But were they on a break?
We still have so many thoughts. Were Ross and Rachel actually on a break? Was Chandler peeing on Monica’s jellyfish sting on the beach long before they started dating a sign? What if Joey and Rachel actually worked out? Was it hard to like Ross when he was dating his student? Remember when Phoebe single-handedly stopped an airplane from taking off? It all got us thinking about our order of adoration. So after much consideration, here is our definitive ranking of the Friends characters, from favorite to least favorite.
Is there even Friends without the Rachel? The show started with her barging into the Central Perk in her wedding dress escaping her nuptials to Barry. She was the character destined to be underestimated, the one who came from privilege and didn’t know how to live without daddy’s credit card. But as we watched over 10 seasons, she defied the odds. She changed her narrative and got by with a little help from her friends. She showed us that you can have a baby without being married and follow your passion going from waitress to buyer at Ralph Lauren. And, most importantly, she got off the plane. We’re so glad she got off the plane. Rachel Green, you were never a shoe … but maybe a purse.
Leave it to Monica to make her competitive side weirdly sexy. With a glow-up of the century, she spent adolescence obese and ignored only to shed the weight to become a healthy and amazing chef. She kept the group in check with her anal tendencies. She even cut off Phoebe’s speech at Phoebe’s own wedding rehearsal because it was too long. Her apartment was home base for the group, always with her home-cooked meals. We cried through her struggle to get pregnant, and then cheered as she started her journey as a mother to twins.
Could he be wearing any more clothes?! There was a part of Joey that never grew up, and his genuine innocence and excitement for life (and food) was a laugh to watch. He always knew to ask, “How you doin’?” and made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t share food. Though this daytime soap star wasn’t the brightest of the bunch (he did lock himself in his media unit, leaving his and Chandler’s belongings ready for the thieving), we love him just as much. All these years later, we’re still swooning over his admiration for Chick and Duck.
Phoebe didn’t need friends; she marched to the beat of her own drum. But they needed her. In anything she did, she made it cool to be weird. “Smelly Cat” was a jam, no questions asked. She’s arguably the most selfless of the characters, always making sure those who she cared most about had everything they needed. Not many people will carry triplets for an estranged brother. She drove like a madwoman to get Ross to the airport. She brought humor to the group, and watching made us wish we had a friend like her. Her wedding in the middle of a New York City street during a snowstorm wasn’t what she expected, yet it was everything she ever wanted. We hope she found the phalange.
Oh … my … God … We know what you’re thinking: Why is Janice so high on this list? The real question is, why not? Janice was an instrumental character who threw everything off balance. She managed to have herself wrapped around Chandler’s finger with her … charm? Definitely her charm. But what’s so recognizable about her is that we all know a “Janice” in our lives. She’s a loose cannon who means well, is lovable, and will always find one at the most inopportune times (like seeing Rachel in labor). While we’re glad that she and Chandler didn’t work out (and that she didn’t buy the house next to Chandler and Monica), their awkward love affair is something that’s hard to forget, even if we try.
He’s fine, everyone. He’s fine! *Takes fajitas out of oven without oven mitts on.* Ross was the big brother of the group. He had a side of cool, but three more sides of nerd. He never failed to remind people that he was a doctor (of paleontology). He never really mastered his love life. From his first wife leaving him for a woman, to cheating and messing things up many times with Rachel (or were they on a break?), to saying Rachel’s name at the altar in London next to his fiancée, Emily, this guy couldn’t catch a break. It must have been learning from all those mistakes that he knew to chase Rachel down at the airport, finally getting her back.
You could always depend on Chandler for interesting humor, ongoing banter, and sarcastic comments. But understanding his career? That was another story. It wasn’t until his stint in Tulsa that his job became clear (statistical analysis and data reconfiguration). In that same vein, it wasn’t until Monica and Chandler actually got together in London that we could imagine such a dream relationship. They proved that opposites do attract and that old friends make the best lovers. His friendship with Joey was more than wholesome, and we may or may not have teared up when Chandler made sure Joey would have his own room in his new house. Bad jokes aside, Chandler has a soft spot that is so kind.
Ugly Naked Guy
Who are we to judge? Sometimes people want to walk around naked in their massive New York City apartments. Well, Ugly Naked Guy did that all the time and didn’t bother to shut the blinds. Imagine Monica and Rachel having dinner in their apartment with an obese man in the nude off in the distance? He had no respect for his neighbors. He even answered the door naked—who does that?! Ross ended up getting Ugly Naked Guy’s apartment after getting naked with him on his couch. But, hey, who can blame him? That apartment was beautiful.
We’re sorry, but Gunther was just creepy. Of all those years seeing the gang at Central Perk (even working with Rachel and Joey at points in time), he still couldn’t even carry a conversation. And who can forget that he literally bought Rachel’s hairless cat in hopes that she would come visit it? Though it took him 10 seasons to finally confess his feelings to Rachel, he finally let the cat out of the bag. Alas, she didn’t feel the same way. She did, however, say that she’d think of him every time she sees a man “with hair brighter than the sun.”