On-Set Details And Mistakes Fans Can’t Let Go on Friends
If the phrase “How you doin?” immediately makes you think of Joey Tribbiani, then you are one of us, the fans of Friends. But we can bet that we've found 30 interesting details, awkward mistakes and easter eggs that you've definitely missed on this show, even if you watched all the seasons a few times!
Whose name Joey’s ATM pin spells out on a dial pad? When his agent delivered a baby? Why did Monica introduce Rachel and Chandler to each other three times? And what’s the connection between Monica and Chandler’s house and the house from Home Alone? Let’s dive into some of the funny and unexpected details from Friends that you might not have noticed.
1. How many times did Rachel and Chandler meet?
We all know how the story starts. Rachel Green runs from her wedding and meets friends in Central Park. Monica introduces Rachel and Chandler to each other, however, judging by all future references in the show, they have known each other way before then.
Actually, they meet for the first time three times! In one of the flashbacks from 1987, the characters meet each other at a Thanksgiving party in Monica and Ross's parents' house.
And in season 5 we see a different flashback, where Rachel and Chandler awkwardly check each other out at a dorm party in the 80s, years before the pilot. Then they kiss. The question is what's wrong with their memory? Or have the scriptwriters simply forgotten to answer the question of how the two met?
2. Where was Rachel’s ring?
Let's move on to the smaller but still funny mess-ups. In episode 2 Season 1 we see a funny collision. Rachel loses her wedding ring, worriedly looks for it, and then finds it in lasagna. However, in the previous episode where she runs away from her wedding... the ring on her finger does not appear in a single scene! It's a good thing she finds it in episode 2, or else we might have thought there is no ring at all!
3. Again: what’s wrong with their memory?
Not only does the pedantic Monica like introducing her friends to each other over and over and over again, things she already knows often surprise her! In the episode "The One With George Stephanopoulos," Monica is mad when she finds out Phoebe had sex with Jason a few hours after they broke up.
In the episode "The One Where Eddie Won't Go" she learns about that again and it angers her yet again. And we all remember how Chandler told her he loved her in front of everyone: “I’m in love with Monica. Yes, I love her. I love her. I love you, Monica”. Everyone's amazed, the audience's crying, Monica's happy. But he already confessed his love in "The One with All the Thanksgivings."
In one episode we find out that when Monica was a child she used to have a cat, as Ross and Julie are collecting its old toys. And in the very next episode, "The one with the list," she reveals she's allergic to cats…
And what about Chandler? Once in the past, a chubby Monica was even dancing next to her future husband. However, later Chandler seems very surprised to find out that Monica was overweight. Guys, memory loss is no joke!
4. Ross vs an ice-cream
Everybody loves dogs and ice-cream, right? Well, it is only in the 7th season of the show when we find out that Chandler hates dogs (even puppies!), and Ross doesn't like ice-cream. One season prior to that, however, we can see Ross and Elizabeth enjoying ice cream on a date. Perhaps he really liked the girl, if he could put himself out there and enjoy the cold dessert that much.
5. How can they afford these apartments?
Have you ever thought of how much the characters of the show pay for their rent? As of 2018, the average rent for a 2 bedroom apartment in Manhattan is about $5,524! We doubt either of the 6 friends can afford paying that much, especially in the early seasons where they all are in their early 20s and just starting their careers.
We know that Monica's giant apartment that she shares with Rachel is in her granny's name and rent-controlled, and that explains how she can afford living there, despite being a chef who is just starting her career.
Perhaps she also charges Rachel, who doesn't have a job when she first moves in with her, little to no rent. But how can Chandler, who works in statistical analysis and data reconfiguration, and an aspiring actor afford almost the same apartment? And how about the anthropologist and massage therapist Phoebe?
6. The apartment numbers
Do you say that you are a big fan of the show? Then, what is Monica's apartment number? Joey's? Chandler's? We got you there, huh? In the early episodes of the show, Monica and Rachel lived in apartment #5, and the guys lived just across from her, in apartment #4.
But, starting from the 8th episode, Monica's apartment changed from five to twenty and Chandler's also changed to 19, so they matched. The showrunners just figured out that it’s kind of impossible to have these numbers on an upper floor in a large block so… they decided to simply change them. Okay-okay... that feels like more of a mistake.
7. The empty frame on the door
Who hasn't knocked on that violet door of Monica and Rachel’s apartment?! Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Alec Baldwin, and many others have! For some reason, none of them has paid attention to the frame around the peephole.
Quite a weird usage of a frame, isn't it? Okay, cut the act. The frame initially had a mirror in it. It got broken by a member of the crew during the early stages of filming, yet, the producers thought it looked good, so they decided to leave it.
Now that yellow frame is considered one of the symbols of the show, and any die-hard fan can order a replica of the frame to hang on his or her door. Maybe it will bring luck and one day some star will knock on your door?
8. The board with the messages
Remember that board on Joey and Chandler’s door? It included a ton of cool tiny details regarding scenes from the show. Joey once left a lovely note for Chandler and Monica after they confessed to their romance, and the burglars who rob the apartment are polite enough to leave a grateful message: “Thanks for all your stuff.”
The showrunners even left a secret tribute sign to the victims of 9/11, an event that the show never explicitly addressed. Yep, that statue of liberty and FDNY letters were put on the board to commemorate the heroic work New York firefighters who helped in the aftermath of the terrorist attack.
On a lighter note, how about those champagne glasses with a bottle in order to celebrate Phoebe's wedding in Season 10? The next time you watch Friends, be sure to pay extra special attention to that board! We’re telling you there are tons of doodles hidden away on it..
9. Magic kitchen window
Oh, how many funny heart-to-heart chats happened in Monica’s kitchen! But the viewers were so focused on the dialogues that they paid no attention to the scenery outside the kitchen window, which happened to be completely different from time to time.
Most often, you see a neighboring brick building with a white-framed window that is seen in the lower half of Monica's window. But sometimes, for example in season 3 episode 9, a clothing line is seen. And the window itself sometimes changed its placement on the wall. Oh, the beauty of set changes!
10. When do they go to work?
Besides the confusion about how everyone affords living in Manhattan, the weirdest fact is that they never go to work. Yes, sometimes we see scenes at Monica's workplace in the restaurant, or in Chandler's office, but mostly the friends just sit sipping their coffees either at the cafe or in Monica's apartment.
Even when Rachel is waitressing at Central Park, she's mostly socializing instead of pouring coffee! Do you remember the episode when they were complaining to each other in the cafe about life, and then suddenly remember that they have to go, as the working day has already started?
11. How old is Ross?
We've never seen a cuter nerd then the paleontologist Ross Geller! But here's the problem, Ross, is a very indecisive man. He couldn't come up with an age and fixed birthday for a very long time. In seasons 3, 4 and 5 Ross claims to be 29.
For instance, in episode 9 of season 4, we learn that all the guys are 29, but Monica is 26 is season 1?! So the younger sister is older than her older brother? Also, while speaking to Joey, Ross says he was born in December, but a few seasons after that, in season 9, he mentions a different date which is 18 October.
12. How old is Joey?
Rachel turns 30 in season 7 and is very nervous about her age, so all her friends reflect on how they dealt with their own milestone birthdays. Joey's 30th went especially painfully. But here's the problem.
According to season 1 episode 23, Joeys was the youngest of the friends. He was 25 back then. Thus, he shouldn't have turned 30 before Rachel, and his specialty and tantrum "Why, God, why" should never have been a plotline. Could that be any more sad?
13. Omnipresent June Gable: Joey's agent and… a nurse
There are lots of unexpected cast details and crazy cameos in Friends, but there are also some really obvious mistakes when it comes to recurring actors. Even though Joey's agent Estelle Leonard appeared only in a few episodes of the show, it's impossible to forget her.
Puffy hair straight from the '80s, bright make-up, and a constant cigarette in her hand. But did you know that the actress who played Estelle also ended up playing a nurse in Friends? Yes, the actress's name is June Gable and she also appeared in the very first season in the episode “The One With The Birth” when Ross’ baby Ben was born.
Remember the crazy lady who shouts "Anyone who’s not a nurse or a lesbian life partner, out you go!”? Yep, that was Estelle. Maybe she's quite the agent and can spot future stars right while they're quite literally in their nappies?
14. Phoebe's little brother
Here are some more double agents. The actor Giovanni Ribisi who plays Phoebe's brother Frank Jr. also has a back-story. In one of the early seasons of the show he played the unnoticeable part of a boy who accidentally threw a condom into Phoebe's guitar case instead of change and then came back for it.
And then sometime after that, the very same guy portrays the girl's step-brother...and no one remembers the "condom situation"... Oh, fate! At first, you throw your sister condoms, and then you ask her to give birth to your triplets. Maybe the show had a few casting directors? Or why else do you think the same actors would portray different roles?
15. Phoebe's pregnancy
If it seemed like a pretty odd story about Phoebe, her brother, and the triplets was a bit far-fetched.. well, it didn't just seem that way. We agree that Phoebe is a little eccentric, but the idea of carrying children for her brother who she has just found out about is a little too odd even for her.
But there is quite a simple explanation. This storyline of Phoebe was created because Lisa Kudrow was really pregnant. The scriptwriters had to rack their brains on this trick. But actually, they did pretty well!
16. The first and the second Carol
The kind of mix-up happens with Carol's character too. Attentive viewers will have spotted the change in the actress that happened in the earlier episodes but we’re sure there’s almost no-one who can actually name the first actress.
Anita Barone appeared in only one episode: “The One With The Sonogram At The End”. But for some reason, Anita didn’t enjoy her stay on the show and chose to leave. Likely due to the minor nature of the part she was offered.
After her departure, for the rest of the show Carol’s character was portrayed by Jane Sibbett. Can you imagine how Anita Barone probably feels now? She clearly didn’t foresee how massive Friends would get…
17. Joey and the Russians
Do you remember the scene where Joey was in a laundry and asked the Russian owner behind the counter to put a picture on the wall with lots of other famous actors? And he was rejected because Joey starred in a movie where Russian were stereotypical bad guys? Joey then points to a picture of Harrison Ford saying that Ford was in a movie called Air Force One where all the bad guys were Russian too.
The owner tells Joey that he’s never seen it… BUT… That isn’t exactly true, because in reality he actually starred in it! Yes, his name is Ilia Volokh and he’s a real Russian actor who starred in Air Force One alongside Harrison Ford. Pretty funny, right? And it's not the only detail in the show which is related to other actors.
18. Phoebe’s sister from another show
There’s one funny detail regarding Phoebe’s twin sister Ursula appearances and even her on-screen profession! Obviously, Lisa Kudrow doesn’t have a twin sister she played both characters herself. But the thing is - Lisa Kudrow starred in two different shows at the time: “Friends” and “Mad About You”.
And in "Mad About You", Kudrow plays a crappy waitress named… Ursula! So sometime after that character appeared Lisa Kudrow and the producers of Friends had a terrific idea - why not make the two characters of Phoebe Buffay and Ursula Buffay twins?
"When Friends got its time slot on Thursday night at 8.30, after Mad About You,” Lisa said, “everybody realized we need some explanation for the audience - why are they seeing the same girl with the same voice at 8 o'clock and 8.30 on two different shows?"
You have to admit, that’s kind of a stroke of genius! And as a reward for being so creative, the showrunners got their own cameos on Friends! And not just once. Kevin Bright, Adam Chase, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane starred together in 4 different episodes.
All of their roles were pretty small and unobtrusive, but they’re there if you know what to look for. Like, for example, Kauffman and Chase sitting on a double-decker bus behind Joey and Chandler in that episode with Ross’s Wedding in London.
Or in “The One With The Princess Leia Fantasy”, where the same two guys are sitting on the Friends’ usual couch in Central Perk. Some showrunners also appeared as extras in some shots in the episodes “The One With The Fake Monica” and “The One After The SuperBowl”. Small roles, sure, but working on one of the biggest TV shows of all time probably means they’re not hurting for cash!
19. Three funny details about Marcel
There’s another fun detail regarding Ross’s monkey, Marcel. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that there are three funny details about that monkey. Remember the episode where Ross visits Marcel on a movie set featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme?
They’re shooting a movie sequel called “Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan”. What’s the betting that’s actually a real movie? Well, it is! Partially. There really was a movie called “Outbreak” that came out in 1995 and Van Damme really did star in it with a monkey called Katie. This scene from Friends is actually kind of a cool tribute to the monkey actor's work!
We get another detail about Marcel in the episode following Van Damme’s appearance called “The One After The Superbowl, Part 2”. There’s a scene where Ross goes to a restaurant with Chandler, Joey, and Julia Roberts’ character for a mutual date... and guess what the restaurant is called… Yep, it’s “Marcel”.
That’s a pretty sweet way to show just how much this cute little animal meant to everybody on the show. Though maybe that should be “animals” as the part Marcel was actually played by two different monkeys… and one of them was female. Did you know that!?
20. The house from Home Alone
Now that we're done with actors and monkeys, let's talk about some unexpected interiors and exterior show, and some of the props featured on the show. Some of them are really crazy… Did you notice that the house that Monica and Chandler bought in the 10th season had a very similar view when compared with the view from a window in the house from Home Alone?
More than similar, these two views are exactly the same. Obviously the characters from Friends and Home Alone don’t live in the same house, not least because Kevin lived in John Hughes' beloved Chicago and Monica and Chandler live in New York, but if we talk about the exterior shoots for the locations - they totally match.
It kind of looks like the creators of Friend just grabbed some stock footage from the 1990’s movie Home Alone and used it as the background for their scenes. Crazy or lazy? You decide!
21. Ross’ girlfriends
Another shady side of Ross is the intimate part of his life. For a long time, he claims that the only woman he's been intimate with was his ex-wife Carol. But then later it turns out that in 7th grade he had sex with a janitor who was later promoted to be the librarian, but that doesn't change anything!
What's up, Ross? Is there anything we should know about you? Are you an undercover spy who got lost in his own stories? Even though David Crane and Marta Kauffman could not control every aspect of the show and messed up a few little things - that didn't spoil the show!
22. Phoebe’s father
Phoebe Buffay also has a shady past. She calmly likes to recall stories from her childhood that sound completely shocking to her friends. We know she grew up in a disadvantaged family, and her father left them way before she was born. Or at least that's what she says.
In the episode where Phoebe meets her father, Frank, he says he was there while she was being born and even put her to sleep singing lullabies. Who do you think is lying?
23. How many sisters does Joey have?
Joey Tribbiani also likes to manipulate his past. True fans know Joey has 7 sisters. However, in the episode about Mrs. Bing, Joey says the following about his mother: "Do you think it's easy to give birth to 7 children?". Do you see the mismatch? But hey maybe he was adopted? Joey might have simply made a mistake, but then again he was never much into hard science.
24. Where is Minsk?
Let's go back to Phoebe but this time with a geography question. Where is Minsk located? Phoebe's boyfriend, David, is sure it is in Russia. It is mentioned in season 1 first, and then in season 7, too.
The man had 7 years to open up the world map and figure out that Minsk is the capital of Belarus, which is a completely different country! Perhaps David is a very romantic and intelligent guy, but it's desirable to know which country you live in…
25. Hank Azaria aka Joey
David, who is also known as David the Scientist Guy, was Phoebe's first serious crush. He was a shy and romantic guy in a woolen jumper who broke Phoebe's heart when he suddenly left for Minsk. And now try to imagine him as Joey! Come on! Couldn't do it, huh?
Neither could the show's creators, despite the fact that he auditioned for Joey's role twice before the show went into production. And we fully support the decision in favor of Matt le Blanc. Who else can say 'How you doing?' with such intonations and facial expressions?
26. Such a long pregnancy...
The scriptwriters have messed up not only the locations but also the time. At Monica and Chandler's wedding in May, Rachel is 6 weeks pregnant. On Valentine's Day, she is still pregnant, and only gives birth at the end of the next season! So... she was pregnant for almost a year! Really?
27. Joey’s ATM pin code
Do you remember the very beginning of the episode “The One In Vegas: Part 1”? Joey calls Phoebe to remind him of his own pin code, which he actually scratched on the ATM machine? Phoebe reveals the code to be 5639... which ... actually spells the word “Joey” on the dial pad! This tiny detail suits Joey’s character perfectly!
28. Are you sure Chandler's not gay?
Many people, including Lisa Kudrow, thought that Matthew Perry's character was gay. Kudrow said she was surprised to hear Perry's interpretation of Chandler at the first read-through because when she first read the script, she thought Chandler was meant to be gay.
And it wasn't just her. During the first few seasons of the show, many viewers argued about Chandler's sexual orientation. In 1997, David Crane told Entertainment Weekly. "No, Chandler isn't gay. Nor will he be gay."
29. A Big White Dog
This unusual statue is the only thing Joey has left after his short triumph in Days of Our Lives in season 2. It randomly pops up in different episodes and the last time we see it is in the final episode of the show when Monica and Chandler move out of the apartment and Monica tells the movers that there is no need to be careful with it, and it wouldn't be the worst thing if it fell off the truck.
Courteney Cox revealed in an interview that Joey's big white dog statue belonged to David Arquette, her husband. Though, some trivia website states that it was a "good luck gift" to Jennifer Aniston on her first day of filming. Apparently, Aniston didn't know what to do with such an unusual present and decided that it wouldn't be too odd on the set.
30. The Arquettes
Most fans noticed some strange name changes in the opening credits of “The One After Vegas” - each cast member’s name was followed by “Arquette”. Any ideas why? It’s because Courtney Cox got married to actor David Arquette and the title changes were meant to celebrate and commemorate their wedding!
And David Arquette himself also appeared in a minor role on the show. It was in the episode “The One With The Jam” - David plays a guy who follows Phoebe, mistakenly thinking that she’s her twin sister Ursula. While it’s funny on the show, it’s a bit creepy to think that the guy stalking Phoebe went on to become Courtney Cox's husband.
Courtney and David eventually got divorced in 2013... but that’s another story… And not only did David have a cameo, so did his sister Alexis Arquette - an actress and cabaret performer in her own right. Alexis appeared a couple of times throughout the series, with her most memorable appearance being when she played a queen cocktail waitress in “The One With Chandler’s Dad”.
Did you know that Matthew Perry’s real-life dad appeared on Friends? In the 4th season, he portrays a one-off character - Rachel’s boyfriend Joshua's father. Don’t remember him?
We wouldn’t blame you. Remember the scene from “The One With Rachel’s New Dress” where she went to her date’s parent’s house and his parents unexpectedly return? It’s pretty difficult to spot him, especially if you don't know what Perry's father looks like. But now you know, you’ll never miss him again!
Are you eager to know more details about Friends and its iconic cast? Even though Friends released its last episode back in 2004, the sitcom still has millions of fans all over the world. And we believe that all these fans want to know what their favorite actors are doing now and how are their real-life partners. Find out all the details on our next article!