101 Things You Should Know When You're a FRIENDS Fan

1. The first line of dialogue in the very first pilot episode of Friends was "There's nothing to tell.

2. A 30-second commercial during the break in the show in America cost advertisers £500,000.

3. Other titles considered for the series included "Once upon a time in the West Village", "Insomnia Café" and "Across the Hall". The original title, "Friends like Us", was shortened to the current one-worder.

4. The six characters full names are Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow), JoeyTribbiani (Matt le Blanc), Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Ross Geller(David Schwimmer).

5. According to Aniston, her famous "Rachel" hairdo was created by accident when her "friend" Chris cut her hair with a razor.

6. Courteney Cox, who was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, is known as CC to friends and family.

7. David Schwimmer attended Beverly Hills High, the school on which the series Beverly Hills: 90210 was based.

8. Matthew Perry appeared in Beverly Hills: 90210 earlier in his career. He said of his role: "Its kind of a blur, but I remember playing the most popular kid in school who ends up with a gun in his mouth because his Dad is so overbearing".

9. Perry's wit is so legendary that the scriptwriters have often incorporated his gags into the show.

10. Cox had the honour of being the first person to say "period" on American TV, making a commercial for Tampax.

11. Aniston attended the New York High School for the Performing Arts, the school that Fame was modelled on.

12. Central Perk, the café in which they all hang out, is based on the Manhattan Café in New Yorks West Village.

13. Cox was a cover girl for People Magazine's "50 most beautiful people in the world" issue.

14. She was also dubbed "TV's hottest babe" by American Playboy magazine.

15. Director Hames Burrows, responsible for many of the early episodes of Friends, also directed Taxi, Cheers and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

16. Matt le Blanc loves dogs and has a mutt called Lady that he rescued from a dog pound, and a Doberman called Shadow.

17. Kudrow is married to a French advertising executive Michel Stern, and has a baby daughter.

18. Schwimmer is the son of two Los Angeles lawyers. His mother, Arlene, handled Roseanne's first divorce.

19. Le Blanc, son of a mechanic and a circuit-board maker, originally studies carpentry. "I am not a dumb guy," he says. "I just play one on TV".

20. Famous guest stars on the show have included ER's George Clooney and Noah Wyle, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Chris Isaak and Julia Roberts.

21. Perry dated Roberts after her appearance on the show. His verdict? "She does leave toothpaste all over the sink and she's always wanting to borrow money".

22. The whole cast huddle together before each episode to wish each other luck. This made frequent guest star Tom Selleck feel a bit left out.

23. Perry's Dad was an actor who starred in the Old Spice aftershave ad's, his mother was Press Secretary to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

24. Kudrow has made appearances on several "worst dressed" lists in American magazines, but because of her characters clothes rather than her own.

25. Perry is very fond of female vocalists. He says, "If you're a woman and in any kind of emotional duress and you sing a song about it, I will buy your album". Favourites include Shawn Colvin, the Indigo Girls and Tori Amos.

26. When the pilot show was approved by the network, and a series comissioned, the entire cast was sent on a free trip to Las Vegas.

27. Cox dated Batman actor Michael Keaton for five and a half years, and they are still reportedly "good friends".

28. After graduating from speech and theatre from Chicago's Northwestern University, Schwimmer founded a theatre company, Lookinglass, with 17 classmates.

29. Aniston's Dad was an actor, John Aniston, who starred in top US soap Days of our Lives. He divorced her mother when Aniston was nine.

30. Kudrow gets fed up with being considered in real life to be as dippy as her on-screen character, Phoebe. "People talk slower to me, as if I were a ten year old", she reveals.

31. Kudrow graduated from exclusive American college Vassar, where she gained a major in biology.

32. Cox has been known to bleach her teeth.

33. Like Ross, le Blanc has simian friends, he starred with an animatronic chimp in the baseball movie Ed.

34. Aniston, real name Anistropolus, used to be 30lb heavier, until her agent told her to lose weight. She gave up mayonnaise, pre-meal snacking, white bread, post-meal snacking and butter to reach her current trim size.

35. Cox, who weighs 7st 3lbs (101lbs) and wears a British size six, is terrified of being fat. She says, "My ideal weight would be 100lbs. My whole family is shaped like pears and I'm afraid of looking like that".

36. Aniston recently played a very unglamourous role in Ed Burn's film Shes the One. She was cast as a wife whose husband refuses to sleep with her.

37. Courteney Cox's stepcousin is Stuart Copeland, of pop group The Police fame.

38. Schwimmer is very keen to become a father. "I've always wanted a family", he says. "I think that's why we're here - to have children, raise them well and try to improve the quality of life for all the people who will follow".

39. Schwimmer dated, Natalie Imbruglia - who played Beth in Neighbours. She broke it off when he refused to marry her.

40. The cast apparently get on as well in real life as they do on screen. They play poker and Scrabble together, and the girls often shop with each other. The rumour that they had made a pact never to sleep together is untrue.

41. Le Blanc and Aniston were rumoured to have had a fling.

42. The day he auditioned for Friends, Le Blanc had a big scab on his nose and forehead after falling down drunk on a bender the night before.

43. When Schwimmer first met Le Blanc he was sceptical. Le Blanc was wearing leather jeans and Schwimmer thought he was "Joe cool stud" and hated him on sight.

44. Cox originally read to play the part of Rachel.

45. Perry has been linked to actress Tricia Fisher, daughter of Connie Stevens and Eddie Fisher, who played Hollywood Madam Heidi Fleiss in a TV film.

46. Le Blanc is a speed freak who competed in amateur motor-racing competitions at the age of eight. In a recent celebrity Grand Prix he ran into a wall, taking Jason Priestly's car out of the race.

47. As a teenager, Cox was Bruce Springsteen's dancing partner in Brian de Palma's video of Dancing in the Dark.

48. Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz was linked to both Cox and Aniston.

49. Like his on-screen character Joey, Le Blanc has a reputation as a womaniser. He has been linked to volleyball star Gabrielle Reece, English actress Minnie Driver, porn star Jenna Jameson, Goldie Hawn's 16 year old daughter Kate Hudson and several strippers.

50. Schwimmer complains of being hounded by women who demand that he kiss them - even when their boyfriends are there too.

51. In The Pallbearer, Schwimmers first film since joining Friends, he starred with Gwyneth Paltrow. The film did badly in the USA.

52. When she was younger Aniston wanted to be a sculptor. At the age of 11, she had a painting in an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

53. After being picked to play Roz Doyle in Frasier, Kudrow was subsequently dropped in favour of actress Peri Gilpin before the pilot was even shot.

54. Friends is Channel 4's top-rating comedy, regularly attracting three million viewers.

55. Kudrow's father is one of the world's leading experts in headaches.

56. Le Blanc was down to his last $11 when he got the part in Friends.

57. Schwimmer claims to have been a "fat, ugly geek" in high school.

58. Cox played the part of Michael J Fox's girlfriend Lauren in Family Ties, between 1986 and 1988.

59. She claims to have been really in love only once. The lucky man was called Paul, hailed from Leeds, and "he made a hell of a Yorkshire pudding".

60. Now engaged to marry Sandra Bullock's ex-fiance Tate Donovan, Aniston counts among her former loves ER's Noah Wyle, actor Jonathan Silverman, co-star Matthew Perry and Grant Heslov, from True Lies.

61. David Schwimmer accused the handlers of his on-screen pal Marcel the monkey of being "too possessive". He claims that he was never allowed to bond with the creature.

62. Marcel's trainer, Nerissa Pulizer, said of her charge: "If Marcel were human, she'd be Meryl Streep".

63. The monkey was the first cast member to get a Hollywood movie role, appearing in the movie Outbreak.

64. The daughter of Cary Grant and Dyan Cannon, Jennifer Grant, played an employee of Chandler's who ended up dating him in the first series.

65. The Friends album includes songs from REM, Joni Mitchell and Hootie and the Blowfish, a band four of them once went to see.

66. The theme tune, I'll be there for you by the Rembrants, has been a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

67. Friends executive producers Marta Kuaffman and David Crane also created the adult sitcom Dream On.

68. The characters of Ross's ex-wife and her girlfriend Susan are based on the godmothers to Kauffman's daughter.

69. The opening footage of the cast dancing around a fountain was filmed on the Warner Brothers lot in LA at five o'clock one morning.

70. The first thing Cox bought with her Friends money was a brand new Porsche.

71. The occupations of the characters are as follows: Ross, palaeontologist; Monica, chef; Joey, actor/model; Phoebe, masseuse; Rachel, waitress; Chandler, data processor.

72. Cox was the best-known member of the cast before the show. She played opposite Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and was in Cocoon: The Return.

73. Le Blanc is currently filming Lost in Space with Gary Oldman at Shepperton Studios. He's renting a flat in London's Kensington and has been seen shopping in Budgens.

74. Two models for American underwear company Victoria's Secret appeared in the first series. One was the dream girl Chandler gets stuck with during a blackout, the other was a girl who is convinced that Joey has VD.

75. Perry looked at 40 houses before buying his current W-shaped ranch house with pool in LA.

76. Aniston bought her brother Bronco car for Christmas, and he cried.

77. Schwimmer was in the first series of NYPD Blue. He was a nerd who lived in the apartment next door to Sherry Stringfield and ended up shooting a mugger.

78. Kudrow co-stars with Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino in a new film, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion.

79. Christina Pickles, who plays Monica's mum, also worked with Cox ten years ago on the film Masters of the Universe.

80. Cox has said of her character: "She's obsessive, the one who has to be perfect and please everybody. I'm so similar to her it's frightening".

81. When Jay Leno asked Aniston to touch her nose with her tongue on the Tonight show, she politely declined.

82. Kudrow started her showbiz career at Groundlings, a local improvisational comedy school in LA.

83. Schwimmer has a multi-million-dollar deal with top Hollywood studio Miramax to star in and direct several films.

84. Aniston starred in an unsuccessful horror movie called Leprechaun in 1993.

85. Her next feature is a romantic comedy, Picture Perfect.

86. Kudrow used to date American talk show host Conan O'Brian.

87. Le Blanc admits to having spat in someone's food when he worked in a New York burger joint.

88. Aniston's shampoo commerical for L'Oreal is only being shown in Europe. She says she will never do a hair-product ad in America.

89. Her godfather was former Kojak actor Telly Savalas.

90. Perry has recently lost two and a half stone, while allegedly depressed and on painkillers. Despite celebrity girlfriends such as Julia Roberts, he attributes his state of mind to his failure with women.

91. Raised in Ottawa, Canada, Perry was a junior tennis ace before taking up acting. He never graduated from college. He gave up his studies when he won a role in a sitcom called Boys will be Boys. His first movie role since joining Friends was Fools Rush In, playing a nightclub promoter.

92. Childhood Friends of southern belle Cox were reportedly shocked at the lesbian storyline in the show.

93. Perry's grandfather, however, loves the show. And so do all his friends.

94. In a somewhat unlikely claim, Perry also insists that Mrs Thatcher is an avid viewer, particularly of Joey and Chandler's scenes.

95. Neurotic about her looks, Cox worries about the thin, dry skin under her eyes, having different sized nostrils and a double chin. As if…..

96. There's a book out called Cooking with Friends, full of comfort-food recipes for when "it hasn't been your day, your month or even your year" - a reference to the theme song.

97. Matt le Blanc used to model Levi 501's and has appeared in TV ads for Coca-Cola and Heinz Ketchup.

98. Le Blanc admits to being a mummys boy, and is devoted to his Italian mother, Pat Grossman. He didn't meet his father until he was eight.

99. Cox plays a TV reporter chasing down a serial killer in horror flick Scream.

100. The show's producers admit that the characters could never afford the rents on the apartments they live in on the show.

101. Highlights of the third series include guest appearances by Robin Williams and Billy Crystal, and a scene in which Joey strips naked.

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