The Friends gang didn't just suddenly appear on this Earth to delight us with madcap adventures and an unbreakable six-way bond — at least, not in their universe. No, each Friend was brought into this world by a set of parents, who were together at least long enough to give us little Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe. (Guys, I just had an epiphany about an amazing children's TV show. Friends Babies. Like Muppet Babies? I'll take my check now.) So, already I've got to give it up to this group of breeders for being responsible for six such important people in my ongoing fantasy life. But what of the Friends parents as individuals? They're so drastically different; so zany in their own individual ways. One has to be better or worse than the next. So I ranked them. You're welcome.
The Friends parents were such an instrumental part of the show. That era that Friends captured was a tricky, re-defining one for parents and children. In my twenties, I wanted it both ways. I wanted to live independently, without having to answer to anyone. But I also wanted the right to ask for a check and a hug every once in a while. I think that a lot of the following rankings have to do with how each Friend parent handled their kid(s) growing up. In some cases, they were just as clueless as their offspring, proving that most of us just stay stuck in second gear forever. We love them for it though. And so, without further ado, here are all of the Friends parents, ranked from worst to best.
10. Frank Buffay, Sr.
Frank left not just one, but two families. Phoebe was kind to him, because she is a forgiving sunflower. He did not deserve it.
9. Joseph Tribbiani, Sr.
Apparently, Joey's mom was OK with Joseph Sr. carrying on an affair "behind her back." But Joey certainly wasn't. His dad also seemed a little selfish with a bit of a martyr complex, in my opinion. Never a good combination.
8. Gloria Tribbiani
You deserve better, Gloria. You birthed eight children!
7. Judy Geller
Judy never met a backhanded compliment she didn't immediately toss at Monica. Ross, however, only received sincere, sweet comments from his mother. Don't play favorites, Judy.
6. Nora Bing
Nora Bing isn't bossy, she's the boss. She created an empire out of her smutty novels, and was always dressed to the nines. Also, can we put equal blame on Ross for that kiss, please?
5. Charles Bing
Viva Las Gaygas. Case closed.
4. Phoebe Abbott
For so long, Phoebe saw herself as an orphan. She defined herself by the fact that she lost her mom. Phoebe Sr. wasn't perfect by any means (though incredibly sex-positive, which is great), but she was there. And then Phoebe had a family again.
3. Doctor Leonard Green
Maybe it's because sometimes I glare at Ross too, but I find Dr. Green incredibly hilarious. Sure, he's a bad tipper. He's a yell-er. And he tried to talk Rachel out of her self-actualizing bid for independence. But he called Ross "Wet Head," and for that, I will always be grateful.
2. Sandra Green
I have a soft spot for kooky rich ladies, and Rachel's mom totally fills that role. Also, I like that she was so inspired by her daughter's brave move to the city, and was always there for her to offer advice and support after Emma was born.
1. Jack Geller
Could this have ended any other way? Jack Geller is a classic TV dad: corny, inappropriate, always with the nicknames. He balanced out Judy's rough edges, loved his kids fiercely, and even gave Phoebe a few saucy dreams. Well done, sir.
Wherever they rank on this list, I want to thank each and every Friends parent for being such an excellent baby-maker.