It’s been a quarter of a century since we fell in love with the flat-sharing, coffee-drinking New York Friends and now it’s time to look back!
It was 1994 when America’s hottest new TV show started airing, and these were Friends with a capital F – the kind who stick around forever. No matter what else was going on in our busy, stress-filled lives, we could come home to the charm, warmth and wit of Chandler, Monica, Joey, Phoebe, Ross and Rachel.
We watched them get together, split up, get hired, then fired. We attended their weddings, shed tears when their hearts broke, wished we, too, were hanging out over coffee in Central Perk. There was high emotion, but no risk of being dragged down, soap-style, because humour always cut through. And the Netflix relaunch has brought Friends to the next generation, too.
Even after all these years, watching re-runs countless times, here are 10 things you never knew…
1 That Famous Theme Song
The original theme tune was R.E.M.’s Shiny Happy People, but it was later replaced by I’ll Be There For You, performed by The Rembrandts.
2 Gunther’s First Word
James Michael Tyler, who plays barista Gunther, got his part because he knew how to operate an espresso machine, having worked in a Hollywood coffee shop called Bourgeois Pig. His first line came after a total of 33 episodes and it was “Yeah”.
3 Where Is That Fountain?
Fans naturally assume that the fountain shown in the opening sequence is in New York, and take selfies in front of Cherry Hill Fountain in Central Park. In reality, it’s located 4 500km away in a Warner Bros. studio in Burbank, California.
4 The Life-Saving Cheque
When Matt LeBlanc auditioned, he was down to his last $11. Hearing he’d won the role of Joey, he bought a hot meal. By the last series, each of the six were earning $1 million per episode.
5 Lunch Partners
Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston ate the same chickpea and bacon salad for lunch on set every day for 10 years.
6 Who Is Ugly Naked Guy?
Ugly Naked Guy was played by Jon Haugen, though his identity was only revealed three years ago.
7 The Frame We Love
The iconic frame on Monica’s door was actually a mirror that got smashed during filming, but the set designer liked the look, so it stayed.
8 Marcel The Monkey(s)
Ross’s pet Marcel was played by two monkeys called Monkey and Katie.
9 Advertise HERE
When the final episode was aired, advertisers paid $2 million for a 30-second slot.
10 Phoebe’s Guitar
Lisa Kudrow originally hated the guitar and suggested Phoebe play the bongos instead. We can’t help but wonder what Smelly Cat would have sounded like on the bongos…
If this list has made you feel nostalgic, there’s good news. Netflix streams all 236 episodes, so you can indulge in a Friends marathon any time you want. Cookie dough and margaritas are mandatory.
By Features Writer Stephanie van der Plank