Every show has its die-hard fans, but there is likely no other fanbase as dedicated and knowledgeable as the Friends die-hards. For that reason, Friends trivia can be pretty bland. The fans know basically everything about the show. Because there are so many fans and so many people continue watching Friends, it seems that every impossibly small detail has been shared. Well, almost every impossibly small detail. Believe it not, we’re still finding new things in the show, things so tiny we thought they were insignificant. So, we wanted to go through some of the lesser-known details and show them to you. Amazingly, many of these details add a great deal of information to character development and various plot points. These details may be things you’ve noticed before, but there’s a good chance that you didn’t know the significance of them until now. So, we’re here to clear that up.
We know that you’ve seen every episode. We know that if you clicked on this article, you’re looking to learn something you never knew before. We don’t want to disappoint you. That being said, Friends fans are at so many different levels of awareness and knowledge that, wherever necessary, we may have to go over some basic information to ensure that everyone is at least starting on the same page. At the same time, we also will be addressing questions that not all fans have. Heck, some of these details are things that some fans haven’t even noticed. Basically, we’ve got something for everyone. Without further ado, let’s get to the list and see if we can’t clear up some questions that fans have been asking for a long time. Here are 15 Incredible Details From Friends Episodes That Answer Long-Held Questions.
15. What Are Monica’s Towel Categories?
In “The One with the Embryos,” the gang gets embroiled in a trivia game about each other, the prize being Monica’s apartment. We know who wins. But think back to the question about how Monica categorizes her towels. The guys get the number of towel categories correct with 11. They name a few of them, “Everyday, guest, fancy guest,” but then they just have to say a number as time is running out. We’re left guessing what the other categories might be. Later, however, after much of the packing has been done in the apartment, we can see some boxes in the background. Many of these are labeled with different towel categories, such as beach towels, old towels, fancy towels, kitchen towels, bath towels. Now, we know a total of eight categories. The other three categories are anyone’s guess.
14. What’s With Monica’s Yell Jar?
In the episode “The One with Rachel’s Date,” we are introduced to the Yell Jar in Monica’s restaurant. We all know that Monica can get quite aggressive doing really anything. That is amped up quite a bit when she’s working as a chef. So, in this episode, the yell jar is meant to inspire Monica not to yell at her staff members. The thing is, we only hear about the jar, we aren’t really shown it. Well, not directly at least. It’s there, in the background when Phoebe is first meeting the sous chef, Tim. It’s labeled “Monica’s Jar” and, hilariously, it’s crammed full of money.
13. Did Joey Take Care Of The Posters?
Friends is known for having some of the best Thanksgiving episodes and “The One Where Underdog Gets Away” is one of the greatest of them all. In the episode, Joey does some modeling work for a health clinic. Little does he know that the intent was to use his face to create posters warning about VD. The gang all see the posters with the tagline, “What Mario Isn’t Telling You.” It’s amazing and everyone gets a kick out of it, except Joey. He loses out on girls and isn’t allowed to come home for Thanksgiving because of it. He then runs around and defaces all the posters in town to save his image. We believed that was the last of the posters, but later, in “The One with Mrs. Bing,” you can see one of the posters in the background near Central Perk. This is too funny to be a mistake or an oversight.
12. What’s Significant With The Names?
Although this one might not have inspired many questions, we like the detail as a fun trivia fact. It comes from “The One with Monica and Chandler’s Wedding (Part 1).” In this episode, Rachel is looking for a minister who can marry Monica and Chandler on short notice. She sees another wedding ceremony on and reads the names of the bride and groom out loud. We understand that this is meant to be funny. Otherwise, why say the names? We just don’t know why it’s funny. One of the names she reads is Anastassakis. The joke here is that Anastassakis was her father’s original last name. He changed the name to Aniston when he moved to the United States; thus, Jennifer’s current name.
11. Is That Hugsy?
Remember Hugsy, the stuffed penguin that Joey Tribbiani loved so much? Well, this little guy wasn’t just in the episodes that he was talked about. Throughout the seasons of Friends, Hugsy could be seen around the apartment in the background. After the show ended, Hugsy moved to LA with Joey in Joey. But that wasn’t all we ever saw of the penguin. We also saw him make appearances in other shows, such as Spin City, Boy Meets World, Everybody Loves Raymond, 8 Simple Rules, and more. He ended up being a prop in so many different shows as a gag of sorts. It’s like a Where’s Waldo with Hugsy.
10. What’s On Joey’s Script?
In “The One with the Inappropriate Sister,” Ross convinces Joey to spend some time writing a film script instead of playing mindless games all day with Chandler. Joey takes his advice and writes a script for the guys to play out. It turns out to be a thinly veiled attempt at forcing Chandler and Ross to work through their problems. But, at the end of the episode, we learn that Joey wrote another script, one for Rachel and Monica to act out. Not long after the women start it, they get uncomfortable with the material. They flip through the pages and say it’s disgusting, refusing to read any further. We think it’s all up to our imaginations, but a keen eye spotted some of the text on the paper. One of Rachel’s lines read, “Tiffany, if you sat on my lap, I would be able to truly appreciate how good you smell.”
9. Reservation Sign
Plenty of fans have wondered about how the gang always got their prime couch spot in Central Perk. They had a few gags in a couple of different episodes that had them forced to share the couch or be kicked off it entirely. There were those fans who just accepted that the couch was just owned by our protagonists, while others questioned if the show was real or not because of the unbelievable couch reservation process. Well, it turns out that there was an explanation for a while. We just missed it. In many different episodes, a small “Reserved” sign can be seen on the table. This was a way for the show creators to get away with the group always getting the same spot and have a little fun at the same time.
8. The Magical Beam
Monica’s apartment was known for having some mysterious changes throughout the years. The window in the kitchen showed different backgrounds, the kitchen table and furniture changed, and one of the beams (the one between the door and the living room couch) disappeared and appeared with no apparent rhyme or reason. Well, there is a reason. The pilot and many other early episodes were directed by James Burrows. Originally, he liked the beam because it gave the eye something to focus on. Later, it was removed because it became problematic for crew members and shadows. It does reappear in some episodes in the later seasons, though. Why? Well, the beam returning for an episode marked the return of Burrows. Whenever he came back to direct an episode, the crew would install the beam as a joke of sorts.
7. The Tributes
You might have heard about an episode of Friends that was meant to air after 9/11 that was canned. The episode had some untimely airport security jokes that the creators wisely decided against airing it. They reworked it, and everyone was happy. You can still see some of the original episode on YouTube. Well, in a few of the episodes afterward, there were some tributes to the first responders of New York. Joey wore an FDNY shirt, and the Magna Doodle read “FDNY.” There was also an I Heart NY doodle not long after. Maybe the best tribute was found in “The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath.” At the start of the show, Joey is wearing a shirt with the name “Capt. Billy Burke” on it, who is one of the firefighters who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center.
6. That Girl Shirt
This one is not necessarily a “long-held” question, but it is a nice little connection between the cast members on the show. It comes from one of the show’s most famous episodes, “The One with the Football.” In it, the gang all plays a game of football. It’s hilarious, but we don’t care about that. Take a look at Phoebe during the game. She’s wearing that awesome shirt that reads, “That Girl.” Maybe you weren’t aware, but That Girl was a TV show. It was about an aspiring actress living in New York City. The woman’s caricature on the front of the shirt was the show’s star, Marlo Thomas. D’you know Marlo Thomas is in the world of Friends? The actress who played Rachel’s mom.
5. Where’s All The Protection?
There are a couple of moments on Friends where the apartments run out of c*ndoms. It happens to Chandler and it happens in Monica’s apartment. Now, even though this happened much earlier in the show, we think we might have an idea who was using them. Yes, Joey. You thought about it too, but we’re thinking he used them all for a different reason than you are. Look at the balloons at Ross’ bachelor party in “The One with the Worst Best Man Ever.” It appears that Joey used c*ndoms instead of balloons, and that might just explain what happened to them all. Then again, it’s very possible that Joey simply used the only balloon-type things he had access to and you know he probably has a large stash of c*ndoms.
4. The Unexplainable Magna Doodles
We’re sure that you’ve all noticed that the images on the Magna Doodle on the inside of Joey and Chandler’s door would change from episode to episode. Usually, these drawings and sayings would relate to something in the episode. For instance, in the episode with Chandler kissing Kathy while Joey was dating her, the doodle read “I’m sorry” over and over again. Most are self-explanatory, but some have mystified fans. There are two that most wonder about, if only because they are words. One comes from “The One with the Thanksgiving Flashbacks.” The doodle has the number “327” written in a heart with wings and the word “Bye” written underneath. The “bye” is likely nothing significant, but 327 is representative of Thanksgiving, which was the 327th day of the year in 1998 when the episode aired. Another mysterious doodle came in “The One with the Worst Best Man Ever.” This doodle read: “Big Chief Ain’t Got No Fire Water.” Obviously, this is a sign that the guys need alcohol for Ross’ bachelor party, but it is likely playing on the Wild Magnolias’ song, “(Big Chief Like Plenty Of) Fire Water.”
3. Joey’s Pin Number
Remember in “The One in Vegas: Part 1” when Joey is working at the casino? He’s talking to Phoebe on the phone at one point and he tells her that he forgot his pin number. Now, there are a couple of jokes here—some obvious and one not so obvious. So, Joey asks Phoebe if she can go down and get Joey’s PIN number because he scratched it on the ATM on the corner. This is funny. It’s also funny that Phoebe knows it right away, saying, “Oh, so you’re 5639.” But there’s a hidden joke here as well. Joey’s PIN number, 5639, actually spells out “JOEY.” Leave it up to Joey to forget that, though.
2. Are Those Chandler’s Boxers?
“The One After the Superbowl” was the most watched episode of Friends in the show’s history. Just under 53 million people tuned in for the two-part episode, and it didn’t disappoint. With that many viewers, it makes sense that loads of people have pointed out an apparent mistake in filming. As Chandler comes out of the bathroom carrying the bathroom stall door, we catch a glimpse of his boxers. People think it was an error, that he should have been in a thong or naked. But there was no mistake. In the episode, Chandler is tricked into taking off his clothes in the restaurant bathroom. He’s left wearing only a pink thong. When Joey and Ross come in, Chandler offers them $50 for their underwear. Joey reveals that he is wearing none. Then a man interrupts them. The next thing we see is Joey and Ross leaving the bathroom. Check out Ross’ face. He’s a bit embarrassed. Then we see Chandler carrying the door. We see a quick glance of his boxers. He’s not meant to be naked. Those are Ross’ boxers he’s wearing.
1. What’s With The Russian Dry Cleaner?
In “The One Where Paul’s The Man,” we meet the Russian dry cleaner who puts the pictures up on the wall of his famous customers. Well, Joey gets offended when the guy refuses to put his picture up. Joey questions him about this and the guy says that Joey’s movie was offensive to Russians. Joey’s rebuttal is solid. He argues that Harrison Ford is up there. The dry cleaner responds by saying, “That’s right. Mr. Ford is a very good customer, he brings us a lot of clothes. You bring us nothing!” To this, Joey says, “Okay well that may be true. But, in, okay, Air Force One, the Russians were terrorists! And evil! And plus he kills a bunch of them! That’s offensive to Russians.” The dry cleaner then says that he’s “never seen it!” This is a joke that we’re not sure if many understand. The actor playing the dry cleaner is Ilia Volok. Volok plays one of the Russian terrorists in Air Force One.
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