1.When the script for the original pilot was released in 2014, it became clear that things could have been very, very different had the writers stuck to the initial idea.
2.For one, Monica and Rachel wouldn't have reconnected.
3.Ross' job wasn't intended to be integral to his character — in fact, the character description of him from the original pilot reads: “A palaeontologist. Not that it matters.”
4.Phoebe was originally written as a "serial monogamist." She was described as the kind of person who "doesn't date, but just moves in with guys."
5.And Rachel's name was originally "Rachel Robbins."
6.If the creators of the show had taken the cast's advice, the Rachel/Joey storyline would never have happened.
7.Similarly, if they'd listened to David Schwimmer, Ross's third divorce wouldn't have happened either.
8.Lisa Kudrow and Matt LeBlanc once pitched a story idea in which it would be discovered that Phoebe and Joey had been having casual sex the entire time.
9.There was also supposed to be a storyline in which Chandler went to a male strip club because he really liked the sandwiches. Matthew Perry convinced the writers to scrap it.
10.There was a whole scene about hijacking and bombs cut from an episode in season nine because it was due to air in the weeks after 9/11.
11.Joey was always intended to be a ~womaniser,~ but Matt LeBlanc quickly became concerned that the character was so "creepy" that he wouldn't have any longevity.
12.So, Matt LeBlanc went to the creators of the show and made a "creative suggestion" to mould Joey into a more appealing and realistic character.
13.The writers set about making the changes to Joey’s character immediately, ensuring he was more dimensional while retaining his womaniser status. However, this change meant that the original central romance between Monica and Joey, which was planned from the start, was scrapped.
14.Courteney Cox was originally asked to play Rachel. However, after reading the scripts, she requested to audition for Monica instead, feeling that she "related" more to her.
15.However, the writers had envisioned Monica as dark, edgy and snarky and so were unsure whether Courteney would be right for the role. But, after her audition, they decided that her portrayal of the character was "a lovelier place to go."
16.Joey was never written as dim — the writers decided to make it part of his character thanks to Matt LeBlanc's skill at playing dumb.
17.Hank Azaria had his heart set on playing Joey. He was so desperate for the role that after being rejected a first time, he begged for a second audition. He didn't get the role, but further down the line was cast as Phoebe's boyfriend David.
18.The character Charlie only came about because of the criticism levelled at the show for not being diverse enough.
19.Ellen DeGeneres was offered the role of Phoebe, but turned it down.
20.The show's original theme song was "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M. In fact, the song was even used in the pilot episode, but was eventually switched out in favour of "I'll Be There For You" at the suggestion of one of the producers.
21.And the show also went through a series of title changes — in fact, Friends very easily could have been called Insomnia Cafe, Six of One, or Friends Like Us.
22.The show was originally supposed to be centred around just four friends, with Phoebe and Chandler as supporting characters.
23.There also could have been an older main character whose role it was to give advice to the group.
24.Things could have been very different had Courteney Cox not broken just about every acting rule in the book on their first day of shooting.
25.However, we came close to not having Friends in our lives at all. The pilot of the show tested so badly that it almost didn't make it to air.
26."The One Where No One's Ready" may have become one of the show's most-loved episodes, but it actually only happened because the production team needed to save money.
27.But the writers liked the effect of the episode so much that they decided to make at least one episode starring just the core six in each subsequent season.
28.The final season was intended to be 24 episodes but because of Jennifer Aniston's movie commitments, was negotiated down to 18.
29.This means we lost out on six episodes, and a storyline in which Ross fell back in love with Rachel during a trip to Paris ahead of her move there.
30.However, we should count ourselves lucky we even got a tenth season at all — not only was Jennifer Aniston's schedule a problem, but at one point she was unsure whether she even wanted to commit to a final season.
31.And, finally, the creators of the show seriously considered not getting Ross and Rachel back together at the end of the series. In fact, they even discussed the possibility of leaving their storyline open-ended and hinting that they might become a couple “further down the road.”
32.However after mulling things over, they decided the audience would’ve been “very unsatisfied” with anything other than a Ross and Rachel reunion, and when it came to writing season ten, they established it as the one plot-point they had to make happen.