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Our Favorite “Friends” Characters — Then and Now!

Over ten years ago, if it was 8 PM on a Thursday night I was completely unavailable to the outside world, as that was my 30 minutes of allotted television time (I was in college and barely had time to sit down) to watch my all-time favorite sitcom, Friends on NBC. For years Monica, Rachel, Ross, and the gang were my friends away from my real friends. Just like millions of other viewers from across the country, I laughed, cried, and laughed some more each time Chandler told an off-color joke or when Phoebe sang her several renditions of “Smelly Cat.” Those were the days of golden comedic TV!

With some of us waiting over a decade for that Friends reunion we thought would happen, reports claim the cast may finally be coming together later this month to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show. In the meantime, check out my roundup of some of our favorite cast members from Friends from then and now and see what they’ve been up to these days! You’d be surprised how much some of our favorite actors have changed, while others have completely stayed the same!

Janice — Maggie Wheeler 1 of 11
It's Janice! While she might have seemed like the nightmarish girlfriend that everyone stayed away from, towards the end of the series she was actually a wonderfully kind, loyal friend to Chandler and the gang. While she might have been quirky at times (especially with her laugh), she actually only wished everyone the best. Maggie Wheeler was last seen on the small screen in a small guest appearance on Hot in Cleveland. Fun fact: she actually dated David Duchovny before he married Tea Leoni.
Mike — Paul Rudd 2 of 11
While I don't think I have the real guts to say it, I have actually thought about introducing my husband by saying: "This is my husband, Crap Bag." KIDDING! I guess you can only pull it off unless your name is Phoebe Buffay, right? These days Paul Rudd is still as charming as ever as he's played in hit after hit on the big screen. I absolutely loved him in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues last year.
Monica — Courteney Cox 3 of 11
Ten years later and she looks exactly the same, doesn't she? How does Courteney Cox do it? While everyone was raving over the "Rachel" hair-cut I was actually secretly in love with Monica's hair. It was the perfect razor sharp, flat ironed hair that everyone so desperately wanted in the early 2000s. Plus, I'm a bit of a neurotic clean freak so Monica was my idol in that sense. These days Courteney is still making us laugh on her hit show, Cougar Town.
Phoebe — Lisa Kudrow 4 of 11
Ahh, Phoebe. I've always rooted for Phoebe and it was so great seeing her finally fall in love with her man and settle down with marriage towards the end of the series. "Smelly Cat" and Phoebe's wardrobe were the two best things to come out of the '90s, and I don't think there's another French-speaking, tough-talking masseuse out there who has enough street cred like good old Phoebs! I did, however, wonder why she and Joey never made it as a couple. Lisa was last seen in the series Web Therapy , which transitioned from a web series to television.
Joey — Matt Leblanc 5 of 11
I was always secretly in love with Joey! He was, is, and always will be television's favorite ladies man. Ten years later and Joey could still pull off "How you doin?" while making my knees turn into jello! While he was a bit of a player, he was still lovable and charming enough to make you want to fall in love with him anyway. These days Matt LeBlanc is still poking fun at himself in the critically-acclaimed Showtime series Episodes.
Chandler — Matthew Perry 6 of 11
Chandler was the overly sarcastic and emotionally unhinged boyfriend you always secretly wanted, right? Hey, being funny always helps! Let's face it, Chandler always had the best lines on the show, and we loved seeing him fall in love with Monica. And as he once said, his dream was to own a house in the 'burbs with a little apartment above the garage so Joey could grow old. Awww. These days Matthew Perry is still making us laugh on television, recently guest starring with Courteney Cox on Cougar Town.
Ross — David Schwimmer 7 of 11
I don't think there ever will be a character like Ross from Friends again. I think we all learned the definition of "pivot" quite well when Rachel and Chandler tried to help him carry his over-sized couch up to his apartment. Ross might have always thought that he was "on a break" with Rachel, but let's face it, his heart never really fully took a break from her. David was last seen guest starring alongside Lisa Kudrow in Web Therapy.
Rachel — Jennifer Aniston 8 of 11
No matter what, I always end up thinking "Rachel" whenever I see Jennifer Aniston's pictures (I know, it's been years, but I just can't help myself). I'm sure we all know what Jennifer has been up to lately as her life is constant tabloid fodder. While it looks like we won't be having a Friends reunion onscreen, it sure would be nice to see the whole gang together at Jennifer's upcoming wedding to Justin Theroux, right? Here's hoping!
Gunther — James Michael Tyler 9 of 11
Let's face it, Gunther was the seventh friend! He may have never gotten the love of his life (Rachel), but he was her boss for quite some time and did rule the coffee shop (could you imagine all of the gossip he probably heard on a daily basis there?) Ten bonus points if you can remember what Guther's last name was, too. These days James Michael is still acting, having played in small roles onScrubs, iCarly, and even Matt LeBlanc's Showtime series, Episodes.
Charlie — Aisha Tyler 10 of 11
Aisha Tyler was actually my favorite guest character on Friends. She was gorgeous, funny, sweet, and most important, intelligent. All her boyfriends were scholars of the highest honor, and yet, at the end of the day she ends up falling for Joey (that says something, doesn't it?). Aisha has had a number of roles over the past few years, such as the host of Whose Line Is It Anyways? and appearances on Modern Family and Archer.
Frank — Giovanni Ribisi 11 of 11
I love Giovanni Ribisi in real life, and I loved him even more as Phoebe's long lost brother Frank Jr. on the show. He was quirky, he was lost, and he was incredibly in love with an older woman, which might have been awkward but was cute at the same time. I loved how Frank Jr. also convinced us that while he loved being a dad to his triplets, they were also driving him mad crazy, too. We've all been there, right? These days Giovanni is still making me swoon. He was last seen on the big screen in A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Photos via PacificCoastNews.com/PRPhotos.com/Youtube.com

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