Every Secondary Character, Ranked By Intelligence


One of the most recognizable sitcoms around the globe, Friends made Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, and Monica household names. The hilarious antics of the gang captured the hearts of millions of people, but none of these would be possible without a posse of vibrant supporting characters.

RELATED: Friends: Every Secondary Character, Ranked By Likability

Everyone from family members, boyfriends, baristas, to pets made Friends the show it was and gave it that cult following that it garnered. While each member of the supporting cast had their own degree of likeability, some of them were more likable than others.

11 Jill Green

Rachel’s younger sister was easily the most dim-witted character on the show. She got cut off from the family wealth because she decided to buy a boat for her friends, and couldn’t resist blowing past her father’s credit card limit, even when she wanted to start a new life.

Her attempts to start a relationship with Ross also came from a vindictive place, which made her the least intelligent character.

10 Janice Hosenstein

Janice was initially depicted as a very vain and irritating character, but she proved to be kinder and more sympathetic later. What lands her low on this list is her lack of self-awareness. She was pretty self-absorbed and couldn’t read the room when Chandler repeatedly wanted to break up with her, and the six didn’t like her at all.

Janice also believed Monica when she lied to her about Chandler still having feelings for her, which was next to impossible to believe.

9 Gunther

Gunther’s lack of intelligence lay in his unrequited crush on Rachel. He had previously been an actor and then managed Central Perk, but his devotion to a completely uninterested Rachel made him a big joke on the show.

The manager attempted to become a part of the main group too often and would’ve ranked higher on this list if he just got a life of his own.

8 Jack And Judy Geller

Jack and Judy Geller loved each other dearly, but they weren’t the brightest people in the room. Jack often ended up making offensive remarks about people (like when he called Emily’s father a “thieving, would-be-speaking-German-if-it-weren’t-for-us”).

Judy too was overly critical of her daughter instead of being supportive (as was Jack) and condescending towards people, in general, which is why the Geller parents figure low on this list.

7 Ursula

Phoebe’s twin Ursula was selfish and self-centered, and never able to hold down a job. Even with her twin sister, her insulting behavior only showed that she was an emotionally unintelligent person.

RELATED: Friends: 10 Saddest Things About Phoebe Buffay

She was cunning as she lied to her fiancé and used Phoebe’s name during her stint in the porn industry, but that doesn’t make her a clever person.

6 Estelle Leonard

Joey’s sassy old agent Estelle was not the epitome of intelligence, but on her best days, she did well for her client. She saw potential in Joey after his performance in Freud! and got him his breakout role as Drake Ramoray in Days Of Our Lives.

Estelle didn’t have too many clients left by the end, but she did her best and held her own in the industry.

5 Mike Hannigan

Phoebe’s third and final husband was quite intelligent and talented in several fields. He was an attorney before he decided to quit his job and pursue his dream of being a pianist.

In later episodes, he’s also shown to be very good at tennis and artistically gifted, too, as seen when he paints a beautiful banner for Monica and Chandler’s baby.

4 Carol Willick

Ross’ ex-wife Carol was extremely sensible, practical, and mature. She was comfortable with her sexuality and accepted herself fully. She also let Ross know, instead of stretching out an unhappy marriage and gave him a fair chance to be a part of their son’s life.

Carol was also a sixth-grade teacher, so she figures higher on the intelligence scale.

3 Richard Burke

Monica’s older boyfriend was one of the brainiest characters on the show, right from the beginning. He was an experienced ophthalmologist, and his age had made him smarter and more mature, unlike the Geller parents.

RELATED: Friends: 10 Major Relationships, Ranked Most To Least Successful

His reason for breaking up with Monica (not wanting kids) was also a responsible one, and when he finally felt ready and realized that Chandler was about to propose, he took the adult route and backed off.

2 Charlie Wheeler

Ross’ short-lived relationship with Charlie Wheeler made him pretty insecure, mainly because Charlie was a gifted paleontology professor herself, and had dated a string of Nobel Prize winners.

She was also smart enough to realize that she had nothing in common with Joey (whom she dated briefly just before Ross) because he lived in a different world from hers. Everyone loves a woman who knows her worth.

1 Marcel

In terms of relative intelligence, Marcel the monkey made the cut as the smartest side character. Being a primate, he managed to become a movie star with a net worth higher than any of the friends and co-star with Jean-Claude Van Damme.

When Ross and the gang track him down when he’s shooting Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan in the neighborhood, he’s clever enough to recognize Ross in the crowd when he sings his favorite Lion King song to him.

NEXT: Friends: Main Characters Ranked From Most To Least Likely To Die In A Horror Movie


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Updated: November 11, 2020 — 3:00 am

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