The One Best Black Character on ‘Friends,’ Ranked
Photo illustration. Image source: NBC/Getty Images.

The One Best Black Character on ‘Friends,’ Ranked

‘Living Single’ it ain’t

1. Charlie Wheeler

Sure, over the course of 10 seasons and 236 episodes, the Central Perk gang came across plenty of Black folks. You know, total non-caricatures, like Joey’s pathologically cheerful singing neighbor. The guy who wouldn’t stop saying “duties” during Chandler’s job interview. The self-defense instructor who thinks Ross is a psycho, and the divorce lawyer who knows he’s a psycho. There were even some real-deal actors who you’d recognize, like Obba Babatundé as a choreographer and Sherri Shepherd as a museum guide. Yet, none of them interacted with more than one or two of the show’s main cast. That’s because their characters weren’t people — they were people-shaped props, there to provide the illusion of depth and flavor in each main character’s life. Which is why we’re left, despite terrible rap songs claiming otherwise, with a single solitary sister who got the respect she deserves. So props to Aisha Tyler’s Charlie, a paleontologist who shares Gabrielle Union’s misfortune of dating both Joey and Ross’ no-stroke-having asses, for navigating that sea of caucasity with unbelievable aplomb. We all could have told her life was gonna be that way.

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