Friends Exposed: 30 Shocking Moments of Personal Struggles and Turmoil Behind the Laughter

By Jack Ripley | February 5, 2024

Cox Had a Creative Way of Getting Her Lines Right

Welcome to our exploration of the fascinating behind-the-scenes drama of the beloved 1990s TV show Friends. While we laughed along with Ross, Rachel, Joey, Monica, Chandler, and Phoebe, there was a lot of happening behind the scenes that viewers never saw. From personal struggles and intense pressure to addiction and potential cast changes, there was plenty of drama taking place among the cast and crew.

In this gallery, we'll dive deep into some of the most intriguing and eye-opening stories from behind the camera, including Matthew Perry's battle with addiction, David Schwimmer's struggle with depression during the height of the show's fame, and Jennifer Aniston's desire to leave the hit series. We'll examine the challenges they faced and the ways in which they impacted the show's production and overall legacy.

So, whether you're a die-hard Friends fan or simply interested in the behind-the-scenes workings of a hit TV show, we invite you to join us on this journey into the drama and intrigue of Friends. Keep reading to uncover the secrets that only those on set knew and gain a deeper understanding of the people behind the characters we all know and love.

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(NBC)

Acting in a sitcom is harder work than it looks. Actors are essentially filming an episode a week (sometimes less) in front of live studio audience, they have to memorize a script and then memorize the changes that come in. Matt LeBlanc revealed in the HBO Max reunion of the Friends cast that Cox stopped bothering with memorizing her lines, but she did it in a way that the audience couldn't notice. When he entered the apartment set he asked, "Does Courteney still have her lines written on the table?”

Courteney Cox Made Everyone Nervous

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(NBC)

Before the cast got to know one another they were terrified of working with Courteney Cox. Not only was she the star of the "Dancing in the Dark" video, but she had been a regular on numerous TV shows in the late '80s while everyone else was - at best - jobbing it out in movies like Leprechaun. Matthew Perry says that Cox dispelled any sense of a hierarchy early on in the show's run:

It was our second day of work, and we went outside on a break together.  She said, 'This is an ensemble show. I think we should really all try to help each other out.'