When it comes to picking the best Friends character, everyone has their favorite. But no one can deny that Phoebe was a ray of sunshine, had the best one-liners on the show, and was probably the most underrated of the girls.
Looking back, it’s obvious that Phoebe’s charisma was due to Lisa Kudrow’s comedic talent. At the beginning, Phoebe was the odd one out. She wasn’t really connected to anyone from the group and was obviously very different. And yet, Kudrow played her perfectly, convincing viewers that she had a well-deserved spot among the six friends. There's no doubt Phoebe remains one of the best-acted TV characters of all time.
The writers deserve a pat on the back as well. As the show grew, they figured out how to write more to each actor's strengths, transforming Phoebe from the daydreaming, goofy girl of Season 1 into a force of nature. She always stayed true to her spiritual self, but evolved in unexpected and glorious ways. There's no question about it: Phoebe is, hands down, the best character on Friends.
She Overcame A Lot
Phoebe’s childhood and teen years weren’t a breeze. Her father left her, her mother committed suicide, and her stepdad went to prison. She and her twin sister Ursula were never close and she spent a huge chunk of time living on the streets, resorting to begging and mugging. A pimp spit in her mouth. She stabbed a cop once. You can see how anyone else could have resorted to a life of crime. Instead, she pushed through the rough patch and eventually ended up in a good place, working as a masseuse and playing music on the side. Kudos to Phoebe.
She Has An Open Mind
Phoebe was always the spiritual one of the group, especially in Season 1. She tries to cleanse Ross’s aura, wishes for world peace, and advises everyone not to put hate out in the universe. She’s always open to new ideas and doesn’t reject anything, even when her theories seem kind of out there – like when she thinks her mom’s spirit lives in a cat, or when she argues with Ross about evolution. Still, she wins bonus points for sticking to her beliefs, even when everyone else makes fun of them.
She Loves Animals
Phoebe isn’t afraid of hard work. Her career as a masseuse isn't always fruitful, so she has to get part-time gigs from time to time to support herself. She works as Chandler’s assistant at one point, as an extra with Joey, as a telemarketer – whatever can bring in some extra cash. No job is too demeaning if it pays the bills.