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10 Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Sitcom Friends

Updated on July 2, 2011

I'm sure by now you must have seen the sitcom, unless you've been hiding under a rock for the past 15 years. (Yes Friends began 15 years ago in 1994) 

If you're a fan you'll have followed the lives of the six friends over the entire 10 seasons of the sitcom.  If you're like me, you'll also have watched the countless daily repeats.  So you should know all there is to know, right? But what about some of the more obscure facts.

I've chosen 10 of the most interesting little facts about the show which most viewers won't have known about.  

1. A few months before the first episode aired, the pilot was shown to a test audience, who were less than impressed, scoring it a mere 41 out of 100 and classifying it was "week".

2. Lisa Kudrow played Ursula in the 11th episode of the sitcom "Mad About You" way back in 1992. That was a whole two years before the first episode of Friends.

3. In early episodes of the sitcom, Joey and Chandler lived in apartment 4, while Monica and Rachel lived in apartment 5. This was later seen as a problem since 4 and 5 would typically be ground floor apartments and it was known they lived several stories up. In later episodes their apartment numbers were changed to 19 and 20 respectfully.

4. Before airing, the sitcom went through several title changes before settling on the simple "Friends". Possible titles included Friends Like These, Six of One, Across the Hall, Friends Like Us, and Insomnia Cafe.

5. The very first episode was originally titled just "The Pilot", but because every other episode began with the words "The One..." it was later renamed to "The one where it all began". There was however, one exception to the naming convention, and that was the final episode which was aptly named "The Last One".

6. Gunther actor James Michael Tyler was a mere extra in the first season. He earned his re-occurring role, because he was the only one who could work the cappuccino machine. He wasn't even given a name until season two.

7. The full names of the characters are...

  • Ross Eustace Geller
  • Chandler Muriel Bing
  • Joseph Francis Tribbiani Jr
  • Rachel Karen Green
  • Monica E. Geller (we never learn what the E stands for)
  • Phoebe Buffay (She never knew her middle name)

8. For a joke, in the opening episode of season 6, "The One After Vegas", all the opening credits had the names changed to include Arquette at the end. This was because after finishing season 5, Courteney Cox married David Arquette and became Courteney Cox Arquette.

9. In an act of life mirroring fiction, the coffee house "Central Perk" became a reality in 2006 when Mojtaba Asadian, a businessman from Iran registered the name to use on a new franchise of coffee shops. The first of which was officially opened by James Michael Tyler (Gunther) in Dubai.

10. Over 51 million people watched the first airing of the final episode in the US. That made it the 4th most watched series finale, behind three other sitcoms MASH, Cheers and Seinfeld.

Ready to test your knowledge? Then play our Friends Trivia quizzes now at


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    • profile image

       23 months ago

      Knew all of them

    • profile image

      2 years ago

      not every brother and sister have the same middle name, such as my friends middle name and my friends sisters middle names are different

    • profile image

      Eduardo 3 years ago

      Well, it's sort of obvious that Monica's middle name is Eustace, right? or are we forgetting that she's Ross's sister?

    • profile image

      Connor 3 years ago

      Rachel Karen Greene is how it is really spelt

    • profile image

      friends lover 4 years ago

      I gessed it right i just knew it was her name and I knew some of the 10 things

    • profile image

      Eyla 4 years ago

      Monica Elizabeth Geller :)

    • profile image

      nitingopifrndsfan 4 years ago

      ^ You mister, have absolutely no sense of watching television at all.....I am not sure by what parameters you judge a sitcom....friends is awesome and everyone knows it, so your hateful statements are nothing but garbage. I reckon everybody is entitled to his/her opinion, though I would like to point out your opinion is a load of crap.

    • profile image

      buntyp 5 years ago

      This outrageously 'Limp-Mnded' Sit-Com, is the worst attmpt at a Sit-Com in the past 8,000 years -UNQUESTONABLY!!!!!!!

      Arrested Development, would have been a better name for this pile of ABSOLUTE TOTAL GARBAGE, FROM END TO END.

      Or Puberty Forever!!

      For God's Sake, LOOSE-IT!!!!!!!!!!!


    • profile image

      kak 5 years ago

      it was week? seriously?

    • profile image

      blakequintero 5 years ago

      This is my most favourite sitcom. I had already seen all the episodes before. But, i can still watch most of the episodes again. It is that good. I had a lump in my throat when it ended. Joey and Phoebe are my most favourite characters.

    • profile image

      xiko 7 years ago

      would you know the really reason that has finished FRIENDS??? why finished it?

    • profile image

      Shona 7 years ago

      Hi Hub, can u tell me what went on with Pete, Monicas cousin Fran's husband, and Monica. Its always bugged me and i'm nosey!

    • 397268 profile image

      397268 8 years ago

      I just checked a transcript of that episode online, and although it confirms her initials MEG, it never says the E stands for Elizabeth.

    • profile image

      friendsfan 8 years ago

      Monica E. Geller (we never learn what the E stands for)

      E. means Elizabeth...I know that from one of the series where Monica buy stock....She bought only MEG stock because that is her initials : Monica Elizabeth Geller ! :) But Phoebe tought that her middle name is Felula (TOW race car bed) .... :D

    • profile image

      JazzDemon 8 years ago

      Monica E. Geller (we never learn what the E stands for)

      umm... Eustace, maybe? XD

    • 397268 profile image

      397268 8 years ago

      Thanks for the correction Pain

    • profile image

      pain 8 years ago

      Phoebe Buffet (She never knew her middle name) <-- it's Buffay

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      nice info

    • mulberry1 profile image

      mulberry1 8 years ago

      I watched occasionally; I only knew one of your facts: that Lisa Kudrow had played Ursula on Mad About You. Guess I failed. Nice hub!

    • 397268 profile image

      397268 8 years ago

      The name "Eustace" was written in a script for the show, but the line was cut, so it never actually aired.

      As for Gunther, I don't think he done anything creepy. He just had an unrequited obsession with Rachel.

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      Jessica Richmond 8 years ago

      Wow, very interesting! I knew a lot but I didn't know #1, 7 or 10. In what episode do we find out that Ross's middle name is Eustace? I don't recall that at all! Also do you know the first episode Gunther's creepy obsession is revealed?

    • 397268 profile image

      397268 8 years ago

      Thanks Veronica. Yeah, Gunther opened the first in the chain of coffee houses. That is to say he was paid to attend the grand opening and probably cut a ribbon or something. He doesn't own the coffee house.

    • Veronica profile image

      Veronica 8 years ago from NY

      Seriously? Gunther opened a Central Perk in Dubai??

      Very interesting trivia! Great HUB. I hope you'll write more.