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The American television sitcom Friends featured six main cast members throughout its run, with numerous characters recurring throughout the ten seasons. The main cast members were familiar to television viewers before their roles on Friends, but were not considered to be stars.[1][2] Series creator David Crane wanted all six characters to be equally prominent,[3] and the series was lauded as being "the first true 'ensemble' show".[4] The cast members made efforts to keep the ensemble format and not allow one member to dominate;[4] they entered themselves in the same acting categories for awards,[5] opted for collective instead of individual salary negotiations,[4] and asked to appear together on magazine cover photos in the first season.[6] The cast members became best friends off screen,[7] and one guest star, Tom Selleck, reported sometimes feeling left out.[8] The cast remained good friends after the series' run, most notably Cox and Aniston, with Aniston being godmother to Cox and David Arquette's daughter, Coco.[9] In the official farewell commemorative book Friends 'Til The End, each separately acknowledged in his/her interview that the cast had become his/her family.[10]

In their original contracts for season one, each cast member was paid $22,500 per episode.[11] The cast members received different salaries in the second season, beginning from the $20,000 range to $40,000 per episode.[11][12] Prior to their salary negotiations for the third season, the cast decided to enter collective negotiations, despite Warner Bros. preference for individual deals.[13] The actors were given the salary of the least paid cast member, meaning Aniston and Schwimmer had their salaries reduced. The stars were paid, per episode, $75,000 in the third season, $85,000 in the fourth, $100,000 in the fifth, and $125,000 in the sixth season.[14] The cast members received salaries of $750,000 per episode in the seventh and eight seasons, and $1 million per episode in the ninth and tenth.[15] The cast also received syndication royalties beginning with the fifth season.[12]

Contents

Main characters

  • Jennifer Aniston portrays Rachel Green, a fashion enthusiast and Monica Geller's best friend from high school. Rachel and Ross Geller are involved in an on-off relationship throughout the series. Rachel's first job is a waitress at the coffee house Central Perk, but she later becomes an assistant buyer at Bloomingdale's and a buyer at Polo Ralph Lauren in season five. Aniston had already appeared in several unsuccessful sitcom pilots before being cast in Friends.[1]
  • Courteney Cox Arquette portrays Monica Geller, the mother hen of the group,[16] known for her obsessive-compulsive and competitive nature.[17][18] Monica is often jokingly teased for having been an extremely overweight child by the others, especially her brother Ross. Monica is a chef who changes jobs often throughout the show, and marries longtime friend Chandler Bing in season seven. Cox had the highest profile career of the main actors when she was initially cast, having appeared in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Family Ties.[1]
  • Lisa Kudrow portrays Phoebe Buffay, an eccentric masseuse and musician.[19] Phoebe became homeless at the age of 14, and is known for being ditzy and yet street-smart.[20] Kudrow previously played waitress Ursula Buffay on Mad About You, and reprised the dual role of twin sister Ursula as a recurring character during several episodes of Friends.[1] Prior to her acting career, Kudrow was an office manager and researcher for her father, a headache specialist.[7]
  • Matt LeBlanc portrays Joey Tribbiani, a struggling actor and food lover who becomes famous for his role on Days of our Lives as Dr. Drake Ramoray. Joey is a womanizer with many girlfriends throughout the series, and develops a crush on his friend Rachel in season eight. Before his role on Friends, LeBlanc appeared as a minor character in the sitcom Married... with Children, and as a main character in its spin-offs, Top of the Heap and Vinnie & Bobby.[21]
  • Matthew Perry portrays Chandler Bing, an executive in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration for a large multi-national corporation. Chandler quits his job and becomes a junior copywriter at an advertising agency during season nine. Chandler is known for his sarcastic sense of humor,[22] and marries longtime friend Monica. Like Aniston, Perry had already appeared in several unsuccessful sitcom pilots before being cast.[15]

Recurring characters

Introduced in Season 1

Elliott Gould appeared in twenty episodes between 1994 and 2003 as Ross and Monica's father Jack Geller
  • Jack and Judy Geller (Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles) - Ross and Monica's parents. In early appearances, Jack frequently makes inappropriate comments, which he punctuates by exclaiming "I'm just saying...!" Judy often makes condescending remarks about Monica's lack of a love life and sometimes forgets her daughter even exists, while simultaneously favouring Ross.
Pickles was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her appearance in "The One Where Nana Dies Twice"[e 1]. The Seattle Times ranked Jack and Judy jointly as the second best guest character of the series in 2004.[23]
  • Barry Farber (Mitchell Whitfield) - Rachel's jilted fiancé. Barry, an orthodontist, decides to go on his and Rachel's honeymoon with her maid of honor Mindy, and soon begins a relationship with her. Their relationship hits a rough patch in "The One with the Evil Orthdontist"[e 2] when he and Rachel consider getting back together. He decides to stay with Mindy and the two are married in "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding"[e 3]. They are getting divorced by the time of "The One That Could Have Been, Part 1" (Season 6, 2000)[e 4]. Barry's last name is given as "Finkle" in the pilot and "Farber" in every other appearance. He has also been called "Barry White".
  • Carol Willick (Anita Barone for one episode, Jane Sibbett thereafter) and Susan Bunch (Jessica Hecht) - Ross's lesbian ex-wife, who came out a year before the pilot, and her partner. Carol tells Ross that she is pregnant with his child in "The One with the Sonogram at the End"[e 5] and is having it with her partner Susan. Susan does not attempt to hide her contempt of Ross but they briefly put aside their differences in "The One with the Birth"[e 6] when Carol gives birth to a boy, Ben. Carol and Susan get married in "The One with the Lesbian Wedding"[e 7] and make irregular appearances until "The One That Could Have Been, Part 2"[e 4] (Susan) and "The One with the Truth About London"[e 8] (Carol).
Carol and Susan were based on Marta Kauffman and David Crane's best friends in New York: "We didn't create them for any particular political reason or because of lesbian chic. It was just an opportunity to tell a really interesting story."[24] The characters were called a positive example of a gay couple on television by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Jessica Hecht originally auditioned to play Monica.[25]
  • Gunther (James Michael Tyler) - the manager of the Central Perk coffee house, who first appears as a background character in "The One with the Thumb".[e 9] The character develops an unrequited crush on Rachel in the third season, which he keeps to himself until "The Last One".[e 10] His jealousy of Ross is made clear numerous times, most notably in "The One the Morning After",[e 11] when he reveals to Rachel that Ross cheated on her when they were "on a break". Gunther appears in nearly every episode, but only occasionally calls attention to himself and almost never has a large role in the plot of an episode. In the Season 8 Episode 'The One With The Stain', Gunther is shown to be fluent in Dutch, calling Ross an ezel as he converses with him. (Ross is trying to learn Dutch in order to secure an apartment from a dying Dutch woman.)
James Michael Tyler was cast as Gunther because he was the only extra who could competently work the coffee machine on the Central Perk set. Tyler appears as Gunther in a co-host voice-over in the Friends trivia game for PS2, PC and Xbox, and in the board game Friends: Scene It?. The Seattle Times ranked Gunther as the eighth best guest character of the series in 2004.[23] When asked in 2009 by Heatworld.com what Gunther would be doing "now", Tyler joked, "He'd probably have a very traditional marriage, with lots of white-haired babies running around with hair brighter than the sun."[26]
  • Janice (Maggie Wheeler) - Chandler's on-again off-again girlfriend for the first five seasons. Chandler has trouble dumping her in "The One with the East German Laundry Detergent"[e 12] but gets back together with her for New Year's in "The One with the Monkey"[e 13] and for Valentine's in "The One with the Candy Hearts".[e 14] In Season 2, Chandler is disappointed to discover that she is married and pregnant. In "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding",[e 3] Chandler arranges a meeting with a mystery woman over the Internet, who turns out to be Janice. Their relationship lasts into the third season, when Janice decides to leave her husband to be with Chandler. In "The One with the Race Car Bed",[e 15] Joey sees her kissing her husband. Chandler dumps her in "The One with the Giant Poking Device".[e 16] In "The One with All the Rugby"[e 17], Janice returns to Chandler's life. To try and get away from her, Chandler pretends to be moving to Yemen. She has a brief fling with Ross in "The One with Chandler's Work Laugh",[e 18] makes a cameo on a mix tape in "The One with Unagi".[e 19] In "The One with Ross's Library Book",[e 20] she tries to interfere with Monica and Chandler's wedding plans. In "The One Where Rachel Has a Baby",[e 21] she is placed in the same labor room as Rachel at the hospital. She later gives birth to a son, Aaron, who she jokes will be Emma's future husband. In "The One with the Fertility Test"[e 22] she offers Chandler advice and support at a fertility clinic. In "The One Where Estelle Dies",[e 23] she comes close to buying a house next door to one Monica and Chandler want to buy. To get rid of her, Chandler pretends he still loves her.
In "The One Where Estelle Dies",[e 23] Chandler gives her full name as Janice Litman Garelnick (née Hosenstein). She spoke with a nasal New York accent and emphasised each word of her catchphrase "Oh, my God!" Janice's distinctive laugh was borne out of a slip-up Wheeler made during the rehearsal of "The One with the East German Laundry Detergent"[e 12]; after Chandler and Janice's "More latté?"/"No, I'm still working on mine" lines, Wheeler laughed.[27] The Seattle Times ranked Janice as the best guest character of the series in 2004.[23]
  • Mr. Heckles (Larry Hankin) - Monica and Rachel's downstairs neighbour, an elderly man who constantly complains about the noise. He first appears in "The One with the Blackout",[e 24] claiming to own a lost cat that Rachel has found. He appears again in "The One with Two Parts, Part 1"[e 25] and "The One Where the Monkey Gets Away"[e 26] before dying in "The One Where Mr. Heckles Dies".[e 27] As a last spiteful act, he leaves all of his junk to "the noisy girls upstairs". He makes a final cameo appearance in "The One with the Flashback",[e 28] set in 1993, where he complains that Phoebe's noise is disturbing his oboe practice, and inadvertedly causes Joey to be Chandler's roommate.
  • Paolo (Cosimo Fusco) - An Italian neighbour in Monica's building, who Rachel falls for in "The One with the Blackout".[e 24] They start dating, making Ross jealous. She dumps him after he gropes Phoebe in "The One with the Dozen Lasagnas"[e 29] but has a last one-night stand with him in "The One with Ross's New Girlfriend".[e 30]
  • Terry (Max Wright) - The manager at Central Perk, who does not hide the fact that he thinks Rachel is a terrible waitress. He denies her an advance on her wages in "The One Where Underdog Gets Away"[e 31] and hires a professional musician to replace Phoebe in "The One with the Baby on the Bus".[e 32]
  • Fun Robert "Bobby" (Vincent Ventresca) - A boyfriend of Monica's. In his first appearance in "The One with the Monkey",[e 13] his "fun" is sapped at Monica's New Years party after his grandfather died. In "The One with Russ",[e 33] the gang discovers that alcohol puts the "fun" into Fun Bobby. Monica tries to wean him off drinking but regrets it when he becomes extremely boring.
Hank Azaria first played David, the love of Phoebe's life, in 1994. He made several recurring appearances between 2001 and 2003.
  • David, "the Scientist Guy" (Hank Azaria) - A physicist whom Phoebe falls in love with in "The One with the Monkey".[e 13] After a fight with his research partner Max (Wayne Pére), David decides to go on a research trip to Minsk with him, breaking Phoebe's heart. He returns to New York for a brief visit in "The One with the Cheesecakes"[e 34] and shares an evening with Phoebe. He returns permanently in "The One with the Male Nanny"[e 35] and he and Phoebe resume their relationship in "The One with the Donor".[e 36] In "The One in Barbados, Part 1",[e 37] David proposes to Phoebe. She turns him down and gets back together with Mike, and David leaves.
In 2003, Azaria was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor - Comedy Series for his performance.
  • Ursula Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) - Phoebe's identical twin sister. Kudrow originated the role of Ursula in the sitcom Mad About You, playing her as an inept waitress at Riff's who frequently forgets orders.[e 42] She first appears in Friends in "The One with Two Parts";[e 25] Chandler and Joey are eating at Riff's and mistake Ursula for Phoebe. Joey becomes attracted to Ursula and they start dating. Ursula tells Phoebe that she is bored with Joey, so Phoebe pretends to be her sister to let Joey down gently. In the same episode, Helen Hunt and Leila Kenzle cameo as their Mad About You characters Jamie Buchman and Fran Devanow, in a scene where they mistake Phoebe for Ursula in Central Perk. Ursula next appears briefly in "The One with the Jam",[e 43] where she is being stalked by a man (David Arquette) who mistakes Phoebe for her. In "The One with the Jellyfish"[e 44] Phoebe tells Ursula that she has met their birth mother, but Ursula already knows about her. In "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry",[e 45] Phoebe starts getting unwanted attention from men, and discovers that Ursula is starring in pornographic films using Phoebe's name. Phoebe gets revenge by claiming Ursula's fees and embarrassing her many male fans. Flashbacks in "The One Where They All Turn Thirty"[e 46] reveal that Ursula sold Phoebe's birth certificate to a Swedish runaway, and that both sisters are 31. In "The One with the Halloween Party",[e 47] Ursula introduces Phoebe to Eric (Sean Penn), her fiancé. Phoebe is horrified that Ursula has told Eric that she is a teacher, a member of the Peace Corps, a non-smoker, and attends a church group (all lies). The series finale of Mad About You, set 22 years into the future, reveals that after a successful porn career, Ursula becomes Governor of New York.[e 48]
  • Mindy (Jennifer Grey in "The One with the Evil Orthodontist",[e 2] Jana Marie Hupp in "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding"[e 3]) - Rachel's maid of honor at her aborted wedding to Barry. Mindy and Rachel were best friends while growing up and their friendship is tested after Rachel discovers Mindy and Barry are seeing each other. Mindy marries Barry in "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding",[e 3] becoming Mindy Hunter-Farber. She asks Rachel to be her maid of honor and dresses in a garish outfit. They are getting divorced by "The One That Could Have Been, Part 1".[e 4]
  • Ben (Various actors, 1995-1999; Cole Sprouse, 2000-2002) - Ross and Carol's son, born during "The One with the Birth".[e 6] Ben is played as an infant by Michael Gunderson, by brothers Charles Thomas Allen and John Christoper Allen from Season 3 to 5, and by Cole Sprouse from Season 6 to 8. Kay McFadden of The Seattle Times ranked Ben as her least favorite guest character of the series in 2004.[23]
  • Julie (Lauren Tom) - An old graduate school colleague of Ross's, whom he meets again while on a trip to China in "The One Where Rachel Finds Out".[e 49] They start dating but break up in "The One with the List"[e 50] when Ross reveals he loves Rachel. She makes a final cameo in the tag scene of "The One with Russ",[e 33] where she falls in love with a Ross lookalike.

Introduced in Season 2

  • Mr. Treeger (Michael G. Hagerty) — The building superintendent of Monica's building. Treeger first appears in "The One Where Heckles Dies",[e 27] where he shows Heckles's lawyer where Monica and Rachel live. He next appears in "The One with Phoebe's Dad",[e 51] where Monica thinks he is playing hardball by not mending her broken radiator. In "The One with the Ballroom Dacing",[e 52] he threatens to have Monica and Rachel evicted unless Joey helps him practice ballroom dancing to impress a woman. In "The One with the Free Porn",[e 53] he cleans the shower drain of Chandler and Joey's newly-won apartment, and warns them never to turn off their TV after they start receiving free porn. In his final appearance in "The One Where Rachel Tells Ross",[e 54] he has a fireman break down the door to Monica's apartment after Joey tells him he smelled gas.
  • Estelle Leonard (June Gable) — Joey's talent agent. Gable made her first appearance as Estelle in "The One with the Butt",[e 55] but the scene was cut for timing reasons although it is included in the DVD version of season 1 (she is still mentioned after Joey's play in the original episode that aired). She makes her first proper appearance in "The One with Russ",[e 33] when, after Joey tells he is fed up of poor roles, she gets him a recurring part in Days of Our Lives. She is shown to be supportive of Joey's career in "The One with the Screamer"[e 56] but willfully sabotaged it in "The One Where Joey Loses His Insurance",[e 57] after she thought Joey had left her. She dies in "The One Where Estelle Dies".[e 23] Joey gives a speech at her memorial service, where it is revealed that her only other client is Al Zebooker, a man who eats paper.
When Gable auditioned for the role, she played Estelle quite plainly and was encouraged to "go away and do something with her". She returned to the audition room wearing a "fat suit" and eating a sandwich from a delicatessen, which she stubbed out a cigarette on. The performance was used in the deleted scene of "The One with the Butt".[e 55] Her age is never given but Gable believed that she was in her 80s.[28] The Seattle Times ranked Estelle as the sixth best guest character of the series in 2004.[23] Gable also plays the nurse who delivers Ben in "The One with the Birth".
Tom Selleck played Monica's boyfriend (and later Chandler's nemesis) Dr. Richard Burke in several episodes between 1995 and 2000
  • Richard Burke (Tom Selleck) — An opthalmologist and best friend of Jack Geller. Richard is introduced in "The One Where Ross and Rachel … You Know[e 58] when Monica caters an event at his apartment. He and Monica soon start seeing each other, infuriating Monica's parents when they find out in "The One Where Joey Moves Out".[e 59] He and Monica break up in "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding"[e 60] when he tells her he does not want children. He makes a brief voice cameo in "The One Where No One's Ready"[e 61] and appears in "The One Where Monica and Richard Are Just Friends",[e 62] in which he and Monica flirt with getting back together. In "The One with the Proposal",[e 63] he proposes to Monica after she leaves Chandler. After Chandler comes to his apartment searching for Monica, Richard tells him to propose. His apartment is put up for sale in Season 9, in "The One with Ross's Inappropriate Song", but Richard is not seen.
All of Selleck's entrances in Season 2 had to be refilmed after the audience left because "it was like The Beatles with the screaming and the applause".[29] For his appearance in "The One with the Proposal",[e 63] Selleck was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. The Seattle Times ranked Richard as the third best guest character of the series in 2004.[23]
  • Sandra Green (Marlo Thomas) — Rachel's mother. In "The One with the Lesbian Wedding"[e 7] she announces to Rachel that she is divorcing her father. She later accompanies everyone to Carol and Susan's wedding. In "The One with Two Parties"[e 64] she arrives at Rachel's birthday party and is unaware for the whole night that her ex-husband is also there. In "The One with the Baby Shower"[e 65] she decides to move in with Ross and Rachel to help with the baby's first months but Ross changes her mind.
For her appearance in "The One with the Lesbian Wedding",[e 7] Thomas was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
  • Eddie Menuek (Adam Goldberg) — After Joey moves into his own apartment in "The One Where Joey Moves Out",[e 59] Chandler gets a new roommate in "The One Where Eddie Moves In".[e 66] Eddie and Chandler have nothing in common; Eddie hates Baywatch, foosball, and sports in general, and likes to steal mannequins from Macy's and dehydrate fruit. In "The One Where Dr. Ramoray Dies",[e 67] he suspects Chandler of both having sex with his ex-girlfriend Tilly and killing his goldfish, so spites him by stealing his insoles. In "The One Where Eddie Won't Go",[e 68] he completely forgets these events, but Chandler wants him out of the apartment when he discovers him watching him sleeping. Eddie agrees to leave but later denies the conversation took place, so when Joey moves back in, they move his stuff out into the hall and pretend they have never met him. Eddie falls for their bluff and leaves.
Adam Goldberg later appeared in the second season of Joey as a different character.
  • Frank Buffay, Jr (Giovanni Ribisi) — Phoebe's half brother by their father. He first appears, unidentified, in "The One with the Baby on the Bus" as a stranger who leaves a condom rather than money in Phoebe's guitar case when she is singing in the street, and then comes back to retrieve it. In "The One with the Bullies"[e 69] Phoebe meets him after finding the courage to knock on her father's suburban door, but discovers he walked out several years ago. Frank visits the city in "The One with Frank Jr"[e 70] where he hits on Jasmine. In "The One with the Hypnosis Tape",[e 71] he announces his engagement to Alice Knight (Debra Jo Rupp), his old home economics teacher and 26 years his senior. In "The One with Phoebe's Uterus",[e 72] they ask Phoebe to be a surrogate mother to their child, which turns out to be triplets in "The One Hundredth."[e 73] Frank makes a final appearance in "The One Where Ross is Fine",[e 74] when he and the triplets meet Phoebe at Central Perk.
The Seattle Times ranked Frank as the fourth best guest character of the series in 2004.[23] Alice was only scheduled to appear in the one episode but was brought back for a recurring role after the surrogacy storyline was created when Lisa Kudrow became pregnant.[30]
  • Leonard Green (Ron Leibman) — Rachel's father, a vascular surgeon who takes an instant dislike to her boyfriend Ross in "The One with the Two Parties"[e 64] and "The One with the Race Car Bed".[e 15] In "The One with the Stripper" (Season 8, 2001) he is infuriated when Ross does not propose to Rachel after they conceive a child. He has a heart attack in "The One Where Joey Speaks French"[e 75] and is recovering in hospital when Ross turns up.
  • Susie Moss' (Julia Roberts) — An old schoolmate of Chandler in "The One after the superbowl:Part2". Susie takes revenge from Chandler, leaving him fully naked in the Mens restroom of a restaurant, for leting her be seen in her underware at school.

Introduced in Season 3

  • Mark Robinson (Steven Eckholdt) — Rachel's deskmate at Bloomingdale's, who first appears in "The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister" (Season 3, 1997). Ross suspects he is having an affair with Rachel and becomes jealous. He leaves in "The One with the Tiny T-Shirt" (Season 3, 1997), after briefly dating Rachel. He reappears in "The One with Princess Consuela" (Season 10, 2004), where he informs Rachel of a job in Paris. Ross fails to recognise him but becomes jealous all over again once reminded.
  • Leslie (Elizabeth Daily) - Phoebe's ex-singing partner. She appeared in "The One With Phoebe's Ex-Partner". Phoebe and Leslie were friends as children, and their mothers worked together.Leslie attempts to get back together with Phoebe in season 3, and ultimately goes back to her job as a jingle-writer, selling Phoebe's song, Smelly Cat.
  • Ginger (Sherilyn Fenn) - A girl from Joey's past who starts dating Chandler. She has an artificial leg, which Joey accidentally threw into a fire when they were dating. She appears in "The One With Phoebe's Ex-Partner".
  • Sophie (Laura Dean) — Mark's replacement. Sophie is frequently victimized by her boss Joanna. In the episode "The One Where They're Going to Party" she was excited of Joanna's death.
  • Chloe (Angela Featherstone) — "The girl from the copy place" who Ross sleeps with in "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break" (Season 3, 1997). Ross quickly tries to usher her out of his apartment in "The One with the Morning After" (Season 3, 1997).
Jon Favreau played Monica's entrepreneur and ultimate fighting boyfriend Pete Becker in six episodes of Season 3
  • Pete Becker (Jon Favreau) — A dot-com multi-millionaire. Pete tips Monica $20,000 at the Moondance diner in "The One with the Hypnosis Tape", which she assumes is a joke. He asks her out on a date and takes her to Rome. They start seeing each other and Monica thinks he is going to propose in "The One with Ross's Thing" (Season 3, 1997). Instead, he tells her he wants to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion. He gets badly beaten in "The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion" (Season 3, 1997) and Monica ends it with him.
    The character of Pete was conceived as "a Bill Gates billionaire genius scientist-type" whom Monica was not attracted to. The producers and casting director had difficulty finding an actor to play Pete as they wanted, "someone who was appealing enough that we liked him, so we could root for him, but on the other hand, wasn't so drop-dead male model gorgeous that we would go, 'What's your problem?' to Monica when she didn't fall for him."[31]
  • Kate Miller (Dina Meyer) — Joey's co-star in a play in "The One with the Tiny T-Shirt". Joey falls for her but she fails to see any attraction in him and is already dating the director. The play turns out to be dismal, and after the director dumps her she gets together with Joey in "The One with the Screamer". Joey is distraught when she leaves for a soap opera role in Los Angeles.
  • Joanna (Alison LaPlaca) — Rachel's boss, who dates Chandler in "The One with the Dollhouse" (Season 3, 1997) and "The One with the Cuffs" (Season 4, 1997). She is hostile to her assistant, Sophie, but good-natured towards Rachel. She offers Rachel a promotion in "The One Where They're Going to Party!" but is knocked down and killed by a cab before she can effect it.
  • Douglas "Doug" (Sam McMurray) — Chandler's new boss in "The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion". Doug enjoys calling Chandler "Bing!" and slapping his male colleagues on the butt. Monica and Chandler try to compete with Doug and his wife in "The One with Chandler's Work Laugh" (Season 5, 1999). In "The One with Ross's Step Forward" (Season 8, 2001), he invites Monica and Chandler to dinner to celebrate his divorce. To get out of it, Chandler pretends that he and Monica have split up but it backfires when Doug tries to cheer him up by taking him to strip clubs, throwing cans at birds and throwing his wedding ring into the gutter.
  • Bonnie (Christine Taylor) — Phoebe's friend who she sets up with Ross in "The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion". Rachel met Bonnie two years before and still thinks she is bald. She is not, so to spite her, Rachel convinces her to shave her hair off again in "The One at the Beach" (Season 3, 1997). She makes a brief appearance at the beginning of "The One with the Jellyfish" (Season 4, 1997), when Ross decides to dump her and get back together with Rachel.
Teri Garr played Phoebe's birth mother, Phoebe Abbott, in three episodes of Seasons 3 and 4
  • Phoebe Abbott (Teri Garr) — Phoebe's birth mother. Phoebe tracks her down in "The One at the Beach", believing her to be a friend of Lily's. She reveals her parentage at the end of the episode and makes amends with Phoebe in "The One with the Jellyfish". In "The One with Phoebe's Uterus" (Season 4, 1998), she lends Phoebe her dog to demonstrate how difficult it is to give up children after carrying them.
  • The Chick and the Duck (live animal actors) — In the "The One With a Chick. And a Duck.", Joey and Chandler adopt a chick from an animal sanctuary, misunderstanding a news report about people who buy chicks and then find they cannot properly care for them. Encouraged by Phoebe to return the chick, but discovering that the animals would be euthanized, Chandler returns home with the chick and a duck. Chandler and Joey treat the chick and the duck as their own children—at one point, Chandler punishes the duck by sending him out to the hall ("You stay out here and think about what you did!").
    Chandler briefly names the chick "Yasmine", after Baywatch actress Yasmine Bleeth, and in "The One With Ross's Thing", Chandler refers to the duck as "Dick". By Season 6 the animals disappeared (the duck was mentioned but not seen in Season 7). In the final episode, Joey bought Chandler a new duckling and chick as a housewarming gift, which Joey names "Duck Jr." and "Chick Jr.". The birds do not appear on the Friends spinoff Joey.

Introduced in Season 4

  • Kathy (Paget Brewster) — Joey's girlfriend, introduced in "The One with Joey's New Girlfriend" (Season 4, 1997), with whom he has nothing in common apart from both being actors. A mutual attraction develops between Kathy and Chandler in "The One with the Dirty Girl" (Season 4, 1997), which manifests as a kiss in "The One Where Chandler Crosses the Line" (Season 4, 1997). After Joey finds out, Kathy decides to leave New York for Chicago, and declares her love to Chandler in "The One with Chandler in a Box" (Season 4, 1997). Initially outraged at Chandler's betrayal, Joey has a change of heart after Kathy's speech, and she and Chandler get together. She sleeps with a co-star in "The One with Rachel's Crush" (Season 4, 1998) and Chandler dumps her.
When Paget Brewster arrived for her audition, she believed she was the "runty alternate" and did not have a chance of getting the part. Matthew Perry later told her that the producers knew she was right for the role when she called herself a "runt". She spent her first two weeks working on the show believing that she would be fired and the part recast with a better looking actress. Brewster did not want Kathy to be written out by cheating on Chandler. The female stars agreed with her and tried to persuade the producers to have Kathy tour in a play instead.[32]
  • Stuart "Stu" (Fred Stoller) — A waiter at Allesandro's, where Monica gets a job in "The One Where They're Going to Party!". In "The One with the Girl from Poughkeepsie" (Season 4, 1997), Stu leads a kitchen staff rebellion against Monica, locking her in a cold storage room and writing insults on her chef's hat. Monica hires Joey as a stooge so she can show her authority in front of the staff by firing him, and the rebellion soon ends. In "The One with the Stripper" (Season 8, 2001), Stu gives Monica the phone number of someone she assumes is a stripper for Chandler's belated bachelor party, though she turns out to be a prostitute.
Tate Donovan recurred as Rachel's boyfriend Joshua at the same time as he was dating Jennifer Aniston
  • Joshua Bergin (Tate Donovan) — A recently-divorced customer who regularly uses Rachel as a personal shopper at Bloomingdale's. They start dating but break up in "The One with All the Wedding Dresses" (Season 4, 1998) when he thinks the relationship is moving too fast. Joshua appeared at the same time Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan were dating each other.[33]
  • Mr. Waltham (Paxton Whitehead) — Rachel's boss, who appears in "The One with Rachel's Crush" and "The One with Joey's Dirty Day".
  • Emily Waltham (Helen Baxendale) — Mr. Waltham's niece, who arrives for a two-week visit to New York in "The One with Joey's Dirty Day". She has a whirlwind romance with Ross and they decide to get married in "The One with All the Haste" (Season 4, 1998). The friends fly to London for their wedding in "The One with Ross's Wedding" and Ross accidentally says Rachel's name at the altar, humiliating Emily in front of her friends and family. She aims to reconcile with him at the airport in "The One After Ross Says 'Rachel'" but sees Rachel with him and storms out again. Ross tries to convince her to move to New York in "The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS". She agrees but makes him promise to get rid of "everything Rachel has ever touched". In "The One with the Yeti" she demands that he never see Rachel again. He refuses and she decides to end the marriage. She makes a final voice cameo in "The One with the Ride Along" (Season 5, 1999), when she leaves a message on Ross's answerphone telling him she is worried that they made a mistake splitting up. Rachel and Monica delete the message.
Patsy Kensit was originally approached to play the role but turned it down.[34] Emily and Ross' marriage was intended to last much longer in the series, but Helen Baxendale became pregnant prior to Season 5 and was unable to travel for the show; hence, her limited appearances after Season 4.[35] Helen Baxendale was asked to reprise the role in Season 10, but turned it down to star in the West End play After Miss Julie, and because she did not want the same level of tabloid attention she received in 1998.[36]
  • Stephen and Andrea Waltham (Tom Conti and Jennifer Saunders) — Emily's father and stepmother, introduced in "The One with Ross's Wedding, Part 2". They are hostile towards Jack and Judy Geller when the Gellers refuse to pay for their house to be remodelled after the wedding reception. In "The One After Ross Says 'Rachel'", Stephen tells Ross that Emily is humiliated after the wedding, and Andrea tells Ross she thinks he is "delicious".

Introduced in Season 5

  • Daniel "Danny" (George Newbern) — A man who has been on an around-the-world trip and returns in "The One with the Yeti".[e 76] Rachel and Monica encounter the bearded man in the basement of their building and think he is a Yeti. Rachel is attracted to him but plays hard-to-get by pretending not to be interested in a housewarming party he is throwing in "The One Where Ross Moves In".[e 77] They eventually get together, but Rachel dumps him when she discovers he has a "special bond" with his sister in "The One with the Inappropriate Sister".[e 78]
  • Dr. Ledbetter (Michael Ensign) — Ross's boss at the museum. After he eats Ross's leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwich in "The One with Ross's Sandwich", Ross angrily shouts at him, and he puts Ross on sabbatical.[e 79] He reappears in the tag scene of "The One Where Everybody Finds Out".[e 80]
  • Gary (Michael Rapaport) — A cop who accidentally leaves his badge in Central Perk in "The One with the Cop".[e 81] Phoebe finds it and starts impersonating a police officer. He tracks her down and asks her out to dinner, and they start dating. He takes Ross, Joey and Chandler on a ride-along in "The One with the Ride-Along",[e 82] and asks Phoebe to move in with him in "The One with the Ball".[e 83] She leaves him after he shoots a bird.
  • Mr. Zelner (Steve Ireland) — An executive at Polo Ralph Lauren, who interviews Rachel in "The One with Rachel's Inadvertent Kiss".[e 84] After Rachel is promoted in Season 7, he becomes a recurring character. In "The One with Princess Consuela", he fires Rachel after overhearing her interview with a Gucci representative.[e 85] Ross tries to get her her job back in "The One Where Estelle Dies" by bribing Zelner. Zelner has a son called Ross who likes dinosaurs.[e 86]
  • Kim (Joanna Gleason) — A co-worker of Rachel's at Polo Ralph Lauren. In "The One Where Rachel Smokes", Rachel thinks she is missing out on important decisions, as they are always made when Kim goes on a smoking break. She tries to take up smoking so she can stay in the loop but is unsuccessful when Kim threatens to fire her if she keeps damaging her health.[e 87] In "The One with Ross's Teeth", Kim thinks Rachel kissed Ralph Lauren in order to take her job, when it was really Phoebe who kissed "Kenny the copy guy". After unsuccessfully trying to deny the affair, Rachel pretends Lauren dumped her. Kim believes her when she sees what she thinks is a cold look from Lauren in the elevator.[e 88]

Introduced in Season 6

  • Janine LaCroix (Elle Macpherson) — After Chandler moves in with Monica, Joey places an ad for a new roommate in "The One Where Phoebe Runs". Attractive Australian dancer Janine applies and Joey immediately gives her the room without knowing anything else about her.[e 89] She adds a feminine touch to the apartment in "The One with Ross Teeth" by hanging pictures of babies, flowers, and babies dressed as flowers, which unnerves Joey.[e 88] They get together during the recording of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve in "The One with the Routine",[e 90] but break up in "The One with Apothecary Table" after she reveals she does not like Monica and Chandler. She moves out soon after.[e 91]
  • Jill Green (Reese Witherspoon) — One of Rachel's two sisters, who arrives at Monica and Chandler's in "The One with Rachel's Sister", thinking Rachel still lives there. Their father has cut off Jill's supply of money and sent her to stay with Rachel, "the only daughter he's ever been proud of". Rachel tries to train Jill in the ways of the world but Jill just buys expensive things.[e 92] She dates Ross to spite Rachel but leaves in "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry".[e 93] A reference is made to Jill in Season 10 when Amy reveals she has gotten fat.
Bruce Willis appeared in three episodes of Season 6 and donated his fee to five charities
  • Elizabeth Stevens (Alexandra Holden) — One of Ross's students, whom he starts dating in "The One Where Ross Dates a Student", believing it is not against university rules.[e 94] In "The One with Joey's Fridge", Elizabeth heads to the beach with several guys for spring break. Jealous and worried, Ross follows her down there.[e 95] He breaks up with her in "The One with the Proposal, Part 1" when it becomes clear to him that she is too young for a serious relationship with him.[e 96]
  • Paul Stevens (Bruce Willis) — Elizabeth's father, who takes an instant dislike to Ross and threatens to have him fired from the university unless he ends his relationship with his daughter. After she joins him for dinner to talk up Ross's good side, he and Rachel start dating. They go away to Paul's country cabin in "The One Where Paul's the Man", where Ross and Elizabeth have also gone. While hiding under the bed, Ross sees Paul talking to himself in the mirror and singing, and implies he will tell Rachel unless he leaves him and Elizabeth alone.[e 97] Paul agrees but still shows a grudge towards Ross in "The One with the Ring". Rachel breaks up with him after he spends the whole day crying on her shoulder over his troubled youth.[e 98]
Bruce Willis donated his appearance fee to five charities after losing a bet with his The Whole Nine Yards co-star Matthew Perry. He won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role.[37]

Introduced in Season 7

Eddie Cahill recurred as Tag Jones in six episodes of Season 7 and one episode of Season 8
  • Thomas "Tag" Jones (Eddie Cahill) — Introduced in "The One with Rachel's Assistant", Tag is Rachel's inexperienced but attractive new assistant at Polo Ralph Lauren, whom she hires after being promoted.[e 99] They try to keep their relationship a secret from Zelner in "The One with All the Candy", otherwise Tag's employment would be a conflict of interest.[e 100] In "The One Where They All Turn Thirty", Rachel realizes that Tag is too young and immature for her to be dating, and breaks up with him.[e 46] He reappears in "The One with the Red Sweater", when Phoebe thinks he is the father of Rachel's unborn baby. He tells Rachel that he has matured a lot since their break-up and wants to get back together with her, but is scared away when he finds out she is pregnant.[e 101]
  • Cassie (Denise Richards) - Introduced in "The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin", Cassie the cousin of Ross and Monica. She becomes attractive to Chandler, Ross, and even Phoebe. Ross tries to make a move on her, despite them being cousins, and fails.
  • Charles Bing (Kathleen Turner) — Regularly referred to in previous seasons, Charles is Chandler's transvestite father and Nora's ex-husband. Determined to invite him to their wedding in "The One with Chandler's Dad", Monica drags Chandler to Charles' burlesque show in Las Vegas, where he performs under the name "Helena Handbasket". Chandler invites him to the wedding,[e 102] and he and Nora walk Chandler down the aisle in "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding, Part 1".[e 103] He does not appear at the reception in "The One After 'I Do'",[e 104] though a deleted scene reveals he is upstairs crying after his dress is ruined.
  • Melissa (Winona Ryder) - Rachel's old college friend. She first appears in "The One With Rachel's Big Kiss" when it is revealed that Rachel and Melissa kissed when they were in their senior year at college. They end up going out to dinner and Phoebe joins them because she doesn't believe that they really kissed. Rachel tries to convince Phoebe that they kissed, but Melissa pretends that she doesn't remember. After dinner, Melissa maintains that she doesn't remember their kiss, so in a desperate move to refresh her memory and convince Phoebe, Rachel kisses Melissa again. After this kiss she finally reveals that not only she really remembers the kiss but also has had a lesbian crush on Rachel all these years and is still in love in Rachel, even saying that she imagines Rachel's face when she has sex with her boyfriend. She then tries to kiss Rachel again but Rachel rejects her, saying she doesn't love her.

Introduced in Season 8

Bonnie Somerville played Ross's girlfriend Mona in seven episodes of Season 8
  • Mona (Bonnie Somerville) — Mona introduces herself to Ross in "The One After 'I Do'" as a co-worker at Monica's restaurant. They later get reacquainted in "The One with Rachel's Date" (Season 8, 2001) and begin dating. Their relationship is troubled from the start due to Ross being the father of Rachel's baby; in "The One with the Stripper", Leonard Green calls her a "tramp" after Ross does not propose to Rachel, and Ross regularly forgets dates with her when Rachel has problems with the baby. They eventually break up in "The One with the Birthing Video" (Season 8, 2002) after Ross does not tell her that Rachel is moving in with him until the baby is born. In "The One with the Tea Leaves" (Season 8, 2002), Ross sneaks into her apartment to recover his "faded salmon color" shirt, which he left there, but has to hide when she arrives home with a date.
  • Will Colbert (Brad Pitt) - Ross' childhood friend. He appears in "The One With The Rumor" (Season 8, 2002) for Monica's Thanksgiving dinner, where he is slim and handsome though he reveals he used to be fat. Rachel thinks he looks hot but he hates her because she was mean to him in high school. He then tells the gang that he and Ross had an "I Hate Rachel Green" club, and started a rumor about her - that she had both male and female parts. Rachel then confesses that she started a rumor about Ross - that he made out with the librarian - which turned out to be true.
  • Dr. Long (Amanda Carlin) — Rachel's obstetrician, who appears in five episodes of Season 8. She delivers the baby in "The One Where Rachel Has a Baby" after Rachel's extremely long labor.
  • Eric (Sean Penn) — Ursula Buffay's boyfriend, whom she brings to Monica's Halloween party in "The One with the Halloween Party" (Season 8, 2001). Phoebe is attracted to him but learns that Ursula has lied about herself in order to marry him. He dumps her between "The One with the Halloween Party" and "The One with the Stain" and tries to get together with Phoebe, but cannot stand to look at her as she reminds him of her sister. Penn got the role after he made several visits to the Friends set with his children, who were fans of the show.[38]
  • Parker (Alec Baldwin) — An infuriatingly optimistic man Phoebe met at the dry cleaner in "The One with the Tea Leaves". He joined the gang at Jack and Judy's anniversary party in "The One in Massapequa" (Season 8, 2002), where he drove everyone crazy by being excited by everything and anything he saw. Phoebe overheared her friends making fun of Parker and, angered, scolded them. However she soon tired of his unnatural eagerness, and after she took him back to her apartment, she realised her friends were right, and ended it with Parker when he would not calm down.
  • Emma - Rachel and Ross' baby girl. 'Emma' was the name Monica had originally chosen for her future daughter since she was 14, but she gave the name to Rachel. Emma's original name was Isabella, however Rachel ended up in tears deciding this was not her name.

Introduced in Season 9

Paul Rudd plays the recurring character Mike Hannigan, boyfriend and husband of Phoebe, throughout Seasons 9 and 10
  • Michael "Mike" Hannigan (Paul Rudd) — In "The One with the Pediatrician" (Season 9, 2002), Joey forgets he promised Phoebe a double date. After pretending someone called "Mike" will be joining them, he desperately yells "Mike" in Central Perk. Mike Hannigan replies and is roped into the date. The date does not go well but they go on a second one in "The One with the Sharks" (Season 9, 2002), which is equally as bad. In "The One with the Boob Job" (Season 9, 2003), he and Phoebe decide to move in together. Phoebe suggests that one day they could get married but he tells her that, after his messy divorce, he never wants to get married again, and they break up. Unable to be apart from each other, they reconcile in "The One with the Memorial Service" (Season 9, 2003). In "The One in Barbados, Part 1", he proposes to her at the same time as David. She turns both of them down but tells David that Mike is the man she wants to be with. In "The One After Joey and Rachel Kiss" (Season 10, 2003), Mike is dumped by Precious, the girl he has been seeing since breaking up with Phoebe. In "The One Where Rachel's Sister Babysits" (Season 10, 2003), he proposes to her, and they are married by Joey in "The One with Phoebe's Wedding" (Season 10, 2004). In "The One with Princess Consuela" (Season 10, 2004), he changes his name to Crap Bag after Phoebe changes her to Princess Consuela Bananahammock. He makes a brief cameo in "The Last One", bringing over a "Welcome, Baby Bing" banner to Monica and Chandler's.
  • Theodore and Bitsy Hannigan (Gregory Itzin and Cristine Rose) — Mike's rich, haughty parents. He introduces Phoebe to them in "The One with Ross's Inappropriate Song", where they made it clear they did not approve of Phoebe, however Mike defied them and declared his love for Phoebe in front of his parents and their two "sinfully boring" friends. They attend the wedding in "The One with Phoebe's Wedding".
  • Amy Green (Christina Applegate) — Rachel's other sister, who first appears in "The One with Rachel's Other Sister" (Season 9, 2002). She arrives at Monica and Chandler's for Thanksgiving dinner, where she is annoyed that she would not get custody of Emma if Rachel and Ross died. She appears again in "The One Where Rachel's Sister Babysits" (Season 10, 2003), where she tells Rachel that she plans to marry her ex-boyfriend's father, who is rich. When Rachel tries to teach her responsibility by letting her babysit Emma, Amy gets Emma's ears pierced.
Applegate won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her appearance in "The One with Rachel's Other Sister" and was nominated again for her appearance in "The One Where Rachel's Sister Babysits".
  • Gavin Mitchell (Dermot Mulroney) — Rachel's temporary replacement at Polo Ralph Lauren. Zelner makes it known to Rachel that he likes Gavin, so Rachel ends her maternity leave early to compete with him in "The One Where Rachel Goes Back to Work" (Season 9, 2003). Their working relationship has improved by "The One with Phoebe's Rats", and they kiss at her birthday party. In "The One Where Monica Sings" (Season 9, 2003), Rachel tells Gavin that, although she likes him, a relationship would be difficult because of her history with Ross.
  • Molly (Melissa George) - Molly is Rachel's and Ross's new nanny for Emma. She first appears in "The One With Phoebe's Rats". When Chandler and Joey first meet her they both think that she is really hot. Chandler said that if he "wasn't married that she would be rejecting him right now". Rachel asked Ross if he thinks that Molly is hot. He said "not really", then once Rachel left Joey and Chandler asked him and he said "she so hot I cried myself to sleep". Joey really likes her but Ross says that she is off limits for him because he would sleep with her then never call her again. Once Ross said that Joey wanted her even more. They don't want to do that because they finally found a nanny that they really liked. Joey refers to himself as the "stable boy" and Molly as the "princess". Later on it is revealed that she is a lesbian, and would never have slept with him anyway.
  • Steve (Phill Lewis) — Chandler's boss at his internship. Appears in "The One Where Rachel Goes Back to Work", "The One with the Mugging" and "The One with the Lottery", when he offers Chandler the job of junior copywriter.
  • Charlie Wheeler (Aisha Tyler) — an attractive paleontology professor whom Ross falls for in "The One with the Soap Opera Party" (Season 9, 2003). He plans to ask her out, but is too late when she gets together with Joey instead. Initially angry, he helps Joey come up with intelligent places to take her on dates in "The One with the Fertility Test". At Ross's conference in "The One in Barbados", Charlie tells Joey that they have nothing in common and breaks up with him. She and Ross then get together. In "The One with Ross's Grant" (Season 10, 2003), she breaks up with Ross and gets back together with her old flame, Dr. Benjamin Hobart (Greg Kinnear).
The character of Charlie was created to specifically counter criticism the Friends production staff had received for featuring too few characters played by ethnic minority actors. Aisha Tyler was only the second major supporting character to be played by a black actor, following Gabrielle Union's appearance in "The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress" (Season 7, 2001).[39] The role was not specifically written for a black actor. Tyler told the St Petersburg Times, "I hope (people's) frustration over (the lack of diversity) is tempered by the fact that when they wrote this role, they didn't wimp out. They wrote her so smart and sexy and elevated, she wasn't just the black girl on Friends."[40]

Introduced in Season 10

  • Erica (Anna Faris) — Introduced in "The One with the Birth Mother" (Season 10, 2004), Erica is a young girl from Ohio who decides to let Monica and Chandler adopt her baby. She visits New York in "The One Where Joey Speaks French" and sees the tourist sites with Monica and Chandler. She goes into labour at the end of "The One with Rachel's Going Away Party" (Season 10, 2004) and gives birth to twins in "The Last One".
  • Erica and Jack - The adopted son and daughter of Monica and Chandler. They are born in "The Last One". Erica is named after her birth mother and Jack is named after Monica and Ross's Dad Jack Geller.

References

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Bibliography

  • Stallings, Penny (2000). The Ultimate Friends Companion. London: Channel 4 Books. ISBN 0752272314.







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