14 Things We Learned From The Friends Reunion On HBO Max
The cast of the iconic sitcom Friends have reunited for a special on HBO Max, revealing many behind-the-scenes secrets from the show.
At long last, the has arrived on HBO Max. When first announced, the special was originally going to debut in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic kept that from happening, but eventually, the cast of the iconic sitcom was able to reunite--complete with a socially distanced audience--to look back on the series that ran for a decade.
The special sees the reunited cast revisiting the show's rebuilt sets, testing each other's Friends trivia, reading old scripts together, and sharing their memories of starring on one of the most popular TV shows of all time. In doing so, they revealed quite a bit of new information for fans, from production secrets, to what they took home from the set when the series wrapped, to whether or not a revival is in the hypothetical future.
Take a look below at the 14 biggest things we learned from the Friends reunion on HBO Max. Then head over to the streaming service to watch it yourself.
1. Matt LeBlanc dislocated his shoulder
In the Season 3 episode "The One Where No One's Ready," there's a scene in which Joey (LeBlanc) attempts to dive into a chair in Monica and Rachel's apartment. What fans didn't know is that in one take, LeBlanc dove so aggressively that he actually dislocated his shoulder. In never-before-seen footage, he is shown walking off of the set, followed by David Schwimmer, who tells the camera to cut. Then, from off-screen, he can be heard yelling, "Ouch!"
The rest of the taping had to be canceled so LeBlanc could be taken to the hospital. While the rest of that particular episode was filmed after his arm healed, he wore a sling on the show for the next few.
2. David Schwimmer hated working with Marcel
While fans may have loved the fact that Ross (Schwimmer) had a pet monkey for a period of time on the show, Schwimmer sure didn't. According to the actor, the monkey's timing was off quite a bit of the time. What's more, the capuchin (whose real name was Katie) would often be fed live grubs while sitting on Schwimmer's shoulder. "I'd have monkey grubby hands all over," he said. "It was just time for Marcel to f*** off."
3. Matthew Perry was cast on the weirdest show ever before Friends
When Friends was casting, Matthew Perry was already hard at work on another TV pilot. He was set to star in LAX 2194. In it, he played a baggage handler at the Los Angeles International Airport, but over 150 years into the future. Yes, it was a bad idea. No, it never made it to air, thankfully. What we wouldn't give to see that pilot, though.
4. Jennifer Aniston almost had to be recast
Likewise, Jennifer Aniston was also cast on another show at the time Friends was being put together. She was working on a series called Muddling Through. Still, the producers of Friends cast her in the pilot and shot a few episodes, hoping Muddling Through wouldn't get picked up to series. Aniston recalls going to the producers of Muddling Through and asking to be released from her contract because she really wanted to be on Friends. Their response? "That show's not going to make you a star."
5. The cast agrees Ross and Rachel were on a break
It's one of the biggest debates in the show's history. Were Ross and Rachel on a break when Ross slept with the girl from the copy store? While the characters were divided on the show, the cast now agrees that they were, indeed, broken up at the time. So that mystery is solved.
6. Matt LeBlanc autographed the set in an interesting way
Upon completion of the series, the cast and crew of Friends autographed one of the apartment set walls. They shared thoughtful memories and well wishes with their messages. Well, most of them did. LeBlanc simply wrote, "I s*** here" and signed his name. All these years later, it still cracks him up.
7. Ross and Rachel almost didn't end up together
Co-creator David Crane revealed during an interview on the special that at one point they considered ending the series without getting Ross and Rachel together. Ultimately, they realized what a bad idea that would have been. "People have been waiting 10 years to see this couple get together, we've got to give them what they want, we just have to find a way to do it so the journey is unexpected," he explained.
8. No, there won't be a revival
Fans holding out hope for more episodes are going to have to let this one go. Not only are the creators not interested, but the cast themselves also don't want to revisit the characters. Everyone is happy with how the show ended. What's more, Courtney Cox (Monica) admitted that this is also likely the last time they'll all get together for a public reunion. That said, they're still planning to have private dinners together.
9. Chandler and Monica's relationship was inspired by fans
When Chandler and Monica hooked up in London, it was originally meant to be a one night stand situation. That was the Season 4 finale, though, and the show's producers had all summer to watch fans' reaction to the idea. After seeing how excited viewers were about the pairing, the show leaned into it and, ultimately, the couple wound up married with kids.
10. Aniston and Schwimmer had crushes on each other
While Ross and Rachel were on again-off again throughout the entire series, the actors behind the roles were never romantically involved. However, both Schwimmer and Aniston admitted they had massive crushes on each other during Season 1.
11. The cast took home some pieces of the set
When the show ended, most of the sets were either destroyed or put into storage. However, some pieces from the sets wound up going home with the actors. Cox, for instance, took the cookie jar from Monica and Rachel's apartment. LeBlanc, on the other hand, took home the ball from Chandler and Joey's foosball table. Why didn't he take the foosball table, itself? Because by the end of the series, it was destroyed.
12. Courtney Cox hid script pages all over the sets
Early on in the special, LeBlanc revealed that Cox once had her lines written down on a dining room table while filming a scene. This led to the revelation that script pages were often hidden all over the sets for the actors to refer to--and usually Cox was the person that put them there.
13. Matthew Perry felt an unhealthy pressure to be funny
During one of the more sobering moments of the special, Perry admitted that the pressure he put on himself to be funny was problematic throughout the series. "To me, I felt like I was going to die if they didn't laugh. And it's not healthy, for sure," he admitted. "But I would sometimes say a line and they wouldn't laugh and I would sweat and just go into convulsions. If I didn't get the laugh I was supposed to get, I would freak out."
14. Where are they now?
While there's not going to be a revival anytime soon, the cast knows where they believe their characters are now. According to Aniston, Ross and Rachel are married with kids. And yes, Ross is still a paleontologist. By now, Monica and Chandler's kids have graduated high school. As Cox puts it, Monica is still volunteering at the school though--and Chandler is still making her laugh. Likewise, Kudrow believes Phoebe and Mike are married with children at this point.
In fact, the only person they don't believe settled down and started a family is Joey. According to Leblanc, the character "probably opened up a sandwich shop in Venice Beach."
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