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A definitive ranking of the main characters in Friends

Scientific.

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THEY MIGHT NOT be doing any actual episodes, but the very fact that the cast of Friends will all be appearing on a documentary-style special next month has got everyone excited.

Now, with the fullness of time to appreciate their merits, we can sit down and take a cold, hard look at the worst and the best characters.

So, in descending order of quality:

6. Phoebe

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Simple.

Phoebe is the worst Friend by a country mile. First up, her quirkiness is not funny:

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Ever:

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NO.

Throughout the series, those quirks start taking a turn for the worse – and Phoebe just straight up becomes unhinged, a bad friend and desperately unfunny:

tumblr_mbwi5g4xpZ1re9hfvo1_500 Source: Tumblr

So now:

No, it’s not.

The world sighs when Phoebe comes on screen. Closely followed by…

5. Ross

Ross has his fine moments – the pivot scene, the flirting scene, the moistmaker – so in the sense that he can make you laugh he’s already streets  ahead of Phoebe.

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But you can’t ignore some DEEPLY disturbing facts about Ross.

Exhibit A:

He fancied his cousin.

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Exhibit B:

He seeks out expert help to attack his own friends. 

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The definition of a bad friend there.

And finally, Exhibit C:

He said the WRONG NAME at the altar. 

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Ah here, Ross.

It might be close, but the whole world agrees that both Phoebe and Ross belong together at the bottom of the Friends pile.

4. Joey

Joey might not be the most sophisticated Friend, but he’s still somebody you fundamentally root for the whole way through.

He has that lovable quality that Phoebe and Ross can only dream of:

Two key issues stick out that prevent Joey soaring near the top of the list, though:

  • The Joey and Rachel storyline was a car crash that should never be spoken of again
  • They made him mind-numbingly stupid by the end of show, to the point that it was embarrassing to think of him as a fully functioning adult

Enter Joey “unable to pronounce syllables” Tribbiani:

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3. Monica

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In terms of actually wanting to be friends with her, Monica might be low down the list of many. But in terms of ‘characters that don’t make you lose the will to live’, she’s flying high.

And, Monica’s one-liners rival the more famous characters for pure gag quality:

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Not only that, but when she got with Chandler it actually worked – unlike the Joey and Rachel debacle of more recent times.

2. Chandler

Early Chandler – one of the wittiest characters in TV history:

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Later Chandler - meh:

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But those early pre-Monica days of wit secure him as the second best character in Friends history – with many having him up there as the very best:

His jokes might have got worse, but you’re always willing him to succeed – and his relationship with Monica is damn cute.

1. Rachel

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The real reason Rachel pips Chandler to the post is consistency. From the early episodes right up to the finale, Rachel was absolutely gas:

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Yes, the one character that maintains her funny throughout is Rachel Green – and her family members introduce some of the best cameo appearances the series offers.

Her style never hit the low of Chandler’s oversized shirts either:

Bonus points for putting up with Ross for all those years as well.

And, let’s face it, they were the best couple in the whole show:

So now, the scientific ranking is complete: in your opinion, who was the best and worst Friend? And why?

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About the author:

David Elkin

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