Why Mr. Heckles Was The Most Underrated Character On “Friends”

Why Mr. Heckles Was The Most Underrated Character On “Friends”

Why Mr. Heckles Was The Most Underrated Character On “Friends”

Through Friends majorly focused on the lives of the six main characters, there were a couple of people who stole the show. One of them was Gunther (James Michael Tyler), who was in many ways the seventh friend. The other was Mr. Heckles (Larry Hankin), Monica’s neighbor from the floor below who lived a lonely life. He was a man without friends in a show about friends, and in many ways represented what it was like to be on the other side.  Mr. Heckles could as well have been the eighth friend, but he was on the show for a short time. Given the chance, Hankin’s character would have grown to be a fan favorite with more interesting storylines. Here’s why:

1.  Mr. Heckles Had Some Catchy One-Liners

Though his time on Friends was short-lived, Mr. Heckles left his fans with a number of common one-liners. Every time he knocked on the girls’ apartments to complain about their noisemaking, he would start his complaint with, “ You’re doing it again…” And it mattered not whether Monica (Courteney Cox) opened the door with a smile plastered on her face. Heckles’ other go-to phrase was, “ You owe me…” He liked to pin it on the girls whenever they passed by his apartment. Coincidentally, the girls always passed by Mr. Heckles’ when they were either looking for an animal or returning one to an owner, and ‘owed’ him a cat and a waffle. His last and most common one-liner was, “ I could be…” and he used it every time he lied. Speaking of lies…

2. He Often Made Things Up

Mr. Heckles wasn’t the most truthful character. He not only lied but covered his lies up with a catchy phrase. Who could blame him though? Maybe the poor man was trying to be likable. When the girls stumbled upon a lost cat and went about looking for its owner, Mr. Heckles lied that it was his cat, even though the pet was clearly not familiar with him. Sometimes, he’d lie about playing an instrument, being Chandler’s ( Matthew Perry) new roommate, having birds, to which he would say, “ I could have birds…” , or joining a non-existent dinner party. Mr. Heckles would often try to give the impression that he had things going even though he did not. Other times, Mr. Heckles went overboard with his lies. His biggest one yet was when, Rachel, who’d earned the reputation of losing things, lost Ross’s favorite pet, Marcel.

3. Sometimes He Took Things Too Far

Ross’s (David Schwimmer) monkey Marcel was to spend some time with Rachel ( Jennifer Aniston). The two got off to an easy start, with Rachel watching the television and explaining what was happening to Marcel. Soon enough, Rachel learned that Marcel had done a number two on Monica’s shoes. While she got rid of the mess, Rachel left the door open, and Marcel wandered away. When the other friends returned, Phoebe ( Lisa Kudrow) noticed instantly that the air was negative. A search party was organized, leading Monica and Phoebe to Mr. Heckles’ place. Heckles denied ever seeing Ross’s monkey, but later ordered some bananas, giving himself away. All the friends showed up at his apartment, only to find that he had dressed up Marcel and named him Patty the Monkey. Thanks to Rachel’s acknowledgment of her past, Ross got his monkey back.

4. He Wore A Signature Robe

In addition to telling a white lie every so often, and taking things a bit too far, Mr. Heckles wore a signature robe that, if we were to guess, had not seen the insides of a washing machine in a long, long, time. Surprisingly, he always wore a white t-shirt underneath that looked clean most of the time and a set of grey pants. It mattered not whether the girls had walked by his apartment at night, or he was fooling Chandler’s new roommate, Mr. Heckles was always wearing the same thing. His signature look was in every way a representation of the life he led; that of a reclusive man who preferred the comfort of his home and was out of touch with everything going on beyond his apartment block. That, in addition to his conspicuous white hair, made him a memorable character.

5. When He Died, The Girls Appeared On His Will

After several occasions of warning the girls about the noise from their apartment, Mr. Heckles had finally had enough. The whole gang was in Monica’s apartment when Heckles decided to alert them with a broom. With every bang he made on the ceiling, the friends banged back until they won. Except they did not really win. Mr. Heckles passed away and was wheeled away from the apartment as the friends watched. When Mr. Treeger (Michael Hagerty), the building attendant, was asked what happened, he revealed that Heckles was found with a broom in his hand. He thought the man had died from sweeping. “ It could have been me…” he said. Only the friends knew what had really happened. Later, it turned out that Mr. Heckles wasn’t as coldhearted as he seemed. In his will, he had it that all his belongings would be given to ‘the noisy girls in the apartment above mine.’

6. He Was Right About The Noise From Monica’s Apartment

The noise in Monica’s apartment was the thing that led to Mr. Heckles’ death. One too many times, he had gone up to warn the girls, and they wouldn’t listen. “ You’re doing it again…”, he would say. One time, Phoebe happened to be the one that opened the door, and true to her most Phoebe-like nature, she gave Mr. Heckles a piece of her mind. It was only when he passed away that the friends learned they had been noisy all along. The friends cleared his apartment to fulfill his last wish. Mr. Heckles turned out to be quite the hoarder, with a lot of ‘crap’ as Monica put it. They discovered a couple of things about him, including the fact that he was voted class clown in high school. Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe happened to hear a loud noise from Monica’s apartment, proving that Mr. Heckles was right all along.Phoebe

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