If we ask around, almost everyone has seen the iconic show Friends at least once sometime in their lives (even if it was just in snatches as kids while our parents watched the show, eagerly anticipating each new episode weekly and waiting to find out if their ships get together or not in the end—ah, how times have changed). Others have seen the show so many times that we have whole lines memorized and can tell which season a randomly selected episode is from simply by cues such what everyone is wearing and Monica's hairstyles.
For those who are less familiar with the show, it ran from September 1994 to May 2004, and was incredibly successful. Our generation's equivalent of it would probably be The Big Bang Theory. In Friends, we follow the ups and downs of life with six friends living and working in New York.
Monica Gellar and Ross Gellar are siblings with family problems (she works as a chef and he is a paleontologist at the local museum), Joey Tribbiani is a somewhat successful actor who is roommates with Chandler Bing who went to college with Ross and eventually marries Monica. Rachel Green went to high school with Ross and Monica, works in the fashion industry and has a frustrating on-again-off-again relationship with Ross, and rounding out the group is Phoebe Buffay who used to be Monica's roommate and works as a masseuse. And these are some of the guest stars we forgot about.
16 Anna Faris: Twins DO Run In Her Family
In Season 10, Anna Faris makes several guest star appearances as the pregnant birth mother of Monica and Chandler's little twins. According to Hollywood, she may not be a very bright character but she was very memorable and important to the storyline. Anna plays Erica who is a young single woman pregnant with twins (unknowingly to her or the Bings). She first meets Monica and Chandler when they fly out to meet her in the hopes she'll let them adopt her baby.
After a slight identity mix-up, she agrees to give them her baby and then visits them in New York where she has a blast. Very conveniently, she goes into labor and everyone rushes down to the hospital where she successfully delivers a tiny little girl and a little boy. In her honor, Monica and Chandler name the girl Erica. Anna's film breakthrough came about in 2000 with the lead role in Scary Movie and she went onto to star in the sequels as well as The Hot Chick, Winter Break, Brokeback Mountain, Just Friends, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Mama's Boy, Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and 22 Jump Street.
15 Jane Lynch: I'll Sell You The House
In Season 10, lots of things are changing. This translates to ending for us (and Joey who is very overdramatic at this stage in life), but it's always nice to have loose ends wrapped up. According to Bustle, Jane Lynch guest stars as a real estate agent who shows Monica and Chandler the house for sale next to the one they're currently buying. A very brief role but it ranks Lynch as one of the last guest stars on a famous and successful show.
In this episode, Monica is curious about the house next door and wants to take a look which results in a nasty surprise of a potential new neighbor in the form of Janice, Chandler's old on-again-off-again girlfriend.
Meanwhile, Joey's agent has died and no one knows how to tell him. Lynch is a hilarious and very well known actress and comedian who is best known for her work on Glee and she has appeared in numerous television shows and films. She is partially deaf in one ear which she attributes to a high fever as an infant. She is openly gay and was married for three years to a clinical psychologist named Lara Embry.
14 Cole/Dylan Sprouse: Little Ben
Sprinkled throughout Seasons 7 and 8 are appearances by Ross Gellar's son, Ben. According to Bustle, this role is played by the adorable Cole and Dylan Sprouse—two well-known child actors at the time. They play Ben whenever he visits his dad and aunt Monica as a pre-teen boy. He gets along well with Rachel after she teaches him some pranks which Ross doesn't approve of and then he and Joey team up in an attempt to earn the roles of father and son on a TV commercial at an audition but they are switched with a different man and boy at the last minute.
Interestingly, these are some of the last appearances of Ross' son though he is mentioned a few more times later on. Apparently, teenage Ben Gellar wasn't something that the writers wanted to explore as the plot went with Ross and Rachel's baby Emma. The Sprouse twins are best known for their longtime role on the Disney Channel show The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and its spinoff show The Suite Life on Deck. Cole Sprouse currently stars as Jughead Jones on the new CW thriller, Riverdale and keeps fans entertained with appearances, interviews, and tweets. While Dylan is very active on social media and has three new projects in post-production according to his IMDB page.
13 Christina Applegate: Rachel's Sister—Amy
Guest starring in one episode in Season 9 which aired in 2002, and another episode in Season 10 in 2003, Christina Applegate very successfully brought Rachel Green's spoiled sister Amy to life. In the first episode she stars in, Christina introduces us to Amy who can't keep anyone straight—stating that Ross was the nerdy boy who followed Rachel around school all the time and worked with dinosaurs while Monica is reduced to "crazy plate lady"—and rattles on about wanting Rachel and Ross to die and leave her their little baby, Emma. That makes for a very memorable Thanksgiving.
In her second episode, Amy babysits her toddler niece Emma and gets her ears pierced without the parents' consent which doesn't go unpunished. According to Backstage, Christian Applegate won an Emmy for outstanding guest actress in a comedy for her role as Amy. While she eventually went onto other projects—which include Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Employee of the Month, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Going The Distance, Hall Pass, The Book of Life, Vacation, Bad Moms, Crash Pad and A Bad Moms Christmas to name a few—fans will always view her as Amy Green.
12 Reese Witherspoon: Rachel's Other Sister—Jill
Rachel is only one of three very rich spoiled sisters and when her younger sister, Jill, comes to call—things get a little weird. Reese Witherspoon hasn't always been famous and according to Backstage, before she won her Oscar in 2006 for Best Actress in Walk The Line, she played a minor and humorous role on Friends as Rachel's sister Jill. In Season 6 (which aired in 2000), Jill comes to visit Rachel and ends up attempting to date Ross to get back at Rachel who took her credit cards away.
Now at this point in the storyline, Ross and Rachel are baby-less but back in one of their "We're off but I'll get upset if you date anyone else" tangles and Rachel just can't stand the idea of Jill going out with her ex-boyfriend. Of course, they can't just out and out say it so some humor follows. After this little boost to fame, Reese went on to star in The Trumpet of The Swan, Legally Blonde, The Importance of Being Earnest, Sweet Home Alabama, Vanity Fair and Just Like Heaven. After winning her Oscar, she continued in a line of moderately successful films and television appearances.
11 Dakota Fanning: The House Is Haunted
In Season 10 which aired in 2004, Monica and Chandler are looking at a house outside the city to raise their brand new adopted twins in and they drag Joey out to look at it one day. While there, he sulks in a bedroom and meets a little girl played by Dakota Fanning. According to Ranker, the child star was only ten at the time and she played an eight year old girl wise beyond her years. The two bond over Joey's stupid friends buying the house and Dakota's stupid parents selling the house.
Later on, Joey is pouring out his worries over his acting career to Dakota over the phone and she wisely decides to put him on with her teddy bear for better advice. Chandler tries to prank Joey by saying the girl was a ghost. Dakota started acting at the age of five and played a crash victim on ER which remains one of her favorite roles. She is currently set to appear in Ocean's 8 which will be released later this year to fans' enthusiasm. Other familiar films she's starred in include War of the Worlds, Nine Lives, Charlotte's Web, The Secret Life of Bees, Coraline, Push, and The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
10 Alec Baldwin: Everything Is Marvelous!
In 2002 for Season 8, Alec Baldwin memorably guest stars in two episodes as Phoebe's new boyfriend who, according to Hollywood, is an overenthusiastic and exhausting creature. At first, this is what Phoebe likes about him and thinks his lighthearted happiness pairs well with her own weird darkness, but after attending Ross and Monica's parents' anniversary dinner together, Phoebe is socially worn out and exhausted by the high energy levels and constant happy chatter from her new boyfriend. They break up dramatically and Alec doubles-back to comment on what a fantastic fight they are having.
While he was a hit with audiences, he was still a very annoying and hilarious character that we're glad is only fictional. Poor Phoebe just wanted to try something new and different from her usual type of lovers. Alec Baldwin has been married twice, has four children who include Ireland Baldwin, and has often gotten himself into trouble with his political opinions and actions. None of this has stopped him from having a successful film career and making a name for himself in his chosen industry. He's well known enough to be easily recognizable by millions of people, making his Friends appearance all the more hilarious.
9 Jennifer Coolidge: It's Not Perfume, It's Her Natural Scent
Before she starred in Two Broke Girls, Jennifer Coolidge guest starred on Friends for one hilarious episode in Season 10 which aired in 2003. According to Backstage, Jennifer is a former friend of Monica and Phoebe's who annoys them with her fake British accent. She attempts to merge back into the trio and resume being friends together but inadvertently reveals that Phoebe had once tried to drop Monica as her friend the same way that they are now trying to drop Jennifer. Of course, Jennifer's character is blissfully unaware of all this and gleefully displays her unique dancing talents for Chandler who is confused but impressed.
While all this is going on, Joey and Rachel balance out the episode with their own drama, much to our amusement and a little bit of encouraged shipper hope thrown in. Aside from Friends and 2 Broke Girls, Coolidge has also starred in Legally Blonde 2, American Wedding, A Cinderella Story, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Robots, Date Movie, Click, Foreign Exchange, Igor, Soul Men, ExTerminators, The Jack of Spades, Austenland, Alexander and The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Hell and Back, and The Emoji Movie as Mary Meh.
8 Jon Favreau: Ultimate Fighting Champion
For six episodes way back in Season 3 which aired in 1996-1997, a young Jon Favreau plays Monica's new boyfriend Pete Becker. According to Backstage, he is richer than rich and entices Monica by buying a restaurant and making her the head chef. This allows Monica the freedom to leave her horrible diner job and really do something that she loves, even if she doesn't necessarily love Pete at first. As their whirlwind relationship progresses, things become steady and look good for the couple until Pete decides to become the world's ultimate fighting champion.
Watching him get beaten to a pulp on television about does it for Monica and the two break things off for good. But he was a really great guest star and fans missed him when he left. Favreau has dabbled in acting but his strength and current interest is in directing. His first successful film as director was Elf and he followed that up with Zathura, Iron Man, Iron Man 2 (in which he also appeared as Tony Stark's bodyguard/driver Happy Hogan to fans' delight). Having solidified his status as a ranking director with Iron Man, Favreau went onto to direct John Carter, Cowboys and Aliens, and the latest Avenger films.
7 Julia Roberts: It's Payback Time
In a two-part episode of Season 2 which aired in 1996, Julia Roberts memorably guest stars alongside Jean-Claude Van Damme to produce some tension and drama in a very comedic fashion. According to People, Julia played Chandler's old school friend Susie Moss who has nursed a grudge against him for years and finally has her chance at revenge. She seduces Chandler and manipulates him into a very embarrassing situation before coldheartedly ditching him and is never seen again. Ross and Joey later find Chandler and crack up.
Meanwhile, Monica and Rachel get into a huge fight over Jean and Phoebe has to dramatically step in to resolve the conflict for them. They don’t exactly appreciate her help. This was quite a hilarious episode in the early days of the show. Roberts made a name for herself in 1990 with the hugely successful film Pretty Woman and went onto other big name films. She and her sister run their own production company called Red Om Films and she has three children with her second and current husband. Roberts has stated that she is a practicing Hindu and gave her children new Hindi names while filming on location for Eat Pray Love.
6 Bruce Willis: He's The Man
In three back to back episodes in Season 6 which aired in 2000, Bruce Willis successfully guest stars as Elizabeth's dad. According to TV Guide, Bruce Willis won his second Emmy for this role as intimidating dad followed up by weepy boyfriend. Ross is currently a professor at his local college and starts up a relationship with one of his students, Elizabeth. But her macho father doesn't approve of Ross in any way at all and tells them to break up.
Meanwhile, Bruce starts dating Rachel which makes things weird for Ross who still can't fully get over his ex-girlfriend, despite having a girlfriend of his own currently. Rachel then asks Bruce to share with her and ends up breaking him a bit. Not attracted to a manly man weeping, Rachel dumps him.
By the time he appeared in Friends, Bruce was already a big name actor from his successful film Die Hard which is mentioned as one of Joey and Chandler's favorite films to binge on. In the same year, Die Hard 2 was released and Bruce continued making his now-legendary action films which include Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element, Mercury Rising, Armageddon, The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and the Die Hard sequels.
5 Steve Zahn: I'm Not Really Gay
In one episode in Season 2 which aired in 1995, we get a glimpse into Phoebe's wild and mysterious past when her husband shows up asking for a divorce. According to Backstage, Steve Zahn plays Phoebe's Canadian husband whom she married so he could U.S. citizenship.
At the time, they both thought that he was gay which fit his career of being an ice skater but she when goes to see him, he reveals that he isn't actually gay and needs a divorce so he can get married for love this time. This creates a hilarious flip on the usual big reveal and Phoebe is profoundly shocked by the revelations while her friends enjoy the peek into her life and laugh at her expense to a degree. It made a unique episode.
After his Friends appearance, Zahn went onto to make a name for himself in the film industry and starred in Race The Sun, That Thing You Do, You've Got Mail, Forces of Nature, Chain of Fools, Stuart Little, Dr. Dolittle 2, Riding in Cars With Boys, Daddy Day Care, Employee of the Month, Chicken Little, Sahara, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Escape from Planet Earth, The Good Dinosaur and War For The Planet of The Apes.
4 Hugh Laurie: Man On The Plane
In the final explosive episode for Season 4 which aired in 1998, Hugh Laurie guest stars as the man on the plane. According to Hollywood, his chill performance balancing out the high energy of Rachel Green made him wonderfully memorable. Plus he's bluntly and hilariously rude to Rachel. Rachel is on the last minute flight to England to declare her on-again love for Ross and ruin his wedding to his English sweetheart Emily.
As she pours all this out to another trapped passenger on the plane, Huge Laurie finally cuts in and gives her a piece of his mind—telling her that she is a very horrible person for wanting to so selfishly ruin someone's happily ever after simply because she waited too long to figure herself out and wants Ross back. Huge Laurie lives half the time in England with his loving family and half the time in LA filming the successful show House. The separation from his family while working on the show has taken a toll on Laurie and he's talked about his depression openly. He first realized he was depressed in 2006 when he was at a car derby and his response to exploding cars and the chaos around him was one of boredom.
3 Charlie Sheen: Oh, The Itching!
Toward the end of Season 2 in 1996, Charlie Sheen made his guest star appearance on Friends. According to Bustle, he plays a Navy man who sails into Phoebe's life occasionally and rocks her world. However, this time all her carefully laid plans and weeks of anticipation end in disaster when Phoebe comes down with the dreaded chicken pox. All would be well except for the unfortunate turn of events that reveals her Navy man has never had the irritating disease either.
Unable to keep themselves apart, they end up getting covered in itchy spots and not at all enjoying their time together in the way they'd imagined. Monica even tapes them into oven mitts to stop their scratching. This doesn't stall them as much as Monica had hoped but it makes for a hilarious episode in all.
Since his Friends appearance, Sheen went onto to star in Two and a Half Men to immense successful before his career crashed and burned (with some timely help from his own actions). He has set two Guinness World Records—one for Fastest Time to Reach One Million Followers on Twitter and the other for Highest Paid TV Actor Per Episode.
2 Helen Hunt: And You Are?
In an episode from Season 1 which aired in 1994, we get a mini crossover when Helen Hunt guest stars. According to Backstage, Helen plays her character, Jamie Buchman from another show entitled Mad About You which ran from 1992 to 1999, when she and a friend randomly stop in at the cute coffee shop Central Perk. While there, they attempt to order coffee and see Phoebe.
Since Phoebe has an identical twin sister named Ursula, the visitors mistake Phoebe for her and ask for some coffee. Ursula is a famously horrible waitress at her job across town so Helen and her pal aren't too fazed when they don't actually get any of the coffee they requested. Instead, they gossip a little and then head back out as the episode resumes its course, leaving Phoebe completely unaware that she was just mistaken for her horrible sister.
After her Friends appearance, Hunt went onto to star in the wildly successful disaster film Twister followed over the years by such films as As Good As It Get, What Women What, Pay It Forward, Cast Away, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, A Good Woman, Bobby, Then She Found Me and Candy Jar.
1 David Arquette: I'm A Reformed Stalker
In Season 3 which aired in 1996, David Arquette guest stars. According to Hollywood, he plays a stalker of Ursula's who starts following Phoebe around after mistaking her for her twin sister. Phoebe confronts him, sets him straight on the identity part and then the two start casually dating. On the advice of her friends, however, Phoebe checks up on him and finds that he is still hung up on Ursula and following her around. They obviously break up but Phoebe offers to help wean him off of her sister to make the transition easier.
Later on, off camera, David and Courtney Cox (who played Monica Gellar) got married in real life and stayed married for a solid ten years. For Hollywood, that's an impressively long time for a marriage to last. They were married in 1999 and had a daughter named Coco in 2004. In 2012 after a trial separation, Arquette filed for divorce which was finalized in 2013. He went on to remarry and have a son in 2014. He struggled with alcohol addiction and was checked into rehab in 2011. He put the effort in and got himself sobered up which he proudly shared on the Jay Leno Show later that year.