5 curious facts from the first episode (pilot) of ‘Friends’

A day like today, but from 1994, the pilot of friends; that is, the first episode of one of the most successful series in television history. The presentation of each of the main characters was important to develop a story that would last 10 years with a growing audience.

That does not do any production, and less now. This presentation of friendsofficially titled “The One Where Monica Gets A Roomate”, shows us the dynamics of six subjects, three men and three women, while they try their luck professionally, but above all personally.

To celebrate this first transmission, here we tell you five things that you may not know about the pilot episode and how it became a turning point for television, sitcoms and the way we consume series.

First episode of ”Friends’ / Image: IMDB

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The soap opera

In the first episode of friends, after Rachel arrives at Central Perk, they all go upstairs to Monica’s apartment. Y while Rachel is on the phone with her dad, the rest are sitting on the couch watching a soap opera. Since they don’t know Spanish, Monica guesses what the plot is about.

On the television we can see a woman talking to a man for the pregnancy of a certain Marcela. And then we see two women fighting on the stairs, one of them wearing quite tight pants as Chandler points out. Everyone, in unison, asks to be thrown down the stairs… and so it happens.

But what soap opera is it? It is three destinationswhich was produced by Telemundo in 1993. The soap opera starred Alejandra Maldonado and Osvaldo Rios and the plot centers on three sisters, Gabriela, Marcela and Cristinawhose destinies are tied beyond the blood tie… and it is because of the presence of a man.

The number of departments

In the first episode of friends is that we know the three spaces most important in history. The coffee shop known as Central Perk, Monica’s apartment (which she soon shares with Rachel), and Chandler and Joey’s apartment.

We know that throughout the 10 seasons, Monica’s apartment is numbered 20 while the other registers 19. However, in the series pilot they had two different numbers: number 5 for Monica and number 4 for Chandler.

According to some outlets like Looper, the creators changed the numbers because it did not make sense that the apartments on the third floor had such low numbers. In some subsequent episodes, we already see the numbers that would remain.

Monica and Paul in the apartment with the number 5 / Image: NBC

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Rachel and Chandler’s third meeting

To the first characters of friends that we know are Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe, who are in Central Perk. Then Ross arrives, who is sad because his partner left him after she discovered that she was a lesbian.

When Ross says he doesn’t want to be single, he arrives Rachel in a wedding dress with wet hair. He tells them that he decided not to get married and ran away from his own wedding. Monica introduces her to everyone except Ross because right there they say they already knew each other.

Monica introduces Rachel in the pilot of 'Friends'
Monica introduces Rachel in the pilot of ‘Friends’ / Photo: TBS

Nevertheless, in other seasons we discovered that this was not the first time that Chandler and Rachel met. The first time, according to the episode “The One with All the Thanksgivings” of the fifth season, both characters met during a Thanksgiving since Chandler and Ross were in college together, while Rachel and Monica were in their senior year of high school.

The second time they met is revealed in the episode “The One with the Flashback” from season three when Monica and Chandler are at a bar (which turns into the coffee shop) and they hear Rachel say that she will sleep with the next man she sees. So, Monica introduces him to Chandler.

Before being called ‘Friends’

Before a series goes on the air or a movie becomes official, the production starts with various titles, some of them false so that speculations are not made with the plot, or, others that sounded good at first but they end up being different.

With friends It was no exception, and before it received its iconic name, as simple as it seemed, it had a couple of titles that don’t sound bad, but right now we can no longer imagine the series with them. The first was insomnia coffee with which they sold the idea of ​​the series at the time of writing the script.

Title of 'Friends'
Title of ‘Friends’ / Image: NBC

Not only the title was different, also the story with the characters of Joey and Monica in the center. Joey, you must know, was not as goofy as he made himself known, but more serious and intelligent. But then they decided to give the weight of the relationship to Rachel and Ross.

What other title did the series receive before friends? When NBC took the story in her hands, she put Friends Like Us then suggest across the hall. When they were already recording, the production was titled Six of One. But as we already know, none of them succeeded and they went for the simplest: friends.

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Photo: NBC

Monica’s picture

As we told you, the pilot of friends open with Monica in Central Perk telling about a date night. She is called “Paul, the guy with the wines”. Monica tells them that it is a normal date, since she will not sleep with him. But in the end she…she does have sex only to find out that that fucking paul tricked her into taking her to bed.

Paul tells him that he has two years without having sex since his ex-partner left him. That makes Monica think he’s sensitive, and she ends up in bed with him. But it is a deception that she discovers the next day when her partner in the kitchen tells her that he applied the same to her.

Paul's character in the first episode of 'Friends'
Paul’s character in the first episode of ‘Friends’ / Photo: NBC

Monica feels bad, and says that she really liked him. However, this was not going to happen Monica, in the first script, would not have an emotional attachment to Paul. But the creators changed it at the request of Don Ohlmeyer, the president of NBC.

Why? Because Ohlmeyer thought that if Monica did not feel an attachment to Paul, the audience would perceive her as a “anyone”. As it is. That is, without having strong feelings for him, she slept with him. Okay. We are talking about a series written almost 30 years ago, and we know where that judgment comes from.


The article is in Spanish

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