Friends' Monica Kept Cheating Instead of Learning Her Lines Until Joey Pranked Her

Friends' Monica Kept Cheating Instead of Learning Her Lines Until Joey Pranked Her
Image credit: NBC

Actors have to memorize hundreds of lines, but some just don't want to — and, like Courteney Cox, they use various cheating methods to avoid learning the script.

Considering that Friends has been around for 10 years and 10 full seasons, it's hard to imagine just how many lines each of the main cast members had to memorize. Some may argue that it's the same as with all other actors, but the Friends cast had an extra challenge: they often received the new script right before the camera started rolling.

To keep up with all the changes and additions to the script, the actors had to exercise their memory quite significantly...but some of them just didn't really feel like it. By some of them we mean, of course, Courteney Cox, the actress who played Monica Geller in Friends.

Instead of struggling with her script for 10 years, Courteney Cox resorted to cheating early on: she was hiding her lines all around the set of Friends to be able to take sneak peeks at them when she wasn't sure what to say. This practice is nothing new for actors: even the old-school legend Marlon Brando used the cat he was holding in some scenes to hide his lines in her fur.

What's so funny about Courteney's case, though, is that neither the production team nor her co-stars knew about her little trick for years!

"The writers would sometimes give you new scripts, right on the spot, or right before, or sometimes I also didn't prepare as much as I should have. So, I would put my lines in the fruit bowl sometimes. Sometimes in the sink. Sometimes you'd just be sitting there, and you'd go to the sink and pretend to wash and look a couple pages in," the actress revealed at The Graham Norton Show.

Despite having been successful for years, one time, Courteney Cox slipped — and Matt LeBlanc, who played Joey, learned her little secret. Naturally, the joker that he was, he decided to prank his friend and colleague.

"One time in particular, I had something large to say. <...> [Matt] took the piece of paper that I had in the fruit bowl, and I was like, getting an apple [and the line wasn't there.] And I just...winged it? Whatever the word is, I did, and I think it worked out. But it was not okay!" Courteney laughed.

Despite this embarrassing moment, everyone involved shared a good laugh — and then, Cox continued to use her little pieces of paper till the finale of for the fact that after that prank, each time she was scared that her line wouldn't be where she left it.

Source: The Graham Norton Show via TheThings