It’s been 25 years since Friends premiered. Picture: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
It’s been 25 years since Friends premiered. Picture: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Burning question we have about Friends

Friends is about to turn 25.

That's right, it's been a quarter of a century since we first met Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe and Joey, hanging out in their go-to coffee spot, Central Perk.

(Actually, the pilot opened with everyone but Rachel sitting around gossiping about Monica's dating life - but she runs in wearing a wedding dress soon after, and the rest is history.)

 

With all the chatter about '90s sitcoms in line with the big anniversary, the inevitable office debate has again been sparked here at news.com.au: Which is better, Friends or Seinfeld?

Watch the video at the top of the page and then cast your vote to help us decide, once and for all.

 

 

 

Seinfeld also remains hugely popular to this day.
Seinfeld also remains hugely popular to this day.

As an added bonus in honour of the 25-year milestone, here's everything you probably didn't know about Friends:

STARTING FROM THE BOTTOM

When the sitcom premiered in 1994, it was the career launch pad for all its young stars - and their salaries reflected that. For the first season, each of the six core cast members received $22,500 per episode - but each year, they negotiated more and more, eventually earning a whopping $1 million.

The best bit? No one rose above the others - instead, they negotiated as a group and demanded equal pay.

That's true Friendship.

 

The Friends gang. Picture: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
The Friends gang. Picture: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

CUTTING THE CAST

As mentioned before, all core castmates negotiated for equal pay, knowing their worth as a group of six.

But Friends was originally supposed to have just four main characters, with Phoebe Buffay and Chandler Bing relegated to supporting roles.

THEME SONG

I'll Be There For You by The Rembrandts is forever etched into Friends history, but the famous theme song wasn't actually first choice for the show's opening credits.

Instead, producers were planning to use REM's Shiny Happy People, but they eventually changed their mind.

After Friends premiered, the theme song shot up to number one on the US music charts.

THE OL' SWITCHEROO

It's hard to imagine any of the stars in any other role but their own, but Courteney Cox was originally cast as Rachel Green, and Jennifer Aniston as Monica Geller.

However, from the very first script reading it became incredibly obvious to everyone that the actresses should swap - and thank God they did.

 

Imagine if these two hadn’t switched places. Picture: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Imagine if these two hadn’t switched places. Picture: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

BARGAIN BRUCE

Bruce Willis was an in-demand movie star and raking in the big bucks in 2000 when he signed on to feature in three Friends episodes as Ross' girlfriend's dad, Paul.

One would assume he took home an eye-watering pay cheque for his stint on the show, but the Die Hard lead was actually paid nothing.

He and Matthew Perry had reportedly had a friendly bet on the set of their movie The Whole Nine Yards, and when Willis lost, he came good on his promise to guest star on the sitcom for free.

MAKING AN ENTRANCE

A live audience really adds to the vibe of a show - but it also can cause some problems.

Take, for example, Tom Selleck's guest appearance on the show as Dr Richard Burke, Monica's much-older boyfriend.

The famous actor's first entrance onto set thrilled the audience, who gave him a standing ovation. In fact, they took so long to calm down, producers couldn't use any of the footage and had to reshoot his entrance later when everyone had gone.

 

Selleck, as Richard, was a very popular guest star. Picture: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Selleck, as Richard, was a very popular guest star. Picture: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

 

ON A BREAK

Rachel's big romantic scene with Ross made up the bulk of the show's finale, but Aniston almost didn't sign on for the last season.

In an interview with former US TV host Matt Lauer back in 2004, the actress explained she wanted to leave the show on a high while people were still laughing - and she wasn't sure "how much Rachel" she had left in her.

Luckily, she changed her mind.



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