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Things You Never Noticed In The First Friends Episode

Now one of the most iconic and popular sitcoms of all time, Friends premiered way back in September 1994. The pilot episode, "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate," began what would become a 10 year run for the series, which came to an end in May 2004. A whole lot happens over the course of the show, from relationship drama to pregnancies to career changes. By the end of the series, Ross and Rachel finally get together after many ups and downs. Monica and Chandler become adoptive parents to twins, making Monica the mother she's always wanted to be. Phoebe finds love outside of the main friend group with Mike. Joey doesn't end up with anyone, but his attitude towards relationships majorly matures. With Monica and Chandler deciding to move out of the city to raise their children, the friends are forced to say goodbye to their famous how-did-they-afford-that-in-New-York apartment.

By the time you get to the end of the show, you may think you remember how it all began. Rachel comes bursting into Central Perk in her wedding dress, you recall hazily, and Ross has just gotten a divorce. But there are quite a few details that might be slipping through the cracks in your memory. Here are some things you forgot happened in "The One Where Monica Gets a Roommate."

The first shot is missing a couple friends

Because Rachel's entrance is so memorable, it's quite easy to remember that she doesn't actually appear in the very first shot. But what you might not as easily remember is that there's another friend missing as well: Ross.

Just four out of the six main characters — Monica, Phoebe, Joey, and Chandler — appear in the very first moments of Friends. Monica is telling the other three about her plans to go out with someone later that night, and is insisting that it isn't a date. She says, "It's just two people going out to dinner and not having sex." To this, Chandler introduces viewers to his famous sarcastic humor by quipping, "Sounds like a date to me."

After a couple glimpses into what the friends talk about, Ross shows up. With a distressed look on his face, Ross says, in his familiar sad-sack voice, "Hi." Joey retorts, "This guy says 'hello,' I want to kill myself." Very soon after, Rachel shows up in her wedding dress, having just left her fiancé at the altar, thus completing the group. Considering Ross and Rachel are the two key players of a major storyline about to be set up, it makes sense that they get their own introductions — both of which are truly fitting.

Rachel invites herself to live with Monica

Rachel, having just left her former life behind, soon becomes Monica's roommate. It's a natural step, seeing as she and Monica are old friends and used to be extremely close. Plus, even though the gang hangs out there all the time, taking up her space and often eating her food, Monica technically has that huge apartment all to herself. Rachel's time living in that apartment ultimately makes up a huge chunk of the series. When Rachel finally does move out, it's only because Monica and Chandler want to take their relationship to the next level by living together. This happens all the way in season six, meaning Rachel lives there for several years. Appropriately, when Rachel's getting ready to move out, she and Monica both emotionally refer to it as "the end of an era."

But, when you rewatch the pilot episode, you remember that the era begins because Rachel, self-absorbed as ever, invites herself to stay with Monica, oblivious to the rudeness of her actions. In fact, she doesn't even tell Monica her decision directly! While Rachel's on the phone with her father, trying to explain why she left her wedding, he asks her where she's going to live. Rachel responds, "Well, maybe I'll just stay here with Monica." All the friends turn to Monica to catch her reaction. Sheepishly, Monica says, "Well, I guess we've established she's staying here with Monica."

Joey doesn't hit on Rachel -- at least right away

Joey's go-to pickup line is one of the series' most famous bits of dialogue: "How you doin'?" Joey's flirtatiousness is definitely one of his most famous qualities, along with his being, well, slow on the uptake. With this in mind, you'd think Joey would jump at the chance to hit on an attractive, newly single woman. But, surprisingly, when Monica introduces Rachel to the rest of the gang, Joey gets through it without making a pass at Rachel.

This is especially surprising to discover upon rewatch, because the season three episode "The One with the Flashback" makes it clear that this is not how it went when Joey met Monica. In that case, they'd barely spoken a word to each other before he was at his usual ways. Although, to be fair, Monica flirted right back.

Joey eventually does hit on Rachel, because he's Joey. After Rachel gets off the phone with her father, who has cut her off financially, she is distraught. While Monica is trying to console her, Joey jumps in, saying, "And hey, if you need anything, you can always come to Joey. Me and Chandler live across the hall. And he's away a lot." He says this with a firm hand on Rachel's shoulder, while Monica looks on with disgust. "Joey, stop hitting on her," Monica says. "It's her wedding day!"

Monica's date manipulates her

The friends eventually find out that the man Monica is going out with — on what she claims is not a date — is "Paul the wine guy." She knows him from work, and has been eagerly waiting for him to ask her out.

Of course, it very clearly is a date, and one that seems to be going well at first. Paul confides in Monica about how much he's been struggling since his divorce, two years prior. In fact, he hasn't been able to have sex with anyone else since his split. Monica is surprised at first — she even spits her drink out on him — but then reassures him that a dry spell doesn't matter to her. The two sleep together, and Monica feels satisfied that she's the one to pull him out of his rut.

But then, the day after their date, while Monica is at work, she tells a fellow chef about her date with Paul. When the coworker insinuates that she has also slept with Paul, Monica asks for clarification. The coworker says, "I take credit for Paul. Before me, there was no snapping his turtle for two years." Monica is, of course, shocked. Joey, on the other hand, is not. The scene cuts to the friends in Central Perk, where Joey exclaims, "Of course it was a line!" Regardless, you'd think Paul would come up with different lies to tell different women if he's going to date coworkers.

Love doesn't matter, if you ask Rachel's father

When Rachel is on the phone with her dad, viewers don't get to hear his side of the conversation, although it can easily be inferred. He doesn't understand why Rachel decided to ditch her wedding, so she attempts to use a metaphor to explain it. It's as if, she expounds, you've been told your whole life that "you're a shoe." But then one day, you realize you don't want to be a shoe, and that you might want to be a purse or a hat instead. He still doesn't get it, apparently, because Rachel responds, "No, I don't want you to buy me a hat, I'm saying that I am a hat!"

A more interesting part of the conversation takes place when Rachel insists she can't marry Barry because she does not love him. She conveys this to her father very assuredly, without doubt in her voice. There's a pause after Rachel says this, as she listens. Then, she replies: "Well, it matters to me." Meaning, her father has just told her that it doesn't matter whether or not she loves him, implying she should've married him anyway. Not exactly the kind of life advice you want to hear from your own father.

An early nod to Joey's future career

While Rachel phones her dad, the rest of the group watch a soap opera — a Spanish telenovela, to be exact. Because they can't understand Spanish, they're taking guesses as to what the characters are actually saying. When one of the characters is about to push another down a flight of stairs, the friends become especially animated. "Push her down the stairs!" they begin to chant. When the character does push the other, they clap and cheer.

It's a subtle and brief moment in a scene that has a lot going on. But when you rewatch the show, it's hard not to associate any kind of soap opera with Joey's future career. In season two, Joey lands a gig on Days of Our Lives playing neurosurgeon Dr. Drake Ramoray. Joey continues with Days of Our Lives on and off for the remainder of Friends.

We'll never know for sure if this moment is actually an early nod to Joey's future career, or if that storyline was thought up later on. Regardless, it's fun to witness, knowing that soaps are what eventually cement Joey's acting career. The rest of the friends being so engrossed in this soap, just as they are later with Joey's show, is a sweet moment of foreshadowing as well.

A changed apartment number

Monica's apartment is iconic. Not only is it unbelievably huge for an affordable New York apartment, it has multiple striking features such as purple walls, huge windows, a terrace balcony, and two huge bedrooms. Speaking of the balcony, that feature makes it clear that Monica lives on a higher level than the ground floor — but her apartment number in the first episode tells a different story. When Monica says goodbye to Paul the morning after their date, you can see that she lives in apartment five. You can also see that Joey and Chandler's apartment, just across the hall, is apartment four.

The writers and producers of the show must have realized that this made no sense, and soon changed it to 20 (and Joey and Chandler's place to 19) to reflect a higher floor apartment. This, of course, now makes it clear that they live on the second floor of the building and properly sets the stage for all future storylines involving the balcony.

Phoebe gives a glimpse of her crazy life

Phoebe's crazy past is well known to fans of the show, but fans may not remember how much of it she reveals in the very first episode.

After Rachel has made the decision to be completely on her own financially, the group encourages her to cut up her credit cards (which her father pays for). She confesses that the big reason she was getting married was to be financially dependent on someone other than her father. The friends don't know what to say in response. Phoebe tells them all to give her a break, because it's hard being on your own for the first time.

Phoebe proceeds to recall her own memories of coming to New York at the tender age of 14. She narrates, lightheartedly, "My mom had just killed herself and my stepdad was back in prison." She then lived with some "albino guy" who eventually killed himself, before she fell into her career as a masseuse. She concludes with, "So, believe me, I know exactly how you feel." Rachel, who has never had to do anything for herself in her life, is dumbstruck. Ross interjects, "The word you're looking for is ... 'anyway.'"

The will-they-won't-they is set up right away

The Ross and Rachel saga spans most of the series. Fans definitely remember their drunken Las Vegas wedding, the tryst that leads to Rachel becoming pregnant with Ross' baby, and the moment they finally get together (seemingly) for good in the series finale.

But what you might not remember about their relationship is that it's set up in the very first episode. When Rachel is reintroduced to Ross, he acts awkward around her right away, giving viewers an indication that he may have seen her as a little more than his sister's best friend back when they were in high school. Then, in the final moments of the episode, Ross admits to Rachel that he used to have a crush on her. She admits that she knew. Then, Ross outright asks her if he could ask her out sometime. Rachel indicates that this would be fine with her.

The moment seems very un-Ross-like in retrospect, considering he never actually works up the nerve to tell her how deep his feelings truly are — rather, Rachel finds out from Chandler by accident. Still, since the two officially (and finally) get back together in the last episode of the show, it's fitting that their relationship begins in the first.

Chandler and Rachel meet (again)

When Rachel is introduced to the group at the beginning of the episode, it's made clear that, besides Monica, the only one she already knows is Ross. Yet later episodes reveal that she and Chandler have met not once, but several times before.

One of these instances is revealed in season three's "The One with the Flashback." Rachel is with her friends in a bar — the bar that's turned into Central Perk, actually — where Monica and Chandler also happen to be hanging out. Chandler overhears Rachel talking about wanting to sleep with the next guy she sees, and tries to interject himself. But, when Monica notices Rachel, she officially introduces the two of them.

Chandler and Rachel's "first" meeting is also contradicted by "The One with All the Thanksgivings," which shows multiple past Thanksgivings that the friends have experienced. We find out that, after Ross and Chandler met in college, Ross brought Chandler home to his family's Thanksgiving in their freshman year. Rachel and Monica were in their last year of high school at that time and were still close friends — close enough for Rachel to come to Thanksgiving. This led to Rachel and Chandler meeting for what is, chronologically, the first time. It seems that Rachel and Chandler (and Monica and Ross) have quite the fuzzy memories — or at least the writers do.