On September 22, 1994, the first episode of “Friends” aired on NBC, and it became an instant hit with 21.5 million viewers. Eventually, the show became one of the biggest things to come out of the ’90s, and its series finale on May 6, 2004 became the sixth biggest finale of all time with 65.9 million viewers. To this day, the six stars from the show receive $20 million a piece from the franchise’s massive yearly income of $1 billion from syndication. We take a look at 12 things you might not have know about the hit show.
12) The One With Lisa Kudrow’s Pregnancy
During season four, Phoebe Buffay became a surrogate mother for her brother Frank and his new wife Alice. Behind the scenes, Lisa Kudrow was pregnant with her son Julian Murray Stern, so the directors figured it would be a cool thing to incorporate it into the show. She gave birth to Julian on May 7, 1998, which is the same date that season four’s finale aired on NBC.
11) The One With No Pregnancy For Monica Bing
When Courteney Cox was pregnant with Coco Riley Arquette during the show’s final season, the producers couldn’t write it in the show. Why? Well, it was already established in the show that both Monica and Chandler were infertile. Fortunately, they were given twins named Jack and Erica through a surrogate mother Erica in the series finale.
10) The One With Everyone Being An Arquette
Courteney Cox married actor David Arquette on June 12, 1999. In the season premiere of season six titled “The One After Vegas,” her name was changed to Courteney Cox Arquette in the credits. Fortunately, the other cast members and executive producers also had “Arquette” added to their name. The show was dedicated to the newlyweds.
9) The One With Emily Written Out Of The Show
Helen Baxendale is best known by “Friends” fans as Ross’ ex-wife Emily Waltham, who was introduced in season four. The actress was pregnant with her first child during the show, and since she lived in the U.K., she wasn’t able to travel back and forth to work. The writers were dealt with the hard task of writing her out of the show.
8) The One With The Show’s Original Names
When David Crane, Marta Kauffman, and Kevin Bright were coming up with the show, its original title was “Insomnia Cafe.” When it was presented to NBC, the show’s title was changed to “Friends Like Us.” Because the show had a similar title to the ABC sitcom “These Friends of Mine,” they changed it again to “Six of One.” Finally, they decided to go with “Friends.”
7) The One With All My Children
The main characters in “Friends” were all named after characters in the ABC soap opera “All My Children.” Phoebe was named after Phoebe Tyler Wallingford Chandler was named after the Chandler family, Ross was named after Ross Chandler, Joey was named after Joey Martin, Monica was named after Monique/Daisy Cortland, and Rachel Green was named after Janet Green.
6) The One With The Dedication To Mom
In the episode “The One With the Cat,” Phoebe believes that her dead mom was reincarnated into a cat. Behind the scenes, the episode was written Marta Kauffman, whose own mother passed away. The episode was dedicated to her. According to a writer, the idea would have been discarded, but because of the circumstances, they went along with it.
5) The One With The Ferris Bueller Connection
In the pilot episode simply titled “The Pilot,” Rachel leaves her fiance Barry at the alter. Her friend Mindy, who was played by Jennifer Grey, gets engaged to the guy. Aniston and Grey both played Jeanie Bueller; Aniston played her in the failed NBC show, and Grey played her in the movie.
4) The One With The Number 27
The number 27 is featured in various episodes of “Friends.” In the episode “The One with The Candy Hearts,” three firefighters are seen with 27 on their fire helmets, route 27 gets mentioned in the episode “The Ski Trip,” and Joey mentions that he weighed 27 pounds as a kid in the episode “The One Where Ross Can’t Flirt.”
3) The One With The Phone Calls
The producers of the show were expecting a plethora of angry phone calls from people after the airing of “The One with The Lesbian Wedding,” which aired on January 18, 1996. At the time, gay marriage wasn’t legal anywhere in the world. 200 people were hired to take on all oncoming calls about the episode. They only received four complaints by telephone.
2) The One Where They Meet Too Many Times
Rachel and Chandler have met each other several times in flashbacks. In fact, they’ve met each other for the first time on four separate occasions: “The Pilot,” “The One With The Flashback,” “The One With All The Thanksgivings,” and “The One Where The Stripper Cries.” In “The One With All The Thanksgivings,” they admit to knowing each other from high school.
1) The One Where Reese Witherspoon Gets The Boot
Reese Witherspoon appeared as Rachel’s sister Jill Green on the episodes “The One with Rachel’s Sister” and “The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry.” Rumors have gone around that Jennifer Aniston wasn’t fond of working with Witherspoon, which is why Jill was written out of the show and replaced with Amy Green, who was played by Christina Applegate, for the season nine Thanksgiving episode “The One with Rachel’s Other Sister.”
While there have been a plethora of rumors floating around the internet for many years, a “Friends” motion picture doesn’t look like something that’s going to happen anytime soon. It might be a complete bummer to devoted fans worldwide, but the cast and crew are simply grateful for the time they had in the Warner Bros. Studios filming such an iconic show. As long as the show is still having great DVD sales and fantastic streaming numbers over on Netflix, the joys of watching six friends go through life’s ups and downs will always be there for you.