We are all familiar with Friends, the hit sitcom that aired for a whopping 10 seasons (236 episodes) from 1994-2004. We also all know every lyric to the famous theme song, "I'll Be There For You" by The Rembrandts, and can't help but sing along every single time (forget about the skip button).
Friends was known for its original, ever-changing intro that still managed to maintain the theme's integrity and the ever-so-popular fountain scene and orange couch at the end. However, what people don't know is a lot of the behind-the-scenes details went into creating this masterpiece. Here are 10 facts about the Friends theme song and intro that you probably didn't know. Feel free to clap along.
10 The Fountain Isn't in Manhattan
The famous fountain that appears in every intro of Friends isn't actually in Manhattan. In fact, it isn't even in New York! The fountain is actually in Burbank, California, at the Warner Brothers' ranch.
In fact, the fountain was a last minute choice, as Marta Kauffman and the producers searched the lot for a perfect setting. You can't get much further from New York than that. So if you actually want to visit the famous fountain, we suggest you head west, not east.
9 The Famous Theme Song Was Going to be Totally Different
We all know every word to the infamous theme song, and we can't really imagine it being anything else. However, it almost was! The original tune for the show was set to be "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M. Apparently there were a couple other artists up for the job, but all turned it down.
One of the show's producers, Kevin Bright, brought The Rembrandts into the discussion, and we couldn't thank him enough. We would tell you to try and imagine the world with a different Friends theme song, but that's too dark of a place for us.
8 The Creators of the Show Co-Wrote the Theme
We're happy the theme is what is is, but it turns out the famous "I'll Be There For You" by The Rembrandts was actually co-written by the show creators themselves.
Danny Wilde and Phil Solem, the men behind the group, actually admitted that they had very little to do with the writing of the song. The group still took home royalties (estimated to be about $5 million), and were happy to be a part of the project, but you should be thanking the producers of the show, Marta Kauffman and David Crane.
7 The Opening Credits in "The One After Vegas"
The Season 6 premiere had a very special opening credits scene. This was the first episode to air after Courteney Cox married David Arquette, and was adamant about having her second name added to the opening credits.
Of course, and we expected nothing less, the rest of the cast followed suit. Every cast member's name in this opening credit scenes is followed by the surname "Arquette". No, we're not joking.
6 Jennifer Aniston Didn't Like the Theme Song
According to Aniston, the entire cast actually didn't like the theme song. We can't even imagine, and we're sure they never thought it would be become as iconic as it has.
Aniston was quoted saying, "dancing in a fountain felt sort of odd but we did it," but eventually the cast conceded and listened to the creators. We're happy they did.
5 The Theme Song Actually Became a #1 Hit
The popular song by The Rembrandts actually became a #1 single on the American pop charts! It hit #1 on the US Mainstream Top 40 Billboard. It also took a weekly #1 spot in Scotland and Canada, and hit the charts in almost 10 countries!
It also topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for eight whole weeks. We're definitely clapping along now.
4 The Iconic Orange Couch Was A Lucky Find
The famous couch that has been recreated in dozens of Friends themed cafes around the world, and even appears in the intro by the fountain, was actually just a random and lucky find.
It was found in the basement of the Warner Brothers Studio, and they said, hey, why not? Who needs Ikea, right?
3 The Famous Theme "Clapping" is Actually Done by the Show's Executive Producers
Apparently, Danny Wilde and Phil Solem (The Rembrandts) had nothing to do with the clapping, but supported the heck out of it. The famous clapping is actually done by the show's producers!
Wilde also claimed that it took over 25 takes for the three producers to get it right, but hey, who's counting. The crew worked for three days in the studio finalizing the piece before it aired on television. Apparently, it took a village to write this hit, but we're more than satisfied with the final product.
2 The How-Many-Claps Debate Was Settled by The Rembrandts
Apparently the question of how many claps ACTUALLY appear in the Friends intro has created quite the controversy. Even the cast struggled with remembering how many claps they were to actually do.
In fact, on Jimmy Kimmel, Courteney Cox even did the wrong number of claps! Danny Wilde and Phil Solem settled it, and the verdict is FOUR claps. Not five. We're sorry to disappoint any of you.
1 Matthew Perry's Infamous One-Liners Kept Up Morale During the 4:00am Shoot
The theme's intro was supposed to be shot on a rooftop, and the fountain was actually a last-minute decision by Marta Kauffman. It was already 4a.m. and the cast was struggling to keep their spirits up, especially, you know, to play in a freezing cold fountain and act like it was the best time of their lives.
Matthew Perry, aka Chandler, was quoted saying "I don't remember a time when I wasn't in a fountain." We're convinced that this was the birth of Chandler's witty sarcastic one-liners. And that his famous word emphasis that the gang makes fun of him for? Yeah, looks like that's just Matthew Perry.