Friends enjoyed one of the greatest television runs of all time after it premiered in 1994. Even though it ended over 10 years ago, to this day, its influence on pop culture can still be felt all over the world.
For the legion of fans who still can’t get enough, here are 21 Friends facts from behind the scenes.
- Before deciding upon the final title “Friends” – other options such as “Friends Like Us”, “Six of One”, “Insomnia Cafe” and “Across the Hall” were considered.
- Throughout Season 6, Lisa Kudrow wore a wig for most of the episodes after she had her hair cut short for another role.
- James Michael Tyler (who played Gunther) was likely cast in part because he actually worked as a Barista at the time. Initially, he was not scripted to have any lines and he even kept his coffee job for the first few years. It was not until Season 2, that his character was given a name.
- Viewers can play an interactive version of the game Bamboozled in the DVD Special of Season 8.
- Christina Applegate won an Emmy for her portrayal as Amy Green on the show. Originally, the writers planned for Reese Witherspoon to return instead as Rachel’s other sister (Jill) but she was unable to meet the scheduling.
- At first, the role for Chandler was offered to Jon Favreau who ultimately decided to turn it down. He later guest starred in a couple of episodes as the character Pete Becker.
- Unlike other shows at the time, the show runners insisted upon all of their main characters receiving an equal amount of screen time and storylines.
- Hank Azaria would later feature in the show as Phoebe’s boyfriend David. He previously auditioned for the role of Joey.
- The iconic orange couch in Central Perk was unearthed somewhere in one of Warner Bros. basement.
- The studio’s first choice for the role of Rachel was Téa Leoni but she declined the role. Courteney Cox also auditioned but ultimately felt that playing Monica would be a more natural fit for her.
- The bottleneck episode “The One Where No One Is Ready” was filmed entirely in one location as the writers needed to preserve their budget.
- The White Dog Statue that Joey bought for his apartment actually belonged to Jennifer Anniston.
- Along with The Rembrandts, the theme song “I’ll Be There For You” was also co-written by Producers David Crane and Marta Kauffman.
- Before The Rembrandts hit song was chosen, R.E.M.’s “Shiny Happy People” was the first choice for the opening theme song.
- Phoebe and Chandler were originally intended to be supporting roles.
- Matthew Perry’s dad (John Bennett Perry) made an appearance in S4, Ep 18 – “The One With Rachel’s New Dress” playing Joshua’s father.
- The role of Ross was written with David Schwimmer in mind and he didn’t have to audition for the role.
- Each episode took roughly 5 hours to film with a live studio audience. For the finales of each season, the studio audience was omitted.
- The main cast decided to negotiate their contracts together ensuring equal pay.
- The iconic frame around the peephole in Monica’s apartment at one point had a glass frame before getting smashed. The producers decided to keep it on set anyway.
- David Schwimmer racked up an impressive 10 directing credits on the show.
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