Even if you weren’t watching TV in 1994, you’ve probably seen at least one episode of “Friends” by now. The first episode of the series came out 28 years ago, but people still watch (or binge) and love it worldwide. But even the biggest “Friends” fans might not know everything about how the show was made.
The original name for the show wasn’t “Friends.”
Before it was shortened to a single word, NBC says it had several working titles, such as Insomnia Cafe, Six of One, and Friends Like Us.
Courteney Cox’s first choice was Rachel, but she got Monica instead.
The Washington Post says that Jane Lynch and Kathy Griffin tried out for the role of Phoebe, and E! says that “The Facts of Life” star Nancy McKeon was a possible choice for Monica.
Two prominent cast members almost didn’t make it to the show because they had to work on other things.
In the year 2194, Matthew Perry played an alien baggage handler in a FOX pilot called “LAX 2194.” That year, Jennifer Aniston auditioned for six pilots and was waiting to hear if “Muddling Through” would be picked up. People magazine says that Jennifer was still waiting for the news when the cast took their photos.
NBC thought the cast was too young.
They wanted to give the group an older character who could act as a guide. In an early version of the pilot, NBC says that this character was called “Pat the cop.”
Matt LeBlanc said that he wanted this job very badly.
In an interview with The Sun, he said that he only had $11 on him when he tried out for “Friends.”
The scene is set in the same world as another popular show from the 1990s.
Lisa Kudrow played Ursula on the show “Mad About You.” Ursula was written as Pheobe’s twin sister because it was a recurring role, and Lisa was on the show. In one episode of “Mad About You,” Helen Hunt, who played Jamie, thought Phoebe was Ursula at Central Perk.
You may have heard of Ursula’s bar, where she serves Joey and Chandler.
It’s the same bar from “How I Met Your Mother.”
It was never planned for the theme song to be single.
After a radio station played it repeatedly, it got a lot of requests and air time. BuzzFeed says that the band behind the catchy tune, The Rembrandts, recorded a second verse and put it out.
Monica and Joey were supposed to marry and be the show’s central couple.
Marta Kaufman, who helped make the show, said that these two “seemed the most sexual of the characters.”
For three years, Ross was 29 years old.
Ross says in the fifth season of the show, “Either I keep my wife and lose one of my best friends, or I keep my friend and get divorced for the second time before I turn 30.” In the third season, he turns down Chandler’s offer of chocolate milk, telling him, “No thanks, I’m 29.” In the fourth season, when Ross and Chandler realize they don’t like going out to parties as much as they used to, Joey tells them, “We’re 29.”
After 9/11, a scene was changed.
After Chandler made a bomb joke in “The One Where Rachel Tells Ross,” the script said Monica and Chandler would be held at the airport. Instead, it was taken down.