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35 Friends Facts Not Even the Biggest Fans Will Know

How many can you tick off the list?

    I guess no one told them life was going to be that way, their job’s a joke, they’re broke, their love life’s D.O.A. It’s like they’re always stuck in second gear when it hasn’t been their day, their week, their month, or even their year… Friends will be there for you. But if you’ve watched every episode 437832 times, and need a bit of extra trivia in your life, check out the things you didn’t know about Friends…

    The name

    Friends was originally going to have a different title

    Of course, we know the show as being called Friends. How could it be anything different? It’s simple, yet effective. Tells us everything, without telling us anything. Pure brilliance. But it turns out that the show was originally going to be called ‘Insomnia Cafe.’ They then changed it to ‘Friends Like Us’ before changing their mind again, and calling it, ‘Six Of One.’ I guess nobody taught them the phrase, ‘short and sweet.’

    Hefty price tags

    The Friends cast made a lot of money from their time on the show

    Actors are known for earning a lot of dollar. In the first season of Friends, each cast member was being paid $22,000 per episode. In 1997, the cast did what no other cast members of a TV show had ever done before, and they banded together to ask for a salary increase. They were then paid $100,000 per episode. Their salaries were then increased AGAIN, and by the end of the show, they were being paid $1,000,000 per episode. Woah.

    Different storylines

    Joey and Monica were originally supposed to be a couple

    Just like the name, the creators of the show couldn’t quite decide on the storyline. When the show was originally written, they wrote Joey and Monica as love interests. We know they liked to go around the group, but that is one relationship we just can’t get our head around…

    A small age problem

    Monica Gellar is older than David Schwimmer in real life

    We all know Monica Gellar as Ross Gellar’s younger sister. But in real life, Courteney Cox is actually older than David Schwimmer. A small technicality, but something we can get over. Just about.

    A change in numbers

    The apartment numbers in Friends have changed since the beginning

    If you’re a hardcore fan of Friends and just love spotting mistakes on TV, you might have recognized this one. At the start of the show, Monica’s apartment was number 5 – and even had a 5 on her front door. But the writers soon realized that this wouldn’t let the audience know that her apartment was on an upper level. So they changed it to number 20. To make them match, they also changed Joey and Chandler’s apartment from 4 to 19.

    A loving tribute

    Everyone had their last named changed to Arquette when Courtney Cox got married

    Throughout filming Friends, Courtney Cox married David Arquette. To celebrate their marriage, the opening credits of ‘The One After Vegas’ were altered slightly. Every single cast member had the name ‘Arquette’ added to their names. And here we were thinking it was a mistake…

    Chandler Bing-a-Ling

    Chandler was written to be awkward around women as he admitted he was in real life

    We all love Chandler. He’s witty. He’s awkward. He’s slightly rude. But you can’t help but love him. According to our sources, Matthew Perry’s character was written to be awkward and uncomfortable around women because he told them he was awkward and uncomfortable himself, in real life. At least he was honest.

    The orange couch

    The famous orange couch from Friends came from the Warner Bros. basement

    The Orange Couch in Central Perk is one of the most iconic props from the show. But it wasn’t bought specifically for the show, nor was it picked to be orange. In fact, they just found the couch in the Warner Bros. studio basement and decided to use it. How convenient.

    Kissy kissy

    Nearly all of the characters in Friends have kissed at some point in the show

    It’s no secret that the Friends liked ‘getting involved’ with each other. Their relationships were on, they were off, and they were kissing each other. Throughout the whole show, all of the main characters, excluding Monica and Phoebe, had all kissed each other at some point.

    The peephole

    The peephole in Friends was originally a mirror that was broken

    Monica’s purple door, like the couch, sums up Friends. One of the main features of the door is the yellow frame that surrounds the peephole. This frame had originally had originally been a mirror, but one of the crew members broke it before filming started. Rather than getting rid of it, they liked it how it was, and decided to keep it there. At least it didn’t give them any bad luck!

    Getting in on the action

    David Schwimmer also directed 10 episodes of Friends

    As well as being a professional and sought-after actor, David Schwimmer is also a director. He has directed movies like Run, Fatboy Run, and even got in on the action in Friends. It’s said that Schwimmer directed 10 episodes during the show’s run. Go, David!

    An extra extra

    Gunther was the only extra who knew how to use an espresso machine

    Gunther is the unfortunate guy we all know and love. And we can’t help but feel sorry for him. The actor who plays Gunther, James Michael Tyler, was originally an extra but was chosen to play Gunther because he was the only extra who knew how to work an espresso machine.

    Oh, Gunther

    Gunther became more of a focal piece in Friends

    Weirdly, Gunther didn’t have a name until season 2. Before then, he had simply faded into the background. But he finally got his big break in episode 33, when he had his first line. He had one word to say – ‘Yeah.’ Poor Gunther. He did go on to become a bit more key to the show, however.

    What could have been

    Ellen DeGenere was initially chosen to play Phoebe in Friends

    Although we love Chandler, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, and Joey, we always like to know what could have been. It’s been reported that producers initially wanted Ellen DeGeneres to play the character of Phoebe. Luckily for us, she turned down the offer, and the role was given to Lisa Kudrow instead.

    The Duck and the Chick

    Phoebe was petrified of the duck that Chandler and Joey kept as a pet

    Joey and Chandler had the ultimate pets. What more did you expect from them? They were wacky. They were weird. Of course, they had a duck and a chick as pets. But not everyone loved their choice. In fact, Phoebe was incredibly scared of the duck and tried to stay as far away from it as possible – when she could.

    The Dog

    The stuffed dog that Joey and Chandler had was actually Jennifer Aniston's

    Yep, they were wacky alright. They also had a huge white dog in their apartment, that they liked to ride every so often…as you do. But that wasn’t just a prop brought in because of the script. Instead, the dog actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston. She was given the dog by a friend, who wanted to wish her good luck for her role in Friends.

    The Simpsons and Friends

    Three of the Simpsons cast members have been in Friends

    You wouldn’t believe it, but The Simpsons and Friends have a connection – the show featured three of The Simpsons cast members. Moe, Mr. Burns and Homer all made appearances on Friends – A.K.A Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer and Dan Castellaneta.

    The average episode

    Each Friends episode took around five hours to film

    When watching Friends on TV, we usually settle down to watch half-hour episodes (or binge-watch all the reruns), with a commercial break in between. But these half hour shows took a lot longer to film. Each episode took, on average, around 5 hours to film. 5 hours of work and they get $1,000,000…not bad at all.

    A small budget

    Some episodes had such a small episode they never left the apartment

    Although Friends was hugely popular, the production company didn’t have the biggest budget. When filming ‘The One Where No One’s Ready,’ you may notice that the whole of the episode takes place in Monica’s apartment. This is because they didn’t have any extra cash to film in another location or use any guest stars. You use what you have.

    They were on a break!

    Ross and Rachel were never meant to be a love interest

    We all know the Ross and Rachel story. They’re together…then they’re not…then they are…then they have a baby…then they break up, and it’s all a bit messy. Their relationship is one of the central love interests in the show, but this was never meant to happen. Their storyline was created after directors saw their chemistry on screen.

    Live audiences

    Friends was filmed in front of a live audience most of the time, unless they wanted to keep something a secret

    One of the most iconic features of each Friends episode is the audience’s laughter in the background. Live audiences were used to create authentic laughter..but they were never used within important episodes, like during cliff-hangers. For example, there was no audience for Ross and Emily’s wedding, as they didn’t want to give anything away.

    A bet

    Bruce Willis only appeared on Friends after losing a bet

    We were all pretty jealous when Rachel introduced her new boyfriend – Bruce Willis (until he got super emotional and began dancing in the mirror), but his appearance on the show the result of a bet with Matthew Perry. He lost the bet with Perry and donated his Friends salary to charity. Aw, thanks, Bruce.

    There was almost no Central Perk

    There was nearly no Central Perk in Friends

    We all wanted to hang out at Central Perk. But NBC nearly got rid of it. They thought that the idea of a coffee shop was too trendy and hip, and tried to pitch the idea that the show included a Seinfeld-esque diner. Thankfully, they stuck with Central Perk.

    A technicality

    Ross said he didn't like ice cream, even though we've seen him eat it before

    Because we love Friends so much and have watched it so much, we notice these things. In ‘The One Where Chandler Doesn’t Like Dogs’ Ross tells his friends that he doesn’t like ice cream (who doesn’t like ice cream?). But in the previous season, we watched Ross happily eat ice cream while on his date with Elizabeth. Well, well…we caught you out, Gellar!

    Monica or Rachel?

    Courtney Cox was asked to play Rachel but turned it down to play Monica

    Monica was one of our favorite characters. She was sassy, she was strong, and she was just a little bit mad. When Courteney Cox originally auditioned, producers asked her to play the role of Rachel. However, she didn’t want to play Rachel, because she felt better suited to the stronger character of Monica.

    She really was strong

    Courteney Cox went through some tough times on set

    And it wasn’t just Monica who was strong. In real life, Courteney Cox had to deal with some trauma…on-set and off-set. When they filmed the episode where Rachel gives birth to Emma, Courteney had just suffered a miscarriage herself. That must have been tough, but we have so much admiration for Cox!


    Estelle had actually been in a Friends episode before

    We all remember Estelle – Joey’s odd and extravagant agent, who spent most of her time compulsively smoking. But June Gable, who played Estelle, also popped up in Friends as another character. She appears as a nurse in the episode where Carol and Ross have Ben.

    The theme tune

    The Friends theme tune was written by the same people who wrote the show

    The Friends theme tune is just incredibly iconic, and you just couldn’t help singing along each episode (including the claps, of course). The song was sung by The Rembrandts but was co-written by David Crane and Marta Kauffman – the same people who created and wrote the show.

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