Friends is one of those shows that just never gets old. It’s been over ten years since the final episode aired, and 20 years since the first episode aired and yet, it’s still one of the most popular shows out there. The show has been ranked as one of the best TV series of all time by TV Guide, and no wonder. The show boasts an amazing cast, laugh out loud jokes, and a story line that never gets old. But like other TV shows, there are things even the biggest Friends fans don’t know about their beloved sitcom. So for your entertainment, below is a list of fifteen things that you probably didn’t know about Friends. Some of these fun Friends facts include new information about the sets, other actors and actresses who were considered for the parts of our favorite Friends characters, and new tidbits about our favorite barista, Gunther.
15. The Show Went Through Many Different Names
In the year 1993, Marta Kauffman and David Krane started working on a project that, without even knowing, would soon be one of the most popular shows in history. However, when they first started developing the show, it wasn’t under the name Friends, as we know it today, it was under the name, Insomnia Café. Later on, the project’s name was changed to Friends Like Us, and finally to the name we all know and love, Friends. It would be difficult to imagine it being named otherwise.
14. The Friends Cast Could Have Been Very Different
Besides the role of Ross Geller, producers of Friends had a rather difficult time finding the perfect actor or actress to make the Friends cast come alive. Ellen DeGeneres, Kathy Griffin and Jane Lynch all auditioned for the part of Phoebe before Lisa Kudrow was cast, Jon Cryer and Jon Favreau both auditioned for the role of Chandler, and Matthew Perry almost passed on playing Chandler because he was filming another pilot for a show titled LAX 2194. Could you believe the beloved Ellen playing the role of Pheobe and Chandler not being Chandler?
13. David Schwimmer Was The First Friend To Be Cast
David Schwimmer was actually the first person to be found fitting for the cast. The part of Ross Geller was actually written with David Schwimmer in mind, so casting him was an absolute no-brainer. Schwimmer was in Chicago doing a stage adaptation of The Master and Margarita when he was offered the role. Apparently, Schwimmer was reluctant to take the role at first because of a bad experience he had previously working in television, but eventually decided to take on the part, and the rest, as they say, is history.
12. Courteney Cox Was Originally Considered For The Part Of Rachel
Imagine Monica being in love with her own brother…Ross? Well, apparently Courtney Cox was the most well-known actor of all the friends when she was considered for the part of Rachel Green. However, after reading the script, Cox decided that she wanted to give the role of Monica a try. After reading the script with the role of Monica, she realized she liked the role better because she admired how strong the character was. Of Course, Courteney Cox won the role of Monica, and we’re glad she did.
11. Joey & Monica Were Supposed To Be Love Interests
When the writers of the show were originally coming up with the multiple Friends story lines, Monica and Joey were supposed to be the main couple in the show, and not the now-famous Ross and Rachel. However, after the writers saw the strong on-screen chemistry between Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer, they quickly changed their minds, and the rest is history.
10. James Michael Tyler Was Actually A Barista When He Was Cast In Friends
Before he was cast as the lovable Gunther in Friends, and even during the first four seasons of the show, James Michael Tyler worked as a barista at a coffee shop called, The Bourgeois Pig in Hollywood. Tyler ended up keeping his day job during the first four seasons of the show, in addition to working at Central Perk, because he didn’t know if his job on Friends would pan out.
9. Jennifer Aniston Hated Her Famous Haircut
Even when looking at Jennifer Aniston today, we can’t help but to picture her on Friends. This is also the case with her hair and her style. Rachel’s hair during the first couple of seasons in Friends was so popular, that it even earned its very own name, ‘the Rachel.’ However, even though audiences adored ‘the Rachel,’ Aniston reportedly wasn’t a fan of her own do. Aniston has even gone so far as to say that, “it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen.” We thought it suited you nicely, Rachel.
8. Gunther’s Hair Became A Part Of The Character By Accident
The night before James Michael Tyler got called into his first day of filming for Friends, he let his friend (who was an aspiring hairdresser at the time), practice with hair-dyes by bleaching his hair. For the next ten years, Tyler continued to bleach his hair, every week in order to play Gunther. However, as soon as the show ended, Tyler went back to his natural color. We don’t blame you Gunther.
7. Marcel Was Actually Played By A Girl
Who can forget about Ross’ beloved pet monkey, Marcel? Marcel started out as Ross’ pet (and friend) but later went on to become a big-time movie star in the show. What you might not know is that Marcel was actually played by a female monkey. The monkey’s name is Katie and she’s a movie star in her own right. Katie has appeared in multiple commercials and movies like, George of the Jungle and Outbreak.
6. The Character Ursula, Was A Crossover From Mad About You
Lisa Kudrow was playing the part of Ursula Buffay on the show Mad About You, two years before Friends even started. When Kudrow was officially cast as Phoebe, the producers of Mad About You saw a great opportunity to connect both of the popular shows. Although Ursula wasn’t really a main character in Friends, she would go on to appear in eight episodes.
5. James Michael Tyler & Jennifer Aniston Couldn’t Stop Crying During Their Last Scene Together
How can we forget about the deep love that Gunther had for Rachel Green? Well, it might not have appeared too obvious in the show, but apparently the feeling was actually mutual for Rachel and Gunther. A few sources claim that according to Tyler, the pair had a hard time filming their very last scene together, “Jennifer and I, the first few takes, both of us were bursting into tears so the makeup people has a tough time”.
4. The Big White Dog Belonged To Jennifer Aniston
The big white dog statue in Friends, that we all remember Monica hating so much, actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston. A friend gave it to her as a gift when she started her acting career. Aniston eventually donated it to the show after it became a popular set piece. Was it really a donation? Or did she just want to get rid of the dog. Regardless, we wonder if Joey and Chandler wanted to keep it for themselves.
3. The Triplets Storyline Was Used To Cover Up Kudrow’s Real Life Pregnancy
When Producers of Friends found out that Kudrow was expecting a baby, they didn’t want to cover up her pregnancy by hiding her growing bump behind baggy clothes and large props. However, they didn’t think it made much sense for Phoebe to have a child, either. So to make the pregnancy work in the show, the writers came up with one of the most unique ways to incorporate Kudrow’s pregnancy. Phoebe ended up giving birth to her brother and his much older wife’s triplets on the show. Yet another story line that made Friends so unique and great.
2. Jennifer Aniston Almost Didn’t Sign On For The Last Season
We are so glad that Friends managed to keep the same cast for 10 consecutive years. But apparently, it wasn’t always a given. Jennifer Aniston showed the most reluctance for continuing on with the final season of Friends. Not only was Aniston becoming a busy movie star, but she also wanted the beloved series to end on a very high-note. Luckily, Aniston decided that the fans deserved one last season to wrap up the story lines and luckily, she decided to get off the plane and give fans much appreciation, for the coming together of Ross and Rachel, finally.
1. It Was An Unwritten Rule That Only The Six Friends Could Sit On The Orange Couch
The rustic orange couch placed in the middle of Central Perk became one of the most iconic set pieces on Friends. However, the six friends were the only ones who spent much time sitting on in. According to James Michael Tyler, “No one should sit there except the six. Whether consciously or unconsciously, I don’t think anyone relaxed on this couch except the six main actors.” We won’t lie, there are many of us who would certainly love a chance to sit on the legendary couch, preferably with the entire Friends cast. Then again, it seems to only fit the six.