Friends is one of the most popular TV shows of all time. Even though it ended nearly 20 years ago, the antics of Ross, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler and Rachel are still some of the most watched on TV! We’ve got some of the best trivia facts about the gang here – how many of these fun Friends facts did you already know?
Friends wasn’t called Friends.
Originally, different name suggestions included: Six of One, Friends Like Us and Insomnia Café. In the end, they went with the simplest option, and we can all agree its the best! Insomnia Café doesn’t really roll off the tongue…
2. Phoebe’s twin was originally on another show.
You probably remember Urusula as Phoebe’s mean twin, who was always messing with her life. But you may not know her origin story! Lisa Kudrow played a waitress called Ursula on another sitcom called Mad About You. Since Lisa was appearing on both shows at the same time, and both were set in New York, the writers decided it would be funny to make Ursula a character on Friends too, as Phoebe’s evil twin!
3. You can visit Central Perk in real life!
Central Perk (Like Central Park, geddit?) is sadly not a real cafe. BUT you can visit replicas of it, in Liverpool and China!
4. Marcel the monkey is a girl.
She’s called Katie and she’s a pretty prolific actor, she’s also been in 30 Rock among other things. Katie is a capuchin monkey, who are famous for being featured in films and tv because of their clever ability to learn tricks and expressions.
5. The show was filmed in LA.
Yup, not a single shot is filmed in New York! Even though it’s arguably one of the most famous sitcoms set in The Big Apple, it was all filmed in Hollywood, California. The only exception is the shots of the apartments from the outside. They’re real, and you can go and see them in Manhattan!
6. Phoebe and Chandler weren’t meant to be main characters originally.
In early drafts of the scripts, there were only four main Friends. Phoebe and Chandler were only going to be recurring characters, but luckily they ended up in the main cast! It’s safe to say that without Phoebe’s weirdness and Chandler’s jokes, it would be a completely different show.
7. Lisa Kudrow was pregnant in real life.
When Phoebe gets pregnant with triplets, this was because Lisa Kudrow was pregnant in real life and they needed to hide it! She wasn’t pregnant with triplets, so she had to be padded, but that’s a real baby bump!
8. Ross is the same age for 3 years.
He’s 29 for three seasons… which is 60 episodes, and covers three years! Must have been born on a leap year! He’s also not sure when his birthday is; sometimes it’s October, sometimes December.
9. Jennifer Aniston nearly didn’t do the final season.
The last season of Friends is maybe one of the best, giving it’s characters great send offs and memorable episodes. However, Jennifer Aniston was originally hesitant about appearing in season 10. She was pretty exhausted from all the filming and fame, but luckily she agreed to do one more season! It wouldn’t have been the same without her!
10. Courtney Cox nearly played Rachel.
Originally, Courtney cox was up for the role of Rachel, while Jennifer Aniston was up for the role of Monica. Courtney felt she related more to Monica, and Jennifer agreed! Can you imagine it the other way round?
11. Some very famous people have guest starred.
Over the years a lot of famous people have guest starred on the show, including Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon! You might also notice Hugh Laurie as Rachel’s grumpy plane companion, Freddie Prinze Jnr as a nanny, and Robin Williams as a Central Perk customer!
12. Matt Le Blanc was broke when he landed the role.
When the cast landed the roles, they had no idea just how rich they would become! This is especially true for Matt Le Blanc, who only had $11 in the whole world when he got the part. Apparently he spent his first pay check on a hot meal! Safe to say he’ll never have to worry about that again!
13. Gunther was never meant to be a speaking character.
Gunther, the coffee shop waiter with a big crush on Rachel, was not actually meant to be a speaking role. He was just a background extra, but in season two he finally gets a line, and the writers realised how funny he was. And his peroxide blonde hair? Apparently he had to dye it every day!
14. The white dog statue actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston.
If you know Friends, you know the dog statue – a giant white dog that belongs to Chandler and Joey, and occasionally moves flats. Apparently it was a good luck present, it was originally a good luck present to Jennifer from some friends. She must have thought it would look better on set because that’s where it turned up!
15. Ellen DeGeneres was nearly cast as Phoebe.
It’s crazy to think of anyone else in the Friends roles, but before Lisa was cast lots of other actors were considered for the part, including Kathy Griffin, Jane Lynch and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. In fact, producers offered her the role, but she turned it down!
16. Every episode is called ‘The One With…’ except the pilot.
You might have noticed that all of the shows episodes are entitled ‘The One With…’. The shows creators figured that most people wouldn’t remember what the episodes were called, but would just say ‘The one with this funny thing that happened’, so they made it easier by just naming all the episodes after their most memorable moments! Except of course the pilot, which is just called ‘The Pilot’.
17. Monica’s apartment changed numbers.
Monica’s apartment is number 5 in early episodes, but it then changes to 20. Magic! Apparently this was because the creators realised the number didn’t match the exterior shots, where Monica obviously lives quite high up. So they changed it to make more sense and hope no one noticed….well, they did!
18. Carol was played by two different people.
Carol, Ross’s ex wife and mother to his son Ben, has changed a bit since she first appeared! In the earlier episodes she was played by Anita Barone and then from season 2 onwards by Jane Sibbett.
19. Matthew Perry’s dad has a cameo in the show.
Matthew’s dad also play’s a dad, but not Chandler’s! Instead, he plays Rachel’s boyfriend Joshua’s dad in ‘The One With Rachel’s New Dress’ He’s not the only cast family member to appear on the show – When Lisa Kudrow needed a double for playing Ursula, her sister stepped in!
20. The credits sequence was shot in the middle of the night.
The famous fountain scene (Which, like everything else, was not filmed in New York, but in California) was filmed very early in the morning in order to make sure the area wasn’t busy. It was filmed at 4am to be precise! Everyone looks pretty peppy considered how tired they must be!
21. The big orange sofa in Central Perk was found in a studio basement.
The Friends sofa has to be one of the most famous sofas in TV, but it wasn’t bought especially for the show. Instead, someone found it in a studio basement in Hollywood. Who knows was it was used for before the show? It has since gone on to become one of the most famous pieces of furniture in history!
22. David Schwimmer directed 10 episodes of the show.
David Schwimmer is multi talented and directed 10 episodes of the show, including The One with All the Candy, The One with the Red Sweater, and The One with the Truth About London. Since then he has gone on to direct many other things, including films.
23. And Matthew Perry was allowed in the writers room.
Chandler is famous for being the witty, sarcastic member of the group. Matthew Perry had a hand in this, not only did he play Chandler, he also helped to write him! He was the only cast member allowed to add jokes and suggestions to the script.
24. The Fridge Worked!
Monica’s fridge can be seen in almost every episode, and it was actually plugged in! During long days of filming, the cast and crew kept snacks and drinks in there so they wouldn’t have to go to the green room. Smart!
25. Monica and Chandler were only supposed to get together for one episode.
Monica and Chandler get together during the group’s trip to London, and originally it was just meant to be a one-off joke. However, it turned out that the actors had real chemistry together, and the audience liked it so much that the creators decided to keep them together, as a more relaxed, and maybe healthier version of Ross and Rachel.
26. The Friends always reserved the couch at Central Perk.
Have you ever wondered why the Friends always get the best seats in Central Perk? Well, it’s not just artistic licence, they actually reserve them! You can see a little sign on the table if you look closely. As to why they always seem to be there even though they all have day jobs, that’s never really explained…
27. Jennifer Aniston hated ‘The Rachel’ haircut.
Rachel’s long straight hair become one of the most famous things about Friends, and was a popular hairstyle in the 90s and early 2000s. But Rachel Aniston didn’t actually like it very much! To be fair, it does look like it would get in your eyes a lot!
28. The finale was the fourth most watched TV finale in USA TV history.
The Friend’s finale was one of the most anticipated episodes of TV ever, and naturally a lot of people wanted to see how it ended! Millions of people tuned in, 52 million to be precise! Even then, it’s not actually the most watched episode of the show, which was 52.9 million for one in 1996
29. Lisa Kudrow hated the guitar at first.
Phoebe is famous for her, erm, unique guitar skills, but when Lisa Kudrow first had to learn, she didn’t enjoy it at all. Over time, however, she got better and started to enjoy it. She even wrote Phoebe’s famous song, ‘Smelly Cat’!
30. David Schwimmer was cast first and was always in mind for the role.
Everyone on Friends had to audition for their parts, and no character was written with any actor in mind, except one; Ross. The creators knew they wanted David from day one, and he didn’t even have to audition. Let’s face it, can you imagine anyone else playing our favourite palaeontologist and keyboard enthusiast?