'Friends' Predicted This 'Grey's Anatomy' Character's Career Change In A Classic Episode
Miranda Bailey's husband, Ben Warren, is all about making major career changes. First he was an anesthesiologist, then he became a surgeon, and now he's a fireman (with his own spinoff, Station 19). Thanks to eagle-eyed BuzzFeed writer Lauren Yapalater, the world now knows that Friends predicted Grey's Anatomy character Ben Warren's career trajectory way back in 2001.
It turns out that actor Jason George appeared in the classic Friends episode "The One Where They're Up All Night" — you remember, it's the one where Phoebe's fire alarm won't stop beeping. Since all she wants to do is get some sleep, Pheebs does what anyone would do in her situation, and smashes her alarm with a shoe before dropping it down her apartment building's trash chute. Even that won't stop the beeping though. Her actions lead to a firefighter being called to the scene to return her fire alarm to her. That firefighter is — you guessed it — Ben Warren... er, George.
The crossover practically writes itself. Maybe Ben really was a firefighter all along, and he just found his way back to his original career when he moved to Seattle. OK, so the part where he was scared of fire on Grey's before he became a firefighter seems to be a bit of a plothole, but the Station 19 writers could work around that with ease. At the very least, someone needs to convince Lisa Kudrow to guest star.
As cool as this factoid is, this isn't the first time it's been pointed out. During a February 2018 interview with TV Guide, George discussed his TV firefighter past. He also revealed something interesting about one of the Station 19 writers. "One of our writers loves that episode, and can say it exactly with the intonation that Lisa Kudrow did it," he told TV Guide. "It literally transports me back like a decade as I crack up laughing whenever she does it."
So wait... that means one of the Station 19 writers adores George's episode of Friends. But which writer? Several members of the show's writing staff, including series creator Stacy McKee, have written for Grey's Anatomy and the spinoff. Is it possible that one of those writers long harbored a desire to return George to his TV firefighter roots by having his character walk away from his surgical career on Grey's to fight fires on his own show? It might be a bit of tinfoil hat theory, but hey, stranger things have happened.
Even though George playing a fireman in two different iconic TV shows is almost definitely a coincidence, it happens to be a fun one. Over the years, quite a few future famous faces appeared on Friends, including George's Grey's co-star, Ellen Pompeo. But its rare that a Friends guest appearance so perfectly predicted the future trajectory an actor's career would take.
George went from playing "sexy fireman" on Friends to Ben Warren, a firefighter at the heart of his very own series on Station 19. It may be just a TV coincidence, but this feels like a special one.