Top 10 Surprising Facts About Friends
VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton
Script written by Savannah Sher
Take a look at some surprising facts about Friends! Even if you've seen every episode, you may not know all these behind the scenes secrets! Did you know that the white dog statue that Joey and Chandler share in season 2 actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston? Did you know that Bruce Willis wouldn't accept pay for his appearance? Rumor has it that Bruce Willis' famous guest appearance on “Friends” actually took place because of a bet. Willis and Matthew Perry (who plays Chandler) were releasing a movie together called “The Whole Nine Yards”. Did you know that the opening credits were shot at Warner Bros Studio?
Top 10 Surprising Facts About “Friends.”
Even if you’ve seen every episode, you may not know all these behind the scenes secrets. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Surprising Facts About “Friends.”
For this list, we’re looking at fun and interesting facts about this much-loved sitcom.
#10: The Main Characters from the Show are Named After “All My Children” Characters
The creative minds behind “Friends” were clearly fans of soap operas, because not only did “Days of Our Lives” feature heavily on the show, they also decided to take inspiration from another soap when naming their six leading characters. All the names of the “Friends” are taken in some way from “All My Children.” Both Ross and Chandler are named after Ross Chandler, Joey is named for Joey Martin, Phoebe after Phoebe Tyler Wallingford, Rachel Green after Janet Green and Monica after Monique Jonvil aka Daisy Cortlandt.
#9: The White Dog Statue Belonged to Jennifer Aniston
In season 2, Joey temporarily takes up residence in a fancier place that he decorates with some eccentric pieces. One of these is an oversized white dog statue that’s been named “Pat the Dog.” This wasn’t just a good find by the prop department though, the dog was actually given to Jennifer Aniston by a close friend as a gift to commemorate her first day on set. Aniston lent it to the show for the episode because she thought it would fit well with Joey’s new design aesthetic. They liked it so much though that they made a bigger storyline for the statue and kept it on the show.
#8: Bruce Willis Allegedly Wouldn’t Accept Pay for His Appearance
Rumor has it that Bruce Willis’ famous guest appearance on “Friends” actually took place because of a bet. Willis and Matthew Perry (who plays Chandler) were releasing a movie together called “The Whole Nine Yards.” Allegedly, Perry was more confident about the film’s success than Willis was, and the two agreed that if it debuted in theaters at number one, then Willis would appear on the show for free. Whether or not this TV legend is true, Willis’ performance was a memorable one, and it garnered him an Emmy for best guest appearance that year. And, he donated his salary from the show to a variety of charities.
#7: The Show Creators Co-Wrote the Theme Song
Any serious “Friends” fan probably knows the iconic theme song like the back of their hand, but did you know that it was actually written specifically for the show? “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts was co-written by the show’s co-creators, Marta Kauffman and David Crane, along with Kauffman’s husband and the members of the band. And you know the iconic clapping? That was actually a last-minute addition! Oh, and Rembrandt member Danny Wilde confirms that it’s only four claps, not five as some people think. Initially, the song was only recorded to be as long as they needed for the show’s intro, but they eventually expanded it into a full-length tune for radio.
#6: The Creators Knew Fans Wouldn’t Like Joey & Rachel
When Marta Kauffman and David Crane pitched a storyline where Joey and Rachel begin to have a more complicated romantic relationship, initial reactions were staunchly negative. The story arc lasted from season eight to season ten and most fans never really approved. What you may not know, however, is that the show’s creators always intended for these two to be poorly matched. They said later on that in real life, sometimes the wrong people fall for each other despite the fact that it’s never going to work, and they wanted to explore that reality in the show.
#5: The Opening Credits Were Shot at Warner Bros. Studios
If you’re on a “Friends” tour in New York and your guide offers to show you the fountain where they shot the show’s opening, you should probably ask for your money back. While many think the famous fountain sequence was filmed in either Gramercy or Central Park, it was actually shot on a studio lot in LA. In fact, “Friends” was never actually filmed in New York at all, with the exception of exterior establishing shots. The show was filmed in front of a studio audience on the other side of the country in Burbank, California.
#4: The Cast Worked Hard to Get Equal Pay
If you watched “Friends” during its original run, you may remember some news around that time about the cast’s salary disputes. When they were first hired, all six actors were paid the same amount per episode: $22,500. In season two however, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer were given raises to amount to $40,000 per episode. One season later however, they decided as a group to conduct all salary negotiations together to ensure equal pay for all the main actors. Clearly their negotiations went well because by the final season, they were each making one million dollars per episode!
#3: All the “Friends” Have Lived in Both Apartments
It’s pretty standard “Friends” trivia that all six main characters have lived in Monica’s apartment, but did you know that in fact, they’ve all lived in Joey’s place across the hall as well? While Joey and Chandler live there together for much of the series, they switch apartments with the girls for a time in season four. Then in season five, Ross moves in during a dark period in his life. Later, when there’s a fire in Phoebe and Rachel’s apartment Phoebe moves in with Joey, though it ends up being short-lived and Rachel eventually takes her place.
#2: Phoebe & Chandler Weren’t Meant to Be Main Characters
While fans think of all six “Friends” as being equally important, in the initial conception of the series, two characters were actually meant to be supporting cast members. The original plan was for the main storylines to focus on Monica, Rachel, Joey and Ross, while Phoebe and Chandler would be more periphery figures. Clearly the chemistry shared by all six actors soon changed that plan because by the end of the series those two were integral parts of the major storylines, just like the others.
#1: Ross & Rachel Weren’t Meant to Be the Central Romance
When you think of TV’s most iconic will-they-or-won’t-they couple, you probably think of Ross and Rachel. In the initial plans for the series’ arc however, they weren’t meant to serve as the main romantic storyline of the show. It may seem hard to believe now, but the central romance of the show was originally supposed to be between Monica and Joey. However, the producers decided that Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer had such incredible chemistry that it made more sense to focus on their relationship. We couldn’t imagine it any other way!