The other day I talked about how many celebrities appeared on Will & Grace, I kind of glanced over the fact Friends had their fare share. Truth is, they had a little more than that! While Friends never hit the crazy levels of Will & Grace’s celebrity appearances there were more than enough so I could do a list for that show also.
I wanted to limit this to ten to be fair to the other list, but since I am a bigger fan of this show (we could father from my episode guide about it) and besides Friends has two extra years I had to expand it a bit. Also, like last time one time appearance only. Which means that Alec Baldwin gets eliminated (again) not to mention Aisha Tyler, Elle MacPherson, Elliot Gould, Paul Rudd, Morgan Fairchild, Bruce Willis, Paget Brewster and of course Tom Selleck. Also unlike last time there are plenty of clips for these.
So here are my ten, well 12..sort of…favorite celebrity appearances on “Friends!”
#12.Soleil Moon Fry (The One with the Girl who Hits Joey, Season 5)
The funny thing is the reason I like this has nothing to do with the clearly trying to hard Moon Fry, but the scene with Rachel where Rachel kicks her in the shin. Season 5 was lean on the celebrity appearances, making this one of the few of the whole year. We did also get Michael Rapaport as Phoebe’s boyfriend for a few episodes.
#11.Ben Stiller (The one with the Screamer, Season 3)
Season 3 was spared the onslaught of celebrities for the most part, with one very large exception we’ll get to at the end. Ben Stiller is awesome in this episode as Rachel’s new boyfriend who screams at people. The problem that’s pretty much is only note, so while Stiller is funny enough to be on this list it isn’t much of a character, I should mention his wife, Christine Tyler, appeared in a few episodes also.
#10.Dakota Fanning (The One with Princess Consuela”, Season 10)
The final season didn’t offer much in the way of stunt casting. Not because they didn’t stunt cast, but because at this point it was just about getting the celebrity on and the heck with making it a goof episode. Just check out Danny Devito’s appearance. Or even Greg Kinear’s episode which could have also been anyone (though Kinear was funny). But Dakota Fanning’s cameo as a girl moving out of the house Monica and Chanldler are buying works and that scene with Joey is great.
#9.Susan Sarandon (“The One with Joey’s New Brain”, Season 7
Season 7 was not the best time for this show has it became more about the stunt casting and our characters interacting with the celebrities. Besides this and my next choice we also had Wynona Ryder, Denise Richards, Kristen Davis, and Gary Oldman in one season! So I decided to pick these two are the standout’s. Susan Sarandon’s role as a soap opera star is being replaced by Joey’s is ok, Sarandon rocks in every scene.
#8.Jason Alexander (“The one where Rosita Dies”, Season 7)
To be fair to Season 7 that was the first year the show was up against Survivor so the network was probably freaking out. Anyway, Jason Alexander’s episode is a different character and situation but the same idea as Phoebe has to save the day for this guy she met. The whole episode is forced byt it’s damn cool to see Alexander again. Jason Alexander finds a way to make a character an even bigger loser than George. And it works.
#7.Charlie Sheen (“The one with the Chicken Pox”, Season 2)
This was the hardest slot to fill, I can’t lie. I went back and forth between him or Kristen Davis but honestly Davis didn’t bring much to her episode. It could have been anyone in that role. Sheen made his role a very memorable (in a crappy episode no less). So much so it would jumpstart his career and lead to his role in “Two and a Half Men”.
#6.Reese Witherspoon (“The One with Rache’s Sister, Season 6)
Christina Applegate (“The One with Rachel’s Other Sister, Season 9)
I decided to make it a tie since they are both playing Rachel’s sisters. Witherspoon was the spoiled Jill while Applegate was the ditzy Amy. And yes they appeared in two episodes each but I made this exception in the last list so we can do it here. They were both excellent and both gave us glimpses of what Rachel would have been if she hadn’t found her friends. Witherspoon is also an example of how Season six had celebrities in recurring roles which is refreshing rather one time stunt casting. We got enough of that the next year. Season 9 wasn’t as good with appearances from Selma Blair, Freddie Prince Jr, John Stamos and Jeff Goldblum for no real reason.
#5.Brad Pitt (“The one with the Rumor”, Season 8)
Thankfully the stunt casting from Season 7 didn’t carry over to Season 8, though we did have some including Sean Penn and Alec Baldwin. Brad Pitt is the best though. The episode is only ok, as it really deals with a story which is not only a retcon, but a pointless one. But hey Brad Pitt is really good as he plays an old high school classmate of Ross and Rachel’s who hates Rachel. Only fitting if your spouse is going be on your show of course the character has to hate the other.
#4.Julia Roberts (The One After the Super Bowl, Season 2)
The episode (yes, not season EPISODE) also features Chris Isaak, Brooke Shields and Jean Claude Van Damme but where these too were trying to hard or not truing at all, Roberts at least put a little effort into her small role. She plays a girl that Chandler humiliated in grade school out for some revenge. It’s a cute role and Roberts makes it work. They also had Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, Marlo Thomas, and Of course the biggest name that season was Tom Selleck in his role as Dr. Burke.
#3.Helen Hunt/George Clooney (The One with Two Parts, Season 1)
You may have noticed in my Will & Grace article no first season episode was mentioned there. Friends was a little better in their first season with appearances by Jill Goodacre Jennifer Grey, and Jon Lovits. But my favorite is when Helen Hunt does a walk on as her character from Mad About You, who mistakes Phoebe for Lisa Kurdow’s character Ursula from Mad About You. I love stuff like this.
And yes George Clooney and Noah Wiley appeared in this episode also but that wasn’t quite as clever. Still, here’s a clip:
#2.Billy Crystal & Robin Williams (“The one with the ultimate Fighting Champion”, season 3)
What do you do when you are filming a movie on the same lot as Friends and have a little time to kill? Go over and do a walk on of course! That’s pretty much the only reason these two are here, in a scene which is as hilarious as it is utterly pointless.
#1.Isabella Rossillini (“The One with Frank Jr”, Season 3)
This is just cute. There’s no other way to describe. Ross spends the whole episode talkinbg about who he would be on his freebie lost, and then in comes Isabella Rossellini. The rest is just classic.
I wanted every season covered but Season 4 just didn’t have one which made it. Charlton Heston was close but even that was just a couple minutes at the end of the episode as the punchline to a joke the whole storyline was leading to. Kinda lame.