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.
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.
When Phoebe and Ross get mugged, she refuses to hand over her purse. She tells Ross what to write on his sandwich so that no one at work will steal it again. When it comes to street smarts, no one beats Phoebe.
Phoebe is always eager to learn something new. She takes classes because she never finished high school. She convinces Rachel to learn self-defense. She wants to pilot a commercial jet one day. She lives her life under the mantra "Never stop learning," and viewers can’t help but root for her.
Maybe because of her rough upbringing, Phoebe values her friendships more than anything. She’s always there to lend a helping hand, like when she teaches Joey how to speak French or play the guitar. She’s devastated when Paolo makes a pass at her, but doesn’t shy away from telling Rachel the truth. She’s a good friend, always there to offer a shoulder to cry on or tell you a harsh truth no one else has the guts to spill out. Plus, remember when she had her brother's triplets? Her selflessness should be celebrated.