You probably didn’t notice when this major “Friends” character was introduced
We first meet Phoebe’s brother Frank Jr. on Friends in Season 2, episode 21, “The One with the Bullies.” She stakes out her biological father’s home for hours, trying to work up the courage to go inside and meet him. She ultimately decides against it, but when she drives away, she accidentally runs over a Jack Russell terrier that’s been barking its head off at her all day. Phoebe is forced to go inside the house, where she meets Frank Jr.
But if you’re a Friends super sleuth, you might have noticed something: That’s not actually the first time that Giovanni Ribisi appears on the show. The actor made an appearance earlier in the season in episode 6, “The One with the Baby on the Bus.”
Ribisi plays “Condom Boy,” a no-name guy dating a girl named Christine (not Alice) who drops a condom in Phoebe’s guitar case when she’s playing outside of Central Perk. Those who noticed his early cameo always assumed it was Frank Jr., and that this was his and Phoebe’s first true meeting. Unfortunately, one of the show’s writers just confirmed that Condom Boy and Frank Jr. are two entirely separate characters.
“He was an actor that was used by the executive producers before,” writer Betsy Borns told Refinery29. “They liked him, so they decided to use him more because they liked working with him.”
In the mid-’90s, people weren’t looking up actors on IMDb or blowing through entire seasons in one sitting; there’s a good chance that Warner Bros. genuinely thought nobody would notice that the actor was the same. As much as we wish that Condom Boy was a clever foreshadowing of what’s to come, he really was just a guy who dropped a condom in a guitar case.
“It was just one of those things,” Borns continued.
Minds = Blown.