Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Top Recurring Characters on Friends

#10 Ben
Played by 4 different actors (including Jughead himself!), Ben Geller was Ross and Carol’s son, raised by Carol and Susan. Ross never really got to see Ben much, and only watched him occasionally (read: when the plot dictated).

Most memorable moment: When Ross taught Ben about Hanukkah (The One With The Holiday Armadillo)

#9 Alice
Alice Knight Buffay (Debra Jo Rupp) was Frank Jr.’s wife, and his former home ec teacher. She always put on a happy face no matter what, even when she talked about her infertility. She and Frank had insatiable lust for each other, making out uncomfortably whenever (and wherever) they could!

Most memorable moment: When Alice got to hold the triplets that Phoebe carried for her (The One Hundredth)

#8 Carol
Carol was Ross’s ex-wife, and a 6th grade teacher (which everybody knows is the best grade to teach!). When she realized she was a lesbian, she divorced Ross. She and Ross began the series with a rocky start (and frankly, Carol and Susan were a kind of lesbian punchline at first), but Carol eventually became tolerable and downright kind as time went on.

Most memorable moment: When Carol got married to Susan, and Ross walked her down the aisle (The One With The Lesbian Wedding)

#7 and #6 Jack & Judy
Who better to play Ross’s dad than Elliott Gould?! Jack was ever loving and kind, though often made faux pas. (“I’m just saying!”) And Christina Pickles is a punchline genius! Passive-aggressive, sometimes mean, and always loving, Judy was the coolest uncool mom on TV.

Most memorable moment: The way they interacted with and reacted to their children in the prom video (The One With the Prom Video)

#5 Estelle
Let’s face it, Estelle was a cartoon character. But a darn funny one! She was never bothered by anything, smoked like a chimney, and had an obnoxious voice that rivaled Janice’s. But it’s probably a good thing she was brash and incompetent: she was probably the only female that Joey would never say “How you doin’?” to!

Most memorable moment: Her pitch-perfect introduction: "Just a moment, let me see if she's in...Hello." (The One With Russ)

#4 Mike
What other character could be introduced 9 seasons in (9 seasons!) and still be one of the best recurring characters? Mike was the first person Phoebe fully committed herself to, and that’s in large part because of Paul Rudd’s effortless charm. Mike was at the center of some of the most heartwarming and hilarious moments on Friends.

Most memorable moment: “First name: Crap. Last name: Bag.” (The One With Princess Consuela)

#3 Frank Jr.
Yes, Giovanni Ribisi appeared as two different characters in Friends. (He dropped a condom in Phoebe’s guitar case in TOW the Baby on the Bus.) But Frank Jr. was a really special character. The yin to Phoebe’s … yin (or are they both yang?), Frank was a perfect complement to the sweet, quirky, oddball Phoebe. Frank was his own special brand of bizarre. And he was the reason for the best Friends storyline of all time: Phoebe having Frank’s babies! That storyline was as equally sweet, quirky, and totally oddball as the Buffays were.

Most memorable moment: “My sister’s going to have my baby!” (The One With Phoebe's Uterus)

#2 Gunther
Gunther appeared in 160 episodes. Holy cow! (The next most recurring was Jack, with only 21 episodes.) But Gunther doesn’t get the penultimate spot because of how many episodes he was in, but because he was awesome and underrated. He had the best eye roll, he had great comebacks, and ultimately he was always there -- as much a part of the scenery as Central Perk itself.

Most memorable moment: When Phoebe kissed him … so she could get sick (The One With Joey’s New Girlfriend)

#1 Janice
Oh. My. GAWD! With a wicked laugh that sounded like an air raid siren riding shotgun on a lawnmower, Janice is by far the most memorable non-Friend. Like that one can of green beans in your pantry, Janice just does not go away! But huge props to Maggie Wheeler for taking what was originally just a middling character (annoying girlfriend), and making her into something lovable, memorable, and SUPER annoying! Let’s all move to Yemen. 

And as a special treat, we will leave you this compilation of all of Janice’s laughs.

Most memorable moment: Rachel gives birth and has to share a room … with Janice! (The One Where Rachel Has a Baby)

Honorable Mention: Chick and Duck
Chandler and Joey were never married, but they sure acted like a married couple! And to complete the picture, they had two (fowl) children! But they almost had to give up Chick and Duck, if it weren’t for the contest where Rachel missed the infamous “Ms. Chanandler Bong”!

Most memorable moment: “Hey, wouldn't it be cool if our duck and our chick had a little baby? We could call it Chuck. … Or Dick.” (The One With Ross’s Thing)

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