Famed for being the best TV show ever, Friends is without a doubt the king of all sitcoms. That’s right, introducing us to the likes of Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Monica and Phoebe, Friends attempted to portray the lives of everyday twenty-something-year-old New Yorkers, with each of us finding a little bit of ourselves in each of the six main characters. And now, over 13 years later, it seems we still can’t get enough, with the show still as popular as ever.
With re-runs on several channels throughout the world, it is rare that you will stumble on an episode which you haven’t seen before. From fun catchphrases like, “we were on a break!” to hilarious secondary characters like, Ugly Naked Guy, the show influenced a number of our favorite TV sitcoms that we see today.
Arriving at a time when Clinton was still President, Friends is now a 90s relic, basking in an era of early technology and basic emails. Smart, sexy and simple, Friends didn’t rely on social media to do its dirty work, instead scrapping Facebook for coffee shops and catching up verbally. Yep, people actually dated in person, rather than on a phone, with the twenty-somethings of the 90s living extremely differently than those who exist a mere twenty years later.
So, to celebrate its glorifying success, and for those super fans who thought they had already known everything, here are 15 tiny little things you missed on Friends.
15. The Fountain Isn’t Even In New York
Yes! Can you believe it?! Famed for its New York tributes, and love for the city that never sleeps, the show’s iconic fountain isn’t actually in New York at all. So where exactly is it? Located on the Warner Brother’s Ranch in sunny California, the fountain sits silently among a number of other sitcom houses and fake suburban homes. Basking in the sunlight, the fountain is often ignored, with many believing it to be back in New York among the other Friends locations. Causing many fans to think they have stumbled upon the famed fountain when scouting the grounds of New York City, central park’s Cherry Hill Fountain (see above) has often been mistaken for the legendary Friends prop. And that’s not all, even the show itself was mainly filmed in California, with only the exterior shots filmed in New York City.
14. The Artwork In Central Perk Was Changed Every Three Episodes
Ah Central Perk, a home away from home for the Friends gang. Regular hangout spot for Joey, Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler and Phoebe, many an episode was filmed here. So, in order to mix things up a bit, producers opted to change the artwork every three episodes.
That’s right, subtly changing the pictures on the wall, the artwork was altered in the hope that the set would be revitalized throughout each season. However, with the set basically staying the same during the ten-season run, everything else was as it was since the very beginning. From the famous sofa, to the stools in the background, even manager Gunther remained a steady force, appearing in a whopping 148 episodes of a mighty 236, resulting in him becoming the most frequented guest star.
13. Lisa Kudrow Was Actually Terrified Of The Chick And The Duck
A far cry from the animal loving, vegan hippy chick of Phoebe Buffay, Lisa Kudrow was in fact terrified of the on-screen pets, counting the duck as the most fearsome. That’s right, with it well known that Kudrow was afraid of the duck, she would often request that her character avoid the bird at all times.
Clearly not the only one with issues, Jennifer Aniston was also reported to have been terrified of Marcel the monkey. Actually played by two Monkeys, Monkey and Katie, Ross’ best friend was eventually written out of the show due to his volatile behavior. Difficult to keep the marsupial under control, Marcel was sent packing, yet still managed to fit in one last hilarious scene. Yep, during one of the blooper reels for season two, Aniston can be seen trying to explain a TV show to the monkey himself, with Marcel clearly not abiding by the rules of the script.
12. Every Episode Of Friends Mentioned The Word Friends
Running for a whopping ten seasons and a massive 236 episodes, Friends is without a doubt the most popular TV sitcom of all time. Beginning in 1994, the show was originally named Insomnia Cafe, with Monica and Joey designed as the main love interests. However, not quite getting the groundwork right, the show was then titled, Friends Like Us, which took only three days to write. Wanting to represent Generation X, the show-runners then changed the title once more, this time calling it Six Of One. Finally after discussing it once more, the name Friends was decided upon, with David Schwimmer cast as Ross first. Extremely successful from the get-go, the show was adored all over the world, garnering a number of awards throughout its ten seasons. And, as well as continuously making us laugh, the show also somehow managed to fit in the famous title, with the word ‘Friends’ said at least once during every episode.
11. Ross Was 29 Years Old For Three Years
During its ten-season run Chandler was often thought of as the funniest character, but on reflection it was obviously Ross. That’s right, perfectly cast, David Schwimmer came back every season with a funnier, crazier and overall more insane version of Ross Geller, causing the world to laugh. And, as well as being extremely funny, Ross was also incapable of aging, managing to stay 29 for over three years.
Yep, mentioning his grand old age of 29 throughout season 3, 4, and 5, Ross is indeed a medical marvel, just like he claimed. Plus, as well as never aging, Ross also has two birthdays. Claiming to be born in December when discussing his birthday with best pal Joey, Ross later states that his birthday is actually October 18th. Hmmmm.
10. Joey’s Agent Estelle Appeared Twice
Definitely one of the best recurring guest stars, Joey’s agent Estelle had us laughing from the get-go. Securing Joey’s breakout role as Dr. Drake Ramoray on the popular NBC soap opera Days Of Our Lives, Estelle was also agent to the magical Al Zebooker, a man whose sole act was eating paper. Sadly passing away in the tenth season, fans mourned the loss of such a beloved character. In fact, Estelle was also the last character to die on-screen, having survived a number of other well known characters. However, Estelle wasn’t the only role actress June Gable played, appearing as a nurse during season one. That’s right, starring in “The One With The Birth”, Gable is seen helping deliver Ross’ first child, as ex wife Carol gives birth.
9. Monica’s Apartment Number Changed Throughout
Just as famous as the characters themselves, Monica’s apartment is extremely iconic with regards to the aesthetics of the show. Often changing ever so slightly throughout the ten-season run, it was the door numbers that shocked fans the most. Yep, in season one, the apartment number clearly states number five, with Chandler and Joey renting number four across the hall. However, as time goes on, it seems the number of the apartments do too, with the apartment changed to twenty sometime later. Explaining why such a thing had occurred, producers stated that numbers four and five were for the lower floors, with Monica’s apartment said to be much higher. Quickly changing the digits to make it more believable, the problem was solved. Well apart from in season one obviously…
8. “The One Where No One’s Ready” Took Place Entirely In Monica’s Apartment
Speaking of Monica’s apartment. Still relatively new, and in its third season, Friends was still working on a low budget. To try and cut back on the cash, producers decided to stay within the set, meaning episodes were to be only filmed within the two homes. With the 50th episode and fan favorite, “The One Where No One’s Ready”, filmed entirely in Monica’s apartment, the episode is now known as a bottle episode, which occurs in ‘real time’ and takes place entirely in the living room.
Compared to Seinfeld stylistically, the episode was highly praised by fans, going on to become the third most popular episode of all time. Igniting the phrase, ‘going commando,’ the episode is also memorable for Joey’s impression of roommate Chandler Bing. Successful, the format was used again, most famously in “The One With Monica’s Thunder”, which almost solely takes place in the corridor.
7. All Six Characters Have Kissed At Some Point
All locking lips at one point or another, Ross, Chandler, Monica, Joey, Rachel and Phoebe have most definitely shared a smooch. Obviously kissing Ross a number of times, Rachel has also kissed Joey (when they dated), Chandler (in college), Phoebe (after being kissed by her friend Melissa), and Monica (off-screen in order to win their apartment back).
Making out with Monica a number of times, especially seeing as they got married, Chandler also kissed Joey after moaning about having no one to kiss on New Year’s Eve. Locking lips with Ross whilst he was drunk, and kissing Phoebe during “The One With All The Kissing”, Chandler also managed to sneak another one with Rachel during the same episode.
Also one for kissing his pals, Ross seemingly has a penchant for kissing his siblings as well, locking lips with Monica by mistake in college. Going on to kiss Joey in preparation for a role, it is later revealed that Ross kissed Phoebe on a snooker table during a flashback.
Last but not least, Monica and Phoebe kiss before Monica heads off to London, Phoebe and Joey kiss when Phoebe dreams of the perfect kiss, and Monica and Joey… They never actually kiss. Only sharing a smooch during a dream sequence in which Monica and Joey are married.
6. Gunther Didn’t Speak Until Episode 33
Ah, Gunther. Portrayed by James Michael Tyler, Gunther played the unlucky in love manager of Central Perk throughout the show’s ten-season run. In this time, audiences learn that Gunther once had a smoking habit (which he confesses to Chandler), used to be an actor in All My Children, and more famously, is madly in love with Rachel. Never actually penetrating the gang’s inner circle, despite his constant presence, Gunther becomes a running gag throughout the series, as he becomes more desperate to be included. Known for his hair style, which Rachel describes “as bright as the sun,” Ross and Monica’s mother Judy later remarks on how Gunther is a ‘sexy blond.’ However, although popular, Gunther actually didn’t speak until the 33rd episode, instead appearing as an extra. Now, with 185 episodes to his name, although the majority are non-speaking, Gunther is one of the most popular sub-cast members.
5. Phoebe’s Brother Frank Jr. Appeared Before He Was Actually Introduced
Not having the best start in life, Phoebe Buffay suffered a number of tragedies. That’s right, from her mother committing suicide when she was only fourteen years old, to finding out that her real mother was actually alive– Phoebe was also missing a prominent father figure. And, holding a turbulent relationship with her twin sister Ursula, Phoebe’s idea of family was virtually non-existent. However, with it later revealed that Phoebe had a half-brother, Frank Jr., the pair first meet in “The One With The Baby On The Bus”, when Frank drops a condom into Phoebe’s guitar case. Not knowing they were siblings, the pair met again later on in season two, with Phoebe famously going on to be a surrogate for his children.
4. Central Perk Served Potatoes
Everyone’s favorite coffee place, Central Perk was like a seventh Friend itself. A second home, Central Perk became a frequent hangout for the six friends throughout the ten seasons. Run by manager Gunther, the famous coffee shop was involved in a number of story-lines, with both Rachel and Joey working there at some point in their lives. Billed as your typical New York City cafe, Central Perk sold everything from coffee to cakes, to herbal tea and scones. However, in one particular episode something seemed amiss, with what looked like a potato in the cake stand. That’s right, during one scene in which Joey is seen ordering a coffee, a lonely potato can also be seen sitting in the cake stand. Maybe it’s a New York thing?
3. Rachel’s Surname Was Often Misspelled
Failing to keep up to date with several of the characters’ ages and birthdays, producers also somewhat managed to get the spelling of their main character’s names wrong too. That’s right, firstly introduced as Rachel Karen Green, with two Es, in the very first episode, Rachel soon begins a friendship with the six friends after running away from her wedding. However, in season four, things soon change, as Ross is then seen sending a wedding invitation to Rachel, with the spelling adding an extra E to the end of her surname, now spelled as ‘Greene’. Seemingly going back to just two Es, Rachel is then seen again with the third E, with her Ralph Lauren nameplate stating the misspelled last name, as well as Emma’s birth certificate, again clearly showing the extra third E.
2. The Show Paid Several Tributes To 9/11
On September 11th, 2001, the whole world changed. Causing nearly 3,000 deaths, New York City somehow managed to come together despite such a terrible tragedy. With season seven and eight occurring between 2001 and 2002, writers made sure to give tribute to those who lost their lives, as well as highlighting the greatness of such a city. With the characters said to have lived in Manhattan, which was extremely close to the attacks, writers decided to not outright address the tragedy, but instead subtly touch on it. Using the famous erasable drawing board on Chandler and Joey’s door to express their love for the city, characters were also seen wearing the famous FDNY t-shirts, a moving tribute to those whose helped saved lives. With TV shows all over the world not really knowing what to do with their made-up realities, the Friends world somehow managed to pull it off.
1. All Six Characters Have Lived In Monica’s Apartment At Some Point
Extremely envied by all twenty-somethings across the world, Monica’s apartment was everybody’s dream home at one point in their lives. Obviously feeling the same way, many times all six characters would comment on the cool apartment, stating their appreciation for living there. Don’t get us wrong, Joey and Chandler’s apartment was just as nice, if a little smaller, but there was just something so magical about Monica’s ‘pent house’ digs. Wanting in on the action, Joey and Chandler raise the stakes during a competition in which they eventually end up winning the apartment. Considered to be one of the best episodes throughout the series by fans and the cast themselves, “The One with the Embryos” has gone down in history as a classic among the Friends catalog.
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