Plenty of A-listers made memorable cameos on the NBC sitcom, but others flew under the radar. The Hollywood Reporter rounds up 10 of the more obscure favorites from the comedy’s 10-year run.
Over the course of 10 seasons and 236 episodes, Friends welcomed a bevy of guest stars, some as famous as the titular pals.
The A-listers who stopped by the popular comedy were unforgettable, and two of them even won an Emmy for their efforts. (Looking at you, Christina Applegate and Bruce Willis). Among the celebrities to stop by were Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Susan Sarandon, Paul Rudd and Winona Ryder.
But what of the big-name guest stars who visited Central Perk during its heyday who flew under the radar? In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Friends premiere (the series debuted on NBC on Sept. 22, 1994), here are 10 Friends guest stars you may have forgotten about and the episodes in which they appeared.
Helen Hunt: “The One With Two Parts: Part 1” Season 1, Episode 16
The ‘90s loved a good crossover event, and NBC wasted no time in getting the Mad About You star onto its other wildly popular sitcom as her character, Jamie.
Leah Remini: “The One With the Birth” Season 1, Episode 23
The future King of Queens star played Lydia, a pregnant woman who gets some unexpected help in the delivery room from none other than Joey. The two had sweet chemistry, but by the end of the episode, she was reunited with her baby’s father.
Chrissie Hynde: “The One With the Baby on the Bus” Season 2, Episode 6
Maybe it’s because Phoebe sings “Smelly Cat” so much over the course of Friends it can be easy to forget that rock n’ roll royalty dueted with her on the tune as her ex-songwriting partner, Stephanie.
Isabella Rosselini: “The One With Frank Jr.” Season 3, Episode 5
After Ross bumps the Italian bombshell from his (laminated!) freebie hookup list, he doesn’t expect to run into her at Central Perk. (To be fair, who would?) Revisiting the episode now, it’s hard not to marvel at the mainstream comedy booking such a legend to play herself.
Ben Stiller: “The One With the Screamer” Season 3, Episode 22
Phoebe takes the cake for strange guest star beaus (see: Sean Penn, Charlie Sheen, Alec Baldwin), so the gang’s other hookups seemed less memorable by default. Case in point: Ben Stiller playing Rachel’s rage-fueled date Tommy.
Kristin Davis: “The One With Ross’ Library Book” Season 7, Episode 7
Joey had a rotating lineup of hookups over the course of 10 seasons, and the Sex and the City star just happened to be one of them. While the notorious womanizer fell for Davis’ Erin, the feeling was not reciprocated, making her a one-off Friends visitor.
Jeff Goldblum: “The One With the Mugging” Season 9, Episode 15
The internet’s favorite memeable boyfriend played Leonard, the director of a play Joey was auditioning for. While he initially thought Joey was a really intense actor, it turned out he just really had to pee.
Jennifer Coolidge: “The One With Ross’ Tan” Season 10, Episode 3
The latter seasons of Friends brought on a whole slew of guest stars (Anna Faris, Dermot Mulroney, Aisha Tyler, Greg Kinnear) and thrown into that mix was Coolidge. The comedian played Amanda, Monica and Phoebe’s annoying former neighbor — fake British accent and all.
Ellen Pompeo: “The One Where the Stripper Cries” Season 10, Episode 11
This is an episode where Danny DeVito plays a highly sensitive stripper and Donny Osmond plays himself, so it’s not exactly the Grey’s Anatomy star’s fault that she’s in a second-string storyline as Missy, the college crush of both Ross and Chandler. Still, Pompeo wound up doing just fine.
Dakota Fanning: “The One With Princess Consuela” Season 10, Episode 14
Cole Sprouse wasn’t the only kid actor to appear on the series before he grew up into a major star. Case in point: a young Dakota Fanning played Mackenzie, a precocious tyke living in Monica and Chandler’s new house before they move in.
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