James Michael Tyler, the man behind FRIENDS’ omnipresent Central Perk barista ‘Gunther’ passed away this Sunday and we do not want to believe that at all. Tyler shared in June 2021 that he had been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer and was undergoing chemotherapy. Known for his ‘bright as the sun’ hair and an unrequited crush on Rachel, Gunther popped up in 150 of the long-running sitcom’s 235 episodes. The waiter and manager at coffee house Central Perk gradually became a fan favourite over the sitcom's 10-year run. And long after the show ended, he kept close ties to the Friends brand.
Here are some of his most witty quotes which cracked us with rib-tingling laughter. He shall remain alive in our hearts always. Adieu Gunther!
The One With The Race Car Bed (Season 3, Episode 7)
This episode marks the first appearance of Gunther's love for Rachel when he says, "What does Rachel see in this guy? I love Rachel. I wish she was my wife."
The One With The Giant Poking Device (Season 3, Episode 8)
This was again addressed to Ross when he went to him and asked for a napkin. Gunther couldn't hide his feeling/anger and he blurted, "Oh, like you don't already have everything?"
The One With All The Wedding Dresses (Season 4, Episode 20)
When Rachel asks a guy if he wants to marry her and he refuses saying he's finalising a divorce and has not been able to process his relationship with Rachel in a serious tone yet, Gunther only had two words for him. "You idiot!"
The One Where Monica And Richard Are Friends (Season 3, Episode 13)
while we know how close-knit and savage Phoebe, Chandler and Joey were, they found it a bit embarrassing to be blunt. But Gunther didn't. When Phoebe's boyfriend had an awkward moment, he decides to break the news to him saying, "Hey, buddy, this is a family place. Put the mouse back in the house."
The One With The Tiny T-Shirt (Season 3, Episode 19)
How many times had had Gunther in his mind thought of dating, marrying and asking Rachel out, but we all know, he couldn't. However, when his co-worker casually asks her for a coffee date and she accepts, he's furious. Clearly furious. He goes in smashes some crockery and returns to tell everybody, "I dropped a cup."
The One With The Stain (Season 8, Episode 7)
"Jij hebt seks met ezels," is what Gunther tells Ross when he decides to impress a woman in Dutch. It means having relationships with donkeys. Ross couldn't help but respond with a 'Damn it!' to Gunther's insult.
James Michael Tyler has and will always be an irreplaceable character in Friends. The sitcom premieres on Comedy Central.