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This is a list of notable characters in the sitcom Friends, which aired for ten seasons, on NBC, from 1994 to 2004. It featured six main cast members: Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Ross Geller (David Schwimmer). Many notable celebrities guest starred on the series throughout its ten-year run.
The main cast members were familiar to television viewers before their roles on Friends, but were not considered to be stars. Series creator David Crane wanted all six characters to be equally prominent, and the series was lauded as being "the first true 'ensemble' show". The cast members made efforts to keep the ensemble format and not allow one member to dominate; they entered themselves in the same acting categories for awards, opted for collective instead of individual salary negotiations, and asked to appear together on magazine cover photos in the first season. The cast members became best friends off screen, and one guest star, Tom Selleck, reported sometimes feeling left out. The cast remained good friends after the series' run, notably Cox and Aniston, with Aniston being godmother to Cox and David Arquette's daughter, Coco. 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.
In their original contracts for season one, each cast member was paid $22,500 per episode. The cast members received different salaries in the second season, beginning from the $20,000 range to $40,000 per episode. Prior to their salary negotiations for the third season, the cast decided to enter collective negotiations, despite Warner Bros. preference for individual deals. The actors were given the salary of the least paid cast member, meaning Aniston and Schwimmer earned less than they could have. 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. 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. The cast also received syndication royalties beginning with the fifth season.
Rachel Karen Green (Jennifer Aniston) — A fashion enthusiast and Monica'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. Aniston had already appeared in several unsuccessful sitcom pilots before being cast in Friends; she was also on TV series Molloy and Ferris Bueller—the latter being based on the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. After starring in the critically derided film Leprechaun, she was prepared to give up acting when she auditioned for Friends. At the end of season seven it was discovered that Rachel was pregnant the father being Ross Geller who at the time she was not dating, she was determined to raise the baby on her own until she realized she could use help. Towards the end of the season she finally gave birth after being three weeks late, she gave birth to a baby girl, Emma.
Monica Elizabeth Geller (Courteney Cox) — The mother hen of the group, known for her obsessive-compulsive and competitive nature. 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 at the close of 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, and having originally been discovered in a Bruce Springsteen video. Monica was engaged to Chandler Bing in Season 6, after dating numerous men. She also lived with Phoebe Buffay, Rachel Green, and Chandler. Monica and Chandler adopted 2 children in Season 10, and moved to a house from their apartment, opposite to Joey Tribbiani's. Ross Geller was her brother.
Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) — An eccentric masseuse and musician (her one recurring song: "Smelly Cat"). Phoebe became homeless at the age of 14, and is known for being ditzy yet street-smart. Kudrow previously played waitress Ursula Buffay, Phoebe's twin sister, on Mad About You, and reprised that dual role during several episodes of Friends. Prior to her acting career, Kudrow was an office manager and researcher for her father, a headache specialist; she also worked as a News Anchor/Reporter for KVII-TV in Amarillo, Texas. Kudrow began her comedic career as a member of The Groundlings, joining the ranks of those such as Will Ferrell and Janeane Garofalo. Briefly, Kudrow joined with Conan O'Brien and director Tim Hillman in the short-lived improv troupe Unexpected Company. She was also the only regular female member of the Transformers Comedy Troupe. Her improvisational work allowed her to invent a variety of impression "characters"—some of which were used in Friends (i.e., Regina Phalange, Season 5, episode 1). In season four Phoebe's younger half brother Frank Jr. asks her to have his kid when they discover his girlfriend is too old to have kids. Allison was Frank Jr teacher and she is 44 years old while he is 19. Phoebe ends up giving birth to the triples. Two girls and a boy, Leslie, Frank, and Chandler (named after Phoebe's friend, Chandler, who she promised to name the kid after).
Joseph "Joey" Francis Tribbiani, Jr. (Matt LeBlanc) — A struggling actor and food lover, who becomes famous for his role on a fictionalized version of Days of our Lives as Dr. Drake Ramoray. Joey is a womanizer, with many girlfriends throughout the series (his usual pick-up line: "How you doin'?"), and develops a crush on his friend Rachel in season eight. Prior to his role on Friends, LeBlanc appeared as a regular on the short-lived TV 101, 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. After Friends ended, LeBlanc portrayed Joey in a short-lived spin-off, Joey.
Chandler Muriel Bing (Matthew Perry) — An executive in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration for a large multi-national corporation. Chandler later quits his job and becomes a junior copywriter at an advertising agency. Chandler is known for his sarcastic sense of humor, and marries longtime friend Monica. Like Aniston, Perry had already appeared in several unsuccessful sitcom pilots before being cast. He struggles on and off with a smoking addiction. By the end of the series he and Monica adopt twins Jack and Erica named after her father and the children's biological mother. He had also starred in the TV series Second Chance and Sydney.
Ross Eustace Geller, Ph.D. (David Schwimmer) — A paleontologist working at a museum of Prehistoric History, and later a professor of paleontology at New York University. Ross has three failed marriages during the series (including one that already ended before the pilot, and one with Rachel), and is involved in an on-off relationship with Rachel. Before being cast in Friends, Schwimmer played minor characters in The Wonder Years and NYPD Blue; his first regular series role was in the sitcom Monty. Schwimmer is the only cast member native to New York City in real life.
Each of the following characters of Friends, portrayed by a celebrity, may or may not be particularly significant to the story of the series; each was introduced in one season and would appear in subsequent seasons—unless introduced in season 10, which was the last season.
Jack (Elliott Gould) and Judy Geller (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 favoring 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.
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 when he and Rachel consider getting back together.[e 2] He decides to stay with Mindy, and the two are later married.[e 3] They are said to have divorced five years later.[e 4] Barry's last name is given as "Finkle" in the pilot and "Farber" in every other appearance except in "The One with the Flashback",[e 5] where he is referred to as "Barry Barber." He has also been called "Barry White", and is possibly named as an homage to long-time NY talk show host, Barry Farber.
Carol Willick (Anita Barone for character's debut episode, Jane Sibbett thereafter) and Susan Bunch (Jessica Hecht) — Ross' lesbian ex-wife, who came out before the pilot, and her partner. In the second episode of the series, Carol tells Ross that she is pregnant with his child,[e 6] and is having it with her partner Susan. Susan does not attempt to hide her contempt of Ross and vice versa, but they briefly put aside their differences when Carol gives birth to a boy, whom they all agree, after weeks of argument, to name Ben.[e 7] Carol and Susan get married in "The One with the Lesbian Wedding"[e 8] and make irregular appearances until "The One That Could Have Been" (Susan),[e 4] and "The One with the Truth About London" (Carol).[e 9]
Carol and Susan were based on creators 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." The characters were called a positive example of a gay couple on television by GLAAD. Jessica Hecht originally auditioned to play Monica.
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 10] He is a former actor who once played Bryce on All My Children before that character was "killed in an avalanche."[e 11] Gunther develops an unrequited crush on Rachel in the third season, which he keeps to himself until "The Last One".[e 12] His resulting jealousy of Ross is made clear numerous times, most notably in "The One the Morning After" when he reveals to Rachel that Ross cheated on her when they were "on a break".[e 13] 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 One With The Stain",[e 14] Gunther is shown to be fluent in Dutch (although with a hint of an American accent), calling Ross an ezel as he converses with him.
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. 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."
Marcel (live animal actor) — A Capuchin monkey that Ross initially keeps as a pet,[e 15] and who provides comic relief for his geeky master. One time Rachel loses him in the city,[e 16] and calls Animal Control—only to learn from Ross that Marcel is an illegal exotic animal that cannot be kept in the city. In order to keep Animal control officer Luisa (Megan Cavanagh)—a former classmate of Rachel's and Monica's—from confiscating Marcel, Rachel threatens to tell Luisa's boss about how she shot Phoebe "in the ass with a dart" that had been meant for Marcel. Later, as Marcel sexually matures and begins to hump everything, Ross has to give him away to a zoo[e 17]—"where he can have access to regular monkey-lovin'." Ultimately, Ross finds out that Marcel then got stolen from the zoo and taken into a life of show business, and—after starring in a liquor commercial—is starring in a movie in New York,[e 18] where they are reunited one last time. In a later season Ross questions why he had a monkey as a pet.
Janice Litman Goralnick (née Hosenstein) (Maggie Wheeler)—Chandler's on-again off-again girlfriend for the first four seasons. Janice is one of the few characters besides the six main friends who appears in all of the Friends seasons. Chandler has trouble dumping her in "The One with the East German Laundry Detergent"[e 19] but gets back together with her for New Year's[e 15] and for Valentine's.[e 20] When Chandler, in the wake of Mr. Heckles' death, resolves not to die alone,[e 21] he 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. Later, Joey sees Janice kissing her husband, who runs a mattress business.[e 22] Chandler dumps her in "The One with the Giant Poking Device".[e 23] When Janice returns to his life,[e 24] Chandler pretends to be moving to Yemen. She has a brief fling with Ross,[e 25] and makes a cameo on a "discovered" mix tape that Chandler plays for Monica, not knowing Janice's voice is on it.[e 26] When Chandler and Monica become engaged, she tries to interfere with their wedding plans—leaving only when Monica says Chandler still loves her.[e 27] When Ross and Rachel await the birth of their daughter Emma,[e 28] 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. As Monica and Chandler make plans to have children,[e 29] she offers Chandler advice and support at a fertility clinic. In "The One Where Estelle Dies",[e 30] she comes close to buying a house next door to the one Monica and Chandler want to buy. To get rid of her, Chandler pretends he still loves her.
Janice speaks with a nasal New York accent and emphasizes each word of her catchphrase, "Ohhh — myyy — 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 19] after Chandler and Janice's "More latté?"/"No, I'm still working on mine" lines, Wheeler laughed. The Seattle Times ranked Janice as the best guest character of the series in 2004.
Wheeler originally auditioned for the role of Monica.
Mr. Heckles (Larry Hankin)—Monica and Rachel's downstairs neighbor, an elderly man who constantly complains about the noise. He first appears in "The One with the Blackout",[e 31] claiming to own a lost cat that Rachel has found. He appears again in "The One with Two Parts, Part 1"[e 32] and "The One Where the Monkey Gets Away"[e 16] before dying in "The One Where Mr. Heckles Dies".[e 21] As a last spiteful act, he leaves all of his junk to "the noisy girls in the apartment above mine". He makes a final cameo appearance in "The One with the Flashback",[e 5] set in 1993, where he complains that Phoebe's noise is disturbing his oboe practice, and inadvertently causes Joey to be Chandler's roommate.
Paolo (Cosimo Fusco)—an Italian neighbor in Monica's building, whom Rachel falls for in "The One with the Blackout".[e 31] They start dating, making Ross jealous. She dumps him after he gropes Phoebe[e 33] but has a last one-night stand with him in "The One with Ross's New Girlfriend".[e 34]
Terry (Max Wright)—the manager at Central Perk (before Gunther takes the title), who does not hide the fact that he thinks Rachel is a terrible waitress—and Phoebe is "so bad" as a musician. He denies her an advance on her wages in "The One Where Underdog Gets Away"[e 35] and hires a professional musician, Stephanie (Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders), to replace Phoebe in "The One with the Baby on the Bus".[e 36]
"Fun Bobby" (Robert) (Vincent Ventresca)—an alcoholic boyfriend of Monica's. In his first appearance in "The One with the Monkey",[e 15] his "fun" is sapped at Monica's New Year's party after his grandfather died. In "The One with Russ",[e 37] 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. Monica then began drinking on their dates, so that she could sit through his mind-numbingly dull stories. It is revealed in the episode "The One with Phoebe's Husband" (airdate October 12, 1995; Season 2, No. 4) that the underwear on the telephone pole was Monica's when she was having sex with Fun Bobby on the terrace.
David, "the Scientist Guy" (Hank Azaria)—a physicist whom Phoebe falls in love with in "The One with the Monkey", when he receives an academic grant for a three years research trip to Minsk.[e 15] After a quarrel with his research partner Max (Wayne Pére), David decides to take the trip, breaking Phoebe's heart. Seven years later, he returns to New York for a brief visit and shares an evening with Phoebe.[e 38] Two years later, he returns permanently in "The One with the Male Nanny".[e 39] He and Phoebe resume their relationship in "The One with the Donor".[e 40] In "The One in Barbados—Part 1", David proposes to Phoebe but is turned down in favor of Mike Hannigan.[e 41]
In 2003, Azaria was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance. Azaria originally auditioned for the role of Joey.
Nora Tyler Bing (Morgan Fairchild)—Chandler's mother, a best-selling erotic novelist whose works include Euphoria Unbound, Euphoria At Midnight and Mistress Bitch. She first appears in "The One with Mrs. Bing",[e 42] where she meets the gang while on a book tour in New York. After dinner, she kisses Ross. She makes a cameo appearance in the flashback scenes of "The One with All the Thanksgivings"[e 43] and later appears in "The One with Chandler and Monica's Wedding" (with Kathleen Turner as Chandler's dad)[e 44] and "The One After 'I Do'".[e 45] The Seattle Times ranked Nora and her ex-husband jointly as the fifth best guest characters in 2004.
Ursula Pamela Buffay (Lisa Kudrow)—Phoebe's identical twin. 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.[m 1] She first appears in Friends in "The One with Two Parts":[e 32] 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 46] where she is being stalked by a man (David Arquette) who mistakes Phoebe for her. In "The One with the Jellyfish"[e 47] 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 48] 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 49] reveal that Ursula sold Phoebe's birth certificate to a Swedish runaway, and that both sisters are 31, not 30. In "The One with the Halloween Party",[e 50] 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.[m 2]
Mindy Hunter-Farber (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 abortive 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. She asks Rachel to be her maid of honor and dress in a garish pink dress. Mindy marries Barry in "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding";[e 3] 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 7] Ben is played as an infant by Michael Gunderson, by brothers Charles Thomas Allen and John Christopher Allen from Season 3 to 5, and by Cole Sprouse from Season 6 to 8.
Julie (Lauren Tom)—an old graduate school colleague of Ross', whom he meets again while on a trip to China; she first appears in the final scene of the season 1 finale.[e 51] They start dating but break up soon after, when Ross reveals he loves Rachel.[e 52] She makes a final cameo in the tag scene of "The One with Russ",[e 37] where she falls in love with a Ross lookalike.
Steve (Jon Lovitz)—a restaurant owner whom, in 1995, Monica tries to impress, but who got stoned on the way to her apartment, and consequently acts obnoxious.[e 53] His drug problem causes him to lose his restaurant, and, in 2003, Phoebe later fixes Rachel up with him (and Ross with nobody) on a blind date, as part of a secret strategy to get Rachel and Ross back together.[e 54]
Ugly Naked Guy (uncredited actor)—an obese tenant in the apartment in the building across from Monica's apartment—who frequently, perhaps invariably, is naked with the drapes open—so the gang is frequently commenting on his activities—playing cello, wearing "gravity boots", etc. He is first mentioned in the second episode of the series,[e 6] but only appears twice: First, his belly and an arm are shown in "The One with the Giant Poking Device"[e 23]—in which he is being poked from across the street by the gang (who think he's dead) with a long device made from chopsticks; second, a rear view of him from head to waist is shown in "The One Where Everybody Finds Out"[e 55] (his final show)—in which he is moving out of his apartment and Ross tries (successfully) to get the apartment. (In "The One with the Flashback",[e 5] it's learned that he used to be "Cute Naked Guy", but then, in 1993, started putting on weight.)
Writer Alexa Junge explained, "Originally, he was pure conjecture—based on various Ugly Naked Guys many of the writers had lived across from (especially those who'd lived in New York city). However, we received a letter from a woman who grew up in the building you see in the stock footage shot of [Monica], [Rachel], [Chandler] & [Joey]'s building, who said there was, in fact, an authentic Ugly Naked Guy living across from her and 'how did we know?' Life is crazy, huh?"
Mr. Treeger (Michael G. Hagerty)—the superintendent of Monica's building. Treeger first appears in "The One Where Heckles Dies",[e 21] where he shows Heckles's lawyer where Monica and Rachel live. He next appears in "The One with Phoebe's Dad",[e 56] where Monica thinks he is playing hardball by not mending her broken radiator. Later, when Joey rebuffs him for putting down Rachel,[e 57] 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 58] 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,[e 59] 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 60] 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 37] 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 61] but willfully sabotages[e 62] after she thinks Joey had left her. She dies in the last season;[e 30] 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 60] Her age is never given but Gable believed that she was in her 80s. In 2004, The Seattle Times ranked Estelle as the sixth best guest character of the series. Gable also plays the nurse who delivers Ben in "The One with the Birth".
Dr. Richard Burke (Tom Selleck)—an ophthalmologist and best friend of Jack Geller. Richard is introduced in "The One Where Ross and Rachel … You Know"[e 63] when Monica caters an event at his apartment. He begins to date her despite being 21 years older, infuriating Monica's parents when they find out.[e 64] He and Monica break up in "The One with Barry and Mindy's Wedding"[e 3] when he tells her he does not want more children, his own having already reached adulthood. Despite the two still being in love, they cannot reconcile this difference, and are both devastated for months. He makes a brief voice cameo in "The One Where No One's Ready",[e 65] and later they briefly attempt to rekindle their romance as "friends".[e 66] In "The One with the Proposal",[e 67] he proposes to Monica after she leaves Chandler, who's planning to propose but pretends to be against marriage because he "wants it to be a surprise". After Chandler comes to his apartment searching for Monica and tells Richard of his own proposal plan, Richard tells Chandler, "You go get her, Chandler. And can I give you a bit of advice? If you get her, don't let her go. Trust me." His apartment is put up for sale in Season 9, in "The One with Ross's Inappropriate Song",[e 68] but Richard is not seen. While there, Chandler finds out that Richard made a sex tape with Monica, but he and Monica later discover that Richard taped over her.
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". For his appearance in "The One with the Proposal",[e 67] Selleck was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. In 2004, The Seattle Times ranked Richard as the third best guest character of the series.
Sandra Green (Marlo Thomas)—Rachel's mother. In "The One with the Lesbian Wedding",[e 8] she announces to Rachel that she never loved Rachel's father and is divorcing him. ("You didn't marry your Barry, honey—but I married mine.") She later accompanies everyone to Carol and Susan's wedding. In "The One with Two Parties",[e 69] 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 70] she is invited at the last minute to attend Rachel's baby shower, where she offers to move in with Ross and Rachel to help with the baby's first months; Ross and Rachel first accept, then change their minds.
For her appearance in "The One with the Lesbian Wedding", Thomas was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series.
Frances (Audra Lindley)—Phoebe's adopted grandmother by her adopted mother Lily. Her only appearance is in "The One with Phoebe's Dad",[e 56] where she reveals to Phoebe that the person in the pictures she keeps around the house is not Phoebe's father, which motivates Phoebe to try to track down her real father. Though the character appears in only one episode, she is mentioned in a few more, including in season 5's "The One with Joey's Bag",[e 71] where it is revealed that she has recently passed away and Phoebe plans her funeral. Phoebe inherits her grandmother's yellow taxi and apartment. She keeps the taxi until the very end of the series.
Frank Buffay, Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi)—Phoebe's half-brother by their father. In "The One with the Bullies",[e 72] Phoebe meets him after finding the courage to knock on her father's suburban door, but learns from Frank Jr.'s mother (played by Laraine Newman) that her father walked out several years ago. Frank later visits the city[e 73] where he hits on Jasmine, one of Phoebe's coworkers, and mistakes her massage parlor for a whorehouse. He eventually falls in love with and becomes engaged to Alice Knight (Debra Jo Rupp), his old home economics teacher who is 26 years his senior.[e 74] In "The One with Phoebe's Uterus",[e 75] they ask Phoebe to be a surrogate mother to their child, which turns out to be triplets in "The One Hundredth."[e 76] Frank makes a final appearance in "The One Where Ross is Fine",[e 77] when he and the triplets meet Phoebe at Central Perk.
Previously, Ribisi appeared 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. It was never addressed if this was intended to be the same character as Frank, who had not yet been introduced by name. [e 36]
In 2004, The Seattle Times ranked Frank as the fourth best guest character of the series. Alice was only scheduled to appear in the one episode but was brought back for a recurring role after the surrogacy storyline—which was created when Lisa Kudrow became pregnant in real life.
Leonard Green (Ron Leibman)—Rachel's father, a vascular surgeon who takes an instant dislike to her boyfriend Ross.[e 69] Later, when Ross and Rachel conceive a child (Emma), he becomes furious that they're not engaged.[e 78] He has a heart attack in "The One Where Joey Speaks French"[e 79] and is recovering in the hospital when Ross turns up.
Mark Robinson (Steven Eckholdt)—Rachel's deskmate at Bloomingdale's, who first appears in "The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister" (airdate January 9, 1997; Season 3, No. 11). Ross is jealous of Mark as he suspects that he and Rachel are having an affair. It is Mark's presence at Rachel's apartment after she fought with Ross which leads Ross to sleep with Chloe[e 80] ultimately ending Ross and Rachel's relationship. Later, Mark asks Rachel on a date and she accepts, however she rejects his advances when she realizes she only accepted the offer to get back at Ross.[e 81] That is the last time Mark is seen until "The One with Princess Consuela",[e 82] where he informs Rachel of a job in Paris. Ross fails to recognize him but becomes jealous all over again once reminded.
A continuity error exists with this character. Mark is engaged to a another employee at Bloomingdale's when he and Rachel first start working together, but the engagement was presumably broken given that he subsequently asked Rachel for a date. By the time he offers Rachel the job in Paris, he's married.
Joanna (Alison LaPlaca)—Rachel's boss, who dates Chandler in two episodes (once in season 3,[e 84] once in season 4[e 85]). She is hostile to her assistant, Sophie, but good-natured towards Rachel. She finally offers Rachel a promotion,[e 83] 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".[e 86] 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" (January 21, 1999; Season 5, No. 12). In "The One with Ross's Step Forward" (airdate December 13; 2001; Season 8, No. 11), 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" (airdate May 15, 1997; Season 3, No. 25). She makes a brief appearance at the beginning of "The One with the Jellyfish", when Ross decides to dump her and get back together with Rachel.
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". Later, when Phoebe wants to be a surrogate mother for Frank and Alice's child,[e 75] she lends Phoebe her puppy to demonstrate how difficult it is to give up children after carrying them.
The Chick and the Duck (live animal actors)—Chandler and Joey's pet birds. In "The One With a Chick and a Duck.", Joey adopts 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, who went to give the chick back, 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 (the chick later, however, turns out to be a rooster, not a hen); and in "The One With Ross's Thing", Chandler refers to the possible offspring of the duck and the chick as "Dick" (Joey refers to it as Chuck). By Season 6 the animals disappeared; the duck was mentioned but not seen in Season 7. In the final episode of the series,[e 12] Joey bought Chandler a new duckling and chick as a housewarming gift—which Joey names "Duck Jr." and "Chick Jr."—and it is revealed that the birds died a while ago, and Chandler, not wanting Joey to be upset about it, told him that they had gone to live on a farm, where visitors were not allowed. The birds do not appear on the Friends spinoff Joey.
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" (airdate December 19, 1997; Season 4, No. 10), 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",[e 78] 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.
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. The friends fly to London for their wedding in "The One with Ross's Wedding" (airdate May 7, 1998; Season 4, No. 23 & 24), 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'" (airdate September 24, 1998; Season 5, No. 1) but sees Rachel with him and storms out again. Ross tries to convince her to move to New York.[e 87] She agrees but makes him promise to get rid of "everything Rachel has ever touched", and she demands that he never see Rachel again. When she learns that he's having dinner with the old gang—including Rachel—she tells him she can't trust him and she decides to end the marriage. She makes a final voice cameo in "The One with the Ride Along",[e 88] when she leaves a message on Ross's answering machine the night before her new wedding, telling him she is having second thoughts about it and is worried that they made a mistake splitting up. Rachel accidentally deletes the message, but tells Ross about it and convinces him not to respond to it. Emily's surname is that of the city where both creators of the show attended college.
Patsy Kensit was originally approached to play the role but turned it down. 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. 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.
Stephen and Andrea Waltham (Tom Conti and Jennifer Saunders)—Emily's father and shrewish stepmother, introduced in "The One with Ross's Wedding, Part 2". Their marriage is icy and they openly treat one another with disdain. They are equally 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".
Mr. Zelner (Steve Ireland)—an executive at Polo Ralph Lauren, who interviews Rachel in "The One with Rachel's Inadvertent Kiss".[e 89] 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 82] Ross tries to get Rachel her job back by bribing Zelner: Zelner has a son called Ross who likes dinosaurs. Ross says his name is "Ron", shocked to hear that Zelner's son is called Ross. [e 90]
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 91] Later, 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 Ralph dumped her. Kim believes her when she sees what she thinks is a cold look from Ralph (appearing as himself) in the elevator.[e 92]
NOTE: All characters who were introduced in this season have not re-appeared in further seasons. Instead, they are listed in #Only in season six.
Thomas "Tag" Jones (Eddie Cahill)—Rachel's inexperienced but attractive new assistant at Polo Ralph Lauren, whom she hires after being promoted.[e 93] They try to keep their relationship a secret from Zelner; otherwise, Tag's employment would be a conflict of interest.[e 94] 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 49] He reappears in "The One with the Red Sweater" in season eight, 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 by someone else. He later meets up with Ross—who's the real father, and is wearing the same kind of red sweater.[e 95]
Charles Bing/Helena Handbasket (Kathleen Turner)—Chandler's drag-queen father and Nora's ex-husband, regularly referred to and an unseen character in previous seasons. 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 is seen for the first time, performing under the name "Helena Handbasket". Chandler invites him to the wedding,[e 96] and he and Nora walk Chandler down the aisle in "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding, Part 1".[e 97] He does not appear at the reception in "The One After 'I Do'",[e 45] though a deleted scene reveals he is upstairs crying after his dress is ruined because Joey hugged him and got fake blood on it.
Emma Geller-Green (Cali Sheldon & Noelle Sheldon)—Rachel and Ross' baby girl. "Emma" was the name Monica had originally chosen for her future daughter since she was 14, but she gives the name to Rachel.[e 28] (Originally Emma was to be called Isabella; however, Rachel ends up in tears deciding that this was not her name. With only one name left, Delilah, Rachel says, "Oh great! At least she sounds like a biblical whore." Monica then gives her "Emma", conceding that "Nothing goes with 'Bing', so I'm screwed.")
Michael "Mike" Hannigan (Paul Rudd)—Phoebe's boyfriend and later husband: in "The One with the Pediatrician" (airdate October 10, 2002; Season 9, No. 3), 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,[e 98] which is equally bad. Ultimately, he and Phoebe decide to move in together;[e 99] 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" (airdate March 13, 2003; Season 9, No. 17). 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. Subsequently, Mike has to break up with Precious (Anne Dudek), the girl he has been seeing since breaking up with Phoebe, but he gets Phoebe to get Precious to dump him instead.[e 100] In "The One Where Rachel's Sister Babysits" (airdate October 30, 2003; Season 10, No. 5), he proposes to her, and they are married soon after by Joey.[e 101] When Phoebe proposes changing her name to "Princess Consuela Bananahammock",[e 82] he proposes changing his name to "Crap Bag". He makes a brief appearance in "The Last One", bringing over a "Welcome to the World, 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,[e 68] where they make it clear that they do not approve of Phoebe, however Mike defies them and declares 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)—one of Rachel's two sisters, who first appears in "The One with Rachel's Other Sister" (airdate November 21, 2002; Season 9, No. 8). 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", 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 (who Amy calls 'Ella', insisting it's prettier), 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".
Charlie Wheeler (Aisha Tyler)—an attractive paleontology professor whom Ross falls for in "The One with the Soap Opera Party" (airdate April 24, 2003; Season 9, No. 20). 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" (airdate November 6, 2003; Season 10, No. 6), 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 actress, following Gabrielle Union's appearance as Kristen Lang in "The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress" (airdate March 15, 2001; Season 7, No. 17). 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."
Erica (Anna Faris)—a young girl from Ohio who decides to let Monica and Chandler adopt her baby in "The One with the Birth Mother" (airdate January 8, 2004; Season 10, No. 9). She visits New York in "The One Where Joey Speaks French" and sees the tourist sites with Monica and Chandler. She goes into labor at the end of "The One with Rachel's Going Away Party" and gives birth to twins Erica and Jack in "The Last One."
Jack and Erica—the adopted son and daughter of Monica and Chandler, born in "The Last One." It is revealed that Monica and Chandler didn't know they would be twins until they were born. Chandler suggests giving one of them up but Monica refuses, saying, "We can't split them up. They're our children and they're coming with us." Erica is named after her birth mother, and Jack is named after Monica and Ross's dad, Jack Geller.[e 12]
Missy Goldberg (Ellen Pompeo)—a woman from Ross' and Chandler's college, at which they both made a pact to not ask her out so it would not damage their friendship, introduced in "The One Where the Stripper Cries" (airdate February 5, 2004; Season 10, No. 11). At a reunion, Chandler gives Ross permission to break the pact, now that he is married, where it is revealed that Chandler and Missy made out numerous times during college after school hours in the school's science labs, which Ross calls "his turf".
Benjamin Hobart (Greg Kinnear)—a Nobel Prize winner paleontologist and ex-boyfriend of Ross' girlfriend Charlie Wheeler, introduced in "The One with Ross' Grant". He confesses to Ross he's still in love with her and then unsuccessfully tries to persuade Ross to break up with her by asking ridiculous questions at the grant interview. He and Charlie eventually get back together, after Ross makes him confess his actions in front of her.
Amanda Buffamontisi (Jennifer Coolidge)—an annoying lady who used to live in the building before moving to England.[e 102] She picks up a fake English accent and claims to have slept with Evel Knievel.
Roy (Danny DeVito)—a stripper in "The One Where the Stripper Cries", who is hired for Phoebe's bachelorette party at the last minute after she expresses disappointment that the party isn't 'dirtier'. When he arrives, the girls are surprised to see that he is at least 50 years old. When he sees that Phoebe isn't enjoying his performance he gets upset and cries because he knows he is too old to strip now, but stripping is all he knows. In her guilt, Phoebe comforts him and tells him that he should teach stripping instead. He then performs one last time for the party.
Mackenzie (Dakota Fanning)—the daughter of the current residents of the house Monica and Chandler buy. She winds up helping Joey deal with his anxiety about Chandler's and Monica's moving out of the city.[e 30]
Each of the following characters of Friends, portrayed by a celebrity, may or may not be particularly significant to the story of the series; each appeared in only one season.
In "The One with the Boobies" (airdate January 19, 1995; Season 1, No. 13), Joey finds out that his father, Joey Sr. (Robert Costanzo), is having an affair with another woman, Ronni (Lee Garlington). Joey (the son) tries to set things right, but Gloria (Brenda Vaccaro), Joey's mother, who secretly knew about the affair all along, makes Joey change it back because her husband's been unusually nice to her since he started cheating on her.
Drs. Michael Mitchell (George Clooney) and Jeffrey Rosen (Noah Wyle) — Two doctors whom Rachel and Monica meet at a hospital, then go on a date with, with Monica and Rachel pretending to be each other for health insurance purposes—eventually causing things to go wild. Dr. Mitchell later then saves the life of Ross's monkey, Marcel, who swallows alphabet tiles of Scrabble that nearly chokes him to death.[e 32]
Jill Goodacre Connick (herself) gets trapped with Chandler in an ATM vestibule in "The One with the Blackout".[e 31] Chandler uses her cell phone to tell Joey and the others, engages in awkward conversion with her, and finally lets her play a "spin the phone pen over your head" game with him.
Alan (Geoffrey Lower) is Monica's boyfriend in "The One with the Thumb".[e 10] Everyone likes him more than Monica does. At the end of the episode Monica breaks up with him, and has the break-up talk with the other friends as if they broke up with him, too.
Caroline Duffy (Lea Thompson) — a cartoonist. Reprising her role from Caroline in the City, she talks with Joey and Chandler—seeing them with Ben and consequently thinking them to be lovers—in "The One with the Baby on the Bus".[e 36]
Eddie Menuek (Adam Goldberg) — a temporary roommate of Chandler. After Joey, having landed the recurring role Dr. Drake Ramoray on Days of our Lives, moves into his own apartment,[e 64] Chandler gets a new roommate.[e 103] 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 104] he suspects Chandler of both having sex with his ex-girlfriend Tilly and killing his goldfish, so spites him by stealing his insoles. Later he forgets these events, but Chandler wants him out after learning that Eddie watches him sleep.[e 11] Eddie agrees to leave but later denies the conversation took place; he also claims that he and Chandler once took a trip to Las Vegas and genuinally believes it to have happened, confirming Chandler's suspicion that he is mentally ill. Chandler allows Joey to move back in; they move Eddie's stuff out into the hall and pretend they have never met him. The madman falls for their bluff and leaves.
Adam Goldberg later appeared in the second season of Joey as a different character.
Rob Donnan (Chris Isaak) — Rob asks Phoebe to sing for the children at a library, but their parents are horrified by her morbidly honest lyrics. However, the kids like the songs and come to the café to listen to her.[e 18]
Zoo Administrator (Fred Willard) of the zoo Ross sent Marcel to after Marcel started humping everything. He informs Ross that Marcel has died. The Zoo Janitor (Dan Castelanetta), however, later informs Ross that Marcel was in fact kidnapped and forced into show business, and is currently filming a movie in New York.[e 18]
Susie "Underpants" Moss (Julia Roberts) — an old childhold friend of Chandler, who's working on the production of a movie,[e 18] and with whom Chandler has a colored history: when they were in elementary school, Chandler pulled up Susie's skirt when she was on stage, revealing her underwear to the entire school. They arrange a date, Chandler unsuspecting that it is a plot to get revenge. After convincing him to wear her panties, Susie takes him out to dinner, undresses him in the men's room, and takes off with his clothes—leaving him in a bathroom stall wearing nothing but her panties.
Jean Claude Van Damme (himself) — an actor in the movie Susie's producing, whom Rachel and Monica compete for his attention. This creates tension between them, as they both argue over who should get to date him. They both dump him when he, catching on to their rivalry, tries to convince them to have a threesome with Drew Barrymore.[e 18]
Erika Ford (Brooke Shields) — a mentally ill stalker who thinks that Joey is actually Dr. Drake Ramoray, the character he plays on Days of our Lives.[e 18] Despite this, Joey goes on a date with her. She dumps him when she suspects "Drake" is cheating on her with another woman (actually another character in the soap opera). He tries to explain that "It's a TV show!" and "I'm not Drake!", but she doesn't understand, so Ross tells her Joey's "Hans Ramoray", Drake's "evil twin"—and Joey tells her to go to Salem to find the "real" Drake Ramoray.
Ryan (Charlie Sheen) arrives in New York on leave from the Navy to see Phoebe, who has chicken pox at the time.[e 105] Even though he hasn't yet had chicken pox, he can't stand to be apart and they both spend the rest of the time sick and trying to not scratch at the sores.
Duncan (Steve Zahn) plays a Canadian ice dancer that Phoebe married in order to allow him to get a green card . While Phoebe believed him to be gay, he returned to ask Phoebe for a divorce because he isn't gay and has proposed to another woman. He "comes out" as straight to Phoebe's shock and dismay.
Chloe (Angela Featherstone) — "The girl from the copy place", with whom Ross sleeps when Ross and Rachel are supposedly "on a break.".[e 80] She is mentioned twice in "The One with the Jam". Ross quickly tries to usher her out of his apartment in "The One with the Morning After".
Pete Becker (Jon Favreau) — a computer software genius and 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 but initially break up Monica isn't attracted to him. They reconcile after Monica kisses him when he offers her a job in his restaurant (which she turns down), and realizes that she is attracted to him after all. Monica thinks he is going to propose in "The One with Ross's Thing" (airdate May 1, 1997; Season 3, No. 23); instead, he tells her he wants to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion. He gets badly beaten by Tank Abbott,[e 86] and Monica ends it with him after he refuses to quit.
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."
Kate Miller (Dina Meyer) — Joey's co-star in the play Boxing Day.[e 81] Joey falls for her, and she sleeps with him ... 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. In the episode "The One in Barbados (1)", Joey and Rachel, in hope of getting into the Pharmaceutical convention, use fake IDs in which one of the names is "Kate Miller".
Marshall Townend (Reg Rogers) — the overly dramatic, self-absorbed director of Boxing Day, who is dating Kate. He later dumps Kate after she (and the play) gets a bad review.
Lauren (Jennifer Milmore) — Kate's understudy in Boxing Day. She is a big fan of Joey from his role as Dr. Drake Ramoray, and ends up sleeping with him. Joey dumps her after sleeping with Kate, and although she is initially upset (calling him "pig"), she later seems to be fine with him. She takes over the role of "Adrian" in the play after Kate leaves for Los Angeles.
Tommy "the Screamer" (Ben Stiller) — one of Rachel's dates, whom Ross overhears yelling loudly whenever angered. Tommy never does it in front of anybody else, causing Ross' friends not to believe him—until Tommy is caught yelling at the Chick and the Duck by everyone, in an episode fittingly called "The One with the Screamer".[e 61]
Isabella Rossellini (herself) got bumped off of Ross' "freebie list":[e 73] Ross and Rachel compile lists, each of 5 people (celebrities) one can have sex with without incurring the other's wrath. Ross bumps Rossellini for Winona Ryder—because the latter isn't "international" like Isabella—only to see Rossellini herself enter the coffee house. Rachel encourages Ross to pursue her as an "alternate", knowing he'll get shot down for his efforts.
Tomas (Robin Williams) and Tim (Billy Crystal) — two strangers at the coffee shop. Appearing at the beginning of "The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion", they perform an otherwise pointless cameo/skit performance while sitting on the group's sofa at Central Perk. They are not mentioned in the credits. Tomas begins by asking the friends to move over to make room for the pair which they do. Then Tomas complains to Tim about how he thinks his wife is cheating on him with her gynaecologist. The friends stop trying to have their own conversation and eavesdrop. Eventually Tim reveals how he's sleeping with Williams' wife causing him to leave in a loud fury.
Kathy (Paget Brewster) — Joey's girlfriend, introduced in "The One with Joey's New Girlfriend" (airdate October 30, 1997; Season 4, No. 5), with whom he has nothing in common apart from both being actors. A mutual attraction develops between Kathy and Chandler,[e 106] which manifests as a kiss;[e 107] after Joey finds out, Kathy decides to leave New York for Chicago, and declares her love to Chandler.[e 108] Initially outraged at Chandler's betrayal, Joey has a change of heart after Kathy's speech, and she and Chandler get together. Although Chandler was initially uncomfortable about the possibility of their relationship becoming sexual as he would be directly compared to Joey, Monica and Rachel were able to give Chandler some pointers. She later sleeps with a co-star[e 109] and Chandler dumps her (Although there is evidence that she actually only slept with the co-star after Chandler broke up with 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.
Charlton Heston (himself) — actor in a movie with Joey. Joey reeks from spending a day fishing without showering after, so he uses Heston's shower—only to be caught by Heston. Joey tries to explain that he "stinks"—which Heston infers to refer to his acting, not his smell—and Heston gives Joey an actor's pep talk before telling him that "no matter how badly you think you stink, you must never break into my dressing room and use my shower!"[e 110]
Cheryl (Rebecca Romijn) — a woman whom Ross dates, only to find that she keeps an incredibly filthy apartment overrun with rats and fleas, yet finds Ross's own apartment disgusting due to a "weird smell", which Ross suspects is soap. He attempts to form a relationship with her, but cannot after being covered with ink and meat whilst making out with her. After Ross ends it with Cheryl, Monica arrives at the apartment asking to clean it as she can't sleep thinking about it.[e 106]
Joshua Burgin (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" (airdate April 16, 1998; Season 4, No. 20) when he thinks the relationship is moving too fast. Joshua appeared at the same time that Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan were dating each other in real life.
Chip Matthews (Dan Gauthier) — Previously mentioned in "The One with the Prom Video" (airdate February 1, 1996; Season 2, No. 14), as Rachel's senior prom date; in this episode he is played by an unknown, uncredited actor and his face is not seen on screen. He fully appears in the episode "The One with the Cat" (airdate October 2, 1997; Season 4, No. 2). Chip was the most popular guy in Ross, Rachel and Monica's high school, and briefly dated Rachel, until he abandoned her at their senior prom to have sex with Amy Welch. Monica and Chip meet again and Chip asks her out. Whilst Monica is delighted that her high school crush was taking her out, Rachel reacts somewhat coldly to Chip upon meeting him again, but allows Monica to date him, as in high school she had always been saddened that Chip would never date her due to her obesity. When he asks for Monica, Rachel says, "So Chip, how's Amy Welch?", to which he replies, "Amy Welch? Wow, I haven't seen her since..." Monica's dream is soon shattered when she realizes that Chip is an immature loser who's done nothing to better himself since high school and still lives with his parents. She finds happiness in the fact that she was able to dump him afterward.
Mr. Waltham (Paxton Whitehead) — Rachel's boss in season 4, who appears in "The One with Rachel's Crush" and "The One with Joey's Dirty Day".
Sarah, Duchess of York (herself) — Sarah makes a cameo appearance with Joey on his video camera, in "The One with Ross's Wedding".
Dr. Tim Burke (Michael Vartan) — Richard Burke's son. Monica, who has an ice chip in her eye while she is taking out the turkey from the freezer, meets him. He is invited to share the Thanksgiving dinner in "The One With Chandler In A Box". Eventually, after they kiss, they both realize that dating each other is a mistake, as Monica compares Tim to his father Richard, while Tim metaphorizes the kiss as if he were kissing his own mother.[e 108]
Danny (née Daniel) (George Newbern) — a man who has been on an around-the-world trip and returns in "The One with the Yeti".[e 111] 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.[e 112] They eventually get together, but Rachel dumps him when she discovers he has a "special bond" with his sister.[e 113]
Dr. Donald 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 115] He reappears in the tag scene of "The One Where Everybody Finds Out".[e 55]
Gary (Michael Rapaport) — a cop who accidentally leaves his badge in Central Perk.[e 116] 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,[e 88] and asks Phoebe to move in with him.[e 117] She leaves him after he shoots a bird.
Frank Buffay, Sr. (Bob Balaban), Phoebe's father, who shows up at her grandmother's funeral[e 71] looking for his late wife, Lily. His defense for abandoning Phoebe and Ursula is that "I was a terrible father", and he shares a "lullaby" he used to try to sing to them, which has a striking resemblance to Phoebe's "Smelly Cat".
Janine LaCroix (Elle Macpherson) — Joey's female roommate 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 118] She adds a feminine touch to the apartment by hanging pictures of babies, flowers, and babies dressed as flowers, which unnerves Joey—who senses that he's "becoming a woman".[e 92] They get together during the recording of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve,[e 119] but break up after she reveals she does not like Monica and Chandler. She moves out soon after.[e 120]
The Judge (Conchata Ferrell) presides over the attempt of Ross and Rachel—who got married in Las Vegas while drunk—to get an annulment; she informs them that they have to get a divorce instead.[e 121]
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." She is spoiled, a lot like her other sister Amy, but is a lot kinder towards Rachel and her friends. Rachel tries to train Jill in the ways of the world but Jill just buys expensive things.[e 122] She dates Ross to spite Rachel but leaves in the subsequent episode.[e 123] A reference is made to Jill in Season 10 when Amy reveals she has gotten fat.
Elizabeth Stevens (Alexandra Holden) — one of Ross's students, whom he starts dating in "The One Where Ross Dates a Student", mistakenly believing it is not against university rules.[e 124] 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, appearing dancing with her on MTV.[e 125] 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 126]
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 hears Paul talking to himself in the mirror and singing "Love Machine";—after Paul catches Ross trying to leave the cabin and threatens to have him fired, Ross implies he overheard the mirror shenanigans and will tell Rachel unless he leaves him and Elizabeth alone.[e 127] Paul agrees, but still shows a grudge towards Ross in "The One with the Ring". Rachel feels that Paul is too secretive for her liking and asks him to open up about his past, which turns out to be so troubled he spends the whole day crying on her shoulder over it. Eventually pulling himself together, he apoligizes for overwhelming her with his crying and they make up and have sex. But when he can't keep himself together afterwards and starts crying again, she breaks up with him.[e 128]
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.
Erin (Kristin Davis) — a girl Joey's has a would-be one-night stand with[e 27]—except that Rachel and Phoebe don't have the heart to tell her he's not into a "serious relationship", so Joey is forced to date her again and again, until she decides to dump him, asking the girls to tell him she's not into a serious relationship.[e 27]
Cecilia Munroe (Susan Sarandon) — an actress who portrays Jessica Lockhart on Days of our Lives. In Days of our Lives, Jessica dies, and Drake Ramoray, played by Joey, gets her brain, so he can awaken from his coma, a procedure Ross takes issue with on medical grounds.[e 129] Jessica was famous for throwing drinks at people and slapping them. Her daughter, Dina, was seeing a man named Frederick, of whom she did not approve. She was thrown off a horse and onto an electric fence, an accident set up by Frederick and Dina.
After handing over the role of Jessica Lockhart to Joey, Cecilia Munroe sleeps with Joey causing minor hysteria for Rachel and Monica, who both are big fans of Days. She then takes a role in Mexico, resulting in her and Joey breaking up and her disappearance from the show.
Cassie Gellar (Denise Richards) — a cousin of Ross and Monica who comes up to stay with Monica and Chandler. As the little girl has grown into a supermodel, with mesmerizing hair, since they last saw her, Chandler can't stop staring at her beauty which requires her to stay at Ross's apartment instead. Ross can't help staring at her as well, and while watching a movie convinces himself that she "wants it" too. He makes a move, and Cassie's negative reaction leaves him speechless for what seems to him like an eternity. Finally, he says, "I — haven't had sex in a very long time," which leaves Cassie disgusted.[e 130] Later on, Cassie moves on to Phoebe's apartment, but Phoebe has the same reaction as Chandler and Ross, and thinks she should ask her out as Cassie is not her cousin.
Melissa Warburton (Winona Ryder) — one of Rachel's sorority sisters in college. During their senior year, Melissa and Rachel went to the Sigma Chi luau wearing coconut bikinis—and, after drinking too much sangria, went back to the house and ended up making out. Melissa fell in love with Rachel and never forgot that night, but Rachel never saw it as anything more than a wild college experience.[e 131] Rachel runs into Melissa in Central Perk and they go out to dinner. When Rachel confronts Melissa about the kiss, she pretends to have no memory of it ever happening because she doesn't think Rachel will return her love. At the end of dinner, Rachel kisses her again to prove to Phoebe that she can do something crazy. Melissa takes this to mean that Rachel loves her back. She says that "nobody can kiss that good and not mean it", but Rachel says that she is just a good kisser. Melissa is extremely embarrassed and tries to act as if she was kidding, saying, "I'm not in love with you. I don't hear coconuts banging together. I don't picture your face when I make love to my boyfriend..." Melissa leaves, but not before asking for another kiss goodbye.
Richard Crosby (Gary Oldman) — a pedantic actor with whom Joey shares scenes in a wartime drama, also from "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding" (he appears in parts 1 and 2).[e 97] Crosby insists that real actors spit when they enunciate, resulting in both actors spitting on each other during takes, and being given towels by the crew afterwards. Crosby later shows up drunk for work, arousing concern as to whether Joey will complete his scenes in time to attend the wedding. For his performance, Oldman received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series.
Mona (Bonnie Somerville) first appears 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" (airdate October 25, 2001; Season 8, No. 5) 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" (airdate February 7, 2002; Season 8, No. 15) 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" (airdate March 7, 2002; Season 8, No. 17), 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 and is discovered when she and her date start making out and he tries to slip out; while Mona is angry with Ross at first, she softens visibly after he apologizes and implies she wouldn't mind getting back together with him, but Ross really only wanted his salmon shirt back, and leaves for good once she hands it over to him.
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" (airdate November 1, 2001; Season 8, No. 6). 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.
Will Colbert (Brad Pitt) — formerly fat friend of Monica from Ross's class in high school with a grudge against Rachel. Monica invites him over for Thanksgiving dinner in "The One With The Rumor" (airdate November 22, 2001; Season 8, No. 9). Will has lost 150 pounds and now looks great—which makes Phoebe flirt with him. Here they find out that Will hates Rachel and in high school co-founded the "I Hate Rachel Green Club" with Ross and spread rumors about her being a hermaphrodite. Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston in real life at the time, and his given name is in fact "William".
Parker (Alec Baldwin) — an infuriatingly optimistic man Phoebe meets at the dry cleaner in "The One with the Tea Leaves". He joins the gang at Jack and Judy's anniversary party in "The One in Massapequa" (airdate March 28, 2002; Season 8, No. 18), where he drives everyone crazy by being excited by anything and everything he sees. Phoebe overhears her friends making fun of Parker and, angered, scolds them. However, she soon tires of his unnatural eagerness, and after she takes him back to her apartment, she realizes her friends were right, and ends it with Parker when he would not calm down.
"Sick Bastard" (Jimmy Palumbo) and "Evil Bitch" (Debi Mazar), the couple who are having a child and with whom Rachel, who is waiting to have her baby delivered, shares a semi-private room. They yell at each other and call each other names. Then the husband is looking at Rachel and then confronted and criticized by Ross; the wife then yells at Ross for doing that. (The next "co-pregger" to share the room with is Janice, who is also taken to the delivery room before Rachel.)[e 28]
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" (airdate January 9, 2003; Season 9, No. 11). 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" (airdate January 30, 2003; Season 9, No. 13), Rachel tells Gavin that, although she likes him, a relationship would be difficult because of her history with Ross.
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.
Molly (Melissa George) — Emma's hot nanny, who Ross gets to hire since Rachel doesn't see it in her.[e 134] When Joey sees her, his lady killer instinct kicks in. Ross tries to make Joey stay away from her when he flirts with her, which makes Joey want her more. Ross wants Chandler to watch Joey and make sure he doesn't go after Molly. When Ross is lecturing Joey there's a knock on the door and it's Molly's girlfriend. They make out, and Ross no longer has a problem—although Joey's even more turned on by her lesbian status. Molly makes one more cameo appearance, in "The One Where Monica Sings" (airdate January 30, 2003; Season 9, No. 13).
Sandy (Freddie Prinze, Jr.) — Emma's first nanny.[e 39] After unsuccessfully interviewing several female nannies, both Ross and Rachel are surprised to see that Sandy is male. During the interview he wins Rachel over and she hires him despite Ross not being keen. Sandy proves himself to be highly competent, even educating Joey with his techniques; however, he is let go after Ross can't get used to the idea of having a male nanny.
NOTE: Technically, characters who are introduced in this season belong in this section because this season is the final season of Friends. However, they are in #Introduced in season 10 for more convenient access.