‘Friends’: The Ending for Phoebe’s Love Triangle Almost Ended Differently

It’s been years since Friends ended, but many fans and actors can’t stop talking about how it ended. There were some bumps along the way with Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) kissing before ending up with Ross Geller (David Schwinner.)

However, another love triangle that was kept for the end of the show was between Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) and two men. Find out how the ending of that love triangle almost ended differently and more.

Phoebe was in a love triangle with Mike and David

Hank Azaria as David, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Paul Rudd as Mike Hannigan on 'Friends'
Hank Azaria as David, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Paul Rudd as Mike Hannigan on ‘Friends’ | Danny Feld/NBCU Photo Bank

Phoebe was dating a scientist named David (Hank Azaria), but their relationship ended when he had to go to Russia because he had an academic grant for a three-year research trip. She then moved on to Mike (Paul Rudd.)

This made things messy when David returned to try and win her back. In the end, she picked Mike and they got married. This ending was a surprise for Azaria because there was a different plan.

Hank Azaria said there was a plan for him to return

Azaria talked a little bit about the original plan for his character. He said he knew that David would return after leaving for Russia.

“No, I didn’t know that was the end of David,” he revealed to Huff Post. “The plan always was kind of to bring him back.”

However, the plan of what happened once he came back changed once Mike entered the picture. “I think, honestly, what happened was Paul Rudd is so awesome that they sort of found a groove with him and [my character] became more of just the grist for that mill,” explained Azaria. The actor then said, “As opposed to the other way around.”

The Simpsons voice actor wasn’t afraid to admit he was a little disappointed by how things turned out. “It actually did sting a little bit,” he said. “Whatever part of me is David the science guy who went to Minsk, which admittedly is probably a small part of me [laughs], but that part of me wanted to end up with Phoebe. So I was sort of sad when I didn’t.”

The co-creator said they went back and forth between the men

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He’s got a cult look.

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The show’s co-creator, David Crane opened up about this story. He said things could have easily ended differently for the beloved character.

“There was definitely a possibility of that,” Crane told Radio Times. “I mean, we didn’t definitively know [who she’d end up with].”

Apparently the whole situation was up for debate. “They’re both amazing actors,” he said. “I mean, both Paul and Hank are fantastic, and fantastic with her. We sort of went back and forth.”

What made them pick Mike? The co-creator doesn’t seem to be sure. “I don’t even remember all the pieces that led to where we landed, but yeah, it could have gone the other way,” he said. “Phoebe would have been great with either one.”

This might be sad news to all of the David fans. But Rudd might have been so great that he won everyone over.