The main characters of Friends had many different love interests over the ten seasons of the show. For the three main women, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe, they had a variety of boyfriends. Some of these boyfriends were great guys who you'll definitely want to be in a relationship with while others weren't so great. Some of these relationships were short-lived while others lasted a good amount of time even leading to marriage. While they didn’t always pick the boyfriends that were best for them, sometimes they did.
We’ve put together a list of the best and worst boyfriends over the course of the seasons of Friends.
Barry is the first relationship we see that Rachel has had. Barry was her fiancé who she left, and it’s easy to see why. There’s nothing about him that is very likable. He’s super boring, and the life of an orthodontists’ wife doesn’t seem very fitting for Rachel. But, what makes him really the worst is that he cheated on Rachel with both her sister and her best friend. Thankfully, Rachel got out of this relationship and moved to New York City. She was definitely much better without him.
Now, this entry might seem like a strange one to include, but there is reasoning behind it. While Joey was often a big jerk to the women he slept with, he rarely had girlfriends. In the situations where he did have a girlfriend, especially his brief relationship with Rachel, he was actually caring and considerate. Joey might not have been the most mature of boyfriends on the show, but he definitely cared about the few people in his life that he was close to.
The main reason why Timothy Burke is on this list is the fact that he dated Monica after she dated Richard. While there wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with him as a person, this fact was just too weird.
While of course, Monica is to blame here as well, there’s something extremely creepy about someone dating a woman that their father already dated. But, on the other hand, she was definitely closer in age to Timothy than to Richard.
While Mark isn’t spoken of very highly on the show, that is mostly just because Ross hated him. Ross might have been jealous of Mark, which honestly makes sense as Mark was a better boyfriend than him, Mark was overall a good guy. Even after they break up, Mark still has enough respect and fond feelings for Rachel to help her get the job at Louis Vuitton. This makes him just an overall solid person.
Phoebe had a lot of different boyfriends over the years, and some of them were a lot better than others. Phoebe is a unique person who has a lot of love to give, and it definitely took her a few tries to find the right person. Gary was definitely not that person. He wanted Phoebe to move in with him before she was ready. Also, he shot a bird which was a huge no-no when it comes to dating an animal lover like Phoebe.
David is another one of Phoebe’s boyfriends, and he was definitely one of the best ones. He was only in a few episodes, but he seemed like an amazing guy. There is definitely some debate amongst fans as to if Phoebe should have chosen him instead of Mike. Even if she didn’t pick David, he was a really sweet guy who cared a lot about Phoebe and was a huge romantic.
Hopefully, David ended up with a happy ending even if Friends didn't show it to us.
Rachel definitely struggled over the seasons to find good relationships. Many of the guys she dated weren’t that great, and Gavin is definitely one of the worst. He was a huge jerk to her. When she came back to work after her maternity leave, he was conceding and also sexist. While the show might have tried to redeem him later on, it’s hard to forget how he treated her at work. It’s clear that Gavin was a character who thinks it’s ok to disrespect people, even people that he claims to have a crush on.
Pete might be a bit of an underrated and forgotten boyfriend on the show which is quite a shame. Pete was played by Jon Favreau which definitely doesn’t hurt with making the characters charming. He was a good love interest for Monica and seemed like a good person in general. While he only appeared in six episodes, he definitely left an impact.
They had a sweet love story, and there's not much to complain about here.
It’s no surprise that Ross is so high up on this list as one of the worst boyfriends from Friends. He wasn’t just a bad boyfriend at many points to Rachel, he was also a bad boyfriend to basically every woman that he dated. He was still in love with Rachel when he dated and got engaged to Emily. Plus, he often disrespected Rachel and interfered with her life when he got jealous. Overall, he was one of the most selfish characters on the show, and he jumped from one relationship to another. He seemed to care more about being in a relationship than actually being a good boyfriend.
Mike was one of the most solid boyfriends on the show. He was a good match for phoebe and able to roll with her more eccentric personality traits. Plus, when they disagreed about what they wanted for the future, they were able to break up in a respectful way. Luckily, they made things work, and Mike was able to realize how important getting married was to Phoebe. Overall, he was just a sweet guy who was respectful and invested in Phoebe. Compared to many of the rude boyfriends on this show, Mike was a shining example.