Gunther may not be one of the six main characters, but he was crucial to the legendary sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Gunther has been in the TV show’s 10 seasons, making him a true member of the Friends family.
Despite his constant presence, no one seems to know much about Gunther, but here’s everything you should know.
1. Gunther Manages Central Perk
If it weren’t for Gunther, where would the dream team hang out? Central Perk may not exist in real life, but it was crucial to the show. The actor, James Michael Tyler, was actually a barista when he got the part.
If it weren’t for him, Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) or Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) may have just ended up on the streets along with Phoebe Buffay’s (Lisa Kudrow) old friends. He did give them a job when they needed it most, despite the fact that they both sucked at it.
2. He’s Obsessively In Love With Rachel Green
The whole existence of Gunther revolves around his love for Rachel. He stares at her, listens across the room for her, stares at her more, listens to her every request or command, and will do literally anything she ever asks of him.
We never see him with another woman and he never even shows interest in another female. It actually would have made a hysterical plot twist if she ended up with him instead of Ross Gellar (David Schwimmer).
3. He Owns A Chicken, I Mean Cat
(Watch the video above at 4:55 to peek into Gunther’s miserable situation.)
Rachel adopts a Sphynx cat for $1000, because this rare breed is the one her grandmother had, which she’d play with as a kid. To her horror, Mrs. Whiskerson — as she names it — is the reincarnation of the Devil. Many jokes are made regarding the hairless cat’s strange appearance, such as the fact that it resembles a chicken.
Rachel does not know what to do with her predicament until Gunther saves the day and buys it from her for $1500. He asks her if it’s a snake. Poor Gunther wanted an excuse to see Rachel more often, hoping she’d come visit. He was wrong.
4. Gunther Is Basically One Of Them
Okay, you got me. He isn’t exactly one of them, at all. But he reallyyyyy wants to be, so can we just give him this one? Pretty please? Gunther has been through far too much rejection at this point from the Friends clan. Every time Gunther thinks he’s finally broken through to them, he is brutally brought back to reality.
Examples? What about when Ross asks Gunther for six glasses, when there were only five of the friends? Gunther, practically jumpring with excitement asks, “You want me to join you?” Ross realizes his mistake and simply replies: “Oh, I thought Joey was here… Five is good.”
5. Gunther Is The Most Shown Character Outside Of The Main Six
The lucky guy is included in most of the show’s events, so you’ll catch him at all the major parties, plus in the background of Central Perk scenes. You wouldn’t know it since he doesn’t get too many lines, but Gunther is the most shown character in the entire series, with the exception of the main six. He has appeared in 185 episodes, even though he didn’t get a line until episode 33. His line? “Yeah.”
6. Gunther Used To Be An Actor
In “The One Where Eddie Won’t Go,” Gunther confides in Joey in an attempt to console him once Joey finds out his role as Dr. Drake Ramoray was getting killed off (down an elevator shaft, nonetheless) on Days of our Lives.
Gunther confesses that he used to play a character called Bryce in All My Children, before his role was buried to death in an avalanche. That’s how he ended up at Central Perk. Ouch.
7. He Has A Smoking Habit
You may remember Chandler Bing’s weakness for smoking. While he tried to overcome his nasty habit, Gunther was briefly his smoking buddy who could relate.
The other Friends briefly had a cigarette moment too, in a way to immortalize their last ever cigarettes. Poor Gunther wasn’t invited and couldn’t even keep his sole title as smoking buddy.
8. He Speaks Fluent Dutch
Take a look at the video clip above starting 1:14 to hear Gunther shut Ross down in Dutch when he calls Ross an ‘ezel’ (i.e. donkey). Ross cleverly looks the definition up only to retort with “You’re an ‘ezel!'” Thank god for that PhD.
Gunther effortlessly shuts down Ross by saying “Jij hebt seks met ezels” (i.e. “You have sex with donkeys”). That one was a bit too advanced for Ross, leaving him speechless.
9. His Hair Is One Of A Kind
Gunther’s peroxide white-blonde hair “brighter than the sun” is the butt of many jokes. On one occasion, he mentions to Joey that he needs to go to his hairdressing appointment to get his hair dyed. Joey’s response? “But I love your natural color.”
In another instance, Phoebe tries to guess the identity of Rachel’s baby daddy. During her interrogation, she asks if it could be Gunther. When Rachel refutes this proposition, Phoebe responds: “Thank God, because that hair on a baby?”
10. No One Knows His Last Name
(This video perfectly exemplifies how ignorant the six Friends are when it comes to Gunther, as Ross has never even noticed the barista’s crush. Watch the above video from the beginning but do not miss out on Gunther’s face at 2:19. Priceless.)
We will forever know him as Gunther. That’s it, just Gunther. His last name is never disclosed. In fact, in the episode “The One With The Worst Best Man Ever” the male protagonists argue over who should be whose best man at whose wedding.
In a moment of surrender, Chandler replaces Ross with Gunther as the role of his best man. Gunther quickly replies: “What’s my last name?” Since no one actually knows, Chandler’s best possible answer was “Central Perk?”
What was your favorite Gunther moment?
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” -Walt Disney