Courteney Cox was originally asked to play Rachel, but she asked to play Monica instead after reading the parts.
At least four actors, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, Christina Applegate and Paul Rudd, have guest-starred on episodes of the show after doing a film with one of the regular cast members. Willis and Applegate won Emmys for their guest turns.
The Friends tv show debuted at a time when networks were beginning to eliminate theme songs during the opening credits; however, with the popularity of this theme song, "I'll Be There for You" which went to #1 on the "Billboard Hot 100" and had incessant play on both the radio airwaves and television video channels, the show helped quell that trend.
Before the show was cast, the main love interest was intended to be Monica and Joey.
The orange couch used in Central Perk was found in the basement of the Warner Brothers studio.
In the opening credits of Friends: The One After Vegas (1999), the names of all the actors and crew were changed to include "Arquette" at the end of them, a gag on Courteney Cox Arquette, who had just recently married David Arquette.
There have been eleven Oscar winning actors/actresses who have appeared on Friends: Fisher Stevens, Charlton Heston, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Helen Hunt, Julia Roberts, Reese Witherspoon, Robin Williams, George Clooney, Jim Rash and Brad Pitt.
Joey's pick-up line, "How you doin'?" was ranked #4 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 20 Top Catchphrases" (21-27 August 2005 issue).
On the set, Matt LeBlanc was called "LeBlanc" by all the cast and crew, and Matthew Perry was called "Matthew" or "Matty". This was started by the crew to avoid confusion. Additionally, David Schwimmer was referred to as "Schwim" among the crew.
The Friends show's original theme song was "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M., but was changed later to be "I'll Be There For You" by The Rembrandts.
The Friends characters' full names are: Rachel Karen Green; Phoebe Buffay (in Friends: The One Where They All Turn Thirty (2001), she says she never knew her middle name since she had never seen her birth certificate and her twin sister, Ursula, sold it to a Swedish runaway); Joseph Francis Tribbiani Jr.; Chandler Muriel Bing; Ross Eustace Geller; Monica E. Geller (it is revealed that Monica's initials are MEG but her middle name is never actually specified).
Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) is the oldest of the six Friends, being born in 1963, Courteney Cox (Monica) born in 1964, David Schwimmer (Ross) born in 1966, Matt LeBlanc (Joey) born in 1967, Jennifer Aniston (Rachel) born in February 1969, and Matthew Perry(Chandler) being the youngest, born in August 1969.
The writers of 'Friends' didn't originally intend for Joey to be dim, but when Matt LeBlanc auditioned for the Joey's role, he put a "different spin" on the character, convincing the writers that his dumbness would be a great source of comedy.
Friends tv show was Ranked #7 on Empire magazine's 50 Greatest TV Shows Of All Time (2008).
Hank Azaria once auditioned for the role of Joey Tribbiani. After being rejected, he begged to audition again. He auditioned and was rejected again, but he later appeared as David, Phoebe's scientist boyfriend.
For almost the entire first season, there wasn’t a street outside of Central Perk, just a painted backdrop. They made the window a little blurry and put many plants in front of the window to hide the street.
In S10E12 of Friends, Phoebe's wedding was not attended by any of her relatives.
Columbus State University has a paleontologist named David R. Schwimmer.
In the 'FRIENDS' episode, where Susan and Carol (Ross' ex-wife) got married, "NBC expected thousands and thousands of phone calls and hate mails but actually received only four complaints by telephone."
The golden frame around the peephole was originally a mirror which Ricky Parker, a crew member, accidentally smashed. Because it looked good, they decided to leave it there.
The highest rated episodes in Friends are "The One Where Everybody Finds Out (1999)" and "The Last One: Part 2 (2004)".
Thirty-second commercial spots which took place in the final episode was sold in the UK for £1.2 million (approx $1.8 million). This is the most expensive commercial slots of any TV program in the UK, with the exception of sports.
Jennifer Aniston was offered a spot as a featured player on Saturday Night Live, but turned it down to accept the role of Rachel on Friends.
In the first couple of episodes, Chandler and Joey's apartment number was #4 and Monica and Rachel's apartment number was #5. However, in the later episodes, they were changed to 19 and 20 respectively because the producers noted that 4 and 5 corresponded to apartments on lower floors while the two apartments were supposed to be higher up in the building.
Jennifer Aniston personally owned Pat the Dog, the white, ceramic dog statue in Joey and Chandler's apartment. It was a gift to her on the first day of filming and the producers of Friends wanted to use it.
When Tom Selleck made his initial on-set appearances, he received standing ovations from the audience. These would render his entrances unusable, prompting the need for later reshoots without the audience.
In 2000, when the cast of "Friends" wouldn't come down from their $1,050,000/episode salary demands, NBC produced promos saying "You've loved them for seven years, see how it all ends with the series finale of Friends this Thursday". The cast agreed to lower their salaries.
Friend stars were paid $75,000 per episode in season three, $85,000 in season four, $100,000 in season five, $125,000 in season six, $750,000 in seasons seven and eight, and $1 million in seasons nine and ten, making Aniston, Cox, and Kudrow the highest paid TV actresses of all-time.
Joey's PIN number was 5639, which spells out 'JOEY' so he could remember it.
It's rumored that Mathew Perry made a bet with Bruce Willis that if "The Whole Nine Yards" (a movie in which both co-starred) opened at No. 1 at the box office, Willis would have to do a guest-appearance in Friends tv show for free. Willis lost the bet, and guest-starred in Friends.
Matt LeBlanc's character, Joey Tribbiani, played Dr. Drake Ramoray in a fictional version of the NBC's soap opera Days of Our Lives (1965). In real life, Jennifer Aniston's father, John Aniston, played Victor Kiriakis in the real Days of Our Lives.
The creators of the Portuguese show "Gato Fedorento" say that the inspiration for the name of the show came from the song "Smelly Cat" sung by Pheobe Buffay.
Courteney Cox is the only regular cast member to not receive an Emmy nomination for her work on the show.
Elizabeth Berkley auditioned for the role of Rachel Green.
The value of Monica's apartment from "Friends" tv show is $3,500,000.
In Chandler's and Joey's apartment, there is a poster with a kangaroo boxing against human which says "Kangaroo Boxer" in Russian.
The fake cigarette brand, 'Morley', has been featured in hundreds of movies and TV shows, including Seinfeld, Friends, and Frasier.
Jennifer Aniston dated Tate Donovan (Joshua) for three years, from 1994. They got engaged but unfortunately split in the same year. Later, he landed a part in the show as Rachel's boyfriend.
Out of the six friends, Chandler is the only one not to have any siblings. Rachel has two sisters, Monica and Ross are brother and sister, Phoebe has a twin sister and a half-brother, and Joey has seven sisters.
When Matt LeBlanc auditioned for the role of Joey in "Friends" he had only $11 dollars to his name. When the cast got their first paychecks, the first thing that Courteney Cox bought was a car and Matt LeBlanc bought a hot dinner.
Emma’s role in Friends tv show was played by twins named Cali Sheldon and Noelie Sheldon.
At NBC's insistence, the pilot episode of "Friends" was rewritten to include an older character who could give an advice to young adults. The new script was so bad that it was scrapped.
The tour guides of New York City tells tourists, that a fountain in Central Park is the F.R.I.E.N.D.S fountain. That fountain is actually in Warner Bros. Studios (LA).
In the pilot episode of Friends tv show, Barry's surname was Finkel. In later episodes, his name was changed to Barry Farber.
Ellen Degeneres turned down the role of Phoebe Buffay on "Friends."
Jon Cryer was originally offered the role of Chandler Bing. Cryer was later cast in the tv show Two and a Half Men (2003) alongside Charlie Sheen, who guest starred on Friends as Ryan in Season 2.
When the Friends tv show debuted in 1994, People Magazine gave it a D+ rating, and Time magazine called the cast as "dysfunctional morons."
In the episode "The One Where Chandler Takes a Bath", in the beginning, Joey wore a T-shirt with the name "Capt. Billy Burke." Captain Billy Burke was a firefighter who died at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
After recovering from years of Opioid (specifically Vicodin and methadone) addiction, actor Matthew Perry (Chandler Bing from Friends) received a Champion of Recovery award from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for opening a sober living home in his Malibu mansion.
Joey's agent Estelle played a nurse in the first season when Carol was in the hospital.