The shocking injury that 'Friends' kept secret finally revealed

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[Warning: This story mentions spoilers from the “Friends: The Reunion” special on HBO Max.]

Many secrets were revealed during the “Friends” reunion special that premiered on Thursday. 

It featured the entire original cast including Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, and David Schwimmer. Plus, series co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman.

During the various segments, it was revealed the LeBlanc, who played lovable goofball Joey Tribbiani, sustained a “cringe-worthy” fall and was seriously injured.

Crane revealed that production had to come to a halt on the Sept. 26, 1996, episode “The One Where Nobody’s Ready” because LeBlanc popped his shoulder out its socket. 

“I somehow tripped — and my shoulder came out of the socket,” LeBlanc, 53, explained. In the scene, Joey jumps onto a chair and somehow landed the wrong way. 

Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in ‘Friends’, circa 1995.
(NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

“It happened to be the one episode where it was just the six of them, all in it — so we couldn’t film other scenes,” Crane said. “So what started out to be the simplest ‘Friends’ episode ended up taking the longest amount of time to shoot.”

LeBlanc’s injury needed time to heal, so the writers wrote it into Joey’s storyline and he wore a sling but told his friend he had a bedroom accident. 

Many other topics were discussed including how the cast had crushed on one another while filming. 

“The first season, I had a major crush on Jen,” Schwimmer confessed. “At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other — but it was like two ships passing [in the night], because one of us was always in a relationship.”

Friends Reunion special featuring Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Matthew Perry, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, and Matt LeBlanc. 
(Terence Patrick/HBO Max)

“We never crossed that boundary — we respected that,” Schwimmer added, prompting his co-star Matt LeBlanc to jokingly call “bullsh–” on his co-stars. 

Aniston backed up Schwimmer’s claim noting that she too had a crush on him but that the timing never worked out for them.

“I remember saying at one point to David, ‘It’s going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is … on national television!’ Sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop,” she explained. “So we just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”

Courtney Cox and Matthew Perry also admitted to being aware of the heat between the two co-stars in the early days.

“Friends: The Reunion” is now streaming on HBO Max.

Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.

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