Astrology has been around since 2000 BCE (thank you to the Mesopotamians for this and also for inventing written language itself), but with the rise of television in the 1950s, it was only a matter of time before the two worlds collided. After all, TV series often rely on tropes to create characters, much like how Zodiac signs can often reduce people to a handful of qualities. So, many people have started turning to TV to find out what character they might be based on the characteristics of their own astrological sign.
We’re going back to the good old days of Must See TV with this list of the zodiac signs as “Friends” characters. While some aspects of the show haven’t aged quite so well, “Friends” is still a classic for many reasons. The jokes are consistently funny, the actors each play their roles with the perfection of the gum that Jill Goodacre offers Chandler, and — like any good friend — the show feels like it will be there for you when the rain starts to pour. Perhaps the real power of “Friends” is that it has something for everyone: whether you’re bossy, “floopy,” or nerdy, there’s a Friend (or supporting character) for every astrological sign. So, here are the “Friends” characters based on the Zodiac signs they embody (rather than the signs they actually are as indicated by the show).
Aries, the baby of the Zodiac, is also the baby (well, newest addition) of the “Friends” gang. Mike Hannigan meets Phoebe in Season 9, when Joey forgets he’s supposed to set Phoebe up on a blind date. He enlists the help of Mike, a total stranger that he meets at Central Perk, and luckily for everyone, it works out and Phoebe and Mike eventually get married. He’s the yin to her yang, the only one who can accept her — box of rat babies and all — because Aries are fiercely loving like that.
Aries are known for their fiery, impulsive, fighting nature. It’s no coincidence that this sign is named after Ares, the Greek god of war. They’ll fight for you or fight you and Mike does both. He challenges David’s proposal to Phoebe but he also is willing to change his name to “Crap Bag” just to prove a point. Aries go for what they want and are confident in what they do. Remember when Mike air-played the piano to show Phoebe his skills? Classic Aries. Mike also left the stability of his law career to pursue his dream of being a piano player. He’s a man of courage, passion, and impulse — he’s willing to go along with Joey’s scheme of pretending to know each other just to go on a date with a woman he doesn’t know — and so he is the definite Aries of the gang.
Taurus is the hedonist of the Zodiac and there’s no one who better embodies this than Joey Francis Tribbiani. The man loves sex, won’t share his food and is a very loyal friend; sex, food, and friendship make up the holy trinity for Taureans, but if you cross the line in any of these areas, you will be charged by the wrath of the bull. Just ask Chandler, who was locked in a box because he kissed Joey’s girlfriend.
Taurus is ruled by the planet Venus, so it’s a sign that loves pleasure, sensuality, and love. Joey is the ultimate pleasure-seeker as he basically has sex with every woman in New York, except for Rachel because like any Taurus, he prioritizes friendship above all. He’s the most loyal of the gang as he’s the one who keeps the secret about Chandler and Monica’s relationship the longest.
Tauruses love comfort and the good life, whether with food, bougie linens, or scented candles. It’s no surprise that Joey enjoys Janine’s world of summer-in-a-bowl potpourri since the home is the sacred space to a Taurus. Sometimes stubborn Taureans don’t like change, so Joey fights the transition of Monica and Chandler moving to the suburbs. He’s the last to accept it, but when he finally does, it’s with the generosity of a Taurus. Actually, it’s because Monica and Chandler promise they’ll have a room for him in their house, and there’s nothing more Taurus than that.
Geminis are the twins of the Zodiac, known for their two-sidedness. This doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily deceitful, just that they can hold opposing feelings, ideas, and behaviors all at once. A Gemini will love you one minute, hate you the next, then go back to love and you just have to go with them on that journey, even if it gives you whiplash. They’re the messengers of the astrological signs, who are quick with their words, so there’s no better option for Gemini than Chandler Muriel Bing.
Geminis can be known for their biting wit, jokester energy, and endless charm, which is Chandler to a tee. He is a master of jokes (except when they’re bad, offensive ones submitted to Playboy) and his soul basically withers and dies when he stops making fun of his friends for a week as a New Year’s resolution. Geminis can sometimes hide their vulnerability or true selves behind masks as seen in Chandler’s defensiveness. His jokes charm but they also can conceal his sensitive side, which loves a bubble bath and cries when Ross and Rachel don’t work it out. They can be mercurial with their feelings. Chandler may feel “hopeless and awkward and desperate for love” but he’s also terrified of commitment and his on-and-off-again relationship with Janice is as Gemini as it gets. When the jokes stop and Chandler lets himself be, he’s devoted and loving, like a true Gemini.
Cancers are the sensitive homemakers of the Zodiac. They’re represented by the crab and like their animal counterparts, love their homes that protect them. But they’re also soft and vulnerable underneath, a side that they’ll only show to those who are worthy. Ruled by the moon, Cancers are intuitive, feminine, and witchy, so there’s really no one who embodies this better than Ugly Naked Guy. Ugly Naked Guy loves his home. As far as we know, he never leaves his home. And he loves being naked and in his body, where he can feel the vibes and sensations around him, including the feeling of being poked by a very large pole made of chopsticks.
Cancers will snap at you with their metaphorical crab pincers if you slight them or hurt them in any way or if you invade their space. Ugly Naked Guy turns away all those who try to come to his home. Really, he wants nothing to do with those who don’t understand him, which can be a big source of pain for a Cancer. So, Ross has to prove himself worthy before crossing the threshold into Ugly Naked Guy’s home and he can only do so with the sensitivity and compassion a Cancer requires: by seeing Ugly Naked Guy for who he really is and becoming Naked Ross.
Leo is the lion of the Zodiac but they’ll be first to tell you that they’re really the star of the show. It’s no coincidence that many A-list celebs are Leos (i.e. Madonna, J.Lo, and Chris Hemsworth) and that they all have great hair like the gorgeous manes of their animal equivalent. Ruled by the sun, Leos love attention and they often get it because they’re charming, charismatic, and brighten up the place. While Matt LeBlanc actually is a Leo in real life and Joey’s profession as an actor could situate him there, ultimately the most Leo of the “Friends” gang is Marcel the Monkey.
First off, Marcel has the best hair on the show as he literally has a mane. He knows what he wants and will get it no matter what, particularly if that means playing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” on repeat (of course his favorite song is lion-themed). Leos can be a bit dramatic, so Marcel stirs things up by escaping when Rachel is watching a soap opera because she’s not paying enough attention to him. Leos can be protective over the ones they love, like a lion mother with her cubs, and they also love to be leaders. Marcel leaves the gang to become a famous actor, snagging a role in a Jean Claude Van Damme movie. He’s a natural on camera and feels at home in the spotlight, making him a Leo through and through.
Virgos are the planners of the Zodiac, who thrive on control. They can be organized, perfectionist, and analytical. They’re often in service of others, finding the best (read: most efficient and really, only) way of helping you get something done and live your truth. There’s really one person who has all these characteristics of the Virgo sign: Monica “I’m breezy” Gellar.
It’s no secret that Monica — a woman with 11 categories of hand towels — is type A. She likes things to be in order, perfect, and organized. If you know the system, you can get things done efficiently and do something nice for your neighbors, like become a candy lady. In classic Virgo fashion, Monica is a caretaker and always the hostess, who loves making a home where everyone feels so comfortable hanging out that they don’t even knock.
But control and perfectionism have their dark sides and Virgos can be quite critical, both of others and themselves. Monica often tells Chandler what to do and can come down on herself for not living up to her own (or her parents’) expectations. Virgos can also be invested in taking care of their bodies. While the show’s treatment of Monica’s overweight past is problematic at best, it’s actually her explanation of the erogenous zones that showcases her Virgo side. She knows her body, who she is, and what she wants, and this Virgo certainty is more often than not a source of strength.
Libra is represented by the symbol of scales as this is the balancer of the Zodiac. Also ruled by Venus, Libras love nice things and keeping the peace, which are two of the favorite activities of Rachel Karen Green. Rachel is notoriously spoiled, and while she does soften that trait over time, she never loses her love of material things like apartment pants and pashminas. In fact, she gets a job in fashion, where she can be around nice clothes all the time and put her Bloomies discount to good use, which is a total Libra move.
Rachel is the only one who lives with nearly everyone in the group as she becomes roommates with Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Ross, which speaks to her ability to maintain equilibrium like a true Libra. The other side of that Libra people-pleasing quality is to avoid conflict, which Rachel hates. She starts smoking just to make a good impression on her boss and will be first to cry if anyone confronts her. The downside of the scales is that they can often swing back and forth, leading to indecision, which is tough for Rachel, who struggles to make a choice about being with Ross. In fact, she gives Monica the power to make all of her decisions over her love life (it’s a real Libra-Virgo moment) but thankfully, she takes her agency back and finally does make a decision about Ross (after ten years).
Scorpio, like its symbol of the scorpion, can be equally alluring and terrifying. Have you ever seen a scorpion move? It can put you in a trance as you can’t help but watch it, wondering what will happen next, hoping it won’t sting you, but there’s a decent chance it will because that’s its nature. Scorpios are like this, too: mysterious and unapologetically themselves. So, it’s perhaps no surprise to find that Gunther is the Scorpio in the “Friends” universe.
When Scorpios love you, they love hard, and when they hate you, they hate even harder. There is no in-between and so it is for Gunther, whose love for Rachel gets him out of bed every morning and into the coffee shop, where he can watch her with the intense obsession with which Scorpios have been known to partake (Bill Gates or Kris Jenner, anyone?). Gunther hates Ross with the same passion, as he’s the main obstacle stopping Gunther’s fantasy from becoming reality — other than the fact that Rachel isn’t interested at all.
Scorpios can be irrational with their passion, which Gunther proves after buying a $1500 hairless cat from Rachel just to get closer to her. The “Friends” gang interacts with Gunther every single day for ten years but somehow, no one knows anything about him. Is it because they never ask, or is it because, in true Scorpio fashion, he chooses to stay mysterious and secretive? You be the judge.
Sagittarius, the archer of the Zodiac, is known for an adventurous spirit and tendency to shoot truth arrows straight into your heart. Sagittarius folks love to explore, whether by traveling or learning, and share their wisdom with you, even if you may not want to hear it (sometimes especially if you don’t). If there’s one person that the Friends don’t want to listen to, even if she’s dropping wisdom bombs, it’s Janice, the Sagittarius of the group.
Sagittarians can be known for their energy and liveliness, which can sometimes translate to an “issue” with volume control. Janice is objectively the loudest character of “Friends” as her enthusiastic cackle and “oh my GODS” reverberate powerfully throughout New York City. Sagittarians are sociable as they can easily jump from friend group to friend group since their interests can be varied. Janice proves this as she dates both Chandler and Ross and wins over Joey (or so she thinks).
But even boundary-less Sagittarians have their limits and Janice has to put her foot down to tell the truth: that Ross’ whining is so annoying that their relationship has to end. Sagittarians are known for their compassion and Janice shows that to Chandler over and over again, even when he does things like pretend to move to Yemen just to avoid breaking up with her. Ultimately, Janice comes through for the Friends, using Sagittarian wisdom and kindness to talk Chandler through his anxiety around fertility and help Rachel with her birth.
While Capricorns are known as the business-oriented “doers” of the astrological signs, strangely enough, their animal symbol is a sea goat: a mythological creature that’s half goat, half fish. The goat represents Capricorn precision while the fish can be seen as the hidden, sillier side of Capricorns. In “Friends” terms, this translates to the two sides of Ross Gellar: the one that’s a Paleontologist with a PhD and the one that’s a man who gets stuck in leather pants.
Capricorns are often ambitious folks and Ross is the most focused and determined of the group, particularly when it comes to moving couches. His passion for science goes back to childhood and he never wavered from that path. Similarly, no one but a Capricorn could have pined for Rachel for nine years before asking her out. However, Capricorns can be self-righteous and Ross falls into that trap of needing to be right, like when he fights Phoebe about her beliefs in evolution or hangs onto the technicalities of being on a break.
In Capricorn fashion, Ross can feel the pressure to be “fine” even when he’s not. This can lead to explosive dramatics, especially if someone messes with his happiness by eating his Thanksgiving sandwich. Capricorns can be as determined in their friendships as their careers, which makes them stable and loyal. Ross looks out for his sister, Monica, has stayed friends with Chandler since college, and will always be there for his friends (unless they’re on a break).
Aquarius is symbolized by the water-bearer and in many ways, is the most fluid of the Zodiac. Highly intelligent and curious, Aquarius folks are often out-there and creative thinkers who perceive things outside the norm. If you’ve ever wondered what planet a friend is from, that person is probably an Aquarius, so it’s without a doubt that Phoebe Buffay is the Aquarius in “Friends.” After all, wo else but an Aquarius could have come up with “Smelly Cat” or made a painting like Gladys?
Phoebe is the wild card of the group. She’s lived on the streets and experienced the loss of her mother at a young age. She married a gay Canadian ice dancer, and she got possessed by the spirit of an old woman. All of this speaks to the Aquarius characteristic of feeling the vibes and spirits, man — Phoebe is open to all possibilities of the world, true Aquarius style.
Aquariuses value their freedom and independence, so they need people who accept them and won’t try to put them in boxes or make them run like everyone else. The flip side to this independence is that it can be hard to let others in. Phoebe struggles to find someone who understands her and sometimes is an outsider in the group, who would “lift right out,” in Rachel’s words. But ultimately, her Aquarian openness and strangeness make her a much-needed member of the “Friends” gang.
Pisces is the fish of the Zodiac, who often let their intuition and emotions guide them. Pisces people can be sensitive — with their own feelings as well as their awareness of others’ — and can be quite romantic and dreamy. While Richard Burke (Tom Selleck) may not be first to jump into mind when thinking of a Pisces, he’s actually one of the more sensitive, romantic characters of the show, proving to be the Pisces of the gang.
Richard’s profession as an ophthalmologist totally makes sense as a career choice as Pisces’ intuition and sensitivity allows them to “see” things that others don’t. Is Richard an eye doctor or a third eye doctor? You decide. Monica senses something deeper within him as she starts seeing Richard — a man whose pool she once peed in — in a new light. It helps that Richard is charming and romantic, as many Pisces are, and gives her the space to be herself rather than pressuring her to be someone else. Sensitivity can be a double-edged sword, as Pisces can really be hurt by others, like when Chandler and Joey flippantly dismiss Richard because of his age. The dreaminess of Pisces can also become an issue, as Richard lets his fantasy of Monica push him to try to break up her and Chandler. However, in his Pisces way, Richard lets Monica go.