Custard? Good! Jam? Good! F.R.I.E.N.D.S? Great!

This legendary TV Show is still popular even though it came out in 1994!

All six friends!

“Pivot!” “We were on a break!” “How you doin’?” “I, Ross, take thee Rachel.” “Miss Chanadler Bong.” “My sister’s gonna have my baby!” These are all iconic quotes from one of the greatest TV series of all time: Friends.

Friends is set in New York City in the 1990s and early 2000s. Friends, at its heart, is a simple plot: a group of 6 friends. These friends are in their 20s and 30s, hold normal jobs, and live in New York City. The characters are involved in each other’s lives and some combination of them always occupies two apartments across the hall from each other. The occupants of these apartments differ throughout the series, but mainly include Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Rachel. The characters also hang out in a local coffee shop called Central Perk. The relatable plots and environments help viewing audiences identify with the characters.

One aspect of Friends that was unique, at the time, is that there was not one star of the show. The actors were an ensemble where each character had equal importance. For that reason, the cast of Friends did something that no actors had done before. When asking for a raise in 2002, all six main characters went in together and asked for $1 million per episode. Acting as a group made it so that they would not get fired for wanting a raise. By going in together, they lowered that risk because there would be no show without all six of these actors and actresses. When their salary was increased, they became the highest-paid cast ever on television.

Comedy ensues from the interaction of the six main characters; Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Chandler, Joey, and Ross. Two of these characters are siblings and there are as many as four love interests between the others over the years. It is Ross and Monica who are brother and sister. Ross’ best friend, Chandler, was his college roommate. Chandler is roommates with Joey. Joey is an actor whose career peaks when he plays “Dr. Drake Ramoray” on Days of Our Lives.

Interestingly, the real-life father of the actress who plays the character Rachel was an actor on Days of Our Lives. Rachel joins the group of friends in the pilot episode when she flees her wedding. She finds comfort when she encounters Monica, her old high school friend, with the other four in Central Perk. Phoebe is a flighty masseuse who is also a part-time singer at Central Perk. Rachel and Ross are an on-again-off-again couple of this series while Monica and Chandler end up getting married near the end of the series.

In addition to the main characters, there were others that made an impact on the show. One such character is Gunther. He is a waiter at Central Perk who is most recognizable for his bright, blonde, short hair. Gunther also has a stalker-like, yet innocent, crush on Rachel. The character of Richard, played by Tom Selleck, also makes an impact. Selleck brought his famous acting skills and mustache to the show. Richard had been the best friend of Monica and Ross’ father and became Monica’s older love interest. Monica and Richard’s age difference was not weird since they were both very nice characters with a very loving relationship.

Like most TV shows, the Friends sets are only made up of a half of a room, but the production had some unique features. For instance, the names of all of the episodes began with “The One with…”. Three episodes were titled “The One with the Blackout,” “The One with Ross’ Tan,” and “The One with the Embryos.”

In addition, all of the episodes were filmed in front of a live studio audience. The only time that was not the case was when cliffhangers were shot. One of the special effects used was when there were scenes with Phoebe and her twin sister Ursula. They would shoot two frames and use a body double. However, that is not the only time they used a stand-in when shooting Friends. Although tourists believe the fountain in which the cast is seen splashing in the opening credits is in Central Park in New York City, a replica was made for that scene so it could be shot on the Warner Brothers lot in California.

The key to a great series is that it is able to stand the test of time. The relatively simple plot of Friends has brought laughs to a whole generation of viewers. It has held its quality for the last 25 years and it does not appear to be going anywhere soon. Now it is being brought back to life for a new generation of audiences through Netflix. Teenagers today are able to quote it right along with their parents. People fell in love with Friends and I’m sure the characters “know we know they know” how much we love it.