14 Surprising Facts About ‘Friends’ Most Fans Still Don’t Know

 When NBC premiered a series about six twentysomethings figuring out their lives in New York City, they likely had no clue just how huge of an impact Friends would ultimately have on pop culture — and for how long.

I know I can’t help myself from watching re-runs every time I see Friends while channel surfing. It doesn’t matter if I’ve already seen the episode too many times to count.

I remember making sure I was home every Thursday night to catch a new episode, along with the rest of the “Must See TV” lineup from back in the day. It’s so crazy to think that it’s been more than 10 years since we saw the gang take their last trip to Central Perk.

Even after watching every blooper and listening to commentary from the cast, I can’t believe how many of the surprising facts listed below I had completely missed!

Take a look to test your own Friends trivia knowledge, and let us know in the comments if we missed your favorite factoid.

Don’t forget to SHARE the fun with all of your own friends, too!

1. They Wanted Courteney Cox To Play Rachel
 Before Jennifer Aniston, who was last to be cast, the producers offered the role to Courteney. After reading the script she requested to play Monica instead, because she related more to that character’s neatness and competitiveness — though, of course, not nearly to the same obsessive levels!

2. The Writers Got Creative To Cut Costs
 Before the cast members were earning a million bucks per episode, a tight budget led to one episode that took place entirely in Monica and Rachel’s apartment, “The One Where No One’s Ready,” in order to save money on sets and extra actors.

3. Gunther Was Actually A Barista
 James Michael Tyler, shown behind Courteney and Jennifer above, was even cast because of it. He was the only extra on set who knew how to work an espresso machine.

His character wasn’t given a name until the second season, and the actor also kept his day job for the first four seasons of the show — when he was established as more of a regular on the series.

4. Lisa Kudrow Wanted Phoebe to Play Bongos
 The actress struggled with learning guitar for the character, ultimately receiving lessons and mastering at least a few chords. Before that, though, Lisa suggested switching the stringed instrument for something a little simpler — like the bongos.

5. The Cast Took A Trip To Vegas Before The Premiere
 James Burrows, a frequent director during the first few seasons, treated all six of the young actors to dinner at Caesars Palace (the same hotel where Ross and Rachel would later drunkenly say “I do”). James revealed to US Weekly that he’d “had a feeling” that the show was going to be a huge success, and that this would be the actors’ last chance to enjoy their anonymity.

6. Lisa Was Afraid Of Chandler And Joey's Duck
 You’d never know it watching her as animal-loving Phoebe, playfully interacting with the boys’ unusual farm-animal pets. But Lisa was reportedly terrified of the duck.

Presumably, she had no issues with the mild-mannered chicken.

7. Joey Should Have Moved To California Much Sooner
 Though he eventually headed to the West Coast to pursue his acting career in the series’ spin-off, Joey, his recurring roles on Days of Our Lives really should have sent him packing much earlier on. In reality, the soap opera films in Burbank, California.

8. Jennifer Almost Didn't Return For The Final Season
 With her movie career taking off at the same time, her schedule was so busy that she nearly had to withdraw from the whole thing. Ultimately, they were able to lower the final season’s episode count from 24 to 18, which made it possible for Jennifer to do both.

9. Ross Is 29 For Three Years
 There are a lot of discrepancies when it comes to the character’s birthday throughout the series, including three separate moments in seasons three, four, and five where Ross claims to be 29-years-old.

Ironically, Courteney, who is supposed to be younger than him as Monica, is two years older than David Schwimmer in real life.

10. Matt LeBlanc And Jennifer Weren't Fans Of Joey And Rachel's Romance
 Like many of the fans, the actors were not happy about the characters hooking up in the last season. They went so far as to gather the rest of the cast to air their grievance with the strange story arc. In 2012, Matt told Vanity Fair they felt it was “wildly inappropriate.”

Their romance ultimately only lasted three episodes before they decided they were better off as friends.

11. Ellen DeGeneres Turned Down Playing Phoebe
 Of course, the funny lady had her own sitcom and later found even more success with her talk show. But it’s fascinating to think about how different the role might have been if Ellen hadn’t decided to go her own way.

12. Almost All 6 Of The Main Characters Kissed Each Other
 Apart from Monica and Ross, who were siblings, nearly all of the other characters locked lips. Everyone remembers Joey kissing Chandler when the latter wouldn’t stop complaining about having no one to kiss on New Year’s Eve. And then there were the “what if?” episodes that explored an alternate reality for the group.

The only other pair to never smooch: Monica and Phoebe.

13. The White Dog Statue Actually Belonged To Jennifer
 On the show, Joey purchases the large statue when he moves out of his apartment with Chandler. The idea was that his soap opera had given him enough money to live on his own and buy expensive things just like it.

In reality, Jennifer’s best friend gave it to her as a good luck present when she signed on for the series, and the actress offered it to the show.

14. The Fridges Really Worked
In both apartments of the main set, the refrigerators were stocked with actual refreshments for the cast and crew. True to their characters, the girls’ apartment was more frequently kept fresh while the boys’ would often get cleaned out and not restocked for longer stretches.

Did we miss any little-known facts about this beloved show? Tell us in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your own friends!
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