‘Friends’ Book Reveals One of the Show’s Iconic Moments was Inspired by a Flub from David Schwimmer
The iconic sitcom Friends hits a landmark this month. Celebrating 25 years since its premiere, the legendary NBC show dominated the airwaves in popularity during the 90s until the series ended in 2004. Classic episodes gave viewers lines of infamous dialogue, including “We were on a break,” “How you doin’?” and “She’s your lobster.”
Now fans can read all about their favorite Friends characters, as well as what went on behind the scenes in a newly released book.
Just hit the bookstands
“Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era” by pop culture historian Saul Austerlitz released this week, perfectly timed with the show’s upcoming anniversary. The author delves into the historic following of the Central Perk six, exploring why the show became such a cultural phenomenon and continues its popularity in reruns.
Interviewing the powerhouses that put together the famed Friends series, Austerlitz spoke with creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman, executive producer Kevin Bright, director James Burrows, as well as writers and cast members of the show.
Monica and Joey as a couple?
Over the years, some hidden details about the show have surfaced that weren’t made public in the past. For instance, in the first season, cast members each earned $22,000 per episode. By the show’s finale, they were pulling in $1M each, according to Buzzfeed.
Some other interesting tidbits include who tried out for certain roles. Kathy Griffin auditioned for the role of Phoebe, and Jon Cryer tried out for the role of Chandler. It has been rumored that Iron Man director Jon Favreau auditioned for the role of Chandler, but he has recently said he never read for that part. Favreau later had a recurring guest starring role as a love interest of Monica’s (played by Courtney Cox).
Though it may be difficult for diehard fans to picture Monica with anyone but Chandler (played by Matthew Perry), the original matchmaking plan for the show had paired Monica and Joey (played by Matt LeBlanc) together. The series’ on-again, off-again couple Ross and Rachel (played by David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston) were not supposed to be such a central part of the show, but due to the chemistry between the actors, the storyline took on a life of its own.
The wrong name paid off
Austerlitz’s book reveals delicious details such as these, including one iconic flub from Schwimmer. In the Season 4 finale entitled “The One with Ross’s Wedding,” the friends all head to London (except a pregnant Phoebe, played by an actually pregnant Lisa Kudrow) for Ross’s wedding to Emily (played by Helen Baxdale). Due to the Ross-and-Rachel history, Rachel is reluctant to go at first but makes a last minute decision to attend the wedding, contemplating the idea of telling Ross she still has feelings for him.
The author shares that the ending to the episode was a bit up in the air for the show creators, but a flubbed line by Schwimmer became the perfect way to wrap up the season. According to Yahoo! Lifestyle, Austerlitz writes that while running lines one day, Schwimmer mistakenly said, “Rachel, the taxi’s here,” instead of his actual line, which was, “Emily, the taxi’s here.” It was a eureka moment, where “[producer] Greg Malins turned to [creator] David Crane and said, ‘That’s what happens.’”
Hence, the moment that Ross vows to “take thee, Rachel” at the alter while he was standing there with Emily was launched into television history.