25 Things You May Not Have Known About "Friends"

One of the most popular television series of all time, Friends continues to capture the hearts of many even past its end. It’s one of our most popular themed Trivia shows and judging by the show’s ever present fans and acclaim, it’s easy to see why. That said, we thought we’d celebrate the 25th anniversary of Friends with 25 facts you may not have known about your favorite show.

1. One of the original titles for the show was Insomnia Cafe.

It then became Friends Like Us and then Six of One before settling on the title we know it as.

friends cast

2. Ross and Rachel weren’t supposed to be the central couple, Joey and Monica were.

According to show runners, “they just seemed the most sexual of the characters.”

joey and monica

3. Among the auditions for the role of Phoebe were Kathy Griffin and Jane Lynch.

This prompted them to become buddies in real life.

kathy griffin, jane lynch, lisa kudrow

4. Ellen DeGeneres was also offered the role of Phoebe.

She turned it down, obviously, but imagine the possibilites!

ellen degeneres

5. The producers wanted Courtney Cox to play Rachel.

Cox insisted upon playing Monica because of her strong nature.

6. Lisa Kudrow thought Chandler was gay on initial script reads.

She wasn’t the only one. Many viewers were also convinced he was gay at first.

chandler bing

7. The cast was the first to negotiate pay as a group.

Upon realizing the discrepancies in pay, they requested an equal $100,000 per episode for each of them. By the time the show ended, they were each earning $1,000,000.

friends

8. When the series ended, Matt LeBlanc took the Magna Doodle with him as a memento.

It was actually a crew member’s job to create the Magna Doodle drawings.

magna doodle

9. The entire cast also received KEepsakes from Central Perk.

They each received pieces of the sidewalk from outside the fictional coffee shop upon the series’ end.

central perk

10. Bruce Willis’ appearance on the show was a result of losing a bet to Matthew Perry.

When filming The Whole Nine Yards together, Perry bet that the film would be number one in the box office on its opening weekend. Willis begged to differ and ended up losing, since the film went on to be number one. The stipulation was that he donate his guest earnings to charity.

bruce willis

11. None of the cast were huge fans of the theme song.

They also thought that dancing in the fountain was a bit odd.

friends

12. Phoebe and Chandler were originally written as supporting roles.

That means that there would’ve been four main friends. What a strange thing to think about!

phoebe and chandler

13. The character of Phoebe was pitched as a goth girl.

This is what prompted  Janeane Garofalo to turn down the role.

14. Jennifer Aniston’s tardiness eventually led to an intervention for her time management.

She says they were very kind about it.

rachel green

15. The famous orange sofa was found in the basement of Warner Bros. Studios.

That’s pretty thrifty!

orange couch friends

16. Every episode was shot in front of a live audience, with the exception of cliffhangers.

No spoilers up in here.

friends

17. The espresso machine at Central Perk was never on because it was too loud.

It was a real, antique machine.

central perk

18. The famous fountain from the intro is nowhere in New York City.

It’s actually in Burbank, CA on the Warner Bros. Ranch.

friends fountain

19. Joey wasn’t originally written to be dim-witted.

That portrayal came from Matt LeBlanc’s audition, which the producers liked.

joey tribbiani

20. The original theme tune for the show was going to be “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M.

The show creators ended up co-writing “I’ll Be There For You”. 

R.E.M.

21. The frame around the peephole in Monica's apartment originally had a mirror in it.

It was broken by a crew member during the early stages of filming, but producers thought it looked good so they left it.

friends yellow frame

22. James Michael Tyler was cast as Gunther because he was the only extra who knew how to operate an espresso machine.

He was actually working as a barista before getting hired onto the show. 

gunther friends

23. To attract an older audience, there was a suggestion for a 7th friend.

His name was Pat the Cop and he was an older gentleman that gave advice to other 6.

24. Joey’s giant white dog statue actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston.

It was a good luck gift from a friend.

joey's dog statue

25. Lisa Kudrow didn’t know how to play the guitar.

At one point suggested that Phoebe play the bongos instead. They ended up giving her guitar lessons, but she struggled and was only able to learn a few chords. It was decided that was all Phoebe would have been likely to know anyway.

phoebe with her guitar

There you have it – 25 facts for 25 incredible years. It’s hard to believe that it has been that long when Friends remains so contemporary in our hearts. Now, as you binge watch it for the fifth time, you’ll have new information to look out for to make it feel like the first time again. Here’s to another 25 years! 

Brittani Rable

Brittani Rable

I am a creative soul by nature and love doing anything I can put my mind to from graphics and writing to embroidery and photography. I love trying new things and enjoy the thrill of a good challenge, whether that be in the form of a trivia question or attempting to learn Japanese.

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