Trivia: Ross says, "Do you know how long it's been since I grabbed a spoon? Do the words 'Billy Don't Be a Hero' mean anything to you?" "Billy Don't Be a Hero" topped the charts in 1974. Since Ross was born in the late 60's, that means he stopped dating around the age of 6 or 7. The creators of Friends, on the other hand, Marta Kauffman and David Crane, would have been in their late teens when the song was popular, which is probably why they used it as a dating-period reference. It's somewhat ironic, however, that at one point Joey says to Ross, "You got married--you were like, what... eight?" That would have been around the time the song was popular.
Trivia: Joey and Phoebe don't have their own storyline in this episode.
Trivia: Although both Chandler and Monica's apartments have mechanical doorbells installed, they are not used once throughout the entire series. People just knock.
Trivia: Chandler has the closing line in both this episode and the last episode of the series.
Continuity: Ross's year of birth is inconsistent. In this first episode (1994) Ross says he is 26, implying he was born in 1967. Also, in "The One Where Monica and Richard are Just Friends" (1997) he says he is 29. However in the next season in "The One Where They're Going to Party" Ross also says he is 29, implying he was born in 1968. Furthermore, in the next season in "The One Where Phoebe Hates PBS" Ross says he is about to get divorced again before he's thirty, implying he is still 29 and born in 1969. Also, in "The One with the Video Tape," Ross claims that he backpacked across Europe in 1983 then whispers to himself "I was thirteen?" implying he was born in 1969 or 1970.
Love is sweet as summer showers
Love is a wondrous work of art
But your love, oh your love,
Your love is like a giant pigeon...
Crapping on my heart.
La la la la la...
Trivia: The waitress in Central Perk who asks a distraught Rachel, "Can I get you some coffee?", is played by Cynthia Mann. Mann would later play Jasmine, the masseuse who works with Phoebe starting in "The One with the Dozen Lasagnas." Jasmine was in 4 episodes of Friends, although her appearance in "The One with the Worst Best Man Ever", can only be seen on the extended DVD version.
Continuity: At Ross's apartment, when they are assembling his new furniture, Chandler says that he and Joey have never had a relationship that had lasted longer then a mento. It is revealed in "The One with the Dirty Girl" that Joey was in a relationship with Angela Del Vecchio for three years.
Goof: When Ross comes in depressed, Monica mentions that Carol moved her stuff out of his apartment today. However, later in the episode when Chandler and Joey are helping Ross move, Joey mentions that Carol got the apartment. Why, then, did she have to move anything out?
Note: This is not true. Monica did say that Carol moved her stuff out today, but Joey never said that she got the apartment, although he did say that she got the furniture, the stereo and the "good" TV. Joey and Chandler are not "helping Ross move", they are helping him assemble new furniture to replace the stuff that Carol took with her.
Trivia: Ross's first line in the pilot was a depressed "Hi." This greeting becomes his catchphrase in the series. Most fans would agree, however, that it is a somewhat forced catchphrase and never caught on naturally the way Joey's "How you doin'?" did, or Monica's "I know!!", or Rachel's "Noooooo!", or Phoebe's "Oh, no...." and "You guyyyys!" or Chandler's... patented speech patterns...
Goof: Joey's wristwatch disappears and reappears throughout the entire episode.
Goof: As Monica is walking to her room and steps on Paul's watch, if you look carefully, you can see that she just steps on the band. That would not damage the watch.
Continuity: Rachel's spelling of her last name kept switching between "Green" and "Greene" throughout the series. When the writers and production cast finally noticed this discrepancy, they made the decision that it would be "Green".
Continuity: In many of the first episodes, there is a beam going from the ceiling to the floor in between the kitchen and the living room. You can see it when they show the door. In "The One with the Giant Poking Device," Ross actually runs into it. In the majority of the later episodes, the beam is non-existent. (The beam became the trademark for director James Burrows. Whenever he returned to direct an episode, the crew intentionally added the beam.)
Goof: In Central Perk, although rainfall is clearly visible (and audible) outside the main window, there is no rain falling in the doorway as Rachel enters. It was likely set up that way to keep Rachel's dress from getting soaked in the event of retakes.
Continuity: In this episode, Rachel is introduced to Chandler. But later on in "The One with All the Thanksgivings," it is revealed that Rachel and Chandler spent a few Thanksgivings together at the Gellers' house many years ago. We even learn in Season 10's "The One Where the Stripper Cries" that Chandler kissed Rachel, even before Ross did.
Trivia: Paul the Wine Guy's name is mentioned 21 times in this episode (Monica's date).
Trivia: When Joey is naming different ice creams to Ross at his apartment, one of the flavors is "Bing! Cherry Vanilla." At the time of the original airing it was not yet established that Bing would be Chandler's last name.
Trivia: In the opening credits, Rachel's character is the only person who mouths the theme song during the credits. She mouths "...there for you."
Goof: In the very first shot, the Central Perk logo is on the window. However when they show inside, the logo has disappeared. Clearly, the establishing shot of Central Perk was added after the pilot was shot.
Continuity: In the first couple of episodes, Chandler and Joey's apartment number was #4 and Monica and Rachel's apartment number was #5. However, in the later episodes, they are #19 and #20, respectively. This is because the producers noted that #4 and #5 corresponded to apartments on lower floors and the Friends' apartments were higher up in the building.
Continuity: Barry's last name in this episode is Finkle, but in the rest of the series his last name is Farber.
Monica: There's nothing to tell! It, it's just some guy I work with...
Joey: C'mon! You're going out with the guy... there's gotta be somethin' wrong with him.
Chandler: C'mon, Joey. Be nice. (to Monica) So, does he have a hump? A hump and a hairpiece?
Phoebe: Wait! Does he eat chalk? Just 'cause I don't want her to go through what I went through with Carl.
Monica: Relax, this is not even a date. It's not. It's just two people going out to dinner and not having sex.
Chandler: Sounds like a date to me.
Chandler: Alright, so I'm back in high school, standing in the middle of the cafeteria and I realize I am totally... naked.
Monica: Oh, I've had that dream.
Chandler: Then I look down and I realize there is a phone... there.
Joey: Instead of...?
Chandler: That's right.
All: Never had that one.
Chandler: All of a sudden, the phone starts to ring. Now, I don't know what to do... everybody starts looking at me...
Monica: They weren't looking at you before?
Chandler: Finally, I figure I'd better answer it... and it turns out it's my mother--which is very, very weird because... she never calls me.
Ross: (despairingly) Hi.
Joey: This guy says "hello," I wanna kill myself.
Ross: I just feel like someone reached down my throat, grabbed my small intestine, pulled it out of my mouth, and tied it around my neck...
Ross: (to Phoebe who's plucking at the air around his head) Stop cleansing my aura! ...Just leave my aura alone!
Phoebe: Fine... Be murky.
Ross: I'll be fine. Really, everyone. I hope she'll be very happy.
Monica: No, you don't.
Ross: No, I don't. To hell with her. She left me!
Joey: And you never knew she was a lesbian...
Ross: No! Okay?! Why does everyone keep fixating on that? She didn't know, how should I know?
Chandler: Sometimes I wish I was a lesbian... (realizes everyone is staring at him) Did I say that out loud?
Ross: I told mom and dad last night, they seemed to take it pretty well.
Monica: Oh, really? ...so that hysterical phone call I got from a woman sobbing at 3 a.m., "I'll never have grandchildren! I'll never have grandchildren!" was what? A wrong number?
Joey: Alright Ross, look... you're feelin' a lot of pain right now... you're angry... you're hurtin'... Can I tell ya what the answer is...? Strip joints!
Ross: I don't want to be single. Okay? I just want to be married again.
(Rachel enters the coffee shop wearing a wedding dress)
Chandler: ...and I just want a million dollars!
Rachel: And that's when it hit me, how much Barry looks like Mr. Potato Head... Y'know? ...I mean, I always knew he looked familiar, but...
Rachel: (to Monica) You're the only person I knew who lived here in the city.
Monica: ...Who wasn't invited to the wedding.
Rachel: Oh, I was kinda hopin' that wouldn't be an issue.
Rachel: (on the phone) Daddy, I can't marry him, I just don't love him. (listening) Well it matters to me.
Rachel: (on the phone) C'mon, Daddy! Listen to me! It's like... it's like all of my life everyone has always told me, "You're a shoe! You're a shoe! You're a shoe!" And then today I just stopped and said, "What if I don't want to be a shoe?" What if I wanna be a... a purse, y'know, ...or a hat? (listening) No, I don't want you to buy me a hat, I'm saying I am a hat. It's a metaphor Daddy!
Ross: You can see where he'd have trouble.
Rachel: (on the phone with her dad) Well, maybe that's my decision. (listening) Well, maybe I don't need your money... Wait, wait, I said "maybe!"
Monica: (about Rachel) Joey, stop hitting on her. It's her wedding day!
Joey: What, like there's a rule or somethin'?
Ross: It's Paul the wine guy!
Phoebe: What does that mean? Does he sell it, drink it, or he just complains a lot?
Monica: Paul, this is everybody. Everybody, this is Paul.
Joey: Hey, Paul, the wine guy.
Ross: Hey, Paul.
Phoebe: Hey, Paul.
Rachel: Hi, Paul.
Chandler: I'm sorry, I didn't catch your name. Paul, was it?
Phoebe: Ooh... I just pulled out four eyelashes. That can't be good.
Ross: So, Rachel, uh, what are you up to tonight?
Rachel: Well, I was kinda supposed to be headed for Aruba on my honeymoon so... nothing.
Ross: Right! (despairing) You're not even getting your honeymoon. God. No, no! Although, Aruba? This time of year? Yeah, talk about your... big lizards.
Joey: Hey Pheebs, you wanna help?
Phoebe: Oh, I wish I could, but I don't want to.
Joey: Ross, let me ask you a question. She got the furniture, the stereo, the good TV. What'd you get?
Ross: You guys.
Chandler: Oh, God...
Joey: You got screwed.
Joey: What're ya talkin' about? ..."one woman". That's like sayin' there's only one flavor of ice cream for you. Let me tell you somethin', Ross, there's lots of flavors out there. There's Rocky Road... and Cookie Dough... and Bing!...Cherry Vanilla! You can get 'em with jimmies, or nuts, or whipped cream! This is the best thing that ever happened to you! You got married, you were, like, what... eight? Welcome back to the world! Grab a spoon!
Ross: I honestly don't know if I'm hungry or horny.
Chandler: Then stay out of my freezer.
Joey: I gotta go. I got a date with Andrea... Angela! ...Andrea. Oh, man... (turns to Chandler for help)
Chandler: Andrea's the screamer, Angela has cats...
Joey: Right, thanks! ...It's Julie!
Rachel: Isn't this amazing? I mean, I have never made coffee before in my entire life.
Chandler: That is amazing.
Rachel: Y'know, I figure... if I can make coffee, there isn't anything I can't do.
Chandler: No, I think it's, "If I can invade Poland, there isn't anything I can't do".
Chandler: All right, kids, I've got to get to work. If I don't input those numbers... it doesn't make much of a difference.
Rachel: So, like... you guys all have jobs?
Monica: Yeah, we all have jobs... See, that's how we... buy stuff.
Monica: I can't stop smiling.
Rachel: I can see that. You look like you slept with a hanger in your mouth.
Rachel: Want a wedding dress? Hardly used.
Frannie: Hey, Monica!
Monica: Hey Frannie, welcome back! How was Florida?
Frannie: You had sex, didn't you?
Monica: How do you do that?
Frannie: Oh, I hate you, I'm pushing my Aunt Roz through Parrot Jungle and you're having sex! So...? Who?
Monica: (about Paul lying to her) Why? Why? Why would anybody do something like that?!
Ross: I assume we're looking for an answer more sophisticated than... "to get you into bed."
Monica: I hate men! I hate men!
Phoebe: Oh, no, don't hate. You don't want to put that out into the universe.
Monica: Is it me? Is it like I have some sort of beacon that only dogs and men with severe emotional problems can hear?
Phoebe: Alright, c'mere... gimme your feet. (starts massaging them)
Rachel: (coming into Central Perk, excited) Guess what?!
Ross: You got a job?
Rachel: Are you kidding? I'm trained for nothing!
Monica: C'mon... You can't live off your parents your whole life.
Rachel: I know that! ...That's why I was getting married.
Phoebe: I remember when I first came to this city. I was fourteen. My mom had just killed herself and my step-dad was back in prison. And I got here, and I didn't know anybody. And I ended up living with this albino guy who was, like, cleaning windshields outside Port Authority... and then he killed himself... and then I found aromatherapy. (to Rachel) So believe me, I know exactly how you feel.
Ross: (to Rachel, following an awkward pause) The word you're looking for is "...anyway."
All: (about Rachel trying to cut up her credit cards) Cut, cut, cut, cut.
Rachel: (cuts up one card) Y'know what? I think we can just leave it at that... Kind of like a symbolic gesture...
Monica: Rachel... That was a library card!
Chandler: (about Rachel cutting up her credit cards) Y'know, if you listen very closely, you can hear a thousand retailers scream.
Monica: (to Rachel) Welcome to the real world! It sucks! You're going to love it!
Ross: Y'know, you probably didn't know this, but back in high school I had a, uh... major crush on you.
Rachel: I knew.
Ross: You did? Oh... I always figured you just thought I was Monica's geeky older brother.
Rachel: (smiling) I did.
Monica: I said that you had a nice butt. It's just not a great butt.
Joey: Oh, you wouldn't know a great butt if it came up and bit ya.
Ross: There's an image.
Rachel: (at Central Perk wearing an apron) Would anybody like more coffee?
Chandler: Did you make it, or are you just serving it?
Rachel: I'm just serving it.
All: Yeah, I'll have a cup!
International Episode Title:
Czech Republic: Zrušená svatba (Canceled Wedding)
Ellen DeGeneres was the first choice to play Phoebe Buffay. When she turned down the role, it went to Lisa Kudrow.
Monica is a chef at Iridium, located at 1650 Broadway. Iridium is a basement jazz club long associated with legendary guitarist Les Paul.
The apartment building used for exteriors is located at the corner of Grove and Bedford Streets in Manhattan's West Village.
Matt LeBlanc had the flu and was running a fever of 102 degrees on the first day of filming.
Alternate Title: The One Where It All Began
Months after the series ended, episodes started airing in syndication in Latin America, however, only Seasons 4 through 10 were aired. On October 5, 2007, this episode aired for the first time, and now all seasons are shown in syndication there.
The art department updates the food in Monica's kitchen cupboards, such as canned goods, weekly.
The Central Perk set has a real asphalt "street" which allows for more realistic sound during exterior scenes. They also added sub-surface plumbing which pipes steam out of the storm drains and manholes to suggest cold weather.
The sandwich board outside Central Perk references a crew member, "Neighbor Tim," who did a good deed on set.
The refrigerators in the the guys' and the girls' apartments really work. The girls' is filled with water and soda for the cast and crew, while the guys' fridge is mostly empty.
Across the street from Central Perk are stores "Dottie & Herman's Deli," named after co-creator Marta Kauffman's relatives, and "Free Being Records," an homage to a Greenwich Village record store that executive producer Kevin Bright frequented as a kid.
This episode first aired in the United Kingdom on April 28th, 1995.
Central Perk is based on the Manhattan Café in New York's West Village.
Like all pilots before they are picked up by a network, this episode was entitled simply "The Pilot." Usually in syndication and on the season 1 DVD, this episode is simply entitled "The Pilot."
When the apartment building is shown from the outside, the windows are smaller and there is a railing around the balcony. From inside the girls' apartment, the windows are much larger and the balcony is enclosed by a brick fence.
On screen, Monica is a year younger than Ross. However, in reality, David Schwimmer is a year younger than Courteney Cox.
This is the first episode with Monica's name in the title of the episode. However, since this episode was called "The Pilot" when it originally aired and in syndication, some consider the first episode with Monica's name in the title to be "The One with the Fake Monica", near the end of Season 1.
After viewing the show, NBC insisted that it was too young. They wanted to add an older character that owned Central Perk and gave the gang advice. Luckily, the creators refused to oblige.
The producers loved Matthew Perry for the role of Chandler, but he was already cast in another pilot L.A.X. 2194. Once the producers discovered that the pilot was about baggage handlers in the year 2020, they figured they could risk it.
The character Ross was actually written for David Schwimmer.
For the pilot, central casting sent over the coffee house crowd. The original crowd was pierced, tattooed, and goth. The producers wanted a more mainstream look, so they recast the extras.
The role of Monica was originally based on Janeane Garofalo, but after Courteney Cox auditioned, they modified their vision.
The original idea for the show was going to focus on four characters with Phoebe and Chandler in supporting roles.
Before the show was cast, the main love interest was intended to be Monica and Joey.
In the United States some tag lines used for Friends were:
"I'll be there for you."
"You can never have enough friends!"
"Spend some time with your friends."
"All you need is friends."
"Everybody needs friends."
"The friends we've grown to love..."
Some alternate titles for the series were "Six of One," "Across the Hall," "Friends Like Us," "Friends Like These," and "Insomnia Cafe." An alternate name for Central Perk was "Java Joe's", which is later used in "The One Where Nana Dies Twice."
This was the only episode to not have a teaser scene--or in the case of first shows of the season, a previous season recap--before the opening theme song.
Friends Theme Song:
"I'll Be There For You" performed by The Rembrandts.
The Rembrandts didn't think the theme song represented where their music was going, but their record label refused to release their new CD without a full length version of the Friends theme. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay chart for eight weeks.
So no one told you life was gonna be this way,
Your jobs a joke, you're broke, your love life's D.O.A.,
It's like you're always stuck in second gear,
And when it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year, but...
I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour,
I'll be there for you, like I've been there before,
I'll be there for you, 'cause you're there for me too...
You're still in bed at ten and work began at eight,
You've burned your breakfast so far things are going great,
Your mother warned you there'd be days like these...
Oh but she didn't tell you when the world has brought you down to your knees that...
No one could ever know me, no one could ever see me,
Seems you're the only one who knows--what it's like to be me,
Someone to face the day with, make it through all the rest with.
Someone I'll always laugh with even at my worst I'm best with you...
It's like you're always stuck in second gear,
And when it hasn't been your day your week your month, or even your year...
I'll be there for you... (repeats)
Before the show premiered, NBC ran a promo to get people to watch the new show. The first and second season promos both had the Friends in their underwear and Monica being upset about it. However the promo for the first season has something unusual. It contains a different logo. Apparently, before Friends began using their famous "dot-style" logo, they thought about using an abstract-type.
Courteney Cox was originally asked to play Rachel, but she asked to play Monica instead after reading the parts.
Even the show's designer has commented on the fact that the Central Perk sign on the window can be read correctly from both inside and outside the coffee shop. Viewers have noted, however, that since the logo is symmetrical, it would be feasible for the owners to have placed a sign on the inside of the window which completely covers the one on the outside, making it readable from both sides.
According to the producers, a questionnaire regarding Monica's promiscuity was passed out at the taping at the behest of NBC. It seems NBC considered Monica a slut for sleeping with "Paul the Wine Guy" on their first date.
This is the only episode to feature opening credits only showing the cast at the fountain. Supposedly, Warner Bros. complained to the producers, and shots from the show were inserted for future episodes.
Music: "Sky Blue and Black" by Jackson Browne
This episode runs 29:35 on DVD (a typical sitcom runs about 22:00). It is also one of the only episodes to feature a scene deleted in its entirety: Phoebe singing in the subway. It was not aired with the original broadcast because it wasn't plot related. It was added back when the pilot was stretched to an hour for its first broadcast in syndication. Lisa Kudrow actually had to come in and re-loop her song five years after the first show was filmed.
Monica: (mocking the show on TV) Now I'm guessing that he bought her the big pipe organ, and she's really not happy about it.
The Spanish soap opera that the friends watch at Monica's apartment is the very successful Tres Destinos. The lady that doesn't seem to be too happy about the "pipe organ" is Puerto Rican actress Angela Meyer.
Paul: No, I'm telling you last night was like, um, all my birthdays, both graduations, plus the barn-raising scene from Witness.
Witness was a 1985 Academy Award-winning thriller starring Harrison Ford as a police detective protecting a young Amish boy who witnessed a murder and Kelly McGillis as the boy's widowed mother. Paul refers to the barn-raising scene in which an Amish farm community all joins together to build a barn in a single day for a newlywed couple.
Monica: (referring to Joey and Chandler) Oh good, Lenny and Squiggy are here.
Lenny and Squiggy, played by Michael McKean and David Lander were the neighbors on the hit show Laverne & Shirley who were always together and constantly dropping in on the girls. In Season 2 of Friends, Michael McKean would guest star in "The One with the List" as the "Mockolate" executive.
Monica: (to Rachel about if she had ever seen Joey act) Oh wait, wait--unless you happened to catch the Wee One's production of Pinocchio at the little theater in the park.
Joey: Look, it was a job, alright?
Chandler: (mimicking Joey in the play) "Look, Geppetto, I'm a real live boy."
Geppetto was the puppet maker in The Adventures of Pinocchio, an 1883 children's story by Carlo Collodi about a marionette's quest to become a real live boy. It was later adapted into the 1940 Disney film, simply titled Pinocchio.
Chandler: Kids, new dream... I'm in Las Vegas. I'm Liza Minnelli...
Liza Minnelli is a famous actress and singer who has won Tony awards for her roles on Broadway. She is best known for her Academy Award-winning role in the 1972 musical Cabaret.
Priest: (on TV) We are gathered here today to join together Joanie Louise Cunningham and Charles, Chachi-Chachi-Chachi, Arcola in the bonds of holy matrimony.
Rachel: See! But Joanie loved Chachi! That's the difference!
Joanie and Chachi, played by Erin Moran and Scott Baio, were the main characters from the TV show, Joanie Loves Chachi, which was a spinoff from the TV show, Happy Days.
Monica: (trying to calm down Rachel) Just try to think of nice calm things...
Phoebe: (singing) Raindrops on roses and rabbits and kittens. Bluebells and sleigh bells and... something with mittens. La la la la... something and noodles with string. These are a few...
Rachel: I'm all better now.
Phoebe was attempting to sing "My Favorite Things" from the 1965 film The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews and with music by Rodgers & Hammerstein. The actual lyrics are:
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
Brown paper packages tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels,
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles,
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Ross: Do you know how long it's been since I grabbed a spoon? Do the words "Billy Don't Be a Hero" mean anything to you?
"Billy Don't Be a Hero" was a popular anti-war song by British pop group Paper Lace released in 1974. A few months later it was covered in the US by Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods. It is this US cover version that Ross is likely referring to since it hit No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June of 1974 and went on to sell over 3.5 million copies.