The One With Behind The Scenes Stories From 'Friends'
Friends is widely considered one of the greatest sitcoms of all-time, and we remember the six hilarious stars of that show fondly
Below are 21 awesome behind-the-scenes stories that you need to hear about. Check them out!
Jennifer Aniston and other cast mates were initially terrified to meet Matt LeBlanc, based solely off of Joey's straight forward and macho personality.
Matthew Perry had to go to rehab twice during the show for alcohol and drug abuse. He says he would frequently show up on set hungover, although he would never do drugs while filming Friends. After completing rehab in 2001, he has since lobbied for drug courts, and in 2013, he received the Champion of Recovery award from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for opening Perry House, a sober living home situated in his former mansion in Malibu, California.
Only a handful of people knew that Rachel was going to get off the plane before the episode was released. It took the writers a long time to come up with a proper ending, sometimes going days without writing a word. They would watch series finales of other sitcoms to take notes on what to do and what not to do.
Chandler Bing's awkwardness and speaking style were directly based off Matthew Perry. Jennifer Aniston explained: "He has this way of speaking, using questions like, 'Could this be any more this or that?'". On top of that, many of Perry's dating mishaps that happened while filming the show would sometimes find their way into various episodes.
The show rarely used a laugh track, filming all their episodes in front of a live studio audience, sometimes numbering up to 300 people. The laughs were authentic, though they would sometimes edit the laughs in post-production so that it wouldn't interfere with the actors' lines.
For the famous scene where Phoebe's handmade dollhouse is burnt, they actually had six different dollhouses made for when they had to burn it down. One of the models was actually never used, which means the dollhouse is still out there somewhere!
The apartments' design and and size were actually based on the set designers' own apartments that they had when they were growing up in the 70s.
The alternate titles for the show weren't as simple, and we can be thankful none of them made past the idea stage. Some of the sample titles include: Friends Like Us, Six of One, Across the Hall, Once Upon a Time in the West Village, and Insomnia Cafe.
Monica's prop refrigerator actually worked and was put to good use. Set designers made sure it was fully functional and stocked up with various drinks for the cast and crew between shots.
The show was on a very tight budget in its early days, and the creators were looking everywhere to cut costs. The iconic orange couch was actually found in the Warner Bros. prop room, deep in the basement. It was ripped and tattered, but after extensive work to patch it up, it found its way onto the set.
The frame around the peephole was originally supposed to have a picture, but then the glass was accidentally broken while they were dressing. They decided to see what it would look like if they just had the frame around the peephole, and as such, it stayed like that for the next ten years.
Many fans have called out the 'mistake' that is the establishing shot of the apartment. Among the problems are the lack of a balcony, and a fire escape where there shouldn't be one.
The series' creator explained that he grabbed a bunch of pictures of sixth floor apartments that matched Monica's, but the show ended up using the wrong one anyways. They reasoned it with: "it's the other side of her apartment building.'
Joey's famous white dog originally belonged to Jennifer Aniston, not Joey. Aniston got the dog as a gift from a friend in real life, and graciously volunteered it for the show to become one of the show's classic recurring gags.
Before the six actors were cast in their iconic roles, many others auditioned for the role in the classic sitcom. Iron Man director Jon Favreau turned down the role of Chandler Bing, Eric McCormack of Will & Grace fame went through several auditions before he lost the role of Ross, and Janeane Garofalo famously turned down the role of Monica to appear on Saturday Night Live.
While 'Central Perk' is an entirely originally creation, it was based heavily off a small restaurant that John Shaffner and the staff would go to called 'Arnold's Turtle.'
"The coffee house came about because there was a little restaurant that we used to all go down to on West 4th Street in Manhattan, and it had a door in the corner," Shaffner said. "So we went to Kevin and Margaret and David and when we showed them the model and I said, We want to do a little corner door like the restaurant that we used to go to, and they remembered it as well. It was called Arnolds Turtle."
Arnold's Turtle has since closed down.
The show's writers wrote the lyrics for "Smelly Cat, the famous tune sung my Phoebe, played by Lisa Kudrow. Kudrow wrote the tune.
The opening credits were shot in a Warner Bros. lot at 4am, although luckily the water was heated.
When Tom Selleck appeared on the show as Richard, the studio audience would applaud so loudly and for so long that he had to reshoot some scenes later on without an audience there.
The kids in the episode 'The One with the Football' are actually the children of Friends creator Marta Kauffman.
Because filming of episodes that took place in London ran so late, the crew ordered 400 pizzas for the patient and grateful audience members.
NBC was expecting loads of phone calls and hate mail for the lesbian wedding in Season 2. They ended up getting a grand total of four complaints by telephone.
The episode 'The One with the Lesbian Wedding' has been credited with helping push for equality in mainstream television, and helped improve the show's image after earlier gay panic jokes and having an all-white cast.
We all have different opinions about dating, marriage, and even our sex lives, but one thing we can all agree on is that we should have a good time.
And some people are not shy about sharing what makes them happy.
Redditor mini-mum-wage asked:
"What is an unconventional thing you find sexy?"
"Hands, it’s so f**king stupid, I know, but I swear to god, when I see large and veiny (not like grandpa veiny but still) hands, I’m giggling and swinging my feet, twirling my hair, and everyone around is absolutely hornswoggled."
Like the Song
"I like a girl in a short skirt and a looooooong jacket."
"When hubby reaches for something above his head and his shirt rises just enough that his belly shows...no idea why but damn, gets the lady bits all worked up."
"The little curly wispy hair at the base of a girl's hairline."
"No idea why."
It Hits Different
"I think it is hot if a middle-aged woman wears a business suit and puts her hands on her hips and tells me she is disappointed with me."
A Proper Sailor
"Ability to cuss effectively and within context."
"I find an asymmetrical smile very cute. There’s a YouTube channel Charismatic Voice and she is a good example of what I mean as she often smiles higher on one side. It doesn’t seem super common but I’ve noticed it as a trait of a few people."
"I love when they get lost in their thoughts and talk about what interests them. Eventually, they come back to reality and apologize for rambling but I tell them to continue."
"You know they've been hurt before but they're with me now, and I love the passion."
"When the nape of the neck is exposed on someone who typically has their hair down… Good God."
Knowledge is Sexy
"I like a girl I can learn from, even if she's not like directly teaching me but I can still learn something from watching her."
Nervousness is Interesting
"When a guy is nervous when he's talking to me and his voice quivers."
"I seem to be in a small minority of people in preferring partners my own height. I think there's something really sexy about seeing literally eye to eye."
"When men blush. Goodbye, panties."
Lines Tell a Story
"Laugh lines on a guy’s face. My boyfriend has the most beautiful perfect little creases on an otherwise smooth face. it’s so enchanting because he’s otherwise a very stoic person."
What's on the Face Counts
"Big or unique noses. It's something I've always loved about other people, and in recent years, it's something I've come to love about myself."
This was a fun reminder that everyone has their own preferences, and something that may not work for someone will make someone else very, very happy.
While we're not all aiming to be manipulative of the people around us, sometimes we could use a trick or two to be more successful around the people around us.
Redditor Aggravating_Taste821 asked:
"What are some dark psychology tricks that actually work?"
Make Them Agree
"Nodding your head up and down slightly when you want someone to agree with what you are saying."
"Change the perspective from I to we, and people will automatically align themselves with you."
"If you say something often enough, people will start to believe it after a while. And once a couple more people are saying it, it will exponentially explode through whatever population is listening."
"It's not really dark but every mistake I make at work, I go out of my way to admit to. For some reason that makes me more trustworthy."
Hold Coworkers Up
"I admit when I mess up and also go out of my way to sing the praises of anyone that helped me. Makes people want to work with you and why not? That's who I want to work with."
"Be honest, don't throw people under the bus, and telegraph your thank yous and you can ask for plenty of favors."
Connect with Them
"Related: Ben Franklin suggested that if someone seemed cold to you, ask them a small favor. (I think he mentioned borrowing a book?)"
"After you return the book and we're sufficiently appreciative, that person would likely be less cold in the future."
"If you make a favor seem bigger than it is before asking it, the person on the receiving end is much more likely to help."
"'Babe, can you do me the biggest favor ever? Can you turn off the light when you come to bed?"'He would have done it anyway, but now he feels like a hero."
"Not really a dark trick but one that I've found effective, when someone's being rude to you stay completely silent and stare at them. It'll make them feel incredibly uncomfortable and they'll usually act civilly after a few moments."
"**DISCLAIMER** Do not do this to people who are exhibiting aggressive behavior, and/or whilst in an unsafe non-public environment. This is a tactic meant to be used on otherwise mature adults in safe environments."
"I had a manager who would scream at me and drive me to tears. I got sick of it, so I sat there staring at her and almost burst out laughing as her rant trailed off."
"She got quieter and said, 'Let's just forget the whole thing and move on.' She never yelled at me again."
Make Eye Contact
"Staring at peoples forehead irritates them quite a lot."
Manipulative or Oblivious?
"One thing that my dad does, that he may be completely unaware of, is when you give him good news he always exaggerates it back to you, thus forcing you to downplay your own accomplishment. I honestly don’t think he’s consciously doing it, but it drives me absolutely crazy."
"Hey, I have amazing news! I got promoted to vice president."
"That’s great! Wow, so senior vice president?”
“No, just a vice president.”
“Oh, well that’s still good.”
"And now the wind is all out of my sails."
Just Answer the Question
"If someone doesn't want to give you specific information, like tuition costs, or hours expected, give them an example that's completely unreasonable. They will usually immediately give you an exact number and feel embarrassed for pretending not to know."
"Example: Me: How much does your C++ course cost?"
"Them: It really depends on what your goals are."
"Me: Don't you have a beginner's course? Can you give me a price range?"
"Them: We can work with you to fit your individual needs."
"Me: Okay, fine. So is it, like, $10 for access to all your courses, or..."
"Them: Oh, no. We have a subscription for $99 a month, it you can buy the beginner's course for $120."
"Not useful very often, but it works every time."
Wait for It
"Silence. If you want to know something, ask the question then wait. People want to fill the silence and will talk and talk."
Back to Work
"If someone is bothering you at your desk too often, continue the conversation but get up and walk them back to their desk."
"I had a boss who was a guru at this. You'd be back at your desk, wondering how the f**k you got there."
"Just gonna say that if you familiarize yourself with a lot of the things said here, you can more easily guard yourself against others who attempt to use them on you."
Some Redditors felt like they'd already been doing some of these forever, while others felt fundamentally groundbreaking, but either way, these could make a positive change in someone's life.
It's easy for Americans who haven't traveled outside the country to assume citizens in other parts of the world have access to the same amenities offered in the US.
But people who were not born in the States know very well how what a world of difference life in North America is compared to where they've come from.
Curious to hear of the things most Americans take for granted as citizens of the US, Redditor CapitalBread6959 asked:
"Fellow Non-Americans, what is something quite common in the U.S. that is completely unheard of in your own country?"
Americans do drinking differently.
"My German friend visited us in college. First party he goes 'THEY DO EXIST!!' and held up our pack of red solo cups. Haha"
"Free drink refills."
"Every single place with a bar is legally obliged to provide free tap water on demand in England. Most restaurants will give you a pint of tap water with food for free (you do have to specify tap otherwise you get stung with some fancy expensive shite!) Admittedly the measures of alcohol are small here, though, compared to other places."
Some industries have laxed work protocols compared to in other countries.
Bee-Lining It For Home
"Health care workers going home after work still in scrubs. And washing them at home."
Work Clothes Stay At Work
"This!! It's so weird to me. Here it's literally forbidden to leave hospital grounds in your work clothes. I would hate having to bring them home and possibly carry some resistant hospital bacteria there with me. Plus you never know how well other people wash theirs, I like it done professionally at the hospital."
Making Sense Of It All
"Many moons ago, I did an IT internship at a hospital's service desk and being the intern, was always the one who had to run out and physically check things."
"When I had to go in to work on something in an operating room, I had to put on a full body tyvek suit, gloves, mask, coverings for my shoes, etc."
"Which made sense to me. Except the OR nurses who worked there wood just breeze in and out all day long, wearing the same scrubs they wore commuting to work on the bus."
"That DIDN'T make sense to me."
Meanwhile, over at school...
Dances Don't Happen Everywhere
"Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins, Winter Formal, Prom..."
"We have none of this, the closest thing is the graduation itself."
"Teachers buying school stuff so they can teach."
The way certain things work in the US definitely raised eyebrows.
Feeding The Sink
"This thing were the kitchen sink has teeth."
Going Nowhere Fast
"As a Dutchy, driving a car and turning right on a red light. That messed with my head. If you do that here you are gonna hit at least 5 cyclists."
My Japanese cousin always comments on how Americans are friendly and are more open to striking up a conversation as opposed to citizens in Japan, where they prefer to keep to themselves and be captivated by their smartphones out in public.
As an introvert and one who can't stand small talk, I actually loved being left alone whenever I was in Japan riding the subway and walking about the city. Nothing against engaging with other people, but I found the quiet and my personal space being respected to be very calming.
The world is ever-changing.
One need only look at the evolution of home entertainment.
First, we had to go to the video store to buy or rent video cassettes, then video cassettes were wiped out by DVDs until video stores became obsolete owing to streaming services.
Making the one-season failure of the Netflix series Blockbuster painfully ironic.
However, those of us who grew up rushing to Blockbuster, hoping the last copy of Jurassic Park will still be there, can't help but wish we could relive the experience.
On the other hand, we are glad to see other things from our childhood have become extinct.
"What was normal when you were a kid, but you never see anymore?"
Honestly... Rude then, Rude Now!
"Showing up to someone’s house without a text or call."- lpkrewWalking In Season 2 GIF by FriendsGiphy
Before There Was Bluetooth...
"Cassette tape innards strung out along the highway, glimmering in the sunlight."- bigolfurryhead
No More Second Hand Smoke!
"Parents smoking in a car with kids with the windows rolled up."- WonderfulEmergency77
"Everybody smoked everywhere. At restaurants, the office, airports, everywhere."
"There's a picture of my grandma holding me as a baby in one hand and a cigarette in the other."
"Nobody thought that was the least bit strange."- MeghanFImothers day smoking GIFGiphy
Now We Have Google!
"Using a set of 20 y/old encyclopedias as reference for my homework."
"JFK is president!"- ResplendentAmore
It Got Them Off Shelves...
"Toys in the cereal box"- NightDreamer73
"There used to be a *ton* of them in my neighborhood as a kid and every evening you could look at the sunset as twilight set in and see flocks of bats flying around."
"Apparently, around the time I was in middle school, a fungal disease ravaged the local bat population and they never recovered."
"You never see them anymore."
"Funnily enough though, at the time, a local high school girl had this huge campaign to set up bat feeders to help bolster the local bat population and help them survive the fungal disease by giving them easy access to food."
"Said local girl has since become a federal Park Ranger as an adult and currently works for a state fish and wildlife service."- DoctorWatchamacallit
Now They'll Just Send Them A Text...
"Moms yelling from the front door to their kids to come home for dinner."- sflogicninja
Depending On Your Circle
"People talking about the Bermuda Triangle."- GarconMeansBoyGeorge
Best Not To Give Them Bad Ideas
"Candy Cigarettes."- Mechhammer
They're a dying breed indeed...
"Pay phones and answering machines."- Mondayslasagnaphone call mall GIF by South Park Giphy
Even Printers Are Uncommon, Thanks to PDFs...
"Computer paper filled with lightly printed numbers and it had tear-off sides."
"My dad used to bring lots of it home for us kids to draw on."- reverendgrebo
...what were you watching?...
"Quicksand in movies and TV shows."- kzab81
Well That's Poignant
'I swear I saw them every year, in our back yard or when we went camping etc."
"Now I never see them no matter where I am, except for a few nights in the summer of '21 after I moved to a new house."
"It was so nice to see them again."- ModernCivilWarNorth America Lights GIF by BBC AmericaGiphy
Sadly, Not Because People Started Reading Maps...
"Printing out directions from Map Quest."- Keone_710
To think there was actually a time when we couldn't say "I'll text again when I'm close" and had to ask a friend to record a movie or tv show we wanted to watch.