The One With All The Facts About ‘Friends’ That Will Even Surprise The People Who’ve Binged Every Episode

Love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Friends has been one of the most influential television shows in history. The sitcom lasted ten years between 1994-2004 and dominated the ratings. Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey, and Ross quickly became the leaders of a generation of millennials.

Between the complicated romantic storylines, classic one-liners, and laugh-out-loud jokes, a lot was happening behind the scenes of Friends. From groundbreaking salary negotiations to drug addiction, get yourself the “Rachel” haircut, recline on your La-Z-Boy, and check out these little-known facts about Friends.

Most Of The Cast Can Barely Remember Filming Certain Episodes

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Matt LeBlanc has said that filming Friends felt like “one long episode.” Sometimes when he sees the show on TV, he doesn’t remember filming the scene.

Most of the other cast members felt the same way. Courtney Cox didn’t even remember that Phoebe married Mike. She completely forgot the scene ever happened.

Janice Had To Be Hidden From The Audience

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Almost instantly Janice became one of the most iconic guest characters. Fans loved her appearances so much that the production crew would have to keep her appearances secret to surprise the live audience.

Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice, said, “They would keep me hidden – I could barely come down to get a doughnut.”

All The Characters Have Kissed Except For Phoebe And Monica

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Photo credit: @friends_quotes1 / Twitter

If you’ve seen the entire show, it’s not hard to believe that almost all the main character has kissed each other at some point. Some of the most memorable being when Joey imagines kissing Ross instead of Rachel, and when Chandler asks someone to kiss him on New Years and Joey takes him up on it.

Keep reading to find out which character one cast member thought was gay.

The Character Of Ross Was Written With David Schwimmer’s Voice In Mind

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David Schwimmer was the first person to be cast on the show, largely because the character was written specifically for him. Executives for the show had worked with Schwimmer before and developed the character with his voice in mind.

Schwimmer had a lot of influence on the character and has said they have a lot in common.

Gunther Is The Millennial Icon

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The bleached-haired barista has captured the hearts of millennials for years. Gunther doesn’t get his name until the second season, and never actually gets a last name. To make it worse, he doesn’t even have a line until the 33rd episode, where he says “yeah.”

James Michael Tyler landed the role because he was the only extra who knew how to work an espresso machine.

Lisa Kudrow Thought Chandler Was Supposed To Be Gay

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Lisa Kudrow said that when she first read the script, she thought Chandler was supposed to be gay. In fact, a lot of cast members and fans believed that over the years. But according to producers, Chandler was never meant to be gay, which is fine with us because he and Monica are a perfect match.

A lot of big celebrities guest starred on the show over the years, but one celeb had to do it for free.

They Were The First Cast To Negotiate Salaries As A Group

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Photo credit: @postingfriends / Twitter

The six main cast members began earning $22,000 an episode in 1994, but by 1997 they all had different salaries. They threatened to boycott NBC unless they all got equal pay, and would walk offstage together if they saw network executives trying to convince a single person to take a raise.

By the final season, they each made $1 million an episode.

Matthew Perry Had A Serious Drug Problem For Most Of The Show

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Matthew Perry has always been pretty open about his problems with drug addiction, but it’s shocking just how much it affected him on the show. Perry went to rehab for an addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol once in 1997, and again in 2001.

He told People, “I was never high at work. I was painfully hung over. Then eventually things got so bad I couldn’t hide it, and everybody knew.”

Bruce Willis Guest Starred On The Show For Free Because He Lost A Bet

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While filming The Whole Nine Yards, Matthew Perry made a bet with Bruce Willis that their film would be number one on opening weekend, and Willis disagreed. Wilis was already set to guest star on Friends, but after losing the bet, he had to donate his earnings for the guest stint to charity.

Thanks to Lisa Kudrow, there’s another NBC sitcom that’s technically a part of the Friends universe.

The Kid Who Played Ross’ Son Had A Huge Crush On Jennifer Aniston

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In an interview, Cole Sprouse admitted that he had a huge crush on Jennifer Aniston. Who didn’t? He has said that he had a tough time working with her because he was “so in love with her.”

He would even start giggling and forget his lines. They probably had to bring in his twin brother Dylan for the scenes with Aniston.

Critics Originally Gave The Show A ‘D+’ Rating

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Photo credit: WB Television Network / MovieStillsDB

When the show debuted, critics at first gave it a “D+” rating. Many believed that the series wouldn’t survive unless the writing got funnier. Most critics saw the relationships and actors as being the star of the show.

The original grade didn’t matter, because all ten seasons of Friends ended up ranked in the top ten television shows.

Phoebe Has A Twin Because Lisa Kudrow Was Working On Another Show At The Same Time

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Lisa Kudrow already had the role of waitress Ursula Buffay on the NBC sitcom Mad About You when she auditioned for Friends. The producers encouraged Kudrow to keep both the parts, so they wrote Ursula in as Phoebe’s twin sister.

Friends was always filmed in front of a live audience, but keep reading to find out why they didn’t do it for certain scenes.

Courtney Cox Had To Film This Scene Just After Having A Miscarriage Herself

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Courtney Cox and her then-husband David Arquette tried for two years to have children, and she suffered several miscarriages while shooting the show.

One miscarriage occurred just days before she had to shoot the scene where Rachel gives birth to her daughter, Emma. She told NBC that those scenes were some of the hardest.

Misogyny Was A Huge Issue Throughout Filming

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The show’s creator, Marta Kaufmann, admitted that she battled a lot of misogyny on the set and with NBC executives.

In one example, executives wanted to change the pilot plot when Monica forgets the name of a guy she sleeps with. They were worried that this “promiscuity” would make the audience not like her, but thankfully a survey of the audience said otherwise.

A Few Scenes Were Not Filmed Infront Of A Live Audience For A Good Reason

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Friends was known for always being filmed in front of a live audience. They used the audience as a testing ground for whether or not the episode was funny. The only scenes not shot in front of a live audience were cliffhangers, like the episode where (spoilers) Ross is about to marry Emily and accidentally says Rachel’s name.

Continue on to find out which one of the cast members had pitched a very similar show idea to NBC just one year before they landed a lead role.

The Director Took The Cast To Vegas Before They Became Famous

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Even though the critics gave it a D+ grade, the director James Burrows had a feeling that the show would become huge. Burrows took the six cast members to Vegas before the show debuted and encouraged the group to enjoy themselves.

He told the six of them, “Once the show comes on the air, you guys will never be able to go anywhere without being hounded.”

The Show Changed The Title Credits For Courtney Cox

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The cast and crew became so close over the years that the producers changed the title credits of one episode to congratulate Courtney Cox on her marriage to David Arquette.

The season six premiere was the first episode Cox would spell her name “Cox-Arquette” so the producers added “Arquette” to everyone’s last name. The episode is dedicated: “For Courtney and David, who did get married.”

Matthew Perry Tried To Pitch A Similar Sitcom Idea Just One Year Before Friends

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Photo credit: WB Television Network / MovieStillsDB

In 1993, Matthew Perry pitched an idea for a sitcom to NBC called Maxwell’s House. It was going to be about a mismatched group of young 20somethings, but they turned it down cause they had Friends in the works.

I’m sure after being cast as Chandler, he wasn’t complaining that his original idea got turned down.

The Cast Got Angry When The Writers Made Rachel And Joey Get Together

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Apparently, the cast was just as obsessed with Rachel and Ross as the rest of the world. When they found out the writers were going to have Rachel and Joey get together, the entire cast went to them with concerns.

They had all grown so attached to their characters that they didn’t agree with Rachel not being with Ross.

A Random Crew Member Got The Best Job On The Set

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Crew member Paul Swain officially had the best job on the set because he was responsible for doing the Magna Doodles that hung on Chandler and Joey’s apartment door.

Fan have theorized that the doodles have secret meanings, but Swain has admitted that sometimes he would just draw whatever he could think of that day.