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We take you inside the pop-up shop where 'Friends' comes to life in NYC

"Pivot!" "Could I be wearing any more clothes?" "We were on a break!" It'll all come right back to you when you visit the "Friends" pop-up exhibit on Mercer Street in lower Manhattan, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the series' premiere. On Thursday, amNewYork got an inside look at some of the favorite sets, wardrobe and artifacts that helped make the show a hit. (Credit: Corey Sipkin)

So no one told you the "Friends" pop-up was gonna sell out this fast. 

"Friends" fanatics snatched up passes to the four-week exhibit, at 76 Mercer St., within three hours last month. If you were one of the lucky, you'll be in for an afternoon that'll transport you to the fictional apartments of your favorite on-screen pals. If you weren't — we'll be there for you.

"The One with the Pop-Up" exhibit — a nod to the series' episode title themes — opens Saturday in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the beloved sitcom's 1994 premiere. It brings more than 50 original set props to Manhattan, including that 18-page letter Rachel wrote Ross, the gold "best buds" bracelet Joey gave Chandler and the Geller Cup. 

"It's pretty amazing to be at this pop-up," says actress Maggie Wheeler, who delivered the series' famous "oh my God" one-liner. "I mean, everywhere you turn there is something to remember, to reminisce about. For me, as a person who sat on these sets and played scenes out with Matthew [Perry] and everybody else, it's pretty extraordinary to walk through it."

As expected with any pop-up, it'll provide Instagram-worthy photo-ops. Seven photo stations will be set up around the multiroom exhibit, giving you the chance to place yourself in the credit sequence in front of the fountain, pivot Ross' white sofa, welcome your buds into Monica's apartment and more. 

Perhaps the biggest draw: You'll be able to sit back on a replica of the iconic, burnt-orange Central Perk couch, where the gang gathered in almost every episode. 

"A lot of stuff happened on this couch. It's pretty meaningful," Wheeler says before reclining on the sofa. 

"It's surreal," says actor James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther. "It feels very odd, nostalgic and wonderful [to be here]."

Rooms within the 8,500-square-foot pop-up are dedicated to each character. The Rachel room has costumes worn by Jennifer Aniston; Joey and Chandler's section takes you inside the apartment where Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry became best buds; Monica's (Courteney Cox) corner offers up cleaning tips; the Ross (David Schwimmer) space shows off some artifacts; and Phoebe's (Lisa Kudrow) area puts the spotlight on her artwork. 

Take a look around. 

The Ross room

The first room of the pop-up will transport you into the world of Ross. It'll even teach you the difference between "who" and "whom." But if grammar isn't your thing, consider taking a look at Ross' "pivot" sketch, the real red sweater that led to clues about the father of Rachel's baby or the Gellar Cup. 

The Rachel room

Being surrounded by artifacts from your favorite show can be overwhelming, but you'll want to take some time uncovering all this room has to offer. An enclosed case of protected set props includes the real "pro/con" list Ross wrote about Rachel and Julie in season 2 ("She's not Rachem") and that odd seashell lamp from "The One Where Heckles Dies." Five Rachel wigs will take you through the character's style evolution, from 1994 through 2003.

The Monica room

It wouldn't be a shrine to Monica without cleaning supplies, would it? Monica's white chef jacket and hat from season 4 are on display, and two turkey hats give you the chance to snap a Thanksgiving photo with a friend. 

They Joey and Chandler room

The pop-up features a full recreation of Joey and Chandler's living room, including the two Barcaloungers and Joey's "Pat the dog" sculpture.

The Phoebe room

Don't be a Monica: Take a minute to admire Phoebe's dollhouse from season 3, episode 20, "The One With the Dollhouse."  

Central Perk

A functioning replica of Central Perk will be open for business at the exhibit, serving up coffee and treats, like "Joey's NY Apple Pie" ($6) and "Phoebe's Great Grandma's Famous Cookies" ($4.50).

A merch pop-up located directly next to the cafe sells branded shirts, hats, games and more. It'll be open to the public through Oct. 6, at 503 Broadway.  

IF YOU GO: The pop-up, a Superfly exhibit, will remain at 76 Mercer St. through Oct. 6. Tickets are currently sold out. The retail space, free for non-ticketed visitors, is located at 503 Broadway.


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