Twelve years ago on May 6, 2004, we waved a final farewell to one of the most beloved shows on TV, Friends. The Big Six had been with us for years, over which time we had fully familiarized ourselves with their close-knit friendships, romantic escapades and bizarre shenanigans. Understandably, letting go was never going to be easy.
That's why ever since, we have had to keep our '90s sitcom nostalgia burning bright through post-show cast interviews on various talk shows and the minuscule possibility that one day we will be graced with a reunion. So while we wait on that, why not celebrate the anniversary of the very last episode by delving right into some fascinating trivia about some of the shenanigans that went on behind-the-scenes:
1. NBC had a sneaky way to lower the salaries of the 'Friends' cast
In 2000, the cast refused to come down from their $1,050,000/episode salary demands. In order to slightly scare them into submission, NBC produced promos which read:
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 salaries.
2. Courtney Cox was originally asked to play Rachel
After reading the part, she asked if she could audition for Monica instead.
3. All the 'Friends' made exactly the same amount as each other
They started out making $22,500 per episode and then ended up making over $1,000,000 per episode!
4. The white dog statue belonged to Jennifer Aniston
Before she first started acting, Jennifer's friend gifted her that statue. She offered to lend it to the show in the episode where Joey bought a bunch of stuff for his apartment. Afterwards, she just let the producers keep it.
5. Central Perk's orange couch came from Warner Brothers
It was just sitting there in the basement of the studio. The show's original set director once said:
"Literally in the basement, deep in one of the corners of the basement, was this sofa that was absolutely beautiful and the line of it was just gorgeous. It was very tattered. We cleaned it up a little bit, it had quite a few rips in the fabric. But we cleaned up."
6. The refrigerators in the two apartments actually worked
They were filled with water and soft drinks for the cast and crew.
7. Monica's apartment was based on set designer's own from the 1970s
Designers John Shaffner and Joe Stewart were inspired by their own New York homes — they once said:
"We'd all had similar New York experiences in the late '70s, so we kind of reached into our communal New York lives and withdrew a lot of elements that we felt were appropriate for the story. And we had lived in a sixth-floor walkup, so we knew you got a bigger apartment for less money if you're willing to climb six flights of stairs."
8. The show's original name was meant to be the 'Insomnia Cafe'
And Joey and Monica were supposed to be the main love interests.
9. The iconic fountain scene in the opening credits was shot in a studio
Yep, that's not Gramercy Park or Central Park like they would have us believe.