Gunther worked at the Central Perk coffeehouse, and for a lot of the show, he was seen making coffee in the background or staring at Rachel with love in his eyes. But when he was on camera, Gunther — who was brought to life by James Michael Tyler — knew how to deliver a line and deliver it well. His quick quips prompted some of the most hearty laughs from the audience, as his dry sense of humor and blunt facial expressions typically did most of the talking.
But as he was a secondary character, a lot of Gunther’s best moments flew under the radar. But don’t worry because here are the best Gunther moments you may have missed on “Friends.”
Gunther’s ‘I dropped a cup’ scene was a totally unexpected moment on Friends
In Season 3, Episode 19, “The One with the Tiny T-Shirt,” Gunther waits on Rachel in the coffeehouse. After pouring her a cup, he thinks to himself (with his thoughts audible for the audience), “Say Rachel, I was wondering if you’d like to go to a movie with me sometime. As my lover.” But, of course, Rachel is soon approached by Mark (a recurring character), who asks her out. Gunther immediately leaves the main area of the coffeehouse, and a couple seconds later, staff and customers are treated to a chorus of breaking dishes in the back. Gunther emerges a few seconds later and delivers the line, “I dropped a cup,” to a rather concerned public.
The moment that Gunther told Phoebe’s crush to cover up was truly funny
The actor told Insider that it was one of his most memorable episodes. “I love that line, I thought it was brilliant,” Tyler said, adding, “Gunther doesn’t mince words.” After the beautiful delivery on Gunther’s part, Robert quickly takes his leg off of the coffeehouse’s table (yes, everything was on display). Fans of “Friends” never saw Robert again, but the line that Gunther so beautifully delivered remains one of the best moments in “Friends” history.
Gunther survived Phoebe’s health inspector boyfriend by the skin of his teeth
After awkwardly standing at attention while Phoebe talks her health inspector boyfriend down, Gunther’s facial expressions go from anxious to tense to confused in a matter of seconds. Our beloved Phoebe finally talks Larry the Health Inspector out of shutting the coffeehouse down, and Gunther is luckily let off with a warning, though Phoebe has to tell him, “Okay, go go go,” before the paralyzed Gunther moves from his spot. The exchange was a perfect example of James Michael Tyler’s ability to convey emotions with just his facial features, and we felt lucky to watch Gunther’s emotional journey throughout this hilarious scene!
Gunther threw some shade at this character during a coffeehouse exchange
In Season 6, Episode 5, “The One with Joey’s Porsche,” Joey finds a set of keys belonging to a Porsche on the coffeehouse’s bar. He picks them up, looks at Gunther, and says, “Hey Gunther, these yours?” Without missing a beat, the coffeehouse worker looks at Joey and says, “Yeah, that’s what I drive. I make four bucks an hour. I have saved up for 350 years.” While Gunther’s line is clearly sarcastic, it went straight over Joey’s head, who ends up taking him seriously for a second. The “Days of Our Lives” actor (within the show, don’t forget) finally realizes that Gunther’s pulling his leg, but the exchange is one of Gunther’s best standout lines.
Phoebe helped Gunther escape from this friend’s awful birthday party
The episode in question is one of James Michael Tyler’s favorites for Gunther, as it showed the coffeehouse employee in a tricky position. “It was [fun] having Phoebe’s character help Gunther escape and [seeing] that he was very, very, very unhappy — and terrified of Monica,” Tyler told Entertainment Weekly. “I think Gunther was always kind of frightened of Monica. I think she was the one who truly intimidated him.”
Gunther’s crush on Rachel caused him to lose some customers at Central Perk
Gunther is clearly upset by the exchange that led to Rachel seeing someone who isn’t him, so shortly after Rachel scores her date, Gunther goes up to the handsome patron with a sign that reads, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” Then he simply says, “Get out,” to Rachel’s date. Two words, and Gunther stole the show.
This moment between Gunther and a famous guest star is still one of the best
During the scene in question, Ryder’s character goes up to Gunther, hands him some cash, and asks for a pack of cigarettes. “Oh, we don’t sell cigarettes, but they have them at the newsstand across the street,” he tells her, handing her money back. Rather than take her cash, Ryder thanks him, presuming he will go get her the cigarettes himself, and his confused facial expression is pure gold. And then being the nice guy he is, Gunther goes out to get the cigarettes.
The friends spent so much time in Central Perk, but Gunther still didn’t know Joey’s name
In Season 4, Episode 8, “The One with Chandler in a Box,” Joey is on the hunt for Chandler — they were fighting about a girl, go figure — and Joey asks Gunther if he’d seen Chandler in the coffeehouse. Without pausing, Gunther looks at Joey and says, “I thought you were Chandler.” Five words — that’s all Tyler had to utter to give the audience one of the best Gunther moments on “Friends.”
Gunther didn’t even need to utter a sound to make this moment one of the funniest on the show
“This was David Schwimmer’s idea in the spur of the moment, actually,” Tyler told Entertainment Weekly. “The way the camera was set up, I was in the background, and originally, I was expressing ‘Oh, what just happened?’ shock. Then David turned to me and said, ‘Oh my gosh, you should grin ear-to-ear because you hate me.’ I thought it was brilliant.” What a classic Gunther moment.
Phoebe kissing Gunther has to be one of the funniest scenes in Friends
Eagle-eyed fans may have noticed over the course of “Friends” that Phoebe often had nice things to say about Gunther. She talked about the coffeehouse employee one time and said, “Sure, Gunther is sexy in an obvious way.” She later went on to say that Paris — known for its attractive men — was “like a city of Gunthers.” Nothing ever happened between Gunther and Phoebe — except for this one kiss — but her appreciation for him cannot be missed.
Remember when Gunther broke out perfect Dutch?
“When Ross called Gunther an ‘ezel’ back, Gunther responded, ‘Jij hebt seks met ezels,'” James Michael Tyler told Parade. “That translates, literally, into ‘you have sex with donkeys.’ It really surprised me that it made it to primetime. Fantastic.” The moment stood out to Tyler as one of his favorite interactions on the show, and it’s pretty easy to understand why.
Gunther put himself in the line of fire when he took Rachel’s horrific cat off her hands
Gunther buys the cat from Rachel for $1,500 in hopes that she’d come visit Mrs. Whiskerson often. The exchange in Rachel’s apartment when Gunther comes to collect that cat and the red velvet pillow it sits on still stands out as one of the funniest Gunther moments, both to viewers and to James Michael Tyler. After Rachel hands him the pillow and walks away, Gunther nudges Ross and asks, “So, what is this? Some kind of snake or something?”
This final moment between Gunther and Rachel on Friends was so heartfelt
“Rachel, I know you’re leaving tonight, but I just have to tell you: I love you,” he tells her, right before Ross has the chance to tell Rachel about his own feelings. “I don’t know if that changes your plans at all, but I thought you should know.” Rachel replies, “Gunther, I love you too, probably not in the same way,” noting that she’ll be thinking of him every time she goes to a café or sees “a man with hair brighter than the sun.”
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