Friends writer says cast were 'aggressive' and 'deliberately' ruined jokes they didn't like

"I didn't learn that much, except that I never wanted to work on a sitcom again."

Friends Jennifer Aniston
(Image credit: Friends / Warner Bros. Television)

For many, Friends is the ultimate nostalgic sitcom. The show had viewers gripped for ten seasons between 1994 and 2004, and continues to be a go-to binge for longstanding fans and a new boxset favourite for younger audiences, too. 

Whether it's Chandler Bing's significant change that nobody noticed or the fact that everyone hated the theme tune when it first aired, Friends fans will have watched every episode at least once and will know every single detail about the show. All you have to do is use the word 'pivot' in a sentence and their ears will instantly perk up.

The stars of the show - Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry - have continued to enjoy successful careers long after the noughties finale.  

However, despite the fact that the series brought so much joy for millennials, writer Patty Lin has claimed that it wasn't all love and laughs behind the scenes. 

The former TV writer, who worked on the seventh season of the show in 2000, has opened up about her experience and claimed that the novelty of being part of the biggest show of the time 'wore off fast'. 

According to Lin, the cast were 'unhappy' and would 'deliberately tank' any jokes or one-liners that they didn't like. 

In her memoir, End Credits: How I Broke Up with Hollywood, she wrote: "The actors seemed unhappy to be chained to a tired old show when they could be branching out, and I felt like they were constantly wondering how every given script would specifically serve them.

"They all knew how to get a laugh, but if they didn't like a joke, they seemed to deliberately tank it, knowing we'd rewrite it.

"Dozens of good jokes would get thrown out just because one of them had mumbled the line through a mouthful of bacon."

Going on to share what went on in the writers' room, Lin writes that she felt the longstanding staff were 'cliquey' and 'reminded [her] of the preppy rich kids in [her] high school who shopped at Abercrombie & Fitch and drove brand-new convertibles.'

She added: "I didn't learn that much, except that I never wanted to work on a sitcom again."


Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.