11 Important 'Friends' Love Interests Ranked By Their Impact On The Series

It's been over a decade since the sextet of New Yorkers on Friends signed off, all lovingly paired up into little couples (well, sans Joey who was bound for a California spin-off), and I'm still not over it. But, while you were probably bawling when Rachel announced she got off the plane, I'd really like to take a moment to honor all the tangential Friends romances. Because whether you realize it or not, plenty of the Friends' boyfriends and girlfriends impacted the rest of the show. When they weren't romantically entangled with each other, the main six were romantically entangled with people who would change their lives.

Do you doubt me? Consider the following: Every relationship you have has probably altered and messed with your life in some way, and, no doubt, that rings true for your favorite TV show. There were relationships in there that were game changers to the entire story (or not), or to the emotional sanity of an entire character (or not). There were relationships that would live in infamy, and relationships that would be over as soon as episode was done.

Here are the top 11 Friends love interests, ranked by their prominence, prevalence, and ability to move the plot.

11. Janine

It isn't shocking that things didn't end well with Joey's roommate-turned-GF Janine; it's just the existence of the relationship didn't have any major effect on the plotline.

10. Alan

OK, Alan only had a one episode stint in early Season 1, so, to viewers, he leaves a light footprint. But let's not forget the trauma his break-up with Monica inflicted on the rest of the friends: He drove Chandler to start smoking again!

9. Mona

Ross's post-getting-Rachel-pregnant girlfriend is aggressively fine. Their relationship was injected in the beginning of Season 8 to showcase that it's hard to balance a new girlfriend when you're having a baby with your ex. Duh, Ross. So, while her presence stirred things up, Mona could have really been anyone.

8. Charlie

What could be said about Charlie? Nobody could doubt that she was an accomplished, bright woman, and she gets props for not instantly dumping Ross after his margarita-heavy speech about L-O-V-E. Her most interesting plot point, though, is that she traded in Joey for Ross, which is kind of a lesser Kathy situation.

7. Kathy

All I'm going to say is that throwing a wrench in the bromance of Chandler and Joey is no light drama. A wooden crate got involved. It wasn't pretty.

6. David

Bless the scientist guy, because he really offered the potential that Phoebe could have a normal relationship. Ultimately, she got that with someone else, but a David cameo was always appreciated — and it threw some conflict Pheeb's way when she became entangled with Mike.

5. Mike

I mean, Mike married Phoebe, and he was a young, dashing Paul Rudd (which is just as good as a slightly-older, dashing Paul Rudd). That's pretty significant. But let's be real for a second: Mike also arrived to the series late in the game.

4. Julie

Julie's presence threw possibly the first (of many) wrenches into the on-going Ross-and-Rachel struggle. Her presence was no minor complication, let me tell you, and it ended with her as major collateral damage.

3. Emily

Just think, without Emily we wouldn't have all those potent and hilarious "Ross always gets divorced" jokes. Oh, we wouldn't have the iconic, "I Ross, take the Rachel" line.

2. Janice

OH. MY. GOD. There have been a lot of Friends girlfriends and boyfriends, but how many of them have their own catchphrase? Janice is everything, and she has a strong voice that sings out in virtually every season. There's really only one more Friends love interest with a more dominant presence and that is...

1. Richard

This studmuffin. Monica dating her father's friend was no small feat, but, when it blossomed into a full-fledged romance, Richard became a recurring presence in the Friends universe. There was a time where he could've potentially derailed Mondler! Ultimately, it's Tom Selleck and his gorgeous, majestic mustache that remains the most significant Friends S.O.

Of course, every Friends S.O. was important in their own way — it's just that, like real life, some relationships were more important than others.

Images: Warner Bros. Television (12)