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María Cristina García lives in New York with her favorite spouse, her favorite toddler, her favorite cat, and her second-favorite cat. When not ranking members of her household, she's catching up on Supergirl, strumming her mandolin, or trying to beat the clock on her library loans. Twitter: @MeowyCristina Blog:

This giveaway is sponsored by I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller.

This definitive retrospective of “Friends” incorporates interviews, history, and behind-the-scenes anecdotes to explore how the sitcom changed television forever. When “Friends” debuted in 1994, nobody expected a show about six twenty-somethings living and falling in love in NYC to become a mainstay of “Must See TV,” let alone a global phenomenon. In the years since, “Friends” has gone through many phases of cultural relevancy, from primetime hit to 90s novelty item to certified classic. Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe have entered the pantheon of great television characters, and millions of people continue to view their stories today.

Who’s the best friend from “Friends” and why? We asked and you answered.

Now we’ve read through all your entries, and drumroll drumroll drumroll…

Here are the five finalists! Read them over, consider them with great care, and then vote for your favorite in the poll below. The winner will be named next week!

Whitney from Spring Creek, Nevada says:

Monica Geller is the best friend of the “Friends” gang. She could be called the “mom” of the group. Without her, the gang may have easily lost touch or drifted apart as their lives took different courses. Through new relationships, breakups and divorces, new careers, marriages, and even having kids the friends always remained close.

Because she was “always the hostess,” Monica’s apartment provided a place for the gang to gather during the holidays, birthday parties, and whenever Central Perk was closed. Monica made sure that everyone (and sometimes their unexpected guests!) felt welcome and were fed a delicious meal. Monica’s apartment was a place for them all to come and unwind with a game of Monopoly or to watch Joey’s latest television endeavor. Although she often came home to an apartment full of people who did not live there eating her Doritos or lasagna, she never did change the locks.

Not only did Monica provide everyone with a place to relax and food to eat, she took care of their other needs, too. Whenever anyone needed car washing supplies, a tiny globe/pencil sharpener, or an alphabetized and color coated list/binder full of ideas, Monica was the first to volunteer to help. Although she was often teased about her sometimes overzealous enthusiasm (or competitiveness) she never stopped helping her friends. Every group of friends needs a Monica!

Kimberly from Livonia, Michigan says:

I think Phoebe is the best friend from Friends. She is kind and helpful to her friends and supports them. She helps Joey learn French and guitar even though he is terrible at both. She tried to help Ross make friends when he moved in his new apartment after he angered the other tenants. She helps Chandler get the confidence he needs for job interviews and dates with anonymous women who happen to be Janice. She assists Monica when she starts her own catering business and when she has the idea to switch back apartments following the bet. Phoebe tried to help Rachel get over Ross with some aversion therapy and later took Ross to the airport to profess his love for Rachel. Phoebe is definitely the best friend.

Tiana from Pierceton, Indiana says:

Chandler Bing is the best friend. He is always there for his friends, and while he is not very good at being serious, when the time really calls for it he is able. He is hilarious, hard working, and generally kind. While he lacks confidence he is usually good at the things he puts his mind to. He loves children, his friends, and of course he would do anything for his wife (like spend their entire savings on the wedding). He is also honest and fair. Chandler would without a doubt be placed in Hufflepuff if he went to Hogwarts.

Emily from South Jordan, Utah says:

Hands-down Joey was the best friend to the others. He supported and stood up for each of them while seeking little in return. A few examples of our friendship lobster:

He bought Chandler a best buds’ bracelet.

He gave Phoebe her perfect birthday kiss.

He threatened to cook Monica’s bad restaurant reviewer.

He watched possible Monica porn for Chandler.

He saved Ross from a bullet (though, it was actually a car backfiring. And it was actually for a sandwich).

He gave up meat for Phoebe.

He helped Monica surprise propose to Chandler.

He loved Rachel enough to let her go.

He tried to hunt down David Lin for impregnating Phoebe and not marrying her.

He taught Ross the backpacking story.

He proposed to Phoebe and Rachel because they were pregnant – or at least he thought Phoebe was.

Everyone needs a Joey in their life. Although he won’t share food, he will see us through to phase four and pee on us when needed. He is a model friend.

Siobhan from Mississauga, Ontario says:

Central Perk is the best character on Friends. It provided comfort, not only to the characters but also the viewers. That couch alone is the symbol of that series. It’s iconic. I would say more iconic than the actors themselves. Central Perk is the one aspect of the show that makes people feel nostalgic. Anywhere there is a pop-up shop for Central Perk is it flooded with fans, because it is Friends. Plus a lot of milestones happened there: Ross and Rachel’s first kiss, Phoebe’s wedding. It was where Joey tells Ross about his feelings for Rachel, and Phoebe telling her brother she’ll carry his babies. It was the opening scene of the series and where the characters went when it ended ten years later. It’s the best part of the show. Hands down.

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