5 biggest revelations from the Friends Reunion

Friends Reunion: The 5 biggest revelations from the HBO Max special
(Image credit: NBC)

Friends: The Reunion is streaming now on HBO Max, and fans of the beloved sitcom are feeling all the emotions seeing the famous sixsome back together on that iconic orange couch.

The reunion special has plenty of great segments. So many in fact that we ranked our favorite moments (and a couple we didn’t like so much), but one of the most surprising things about the feature-length show was all the new information stuffed within its runtime.

Sure, we already knew that the initial pitch for the show was “a sitcom focused on the period of your life where your friends are your family." Likewise, the cast’s musings on where each character would be now didn’t exactly turn up many surprises — though we did like Matt LeBlanc claiming that Joey would own a sandwich shop by the beach (even he knew the whole being an actor in LA thing wouldn't  pan out!).

However, there were also several revelations that we didn’t see coming and even a few tidbits that hardcore fans who can recite each episode front and back were shocked to learn. So, we’ve rounded up the biggest talking points from Friends: The Reunion.

David Schwimmer really, really didn’t like Marcel

“It was time for Marcel to f**k off” was perhaps the quote of the entire show, as David Schwimmer revealed that working with Marcel, the capuchin monkey, in the first series of Friends was not a fun experience for the actor.

Friends: The Reunion

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Schwimmer had recently come from a stint in the theatre before Friends, so working alongside a Monkey was probably not what he envisaged for his first major role on network television.

While Ross was devastated after making the difficult decision to give his primate companion up for adoption to a zoo, Schwimmer was clearly very relieved. They do say never work with children or animals.

Monica's lines were on the table

If you’ve ever wondered how actors memorize so many lines, the answer is they don’t. One of the first revelations of the Friends Reunion was that Courtney Cox used to hide her script pages around the apartment set in case she couldn’t recall a gag.

Friends: The Reunion

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Upon first walking onto the rebuilt apartment Matt LeBlanc’s first move was to quickly check under the fruit bowl to see if “Courtney still has her lines written under the table”. It was a hilarious moment, and just one of the many insights into the day-to-day routine of the cast while shooting the show.

Jennifer Aniston got out of another sitcom to work on Friends

At the time of being cast in Friends as runaway bride Rachel Greene, Jennifer Aniston was actually already booked to appear in another show CBS’s Mudding Through. Due to contractual commitments if that show had taken off Aniston would have had to drop out of Friends.

Friends: The Reunion

(Image credit: HBO Max)

NBC execs, not wanting anyone else for the part, planned a crafty move to ensure that Aniston wouldn’t have to leave the Central Perk six. During the summer that Mudding Through premiered the network scheduled blockbuster movies at the same time in order to tank the show’s rating and ultimately lead to its cancellation.

The plans worked, Mudding Through only lasted nine episodes and the producer of the ill-fated sitcom told Aniston that Friends wouldn’t ever make her a star. Yikes!

Ross really crushed on Rachel in real life — and vice versa

This juicy revelation has caused something of an internet meltdown, as David Schwimmer revealed that during the filming of the show he had genuine romantic feelings for Jennifer Aniston. And she had reciprocal feelings.

Ross and Rachel were (and arguably still are) the ultimate will they/won’t they television couple, so finding out the actors behind the iconic pairing were actually crushing on each other the whole time has floored Friends fans.

Friends: The Reunion

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Unfortunately, bad timing meant that Schwimmer and Aniston never got together in real life, though Matt LeBlanc jokingly hinted that they may have at least shared some form of a romantic encounter in the show’s heyday.

Is it too late for us to re-build that ship anyway?

How Matt LeBlanc really broke his arm

Remember the season 3 episode “The One With the Jam”, where Joey gets his arm in a sling after taking a tumble while bouncing on his bed?

If you’ve ever wondered why the writer crafted that scenario then never did anything with it, it’s because it was a cover for a real injury that Matt LeBlanc sustained on the set during the filming of the fan-favorite episode “The One Where No One’s Ready”.

LeBlanc had to dive into an armchair and during this stunt, he tripped and dislocated his shoulder in front of the studio audience. The squeam-inducing footage was shown during the Friends Reunion and all credit to LeBlanc for soldiering to film the next episode while injured. We assume he requested a stuntman in later seasons.

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.