string(4) "home"
Friends ranked

No ifs, no buts: The definitive ranking of all the main characters in Friends

Don’t trust anyone who puts Ross last

I make no qualms about the fact that first and foremost, I am a defender of Friends. I do not care if this is cause for ridicule amongst my Gen Z pals, and if my fondness for Friends makes me a “Sooo I just did a thing”, “you sir just won the internet today”, “hacking doggo” millennial then so be it. Of recent, Friends has made a big resurgence on the telly in my house – mostly because we’ve just sorted Sky out on the TV in the back room in addition to the living room one. This means that whenever I don’t know what to have on in the background whilst I cook, clean or tit about during the hours of six to eight PM, Friends is singing out to me. It’s cosy to me. I’ve been gobbling up random episodes because of this and falling in love with it all over again, and so I’ve decided to throw my own two pence into a widely discussed topic: All six of the core Friends, ranked.

Before I go any further, I think it’s clear to anyone with a brain that all six of the Friends are essential no matter where they get ranked. The show would be wrong without any of them. Also, to note, this isn’t a ranking of who is a nice or good person, or even who I like the most. It’s a ranking of how good the character is and I guess because this is a sitcom, how funny they are. I’m also taking into account the performances of the cast – because that’s important in this. Right. Let’s do it. All six Friends, ranked.

6. Joey

Coming in last is Joey. It’s really hard ranking someone so likeable last, but I do think if I was to make any cut to the Friends lineup – all would be dismal, of course – but Joey would be my first to cut. I feel like the Joey laughs of Friends are the most simple, revolving around womanising, food and a lack of intelligence. He’s a lovable oaf. A himbo. So much warmth and heart but the Friend I find the least funny and essential. His humour and vibe are just not for me compared to the other five. Matt LeBlanc plays him solidly, but I do fear Joey Tribbiani and Matt LeBlanc are two sides of the same coin.

5. Chandler

Friends ranked

Friends ranked

Friends ranked

God this is a knife in my HEART. From here on, all four of these are truly family to me. I love them all. Argh. Anyway, fourth is going to be Rachel Green. Rachel is like, our vessel, into the other six characters ranked here. Legging it from Barry on her wedding day, she barges into Central Perk to find Monica – her old school mate. There she joins the group and meets the others, and we go on that journey with her. She feels like the lead even though this is clearly an ensemble show.

Jennifer Aniston is outstanding and makes Rachel always someone to root for even when her spoilt rich girl goes it on her own formula could be annoying in other hands. She’s a heroine to root for, and though she doesn’t have the funniest moments at all times she’s an absolute diamond. She gets out laughed, but not by much.

3. Phoebe

I feel like as a gay boy I am qualified to say that Phoebe Buffay is the favourite for the gay boys when we’re growing up. She has huge ally energy. She’s the safe, quirky space. I am drawn in life to Phoebes. Lisa Kudrow is the funniest actor in this cast. I love Phoebe because she doesn’t really have a catchphrase like the others in this list, but her unpredictability is her staple. I love never knowing what I’m gonna hear from her but then everything she says feels so Phoebe. She’s the American Nessa from Gavin and Stacey.

2. Monica

Straight up, Courtney Cox is the best actor on Friends. She is truly phenomenal. I love how Monica can run the full spectrum of emotions in the drop of a hat and Cox is just right there with her. The intensity, the passion, the fury – you wouldn’t want to cross Monica, but despite the way she operates like a machine sometimes she still never feels cold. That’s the sign of a well rounded character. Perhaps because there are two Gellers in the main cast, I feel like the whole family are the most fleshed out part of Friends and the dynamic she has with Ross in my opinion is like the heart and soul of the show, and the place where most laughs are had.

1. Ross

Look, I know Ross is the least likeable Friend. He’s insecure, toxic, chaos. Competitive and all round dick head sometimes, if we’re being real. But Ross is the funniest and best character on Friends, and getting him ranked at the top spot is the only correct place for him. Every mishap centred on Ross is honestly the reason why this show is still so funny to this day. When I’ve been rewatching recently, it’s David Schwimmer’s performance that gets the most laughs out of me. The least nice Friend is also the most god tier Friend because he makes such good TV. And that is the truth.

Friends is available on Netflix now, if you need to be reminded why this ranked list is correct. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Ranked: Who was categorically the worst of Rachel’s boyfriends?

Take this quiz to find out if you’d end up with Joey, Ross or Chandler

Take this quiz to find out if you’re Monica, Rachel or Phoebe from Friends