Will they? Won’t they? That’s the question we used to ask ourselves as we spent 10 seasons wondering if Ross and Rachel would eventually settle down together. Since then, however, we’ve pondered similar questions in regards to a Friends reunion.
Will we see Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Phoebe return for one last hurrah? Even though it’d be nice to see and should happen in some capacity, the likelihood of it happening is about as great as Gunther hooking up with Rachel. Read: it’s not happening.
With the recent wave of old shows returning, talk of a Friends reunion has been topical again. Anytime the cast or creators sit down for an interview, the question is always asked and the answer is always the same: no! The show is still massively popular 13 years since it ended, so the audience is there. However, there are a myriad of behind-the-scenes considerations that will keep the reunion fans long for from ever happening.
So, without further ado, here are 15 Reasons Why We’ll Never See a Friends Reunion.
15 THE LAST REUNION WAS PANNED
Since the popular sitcom’s last ever episode in 2004, fans dreamed of the moment where the cast members would be reunited again, side by side, on our television screens. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to the hype.
On February 21, 2016, the gang (minus Matthew Perry) reunited for a one-off special to celebrate Jeff Burrows’ - who directed most of the show’s episodes - contributions to television throughout the years. Let’s just say that the get-together wasn’t as exciting as their characters’ conversations about love and life on the couch at Central Perk.
Besides a few nostalgic memories, the special was all very by the book and offered little in the way of fan satisfaction. If the reunion special was any indication of the cast's current chemistry with each other, then maybe it’s a good thing that we won’t ever see another Friends series.
14 EVEN GUNTHER SAYS IT WOULD BE "A TRAGEDY"
James Michael Tyler, who played the peroxide-haired, hapless romantic Gunther on the show, played a character who understood tragedy. There’s nothing more tragic than unrequited love after all. Therefore, when he says a reunion would be depressing, we should take note.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain, the actor stated that the producers had already shot the idea down before going on to give his own thoughts on why it would be a bad idea. “Would you really want to watch a TV series about a group of people in their forties still struggling like that? That would be a tragedy, not a comedy.”
Tyler makes a good point. The beauty of Friends was experiencing the trials and tribulations of life with the characters. When they finally found success and happiness, it was organic and well-deserved. Now that they’re living happily-ever-after in our imaginations, it would suck to see another season come along and ruin that fairytale ending.
13 MATTHEW PERRY’S NIGHTMARES
Life after Friends has been a mixed bag for the cast. While Jennifer Aniston has enjoyed a successful movie career and Courteney Cox has scored another hit sitcom with Cougar Town, the others have been in and out of the spotlight. Sadly, Matthew Perry hasn’t moved on to find similar success and the idea of a Friends reunion has tormented his subconscious for years.
“I have this recurring nightmare. I’m not kidding about this. When I’m asleep, I have this nightmare that we do Friends again and nobody cares,” Perry told Variety last year. That doesn’t sound too good.
Maybe Perry’s subsequent television experience has put him off, though. Since Friends ended, the actor has worked steadily in television, but most of his starring efforts have been canceled shortly thereafter. That isn’t a reflection of their quality; shows like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Go On deserved to be bigger. However, TV is a numbers game and Perry’s output hasn’t amassed the ratings to warrant a longer shelf life.
12 THE CAST ARE BUSY ON OTHER PROJECTS
Since the end of the popular sitcom, the cast has never found it difficult to find work. Nowadays, they seem content to pursue their own endeavors. They’ve all moved on with their lives and careers and we need to accept it, even if nothing they’ve been in since has been as good as Friends.
As previously mentioned, Aniston is a big deal in Hollywood having appeared in several successful comedies like Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers and Office Christmas Party. David Schwimmer, meanwhile, recently appeared in American Crime Story and has focused his efforts on directing.
Elsewhere, Matt LeBlanc is having fun hosting the British car show Top Gear, while Courteney Cox and Lisa Kudrow and continue to work steadily in film and television. Recently, Matthew Perry has turned his attention to theatre and his play The End of Longing, which he wrote and stars in, made its Broadway debut earlier this year.
11 THE CHARACTERS ALREADY HAVE HAPPY ENDINGS
When Friends debuted, the show introduced us to a group of young twentysomethings trying to find their way in the big city. It encapsulated the early years of adult life; trying to find a steady career while trying to figure the daunting dating game. When the show ended, the gang had it all figured out and were ready to take the next step.
Chandler and Monica moved to the suburbs with their kid’s. Phoebe and Mike were married and probably on their way to a similar life together. Ross and Rachel finally settled down with the intention of raising their family. Joey, meanwhile, continued to pursue his acting dream and, the last time we met him, was living in Los Angeles.
Since the show ended, the cast and the creators have repeatedly rejected the notion of a reunion because it would defeat the entire purpose of the show. The gang have moved on, and so should we.
10 THE SHOW'S CREATORS AREN’T INTERESTED
Hypothetically, supposing the stars align and a reunion does happen, it’s highly unlikely that the show’s original creators would be along for the ride. And while we can never really say never, it appears that Crane and Kauffman care enough about the show’s message and legacy to never resurrect it.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year, the question came up. However, Kauffman immediately dismissed it. “It will never happen, but no one tends to believe me. It shouldn't happen. That show is about a time in your life when your friends are your family. Once you start having a family, that time of your life is over.”
The magic of Friends was its combination of hilarity and being able to relate to the characters. Crane and Kauffman played a huge part in creating that magic, and any reunion would be cheapened without their involvement.
9 FEUDS BETWEEN CAST MEMBERS
Just because they played best friends on screen doesn’t necessarily mean that the cast has always enjoyed the easiest of relationships in real life. Like most long-term relationships, the Friends actors have had their ups and downs throughout the years.
Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, despite being as close as sisters, have had a tumultuous relationship throughout the years. Tensions have occasionally boiled due to missing key events in each other’s lives, like birthday parties. Elsewhere, Perry and LeBlanc didn’t receive an invitation to Aniston’s wedding when she finally tied the knot with Louis Theroux in 2015.
While the damage is far from irreparable and they all seem to be on good terms at the moment, it doesn’t seem as if they’re all that enthused about working with each other again either.
8 DAVID SCHWIMMER IS “FLAKEY”
If a reunion was ever to happen, the first step would be to get everyone to agree to it. Then they’d need to be in the same place at the same time. That, however, is easier said than done -- because David Schwimmer’s alleged unreliability could ruin everything.
In an interview with Yahoo Style, Courtney Cox said: "We've gotten about 80 per cent there, but there's always one person who flakes at the end." Cox added, "You know, I'm not going to name names, but it may not be (David) Schwimmer," she added.
It sounds like Schwimmer is too busy to make time for his buddies these days, then. Or maybe he decided that they’re on a break. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for a potential reunion down the line.
There are several reasons as to why the cast and crew don’t think a Friends reunion would work in this day and age. One of them is smartphones as they’ve destroyed the art of conversation in coffee houses.
When asked about a potential reunion in an interview with the Thrive Global podcast, Jennifer Aniston said: "If Friends was created today, you would have a coffee shop full of people that were just staring into iPhones. There would be no actual episodes or conversations."
Aniston has a point. The way that people socialize nowadays has changed significantly, and a reunion series would have to address that. But that was never what Friends was about and it would lose some of the original series' charm to involve social media and smartphones in the story.
6 THEY DON’T NEED THE MONEY
When the show ended, its main stars were reportedly pocketing $1 million each per episode. That means, during the final season, they each made $18 million. They’re not going broke anytime soon.
On top of that, it is estimated that each cast member still makes $20 million per year through royalties from reruns. Not only did the show make them multi-millionaires during its initial syndication, but it continues to generate a healthy income for them to this very day.
That said, despite laughing all the way to the bank, their real wealth is the friendships they formed, the memories they shared together, and the millions upon millions of hearts they touched with their onscreen antics. Still, it doesn’t hurt being able to pay your bills and live a life of luxury either.
5 THE CREATORS HAVE MOVED ON
In addition to being hilarious, one of the key factors that made Friends a success was its ability to translate to both women and men. That’s all down to the creators, David Crane and Marta Kauffman, whose combined talents managed to tap into a variety of perspectives. They were the perfect pair, but now that they’ve moved on to new projects, a Friends reunion is unlikely.
Recently Marta Kauffman moved to Netflix with the comedy-drama Grace and Frankie, which she co-created with Howard J. Morris. Crane, on the other hand, has been helping out old pal Matt LeBlanc with Episodes, lending his comedic writing talents to several episodes.
Kauffman and Crane are still good friends to this day so we’re sure that it’s only a matter of time before they work together again. Unfortunately, it won’t be for a Friends reunion.
4 DAVID SCHWIMMER HATES FAME
Some celebrities don’t like being in the public eye, and David Schwimmer is one of them. Since Friends ended, he’s kept somewhat of a low profile and focused on passion projects.
During the height of his fame, he found stardom detrimental to his relationships. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he discussed how he found striking a balance being his personal and personal life difficult. “It was pretty jarring and it messed with my relationship to other people in a way that took years, I think, for me to adjust to and become comfortable with.”
According to the 50-year-old, the experience made him want to be reclusive. He added: “It made me want to hide under a baseball cap and not be seen.” He even turned down a starring role in Men in Black, which later went to Will Smith.
3 THE CAST RARELY SEE EACH OTHER
The celebrity lifestyle means hectic schedules, so you can imagine how difficult it must be to get a group of stars together for a catch up to reminisce about good old times. However, according to Courteney Cox, it’s damn near impossible for the Friends gang.
Per Vanity Fair, “There’s six friends, and I have been trying to put together a cast dinner for 10 years,” she said. “It doesn't happen. I mean, I can get the girls to come, maybe Matthew Perry. Matt LeBlanc cancelled last time, right at the last minute. Schwimmer lives here [in New York] so it’s just not going to happen.”
During the show’s heyday, the cast used to get together and watched new episodes at each other’s apartments. But that was when they were still young and free.
2 THEY’RE TOO OLD
Hollywood is a young person’s industry for the most part, and that’s a shame. It’d be nice to see more successful movies and shows that cater to all age groups. But do we want to see an old Joey hit on women? Do we want to see Ben and Emma as adults reminding us of how old we are? Matt LeBlanc doesn’t seem to want it, at least.
As LeBlanc told Digital Spy: "That show was about a finite period of time in life, after college and before your relationship and family starts and where your friends are your support system and that's what the magic of the show was, everyone goes through that and can relate to that."
He added: "No one wants to see Chandler at his kid's soccer game talking to other people. It was those characters in a room relying on each other and past that it's not the same environment so I don't see it happening."
1 THE FINALE WAS PERFECT
How often do you find yourself watching Friends reruns and laughing like it was your first time seeing it? You can recite episodes word for word, yet you know you’ll watch them over and over again for the rest of your life. The show is on TV all the time, finding its way into the hearts of new generations of viewers while supplying us oldies with satisfying comfort food. It’s understandable why we want a reunion as, quite frankly, it’s wonderful television. But do we really want one?
Many of us watched these characters through their highs and lows for 10 seasons and, as a result, we became emotionally invested. They were like our friends, too. And while reuniting with them would be nice, perhaps it’s better to leave what they’re doing now in our own imaginations.
The finale tied things up perfectly and gave us the illusion that happily ever after was on the cards for the gang. It captured the feeling of moving on to the next step of adulthood perfectly. That shouldn’t be tampered with, and thankfully, it probably never will be.
Would you want to see a Friends reunion? Let us know in the comments!