With the Friends reunion show on HBO having come and gone, it feels like the book has been closed on the beloved sitcom. Yes, it had one of the most significant finales in television history, and yes, fans will still want more. But the cast has confirmed that the reunion was a one-off, and the show now feels conclusively like a happy part of the past we can revisit without waiting for and wondering about more.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t keep exploring the wonderful world of Friends and finding new things to love about it! In that spirit, and in light of the successful reunion, I wanted to do a fun little article on five things you might not actually know about a generation’s favorite show.
1. There Were Several Almost-Titles
Big fans of Friends may well know that the show was almost called Insomnia Café. It’s one of the more cringe-inducing what-ifs about any popular show I can think of, really. But did you know there were also other almost-titles before “Friends” was agreed upon? According to an article on Screenrant, the multiple other possibilities included Friends Like Us, Six Of One, and Across The Hall. Okay, so I don’t hate that last one, but it’s safe to say it’s a relief they went with the simple, iconic Friends.
2. The Show’s Vegas Trip Was a Homage
Season five’s finale episode, “The One In Vegas,” saw the cast visit Sin City, and specifically the famous Caesar’s Palace resort. This all worked just fine in the context of the show, but for the cast it was about a little bit more than the plot. Caesar’s Palace was reportedly the site of one of the group’s last gatherings together before the show got up and running in the first place — a bit of team recreation on the eve of massive fame and success.
3. There’s an Elaborate How I Met Your Mother Fan Theory
As fans are well aware, there’s something of a friendly rivalry between Friends and How I Met Your Mother. In terms of critical reception and cultural impact, the former is far and away the more significant show, but to a younger generation HIMYM is basically a just-as-good version of the same sort of show. Regardless, what many may not have heard is that there’s a pretty elaborate fan theory connecting the two together. Glamour posted the basics, which boil down to the idea that Friends can be viewed as a fictional version of the HIMYM story, told by the “mother” herself. I won’t get into the details, but it’s an interesting concept — even if it’s not actually true.
4. Friends Has Its Own Casino Game
Beyond all of the ugly coffee mugs, Central Perk signs, Rachel-inspired outfits, and countless other products inspired by the show, fans will likely be surprised to learn that there’s an online casino game as well. Somewhat bafflingly, Friends is the subject of a “Slingo” game exclusive to the Foxy Bingo game collection online. Slingo is a cross between bingo and slot machines, which in this case uses imagery and symbols from the show as in-game backgrounds and icons. It’s a pretty random piece of show-related media — but also probably a brilliant one. With this simple game, one has to imagine thousands of Friends fans are drawn to games they might otherwise never notice.
5. Justin Timberlake Missed Out
Over the years, Friends had a pretty remarkable run of celebrity guest stars, from Susan Sarandon, to Julia Roberts, to Brad Pitt. Save for a show like Entourage that specially exists in the “real” Hollywood, there might not be a show with a better roster of cameos. And yet one of my favorite weird little details about the show is that Justin Timberlake missed out. He’s rumored to have reached out to the show, but the story goes that they were unable to find a suitable part for him.
It’s a shame, really. I’d have loved to see him in a Central Perk duet with Phoebe!
What are your favorite Friends fun facts? Were any of these new to you? Let us know in the comments below!
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