Ross (David Schwimmer), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), Rachel (Aniston), Monica (Courteney Cox), and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) — it’s hard to imagine that the six friends who lived through a decade of NYC together could be anywhere but at Central Perk, enjoying hot coffee, muffins, and gossip. After all, over the years, the six pals helped each other navigate through relationships and careers, traveled overseas, attended (each other’s) weddings and (other people’s) funerals, celebrated numerous holidays together (Thanksgiving pants, anyone?), and eventually grew up and out of their early adulthood.
But as any great cast might, the real-life actors behind the beloved characters have all moved on to do great things, as have their sizeable supporting cast of characters, which includes everyone from Reese Witherspoon (as Rachel’s sister, Jill) to Paul Rudd (as Phoebe’s eventual husband, Mike), to Aisha Tyler (as Ross’s hot paleontologist love interest, Charlie). So while the memories made in that purple-hued Greenwich Village apartment are forever ours to keep, it’s also cool to think about how much the collective cast has accomplished over the last few years.
Here, we take a look back at the
Friends and friends of Friends who helped define an entire generation of 20-somethings looking to get the whole “adulting” thing down right, and see where they’ve all been since the NBC show officially had its last curtain call in May 2004.
Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) Courteney Cox was arguably
the most well-known of the six main actors going into
, and she continued to be a Hollywood powerhouse after the series ended, starring in and directing several episodes of FX’s
before it went off the air in 2015 after six seasons.
She also had recurring roles on shows like
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston)
Once America’s Sweetheart, always America’s Sweetheart. Prior to
Friends , Jennifer Aniston
had several parts in films such as kitschy Halloween flick
TV series (as Ferris’ older sister Jeannie Bueller), but her role as Rachel Green really launched her into superstardom.
Following the end of
, Aniston would star in such fun flicks as
Along Came Polly
Marley & Me
We’re the Millers
. Most recently, she’s set to star on
Reese Witherspoon-produced The Morning Show
opposite the likes of Witherspoon, Steve Carell, and Billy Crudup.
Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images.
Phoebe Buffay ( Lisa Kudrow)
Lisa Kudrow had to dye her hair for all 10 years
that she appeared as blonde-haired, ditzy Phoebe Buffay on
— and has actually continued to do so ever since.
Following the end of
, Kudrow tried to distance herself from her character by creating and starring in
, all about a former A-list actress trying to make herself relevant once more (the series ran for two non-consecutive seasons). Since then, she’s had roles on shows like
Grace and Frankie
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
, and voiced characters on animated series like
and more recently,
Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images.
Ross Geller (David Schwimmer)
David Schwimmer’s knack for physical comedy and hilarious facial expressions endeared him to fans as nerdy Ross Geller.
ended in 2014, however, Schwimmer tried his hand at a wide range of roles, including drama,
playing Robert Kardashian in FX’s American Crime Story .
He’s also had recurring roles on the
Will & Grace
reboot and on restaurant drama
Feed the Beast
Photo: Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images.
Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) Chandler Bing: loveable curmudgeon, witty punster
, endearingly sarcastic friend. Following
, Matthew Perry has been keeping busy both personally and professionally. In 2016, he
opened up about his struggles with addiction
and time in rehab, suggesting that he forgot some of his time on the series.
On a more positive note, he’s also enjoyed starring roles on
The Odd Couple
, and most recently, starred as Ted Kennedy on
The Kennedys After Camelot
Photo: Randy Holmes/Getty Images.
Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc)
Matt LeBlanc was the only one of the original six to get his own
spinoff show, Joey , following the end of Friends
, but unfortunately, that show just didn’t have the zing to it that the original show had, and it was promptly canceled after two seasons.
Of the six main actors, Tribbiani has kept the lowest profile since the series’ end, with parts on
Man with a Plan
Photo: Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images.
Jack Geller (Elliott Gould)
If Elliott Gould seems like a familiar face whenever he appears on the big or small screen, it’s because he is.
Perhaps best known for his role in
, Gould has had numerous bit roles in both films and on TV shows since
, including as old-time
con artist Reuben Tishkoff in Ocean’s 11 , 12 , and 13
, and on shows like
Photo: Jesse Grant/Getty Images.
Judy Geller (Christina Pickles)
Ever the TV mom,
Christina Pickles has had small roles on Friends
-influenced series like
Friends With Benefits
How I Met Your Mother
in the years following the series’ end.
She also starred opposite her TV husband Elliott Gould on
, and has lent her voice to animated series like
Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images.
Ben Geller (Cole Sprouse)
Ah, baby Ben. In the beginning of the series, Ross and ex-wife Carol’s son was just a wee babe, but toward the end of the series, Ben was played by a young, towheaded Cole Sprouse.
Sprouse grew up, became a full-fledged Disney star, starring in
The Suite Life With Zack & Cody
with his twin brother Dylan Sprouse, and later,
Wizards of Waverly Place
. It was around this time that
Selena Gomez developed a crush on the actor
(she's only just recently felt comfortable revealing that fact, though). Now, he of course plays
Jughead Jones on the CW's Riverdale
Photo: Phillip Faraone/Getty Images.
Frank Buffay Jr. (Giovanni Ribisi)
After (and even while) playing everyone’s favorite nervous, neurotic brother, Frank Buffay Jr., Giovanni Ribisi was ready to expand his acting repertoire, and took on roles in a wide range of TV shows and films, including
Saving Private Ryan
Lost in Translation
My Name Is Earl
, and even
A Million Little Pieces
Coming up, he’ll reprise his role as
Parker Selfridge in the next four (count ‘em, four) Avatar films.
Photo: V E Anderson/WireImage.
Jill Green (Reese Witherspoon)
Considering that Reese Witherspoon’s original claim to fame came as a teen movie queen (see:
), she’s definitely made her mark — and then some — in Hollywood following her guest starring role on
These days, she’s busy managing her
own production company Hello Sunshine ,
which has series like
Big Little Lies
The Morning Show
Little Fires Everywhere in the works
, as well as running her own clothing line Draper James. Oh, and she also curates her own book club. So, she’s doing just fine, thanks for asking.
Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images.
Amy Green (Christina Applegate)
There could not have possibly been a better sibling counterpart to Rachel Green than her needy, self-centered younger sister Amy, and Christina Applegate played her to a tee.
After her buzz-worthy appearances on
, Applegate continued killin’ it with a starring role on two seasons of
and currently, she stars in
Netflix’s dark comedy Dead to Me .
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.
Mike Hannigan (Paul Rudd)
Who knew Phoebe’s Mike would one day go on to become a Marvel superhero? Not us!
In the years since
concluded in 2004, Paul Rudd has been busy with projects ranging from
Ant-Man (and Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame
Dinner for Schmucks
to a whole slew of Seth Rogen-adjacent films like
I Love You, Man
This Is 40
, among others.
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
David (Hank Azaria)
Hank Azaria’s talents are many, and in addition to lending his voice to many
characters, he’s given his likeness to such films as
(hi, young Hayden Christensen) and
Run, Fat Boy, Run
, and such TV shows as
Mad About You
, and most recently,
Netflix’s Maniac .
Photo: ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images.
Janice (Maggie Wheeler) Oh. My. Gawd .
Chandler Bing’s on-again-off-again (then
off again) flame, Janice, is as much a part of the
lexicon as the six friends themselves, having woven her way into episodes from the beginning of the series through to the end.
actress Maggie Wheeler has kept busy, with parts on
Hot in Cleveland
Photo: Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images.
Carol Willick (Jane Sibbett) Even though she only appeared sporadically throughout the series, Jane Sibbett’s character was an important one, as Ross’s ex and father of his firstborn, Ben. After Friends, Sibbett kept a relatively low profile, with roles on Once and Again, Ally McBeal, and What About Brian.
Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images.
Susan Bunch (Jessica Hecht)
In case you’re wondering why
Michelle Pantsil on Succession
looks so familiar, it’s because she is: years before she was on the dark comedy series, Jessica Hecht played Susan Bunch, Ross’s ex-wife’s lover-turned-wife.
In addition to
, Hecht has also had roles on
The Good Wife
Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images.
Charlie Wheeler (Aisha Tyler) Beauty and brains: Ross’s paleontologist love interest Charlie had both. Aisha Tyler, who played the professor who stole both Ross and Joey’s hearts, went on to have recurring roles on 24, Ghost Whisperer, Modern Family, and Archer.
Photo: Allen Berezovsky/WireImage.
Mona (Bonnie Somerville) Singer-songwriter Bonnie Somerville has been in her fair share of TV shows ( The O.C., NYPD Blue, Kitchen Confidential, Cashmere Mafia) since Friends.
Photo: Mireya Acierto/FilmMagic.
Dr. Richard Burke (Tom Selleck) Tom Selleck (and his famous ‘stache) are still ever-present on TV, years after he played Monica Geller’s love interest (and her dad’s friend) Dr. Richard Burke. Selleck long list of TV credits include a dozen or so Jesse Stone TV movies and Blue Bloods, opposing Donnie Wahlberg.
Photo: Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic.
Dr. Tim Burke (Michael Vartan) Michael Vartain had a super brief (but oh-so-memorable) stint on Friends, as Dr. Richard Burke’s son Tim, who just so happened to catch Monica’s eye (in case you forgot, he was an optometrist). He’s since been better known as Jennifer Garner’s love interest on Alias, James Walker on Big Shots, and George Heldens on 2014’s Bates Motel.
Photo: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.
Gunther (James Michael Tyler) Poor Gunther. Probably one of the show’s most reliable — and overlooked — characters, Gunther served the six friends their coffee just about every day. In real life, actor James Michael Tyler has kept a relatively slim resume, with parts on Scrubs, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and 2013’s Modern Music.
Photo: Carlos Tischler/Getty Images.
Erica (Anna Faris) Anna Faris was already making a name
for herself prior to her stint on
, with starring roles in
The Hot Chick
, but it wasn’t until after her role as Erica on the last season of
that she started to take on a wider variety of roles, including opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in
; as a perpetually stoned actress in
, and most recently, with a starring role on TV series