Twenty-five-years ago, Friends made it's debut on our screens, thus changing our lives forever.
The sitcom, which is arguably one of the most successful in television history, is loved by millions of fans all over the world. And, despite the final season airing over a decade ago, we are still Friends obsessed, with it today being one of the highest performing shows on Netflix.
So, because we all love the show so much, I have compiled a list of forty Friends facts that you may not have known before... Even if you do claim to be the ultimate Friends fan.
The show was originally going to be called Insomnia Cafe.
via: IMDBSo how on Earth did they land on the name Friends?! In the early 1990s, the show's co-creators, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, wrote a 7-page pitch for a new sitcom titled Insomnia Café. However, once NBC bought the pilot, the name change was debated between Friends Like Us and Across The Hall, before they finally settled on just Friends.
Different actors were lined up for the roles.Yep, the cast we all know and love could have been completely different. Many different actors were considered for the roles, including Kathy Griffin and Jane Lynch for the role of Pheobe, and Jon Favreau and Jon Cryer for the role of Chandler.
Producers wanted Courteney Cox for the role of Rachel.
via: GettyBefore the show aired, and before Jennifer Aniston came along, producers had originally asked Courteney to play Rachel. However, Cox requested the role of Monica, as she "liked the strong character."
The role of Ross Gellar was actually written for David Schwimmer.
via: IMDBI wouldn't know whether to be flattered or insulted... But it turns out that the show's executive producer, Kevin Bright, had worked with Schwimmer before, so the writers were already developing Ross’s character in Schwimmer’s voice.
Matthew Perry very nearly didn't make the gig.During the 1994 pilot season, Perry also filmed the pilot for a show called LAX 2194. The show would have been about baggage handlers at LAX who sorted aliens’ luggage. Thankfully, it wasn’t picked up, and Perry was able to take the Friends role instead.
The opening credits weren't filmed in New York.Yep, we've been lied to for twenty-five years. Although the fountain looks a lot like Central Park's Pulitzer Fountain, the actual shoot occurred at the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California.
Most of the show wasn't even filmed in New York.
via: IMDBI feel cheated. It turns out that most of the show was filmed in the Warner Bros. studios in California, including the interior shots of Monica's iconic Manhattan apartment... Though the exterior shots were filmed in New York. Promise.
The cast vacationed in Las Vegas together before the show aired.Director James Burrows brought the 6 cast members to Vegas because he “had a feeling about the show." And, while they were at Caesar’s Palace, he encouraged the group to enjoy themselves. “This is your last shot at anonymity," Burrows had apparently told them. “Once the show comes on the air, you guys will never be able to go anywhere without being hounded."
The love interests in the show were originally very different...
via: IMDBIn the original draft plot, Ross and Rachel weren't the key relationship; instead, it was intended for Joey and Monica to kindle a romance. Well, I am very glad it didn't turn out that way...
Lisa Kudrow didn't know how to play the guitar.
via: IMDBOkay, this lack of skillset definitely worked in her favor, as the character of Pheobe was a notoriously awful musician. "I didn’t like the guitar," Kudrow admitted. "I wasn’t getting it. So I think I even asked, ‘What if she plays the bongos?'" A guitar teacher was brought in, and Kudrow learned only a couple of chords before announcing that she was done with the lessons. And to solve the problem? She decided that Phoebe would only know a handful of chords anyway.
Friends was always filmed in front of a live audience.
via: CNTravellerApart from any cliffhangers, like when Ross famously said "Rachel" at his wedding to Emily, the show was always filmed in front of a 300-person-strong live studio audience. So, nope. That laughter wasn't always a recycled soundtrack.
Many people thought that Chandler was gay.Including Lisa Kudrow. During the first few seasons of the show, many fans speculated about Chandler’s sexual orientation. In 1997, David Crane told Entertainment Weekly, “No, Chandler isn’t gay. Nor will he ever be gay."
The Friends gang became the first TV cast to negotiate as a group.
via: IMDBDuring the first season, each cast member was receiving around $22,000 per episode. But allegedly, by the second season, each actor had a slightly different salary. In 1997, all 6 cast members refused to work until they all earned an equal salary of $100,000 per episode.
Phoebe's evil twin, Ursula, was originally a character on Mad For You.But it turns out that Phoebe's twin, Ursula, actually came from Mad For You, not Friends. Lisa Kudrow was already playing Ursula the waitress on Mad About You when she was cast on Friends, but NBC and Mad About You producers both encouraged Kudrow to take both roles. And, to address this, they incorporated Ursula as Phoebe's twin sister into Friends.
The apartment numbers changed throughout the series.
via: IMDBAt the beginning of the series, Monica’s door had the number 5 on it. But the producers later realized that the number didn’t actually make sense as Monica lived on a higher floor. So they swiftly changed her apartment number to twenty, and simply hoped no one would notice. The number on Chandler’s apartment changed as well - from 4 to nineteen.
Lisa Kudrow's pregnancy was written into the show.
via: IMDBRemember when Phoebe got pregnant with her brother's triplets? Well, Lisa Kudrow was actually pregnant with her son in real life, and the Frank and Alice surrogacy plotline was written in to explain her obvious pregnant exterior.
But Courteney Cox's pregnancy wasn't written in.In the final season, Courteney was pregnant with her daughter, but this wasn't written into the show for the obvious reason that Monica and Chandler couldn't conceive a child in the show. So the producers hid Courteney's pregnancy to their best ability with costumes and props.
There's a connection between Friends and Home Alone.Many fans believe that, in the final season, Monica and Chandler bought the house that had been owned by the McCallisters in the movie. And, as it turns out, producers had simply recycled old shots from the movie for the window backgrounds in Monica and Chandler's new house.
Joey's Magna doodles were actually drawn by the crew.In every Friends episode, the Magna Doodle Board on the back of the door in the guys' apartment featured a different drawing or phrase. And it turns out that a few crew members were responsible for these works of art. But in the later seasons, it was primarily a job for Paul Swain, who was the best boy on the electric crew.
Matt Le Blanc took the Magna Doodle.Along with the foosball table, Matt took the Magna Doodle Board home with him once the series had come to an end.
The cast would huddle before every episode.
via: IMDBIt's just how I dreamed it would be! Every week before filming commenced, the cast would huddle to prepare each other for the show ahead. David Schwimmer opened up about the final huddle in the final ever episode, saying that he was able to keep it together until their pre-show ritual huddle. He admitted, "I started to lose it. That was the moment I was dreading."
The cast didn't particularly like working with their animal co-stars.Lisa Kudrow famously had to get over her phobia of birds when Chandler and Joey's chick and duck entered the equation. And before that, Ross had a pet monkey, Marcel, who was written out of the show in season 2 for his unruly behavior on set.
Matthew Perry struggled with addiction during production.
via: IMDBPerry was addicted to prescription drugs and alcohol and went to rehab in both 1997 and 2001. And, in an interview with the BBC, he admitted to not remembering a large chunk of filming the show, "I think the answer is, I don't remember 3 years of it. So none of those… somewhere between season 3 and 6."
In "The One Where Old Yeller Dies", a few takes were messed up thanks to one talkative child...When Ross is trying to get his infant son, Ben, to say the word "Dada", he is supposed to be met with silence. However, the child was feeling quite chatty that day and, instead of remaining silent, he decided to repeatedly say "Dada!", meaning the scene took an awfully long time to shoot.
When Courteney Cox got married, the cast were all given the last name "Arquette" in the opening credits."The One After Vegas" episode was the first episode after Courteney Cox had married David Arquette, and her name was switched to Courtney Cox-Arquette in the credits. And, to mark the occasion, the other cast members were given the "Arquette" extension too. The episode is dedicated: “For Courteney and David, who did get married."
Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry confronted Judd Nelson about an on-set bet.
via: GettyWhile on The Tonight Show, Cox told the story of an elaborate bet between her and Perry that later involved the '80s star. She explained, “He has this line in a movie. The line is, ‘Chicks cannot hold their smoke, that’s what it is.’ And Matthew walks over to me and says, ‘Oh, Weird Science.’ And I said, ‘No, Matthew, that’s The Breakfast Club.’" Crew and cast all got involved with the debate, and the stakes kept rising. “We realized that Judd Nelson was over on stage 29, doing Suddenly Susan," said Cox. “So, we ran over there and found out that yes, indeed, it was The Breakfast Club."
For Phoebe's dollhouse, the props department had to make 6 different cardboard dollhouses.In the memorable episode, Phoebe makes a cardboard dollhouse from scratch to rival Monica's lavish toy mansion. But the cardboard dollhouse ended up catching fire, which meant 6 identical ones had to be created from scratch. And in true television deadline fashion, they were put together in only 3 days.
Matt Le Blanc initially struggled with his Friends fame.
via: IMDBIn an interview with The Mirror, LeBlanc opened up about the dark side of fame. "For years and years, I barely left the house. I was burnt out," LeBlanc said. "I wanted to not have a schedule, not be somewhere. I was in a position to do that. It was a very dark time. I almost had a nervous breakdown."
David Schwimmer also struggled with his sudden fame.
via: IMDBAnd he revealed how the sudden fame affected his personal life and relationships. "It was pretty jarring and it messed with my relationships to other people in a way that took years, I think, for me to adjust to and become comfortable with," Schwimmer said during an appearance on The Hollywood Reporter's "Awards Chatter" podcast.
Bruce Willis appeared on the show for free after losing a bet to Perry.While Perry and Willis were making The Whole Nine Yards, the pair got into a debate - and then a bet - about whether the movie would be number one in the box office. Perry thought it would, Willis disagreed. They put a bet on it. And Perry won after the film became number one in February 2000. Willis was set to appear on Friends as the dad of Ross’s girlfriend and Rachel’s love interest. As a result of the bet, he had to donate his earnings for the guest stint to charity.
Jennifer Aniston almost didn't return for the final season.
via: IMDBIn a 2004 interview, Aniston admitted that she had hesitations about returning to the role of Rachel. “I had a couple of issues that I was dealing with," she said. “I wanted it to end when people still loved us and we were on a high. And then I was also feeling like, ‘How much more of Rachel do I have in me?’" Thankfully, she eventually agreed to film the final season.
Many stars found their fame in Friends.The show gave many up-and-coming stars their big break, including Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, Melora Hardin and Craig Robinson from The Office, and Riverdale's Cole Sprouse.
Gunther's bleached hair was accidental.Yep, that peroxide blonde head of hair we all know and love was actually a mistake. "I had a friend who wanted to be a hairdresser and wanted to practice bleaching someone's hair, so I offered what hair I had left at the time," James Tyler, who plays the coffee shop manager, told BuzzFeed. "It came out white and that was the night before I was called in for the first day of shooting the first season."
And, quite ironically, James Michael Tyler was actually working as a barista when he was cast as Gunther.He told BuzzFeed that he was working as a barista in real life when he was cast on the show: "I had a job at a coffee shop called The Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood... I was one of their first baristas, I think I started there in 1990 or so."
There are many bizarre fan theories about the show...Did Phoebe hallucinate the entire show? Was it all Rachel's dream? Over the years, fans of the show have come up with a host of theories to explain particular aspects of the show... And some of them are pretty crazy.
There are several real-life Central Perk coffee houses.
via: IMDBWhile there isn’t an actual Central Perk in New York City, the fictional cafe has inspired some real ones all over the world in locations varying from Beijing, China, to Liverpool, England.
British fans love Ross.In a 2016 survey by Comedy Central, Friends fans in England were asked to vote for their favorite cast members. Ross Geller came out on top with 25.6 percent of the vote, just edging out Chandler Bing. I know what you're thinking... The Brits are crazy.
The show remains one of the most-watched series on Netflix.
The Holiday Armadillo has granted your wish: “Friends” will still be there for you in the US throughout 2019 https://t.co/Yd0VqRzk3r— Netflix (@Netflix)1543877702.0