Despite finishing almost two decades ago, Friends has stayed fresh in the hearts and minds of many millions across the globe. After 17 years with no follow up series or film, Friends: The Reunion finally satiated fans’ need for more content from the world’s most popular sitcom.
Although this was the first time that all six cast members have been seen on screen together since the series finale in 2004, the chemistry and love between Kudrow, Cox, Aniston, LeBlanc, Schwimmer and Perry is clear to see from the start of the show.
“We stay in touch, for sure,” Kudrow told host James Corden. “Maybe not every day. But we have such a bond from having done this show and forged this very tight relationship that, you know, any time you text or call someone, they’re gonna pick up. They’ll be there.”
Later in the show, Matthew Perry backed up Kudrow’s sentiment: “The best way that I can describe it is, after the show was over, at a party or any kind of social gathering if one of us bumped into each other that was it, that was the end of the night, you just sat with the person all night long. That was it. You apologized to the people you were with, but they had to understand that you had met somebody special to you and you were going to talk to that person for the rest of the night.”
Host James Corden shared figures for the show that demonstrated just how popular it was and still continues to be. The host of The Late Late Show revealed that the 236 episodes of Friends, made over 10 years, had aired in over 220 territories worldwide.
It was TV’s number one comedy across the world for six straight years, averaging 25 million viewers every week. 52 million people watched the finale and now, 17 years later, Friends has been watched over 100 billion times across all platforms.
One bombshell revealed on the show was that David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston, orchestrators of one of TV’s best-known will-they-won’t-theys, developed feelings for each other in real life while working on set.
“The first season, I had a major crush on Jen,” said Schwimmer, with Aniston then saying this “was reciprocated”.
“At some point we were both crushing hard on each other, but it was like two ships passing because one of us was always in a relationship,” Schwimmer continued. “And we never crossed that boundary. You know, we respected that, but we both…”
At this point, as Schwimmer was saying things between him and Aniston never went any further, Matt LeBlanc interrupted with a ‘bulls***’, which was then met with laughter from the whole group.
Aniston, however, reiterated that indeed nothing serious occurred between the pair and that their first kiss was seen by millions on screen in Central Perk in season two.
“Honestly,” she said after LeBlanc’s comment. “And I remember saying one time to David, ‘it’s going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is going to be on national television’. Sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop. But we just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”
Schwimmer then went on to say that during breaks in filming, they would often “cuddle on the couch”.
He continued: “And I’m thinking, how did not everyone know we were crushing on each other?”
“It was a situation that… we couldn’t do anything about it,” Schwimmer said, to which Cox replied: “How great though ultimately because if you had and it didn’t work out…”
When asked by an audience member if there was anything they did not enjoy so much on set, both Schwimmer and LeBlanc answered immediately and emphatically: “The monkey.”
In some of the earlier episodes of the show, Schwimmer’s character Ross had a pet monkey, Marcel. Schwimmer first declared his love of animals then explained the difficulties he faced working with this particular monkey.
Schwimmer said the monkey ‘often did not get it right’, which in turn led to many retakes. According to the actor, the monkey would also eat live grubs on Schwimmer’s shoulder when the camera stopped rolling.
“The monkey scared me,” Cox simply added.
Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne and Justin Bieber all made appearances to model iconic costumes from the show (Ross’s leather pants, Rachel’s bridesmaid dress and the Holiday Armadillo, and Spudnik respectively).
David Beckham also showed his face, confessing he is a Monica because he is ‘a clean freak’, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai admitted to being ‘a Joey with a hint of Phoebe’, and a member of South Korean boy band BTS made an appearance to explain how Friends helped him learn English.