Friends was a mega sitcom when it originally aired in the '90s and it's managed to be one of the few series that has retained that level of notoriety even now. With all of the varied and new shows that are on Netflix, Friends remains one of the most popular titles and its eventual move over to WarnerMedia's HBO Max streaming service will be a major play in the current streaming wars. Friends was able to latch onto its audience due to its easy comedy, affable characters, and addictive romances.
The performances and writing are what usually get singled out in Friends, but the locations also shouldn't be underestimated. Monica's apartment is one of the primary areas within the series. It's a place that appears prominently in nearly every episode of the series, but how well do you really know it? Accordingly, Here Are 20 Things That You Never Noticed In Monica's Apartment On Friends.
19 There Were No Drapes In Season One Due To Budget Restraints
It seems kind of silly that a show like Friends would have any sort of budgetary issues, but during its first season, it was far from a breakaway success. Certain quality of life luxuries came later on, but in the first season, there were concessions that had to be made. For instance, there are actually no drapes during the show's first season, with them being added in the show's second year. This also probably helped launch the voyeuristic storylines surrounding the "Ugly Naked Man" during the show's infancy.
18 It's Big On French Advertisements For Children's Toys
There are some very casual decorations and posters that deck out Monica's apartment that feel very at home. Some are even such subtle touches that you barely notice them. One of the more significant pieces of flair is the big Jules Cheret poster for a department store in Paris called "Aux Buttes Chaumont." The store specializes in carrying toys, with this poster, in particular, featuring a fancy rocking horse, one of their grandest toys.
17 The Apartment Number Changes
Some of the more eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed this, but during the transitions over the show's earlier seasons there are plenty of tiny changes as Friends gets smarter and ups its game. For example, at the start of the show the number for Monica's apartment is 5. However, quickly they realized that this number is far too low for an apartment that's as high as Monica's is. As a result, her apartment number was changed to 20.
16 It Might Actually Be In Brooklyn
In the episode, "The One With The Invitation," the address to Monica's apartment is actually seen due to some handy wedding invitations that are getting mailed out. Monica's apartment is located at 495 Grove Street, which turns out to be in Brooklyn. This could just be a mistake, since it seems like everyone in the series has business in Manhattan, not to mention Central Perk's location, but the location says Brooklyn.
15 There's A Frame Around The Peephole
One of the things that fans love most about Monica's apartment on Friends is the kitschy, unique decor that's present in several places. For instance, there's a picture frame around her door's peephole, ostensible turning every guest into a work of art. However, this frame actually began as a mirror that a crewmember accidentally broke. The team improvised and this mistake has since become iconic.
14 The Matching Furniture Is Due To Monica's Thrift Hunting Skills
This may not have bothered many viewers, but the decor and furniture in Monica's apartment are a lot nicer than someone with Monica's income would be able to afford. Set Decorator Greg Grande points out that Monica has a matching furniture and a dinner set that she wouldn't be able to afford. Accordingly, he imagined she'd spend her Sundays thrift hunting to find this stuff, even if she can't normally afford it.
13 That French Poster Is Actually Very Helpful For Production
Some elements of Monica's apartment are just supposed to look pretty, but there are others that actually serve a valuable purpose. In the case of Monica's apartment, there's actually a big hole behind the French poster, which is where the camera is set to film the apartment from that perspective. Putting the poster up conceals this and also makes them seem classy. Before the posters, there was a tapestry, but it was vaguely religious and WB was worried, so they had to replace it, hence the posters, according to set decorator, Greg Grande.
12 Their Balcony Defies Physics
One of the fun aspects of Monica's apartment is the balcony that allows more private conversations to be had away from the rest of the apartment. As nice as this detail is, it actually doesn't make sense when the apartment's outside is considered. From the exterior shots of the place, there is no balcony. Plus, the fire escape is moved around and isn't consistent with the blocking when shown from the inside, which indicates they both have fire escapes, not just the one.
11 Their Door Has An Old Fashioned Doorbell
Located below the peephole and frame on the door of Monica's apartment is an object that has flummoxed many a viewer. The truth around this object is that it's an old-fashioned doorbell that was around before the electric variety was a thing. It works like how a bike's bell operates, but also speaks to how Monica's grandmother started there and that it's an older apartment.
10 The Fridge Contains Actual Beverages
When it comes to television productions, there's always a suspension of disbelief and a fantasy in place for the illusion that the set creates. Many sets are just for show and don't actually function, but in this case, the fridge in Monica's apartment actually had drinks that the crew and cast could enjoy between takes or when off-camera.
9 The Toilet Isn't Real, But Many Thought It Was
It may seem like certain things don't need to be explained to people, but it apparently never hurts to be explicit. The set for Monica's apartment featured many real things, but plenty were also just set dressing. Things actually got to the point where the public would have to be told that the bathroom is just part of the set and that it doesn't actually have functional plumbing. Oops.
8 Every Single "Friend" Has Lived There At Some Point
It's always good to have a place to hang out where everybody feels at ease. Friends is able to narrow down its locations to a few choice settings. Monica's apartment is definitely the location where they clock in the most hours, but over the years everybody ends up living there at one point or another. Monica allows Rachel and Phoebe into her doors and then later Chandler and Joey live there when the gang swaps apartments. It's also revealed that Ross stayed there for a summer with his grandmother while he took dance classes.
7 Its Actual Price Would Be In The Millions
A lot of viewers have been quick to point out that nobody in Friends would actually be able to afford any of the extravagant, spacious apartments that they live in. It's better to just not think about it and question the sitcom logic that's in play, but some intrepid people at Discover.com actually did the math on what Monica's apartment would cost. As of 2013, her apartment would go for $3.5 million. Welcome to New York.
6 It Houses A Secret Closet
Fans may think that they have every inch of Monica's apartment mapped out, but there are still covert areas in there that will surprise you. In fact, there's a "secret" door behind the bathroom that actually turns into a plot point in the episode, "The One With The Secret Closet," where it's revealed it houses all of Monica's junk. Interestingly, the crew uses this door to enter and leave the set conveniently when filming, so the fact that this production secret could turn into a plot point is fun.
5 There’s A Power Source Controlled By Their Neighbor's Apartment
During some of the chaos when Monica and Rachel and Chandler and Joey switch apartments, Monica obsesses over turning her new under apartment into something grander. One of her obsessions in "The One With All The Rugby" deals with a switch in Joey and Chandler's apartment that doesn't appear to do anything. In the end, it's revealed that the switch actually operates the television in Monica's apartment, showing that some of the wiring must be crossed.
4 The Official Tenant Is Monica's Grandmother
Monica may live in the apartment, but many years back it was actually where her grandmother lived. Years before the start of the series, Monica's grandmother moves away to Florida and illegally sublets the place to her granddaughter. This also explains how Monica is able to afford such a cushy place, since it's rent controlled from her grandmother's lengthy time there.
3 The Door Hasn't Been Locked In Years
Part of the convenience of sitcoms like Friends is that people are always popping over unannounced and never even knocking at the door. As a result of this, the series jokes that they never actually lock their doors for this purpose. In fact, when Chandler moves in he's given a key, but it's noted to be more of a symbolic gesture. "We haven't locked the door in four years," he's told. That being said, a little safety wouldn't kill them.
2 Monica Lives There The Longest
Everyone manages to clock in some time living in Monica's apartment, but it's appropriately Monica—with Rachel and Chandler as strong runner-ups—as the one who resides there the longest. Monica manages to live there for the entire span of the series, except for the brief span in season four when they swap apartments with Chandler and Joey. When Monica and Chandler eventually do move out, they tell Ross to take the place, but he doesn't.
1 It's The Go-To Holiday Hang Out
It quickly became a tradition on Friends to head on over to Monica's place whenever a major holiday was afoot or there was an occasion for togetherness. These lead to some of the most satisfying episodes from the show's run. Every Thanksgiving and Christmas episode takes place there, which is practically every season. It would basically feel like treachery to celebrate anywhere else.
Sources: EW.com, Friends.Fandom.com, ScreenRant.com