Any Friends fan can tell you that each of the six main characters offers a different, but necessary, perspective. Trying to imagine the iconic sitcom without one of them simply isn’t possible. But it turns out Friends was almost a very different kind of show — and it was almost missing two key characters in the group.
The show debuted in 1994 and chronicled the lives of six single twenty-somethings living, working, and dating in New York City. It was created by Marta Kauffman and David Crane and though the name went through several iterations, the premise remained mostly the same.
Friends went on to become one of the most popular television sitcoms of all time. But it almost looked very, very different.
Chandler and Phoebe almost had supporting roles
The original concept for friends featured a few changes, like being called Insomnia Café or Friends Like Us. But one major plot twist was how Chandler and Phoebe weren’t supposed to be such central figures in the series
It’s almost impossible to imagine Friends without Chandler’s self-deprecating humor and voice of reason. It’s equally hard to envision the whole show without quirky, unpredictable Phoebe. Without her, we wouldn’t have “Smelly Cat,” and what kind of world would that be?
Apparently, early versions of the show had Chandler and Phoebe making occasional appearances in secondary roles. The main storyline would have revolved around Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Monica.
Chandler and Monica wouldn’t have had a romantic relationship
Without Chandler playing a big role, there’s almost no chance that Monica’s storyline would have included a romantic relationship with him. Fans were wildly supportive of this coupling even if some called it “too convenient.” Ultimately, the partnership between Chandler and Monica serves as a good reminder that friends make the best lovers.
Plus, without Chandler, Monica could have wound up staying with Richard. And no one wanted that.
We’d be missing out on so many laughs without Phoebe and Chandler
One thing that both Phoebe and Chandler have in common is they serve as comic relief on the show. While Chandler is a master of sarcasm, Phoebe is a lot more off-the-wall and inspires laughs even when she’s trying to be serious. The show would be a lot less funny if these two characters had smaller parts.
While it’s a little easier to picture Phoebe in a smaller role — after all, she lived further away than the other members of the gang — we’d also be missing out on so many great Friends moments if Phoebe was in fewer scenes.
Everything worked out the way it was supposed to
Though there were plenty of controversial storylines — such as the unlikely and slightly bizarre relationship between Rachel and Joey — Friends was a beloved show with so many positive attributes. And the reason it’s hard to picture the show with Chandler and Phoebe in smaller roles is because they became central characters in every way.
Rumor has it the original cast is working on a new project right now, though they swear it’s not a reunion or reboot. We can’t wait to find out what it is – especially if it involves all six of our favorites.