Friends is the quintessential buddy comedy show, and even though it’s been off the air for more than a decade now, people still remember it fondly. But if you’ve never seen the show, then you can totally binge watching it on Netflix. To wet your appetite, we’re bringing you some of the most intriguing facts we could find about the lives of Rachel, Ross, Joey, Monica, Chandler and Phoebe.
THE ONE WHERE THEY SHIP MONICA AND JOEY
In one of the early promos for the show, they paired the gang off in a weird way. It turns out that the writers wanted Joey and Monica to be the main couple from the beginning and they only gave up on the idea after filming the pilot. Eventually, Rachel and Ross took on that role.
THE ONE WITH BRUCE WILLIS STARRING FOR FREE
Bruce Willis lost a bet to co-star Matthew Perry that their 2000 movie “The Whole Nine Yards” wouldn’t hit #1 in the charts on opening day. But it did, so he had to guest star in one episode of Friends, which he agreed to do, for free. He ended up playing Elizabeth’s father and Rachel’s love interest in it.
THE ONE WHERE RACHEL ALMOST DIDN’T RETURN
2002 came along and Friends was stronger than ever, but when it was time to film the show’s 10th season, not everyone was on board. Jennifer Aniston was widely recognized by this point and had starred on many successful movies like “Office Space” and “Bruce Almighty”. She wanted to leave Rachel’s character behind and steer her career towards the movie industry, but she agreed to come back for one final season to give her character a happy ending.
THE ONE WHERE MATT AND JENNIFER HATED JOEY AND RACHEL AS A COUPLE
In one of the most controversial moves of the series, writers paired off Rachel and Joey together after she and Ross broke up once again. It turns out that the whole cast didn’t like where this story was headed, so they sat down with the showrunners to express their concerns. A couple of episodes later, this relationship was over.
THE ONE WHERE THEY DO A CROSSOVER
If you’re doing a rerun now, you’ll find a weird scene with Helen Hunt walking into the coffee shop and mistaking Phoebe for Ursula, her twin sister. Back in the day, Helen starred in “Mad About You” and Lisa Kudrow guest starred as waitress Ursula Buffay on that same show. To reciprocate, Helen visited the Friends stage, establishing that both shows are set in the same universe.
THE ONE WITH ALL THE CHANGES FROM THE PILOT
A lot changed since the early days where the script was being written. The name of the show went from “Insomnia Cafe”, to “Friends Like Us”, to the one we know now. Other names that were considered were “Six of One,” “Across the Hall,” and “Once Upon a Time in the West Village.” Shiny Happy People by REM was used as the intro music at one point.
THE ONE WHERE CHANDLER AND PHOEBE WEREN’T PART OF THE MAIN CAST
Although they all had a role in the final product, Chandler and Phoebe weren’t going to be as prominent as they eventually became. They were envisioned as supporting characters before the pilot was shot, but that changed pretty quickly.
THE ONE WITH ALL THE PEOPLE WHO AUDITIONED
It’s hard to imagine anyone other than the final cast playing these roles, but all sorts of people auditioned for the show. Among them were Kathy Griffin and Jane Lynch for the role of Phoebe, Jon Favreau and Jon Cryer for Chandler, Hank Azaria as Joey, Tea Leoni and Elizabeth Berkley as Rachel, and Eric McCormack as Ross.
THE ONE WITH THE 9/11 SCENE
A scene where Chandler and Monica hop on a plane was dramatically changed in the episode “The One Where Rachel Tells Ross” in 2001. This was going to air a few weeks after September 11 and in it, Chandler jokes about a bomb on a plane. You can see why it was replaced by another minor plot where they wanted to get an upgrade on their flight instead.
THE ONE WHERE JENNIFER HATED HER HAIRCUT
One of the most iconic looks Aniston sported on the show was “The Rachel,” a haircut she wore on some of the earlier seasons. Even though she was looked upon as a symbol of fashion and style, Jennifer hated the hairdo. She said it was really hard to maintain and she didn’t think it suited her.