Monica's Apartment, later Monica and Chandler's Apartment, is one of the two most used set pieces in the show.
Every single one of the main 6 characters has lived here at some point, as noted below.
Appearance, Layout & Decor
The walls are painted purple in the living room. The apartment has an open plan for the main living space, mainly comprised of the kitchen and the living room. The apartment has two bedrooms, a bathroom and a balcony in addition to the main living area. There is a door beyond the bathroom that is never opened after Season 1 or mentioned until "The One With The Secret Closet", in which it is revealed that it is full of Monica's disorganized junk. There is a vintage French poster advertising a rocking horse over the television area. It is one of the advertising posters that Jules Cheret designed for a department store in Paris that was known as "Aux Buttes Chaumont". The French Jouets poster is specifically advertising children's toys ("jouets" means toys) and features a beautifully decorated rocking horse, one of the most desired and expensive gifts a child could receive in those days.
There is a gold frame around Monica's peephole (the door also is the same purple as the apartment) This frame was originally a mirror, and one of the crew members broke it. It was temporarily hung on the door, but Greg loved it and the frame stayed there ever since. This frame has become an icon of Friends.
Although the apartment set was constructed with three walls, a fourth wall can be seen during inward scenes (usually from the balcony). This wall was dismounted during normal shots so that the audience can get a clear view of the apartment set.
The following lived in Monica's apartment but are never actually shown during the episodes:
- Monica's grandmother is the official tenant and lived there before Monica. After she moved to Florida, Monica stayed in the apartment, sub-letting the apartment illegally (this also covers the fact that Monica could afford such an expensive apartment with her chef's salary);
- Ross Geller stayed there with his grandmother for a summer to attend dance classes.
The following are residents of Monica's apartment at one time or another during the series:
- Monica, the most notorious owner of the apartment. Being the only resident at the very start of the first season, Rachel moves in with her after running out on her own wedding. Except for the brief period in Season 4 when she and Rachel swapped apartments with Chandler and Joey, she lives here during all ten seasons;
- Phoebe is Monica's roommate for some time before the start of the series (as shown in "The One With The Flashback"). However, Monica's obsessive cleanliness drives her crazy and she moves out. She does, however, go back to live with Monica after the destruction of her apartment due to fire (in "The One Where Ross Dates A Student"), moving out to stay at Ross' after Monica and Chandler's engagement before eventually returning to her own apartment;
- Rachel moves in with Monica after she leaves Barry at the altar in The Pilot. She is Monica's longest-lasting roommate during the series until the sixth season; when she learns that Monica and Chandler will be living together, she moves in with Phoebe, after briefly living with Ross;
- Chandler and Joey swap apartments with the girls after winning a quiz game for a brief period during the fourth season. They eventually move back to their own apartment after Monica and Rachel make out for a minute in exchange for the apartment;
- Chandler moves in with Monica at the start of the sixth season, where he stays until the end of the series, when the couple move out to their new house in Westchester;
- Jack and Erica Geller-Bing are probably the shortest-lasting residents of Monica's apartment, residing for a few days before moving to their new house.
In "The Last One", Monica and Chandler's apartment is where the last scene takes place. The apartment is empty as Monica and Chandler move out to their new house. Everyone leaves a copy of their keys on the counter on the way out, as the characters start a new chapter in their lives and the apartment finally becomes available for new residents.
- All six members of the main cast have, at one point or another, lived in the apartment. Ross did not live there during the series, but it was revealed in the final episode, "The Last One", that he had stayed with his grandmother one summer to try and make it as a dancer.
- When Chandler moves in, he is given a key symbolically even though, "We haven't locked the door in four years." This may be because of the time during season one when everyone was locked out of the apartment and Chandler and Joey had to fetch their 'emergency keys.'
- The apartment is numbered 5 for the first part of the series; however, after being pointed out that it's situated too high to have such a small number, it's re-numbered to 20.
- In "The One With The Invitation", we find out that the address of this apartment is 495 Grove Street (which is actually in Brooklyn).
- Every Thanksgiving episode (missing in Season 2) and every Christmas episode (missing in Season 10) takes place at Monica's apartment.
- The estimated price of this apartment in 2013 was $3,500,000.
- Monica's and the guest bedroom sets were constructed separately from the apartment. On the open plan set, only the entrances to these rooms were constructed. Similarly, the stairs in the hall leading up and down were partly constructed. It is unknown if the bathroom was partly constructed (although its small size leaves to be implied that it followed suit to the bedrooms).
- Members of the public often had to be told that the bathroom wasn't actually a functional bathroom.
- There is no balcony on Monica's Apartment when seen from the outside, also the fire escape is in between where Chandler and Joey's apartment and Monica's Apartment should be however when seen from the inside there are 2 fire escapes one for each apartment
- The vintage French poster serves to conceal the hole in the wall which is used for the camera that films the apartment from that perspective.
- When Monica and Chandler were moving out, Ross turned down the suggestion he should move in.
- Due to budget restrictions, there were no drapes across the window until season two.
- The fridge contained drinks for actors and crew.
- Phoebe said she wanted the apartment in Season 9 when Monica was planning on relocating with Chandler to Tulsa.
- The door of the secret closet was actually used for the production crew to leave and enter the set.
- During the first season, the closet door opened inwards to the right but from Season 2 it would open to the left (although the door is never seen open after Season 1 until Chandler removes the door in Season 8).
- The large window was added after the set had initially been designed with normal windows.