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Several months before Friends premiered, NBC had conducted a research report, the results of which determined that Monica was the only character to have been remotely well received by test audiences.
When Friends first aired, critics initially perceived Monica – who was immediately established as the show's "mother hen" – and Cox as the series' main character and star, respectively.
Unable to conceive children on their own, the couple eventually adopts twins and moves out of their apartment into a larger house in the suburbs.
The creators' first choice for the role of Monica was comedian Janeane Garofalo.
Before Friends aired, Monica's characterization was greatly debated among writers in regards to the character sleeping with a man on their first date during the pilot.
In order to get an idea how audiences would react to Monica and Chandler hooking up at Ross and Emily's wedding in London, the scene in which a clearly nude Monica suddenly emerges from under the sheets of Chandler's hotel bed was filmed in front of three separate test audiences, each of whom responded very enthusiastically to the surprise, several months before the episode was actually taped.just out to make the most of their social lives", Monica "sought to keep the others in line" while searching for "Mr.Right", who surprisingly turns out to be close friend Chandler.Monica is tricked into bed with him after Paul lies to her about his sex life, falsely alleging that he has not slept with anyone in the two years since his wife left him.At first, NBC executives worried that audiences would react to Monica's role unfavorably, thus they decided to survey the studio audience and ask them whether or not they thought that having Monica sleep with someone on their first date made her character too promiscuous.A chef known for her cleanliness, competitiveness and obsessive-compulsive nature, Monica is the younger sister of Ross and best friend of Rachel, the latter of whom she invites to live with her after Rachel forsakes her own wedding.The two characters spend several years living together as roommates until Monica begins a romantic relationship with long-time neighbor and friend Chandler, whom she marries.Ultimately, the episode aired unchanged after the studio surveyed the audience, the results of which returned in favor of Monica's existing storyline.The character's struggles with childhood obesity, challenges with romantic relationships and complicated relationship with her mother would eventually become popular staples of the show.Despite the warm reception received from the audience, Silveri and Goldberg-Meehan were at first uncertain as to whether or not they should continue expanding upon their relationship even further, and proceeded with caution by having Monica and Chandler initially keep their relationship hidden from their peers.Bianco observed that "On most shows, linking two main characters like Monica and Chandler would have been an act of desperation." However, "On Friends, it was a stroke of genius that made both characters more appealing while providing a needed diversion from the show's central task: Retaining a romantic equilibrium between Ross and Rachel." Meanwhile, Silveri believes that Friends ultimately ran as long as it did due in part to Monica and Chandler's romance, explaining, "if the center of Friends had remained Ross and Rachel, you would've seen a much shorter shelf life for the show"; Monica and Chandler's arc is believed to have extended the series by approximately three years.