The 8 behind-the-scenes stories from 'Friends' you've never heard.

We truly didn’t think there was anything left to know about FRIENDS. We were wrong.

To celebrate Jen Aniston’s 46th birthday, The Huffington Post interviewed set decorator Greg Grande and art director John Shaffner and found out 8 things we never knew about the show.

EIGHT. THINGS. That’s 1.5 things for every member of the core cast.

When we heard this, we were all:

We’d only just recovered from seeing what Ross and Rachel’s baby girl Emma looks like now she’s all grown up. But, probably like you, we love the show enough to always, always care when something new is revealed.

Without further ado…

The new eight things we didn’t know about Friends.

1. The orange couch in Central Perk? It was found ripped and tattered, deep in the corners of a prop basement.

Before the Friends stars were making a cool $1 million per episode, the series started up with just a regular sitcom budget.

“The first thing I did was scour the Warner Bros. prop house,” Grande explained. “Literally in the basement, deep in one of the corners of the basement, was this sofa that was absolutely beautiful and the line of it was just gorgeous. It was very tattered. We cleaned it up a little bit, it had quite a few rips in the fabric. But we cleaned up.”

2. The frame around the peephole was originally meant to have a picture in it.

“I originally had it as a picture frame that had a back on it,” Grande said. “And while we were dressing the glass in it broke and I told one of the guys, ‘Well let’s see what that frame looks like around the peephole.’ And they put it up there for me and that’s where it lived for the next 10 years. It actually was as simple as that. Kind of a funny mistake.”

3. Matthew Perry was Chandler.

Chandler’s awkwardness around women and his classic emphasis on the ‘be’ was based off Matthew Perry.

In an interview with People in 1995, Perry said, “These characters are slightly exaggerated, slightly more entertaining versions of ourselves.”

Want more? The ‘Friends’ prop you never noticed explains the biggest plot hole in the show.

Aniston added, “he has this way of speaking, using questions like, ‘Could this be any more this or that?’ So they wrote an entire episode about how everybody at his office makes fun of him because of the way he talks.”

4. The cast were scared of Matt LeBlanc before they met him.

Also from People, Aniston explained how LeBlanc was perceived before he’d even met the cast:

“I was scared of that type of guy,” said Aniston. “He thinks it’s very funny now. And actually, he can sit down and comfort me just like Courteney or Lisa could.”


5. Monica’s apartment was based off a set designers from the ’70s.

Designers, Shaffner and Joe Stewart lived together in an apartment that became the inspiration for Monica’s apartment.

“We’d all had similar New York experiences in the late ’70s, so we kind of reached into our communal New York lives and withdrew a lot of elements that we felt were appropriate for the story,” Shaffner said. “And we had lived in a sixth-floor walkup, so we knew you got a bigger apartment for less money if you’re willing to climb six flights of stairs.”

More here: Friends without the canned laughter is surprisingly chilling.

The also answered the age-old question of how Monica could afford such a big apartment.

“The answer was it’s the sixth floor of a walkup,” Shaffner said.

6. NBC expected to receive hate mail for the lesbian wedding.

lesbian wedding friends
Image via Tumblr.

Ross’s wife (the first one, Carol, who realised she was a lesbian) later married Susan in The One with the Lesbian Wedding’  in season 2.

Executive producer Marta Kauffman said, “NBC expected thousands and thousands of phone calls and hate mail.”

Instead, NBC received only four complaints by phone.

7. The ‘mistake’ of the outside shot of Monica’s apartment has an explanation.

Image via Tumblr.

This one always confused me as a kid. There was a fire escape where there was none and there was no balcony. This was before I realised that they were on a set. Not in the actual building. I’m not even kidding.

“I went to New York and came back with an armful of pictures of the tops of the sixth-floor buildings with windows like that.”

Read more: Lisa Kudrow goes on US chat show, says things we never knew about Friends.

Shaffner wanted an explanation when the sitcom used something else entirely.

“They got an establishing shot with arched windows and I’m like, ‘Well, we don’t have any arched windows in the set,'” Shaffner said. “So that was always, to me, kind of like where are these windows. So they said, ‘Don’t worry, we’re just showing the building, their apartment is on the other side, don’t worry.'”

Yes, because that makes total sense.

8. Central Perk was based on an actual, existing place.

“The coffee house came about because there was a little restaurant that we used to all go down to on West 4th Street in Manhattan, and it had a door in the corner,” Shaffner said. “So we went to Kevin and Margaret and David and when we showed them the model and I said, ‘We want to do a little corner door like the restaurant that we used to go to,’ and they remembered it as well. It was called Arnold’s Turtle.”

Unfortunately, Arnold’s Turtle no longer exists. But a pop-up tribute Central Perk happened in New York last year to celebrate 10 years since the show last airing.

Check out some of our favourite Friends moments below.