'Friends: The Reunion': Everything We Learned

The cast, creators, and guest stars of the beloved sitcom revealed several sweet and surprising things during the HBO Max special.

friends reunion
(Image credit: HBO Max)

friends forever

(Image credit: Hearst Owned)

It seems nearly impossible—30 years into this friendship—to learn anything new about Friends. But during HBO Max's much-hyped reunion, the cast, creators, and recurring guest stars dug deep to share personal, emotional, surprising, and sweet anecdotes and revelations about the beloved sitcom. Here's everything we learned from the Friends reunion, from which two co-stars were majorly crushing on each other to which castmember wrote their lines on the set furniture.

The wooden beam in Monica's apartment that disappeared after the first few episodes wasn't a mistake. They had to purposely remove it because it got in the way while shooting.

Courtney Cox would write her lines on the dining table of her apartment. And once Matt LeBlanc pranked her by erasing them before a scene.

Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer had real-life crushes on each other...and everyone on the cast could easily sense it.

LeBlanc dislocated a shoulder while filming "The One Where No One's Ready" because he tripped over the coffee table when lunging toward a chair. LeBlanc thinks it's because the cast didn't do their "huddle" before shooting; after that episode, they never skipped that tradition.

Chandler was named after co-creator Marta Kauffman's friend—and the whole show was based on Kauffman and David Crane's real lives in NYC in their 20s.

It's widely known that the women of the cast ate lunch together every day. But for the first couple of years, the whole cast ate lunch together daily (even on weekends) and watched all the episodes together. Matthew Perry called them "inseparable."

Cox's favorite episode is "The One With the Embryos."

Reese Witherspoon, who guest-starred as Rachel's sister, loved when LeBlanc told her character "How you doin'?" because it was Joey's iconic line.

Aniston remembers exactly what the girls were wearing for their first table read.

Schwimmer had quit TV before joining the Friends cast—and Ross was written with him in mind for the part.

The actor who played "fake Joey" (Carl) in "The One With the Unagi" had also been strongly considered to actually play Joey instead of LeBlanc.

LeBlanc got so drunk the night before his Friends audition that he passed out and hit his face on a toilet, badly scarring his nose. He told the truth about what happened to him during his audition and still got the job.

When being cast, Cox strongly argued that she was Monica, despite being looked at for Rachel's part.

Rachel was the last character to be cast because the creators really didn't want her to be unlikeable. But the producers felt Aniston brought "warmth and sincerity" to the part.

Sadly, no one liked working with the monkey Marcel—he even scared Cox—other than Aniston. Schwimmer particularly hated how unpredictable (and gross) the primate could be.

There are full seasons of the show Lisa Kudrow and Perry haven't seen, but Aniston, LeBlanc, and Cox have seen them all. And Schwimmer has been rewatching it over the past year because his daughter just started to binge it.

Janice's voice (and laugh) is fake. Actress Maggie Wheeler created it for her character, which was described as a "fast-talking New Yorker."

Kudrow would never consider doing a Friends movie or any other iteration of the show because she wouldn't want to see any of the characters' happy endings "unraveled."

Aniston thinks Rachel and Ross got married eventually. Cox thinks Monica would be running the PTA, and LeBlanc thinks Joey would've opened a sandwich shop. Kudrow thinks Phoebe had kids with Mike, would be living in Connecticut, and that she would be helping run the arts and music programs at their schools.

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Neha Prakash
Neha Prakash

As Marie Claire’s senior news and culture editor, Neha oversees all things entertainment, pop culture, and current events from TV shows and movies we can’t stop bingeing to celebrities we can’t stop 'shipping. She loves a hot-take, has an extensive knowledge of award shows, and knows the astrological signs of everyone in the royal family and the 'Friends' cast. Before joining Marie Claire, she held positions at Glamour, Brides, Condé Nast, and Mashable, and is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism.