Well, there have been sitcoms before and there have been sitcoms after, but Friends has left such a huge impact during its run for 9 long years that no show ever has! It was one of the most talked about shows during the 90s and it still remains one of the best television series giving a whole new definition to friendship and life.

“F.R.I.E.N.D.S” was not just a story about 6 friends living in New York, hanging out at Central Perk Cafe, or struggling through their love stories, but it was a way of life. The series showed us why friends are the true companions in life and how one can come over any situation in life when his/her friends are there to support and care.

Everything about the sitcom is enchanting to an extent that it makes you an addict of the series that you even consider watching it over and over again. Whether it’s studious geek Ross, humorously strict Monica, the diva Rachel, the witty Phoebe, the funny Chandler or the dumb playboy Joey, these 6 characters blended into our lives and became a part of the family for 9 years.

Now, I am pretty much sure that like me, there are millions of Friends fans out there and today I want to share some of the coolest facts about your favorite sitcom that may surprise you.

Unknown Facts about Friends TV Series

Show’s original name was Insomnia Cafe.

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Yes, you read that correct. When the show was pitched to NBC, the creators of the show David Crane and Marta Kauffman have titled it as Insomnia Cafe. After a few script rewrites and several title changes from Insomnia Cafe to Six of Us, Friends Like Us and the producers and the creators eventually agreed on the title, “FRIENDS”, which went on to become one of the highly watched Sitcoms not just in America but across the globe.

The Series main cast negotiated their way to get a rise after the show’s huge success.

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Well, when the series made its debut in 1994, the actors playing the six main leads in the show were getting $22,000 per episode. After the show’s huge success after Season 1, the actors were given a raise but were paid differently from Season 2. However in 1997, all the 6 actors banded together to renegotiate an equal pay and bagged $100,000 per episode. And by the final season, each actor was paid a whopping 1 Million USD per episode.

Originally the producers wanted Courtney Cox to play Rachel.

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Yes, if everything went according to the plan, Courtney Cox would have been Rachel and may be Jennifer Anniston would have eventually played Monica. However, Courtney Cox chose Monica’s character as she felt the character was strong and independent compared to Rachel’s character, which was quite similar to a damsel in distress. Well, I am not sure if Courtney Cox as Rachel would have worked but the eventual casting of the series is one of the best I have seen and I don’t think switching characters or roping in another actor would have done any good for the show.

Lisa Kudrow was actually pregnant during the pregnancy of her onscreen character Phoebe.

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Throughout the show, Phoebe and Joey had their share of relationships but none of them became the central attraction of the series like the relationships of Rachel and Ross as well as Monica and Chandler. However, Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe, was visibly pregnant during Season 4 and the show creators had to write Kudrow’s pregnancy into the show. Considering the fact that Phoebe didn’t have any serious relationship at that time, the writers did something unimaginable and created a completely new angle bring Phoebe’s step brother and his wife into the picture and Phoebe volunteering to be a surrogate mother as the couple was unable to conceive.

Phoebe and Chandler were supposed to be just supporting characters.

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Initially, the characters of Phoebe and Chandler were written as supporting characters, but the popularity of Chandler’s comic antics and Phoebe’s wit impressed both the fans and the creators of the show enough to portray them as important characters of the show and integral part of the series.

Originally the writers wanted to make Joey and Monica a couple. 

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Trust me, if the show had been followed as the writers wanted it to be, the entire show would have come out as something very different. Initially, the writers aimed to focus on Joey and Monica as the central characters, who would eventually become a couple, and additionally, it was their love story that would be the focus of the entire show instead of Ross and Rachel’s. However, as the show proceeded to its due course, a romantic escapade and eventually the chemistry between Monica and Chandler was highly applauded by the audience that the show producers decided to go with the audience rather than following what the writers had plans for the show.

The first line and the last line of the series were spoken by Monica and Chandler respectively.

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Call it a coincidence or intentional but it’s the fact that the first line of the series was spoken by Monica that said, “There’ nothing to tell.” while hanging out with Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler at Central Perk cafe. Whereas, the last line was spoken by Chandler during the series finale when the group decides to hangout for the last time and Chandler asks, “Where?”

Joey wasn’t supposed to be dumb but it was added in after Matt LeBlanc suggested it.

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Admit it; we all love the dumb acts of Joey no matter how idiotic or dim his character is in the series. Well, Joey’s character wasn’t supposed to be dumb at all. However, after the suggestion of Matt LeBlanc, who plays Joey, suggested it and it becomes one the highlights of the show.

David Schwimmer and Jennifer Anniston were the first and last of the main characters to be cast on the show respectively.

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Well, if one couple shared the first and last dialogues of the show, another couple became the first and last of the main characters to be cast in the series. Yes, the character of Ross was filled in first and David Schwimmer was signed first as the executive producer Kevin Bright had already worked with the actor before. Whereas for Rachel’s character, after Courtney Cox chose to play Monica, the producers wanted to rope in Jennifer Anniston However, she was already committed to another series called Muddling Through on CBS and was allowed to play Rachel only under a stipulation that if the CBS sitcom became a hit, she must pull out herself from Friends. Luckily for us, it didn’t happen and although, after a little delay, we got to the lovely character of Rachel to adore, all thanks to Jennifer Anniston.

The whole series, except for the cliffhangers, was filmed in front of a live audience.

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It will be surprising to know that the entire series, except some cliffhangers such as Ross and Emily’s Wedding, was shot in front of a live audience. Although each episode took 5 hours to shoot, everything was filmed in front a live audience formed by 300 fans. The idea behind this was to get the first-hand review from the people if the scenes are appealing to the audience or not. However, the producers made sure to leave cliffhangers out of this equation as they didn’t want to spoil the surprise moments by showing it early on to the live audience.

The entire main cast of six members went to Las Vegas before the show aired.

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All you must remember the time when all the friends go to Las Vegas, the trip that results in Ross and Rachel getting married after being drunk during Season 5. Well, what most of you might not know is the fact that the entire main cast was taken to Vegas before the pilot episode was aired by the director James Burrow and stayed at Caesar Hotel. The director told them to enjoy themselves and encourage the group that, “This is your last shot at anonymity” as he had a feeling about the sitcom’s success.

Over to you!

Although I have listed only 11 unknown facts about Friends TV Show, there are plenty of amazing facts that revolve around the show. With time, we would be updating the list as we gather the complete list of such interesting stuff about your favorite sitcoms of all time.

In the meanwhile, you are always free to share some interesting facts about Friends using the comments section below.

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Rajeesh Nair is a true Gizmofreak and an addictive movie buff. He blogs at LifeBlender.com – a lifestyle Blogzine which focuses on general life related topics of the 21st Century.