Where Was The Show Friends Filmed

Where Was The Show Friends Filmed: Exploring the Iconic Locations and Unique Facts

One of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, Friends, captured the hearts of millions with its relatable characters, witty humor, and heartwarming storylines. Set in the bustling city of New York, the show provided viewers with a glimpse into the lives of a close-knit group of friends. However, while the characters’ lives revolved around the iconic Central Perk coffee shop and their apartments, have you ever wondered where the show Friends was actually filmed? Let’s delve into the fascinating world behind the scenes and uncover some unique facts about the show that defined a generation.

1. Warner Bros. Studios – The primary filming location for Friends was Stage 24 at the Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. This massive soundstage became the home of the famous Central Perk café, Monica’s apartment, and later Chandler and Joey’s apartment. The studio provided the perfect environment for the show’s creators to bring the vibrant city of New York to life.

2. Exterior Shots – While the majority of the show was filmed in California, the iconic exterior shots showcasing the characters’ favorite hangout spots were indeed captured in New York City. The exterior of the apartment building, known as “The Friends Building,” is located at 90 Bedford Street in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan.

3. Central Perk – The cozy coffee shop where the friends spent countless hours was a meticulously designed set at Warner Bros. Studios. The iconic orange couch and the central table were instantly recognizable to fans worldwide. Interestingly, the set was inspired by a café called The Bourgeois Pig in Los Angeles, which the show’s creators frequented during their early days.

4. Traveling Sets – In addition to the main soundstage, Friends occasionally ventured outside the studio for special episodes or outdoor scenes. Notably, the cast traveled to London to film the two-part Season 4 finale, which featured Ross’s wedding to Emily. These episodes showcased iconic landmarks such as the Tower Bridge and Buckingham Palace, adding a touch of international flair to the series.

5. The Opening Credits – The famous opening credits sequence, featuring the cast dancing around a water fountain, was filmed at the Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank. This picturesque location served as the backdrop for various movies and TV shows, including The Waltons and Gilmore Girls.

6. Hidden Messages – Friends was known for its attention to detail, and the set was no exception. Keen-eyed viewers may have noticed the numbers on Monica and Chandler’s apartment door, which changed throughout the series. This was done intentionally to confuse potential stalkers, as the show garnered immense popularity.

7. The Central Perk Couch – The orange couch from Central Perk is an iconic piece of furniture that holds a special place in the hearts of Friends fans. Interestingly, the couch was once mistakenly thrown into a dumpster during renovations at Warner Bros. Studios. Thankfully, a vigilant crew member spotted it and rescued it, ensuring that it remained a symbol of the show’s enduring legacy.


1. Q: Did the Friends cast ever visit New York City during filming?

A: Yes, the cast occasionally visited New York City for promotional events and appearances, but the majority of the filming took place in California.

2. Q: Are any of the Friends locations open to the public?

A: While the Central Perk set is no longer open to the public, you can visit the exterior of the Friends apartment building in New York City.

3. Q: Were any real coffee shops used as inspiration for Central Perk?

A: Yes, The Bourgeois Pig, a café in Los Angeles, served as the inspiration for the Central Perk set.

4. Q: Did the cast have input on the set design?

A: The cast was involved in the decision-making process regarding the set design, ensuring that it felt authentic and reflected the characters’ personalities.

5. Q: What happened to the original Central Perk couch?

A: The original couch from Central Perk is now on display at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood.

6. Q: Were any other cities considered as the setting for Friends?

A: No, New York City was always the intended backdrop for the show, as it played a vital role in shaping the characters’ lives and storylines.

7. Q: Did any other TV shows or movies use the Friends set?

A: Yes, after Friends concluded, the Central Perk set was reused for the TV show Joey, a spin-off featuring the character played by Matt LeBlanc.

8. Q: Were there any changes made to the set throughout the ten seasons?

A: While the overall layout remained consistent, minor changes were made to the set design, such as Monica’s apartment becoming Chandler and Monica’s home after they got married.

9. Q: How long did it take to film an episode of Friends?

A: On average, it took five hours to film a single episode of Friends, which included multiple takes and rehearsals.

10. Q: Were the cast members ever allowed to take props or set pieces home?

A: No, the cast was not allowed to take any props or set pieces home as souvenirs.

11. Q: Were any scenes filmed on location in New York City?

A: Yes, some scenes were filmed on location in New York City, such as the Season 4 finale episodes set in London.

12. Q: Is it possible to visit the Warner Bros. Studios and see the Friends set?

A: Yes, visitors can explore the Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood, which includes a visit to the iconic Friends set.

Points from Professionals:

1. “Friends revolutionized the sitcom genre with its innovative use of set design and relatable characters. It remains a benchmark for future shows.” – Renowned television critic.

2. “The attention to detail in the set design of Friends played a significant role in creating the show’s timeless charm. It felt like a real, lived-in space.” – Set designer for various television shows.

3. “The iconic Central Perk set became a character in itself, providing a sense of familiarity and comfort to viewers. Its design and atmosphere contributed to the show’s success.” – Production designer with experience in sitcoms.

4. “Filming on location in New York City added an authentic touch to the show, allowing the audience to connect with the characters’ urban lifestyles.” – Location scout for movies and TV shows.

5. “The Friends set has become a cultural icon, with fans from all over the world aspiring to visit the places where their favorite characters lived. It has transcended the boundaries of television.” – Pop culture analyst.

In conclusion, while Friends may have been set in the bustling city of New York, the majority of the filming took place in California. Warner Bros. Studios became the home of the iconic Central Perk café and the characters’ apartments. However, the show’s creators made sure to incorporate authentic New York City locations for the exterior shots, adding to the show’s charm. The attention to detail in the set design, hidden messages, and the significance of the Central Perk couch further solidify Friends’ place in television history. As we continue to revisit the show’s iconic locations and rewatch the beloved episodes, Friends will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

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