'Friends: The Reunion': The ten biggest revelations (spoilers)

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·6-min read
Friends: The Reunion - Key Art JPG
Castmates team up again for Friends: The Reunion (HBO/Sky)

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The Friends reunion has finally arrived – and the TV event of the year did not disappoint.

The six stars of the classic sitcom got together again on their iconic set for the first time in 17 years to look back on their decade of television domination.

Hosted by James Corden and featuring guest contributions from the likes of Lady Gaga, Cara Delevingne, Justin Bieber and David Beckham, the two-hour special showing on Sky One and Now is a fitting tribute to a show which has been watched 100 billion times all over the world since launching in 1994.

Read more: 'Friends' reunion special: How to watch the episode in the UK

But while the guest stars proved great fun, the reunion really excelled when the six actors reflected back on the series and revealed what really went on during the takes and off camera.

Here are the top ten revelations from the Friends: The Reunion.

Beware: Reunion spoilers ahead.

Promotional portait of the cast of the television series, 'Friends,' wearing black against a red backdrop, circa 1995. L-R: Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, and Matt LeBlanc. (Photo by Warner Brothers Television/Fotos International/Courtesy of Getty Images)
L-R: Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, and Matt LeBlanc. (Warner Brothers Television/Fotos International/Courtesy of Getty Images)

Courtney Cox would big up her part

Matt LeBlanc had the pals in stitches when he revealed that Courtney Cox would write her character Monica's lengthier lines on the dining table of the kitchen set. And when she snapped at him after he spotted them, he quickly pranked her in return. He told Phoebe star Lisa Kudrow: “I never knew she did that and I saw it one day and said ‘What is this?’, and she said ‘Mind your business.’ So before we shot that night, I erased it all and she got so mad.”

David Schwimmer played hard to get

FRIENDS --
Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller (Alice S. Hall/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Creators David Bright, Marta Kaufman and David Crane had to really pursue David Schwimmer for the part of Ross after writing it with him in mind. Schwimmer had quit TV after bad experiences on previous shows and they had to beg him to come back for Friends, sending a gift basket and a script. 

Crane said: “We had to beg him and beseech him.”

Two of its biggest names nearly missed out

Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry at the Private Home in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry at the Private Home in Los Angeles, California (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Jennifer Aniston and Matthew Perry had to be poached from rival sitcoms for their parts of Rachel and Chandler, after both started ultimately unsuccessful series just as they were set to shoot. 

Read more: 'Friends' cast details 'emotional' reunion: 'We just started crying'

Perry escaped dodgy scifi pilot LAX 2194 when a Warners executive realised Friends had more of a future, while Aniston pleaded with the boss of short-lived Muddling Through, to get out of her contract. The Friends producers gambled by shooting three episodes with Aniston knowing that if the other took off, they’d have to redo everything with a new actress if she couldn’t get out.

Ross secretly hated Marcel the monkey 

FRIENDS --
Pictured: (l-r) Katie/Monkey as Marcel, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green (NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

While he insists he is an animal lover, David Schwimmer didn’t enjoy working with his simian costar in the early series primarily because so many takes would have to be redone when he didn’t do the required moves. But his biggest problem was when Marcel’s trainer would feed the beast some grubs insects while it was sitting on Schwimmer’s shoulder, and he said it would then “rub his monkey grubby hands all over me.”

One relationship was meant to be much shorter

The cast of <em>Friends </em>during its ten year run.
The cast of Friends during its ten year run.

Chandler and Monica’s relationship was planned to be a very brief fling until they filmed the episode and the audience went wild at the bedsheets / morning after reveal in the London wedding episode. Co-creator Marta Kaufman said: “It was such a powerful moment, we knew we had to explore it more.”

Joey's mishap

FRIENDS --
Pictured: (l-r) Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller (J. Delvalle/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Matt LeBlanc popped his shoulder out while doing a fourth take of a couch leaping gag, and he attributed it to the fact the six of them had not done their traditional huddle before filming – he superstitiously made sure they never missed one after that.

Read more: 'Friends' reunion faces backlash for lack of diversity among guests

The origins of Janice

FRIENDS --
Pictured: (l-r) David Schwimmer as Dr. Ross Geller, Maggie Wheeler as Janice Litman (NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Janice actress Maggie Wheeler came up with her annoying character’s trademark machine gun cackle when she first met Matthew Perry on set, because the gifted comedian made her laugh so much that she knew she’d need to do something to cope with that. She said: “It was born in the moment.”

Reese's big moment

FRIENDS --
Pictured: (l-r) Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, Reese Witherspoon as Jill Green (NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

Years before working with Jennifer Aniston in hit Apple+ series The Morning Show, Reese Witherspoon was thrilled to guest star as Aniston’s on-screen wee sister, describing the part as a lottery win. But she was more excited to get a catchphrase chat up line from Matt LeBlanc’s Joey. She said: “One of the most exciting things was I got to be in the scene where I'm in the apartment and Joey walks in and goes, 'How you doin'?' It was this iconic line and I was so excited.”

Romance behind the scenes

UNDATED PHOTO:  Actors Jennifer Aniston (L) and David Schwimmer are shown in a scene from the NBC series
Actors Jennifer Aniston (L) and David Schwimmer are shown in a scene from the NBC series "Friends". (Warner Bros. Television/Getty Images)

The biggest reveal of all was the admission from on-screen lovers Aniston and Schwimmer that they had real life feelings for each other, mirroring the Ross and Rachel relationship playing out in the series. They tried to keep it secret, with Aniston recalling: ”How did everyone not know we were crushing hard on each other?”

It was unrequited

But they also confirmed they never acted on it, with Schwimmer describing their romantic fate as “two ships passing” because they were always in other relationships at one time or another. Aniston said though: “We channelled all that adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”

Want to watch Friends: The Reunion? It's streaming on Sky One and streaming service NOW from Thursday 27 May

WATCH: Friends Reunion - what to expect

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