34 things you never knew about Friends

1. The fountain from the opening credits isn’t in Manhattan. It’s not even in New York. It’s actually all the way over on the other coast, in Burbank, California, on Warner Brothers’ Ranch. You sit on a THRONE OF LIES, Friends-makers.

2. The show was originally going to be called Insomnia Cafe and then Friends Like Us and Six of One, before eventually being cut to just Friends.

3. David Schwimmer thought thought Ross’s third divorce was a step too far. “The whole arc of the relationship was weird then,” he told The Telegraph, “because for him to be able to move on enough to marry someone else and then go back to being in love with Rachel later just went a bit too far.”

4. Marcel was actually played by a female monkey called Katie.

5. NBC originally requested that there be one main storyline per episode with a couple of minor ones, but the writers held their ground an insisted there be three story lines with equal weight. “We didn’t want to make it like every other sitcom,” Marta Kauffman said.

6. After 9/11, the show’s creators added an American flag in Central Perk as a sign of remembrance. “We tried to subtly acknowledge in the show that it did happen,” said Kevin Bright.

7. But this scene had to be cut from the show, out of respect:

8. Gunther actor James Michael Tyler was ACTUALLY working as a barista when he was cast.

9. The artwork in Central Perk is changed every three episodes.

10. Tea Leoni was originally cast as Rachel.

11. Joey wasn’t written as being dim, that all came from the way Matt LeBlanc played him at his audition.

12. Gunther didn’t have a name until the middle of the second season and he was NEVER given an official surname.

13. The show was never filmed in New York. Or Las Vegas.

14. That famous Friends sofa? It was found in the basement of the Warner Bros studio.

15. There was originally going to be an older, father figure, called Pat the Cop, who was on hand to give the group advice on their life choices. He never made it as far as the pilot episode.

16. The golden frame around the peephole on the door of Monica’s apartment was originally a mirror. One of the crew accidentally smashed it, but because it still looked good they decided to leave it there.

17. The main love interests were originally going to be Monica and Joey, NOT Rachel and Ross or Monica and Chandler. “They just seemed the most sexual of the characters,” explains Marta Kauffman.

18. Rachel is a huge Days of Our Lives fan girl, but in real life, Jennifer Aniston’s father, John Aniston, actually stars in the American soap.

19. Lisa Kudrow was actually terrified of Joey and Chandler’s duck in real life.

20. Ellen De Generes turned down the role of Phoebe Buffay.

21. The Friends cast were REALLY drinking coffee on set. They must have been seriously wired.

22. Jon Favreau, who played Monica’s millionaire boyfriend Pete Becker, was originally offered the part of Chandler Bing.

23. Every episode of Friends mentions the word ‘friends’ at LEAST once.

24. Hank Azaria, who played Phoebe’s love interest David, auditioned for the role of Joey TWICE he was so desperate to be cast.

25. Gunther’s hair was bleached every week for 10 years, because he is naturally brunette.

26. The original theme tune for the show was going to be Shiny Happy People by R.E.M.

27. Janice actress Maggie Wheeler sounds NOTHING like Janice – she made the voice up during her audition, based on people she knew.

28. Bruce Willis appeared in the show because he lost a bet with Matthew Perry over how successful their film, The Whole Nine Yards, would be. He donated his fee to charity and appeared for free.

29. The show’s creators co-wrote The Rembrandts’ I’ll Be There For You.

30. Chandler’s awkwardness around women came from Matthew Perry’s own problems with the ladies – it was never part of the character to begin with.

31. Rachel’s romance with Joey only came about because the writers wanted a way to delay her getting back together with Ross. It wasn’t decided on until half way through the season.

32. Ross is 29 years old for three years. He is actually the medical marvel he always claimed to be.

33.The show’s creators originally wanted Courteney Cox to play Rachel.

34. Joey’s AWFUL white dog statue actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston, who was given it by a friend as a good luck gift.

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