Baby Names

The One With All the ‘Friends’ Inspired Baby Names


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Source: Remi James Co | Etsy
Source: Remi James Co | Etsy

Friends is the ultimate comfort show. We turn to it when we’re sick, bored, or bummed to put a smile on our faces. And we throw it on for background noise when we need to get some work done. We’ve seen it so many times we can practically quote it in our sleep. And for many of us, the characters have become much more than faces on a screen.

We watched as Rachel butchered a Thanksgiving trifle, memorized all the words to “Smelly Cat,” and even learned a thing or two about Hanukkah from the Holiday Armadillo. Even now, 30 years later, we still turn to Friends for laughs, brain breaks, and even fashion inspiration. It even sparks some heated debates: Were Ross and Rachel really on a break? Should Rachel have gone to Paris? Was Joey Rachel’s real soulmate?

We turn to the cast of Friends for nearly everything else. It felt only right to look to our favorite TV show for some baby name inspiration as well. Putting this list together, we knew we had to dig deeper than just the six best friends. While we included them, we also looked at side characters, actors, and more. We even went down Ross and Rachel’s extensive ‘veto’ list to find the hidden gems. If you’ve pressed ‘play’ on the beloved sitcom more times than you can remember, read on for over 65 Friends-inspired baby names.

Friends-Inspired Baby Names

For Girls


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Healer

Connection: We find out in “The One With the Embryos” that Ross and Monica’s maternal Nana’s name is Althea during the ‘Who knows who best’ game between Rachel and Monica and Joey and Chandler. Joey gets this answer correct, but it’s ultimately when the girls are asked what Chandler’s job is that they lose their beloved purple apartment to the boys.


Origin: German | Meaning: Noble, Exalted

Connection: After Phoebe is reconnected with her younger brother, Frank Jr., we’re later introduced to his Home Economics teacher turned lover, Alice Knight.


Origin: Latin and French | Meaning: Beloved

Connection: Season 9 graces us with the iconic Christina Applegate as Rachel’s sister, Amy. Notoriously self-centered, she gives the audience plenty of laughs by continuously getting Ross and Rachel’s daughter Emma’s name incorrect.


Origin: Scottish | Meaning: Pretty

Connection: After Ross and Rachel have their explosive “break,” Ross begins dating Phoebe’s friend Bonnie, played by Christine Taylor. On an infamous beach trip, Rachel cons Bonnie into shaving her head.


Origin: English and German | Meaning: Song

Connection: Ex-wife and mother to Ross’ son Ben, Carol is most known for leaving Ross to be with her life partner, Susan.


Origin: German | Meaning: Free man

Connection: A gender-neutral name, in the show, we know her as Ross’ colleague and love interest who starts a romance with Joey at the ‘Soap Opera Roof Party’ in Season 9. The long-form Charles is also seen in the series as Chandler Bing’s father.


Origin: German | Meaning: Entire, Universal

Connection: Several vetos and a name stolen from Monica later, Ross and Rachel finally decide to give baby girl Geller-Green the lovely name Emma.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Rival

Connection: When Ross infamously says Rachel’s name at the alter during his wedding, he was set to marry Brit Emily Waltham, played by Helen Baxendale.


Origin: Old Norse | Meaning: Eternal Ruler

Connection: Played by comedy queen Anna Faris, Erica gives birth to twins whom Monica and Chandler adopt during the final episodes of the series. The title is also bestowed on one of the babies in honor of the woman who gives birth to them. For a third reason to consider the name as a Friends-inspired baby name, Brooke Shields’ character on “The One After The Superbowl, Part 1,” where she plays Joey’s stalker, is named Erika.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Star

Connection: Inspired by Joey’s chain-smoking acting agent, who is highly lovable but notoriously bad at her job.


Origin: Italian and Spanish | Meaning: Devoted to God

Connection: When Ross makes his laminated Hall Pass list in “The One With Frank Jr.” he decides to “bump” Isabella Rossellini for Winona Ryder, as she lives locally. To his dismay, Isabella shows up in Central Perk one day, and he is shut down by the Italian model.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Supplanter

Connection: It wasn’t until re-watching “The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath” that we noticed many of the names Rachel and Ross “veto” for their unborn baby are actually fairly popular choices today. In the episode, Rachel suggests James, “but only if it’s a girl.” Though Ross quickly vetos this option, he may be surprised to know that James is actually growing more and more in popularity for baby girls today.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: God has been gracious

Connection: Oh. My. God! We couldn’t have a list of Friends baby names without including Chandler’s flamboyant ex-girlfriend.


Origin: French | Meaning: God is gracious

Connection: When Chandler and Monica decide to live together, Joey goes on the hunt for a new roommate. With an ad that said, “Wanted: Female roommate, non-smoker, non-ugly,” he certainly got what he asked for in Australian Janine Lecroix, portrayed by the lovely Elle Macpherson.


Origin: Welsh and English | Meaning: The fair one

Connection: Of course, included in our list thanks to the actress who was born to play Rachel, Jennifer Aniston.


Origin: English | Meaning: Youthful

Connection: Perhaps one of our favorite celebrity cameos of all was when Reese Witherspoon portrayed Rachel’s spoiled sister, Jill.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: He will be praised

Connection: Ross and Monica’s spunky mother and the woman who holds all of Jack Geller’s affection.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Youthful

Connection: Just as Rachel was finally coming around to the idea of a relationship with Ross in Season 2, he hits her with a bombshell in the form of his grad-school friend turned-girlfriend, Julie. Though he inevitably leaves her for Rachel, viewers rest easy when she finds love in Ross’ doppelgänger, Russ.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Pure

Connection: In one of the more tumultuous storylines of the show, Chandler falls head over heels for Joey’s girlfriend, Kathy.


Origin: Latin and French | Meaning: Laurel Tree

Connection: Brought to our list by Rachel’s dream job mid-series with her role at designer brand Ralph Lauren.


Origin: Scottish | Meaning: Holly garden

Connection: Leslie is one of Alice and Frank’s triplets that Phoebe births (who happens to have the special talent of burping the ABCs). Along with one of the triplets, we know Leslie as Phoebe’s former singing partner who notoriously steals “Smelly Cat” and turns it into a jingle, played by Elizabeth Daily.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: God’s promise

Connection: Kind, caring, and sweet is Phoebe’s character, played by celebrated actress Lisa Kudrow.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: City in England

Connection: Brought to our list by the city that changes everything! London is not only where Ross plans to marry Emily, but it’s where Monica and Chandler begin their love story.

Mary Angela

Origin: Italian | Meaning: An angel of the sea of sorrow

Connection: Causing a minor rough patch in their friendship, Chandler makes the shameful move of “fooling around” with Joey’s sister, Mary Angela, when he’s drunk one night.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Noble, Aristocratic

Connection: One girlfriend who let Ross get away with far too much (if you ask us) was played by Bonnie Somerville in Season 8.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Advisor

Connection: The show simply wouldn’t be the same without the scrappy, competitive, clean freak who loves to cook, Monica Geller.


Origin: Latin and Greek | Meaning: Honor, Light

Connection: Played by Morgan Fairchild, Nora Tyler Bing is Chandler’s mother and a best-selling erotic novelist.


Origin: French | Meaning: City in France

Connection: There are two types of people in the world: team get off the plane, and team go to Paris. No matter where you fall, we see in the final episode of the series that Rachel chooses her love for Ross over the City of Love.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Bright, Radiant

Connection: Alias: Regina Phalange. Lisa Kudrow’s character brought so much joy and laughter to the show with her spunky character.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Female sheep

Connection: Perhaps the best character development of the entire show was none other than Rachel Green. We know you’ll never have to say We were on a break! about a little one with this adorable Friends-inspired baby name.


Origin: British | Meaning: Queen

Connection: An atmospheric name Rachel suggested for their baby girl that Ross vetoed—we know you’ll love your little Raine even if she has her own kiln and wears a dress made out of wheat.


Origin: Welsh | Meaning: Enthusiasm

Connection: The character who brought us “apartment pants” was played by the adored actress Reese Witherspoon.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Friend

Connection: Oh, I’m sorry, are we having an 89-year-old? No, Rachel! You’re just considering an old-fashioned baby name. Even though Rachel originally passed on the name, she and Ross almost chose Ruth to be Emma’s first name.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Man’s defender

Connection: That’s a really pretty name for an industrial solvent… and a little girl! Rachel was onto something with this French suggestion. It’s actually become a much more common selection since Ross vetoed it.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Lily of the valley

Connection: Essentially, the bane of Ross Geller’s existence is the lover and life partner of his ex-wife Carol, Susan Bunch, played by Jessica Hecht.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Little she-bear

Connection: While some may think of the villain in The Little Mermaid upon hearing this name, Friends fans will think of a different villain: Phoebe’s twin sister.


Origin: Native American | Meaning: First-born daughter

Connection: Not only was Winona Ryder one of Ross’s hall pass selections, but she also had a cameo on the show as Rachel’s sorority sister. Rachel’s comrade on her “one wild night” in college, her character, Melissa, never seemed to lose affection for her.

For Boys


Origin: Italian | Meaning: Defender of the people

Connection: A fun inclusion, Alessandro’s is the name of the restaurant Monica becomes head chef at after writing a negative review on the establishment. Unfortunately, it takes her a while to gain her authority over the other kitchen staff.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Fair-haired

Connection: In the pilot episode of the series, we see Rachel enter Central Perk donning a wedding dress, looking for Monica. Come to find out, she had just left her dull fiancé Barry at the altar. But just because the dentist may not be a favorite character, this Irish name is deserving of love.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Son

Connection: Though their marriage ended, Ross’ connection to his ex-wife Carol lived on as they welcomed a son together named Ben, played by Cole Sprouse. A favorite scene involving Ben is found in Season 7, where Ross dresses up as the ‘Holiday Armadillo’ to teach his son about Hanukkah.


Origin: German and English | Meaning: Bright, Fame

Connection: A little one named Bobby is sure to be someone you always want around. His name is included on our list thanks to Monica’s off-and-on boyfriend for Seasons 1 and 2, Fun Bobby.


Origin: British | Meaning: Broad, Wide

Connection: Founding member of the ‘I Hate Rachel Green Club’ alongside Ross, Will Colbert was a friend of Ross and Monica’s in high school and invited to Thanksgiving dinner in “The One With the Rumor.” He was portrayed by Brad Pitt.


Origin: French | Meaning: Candle maker

Connection: Could there BE a better baby name out there? A fan-favorite character who always has a witty comeback or sarcastic comment is Chandler Bing. As we learn, when Phoebe welcomes her brother’s triplet (and much to Chandler’s disapproval), the name is a great gender-neutral option.


Origin: Old English | Meaning: Dear friend

Connection: Not only does this name feel fitting due to Ross’ love of science and academia, but it also happens to be a name he suggested for his and Rachel’s baby. Unfortunately for him, Rachel used her veto power as a pass on this sophisticated name.


Origin: Hebrew, short for Daniel | Meaning: God is my judge

Connection: Yeti… I mean, Danny! There will be no confusing your little bundle of joy with a Big Foot like Rachel and Monica did in the apartment basement while looking for the little round waffle maker.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Beloved

Connection: Not only is Ross played by the talented David Schwimmer, but he also shares a name with Phoebe’s almost-husband, who gets swept away to Minsk, David the Scientist Guy. Not to mention, one of the main writers behind the magic is David Crane.


Origin: British | Meaning: Ditch settlement

Connection: Suggested by Rachel but quickly vetoed by Ross is this masculine title that reached peak popularity in 2008.


Origin: German | Meaning: Frenchman

Connection: This inclusion is threefold: Frank is Phoebe’s father, brother, and one of the triplets.


Origin: British | Meaning: Spear

Connection: If you had high hopes for Phoebe and her hunky police officer beau Gary, you weren’t the only one. Unfortunately, the two split instantly when he shoots a bird that’s making a bit too much noise.


Origin: Welsh | Meaning: White hawk

Connection: When Rachel returned to work after having Emma, she found the unwanted Gavin Mitchell sitting at her desk. Played by Dermot Mulroney, the hostility between the two eventually leads to a mutual but short-lived affection.


Origin: German | Meaning: Battle warrior
Connection: Our Friends-inspired baby names list would be incomplete without the awkward but lovable (and Rachel-obsessed) Central Perk manager, Gunther.


Origin: British | Meaning: Hedged area

Connection: Played by Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Hayes is a director of a play Joey auditions for. When it comes to choosing a baby name, consider Leonard’s advice to “explore the vertical” with this unique option.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: God is gracious

Connection: In this sobriquet of John, James, and Jackson, we see Jack in the show as Ross and Monica’s spunky father. His name is then passed on to one of Monica and Chandler’s twins, his grandchild.


Origin: Hebrew, diminutive of Joseph | Meaning: God will increase

Connection: Hey, how you doin’? Arguably, the most lovable character on the show is played by Matt LeBlanc. We couldn’t do without Joey’s foolish charm and big heart.


Origin: Welsh | Meaning: Son of John

Connection: Frequently seen as a surname, this title is especially fitting for a little one who’s so pretty that you want to cry. We’re referring to Rachel’s assistant-turned-boyfriend, Tag Jones.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Dedicated to Mars

Connection: The original “guy she says you have nothing to worry about” may have been Mark Robinson. A mentor for Rachel on her career path, her relationship with Mark made Ross highly jealous and may have even played into the reason they split.


Origin: Hebrew | Meaning: Gift of God

Connection: Two influential Matt’s made the show as beloved as it is. Matt LeBlanc played Joey, and Matthew Perry played Chandler Bing. In October of 2023, fans and friends mourned Perry after his tragic death. Lucky for us, his legacy lives on in the ultimate comfort show.


Origin: Hebrew, short for Michael | Meaning: Who is like God?

Connection: Just when we all thought Phoebe was going to start a life with David the Scientist Guy, Mike came back into the picture. He may also be affectionately known as Banana Hammock.


Origin: Irish | Meaning: Shining, Of the bright sea

Connection: Although not appreciated by Chandler, his middle name is actually quite a noble title. It shouldn’t be off the table for either a little boy or a girl.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Humble

Connection: Likely the least likable character of the entire series is Rachel’s Italian beau in Season 1. What starts out as a dreamy love connection quickly goes south when he makes a move on Phoebe. Though this Paolo was anything but “humble,” the lovely name is still worth considering.


Origin: Old English | Meaning: Park Keeper

Connection: Another fan-favorite cameo by actor Alec Baldwin was the enthusiastic Parker, who accompanied Phoebe to the Geller’s 35th wedding anniversary in Event Room C. Because welcoming a new baby boy will make you want to take a mental picture, consider giving him this adorable name.


Origin: Latin | Meaning: Small, Humble

Connection: You don’t have to be a wine enthusiast to welcome a little one of this name, even if it is brought to our list in part by Paul the Wine Guy. We’re also inspired by another celebrity cameo. This time, we’re referring to Bruce Willis, who is the father of Ross’ younger date, Elizabeth, and becomes Rachel’s love interest.


Origin: Greek | Meaning: Rock

Connection: Many of us had high hopes for Monica’s millionaire love interest who swept her away to Rome for their first date. Unfortunately, he ended up being more infatuated with becoming the ‘Ultimate Fighting Champion’ than he was with her. Nonetheless, we loved the storyline and Pete’s one-of-a-kind character, played by Jon Favreau.


Origin: German | Meaning: Powerful, Brave, Strong Ruler

Connection: Speaking of Monica’s love interests, there was only one contender viewers saw her ending up with almost as much as Chandler. The hunky mustached dentist named Richard Burke was played by Tom Selleck.


Origin: Scottish | Meaning: Headland

Connection: Pivot… Pivot… PIVOT! Until you land on this uncommon baby name your little one will share with David Schwimmer’s smart, eccentric, and sometimes moody character, Ross Geller.


Origin: English | Meaning: Woodcutter

Connection: Although Ross wasn’t on board, this baby name that Rachel suggested for their unborn baby has grown and grown in popularity since the episode aired.


Origin: British | Meaning: Steward

Connection: As we all know, Ross wasn’t the only one saying no to baby name suggestions. This uncommon moniker is one that Rachel quickly passed on.


Origin: British | Meaning: Roof thatcher

Connection: Another quick veto from Rachel, Thatcher even elicited the response, “Ross, why do you hate our child?” Though the laughs from the studio audience were warranted for that snapback, the title has been holding a spot on the charts since 2013.


Origin: Italian | Meaning: Life

Connection: Is it me, or is Veto starting to sound really good? No, Phoebe, we don’t mind this unique name, either!