If you're a Friends fan, your world was likely rocked recently due to one unsettling truth: Rachel Green wasn't played by Jennifer Aniston in every scene of Friends . OK, OK, so no one actually assumed the role of Rach without Friends fans noticing the switch, but as blogger Jordan D'Amico at Recently Heard discovered, Aniston's stand-in can actually be seen in the episode "The One With The Mugging." When the camera cuts away from Aniston during a conversation between other characters, Aniston's stand-in (who is wearing a different shirt) can be seen behind Matt LeBlanc. Now, it seems that Aniston isn't the only one who got the stand-in switch up: as discovered by the Huffington Post back in February, Courteney Cox's Monica also got swapped for a stand-in on Friends . The error has been around since the show originally aired, so why have we never noticed it? There may be two major reasons why.
Cox's stand-in can be seen during a conversation between Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) and Monica on the couch in Central Park in the Season 8 episode "The One With Rachel's Date." This time, all fans get a glimpse of "not Monica's" profile.
Here's the scene just before the cut:
And here's "Monica" right after it:
The actress in the second photo is clearly not Cox, though they do bear somewhat of a resemblance — hence why she was likely hired as her stand-in. But why have loyal Friends fans not noticed this switch up from 2003, when most of us have re-watched the sitcom countless times? It seems that we can now blame Netflix for the swap.
Friends only came to Netflix in January of 2015, and in doing so allowed fans to binge watch the series in its entirety. It also created a very different experience for Friends viewers: now, instead of watching the series when episodes came on television randomly, they could pause, rewind, and fast forward at any point in the show. If you were watching the above episode on TV without a DVR, you may have thought something was off about Monica's face after the cut — but since you couldn't go back and check it out, you likely wouldn't have noticed that the person who appeared briefly on screen wasn't Cox at all.
The second reason why you may not have noticed the change? It could have to do with your television. When some shows are formatted for the air, the sides of the screen may be "shortened" so that you see less what's around the edges. DVDs, and streaming services like Netflix, aren't always formatted in the same way. Though neither NBC or Netflix has confirmed that is what happened with Friends, it would explain why the powers that be let two stand-ins be visibly seen on the sitcom.
No one told us that life was going to be this way, but at least we have a real explanation for why strangers were hanging out with our beloved TV pals.
UPDATE: Bustle reached out to Lauren Duca, the Huffington Post writer who discovered the Monica imposter. She was just as shocked as to find her hiding in the background as we were:
I think I was just watching too much Friends. It's definitely just sloppy stand-in camera work, but also what if there are other imposters of the friends we've never noticed and nothing is real?
We totally feel you.
Images: NBC (screenshot) (3); Giphy