Gunther (James Michael Tyler) - the manager of the Central Perk coffee house, who first appears as a background character in "The One with the Thumb".[e 9] The character develops an unrequited crush on Rachel in the third season, which he keeps to himself until "The Last One".[e 10] His jealousy of Ross is made clear numerous times when he is impolite to or insults him, most notably in "The One the Morning After",[e 11] when he reveals to Rachel that Ross (who at the time was under the mistaken impression that thier relationship was already over) had sex with another woman. Gunther appears in nearly every episode, but only occasionally calls attention to himself and almost never has a large role in the plot of an episode. He usually just either antagonizes Ross, does something to make his feelings for Rachel clear to the target audience or displays irritation or bewilderment with a quirk from one of the six main protaganists. In the Season 8 Episode 'The One With The Stain', Gunther is shown to be fluent in Dutch (although with a hint of an American accent), calling Ross an ezel as he converses with him. (Ross is trying to learn Dutch in order to secure an apartment from a dying Dutch woman.) He also claimed to have played Bryce on All My Children and was 'killed in an avalanche'.
James Michael Tyler was cast as Gunther because he was the only extra who could competently work the coffee machine on the Central Perk set. Tyler appears as Gunther in a co-host voice-over in the Friends trivia game for PS2, PC and Xbox, and in the board game Friends: Scene It?. The Seattle Times ranked Gunther as the eighth best guest character of the series in 2004. When asked in 2009 by Heatworld.com what Gunther would be doing "now", Tyler joked, "He'd probably have a very traditional marriage, with lots of white-haired babies running around with hair brighter than the sun."