Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / Friends Family Members

Go To

Back to the main character page

    open/close all folders 

     Ross and Monica's Relatives 
Jack & Judy Geller (Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles)
  • Abusive Parents: Whereas Jack's treatment of Monica could be seen as being Innocently Insensitive, Judy is just flat-out unpleasant towards/about her:
    Ross (on the phone with Judy): No, Mom, I’m not dead. I know it’s not something to kid about. It was just a practical joke between Chandler and me, but it’s over, ok? (pause) Actually no, even if I had died, you would not be left childless. (pause) Monica?
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Either from a lack of caring that the comments they make are incredibly embarrassing (Judy) or a lack of realizing that they are (Jack).
  • Bumbling Dad: Jack. He frequently makes inappropriate comments, which he punctuates by exclaiming "I'm just saying...!"
  • Dirty Old Man: Jack, having "accidentally" walked in on Rachel and Joey's temporary roommate Janine while they were changing. He also peeked on a couple having sex in the janitor's closet in a hospital. Unfortunately, they turned out to be Chandler and Monica.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In their first appearance Monica is going to seemingly insane lengths to make sure her mother doesn't have anything to criticize when she gets there including obsessively fluffing a cushion to spite her friends attempting to assure her that she probably wont care that much if her cushion is a little bit hard, the first thing Judy dose when we meet her re-fluff the cushion.
  • Happily Married: The only parents of the gang to be this.
  • Informed Attribute: Ross & Monica apparently inherited their competitive streak from Jack. Not that you can tell from his generally very laid-back demeanor.
  • Innocently Insensitive: How Jack's mistreatment of Monica is portrayed. He is horrified after learning about her perceptions that he and Judy have always favored Ross, and he attempts to make amends by giving her his prized Porsche as a gift.
  • I Want Grandkids: Judy drives Monica to tears on this subject.
  • Jerkass: Judy comes off as this with her treatment of Monica.
  • Like Mother, Like Daughter: Judy's mother treated her the same way she treats Monica. However, as Monica is aware of this it's implied she'll break the cycle.
  • My Beloved Smother: Judy, to Monica. Turns out Judy's mother was also this.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: This is Jack's reaction to realising that he had unintentionally favoured Ross over Monica for years. To try to make amends, he gives Monica his Porsche.
  • Never My Fault: It's implied that Ross got this trait from Judy, as she has no idea that she abuses Monica horribly and doesn't think that maybe she hid the relationship with Chandler because she remembers all the putdowns about her love life.
  • Nice Guy: Jack. Unless he's been angered by something (like finding out his best friend is dating his daughter) he's very low-key and cheerful, and aside from making the occasional thoughtless comment he never has a legitimately unkind thing to say about anyone, and does seem to genuinely love Monica unlike his wife.
  • Oblivious to Their Own Description: In "The One Where Nana Dies", Judy has no idea that she treats Monica the same way Nana treated her.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Subverted they where thrilled when they found out Monica and Chandler were together to spite not liking him much before.
  • Overprotective Dad: Jack. It is strongly implied by Richard that Jack angrily chased him after discovering that he was dating Monica. Ross also feels the need to very quickly take a baseball bat off Jack before Monica and Richard reveal their relationship. Would you do that if you thought your dad's reaction to such news was going to be calm and measured?
  • Parental Favoritism: Towards Ross. Though at least in Jack's case it was unintentional and he felt horrible about it when he realized.
  • Primal Scene: Monica has the misfortune of viewing them have sex not once, but twice, the first on video and the second in person while hiding in the shower.

Carol Willick & Susan Bunch (Jane Sibbett & Jessica Hecht)
  • Amicably Divorced: Carol and Ross are still very close; if she wasn't a lesbian, they'd probably still be together. This may explain why Susan doesn't seem to like Ross much.
  • Freak Out!:
    • Carol has one that is mainly played for laughs at her Lamaze Class, getting absolutely terrified/Squicked at the idea of giving birth. When Ross initially tries to reassure her:
    Carol: Oh, what do YOU know?! No-one's going up to you and saying: "Hi, is that your nostril? Mind if we push this POT ROAST THROUGH IT?!"
    • What Susan eventually says to comfort her leads to a Heroic BSoD from Ross when it finally hits him that he's going to be a father.
  • Happily Married: They get married in season 2.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her disdain, Susan does give Ross a break in some instances. Most notably "The One With The Lesbian Wedding." It probably helped that Ross convinced Carol to proceed with her and Susan's wedding even after Carol's parents refused to show up, even giving Carol away. Ultimately, they're willing to tolerate each other, though there's always a bit of rivalry.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Carol. They are both lesbian but Carol is more feminine.
  • Out of Focus: In later seasons they just disappear, Susan last appearing in the alternate reality episode of season 6, Carol last appearing in the middle of season 7.
  • Second Love: Carol to Ross, if you consider Ross's first love his teenage crush on Rachel. And obviously First Girl Wins.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Susan and Carol, respectively.
Advertisement:

     Rachel's Relatives 
Dr. Leonard & Sandra Green (Ron Leibman and Marlo Thomas)
  • Baby Sitter From Hell: Sandra apparently gave baby Emma a bottle of antidepressants for a rattle once when she was watching her. But they were only 5 milligrams...
  • Companion Cube: Dr. Green really likes his sailboat. "Really likes" as in "it is more his pride and joy than his daughters."
  • Control Freak: Dr. Green is an overbearing perfectionist who demands that anything his children do reap instant, flawless results. An example of this is Rachel told him she was pregnant and wasn't going to marry Ross because she doesn't love him. He spends about an hour on the phone yelling at her about it. Even before that, Rachel told him she wasn't going to marry Barry because she realized she didn't love him. He didn't care.
  • Hate Sink: Like his daughter Amy, Dr. Green was a deliberately unpleasant and unlikable character.
  • Hypocrite: Dr. Green. He's a smoking cardiologist who spent Rachel's childhood warning her about the dangers of smoking. Rachel describes them as "horror stories". In his last appearance, he has a heart attack. Ross replies how all he found in his fridge was bacon and heavy cream so it was no mystery how that happened.
  • Jerkass: Both of them. Sandra is slightly kinder, though still not the most pleasant person in the world. She at least offers to help with the baby because she really was concerned about Rachel being able to handle it and was reassured by Ross that he knew what to do and didn't need her. She even told Ross he'd be a wonderful father.
  • Parental Favoritism: According to Jill, Rachel is the one daughter he's actually proud of. Of course, in comparison to her two sisters, Rachel has made a successful life for herself and refused any help offered by both her parents. Mrs. Green has also shown a lot of praise for Rachel, yet barely talks about her other two daughters.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite being an all-around Jerkass, it actually turns out that Dr. Leonard is proud of Rachel for being his one daughter that adapted to living on her own.
  • Rich Bitch: Sandra. Rachel is sometimes exasperated when it came to her mother's snobbishness.
  • Stepford Smiler: Sandra before their divorce.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Sandra displays many of the characteristics that Rachel had before she set out on her own, including dependence on others for money, lack of respect for people in minimum-wage jobs, and lenient attitude towards marriage.

Jill Green (Reese Witherspoon)
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: When Rachel tries to help her, Jill ends up breaking the rules and dates Ross to spite her sister.
  • Brainless Beauty: A beautiful Upper-Class Twit.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Don't ever tell her to not date your ex-boyfriend because of the history, or else she will steal him to torture you.
  • Dumb Blonde: Jill and Amy are both blonde and dimwitted.
  • It's All About Me: She is very self-absorbed and spoiled.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: She apparently aged badly, since her last appearance. According to Amy at least.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    Jill: (spins around to show off her outfit) What do you think?
    Rachel: I-I don't like it.
    Jill: Really?
    Rachel: It's kinda slutty.
    Jill: It's yours.
    Rachel: Yeah, well... I'm a slut.
    Jill: Me too!
  • Replacement Flat Character: Whether intentional or not, Jill showed just how much the formerly spoiled and selfish Rachel has changed.
  • Spoiled Brat: "Daddy cut me off. And you know what I said to him? I said, 'I'm gonna hire a lawyer and I'm gonna sue you and take all your money and then cut you off!' But he said he wouldn't pay for my lawyer!"
  • The Unfavorite: In comparison to Rachel, who is the daughter Dr. Green is most proud of. It's unclear how she is ranked in comparison to Amy.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Just like Rachel was in season 1 (and her other sister Amy), she's an incompetent rich Spoiled Brat who is clueless in the most basic tasks.

Amy Green (Christina Applegate)
  • Babysitter from Hell: When Amy took care of Emma. She was completely idiotic, irresponsible and had no understanding towards babies. She regarded Emma as dull for presumably not wanting sushi and somehow managed to get Emma's ears pierced. When confronted about this she avoided the blame and claimed that Emma needs a fun aunt.
  • Brainless Beauty: She is even dumber than Jill.
  • Brutal Honesty: Amy is extremely tactless and repeatedly insults Rachel's friends.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: She has a poor memory, keeps thinking Phoebe's name is Emma, that "Phoebe" is just a weird noise and keeps confusing Ross with a falafel cart vendor, whose only resemblance to him is his dark hair.
  • Dumb Blonde: Jill and Amy are both blonde and dimwitted.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Rachel. Both grew up as shallow, spoiled rich girls, but Rachel never becomes a Jerkass with a complete Lack of Empathy like Amy.
  • Hate Sink: She's self-absorbed, rude, selfish, mean-spirited and overall unpleasant, she even explicitly said it would be awesome if Ross and Rachel died so she can have their baby, right to their faces. Not only that, she said that their baby (and her own goddamn niece) wasn't even that cute to their faces. Not even Joey can stand her, despite her good looks.
  • Hidden Depths: Very very hidden but she does seem to love Rachel, at least more so than she does Jill. She and Rachel even bond on talking about how fat Jill has become.
  • Hypocrite:
    Amy: You’ve just always been like this. You just have to have everything, and I couldn’t have anything. Like in junior high, when you stole Timmy from me. I mean, do you even realize how much that hurt me?
    Rachel: Timmy was my boyfriend! And you made out with him!!
    Amy: Oh come on, that was 20 years ago. Get over it.
  • It's All About Me: Also combined with Lack of Empathy and a total disregard of other people’s feelings, as lampshaded by Rachel.
  • Jerkass: Even Joey can't stand her. The only woman Joey seems to dislike more than her is Janice.
    Joey: She may be the hottest girl I've ever hated.
  • Rich Bitch: More so than Jill who is also a Spoiled Brat but much nicer towards Rachel and her friends.
  • Spoiled Brat: To the point that Jill, despite being bratty as well, is Rachel's favorite sister.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Jill. Christina Applegate was cast as Rachel's other sister Amy since Reese Witherspoon was unavailable to reprise her role as Jill. Justified in that it had already been established that Rachel had two sisters.
  • The Unfavorite: She shares this title with her sister Jill, for both similar and different reasoning.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Her lack of understanding on how the world works is even worse than Rachel at the beginning of the series.

     Phoebe's Relatives 
Ursula Buffay (Lisa Kudrow)

Frances (Phoebe's grandma)

Frank Buffay Jr (Giovanni Ribisi)
  • Buffy Speak: He describes his love for his fiancée as "being with her is like... so much better than not being with her, y'know"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: To the point that Phoebe actually takes on the role of the Cloudcuckoolander's Minder when hanging out with him.
  • Happily Married: To Alice. They get married in "The One With Phoebe's Uterus"
  • Likes Older Women: Alice, at least. He loves her despite their age difference.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Whilst trying to find her father, Phoebe runs into her father's second wife and his son—AKA her half brother.
  • Make-Out Kids: With Alice. They are openly...affectionate with each other.
  • Must Have Caffeine: It's not said outright, but in season 10 it's pretty clear that his triplets have driven him so mad with their antics he relies entirely on coffee to have enough energy, shown by the classic caffeine rush he has when talking to Phoebe. He also mentions not having slept for four years, which must definitely mean this.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Again, with Alice.

Phoebe Abbott (Teri Garr)
  • Generation Xerox: She and Phoebe (junior) are very similar.
  • Long-Lost Relative: She didn't feel ready to be a mother, and walked out on her family. Frank and Lily took over, and Lily is the adoptive mother who passed away, leaving Phoebe alone at the age of 14.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: With similar impact to the original line, in context.
  • Polyamory: "Frank, Lily and I... The three of us were... a couple."
  • Tell Me About My Father: Why Phoebe visits her in the first place.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the two-parter at the beach house, it's revealed that Phoebe's biological mother is very much alive. After this two-parter and one Season 4 guest appearance, she never appears again and arguably came down with Chuck Cunningham Syndrome. While Phoebe's dead mother Lily still continues to be brought up whenever applicable, there's never any mention of her not having been Phoebe's biological mother.

Frank Buffay Sr (Bob Balaban)
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Walked out on his children because he thought he was a terrible father and honestly thought him leaving would be for the best.
  • Disappeared Dad: Walked out on Phoebe, Ursula and Lily, and later on Frank Jr. and his mother.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Phoebe starts looking for him in Season 2. He doesn't show up until Season 5.
  • One-Shot Character: Only appears in one episode.
  • Shrinking Violet: He's an incredibly nervous man, never raising his voice for anything, easily spooked, and eventually reveals that he left the family because he didn't think he was a good enough father.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He made one appearance and was never seen or heard from again.

     Joey's Relatives 
Joseph Francis Sr and Gloria Tribbiani (Robert Costanzo and Brenda Vaccaro)
  • Kavorka Man: Joey's dad is not much to look at, yet he has extramarital affairs.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Like his son, Joseph Sr doesn't take relationships too seriously, since he cheats on his wife and it's implied he Really Gets Around.
  • One-Shot Character: They only appear in one episode in season 1, though Joey's dad reappears in "Joey".
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Gloria believes the affair did this to Joseph. Previously prone to anger, he felt so guilty he started going out of his way to keep her happy.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Joey's dad. His wife's fairly ok with it as it makes their marriage more pleasant.

Tribbiani Sisters

     Chandler's Relatives 
Nora-Tyler & Charles Bing (Morgan Fairchild & Kathleen Turner)

Charles: Aren't you a little old to be wearing a dress like that?
Nora: Don't you have a little too much penis to be wearing a dress like that?

  • Abusive Parents: Borderline. They're not intentionally hurtful, but both of them horribly embarrassed Chandler growing up, in their own special ways; were neglectful, such as in not attending Parents Day because they didn't feel like going; and if Chandler's jokes are to be believed, one or both of them exposed Chandler to an orgy by the age of seven and one of them allegedly also tried to kidnap him after Cub Scouts in the wake of the divorce. Chandler also joked that, growing up, his father had him play one of the strippers in his Las Vegas show. Their spiteful and messy divorce also gave Chandler a host of commitment issues.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Both of them to Chandler, his mother Nora being an erotic novelist who's accordingly very sexual, and his father Charles being a gay drag queen (whom Chandler recollects going to his swim meets dressed as Hollywood starlets.) With Charles it's an Exaggerated, if this quote from Chandler is anything to go by:
    "All kids are embarrassed by their parents! You’d have to come up with a whole new word for what I went through..."
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: It's never really made clear whether Charles is a gay male Drag Queen or a trans woman. Through most of the show, he's said to be a gay man who does drag, but when we finally see him in the later seasons, he's played by a female actress and dressed as a woman.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Before they divorced. According to Chandler they had sexual power struggles over the pool boy.
  • Cross-Cast Role: Chandler's drag queen (but not transsexual) father is played by a woman, Kathleen Turner.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both of them. It's obvious where Chandler got it from.
  • Drag Queen: Charles owns a drag cabaret in Las Vegas and performs as the headliner.
  • Mrs. Robinson: Nora made out with Ross in "The One With Mrs. Bing".
  • No Accounting for Taste: It's not clear why either of them got married in the first place.
  • Noodle Incident: That time Nora got arrested in London. All the audience hears is it had something to do with a craving for kung-pow chicken.
  • Parental Neglect: To Chandler. While it's obvious they love him, they weren't very good at being nurturing and did several things without any concern about his feelings. This trope is downplayed with Charles, though- when Chandler points out how he would come to his swim-meets dressed in drag, Monica points out that he was there at every meet cheering him on. He also took part in Cub Scouts with Chandler as the "den-mother."
  • Serial Spouse: Nora who apparently remarried three times after Charles.
  • Trans Equals Gay: Chandler's father is referred to as gay, and is in drag every time he's on camera.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Chandler, probably the most normal of the group (in relative terms), has by far the weirdest and wackiest parents. He finds them embarrassing and grew up as a somewhat cynical and snarky individual.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Both of them. Special mention to both sleeping with the best man just before the wedding.

     Kids 
Ben Geller-Willick-Bunch (Charles Thomas Allen/John Christoper Allen, later Cole Sprouse)
  • Has Two Mommies: Ross's former wife, Carol, and her partner Susan. Ben splits his time between his dad Ross and his moms.
    Ben: [to Chandler] Thanks, Daddy.
    Ross: No, no. One daddy, two mommies.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: His name is taken from the tag on a janitor uniform Phoebe wears.
  • Meaningful Name: Ross and Susan agreed to this name because they reached an understanding while locked in Janitor Ben's closet.
  • Mouthy Kid: Later in the show, when played by Cole Sprouse.
  • Out of Focus: He disappeared after season eight. After Emma was born (indeed, after Rachel got pregnant), he's barely mentioned again.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Played for Laughs when Jack calls Emma "my first grandchild" and Ross has to remind him that Ben exists.

Emma Geller-Green
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Averted. Ross and Rachel did not get back together after he accidentally got her pregnant during a drunken hook up and the stress of raising a child strained their relationship further. When they got back together in the finale their child had nothing to do with it.
  • Baby's First Words: Rachel gets excited by Emma saying her first word, "gleba". At first, Ross doesn't think it's a real word, but then Rachel looks it up in the dictionary and finds out that it means "fleshy, spore-bearing inner mass of certain fungi" and he thinks it means she will grow up to be a scientist.
  • Cheerful Child: She really enjoys the song "Baby got Back".
  • Crying Little Kid: In "The One Where Emma Cries."
  • Daddy's Girl: Ross is a caring father to her.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: In one episode, Emma takes a liking to Joey's stuffed toy penguin, Hugsy, and refuses to be without it.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the last episode. She is mentioned to be moving to Paris with Rachel under the supervision of Rachel's mom. Being that Rachel abandoned her Paris plans, it can be assumed Emma would live with both her parents now.

Jack and Erica Bing
Advertisement:

    Pets 
Marcel
  • Cool Pet: A monkey, a classic example of an exotic pet. Ross was even forced to admit in one episode that owning Marcel was illegal.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: A comical monkey.
  • Put on a Bus: Ross donated him to a zoo near the end of Season 1. They reunited in Season 2's "The One After the Super Bowl".

The Chick and The Duck
  • A Dog Named "Dog": Apart from two separate throwaway jokes that called the chick "Yasmine" and the duck "Dick", it seems Joey and Chandler never gave them any name apart from "The Chick" and "The Duck".
  • Cool Pet: Served as replacement for Marcel in making sure at least one of the friends owned a cool pet. Joey and Chandler were surprisingly adept at keeping a chicken and duck well-cared for in a New York City apartment.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: After Chandler breaks up with Kathy, they can be seen following him everywhere he goes.
  • Noisy Nature: They are constantly quacking, cheeping, and clucking in every scene they're in.
  • Replacement Goldfish: In the season finale Joey buys a replacement chick and duck for Chandler and Monica, after the old ones "went to a farm".
  • Riddle for the Ages: It is never explained how Chandler going to the pound to see about dropping off the chick resulted in him coming home with a duck.
  • What Happened to the Pet?: Their last appearance was early in Season 7 and they weren't mentioned again until the series finale, which revealed that they had died at some point. Chick Jr. and Duck Jr., who were living with Joey as of the end of Friends, were nowhere to be seen in Joey's spin-off show.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: The Chick was assumed to be female until he grew up to be a rooster.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report