Skip to main content

The 6 most likable characters on Friends, ranked

The magic of Friends was always that it felt like every episode was a visit with friends you actually knew. When you really think about it, though, some of the characters on Friends would be better actual friends than others.

Of the six core characters on the show, a few would be genuinely great hangs, and a couple of others may be genuinely difficult to deal with. The show is currently streaming on HBO Max, and we thought we’d use that occasion to rank the six core friends from most to least likable.

6. Ross

Image used with permission by copyright holder

It’s a bit obvious, maybe, but Ross had to land at the bottom of this list. His relationship with Rachel may have seemed like an ideal one, but, especially as it began to deteriorate, he got clingy and possessive.

Whether you think he cheated on Rachel or not, it’s fairly clear that he didn’t treat her very well. After their breakup, Ross doesn’t get any less obnoxious. He blows every relationship he’s in, and is generally prickly and high-strung. A bad boyfriend, and not a great friend either.

5. Monica

Courteney Cox as Monica Geller
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Monica is a good friend, but she’s also pretty high-strung. As a result, the other friends in the group often find themselves accommodating her various demands. She has a few moments of genuine sincerity, and they do ultimately make her a more endearing person.

Ultimately, though, her friends find themselves supporting her much more often than the other way around. As a result, Monica may be the neediest member of her friend group, even if her needs come loaded with good intentions.

4. Chandler

Joey and Chandler sitting on the floor in Friends.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

His sarcasm can be hilarious, but it does feel like Chandler’s heavy reliance on it comes in place of any attempt to genuinely connect with those around him. That quality does improve somewhat over the show’s run, but Chandler remains the friend you may most want to punch in the face.

His relationship with Monica ultimately humanizes them both, but it’s not enough to save either of them from the bottom half of this list. Chandler may be an okay drinking buddy, but he’s not the kind of person you’d want to confide everything in.

3. Rachel

Jennifer Aniston in Friends
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Rachel’s main problem comes from her spoiled little rich girl status, but as she sheds that, she only becomes easier and easier to like. She comes out looking like a million bucks following her breakup with Ross, and seeing her succeed in her career felt almost revolutionary.

Rachel’s perspective has its limits, but in the end, she turns out to be a pretty decent friend to everyone else in her group. Should she have given Ross another chance? Maybe not, but we can’t hold that against her.

2. Joey

FRIENDS — “The One Where No One’s Ready” — Episode 2 — Aired 9/26/1996 — Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing — Photo by: NBCU Photo Bank Image used with permission by copyright holder

Joey is a womanizer, and that’s definitely not a great thing. Otherwise, though, he is also compassionate and caring. What’s more, he genuinely evolves and grows over the course of the show’s seasons. He’s never the sharpest tool in the shed, but he gets more and more emotionally intelligent as the seasons pass.

He also has no moments of major betrayal, which is not true for many of his other friends. Joey is certainly the best male friend in this group, and his worst sin is often being more careless or stupid than he should be.

1. Phoebe

Lisa Kudrow in Friends
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Phoebe can be a little clueless on occasion, but other than that, she seems like a genuinely great hang. She’s fun to be around, funny, and she plays guitar! She doesn’t do it all that well, but she cares about the well-being of her friends and often prioritizes their happiness over her own.

It’s telling, of course, that Phoebe’s backstory was often so tragic. She didn’t have the kind of easy life that many of her friends did, and in the end, it might have made her a more likable person.

You can watch all 10 seasons of Friends on HBO Max.

Editors' Recommendations

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
Most likable characters in The Witcher, ranked
The Witcher wielding a sword in a scene from the second season of the Netflix series.

The Witcher franchise remains a priority at Netflix. The streamer recently released a spinoff, The Witcher: Blood Origin, setting the stage for the show's third season, which will premiere later this year. Although the show rides on the talent and likability of its trio of leads -- Henry Cavill (for now, anyway), Anya Chalotra, and Freya Allan -- The Witcher also benefits from a cast of compelling and likable supporting characters.

These figures keep the show interesting and compelling, especially as it ventures further away from the source material. And while many fans disagree with Netflix's numerous changes to Andrzej Sapkowski's beloved novels, these characters are easy to root for and support, keeping audiences invested in the otherwise divisive story. Whether they're stoic monster hunters-turned-reluctant father figures, powerful but misunderstood sorceresses in search of redemption, or clumsy bards along for the ride, these characters are a key source of The Witcher's popularity.
5. Vesemir

Read more
6 things we hope to see in DC’s upcoming Green Lantern series, Lanterns
Hal Jordan and John Stewart in "Young Justice."

James Gunn recently announced the films and TV shows part of the first chapter of his DC Universe, one being the long-awaited HBO Max series about the Green Lanterns, Lanterns. Described by fellow DC films co-head Peter Safran as "a huge, HBO-quality event," this upcoming streaming show is the culmination of the Green Lantern Corps project that has been in development hell as far back as 2014.

According to Gunn, the show will be about two of DC's most well-known Green Lanterns, Jon Stewart and Hal Jordan. In his recent announcement, Gunn said, "we have a few other Lanterns peppered in there, but this is really a terrestrial-based TV show which is almost like True Detective with a couple of Green Lanterns who are space cops watching over Precinct Earth." This is the first time the Lanterns will have their own live-action project since the panned 2011 movie, so DC has many things they need to get right for this series to shine.
A cosmic scope

Read more
The most likable characters on That ’90s Show, ranked
The cast of kids from That '90s Show posing around the basement couch.

For fans of That ‘70s Show, it may be difficult to come to terms with the fact that the time period in which the sitcom initially aired is now considered a throwback era for the sequel series. Set in the same home in Point Place, Wisconsin, 15 years after the events that ended That ‘70s Show, That ‘90s Show follows Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna’s (Laura Prepon) teenage daughter, Leia (Callie Haverda), and the antics she gets up to with new friends she meets in town.

What was to be a quick visit with her grandparents Red and Kitty (Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, reprising their parental roles) turns into a summer that saves Leia from having to attend Space Camp with her dad. The nerdy loner Leia happens upon a group of teenage outcasts with whom she fits right in precisely because none of them truly fits in either. Through the 10-episode first season, a few characters have already emerged as fan favorites.
7. Jay Kelso

Read more