Inside Ellen DeGeneres' Relationship With Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston's most well-known friends may be the cast of Friends who have captured fans' hearts since 1994, but off-screen, Aniston has found a lifetime friend in daytime's favorite talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres. On an episode of her show in 2018, DeGeneres shared a montage of photos of the two stars hugging over the years. The actress and comedian first publicly shared their friendship with the world at Aniston's 1998 film premiere for The Object of My Affection, per The Things. Since then, both women have professed their love and support for one another again and again.

"I am one of her best friends," DeGeneres said at the Variety Power of Women luncheon in October 2019 while honoring Aniston. "Nearest, dearest, most favorite friend." Aniston later joked, "Ellen we gotta keep the best friend stuff kind of on the DL, okay? 'Cause a lot of my best friends are here."

Their friendship has been decades in the making, but what is this A-list celebrity friendship really like? Let's look inside.

Jennifer Aniston was Ellen DeGeneres' very first guest on her show

On Sept. 8, 2003, The Ellen DeGeneres Show made it's debut, launching a talk show that has ruled daytime television for nearly two decades. Her first guest? None other than her "most favorite friend," actress Jennifer Aniston.

Old clips of The Ellen DeGeneres Show look back at the two friends joking about Aniston's Forbes ranking at the time and her new Los Angeles home. During the show, the actress gifted DeGeneres with the only gift fitting for a new talk show: a welcome mat. Needless to say, Aniston's initial appearance would be the first of many for the Friends alum.

All that being said, Aniston and DeGeneres' friendship is not just for the cameras, despite the countless times Aniston has been a guest on Ellen (and even hosted!) They're the kind of friends who text each other when one is in need of a belt, or pop up for surprise visits during hair appointments. DeGeneres even called Aniston (a few times) sharing advice on how to get through quarantine.

Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Aniston have even shared a friendly kiss

Over the course of Jennifer Aniston's decades-long friendship with Ellen DeGeneres, the two have gotten closer than ever, even sharing a kiss on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "There's Hollywood friends, and Hollywood friends they kind of like do that air kiss thing, and then when you're real friends you, you know, you do that," said Aniston later explaining the kiss while hosting Ellen. "That's what real friends do."

It's no question why the actress — who co-starred on Apple TV+'s The Morning Show alongside gal-pal Reese Witherspoon — publicly "settled" the debate between Witherspoon and DeGeneres regarding who was her closer friend. She (jokingly) declared once and for all that when it comes to her friendship with Witherspoon and her friendship with Degeneres, the talk show host comes out on top.

To be fair, DeGeneres was the first first friend to check up on Aniston after her plane to Mexico had to make an emergency landing in 2019.

Jennifer Aniston revealed Ellen DeGeneres' 'dark secrets'

As with any great friendship, secrets often hold two people together. However, Jennifer Aniston was willing to reveal Ellen DeGeneres' "dark secrets" when she took over The Ellen DeGeneres Show in January 2020 ... well, at least the embarrassing ones. "Since we are real friends, I thought that, you know, since she's not here, I'm going to share some dirt on Ellen," the actress began to joke

"People think that she buys and sells houses because she loves real estate. No, it's not true. It's because she's on the run. From the law." Aniston continued, sharing that DeGeneres might be faking her real name. "Her real name, it's not Ellen. It's Sherri. Sherri Linguine," joked Aniston. 

Other secrets between the two stars? DeGeneres throws away pennies, burns Gwyneth Paltrow candles in her dressing room and "once voiced an animated adult film called Grinding Nemo," or so Aniston said. The actress wrapped up the dish session by saying, "Don't tell her I told you any of that because I really would do anything for her."

Jennifer Aniston and Ellen DeGeneres first met at a birthday party

As it turns out, Jennifer Aniston's love for Ellen DeGeneres began before their friendship came to be. At some point — the friends couldn't quite remember the year, noting that it was sometime in DeGeneres' mid to late 30s — Aniston attended the talk show host's birthday party.

"I remember being absolutely in awe of you," Aniston said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show after stopping by to surprise DeGeneres live on her show for her birthday in 2018. The actress and comedian recalled how they first met, and Aniston admitted she was a huge fan of the DeGeneres' HBO special. "You get me in a part of my ... hit my funny button like nobody else ... and my heart" Aniston said.

The stars really hit it off at Aniston's 27th birthday when DeGeneres "crashed" the party at The Buffalo Club. Like many Hollywood stars, the two had mutual friends which made a future friendship natural. So what kinds of gifts does an actress give to America's favorite daytime host for her birthday? Expensive art or gift cards to Olive Garden.