10 Gunther Moments That Prove James Michael Tyler Really Was The Seventh Friend

"When I’m in a cafe, having coffee, or I see a man with hair brighter than the sun, I’ll think of you.”
James Michael Tyler as Gunther in Friends
James Michael Tyler as Gunther in Friends
NBC via Getty Images

Friends fans across the globe have been left saddened by the news James Michael Tyler has died at the age of 59.

As coffee house boss Gunther, James appeared in 150 episodes of the hit sitcom across its 10 series.

With his hair that was “brighter than the sun” and his long-standing crush on Rachel, he was as much an integral part of the show as the six main characters and the iconic Central Perk sofa.

To celebrate the actor’s legacy, we’re looking back at Gunther’s most memorable Friends moments...

Gunther tells Rachel of Ross’ infidelity

The ‘we were on a break’ saga is the stuff of Friends legend, but it’s sometimes easily forgotten the role Gunther played in Rachel finding out the truth about Ross sleeping with Chloe.

Ross attempted to cover his tracks by tracing “the trail” – the list of people between Chloe and Rachel – and it turned out the news had reached Gunther.

As Ross approached him in the coffee house, to ask if he’d told anyone about what he knew, he revelled in Ross’ infidelity due to his crush on Rachel, wryly replying: “I’m sorry, was I not supposed to?”

Gunther loses it and ‘drops a cup’

Back in series three, Gunther was finally thinking about asking Rachel out after she’d broken up with Ross.

Giving himself a pep talk as they were in the coffee house together, he was then gutted when Rachel’s co-worker Mark arrived and made a move on her.

Loud crashing noises could then be heard as he took his his frustrations out on the crockery out the back, before returning and saying: “I dropped a cup.”

Gunther’s secret habit

Chandler wasn’t the only one who secretly loved a cigarette from time to time.

After trying to enforce a no smoking policy in Central Perk, Gunter took a blissful drag on Chandler’s cigarette, adding: “Oh, dark mother. Once again I suckle at your smoky teat.”

‘Put the mouse back in the house’

Perhaps Gunther’s best – and most memorable – one liner came in The One Where Monica And Richard Are Friends, where the gang were struggling how to tell Phoebe’s new boyfriend Robert that his gym shorts were rather revealing.

With Phoebe, Ross and Chandler tying themselves up in knots about how to confront the problem, Gunther approached Robert after getting an eyeful and said: “Hey, buddy. This is a family place. Put the mouse back in the house.”

Job done.

‘I make four bucks an hour, I saved up for 350 years’

Another of Gunther's funniest quotes came in The One With Joey's Porsche.

When Joey discovered a set of Porche keys at Central Perk and asked Gunther if they belong to him, he sarcastically replied: “Yes, that’s what I drive. I make four bucks an hour. I saved up for 350 years.”

Phoebe kisses Gunther

In The One With Joey’s New Girlfriend, Phoebe found out she had a whole different singing voice when she had a cold. But after getting better, she’s devastated when her voice returns to normal.

After spotting Gunther sneezing in Central Perk, she makes him kiss her in an attempt to infect her (now unthinkable in these post-Covid times) – cue Gunther awkwardly confessing the moment to a very confused Rachel later on.

Gunther buys Mrs Whiskerson

Rachel tried out owning a pet in season five’s The One With The Ball, when she bought a Sphynx cat.

However, it turned of Mrs Whiskerson wasn’t exactly the most affectionate of pets, and she sought to offload the expensive animal to recoup her costs.

After struggling to find a buyer, it transpired Gunther had taken Mrs Whiskerson off Rachel’s hands not even realising she was a cat.

“So what is this? Some kind of snake or something?” he asked Ross.

Gunther is not happy about Joey’s crush

The Joey/Rachel chapter isn’t a beloved one for the majority of Friends fans, and Gunther wasn’t exactly a fan either.

Joey sat Ross down in Central Perk to tell him about his feelings for their friend, before Ross stormed out in disbelief, shouting through the window: “Rachel?!”

It was a sentiment echoed by Gunther, who suddenly popped up to confront Joey.

‘You want me to join?’

Gunther spent years on the sidelines of the gang waiting to be involved, and he thought his moment had finally come in The One With Ross’ Grant.

As Ross celebrated getting Tenure, he asked Gunther for six glasses to toast with a bottle of vanilla Israeli champagne.

“You want me to join?” Gunther asked, with his eyes widening and a smile across his face.

“Oh, I thought Joey was here. Five is good,” Ross replied.

Poor Gunther.

Gunther finally tells Rachel how he feels

After 10 seasons of watching his crush from afar, Gunther finally confessed his feelings to Rachel as she prepared to leave for Paris in The Last One.

He told Rachel: “I know you’re leaving tonight, but I just have to tell you. I love you. I… I don’t know if that changes your plans at all? But I thought you should know.”

An emotional Rachel replied: “Gunther. Oh, I love you too. Probably not in the same way, but I do. And when I’m in a cafe, having coffee, or I see a man with hair brighter than the sun, I’ll think of you.”

It is a poignant scene to watch back now, with Jennifer Aniston also sharing a clip of it in her tribute to James on Instagram following his death.