Friends almost didn't make it to air because of these two characters.

Friends has just celebrated its 20th anniversary, but the iconic show almost got the axe.

The sitcom that launched the careers of Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox almost didn’t exist after the pilot was shown to a test audience who didn’t find it funny.

In a report released by The Smoking Gun, test audiences “felt the group did not really care about each other the way real friends would” , the program was “not very entertaining, clever, or original” and the stars were “superficial and self-absorbed”.

And those iconic scenes at the show’s coffee shop, Central Perk? Test audiences found them confusing. As for the characters, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) did not appeal to the audience, while Monica (Courteney Cox) was the favourite.

Test audiences hated Phoebe and Chandler.

And while Courteney Cox was a hit with the audience, she was secretly jealous of Jennifer Aniston’s popularity. Courteney appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and told the host she always wished fans would start rocking ‘The Monica’ as a hairstyle, instead of the iconic ‘Rachel’.

“You know what? It kind of bums me out, why didn’t they? We had the same hairdresser,” Cox said. “I don’t understand. I got nothing. I kept changing mine, like, ‘If you don’t like it I’ll just keep doing it,’ and they never stuck!”

Of course, to those who know and love Friends, it’s hard to see how the show could have been interpreted this way by test audiences. But let’s just be glad it did make it to air, and went on to become such a classic.

Happy 20th anniversary, Friends!
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