17 years after the smash hit sitcom finished airing, Friends is still dominating fans’ hearts, especially after their exclusive reunion aired today on HBO. When the news of a cast reunion spread, fans across the world anticipated this iconic moment.
They crammed so much into this 1 hour, 44-minute special, that there’s a lot to talk about. Here are some shocking facts we learned from the Friends reunion.
The Friends cast has only been in the same room together once before this special.
It may be common knowledge that the Friends stars became close friends on set, and “the girls” have gotten together numerous times. But the cast shared that prior to the reunion taping, they’ve only all been together once since the show wrapped. I know – this is a shocker!
Not all of the cast has watched the show in its entirety.
Although it’s not common for actors to watch their work, you’d think the Friends cast would watch such an iconic show. Sadly, though, not all of the cast has seen every single episode. Lisa Kudrow admitted she’s seen only a couple of episodes but no full seasons. Meanwhile, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer started watching the series with their daughters, but they aren’t done yet. Wild, right?
Matthew Perry hated filming in front of a live audience.
Chandler was arguably the most likeable character and one of the funniest on the show, so Matthew Perry’s hatred of filming in front of an audience surprised us. The Canadian actor admitted, “I felt like I was going to die if they didn’t laugh… I would sweat and shake.” Perry has been open about his struggles with mental health since filming wrapped and described being on Friends as “stressful.” His nerves didn’t show live, though – the crowd almost always reacted to him!
Janice’s laugh was born because of Chandler’s jokes.
Even though Janice was only in 19 episodes of Friends, she will always be a true icon. At the reunion, actress Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice, said, “When Matthew started speaking, I knew he was going to crack me up. I knew that if Janice couldn’t laugh on set… I was going to be in big trouble, and that is why [her infamous] laugh exists.” Luckily, the “Janice laugh” worked in her favour, and some of her catchphrases are the most popular.
Chandler and Monica were originally only a one-night stand.
It’s hard to imagine Friends without Chandler and Monica’s cute relationship, but the writers didn’t originally make their relationship a plot line. The audience’s reaction when Monica popped out of the covers after Ross’s wedding to Emily was so perfect that the showrunners took the relationship in a different direction. We wouldn’t have the best couple on the show (Sorry, Ross and Rachel!), if the writers didn’t change directions.
David Schwimmer actually hated Marcel the monkey.
Even though Ross doted over his favorite pet, David Schwimmer seriously hated working with the monkey. Schwimmer said, “We would develop our bits [with the monkey], and then Marcel would mess up the timing, [so] we had to [shoot the scenes] all over again.” Marcel wasn’t just uncooperative; the monkey also regularly rubbed grubs through his hair. *Insert Ross’s grossed out sound*
Producers considered Hank Azaria for the role of Joey.
That’s right – Phoebe’s lover who ditched her for Minsk almost snagged the role of Joey. Producers loved Azaria so much that they ultimately cast him as David. Initially, producers wanted Azaria in the show on a regular basis, but his voice roles made filming tricky.
The cast really needed their pre-show huddle.
The Friends cast “huddled up” before they filmed every episode. The one time they missed their huddle (before taping The One Where Everybody’s Late), Matt LeBlanc dislocated his shoulder and went to the hospital. Writers later wrote Chandler’s sling into the show. Who would have thought?
Courtney Cox was a cheater… but not in the way you think.
During the tour of Monica’s apartment, Matt LeBlanc revealed that Courteney Cox would often scribble Monica’s lines onto various props in the kitchen, including the kitchen table, the apples in the fruit bowl, and the sink. No prop was safe!
Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer actually had feelings for each other.
This one’s a shocker. The co-stars admitted that they had feelings for each other but never pursued anything serious because one of them was always in a relationship. (Fun fact: Two of Aniston’s famous exes had guest roles on the sitcom years later). Jennifer added, “We just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.” Could this be any cuter?
All in all, the Friends reunion was everything that Dr. Burke ordered. It was light-hearted, fun, and full of games, laughter, and memories. If you weren’t watching with goose bumps on your arms and tears in your eyes, you were either hysterically laughing or picking your jaw up off the floor! Friends captured the hearts of millions around the world, so it’s no surprise that the reunion was on so many people’s watchlist!
Featured video via HBO Max YouTube