Can you believe it’s been 10 years since the sitcom “Friends” took its final bow and said goodbye to Monica, Chandler, Joey, Phoebe, Ross and Rachel?
In honor of the show’s tenth anniversary, here are 25 fun facts about the sitcom’s iconic sets.
How many of these things did you know? Take a look and see!
Note: This post includes Amazon affiliate links that may earn commission.
25 Fun Facts About the Sets on “Friends”
1. In the first season, the street outside Central Perk was just a painted backdrop.
2. The artwork on the walls of the coffee house was always changing.
3. The famous orange velvet sofa was pulled out of the Warner Bros. Studios basement storage.
Phoebe’s Apartment on “Friends”
4. Phoebe’s address was 5 Morton Street, Apartment #14 in New York City.
5. The show took some heat over the episode that featured prominent Pottery Barn product placement.
In “The One with the Apothecary Table,” Rachel tricks Phoebe into believing that it’s a one-of-a-kind antique, but the jig is up when Ross buys one just like it for his apartment.
Ross Geller’s Apartment on “Friends”
6. When asked about the product placement in the episode, Peter Roth of Warner Bros.
said it “offset the high cost of production.”
It was a good deal for Pottery Barn, too. A rep reports that “the phones still light up every time that episode airs.”
7. Even though the gang lives in NYC, we rarely see them lock their doors.
One of the times was when Ross and Rachel accidentally locked baby Emma in his apartment, so maybe it was safer to just leave them open!
The “Friends” Apartment Building in the West Village
8. Monica, Rachel, Chandler, and Joey lived at 90 Bedford Street in New York City.
It’s in Greenwich Village on the corner of Bedford and Grove Streets.
You can see how it looks today on Streetview.
Joey’s Apartment on “Friends”
9. The Magna Doodle hanging on the door had a different
message or drawing written on it for each episode (affiliate link).
Roommates Chandler and Joey put a Foosball table in their small kitchen.
Monica’s Apartment on “Friends”
10. Monica’s two-bedroom, one-bath apartment was about 1,500 square feet.
11. It would cost around $7,000-$8,000 a month to live in a West Village apartment this size today.
12. The quirky gold frame on Monica’s purple door was originally a mirror
that broke, so they used it as a frame around the peephole instead.
13. In the first season, Monica lived in apartment number 5.
It was later changed to 20 to reflect the fact that she lived on a higher floor.
14. In “The One With the Secret Closet,” the locked door where Monica
supposedly stashed all her junk really just led to the area backstage.
15. Set Designer Greg Grande has worked on other shows with great sets like “Switched at Birth.”
16. When it came to Monica’s apartment, Grande wanted to develop
“a whole new kind of eclectic taste with a flea-market, whimsical, and anything-goes style.”
17. The mix of chairs around Monica’s kitchen table changed throughout the seasons.
18. The vintage refrigerator in Monica’s apartment actually worked
and was kept stocked for the cast and crew.
19. In early episodes there was a beam between the kitchen and the living room.
It later disappeared but was reinstalled whenever James Burrows directed an episode as a kind of inside joke.
20. The purpose of the poster behind Monica’s TV set was to hide a hole
in the wall that cameras could film through.
21. The doors to Monica’s bedroom and guest room were fake entries.
The Central Perk set was on the other side of that wall.
The bedrooms were only put together when needed for a scene.
22. The studio audience went so crazy every time that
Tom Selleck entered a scene that they had to re-tape some of them on an empty set.
23. The flower poster above Monica’s bed was from the 1980 Summer Olympics.
24. Monica had 11 different categories for towels, including “everyday use,” “fancy,” “guest,” and “fancy-guest.”
In the final episode, we see the apartment empty as Chandler and Monica move out.
Joey asks, “Has it always been purple?”
25. When Rachel goes back home to visit her dad in the final season,
they used the house from the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
I always love their ’80s flashbacks, so I can’t resist throwing this screenshot in:
The final episode aired in May of 2004 and was watched by over 52 million viewers.
Were you one of them?
There’s lots of fun “Friends” swag fans can score:
“You’re My Lobster” Mug (affiliate links):
A Jouets poster like the one over Monica’s TV:
A yellow peephole door frame like the one on Monica’s:
The Laurel and Hardy Print from Joey and Chandler’s Apartment:
And, of course, the must-have Series on DVD now that it’s no longer on Netflix:
I took most of these screenshots while watching the show.
It’s no longer on Netflix but you can stream it on HBO Max.
Now head to my TV Houses page to see more I’ve featured!
This is still my all time favorite show! I cried like a baby during the final episode & I laugh like I’ve never seen them when I watch reruns. I had no idea what Pottery Barn was until that episode!
I had never heard of Pottery Barn either until that episode. I thought the show made it up! Now they seem to be everywhere. I guess their marketing scheme worked! 🙂
Mrs Limestone says
I remember watching that Pottery Barn episode – i was familiar with the store but it seemed like the most crazy expensive place to shop.
Screendoorgirl 3 says
What a fun post! I loved Monica’s apartment and was always looking at what was new and funky. Those purple walls just worked! Go figure. It does bother me that I so relate to some of her OCD type thoughts. I remember the episode where she was trying to pretend that she wasn’t a neat freak and casually left a pair of shoes in the middle of the living room and swore it was no big deal. The next scene had her laying in bed thinking she could go and put them away, and then wake up early and put them back into the middle of the room before everyone got up. Of course she then realized how crazy that was. Loved it.. Sadly, my dining room today does resemble the 80’s shot, I think it’s Ross and Rachel’s parents house. I’ll have to update it..Cringe. Anyhoo-thanks, Julia, for a great post.TV and movie sets are awesome!
There was an episode where they all shared a house in the Hamptons. There was a painting that hung on the wall that I LOVED – it was different pairs of Keds (yes, I know I’m crazy), but I adored that painting! I searched forever for a source, but was never able find one!
No problem Hun, you are definitely right though, her bathroom did change. Have a good day 🙂
I worked for Mary Engelbreit for several years, including around the time the show ended. My old boss told me that before I arrived, they got a permission request from the show to use some ME canisters in Monica’s kitchen. (we handled several of these for a variety of productions, and it always amazed me that they had to get permission for the most subtle background items on a set!) Every time I’ve come across a rerun over the years, I’ve looked for the canisters, and I finally saw them just last week! It was a sage, buttery yellow and cream set with cherries and it was in the one when Chandler and Monica get engaged. Monica’s countertops and open shelving were constantly changing (believe me, I’ve looked ;), so I don’t know if they were in other episodes as well. I’m pretty sure I’ve also caught some of ME’s ceramic clocks, teapots, teacups, etc. I wouldn’t have said Monica had an ME personality, but the products really did fit right in with the apartment’s whimsical style!
Really?! That’s so cool — both that you worked for her and that the show asked permission to use the canisters! I never noticed the ME influence in the kitchen, so I’m glad you pointed that out. They really do fit into the overall look of her eclectic kitchen. Thanks, Beth!
I went on the WB studio tour last year. They have the coffee shop set still standing and allow you to take pictures of it and sit on the orange couch. I took a lot of flak from our tour guide because I have never seen the show. Apparently, he had never met anyone who didn’t watch this show! 🙂
How fun!! I’d love to take that tour someday.
Wade Watson says
I have to admit awhile back I started rewatching Friends eps on Nickelodeon as part of my bedtime ritual. It seems like there were only a couple of times you saw the front wall of the main apartment– one was in the aforementioned closet episode and the other(s) were when we saw the cast on the balcony outside the window. You never saw much of it, though. I just remember it’s purple.
My daughter and I watched the entire series last summer. I watched it as it originally aired, but back then I didn’t notice how sex was the focus of so many jokes. I certainly became painfully aware of that while watching it with my young teenager!
I did know what Pottery Barn was before that episode aired, but I had no clue about IKEA. I notice in reruns now how often IKEA is mentioned.
I still love Monica’s apartment, and while I wouldn’t say the look is timeless, it certainly doesn’t look dated to me. I would be very happy living now among those furnishings.
Yeah, I always have to turn it off when my daughter walks in the room because I never know when they’re going to make a kinda raunchy joke that I don’t want to have to explain. Ha.
Good point about how they mention IKEA on the show from time to time, too. We didn’t have one of those back then, either, so those references always zoomed right over my head. I get them now, though! 🙂
back then ikea got a famous for being the source of the quirky furnishings on “the real world.” i knew exactly one person who had ever been to one. a few years later when i moved to nyc and heard about the free shuttle to the new jersey store, i could not wait to go!
As much as I loved Monica’s apartment, I still always feel like it doesn’t exactly suit her personality… I mean, she’s the one who cleans her vacuum! It always seemed a bit too disorganized (especially the kitchen) to really ring true to her meticulous ways. Put it this way… if she actually did have 11 types of towels, you would never know because everything is so mis-matched already! Even zany Phoebe had a more organized apartment!
That’s so true! It’s almost like her apartment was designed before they fully knew what her personality was going to be. It was more of a “cool twentysomething apartment in New York City” concept than “Monica specific,” if you know what I mean. Was she a neat-freak right from the beginning? I haven’t seen the first season for a while, so those of you who have will have to remind us.
Yes, Monica was a neat freak from the beginning. That’s why Phoebe moved out, although Monica wasn’t even aware she had moved out for quite a while. I always thought Monica’s quirky decor suited Phoebe’s character more. When it originally aired we watched with our teenage sons and sometimes their girlfriends. I remember cringing a few times over the subjects. Now when I see re-runs, it seems tame compared to the new shows. I guess the so-called progressive shows have desensitized viewers. I think it would be fun to see a reunion showing them with their kids, especially with Monica & Chandler’s adopted twins 🙂 Wonder if they would have Joey married or living with them as they suggested in final episodes.
That is such a good point! I always thought that Phoebe’s tidy apartment and decor were much better suited to Monica’s organized personality and vice versa — Monica’s apt. for Phoebe. Perhaps the writers originally didn’t have the characters as developed when the series started and Monica’s neat-freak personality emerged as the show and characters were perfected.
What an entertaining post! I almost forgot how influential all of the apartments were on decorating styles/trends; I especially loved Monica’s apartment and I hate to admit, but while watching the shows, I spent most of the time scanning the sets/props! I especially loved the “cookie time” cookie jar (found one like it at an antique store soon after) and still to this day have mismatched chairs/cushions around my old kitchen table. I always was amazed how they could live in those cool NY apartments with their meager earnings – not very realistic –also their great clothes!, wow- takes me back!!
liz @ btb says
I love love LOVE Friends. I can watch it every single day (saw two episodes last night) and never get tired of it. I really like the one where they traded apartments. It was fun to see Joey & Chandler’s place Monica-ized.
I always thought it was fun seeing them swap apartments, too!
Becky @Farmgirl Paints says
I was watching and still do with reruns almost every day. Felt like I lost my friends when it went off the air.
Esther George says
Hi Julia yes I watched the last episode with my daughter and we were emotional, didn’t know what we were going to do without Friends at 7.30 every night except the weekend. We do get replays over here but I don’t watch them too much so as not to get sick of them (if that’s possible). I remember an interview with Mat Le Blanc where he was saying spending so many hours locked in a studio was not something he would like to do again. I loved the apartments thank you for sharing. Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney.
I wasn’t one of the people who watched the finale because I hate saying goodbye to my favorite shows. I still haven’t watched season 10.
I thought I was the only person who did this!
I haven’t watched the last 3 eps of season 11 of Frasier because I can’t “let it go”.
Also, Julia – I loved this post. Perhaps a Frasier post or two! Between Frasier and Niles there are a lot of areas that could be covered!
I love Friends, although I don’t think I ever watched the final season. As far as the apartments of Friends characters go–I loved the episodes in which Monica and Rachel trade apartments with Joey and Chandler, especially when Monica refinishes the floor in the boys apartment and tries to make it homey.
Alie B says
I loved this show. I recall hosting “friends” parties, in my oh-so-stylish yellow living room. 🙂 I always enjoyed the set for the café, and I loved that Monica kept some of her grandmother’s things in her apartment, such as the art deco piece which was used for the TV. My friends and I were the age that the characters were, and we felt that it was “our” show, but I’ve realized since then, that this show appeals to all ages and eras. My 14 year old loves it now, and my folks have started watching it in syndication. It’s nice to be able to relate to family from other generations in this way.
Although I always watched Friends while it was on, I preferred Seinfeld. Still catch the Friends reruns, though, and I love looking at the sets. I would take Monica’s apartment in a heartbeat!! West Village, balcony, huge windows, 2 bedrooms, rent control ….
Love this! Friends is my all time favorite show and I still miss it so much. Always happy to watch reruns!
Love your blog!!
The Country Girl says
Nice tribute, thanks for this post. It brings back a lot of memories.
I was one of the viewers from the finale episode and it is one of the very few, if only, finales I’ve cried during.
LOVED this show. Still love this show. Still sad they went off the air.
I think the thing with Ross and Rachel was that her job was in Paris, and away from family, etc., so if they were going to be together, it would better to be together here. I always got the sense that her heart wasn’t into going to Paris, but she felt compelled to because she was supposed to be wanting to have it all, and when it came together with Ross it pushed over the edge of preferring to stay.
(Perhaps I have over analyzed this!)
What a great job Julia. This is such fun. I always loved the sets & found the Central Perk especially hard to follow. Who knew they were changing sets back then ha ha.I don”t think any of us ever heard of Pottery Barn either, was Pottery Barn behind that free advertising in that episode?? Friends was & still is such a great show & I hated that it ended too. But I always did have a hard time trying to understand Monica”s 2 bedroom layouts. Both rooms looked the same. No wonder thanks for clearing that up. Also the bathtub scene with Chandler playing with the boat you see a wall of gray tile(guess they had to do that for tv) then you don”t. How funny.You did a really good job. Thanks for all your hard work. By the way I like your new picture on Twitter of your sunroom. Looks very nice. 🙂 Take Care.
I did notice the Magna Doodle on the back of Joey’s door changed every episode … I remember squinting, trying to work out what the picture was of, or what the words said.
Me, too, Tina! I always wanted a closer look at it.
Alicia Kelly says
The Flock of Seagulls hair on Chandler from the 80’s pic made me LOL!!!
One of my all time favorite shows & have watched the reruns since it went off the air..has it really been 10 yrs?! I love Monica’s eclectic, homey apartment..it’s probably my fave TV set design. I also like how some of the knickknack props change over time. A fave episode besides the 80s flashback ones is phoebe’s quirky dollhouse with the bubbles????.
You’re right, Carla. I just felt bad for her that she didn’t get to take her dream job. 🙂
Yeah! Me too! It was like the perfect job for her…
Love your website! This show is timeless, and the Thursday night line up will never be the same . Funny fact I actually own the basinet for #21 that was used as a prop for the TV show, it was custom made by Wendy Bellissimo for the baby shower episode, and it is one of my prized material possessions. So glad I found it as it is so hard to come by authentic Friends TV props.
Love this post…I was watching “The One Where Rachel Finds Out” (Rachel realizes she has feelings for Ross), and I noticed a large ceramic pug on Joey’s counter–I had never seen that! I was trying to find some reference to it and came across this fun post! Did anyone else ever notice it or does anyone know the significance?