When you think about Friends and romance, your mind likely jumps straight to Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), right?
The iconic couple drove many of the show's storylines along, and as such their relationship is a bit synonymous with Friends. But we mustn't discount Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) as a couple, right? They just clicked together. It was amazing and good. And we loved it.
So you might be surprised to learn that their relationship actually wasn't always intended to unfold on-screen, at least the way it did. In Saul Austerlitz's new book Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era, the idea of the pair as a couple is revealed to have "began as a whim," and had been intended as an ephemeral one, at that.
"When the second season was being planned, one of the writers tossed out an idea: ‘What if we get Chandler and Monica together?'" wrote Austerlitz. “The thought was intended less as a permanent shift in the gravity of the series and more as a fun plotline, good for a few episodes before the status quo snapped back into place."
Not everyone was on board at first, as some shot the idea down, calling it "desperate." As a result, it was tabled until season 4, when it was suggested as a possibility for an ending to a storyline featuring Ross's wedding to Emily in London and Monica essentially imploding. But the writers weren't completely sold on the idea, still.
"There was a fear [...] that bringing Chandler and Monica together would be perceived as near-incestuous," which does make sense. Seeing the pair as close friends may have felt a bit odd, but when the scene was actually filmed, it quickly won over critics – and most importantly, the studio audience when the scene took place.
“The cheers and hoots of delight went on and on, drowning out the performers and shaking the room,” wrote Austerlitz. And from there, it just made sense to pair up Monica and Chandler – because how can you argue with such a strong reaction?
Ah, true love.