Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Friends Zone: The 10 Best Boyfriends/Girlfriends on Friends

As simple as it sounds. I am going to countdown the ten best (or my ten faves - however you wish to look at it) significant others from the NBC situation comedy, Friends. Those guys and gals who dated Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and/or Ross. Now remember, this is just a list of those boyfriends/girlfriends of the Friends, not when the Friends dated each other. So no, Ross and Rachel, nor Monica and Chandler, count. Nor do Joey and Rachel when they dated for like two episodes. That's all a bit too incestuous for our little list here. This is a list of all the Fun Bobby's and Richard's and such. But enough of all this introductory stuff, let's get on with the show.

And awaaaaay we go...

Special Mentions: Carol & Barry

Technically, Ross's ex-wife-turned-lesbian, and Rachel's left-at-the-altar groom never dated during the run of the show. Sure, there was that one episode where Rachel and Barry hooked up in his dentist chair, and there was that one flashback episode that traveled back to before the divorce, but otherwise both of these significant others (or maybe insignificant in the case of Barry and Rachel) are past participles, and therefore are mere special mentions, at best. Anyhoo, on with the list proper...well, almost.

First, A Runner-Up: Fun Bobby

Fun Bobby is always so much fun. Well, until Monica got him to stop drinking. Then he became incredibly boring Bobby. Not so much fun then. And actually, now that I think about it, when he was first introduced, he was depressed over a death in the family. So I guess Fun Bobby wasn't really all that fun after all. But then again, Fun Bobby did only appear in two episodes (and mentioned in one other) so his dating of Monica never was all that developed. But hey, he was still better than Paul the Wine Guy and that high school kid who lied about his age.

And now, really, on with the list...

10. Bonnie

Ya gotta love bald women, right? Ross was fixed up with Bonnie by Phoebe. Rachel, who had recently broken up with Ross over an infidelity trifle (they WERE on a break!), only agreed to let Phoebe do the match-making, because of Bonnie's baldness. Of course, Bonnie is no longer bald, instead being a knock-out (as played by Christine Taylor, aka Mrs. Ben Stiller), as well as a bit of a sexual whirlwind. But not to worry, Rachel convinces her to go bald again. Still kinda hot though.

9. Charlie

Charlie was a beautiful scientist who first dated Joey, and then Ross. Charlie was played by writer, producer, actor, comic, and director Aisha Tyler. She was first introduced to Ross, who felt he didn't stand a chance, since ever serious boyfriend she had up until then, had been a Nobel Laureate. But then she starts dating Joey, who is no Nobel Laureate. Eventually Charlie comes to her senses, and breaks up with Joey, with whom she has nothing in common, and goes off with Ross. Lucky for Joey, he had recently fallen in love with Rachel, who had also, even more recently, fallen in love with him. Of course, that never worked out and Ross and Rachel...well, you know the rest.

8. Tommy

So, we already had Ben Stiller's wife on the list, so why not Ben Stiller himself, or if you prefer, Mr. Christine Taylor. Ben's performance as Tommy was a one-and-done thing. He dated Rachel for one episode, wherein Ross is bothered by his anger issues, which only seem to come out when no one else is around. Well, that is, until he goes off on Chandler & Joey's chicken and duck, and everyone finally sees his true nature. Step away from the duck.

7. Erika

Another one-and-done date, Erika, as played by Brooke Shields, at her comedic best, was an obsessed fan of Joey's, who could not distinguish Joey the actor, with Dr. Drake Romore on Days of Our Lives. This is one of my favourite episodes, as Joey is attracted to Erika (duh, she's Brooke Freakin' Shields!) but also scared of her ever-growing insanity. Eventually he convinces her that he is actually Hans Remore, Drake's evil twin.

6. Paul

So, after Ross begins dating one of his students (technically ex-student), her father shows up to put his foot down. This father is none other than Bruce Willis, Shortly after this, Willis as Paul, begins dating Rachel. Oh what a tangled web we weave, and all that jazz. But hey, he's Bruce Willis. What able bodied woman is not going to want to date him. Willis, who is pretty much always cool, is extra cool as Paul. Heck, he even got an Emmy nomination for his guest role.

5. Pete

Pete was played by Jon Favreau. You know, that guy from Swingers, oh and also the director of Iron Man, and a producer on many of the Marvel movies, oh and the guy who wrote, directed, and starred in the wonderful little indie film, Chef. Anyhoo, Favreau played Pete, a billionaire who dates Monica for a bit. Then he ruins it by deciding he wants to be the Ultimate Fighting Champion, a thing he is so terrible at, that Monica can no longer stick around and watch him get beaten night after night., Seriously, he sucks at Ultimate Fighting. I mean, really sucks.

4. Richard

Well yeah, he's Tom Freakin' Selleck. How could he not be on this list? Richard, as played by the aforementioned Mr. Freakin' Selleck, was actually Monica's dad's best friend, and the family eye doctor, but when Monica took a catering job for the good doctor, things...happened. They kept it a secret from the Gellers for a bit, but eventually, the news got out. Monica and Richard also eventually went splitsville, although there was some intrigue after Monica and Chandler got together.

3. Parker

Just like Tommy and Erika above, Parker was a one episode date, but what a wonderful episode. Alec Baldwin, as is almost always the case when he is on TV (as opposed to his lackluster movie career), steals the veritable show, right out from under everyone, even his date Phoebe. Parker is the world's happiest, perkiest human being. At first this appeals to Phoebe, but after one night, she just wants to kill the guy. Poor Parker, but hey, I'm sure if anyone can, he can put a positive spin on Phoebe dumping him.

2. Janice

Oh. My. God. Sure, Janice may also have been the most annoying of all the Friends' exes, but she just kept showing up, again and again and again, even after Chandler and Monica were married. That's gotta count for something. Actually, Maggie Wheeler's Janice appeared in each of the ten seasons of the show, a feat matched only by Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles, as Monica and Ross' parents, and of course, James Michael Tyler's Gunther. All this, and the chick was batshitcraycray! Oh. My. God.

1. Mike

Perhaps Mike is number one because he was the only one who actually stuck around til the end. Maybe he's number one because he's played by Paul Rudd. Both great reasons to place Phoebe's main squeeze, and eventually (spoiler alert!) hubby, in the top spot of the Friends Zone. Oh yeah, Mike's also funny, and quippy, and a great ping pong player (though not as good as Chandler), and can play a mean air piano, so there's always that stuff too. Did I mention he is played by Paul Rudd? Yup.

That's it gang. See ya 'round the web.


  1. Great list! Janice is such a memorable Friends character. Paul Rudd is awesome, he's one of my favorite guest stars and I loved his character and how he easily jived with Phoebe's quirkiness.