So no one told them life was gonna be so lucrative
Friends don't last forever, but Friends just might. The 1994-2004 NBC sitcom ranks with or maybe above Cheers, Seinfeld, and Frasier as one of the most beloved and re-run television comedies of all time. (Never underestimate the drawing power of David Schwimmer, Marcel the monkey, and Gunther.) By the end of the show, collective cast bargaining had boosted the salaries for all six friends on Friends to a very friendly $1 million per episode, each.
The show's reruns went into syndication in 1998, and they've never left, and the entire series went to Netflix in 2015, which has only served to feed the public's insatiable need to watch Ross and Rachel break-up and make up. Basically, Friends is always on, and that translates into big residuals for the cast (well, the main cast—not the guy who plays Mr. Heckles.)
According to USA Today, Friends generates $1 billion a year for production company Warner Bros. Of that, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and Schwimmer are contractually entitled to 2 percent, which works out to about $20 million for each and every one of them.