Friends are the biggest game-changer in the history of television! The show pilot premiered on September 22, 1994, and almost 20 years later, the characters of Joey, Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Phoebe, and Monica are the greatest sitcom heroes since the show is still vastly watched (or binged) over the streaming platforms around the world.
After ten seasons and 236 episodes of watching, rewatching, laughing, and enjoying with the gang, we bet that there is still some trivia that you are not familiar with. So read on the six things you probably didn’t know about Friends.
1. Jennifer Aniston thought that Rachel was a high maintenance
The character of Rachel, played by the stunning Jennifer Aniston, won the hearts of viewers worldwide, both males and females. She was cute, funny and fashionable! However, Aniston revealed in a Marie Claire interview that Rachel was pretty high-maintenance.
She had a different hairstyle every season, and the short, layered cut appeared for the first time in the episode “The One With the Evil Orthodontist.” Although Jennifer Aniston hated that hairstyle, it became viral and one of the most significant trends of the 90s. Even though many fans worldwide and celebrities were recreating her look, Aniston once said: “I think it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen… I’m not a fan of short, layered cuts on me personally, so I don’t love revisiting that particular era.”
2. The theme song made the pilot work
“I’ll Be There For You” is the most popular television theme song ever! But did you know that it was not just the theme for the outstanding opening credits but also the x-factor for the Friends pilot episode “The One Where It All Began?”
“Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M. was initially meant to be the show’s theme song, but it was later replaced with The Rembrandts’ hit.
During the Austin Film Festival in 2016, Marta Kauffman revealed that the pilot would probably not make it without its opening song. The studio saw the pilot as too sad, and the “I’ll Be There For You” opening sequence changed their mind.
3. Phoebe and Chandler were supposed to be supporting characters
Could you imagine a world where Phoebe and Chandler are just supporting characters? Me neither! However, the original cast plan was that the story would follow only four characters, with Phoebe and Chandler as the secondary characters who don’t appear in every Friends episode. Marta Kauffman admitted that those two characters were supposed to pop up from time to time, but the vibe and flow of the group made them change their mind. Thank God that happened, so now we can have Chandler’s sarcasm and Phoebe’s weird humor.
Another fun fact is that Friends producers offered the role of Phoebe to Ellen DeGeneres, but she turned it down. Phoebe Buffay’s fan base thinks that it would have killed the show.
4. Gunther was meant to be just an extra in the Friends show
You probably all remember Gunther, the blonde waiter at the Central Perk, played by James Michael Tyler. The show’s producers said that Gunther was not supposed to have speaking lines but to be an extra in the background. James Michael Tyler was a real Hollywood barista and got on the show because he knew his way around the bar.
However, he got his first line in the second season, and the creators realized that he was hilarious and decided to make a character out of him. That’s how Rachel’s admirer, another of the show’s remarkable characters, was born. James Michael Tyler also took part in HBO’s Friends: The Reunion.
5. Producers turned down the idea of Joey and Phoebe having a secret affair
Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc had this idea of their characters ending up together after revealing to the group that they had had a secret affair.
The actors talked about their pitch for this storyline to the producers in the interview with Entertainment Weekly. LeBlanc said: “Towards the end, we pitched the idea that Joey and Phoebe had been having casual sex the entire time. So we’d go back and shoot all the historical scenes, and just before a moment that everyone recognizes, Joey and Phoebe are coming out of a broom closet together. But they were like, ‘Nah.”
6. The Friends creators thought that Monica and Joey would end up together
The writers initially planned for Joey and Monica to end up together. Still, when the “London one night stand” happened onscreen, everybody realized this was the right direction because of Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry’s acting chemistry.
On the other hand, the creator planned that Ross and Rachel would end up together after the many plot twists.
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