FRIENDS: The numerous facts about the show which are still relatable
FRIENDS: The numerous facts about the show which are still relatable
Updated on July 26, 2022 17:35 PM by Ava Sara
Today we will discuss the most interesting facts about the classic sitcom FRIENDS. These exciting facts have been there, and we will discuss them below.
The paycheck they were getting.
The FRIENDS cast started making twenty-two thousand five hundred dollars per episode in the first season, and in the tenth season, they were making one million dollars per episode. Each cast member decided the amount mutually as they wanted an equal share for everyone. Lisa Kudrow even commented that the show was made of six people, so together, they are stronger than one person.
Initially, the show was named Insomnia Cafe, and the seven-page script created by the writers of the show did not focus on Ross and Rachel's relationship. Instead, the seven-page writing differed from the screen's finalized performance. The seven-page script highlighted Joey and Monica as the pioneer couple. However, the writers canceled that script after the auditions started and the six actors were finalized.
The various changes in the script
The NBC network bought the show's pilot; at that time, the script went through several changes, and not only that, the title also went through a difference, and it was named Friends Like Us. Nevertheless, the writers kept on changing the script, and when the filming of the show started, it was called Six of Us. However, it underwent further changes as the actors needed to sync with the dialogues and the characters.
Not many know that the actors were not the first choice for their respective roles as the writers chose Courteney Cox for the position of Rachel, and Jennifer Aniston was selected for the part of Monica. However, during the audition, both the actors decided that they would switch roles themselves. Courteney Cox felt that Jennifer Aniston was suitable for the part of Rachel and Jennifer Aniston felt that Courteney Cox was the proper actor for the role of Monica. Jennifer Aniston thought that Courteney Cox’s personality matches the character of Monica.
Matt LeBlanc was broke before Friends.
Finally, when the show premiered on September 22, 1994, the writers decided on the title FRIENDS. Matt LeBlanc had only eleven dollars in his bank account when he auditioned for the role of Joey Tribianni. Matt LeBlanc went on to say that with the first salary, he bought himself a good meal. He even said that he was ultimately broken, and Friends was more like a job to him rather than a big career break.
The opening shot was filmed in Warners Bros Studios in Burbank, California, rather than in the Central Park of New York. Moreover, when the writers and the cast directors started to audition all the aspiring actors for the respective characters, David Schwimmer was chosen first amongst the six to play the role of Ross Geller. Ironically, Jennifer Aniston was selected as the last among the six to finalize the part of Rachel Greene.
Jennifer Aniston, on her strict diet
Not many know, but for one entire decade, Jennifer Aniston’s diet was only cobweb salad to maintain the figure for the character of Rachel Greene. On the other hand, Courteney Cox was obsessed with cleaning like her character and even went on to sweep the Greenerooms of his fellow cast mates. Later, they revealed that Jennifer and Courteney had to maintain their diet for over a decade.
Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis set a bet with each other during the filming of The Whole Nine Yards. However, Matthew Perry won the chance, and Bruce Willis had to appear on three show episodes as a guest star for free. So, Bruce Willis did appear on the show as a guest member for exactly three episodes. However, Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry set a bet, and Courteney won, and according to the chance, Matthew Perry had to serve Courteney for a whole day in the sets.
The conventional facts of the Cast
Not many know, but Lisa Kudrow’s son was not a fan of the series FRIENDS, and he did not even watch the episodes during the initial years, so he was not acquainted with Phoebe’s character. Moreover, Lisa Kudrow is the only cast member with a family of her own. Other cast members have gone through divorces and have broken families. Matthew Perry went through addiction problems during Season 1 and Season 2 of the series and had to be admitted to rehab for his prescription drug addiction.
In the first few episodes, the number on the door of Monica’s apartment was 5; however, the writers realized Monica lived on the upper floors of the building, so in the later episodes, the directors of the show changed the number on the door to 20. None of the cast members were sure they would be able to continue up to the show's tenth season. They expected the show would go only up to five seasons; from Season 6, everything was experimental.
The unison amongst the cast members
The directors also changed Chandler’s apartment from number 4 to number 19 as, according to the script, Chandler and Monica lived opposite each other in the same building. David Schwimmer announced amongst his cast members that they might go through uneven dialogue distribution or equal screen space. So, they shouldn’t feel left out and stand together as the show is not for one member but a cast of six.
The six cast members went up to the writers and discussed the uneven distribution of lines and dialogues. After that, the writers used a pie chart to determine equal line distribution for each character in a given episode. David Schwimmer even said to his cast members that the show might bring in different forms of popularity for cast members, but that shouldn’t break their friendship or make anyone feel superior, as they made the show with the six cast members together.
The trivia about the actors and characters
David Schwimmer directed ten FRIENDS episodes from 1999 to 2004 and simultaneously acted in them. He produced two of the episodes of the series. Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow went to the writers and tried to persuade them for a third secret love angle between Joey Tribianni and Phoebe Buffay, but the writers turned the objective down, saying one side of the loop should be kept open by them.
Matthew Perry even wrote some of his character Chandler’s dialogues sitting with the writers as he was talented enough to add dark humor and catchy lines to his character’s script. The American Sitcom is such a hit that the production house is still paying royalties or dividends to the six cast members till now. Every year due to the increasing popularity of the show, Warner Bros is still garnering more than one billion dollars annually. Each of the six cast members receives 2 percent of the total annual profit Warner Bros receives from the internationally acclaimed show.
The first choice for Phoebe
Ellen DeGeneres was the first choice for the character of Phoebe Buffay, but she turned down the role as her show was going to launch during that time. The white dog statue, shown in the show's initial episodes, was a gift from Jennifer Aniston’s best friend for getting the role in the series. However, Jennifer Aniston gave it to the props directors to add to the show.
NBC network was skeptical about the show’s starting as the cast members were all twenty-somethings. However, NBC even requested the writers David Crane and Marta Kauffman to add someone aged to advise the youth. The Marcel monkey was two monkeys during the show's filming; however, the monkeys were later removed, as they used to throw feces at the cast members on the sets.
The background of Central Perk
In Season 1, the Central Perk cafe did not have any streets out of the windows. The producers did not have enough money to create actual streets and roads outside the set of Central Perk. It was just a painted backdrop that the props director added during the first season. The radical acceptance of the show and the appreciation of the characters in the first season earned the FRIENDS a reasonable top rated, and the producers were able to add some funds to spend on the props of the show.
In the Second 2, viewers could see the presence of streets and pavement outside the Central Perk. Matt LeBlanc is fluent in French, but in Season 10, Episode 13, Joey Tribbiani asks Phoebe to teach him french. David Crane and Marta Kauffman even commented that Joey Tribbiani is an awful actor. Still, Matt LeBlanc is a brilliant actor, and nobody could have done the role better than him.
The developments through the show
Chandler Bing and Monica Geller were originally a one-night thing, but the audience loved them as a couple so much that they were paired together in the later seasons of the show by writers. Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox became best friends in this show, and even Reese Witherspoon became one of Jennifer Aniston’s closest friends through this show. Reese Witherspoon guest starred as one of the sisters of Rachel Greene in the series.
The entertainer who played the role of Gunther did not get his name until the middle of Season 2 of the show. Chandler Bing was initially decided as a gay character, but after Matthew Perry was cast in the series, the writers David Crane and Marta Kauffman changed their minds and wrote him as a straight guy. However, the writers did add loads of gay jokes in the series for the character of Chandler Bing.
The orange couch of the Cafe
The orange couch of the Central Perk was just a prop left in the basement of the Warner Bros studio. The producers used the orange sofa, which has become an iconic FRIENDS couch. Even though the cafeteria in the show is more trendy, NBC initially wanted a diner as the place of shot; however, David Crane and Marta Kauffman convinced the network otherwise.
Matt LeBlanc’s catchphrase How you Doin’ in the show was ranked number four in the TV guide’s list of top twenty taglines. Not many know, but Matt LeBlanc has a massive crush on Jennifer Aniston from when they started working in the series. During the show's final season, Courteney Cox was pregnant, and to hide her baby bump, the costume designers gave her baggy clothes. Some fans say Matt LeBlanc still has an enormous passion for Jennifer Aniston. However, she was never interested in him. Matt LeBlanc did not attend Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's wedding in Malibu.
The character of Joey
Matt LeBlanc was not written as a dim-witted character in the show's initial seasons. Lisa Kudrow was terrified of the duck, which the cast directors used in the Season 3 of the show. Matt LeBlanc suggested changing the nature of Joey Tribbiani into a dim-witted one seeing that he was not paired with anyone.
Joey Tribbiani and Jennifer Aniston were the only characters who simultaneously worked in the Central Perk in the series. Monica Geller says the first line of the whole series, and Chandler Bing says the last line of the entire series. Matt LeBlanc attended the audition for the character of Joey Tribbiani with a deep cut on his nose due to his fall at the edge of a toilet seat. However, he still landed the role of Joey with his brilliance in acting.
The little-known facts about the show
The artwork of the Central Perk was changed every three episodes keeping the colorful background in mind. Moreover, with the series going to be a hit in America back then, Warner Bros was gaining a good amount of funds. Marta Kauffman and David Crane were ready with the script and dialogues for Season 11 of the show. However, the six cast members were not prepared to continue the show anymore.
David Schwimmer’s character Ross Geller has been seen to be the same age for three consecutive seasons of the show. However, the writers gave him the role of David, Phoebe’s scientist boyfriend. Hank Azaria also auditioned in the series for the part of Joey Tribbiani. However, he did not pass the audition. He begged and was given a second chance, yet he failed to impress the writers.
The various side facts of the show
Chandler Bing’s famous girlfriend, Janice’s laugh is not the original laughing style of the actor Maggie Wheeler. In the series, she had to put up the laughing type for her character Janice. Her catchphrase “Oh my God” was also ranked one of the top catchphrases in the TV guide. David Crane and Marta Kauffman co-wrote the opening song of FRIENDS ‘I will be there for you.’ Jennifer Aniston is only seen in the opening song lip-syncing with the music.
The opening song was not the first choice; instead, there was another song called - Shiny Happy People - that was decided before the finalization of - I will be there for you. Even the music score was initially agreed upon differently. But, I will be there for you to make it to the final cut. All the characters have kissed each other throughout the series, except Monica and Phoebe, who haven’t kissed each other in any of the show's episodes.
Facts about Monica Geller
The golden-colored frame around Monica's door's peephole was originally a mirror. However, Ricky Parker, a crew member, accidentally smashed it. However, they kept the structure as it looked good on the violet-colored door. Courteney Cox is the only actor with no Emmy award, let alone a nomination from any show episode. However, she was well-applauded by the fans for playing the role of Monica Geller.
Monica Geller’s refrigerator was used by the Cast and crew members of the show to store food and drinks consumed during the long hours of filming. The cast and crew members used the refrigerator in Joey and Monica’s apartment. James Michael Taylor was cast as Gunther in the series because he was the only extra member who knew how to operate an espresso machine. Recently James Michael Taylor died of prostate cancer at the age of 59.
Gunther and his single word-dialogue
The fans considered Gunther, the seventh friend who was always there for Rachel due to his unrequited love for her. James Michael Taylor’s line was in the 33rd episode of the show, and it was - yeah. However, the fans consider that single word the best line in the episode. In the last season's final episode, all the characters mention that all six have lived in Monica and Chandler’s apartment at least once during the whole series.
Each show's characters had a spare key to Monica’s apartment other than Monica herself. Once Courteney Cox was in the costume of fat Monica on the sets, Matthew Perry went right past her and did not recognize her even for once. Tom Selleck used to receive a standing ovation from the live audience every time he appeared on the show. It became challenging the filming, and later on, the director reshot his episodes without the presence of any live audiences.
The instant dialogue change
A group of writers, along with David Crane and Marta Kauffman, used to sit at the back of the primary camera to see the responses of the live audience to every funny dialogue the cast members said. Even one unenthused response from the live audience made the writers instantly scribble down a different conversation. The cast members had to enact the same scene with the updated dialogue.
The live audience said that each character used to brilliantly nail the instantly updated dialogues. Lisa Kudrow inspired her character Phoebe Buffay from Jennifer Aniston’s spiritual intake in real life. It was due to the real-life relationship and marriage of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston that Brad Pitt guest-starred in one of the episodes as a hater of Rachel Greene.
Pete Becker and Monica Geller
Jon Favreau was initially offered the role of Chandler Bing, but he turned down the role because he felt the character did not match his personality. However, he starred in the 1997 season as the millionaire boyfriend of Monica Geller. Not many know, but Monica Geller has Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. The character developed the disorder after she went on a journey to lose massive weight.
Monica Geller and Rachel Greene were best friends in school, and Rachel was seen as the most famous person in the school. Similarly, Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox are still best friends, and Jennifer is more popular than Courteney. Jennifer Aniston is the godmother of Courteney Cox's daughter. Courteney Cox supported Jennifer Aniston after she went through her painful divorce from Brad Pitt.
The nicknames of the actors
Matt Le Blanc was called LeBlanc on the sets, David Schwimmer was called Swim, and Matthew Perry was called Matt on the settings by the Cast and crew members. Not many know, but after the show ended, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston hosted a dinner party in their house, and the wine served by the couple was the one that Kevin Bright, the producer, had saved from the first season.
Each cast member cried after filming the tenth season's final episode. Lisa Kudrow did not like playing Guitar, so she only learned a few chords used to play the song Smelly Cat. The writers changed Phoebe’s character to be an awful singer for Lisa Kudrow's disinterest in learning Guitar. Additionally, a piece of the pavement outside Central Perk was given to each of them as souvenirs from the show.
Lisa Kudrow’s famous laugh
Season 2 is the only episode on the show where there is no episode on Thanksgiving day. Cast members said that Lisa Kudrow’s laughing was infectious; once she started laughing in-between the shots, it would be a series of laughs from all the cast members. So, they used to take intervals in-between the shots until Lisa’s laughing had ceased.
Courteney Cox was a very diligent actor like Monica and learned her dialogues by heart. So, if she forgets the lines on set, she used to go through severe frustration and start from the first again. It was a conscious decision amongst the cast members not to go into a real-life dating and relationship during the whole series filming. They wanted to keep it professional off-screen to reflect the perfect chemistry of their characters on the screen.
The ironic love angles
However, after the show's ending at one time, Matthew Perry and Jennifer Aniston dated, and even recently, during the reunions, rumors were sparking that David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston were dating. Ironically it was Matt LeBlanc who always wanted to date Jennifer Aniston in real life, but she always turned him down.
Even the most perfect of friends fall in love, which turns out to be a wrong decision. Joey Tribbiani and Rachel Greene’s love chemistry was not received by the show's fans on a good note. David Crane and Marta Kauffman replied to the negative reviews saying that was the message they wanted to give to the audience.
Reese Witherspoon was decided by the writers to be recast for her role of Jill Greene in Season 9. However, the actor was unavailable during that time, so David Crane, Marta Kauffman, and their team rewrote another character of Rachel Greene’s sister. The role of Christina Applegate played the latter. Christina even received an Emmy award for portraying Amy Greene, the other sister of Rachel Greene.
Lisa’s surprise intake about Chandler
Lisa Kudrow said she was surprised with Matthew Perry’s portrayal of the character of Chandler Bing during the table read. Lisa Kudrow thought from the first that Chandler Bing’s character is gay. Lisa Kudrow’s character Phoebe Buffay carried her brother's triplets in the show after the actor announced her real-life pregnancy to the producers.
Among the six actors, Lisa Kudrow, the oldest, was born in 1963, and Matthew Perry, the youngest of the lot, was born in 1969. Courteney Cox is more aged than David Schwimmer, but, in the show, Monica plays Ross’s younger sister. Out of the six, only Chandler Bing is the only child of his parents; other characters have their respective onscreen siblings. Ross and Monica are siblings, Joey has seven sisters, Rachel has two sisters, and Phoebe Buffay has a twin sister and a half-brother.
During the intervals or long pauses between the shots, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry used to play video games. The most ironic factor is that Central Perk was never a real cafe. Still, after the hit show, it has inspired various restaurants to create the same interiors in dedication to the show’s hit assembler, getting to know each other through the fictional Cafe. Joey and Chandler’s apartment is just 97 steps away from the Central Perk cafe.