Movies & TV Shows

Glee Main Characters & Their Friends Counterparts

Glee and Friends are series with a lot in common: iconic in their time with huge audience followings, yet in the years since the series ended they have aged quite poorly. Despite the generational differences between the series, the characters within the shows can correlate to each other in a lot of ways. There is more than just the obvious that Glee and Friends both had main characters named Rachel.

Despite the shady things characters in both series did over the seasons, the protagonists of Glee and Friends remain quite beloved amongst their respective audiences. It’s no surprise that these characters would have hung out if both of the series were set in the same universe.


Updated on June 25, 2022 by Amanda Bruce: On the surface, Glee and Friends couldn’t be more different One is a sitcom focused on New Yorkers as they head into their thirties and the other is a dramedy about high school students who want to work in the arts. At their core, they examine the bonds between the different characters though, and many of those characters fill similar roles. Fans can examine the comparisons for themselves by streaming Friends on HBO Max or Glee on Disney+.

Brad – Gunther

A split image depicts Brad in Glee and Gunther in Friends

Brad the piano player is a big part of the Glee club without ever truly being part of the group. After all, he’s not a teacher and he’s not one of the students. He’s there on the edge of all of the lessons to provide the music for the songs of the week. Brad is a big part of making the club work, but he’s on the outside looking in.

RELATED: The Main Cast Of Glee, Ranked by Likability

That’s very much how Gunther’s character is approached in Friends. He’s not a member of the group, but he’s there at the one place where they all gather to provide them with their coffee and a snarky comment or two. Without Gunther, the group’s experience at Central Perk would be very different.

Santana – Susan

A split image depicts Santana in Glee and Susan in Friends

Santana and Susan are very different people. They have vastly different backgrounds and career aspirations, but they are also both incredibly vocal about the people they care about, their right to be who they are, and they do not allow other people to put them down.

While it takes Santana a long time to come to terms with her own sexuality, the Friends audience doesn’t get quite that much background on Susan since Susan isn’t one of the main characters. What the audiences of both shows get to see is how fiercely loyal Santana is to Brittany and Susan is to Carol. Susan’s remarks to those who cut her down, like Ross, might not be quite as creative as Santana’s are to those she doesn’t like, but they are just as caustic.

Quinn – Emily

Quinn became the notorious mean girl in Glee, full of complicated emotions that led to her making mistakes. She is much like Emily from Friends with her hard-headed personality and underlining manipulative behavior.

Quinn was a jealous girlfriend. In order to protect her feelings, she often came across as bossy and demanding. Quinn and Emily set guidelines and restrictions in their relationships and refused to budge on them. Even though they both had inner emotions they struggled with, their outward reactions often led to conflicts in their relationships.

Terri – Janice

Terri and Janice are both exes that show self-absorbed and shallow personalities. Ultimately, they would do anything to keep a dying relationship alive. Although both showed small moments of compassion, they were more notorious for their nagging behavior.

Much like Janice from Friends, Terri refused to let go of a relationship that wasn’t working and found ways to manipulate the situation. She was willing to lie about a pregnancy to keep Will with her, making her one of the most hated supporting characters in Glee. Even though Janice never did something quite that extreme, she often manipulated Chandler’s feelings to get him to change his mind.

Blaine – Mike

Darren Criss played a character on Glee who constantly proved to be a patient and compassionate individual, despite some things about Blaine that didn’t make sense. Much like Friends character Mike, he had a strong supporting role that backed up his partner in their relationship.

Blaine and Mike were both in relationships with eccentric people with whom they shared interests, despite their more flamboyant personalities. Although there were rough spots in both characters’ relationships, they were patient with their loved ones and passionate about fixing things in the end. Like Mike, Blaine was an outwardly optimistic person but with insecurities that subtly affected his relationships with others.

Artie – Ross

Artie and Ross shared nerdy and awkward personalities that often made them feel like outsiders within their groups, but they are two of the most intelligent and loyal characters.

Much like Ross from Friends, Artie has a sensitive side, not liking being looked down on. Artie and Ross are both smart people who are often teased for displaying their vast knowledge of random topics that others might deem “nerdy.” Despite being awkward individuals, they are passionate about standing up for themselves and their friends when needed.

Brittany – Phoebe

Brittany was a lot like Phoebe with her eccentric behavior and fun-loving disposition. Both come across as ditzy yet are very insightful and emotional individuals.

Phoebe’s character, much like Brittany, often came across as naive because of her excitable and carefree attitude toward everything around her, which sometimes resulted in her getting into sticky situations in Friends. Despite their naiveté, they are the most enduring, compassionate characters. They are always there for people and willing to defend them at any cost.

Emma – Monica

Emma and Monica not only shared a need for cleanliness and organization but also a motherly instinct to help others and make sure they were cared for. They both proved that they are willing to defend their beliefs and values.

RELATED: 10 Things You Never Knew About Emma Pillsbury In Glee

Emma was the perfect guidance counselor in Glee. She was selfless and empathetic, and ready to help in any way that she could. Similarly, Monica always cared for others, such as letting Rachel live with her, making sure everyone’s holiday traditions were included, and providing food for everyone. Even though they were so attentive to others’ needs, they had morals and values that they were unwilling to put aside.

Sam – Joey

Sam and Joey were both known for being somewhat self-absorbed and not the brightest characters in their series. However, they are passionate about their friends and fulfilling their dreams.

At first glance, Sam and Joey could both come across as selfish pretty boys. But upon closer examination, they both are two big softies. Their interactions and care for others are evidence that they are highly compassionate individuals. Sam is not quite as confident in his flirting abilities as Joey, but he is a bit of a womanizer. Despite being a little unaware and dim, both Sam and Joey are talented characters willing to put in the work to succeed.

Will – Chandler

Will had a lot of similarities to Chandler ⁠— and not just because of their mutual love of sweater vests. They both are quick-witted individuals, willing to do anything to avoid failure and embarrassment. Both look for a grounded and secure lifestyle with the people that they love. There were also some things that fans truly hated about Chandler and Will as well.

Like Chandler, Will is oblivious to others’ manipulations and misuse, often allowing people to take advantage of him. They both were willing to do anything to avoid embarrassing themselves, such as Chandler boarding a plane to Yemen and Will blackmailing people into joining the glee club.

Kurt – Rachel

Kurt and Rachel were determined individuals passionate about their goals and interests. Despite being somewhat snobbish and jealous, they were known to put others’ needs before their own when it counted.

RELATED: 10 Things Fans Hate About Rachel in Friends

Kurt was passionate about fashion and appearance, just like Rachel. They both were determined to make it a successful career for themselves and were willing to do whatever it took. Even though they could appear standoffish, they cared about people’s opinions of them and helped when it counted.

Rachel – Jill

Despite Jill not being the main character, unlike Rachel, they both are self-entitled divas willing to do whatever they need to get what they want.

Rachel, although extremely talented, came across as self-absorbed and always expected the best for herself. During her time on Friends, Jill showed very similar characteristics with her bratty behavior and manipulation of others to get what she wanted. When they didn’t get what they wanted, both Rachel and Jill were often confused about why it didn’t go their way and missed the reality of the situation, such as Jill assuming Ross was gay because he broke up with her or Rachel questioning her ability when someone else was given a solo.

NEXT: The Office Characters & Their Friends Counterparts

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