Our world was shattered last week when we learned that for a brief moment in time, Jennifer Aniston did not play Rachel Green on Friends. OK, maybe a shattered, crumbling world is too strong of a phrase, but it was shocking. Thanks to one eagle-eyed viewer, we learned that during a scene in “The One With The Mugging” for a split second when Rachel is on camera, she’s not actually Aniston but a woman with brown hair. It was crazy.
AND NOW, as if that wasn’t enough Friends insanity to digest, there’s also a moment where MONICA IS NOT MONICA.
The Huffington Post caught this one earlier in the year, so clearly they paid CLOSE ATTENTION to their Friends binge (I’m so sorry I failed you all, watching them so fast so I could get to the episodes where Paul Rudd plays Phoebe’s Mike).
In Season 8, Episode 5, “The One With Rachel’s Date,” Phoebe and Monica are sitting in Central Perk drinking coffee, and talking about Monica’s new haircut. The scene cuts back and forth between the two of them, and at one point when it’s a close up on Phoebe, it is ridiculously obvious that Courteney Cox is not playing the role of Monica Geller-Bing.
What kind of trickery is this, Friends? There’s actually a really simple answer for this, and it’s one that we’ve completely missed for the last twenty or so years. When Friends was filmed back in the ’90s, television was done mostly in 4:3 aspect ratio, which is more square. Nowadays, television is filmed in 16:9, which is considered widescreen. Transferring Friends to Netflix meant that the square friends suddenly became longer on the sides, which meant that we can now see things we’ve never seen before. Like, the fact that every now and then our regular crew was replaced by stand-ins for one reason or another.
Yes, I know what this means. I’ve got to go all the way back to the beginning of Friends, and re-watch all 236 episodes so I can find Phoebe, Ross, Chandler, and Joey stand-ins. I’ll let you know if I can find Janice, too.
(Images via NBC)