TIL the cast of FRIENDS entered collective negotiations with Warner Bros.' before season 3 and all 6 actors agreed to be given the salary of the LEAST paid cast member. They wanted to be a true ensemble and everyone featured equally. Near the end of the series they were all paid $1 million/episode.

TIL the cast of FRIENDS entered collective negotiations with Warner Bros.' before season 3 and al...

Why did Ross, the largest friend, not simply eat the other five? He could have had all the money for himself.

The crazy thing is how much they're STILL making off the show in syndication rights. I wish I could continually get paid for work I did 20 years ago.

Did Lisa Kudro get paid extra for being both Phoebe and Ursala?

They're still paid 2% of $1 billion in syndication revenue per cast member so $20 million per person/year.

And David Schwimmer for playing Russ and Ross

Holy shit that's why David Schwimmer doesn't do anything any more.

I wish I could continually get paid for work I did 20 years ago.

Win Child support and hope your kid goes to college!

and Courteney Cox also played "some girl who ate Monica"

It's almost like collective bargaining can be beneficial to working people.

He just did that FX series about OJ last year where he played Robert Kardashian and was damn good in that series.

Are you from Omicron Persei 9 or something?

Damn. That's incredible.

Matthew Perry too! Remember when he played that fat guy?

Not much went wrong in making this show. Like Matthew Perry had shit to deal with and alcohol and whatever else I don't care to know, this show was just crazy successful.

JOEY played twin doctors on the soap opera

His acting was good but it still looked like Ross with a tan.

I remember reading that on the first day of reading through scripts, Courtney Cox said something about how they were all going to give each other advice and be there for each other, and it actually worked. She also swapped roles with Jennifer Aniston, because originally she was cast as Rachel.

It helps that cast-members like David Schwimmer (alongside Stephen Colbert!) and Lisa Kudrow (alongside Conan O'Brien!) were professionally trained so that they took it seriously as a job, not just some celebrity status. Mathew Perry is also the son of a fairly successful actor, John Bennett Perry, and Matt LeBlanc was acting since he was in his early twenties (I got my numbers mixed up).

They really knocked the casting on the head.

"I'll be there for you"... and they were :)

They also agreed to only enter award shows as "best supporting actor", and never as "best actor".

That's the "problem" with getting famous in the way he did. He'll always be Ross, and Matt Leblanc will always be Joey.

She was spose ta buy ya shorty Tyco with dat money She went to the doctor got lypo with ya money

How much is that?

And at this point is when TV decided it was cheaper to have reality shows instead of paying $1,000,000 times six per show to film a show

I mean, I wouldn't either (he did do band of brothers and that's all I could think of when it aired)

"It is true what they say, women are from Omicron Persei 7, men are from Omicron Persei 9."

That's what happens when you're there for each other.

Actually it's Miss Chanandler Bong.

Did Jennifer Aniston's nipples get paid as a cast member as well?

That '70s Show began in 1998 and was set in 1976 to 1979.

Friends (set in 1994-2004, the years it was on), if it were on today, would thus be That '90s Show.

Its possible to break out of it but only with a great performance that makes you just as remembered for that. Bryan Cranston and Joseph Gordon Levitt come to mind. They got great roles and shed their sitcom pasts.

In their original contracts for the first season, cast members were paid $22,500 per episode.The cast members received different salaries in the second season, beginning from the $20,000 range to $40,000 per episode

Actually yes, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer were paid more in season 2 because they were the "main focus" as Ross&Rachel. They were the ones that took a pay cut.

would thus be That '90s Show.

Considering the influence it had in the 90s it basicly is just that.

But... doesn't that money go to the kid? hahahaha

Matthew Perry x 3 for playing Chandler, the fat guy and TOBY.

They're not replaceable if the collective is everyone.

Not more profitable though. Friends still makes millions every year from syndication across the globe. Very few reality shows claim the same.

They are cheaper to spin up, though. So, lower cost for lower potential gain.

We Were on Collective Negotiations!

Sounded less forced in my head.

“We originally offered Rachel to Courteney Cox,” says Kauffman, “but she said she wanted to do Monica, not Rachel.” Found this really interesting Vanity Fair article!


Courteney Cox was the best known of all of us, and she had done a guest star on Seinfeld. She said, ‘Listen, I just did a Seinfeld, and they all help each other. They say, “Try this,” and “This would be funny.” And she said, ‘You guys, feel free to tell me. If I could do anything funnier, I want to do it.’ There’s a code with actors. Actors don’t give each other notes under any circumstances. So she was giving us permission to give her notes, and we all agreed that that would be great. Why not? And she also said, ‘Listen, you know, we all need to make this thing great.’ She just set the stage with: ‘I know I’m the one who’s been on TV, but this is all of us.’ She was the one who set that tone and made it a real group that way. And I thought that was a real turning point.

Here is Courtney's explanation of why she turned the role down

For some reason, I thought I related more to Monica, which maybe it’s because I do. I’m very similar to her... I’m not as clean as Monica, but I am neat. And I’m not as competitive, even though some people, my partner (musician) Johnny McDaid, would say I am.

Could they be any more rich?

especially when the rain starts to fall

Provided they're not entirely replaceable, of course.

Edit: I get it. People really like unions.

Steve Carell is another one. I never thought he would break the mold of Michael Scott. I Couldn't believe how good he was in Foxcatcher and The Big Short.



There's only 4 bitch

One of these days Ndnd, bang, zoom, straight to the third moon of Omicron Persei 8!


I get sad when I read these TILs. They make me feel old because I just assume everyone who was alive during Friends’ original run knew this. You couldn’t watch an interview of a Friends cast member when it was on where the interviewer didn’t mention this.

Basically I don’t like being in my thirties.

You want your character to be in a coma? Because that's how you mysteriously fall into a coma.

more like Oh my godddd what the fuck!?

One of the best sitcoms :)

Matt LeBlanc doesn't get enough credit for his acting (in Friends), IMO. During that arc where Joey was in love with Rachel, there were a few times when the look on his face made me feel a punch in the gut. Compare that with Ross's comical puppy love take on a similar situation, and LeBlanc is the better actor in my book. Granted, the writers and directors probably had a huge influence on that, but still. LeBlanc brought it.

I should note that after I wrote the above I actually looked up his awards, and he was nominated for Emmys and Golden Globes in 2002, 2003, & 2004 as an individual (rather than part of the ensemble). So that makes me happy that he was recognized for something I only learned in the past few months that he was capable of and that some people in this thread still don't seem to know.

She was always the hot one to me <3

Could Chandler be anymore quotable.

"That's not an astronaut, it's a T.V. comedian, and he was just using space travel as a metaphor for beating his wife."

But Malcolm In The Middle wasn't/isn't as popular as Friends. It's easier to shed off pasts if they weren't as popular.

Dammit why do you guys keep saying "Gunter"? It's Gunther.

If not for the agreement, who would have been paid the most, my vote is Jennifer Aniston!

IIRC Courteney just auditioned for Rachel, but she wasn't cast. Also David Schwimmer originally went for Joey's role.

They also left after the 10th season because the show was so popular and they wanted to leave it "on top"

David Scheimmer described it as leaving a party: you don't want to leave too early but want to leave it at a point where everyone's happy and having a good time- all good memories. If you stay too long then people start to get bored and are waiting for their ride home


Acting is a lot more than just memorizing dialogue, but I do agree it's an insane amount of money.

I hold the wildly unpopular opinion of enjoying Rachel and Joey together more than Ross and Rachel. Mostly because I fucking hated Ross and Rachel together.

Though as much as I hated Ross's character, I think David Schwimmer was the best comedic actor of the entire cast. He has so many iconic funny moments. Even when I hated Ross he still made me laugh.

I like this story because it's nice to see people who earn a lot still have some perspective on money. 20k+ per episode is enough to keep you going if you're not living extravagantly, and they took a pay cut because they realized this and also wanted to show camaraderie with their co-stars. It was a smart move and they ended up earning way more in the end.

More specifically, it's a joke from Futurama.

Phoebe and Joey

/sub/unexpectedwave 🌊🌊🌊 edit: r

there isnt really much to the joke. Ross is just the biggest of the friends main cast, so the brutish and animalistic warlord LRRR doesnt understand why ross, the largest, doesnt just kill all the other friends

[Courtney Cox] also swapped roles with Jennifer Aniston, because originally she was cast as Rachel.

Damn! So Courtney Cox was nearly the hot one that everyone wanted to _ ?

"20k+ per episode is enough to keep you going if you're not living extravagantly..."

I would just like to point out that 20k per episode works out to just under a half million dollars a year. Small change compared to what they would later make, but enough to live pretty damn extravagantly.

I'm embarrassed how frequently I say this for various reasons.

I never really liked friends, I never watched it when it was on, still don't particularly enjoy it...

But I'll be damned if I don't start screaming "Pivot... Piiiiivot... PIIIIIVOT" any time I'm moving furniture.

Why did you italicize the O? I know it's a weird thing to point out, but so is doing it in the first place.


That's what you've written in the source.

Unfortunate byproduct of binge watching. Watching 1 episode a week, waiting months between seasons, I would imagine makes his weigh changes less noticable. Watching 10 years worth of episodes in a month... Boy, does that man's body fluctuate.

This makes me happy. I used to be poor af and that show got me through a lot of hard times and it usually gets shit on on Reddit. Nice to see it being praised :)

"That's OK David. I understand. So... In the opening scene we start on Ross's gravestone. The other friends are all crying..."

I've never seen it get shit on, on Reddit or elsewhere. In fact, I've seen a ton of praise of Friends on Reddit, and some people just say it isn't their thing, but never getting shit on.

clap clap clap clap clap

They should have bargained for the salary of the highest paid cast member.

LOL the magic of television

Elevator shaft

What I like about Friends that even if you play it today you don't get that dated feeling so much other then when they specifically hook up the VCR and the lack of mobile phones. It's also rather telling that people are "just there" instead of calling endlessly trying to get together. It's kind of funny to see how life changed, life has been made easier, we got mobiles, GPS, pins and so on and yet getting together only seems harder then before.

It also helps that the cast isn't really dressed "in time".

I don't think malcolm in the middle and 3rd rock from the sun can really be compared to Friends in terms of popularity, though Jennifer Aniston has had a pretty large movie career after friends.

HIMYM wasn't shy about the fact they were basically the same show as Friends either. Remember the Swarley episode where they try a coffee shop instead of a bar?

It d9es

Wouldn't literally every actor know how to run an espresso machine?

I don't know...Lisa Kudrow did The Comeback and Web Therapy and she's written and produced a few things; Matthew Perry had The Odd Couple for a few seasons, a pretty significant guest role on The Good Wife (and now The Good Fight), did some writing and producing; Matt LeBlac will wrap up the 5th season of Episodes this year, he does Top Gear, and his CBS show just got picked up for a second season; and Courtney Cox was on Cougar Town for 6 seasons and was an EP on Celebrity Name Game...obviously none of them have a monster like Friends on their hands, but they've all worked a decent amount and and successes since friends. Most of them more than David, I'd say.

There was that time in college when Ross mistook who was in the pile of coats...

Trying to imagine Courtney Cox and David Schwimmer doing kissing scenes. It just feels wrong.

Who was being paid the least?

Most shows aren't friends.

That's because he was on hardcore drugs. He said recently that he was high on opiods so much that he doesn't remember much of filming season 3 or 4

I didn't realize it until Netflix put Friends on, but they are basically the same show. So many episodes were the exact same premise with very similar jokes.

It's hard to know what'll sneak up on you though.

I was at a friend's house recently and Friends was randomly on the TV while me and said friend's 8-year-old daughter were in the room.

In the show they were looking at a TV guide, and this 8-year-old kid thought it was amazing that you could have a book that showed what was on TV.

She honestly didn't understand how that magic worked.

Like, how did the book know?

I think he does stage stuff mostly (or at least he did after Friends ended, I'm not sure how much he does.)

My sense, based off basically nothing (but fuck it, this is reddit so who cares) is that he enjoys "acting" more than being an "actor" (if that makes sense) so just decided to do what he actually likes once he got rich.

they drive a hard bragain...uh, I mean bargain.

and Princess Conzeula Banana Hammock

It's from Futurama


that fucking wrinkled my brain

Gunter wasn't anyone's friend, per se. He just loved Rachel.

That said, Gunter actually fell into that role by chance. He was just supposed to be an extra but then they needed someone who knew how to operate the espresso machine. When they asked who could do so, Gunter volunteered and essentialy lucked into the character.

A million dollars - more than a majority of people will make their entire lives - for memorizing at most 10 minutes of dialogue per episode. Good work if you can get it.

I've never heard it before. I've always heard (specifically from the creators of the show) that it's because there really isn't more to add on? That it ended and ended well. Joey proves that. Joey as in the failed spinoff series.

Yeah skinny Matthew Perry is the one on drugs. He was addicted to opioids after being given a legal prescription after a jet ski accident which occurred before Friends. Then it turned into pills and alcohol, where he got progressively worse. He made his turn around while on Friends, which I give him a ton of credit for. To go to rehab twice and eventually come out clean at the height of the whirlwind fame of Friends is impressive. Where he gains weight is where his life makes a recovery.

Perry has made it his life's work to help others with addiction. Last I heard, Perry's home in LA was a sober house for recovering addicts.

Slightly unrelated; Fuck opiates.

Fast forward to today and they can't get a proper reunion together because "Ross" wants more money.

We're whalers on the moon!

The first season or two looked really dated, at least as far as wardrobe is concerned. After that it still looks pretty modern, ignoring stuff like pagers and no cellphones, of course.

Grammar was making $1,000,000/episode for Frasier at the end, plus his contract called for a helicopter to ferry him between his house and the studio for every session.

You can live extravagantly off it, I don't think anyone is gonna argue that. But if you don't want to end up like those NFL players who blow all their money, you'll look forward and plan accordingly.

Remember that before Friends most of the actors were fairly unknown, and going into season two it was't a guarantee the show would be the massive cultural phenomenon it became.

So if you're an actor who could have their show canceled and then might not be able to find work again for a while, you'd be smart to not live extravagantly on that kind of money as you might need to "coast" for a while between gigs.