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Television series
German title Friends
Original title Friends
Friends hi.svg
Country of production United States
original language English
Year (s) 1994-2004
length 22 minutes
Episodes 236 in 10 seasons ( List )
genre Sitcom
Theme music The Rembrandts - I'll Be There for You
idea David Crane
Marta Kauffman
production David Crane
Kevin S. Bright
Marta Kauffman
music Michael Skloff, Joshua Myers
First broadcast September 22, 1994 on NBC
first broadcast
August 17, 1996 on Sat.1
main actor
supporting cast

Friends ( English for "Friends") is an American sitcom that was produced from 1994 to 2004. Shortly after the start, the series was a great success in the USA. Actors Jennifer Aniston , Courteney Cox , Lisa Kudrow , Matt LeBlanc , Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer became stars.

Friends goes beyond a mere sitcom and has elements of a soap opera , especially with regard to the relationships between the protagonists . The figures are also developed further over the years. Important elements are the love affairs of Ross and Rachel and Chandler and Monica.

In February 2020 it was confirmed that for the start of the streaming platform HBO Max in May 2020 a one-time episode will be produced in which all six main actors will be there again. In March 2020 it was announced that the intended production had been postponed indefinitely due to the corona pandemic.


season 1

At the beginning of the series, the six friends are introduced: Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Ross. Rachel has fled from her wedding to her fiancé Barry to Café Central Perk , where she finds Monica, her best friend from high school , and asks for a flat, whereupon she is actually allowed to move in with her. Monica's brother Ross, who has had a weakness for Rachel since high school, tries both unsuccessfully to tell her this while his lesbian ex-wife Carol is expecting a child. The bachelor Joey is an unsuccessful actor, while Phoebe works as a masseuse . Chandler ends his relationship with Janice, which reappears in later seasons. At the end of the season, Chandler accidentally reveals that Ross is in love with Rachel, who then realizes that she feels the same way about Ross. In the last scene of the season, Rachel is waiting for Ross returning from a trip at the airport.

season 2

At the beginning of the second season, Rachel waits at the airport for Ross to confess her love for him. He appears, however, accompanied by his new girlfriend Julie, so that it is now Rachel who hides her feelings from Ross over several episodes, whereupon the two finally get together. Joey is given a major role in a fictional version of the soap opera Zeit der Sehnsucht , but his character is rewritten by the writers after Joey claims that many of his lines were written by himself. Chandler is temporarily back with Janice. Monica begins by meeting her ophthalmologist and family friend Richard, who is 21 years her senior. At the end of the season, they end their relationship when it turns out that Richard, unlike Monica, no longer wants children.

season 3

Rachel starts working for Bloomingdale’s , causing Ross to become jealous of her colleague Mark. Rachel suggests a break in the relationship, to which the emotionally hurt Ross responds by sleeping with an employee from the copy shop. Rachel then breaks up with him. Phoebe, who previously assumed her twin sister Ursula was her last living relative, meets her half-brother Frank Jr. and her biological mother Phoebe Abbott. Joey develops a longer-than-usual relationship with fellow actor Kate, while Monica has a temporary liaison with millionaire Pete Becker, which ends this season.

Season 4

Rachel meets customer Joshua at work and falls in love with him. At first this doesn't suit Ross at all. But he also gets to know someone, the British Emily. They fall in love and want to get married in London. Joey and Kathy's relationship is shaken when Chandler falls in love with Kathy and kisses her. Then Joey breaks up with her and Chandler meets her. Monica becomes the head chef of a restaurant. Phoebe's half-brother Frank surprises her with the special request to carry a child for him and his older friend as a surrogate mother , whereupon she agrees. The artificial insemination shows success, Phoebe is pregnant with triplets. Chandler sleeps with Monica while in London for Ross and Emily's wedding. But the two want to leave that behind and agree that it remains a one-time thing.

Season 5

Ross and Emily are married, but because he calls her "Rachel" at the altar, she leaves him immediately after the wedding. All attempts to save the marriage fail. Ross moves in across from Rachel and Monica's shared flat. A relationship develops between Monica and Chandler that they initially want to keep secret. Phoebe gives birth to the triplets and later meets her father. She meets with the cop Gary. Rachel starts working for Ralph Lauren and her work is not appreciated. During a trip to Las Vegas , Monica and Chandler decide to get married, but Ross and Rachel beat them - drunk - before them.

Season 6

Ross and Rachel's marriage cannot be annulled, but they are getting divorced. Monica and Chandler move in together, so Rachel moves in with Phoebe. Ross begins teaching at university and Joey keeps running out of money after Chandler moves out. That's why he waits at Central Perk until he gets hold of a major series role for the first time in a long time. He also has an affair with his new roommate Janine, which, however, fails because of her dislike of Chandler and Monica. Rachel's sister Jill shows up at the friends' house and hangs up with Ross to get revenge on Rachel. He then briefly gets involved with one of his students, Elizabeth, while there is also a spark between her father and Rachel. Chandler wants to propose to Monica, but Monica's ex-boyfriend Richard shows up again and puts the relationship to a severe test. Despite Richard's confession of love, Monica chooses Chandler and accepts his proposal.

Season 7

Monica and Chandler are busy preparing for their wedding. Rachel hires the handsome assistant day she starts an affair with. However, on her thirtieth birthday, she ended this relationship because he was too young for her. Joey tries again to gain a foothold as an actor. Before the wedding to Monica, Chandler panics and disappears. After being persuaded to return by his friends, he learns of Monica's alleged pregnancy. The two finally marry without further incident. During the ceremony it turns out that not Monica, but Rachel is pregnant.

Season 8

Rachel is pregnant after a single night of love with Ross and decides to have the child. Meanwhile, the friendly relationship between Rachel and Joey, with whom she lives, grows closer and Joey falls in love with her. But for the sake of Ross, he holds back and even encourages Rachel to move to Ross. When Joey finally confesses his love to Rachel, she rejects him because she only has friendly feelings for him. Meanwhile, Ross tries a relationship with the beautiful and lovable Mona for a while, but he can't really get involved with her, among other things because he is busy with Rachel and her pregnancy. Ross and Rachel get along well in anticipation of the baby and have a relationship of convenience. They are not entirely sure of their true feelings for one another. After giving birth to Emma, ​​Rachel feels lonely. When Joey holds a ring in her hand that was actually intended by Ross' mother for Ross and Rachel, Rachel says "yes" before Joey has the opportunity to explain herself. Monica and Chandler try to father a child.

Season 9

Chandler is transferred to Oklahoma , but quits the job at Christmas when the longing for Monica becomes too great. After a period of unemployment, he started working for an advertising agency. Monica and Chandler learn that it is almost impossible for them to have a child naturally. After exploring various options, they decide to adopt. Phoebe has a serious relationship with the clever pianist Mike, but ultimately fails because of different ideas about the future of the two. When Phoebe's ex-boyfriend David reappears and Phoebe wants to propose marriage, Mike pulls himself together and the two try a fresh start. Rachel and Ross live in an apartment with their daughter Emma, ​​but they never re-establish their relationship. The uncertainty causes Rachel to move in with Emma, ​​but now she develops feelings for him without him knowing anything about it. Instead, Joey has a relationship with Ross' crush, Charly, a paleontology professor. However, this ends the relationship because she is in love with Ross. The way is now clear for Joey and Rachel to get together.

Season 10

Monica and Chandler are trying to get adopted. They are - initially based on a misunderstanding - chosen by the expectant mother Erica to be the parents of her unborn twins. Joey and Rachel live together, but a relationship doesn't work out because of their strong friendship. Rachel accepts a job offer in Paris, but on the plane decides to stay in New York and start over with Ross. Rachel realizes in a crisis phase that the thing with Ross will "never be a thing of the past". This initially fends off, but in the end they find each other. Phoebe accepts Mike's proposal and after some quarrels and a snow storm, the two marry in the small circle of their friends and family on the street. Monica and Chandler leave their New York apartment (since they own the apartment through her grandmother's inheritance, it remains in her hands) and move to the outskirts with their children. In the last scene of the series, we see the friends leaving Monica and Chandler's empty apartment and deciding to go for a coffee at the Central Perk .

Success story

In 1993, the inventors of the series, David Crane and Marta Kauffman , presented their concept for a new television series on NBC television under the title Insomnia Cafe . Other names for the project were Friends like Us , Six of One and Across the Hall .

“It's about sex, love, relationships, careers, the time in your life when anything is possible that is really exciting and really terrifying. It's about the search for love and attachment and security, and the fear of love and attachment and security. It's about friendship because when you're young and alone in town, your friends are your family. "

- From the original competition presentation by David Crane and Marta Kauffman.
Floor plan of the set

Friends has been produced by Warner Bros. Television since 1994 and broadcast by NBC. In 2004 the series ran out after ten seasons and 236 episodes . In Germany , the series ran for the first time in 1996 on Sat.1 . The German premiere of the tenth and final season ran from June to October 2005 on ProSieben . The last broadcast on May 6, 2004 was watched by 51.1 million people in the USA . Friends has the fourth most successful series finale in the USA, behind M * A * S * H , Seinfeld and Cheers . The last episode of M * A * S * H reached an audience that was more than twice as large with 105 million viewers.

Matt LeBlanc continued part of the storyline in the series Joey from fall 2004 . The show initially ran in the US on the same prestigious slot as Friends, a novelty for a spin-off . However, since Joey could not build on the success of Friends, the series lost the slot in early 2006 to the sitcom My Name Is Earl . In the spring of 2006, NBC decided to discontinue Joey after the second season due to low ratings.


main actor

actor figure Voice actor
Jennifer Aniston Rachel Green Nadja Reichardt
Courteney Cox Monica Geller-Bing Andrea Aust
Lisa Kudrow Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan Maja Dürr
Matt LeBlanc Joseph "Joey" Tribbiani Roland Frey
Matthew Perry Chandler Bing Michael Iwannek
David Schwimmer Ross Geller Gerald Schaale

supporting cast

actor figure Voice actor Remarks
James Michael Tyler Gunther Manuel Vaessen Waiter at the Central Perk
Elliott Gould Jack Geller Michael Telloke Father of Ross and Monica
Christina Pickles Judy Geller Ana Fonell Mother of Ross and Monica
Maggie Wheeler Janice Litman-Goralnik, b. Pants stone Ghadah Al-Akel Chandler's ex-girlfriend
Paul Rudd Michael "Mike" Hannigan Norman Matt Husband of Phoebe
Anita Barone
Jane Sibbett
Carol Willick Liane Rudolph Ex-wife of Ross
Helen Baxendale Emily Waltham Judith Brandt Ex-wife of Ross
Jessica Hecht Susan Bunch Sabine Jaeger Wife of Ross' ex-wife Carol
Tom Selleck Dr. Richard Burke Norbert Langer Friend of the Gellers and ex-boyfriend of Monica
June Gable Estelle Leonard Evelyn Gressmann (2.10–6.04)
Barbara Ratthey (6.21–10.04)
Joey's agent
Giovanni Ribisi Frank Buffay, Jr. Björn Schalla Half brother of Phoebe
Aisha Tyler Charlie Wheeler Arianne Borbach Ex-girlfriend of Joey and Ross, paleontologist
Lisa Kudrow Ursula Buffay Ulrike Stürzbecher Phoebe's twin sister
Cole Sprouse Ben Geller Lukas Stegmaier Ross' son
Bonnie Somerville Mona Angela Ringer Ex-girlfriend of Ross
Morgan Fairchild Nora Tyler Bing Helga Sasse (seasons 1 & 5)
Rita Engelmann (seasons 8–9)
Mother of Chandler
Hank Azaria David Frank Schröder (season 1)
Erich Räuker (season 7)
Ilja Richter (season 9)
Phoebe's ex-boyfriend, nuclear physicist
Larry Hankin Mr. Heckles Wilfried Herbst Neighbor
Tate Donovan Joshua Burgin Erich Rauker Rachel's ex-boyfriend
Anna Faris Erica Marie Bierstedt Mother of the twins, who are adopted by Monica and Chandler
Kathleen Turner Charles Bing Gisela Fritsch Chandler's transsexual father
Reese Witherspoon Jill Green Janina Richter Rachel's sister
Christina Applegate Amy Green Bianca Krahl Rachel's sister

The series was set to music at the Arena Synchron in Berlin . Marc Boettcher wrote the dialogue books for the first 13 episodes, the dubbing books for the remaining episodes were written by Janina Richter , who also directed the dialogue.


main characters

Rachel Karen Green

Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green

In the first episode, she joins the remaining five friends because she left her fiancé, the dentist Barry Farber, standing in front of the altar. The wedding was planned by her wealthy father, but she did not love Barry. Since then she has lived with her school friend, Monica. As a spoiled girl from a wealthy family, she had a hard time without the help of her parents and had to start as a waitress at Central Perk. In season two, Rachel falls in love with Ross, who is still with Julie at the time. Ross learns Rachel's feelings and breaks up with Julie. They get together, but split up again in season three because Rachel can't forgive Ross for sleeping with another woman during their break from the relationship. Rachel was working at Bloomingdale’s at the time . At the end of the fifth season they "accidentally" marry in Las Vegas after getting drunk in their hotel room shortly before, and divorce at the beginning of the sixth season. Rachel later works for the company of the world-famous fashion designer Ralph Lauren . When Chandler and Monica move in together, she first moves in with Phoebe, soon after with Joey, then on Ross and finally back to Joey. At the end of season eight, she has a daughter who emerged from a one-night stand with Ross. At the beginning of the tenth season, Rachel is with Joey, but the two split up again after discovering that they are no more than good friends. In season 10, Rachel is fired for secretly auditioning for Gucci and being caught by her boss. Then she receives a job offer from Louis Vuitton . However, the job is in Paris. In the final sequence, however, she gets back together with Ross, whereupon she declines her job offer in Paris.

Monica Elizabeth Geller-Bing

Courteney Cox played Monica Geller

Monica, Rachel's school friend and Ross's younger sister, was severely overweight until she was 18. After Ross' college friend Chandler insulted her behind her back, however, she lost weight to get back at him. She has an obsessive obsession with cleanliness, order and cleaning and is often overly ambitious. She also loves to cook for and entertain others. Monica has a rather tense relationship with her parents, as they prefer Ross, the “medical miracle” (the mother was considered sterile until she was pregnant with him). Her mother constantly criticizes Monica's appearance and her work and financial situation. The biggest problem, however, is that Monica is initially unmarried.

Monica lives in an apartment that belongs to her grandmother. In the first episode, her high school friend Rachel shows up and moves in with her. In the second season, Monica, who has not been particularly lucky with men so far, meets the much older Dr. Richard Burke, an ophthalmologist who is not only friends with her parents, but also knew them as a little girl. However, the couple split up in the final episode of the second season because Richard, who already has two grown children, does not want to have any more children. When Monica finally loses her job as a cook, she is forced to work in the 50s restaurant “Moondance Diner” with a wig and a stuffed bra. Here she meets the millionaire Pete Becker, with whom she is dating in the third season. After the breakup, Monica doesn't find a new boyfriend anytime soon, but she does a good job: she finally becomes the head chef. Unfortunately, however, the former boss, who was fired because of a newspaper review written by Monica, is related to many of the employees, making her a difficult start.

At the end of season four, the friends fly to London to celebrate Ross' wedding. It is there that Monica and Chandler find each other. At first they hide their relationship until the friends gradually find out. They move in together at the beginning of the sixth season and get married in the final episode of the seventh season. Because they cannot have children naturally, they want to adopt a child born through surrogacy . In the tenth season finale, surrogate mother Erica gives birth to twins, who are named Jack and Erica. Monica and Chandler leave the apartment to move into a house in Westchester, a suburb of New York.

Phoebe Buffay-Hannigan

Lisa Kudrow played Phoebe Buffay

Phoebe was Monica's roommate for a long time before the series began. When she was 14, her mother Lily committed suicide, after which Phoebe and her twin sister Ursula lived on the street. Her father Frank left the family after the girls were born, and her stepfather is in prison. She later learns that Phoebe Abbott, who had a three-way relationship with Lily and Frank, is her birth mother. She meets her biological father again when he unexpectedly turns up at her grandmother's funeral. Despite her best efforts, she has a difficult relationship with her sister Ursula because she is very disparaging.

Phoebe works as a masseuse throughout the series and often sings her self-written songs in the Central Perk. She is a staunch vegetarian and has an exaggerated tendency towards esotericism , which often leads to discussions with the scientist Ross. For a while she had a marriage of convenience with a gay ice dancer so that he could get a residence permit. The marriage ended when the said dancer "outed" himself as straight and married another woman. Phoebe lived with Monica, but moved out because Monica was getting on her nerves with her cleaning mania, and from then on lived with her grandmother. When she dies, she lives alone in the apartment. Later she has a roommate, Denise, about whom nobody knows anything, which is why the others suspect that she is just an excuse to have a reason that Rachel cannot move in with her. When Denise “goes to Australia”, Rachel finally moves in with her because Chandler moves in with Monica. Rachel accidentally starts a fire in this apartment, so Phoebe has to stay with Monica as a guest. When the apartment is completely renovated, she wants to move in with Rachel again, but after the renovation there is only one large room, whereupon Phoebe lives alone again and Rachel lives with Joey.

In the ninth season she met Mike through a blind date , with whom she wanted to move in together in the same season. However, they separate because Mike, who has already been divorced, does not want to enter the marriage again, which Phoebe cannot accept. After a painful separation phase for the two, Mike Phoebe proposes marriage in Barbados, to which she first says no, because she just wanted to know whether the two had a future together. In the tenth season, Phoebe and Mike get married. Before Mike, like Joey, she had many meaningless affairs, except for David, who kept popping up, and Gary, the cop she was with in season five. In season five, she gave birth as a surrogate mother to triplets (two girls, one boy: Leslie, Chandler, and Frank Jr. Jr.) to her half-brother Frank Jr. and his wife Alice.

Joseph "Joey" Francis Tribbiani

Matt LeBlanc played Joey Tribbiani

Joey lives with Chandler across from Monica's apartment. He grew up as the only boy with seven sisters and at the beginning of the series an unsuccessful actor who can barely make a living from his productions. Since his best friend Chandler pays most of the costs, he is spared a lot financially. In the second season he gets his most famous role as Dr. Drake Ramoray in Zeit der Sehnsucht (OT: Days of our Lives ), but is written out of the series after he claimed in an interview that he wrote his own lyrics. In the sixth season he gets the lead role in the series Mac and CHEESE , which is canceled after the seventh episode. He then begs his role back in Time of Longing , during which he is initially in a coma, but can then be saved by a brain transplant. In the same season he made his first major film.

The Italian-born Catholic cannot exactly convince with his intelligence, but he can with his charm. Besides women, food is his great passion. His love life is determined by numerous meaningless short-term relationships until he falls in love with Kate, his actress colleague, in the third season. But she breaks up with Joey when she gets a role in General Hospital . He will also be abandoned by Kathy, his fellow actress in the fourth season, because she and Chandler have fallen in love. In season eight, Joey falls in love with Rachel while she is pregnant by Ross. Inadvertently he makes her a marriage proposal, which she accepts in childbed in order not to become a single mother. After some turmoil, however, both realize that they are only feeling friendly. His saying, with which he (successfully) turns women on, is: “Well, how are you doing?” (English: “How you doin '?”).

Chandler Muriel Bing

Matthew Perry played Chandler Bing

Chandler is Ross' best friend from college and lives with Joey across from Monica's apartment. He hates his job and has a problem forming relationships. This is not only due to his parents' divorce, but most of all because Chandler's father is transexual . His mother writes erotic novels. After his parents divorced, he started smoking heavily , but then stopped smoking . In a few more episodes this addiction turns into a running gag : While Chandler makes an ecstatic face while smoking, the friends try hard to keep him from smoking every time. He constantly tries to cover up his own insecurity with jokes and ironic comments. He wishes he could write or have some other creative job. His job is so boring that none of his friends know what he's doing.

Chandler has had only moderate success with women. Although he broke up with her three times within six months, Chandler repeatedly ended up with Janice, who annoyed his friends and himself with her loud and intrusive manner. At the end of season three, Chandler tries to convince Monica that they would be a good match. Although Monica categorically rules out ever going out with Chandler, the two find each other at the end of season four. They fall in love, move in together, get married, and adopt two children (see section on Monica ).

In season nine, Chandler has to move to Tulsa because he fell asleep in a meeting and gave his consent without knowing why. Monica, who initially wanted to accompany him, decides to stay in New York because of a dream job, so that Chandler commutes between New York and Tulsa. However, when he is forced to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve separately from his wife and friends, he quits his hated job in order to find a job that he enjoys. Chandler is initially unemployed, but eventually finds a job in an advertising agency.

Dr. Ross Eustace Geller

David Schwimmer played Ross Geller

Monica's older brother was miserably in love with Rachel in high school. During college he was Chandler's roommate. Ross holds a PhD in paleontology and works in the museum and later as a lecturer at New York University . Ross is married three times during the series. The first marriage from which his son Ben was born failed because his wife Carol turned out to be a lesbian. His second marriage to the Englishwoman Emily broke because he accidentally called her Rachel in front of the altar and did not want to give in to her demand to give up his friendship with Rachel. At the end of season five, he married Rachel over a boozy night in Las Vegas . The couple pleaded for annulment of the marriage, but when they argue with the judge, it becomes clear that Rachel was making up many of the annulment reasons. Annulment of the marriage is therefore no longer possible, so that Ross, to his horror, has to file his third divorce. These three unsuccessful marriages ensure that Ross had to endure a lot of jokes at his expense during the series and that his dealings with women became even more insecure and tense. Ross is also the father of Rachel's baby Emma, ​​who was conceived in a one-night stand and was born in Season 8. He and Rachel only get back together in the last episode.

After moving out of the shared apartment with Carol, Ross lived outside for a while until he moved into the former apartment of the " Ugly Naked Guy " within sight of Monica's apartment. He once illegally owned a capuchin monkey named Marcel. Ross has a habit of boring his friends with unsolicited scientific lectures or correcting them. In addition to his three divorces, his insecurity, but also his irascibility and know-it-all are running gags of the series, especially his opinion on his fling during the relationship with Rachel: “We had taken a break!” (English: We were on a break!)

Minor characters


Gunther is the manager of the Central Perk, the meeting place for friends. His last name is unknown ("Central Perk" according to Chandler's estimate). He's in love with Rachel throughout the series, but she thinks he's gay. Only in the last episode does he confess his love to her. Her answer to his confession was: “Oh Gunther, oh, I love you too… but probably in a different way, but still… and when I have a coffee somewhere in a café or maybe see a man with a hair color that is lighter When the sun is up, I think of you Aw. "

Jack and Judy Geller

Jack and Judy Geller are Ross 'and Monica's parents, who always preferred Ross to Monica, because they feared before Ross' birth that Judy would be sterile and therefore consider him a "medical miracle". Jack overcame his midlife crisis by buying a Porsche, which he later gives to Monica to prove that he loves her. Judy always has something to complain about about Monica and it sometimes happens that she simply titled a mishap of her daughter with "to pull a Monica".

Carol Willick

Carol Willick is Ross' first wife. In the first episode, the viewer learns that Carol picked up her things from the shared apartment that day because she is a lesbian and has separated from Ross. In the second episode, Carol informs Ross that she is pregnant with their child. However, she will raise the son Ben with her partner Susan.

Ben Geller

Ben is Ross and Carol's son. He lives with his mothers, but has a very good relationship with his father and his friends.

Susan Bunch

Susan is Carol's partner, she and Ross share a mutual antipathy that they rarely manage to overcome.

Emily Waltham

Ross' British second wife, who divorced him unfriendly shortly after the wedding because he mistook her name for Rachel at the altar and she could no longer trust him afterwards.


Mona is Ross' girlfriend at the beginning of season eight. The relationship fell apart because she couldn't cope with Rachel's pregnancy and Ross and Rachel moving in together.

Nora Tyler Bing

Chandler's mother, who is a successful writer of (disreputable) romance novels and who kisses the desperate horse in one episode.

Charles Bing

Chandler's gay father who runs the drag burlesque show Viva Las Gaygas in Las Vegas.

Ursula Pamela Buffay

She is Phoebe's identical twin sister who, unlike Phoebe, never thinks of others and has no problems with lying or cheating. That's why the sisters don't have more contact than necessary. Some of Phoebe's attempts to reconcile with Ursula have failed. She shot some porn under Phoebe's name. The role of Ursula also exists in the American sitcom Crazy About You , where she works as a waitress for the first two seasons.

Frank Buffay, Jr.

Phoebe's half-brother, who, like Phoebe, has a somewhat scattered streak. One of his hobbies, for example, is melting objects. His wife, Alice Knight, is his 40-year-old former high school teacher, whom he still calls Ms. Knight ”. The two have a great desire to have children, but for biological reasons it is not fulfilled. Phoebe then steps in as a surrogate mother who carries their children to term. To her great surprise, she got triplets, who often put the parents' nerves to the test. Frank Jr. was abandoned by his father when he was 14 years old.


Phoebe's ex-boyfriend of the "absent-minded professor" type. The relationship failed because David moved to Minsk on business after Phoebe let him go with a heavy heart, knowing that this was the only way to advance his career as a physicist. When he comes back eight years later, Phoebe is in a relationship with Mike, but when the two split up, David gets back together with Phoebe. So that she forgets Mike for good, David wants to propose to her in Barbados. But Mike shows up at that moment, because Monica and Chandler have told him about David's plans, and Phoebe ultimately decides for him because - as Monica and Chandler suspected - she still loves Mike.

Mike Hannigan

Joey had forgotten to pick a partner for a double date with Phoebe, where everyone should bring a friend. He happened upon Mike at the Central Perk and selected him. Despite being exposed, Phoebe got into a serious relationship with Mike and married him in season 10. Not least because he has some unusual inclinations - for example, he likes to smell highlighters .

Estelle Leonard

Joey's chain-smoking old agent who dies in season 10. She has looked after Joey since the beginning of his career. Besides Joey, she only had one other client, the "paper eater". In the first season, Joey still talks about his agent, in episode 10 of the second season, Estelle appears for the first time as Joey's agent.

Janice Litman-Goralnik, b. Pants stone

Chandler's ex-girlfriend, with whom he repeatedly separates, but through misunderstandings repeatedly leads her to believe that he still loves her. The main reason for the dislike of Janice, which Chandler shares with his friends, is her high-pitched, croaking voice (standard saying: "Oh, my God! / Oh My God!"). She also has a brief affair with Ross. Janice appears in each of the ten seasons. In the sixth season, only her voice can be heard on a mixed tape.

Dr. Richard Burke

He is Monica's ophthalmologist and friends with Monica and Ross's parents. He's 21 years older than Monica, but still hooks up with her in season two after hiring her as a party service. They separate again because Richard does not want to have any more children. In season six he confesses to Monica that he still loves her and wants to marry her, but Monica chooses Chandler. Richard's hallmark is a mustache, which he temporarily shaved off in episode 13 of the third season.


Since Monica and Chandler cannot have children together, they adopt the unborn child of the rather simple-minded Erica. It is only at birth that it turns out that she will have twins, whom they call Jack and Erica.

Mr. Heckles

A psychotic, lonely man who lives with Monica and Rachel and dies in season two. He only appears in a few episodes where he complains about the noise or accuses Monica and Rachel of theft. When he bequeaths his belongings to the "noisy girls" and the friends clear out the apartment together, Chandler believes that he sees parallels between his and Mr. Heckles' lives and is afraid of ending the same way.

Guest stars

Numerous guest stars appeared in the series, including a. Jason Alexander , Sasha Alexander , Richard Branson , George Clooney , Billy Crystal , Kristin Davis , Danny DeVito , Anna Faris , Sherilyn Fenn , Sarah Ferguson , Jeff Goldblum , Charlton Heston , Helen Hunt , Chrissie Hynde , Hugh Laurie , Brad Pitt , Ellen Pompeo , Freddie Prinze, Jr. , Leah Remini , Denise Richards , Julia Roberts , Isabella Rossellini , Winona Ryder , Susan Sarandon , Charlie Sheen , Brooke Shields , John Stamos , Ben Stiller , Jean-Claude Van Damme , Robin Williams , Noah Wyle and Susan Yeagley .

Involved in more than one episode of the series:

  • Christina Applegate as Rachel's sister Amy Green in episode 8 of season 9 and episode 5 of season 10. For her role in the ninth season, she also received an Emmy for "Best Guest Actress".
  • Alec Baldwin as Parker in episodes 17 and 18 of season eight. He plays a friend of Phoebe.
  • Jon Favreau as Pete Becker, Monica's boyfriend in six episodes of season three.
  • Adam Goldberg as Eddie, Chandler's roommate in episodes 17-19 of the second season.
  • Jon Lovitz as stoned eating tester Steve for Monica in episode 15 of the first season and as Rachel's blind date Steve in episode 14 of the ninth season.
  • Elle Macpherson as Joey's new roommate Janine Lecroix in episodes 7 to 11 of the sixth season.
  • Dermot Mulroney as Rachel's work colleague and affair Gavin Mitchell in episodes 11 to 13 of the ninth season.
  • Gary Oldman as Joey's spitting co-actor Richard Crosby on episodes 23 and 24 of the seventh season.
  • Sean Penn as the fiancé of Phoebe's sister Ursula, who leaves her after Phoebe tells him about Ursula's lies. Phoebe's attempt to enter into a relationship with him fails because of the outward resemblance of the twins. Episode 6 and 7 of the eighth season.
  • Jennifer Saunders as Andrea Waltham, Emily's (Ross' second ex-wife) stepmother in episode 24 of season four and episode 1 of season five.
  • Tom Selleck as Dr. Richard Burke, Monica's friend, in six episodes of season two and four more episodes in seasons 3 and 6.
  • Christine Taylor as Bonnie, Ross's friend, who lets jealous Rachel persuade her to shave her hair off. Episode 24 and 25 of the third and episode 1 of the fourth season.
  • Kathleen Turner as Chandler's father Charles Bing in episodes 22 through 24 of season seven.
  • Aisha Tyler in episodes 20-24 of season 9 and episodes 1, 2, 5 and 6 of season 10 as Ross' colleague Charlie Wheeler. Both Ross and Joey take a liking to her.
  • Bruce Willis as Elizabeth's (Ross' girlfriend and student) father and temporary boyfriend of Rachel, Paul Stevens, in episodes 21-23 of season six. He also received an Emmy for "Best Guest Actor" for his role.
  • Reese Witherspoon in episodes 13 and 14 of season six as Jill Green, Rachel's sister. She tries to seduce Ross.
  • Max Wright as Terry in episode 9 of the first season and episode 6 of the second season. He is the owner of the Central Perk and is not enthusiastic about Rachel's work ethic or Phoebe's music.


At the beginning of the second season, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer earned more than their co-stars until all 6, led by Schwimmer, campaigned for equal salaries.

“When we all started we were paid completely different salaries, but we did the same amount of work and we moved in and there were six lead roles, so it just made sense to me that we should all come in and get the same amount of money . I think back then it wasn't necessarily about how much it was, it was just about getting paid as equals so that there would be no resentment later. "

- David Schwimmer on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2004

In the first season, the six lead actors earned $ 20,000 per episode. When the show was successful, however, the fees rose sharply, as the producers knew that the series was dependent on each of the leading actors. Last season they were $ 1,000,000 per episode. In total, each of the main characters made over $ 80,000,000 with Friends.


Central Perk

The Central Perk set at Warner Bros. Studios.

The Central Perk is a small, cozy coffee shop in the heart of New York City. Almost every day, the friends meet on the orange couch in their local hangout and talk about what is happening. Two of them have worked in the café in the meantime: Rachel and Joey, but Gunther, the man at the coffee machine, and Terry, the owner of the café, weren't exactly enthusiastic about their skills. The name is a play on words, it connects Manhattan's Central Park with the name for a type of coffee machine .

Monica's apartment

The Manhattan house that was used for the exterior photography

The friends spend most of their time in Monica's apartment. The set is in the middle between Central Perk and Joeys and Chandler's apartment (which is being converted for Ross' apartment or for the airports, for example). When designing the apartment, the prop masters were able to let their imagination run wild. It is always kept compulsively neat; Monica can't stand any piece of furniture going crazy. The hallmark in the apartment is the yellow frame around the peephole. The frame was a mirror that fell down a prop master. Another trademark is the purple wall color, which Joey only noticed in the last episode of the tenth season ("That purple, say, has it always been?"). Likewise, the board on the door of Chandler's apartment is labeled differently from sequence to sequence or has a different drawing. Monica could never have afforded the apartment, but it once belonged to her grandmother, in whose name a protected rental agreement ( rent control ) is still running.



Opening credits

While many other series do without an opening credits in order to save airtime in favor of advertising, this is not the case with Friends. Each season has an individual opening credits, which consist of images from several previous episodes - sometimes also from future episodes. What stands out, however, is the use of scenes that were created for the opening credits of the pilot episode and incorporated into the opening credits up to the last season. So the intro always ends with the scene in which you see the main actors or characters sitting on the sofa of the Central Perk and looking at a row of houses, while Monica switches off a floor lamp set up next to the couch and with it the light in the windows of the Row of houses deletes. These scenes, which play around a fountain, in and around which the actors have fun and, among other things, splash each other wet, were recreated for the "What if" episodes with the alternative versions of the main characters.

Double roles

As a result, be careful, addiction! (2.10) a man named Russ appears, who bears an enormous resemblance to Ross, both in terms of his appearance and his behavior. According to the credits, this is portrayed by an actor named “Snaro”, but David Schwimmer can be seen here in a double role and plays both Ross and Russ.

Lisa Kudrow not only plays Phoebe Buffay, but also her twin sister Ursula Buffay.

Giovanni Ribisi , cast by Frank Buffay, Jr., played a man who threw a condom into Phoebe's guitar case in an earlier episode.

June Gable on the one hand plays Estelle, Joey's agent, but had an appearance in the first season as a nurse who was there when Ben was born.

Directing work

Leading actor David Schwimmer also directed ten episodes , the first time in season 6 episode 6.



Before the German start of the series, which was already a "huge success" in the USA, the reason for this was sought.

“The episodes essentially revolve around a world as it should be, not as it is [...]. Critics puzzled over the mass appeal of the series. Is the success due to the constantly recurring themes: love, sex - and unemployment? "

- Thomas Schuler : Süddeutsche Zeitung , 1996

Nine years later, the main characters' close social ties and the longing for social warmth in society were cited as reasons.

“Perhaps the most interesting idea at Friends was the idea that three men and three women didn't develop in six different directions over ten years. 1994 [...] the longing for social warmth grew. The New York flat share had a lot of that. "

- Christopher Keil : Süddeutsche Zeitung, 2005

Friends' successful concept has been copied many times and is the basis for other well-known series such as How I met your mother or Big Bang Theory .

"The other stations are chasing after success and copying NBC, and NBC is copying itself"

- Thomas Schuler in SZ, 1996

In the period of the 25th anniversary of the broadcast of the pilot episode, reviews were published regarding the timeliness and the first impression on the younger generation. In addition to the recognition that the series has now become a cult , the lack of diversity in the cast and a sexist and homophobic tendency in humor were criticized.

“The series is not very diverse, but it is sexist and homophobic - especially among Generation Z, the jokes that set the tone are badly received. Gags about Monica once being fat and Chandler being mistaken for homosexual due to unspeakable characteristics. Even the sexual advances with which Joey repeatedly ends up with women [...] are met with incomprehension by many. The accusation that the cast of the series is not diverse enough cannot be countered. [The main characters] are all white, more or less privileged and from the States. "

- Sophia Zessnik : , 2019

The points of criticism pointed out that the period of origin should also be taken into account. New York was already multicultural back then, so the lack of diversity in the cast was pointed out earlier. In many other areas, however , Friends is very progressive.

“On the one hand, the current trend of tearing a work out of the context of its cultural era and evaluating it is more than questionable. Because apart from the old and justified accusation that in the cosmos of friends the multicultural diversity of the metropolis New York is not even rudimentarily depicted [...] the series was even surprisingly progressive for its time. "

- Tim Sohr : Stern , 2018

“The fact that Ross's ex-wife is in a homosexual relationship is built into the story as a matter of course from the start, and there isn't a woman in the series who just wants to get married. Monica runs her own catering business, and Phoebe is insanely independent from the start. It couldn't be more progressive. "

- Alegra Kaczinski : Zeit Online , 2019


Friends booked a total of 153 nominations and won an award 56 times.

Emmy Awards

  • 1996 - Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series - Michael Lembeck
  • 1998 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Lisa Kudrow
  • 2000 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Bruce Willis
  • 2002 - Outstanding Comedy Series
  • 2002 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series - Jennifer Aniston
  • 2003 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Christina Applegate

In total, the series has been nominated for an Emmy 63 times.

Golden Globe Awards

  • 2003 - Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy - Jennifer Aniston

Friends has been nominated ten times for the Golden Globe.

People's Choice Awards

  • 1995 - Favorite New Television Comedy
  • 1999 - Favorite Television Comedy Series
  • 2000 - Favorite Television Comedy Series
  • 2000 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston
  • 2001 - Best Comedy Series (Favorite Television Comedy Series)
  • 2001 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston
  • 2002 - Best Comedy Series (Favorite Television Comedy Series)
  • 2002 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston
  • 2003 - Best Comedy Series (Favorite Television Comedy Series)
  • 2003 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston
  • 2004 - Best Comedy Series (Favorite Television Comedy Series)
  • 2004 - Favorite Female Television Performer - Jennifer Aniston

Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • 1996 - Best Acting Ensemble - Comedy (Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series)
  • 2000 Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series - Lisa Kudrow



  • Season 1 (July 4, 2002)
  • Season 2 (July 4, 2002)
  • Season 3 (July 4, 2002)
  • Season 4 (August 8, 2002)
  • Season 5 (September 5, 2002)
  • Season 6 (January 23, 2003)
  • Season 7 (March 6, 2003)
  • Season 8 (April 17, 2003)
  • Season 9 (March 19, 2004)
  • Season 10 (May 20, 2005)

In addition, every season has been reissued since 2006.

  • Best-Of Season 1 (August 19, 2005)
  • Best-Of Season 2 (August 19, 2005)
  • Best Of Season 3 (September 9, 2005)
  • Superbox Season 1–10 (November 21, 2005, since November 2007 as an identical new edition)


  • The Complete Series (November 13, 2012)



In February 2019, Lego released the 21319 Friends Central Perk Café ideas set .

Web links

Commons : Friends (TV series)  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikiquote: Friends  - Quotes

Individual evidence

  1. "Friends" reunion is officially confirmed. In: Der Spiegel. February 22, 2020, accessed February 22, 2020 .
  2. NTVde: Because of the corona crisis: HBO postpones “Friends” Reunion , March 19, 2020
  3. from: Dateline - Farewell to Friends. aired May 5, 2004 on NBC.
    It's about sex, love, relationship, careers, the time in your life when everything is possible, which is really exciting and really scary. It's about searching for love and commitment and security and the fear of love and commitment and security. It's about friendship, because when you are young and single in the city, your friends are your family.
  4. German synchronous index: German synchronous index | Series | Friends. Retrieved April 5, 2018 .
  5. See Friends, episode 10.17: The Last One : “Gunther… Oh… I love you too. Probably not in the same way, but I do. And, and when I'm in a café, having coffee, or I see a man with hair brighter than the sun, I'll think of you. Aw. "
  6. David Schwimmer in: The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. 2004.
    When we all started out we were all paid completely different salaries, but we were doing the same amount of work and showing up, and there were six leads, so it just made sense to me that we would all show up and make the same amount of money. I mean it didn't necessarily at that time matter what it was, just that we were paid equally, so there would be no resentment down the line.
  7. ^ "Friends" The One with the Baby on the Bus (TV Episode 1995) - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb . In: . Retrieved August 10, 2014.
  8. a b [1] Article by Thomas Schuler in SZ of May 7, 1996, accessed on July 9, 2020. (broken link)
  9. Christopher Keil: [2] Article in SZ from June 14, 2005, accessed on July 9, 2020. (broken link)
  10. Ronny Behrens: 25 years of "Friends" - Between nostalgia and zeitgeist . In: Zeit Online . September 20, 2019, accessed July 9, 2020.
  11. Sophia Zessnik: “Friends” turns 25: Is the series sexist and homophobic? . In: . September 22, 2019, accessed July 8, 2020.
  12. Tim Sohr : Racist, sexist, homophobic - why millennials can't laugh at "friends" . In: Stern . 5. March. 2018, accessed July 8, 2020.
  13. Alegra Kaczinski: 25 years of "Friends" - Between nostalgia and zeitgeist . In: Zeit Online . September 20, 2019, accessed July 8, 2020.
  14. Friends on
  15. a b List of all nominations and awards
  16. ^ "Steamboat Willie" and "The Central Perk Coffee of Friends" become official LEGO Ideas sets. Retrieved February 20, 2019 .