Attention Friends fans: a new book dedicated to history of Friends was recently published and it's spilling all the behind-the-scenes tea on the beloved '90s sitcom. Generation Friends: An Inside Look at the Show That Defined a Television Era by "noted pop culture historian" Saul Austerlitz compiles interviews with the show’s creators, writers, producers, and cast members, taking readers right back to that burnt orange couch in Central Perk.
In Generation Friends, Austerlitz reveals one of the show's most iconic moments almost didn't happen. If it weren't for David Schwimmer, who played Ross Geller for 10 seasons, flubbing a simple line, the jaw dropping season 4 finale would've ended very differently. As devoted Friends' fans know, “The One with Ross’s Wedding" ended with Ross saying Rachel's name at the altar instead of his bride's.
According to Austerlitz, the powers that be at Friends had no idea how to end the fourth season. Schwimmer ended up inspiring producer Greg Malins when he messed up a line in an earlier season 4 episode. While running lines one day, Schwimmer reportedly said "Rachel, the taxi's here" instead of the written line of "Emily, the taxis' here." That was when the idea struck Malins and he "turned to David Crane and said 'That's what happens.'" And so not only did Schwimmer flub his line, but Ross ultimately ends up majorly flubbing his big line at his own wedding.
“For someone who appears to live his life in a low hum of constant anxiety, flop sweat perpetually dripping off his forehead, Ross is notably calm in this moment of maximal erroneousness," Austerlitz added of Schwimmer's delivery of the iconic wedding scene line. "It is as if his mouth has spoken a truth that the rest of him is not ready to acknowledge, and his is momentarily at peace.”