This Is What Friends Was Almost Called – And We’re Stunned

Friends actually had several names before creators settled on the simple 'Friends' title.
Cast of Friends drinking milkshakes.
Cast of Friends drinking milkshakes.
Warner Bros TV

Of course, we know that in some ways it hasn’t aged well, and a lot of more recent sitcoms are perhaps better but for many of us, Friends remains a staple TV show and with good reason — it’s nostalgia heaven.

In retrospect, though, compared to more recent sitcoms with titles such as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Parks and Recreation, and Brooklyn Nine Nine, ‘Friends’ always seemed somewhat oversimplified as a title.

In fact, it almost seemed too easy a title. These are friends, the show is about their friendships and the show is called... uh, Friends.

However, according to an interview with the creators, it actually took a while to get to this title.

What was Friends almost named?

In an interview with NBC, Friends creator Marta Kauffman said: “We were looking at a time when the future was more of a question mark. Maybe because that’s what we were feeling at the moment, but looking at that question mark and going: that’s interesting. Everybody knows that feeling.

“Out of that feeling came a seven-page pitch in December of 1993, for a show then called ‘Insomnia Cafe.’”

While NBC bought this idea, as the script started coming to life, Kauffman and Crane began to write the pilot script for a show now titled “Friends Like Us” which then became “Six Of One” into eventually just Friends.

NBC also revealed that the original pitch of the show was: “It’s about sex, love, relationships, careers, a time in your life when everything’s possible. And it’s about friendship because when you’re single and in the city, your friends are your family.”

After 10 seasons and 30 years on our screens, it really is fair to say that the pitch, cheesy as it was, definitely paid off.


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