Phoebe’s Sister Ursula Was The Best 'Friends' Minor Character
Back in the '90s, picking your favorite character from Friends was no mean feat, and often resulted in hour-long arguments with your besties. What is perhaps even more difficult is choosing your favorite minor character from the sitcom, particularly since the show featured so many amazing guest stars over its 10 years. From Sean Penn to Reese Witherspoon to Brad Pitt, the list of A-List celebrities that turned up at Central Perk is pretty long, and there were several recurring characters too who were super memorable. But, in my humble opinion, Phoebe's sister Ursula was the best minor character in Friends, and it's an easy to decision to make.
Lisa Kudrow is a queen as far as I'm concerned, and I'm always elated when she turns up unexpectedly in movies or TV shows. Kudrow's role in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2 was heartfelt, quirky, and devastating, and the actress brought all of these emotions and more to her portrayal of Ursula Buffay, Phoebe's estranged identical twin sister on Friends. Ursula was such a great character because she was always controversial, antagonistic, and completely surprising. Despite looking exactly like Phoebe Buffay, the pair were polar opposites who had very little in common. But, every time Phoebe's twin turned up in an episode, you just knew that chaos was going to ensue, and that it was going to be brilliant.
Ursula was most definitely the definition of a bad sister. From using Phoebe's name on several occasions to selling her birth certificate, Ursula was a renegade with a bad attitude. When it was revealed that she'd been using her sister's name as her porn alias, it was hilarious in the worst way, especially when we got to see the VHS case for her movie Buffay the Vampire Layer. Undoubtedly, Ursula's behavior was meant to work in peak contrast to Phoebe's sweet nature, and it did. Although their troubled relationship was underlined with darkness (their mother was dead, and they'd grown up apart), Ursula never failed to make the audience laugh because she was an over the top, completely offensive version of everyone's fave Phoebe Buffay.
Ursula Buffay also appeared in '90s sitcom Mad About You , and it was the character's popularity on that show that led to her being introduced into Friends. Lisa Kudrow's versatility, and ability to make any character, even a minor one, totally her own, is a huge part of why I love Ursula. Sometimes I dream about how great a spin-off featuring Ursula would have been, precisely because she was unpredictable, and saw the world in such a strange way. She didn't care what anyone thought of her, and lived in a world of her own making, which are both positive attributes for an often negative character.
Although there are so many characters to choose from, Ursula Buffay was my favorite minor character in Friends because she constantly surprised me. I never knew what she was going to do next, and that's a rare and wonderful quality in a sitcom. Is it too late to make that spin-off happen?