Friends ran on NBC from September, 1994 until May, 2004, for 238 episodes, over the course of ten seasons. While the network would have continued the series, the cast decided ten seasons was a good place to stop, effectively cancelling the show.
Today, Friends lives on in syndicated reruns, as well as on Netflix, not to mention in fans’ hearts. One eagle-eyed binge watcher got a gander of something fans never thought they’d see: someone other than Jennifer Aniston playing Rachel Green.
While watching season nine, episode 15, “The One with the Mugging,” Recently Heard‘s Jordan D’Amico noticed some monkey business on his screen:
Only a few minutes into the episode, an enthusiastic Rachel rushes into Monica’s apartment to tell Joey that he got an audition with the famous and fictional actor, Leonard Hayes, played by Jeff Goldblum. The three friends admit to admiring the actor for his cellphone commercials in which he starred opposite a monkey.
Monica zealously posits that perhaps the monkey will be at the audition. Joey reacts by saying, “Don’t make me more nervous than I already am!” and goes to sit back down.
It’s at this point that… BAM!
Who the hell are you and what did you do with our beloved Rachel?
It’s no secret that many TV shows use stand-ins during filming, especially when they need to reshoot a particular part of the scene or when they focus on shooting one actors lines before switching to the other. But, for some reason, seeing this girl, likely a staff or crew member, has shaken me to my very core. What’s real and what isn’t? How many times are our “Friends” actually talking to someone else? Where will the lies end? Why is Gunther’s hair so bright? Could Janice hear herself talk? How did Monica afford that huge Manhattan apartment? How much has Ross spent in legal fees?
Poor guy. Could he be any more upset? D’Amico has posted screen grabs of Aniston’s stand-in. Go check them out, to cheer him up. You can see part of the stand-in’s face, and that while Aniston’s Rachel is wearing a paisley patterned dress, the stand-in is wearing a plaid blouse.
While disillusioned and distraught, D’Amico is not delusional, nor is this a photo manipulation hoax. We checked out the episode, ourselves. If you watch on Netflix, you can catch sight of the stand-in at about the 3:10 mark. The amusing (or maddening, depending on your point of view) thing is, the stand-in wasn’t needed for the shot. They could have just shot Joey sitting down, without non-Aniston’s arm in the background.
What do you think? Do you watch old Friends episodes in syndication or on Netflix? What continuity errors have you caught?