A screenwriter who worked on beloved sitcom Friends has claimed the show's stars sometimes "deliberately tanked" jokes in the script if they didn't like them.


Patty Lin – who worked on season 7 of the series and also has writing credits on hit shows such as Freaks and Geeks, Desperate Housewives and Breaking Bad – made the claims in her new book titled End Credits: How I Broke Up With Hollywood.

"At first, I was excited about table reads because I got to be in the same room as the cast, who were Big Stars," she wrote of her experience in an extract published in Time magazine.

But Lin suggested that the novelty of seeing the Friends cast close up quickly wore off as their frustrations with the series became apparent.

"The actors seemed unhappy to be chained to a tired old show when they could be branching out, and I felt like they were constantly wondering how every given script would specifically serve them," she said.

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"They all knew how to get a laugh, but if they didn't like a joke, they seemed to deliberately tank it, knowing we'd rewrite it. Dozens of good jokes would get thrown out just because one of them had mumbled the line through a mouthful of bacon."

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Lin added that the cast would "vociferously" make their opinions about the script clear, claiming that they "rarely had anything positive to say".

She continued: "When they brought up problems, they didn't suggest feasible solutions. Seeing themselves as guardians of their characters, they often argued that they would never do or say such and such.

"That was occasionally helpful, but overall, these sessions had a dire, aggressive quality that lacked all the levity you'd expect from the making of a sitcom."

RadioTimes.com has contacted representatives for the main Friends cast for comment on this story.

Friends is available to stream on Netflix. Sign up for Netflix from £4.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

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