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The Secret History of Monica and Chandler's Romance on 'Friends'

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The Secret History of Monica and Chandler's Romance on 'Friends'

Chandler and Monica got married in a 2001 'Friends' episode. (Warner Bros. Entertainment)

Of all the memorable moments on "Friends," one of the most shocking, OMG, did-not-see-that-coming scenes was during the Season 4 finale, when Monica popped out from under the covers of Chandler's bed in London.

That hook-up began their long romance, which ended with the two of them married, adoptive parents of twin babies, and set to move to suburbia.

But just how did Monica and Chandler get together? Was their pairing the intention of "Friends" producers from the beginning?

No.

As former executive producer Scott Silvestri (who co-wrote that London episode) tells Vulture, discussion about a potential Monica/Chandler pairing didn't heat up until he and writer Shana Goldberg-Meehan (Silvestri’s future wife) came on board in Season 3.

The idea had been "kicking around," he says, mostly due to the chemistry between Courteney Cox and Matthew Perry. But the writers were feeling “relationship ennui" after the epic "will they/won't they" and "we were on a break" saga of Ross and Rachel.

By Season 3, though, the drama of Ross and Rachel's relationship was melting away, and the writers became eager to try to make Monica and Chandler happen.

[Related: Matthew Perry and Courteney Cox Will Reunite on 'Cougar Town' Next Season]

"The thinking was, if the show's going to be entertaining for years to come, it can't simply rest on this one [Ross and Rachel] relationship," Silveri explains. "So it follows that if another pair got together, that would be fun and provide more story. And it's organic: If you get six friends together, all around the same age, there's gonna be a little mixing and matching as time goes on. It felt real.”

The writers deliberately set out to make Monica and Chandler the opposite of Ross and Rachel: low-key and private. None of the other friends knew about it at first. And instead of fans waiting and waiting for the couple to finally please God get together, their hook-up at Ross's wedding in London was impulsive and surprising.

Watch Monica and Chandler's London hook-up right here:

Even after that Season 4 finale reveal, Silvestri says they weren't sure if the couple was going to stay together. "There were plans, but there was no [final] decision," he notes. "It was always, 'We're gonna see how it feels ... We're gonna see how it plays to the audience,' and then go forward from there."

That slow play also eased the minds of the actors, who were very protective of their characters. And once the audience embraced the pairing, that set "Friends" on the rest of its 10-season course.

"If you didn't have a Monica-and-Chandler relationship, if the center of 'Friends' had remained Ross and Rachel, you would've seen a much shorter shelf life for the show," Silvestri says.

"Without Monica and Chandler, it ends three years earlier. I don't owe my whole house to them, but at least two bedrooms and a bath are because of them."