From Courtney Cox sharing never-before-seen throwback photos of the crew to Jennifer Aniston jumping up behind the infamous Central Perk couch and surprising fans, the FRIENDS frenzy is back. It’s been decades since the first episode aired, and the iconic sitcom is still one of the most-watched shows. However, with the recent FRIENDS reunion special, fans are having their moment right now.
Whether you’re re-watching the series or FRIENDS reunion special, these are 30 facts about FRIENDS that many fans still don’t know. Without any delay, let’s start getting to know those facts:
1. The Names Of The Core Cast Were Inspired From “All My Children”
Phoebe is for Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, Joey is for Joseph “Joey” Martin, Monica is for Monique (Daisy Cortland), Ross is for Ross Chandler (interesting), Rachel’s last name is for Janet Green, and Chandler is for the Chandler family. Could this BE any more exciting?
2. Phoebe Was Supposed To Be Goth
Phoebe was originally pitched as a “goth girl”. It prompted Janeane Garofalo to turn down the role. Garofalo explained, “There is some truth to it, but not exactly that. Long ago before FRIENDS was FRIENDS, when it was in its infancy, it was a show called ‘Friends Like Us’, and I was being considered for a role, like a goth girl.” She added, “Which I think morphed into Phoebe.”
3. The Credits Weren’t Shot At New York
There’s a reason that why you’ve never been able to see the fountain on the East Coast. It is because the opening was shot in California at Warner Bros. Studios.
4. No One Really Liked The Theme Song
Even though fans are crazy about the theme song of FRIENDS, no one from the FRIENDS cast was really a fan of it. In an interview, Jennifer Aniston said, “We felt it was a little…I don’t know…dancing in a pond? A fountain felt sort of odd.” She also admitted that the only reason they did it was that they “were told to.”
5. Gunther Was A Real Barista
In 2014, ” James Michael Tyler told BuzzFeed, “I had a job at a coffee shop called The Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood, which is still around and one of the last independent coffee shops that haven’t been taken over or whatnot. I was one of their first baristas. I think I started there in 1990 or so.”
6. It Wasn’t Always Called F.R.I.E.N.D.S
The original title of the show wasn’t FRIENDS even though it is now considered as the most iconic title ever. Before settling on the title “F.R.I.E.N.D.S”, the producers were also considering other names for the show. That includes “Six of One”, “Friends Like Us”, “Across the hall”, “Once upon a time in the west village” and “Insomnia Café”. Luckily the producers stopped at FRIENDS.
7. Courteney Cox Was Just Like Monica
The shows co-creator Marta Kauffman told the Los Angeles Times in 1995 that Cox had “the neatest” dressing room. Also, Cox said in the same interview, “Okay, I am a neat freak. Not about myself. I don’t use a lint brush or anything and I don’t iron.” She continued, “But I could easily pick lint off of someone else.”
8. FRIENDS Was Supposed To Have Just Four Friends
Phoebe and Chandler were secondary characters. During the last season of the series, Kauffman revealed, Phoebe and Chandler were considered supporting characters when the show started. But the love they got from the public changed the whole idea.
9. Monica And Joey Were Suppose To Get Together
The moment Monica and Chandler peeked their heads out of the duvet during “The One With Ross’s Wedding”, we were all shipped. However, it turns out Joey and Monica were supposed to be the main couple. In an interview with NBC, co-creator Marta Kauffman said, “Initially we thought the big love interest was Joey-Monica. This is before we wrote the script when we were just pitching the series.”
10. David Schwimmer Did Not Have To Audition For Ross
David Schwimmer aka Ross did not audition for Ross. Schwimmer had auditioned a year before the pilot of FRIENDS. However, the audition was for another role. But he got stuck in the producer’s head. So, we can say while he was offered the role of Ross, he didn’t audition for it.
11. Hank Azaria Auditioned For The Role Of Joey
Hank Azaria aka David auditioned for Joey when the show was in its casting stage. But fortunately or unfortunately, he got rejected, twice. In 2014, he told HuffPost, “That’s the only job I ever auditioned for twice. I thought it was so good but they had rejected me once. I said, ‘I’m going back, I’m gonna do it again, I’m gonna try it again.” Finally, he landed the role of David, who flew to Russia to be a scientist. However, his storyline with Phoebe was one of the most adorable storylines in the show.
12. Lisa Kudrow’s Pregnancy Was Written In the Show
Phoebe was really pregnant on and off the screen. Lisa Kudrow aka Phoebe was actually pregnant when she was shooting the triplets storyline. Lisa revealed that the makers were not really into hiding the pregnancy because it would have been extremely difficult. So they decide to write her pregnancy in the show.
13. The True Identity Of Ugly Naked Guy
Until 2016, the identity of the actor who played the character of an ugly naked guy wasn’t revealed. Thanks to a Huffington Post investigation, now we know that Jon Haugen was the one who played that iconic character in the show. You can memorize this name for your next trivia night.
14. Bruce Willis Guest Starred After Losing A Bet
As the father of Ross’s girlfriend Elizabeth, Bruce Willis made a guest appearance on the show. We came to know that he lost a bet with Matthew Perry aka Chandler. And as a result, he appeared on the show as a guest and that too without taking any pay for it. As per CBR.com, Bruce and Matthew agreed that Willis would appear on FRIENDS for free if the “Die Hard” film opened at no. 1. In an interview with Wired, Bruce said, “I was on FRIENDS because I lost a bet to Matthew Perry.”
15. Lisa Kudrow Hated The Guitar At First
Lisa Kudrow admitted in an interview, “I didn’t like the guitar. I wasn’t getting it. So I think I even asked, ‘What if she plays the bongos?'” However, they ended up bringing a guitar teacher which didn’t last long. Lisa learned few chords which were enough because Phoebe would only know a handful of chords anyway.
16. Paul Rudd Was Cast After Casting Director Wrote “Dreamy”
Well, we all agree that Paul Rudd was the best Mike for the show. However, how he got cast was still a question. According to a casting director, Leslie Litt, “We had a casting session for that role, but no one was quite it. Paul agreed to do a one-time meet and read with Lisa.” She added, “All I wrote on my notes was ‘dreamy’!”
17. There Was An Intervention For Jennifer Aniston’s Tardiness
Aniston said in the Us Weekly story, “The boys did an intervention with me about my tardiness. David did it. Very kindly. The day my alarm didn’t ring.” While responding to Aniston, Kudrow said, “You’ve had bad luck getting to work.” Aniston said that the boys discussed that “the girls” are always late. For this Kudrow said that the male cast members just rolled out of bed, and went to set, while they had to get ready beforehand.
18. Phoebe Was Not Actually Swearing While Playing Pac-Man
Lisa Kudrow revealed in a Reddit AMA, “Oh! I don’t know if I was allowed to actually swear. We pre-shot that part, and I think I remember Kevin Bright, our executive producer, laughing.” She continued quoting Kevin, “I know, but no one should even be able to read it on your lips.”
19. There Were Budget Cuts In FRIENDS
The episode, “The One Where No One’s Ready” revolves around everyone getting ready for Ross’s function in the museum. In a special flashback episode Crane revealed, this show was entirely set inside one set with only the main cast members because they were making some budget cuts. This ‘Vice became virtue’ and they did many experiments in the later years.
20. Marcel Was Actually Played By Two Monkeys
Ross’s pet monkey, Marcel was played by two monkeys, Monkey, and Katie. The pair would go on to star in “Bruce Almighty”, “30 Rock”, and more. Schwimmer told Entertainment Weekly in 1995 that he actually hated the monkey. He said, “The trainers won’t let me bond with it. They’re really, really possessive. It’s like, ‘Land on your marks, do your job, don’t touch or bond with the monkey.’ It’s a bummer.”
21. Cole Sprouse Aka Ben Had A Big Crush On Jennifer
Cole Sprouse appeared on the Drew Barrymore Show and revealed that he had a huge crush on Jennifer Aniston. According to an article on Buzzfeed News, he said, “I was a child. I would stammer a lot, and I would forget my lines. I feel like I’d maintain my composure a bit more effectively now, but it was quite difficult when I was a kid.” He further continued, “I was teased a little bit by the crew because they saw it.” He then added, “I would just forget, and be looking at her. But then, the whole world had a crush on Jennifer Aniston.”
22. Matt LeBlanc’s Shoulder Injury Was Written In The Episode
Matt told Glamour, “The audience was full of Diet Coke contest winners flown in from all over the country, and I did two scenes, popped my shoulder, and they had to cancel it.” He added, “So they all got flown home and then flown back for another week. So it cost Coca-Cola a lot more than they anticipated. What are you going to do?”
23. The Cast Were Concerned When Joey And Rachel Got Together
In 2012, Matt said in a Vanity Fair feature, “It felt wildly inappropriate. That’s how close we all were to the character.” He further added, “I was like, ‘That’s Rachel. She was supposed to be with Ross. Wait a minute.’ Everybody got super-defensive about the whole thing.”
24. Ellen DeGeneres Was Offered The Role Of Phoebe
Reportedly, the role of Phoebe Buffay was offered to Ellen DeGeneres from the famous “The Ellen Show”. According to Refinery, she turned down the role. Phoebe was originally supposed to be goth as per the revelation of the publication. However, Lisa Kudrow appeared in the show later as Phoebe Buffay.
25. Jennifer Aniston Nearly Left FRIENDS
From start to finish, Jennifer played Rachel Green in the series. She became one of the most popular characters among the rest of the gang in the series. But what fans don’t know is that she nearly walked away from it all. Before Jennifer landed the role in FRIENDS, she had filmed six episodes of the CBS sitcom “Muddling Through”. She knew that if “Muddling Through” had seen success, she would have had to leave FRIENDS. However, the station released TV movies at the exact same time the CBS show aired, due to which “Muddling Through”‘s ratings fell and the show was let go. And, Jennifer continued on as Rachel.
26. Monica Was An Early Mental Floss Fan
In “The One With the Soap Opera Party” episode, Monica is shown casually reading while hanging out at Central Perk a new magazine called “Mental Floss”. We really owe David Arquette because he’s the one who made it happen. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he said, “I thought it was so interesting, I gave it to Courteney for the show.”
27. Many People Thought that Chandler Was Not Straight
Kudrow was surprised to hear Perry’s interpretation of Chandler because she thought Chandler was not supposed to be straight when she first read the script. And she wasn’t the only one. Many fans speculated about Chandler’s personal orientation during the first few seasons of the show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, David Crane said, “No, Chandler isn’t gay. Nor will he be gay.”
28. Gunther’s Bleached Hair Was Accidental
In an interview with BuzzFeed, James said, “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. It came out white and that was the night before I was called in for the first day of shooting the first season.” Since he was hired as a background actor, it didn’t seem like a big deal. But, as we all know that later his role became a recurring one so he had to always die his hairs for every shoot.
29. Janice Always Popped Up With Secrecy
In an interview with Digital Spy, Maggie said, “It was sort of a rock star moment because there will never be another show where my every entrance is a secret and a surprise. That’s very unique to the character and the way that they introduced her in all those episodes.” She continued, “They would keep me hidden. I could barely come down to get a doughnut. I had to stay in my dressing room until the last moment and then they’d secretly move me from behind the set to the right spot and they’d keep a black screen so the audience couldn’t see me until I made my first entrance. I will never have anything like that again. It was incredible.”
30. Jane Sibbett Was Originally Cast As Rachel Green
Jane Sibbett, Ross’s ex-wife Carol revealed that she was offered the part of Rachel before Aniston. In an interview with news.com.au, Jane said, “I actually was up for another character. They wanted me to be one of the main six. It was actually Rachel but I usually don’t tell people that because of Jen… There’s no one who could’ve done it like Jen.” She also revealed that she had to turn down a huge role in the show because she was pregnant. She said, “So obviously said it wouldn’t work out. But, I have no regrets, my goodness, there’s no way anybody could have come close to what Jennifer Aniston did with Rachel. She was so perfect.”