Believe it or not, it's 10 years to the day since Friends went off the air and the now-legendary cast did their final fountain dance in one of the most-watched television finales of all time. "The Last One" aired on May 6, 2004, and left viewers with a final look at Monica's empty apartment as the gang departed to grab one more cup of coffee at Central Perk.
The Manhattan-based show that centered on the lives, loves, and laughs of six 20-somethings was a critical favorite (it earned 62 Emmy Awards nominations and won six), commercial success, and cultural phenomenon—from infamous hairdos ("The Rachel") to catchphrases ("How you doin'?") to Billboard-charting songs ("I’ll Be There for You" by the Rembrandts).
With more than 200 episodes that aired for 10 years, the cast of Friends became, well, our friends. We're reflecting on the show's unforgettable characters—Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), Monica (Courteney Cox), Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow), Joey (Matt LeBlanc), Chandler (Matthew Perry), and Ross (David Schwimmer)—while we still reminisce over Ross and Rachel's ups and downs.
No one told them "life was gonna be this way," but we'll always remember these stars as our favorite friends of all time—no matter where their careers take them.
1. Jennifer Aniston (Rachel)
Then: Aniston's character, Rachel Green, won us over with her signature hairdo, penchant for shopping, and roller coaster love life on the hit show.
2. Jennifer Aniston (Rachel)
Now: Aniston acts as the face of multiple brands including Living Proof, Smart Water, and Aveeno. She also has several movies in the works, including the comedies Horrible Bosses 2 and Cake.
3. Matthew Perry (Chandler)
Then: We loved Perry's Chandler Bing for his trademark sarcastic wit and his undying commitment to Monica.
4. Matthew Perry (Chandler)
Now: Perry has several television projects set to debut this year, including The Dog Thrower and Odd Couple.
5. Courteney Cox (Monica)
Then: Known as the "Mother Hen" of the group, Cox's character, Monica Geller (sister to Ross), was known for her obsessive-compulsive personality and competitive nature.
6. Courteney Cox (Monica)
Now: Cox stars in the hit show Cougar Town, and is taking her career to the next level in her directorial debut of feature film Just Before I Go, which premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
7. Matt LeBlanc (Joey)
Then: LeBlanc played the lovable Joey Tribbiani, whose signature pick-up line "How you doin'?" went down in history.
8. Matt LeBlanc (Joey)
Now: LeBlanc stars on television series Episodes and in the upcoming comedy film Lovesick.
9. Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe)
Then: Kudrow's character Phoebe Buffay was our favorite animal lover and vegetarian, and we will forever remember her performance of "Smelly Cat" at Central Perk.
10. Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe)
Now: After a recent stint on Scandal, Kudrow continues her roles on television shows Web Therapy and The Comeback.
11. David Schwimmer (Ross)
Then: As the smartest member of the group and paleontologist, Schwimmer's Ross Geller (brother to Monica) was noted for his geeky-yet-lovable demeanor, and we give him credit for sticking it out with Rachel all those years.
12. David Schwimmer (Ross)
Now: Schwimmer will play the voice of Melman in the upcoming animated flick The Penguins of Madagascar and star in the made-for-TV movie Irreversible.