* ActingForTwo: Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe and recurring EvilTwin Ursula, and David Schwimmer's one-off as "Russ", a Ross-esque guy Rachel briefly dated (without noticing the similarities, such as profession and the, uh,... u-''NIQUE'' manner of speaking).
* ActorAllusion: On "The One with the Football," Phoebe wears a ''Series/ThatGirl'' T-shirt. Marlo Thomas, the star of that show, played Rachel's mother.
** There's even one for animal actors. In "The One After the Superbowl," Ross learns Marcel the monkey is now filming the fictional sequel to ''Film/{{Outbreak}}''. The monkey actually ''was'' the monkey in the film.
** For one episode in the opening credits, Courtney Cox gets first billing and is now billed as Courtney Cox-Arquette (due to her marriage to David Arquette). The rest of the cast also have Arquette hyphened onto the end of their names in the credits for that episode. The end of the episode has a little dedication saying "For Courtney and David, who did get married".
*** In "TOW The Ultimate Fighting Championship", we meet formerly-bald Bonnie, played by Christine Taylor. Laura, her AlphaBitch character in ''Film/TheCraft'', lost her hair as part of a bullying-revenge subplot.
** In "TOW Mac and CHEESE," when Joey doesn't quite get the "CHEESE" reference, Phoebe and Rachel comment on variations on the name. Rachel says "Bic Macs" and Phoebe says "Oh, you love those!" referring to Aniston's role in ''Film/MacAndMe.''
* CreatorBacklash: The writers openly acknowledge in one of the Season Eight commentaries that they don't like the Chandler/Monica plot in "The One With The Truth About London."
** They also have some disdain for Season Six, feeling they were simply going through the motions during that time period. Not surprising, given that this was when a lot of the backstage drama with issues like Matthew Perry's drug addictions really began to hinder the series.
** Matthew Perry said once he hates it when he's checking out a rerun, and a Season 3 episode comes on, and he sees himself, very skinny. He was having weight problems during that time.
* CreatorBreakdown: ''The One With the Cat'', an episode where Phoebe thinks her dead mother has been reincarnated as a cat, was written by co-creator Marta Kauffman, who lost her own mother at the time (the episode is dedicated to her). The episode got a mostly negative reception from the fanbase at the time of its airing, mainly due to Phoebe successfully making Ross out to be the bad guy for his insistence that she'd return the cat to her child owner (adding to the ridiculousness, Phoebe had just met her biological mother). One of the other writers mentioned in an interview years later that the episode being written to take Phoebe's inane side would've been shot down at the table read had it not been for the circumstances surrounding it; they would've felt bad going against Kauffman on this issue.
* DawsonCasting: High school-aged Ross, Rachel, Chandler and Monica are played by the regular cast. Additionally, the characters were all meant to be in their mid-twenties at the beginning of the show, but Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox were already in their thirties.
* DeletedScene: The uncut episodes on DVD tend to have scenes that were cut not just for syndication, but also scenes that also didn't originally air due to content. One example is when Joey is angry at Chandler for making fun of the bracelet he gave him; when Chandler says he should focus on the fact Chandler wore it even though he hated it, Joey tells him to "focus on this" and grabs his junk while the camera cuts to behind Joey. Another extra sequence, in "TOW The Cheap Wedding Dress", seems to be an ad-lib from Matt [=LeBlanc=]: After a love interest ditches both Ross and Joey at a restaurant, Ross asks if Joey is hungry, to which Joey replies, "Does a bear shit in the woods?"
* DirectedByCastMember: David Schwimmer directed ten episodes in the later seasons.
* DuelingShows: With ''Series/LivingSingle''
* EditedForSyndication: The show's run on Creator/NickAtNite (which, as of this writing, is still ongoing) is full of this, as one would unfortunately expect. Various episodes that were a bit longer than the half-hour time slot are cut rather drastically, with various scenes shifting regardless of whatever was happening at the moment, making certain joke buildups seemingly pointless. To their credit, nothing plot relevant is cut, but it's really jarring and even those who haven't seen the full episodes can tell that some hasty editing was done.
* ExecutiveMeddling: The Season Six episode "The One With The Proposal" was subjected to this. Originally, the episode was supposed to depict a Big Showdown between Chandler and Richard, ultimately ending in a cliffhanger with Monica deciding who to marry. However, there was last-minute speculation that Season Six would be the final season of Friends. Thus, the writers were forced to retool the episode to end with Monica and Chandler proposing, so that if the series was cancelled, there would be no cliffhanger left dangling.
** To be fair the writers also changed the 'showdown' ending because they realized it would be obvious that Monica was going to pick Chandler. They didn't like playing the proposal for cheap laughs and drama, so changed it to the more private, romantic proposal we see. They explain it all on the episodes commentary.
** NBC execs forced Marcel on the show, because apparently ''Friends'' needed a monkey for comic relief. Both cast and crew found it to be a pain in the ass and give it a TakeThat in season 6. They also attempted numerous spin-offs and crossovers with the show to try to piggyback off the show's success.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: While in America the show is becoming more and more a case of SeinfeldIsUnfunny, in Europe the show is still remembered as an all-time classic, even ten years after it ended. A common comment among Europeans is that the characters were "universal", and even timeless, hence why they could smash cultural barriers with stunning ease. That's a pretty strong contrast with many of its American detractors, who accuse the show of being nothing but trendy dribble.
** Broadcasting U.S.-friendly newscasts into Saudi Arabia has been unsuccessful in dissuading anti-Americanism there. Broadcasting ''Series/{{Friends}}'', on the other hand, proved quite helpful. This is ironic, considering the ensemble tend to fornicate regularly and wear revealing clothes.
** Gunther was popular abroad [[EnsembleDarkhorse despite being only a minor character]].
*** James Michael Tyler (Gunther) was so popular in Dubai that he got offered to be the spokesman for a local coffee brand but NBC botched the deal (they wanted more money).
** Even years after its ending, UK channels such as E4 still show two rerun episodes of ''Friends'' several times a day. It got to the point that all E4 showed during one particular summer was live ''Big Brother'' and reruns of ''Friends''. Since the channel lost the rights to ''both'' in 2011, its content has become more varied and seemingly attracts fewer viewers. Meanwhile, Creator/ComedyCentral continues to run the show endlessly.
** As of 2013, ''Friends'' and ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' are the two most rerun shows on the Israeli broadcast networks, in terms of cumulative airtime over the past 45 years (i.e. since the first Israeli television broadcasts). Each of them easily outranks any other foreign or local show in terms of total rerun airtime. Geeking out over "Friends" is probably the one thing an Israeli and Arab could bond over (Friends is popular all over the Middle East).
** It was very popular in the Czech Republic among the young and the older when it first aired in TheNineties, and in TheNewTens, chances are that one of the TV channels is airing its reruns.
** It also was and continues to be popular in India, due to being one of the few American shows broadcast in the early 1990s.
* HeyItsThatGuy:
** Phoebe's grandmother is [[Series/ThreesCompany Mrs. Roper!]]
** [[Series/{{Twenty Four}} Charles Logan]] is Mike's father?! Quick! Somebody alert Jack Bauer!
*** And Mike's mother is [[Series/{{Heroes}} Angela Petrelli]] and [[Series/{{How I Met Your Mother}} Virginia Mosby]].
** [[Film/{{MASH}} Trapper]] is Ross and Monica's father.
*** Except that this one pretended to be a Quaker to get out of going to Korea.
*** And [[Series/{{How I Met Your Mother}} Lily's paternal grandmother]] is their mother.
** I never knew that Phoebe used to be singing partners with [[WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}} Tommy Pickles]]...
** Apparently before becoming a shepard, [[Series/{{Firefly}} Book]] used to be Ross' divorce lawyer
** How would Phoebe feel if she knew that her true mother used to be a lab assistant to [[Film/YoungFrankenstein Dr. Frankenstein]]?
** [[Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind Phoebe's father investigated UFOs while her mother was married to a guy who encountered one.]]
*** He was also the [[Series/{{Seinfeld}} President of NBC]].
** Phoebe's new sister-in-law just so happens to be [[Series/That70sShow Kitty Foreman]]
** Phoebe's [[Series/HappyDays Fonzie]] obsessed OBGYN was [[Series/{{Lost}} stranded with his African-American wife on a mysterious island]]
*** And his [[Series/DoogieHowserMD Howser-esque]] replacement later went on to gain more doctorates in [[Series/{{Bones}} entomology, botany, and geology/mineralogy.]]
** Danny, the yeti-guy Rachel very briefly had a crush on, was the daughter's fiancee in ''Film/FatherOfTheBride'' and also happens to be the [[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague leader of a team of super heroes]] and a member of [[Series/{{Scandal}} B-613.]]
** [[Series/CriminalMinds Emily Prentiss]] dated Joey and later Chandler in season 4.
** Molly, the hot lesbian nanny that Ross hired to look after Emma, later went on to be attacked by [[Film/ThirtyDaysOfNight vampires in Alaska]].
** [[Series/{{Glee}} Jane Lynch]] played the realtor who sold Monica and Chandler their house in the suburbs.
** Before she was Russian (but after giving birth to [[Film/AmericanPie Stifler]]), [[Series/TwoBrokeGirls Sophie]] was apparently annoyingly pretentious, competitive and attention-seeking, but with an ''English'' accent.
** It's a little surprising that we never heard about the time [[{{Community}} the Dean]] flew to Paris; it's less surprising that Abed doesn't talk about his dad being Joey's doctor when he had kidney stones.
** [[Series/CarolineInTheCity Caroline Duffy]] wanted to know how Chandler and Joey adopted in "TOW The Baby On The Bus".
*** ''And'' [[Film/BackToTheFuture Lorraine Baines]]!
** [[DanCastellaneta Homer Simpson]] is the zookeeper in "The One After The Superbowl".
*** And, of course, Phoebe dated [[HankAzaria Moe Szyslak]] of all people.
*** And [[HarryShearer Ned Flanders]] tries to get Ross to sell Marcel to an illegal animal fighting ring.
** Actually, it wasn't Ned/Derek Smalls. It was [[Film/ThisIsSpinalTap David St Hubbins]].
** Charlie (Aisha Tyler)'s ex-boyfriend is played by Greg Kinnear; both were hosts of ''Talk Soup'' before it was re-incarnated as ''TheSoup''.
** And, of course, Charlie herself is [[WesternAnimation/{{Archer}} Lana]].
** Chandler's drag queen father is [[Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit Jessica Rabbit]]!
** That little girl who Ross has to buy girl-scout cookies in the place of after breaking her leg? That's Creator/MaeWhitman.
** Courteney Cox herself was one for fans of ''Series/FamilyTies'' - playing Alex P. Keaton's girfriend Lauren Miller from 1987 to 1989.
** Yes, that's [[WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy Lois Griffin]] as the star of the one-woman play in "TOW The Soap Opera Party".
** Caitlin, the short-haired pizza delivery girl, later moved to Los Angeles, and would occasionally use [[Series/TwoAndAHalfMen Charlie]]'s shower.
** Speaking of which, the judge who refused to give Rachel and Ross their divorce apparently failed to obtain re-election, took it quite hard, fell to alcohol and mild drugs, and moved to the West Coast to be [[Series/TwoAndAHalfMen a maid]].
** Speaking of which ''again'', long before dating [[Series/TwoAndAHalfMen Charlie Harper]] (something that made her have a mental breakdown and go from fifth grade teacher to topless dancer), Dolores Pasternak lived in New York and did not react well to Ross's ultra-whitened teeth (much like everyone else).[[Creator/CharlieSheen Charlie Harper]] himself got chicken pox from Phoebe.
** [[Franchise/DieHard John McClane]] was not too thrilled when Ross was dating his 20 year old daughter.
** Before her fling with Joey, Kate Miller had been one of [[Series/BeverlyHills90210 Brandon Walsh]]'s more important girlfriends. After that, [[Franchise/{{Saw}} she tried to find and arrest the Jigsaw Killer]].
** Chandler accidentally reveals to [[Film/SpyKids Juni]] ([[WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex Rex]]?) that he's adopted ''and'' that Santa isn't real.
** [[Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody Cody]] pranked everyone on the show (as Ben) and later [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome disappeared]] when Ross saw less of him.
** Mike had to break up with Amber from ''Series/{{House}}'' [[spoiler: to get back with Phoebe]].
** Speaking of House, Dr. Gregory House [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech told Rachel that she had no business ruining Ross's wedding to Emily]].
** [[Disney/BigHero6 Baymax]], [[Series/ThirtyRock Pete Hornberger]] and [[WesternAnimation/MoralOrel Clay Puppington]] is the director/"the next next Martin Scorcese" who Joey has to show that he is not circumcized ([[EpicFail when he really is]]) in "TOW Ross and Monica's Cousin".
* HeyItsThatVoice: Creator/JimCummings is the narrator of the beer commercial the gang watches at the beginning of "The One after the Super Bowl."
* NamesTheSame:
** Meta-example: Joey is played by Matt Le Blanc, Chandler by Matthew Perry. Directors didn't always catch on to this.
*** Lampshaded by Matt Le Blanc in one of the blooper scenes that aired before the final episode.
-->'''Director''': A little louder, Matt.
-->'''Le Blanc''': Which Matt? ({{Beat}}) Nine years and still happens.
** "Rachel Greene" (albeit with the E added at the end) is also a character on ''Series/{{ER}}''. [[note]] Oddly enough, Rachel's last name IS "Greene" - in "TOW The Invitation", Rachel's last name is spelled "Greene" on her invitation. It's most commonly spelled "Green" outside of the show. [[/note]]
* TheOtherDarrin:In the second episode, Ross's ex-wife Carol was played by Anita Barone, whose look and acting style were ''nothing'' like those of Jane Sibbett, who replaced her for the rest of the series.
** Also Rachel's friend Mindy, who eventually married her ex-fiancÚ, was originally played by [[DirtyDancing Jennifer Grey]].
** Joey's sister Gina is played by KJ Steinberg in "TOW Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister," but Creator/DreaDeMatteo in the later series.
** Happens to Ben and Emma too, but it's less noticeable since they were both babies when this happened.
* RealLifeRelative: Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan were dating around the same time as their characters.
** Matthew Perry's father played Joshua's (Tate Donovan) father in one episode.
** When Creator/JuliaRoberts guest starred, her real life sister played her assistant.
*** Roberts guest starred in the first place because she was dating Matthew Perry at the time.
** In one episode Ross's old friend from high school comes to visit. Turns out he was the president (and only current member) of the "I Hate Rachel Green" club. He was played by Jennifer Aniston's then-husband Brad Pitt.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot:
** See "The One With The Proposal" above.
** Emily and Ross's marriage was meant to last much longer. However, due to Helen Baxendale's pregnancy and desire to remain in England, it was abruptly cut short.
** Reese Witherspoon (Jill, Rachel's sister) was supposed to have a story arc lasting for around six episodes, but because Jennifer Aniston allegedly did not get along with her, it was shortened to two. The writers have said in the episode commentaries that there have actually been several instances throughout the series of storylines being cut short due to backstage problems with the guest stars they hired.
* TechnologyMarchesOn: In "The One With the List", Chandler marvels at his brand new computer: "Twelve megabytes of RAM, five hundred megabyte hard drive, with built-in spreadsheet capabilities and a modem that transmits at over 28,000 bps!", which was quite high tech for 1995. Nowadays there are cellphones running faster than that. Ross is also mentioned several times as having a beeper and one episode even revolves around him getting beeped by people looking for a male prostitute.
* TheRedStapler: The "Rachel" cut, the flat, straight and square-layered hairstyle worn by Creator/JenniferAniston in the first couple of seasons, was so popular with women that it came to be associated with TheNineties the same way that [[EightiesHair frizzy, voluminous hair]] defined [[TheEighties the preceding decade]]. The funny thing is that this was unintentional. The stylist originally wanted Aniston to have even-length hair, but accidentally cut off a bit too much on the front right; instead of matching all the rest of her hair to it, he just cut off a bit on the other side to make it symmetrical. In an interview, Aniston claimed that she hated the haircut and didn't get what the "big deal" was.
* TheyJustDidntCare: Creator/NickAtNite doesn't air certain episodes for what appears to be no reason at all. For some, it can be assumed to be because of their content, such as "TOW The Stoner Guy" or "TOW The Sharks", both of which might be viewed as a bit too racy for the network. On the other hand, the others that don't air don't really have this kind of humor at all, so it could unfortunately just be the network trying to "even out" the episode line-up after cutting the two episodes mentioned above from the run.
* ThrowItIn: The episode "The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant" dealt with a woman calling Chandler and Joey believing she's calling a guy named Bob, and Chandler picks up, pretends to be Bob, sets up a meeting with her and then shows up to win her over when she's "stood up". The tag scene for that episode had the woman calling again, looking for Bob, this time with Joey hearing the message. The script called for Joey to pick up and say "Bob here", but Matt [=LeBlanc=] tripped and fell, desperately trying to grab the phone as he went down. This ended up a lot funnier than the scripted version and was kept for the episode.
** In the episode "The One With Phoebe's Uterus", Joey walks into the apartment wearing a blue blazer. Matthew Perry (Chandler), while making a joke, accidently said "black" instead of "back", but the actors' reactions to the mistake were so funny, they decided to put it in the episode:
--->'''Joey:''' Guess what job I just got?\\
'''Chandler:''' I don't know, but Donald Trump wants his blue blazer black. ''(pauses)''\\
'''Ross:''' What?\\
'''Chandler:''' Blue blazer ''back''. He wants it ''back.''\\
'''Rachel:''' But, you said "black". Why would he want his blue blazer black?\\
'''Chandler:''' Well, you know what I meant.\\
'''Monica:''' No, you messed it up. You're ''stupid.''\\
'''Chandler:''' ''(changing the subject)'' So what job did you get, Joe?
* TooSoon: "TOW Rachel Tells...", originally had a subplot where Monica and Chandler are interrogated by airport security after Chandler makes a joke about explosives. As it unfortunately coincided with 9/11, the subplot was hastily changed to Monica and Chandler competing with another couple for honeymoon perks.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece: Whilst not in itself very topical the show did manage to capture the burgeoning coffee shop scene of that era as well as gentrification of New York's brownstones under Guliani.
** Many, many shots of the World Trade Center towers.
** In Season 1 finale "TOW Rachel Finds Out", Rachel is able to go all the way to Ross's departure gate when Ross is leaving for China and when Ross is coming back.
** In Season 2's "TOW Five Steaks And An Eggplant", the gang loses their minds with excitement over a Hootie And The Blowfish concert. To be fair, Hootie was probably the biggest band in the country when the episode aired (their debut album "Cracked Rear View" had sold more than 10 million copies in the US by then, despite being released only one year prior). So it's easy to see why the writers assumed they would have more staying power than they did.
** George Stephanopoulous is a pretty dated reference point but features heavily in a first-season episode (complete with him in the title).
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** Courteney Cox originally auditioned for the part of Rachel.
** James Michael Tyler was supposed to be just another extra on the set. However, he was recruited to be a recurring character in the coffeehouse because he was the only extra who knew how to operate a cappuccino machine.
** Joey and Monica were originally supposed to be the main couple focused on over the course of series rather than Ross and Rachel. A couple of episodes seem to have a few nods to this, such as Joey mistakenly thinking that Monica is flirting with him in "The One with the Flashback," and Monica revealing that she'd originally wanted to have sex with Joey right before getting together with Chandler in "The One With the Truth About London." There are also a few hints of this in "The Pilot," as Monica and Joey quibble with each other quite a bit more than they would during the remainder of the series.
** The producers supposedly approached Music/{{REM}}, then Music/TheyMightBeGiants, to perform the show's (already written) theme tune "I'll Be There For You". The Rembrandts were their third choice.
** Early on, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow had suggested the idea that Joey and Phoebe were secretly hooking up, but the writers were against it.
** During the casting process, at one point, [[Series/TheKingOfQueens Leah Remini]] auditioned for Monica, as did Nancy Mckeon. [[Series/TwoAndAHalfMen Jon Cryer]] was considered for Chandler. Jessica Hecht (Susan) auditioned for Monica as well.
** Jennifer Aniston auditioned for the role of Monica as well, and Courteney Cox auditioned for that of Rachel. Producers realized that were better suited for the other role.
** An early idea for Chandler was for him to be gay. Then they got Matthew Perry and the idea was abandoned.
** Chandler and Monica were only planned to be a short fling, but the audience loved them so much and the characters fitted together so well that the writers continued with the relationship and they became the [[{{HappilyMarried}} stable relationship]] [[{{BetaCouple}} of the gang]].
** The writers considered having Chandler and Monica sleep together in the Season 2 finale. Monica would still have broken up with Richard but Chandler's internet girlfriend would have been a crazy trekkie rather than Janice, and they'd both be so depressed they'd have sex after Barry and Mindy's wedding. This was scrapped, and it wasn't until two seasons later at Ross and Emily's wedding that they got their chance.
** Originally Monica was the one having a baby in Season 8, but the writers thought it would open more storylines if Rachel did instead. To avoid having another pregnancy story in Season 10, they developed Chandler and Monica's infertility and eventual adoption arc.
** They also thought about revealing Monica was pregnant in the final episode but nixed it in favor of their adopted baby turning out to be twins.
** The opening title scene was originally supposed to show the main cast playing around/goofing off in the water fountain, but this was only used once in the pilot episode and scrapped afterwards due to the producers feeling that the scene showed the cast as a closed group of friends that might snub anyone outside their group (to be fair, sometimes they do). All of the opening title scenes afterwards show a mixture of the fountain scene and scenes from other episodes.
** The writers were, at one point, going to have a throwaway joke about Phoebe being molested as a kid. But this was scrapped after Kudrow refused to make a crack about such a serious subject.
** There was also supposed to be a longer arc involving Rachel's sister Jill, but Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon didn't get along, so it ended up cut short.
* WordOfGod: In an interview Kevin Bright revealed where he thought all the characters ended up: Joey's finally had his big break and is a star, Phoebe's still with Mike and has opened up a holistic spa chain, Ross and Rachel got married and have had another baby, Chandler and Monica managed to have a child naturally and are contently living in the suburbs with their three children as Chandler starts his own number crunching business. So in Kevin's words they're all living HappilyEverAfter.
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