Twenty-five year ago—on September 22, 1994—Friends made the NBC debut and also forever changed the face of American sitcoms. In addition to transforming its 6 stars—Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer—into family names (and at some point some the the highest-paid actors in television history), the collection actually assisted to obtain Mental Floss turn off the ground (more on that later). Here"s a look earlier at the series that is still among the most streamed mirrors in Netflix"s library.

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1. Friends to be originally referred to as Insomnia Café (and a bunch of various other things).


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In the at an early stage 1990s, girlfriend co-creators David Crane and also Marta Kauffman composed a seven-page pitch for a new sitcom titled Insomnia Café. In addition to the different title, the plot itself was quite different from what happened known as Friends. For example, Ross and Rachel weren"t the vital relationship; instead, Joey and also Monica were an alleged to be love interests.

After NBC purchase the pilot, the title ended up being Friends favor Us. NBC chairman Warren Littlefield come up with an additional title the was likewise considered, Across the Hall. By the time they shoot it, the title had actually switched again to Six that One. As soon as the display premiered top top September 22, 1994, they had finally landed on merely Friends.

2. The cast could have been completely different.


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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

With a actors of six people, it’s no a surprise that plenty of different actors were thought about for each role. For example, Kathy Griffin and also Jane Lynch actually came to be friends after meeting while both were auditioning because that the part of Phoebe.

Both Jon Favreau and also Jon Cryer were considered for the role of Chandler before it went to Matthew Perry, yet Perry almost didn’t gain the gig either. During the 1994 pilot season, the filmed the pilot because that a display called LAX 2194 in addition to Friends. The show would have actually been about baggage handlers at LAX who sorted aliens’ luggage. Thankfully, it wasn’t choose up, and also Perry was able to take the Friends gig.

3. The producers wanted Courteney Cox to play Rachel, but cox resisted.

Before the display premiered, Courteney Cox was most likely the many famous cast member. She was well-known for many commercials add to Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” music video. The Friends producers initially asked she to beat Rachel, yet she requested the function of Monica because she preferred the “strong” character.

4. The duty of Ross Geller was written for David Schwimmer.

This might come together a surprise due to the fact that Eric McCormack (best well-known as will of Will & Grace) made news when he claimed that the auditioned “two or three times” for Ross. But, executive, management producer Kevin shining had operated with Schwimmer before, so the authors were currently developing Ross’s personality in Schwimmer’s voice. And also indeed, Schwimmer to be the first person cast on the show.

5. The opened credits to be not shot in brand-new York.

Don’t allow your brand-new York City tour overview trick you right into thinking the you’re looking in ~ the fountain native the iconic opened credits the Friends—unless you’ve lugged your tour overview with you to Burbank for some reason. Although the fountain looks a lot of like central Park"s Pulitzer Fountain, the really shoot occurred on a Warner Bros. Lot.

6. The cast took a pilgrimage to ras Vegas together before the show aired.

Director James Burrows, who went ~ above to straight a grasp of episodes for the show between 1995 and also 1997, brought the six cast members to Vegas because he “had a feeling around the show.” if they were at Caesar’s Palace, he urged the group to enjoy themselves. “This is your last shot in ~ anonymity,” Burrows called them. “Once the present comes on the air, you males will never have the ability to go all over without being hounded.”

7. Caesar"s palace played vital role on Friends later on.

Caesar"s royal residence played a crucial role in the fictional civilization of Friends as well. In "The One in Vegas," the season 5 finale, Joey is viewed playing a gladiator at the vegas hotel. This is, the course, the same episode whereby Ross and Rachel gain married in a drunk stupor and also come stumbling the end of a vegas chapel while Monica and Chandler, that were about to acquire married, look at on.

8. Monica was an early Mental Floss fan.


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NBC

In the 2003 episode "The One v the Soap Opera Party," Monica is presented casually analysis a brand-new magazine dubbed Mental Floss if hanging out at main Perk. We really fan David Arquette a lifetime of gratitude since he"s the one who made that happen. "I believed it to be so interesting," Arquette said Entertainment Weekly at the time, " I provided it to Courteney" because that the show.

9. Lisa Kudrow didn"t know just how to play guitar.

"I didn’t like the guitar," Lisa Kudrow admitted about Phoebe Buffay"s liked musical instrument. "I wasn’t gaining it. So i think I even asked, what if she plays the bongos?"" They finished up bringing a etc teacher in, but that didn’t critical long. Kudrow learned a pair of chords, then announced that she to be done through the lessons. She chose that Phoebe would certainly only know a grasp of chords anyway. And also thank goodness due to the fact that “Smelly Cat” is perfect just the means it is.

10. Friends to be filmed in former of a live audience—except because that cliffhangers.

Shooting an illustration of Friends was a an extensive process, generally lasting five hours, through multiple takes per scene and 20 minutes between scenes to adjust sets. Still, the present was filmed in former of a live audience comprised of 300 fans. And that’s the method the actors preferred it. “It’s type of favor a test to view if the product works, if the joke work, if the story tracks,” LeBlanc said. Perry agreed, “Our power just elevates every time there’s an audience.”

So, what no filmed in prior of a live audience? One example is the cliffhanger in the season four finale, “The One v Ross’s Wedding.” in ~ the finish of the episode, Ross is around to marry Emily, yet accidentally claims Rachel’s name at the altar. “We couldn’t have actually an audience because that that,” Aniston said. “We always remove the audience for the cliffhangers because, obvious reasons, friend don’t desire to damn it it.”

11. Plenty of people, including Lisa Kudrow, thought that Chandler to be gay.


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Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Kudrow claimed that she to be surprised come hear Perry’s translate of Chandler at the an initial table read because when she first read the script, she believed Chandler was claimed to it is in gay. And also she no the only one. During the first few seasons that the show, numerous fans speculated about Chandler’s sex-related orientation. In 1997, David Crane called Entertainment Weekly, “No, Chandler isn’t gay. Nor will certainly he it is in gay.”

12. They to be the first TV cast to negotiate as a group.

During the an initial season, each cast member was receiving about $22,000 per episode. But allegedly, through the 2nd season, each actor had actually a slightly different salary. In 1997, every six cast members refused to work-related until they all earned an equal salary the $100,000 per episode. This was large news. “Stars of fight shows frequently threaten come boycott their collection in quest of greater salaries," The brand-new York time reported. "What is unusual is this cast’s effort to usage solidarity as leverage."

This negotiation worked an extremely well. By the final season, each actors member was earning $1 million per episode.

13. Phoebe Buffay’s pair sister, Ursula, was additionally a character on Mad about You.

Kudrow was currently playing Ursula the waitress top top Mad about You when she was actors on Friends. NBC and Mad around You encouraged Kudrow to take both roles. Follow to her, it was the producer of Friends who determined to “address this and say they"re twin sisters.” She went on come play Ursula Buffay in eight illustration of Friends as well.

14. The apartment number switched throughout the series.

At the start of the series, Monica’s door had the number 5 on it. The producers later realized the didn’t make feeling as Monica lived on a greater floor. They adjusted her apartment number to 20. The number on Chandler’s apartment readjusted as well—from 4 come 19.

15. There was a connection in between Friends and also Home Alone.

In 2016, the folks at 22 Vision shared a video clip documenting a formerly unrealized connection in between Friends and also 1990"s Home Alone. It turns out that Monica and also Chandler may have bought the house owned through the McCallisters in the movie. How is the possible? through the help of some Hollywood trickery.

16. Kudrow’s pregnancy was written right into the show, but Cox’s was not.

Kudrow gained pregnant with her son, Julian Murray, in 1997. Kudrow was dubious around Phoebe acquiring pregnant, too, but the writers determined to have actually Phoebe act together a surrogate for her brother’s triplets. Top top the various other hand, in the final season, Cox was pregnant with her daughter, coco Arquette. This was not written right into the present for an evident reason: the series had currently established the Chandler and Monica couldn’t have kids. So, lock hid Cox’s pregnancy to the finest of your abilities with costumes and props.

17. Joey’s Magna Doodle art became a task for the crew.

Over the years, a few crew members to be responsible for drawing on the Magna Doodle top top Joey’s door. Yet in the later seasons, it was generally a task for Paul Swain, who was the ideal boy on the electrical crew.

The Magna Doodle ended up being one the the show’s stars. That sat best in the center of Joey’s door, therefore whenever a personality walked through that door, the Magna Doodle was prominently displayed. Fans became obsessed through the drawings. Swain said, “They were trying to find hidden definitions being offered through the Magna Doodle.”

18. Matt LeBlanc take it the Magna Doodle.

Unsurprisingly, LeBlanc had a soft spot because that the Magna Doodle, too—and in reality took it through him as soon as the collection ended. (He took the foosball table, too.) it even discovered a second life top top his short-lived Friends spinoff, Joey.

19. The actors didn’t always play well with animals.

It was widely publicized that Kudrow was afraid that the duck who made an appearance in season three. Prior to that, Ross had actually a pet monkey, Marcel, that was in reality played by two monkeys: Monkey and also Katie. Marcel was composed out of the display in season two because it ended up being too time-consuming come shoot scenes with a monkey. Follow to Katie’s trainer, Nerissa Politzer, Monkey was once claimed to pick up a bra, however ended up throwing it at Aniston instead. Yes sir a fun blooper (at around the 6:20 mark above) in i m sorry Rachel is make the efforts to define a TV present to Marcel, yet it doesn’t go so well.

20. The cast had a huddle before every episode.

Every week before filming commenced, the cast would get together for a minute to prepare for the show. This to be the minute that Schwimmer to be dreading prior to the finale due to the fact that he knew it would certainly make him emotional. “I started to shed it in this ritual that we had before the show," the said, "which is just a group hug, sort of obtain in a small circle, right before we come out. And that was the moment I was dreading because that a lengthy time since I knew that moment of just looking at everyone in their eyes, and saying ‘Have a good show,’ and also knowing that was the last time us were going to be able to be in our little circle.”

21. Because that the opened credits in “The One ~ Vegas,” anyone was given the last name “Arquette.”

This illustration was the sixth season premiere. That was also the an initial episode after ~ Courteney Cox married David Arquette. In the credits, her surname was switched to “Courteney Cox Arquette” and also the other actors members followed suit with new names favor “Jennifer Aniston Arquette,” “Lisa Kudrow Arquette,” and also so on. You deserve to see the credits above. The episode is dedicated: “For Courteney and David, who did get married.” (The couple divorced in 2013.)

22. Cox and Matthew Perry faced Judd Nelson on a surrounding soundstage about an on-set bet.

While fostering the show on The Tonight present with Jay Leno, Cox called the story of sophisticated bet in between her and Perry that later connected the major "80s star.

“One day i was on the set, and I was sitting around, reciting this line, like, act this imitation of Anthony Michael Hall,” she called Leno. “He has this line in a movie. The heat is, ‘Chicks cannot host their smoke, it is what the is.’ and Matthew Perry walks end to me and very adamantly says, ‘Oh, Weird Science.’ and I said, ‘No, Matthew, it is The Breakfast Club.’ and also he was 100 percent sure that it was Weird Science and also I was 100 percent sure it was The Breakfast Club.”

More and much more crew members got involved in the debate and also the stakes retained rising. “We realized that Judd Nelson to be over on stage 29, act Suddenly Susan,” claimed Cox. “So, us ran end there and found out that yes, indeed, it was The Breakfast Club.” as for the bet, as soon as Cox finishes telling her story to Leno, she ring a bell and also Perry brings she a tissue. She speak Leno that Perry has five much more months the being her “man slave.”

23. Because that “The One through the Dollhouse,” the props department had to make SIX various cardboard dollhouses.

In the season three episode, Phoebe provides a dollhouse the end of cardboard. However the dollhouse end up recording on fire, which intended six the same ones had to be produced from scratch. And also in true tv deadline fashion, lock were placed together in 3 days. The Friends props master, Marjorie Coster, described it as the “pièce de résistance” that the department.

24. In “The One whereby Old Yeller Dies,” a few takes were messed up many thanks to a chatty kid.

The plot of the illustration is the Rachel hears the an initial word of Ross’s son, Ben. Ross is no hope to hear Ben talk again and also spends the rest of the illustration trying to obtain his boy to talk. In one scene, Ross says, “It’s Ben and also his Dada. Dada. Have the right to you to speak ‘Dada’?” He’s claimed to be met with silence, however the son actor preserved actually responding, “Dada.” later on in the series, Ben was played through Cole Sprouse, who would walk on come star through his twin brother in the Disney Channel present The Suite Life through Zack & Cody.

In 2001, two of these bloopers to be released on Late Night through Conan O’Brien. You can see them here (at 9:30).

25. Matthew Perry struggled with addiction throughout production.


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In 1997, Perry checked out rehab because that an seeks to prescription drugs and also alcohol. He went again in 2001. He later told People, “I was never ever high at work. Ns was ache hung over. Then ultimately things acquired so negative I couldn’t hide it and everybody knew.”

26. Matt LeBlanc spent numerous years hiding native his Friends fame.

In a 2016 interview with The Mirror, LeBlanc talked about the dark next of fame. "For years and also years, ns barely left the house. I was charred out," LeBlanc said. "I want to not have a schedule, not be somewhere. I remained in a place to carry out that. Mine agent was bummed. Many actors speak to their agents and say, "What’s going on?". I’d speak to mine and say, "Please shed my number because that a few years." It was a very dark time. I virtually had a concerned breakdown."

27. David Schwimmer had trouble dealing with his instant fame, too.

LeBlanc wasn"t the only cast member to battle with the newfound fame that Friends brought to the cast. "It was pretty jarring and also it messed with my partnership to other world in a means that take it years, ns think, for me to readjust to and become comfortable with," Schwimmer said during an figure on The Hollywood Reporter"s "Awards Chatter" podcast.

28. Jennifer Aniston practically didn’t return for the last season.

By the time the display ended, Aniston to be arguably the most famous actors member many thanks to movies like The great Girl and Bruce Almighty. Her then-husband, Brad Pitt, didn’t hurt she celebrity condition either. Through that fame come the rumors that she was virtually responsible because that the display ending prematurely. In a 2004 interview, Aniston admitted that she had actually hesitations. “I had actually a pair issues that i was dealing with,” she said. “I wanted it to end when human being still loved us and we to be on a high. And then ns was additionally feeling like, ‘How much more of Rachel execute I have in me?’” She ultimately agreed come the last season.

29. Over there are central Perk cafes based upon the well known coffeehouse from the show.


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While there isn’t an actual main Perk in new York City, the fictional cafe has actually inspired some genuine ones. In 2010, Friends fan Du Xin opened up a central Perk replica in downtown Beijing, which ended up being extremely popular. The success meant that Du Xin can later afford come reproduce Joey’s apartment next door. In 2012, another central Perk popped up in Liverpool.

30. Bruce Willis appeared on the present for cost-free after losing a bet to Perry.

Apparently Perry was quite the gambler. He acquired into a debate with Willis while the 2 were make The whole Nine Yards. Perry thought that the film would be number one in package office on its opening weekend, however Willis disagreed. In February 2000, the film was number one. Willis was collection to appear on Friends as the dad that Ross’s girlfriend and also Rachel’s love interest. Together a an outcome of the bet, he had actually to donate his earnings for the guest stint to charity.

31. It featured a the majority of future stars.


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Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images

In addition to making family members names that its main actors members, Friends gave very early start to numerous soon-to-be stars together well. Amongst the now-familiar faces you could see if friend rewatch the series, including Grey"s Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo, Melora Hardin and Craig Robinson native The Office, and Riverdale"s Cole Sprouse.

32. Fans have actually concocted a the majority of bizarre theories about the show.

Did the entirety of Friends take place in Rachel"s dream? Or in Phoebe"s hallucinatory mind? end the years, fans of the show have come up v a hold of theories to explain specific aspects that the show—and several of them are pretty bizarre.

33. James Michael Tyler was functioning as a barista once he was cast as Gunther.

In 2014, James Michael Tyler—the actor that played central Perk"s Gunther—told BuzzFeed that he was functioning as a barista in genuine life once he was actors on the show. "I had a project at a coffee shop called The bourgees Pig in Hollywood, which is tho around and also one the the critical independent coffee shops the hasn"t to be taken over or whatnot. I was among their first baristas—I think I started there in 1990 or so."

34. Gunther"s bleached hair to be accidental.

"I had a friend who wanted to it is in a hairdresser and also wanted to exercise bleaching someone"s hair, for this reason I readily available what hair I had left in ~ the time," Tyler called BuzzFeed. "It came out white and also that to be the night before I was referred to as in because that the very first day of shoot the an initial season." together he was initially hired together a elevator actor, just to provide the main Perk set some authenticity, the didn"t seem like a large deal ... Till his function became a recurring one.

"I bleached my hair every week because that 10 years," Tyler said. "I did the myself after a while. It to be just easier instead of comes in at an early stage to execute it. Ns would just do the the night before."

35. It"s one of the most watched shows on Netflix.

The vacation Armadillo has actually granted her wish: “Friends” will still it is in there because that you in the united state throughout 2019 pic.twitter.com/Yd0VqRzk3r

— Netflix us (
netflix) December 3, 2018

Decades ~ its premiere, Friends quiet maintains a enormous fan base. In the UK, it"s the most streamed collection on Netflix, and it holds the number 2 spot in America (only The Office gets more viewers). In so late 2018, when Netflix announced that the series would it is in leaving the service on January 1, 2019, pan revolted; a Change.org petition to carry the show ago was launched and #Justice4Friends ended up being a trending password. Amazingly, it worked!

36. British pan love Ross Geller.

In a 2016 survey by Comedy Central, Friends fans in England were asked to vote for their favorite cast member. Schwimmer"s Ross Geller come out on height with 25.6 percent that the vote, simply edging out Chandler Bing, who 25.4 percent named as their favorite Friend.

37. Nobody of the actors was a vast fan of the design template song.

Though it"s impossible to imagine Friends without likewise envisioning the opened credits, in i beg your pardon the actors play in a fountain and also dance follow me to the Rembrandts" "I"ll it is in There for You," reportedly no one was a vast fan that the tune. "No one was really a huge fan that that design template song,” Aniston stated while showing up on The One in 2016. She then backtracked a bit: "I don"t typical to speak that. Us felt it to be a little, i don"t know. Dance in a spring felt kind of odd, but we did it."

38. Aniston most likely watches the display as lot as girlfriend do.

While there space a the majority of actors that can"t bear to watch any type of of your projects, Aniston isn"t among them—at the very least not once it comes to Friends. While appearing on The One, Aniston said that she can"t stand up to leaving the display on when it come on TV. "I can"t help it," she said. "First the all, I"m trying to remember which episode it is. Then, half of the time I"m saying to myself, "I don"t mental that!’ It"s just that you can obtain sucked in come the nostalgia that it.”

39. The identity of "Ugly nude Guy" wasn"t revealed until 2016.

A dozen years after the collection finale that Friends aired, intrepid HuffPost reporter Todd valve Luling finally uncovered the identity of the man who play "Ugly naked Guy" on the show. The character—who stayed in the apartment throughout from Monica and Rachel—was commonly referenced, but only ever appeared on the present twice. And in neither of those appearances was his confront visible. However after a year that research, van Luling lastly had his answer: Ugly Naked man was an extra called Jon Haugen. (Though van Luling"s account of just how he tracked this information down is worth a read.)

40. A (real) reunion isn’t happening.

In 2015, Cox went on the Late show with David Letterman wherein he inquiry her around the possibility of a reunion. Cox responded, “It’s no going come happen.” She go on to define that it’s an overwhelming enough because that the six of castle to obtain together because that a cast dinner, let alone a full-fledged reunion.

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Kauffman and Crane have comparable views about a reunion. In a 2014 interview through Entertainment Weekly, Crane said, “People to speak they want it, and also the an ext that we say the a poor idea, people . However I think if we actually provided it come people, there would certainly be together backlash.”

A Jimmy Kimmel segment native 2014, which you can watch above, might be as close as we"re going come get.