It’s been over a decade since six pals sipped their last cups of coffee on that big orange couch, but Friends is still such a iconic part of American culture that even those who have never seen an episode know that Ross and Rachel belong together, “Smelly Cat” is the best song ever, and a chick and a duck make better apartment pets than a monkey. But, there are a few surprising things that even hard-core fans might have missed.
1) The show went through several other names before it was Friends:
In an identity crisis big enough to rival any that the characters went though, the show had at least four other names before it was Friends. While the now-iconic name sounds instantly perky and upbeat, Insomnia Café sounds dreary and tired. But, that was the original name of the series when David Crane and Marta Kauffman first submitted their seven-page pitch to the network. At the same time, Matthew Perry submitted his own pitch for an almost identical show, titled Maxwell’s House.
The network loved the idea and asked that a pilot be written under the name Friends Like Us, though NBC president Warren Littlefield had advocated for the title Across the Hall. However, that name was too close to that of an ABC sitcom, These Friends of Mine, so by the time the pilot was filmed the name had switched again to Six of One. It wasn’t until just before the series launched that network settled on the final name.