The fascination and obsession with all things Friends has made it so almost nothing is left unknown about the show. Fans have had enough time to read everything there is to read about the behind-the-scenes stories and dramas, and almost nothing new has come out since the show has gone off the air. There are still things that people aren’t aware of, but that's an ever-shrinking collection. Things have been said and rumors have gone around. Not all of the stories have been verified by the cast and crew. In fact, many of the most salacious rumors have been outright denied, but you'd have to expect denials. Denials don't necessarily make things untrue, but they do discredit the stories. So, we've had to go through each of these tales and pick out only the ones that seemed most likely and had the most evidence in support of them.
Really, there's more to the lack of new information surrounding Friends than just fan obsession. The cast of the show have been very good at keeping the secrets from the set to themselves. They're all smart. They're all still making an insane amount of money off of syndication, so no one wants to go and ruin the picture-perfect image the show has by telling unsavory stories from the past. There's almost nothing to gain. Still, the Friends' set wasn't always the best place to be. Some days, it got mighty awkward up in there. We just never heard about those moments much because everyone was so hush-hush. Well, why don't we open up this can of beans a little and see what secrets they've kept quiet all these years? Here are 15 Secrets The Cast Of Friends Buried So Well (Even Die-Hard Fans Didn’t Know).
15 Negotiating Salaries
You certainly know about the successes of the contract negotiations between the Friends cast and the studios, but little is ever spoken about the other side. Sure, the cast made off like bandits in the end. They got together and negotiated as a unit, and it worked exceedingly well. For the final seasons, each of the cast members made over $1 million per episode. But, after about the three-quarter mark, when their salaries were first offered to be increased up to $700,000 per episode, the cast came back with a request for $1,050,000. The NBC team was not prepared to pay this during season eight, so they came up with a plan to scare the cast down from such a high number. Garth Ancier, one of the show's producers, went to the promotions team and asked them to cut promos saying, "You've loved them for seven years, see how it all ends with the series finale of Friends this Thursday at eight." They showed this to the cast and got their way…at least for a little while longer.
14 Rachel's New Sister
This secret is more about clearing up a misconception. You know that Reese Witherspoon was cast as Rachel's sister, Jill. Maybe you've heard the rumor that the reason why Rachel got another sister, Amy, was because Jennifer Aniston and Witherspoon had a falling-out. That almost certainly isn't true. In fact, Aniston and Witherspoon are best friends for a long time now. They even have a new show coming out. But, back then, Witherspoon had just become a huge star. Her asking price had gone way up after Legally Blonde and her schedule was jam-packed. NBC decided not to pay her ransom price, so they just introduce the other sister and brought on Christina Applegate. Applegate won a guest star Emmy, and Witherspoon would never return to the show. Cue the women on women hate rumors.
13 Brooke Shields' Embarrassing Husband
Brooke Shields' cameo on Friends is excellent. She plays an obsessed and slightly-deranged fan of Drake Ramoray. She believes Joey is really the doctor and goes a bit mad when she finds out otherwise. During the filming of this episode, however, Shields' real-life husband, tennis star Andre Agassi, was the one to go mad. He showed up on set to watch his wife work and did not like what he saw. The jealous husband got pretty upset after Shields was instructed to suck on one of Joey's fingers. Agassi apparently stormed off the set and flew home in a rage. Well, he didn't really 'fly.' He drove home really fast. Shields says, "Upon arrival, he systematically smashed and destroyed every single trophy he had won, including Wimbledon and the US Open, never mind all the others." Settle down, pal. She's an actress.
12 Ross And Rachel Reunion Shoehorned
You may have noticed that the final season of Friends was shorter than expected. This wasn't the original plan. While there were other things going on in the lives of the other actors, much of the change is because of Jennifer Aniston. The original plan was to have 24 episodes in season 10, but they only got 18. There was to be a more significant reconnecting story arc between Ross and Rachel as well. Aniston, however, was trying to focus on her film career. She didn't even want to come back at all for the final season, but she agreed as long as she could be finished by January of 2004. So, to make room, they cut six episodes from the Ross and Rachel story and crammed it all in.
11 The Disappearing Animals
During the run of Friends, we were introduced to a few different animals. We saw the duckling and chick become full-grown birds. We also saw Marcel the capuchin become a movie star. But they all ended up leaving the show before the end. So what happened? Well, Marcel the monkey became too expensive. As the monkey's trainer, Nerissa Politzer, explains, "It tends to increase your production costs, just because of the time it takes… It's a little easier to direct humans." Though the capuchin was very well-trained, there were on-set issues because she was monkeying around. "They can definitely drive you crazy," Politzer said. "They are always picking up everything... such as TV remote controls." The increased timelines started to annoy everyone, including the cast, so they wrote in a way for Marcel to leave the show. In the case of the birds, well, that is likely because of Lisa Kudrow's intense fear of large birds. She was terrified to work with the animals, and that put a strain on everyone and every scene that involved them. They eventually just got rid of them without any explanation.
10 Aniston And Rudd
Though they never really kept it secret, there wasn't a whole lot of discussion of the awkwardness that might have been on the set of Friends in 2002 when Paul Rudd joined the cast. In case you didn't know, Jennifer Aniston and Rudd had dated. They first met on the set of The Object of My Affection in 1998. Shortly after that, they started dating and their relationship lasted for about one year. Three years later, Rudd was cast as Mike on Friends. Now, while nothing much was made of this, it must have been weird that Aniston's ex-boyfriend was now a recurring character and getting married to Phoebe.
9 The Mother Cat
In "The One with the Cat," Phoebe is under the impression that a cat is actually her mother. It's a strange bit and one that would have likely been canned if not for the inspiration behind it. The story goes that the writers were not very fond of this episode, but, since it was written by Marta Kauffman who had just lost her own mother, they let it slide. We're unsure if the wackiness of the episode was a way of pointing out the need for signs that people look for or if Kaufman was just fueled by content that was relevant in her life at the time, but the other writers are said to have let the episode run exactly the way Kaufman wanted it because of the circumstances. Otherwise, they would have put the veto on it.
8 9/11 Jokes
After the events of 9/11, the team behind Friends decided to rework "The One Where Rachel Tells." Because the episode involved some untimely jokes about airport security, airport scenes with Monica and Chandler needed to be revised lest the show be criticized for insensitiveness. The original scenes were withheld for a while, but they have since been released. In them, Chandler sees a sign that says not to joke about hijacking or bombs. Chandler being Chandler then says, "I take my bombs very seriously." This gets him taken into a small room and interrogated. He then makes several more jokes, narrowly avoiding being arrested.
7 Matt Leblanc And Jennifer Aniston
There were rumors from long ago that Matt LeBlanc and Jennifer Aniston were dating secretly. This was quickly denied by everyone on set, and the rumors sort of fizzled out. Then came the allegations from Matt LeBlanc's father that claimed the two used to hook up on set. Now, these claims were disputed by representatives from both sides. It should also be stated that LeBlanc doesn't talk to his father, and the old man might have been looking to make a few bucks on a lie. He might also have seen that the two kissed as friends from time to time during interviews and such and got confused. Who knows? But, when Matt LeBlanc wasn't invited to Aniston's wedding to Justin Theroux, the rumor mill started pumping out those old wares once again.
6 Chandler And Yasmine
We're not sure what it all means. Maybe it means nothing at all, but Chandler is obsessed with Yasmine Bleeth on Friends. We first find out about his little thing for the Baywatch star way back in the first season. He talks about how the show just got Bleeth, and he hasn't seen her in it yet. That would be one of his life's great regrets if he's missed that. Then, Chandler and Joey name their Chick "Yasmine." Later, Chandler puts Yasmine Bleeth on his list of celebrities that he would be allowed to sleep with. Interestingly, Matthew Perry did sleep with Bleeth, or we assume they did. They dated in 1996 for a while and were even seen out together during a few public appearances. We wonder if Chandler's obsession for Bleeth was improvised by Perry or if maybe the obsession was a way of breaking the ice between them in person, Chandler being Matthew Perry's wingman.
5 LeBlanc's Drinking
There have been a few stories about Matt LeBlanc's drinking habits over the years. Sure, they were never as widely reported as Matthew Perry's because LeBlanc never really speaks about them himself, but others close to him have. There was his father who said he drinks "like a fish" and reports of crazy parties. From LeBlanc himself, we only get the funny stories that have happy endings, such as his audition.
"I was practicing lines with an actor friend of mine, and he said, 'This show is about a group of friends, so we should go out tonight and get drunk, as though we were friends. We should just keep that in mind.' So we went out, and I fell down and skinned my nose really badly. I went to the audition, with this huge scab on my face, and Marta said, 'What happened to your face?' I said, 'Aw, it’s a long story.' She thought it was funny and laughed, and that kind of set the tone for the room."
4 Courteney Cox's Fertility Issues
Though she wasn't about to talk about it at the time, Courteney Cox was going through some intense fertility issues during the filming of Friends. Like her character, Cox was unable to have a baby for a long time. Cox says that there was some painful overlapping of the show and real life during the episodes that Rachel was giving birth. "I remember one time I just had a miscarriage and Rachel was giving birth. It was like that same time," Cox said. "Oh my God, it was terrible having to be funny." The writers worked in the fertility issues into the character as a way of honoring Cox's real-world struggle. Although, by the final season, Cox found herself actually pregnant, and the show had to hide it because of the adoption storyline.
3 Aniston And Tate Donovan
They say Hollywood is a small place and sometimes, that small place can lead to super awkward encounters. That's how it went with Tate Donovan, who played Joshua, and Jennifer Aniston. Those two dated in real life for a few years and got pretty serious. Then, right after they broke up, Donovan was asked to come on and play Joshua in a string of episodes. He agreed, thinking it might be a good way to work through the breakup. Apparently, that was not great idea. Donovan said it was insanely awkward, describing the experience as "awful." He also said that he would go back to his dressing room and weep. We would, too, if we lost Jennifer Aniston, buddy. We would too.
2 What's Up With Chandler?
By now, you probably all know that Chandler suffered from alcohol and substance abuse during filming. He reports not remembering about three seasons worth of shows. But this time period often gets confused because Chandler's appearance changes in some of the later episodes. The most obvious fluctuation comes between season six and seven. Perhaps, "The One with Monica's Thunder" being the single episode that everything is most noticeable. This is because there was a considerable gap in-between shooting seasons six and seven of Friends. Jennifer Aniston was getting married and things were pushed back by a few months. In that time, Matthew Perry got pancreatitis as a result of his heavy drinking and lost about 20 pounds. That's why he looks so different. His line delivery and voice change are likely due to something else.
1 Lisa Kudrow's Worst Memory
As we mentioned before, the Friends cast have been very good about not giving any dirt on each other. In the rare occasions that they have given some information, they shelter the person who did or said the thing, such as when Lisa Kudrow revealed her worst experience on the show. When a fan asked her about guest stars and their worst behavior, Kudrow responded, “The worst behavior, off the top of my head? I rehearsed without makeup most of the week, and then on show night, I’m in hair and makeup, and I was told, ‘Oh wow, now you’re f*ckable.’ That’s bad behavior, I’d say.” Now, we don't know who said that, but we know who didn't say it. Kudrow herself said it wasn't Charlie Sheen. It should be safe to say it wasn't Paul Rudd (the ex of Jennifer Aniston and friends with her) or David Arquette for obvious reasons. Who knows? Although, this does sound like a Sean Penn kind of thing, right?
Sources: Wikipedia; Friends Wikia; IMDB; TMZ; THR