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How Friends’ Simplest Episode Ended Up Being Its Most Difficult To Shoot


Friends season 3, episode 2 “The One Where No One Was Ready” was supposed to be the easiest to film, but an accident made it the most complicated.

What was supposed to be the easiest Friends episode to film ended up being the most complicated shoot for the sitcom. Throughout its 10-year-run, the comedy series produced 236 episodes chronicling the lives of the Central Perk gang. The show had success in making sure that every outing had something new to offer, but early on in season 3, Friends arguably came out with its most unique offering with episode 2, “The One Where No One’s Ready.”

Unlike most Friends episodes that featured multiple locations, such as Central Perk and the two apartments, the aforementioned outing was only set in Monica and Rachel’s apartment. Its plot centered on Ross’ continuous nagging for his friends to get ready to attend his work function that evening. Unfortunately, the rest of the group weren’t as invested in the event as he was, so most of them were nonchalant about the idea of getting ready early. Monica was paranoid about the message she left on Richard’s phone, Rachel was taking so long to decide what to wear, Phoebe was all dressed up but had a wardrobe accident, while Joey and Chandler were arguing about a chair.

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Related: Friends’ Ending Almost Didn’t Have Ross & Rachel Get Back Together

“The One Where No One’s Ready” was simple but it featured a lot of memorable moments, particularly Joey wearing all of Chandler’s clothes as part of their childish fight. Since the Friends episode was essentially filmed like a play with only one set, the cast and crew expected it to be a smooth and easy shoot, but that wasn’t the case. In fact, it ended up being the most complicated production after Matt LeBlanc suffered a serious injury during filming, as revealed in HBO Max’s Friends reunion special. As he and Chandler fought about who gets to sit on the single-seater couch, there was a scene where Joey jumps towards the said chair. There were three perfectly usable takes for this particular gag, but they pushed for a fourth one where LeBlanc tripped on the coffee table, his legs went up in the air, and his shoulder came out of the socket. The reunion special showed the behind-the-scenes footage of what happened after that accident where the actor can be heard in agony off the stage. Since the episode was contained and featured all of them in a single set, Friends co-creator David Crane recalled that they had to stop filming altogether because there was no way they could continue without Joey.

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For a while, LeBlanc had to be in a sling given the severity of his injury, and although he was able to return to work, Friends couldn’t simply pick up from where they left off and finish “The One Where No One’s Ready.” Instead, they had to wait until the actor was fully healed and no longer needed the arm sling to resume shooting the episode, which made it much more complicated in terms of scheduling. As they waited for that, the sitcom found an ingenious way to work LeBlanc’s injury into the story. Initially, the character was implied to be jumping on his bed when he suddenly fell off and had to go to the hospital for treatment. Rachel even highlighted the ridiculousness of the whole situation when she asked Joey if he told the doctor how he broke his shoulder. That said, it’s not a reaching thought since it’s Joey involved.

Since the Friends reunion didn’t take the traditional format where the actors reprised their characters and continued the show’s story, it made things up by revealing a lot of new information that even die-hard fans didn’t know. That includes how Chandler and Monica’s relationship was originally going to be a fling, as well as that moment when Courteney Cox got mad at LeBlanc for scrubbing her lines that were written on the table. But arguably, the story of how complicated filming “The One Where No One’s Ready” was one of the most interesting.

More: Friends: Jennifer Aniston & David Schwimmer Almost Had A Relationship

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