laughter.
7. Mike Hannigan (played by Paul Rudd)
Sweet and sassy and accepting of all of Phoebe’s weirdness, Mike became the missing piece to Phoebe’s family when they got married in the final season. Princess Consuela Bananahammock and Crap Bag for the win!
6. Phoebe Buffay (played by Lisa Kudrow)
The icon of trippy quips and eclectic tastes, with a birth mother, an adoptive mother who committed suicide, a flight-risk of a father and not an ideal childhood, Phoebe Buffay is street-smart with a heart of gold. She is just on the right side of crazy and sticks by her principles. Her happy ending is a highlight of the show.
5. Rachel Green (played by Jennifer Aniston)
Classy, spoilt and gossipy to a fault, Rachel Green did start out as a character with not much to her arc, but she really evolved into a determined, hard-working and collected woman, and even more importantly, a doting mother. Her heart, though confused, risked it all for love in the end, and if that isn’t brave, I don’t know what is.
4. Joey Tribbiani (played by Matt Le Blanc)
The quintessential jock beloved by everybody, not-so-bright but oh-so-handsome and with the biggest heart a man can have, Joey Tribbiani was the best buddy to everyone. He’s one of the most loved and the best characters of Friends. He put no one above his friends except, maybe pizza. Also, we all learnt that a pickup line can be as simple as “How you doin’?” if said in the right way.
3. Monica Geller (played by Courtney Cox)
For all the clean freaks and rule followers out there who still want to have fun and look pretty, be strong but girly, be ambitious about our jobs but still want to have kids, Monica Geller is our icon. She is the glue that holds the squad together, she’s “always the hostess”. The half of our favourite, Mondler, Monica is the coolest, most responsible and most dedicated friend in the show and we stan the Queen.
2. Ross Geller (played by David Schwimmer)
Dinosaur nerd and the man who reinvented Unagi, Ross Geller is a good-hearted man with a competitive edge and rage issues, a son from his lesbian first ex-wife and a daughter from his third ex-wife and best friend, Rachel and truly terrible music skills. He’s a great friend who sacrificed a once in a career opportunity to appear on the Discovery Channel in order to care for Rachel despite the fact that she was still angry with him. Giving Phoebe the bike and teaching her to ride it, which should be considered as a selfless deed. But most importantly, he walked Carol down the aisle for her marriage with Susan. He was probably the most underrated character on the show and also among the best characters of Friends.
1. Chandler Bing (played by Matthew Perry)
All hail the King of Sarcasm! The other half of our favourite Mondler, Chandler Bing a.k.a. the Chan Chan man is the most relatable, funny and socially-awkward guy to grace the screen. With a heart of gold in his “hollow tin chest”, Chandler changes from a picky, using-humour-as-defence-mechanism and working a 9-to-5 job with no real vision guy to a doting, committed partner, working at something he loves. He makes the show what it is and that’s that.
Thank you for reading! Hope this makes you want to re-watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S again.