Friends, the renowned NCB sitcom, remains one of the biggest TV show hits in history. The fact that people still buy friends memorabilia for thousands of dollars and rights to stream the show continue to cause bidding wars, just shows that the gang will forever remain in people’s hearts.
That said, no matter how big of a Friends fan you are, there are some things you might not know. If you are wondering what those “things” are, there’s no need to worry because that is precisely what we will cover in this piece.
10. It wasn’t originally going to be called Friends
While Friends remains an iconic title to this day, its makers had a different name in mind while the show was in its early stages development. NBC’s former executive Karey Burke, told Vanity Fair that other names the producers considered for the show included ‘Gen X’ and ‘Six of One.’ In fact, the show’s pilot premiered under the name ‘Six of One.’
Executive suggested plenty of other names, but end up choosing Friends because it was uncomplicated and captured the essence of the story.
9. Courtney Cox and Monica aren’t so different
While Friends was enjoying unprecedented success during the 90s, an article published by the Los Angeles Times wrote that Courtney Cox’s personality was quite similar to Monica, the character she played on the show. The sitcom’s writer Marta Kaufman mentioned that Courtney was an intelligent and adorable individual and had the cleanest dressing room compared to the other actors.
What’s most surprising is that Courtney herself admitted that her personality traits were similar to Monica’s. She had a habit of rearranging and cleaning her spaces regularly and was particular about organization.
8. David Schwimmer was supposed to play another character
Plenty of actors lined up to play the role of Monica’s brother, Ross Gellar. Surprisingly, David Schwimmer was actually not one of them. According to Marta Kaufman, Schwimmer auditioned for an entirely different role and over a year prior to the show’s casting calls.
But producers found his performance so impressive – and memorable – that they decided to give him a more prominent role on the show, no further auditioning needed.
7. Chandler and Monica weren’t supposed to end up together
As every Friends fanatic knows, the love story between Chandler and Monica started when they went to London for Ross’s wedding and ended up hooking up. However, the show-runners didn’t intend to make this relationship last for the remainder of the show.
However, when NBC executives found out that the studio audience gave Monica and Chandler’s hookup scene a standing ovation, the decided to continue their romance to see where things went. Decades later, Monica and Chandler remain #relationshipgoals and remind us that at the heart of romantic relationship is a great friendship.
6. Producers considered Courtney Cox for the part of Rachel
Although Courtney Cox has been in plenty of T.V shows and movies besides Friends, most people recognize her as Monica. However, things were supposed to be quite different as Friends’ producers inititally wanted her to play the role of Ross’ girlfriend Rachel. (They aren’t brother and sister in real life, so it’s not weird.)
Courtney even auditioned for the part. However, she suggested that Monica’s role would be more appropriate for her, because it was more in line with who she really was. Jennifer Anniston was later cast for the part, and the rest is history.
5. Lisa Kudrow was pregnant during season 4
One thing most Friends fans may not know is that Lisa Kudrow, the actress who played the lovable and freespirited Phoebe, was actually pregnant on the show. To accommodate this, writers created the plot line in which Phoebe agrees to be a surrogate for her brother in season four.
Though writers were initially caught off guard when Kudrow became pregnant, the surrogacy story ended up being a fan favorite, and fit the kind nature of Kudrow’s character Phoebe.
4. There were plenty of budget cuts
Do you remember the episode called “The One Where No One is Ready”? In this episode, the gang was preparing to a formal event at the museum where Ross works. There wasn’t much going on in that episode….and there was a reason for there.
In an interview after the show’s finale, David Crane, one of the show’s co-creators, mentioned that this episode was the result of budget cuts. Because of this, they had to rewrite their initial plans at the last minutes to make sure they were able to remain within budget while making sure the episode remained entertaining.
3. Hank Azaria auditioned for the role of Joey Tribbiani
David, played by Hank Azaria, was one of Phoebe’s more serious love interests on the show. Unfortunately, their relationship is cut short when he is sent to Minsk to conduct scientific research. Hank’s performance was tremendous for the limited amount of screen time he got.
Before he was cast in the role of scientist David, he auditioned for Joey Tribbiani. However, as we know, that role ultimately given to Matt Le Blanc. During an interview, Hank stated that he went to two auditions for that role, but it wasn’t meant to be. However, he didn’t let that stop him from getting a role on the show, one that fans often say was the best of Phoebe’s love interests.
2. The pilot worked because of the opening song
Believe it or not, Friends wouldn’t have been the massive success it is today if it wasn’t for its opening song “I’ll be there for you” by The Rembrants. Everyone in charge of producing the show was impressed with the vibe this song gave, and decided to give it a go.
Surprisingly, NBCs executives did not have high hopes for the show’s success. However, the song made them change their tune on it. They liked it so much, they not only gave the series the green light, but included a massive budget for a new, unproven show (at the time).
1. Chandler and Phoebe were supposed to be side characters
The last thing any Friends fan would ever want is for Chandler and Phoebe to be mere supporting characters. However, that was the plan at the get go. The sitcom’s writer initially planned to have Mathew Perry and Lisa Kudrow play second fiddle to Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer, and Matt Le Blanc.
In fact, they were only supposed to pop in intermittently. Of course, this wasn’t how it ended up playing out, and the writers started giving both Chandler and Phoebe plotlines of their own, which was a good move, because both became fan favorite characters of this iconic show.