Friends have cemented themselves as one of the most iconic shows, with their legacy spanning the 90s and beyond. But if there’s one point of contention among fans, it’s deciding who is the best among all the Friends characters?
Our team spent 48 hours researching and came up with a ranking to answer the question once and for all!
Friends Characters Ranked From Worst To Best
Rachel Green was first introduced as the spoiled runaway bride in the first episode. However, despite being a bit self-absorbed, we’ve seen her immense character growth into the person we all know and love.
Hey, it takes courage to transition from a life of lux to becoming a waitress in Central Perk! She then left it for a fashion industry career in the later seasons.
Jennifer Aniston made a perfect portrayal of Rachel Green. She had her iconic moments in the series, like when she sang Copacabana in that ripped-off bridesmaid dress at Barry’s wedding or her falling after learning Ross came home with a new girlfriend -- Julie.
Many factors play into why Rachel is a great character, but one is being Monica's fiercely loyal friend. Truly, she’s the best friend we all wish we had!
What better way to follow the list with the love interest of Rachel. Ross is surprisingly touted as the worst character among the six friends. Although, he ranked higher than expected because the awkwardness and hilarity of his character make him kind of a menace.
David Schwimmer played the character of Ross splendidly. His energy fits the nerdy, hopeless romantic brother with a successful career in Paleontology.
The likeability of his character is in question, but let’s cut the guy some slack. He already had an ex-wife when his character was introduced (don’t worry, we’ll get right to Ross’s ex-wife later in the list!)
Ross’s life had many great moments. Remember that time Marcel graced us as his pet? Or the one where he struggled taking off his sweaty leather pants and became a male nanny?
The one thing that redeems him is his undying love for Rach. Ross was a good guy.
“We suspected Ross would come in last and be named Worst Friend. And it was true.” -Linda Holmes, Pop-Culture Correspondent.
Who else better to follow Ross on this list than his sister Monica. Truly one of the best Friends characters, thanks to her choleric nature.
Despite being a control freak in the kitchen, Monica is an awesome best friend to Rachel Green. Although her competitive energy burst out in disappointment when Rachel said, “transponster.”
Courteney Cox did a great job portraying Monica Geller. She is undoubtedly one of the best characters in the show, but we can’t help but feel bad when Monica’s mother doesn’t approve of her.
Her sibling rivalry with her brother, Ross Geller, also resonated among the audience. Although she might seem a bit too stern, Monica exudes an oddly calming presence thanks to her mature disposition.
Plus, we can’t deny that the Monica and Chandler Bing tandem is one of the best in combination in sitcom history.
No one matches Phoebe when it comes to eccentricity. Truly, she’s one of the funniest characters in the show, along with Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani. Although she typically falls on secondary plots, Phoebe had her hilarious highlights.
Who could forget that iconic song “smelly cat”? The storyline with her evil twin sister Ursula is another awesome stint that Phoebe had.
Also, who can forget Phoebe's pregnancy? She carried triplets for her brother (watch the show before judging!), which is one of the most insane schemes of brotherly love. Certainly, Monica can’t do the same for Ross, but Phoebe did, which says a lot.
Lisa Kudrow portrayed Phoebe Buffay perfectly. Phoebe’s weird quirks added a unique flavor to the main gang for ten seasons - truly deserving her spot in this worst to best list.
Chandler is arguably most people’s favorite character in Friends. His witty remarks, smart comebacks, and on-and-off relationship with Janice cemented him as the funny guy in the group.
“It's almost impossible to not laugh as soon as he enters a scene.” -Katerina Daley, Screen Rant Writer.
Chandler’s hopeless romantic quest for true love finally came to a close with Monica. Despite the hilarious character he is, the proposal of Chandler to Monica is the only thing in the ten seasons where he took the funny guise off and became genuinely honest.
We believe Matthew Perry is perfect for the Chandler role. He’s a funny and witty soul in real life, making the Friends role a walk in the park. Although other characters added in fun, it was Chandler who had the ball rolling.
Many will agree that Joey is indeed the best character in the franchise. His wit, or lack thereof, marked his way into viewers’ hearts. Underneath all the “how you doin’?” and the “Joey doesn’t share food!” is a good friend that supported every character, one way or another.
Joey’s easy-going nature might not look like he’s the responsible type, but his character proved us wrong time and again throughout the show. He proposed to pregnant Rachel because he didn’t want the child to grow fatherless.
Joey also stopped eating meat when Phoebe was pregnant. Who can forget how he let Kathy and Chandler be together because they’re a better match? Joey also never changed his views, even though he’s always on TV.
We all deserve a Joey in all the days of our lives (right?), and Matt LeBlanc played his character beautifully.Shop The FRIENDS Collection Now
The Chick & The Duck
The chick and the duck had a brief stint in the show, although they were some of the most memorable personas in Friends. After listening and misunderstanding the news, Joey got them as a gift for Chandler so both of them could raise the two.
The duo served as parents to these humble avians, and we’ve seen them occasionally go on screen. However, they now live on a farm we cannot visit (Joey still doesn’t know!)
Ursula was another iconic character introduced in the show. She was Phoebe’s identical twin sister, so it was also Lisa Kudrow who played this mysterious and darker persona. The similarity between Ursula and Phoebe ends with the physique.
Although Pheebs was a bit eccentric, she was never evil like Ursula. Remember how she used Pheebs to pursue her career in adult entertainment? Or even insulted Phoebe by dating Joey? Ursula was the worst!
Ross and Monica were great siblings, but Frank Buffay Jr. and Phoebe were an entirely different story. They were both eccentric, although Frank got the longer end of the stick in this regard.
Despite the quirks, he was a faithful man to his incredibly older partner. Nevertheless, thanks to his character, we were able to witness one of the weirdest storylines ever -- Phoebe’s pregnancy.
Susan Bunch & Carol Willick
Susan and Carol are the two people behind Ross’ fear of marital relationships. Story plots aside, they were great representations in an era where the LGBTQ+ were treated unequally.
Friends was pivotal to show two strong women raising their son alongside Ross. Eventually, they patch things up and remain friends, which is healthy, especially for the young Ben. The two also had some awesome moments with the six friends.
“Hey, Joey! It's Estelle.”
Who can ever forget these iconic lines from Joey’s manager? Although she appeared seldom and popped out on the screen only when making phone calls to Joey, she was the one who supported his acting career.
Although she died one faithful day, she is sorely missed by the people she left behind. One of them is good ol’ Tribbiani.
Jack & Judy Geller
Jack and Judy Geller were also an awesome duo in the show. Although true, they made the life of Monica a tad bit miserable, but this made her a stronger and more independent person. The relationship between them and their daughter is so relatable to the audience.
Not every child has great connections with their parents, but Monica handled it perfectly. It was never revealed why Judy Geller is contentious of her daughter, but perhaps underneath that cloak of disapproval is a hidden love.
Richard Burke appeared for no more than ten episodes in the entire Friends series, but he sure left a colossal impact (no pun intended). He was not only a partner but also a sympathetic father figure to Ross’ sister.
He’s a classy, sophisticated, and mature guy that keeps Monica’s choleric impulses under control. Richard was a great character; albeit he appeared briefly, he sure was remembered positively by the friends and people watching.
Many remember Gunther as that stoic coffee dude in Central Perk. Stoic because he remained faithful to Rachel after the countless times he’d seen her with another guy; provided, Rachel never even once knew Gunther had feelings for her.
Gunther’s subtle stints in the show were fun to watch. Some might even find it cute that he has a little crush on her. But if there’s one thing about him that is commendable; it is that he didn’t make a move on Rachel when they were co-workers. That would’ve been inappropriate!
Mike Hannigan appeared later in Friends, but he sure made an impact, especially on Phoebe’s life. With his short time in Friends, Paul Rudd’s Mike Hannigan made one of the best love interests in the entire show. Falling head over heels on Pheebs and getting married in the snow is a satisfying conclusion to their relationship.
It might look weird to see Paul Rudd so young into the show, but he surely did great with his character.
Do you remember getting the same chills on your back like Chandler’s whenever you hear Janice laugh? Her laugh alone might be the most memorable element in Friends that non-avid fans might remember.
Maggie Wheeler did an excellent job playing the role of Janice. Her on and off relationship with Chandler was painful to watch because she has her heart broken every time, simply because Bing feels icky about her. Not cool, Chandler!
Nevertheless, Janice is the best supporting role in the show, which is not up for debate.
Also Read: Our Recommended Friends TV Show Gifts
Some Iconic Character Guestings
Danny DeVito as the Male Stripper
The beloved, kind, funny, and talented Danny DeVito also made a brief appearance in one episode of Friends. He starred as Roy, aka “Officer Goodbody,” a last-minute stripper hired by Monica and Rachel for Phoebe’s bachelorette party.
It was a hilarious episode, especially the observable disgust among the ladies seeing an older man stripping in front of them. Props to Danny for his incredible though short performance!
Brad Pitt as Will Colbert
The dashing Brad Pitt also appeared in Friends for one Thanksgiving special episode. He went to the same high school as Ross, Monica, and Rachel. Little did Rachel know that the kid she bullied way back then became the steamy Will Colbert.
It’s extremely funny how Colbert relapsed to his hatred upon seeing Rachel. This tension created an awkward yet funny Thanksgiving dinner.
Reese Witherspoon & Christina Applegate as Rachel’s Sisters
Rachel has two sisters on the show: Jill (played by Reese Witherspoon) and Amy (Christina Applegate). Both were awful individuals which Rachel only had a clearer perspective after her significant character development in the show. Their stints in Friends were brief but enough to make people cringe and laugh at the same time.
Who’s the funniest Friends character?
Chandler is undoubtedly the funniest Friends character! From his ridiculous dance moves to his inability to take photos, everyone loved his wit. Matthew Perry did a great job for the role. 
Who is the prettiest from Friends?
Empirical data on a survey among Friends fans revealed that Rachel is the most attractive in Friends getting a 50% unanimous vote. Honestly, her beauty spanned beyond the final episodes of Friends.
To this date, Jennifer Aniston is one of the most attractive actresses to go on screen. 
Who is the most hated character from Friends?
Ross is undoubtedly the worst among Friends. He took so long to get over Susan, and he even said “Rachel” during the exchange of vows at his wedding with Emily!
Which Friends character has the most fans?
Ahead of the reunion special, YouGov America had a survey to see who America’s favorite friend was, and Rachel topped the list with 20%, followed by Phoebe with 18%—although the bottom of the barrel falls on Ross, played by David Schwimmer, with only 5%.
Also Read: When Did The Friends TV Show Start?
Friends is undoubtedly one of the best shows to have ever been aired on TV. They left some of the moments and have sprouted some of the best careers in the industry.
Although this listing aims to rank them from worst to best, no one can deny that you can’t get that authentic “Friends feels” if you leave one of them behind.
Each actor played their characters beautifully and has marked their ways into the hearts of the audience. We hope that someday, just maybe when you visit New York City, you’d also find your lifelong Friends the same way they found each other.
For Friends toys and collectibles, check out our list!Shop The FRIENDS Collection Now