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The Joey Accident On Friends That Wasn't Scripted

One of the most iconic shows in NBC's history is the sitcom "Friends", which garnered massive popularity over the course of its 10-season run from 1994 to 2004 and has a legend that still endures today. The show, co-created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, focused on a group of six friends, names Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey, as they went through the highs and lows of dating, work, and other life events alongside each other while living in New York City.

The show's key strengths were the comedic moments and gags it had, both scripted and improvised. While many jokes on the show were planned, others came about as happy accidents, either planned or unplanned, by the show's main cast members Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matthey Perry, and Matt LeBlanc. The cast improvised lines and actions to enhance the scripts they had been given at times; at other times, unplanned bloopers turned out to be better than what was in the script. One hilarious accident by Joey, played by LeBlanc, early in the show's run fell into the latter category.

Joey's trip and fall in Season 2 wasn't in the original script

In the fifth episode of Season 2, titled "The One with Five Steaks and an Eggplant," Chandler gets a voicemail on the landline of his apartment that's from a woman named Jade, played by Brittney Powell. Jade leaves the voicemail thinking it's the number of her ex, Bob, whom Chandler proceeds to impersonate on the phone as Jade tells him about her life. When Jade offers to meet up, Chandler agrees. Trying to work his way into Jade's good graces when Bob doesn't show, Chandler's attempts to woo Jade fizzle out when it's clear that he cannot measure up to Bob in her eyes.

As the credits play, Jade gives the apartment another call, still thinking it's Bob's number. The call goes to voicemail once again, and as Jade begins speaking, Joey pops up on the couch, listening as Jade asks for a one-night stand with Bob despite it being three years since they spoke. As Joey jumps to answer the phone, he trips over the couch, scattering the phone in the process, the receiver going out of his reach before he can pick it up.

While the gag endures as a classic moment in the show, it was entirely accidental. LeBlanc revealed on the commentary track for the show that he really tripped and fell when trying to answer the phone. The creative team decided that his clumsy moment was funnier than what they had planned, and that became the actual joke at the end of the episode. The joke's endurance proves that the right call was made — and that the success of "Friends" can be attributed to happy accidents as much as careful planning.