This Hated Friends Character Was Written Off The Show For Not Being Funny


“Could we be any more surprised?” Fans of the iconic TV show Friends might recall the British character Emily, Ross Geller’s short-lived wife. While the show had its fair share of memorable characters, some stood out more than others – and not always for the right reasons. Emily, portrayed by Helen Baxendale, was one such character who, despite her significant role in the storyline, was written off the show. The reason? She simply wasn’t funny enough, according to one of the show’s directors.

Friends has been a staple in pop culture since its inception, and even though it hasn’t aired a new episode since 2004, it continues to be a beloved series. But like any show, it had its hits and misses when it came to characters.

The Rise and Fall of Emily


Credit: Warner Bros. Television

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Introduced in season 4, Emily Waltham was a British woman visiting New York. Initially, Rachel was supposed to take her to the opera as a favour for her boss. However, a chance to meet her crush at a club leads Rachel to convince Ross to take Emily instead. This decision would set the stage for one of the most tumultuous relationships in the Friends series.

A Whirlwind Romance

Ross and Emily’s relationship was a rollercoaster from the start. They fell in love quickly, much to the concern of their friends. Their whirlwind romance led to a rushed marriage, culminating in the unforgettable moment when Ross accidentally says Rachel’s name instead of Emily’s during their wedding vows.

The Director’s Take


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James Burrows, one of the show’s directors, had a clear perspective on why Emily’s character didn’t last long on the show. In his memoir, “Directed by James Burrows”, he described Helen Baxendale, the actress who portrayed Emily, as “nice, but not particularly funny” (via Deadline). He further elaborated that it was really a matter of chemistry. While Ross and Rachel (played by David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston) had undeniable chemistry, the dynamic between Ross and Emily felt off, described by Burrows as “clapping with one hand”.

The Impact of Emily’s Character

Despite being in only 14 episodes of Friends, Emily’s character had a significant impact on the show’s trajectory, especially for Ross. Her brief presence led to some of the series’ most dramatic moments, including Ross’s infamous “I take thee, Rachel” line during his wedding. However, it wasn’t just the lack of humour that led to Emily’s exit. Reports indicate that Helen Baxendale’s pregnancy between the filming of seasons 4 and 5 played a role in her reduced appearances and eventual exit from the show.

The Legacy of Emily Waltham


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While Emily might not have been the most beloved character on Friends, she undoubtedly left a mark. Her character brought a unique dynamic to the show, serving as a foil to Rachel and highlighting the complexities of Ross’s character. The tension between Ross and Emily, coupled with the lingering feelings between Ross and Rachel, made for compelling television.

Final Thoughts on Emily being written out of Friends


Credit: Warner Bros. Television

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Friends remains one of the most iconic TV shows of all time, with each character playing a pivotal role in its success. While Emily’s character may not have resonated with everyone, her presence on the show added depth, drama, and a touch of British charm to the series. Whether you loved or loathed her, Emily Waltham’s character is a testament to the show’s ability to create memorable moments and characters that continue to be discussed and debated by fans around the world.

What do you make of this news? Do you think that Emily wasn’t a very funny character in Friends? Do you think they made the right decision in writing her out of the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Friends is available to stream on MAX right now.

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