Almost every fan of "Friends" can sing its infamous theme song, "I'll Be There for You" by The Rembrandts. It even hit the top spot on the "Billboard Hot 100" chart and became a radio mainstay throughout the show's run. However, the first choice for the sitcom's theme song was "Shiny Happy People" by R.E.M.
It would be hard to imagine "Friends" without stars like Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox, but in some cases, other actors originally auditioned for and even won the roles. Jon Favreau and Jon Cryer both wanted to play "Chandler." Producers asked both Ellen DeGeneres and Janeane Garofalo to play "Phoebe." Hank Azaria wanted to play "Joey." Courteney Cox and Tea Leoni both won the role of "Rachel" but turned it down.
Central Perk mainstay "Gunther" did not start out as a speaking role. He did not even have a name in the first season. The actor who played him, James Michael Tyler, really worked at a coffee shop called the Bourgeois Pig during the first four seasons of the show. His popularity led to his supporting role.