We obviously all know Friends, the American television sitcom that is considered as one of the best TV shows of all time. In spite of the show’s simplicity, sitting around and having coffee at Central Perk, it was actually a unique show. The show represented the transition of a young adult living in the big city, and how they go through life, when you are done with college and you realize that the real life has not started yet, and you struggle with things like marriage, children, and a steady job.
Marta Kauffman and David Crane created the show, which aired from September 22, 1994 to May 6, 2004. Long time, right? It’s been two decades since it came on television but people are still crazy about this show. The cast, including Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer, became instant stars. Six friends, 10 seasons, and 236 episodes have made life easier for plenty of people, every Friends obsessed person knows exactly what I’m talking about! No matter how bad your day was, you just play any episode and BAM! You are laughing like a kid.
From Phoebe’s craziness to Rachel’s hotness to Chandler’s affectionate (though sometimes creepy!) smile to Joey’s food to Ross’ dinosaurs to Monica’s OCD tendencies, each and every character has their own place in our hearts. Have you ever thought about who your favourite character is? You probably thought to yourself “it’s impossible to decide.” But, let me tell you, even if you are a super fan of this show, you probably don’t know some of these amazing facts about it. Let’s check out the following amazing facts about Friends that you probably still don’t know about:
15. Joey’s Dog Statue Or Jennifer’s Good Luck Gift?
Remember that white dog at Joey’s apartment? It was more than just a prop! It was first seen in the episode “The One Where Eddie Moves In.” Joey bought this white dog when he became rich and purchased lots of useless and weird stuff. But, when he lost all his money, he had to sell all those weird things, and Chandler paid for the white dog so Joey could keep it.
Well, this white dog was actually a good luck present to Jennifer Aniston when she started her acting career. She lent it to the show and the producers thought it is a good idea to keep this white dog in the show, which is why they filmed a scene where Chandler paid $200 for it. The white dog was seen in many episodes but mostly it was seen in early seasons of the show, when Joey and Chandler used to live together in the same apartment. I wonder if Jen still owns this white dog!
14. From Insomnia Café To Friends
Before Friends really became the show we all know and love, it was going to be “Insomnia Café” and then it changed to “Friends Like Us” but thank GOD they decided to call it Friends. Just imagine calling Friends “Insomnia Café” or “Friends Like Us,” how weird that be?
“Six of One” was also an option the crew thought of, but nothing is as catchy and simple as Friends. “Insomnia Café” does not sound good at all and if that had been the name, would the Central Park even exist? Next time you’re watching an old episode of Friends, this whole “Insomnia Café” thing will definitely pop up in your head.
13. Ellen DeGeneres Wanted to Play Phoebe
Think about Phoebe for a second, the weird, crazy, and quirky character who is always undeniably herself, no matter what. How would you feel if Ellen DeGeneres played Phoebe instead of Lisa Kudrow? Well, you must know Ellen DeGeneres (because duh, who doesn’t). She auditioned for the character of Phoebe before the show began, but she actually turned down the role – luckily, because nobody could play it better than Lisa Kudrow!
That’s not all, Elizabeth Berkley auditioned for the part of Rachel, but she didn’t get it. However, Tea Leoni almost played Rachel but turned it down for another show. Thinking about anybody else playing Rachel freaks me out! Eric McCormack, from Will & Grace, wanted the role of Ross so much that he auditioned multiple times and Jon Favreau, who appeared on the show, almost played the part of Chandler, but thank GOD Matthew Perry got it. For the role of Joey, Hank Azaria (who also appeared later on in the series) auditioned but the producers wanted Matt LeBlanc to play the part. So, it turned out how it was supposed to be and honestly speaking, nobody could play these roles better than them. Just imagine Chandler without sarcasm and his charmingly dorky smile and Joey without his sex appeal!
12. Monica and Joey, Ross and Rachel
Monica and Joey were actually supposed to be the main love interests of the show because the producers thought that they two were the most sexual characters. In short, Monica and Joey were about to play the Ross and Rachel roles, or maybe Chandler and Monica. Also, the producers changed their decision because Jennifer and David had a great chemistry and Courteney wanted to play Monica because she is as disciplined in real life as Monica’s character. We could have seen a real Monica-Joey (MoJo?) relationship, but thank God it did not end up this way! In fact, it ended up just the way it meant to be. When you are used to of the characters, it is hard to make changes in your mind, especially on a beloved show like Friends.
11. Bruce Willis’ Appearance On The Show
Remember the episode where Bruce Willis made an appearance on the show? It was the sixth season of Friends where he was cast as the father of Elizabeth, Ross’ student turned young girlfriend. You may not know it, but the legendary actor actually went on to win an Emmy award for his performance in the TV series. Also, he played the role for FREE! There were rumours that he lost a bet to Mathew Perry so he had to make a free appearance but who knows the truth? Whatever the reason, Bruce still appeared on the show for free and that’s pretty cool. The actor donated his earrings from the TV series to benefit the AIDS Project Los Angeles.
10. Matthew Perry Is A Lot Like Chandler
Remember the sarcastic character of Chandler Bing who was awkward around women? One of the reasons why Matthew Perry loved his character is because he is apparently just like that in real life too. Chandler had only 3 to 4 girlfriends throughout the series, and one of them was Janice, who we of course all remember for her distinctive “OH! MY! GOD!” who was in every season throughout even after her and Chandler’s break-up. Luckily, by the end of season 5, he finally fell in love with Monica and got married in the last episode of season 7. If you are also like Chandler, then don’t worry because one day you will find someone like Monica who will understand your awkwardness and love you anyway.
9. Ben Kept Saying “Dada”
Ross had his first child early on in the series with his ex-wife Carol, who left him after she fell in love with her friend Susan and divorced Ross. By the time Ross found out about Carol, she was pregnant with Ross’ child. After Ross and Carol’s separation, they were still on good terms in the show and Ross was always with Carol for every step during her pregnancy. One of the toughest scenes to shoot was when Ross kept asking Ben to call him “Dada” as his first words. The baby they used to play Ben was not supposed to say anything back to Ross, but the kid actually kept saying “Dada” on every take. In the end, they decided to let Ben say “Dada” because the kid kept repeating this word anyway.
8. Lisa Was Pregnant In Real Life
Phoebe, the girl who grew up on streets and dressed like a lovable bohemian, and loved to play guitar, was always a much-loved character on Friends for many reasons. She first got married to one of her gay friends because he needed her help. She also got pregnant for the sake of her brother and his wife because they couldn’t conceive and when they asked Phoebe to be their surrogate, she was happy to help. When Phoebe was pregnant and gave birth to triplets, Lis Kudrow was actually pregnant in real life. Isn’t that shocking?
Did you know the duck at Joey’s place always scared Lisa and she did not like playing guitar. But, do you remember that episode in which Phoebe teaches Joey to play guitar and how she invented the name of chords? Well, the next time you watch the show, the thought of Lisa hating guitar and afraid of the duck will surely pop up in your head. Weird to know this because how much Phoebe loved playing guitar and the song “Smelly Cat” which got so much famous, Lisa did it very well despite everything.
7. The Role of Chandler Was NOT Gay
Throughout the series, there were many characters in the show who thought that Chandler was actually gay, but he actually was not (as we all know now). Chandler was just a sarcastic character who did not know how to deal with women. Also, Chandler’s family history was awkward because his father was gay and left his mom for a man, before starting his own all-gay burlesque in Las Vegas, and his mother had an affair with one of his friends. This is why Chandler’s parents got separated which had a major impact on Chandler’s personality.
6. Courteney Cox And David Arquette’s Marriage
After the end of season five, David Arquette and Courteney Cox got married. In the fall when the sixth season started, Courtney changed her name from Courtney Cox to Courtney Cox-Arquette in the opening credits. Everyone else in the cast decided to honor the marriage and added Arquette at the end of their names. So in the opening credits for the first episode, the names read Matt LeBlanc Arquette, Lisa Kudrow Arquette, Matthew Perry Arquette.. you get the idea! Isn’t that so sweet? Maybe you never even noticed it, right? The next time you watch that episode of Friends, pay attention to its opening credits.
You may also not know that Courteney Cox is actually older than David Schwimmer, despite the fact that she played the role of Ross’ younger sister. And guess what? Rachel and Monica are best friends in real life too, which means Jennifer and Courteney must’ve loved being BFFs on the show, too!
5. Gunther’s Hair Was Bleached Every Week
You remember that bright, platinum white hair on Gunther from Central Perk? Well, we obviously all know that this was not his natural hair color, but you won’t believe what they did to his hair to keep them this way. For 10 years, Gunther’s hair was bleached every week. Yes, you read that right! That’s the one hell of a long time (and way too much bleach) right? The actor who played this role is naturally brunette.
Undoubtedly, his hair color made his character more entertaining by how much he stuck out. In one of the episodes, Rachel said his hair was “as bright as the sun,” which is true. The funniest episode was when Phoebe was trying to figure out the father of Rachel’s baby and she asked “Is it Gunther?” and Rachel said no, so Phoebe replied, “Thank God, because that hair on a baby?” LOL!
4. Doodle Art
If you watched all 10 seasons and 236 episodes and you simply loved this TV show, did you ever notice that Magna Doodle on Joey’s front door? Well, it was not magic that something funny always appeared on that Magna Doodle. As a matter of the fact, it was the daily job for the crew to draw or write something funny for every episode. However, in the later seasons, Paul Swain became solely responsible for all the drawings on Magna Doodle.
Whenever someone walked through Joey’s front door, you could see the drawing closely. Fans became so obsessed with the drawings, they actually ended up finding the meaning of each one throughout the series. Some of the art work was really great! There are website out there that explain what every drawing and quote mean.
3. The Character Names Were From All My Children
If you are familiar with the TV series All My Children, you probably already know that there is a connection between the main characters of All My Children and the main characters of Friends. This is because the names were actually picked from All My Children. Rachel Green for Janet Green, Phoebe for Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, Chandler for the Chandler family, Joey for Joey Martin, Ross for Ross Chandler, and Monica for Monique/Daisy Cortland.
I must say that they have picked the perfect name for all the main characters. Just imagine watching Friends without a Chandler, Phoebe, Joey, Monica, Rachel, and Ross? Big NO! The names have their own importance in our heads and we are so used to of them, we can’t even think of any other names for these characters.
2. Frame Or A Broken Mirror?
The frame on Monica’s apartment front door was one of the most noticeable things in the show. That yellow flamboyant frame bordering the peephole, beautiful and unique, was actually an accident. However, it turned out to be a good incident. It was not a frame at all, but a mirror. When the cast were dressing for the pilot season, someone broke the mirror by mistake. Greg Grande, who was the set decorator for the show, decided to put a frame over the peephole and voila! Fortunately it worked. That frame which was originally a mirror stayed this way for all the seasons – a decade!
1. The Famous Couch At Central Perk
You must remember that orange couch that Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Ross, Joey, and Phoebe used to sit on while sipping their coffee. Remember how they hated if someone else came earlier and sat on this orange sofa? Well, that couch was found in the basement storage room of Warner Bros Studio.
Just picture Central Perk without that sofa, where would the main characters sit? And how creepy would it look, right? One of the best things about Friends was that sofa and the time they spent sitting on it, sipping coffee from their big cups, chatting, and laughing. Thanks a ton to the person who found that couch in the basement. Do you remember that episode in which Chandler and Ross had to fight with two people who were sitting in that couch? Of course, Ross and Chandler were the injured ones in the end. LOL!