See The Cast Of 'Friends' Before They Were On 'Friends'

FRIENDS -- Season 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as R
FRIENDS -- Season 2 -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay (Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

So no one told you life was gonna be AMAZING, because "Friends" is coming to Netflix. The world is giddily anticipating the return of the beloved show, which rose above the sitcom pack thanks in large part to the amazing performances of its six main players. But before the "Friends" got together in 1994, they unknowingly honed their chops for glory with roles in separate projects. As "Friends" lovers prepare to travel back in time to the show's first season," let's go back even further to take a look at each of its stars' early TV appearances.

1. Jennifer Aniston, "Ferris Bueller," 1990-1991

Before she was ever Rachel Green, Jennifer Aniston was Jeannie Bueller in the short-lived TV spinoff of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." The series set itself up as the real life inspiration for the film, and Aniston played Ferris' sister (with aplomb) until it went off the air mid-season.

2. Matthew Perry, "Growing Pains," 1989

In 1989, Matthew Perry was in three episodes of "Growing Pains" as Carol's boyfriend, Sandy. His character seemed to be standard, charming college boy sitcom fare, until his final appearance revealed his role in the season's drunk driving "theme" episode. After getting into an accident, Sandy at first seems injured but okay, but tragically dies by episode's end.

(On a lighter note, the clip features a perfectly anachronistic HBO joke.)

3. Courteney Cox, "Family Ties," 1987-1989

Between 1987 and 1989, Courteney Cox had a recurring role on "Family Ties" as Lauren Miller, the girlfriend of Michael J. Fox's character Alex. In the clip, the two characters meet, but Cox would go on to appear in a total 19 episodes throughout the series run.

4. Matt LeBlanc, "Top of the Heap," 1991

Matt LeBlanc starred as Vinnie Verducci in "Top of the Heap," a "Married...with Children," spinoff that lasted only seven episodes. The show began with a backdoor pilot on Season 5, Episode 20 of "Married...with Children," and featured LeBlanc's character and his father trying to break into high society. It's not exactly surprising that the series didn't last longer, and its cancellation freed LeBlanc up to play Joey a few years later, so, all's well that ends well?

5. Lisa Kudrow, "Cheers," 1989

In a Season 8 episode of "Cheers," "Two Girls for Every Boyd," Lisa Kudrow guest stars as Emily, Woody's BRUNETTE co-star in a production of "Our Town." Woody has trouble tapping into the love story because he feels like he's deceiving his real life girlfriend, Kelly. He hides the fact that he's doing the play from Kelly until -- spoiler alert -- she walks in on him rehearsing a kiss with Emily, and antics ensue.

6. David Schwimmer, "The Wonder Years," 1991-1992

David Schwimmer had a four-episode arc on "The Wonder Years" as Michael, Karen's boyfriend and eventual husband. Michael drives a motorcycle (how very un-Ross-like) and has a hard time getting in good with the family patriarch.


Which brings us to 1994, when these actors got their big breaks and became our favorite "Friends." And now, the countdown to the Netflix debut begins!


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