Michael Bryan

Written by Michael Bryan

Modified & Updated: 23 Sep 2023

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

friends logo, friends facts

First aired in 1994, the U.S. series Friends’ long-lasting popularity remains to this day. Even millennials and members of Gen Z can’t get enough of it! Why is it so successful? Pop culture experts say people re-watch the series over and over again because it has everything we truly long for in life – timeless humor, love, and enduring friendship.

If you look closely, there is something to learn from each character. Monica teaches us to follow rules, Rachel teaches us to to be fashionable. On the other hand, Phoebe teaches us to embrace ourselves, Chandler shows the value of sarcasm, Joey teaches us it is okay to be open with your feelings, while Ross shows us there is nothing wrong with being a geek!

Overall, the beloved sitcom shows us that life can be easy when we surround ourselves with the right people. For all those reasons and more, it is one of the most successful comedy sitcoms ever! Whether you’re a long-time fan of Friends or you’ve just recently liked the show, you will definitely appreciate this line-up of Friends facts. From how much the Friends cast was finally paid to plans for a Friends reunion, you will learn more about the iconic TV show thanks to our collection of Friends facts!

  1. Friends first aired on September 22, 1994.
  2. Friends lasted for ten seasons.
  3. Friends have two hundred and thirty-six episodes.
  4. Its last episode aired on May 6, 2004.
  5. The story revolves around six friends during their 20s and 30s.
  1. Friends is a very successful American television sitcom.
  2. This television sitcom is created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane.
  3. Kauffman and Crane are American producers and writers.
  4. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is the first company to air Friends.
  5. It is one of the longest-running scripted U.S. primetime television series along with CSI: Miami, Beverly Hills, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke.
  6. The six main characters live in Manhattan, New York City.
  7. Most of its filming occurred in Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.
  8. Friends’ theme song is “I’ll Be There for You” by The Rembrandts.
  9. This American television sitcom is also available on Netflix in over 30 countries.
  10. There are six main characters in Friends: Rachel Green, Monica Geller, Phoebe Buffay, Joey Tribbiani, Chandler Bing, and Ross Geller.
  1. The principal actors were paid $22,500 per episode in season 1.
  2. In season 2, the main cast received between $25,000 to $40,000 per episode.
  3. Paychecks were nearly doubled in season 3, at $75,000 per episode.
  4. The main characters had a raise in season 4 and made $85,000 per episode.
  5. The main characters received $100,000 per episode in season 5.
Table of Contents

The main characters' salary increased by more than 40 fold.

From a starting salary of $22,500 in season 1 that jumped to $100,000 per episode in season 5, their exponential never stopped until the last season. In season 6 the main cast got $125,000 per episode. In seasons 7 and 8 they received a whopping $750,000 paycheck per episode. In seasons 9 and 10, the leading casts received $1,000,000 per episode.

The main cast are good friends in real life.

During seasons 8, 9, and 10, Jennifer Aniston was already a mega superstar married to Brad Pitt. Initially, the offer for Jennifer Aniston per episode was much higher. However, she demanded that all of her co-stars should receive an equal salary or she won’t do the last season. As a result, they divided Jennifer’s salary and all of the leading cast members received $1,000,000 per episode, making it a true story of friendship. Very cool Friends facts!

friends cast, friends facts
Image from The New York Times

The producers considered other titles.

Before ending up with its forever famous title, Friends had other title choices such as Friends Like Us, Insomnia Café, and Six of One. Friends facts that might have changed the show as we know it.

Jennifer Aniston is in 236 episodes.

Jennifer Aniston played Rachel Green, one of the six main characters in the show. Initially introduced as a naïve runaway bride, Rachel Green reunited with her childhood friend Monica Geller in New York City, and later became a successful businesswoman. She appeared in 236 episodes of the sitcom.

Monica Geller is known as a hard-working chef.

Courteney Cox played Monica Geller, a chef, a neat freak, and is considered the mother hen of the group. She likes to take care and please people as evident by many of her storylines in the show.

The show did not fully explain how Monica became a chef.

The show did not detail how Monica Geller became a chef, apart from her future husband Chandler Bing telling her to do it. In one of the Thanksgiving episodes, Monica made Chandler some mac ‘n’ cheese. He liked it and told Monica that she should become a chef.

Courteney Cox had to wear a body suit for flashback scenes.

When Courteney Cox played the young Monica Geller in some of its episodes, she wore a fat suit along with facial prosthetics to make her cheeks look bloated. The special mask had holes so Courteney can show her eyes, mouth, and nose.

Phoebe Buffay is a musician.

Phoebe Buffay, played by Lisa Kudrow, is one of the three main female characters in Friends. She is a professional musician. And while Phoebe plays and the guitar and creates her own songs, her friends are aware that she isn’t that good. This is played for laughs, though.

Joey Tribbiani is Italian-American.

Matt LeBlanc played Joseph Francis Tribbiani Jr. or better known as the womanizing, food-loving Joey Tribbiani. A struggling actor, he came from a working-class Italian-American family of eight children where he is the only boy.

Chandler came from a wealthy family.

Matthew Perry played Chandler Bing. By profession, Chandler was a statistical analyst in seasons 1 to 9, though his friends and the viewers were still clueless about what he does. He became a copywriter in seasons 9 and 10 after learning that he should do what he’s great at. Chandler is the only child of a wealthy family whose ancestors are from Scotland and Sweden. His mother, Nora Bing, is a successful erotic novelist.

Ross Geller is the "intellectual" of the group.

David Schwimmer played Ross Geller. Many viewed Ross Geller as the most intelligent guy in the group, and while very neurotic is still goofy like his friends. Ross Geller is a paleontologist and a college professor with a doctorate from Columbia University.

Ross Geller married Carol Willick in season 1.

Ross Geller married Carol Willick in season 1 and later had a son named Ben. However, their marriage fell apart when Carol revealed that she likes women. This turning point made Ross insecure and paranoid in his eventual relationships.

Ross Geller married Emily Waltham, but said Rachel’s name at the altar.

Ross Geller married Emily Waltham in season 4 after a whirlwind romance between the two of them. Unfortunately (but a fortunate thing for us!), Ross said Rachels name instead of Emily’s at the altar. Ross and Emily still went through the ceremony, but their marriage ended in divorce due to Emily’s jealousy.

"Ross the divorce force" is one of Ross's nicknames.

“Ross The Divorce Force” is one of the nicknames Ross was given. In season 6, Ross Geller and Rachel Green surprised fans when they tied the knot in Vegas. However, it ended up in divorce as the characters were drunk when they got married. The incident cemented the divorce running gag and galvanized the nickname, “Ross The Divorce Force.” Hilarious Friends facts!

It's still a widely popular show today.

Many people who watched Friends found it amusing and very entertaining. Some of those loyal viewers have only one wish ― that it’s a true story. More than 25 years now since it first aired in 1994, numerous fans from around the world continue to watch it online without the means to stop.

Lego model of Friends, Friends facts
Image from Adobe Stock

The main pair in Friends was supposed to be Monica and Joey.

The executive producers thought that Monica and Joey should be together because they are the most sensual characters. However, the two turned out to not be romantically compatible, so they paired up the two with other characters.

Gunther only got his name in the second season.

Gunther, played by James Michael Tyler, works in the Central Perk Coffee Shop as a manager where the friends usually hang out. His role originally didn’t have a place in the script, which explains why he only got his name in the second season.

All of Friends' seasons have high ratings.

All of the ten seasons of Friends were placed within the top 10 of the final television season ratings. In fact, Friends’ eighth season claimed the number one spot.

David Schwimmer is younger than Courteney Cox.

David Schwimmer is younger than Courteney Cox, even though he plays her older brother in the show. David Schwimmer was born in 1966, while Courteney Cox was born in 1964.

Courteney Cox did not receive an Emmy nomination.

courteney cox
Source: Albert Domasin on Wikimedia Commons

Courteney Cox is the only one from the main cast who did not receive an Emmy nomination for her work on the show.

The show was nominated for more than 60 Primetime Emmy Awards.

Friends received critical acclaim during its airing. In fact, it was nominated for more than 60 Primetime Emmy Awards and won an Outstanding Comedy Series Award.

It is one of the most influential and entertaining TV series of all time.

Friends peaked at no. 21 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. It is in the list of the top 50 most influential and entertaining television series in American pop culture.

The theme song of Friends became a hit on the American pop charts.

The Friends theme song “I’ll Be There For You” was performed and recorded by the duo The Rembrandts. After launching the song in 1995, it became number 1 in the US Billboard for eight weeks.

Initially, the cast didn't like the theme song.

Although the Friends theme song became iconic, some members of the didn’t like when they first heard it. Jennifer Aniston felt like that dancing in the fountain or in the pond is kind of odd, but they did it anyway in the end. Nevertheless, it’s hard to imagine Friends today without its theme song.

"Shiny Happy People" was Friend's original theme song.

Friend’s original theme song was “Shiny Happy People” by R.E.M. “Shiny Happy People” was used as the show’s theme song on its unaired pilot episode, “Friends Like Us.” It was eventually changed to”I’ll Be There For You” by The Rembrandts.

All of the major characters changed their jobs.

Throughout the show’s ten seasons, most major characters changed their jobs at least once. Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) is the only character in the story who never involuntarily left his job.

Friends ranked no. 7 on an Empire Film Magazine's list.

During its peak, Friends topped at no. 7 on Empire magazine’s The 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. Empire is a monthly publication produced by Bauer Consumer Media.

The show's fourteenth episode in second season is a must-watch.

In the year 1997, the Friends episode, “The One with the Prom Video” ranked no. 100 on TV Guide’s 100 Greatest Episodes of All-Time. This episode featured Monica and Rachel preparing for their prom and is the turning point of the show’s romantic plotline.

The show might've ended but its recognitions didn't.

In 2013, Friends ranked the 28th spot on TV Guide’s 60 Best TV Series of All Time. In the same year, it was placed on the 24th spot on the Writers Guild of America’s 101 Best Written TV Series of All Time.

The final episode was divided into two.

The series finale titled “The Last One” was split into two to build hype and because it requires a longer running time to give the characters a proper ending. The division was all worth it as the finale was deemed as one of the best finales in sitcom history.

The show's last episode concluded several long-running storylines.

The final episode “The Last One” tied up several long-running storylines such as Ross and Rachel’s on-and-off relationship and Chandler and Monica’s struggle with procreating.

"The Last One" is not the show's most-viewed episode.

The final episode of Friends, “The Last One” had 52.46 million viewers but it’s not the show’s most-viewed episode. Instead, “The One After the Superbowl” in season 2 is the most viewed. At least 52.9 million people tuned in to it during its broadcast.

The fifth most-watched series finale of all time is "The Last One."

The sitcom’s final episode amassed 52.46 million viewers and it’s one of the most-watched final episodes of any TV series in history. It joined other TV shows such as Seinfeld which had 76.3 million viewers, The Fugitive with 78 million viewers, Cheers which collected 80.4 million viewers, and “M*A*S*H” which had 105 million viewers.

Fans and critics have different opinions about "The One After the Superbowl."

The show’s most-viewed episode, “The One After the Superbowl” got mixed opinions and reviews from its critics and fans. Some fans said that it’s one of the sitcom’s best episodes while some critics believed that the number of guest stars lowered the episode’s quality.

Friends had seven famous guests in "The One After the Superbowl."

Julia Roberts is one of the guests in this episode, in which she played Susie Moss, Chandler’s classmate in fourth grade. The other guest stars include Jean-Claude Van Damme who played himself, Jim Cummings who appeared as the Monkeyshine Beer Announcer, Dan Castellaneta who played a zoo janitor, and Brooke Shields who starred as Erika.

Brad Pitt appeared in the show's eight season.

Brad Pitt, then-husband of Aniston, appeared on the show to play Will Colbert, a fellow Lincoln High graduate. At a Thanksgiving dinner, Will revealed that he was the founder of the “I Hate Rachel Green” club along with Ross, much to the chagrin of Rachel. Phoebe, however, was clearly smitten with him.

Friends had more than 20 famous guest stars.

Throughout the show’s run, it had some of the biggest names in the industry such as Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, Robin Williams, Danny DeVito, Charlie Sheen, Christina Applegate, and Paul Rudd. For their outstanding work on the show, Willis and Applegate won an Emmy.

Lisa Kudrow wanted to make more episodes.

According to Lisa Kudrow, although most of the cast and crew wanted to continue producing the series, some people felt that it was time to end it.  One of the reasons for the show’s end is the writers’ struggle to come up with fresh storylines.

Joey is the sequel of Friends.

If you’re not aware, Joey Tribbiani had his own spin-off. The simply-titled Joey aired on September 9, 2004. However, the show didn’t do as well as its sister show, so on May 15, 2006, NBC decided to pull its plug. It had remaining eight episodes that were never aired.

Matt LeBlanc won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor.

matt leblanc
Source: Thomas Atilla Lewis on Wikimedia Commons

Although NBC did not air the remaining eight episodes of Joey, the show was still a huge success for Matt LeBlanc as he later earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. In 2012, LeBlanc finally won the award, but for a different show called Episodes.

Matthew Perry went to rehab twice.

During the sitcom’s run, Matthew Perry went to rehab twice. Matthew said that there were times that he would often work in the show while dealing with hangovers, but stated that he never drunk any alcohol while on set. It was reported that Matthew can’t remember the entirety of filming the third season.

The six main characters of Friends have kissed each other.

In the show, members of the main cast had a chance to kiss each other at one point or another. This includes the two-part episode, “The One That Could Have Been”. Many fans had noted that Phoebe and Monica never kissed each other, but they did. In “The One With Ross’ Wedding, Part 1”, Monica and Phoebe shared a quick kiss when the former is leaving for London.

The most popular cast in Friends during the launch is Courteney Cox.

Prior to the airing of the show, Courteney already graced various television ads and was already busy building her name. She was featured in the music video of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing In The Dark”.

The best fit for the character of Ross Geller is David Schwimmer.

david schwimmer
Source: Jason Broersma on Wikimedia Commons

Kevin Bright, the executive producer of Friends, had worked with David Schimmer before Friends. During the scriptwriting, the creators had David in mind when creating Ross. As predicted, David was the first actor to be cast.

Friends had an immense cultural impact.

When psychologists examined the show’s cultural impact during its peak, reports showed that Rachel’s hairstyle became the “standard” and was copied around the world. Joey’s expression, “How you doin’?” also became a favorite slang of Western English which is often used to this day when greeting somebody.

The sitcom's lines were used in some English courses.

Non-English speaking students around the world benefited from Friends as it helped them learn English much faster. For instance, Kaplan International English Colleges (an English course provider in Europe) found that Friends helped more than 25% of their students improve their English. This is largely attributed to the show utilizing simple language and that the characters are charismatic to watch and learn from.

central perk, friends facts
Source: Chester on Wikimedia Commons

There is a Friends Cafe in India.

India has numerous Friends-themed cafes. These cafes feature some of the iconic props of Friends including the orange sofa, Chandler and Joey’s white dog statue, Phoebe’s pink bicycle, and the purple door of Monica and Rachel’s apartment.

Friends Cafe in Pakistan reruns the episodes of Friends.

In Pakistan, the Friends-themed cafe or more popularly known as Friends Cafe has the table football similar to Chandler and Joey’s, the famous couch of the Friends, and some quotes from the show written on the walls. There also is a projector that continuously runs the episodes.

The creators and cast have a solid reunion plan.

According to reports in late 2019, Warner Bros TV was planning a Friends reunion for HBO Max. It will feature the six main players including the creators. In the quarter of 2020, HBO acknowledged the plan, and tentatively named the project “The One Where They Got Back Together.” The reunion was finally filmed in April 2021 after delays caused by the pandemic and is expected to air sometime later.

Jennifer Aniston's net worth is $300 million.

As of today, Jennifer Aniston’s net worth is $300 million, Courteney Cox’s net worth is $150 million, while Lisa Kudrow is $90 million. The boys starting with Matthew Perry has $120 million, Matt LeBlanc has $80 million, and David Schwimmer’s net worth is around $85 million.

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