Who is the Better “FRIEND”?-The “FRIENDS” Characters Ranked by their Devotion and Loyalty

Whether we like it or not, EVERYONE has heard of the hit television sitcom that ran for a full decade back in 1994-2004. A huge fan myself, I can’t help but think through the different dynamics of the six main characters. Though the creators and writers behind the show itself created characters that were inseparable and created our current stigmas of “friendship goals”, there are definitely different cases where certain “friends” have shown more loyalty to their friends more than the others.

 

6.) Phoebe

Audiences and fans of the show absolutely adore Phoebe. She’s quirky, fun-loving, and a true free spirit, which makes her the show’s most eccentric character. As a “friend” however, she’s a bit submissive. In few episodes she does prove some loyalty and devotion to her friends, most notably when she admitted to Rachel when Paolo made a pass at her. Not to mention her protectiveness over Joey. However, since Phoebe is such a free-spirit, she can be selfish at times. While honest, Phoebe has demonstrated times where she shows the most lackluster devotion to her friends while putting her superstitions and relationships above her friendships. For example, Phoebe promises to teach Joey guitar and French only to give up on him, spends an episode mad at Ross strictly because of a dream she had, openly tells Chandler that Monica had originally wanted to hook up with Joey the night her and Chandler first hooked up, and not to mention, she hooks up with Monica’s ex only hours after they broke up. Phoebe, as lively as she is as a character, could have worked a little bit more on her friendship traits.

5.) Ross

Oh Ross, TV’s favorite paleontologist and neurotic three-time divorcee. Although he is known for some of the series’ most quotable lines and iconic moments, let’s be honest, he was one hell of a toxic boyfriend. This is definitely an unpopular opinion, but the roller coaster that was Ross and Rachel’s relationship hit so many low points, it really didn’t make a good relationship at all. It did, however, make good TV. As a friend, Ross does exemplify a solid pal throughout the series. He does take the cake as the most detrimental to himself and his friends when he’s emotional, but Ross always seems to make it up to his friends in the end. He was experiencing heartbreak when he hooked up with Janice, kissed Chandler’s mom, and cheated on Rachel. However, he understood his wrongdoings and was apologetic immediately. Ross was even quick to mature even after him and Rachel had broken up. Sure, Ross is annoying, but he truly means well.

4.) Chandler

Not only is Chandler a decent friend to the other main characters, but he is also often considered one of TV’s best boyfriends/husbands. During the end of season 4 up until the end, Chandler grew as someone who had constant paranoia about commitment to be devoted to Monica and sticking by her through their inabilities to start a family naturally and his changes in occupation in the last two seasons. Chandler proves to be a great provider for his wife however, when it comes to some of the other friends, Chandler demonstrated some shadiness in the past. For example, kissing Rachel just to get back at Ross and drunkenly making out with Joey’s sister (then forgetting which sister) probably weren’t the best ideas.

3.) Rachel

Sure, Rachel being so high up on this list could be shocking to most. But it’s also argued that Rachel had the most character development throughout the show and grew to become a true friend to the other characters. Initially portrayed as “spoiled” and seemingly “just into her looks” (reference to Ross’s infamous list anyone?), Rachel began to prove herself to be a genuine friend in later seasons. She encouraged Ross to pursue Emily in season 4 even though it was clear she, herself, had still had feelings for Ross, but seeing her friend happy was prioritized. She also grew to be more appreciative of Monica, so much as to keeping childhood remnants for the latter to have on her wedding day. Rachel matures more as the show progresses, especially when she gives birth to Emma.

2.) Monica

The mother hen herself is definitely exceptional at making her friends feel at “home”. Her Greenwich Village apartment is the focal point of all the group’s hangouts and by doing so, she has no problem hosting birthdays for her friends, planning surprise parties for them, and doing what she does best, expressing her devotion through food. As a sister to Ross, Monica has consoled him multiple times, from his divorces from Carol and Emily to his multiple job changes. She also takes Rachel in from the very beginning even though the two had been estranged for years. Nine years later she lets Rachel take the idea of her future daughter’s name. Though neurotic and compulsive, the friend group would be nothing without Monica.

1.) Joey

Joey is, hands-down, the most loyal to his friends throughout the show’s 10 season run. It’s been shown on multiple occasions that this fun-loving womanizer would regardless put his friends before anything. Joey is also the best “friend” of the group simply because he truly didn’t screw anyone over. Not breaking up with Ursula after knowing it hurt Phoebe may be the only thing Joey did that was in bad taste. However, he triumphs as a friend more notably in the series. He offers to marry Rachel when she finds out she’s pregnant, experiences agonizing worry upon realizing he has feelings for Rachel and how he needs to tell Ross, but the most specific moment in the series where I can confidently say Joey is the best “friend” was during season 9 when Chandler was commuting back and forth every week from Tulsa for work. Chandler lies to Joey and tells him he must stay late in Tulsa, so he can have a night with his wife Monica. But when he senses that there is a man in Monica’s apartment and she is cheating on Chandler (it is actually Chandler in their apartment), he waits outside the apartment door just for the “mystery guy” to leave so he can defend Chandler and beat up this guy. Although comical in the end, since Monica was not cheating on Chandler, this demonstrated how devoted Joey truly is, especially to his friendship with Chandler.

There’s no question that these six are super close. What other television sitcoms characters would spend countless hours together for ten straight seasons? The cast of “Friends” is iconic in their own way and are still reminding us that they will always be there for each other.