What happened to Gunther after Friends ended? The character, portrayed by James Michael Tyler, appeared in 185 episodes during the sitcom's decade-long run on NBC, the most aside from the main cast. Gunther's surprising move in the Friends series finale had viewers wondering about the character's fate.
Gunther was introduced in Friends season 1 as the manager of Central Perk. He was best known for his brightly colored shirts and bleached hair, a topic of long-running gags in the series. The main characters frequently hung out at Central Perk, so Gunther was often seen in the background. The character didn't have a speaking line until his 33rd episode in which he only said one word. By Friends season 3, it was made clear that Gunther had a major crush on Rachel, which caused him to have intense jealousy when it came to her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Ross.
As Friends went on, Gunther periodically encountered the main characters but he was never a key piece to the plot. He was present for various parties and gatherings, including Phoebe's wedding. In Friends season 10, Gunther finally found the courage to confess his love for Rachel. He told her his true feelings in the series finale episode, "The Last One". Rachel was confused by the sentiment because she thought he was gay. She was flattered but rejected him by saying that she loved him, though only as a friend. At the time, Rachel was on her way to Paris, so she added that she would think of Gunther every time she saw someone "with hair brighter than the sun." But Rachel never ended up leaving.
Gunther most likely decided to share his true feelings for Rachel because he thought she was leaving forever. Since she ended up staying to be with Ross, Gunther would have been forced to see Rachel with the man he always disliked. There were likely some awkward encounters following Gunther's confession. It's unlikely that he or Rachel ever brought up the encounter, but his feelings wouldn't have dissipated too quickly.
It's safe to assume that Gunther avoided Rachel as long as he could whenever she visited Central Perk following the incident. In the Joey spinoff, it was hinted that Ross and Rachel eventually got remarried, so that would have made Gunther's jealousy intensify. It would have been for the best if Gunther was kept off of the guest list at the wedding, especially considering his views on Ross. Gunther most likely would have gotten over Rachel after a period of time. When there was no longer a chance at winning her over, he would have been forced to move on. It's nice to think that somewhere in the Friends universe, Gunther found a coffee-loving woman who he settled down with and had kids with glowing bright hair.