The Top 20 Guest Star Appearances on Friends

‘Friends’ is one of the most popular television sitcoms of all-time. It ran for ten seasons from 2994 to 2004 and was created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman. It revolved around a group of friends living in Manhattan and their friendships, relationships, and working lives. The main actors in this series were Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, and Matt LeBlanc. They played Phoebe Buffay, Monica Geller, Rachel Greene, Ross Geller, Chandler Bing, and Joey Tribbiani respectively. Although their interactions consisted the most part of the sitcom, there were also many guest stars who appeared on the show. Many of these were famous and some cause quite a stir with their appearances. Here are 20 of the best guest stars on ‘Friends’ of all-time.

20. Danny DeVito

When Danny DeVito made a cameo appearance on ‘Friends’ it was one of the funniest guest appearances of all-time. Phoebe is getting married and Rachel and Monica are in charge of organizing her hen party. They arrange a sophisticated tea party event in Monica’s apartment. Unfortunately, Phoebe had expected something a little livelier to celebrate the end of her single life and asks when the stripper is coming. Monica and Rachel panic and run to the phone box to find a last-minute stripper. They are all surprised when they open the door to find Officer Goodbody, who is played by Danny DeVito. He then performs a rather unusual but entertaining striptease act to Soft Cell’s ‘Tainted Love’. This type of comedic character is typical of roles played by DeVito, although he usually acts in films. Some of his most famous movies include ‘Twins’, ‘Throw Momma from the Train’, ‘Batman Returns’, ‘Get Shorty’, and ‘Be Cool’. He is also well-known for playing Louie De Palma in the television sitcom ‘Taxi’.

19. Freddie Prinze Jr.

Freddie Prinze Jr. is best-known for his roles in films such as ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’, She’s All That’, ‘Scooby-Doo’, and ‘Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed’. However, he has also had a guest role in ‘Friends’. In the season nine episode ‘The One with the Male Nanny’, Ross and Rachel decide to hire a nanny to look after Emma so that Rachel can return to work. After interviewing several potential candidates, Rachel chooses a male nanny who is played by Freddie Prinze Jr. The fact that he is perfect in almost every single way makes Ross dislike him.

18. Christine Taylor

Best-known for playing Marcia Brady in ‘The Brady Bunch Movie’ and for her role as Sally Sitwell in ‘Arrested Development. Christine Taylor is another actress who has made a guest appearance on ‘Friends’. In season three of the sitcom, she appeared in three episodes as Ross’ girlfriend, Bonnie. She seemed all too perfect and this caused Rachel to dislike her. It is only when Bonnie and Ross break up that Rachel tells him she wants him back. This was a moment for which fans of the sitcom were waiting.

17. Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin is the oldest of four brothers in the famous Baldwin family. He began his career in the entertainment industry in 1980 and has gone on to become extremely successful. He is best-known for his role as Jack Donaghy in ’30 Rock’ and for his roles in films, including ‘Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation’, ‘The Hunt for Red October’, ‘The Shadow’, and ‘The Departed’. Despite winning many awards for his roles, he was more than happy to make a cameo appearance in two episodes of ‘Friends’. He played Parker who was a friend of Phoebe’s who was extremely excited and enthusiastic about everything. At first the friends find this entertaining, but it soon becomes annoying.

16. Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning is now a well-established actress and has had leading roles in films including ‘Hounddog’, ‘Now Is Good’, ‘Night Moves’, Ocean’s 8′. And ‘Effie Gray’. However, she began her career as a child actress and one of her earlier roles was a guest appearance in an episode of friends. In one of the later episodes, Monica and Chandler are looking for a new home. They want to move out of their apartment and live in a property that is more suited to a family. Joey is considered that it will end their friendship and he will have a lesser role in their lives. When Monica and Chandler finally find their dream home, they take Joey to visit the house. He is looking around trying to find something wrong with it so he can put them off, and he meets with a little girl who is played by Dakota Fanning. Despite only being a child, she shows maturity and offers Joey some advice. Joey is finally placated when Monica and Chandler tell him he will have his very own room at the house.

15. Billy Crystal and Robin Williams

Billy Crystal and Robin Williams appeared in an episode called ‘The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion’ in season three. The scene took place in the Central Perk coffee shop where the friends always hang out. Their characters ask to sit on the couch with the series regulars who are trying to have a conversation. Robin Williams’ character bursts into tears and is being comforted by Billy Crystal’s character. The group cannot carry on their conversation for eavesdropping on what the new visitors to the coffee shop are talking about. Of course, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams are both talented comedic actors who always deliver a dramatic performance and that was the case in this cameo. Billy Crystal is known for his roles ‘City Slickers’, ‘When Harry Met Sally’, and Analyze This’. Robin Williams is known for playing Mork in the TV sitcom ‘Mork and Mindy and for his roles in films including ‘Dead Poets Society’,, ‘Good Will Hunting’, ‘Mrs, Doubtfire’, ‘Birdcage’, and ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’.

14. Ben Stiller

Throughout the series, viewers have seen Rachel date many men throughout the series in between her on-off relationship Ross and when they were ‘on a break’. While some of the men she has dated were lovely, there are others who were decidedly strange. One example of the latter is the boyfriend played by Ben Stiller in an episode called ‘The One with the Screamer’ in season 3. Rachel’s boyfriend seems perfectly normal at first, but Ross is the first one to identify that there is a problem with him. He sees him shouting irrationally and explains to the rest of the group that he thinks Rachel’s new boyfriend has anger issues. The group fob this off as they think that Ross is simply jealous and doesn’t want Rachel dating someone new. It finally becomes clear that Ross is telling the truth as the rest of the group see him irrationally losing his cool and screaming.

13. Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo is best-known for playing Dr. Meredith Gray in ‘Gray’s Anatomy’. Prior to landing this role, Pompeo had many smaller roles in American television. One such role was a cameo appearance in ‘Friends’. In Season ten, she plays the role of Missy Goldberg who was friends with Rachel at high school and both Ross and Chandler had wanted to ask her out. The episode starts by Ross and Chandler seeing Missy at a school reunion party and Ross asking if he can break the pact and ask her out. The exact nature of the pact then becomes clear in a flashback scene to when Missy, Chandler and Ross were at high school together. It shows the two men both keen on Missy and falling out over who gets to ask her out. They decide that no woman is worth ruining their friendship for and make a pact that neither of them will ever ask out Missy. The scene then fast-forwards back to the present and Chandler giving Ross permission to break the pact. It then transpires that only Ross kept to the pact as Missy tells him that she and Chandler used to make out a lot.

12. Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen plays the role of Phoebe’s long-lost lover in an episode of season 2 called ‘The One with the Chicken Pox’. He is a member of the United States Navy and he is returning temporarily to New York. He plans to stay with Phoebe for two weeks. When he arrives, she is sat in the dark with a bag on her head because she has chicken pox. Despite her being ill, he is so excited to see her again that the chicken pox doesn’t even bother him. The pair spend two wonderful weeks together before he has to return to duty. Charlie Sheen is best-known for his long-standing role in ‘Two and a Half Men’, in which he plays Charlie Harper. He has also appeared in films including ‘Wall Street’, ‘Eight Men Out’, ‘The Three Musketeers’, ‘Platoon’, and ‘Young Guns’.

11. Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon has a role in an episode of ‘Friends’ called ‘The One with Joey’s New Brain’ where she is playing an actress in a soap opera called ‘Days of Our Lives’ working alongside Joey. Her character, Jessica Lockhart, is being killed off and her brain is being transplanted into Joey’s character, so he will take on her personality. Even though she is devastated to have lost the job she loves, she tries to train Joey how to portray the personality of her character well. Susan Sarandon is better-known for her roles in films. These include ‘Stepmom’, ‘Little Women’, ‘Atlantic City’, ‘Thelma & Louise’, A Bad Moms Christmas’, and ‘The Witches of Eastwick’.

10. Morgan Fairchild

Morgan Fairchild plays the role of Chandler’s mother Nora Bing. She appears in several episodes of the television show when she meets with her son. Her character is not that of a typical mother of an adult as she is glamorous and extremely open about her sex life. Chandler is often embarrassed by his mother’s behavior as she draws attention to herself and puts him in uncomfortable situations. There is one episode in which Nora Bing and Chandler’s best-friend Ross share a kiss together and Chandler discovers their secret. Although it causes friction between Ross and Chandler, the pair talk things through and get their friendship back on track. Morgan Fairchild is best-known for her work in television series. Some of those in which she has appeared include ‘{a[er Dolls’, ‘Fallen Crest’, ‘Flamingo Road’, ‘Dallas’, and ‘Search for Tomorrow’.

9. Kathleen Turner

Although she is a woman, Kathleen Turner plays the role of Chandler Bing’s father Charles Bing. He is a gay man who works as a drag queen, called Helena Handbasket, in a show bar in Las Vegas. The first time viewers see this character is when Chandler decides it is time he introduced his divorced parents to Monica as they are planning to get married. He takes Monica to the show bar where his father works. Just like his mother, Chandler is embarrassed by his father’s behaviour, especially because he ran off with Mr. Garibaldi when Chandler was a child. Charles Bing/ Helena Handbasket appear in several other episodes of ‘Friends’, including Monica and Chandler’s wedding.

8. Isabella Rosellini

Actress and model Isabella Rosellini appears as herself in one episode of ‘Friends’. Ross and Rachel discuss the idea of having a ‘list’. This is a list of five famous people they are allowed to sleep with if they meet them without it having a detrimental impact on their relationship. Ross adds the ‘Blue Velvet’ actress to his list and then later replaces her with another actress. Surprisingly, she then comes into the coffee shop where Ross and Rachel are enjoying a drink. Ross says that he regrets taking her off the list as he has missed his shot with her. Rachel mocks him for thinking he stands a chance and gives him permission to add her back to the list as an alternate and try his luck with Rosellini. Rachel and their friends watch on as Ross proceeds to humiliate himself.

7. Winona Ryder

Best-known for her appearances in blockbuster films, Winona Ryder made a cameo appearance in ‘Friends’ in the season seven episode ‘The One with Rachel’s Big Kiss’. She is an old friend of Rachel’s, Melissa Warburton, and the two bumps into each other in the Central Perk coffee shop. They catch up and talk about what they are doing since they last saw each other. Rachel later confesses to Phoebe that she and Melissa once shared a drunken kiss. Although Melissa initially denies remembering any such thing. To prove to Phoebe that she is telling the truth, Rachel kisses Melissa again. Melissa then confesses that she does remember it and that she has always been in love with Rachel.

6. Gary Oldman

Gary Oldmand is a successful English actor who has worked in film, television, and theatre. Gary Oldman plays the role of an alcoholic actor playing opposite Joey Tribbiani in one episode of ‘Friends’. Joey has been cast as a private in the army during World War Two and part of his role is to have a confrontation with the actor played by Oldman. This character has a drink problem but is a veteran actor who can offer Joey lots of advice on how to portray the role well. He advises him to annunciate his words better by spitting out certain letters. The resulting scene they have filmed shows Joey spitting all over Oldman’s face.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=513VDWa6F9s

5. Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate played the role of Amy, one of Rachel’s spoiled sisters. She appeared in two episodes; first in season nine in an episode called ‘The One with Rachel’s Other Sister’ and then again in season ten in the episode ‘The One Where Rachel’s Sister Babysits’. In the latter, Amy looks after Ross and Rachel’s daughter Emma who she repeatedly calls Ella by mistake. She even treats the baby girl to having her ears pierced, much to the horror of Ross and Rachel. In her defence, she argues that she was trying to make Emma’s nose look smaller. Although she only appeared in two episodes of the show, Applegate won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy for her portrayal of Amy Greene.

4. Reese Witherspoon

Although she is now best-known for her leading roles in films, including ‘Legally Blonde’, Reese Witherspoon has also had a small guest role in ‘Friends’. She played Rachel’s sister Jill Green in two episodes of season six. She is a ditzy and spoiled young woman who Rachel prefers not to spend time with. Their relationship is not helped when Reese Witherspoon’s character tries to date Rachel’s former boyfriend Ross. This clearly breaks the code of sisterhood and causes tension between the two sisters.

3. George Clooney and Noah Wyle

George Clooney and Noah Wiley were well-known for their partnership as doctors in the popular television drama series ‘ER’. Not wanting to veer too much out of character, these actors played two doctors in an ER department in an episode of ‘Friends’. Rachel falls off the balcony and gets suspended by a set of lights while taking down the Christmas decorations. She injures her ankle as a result of the incident and Monica takes her to the ER department. The doctors who treat her are played by George Clooney and Noah Wyle. The women flirt madly with the doctors and go on a double date. Rachel has no medical insurance so her and Monica switch identities to use Monica’s insurance, so Rachel can receive treatment. This causes confusion when they go on a date with the doctors. This was a two-part storyline that took place in season one of the sitcom.

2. Bruce Willis

When Ross starts dating Elizabeth, one of his students, her father is none too pleased. However, a meeting with Ross leads to him dating Rachel. Bruce Willis plays the role of Elizabeth’s father. This leads to some interesting situations due to Ross and Rachel’s former relationship as they have then gone on to have relationships with a father and daughter. There is a particularly funny episode where Ross and Elizabeth sneak off for a night at her father’s country holiday lodge unaware that her father and Rachel have had the same idea for a romantic break. Ross hides under the bed as Bruce Willis’ character gives himself a hilarious pep talk in the bedroom mirror in advance of his night of passion with Rachel. Bruce Willis is known for his roles in the ‘Die Hard’ series of films, ‘Moonlight Kingdom’, ‘Unbreakable’, and ‘Sixth Sense’.

1. Brad Pitt

In an episode of ‘Friends’ called ‘The One with the Rumor’, Brad Pitt plays an old friend of Ross’ from high school. He reveals that he and Ross had a club called ‘The I Hate Rachel Greene Club’ and that they would talk about her in a derogatory way. While Pitt’s character still hates Rachel, Ross is madly in love with her and the two are involved in an on-off relationship. Ross’ friend is horrifies to learn that Ross is now with Rachel and feels betrayed. This episode was particularly memorable as Brad Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston in real-life and by the time the episode was aired, the couple had separated. Brad Pitt is better-known for his film roles. These include roles in ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ and its sequels, ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’, ’12 Years a Slave’, ‘Interview with a Vampire’, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’.


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