So, no one told you life was gonna be this way, but that viral Friends movie trailer is totally fake. Fans of the show have been in a frenzy today, after a Facebook page called "Will Ferrell" — which has since been changed to "Funny Inc.", according to Business Insider — posted a seemingly believable Friends movie trailer, claiming that the now-known to be fake film would hit theaters in April 2018. Don't feel too bad if you're among the many Friends fans that got duped, though. The trailer, while well-made, is actually a mash-up of some of the lesser-known projects that the sitcom's former stars have appeared in over the years.
Currently, the fake trailer had been viewed more than 52 million times on Facebook since it was originally shared on Jan. 19. Props to the creators of the trailer, though, for fooling most fans up until today, as everyone and their mother started re-sharing it across social media. The dialogue is pretty seamless, and the editing is top-notch, but if you break down the 80-second preview clip-by-clip (and happen to have watched as much TV as, say, an entertainment journalist), there are actually only three shows that the trailer pulls from: Cougar Town, Episodes, and Web Therapy.
The trailer opens up with Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) and Courtney Cox (Monica), wherein "Monica" is a patient of Doctor "Phoebe." First of all, any Friends fan should have immediately seen this as a giant red flag. In what world is it possible that Phoebe becomes a doctor? It's easy to see how people got tricked, though, as the short dialogue we get is definitely reminiscent of both Phoebe and Monica's respective personalities. In actuality, that clip is one of a few taken from Cougar Town, where many of the Friends guested on over the course of the show's six-season run.
The next scene, where we see "Monica" and "Chandler" (Matthew Perry), was also taken from Cougar Town, as was the clip where "Rachel" (Jennifer Aniston) is comforting Monica on a set of stairs. Both Perry and Aniston only made single-episode appearances on the show that Cox starred in, with Perry – playing a millionaire named Sam — getting to propose to his former TV wife for a second time. (Sadly, Cox's character on Cougar Town said "no" to Perry this time around.)
The clip where "Ross" (David Schwimmer) and "Joey" (Matt LeBlanc) seemingly have an unexpected reunion, came from LeBlanc's BBC/Showtime series, Episodes. Schwimmer and LeBlanc both played fictional versions of themselves in the show, where a wealthy foreign dictator — who was an admitted Friends fan — paid the stars to attend his overseas birthday blow-out. And the one where "Joey" gets arrested for a DUI? Yep, that was from Episodes as well.
The last (and likely least-recognizable) clip shows a disheveled "Ross" Skype-ing with "Phoebe." I'll be honest, this one took some digging, but was eventually confirmed to be from Kudrow's improvised online-only series, Web Therapy. Fun fact: Cox, Perry, and LeBlanc all made guest-appearances over the course of the four-season series, as did Bob Balaban, who played Phoebe's father, Frank Buffay Sr., on an episode of Friends.
And so, Friends fans, there you have it. The fake film trailer has officially been debunked. And even though there's no indication that we'll be getting an actual Friends film trailer any time soon, at least you can get your fantasy fix by bingeing on the three shows the faux-movie pulled from. Better yet, just head over to Netflix and re-watch all 10 seasons of Friends again, and try to forget that this fake news ever happened.