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In recent years, scholars of the television phenomenon Friends have fiercely debated one question: who is the seventh friend? This article will summarize some of the major arguments.
The Case for Gunther
He definitely spent more time with the friends throughout the series than anyone else. That’s pretty much the whole case.
The Case for Janice
After Gunther, Janice is in more episodes than any other non-parent character, and unlike Gunther, she’s actually quite involved in the friends’ lives. She also has longevity on her side—she plays a role in all ten seasons of the show.
The Case for Carol
Here’s where things take an interesting turn. Carol appeared regularly throughout the run of Friends, though not as frequently as Janice. So what does Carol have that Janice doesn’t? Well let’s take a look at this exchange between Joey and Ross: “JOEY: Ross, let me ask you a question. She got the furniture, the stereo, the good TV—what did you get? ROSS: You guys.” When Ross claims that he got the Friends in their divorce, this shows that Carol was part of the gang before the divorce. Therefore, Carol is the only character in the series, other than the main six, to officially be considered part of the friend group. Boom.
The Case for Mike
The fact that Mike only entered the show in its ninth season is the only reason he’s not the unambiguous seventh friend. He basically married into the friend group in season ten and everyone seems to like him. Plus, who wouldn’t want to be friends with Paul Rudd?
The Case for Alan
He’s definitely the most contentious choice on this list, but the evidence behind his case is strong. The whole group loves Alan. He’s pretty much the only person to ever appear on Friends that the whole gang got along with.. They usually only spend time with each other, so the fact that they all wanted to spend time with Alan certainly makes him stand out. As Chandler puts it, “I could have a gallon of Alan!” Unfortunately, there’s also a strong case against Alan: he’s only in one episode.
Editor’s Note: So what do you think of our list? Is there anyone we left out? Send us an email at email@example.com to let us know.