Friends had a lot of memorable scenes, jokes, and characters, but its best-supporting characters didn’t have as much screen time as many might think. This shows that they didn’t have to be in the spotlight to leave an impression on the show. Many great sitcoms in the 1990s became TV classics, but Friends. Which want 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, is still considered one of the best shows, and has a solid fan base.
Friends took place in New York City and followed the lives of six young adults as they tried to balance their social, personal, and professional lives while also dealing with everything that adulthood threw at them. Throughout 10 seasons, viewers got to know Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, Joey, Rachel, and Ross well and saw them do several ups and downs in all aspects of their lives. They also met various supporting characters, many of whom became fan favorites. Like Chandler’s ex-girlfriend Janice (Maggie Wheeler) and Phoebe’s husband, Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd).
Friends’ most popular supporting characters greatly impacted the main characters’ lives and, in some cases, moved their storylines forward. However, to the audience’s surprise, Friends’ best-supporting characters didn’t have that big of a role in the show, and they were in less than 10% of the episodes.
Why are the supporting characters in Friends so easy to remember (despite Little Screentime)?
Friends have 236 episodes; the most popular supporting characters were in less than 30 of them. For example, Ross and Monica’s father, Jack Geller, was in 22 episodes, Janice was in 19, Mike was in 17, and Monica’s ex-boyfriend, Richard Burke, was in 17. (10 episodes). Even so, these characters became very popular, and their absence from most of the series isn’t missed.
This is because they added to the main characters’ stories, made memorable scenes, and had their charm. And in some cases, like Janice, had catchphrases that people still remember.
Unlike his wife Judy, Jack Geller became one of the Friends’ most popular supporting characters because of how he interacted with Ross and Monica. He was the most supportive and caring parent and had some funny scenes. Janice was in every season of Friends, and every time she came back, she said her catchphrase, “Oh my God!” She always found a way to sneak into the main characters’ stories. Whether by getting back together with Chandler or dating Ross. Giving birth at the same hospital on the same day as Rachel. Or moving next door to Chandler and Monica’s new house.
Because of Paul Rudd’s charm and sense of humor and how well he got along with Lisa Kudrow’s Phoebe. Mike became one of the best supporting characters on Friends. Mike also gave Phoebe something she’d never had: a loving, stable home and a family. Their senses of humor were also a perfect match. Last but not least, Richard changed things on Friends when he started dating Monica, who is much younger than him.
When they broke up, it was hard for Monica. Richard’s last appearance on Friends was tense because he tried to get back together with Monica just as Chandler was about to ask her to marry him. But Monica chose Chandler in the end.
The best-supporting characters on Friends didn’t need much screen time to win over the audience. They all had a unique sense of humor and comedic style that made it easy for them to connect with the audience. And they all added to the main characters’ stories in different but essential ways.