On the long-running NBC sitcom Friends, the main characters’ relationships took precedence over broadly comedic characters, but the show’s 10 seasons still brought plenty of opportunities for amusing supporting performances. Here’s a look at the top 10 Friends minor characters, the funniest and weirdest recurring players who helped make Monica (Courteney Cox), Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Ross (David Schwimmer), Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) look like the most normal, well-adjusted people around.
1. Janice (Maggie Wheeler)
Chandler’s on-again, off-again girlfriend always popped up at the most inopportune moments, with her nasal voice and whinnying laugh and annoying catch phrase (“Oh. My. God.”). But she was amusing in her persistence—so dogged was her pursuit of Chandler that he once pretended to move to Yemen to avoid her.
2. Gunther (James Michael Tyler)
Gunther was there from the very beginning, standing in the background serving the friends coffee at Central Perk. Eventually he declared his long-simmering love for Rachel, but the poor guy was no match for her epic romance with Ross.
3. Estelle Leonard (June Gable)
Joey’s decidedly old-school talent agent was mostly dedicated to getting acting work for him, although she was prone to retribution if she thought she was being crossed. When Estelle died, Joey discovered he was one of only two clients she had, which may have explained why she paid him so much attention.
4. Mr. Heckles (Larry Hankin)
Monica and Rachel’s crotchety downstairs neighbor was always complaining about the noise and behaving strangely. Although he was mostly a hassle for the friends, they discovered unknown depths to him when he left all his things to Monica and Rachel following his death.
5. Ursula Buffay (Lisa Kudrow)
Phoebe’s twin sister started out as a character on Mad About You and was retroactively imported into Friends thanks to Lisa Kudrow playing both parts. She frequently caused trouble for her sister, using Phoebe’s name for her porn career and letting her stalker assume Phoebe was her.
6. Eddie Menuek (Adam Goldberg)
When Joey moved into his own apartment after achieving success as an actor, Chandler was stuck with new roommate Eddie, a weirdo who watched Chandler sleep and stole the insoles from his shoes. Eventually Joey moved back in, and he and Chandler got rid of Eddie by pretending they had never met him.
7. Frank Buffay Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi)
Phoebe’s excitable half-brother was a bit of a strange guy, but he gradually warmed up to his half-sister and ended up enlisting her as a surrogate mother when he and his much-older wife couldn’t have kids on their own.
8. Nora Bing (Morgan Fairchild)
Chandler’s mother was flamboyant and inappropriate, once even kissing Ross, and a frequent source of embarrassment for her son. But she also was a loving and supportive parent who was there for him when he needed her.
9. Paul Stevens (Bruce Willis)
When Ross started dating one of his own students, he was intimidated by her overprotective father Paul, played with full tough-guy menace by Bruce Willis. But when Paul started dating Rachel, he turned out to be a softie, and she couldn’t handle his emotional vulnerability.
10. Doug (Sam McMurray)
Chandler’s glad-handing boss was a little too corporate and a little too demonstrative for the low-key Chandler to handle, and Doug’s habit of slapping his male co-workers on the behind only served to make people uncomfortable.