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

By Jack Ripley | December 11, 2023

Everyone Was Afraid of Matt LeBlanc

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)

Before the cast of Friends were, well, friends they were just actors who were cast together in a television program. Co-star Jennifer Aniston says that she and the rest of the cast were nervous about the casting of Matt LeBlanc because of his background as a hot to trot model for Levi's. She says:

I was scared of that type of guy. He thinks it's very funny now. And actually, he can sit down and comfort me just like Courteney or Lisa could.

NBC Was Ready for the Hate to Flow After Their Lesbian Wedding

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(getty images)

As one of the most popular TV shows of all time, Friends was a trailblazer when it came to showcasing equality on screen. But when the episode featuring a lesbian wedding aired in 1996, NBC braced itself for a backlash of hate mail. Surprisingly, the network only received four complaints - all via telephone.

Despite the low number of complaints, the episode still attracted controversy across the United States. Two network affiliates, KJAC-TV in Port Arthur, Texas and WLIO in Lima, Ohio, even refused to air the episode, citing objectionable content. The decision drew little press attention, likely due to the small size of the markets in question. Gay and lesbian groups, including GLAAD, decried the censorship of the episode, highlighting the importance of representation on television.

In the end, Friends paved the way for many more TV shows to feature LGBTQ+ characters and storylines, and the impact of that wedding episode can still be felt today.