‘Friends’ Originally Planned to Pair Monica Up With Joey But Here’s How Matthew Perry’s Chandler Snagged Courtney Cox

Few TV couples are as iconic as Ross and Rachel and Monica and Chandler on Friends. For 10 seasons, Ross and Rachel’s relationship was a rollercoaster of ups and downs, a series of makeups and breakups.

It took four full seasons for Chandler and Monica to finally get together, and in recent years, the show’s creators and writers have revealed that Friends fans played a huge role in their love story. 

‘Friends’ was one of the most popular shows of all time 

Friends revolved around six 20-somethings living and working in Manhattan. Season one starts with Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) fleeing her wedding and moving in with her childhood friend, Monica Geller (Courteney Cox).

Rachel joins Monica’s friend group, which also includes her former roommate, Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), her neighbors Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), and Monica’s older brother, Ross (David Schwimmer). It aired for ten seasons, from September 1994 to May 2004, during which it became one of the most popular TV shows of all time. 

Monica and Chandler’s love story 

Courteney Cox as Monica Geller and Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing on NBC's 'Friends.'
Courteney Cox as Monica Geller and Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing on NBC’s ‘Friends.’ | NBCU Photo Bank

Season four of Friends was ending as Monica and Chandler’s romance was blossoming. The chemistry had been building long before that, though—the two first meet at Thanksgiving 1987, when Chandler and Ross are college roommates.

Monica develops a crush on Chandler and is even inspired to become a chef after he compliments her mac and cheese. They remain close friends and, ultimately, neighbors, when he moves into the apartment across the hall.

Toward the end of season one, Monica and Chandler promise that they’ll get together if both are still single at 40. Their relationship doesn’t actually start until the very end of season four when they sleep together for the first time when they’re in London for Ross’ wedding.

They start dating in secret, and one by one, the others discover the truth. They get married in season seven, and at the end of the last season, they adopt twin babies.

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What did fans have to do with it? 

RELATED: ‘Friends’ Deleted Scene Foreshadowed Chandler and Monica’s Relationship

For the end of season four, filming was moved from Burbank to London. The final episode was shot from start to finish in front of a live studio audience there.

“So we got to experience them seeing that [Monica and Chandler] scene three times,” Friends writer Scott Silveri told Vulture. “The first time, I was huddled around a monitor, watching [the actors] perform. And when Monica popped up from beneath the sheets, there was just this explosion from the audience. It was a combination of a laugh/gasp/cry/shriek. They were just blown away by it. It was so intense, for the second or third takes, instead of watching the monitors, I just turned around and watched the audience.” 

The reaction was so strong that producers had no choice but to take note. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, series creator Marta Kauffman revealed: “You set out to do things, and then actors come in and they breathe life into it, and it’s not quite what you imagined it was going to be.”

For example, in the beginning, the show’s creators thought Monica and Joey would be together because they seemed the most passionate. The romance between Monica and Chandler wasn’t intended to last, but with the audience’s reaction to their hookup during taping.

“We were stunned. So that’s when we sort of went, ‘Huh, guess this is going in a different direction,'” she explained.

Monica and Chandler’s relationship went on to become a fan-favorite and an integral part of the show. You can relive their love story by streaming Friends now on HBO Max.