Sure, everyone remembers Brad Pitt as Friends’ most unforgettable Thanksgiving guest, but the iconic sitcom also saw a parade of other famous faces guest star throughout the years.
From Julia Roberts and George Clooney to Anna Faris and Dakota Fanning, Friends attracted both major names at the time and then-little-known actors who would one day go on to bright futures in Hollywood in its 10 seasons on the air.
To celebrate the beloved show’s upcoming (and much-hyped) reunion on HBO Max, Consequence has rounded up 15 guest stars you might not remember showed up on Friends.
1. Helen Hunt
A Mad About You crossover! In Season 1’s “The One with Two Parts: Part One,” Helen Hunt appeared as her character Jamie Buchanan in a scene set in Central Perk. The guest spot also served as a bridge to introduce Ursula, the ditzy twin sister of Lisa Kudrow‘s Phoebe — who first started out as a recurring character on Hunt’s long-running NBC sitcom.
2. George Clooney
Back in the days when he was best known as Dr. Doug Ross on ER, George Clooney guest-starred alongside Noah Wyle in Season 1’s “The One With Two Parts: Part Two” as doctors who dated Jennifer Aniston‘s Rachel and Courtney Cox‘s Monica, after the former ended up in the emergency room with an injured foot and no health insurance.
3. Julia Roberts
Just one year before her fan favorite role in 1997’s My Best Friend’s Wedding, Julia Roberts popped up in Friends‘ Season 2 post-Super Bowl extravaganza as Susie Moss, a childhood friend of Matthew Perry‘s Chandler, who asks him on a date in a revenge plot for embarrassing her in the fourth grade.
4. Brooke Shields
In addition to Roberts, Brooke Shields added even more star power to 1996’s “The One After the Superbowl” as a Days of Our Lives superfan who’s more than a little obsessed with Dr. Drake Ramoray, the soap opera character played by Matt LeBlanc‘s Joey.
5. Charlie Sheen
Charlie Sheen donned a Navy uniform in Season 2’s “The One with the Chicken Pox” as Ryan, a former flame of Phoebe’s who lands in New York just as she comes down with an unfortunately-timed case of the super-contagious disease.
6. Billy Crystal and Robin Williams
Billy Crystal and Robin Williams’ unforgettable cameo in Season 3’s “The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion” happened thanks to a stroke of luck, as the comedians just so happened to be on the lot during filming. The best part? Their hilarious conversation, which the gang eavesdrops on from the couch in Central Perk, was entirely ad-libbed!
7. Jon Favreau
The first star on this list to play a recurring role on the series, superstar actor and filmmaker Jon Favreau guest-starred throughout Season 3 as Pete Becker, a love interest of Monica’s who memorably took her all the way to Italy for pizza on their first date. All in all, he appeared in six episodes, beginning with 1997’s “The One with the Hypnosis Tape.”
8. Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon first entered the Friends universe in Season 6 as Jill, Rachel’s prissy younger sister. Not to be confused with Rachel’s other sister Amy, played by Christina Applegate in later seasons, the Sweet Home Alabama star appeared in two episodes and broke sister code by going on an ill-advised date with David Schwimmer‘s Ross. Maybe that’s the reason we never saw Jill on the show again?
9. Cole Sprouse
Sans his twin brother Dylan, Cole Sprouse’s turn on Friends marked the first solo role of his young career. Throughout Seasons 6, 7, and 8, the future Riverdale star portrayed Ross’s adorable son Ben.
10. Bruce Willis
During Season 6, Die Hard star Bruce Willis stirred the pop with fans as Rachel’s older boyfriend Paul…who also happened to be the over-protective father of Ross’s twenty-something new girlfriend, Elizabeth.
11. Winona Ryder
Just months before her infamous 2001 arrest for shoplifting, Winona Ryder made a memorable turn in Season 7’s “The One with Rachel’s Big Kiss” as Rachel’s former sorority sister on the receiving end of the smooch in the episode’s title.
12. Alec Baldwin
In the same year that saw Brad Pitt stop by for Thanksgiving, Alec Baldwin guest starred in two episodes (Season 8’s “The One with the Tea Leaves” and “The One in Massapequa”) as Parker, Phoebe’s gratingly enthusiastic boyfriend.
13. Paul Rudd
Paul Rudd’s adorable pianist Mike Hannigan turned out to be endgame for Phoebe. After first showing up in Season 9’s “The One with the Pediatrician,” Rudd appeared in 17 episodes across the sitcom’s last two seasons and eventually married Phoebe midway through the show’s final run of episodes.
14. Anna Faris
Long before she became best known for starring roles in The House Bunny and Mom, Anna Faris recurred throughout Friends‘ 10th season as Erica, the biological mom of the twins adopted by Monica and Chandler.
15. Dakota Fanning
During the show’s final season, Dakota Fanning made a memorable appearance as Mackenzie, a precocious 8-year-old who bonds with Joey during an open house while her parents are busy showing the home to Monica and Chandler.