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Ross and Rachel. Monica and Chandler. Phoebe and Joey. These are household names thanks to NBC’s hit sitcom, Friends. The television show aired in 1994 and has remained a fan-favorite for well over two decades. And now, in a new special from Natalie Morales on REELZ, Friends: Behind Closed Doors, the actors and creators of one of the most popular TV shows in America discuss how it all came together. After devouring the special in an embarrassingly short time frame (you can thank us later), we’re taking a look at some of the best bloopers and cast moments of Friends, plus spilling what we learned from the recent retrospective.
The One Where They’re Still FRIENDS
Jennifer Aniston (AKA Rachel Green) remains one of America’s Sweethearts to this day. The actress, and current star of Apple+’s The Morning Show, recently joined Instagram, which in case you missed it, was MAJOR news. Like, she literally almost broke the internet. She had seven million followers within the first couple hours of joining the social media platform. Casual, right? Same, same. But Friends enthusiasts were over the moon to see what the leading lady chose for her first post. It was a *selfie* with her entire former cast of Friends.
Aniston captioned the photo, “And now we’re Instagram FRIENDS too. HI INSTAGRAM 👋🏻.” How cute? Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox, David Schwimmer and Matt Le Blanc are all hanging out with Aniston. It’s been 25 years since the show began, and there was a time when these six were strangers.
The One Where It All Came Together
Prior to the show, none of them were “friends” of any kind. The casting process was long and laborious, some of the actors auditioned for different roles before being placed in there perspective parts. But it all came together perfectly if you ask us. Friends won fans over because of how relatable, timeless and hilarious the various situations this group of people found themselves in were. It was real-life problems and incredible character development that led to the great success of the show. And that was largely thanks to writing, but rested heavily on the actors to make the chemistry and history of these friendships believable.
Matt Le Blanc starred as the cluelessly charming and ever-so attractive actor, Joey Tribbiani. On Friends: Behind Closed Doors, Le Blanc discussed what it was like coming together with the cast for the first time. “So you take six people that are about to play good friends, and you throw them all in the same room, and it really went that great.” Does that not melt your heart? The chemistry for these six was there from the start.
“Since its premiere in September of 1994, Friends ruled the airwaves for a decade making us all dream that we could find a rent-controlled apartment in New York City across the hall from our best friends and hang out in a coffee shop all day,” says Morales in REELZ’s docuseries.
“We hadn’t seen a comedy that real, right at its core, looked at this moment in time in young adult lives and we developed a couple scripts that went in that direction, and they were awful, they were absolutely awful,” explained Warren Littlefield, the former president of NBC Entertainment.
“The concept of Friends is almost shockingly low-concept. It’s about a group of friends, you know, they don’t fight crime. They don’t solve mysteries. They don’t do anything. They just kind of sit around, finding their way in the world,” one of Reelz’s sources explained. Jane Sibbett, who starred as Ross Gellar’s *first* ex-wife, explained her thoughts on why the show was so successful saying: “It really was maybe one of the first shows where this was a chosen group of people. This was the family. You love your own blood family, hopefully, but those that you choose to hang out with those are your real family. And I think that many people relate to that, and wish for that.”
The One With The Best Bloopers
So. We know it’s relatable. We know it’s adored. We know it’s one of those shows people can put on at any moment. Now we want to know exactly what went on in those moments that didn’t make it on camera. We love seeing the chemistry between the characters on screen. But what’s better than that? Seeing the actors’ chemistry while filming. The Friends actors played pranks on each other, made fun of each other and totally messed up entirely on their own while filming the NBC sitcom. SO. Below we have a few of the best bloopers lined up for your enjoyment. Because there’s truly nothing better than watching these six crack each other up.
What The Hell Happened On That Beach?
Remember that fateful day at the beach? Monica, Joey and Chandler were down by the water. Joey dug a huge whole and Monica…got stung…? Well, the boys had a difficult time getting this scene filmed. Take a look.
Rachel’s English Trifle
Rachel was good at a lot of things. But cooking? Not one of them. When Rachel makes and English Trifile, using half that recipe and half of a recipe for Shepard’s Pie, Ross and Joe try to get everyone to say they like it.
Well…Le Blanc and Schwimmer had a difficult time getting through their lines on this one.
Smell The Fart Acting
Remember when Joey teaches his friends what he learned on set for Days of Our Lives? “Smell the fart acting…It’s like you’ve got so many lines to learn so fast, that sometimes you need a minute to remember your next one. So while you’re thinking of it, you take this big pause where you look all intense, you know? Like this:”
Well, turns out, that line was too much for Le Blanc or his cast members to get through without cracking up.
Remember the episode where Chandler tries to do something nice for Monica by cleaning their apartment? Well, he quickly learns that it wasn’t such a great idea because his wife, to put it lightly, has some extreme OCD habits (a running joke throughout the series). But after Perry did this one “freak out” Le Blanc just couldn’t help himself. He had to tease him.
Aniston Did Not Like That Monkey
Remember Ross’ monkey, Marcel? It just so happens his name is Katie. So…her name is Katie? Well, regardless, Jennifer Aniston was not totally a fan. It was difficult to work with animals on set, and the monkey was no exception.
Ping Pong Malfunction
In Season 9, The One In Barbados, Monica and Mike Hannigan go head to, well, (afro)head in an intense battle of ping pong. Monica, as competitive as ever, is determined to win. Well, Courtney Cox took the battle a little too far and lost control of her paddle. Naturally, Perry does the most Chandler thing possible and imitate’s his on-screen wife’s meltdown.
Phoebe Cracks Herself Up
Lisa Kudrow decided that Phoebe was able to laugh because it was part of her character. LOL. Good move. When she and Aniston were filming a scene about wanting to stay at Joey’s vs. Monica, the two women could not keep it together. And Kudrow’s laugh is so infectious, we don’t blame them! Matt Le Blanc is just watching like, when will we ever get this done?
Her laughs don’t end there—Kudrow couldn’t get over Cox’s constant flubs on this one line:
She seriously can’t take anyone seriously 😂😂. It’s gold, guys. Gold.
When The Cast Can’t Remember Their Lines
It happens to the best of them. They have a script, but sometimes the lines escape them. See below for some of the best flubs.
Some of the best moments in the whole show come from Schwimmer’s breakdowns. He masters the squeaky voice and angry yell. But he was sometimes so convincing, it threw the rest of the cast off. Makes for some pretty stellar content.
The Best Nap They Ever Had
The show created a storyline where Joey and Ross accidentally fell asleep together. They agree to never talk about it again, because, OMG how embarrassing? But then…suddenly…the boys just keep on wanting to nap together. Turns out, it was a lot more difficult to make that believable without totally breaking character.
When They All Join In On The Joke
In one scene, Courtney Cox looked right at the camera. It was during Emma’s first birthday party and they all just wanted to leave. But, it was not to be. Chaos ensues. But before they could film the rest of the scene, the cast all took turns pranking the camera and teasing Cox about her mistake.
This was a recurring theme for the Friends cast. They discussed the fact that they actually really enjoy taking their jokes one step further, for their benefit and the audiences.
Rock, Paper, Scissors, Fire.
Another one where they tease each other and are a little flippant with their language! The boys never like to let each other get away with a joke without adding their own twist. And that was certainly the case when Phoebe, Ross, Rachel and Joey were trying to see who should go into Monica and Chandler’s apartment first. Don’t worry—it’s always in good fun.
And finally….the one we’ve all been waiting for. This is probably the best moment of the whole show. Bold statement, I know. But it needed to be said. The ultimate Ross moment. And of course, it led to some of the best bloopers. Ross refuses to pay an outrageous amount of money for movers to bring his new couch to his apartment, so he enlists Rachel and, much to his chagrin, Chandler to help him carry it up the stairs. (Monica, he says, would’ve been the better option.”
Schwimmer discussed the moment here: