Regardless of which generation you come from, you probably know the jingle better than your national anthem and you love to catch reruns of it when you need Joey to boost your mood or Phoebe to sing you a really bad song.
To celebrate the epic show, we’ve concocted a list of 20 Friends Easter Eggs that can be found across all 10 seasons, ones that even the most dedicated fans might have missed!
1. The ‘Reserved’ Sign on Central Perk’s Table
The iconic Central Perk table where the friends hang out in almost every episode is actually reserved especially for them!
Eagle eyes would have spotted the little “Reserved” sign that sometimes pops up on the table – a simple yet essential detail that solves one of the most recurring questions about the show – how the hell do the friends manage to have their table empty every time they come to what looks like a really busy Central New York coffee shop?
Turns out the spot is booked in advanced for the gang! Damn, the neighborhood must have hated that group.
2. Arquettes Galore in the Credits
The summer before the sixth season of Friends was released, Courtney Cox married David Arquette and became Mrs. Courtney Cox Arquette. The first episode to feature that change, “The One After Vegas” thus had its opening credits changed to playfully make everyone an “Arquette”, from creators to the entirety of the main cast.
If you managed to spot this cheeky little Easter Egg in the show’s iconic opening, consider yourself a true fan. Talk about commitment!
3. Matthew Perry’s Dad Cameo
In Season 4, episode 1, “The One With Rachel’s New Dress”, Rachel is dating Joshua, and he invites her to his parents’ house while they’re out of town. Unfortunately, just as Rachel changes into a sexier dress, Joshua’s parents walk in on them.
Joshua’s father is played by none other than Matthew Perry’s real dad, in a cameo that very few would have noticed without, well, knowing what Matthew Perry’s dad even looked like.
4. Phoebe’s Favorite (Misquoted) Song
Phoebe claims Elton John’s song Tiny Dancer to be her favorite song, although she gets the lyrics totally wrong. Our fave worst singer in the world sings “Hold Me Closer, Young Tony Danza”, a misquote that lead the song itself to be misquoted by countless of viewers worldwide.
5. Shout Out to Jennifer Aniston’s Greek Name
In episode 24 of season 7, “The One With Monica And Chandler’s Wedding : Part 1”, Rachel is looking for a minister for the ceremony when she finds a Greek wedding in which one of the last names is “Anastassakis”.
What few people know is that this is a wink to Jennifer Aniston’s family name before they’d change it to Aniston, as they moved over to the United States from Greece when she was still little. What a subtle but awesome shout out to her Greek ancestry…
6. All My…Friends?
Unbeknownst to most, the entire main cast is named after characters from the soap opera All My Children. Chandler was named after the Chandler family while Ross was named after the character Ross Chandler; Phoebe received her name from Phoebe Taylor and Joey from Joe Martin. Monica had hers from Monique Cortland while Rachel Green was named after Janet Green.
It goes without saying that the creators must have been huge fans of the soap to make such a big homage to it. But we’re not complaining – today we couldn’t imagine them having any other names!
7. “Mad About You” in the Same Universe?
Lisa Kudrow initially played a mildly important character named Ursula, an incompetent waitress in the NBC sitcom Mad About You. Eventually, it was decided to make Ursula Phoebe’s estranged twin sister in Friends, thus interconnecting the two shows and making them part of a shared universe.
Main actresses from Mad About You, Helen Hunt and Leila Kenzie obviously made a cameo as their characters in the comedy series, mistaking Phoebe for Ursula.
8. The Creators’ Many Cameos
During the ten seasons of Friends, the creators of the show had many cameos, all as funny as can be. The best of them is featured in “The One with the Princess Leia Fantasy,” Season 3, Episode 1, in which the gang enters Central Perk only to find people already sat on their couch. As a matter of fact, they were actually the show’s executive producers!
9. That Yellow Frame
Friends fans would instantly recognize the yellow frame that appears around the peephole in Monica and Rachel’s apartment. Turns out, it had quite the backstory behind the scenes. The frame was actually a mirror a crew member broke accidentally. From then onwards, it was decided that it would be left around the door’s peephole. Iconic.
10. A Cameo From “Air Force One”
In a sequence of season 6’s episode “The One Where Paul’s the Man,” Joey is at a dry cleaners trying to get his picture on the wall, which was somehow a sign of fame in the 90’s, the same way having a lot of Instagram followers nowadays is considered to be a path for stardom.
In this scene, the owner refuses Joey’s demand on the grounds that his show is offensive to Russian people, him being Russian, and that it portrays them as “terrorists and villains!”. Joey argues that there is a photo of Harrison Ford on the wall, who played in Air Force One, a movie in which the Russians are also portrayed as evil monsters.
The dry cleaner claims he’s never seen it, and paradoxically it turns out that the actor had a small role in the 1997 movie itself!
11. Dining at Marcel’s (the Monkey)
You would have needed a sharp eye to spot this small little hidden Easter Egg. Remember when Ross was on the hunt for Marcel the monkey in “The One After The Superbowl” (Part 2)? Well, if you looked close enough during the scene where Ross, Chandler, Joey and their dates are having dinner, it appears the restaurant they’re dining at is coincidentally named “Marcel’s”. Check out their menus!
12. Jennifer Aniston’s White Dog Figure
It’s hard to forget the big white dog figure named Pat in Friends. In fact, I think every fan would proudly want to own one. The oversized statue that comes back quite often in the gang’s lives actually belongs to Jennifer Aniston, being a good luck present she received when she started acting. She lent it to the show and it stuck!
13. Susan Sarandon’s Daughter Makes a Cameo
In the episode 8 of season 7, guest-starring Hollywood heavyweight, Susan Sarandon slaps a girl while filming her TV show. Rarely known fact – the actress is none other than Susan’s daughter, Eva Amurri.
14. Friends Movie References
The show lasted a whooping 10 years, so it won’t surprise anyone that it’s filled with movie references galore. It’s hard to forget the Star Wars nod when Rachel dressed up as “Slave Leia” to please Ross’ Leia fantasy in the episode quite literally titled “The One With the Princess Leia Fantasy”.
Many notorious movies and franchises are referenced more subtly throughout the ten seasons – from Lord of The Rings in an episode in which a friend of Ross called Gandalf comes to visit (The One Where They’re Going To Party”), to another episode (The One Where Monica and Richard Are Friends 3×13) in which Joey gets really invested in Rachel’s recommended novel “Little Women”, only to have it cruelly spoiled by Rachel herself.
15. Joey’s Posters Return
“The One Where Underdog Gets Away” is one of the best episodes of Friends. Remember when Joey told the gang that he’s doing a modelling gig for a clinic and it was later revealed that he was actually featured on posters raising awareness for sexually transmitted diseases? Later that season, in “The One With Mrs Bing”, the posters can be seen again in a corner of the street. At least Joey’s modelling gig was somewhat successful…
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16. The Central Perk Chalkboard
In the gang’s favorite coffee shop, a blackboard often features fun notes and written stuff from the show-runners that vary from episode to episode. Among them, descriptions of the drinks such as “A liberating blend, light & sweet, you’ll be crying ‘Freedom!’ when you taste it.”, to King Kong posters and even Phoebe’s name! Freeze the scenes and you might be able to get some quirky drink ideas!
17. One Arquette Too Many
While Courtney Cox was married to David Arquette, the latter’s brother-in-law Alexis, made a cameo in “The One With Chandler’s Dad”. He also had a brief cameo as a customer in “The One With Rachel’s Sister”. So many Arquettes we’re genuinely losing count! It’s a shame the two divorced years later.
18. Bruce Willis’ Free Cameo
It is no secret that Friends had many guest-stars such as Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, or Susan Sarandon. Bruce Willis’s cameo was different in that it was actually a recurring role for a three episode arc-story in season 6 – that of Paul, the disapproving father of Ross’s girlfriend, Elizabeth.
This cameo was actually born of a bet between Matthew Perry and Bruce Willis while they were both starring in a show called The Whole Nine Yards. If Bruce Willis lost, he was to appear for free on Friends. Obviously Willis lost for everyone’s happiness and had to take on the role!
19. Joey’s ATM Pin Number
In season 5’s “The One In Vegas : Part 1”, Joey calls Phoebe and asks her to recall his pin number: 5639. If you’re one to ace mathematics and puzzles, you would have worked out that those numbers actually spell… Joey! Subtle, subtle — though not very careful, we must say.
20. Messages on the Doodle Board
In each new episode, the magna doodle behind the door of Chandler and Joey’s apartment features a new message, changed to the taste of the creators. For example, in episode 2 of season 4, “Thanks for all your stuff!” is a reference to the thief that had locked Joey in the TV unit and stole from him, while the very first doodle was a grocery list with milk and eggs, and a special note “Joey, call your dad!”. Inside jokes all round!
There you have it! 20 amazing Easter Eggs that you’ll be sure to spot during your next Friends marathon. Be sure to go on a hunt for more and once you spot them, feel free to leave them in the comments below – because Easter Eggs are what make the world go ‘round.