Friends may have taken its final bow more than 10 years ago, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still some hidden gems that are still waiting to be discovered (or rediscovered).
During its 10 years on air, Friends played host to some of the very biggest guest stars on the planet, but as it turns out, some are actually pretty easily forgotten. From George Clooney to Robin Williams, we’re taking a look back at 12 of the biggest stars to ever guest star on the iconic comedy that you probably forgot ever even made an appearance.
12 George Clooney
After finding fame as the dream Dr. Doug Ross on ‘E.R.’, George Clooney brought back the scrubs for his one episode appearance on ‘Friends’. The actor, alongside Noah Wyle, guest starred as Dr. Michael Mitchell in the 1995 season 1 episode ‘The One With Two Parts Part 2’, which saw the twosome head back to Monica’s (Courteney Cox) apartment for a double date with her and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston). However, after an insurance snafu at the hospital earlier in the episode when Rachel discovered that she had no insurance, the date didn’t quite go to plan after the two swapped names for the evening to prevent the very handsome doctors from discovering their little case of insurance fraud.
11 Freddie Prinze Jr.
Just call him Manny, the male nanny! Freddie Prince Jr made a one episode appearance in the ninth season of the series (and the 200th overall episode of the show), titled ‘The One With the Male Nanny’. In the 2002 episode, Freddie’s character, Sandy, was both hired and fired as Rachel and Ross’s (David Schwimmer) nanny following the birth of their daughter Emma. The two ended up getting into a bit of a spat over whether or not they should hire a male nanny to look after the new-born, which saw Ross swiftly fire their new employee. However, things weren’t all bad for Sandy, as he made some extra cash teaching Joey a few life lessons about friendship.
10 Gary Oldman
Appearing in both parts of ‘The One with Monica and Chandler's Wedding’ in 2001, Gary Oldman played the role of famous actor Richard Crosby in two episode of season 7 as Joey’s co-star in his latest film about soldiers in World War II. At first, Gary’s character opted to impart his wisdom about how to correctly pronounce certain words to his co-star (which involved a whole lot of spitting between the two actors), but then jeopardised Joey getting to Monica and Chandler’s wedding on time after turning up to work completely drunk in the second part of the two part episode.
9 Jennifer Grey
8 years after she took the world by storm as baby in ‘Dirty Dancing,’ Jennifer Grey made her debut in the very first season of the comedy. Making her first and only appearance in the show in the episode "The One With The Evil Orthodontist", Jennifer took on the role of Rachel’s former best friend, Mindy, who was set to marry Rachel’s former fiancée, Barry (who, as you’ll remember, she left at the alter). Though Mindy later returned later in the series in the episode ‘The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding,’ Jennifer did not reprise her role, and the character was instead played by Jana Marie Hupp.
8 John Stamos
The Full House actor made a one episode guest appearance on the show in the season 9 episode, ‘The One with the Donor’ back in 2003. After Monica and Chandler discovered that they may need help from a sperm donor in order to have a baby, Chandler invited his co-worker Zak, played by John, back to the apartment, where he was pretty thoroughly grilled on his backstory and family history. After dinner conversation revolved around some pretty strange topics, including diabetes and teeth, unsurprisingly, the pretty awkward encounter meant we never saw Zak return to the apartment for any further episodes.
7 Lea Thompson
The Back to the Future actress appeared very briefly on the show as her Caroline in the City character, Caroline Duffy, in the season 2 episode ‘The One With The Baby On The Bus’. Though she was uncredited at the time, Caroline played a passer-by in the street who told Joey (Matt Le Blanc) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) that her “uterus just skipped a beat” after seeing the twosome looking after Ross’s son Ben. Though she was never named in the show and had a bit of a blink and you’ll miss it appearance, Lea later played the same character for 4 seasons on Caroline in the City, which ran for four seasons from 1995 to 1999 on CBS.
6 Robin Williams
Way back in 1997, the late Robin Williams made a quick (and unexpected!) guest appearance on the show, alongside Billy Crystal. The two were overheard by the friends having a very loud conversation in the coffee house during the opening of the season 3 episode, ‘The One With The Ultimate Fighting Champion’, which resulted in Robin’s character finding out that his friend, played by Billy, had been sleeping with his wife. Even more amazing, according to Rolling Stone, the twosome were never actually intended to be a part of the show. It just so happened that the actors were in the same area as the Friends lot and were quickly written into the episode on the same day as filming.
5 Jennifer Saunders
Appearing as Andrea Waltham (the stepmom of Ross’s wife Emily), in the season 4 episodes ‘The One With Ross's Wedding Part 2’ and ‘The One After Ross Says Rachel,’ the ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ actress served us some pretty great one liners alongside her on-screen husband, Stephen Waltham (Tod Conti). We were first introduced to the sassy character in London for Ross and Emily’s wedding, but after Ross said Rachel’s name on the big day, Jennifer’s character seemed to have a pretty deep attraction to her son-in-law, which made for a whole lot of hilarity during her short stint on the show.
4 Charlie Sheen
Playing Phoebe’s long lost love in the season 2 episode ‘The One with the Chicken Pox,’ Charlie Sheen made his big one episode guest appearance as Ryan, a returning member of the US Navy. After being on leave for the past several months, Ryan finally returned to New York to spend the night with Phoebe in the 1996 episode of the show, only to find out that she had chicken pox. Unfortunately, their romantic plans don’t exactly go to plan after Charlie’s character ends up catching the disease too, which resulted in one very itchy date between the love birds. Seven years after his ‘Friends’ appearance, Charlie shot to superstardom when he landed a role on the show that made him a household name, ‘Two and a Half Men.’
3 Susan Sarandon
The actress actually took on two roles in the season 7 episode ‘The One With Joey's New Brain’ playing actress Cecilia Monroe and her ‘Days of our Lives character’, Jessica Lockhart. In the episode, Cecilia started a love affair with Joey after she discovered that her character was being killed off the soap and Joey’s character, Dr. Drake Ramoray, would have her brain transplanted into his body. However, the couple’s new found romance didn’t last too long, as Susan’s character revealed that she’s moving to Guadalajara at the end of the episode.
2 Helen Hunt
In another blink and you’ll miss it ‘Friends’ guest spot, Helen Hunt actually made a quick appearance in the very first season of the show. The actress appeared on the show as her ‘Mad About You’ character, Jamie Buchman, in the comedy alongside her show co-star, Leila Kenzle, who also reprised her role as Fran Devanow. Appearing in the episode ‘The One With Two Parts Part 1,’ which first aired in 1995, the twosome spotted Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) in Central Perk and gave her their coffee order after accidentally mistaking her for her twin sister, Ursula, who is a waitress at a nearby restaurant in New York.
1 Julia Roberts
Julia Roberts made one of her few TV appearances in the second season of the show. Appearing in the episode ‘The One After the Superbowl Part 2’ in 1996, Julie played Susie Moss who plotted her revenge after running into Chandler on the set of Marcel the monkey’s new film. In the episode, it’s revealed that Chandler actually knew Susie whilst the twosome were at school, and once pulled down her skirt to reveal her underwear to the whole school. After the two headed out on a date, Susie encouraged Chandler to get naked in the restaurant bathroom before leaving him in the lurch… without his clothes. Surprisingly, before guest appearing on the show, Julia had only ever appeared on 2 other TV series in her career, after popping up in one episode of ‘Crime Story’ in 1987 and a single episode of ‘Miami Vice’ in 1988.