No Friend ever made more money doing the show than any others. They started out making $22,500 per episode and ended up making $1,000,000 per episode. All negotiations were done in unison. Kudrow said, "The six of us are far stronger than just one person."
The original idea for the show was going to focus on four characters with Phoebe and Chandler in supporting roles. In the early stages the creators toyed with the idea of Chandler being gay. They changed their mind when they met Matthew Perry. They did, however, insert many jokes about Chandler having gay mannerisms (not knowing about sports, loving show tunes, etc.).
Giovanni Ribisi plays Phoebe's brother, Frank Jr in later episodes, but he also has a small cameo in the earlier seasons. He plays a boy who accidentally throws a condom into Phoebe's guitar case instead of a coin.
Joey's statue of a white dog was originally given to Jennifer Aniston as a good luck present from her best friend when she started acting. She offered to lend it to the show for the episode where Joey became rich and bought a lot of stuff. After that episode, the producers decided to keep it.
Matt LeBlanc, who plays Joey in Friends, admitted in the exit interview for the book 'Friends...Til' the End', that he had a crush on Jennifer Aniston who plays Rachel. He said "Now I had a little crush on Jen in the very beginning, but I think the whole world did too, so what are you going to do?"
30-second commercial spots to take place in the final ever episode sold in the UK for £1.2 million (approx $1.8 million), the most expensive commercial slots of any TV program in the UK with the exception of sports.
Hank Azaria auditioned for the role of Joey. After being rejected, he begged to audition again. He auditioned again and was rejected again, but he later appeared as David, Phoebe's scientist boyfriend.
On the set, Matt LeBlanc was known as "LeBlanc" by all the cast and crew, and Matthew Perry was known as "Matthew" or "Matt". This was started by the crew to avoid confusion. Additionally, David Schwimmer was referred to as "Schwim" among the crew.
The opening credits sequence in which the stars dance in a fountain was shot in the Warner Bros LA lot at 4am. The water was kept heated through a pump. The group was given the words to the Rembrandts song but it was not playing in the background because the song had not been recorded. Jennifer Aniston is the only cast member seen lip syncing in the opening credits, and this can be seen on the opening credits of 'The Pilot'. It is not seen again after that episode in the beginning credits. However, on the last episode of each season they show at the end an extension of the friends dancing in the fountain and sometimes again including her mouthing the words.
As with most sitcoms, episode titles are not shown. As a joking reference to this, the official names of Friends episodes take the form "The One Where..." (or some variation). The only exceptions to this are the series finale (Friends: The Last One: Part 1 (2004)) and the third episode of season 5 (Friends: The One Hundredth (1998)), though these episode titles are distinctly similar. ("The Pilot" is often incorrectly regarded as an exception, however, it has two official alternate titles: "The One Where It All Began" and "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate").
Courteney Cox added Arquette to the end of her name after her marriage to David Arquette between seasons five and six. Her father, Richard L. Cox, died in 2001 and during the midst of the seventh season, she dropped the Arquette in her father's memory.
The refrigerators in Monica's and Joey's apartments actually worked. Monica's was filled with water and other drinks for the cast and crew. Joey's was usually virtually empty, unless the inside of the fridge was going to be seen in a specific scene.
The show debuted at a time when networks were beginning to eliminate theme songs during the opening credits; however, with the popularity of this theme song, "I'll Be There for You" which went to #1 on the "Billboard Hot 100" and had incessant play on both the radio airwaves and television video channels, the show helped quell that trend.
The characters' full names are: Rachel Karen Green - Phoebe Buffay (in "The One Where They All Turn Thirty" 7.14, she says that never knew her middle name since she had never seen her birth certificate and her twin sister, Ursula, had sold it to a Swedish runaway) - Joseph Francis Tribbiani Jr. - Chandler Muriel Bing - Ross Eustace Geller - and Monica Elaine Geller (it is revealed that Monica's initials are MEG but her middle name is never actually specified).
When Courteney Cox was on The Tonight Show she told Jay Leno a story about filming Friends. During filming one day, Cox kept reciting a line by Anthony Michael Hall which goes, "Chicks cannot hold their smoke, dat's what it is." Matthew Perry thought it was from Weird Science (1985) but Cox was adamant it was from The Breakfast Club (1985). After asking around (sound men, production staff etc), they couldn't come up with a definitive answer. They began betting starting off with $20 then making it larger. Perry actually joked that if he won Cox would have to sleep with him and if she won he would have to sleep with her. They then heard Judd Nelson (Hall's cast-mate in The Breakfast Club) was filming Suddenly Susan (1996) in a nearby stage, so they went over and asked him and found out it was Breakfast Club. Leno asked her what the bet was to which Cox sneezed and then rang a bell. Perry walked out from backstage with a tissue in his hand. Cox then told Leno, Perry was going to be her man slave for five more months.
The main characters from the show are named after All My Children (1970) characters. Ross for Ross Chandler, Joey for Joey Martin, Chandler for the Chandler family, Monica for Monique/Daisy Cortland, Rachel Greene for Janet Green, and Phoebe for Phoebe Tyler Wallingford.
The original plan for the season 9 Thanksgiving was to bring back Reese Witherspoon as Jill Green, however Witherspoon was unavailable so the writers re-wrote the role as Amy Green and cast Christina Applegate in the role.
Ursula Buffay, Phoebe's twin sister, is a waitress in the TV show Mad About You (1992). Fran (Leila Kenzle) and Jamie (Helen Hunt) visit the coffee shop and mistake Phoebe for Ursula in one episode of Friends.
Jennifer Aniston was a cast member of the CBS series Muddling Through (1994) when she was cast in "Friends". NBC executives did not want Aniston because if "Muddling Through" was picked up for a second season, the "Friends" episodes with Aniston would have to be refilmed at a high cost to the network. But NBC vice president Warren Littlefield wanted to work with Aniston so much that he offered to pay for the refilmed episodes himself. "Muddling Through" was canceled and Aniston was free to star in "Friends".
In the first couple of episodes Chandler and Joey's apartment number was #4 and Monica and Rachel's apartment number was #5. However, in the later episodes, they are 19 and 20 respectively because the producers noted that 4 and 5 corresponded to apartments on lower floors and the Friends' apartments were higher up the building.
The story line of Phoebe having her brother's babies was thought up when Lisa Kudrow announced her real-life pregnancy. However, as she was not big enough to be having triplets, and the show was shot in "TV time", the costumers had to pad her to make her look bigger for the show.
During the course of the series, all six of the friends change their jobs at least once. However, Chandler is the only one who never involuntarily left his job. Rachel, Monica, Phoebe and Joey were all fired at some point during the series and Ross was required to take a temporary (later permanent) sabbatical from the museum following his divorce from Emily.
Entertainer Ellen DeGeneres asked Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) during an interview in Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2003) about the idea of doing a "Friends" movie, to which she answered: "Yeah, it would be really fun, but I don't think it's happening. I don't think it's really been a plan." She also asked Courteney Cox about the same thing during another interview to which she joked: "Has that Sex and the City (2008) movie come out yet? We'll see how that does!".
Executive producer Marta Kauffman attended Marple Newtown High School in Broomall, PA. When she was asked to come back and give a speech at graduation, she decided to attend and proceeded to berate the school system because her teachers told her she wasn't a good writer. She wasn't asked back.
All the friends have kissed each other, though one kiss is fictional (Monica and Joey in Friends: The One with the Truth About London (2001)), and two of the kisses appear off-screen (Rachel and Monica kiss to retain their apartment and Chandler kisses Ross at Joey's birthday party before making out with Joey's sister). Monica and Ross's on-screen kiss is a quick peck. They also kissed off camera in Friends: The One Where the Stripper Cries (2004). In season 1-at the New Year's Eve party-Joey kissed Chandler.
Jon Cryer was originally offered the role of Chandler Bing. Cryer was later cast in the sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003) alongside Charlie Sheen who guest starred on this same show as Ryan in season 2.
The episode where Phoebe thinks her dead mother has been reincarnated as a cat was written by Marta Kauffman at the time when her own mother recently passed away (the episode was dedicated to her). In an interview with one of the other writers, they admitted that said this would have gotten shot down at the table read, but nobody felt comfortable saying "no" under the circumstances.
Ross, Chandler and Joey all watch Die Hard (1988) and talk about this film in several episodes. The star of Die Hard (1988), Bruce Willis, appears in later episodes as Paul, Ross's student girlfriend's father.
Out of the six friends, Chandler is the only one to not have any siblings. Rachel has two sisters, Monica and Ross are brother and sister, Phoebe has a twin and a half-brother, and Joey has seven sisters.
The role of Phoebe was originally offered to Janeane Garofalo, but she turned it down. Phoebe was originally written to be a "goth" girl. Garofalo and Kudrow would go on to star in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997).
Jennifer Aniston agreed to return for the series' 2003-04 season, which was the series' 10th and final season, only if production on the show would be finished by January, 2004, so she could focus on her film career.
Of all the titles, the Friend's names appear individually as so: Rachel (21 times), Ross (19 times), Joey (13 times), Phoebe (10 times), Chandler (9 times), and Monica (7 times). Also, Ross and Rachel appears 4 times, Joey and Rachel appears 3 times, Monica and Chandler 2 times, and Ross and Monica appears once in the episode titles.
Occasionally, NBC would air "Super-sized" episodes of their most popular sitcoms, including Friends. These episodes would run 40 minutes including commercials (or just around 30 minutes without). In syndication, a majority of the "Super-sized" episodes were cut down to fit a 30-minute time slot, except for the rare case where there was both too much plot info essential to the episode or series, and there were enough deleted scenes to make a two-episode story arc.
Is filmed on the same soundstage that was used for the filming of the sitcom Full House (1987) during the last two seasons (1993-1995) of its eight year run (1987-1995). The pilot of "Friends" was shot on stage 33 (the same stage as Living Single (1993)) at the Warner Ranch, and the first season was shot is Warner Bros Stage 5, now the home of Everybody Loves Raymond (1996)) from 1996-2005.
Phoebe's boyfriend David is a scientist who moves to Minsk. Lisa Kudrow's relatives originate from this part of Belarus. According to Lisa Kudrow's Wikipedia page, she discovered that her ancestors immigrated from a village in Minsk.
The number 27 is used a lot throughout the series. Rachel tells a date that Monica labels her cups and uses the example cup 27, in one episode Monica Rachel and Phoebe wear 3 men's firemen's hats that have 27 on them. Chandler gives Ross $27 when he feels guilty that he's seeing Monica, Joey tells everyone that he weighed 27 pounds when he was born and when Chandler needs to replace Monica's broiling pan she tells him to order it from page 27 of their catalogue.
The love story between Rachel and Joey was badly received from the moment creators Marta Kauffman and David Crane pitched it, from both much of the others writers to the cast itself. Whenever someone told Kauffman and Crane how wrong they found that story, they would reply: 'That's exactly why we're doing it. Sometimes friends fall in love, even though it's wrong'.
The poster in Joey's room during season 7 says "Grand Prix af Frankrig", and is a Danish poster celebrating a double victory by Mercedes-Benz cars (driven by Juan Manuel Fangio and Karl Kling) in the French Grand Prix (later Formula 1) in 1954.
Helen Baxendale, who played Emily, became pregnant between seasons 4 and 5. Her character had to be written out of the series much earlier than was planned as she was unable to continue traveling from England. In her last few appearances, Baxendale is wearing heavy clothes to hide her pregnancy.
At some point throughout the 10 seasons, all 6 Friends lived in Monica and Rachel's apartment, except Ross. Ross lived there one summer with his grandmother. It is also true that they once all lived in Chandler and Joey's apartment.
Sean Penn and George Clooney are the only guest stars to win 2 Oscars after appearing on the show. Penn won the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscars for his roles in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008); Clooney won the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar for his role in Syriana (2005) , as well as the Best Picture Oscar for Argo (2012), as one of the producers.
Matthew Perry and Matt LeBlanc both guest-starred on the sitcom Just the Ten of Us (1988), Perry in the second season and LeBlanc in the third season, . They both dated sister Wendy Lubbock, played by Brooke Theiss. Additionally, Perry and Theiss starred together in a short-lived sit-com of their own in 1993 entitled Home Free (1993).
In the fourth season episode "The One With Chandler in a Box", Joey utters an Italian phrase ("Va fa a Napoli!") to Chandler, which Chandler claims is a profanity. It actually translates loosely to "Go to Naples!"
In the episode where Monica Buys her wedding gown she is seen wearing one dress in the botique. When she goes to get the dress on sale she shows Phoebe and Rachel a picture of a different dress to find. Then she fights over a completely different dress, but when the dress is shown later in her apartment it is the original dress from the botique.
A Soviet propaganda poster on a wall of #19, with two people over a book, says in Russian: "To build, one must know. To know, one must learn." An antique-looking advertisement poster on a wall of #20 says in French: "Toys and Boxing-day presents".
Kate Miller is a spaced out, commonly used name in the show. Dina Meyer, played Joey's (Matt LeBlanc's) co-star / girlfriend during the episodes, "The One with The Screamer, The One with The Dollhouse, and The One with the Tiny T-Shirt. " Much later in the seasons, during "The One in Barbados" Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) is with Joey, and he picks up a card with the name Kate Miller and Rachel pretends to be her. In 2013, Jennifer Aniston played Kate Miller as a fake mom in the movie, "We're the Millers."
When dubbed and aired in the Czech Republic, the Czech voice actors would say their names out loud every time one of the six particular actors would appear on the screen with his or her name superimposed.
All six of the Friends have all sang in public. Phoebe was a singer, Monica and Chandler sang karaoke at the bar where Mike played piano, Joey sang in a musical about Sigmund Freud (in which he played Freud), Rachel sang Copacabana (At the Copa) at her ex-fiancée's wedding and Ross sang with his keyboard at Central Perk.
Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc pitched to the writers a storyline in which it was discovered that Phoebe and Joey would occasionally have sex and had been doing it for years, but they turned it down, arguing it didn't really matched the tone of the show.
At least 3 people who started in Dazed and Confused guest stared on Friends. Adam Goldberg played Eddie in season two, Nicky Matt played on of the bullies that kicked Ross and Chandler out of the coffee shop in The One With The Bullies and Marissa Ribisi is one of Rachel's friends in The One With The Flashback
At the beginning of the show, Gunther asked Rachel about her birthday data she answered "May 5th" but when she drove Monica's Porsche with Ross and got stopped for her speed, the officer asks her about her horoscope sign she answered "Aquarius".
Since Ross (David Schwimmer) is Monica's (Courteney Cox) older brother and Chandler (Matthew Perry) was Ross' college roommate, it is clear that Chandler is older than Monica like Ross is when in reality Courteney Cox is five years older than Matthew Perry and two years older than Schwimmer.
In S7:E2 (The One With Rachel's Book), Ross claims that he came up with the idea for Jurassic Park. In S9:E15 (The One With the Mugging), Jeff Goldblum makes a guest appearance. Jeff Goldblum plays one of the main characters in that movie and is the star of the sequel.
When there was a discussion about ending Joey and Phoebe up together, the writers needed to leave a little mystery with Joey that audience could decide if Joey had ended up alone like Mr. Heckles or found someone. In that way, they thought that the show would remain in viewers' mind for so long.
Ross' first wife carol the lesbian was portrayed by two different actress. The Carol shown in season 1 when Ross finds out Carol is pregnant is different from the Carol who gives birth and is present in the rest of the series.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In the last few months of shooting Friends, Courteney Cox became pregnant, but, seeing as Monica wasn't supposed to be able to have a baby, they covered up her pregnancy by making her wear baggy clothes while shooting the show so no one could tell.
Phoebe's wedding is not attended by any of her relatives, such as her twin sister Ursula, her father (played by Bob Balaban), her biological mother (Teri Garr), her brother (Giovanni Ribisi) or the nieces and nephew she gave birth to.
June Gable who plays Joey's agent, Estelle Leonard, also played a nurse who delivered a baby for Leah Remini (who originally auditioned for the role of Monica) in the episode where Carol gives birth to Ben. Joey assisted his future agent by being the breathing coach during labor.
Early in Season 7, Monica mentions her wedding being on May 15. Later, after it's revealed that Rachel is pregnant on Monica and Chandler's wedding day, Ross and Rachel reveal that they conceived their baby about a month before the wedding (April). But as season 8 continues, you see Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas pass with Rachel only having a bump. In The One with the Creepy Holiday Card (8.11), Pheobe mentions that Rachel is four months pregnant. She should be in her third trimester at that point.
All of the friends have lived in Monica's apartment at some point. Phoebe lived with Monica first, then Rachel moved in on the first episode. Chandler and Joey both lived in the apartment after winning a bet against Monica and Rachel. And lastly, Chandler moved in with Monica when they fell in love and got married. In the series finale, it was revealed by Monica that Ross once lived in the apartment with his and Monica's grandmother while he was trying to make it as a dancer.
While Jack and Judy Gellar (Monica and Ross's parents) show up at the hospital when Ross and Rachel have Emma (Judy came before the birth and Jack came afterwards), none of Rachel's family members, her mom Sandra (Marlo Thomas), her dad Leonard (Ron Leibman) or her two younger sisters Amy (Christina Applegate) and Jill (Reese Witherspoon) show up.