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  • Carol Willick (Anita Barone for one episode, Jane Sibbett thereafter) and Susan Bunch (Jessica Hecht) - Ross's lesbian ex-wife, who came out a year before the pilot, and her partner. Carol tells Ross that she is pregnant with his child in "The One with the Sonogram at the End"[e 5] and is having it with her partner Susan. Susan does not attempt to hide her contempt of Ross and vice versa, but they briefly put aside their differences in "The One with the Birth"[e 6] when Carol gives birth to a boy, Ben. Carol and Susan get married in "The One with the Lesbian Wedding"[e 7] and make irregular appearances until "The One That Could Have Been, Part 2"[e 4] (Susan) and "The One with the Truth About London"[e 8] (Carol).
    Carol and Susan were based on Marta Kauffman and David Crane's best friends in New York: "We didn't create them for any particular political reason or because of lesbian chic. It was just an opportunity to tell a really interesting story."[24] The characters were called a positive example of a gay couple on television by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. Jessica Hecht originally auditioned to play Monica.[25]

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