15 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About ‘Friends’

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> 15 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About ‘Friends’

It’s easy to binge on this classic sitcom without being aware of what happened behind the scenes. 

Friends may have wrapped up almost two decades ago, but it lives on in streaming networks and our hearts. Netflix subscribers went berserk when the sitcom was pulled off the platform in 2020. However, it found a home in HBO Max, and all is right with the world. 

Although many fans have re-watched the show countless times, many more aren't aware of the off-screen interesting things that happened. 

We are here to enlighten you on some of the facts that really happened off-camera on Friends.  

1. Phoebe’s Triplet Pregnancy

Not many TV shows have such a wild plot as having a character bear their sibling's babies but Friends. Phoebe was her half-brother's surrogate, and she spent a large part of the fourth season rounding up. 

The pregnancy was in fact not planned for in advance. It was crafted last minute to accommodate Lisa Kudrow's actual pregnancy.

2. Tom Selleck's Roaring Presence

Tom Selleck admitted to being extremely nervous before his debut on Friends in the second season's 'The One Where Ross and Rachel… You Know…' The Magnum, P.I. alum played Richard Burke, the charismatic, handsome older boyfriend of Monica. 

Despite his nervousness, his first appearance was greeted with the audience's wild cheers. The audience applauded for too long that the producers had to reshoot Selleck's scenes without their presence.

3. Fresh Old Cast

The primary target of TV shows and programs is the youth. Indeed, Friends had its fair share of fresh young faces. Despite that, someone at NBC suggested that the writers include older characters.

That’s how Mr. Heckles came to be! He was the old, grumpy and psychotic old downstairs neighbor of Monica and Rachel's. We didn't see much of Mr. Heckles apart from when he was complaining or lying about other' pets belonging to him (Pablo's cat and Ross' monkey Marcel).

In Heckles’ final appearance, “The One Where Heckles Dies,” Chandler became frightened of turning out like the crabby hermit who pushed people away when he was Chandler’s age.

4. Ross Geller’s Role

Famous actors such as Jon Favreau, Kathy Griffin, Hank Azaria, Jon Cryer and Kristin Davis were lined up to audition for the Friends main cast members. 

However, Ross Geller's role was specifically coined for David Schwimmer, even though Eric McCormack read lines for the character.

5. 9-11 Reference

One of the many Friends’ shootings took place in the midst of 9-11. But one scene where Chandler referenced a bomb in an airport was never aired. 

Monica and Chandler got into trouble and were detained by airport security when Chandler joked, 'You don't have to worry about me, ma'am. I take my bombs very seriously.'

6. Friends Bonding Trip

The show's director James Burrows instructed the main cast to take a bonding trip to Las Vegas before the pilot episode premiere. Apart from bonding, Burrows told the six stars that the trip was their last chance of anonymity because he had a good feeling about the show.

Soon after its debut, the cast quickly rose to fame, and it was just a matter of time before the stars were unable to go in public without paparazzi hovering over them.

7. Matthew Perry’s Weight Concern

Matthew Perry’s character Chandler Bing was known for his intense sarcasm and dry jokes on Friends. Throughout the show, it was hard not to notice Perry’s weight fluctuations from anorexic to chunky. 

The actor admitted to being overly dependent on a drug called Vicodin, which he started taking after his jet ski accident in 1997. His Vicodin addiction led to a heavy amount of alcohol drinking. Fans became concerned about Perry's health when he suddenly dropped 20 pounds.

8. The Catchy Theme Song

The Friends theme song is widely considered to be among the catchiest in TV shows. The lyrics to the song fit the characters to perfection. 

If you've ever asked why the song suits the series style so much, it's because the co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman coined it as well.

9. Gay Controversy

Friends episode, 'The One with the Lesbian Wedding', showcased one of the first same-sex marriages in TV history. It took almost 20 years for gay weddings to be legalized in New York. Because of the episode's controversy, NBC went into panic mode and hired hundreds of operators for fear of backlash. The episode saw Ross' ex-wife Carol get married to her lesbian partner Susan. 

Though the network was afraid of the public's reaction, it barely got any complaint calls as anticipated. Kauffman stated that the only complaints they received were from one person who sent letters, but nobody called.

10. Real Hereditary Ties

Remember Rachel's bland boyfriend, Joshua Burgin? He was Rachel's client at Bloomingdale's who needed a full wardrobe. Though Joshua didn't get much character development, we got to see his parents in the funny scene where Rachel was caught wearing lingerie in their house. 

The man who played Joshua’s father is Matthew Perry’s real dad John Bennett Perry.

11. Tight Budget

By the show’s final season, its budget had skyrocketed. Shooting ten seasons is no easy task, and all six main cast members were cashing in a cool million for each episode in the final season. 

On the other hand, the producers did all they could to limit the budget, including when shooting season three's 'The One Where No One's Ready.' The entire episode took place in Monica and Rachel's apartment and the money was saved for other shoots.

12. Other Names

Of all the things the show got right was its straightforward name, right after its snappy theme song. Despite the dramas and crazy love stories, the show really was about genuine friends. 

The show creators initially came up with other names for the series, including Friends Like Us, Six to One, Insomnia Café and Across the Hall.

13. Saved by the Espresso Machine

James Michael Tyler was initially hired as an extra on Friends as Gunther. However, he continued to gain character in-depth throughout the series because he was the only one among the early extras who knew how to use an espresso machine.

Gunther featured in 148 episodes and spoke his first line in his 33rd episode.

14. Tight Clique

Kathleen Turner declared that she didn't feel welcomed on Friends. The actress featured in a couple of episodes as Chandler's transgender father, Charles Bing. 

Turner told Vulture that her experience on the sitcom wasn't the best because the Friends cast was such a clique.

15. Saying Goodbye

Friends' finale was met with fans' dismay as many viewers weren't ready to see their favorite TV cast members move on to new projects.

On the other hand, Jennifer Aniston couldn’t wait to say goodbye to her character Rachel and the show. She disclosed that she almost didn’t reprise her role in the last season.