Friends Central

David, also known as David the Scientist Guy, was the first serious love interest of Phoebe Buffay, portrayed by Hank Azaria. Their romance ended when David had to go to Minsk to work.

David's dialogues are characterized by his lack of fluency in speaking (his lines are often punctuated by stutters and 'um's), a fact which Chandler points out to Monica in "The One In Barbados, Part 1".


David was first featured in "The One With The Monkey", Phoebe yells at him when his loud conversation with fellow scientist Max interrupts her guitar playing. When David explains that they were talking about how beautiful she was, all is forgiven and she now wants to break the New Year's "no date" pact. Unfortunately, David is torn because he and Max were given a grant to study in Minsk, Belarus. Eventually, he leaves, and Phoebe is left heartbroken. He returns in Season 7's "The One With All The Cheesecakes" to visit, and Phoebe has to decide between seeing him during the one night he'll be there, or keeping her dinner with Joey. She does the former, despite lecturing Joey for doing the same thing. He then returns during the latter half of Season 9 after finishing his research in Minsk. He professes his love for Phoebe, but she has moved on to Mike by this time, and she eventually accepts Mike's proposal for marriage.


  • David and Phoebe were originally going to reunite when David returns form Minsk. Hank Azaria wanted David and Phoebe to end up together.[1] He revealed the reason why Phoebe ended up with Mike (despite the original plan) in this interview.
  • David is portrayed by Hank Azaria, who is one of three voice actors from the animated sitcom The Simpsons to appear on Friends. The other two were Harry Shearer, who portrayed Dr. Baldharar and Dan Castellaneta, who portrayed The Zoo Employee.
  • David is played by Hank Azaria, who also plays Nat Ostertag in Mad About You. However, both of these shows exist in the same universe, as Phoebe's twin sister Ursula appears on Mad About You and two main characters of Mad About You appear on Friends, mistaking Phoebe for Ursula.


Recurring Characters
Whole show Jack Geller | Judy Geller | Gunther | Janice
Season 1 Barry Farber | Carol Willick | Susan Bunch | Mr. Heckles | Paolo | Fun Bobby | David | Nora Tyler Bing | Ursula Buffay | Mindy | Ben Geller
Season 2 Julie | Mr. Treeger | Frank Buffay Jr. | Estelle Leonard | Richard Burke | Sandra Greene | Eddie Menuek | Leonard Greene
Season 3 Mark Robinson | Sophie | Isaac | Chloe | Alice Knight | Pete Becker | Kate Miller | Joanna | Doug | Bonnie | Phoebe Abbott
Season 4 Kathy | Mr. Waltham | Joshua Burgin | Emily Waltham | Stephen Waltham | Andrea Waltham
Season 5 Frank Buffay Jr. Jr. | Leslie Buffay | Chandler Buffay | Danny | Charles Bing | Gary | Mr. Zelner | Kim
Season 6 Janine Lecroix | Jill Greene | Paul Stevens | Elizabeth Stevens
Season 7 Tag Jones
Season 8 Mona | Dr. Long | Eric | Parker | Emma Geller-Greene
Season 9 Mike Hannigan | Theodore Hannigan | Bitsy Hannigan | Amy Greene | Gavin Mitchell | Charlie Wheeler
Season 10 Erica | Jack Bing | Erica Bing

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