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Behind the Scenes Drama from the Set of Friends

Updated June 21, 2021 1.3m views16 items

Once upon a time, Monica got a roommate and television changed forever. With all Friends seasons in infinite syndication, it’s easy for die-hard fans to watch and re-watch the series, discovering new things with every binge. But have you ever wondered what was going on off camera? Thought the cast became best pals, was there any notable behind the scenes drama on the Friends set?

While Friends was definitely light on on-set drama, especially compared to other hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy or Two and a Half Men, it still had its fair share of off-screen tension during its 10-year run. From one actor’s struggle with addiction to intense contract negotiations, this list gathers all the Friends on-set drama that has made its way to the Internet.
  • Lisa Kudrow was terrified of the duck.

    Photo: NBC
    The chick and the duck weren’t a delight for everyone on set. Kudrow isn’t a big fan of birds and was actually really afraid of the duck. By how flawless their on-screen interactions were, no one would have guessed anything other than pure chemistry.
  • Courteney Cox initially made everyone nervous.

    Photo: NBC
    According to David Schwimmer, Cox was the one who made everyone else nervous in the beginning because “she was the one big name in the cast.” However, she ended up pushing them to become a team and have each other’s backs. “It was our second day of work, and we went outside on a break together," said Matthew Perry. "She said, 'This is an ensemble show. I think we should really all try to help each other out.'”
  • NBC expected loads of hate mail after the lesbian wedding.

    Photo: NBC
    There’s no doubt that Friends was an important show for showcasing equality on screen in various forms. However, NBC expected to get a lot of hate mail after the 1996 episode with the lesbian wedding aired. Surprisingly, the network only received four complaints - all via the telephone.
  • Jennifer Aniston was almost replaced as Rachel.

    Photo: NBC
    When Friends started filming, Aniston wasn’t technically available. She was already starring on a show that was on the air called Muddling Through. The series was short-lived, however, and Aniston was eventually able to commit to Friends full-time. It's hard to imagine a world without "The Rachel."