My favorite sitcom of all time, Friends, had arguably one of the greatest casts in television history. Ross. Rachel. Chandler. Monica. Joey. Phoebe. Those six names are forever synonymous with Friends, and they created a world in the show that we all wanted to be apart of, yet knew that no one could come between that group of friends. 14 years since it has ended, and it still remains as one of the greatest shows of all time. But with such a great cast, it is far from easy to decipher which is better than the next. However, after overall analysis of the show and each of the character’s moments and character arcs, I took on the six friends and ranked them from my least favorite friend to the friend I wish was mine.
6. Now, although Joey is ranked last, he is FAR from a boring friend. He is probably the one with the best sense of humor, and the one you can most always rely on for a
laugh. However, throughout the show I found him to be immature and just a bit much. While his sexual jokes were often funny, they also annoyed me at times, and just seemed to make Joey a more one dimensional character. We didn’t get to see an in-depth exploration of his character, as we did with basically all of the others. This may be the reason for him getting a spinoff, which was cancelled after two seasons from bad ratings. The good thing about Joey is that he shows himself to be the friend everyone can count on, and since he doesn’t have a longterm relationship during the series, he is always there for them. While I certainly share Joey’s passion for food, his lack of common sense and immaturity lands him in the bottom of my list.
5. If there’s ever a friend you don’t want to compete against, then it’s Monica Geller. Throughout the series, Monica proves herself to be one of the most competitive people you will ever meet, in ANYTHING. Football, cooking, Pac Man, you name it, and she is determined to win. In addition, her OCD gives us a lot of comedy moments in the show, as her focus is on her apartment and making sure everything is perfection. Later in the series, we see the more romantic side of Monica when she ends up with Chandler, which began with a hilarious London hookup and ended in a marriage with two adopted children. While we all loved them together, Monica at times got on viewers nerves, or at least, my nerves. While her competitiveness and obsession with perfection was funny at times, it did make her sometimes unlikable and annoying, and not the type of person I would want to hang out with too much. I would certainly need small doses of Monica, and that is why she lands in 5th. However, her cooking and cleaning up skills wouldn’t go unappreciated.
4. The overly sarcastic and successful Chandler Bing evolves throughout the series from a sex hungry bro to a loving husband and eventual father. While he is shown to have commitment issues, his relationship with Monica is what arguably propels him into maturity, and he becomes a much more likable, albeit still sarcastic character we grow to love. Also, thanks to Chandler, we are graced with his ex girlfriend Janice, easily one of the most annoying TV characters of all time yet iconic in the show. Chandler also gives us some great moments in dealing with his wife’s need for perfection, as well as his time as an intern when he decides to quit his job and begin a new career. Chandler’s character arc gives him a ten season run of hilarious moments and growing likability.
3. The goofy paleontologist and one half of arguably the greatest television romance, Ross rightfully earns his spot in the top 3 throughout the series. Beginning the series being left by his wife Carol for a woman, Ross is forced to start over in his love life, while also sharing custody of his son Ben with Carol and her new wife. Luckily for him, the arrival of Rachel Green gave us ten seasons of the two of them loving and then not loving each other, and we enjoyed every second it. Ross’s antics, in particular, gave us constant laughs with his overdramatic screams. In addition, throughout the series Ross is divorced three times, which becomes a running joke by the other friends. However, his love for Rachel and determination to never give up on her left all the fans falling in love with his love for her. I mean, he drove after her and got her to get off the plane!! Ross proved he was a fan favorite and left us always wanting to root for him.
2. Every friend group needs a weird person, and in this friend group, that was Phoebe. The quirky masseuse on surface seemed to just be a complete ditz, but throughout the series we get to see a very intelligent and soft side of Phoebe. While she isn’t always up to par with the “normal conversations,” Phoebe became a character that any outsider could connect with, and yet still she found her place in the group from her big heart and loyal friendship. During the series, we see her prove this by being the surrogate for her brother’s triplets, always pursuing her music despite her clear offbeat musical ability, and finally her love for Mike Hannigan, which results in an eventual marriage. Phoebe’s uncommon yet hilarious personality made her one of a kind, and left us wanting a Phoebe in all of our lives.
1. This one wasn’t even a question to me. In my opinion, Rachel is the hero of Friends, and the one we are all meant to root for from episode 1 to the finale. The series begins with her running away from her own wedding, joining the friends group and beginning her new life in New York. 235 episodes later, Rachel transforms into a successful business woman, a mother to Emma, an amazing friend, and the love of Ross Geller’s life. Their relationship throughout the series gave all viewers the relationship of the series to root for, and them finally getting together in the finale was the perfect ending we all needed. Rachel easily has the most drastic character development throughout the series, and we felt apart of it, every episode, even when her and Ross were (or weren’t?) on a break. The power of Friends was the dynamics that we watched and felt between these six friends, and they all gave us a front row seat to the lives they lived for ten seasons, and left us yearning for more time on the Central Perk couch, even to this day.