“Thank God this would have been so boring”: FRIENDS Would Have Been Ruined Had the Show Not Made This 1 Massive Change to the Intro

We cannot imagine missing out on the iconic intro that still holds a special place in our lives!

Jennifer Aniston, FRIENDS


  • The opening credits of ‘FRIENDS’ initially looked a lot different than what it looked like in the show.
  • The creators wanted to use REM’s ‘Shiny Happy People’ as the theme song instead of The Rembrandts’ ‘I’ll Be There for You.’
  • Fans are relieved that the creators decided not to go ahead with the first option.
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If there is a television series out there synonymous with the word “Iconic,” it has to be FRIENDS. While the comedy series was released all the way back in 1994, it has managed to pass the test of time and is as incredible today as it was decades ago. Whether it is Joey, Chandler, Ross, Pheobe, Monica, or Rachel, the six fictional people were more than just characters; they were our friends.

F.R.I.E.N.D.S (1994-2004) | Warner Bros. Television

While there are a lot of unforgettable moments from the ten seasons of the show, the intro will always take the win. Set to the tune of I’ll Be There for You by The Rembrandts, the intro holds a special part in our hearts as the actors dance around a fountain. However, there was a time when this iconic intro did not exist at all.

FRIENDS Intro Was Quite Different in the Beginning

The opening credits of Friends
A still from FRIENDS‘ intro | Warner Bros. Television

Before finalizing the name F.R.I.E.N.D.S, the creators experimented with a few different names including ‘Six of One’ and ‘Friends Like Us.’ Thanks to a few script rewrites and changes, we finally got the title we know and love.


FRIENDS’ intro is one of the few that we just cannot press the ‘skip’ button on. It doesn’t matter if we are watching the show for the 35th time, we will always stick around to make sure we perfectly land the four claps. Seeing Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, and others just have fun and be themselves as they dance around the fountain just made our hearts swell!

This is why, we are grateful that the show changed its opening from what it originally was. Instead of using I’ll Be There for You, the initial version of the intro used REM’s Shiny Happy People. The band’s frontman Michael Stipe told NME, “I think they went to R.E.M. first for the theme song and they said no.”

Another member, Mike Mills, stated,


Apparently they were thinking about using ‘Shiny Happy People’ as the theme song, which I just recently heard about but apparently, that’s the case.

The intro also did not have the “Friends” dancing in and around the fountain. Take a look at the video below:

Well, we are glad they decided to change things around in the end. While Shiny Happy People is great in itself, I’ll Be There for You has become quite special to us over the years. Just one second into the song, all the memories we shared with those six characters come rushing back. Could the opening BE any more beautiful?


Fans React to the Original Opening Credits of FRIENDS

Jennifer Aniston in Friends
Jennifer Aniston in the FRIENDS intro | Warner Bros. Television

It goes without saying that a majority of the fans were not too excited about the intro that could have been. After all, many of them have grown up with the show and The Rembrandts’ voice over the opening just hits different.

Therefore, they didn’t hold back their thoughts after seeing the video shown above. Fans are thankful that the show found the theme that was meant for it and some even go as far as to say that people might not have watched FRIENDS with the old theme.

Take a look at what they have to say about it all:



While we love the intro that made it to the show, it turns out that the actors were not its biggest fans. During Anniston’s appearance on The One Show, the actress stated, “No-one was really a big fan of that theme song…We felt it was a little, I don’t know. Dancing in a fountain felt sort of odd but we did it.


Well, that’s a bit surprising considering the fact that it looked like the actors were having great fun. Guess they are just that good at their job!

FRIENDS is available to stream on Max.


Written by Mishkaat Khan

Articles Published: 1220

Mishkaat is a medical student who found solace in content writing. Having worked in the industry for about three years, she has written about everything from medicine to literature and is now happy to enlight you about the world of entertainment. She has written over 500 articles for FandomWire. When not writing, she can be found obsessing over the world of the supernatural through books and TV.