The Best and Worst Casting Decisions on 'Friends'

Friends ran from 1994-2004, a lot of time for different characters, storylines, and actors. From the Robin Williams cameo to the role of Monica Geller, there were numerous casting decisions made in the ten years of the show's success. 


Here are our favorite casting decisions, and the ones we really didn't like, as inspired by Screen Rant.

10. Bruce Willis (Paul Stevens)

Bruce Willis came onto the show during Season 6 as Ross' girlfriend's father. Paul does not approve of Ross dating his college-age daughter, and later begins dating Rachel. 


Bruce won an Emmy for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy doing this role, but his character was somewhat disruptive, with a storyline lasting way too long. He was also strangely developed as a tough guy, and then a romantic, and then a cry-baby. 

9. James Michael Tyler (Gunther)

Gunther works at the cafe Central Perk, where the gang is always hanging out. He started out with an incredibly minimal role, showing hints of feelings for Rachel. As the show progresses, however, Gunther shows up to Joey's birthday party, speaks Dutch to Ross, and confesses his love for Rachel.

8. Hank Azaria (David)

David first meets Phoebe in the first season, and she describes him as possibly being the love of her life. He appears sporadically throughout the show, after having moved to Minsk for work.


David is played by incredibly talented comedian Hank Azaria, and seems somewhat miscast as the awkward and nerdy character. The character also just doesn't seem to fit well with Phoebe, and almost gets in the way of her and Mike.

7. Giovanni Ribisi (Frank Buffay Jr.)

Frank Buffay Jr. first appeared in the show during Season 2, as Phoebe's half-brother. He marries his teacher and they are unable to have children, so Phoebe carries for them, in the funniest cover-up for Lisa Kudrow's pregnancy.


Giovanni's character is extremely awkward and his lines seem pretty uncomfortable. However, he really brings the character to life and makes Frank super likable.

6. Tate Donovan (Joshua Burgin)

Tate's character Joshua appears briefly during Season 5, as one of Rachel's clients. She then has an obsessive crush on him, and even proposes him (when trying to deal with Ross' engagement to Emily).


Though the two seemed cute, the level of Rachel's crush just didn't match their level of chemistry, and the storyline was pretty awkward.

5. Paul Rudd (Mike Hannigan)

Paul Rudd's character in the show, Mike Hannigan, eventually becomes Phoebe's husband, but they first meet by chance. Phoebe and Joey decide to set each other up on dates, but Joey forgets and picks a random person from the coffee shop.


Mike and Phoebe are the funniest duo, and Paul adds a different layer of comedy in his role. From air-playing piano, to destroying Monica at ping pong, to changing his name to Crap Bag, he was one of the best parts of the later seasons.

4. Elle Macpherson (Janine Lacroix)

Supermodel Elle Macpherson came onto the show during Season 6, as Joey's dancer girlfriend. Perhaps her character was not throughly developed, but Elle's portrayal was somewhat awkward and took away from the rest of the show, which was comedy gold.

3. Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green)

Rachel Green quickly became one of the most famous and influential characters on television, inspiring different hairstyles and phrases. However, she was not meant to be the star of the show. Originally, Monica was going to more like the leader of the group, and the show's pilot was actually named "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate."


Jennifer Aniston's portrayal of Rachel caused the character to grow into a much larger role. The actress also almost turned down the role of Rachel and was going to join the cast of Saturday Night Live. Guess she made the right choice.

2. Helen Baxendale (Emily Waltham)

Emily Waltham was undeniably the most annoying character in the entire show. Not only does she "take" Ross from Rachel, she tells him to stop seeing her and makes him move away from his friends. Ultimately, they break up and it all ends well, but she was actually meant to play a larger role.


Helen Baxendale was meant to stay on the show longer, and stay as Ross' wife. However, their chemistry was nowhere near as strong as Ross and Rachel, and fans were unhappy with Emily. Helen also wanted to stay closer to her family, so the plans for her to play a bigger part didn't work out.

1. Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing)

Chandler Bing was probably the funniest character on the entire show. His sarcasm and wit was unbeatable and iconic, and his relationship with Monica was adorable. He brought life to the group that made every viewer wish they had a friend like him, or was like him.


Chandler's success was due to Matthew Perry's portrayal. Though Matthew changed a lot during the show, Chandler remained our absolute favorite, and one of the best characters to ever hit television.