The showbiz world has shared messages for the late Friends star James Michael Tyler, who has died at the age of 59 – and many have been looking back on their favourite Gunther moments in tribute.
The actor left a lasting impression on the hugely popular sitcom despite his relatively limited screen time, and he became a big part of the show’s appeal over the years.
Tyler appeared on Friends from 1994 to 2004 and featured in 150 episodes. He died on Sunday morning aged 59 following a battle with cancer, with the Friends cast, including Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox, paying heartfelt tributes after the news broke over the weekend.
He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2018 but only revealed his private health battle earlier this year.
His character, the coffee shop manager at Central Perk, stood out from the supporting cast for his unmissable bleached hair, unrequited love for Rachel Green and of course his memorable lines.
Here are some of Gunther’s most memorable moments on the show.
The secret smoker
While we never got to know much about Gunther’s personal life on the show, it was revealed in season three that he was a secret smoker.
Gunther revealed his habit while trying to enforce Central Perk’s no smoking policy – only to let the facade slip during a memorable interaction with Chandler.
After Chandler agrees to allow him to have a drag of his cigarette, a blissful Gunther says his classic line: ‘Oh, dark mother. Once again I suckle at your smoky teat.’
‘I dropped a cup’
Gunther never got it together with his unrequited love Rachel – but that didn’t stop him getting jealous when other men showed their interest in her.
Another season three episode saw a man making a move on Rachel, and it’s just too much for Gunther to take.
After seeing the potential partner attempt to flirt with Rachel, he walks off camera in a rage. Loud crashing noises follow, with the lovesick Gunther taking out his frustrations on the crockery.
‘I dropped a cup,’ he deadpans after walking back into frame.
‘Put the mouse back in the house’
Gunther had some incredible lines over the course of the 10 seasons of Friends, and this one is pretty hard to beat.
Fans will remember how awkward things were with Phoebe’s one-time partner Robert, after he kept insisting on turning up at Central Perk in revealing gym shorts.
He seemed completely oblivious to his behaviour, leaving Phoebe the unenviable task of explaining he was showing a little too much in the coffee shop.
After Monica struggled to find the words, Gunther stepped in with the classic riposte: ‘Hey, buddy. This is a family place. Put the mouse back in the house.’
Instantly, fans knew they’d witnessed a classic Friends moment.
When he poured his heart out to Rachel
It takes a lot of guts to be honest with your feelings, and while Gunther never got together with his dream girl Rachel he was at least open with his heart.
As Rachel was preparing to head off and start a new life in France, Gunther decides it is now or never and takes his shot.
‘I know you’re leaving tonight, but I just have to tell you. I love you. I… I don’t know if that changes your plans at all? But I thought you should know.’
While Gunther’s character was often played straight for laughs, it was a touching moment, and Rachel’s response was perfect.
‘Gunther. Oh, I love you too,’ she replied. ‘Probably not in the same way, but I do. And when I’m in a cafe, having coffee, or I see a man with hair brighter than the sun, I’ll think of you.’
Gunther showed a surprising side to himself in season eight episode The One With The Stain.
Ross attempts to learn Dutch in a bid to secure a new apartment. While studying the language, Ross thanks Gunther for his coffee in Dutch.
Gunther, fluent in the language, tries to keep the conversation flowing only for Ross to rudely cut him short.
‘Ezel,’ Gunther says, using the Dutch word for ‘donkey’.
‘I saved up for 350 years’
Gunther was never shy of an acerbic comment or two, and Joey found himself on the wrong end of his dry wit in a season six episode.
The Days Of Our Lives star discovers a set of Porche keys at Central Perk and asks Gunther if they belong to him.
The coffee shop manager sarcastically replies: ‘Yes, that’s what I drive. I make four bucks an hour. I saved up for 350 years.’
Friends is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
Credit: Original article published here.