When Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and Courteney Cox shook a leg together on I’ll Be There For You, it seems they really shook on it. From 1994 to 2021 (and hopefully beyond into forever) the three gal pals have been so tightly knit that one can’t help but feel second-hand nostalgia for their decades-old friendship. They have a million photos together, every new face line, every extra wrinkle in every subsequent photo a testament to both their growth in years and sisterhood. Their faces are splattered across each others’ Instagrams as are throwbacks to Friends memories.
So really, watching them come together for the big, awaited Friends reunion on May 27 was no more exciting than when they always do, with pleasantly surprising regularity. Of course, seeing the whole gang back together on screen after 17 years was something that escapes definition.
That euphoria is perhaps only comparable to this photo Aniston practically broke the internet with when she joined Instagram back in 2019.
Jennifer Aniston with Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer | Photo Credit: Instagram
So legendary is this Friends trio that ‘Rachel, Monica and Phoebe’ has almost become a unit of measuring the strength and longevity of female friendships. “Are you the Monica to her Rachel? Or the Phoebe to her Monica?” are just about the only equations you need to determine the value your girls hold in your life.
It’s a tiny nugget of pop culture, though, that every fan of the 90s sitcom is familiar with. Aniston and Cox were actually considered for each others’ roles. And if that had worked out, Cox would be called Rachel and Aniston, Monica today. How about that?
Either way, whatever fans would have known them as, to Aniston, Cox is ‘Court’ and Kudrow is ‘Floosh’. To Cox, Aniston is… Jenny Louise.
This trio has been through a lot together, right from living on-screen in that iconic purple apartment at the Stage 24 soundstage in Burbank to Aniston spending nights in Cox’s guest bedroom. The 52-year-old, in an interview with More in 2014, said she did that quite a bit.
“Without giving away too much of my private stuff, all I can say is she’s been there for me through thick and thin. There’s absolutely no judgment in Court. You’ll never feel scolded… Whether I see Courteney every week or once a year, it doesn’t matter. I know who she is, and I know where I stand.”
Not too different from Monica, I’d say, who let runaway bride Rachel crash in her apartment in the first Friends episode.
Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston And Courteney Cox: A Friendship To Envy And Admire
On set, the three got along as well (probably even better) as they did for the camera. They got together to watch the airing of their latest episode every week and the girls – Cox and Kudrow – had taken to eating what they called the ‘Jennifer’ salad, an Aniston staple. As if in natural fulfilment of fan mania and demand, all of them hung out a lot in those days.
What else would six young actors who become megastars overnight do, except come to terms with their newfound fame through each other? “I think it was unspoken but we instinctively felt like we need to be friends, we need to get along, we need to connect,” Kudrow said in an interview once.
And they are evidently still as connected as ever, with lots and lots of dogs and compliments in the mix. Cox and Kudrow are especially close, with the latter’s social media feed filled with laugh-till-they-cry and girls’ night selfies.
For further proof that Cox is in fact the real-life Monica, she has maintained and vividly sustained strong ties with Aniston too, through waves of fanfare, projects and life that happened to the cast after the show wrapped in 2004. Both have stuck by each other through milestones, marriages, children, birthdays and whatnot. Cox was her bridesmaid when Aniston married Justin Theroux in 2015 and also was her shoulder to cry on when the couple separated two years later.
It also doesn’t come as a surprise to know that Cox’s daughter Coco has her godmother in Aniston. Could there be a cuter photo than this?
What’s more, Kudrow revealed in a Conan episode earlier this year that her son Julian sweetly thought Aniston was his mom when the cast was shooting Friends all those years ago. “He got a little confused, I know that he was really obsessed with Jen Aniston… He’d fly into her lap. But then at home, she’d be on TV, and he’d go, ‘Mommy!’”
It might tickle you to know that the three once admitted to having a text chain too! Although the existence of that message group is now unknown, what’s not is their rock-hard bond. It almost raised suspicion last year of the three back and living together as Rachel, Monica and Phoebe when they casually dropped in on the Emmys last year from the same room and said, “Of course we live together; we’ve lived together since ’94.”
While sightings of all six together are rare now, Aniston, Cox and Kudrow seem to catch up often, still “the girls across the hall.” And on regular days, that’s just about enough Friends magic one needs to get by.