Although NBC’s beloved sitcom Friends finished more than 14 years ago, we are still regularly finding out some previously unknown details about the show. For example, it was recently revealed that Saved by the Bell star Tiffani Thiessen was almost cast as Rachel Green, but Friends‘ producers opted for Jennifer Aniston because Thiessen was too young.
That got us wondering what other things we don’t know about this cult show, and we did a bit of digging on the internet, finding out some surprising stuff. Knowing that you are probably curious as well, we decided to share some of them with you.
The original title for the show was Insomnia Café, but the producers decided it didn’t match the show’s story. Then they considered to name it Friends Like Us and Six of One, before settling on Friends.
Low Start, Big Finish
During the first season of the sitcom, the main cast members were earning $22,000 per episode each. That figure came up to $1 million per episode during the final season.
Ellen DeGeneres as Phoebe
Lisa Kudrow wasn’t the producers’ main choice for the role of Phoebe. The wanted to cast Ellen DeGeneres, but she turned down the opportunity.
Ross and Rachel
David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston’s characters Ross and Rachel never supposed to have a romantic connection. The writers decided to add this storyline due to the amazing on-screen chemistry between two actors.
James Michael Tyler came to the set of Friends as an extra and ended up being cast as Gunther since he was the only one who knew how to operate an espresso machine.
The number “5” on Monica’s apartment was changed to “20” while Chandler’s apartment number went from “4” to “19” after season one. The decision was made after show’s writers realized that an upper-level floor apartments in a large block in New York should have higher numbers.
Free of Charge
Bruce Willis made his appearance on Friends for free. Willis bet Matthew Perry that their joint movie The Whole Nine Yards would top the box office on its opening weekend and lost, so he ended up donating his fee to charity.
Trip to Vegas
Before the first episode of the sitcom aired on television, the entire cast was taken on a trip to Las Vegas where they had a dinner at Caesar’s Palace and told to enjoy their “last shot at anonymity.” Caesar’s Palace is also the place where Ross and Rachel get married during the season five finale.
Most of the episodes of the show were shot in front of live audience, with the filming usually being five hours long. Episodes with cliffhangers, however, were always filmed without the audience.
More about the Cast
There is lots of other interesting cast info that you probably didn’t know. For example, Courtney Cox was in the running for the role of Rachel, but she asked to play Monica because it was a stronger character. Kathy Griffin and Jane Lynch both auditioned for the role of Phoebe, while Jon Favreau and Jon Cryer were in the conversation for role of Chandler. Speaking of Phoebe and Chandler, these two supposed to be just supporting characters.