For someone who grew up watching Friends, it's strange to watch the show back after all these years. What you notice most about it now is the influence it has on so many of the current shows we see, Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Rules of Engagement to name but a few, have all taken at least a little of what Friends had and tried to replicate it for a new generation.
The popularity of this show was incredible, and it wasn't just the main characters that made this show what it was, it's also the sheer volume of guest stars that appeared in it. Ranging from a brief cameo to a several episode stretch, usually as one of the main character's romantic interests. Now, these characters ranged from the forgettable to the insane, and some were just memorable as being great actors doing what they do best. I've tried to compile a list of the best guest roles on the show.
25. Dakota Fanning - "The One with Princess Consuela"
24. Charlie Sheen - "The One with the Chicken Pox"
23. Charlton Heston - "The One with Joey's Dirty Day"
22. Elle Macpherson - "The One Where Phoebe Runs"
21. Susan Sarandon - "The One with Joey's New Brain"
20. Denise Richards - "The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin"
19. Alec Baldwin - "The One with the Tea Leaves"
18. Reese Witherspoon - "The One with Rachel's Sister"
17. Jon Favreau - "The One with the Hypnosis Tape"
16. George Clooney and Noah Wyle - "The One with Two Parts (Part 2)"
15. Winona Ryder - "The One with Rachel's Big Kiss"
14. Jean Claude Van Damme - "The One with the Superbowl (Part 2)"
13. Jeff Goldblum - "The One With the Mugging"
12. Julia Roberts - "The One with the Superbowl (Part 2)"
11. Hugh Laurie - "The One with Ross' Wedding (Part 1)"
Before we get into the epic top 10, I'll do some honorable mentions, because the brilliance of some extras were not able to be contained on this list.
- Christina Applegat e- "The One with Rachel's Other Sister"
- Jill Goodacre - "The One with the Blackout"
- Richard Branson - "The One with Ross' Wedding (Part 1)"
- Sean Penn - "The One with the Halloween Party"
- Steve Zahn - "The One with Phoebe's Husband"
10. Jon Lovitz - "The One with the Stoned Guy"
Jon Lovitz starred in two different episodes, and stole the show both times. He was absolutely brilliant as the Stoned Guy Monica cooks for, and then in his second appearance he was just as good as Rachel's blind date. Absolutely fantastic!
9. Anna Faris - "The One with the Birth Mother"
Anna Faris appeared in several episodes in the final season as the real mother of the twins that Monica and Chandler adopted. She was particularly excellent in the episode where she explained that she didn't know who the real father of the baby was. I love her in anything, and seeing her in Friends was a giggle-filled thrill!
8. Ben Stiller - "The One with the Screamer"
While he only appeared in one episode, Ben Stiller made it an amazing episode. Ross' frustration at being unable to catch him screaming at anything was finally ended in the scene above, which makes me laugh uncontrollably to this day.
7. Billy Crystal and Robin Williams - "The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion"
This was just one of the best scenes in Friends ever! Watch at the end, even the Friends are left stunned by it. Two of the greatest comedy actors ever just walked in and sat down, making everyone realize how good this sitcom show was.
6. Danny DeVito - "The One where the Stripper Cries"
Danny DeVito came on Friends... and stripped. Yep. That sounds amazing, and when you watch the episode you see just how amazing. This was seriously excellent, and it's even better watching it now after 10 seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
5. Brad Pitt - "The One with the Rumor"
This was hilarious and ironic in so many ways, especially watching Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston fight onscreen. His character was perfect, and being part of the 'I Hate Rachel Greene Club' with Ross was brilliant.
4. Gary Oldman - "The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding (Part 1)"
When the writers of the show attempted to figure out how to celebrate Monica and Chandler's wedding, I would love to have seen the moment one of them stood up and said, "I've got it. Let's get Gary Oldman to come on the show, spit on Joey and then get drunk and try to cut a steak with a sword!" Gary Oldman made me cry laughing the first time I watched this episode, and I still end up in stitches even though I know what's coming. Sheer brilliance from the man.
3. Bruce Willis - "The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad"
Words cannot describe this scene, and the rest of the several episodes that Bruce Willis spent on Friends. He was the intimidating father of Ross' much younger girlfriend, and then broke down crying for a whole episode, which was both unbelievable and comedic brilliance! If he had been on a little longer, he may have made it into the top two!
2. Paul Rudd - "The One with the Pediatrician"
Paul Rudd as Mike Hannigan did something many had tried to do, but none except for him ever achieved. They married into the Friends (permanently, we're not counting your list of wives Ross)! He almost became a recurring character through Seasons 9 and 10, but not quite, so he's allowed on this list. He was hilarious as Mike, especially when he was fighting Monica at ping-pong in Barbados! Unfortunately for Ant-Man, there is one man who beats all, maybe Paul can match him in comedic genius, but never in facial hair!
1. Tom Selleck - "The One Where Ross and Rachel... You Know"
Richard Burke nearly stole Monica from Chandler! That's how good Tom Selleck is! He was the ultimate guest star, from moments like this to stealing Monica's underwear in the middle of the video store, he always made an episode great, and let's be honest, at the time we were all extremely upset when he left even though it later opened the door for Monica and Chandler.
That's it! Did you like the list? Follow The Comical Theory for more on whatever I feel like writing about. Warning, it could be pretty much anything.
I'll leave you with this...