Friends: The Reunion celebrates the show's cultural impact and highlights the emotional bond between the cast
Los Angeles, California - After almost two decades, the cast of Friends reunited at their old studio set for a star-studded special –and boy, did they deliver!
David Schwimmer was the first cast member to walk through the doors of Stage 24 onto the same set where he once regularly gathered with his five co-stars.
The emotional moment intensified as Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry arrived, one by one. Viewers can definitely feel the love and the emotions from the six stars as they gaze in wonder at their old stomping grounds.
James Corden hosted the event in front of a live studio audience near the iconic fountain that can be seen in the opening and closing credits of the show.
The special was more than just a typical reunion episode. It was also a celebration of the show's accomplishments and its cultural impact it made across the world.
The co-creators, Marta Kauffman, David Crane, and Kevin Bright, were also in attendance, as they looked back on the show's creation and casting process when picking each of the six main actors.
Kauffman let slip that the creators had to bribe Schwimmer with gifts so he'd agree to play Ross Geller, and also confirmed that LeBlanc only had $11 in his pocket when he auditioned for the role of Joey Tribbiani.
They Were All Of Our "Friends"
Some other notable reveals included that Cox was initially sought after to play Rachel Green, and LeBlanc actually dislocated his shoulder while filming.
Fans probably also enjoyed the round table reads, done by the entire cast. The stars did brief reenactments of a few favorite episodes, which still delight fans even after almost 20 years. (The Jellyfish scene reread was still the most traumatic but hilarious moment on the show.)
The special took an even more emotional turn when several clips of fans of different ages and ethnicities spoke about Friends' impact on their lives. Many related to specific characters on the show and storylines that touched their hearts.
The cast was shown reflecting on their time on the show and the tremendous amount of fame that came with it. LeBlanc hilariously recalled a moment when each of the cast members' house was on the news. The overwhelmingness of their stardom created a familial bond between the cast as they had no one else to talk to about it.
Favored guest star Maggie Wheeler, who played Janice Hosenstein, paid a visit to speak on how much she enjoyed her various appearances on the show.
Cara Delevigne, Justin Bieber, and Matt LeBlanc do an epic fashion show
Fans were also treated to a brief fashion show, where supermodel Cara Delevigne wore an iconic bridesmaid's outfit from Season 2 and Justin Bieber brought back Ross' Spudnik Halloween costume.
But the best moment was when Matt LeBlanc surprised everyone when he wore "Chandler's" layers of clothes.
The cast also shared where they believed their characters would be in the future, and yes, Aniston and Schwimmer believe that Ross and Rachel are still together and not on a break. They also clarified the longstanding confusion on if they were indeed on a break and, yes, they were.
In addition to an emotional moment where the actors shared their undeniable love for one another, the night ended with the cast hugging it out while the audience gave them a standing ovation.
The episode was well worth the wait, and one of the most satisfying reunion specials out so far. Catch Friends: The Reunion on HBO Max!
Cover photo: IMAGO / Everett Collection