‘Friends’ Cast Credits Show’s Evergreen Success to ‘Awkward Magic’ Between Stars

The series finale of Friends aired in 2004, but for fans of all ages, the show is as fresh and funny as the day that it first started running on television. The show, which told the story of a group of friends who live and work in New York City, relied heavily on the charms of the six lead actors — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and Lisa Kudrow. These days, with the debut of a hotly-anticipated reunion special just around the corner, fans are eager to learn even more about Friends — and about the actors who made the show such a success. 

When did ‘Friends’ debut on television?

'Friends' cast together in car years before 'Friends' reunion
‘Friends’ cast Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Dr. Ross Geller | NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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When Friends started running on NBC in 1994, viewers around the world weren’t quite sure what to expect. The ’90s was a golden age of television sitcoms, but Friends was unlike anything else at the time.

The show featured sharp, funny writing, and consistently worked in real-world issues into storylines, including safe sex practices, unplanned pregnancies, and career changes.

The stars of the show all became television power players, going on to become highly paid actors in the years after the show debuted. Aniston, in particular, became the runaway star of the series, and to this day, she remains one of the biggest stars in the world. 

Are the ‘Friends’ cast members friends in real life?

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The cast of Friends had to spend a great deal of time together during the filming of the show. It would have been natural for some tensions to form, even amongst the most seasoned professionals. However, many reports back up the fact that the stars of Friends not only became good friends right off the bat but have remained friends over the years. 

In particular, Kudrow, Aniston, and Cox are very close, with the stars admitting that they even have a group text message chain, and keep up with each other regularly. Perry and LeBlanc, roommates on Friends, are close friends in real life as well.

The ‘Friends’ cast reunited for an HBO Max special

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After years of speculation and entreaties from fans, the stars of Friends finally reconnected onscreen in a reunion special for HBO Max. The special, which dropped on the streaming platform on May 27, features the chore cast gathering to reminisce about their time filming Friends. And while much of the special remains top-secret, fans are thrilled to see all of their favorite reunite once again. 

What did the cast of ‘Friends’ describe as ‘awkwardly magic’?

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In a sneak peek of Friends: The Reunion, the cast responded to the question of why fans continue to gravitate to Friends — and why the original series proved to be so insanely popular. Cox admitted that she thinks it came down to the chemistry between the stars, which she describes as “lightning in a bottle.” Perry pointed to the fact that the show focused on characters, rather than timely jokes. “People are going to come back time and time again and watch that,” the actor said, describing the cast’s chemistry as “magic.”

LeBlanc had another word for their unique dynamic, calling out their chemistry as “awkward.” Perry, not to be outdone by his former television roommate, added “It’s awkwardly magic.” Fans can learn more about what the cast of Friends has to say about the show’s enduring popularity by streaming the special on HBO Max on May 27.