Gunther is the longest running character in Friends who is not part of the main six. He first appeared in series one as a waiter in Central Perk, the coffee shop where the friends hang out. Originally he was just an extra, but slowly a character began to build around this slightly balding white-haired man.

Gunther is, if nothing else, good at what he does. He is dedicated to his work and is usually seen beyond the counter in the coffee shop, serving people, otherwise he is generally to be found clearing tables. He has worked in the coffee shop for at least seven years and yet is still only an employee of the place. His duties include: wiping, dusting, cleaning, making coffee, selling coffee, selling muffins, distributing birthday muffins and barring people of hitting on Rachel. He is able to employ other, even more menial staff such as Rachel and Joey, but usually ends up sacking them since they aren’t nearly up to his standard.

For many years Gunther has harboured deep feelings for Rachel, these have grown into an obsession. Whenever she is in the shop he can be found taking sneaking glances at her from behind the counter, or “accidentally” looking down her top when serving her coffee. He has always been jealous of Ross, and was responsible for breaking him and Rachel up by mentioning the girl at the Xerox place incident to Rachel (which lead to years of “WE WERE ON A BREAK”ing from Ross). For some reason no-one has cottoned on to his obsession and so if he finally works up the courage to ask Rachel out, it is likely to come as a complete surprise.

The only other time Gunther is seen when one of the six main characters has a party. They always feel obliged to invite him, sometimes because they just made the arrangements too loud, or sometimes as an apology for not knowing his last name, (“erm, Gunther…. Central-Perk?”)

Gunther is my personal favourite of all the characters in friends, (with the possible exception of Freddie Prince Junior’s nanny). He is sarcastic and ironic, almost British in mentality, he also takes pride in a minimum wage job which is something I believe we should all aim to do, even if Chandler is right and it is “a bit demeaning for a grown man to serve coffees.”

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