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How The Opening Scene of 'Friends' Actually Happened, According to the Series Set Decorator

Gettyimages | NBC
By Zachary Holt

The little clip before every episode of the hit 90s show, Friends, is iconic, to say the least. Every big fan not only feels obligated to watch the opening scene before each episode, regardless of the binging that's going on, but they can also time the claps at the right time while the theme song is playing. And, yes, there are four total claps.

Ironically, though, the opening credits which featured the cast dancing and hanging out on a couch before jumping and playing in a fountain almost never happened. Well, the set decorator has now dished on how the opening scene came to be.

Grande Shares That The Opening Scene Was Not Scripted, Involved Cocktails

Gettyimages | Getty Images

Greg Grande, who was the set decorator for the show, recently sat down with Entertainment Weekly to share how the scene came to be and whether it was, in fact, scripted or unscripted.

"To my best recollection, that wasn’t a scripted thing," the set decorator began. "It was more impromptu. As [the actors] got later into the evening, they had more fun with the back and forth. They were just happy to hang out and have a few cocktails, probably."

The Shoot Lasted Late into the Night, With The Cast Just Having Fun

Gettyimages | David Hume Kennerly

Grande also shared that he doesn't know which one of the cast members even started the whole shoot. To him, it seemed that everyone was just on the set having fun.

"I don’t want to say who started it, but one of them did and they ended up inside the fountain. And that was some of the best footage. It was kind of an impromptu, wonderful moment," he revealed.

To make the matter even better, the shot was taken on one of the back lots of Warner Brothers after a long day of rehearsals. "They were young back then," he said, referring to the cast members. "So there was lots of fun and laughter."

The Couch and Tiffany Lamp Were Taken From the 'Central Perk' Set

Gettyimages | Getty Images

Grande's initial task was to figure out what decorations and furniture to put in the shoot. If you'll recall, there's a couch and a Tiffany lamp. Not ironically, though, those two pieces were from the set of the famous coffeehouse meeting spot 'Central Perk'.

"My job was just to make sure the sofa and the a lamp ended up there," Grande shared. "Those two elements are part of the main pieces that I’d dressed for Central Perk, the hangout."

"We used the actual sofa we had found for the coffee place, and if you notice in season 1, in the first few episodes, there was a Tiffany lamp in that Central Perk set. So that’s what that lamp in the opening represents. What you see there is actually part of the main set," he continued.

The Iconic Opening Scene Almost Didn't Happen, Executive Producer Disapproved

Gettyimages | Mark Mainz

It's crazy to think that this iconic scene may have never been, as the executive producer for the show, Kevin S. Bright, thought that it was terrible. "He called me the day after the pilot aired with the title sequence and said, ‘I want that title sequence gone'," Grande recalled.

"He said, ‘It says we’re young, we’re hip, we’re dancing in the fountain and you can’t dance with us. What I want you to do is just do clips like Laverne & Shirley.’ So the compromise, as you saw for many years, was there were some clips but half of it was the original title sequence. The way we did it, this should’ve been the title sequence for the whole series; you never should’ve seen another one," the set decorator concluded.

And to think we could have missed the iconic intro to the show...

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