Here Are 20 Famous Actors Who Guest-Starred On ‘Friends’

Who hasn’t laughed their heads off with Rachel, Monica, Joey, Chandler, Phoebe, and Rachel? Friends is definitely the all-time favorite of thousands of teens and adults when it comes to TV comedies. In fact, it’s so hard not to emphasize with these six characters and their hardships, that all of them have become part of our lives. However, apart from these famous leading roles, it’s also worth mentioning that the show has incorporated a great number of famous secondary characters, and many of them have been played by A-list stars. So here’s a list of the 20 most unforgettable celebrity guest stars on Friends. If you’re a major fan of the show, I’m pretty sure that all of them will ring a bell, and the respective episodes in which they’ve appeared will come to your mind in an instant!

Photo: Courtesy of TV Guide

#20. Paul Rudd

You may know Paul Rudd from his recurring roles in comedy films. He became a teen idol when he made his first notable performance in the film Clueless in 1995, but today we remember him as Mike, the guy who won the heart of the adored Phoebe Buffay. Mike was a lawyer who had given up his career to pursue his true passion: playing the piano. In that sense, he shared his musical spirit with Phoebe, who has given us wonderful songs like Smelly Cat.

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Mike came into our lives in the episode The One With The Pediatrician, as a result of a failed blind date that Joey and Phoebe agree to go on. The problem is that Joey completely forgets about the blind date, but he doesn’t dare to tell this to Phoebe. Therefore, he lies to her, saying that he had already found a date for her named Mike. However, he didn’t even know anyone with that name, so right before the date, he goes to Central Perk and begins to shout out the name “Mike” to the four winds, hoping that someone would reply. Mike Hannigan happened to be at the coffee shop, and… well, you know the rest!

#19. Robin Williams & Billy Crystal

The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion is the twenty-fourth episode of the third season of Friends. Billy Crystal and Robin Williams’s appearance wasn’t in the original script. They were, by coincidence, in the same building, or the one across the street from where the TV comedy was being filmed, and the writers asked if they wanted to make a guest appearance. This all happened on the same day of the shooting so it was just quickly thrown in.

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These infamous comedians made a brief but unforgettable impression! Only these two would dare burst into Central Perk and ask the six friends to move over on the couch. If you’ve seen this episode, you probably remember the awkward moment in which Williams starts crying and shouting at his friend for having cheated on his partner, right? What a scene!

#18. Charlie Sheen

You all know Charlie Sheen, right? His most famous role on television was on the comedy sitcom Two And A Half Men, where he played the role of Charlie Harper from 2003 until 2011. But did you know that he also appeared on a Friends episode?

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Way back in season 2, Charlie Sheen played Ryan. He’s a military man who, after spending months inside a submarine, comes back to Earth and shows up at Phoebe’s apartment. We then learn that Ryan was Phoebe’s former lover, and they go on a romantic date, but a huge obstacle comes in their way. Phoebe gets chickenpox, which is obviously super contagious, but Ryan decides to take the risk and kisses her anyway, thus contracting the disease.

#17. Julia Roberts

The Friends fans only had to wait one season to enjoy the show’s first great cameo. At the beginning of season 2, Julia Roberts appeared, playing the role of Chandler’s former schoolmate. Apparently, she was bullied by Chandler when they were at school together, so she decides to seek revenge and play a prank of her own.

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The One After the Superbowl happened to be the most-watched episode of the first five seasons. The director of the episode, Michael Lembeck, won an Emmy in 1996 in the category of Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing for a Comedy Series.

#16. Dakota Fanning

Remember this sweet little girl? In the episode The One With Princess Consuela she played Mackenzie, a girl who lived in the house that Monica and Chandler wanted to buy in the suburbs. She and Joey establish a close bond since she didn’t want to leave her home and he didn’t want his friends to leave Manhattan.

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Dakota Fanning was only 10 years old when she appeared in season 10. Before that, she had several guest roles in television series such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Practice, Ally McBeal, and Malcolm. She also made her film debut at the age of 7 when she played the role of Lucy in I am Sam.

#15. Gary Oldman

Another of the best guest stars that stood out in Friends was Gary Oldman. He played Richard Crosby, a veteran alcoholic actor who shares the scene with Joey in a First World War movie. It’s funny to see such a world-renowned actor play such a strange role on the show, isn’t it?

Photo: Courtesy of TV Guide

He appears in two episodes in Season 7, right when Monica and Chandler were about to get married. Apparently, Joey had lots of trouble when shooting his scenes with the veteran actor, because he wouldn’t stop spitting him in the face each time he recited his lines. When Joey confronts him, Crosby replies that the best thing an actor can do is to spit to emphasize the words. Joey follows his advice, and the two start spitting each other during their scenes. I know, it’s all very bizarre and ridiculous.

#14. Danny Devito

Phoebe Buffay was always portrayed as the odd one out, so it was obvious that her bachelorette party would end up being bizarre and out of the ordinary. Well, Phoebe was extremely deceived when she discovered that Rachel and Monica hadn’t hired a stripper, so they had to look a stripper up in the yellow pages and called the first number they found. However, little did they know that the stripper they hired was old, bald, and measured less than a meter and a half.

Photo: Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

So believe it or not, the stripper, named Officer Goodboy, was played by Danny DeVito. If you’ve seen the episode, I’m sure you vividly remember Danny DeVito’s erotic costume and sexy dance! But according to DeVito, he wanted the scene to be even more…memorable.

“I didn’t go down as far as I would like to have gone, but that’s okay,” DeVito said in the latest episode of PeopleTV’s Couch Surfing, while viewing the Friends scene with host Lola Ogunnaike. “You would have taken more pieces of clothing off?” Ogunnaike inquired. “Look at me, I’m fully clothed!” he said.

#13. Jeff Goldblum

Jeff Goldblum surprised his fans in a Season 9 episode, The One with the Mugging. He plays the role of a legendary director named Leonard Hayes, who happens to direct and star in a play that Joey auditions for. Hayes wasn’t convinced with Joey’s performance in the audition, but he gives him a second chance and gives him some useful advice on his acting skills. When Joey auditions for a second time, he is given the role. But do any of you remember what helped Joey get the role?

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Joey was told that he had to be more passionate in his acting, so he went to great lengths in order to impress Leonard. And he succeeded in his second audition… due to his dire need to visit the bathroom! Apparently, he could only achieve the “intensity” that Leonard asked for by desperately wanting to go to the toilet. When Leonard tells Joey that he got the role, they hug, and Joey can’t help but pee his pants right in front of him.

#12. Christina Applegate

Christina won an Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy for her role as Amy Green, which she played in two episodes of Friends. She plays Rachel’s older sister, but she’s definitely less lovely and way more careless. Remember the one where Amy can’t get anyone’s name right? And where she thinks that Ross is a falafel seller? Let’s relive that episode!

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When Amy meets her niece, Emma, for the first time, she can’t even manage to call the baby by the right name, calling her from Emmett to Emily. Then, when Rachel introduces her to Phoebe, she doesn’t believe that Phoebe is a real name. In fact, she says “Phoebe… that’s a weird noise“. Shortly after, she gets confused and thinks that Phoebe’s name is Emma and that Phoebe herself is Rachel’s daughter.

#11. George Clooney & Noah Wyle

The One with Two Parts is a hilarious yet dramatic chapter, as several fights stand in the way of our favorite group of friends. To begin with, Phoebe is deeply pissed with Joey, since she can’t stand the fact that his best friend and his twin sister are going on a date. But at the same time, Monica and Rachel pick up a fight… on a double date with George Clooney and Noah Wyle!

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The protagonists of the successful medical drama ER appear in this Friends episode, and they happen to play the role of two young doctors. Rachel hurts her ankle, but she switches identities with Monica so she can use her health insurance. When they meet these two doctors in the hospital, the four of them agree to go on a double date, but Rachel must pretend she’s Monica, and Monica must pretend she’s Rachel. I won’t spoil the rest of the chapter in case you haven’t seen it yet!

#10. Jennifer Coolidge

If you’ve seen all of the episodes, I’m pretty sure you vividly remember Amanda’s strange and comical fake British accent. Amanda, played by talented actress Jennifer Coolidge, is a friend of Phoebe and Monica, but neither of them can stand her. The best scene is when she tries to seduce Chandler with her horrendous dance.

Photo: Courtesy of The Independent

Before her appearance on Friends, the experimental comedian worked as a permanent actress on the show She TV, a short-lived TV comedy starring Nick Bakay, Elon Gold, Simbi Khali, and Linda Kash.

I bet you’ll never imagine who’s coming up next…

#9. Bruce Willis

When Ross gets involved in a relationship with one of his university students, he expects his father to have the best opinion of him. To his surprise, his father-in-law – played by Bruce Willis – and Rachel hit it off and start dating. Therefore, Ross sets up a double date between the four of them with the hope that Rachel would speak well of him, but as you may imagine, it ended up being super awkward.

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Seeing Willis play the role of an evil father-in-law is something you just can’t miss. And Rachel does her part too because she keeps on mentioning anecdotes that make Ross look like a horrible guy, such as the time he said the wrong name on the day of his wedding. Willis appeared in two more episodes, all of them in Season 6, and they’re all unmissable!

#8. Brad Pitt

Yes, when Brad Pitt appeared on Friends, he and Jennifer Anniston were still married! What makes the episode even funnier is that Brad plays the role of Will Colbert, Ross’s former best friend from high school, who hates Rachel with all his heart. In that episode, we learned that Ross and Will were responsible for having spread the rumor about Rachel having male and female reproductive organs back when they were in high school. This handsome man did a really good job making us laugh!

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The famous actor wasn’t the only one of Aniston’s couples who made a small appearance in the production. Another of his boyfriends, Tate Donovan, also appeared in several episodes, playing the role of the attractive Joshua, a client she intended to conquer at all costs.

#7. Reese Witherspoon

When Friends started, Rachel was just a spoiled girl who had never worked in her life. But several seasons later, we learned that the rest of the Greens were like that too. In Season 6, her younger sister Jill comes along, and we learn that she’s even more spoiled than Rachel. And who could’ve done a better job impersonating Jill than Hollywood icon Reese Witherspoon?

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Jill shows up unexpectedly at Rachel’s apartment after putting up a fight with his father Leonard. She attempts to start a new life, just like Rachel did years before, but Jill ends up breaking the rules: she buys a whole bunch of clothes with her dad’s credit card, and then he dates Ross to spite Rachel. Jill definitely gave us Legally Blonde flashbacks!

#6. Hugh Laurie

You’re all familiar with Hugh Laurie, right? He catapulted to fame during the 1980s, appearing in popular TV shows such as The Young Ones, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Blackadder, and Wooster. He also worked in several films like Peter’s Friends and 101 Dalmations. But a few years before he began starring in the TV medical drama House, he appeared in one of Friends‘ Season 5 episodes.

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In The One With Ross’ Wedding II, Laurie played the man on the plane sitting next to Rachel. He just couldn’t stand Rachel, considering how extremely anxious she was at the thought of declaring her love to Ross. His final line in the episode was memorable since he tells Rachel  “oh and by the way, it’s clear you were on a break”.

#5. Alec Baldwin

In The One with the Tea Leaves, Alec Baldwin played the role of Parker, an overly enthusiastic man who briefly dated Phoebe. His irrationally optimistic outlook on life eventually annoyed all of Phoebe’s friends. And it definitely produces the same effect on the audience: at first, you find him adorable, but after a while, you just can’t stand him any longer!

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Parker got excited by literally every object he saw and every situation he witnessed, and the rest of the group found him irritating. So, as they always do with each other’s dates, they start making fun of him behind Phoebe’s back. Phoebe happens to overhear their chat and she gets very pissed, but a few hours later she realizes that her friends were right: Parker was just too much to take!

#4. Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon played Cecilia Monroe in The One With Joey’s New Brain. The actress excelled in her performance and received an Emmy nomination for Best Guest Actress in a Comedy. Do you remember what happened in this episode?

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Sarandon played a drama actress who was going to be dismissed from Joey’s soap opera, Days of Our Lives. As always, the plot of Joey’s show makes us laugh because of how bad it is. Sarandon’s character in the soap opera is killed after she gets electrocuted, and then, doctors transplant her brain into Joey’s character, Dr. Drake Ramoray. How could that even be possible?

#3. Anna Faris

Anna Farias takes the role of Erica, an expectant mother who gives up her baby for adoption. She first appears in the episode The One With the Birth Mother. When Monica and Chandler realize they are unable to conceive, they contact an adoption agency, and they eventually travel to Ohio to meet Erica, hoping she would choose them as her baby’s adoptive parents.

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Faris told Media Village how her first day on Friends was like.

“I was really intimidated. It was also a big thrill to be a part of something so iconic, but mostly I was really terrified. It was a whole new format from anything I’d done and they were all so good at it, they’d been doing it for years. So it was very intimidating and basically terrifying for me”, she said.

#2. Selma Blair

When Chandler moves to Tulsa, Oklahoma in season 9, his coworker Wendy – played by Selma Blair – is more than happy to flirt with him while Monica is stuck back in New York. But tension builds up when Chandler is forced to work on Christmas and sends everyone home, while Wendy decides to stay and keep him company.

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Just when Wendy was about to give Chandler a kiss, Monica gives him a call. When Monica realizes that his husband was alone in the office with a much younger woman, she pisses off and hangs up. Chandler impulsively decides to quit his job and travel back to Manhattan, and he takes all his friends by surprise when he shows up moments before Christmas Eve.

#1. Winona Ryder

The One with Rachel Big Kiss is a chapter that fans won’t forget. In this chapter, Winona Ryder plays the role of Melissa, Rachel’ls old college partner. We eventually learn that the two of them had kissed on a high school party. However, Phoebe doesn’t believe that Rachel and Melissa kissed, claiming that Rachel was “too vanilla” to do something of the sort.

Photo: Courtesy of TV Guide

Apart from that, Melissa denies that the kiss ever happened, making Phoebe feel even more suspicious. Rachel is furious with Melissa’s denial and Phoebe’s mistrust, so she kisses Melissa to remind her of what had happened that night. This epic scene shows Rachel’s wildest side, and what comes next is just hilarious. All of a sudden, Melissa remembers their high school kiss, and she impulsively confesses her love for Rachel. What a plot twist!

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