10+ Details About 'Friends' Characters Fans Didn't Know

With production being halted on the highly-anticipated Friends reunion on HBO MAX, we're starving for some Friends.

After all, the sitcom ended decades ago, yet we're still obsessed with every single part of it: the laughs, the touching moments, the characters.

To help get you by until the reunion gets going again, here's some trivia about the characters that most superfans didn't even know!

1. David Schwimmer was hesitant about Ross's third divorce:

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He told The Telegraph:

"The whole arc of the relationship was weird then because for him to be able to move on enough to marry someone else and then go back to being in love with Rachel later just went a bit too far."

2. Tea Leoni was originally cast as Rachel:

Rachel could have been mighty different!

Tea ended up turning down the role to do a show called The Naked Truth. Sadly, that was canceled after only three seasons.

Talk about regret!

3. And Courteney Cox was originally offered the role of Rachel Green!

Cox explained during an interview that “For some reason, I thought I related more to Monica, which maybe it’s because I do.”

How differently might the show have looked without Courteney as Monica?!

4. Monica and Joey were supposed to get together:


If you remember, this almost happened until Joey misread "lemonade" for being a code for you-know-what.

But, according to the show's co-creator, Marta Kauffman, this all changed when the studio audience reacted so positively to Chandler and Monica being intimate.

“We were stunned," she told *The Hollywood Reporter*.

"So that’s when we sort of went, ‘Huh, guess this is going in a different direction," she said.

It's a good thing this happened since we all saw how big Joey would have gotten if he had married Monica!

5. Gunther's hair was bleached every week for 10 years.

YouTube | Nicki Swift

Talk about commitment!

"I did it myself after a while, he told Buzzfeed.

"It was just easier instead of coming in early to do it. I would just do it the night before."

6. Speaking of Gunther, he landed the part since he had real-life barista experience:


"I'd worked with the assistant director, Joel Wang, and he gave me the call. He said, 'Hey, do you want to come on and be in the background in a coffee shop? I would love you to just stand by the espresso machine and pretend like you're actually really working it, just so it would look authentic," he told Buzzfeed.

When this happened, he thought he'd only be on there for six episodes.

"No one really expected until after that first season that it was going to continue. And 10 years! Who would have thought?"

7. Jon Favreau was originally offered the part of Chandler Bing.

While he turned it down, we all know that he ended up on the show later on.

In Season 3, he played Monica's millionaire-boyfriend-turned-aspiring-UFC-fighter, Pete Becker.

8. Joey's infamous white dog statue actually belonged to Jennifer Aniston.

Word has it that a friend gave it to her as a good luck present when she first started acting.

She clearly wasn't too big a fan of it, as she quickly lent it to the Friends set who kept it.

9. The names of the six friends were inspired by characters from *All My Children*:


Talk about lending inspiration!

There was Ross (David Schwimmer) for Ross Chandler, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) for Joey Martin, Chandler (Matthew Perry) for the Chandler family, Monica (Courteney Cox) for Monique/Daisy Cortland, Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) for Janet Green, and Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) for Phoebe Tyler Wallingford.

10. Bruce Willis guest-starred on the show after losing a bet:

As it turns out, this bet was with his The Whole Nine Yards co-star, Matthew Perry.

It was even reported that he donated any money he got from the show to charity.

11. Ben had a huge crush on Rachel IRL:


“I had a really, really hard time working with Aniston because I was so in love with her,” Cole Sprouse told the New York Post in 2017.

“I was infatuated. I was speechless—I’d get all bubbly and forget my lines and completely blank…It was so difficult.”

12. The cast wasn't happy with the Joey and Rachel storyline.

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Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey, told Vanity Fair:

“It felt wildly inappropriate. That’s how close we all were to the character. I was like, ‘That’s Rachel. She was supposed to be with Ross.'"

He continued: "'Wait a minute.’ Everybody got super-defensive about the whole thing.”


In the end, it was revealed that the writers had added this storyline in to delay Ross and Rachel getting back together in the end.

13. Janice had to hide her appearance until the last second:

"It was sort of a rock star moment because there will never be another show where my every entrance is a secret and a surprise," Maggie Wheeler told Digital Spy.

“They would keep me hidden–I could barely come down to get a doughnut.”

She continued:

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"I had to stay in my dressing room until the last moment and then they’d secretly move me from behind the set to the right spot and they’d keep a black screen so the audience couldn’t see me until I made my first entrance."

14. Joey and Phoebe were almost a thing:

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If you ever dreamed of these two besties getting together, it was this close to happening.

“Toward the end, we actually pitched the idea that Joey and Phoebe had been having casual sex the entire time," Matt Leblanc told EW.

If it happened, it would have been a secret fling, like Chandler and Monica's.

"We’d go back and shoot all the historical scenes and just before a moment that everyone recognizes, there’s Joey and Phoebe coming out of a broom closet together. But they were like, ‘Nah.’”

15. The creators knew that Ross and Rachel would end up together ever since Season 1.

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They were always each other's lobsters.

“We had [expletive] the audience around for 10 years with their ‘will they or won’t they,’ and we didn’t see any advantage in frustrating them," said co-creator, David Crane.

16. Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) was terrified of Joey and Chandler's duck.

Kudrow has what's known as ornithophobia, a fear of birds.

If you pay close attention in those episodes you can literally see the fear in her eyes whenever she's in the same shot as the fiendish fowl.

17. Hank Azaria, who played Phoebe's love interest, David, auditioned to play the part of Joey. Twice!


“That’s the only job I ever auditioned for twice,” Azaria said in an interview with The Huffington Post.

“I thought it was so good — they had rejected me once — I said, ‘I’m going back, I’m gonna do it again, I’m gonna try it again.’”

18. Maggie Wheeler sounds absolutely nothing like Janice in real life.


"Oh. My. GOD!"

Was there ever a TV character as annoying as Janice? Has there been one since? As hard to believe as it might be, the accent is totally fake. Maggie Wheeler supposedly based the accent on people she knew.

I wonder if she's friends with Fran Drescher?

19. They knew they wanted David Schwimmer as Ross right from the beginning.

“Schwimmer had auditioned the year before for a pilot we were making, and he just stuck in our heads. That was an offer. No audition.”

This doesn't surprise me in the slightest. I always thought Ross was the funniest in the bunch!

20. Phoebe was supposed to play the bongos at first.


Supposedly, Lisa Kudrow hated the idea of Phoebe playing the guitar.

It's a good thing though. Can you imagine what "Smelly Cat" would sound like on the bongos? Not good.

21. Her pregnancy was written into the show!

During a Reddit AMA, Lisa had this to say about her pregnancy:

"Here's what was difficult about having a child: when he visited the set, it was hard to be in character. Because i didn't want him to ever experience me as anything OTHER than his mother."

22. Originally, Rachel was going to propose to Joshua immediately after Ross and Emily got engaged.


The live audience was apparently so sad that filming was put on hold. Everyone needed some time to process what they had just seen. Thankfully, Rachel's proposal never materialized afterward.