Friends fans, here are the 11 glaringly obvious mistakes you never noticed (until now)

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Kayleigh Dray
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Ross and Rachel in Friends

With Friends: The Reunion due to hit our screens any day now, we decided to take a look back over the surprising Friends bloopers, continuity errors, and other mistakes we never noticed until now. Anyone else wish someone had told them life was gonna be this way?

Updated on 20 May 2021: It’s a fact well established that literally every single person on the world has seen Friends. At least twice, but more likely some million times over. And yet, despite the fact that the first episode aired way back in 1994, Friends is still as funny as ever – and, thanks to being quote-perfect, we never have to worry about any unwelcome surprises.

Or do we?

Over 17 years since the final episode of Friends made its way to our screens, Friends: The Reunion will finally be released later this month in the US (a UK date has yet to be announced). And, with all eyes back on the sitcom, it makes sense that people are noticing… 

Well, that they’re noticing a few mistakes in the mix. More than a few, quite honestly.

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It’s no wonder, to be honest, as a study by My Lotto recently revealed that Friends has more mistakes per season (149) than any TV show in history, beating Buffy The Vampire Slayer (90) and Red Dwarf (81). 

And so, to celebrate this dubious honour, we’ve gathered up all of the moments that made us question everything we thought we knew about Friends – but, be warned: once seen, they can never be unseen.

Are you prepared to be bugged forever more? Then scroll on…

The one with two Phoebes

As reported on 20 September 2019: When Friends finally dropped on Netflix UK, many people began watching it again in earnest. And, during one binge-watching session, Aine Maloney noticed that Phoebe had somehow managed to be in two places at once.

The scene in question comes from the show’s very first episode, and sees Phoebe declaring that she had “just pulled out four eyelashes” – much to the bemusement of those around her.

However, as Maloney points out to Her, Phoebe can also be seen sipping a cup of coffee behind Monica’s date Paul, and seems to actually be listening to her telling everyone about her eyelashes.

Maybe it’s best to pretend that her twin sister Ursula had just popped over for a brief chinwag, eh?

The one where they changed Monica

Remember when Monica mysteriously transformed into someone completely different? We do.

In the episode, Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) can be seen sitting on the Central Perk sofa with Courteney Cox’s character; the pair are chatting, laughing, and sipping on ginormous cups of coffee. So far, so normal.

Only, all of a sudden, the camera changes angle – and a woman that is clearly NOT Cox is sat in her place.

We guess producers thought that, if Phoebe didn’t notice the switch, viewers at home wouldn’t either.  And, technically, they were right; the mistake has only just come to light now.

But it’s still unsettling, isn’t it?

Thankfully, after a few seconds, the camera switches angle once more, and all is blissfully normal again. Phew.

The one where Monica moves to a new apartment

Die-hard fans of the show will confidently inform you that Monica and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) lived in apartment number 20, thank you very much. The number is clearly visible on their door in most episodes…

Except for the first series of the show, that is. When they lived at number 5.

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That’s right, the writers changed it when they realised that a number 5 would mean that the apartment was on the first floor of the building. And, as the cast members were frequently shown walking up stairs to get to their floor, this was clearly not the case – so they changed it to apartment 20.

Of course, this meant that Chandler and Joey’s apartment had to be changed, too, taking them from apartment 4 to 19.

Does this mean that the gang moved upstairs and decorated their apartments in the exact same style as their previous ground-floor rentals? Or did the janitor make a mistake when he was nailing the numbers to the door the first time round?

We guess we’ll never know…

The one where Ugly Naked Guy’s home was destroyed

Remember Ugly Naked Guy? He was the aptly named man who lived in the building facing Monica and Rachel’s apartment – and he used to sit about in the buff, eating things, and, generally, grossing out the entire Central Perk gang.

But, if they were paying that much attention to him, why didn’t they notice that his building completely transformed throughout the series?

The one where Brad Pitt lost his pie

Brad Pitt is a seasoned actor, so you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s immune to making mistakes on set. But, as it turns out, he’s only human – just like the rest of us.

In the show, his character Will Colbert (remember him? He hates Rachel Green) brings a pie along to the gathering, and graciously hands it to his hostess after explaining how gosh-darn healthy it is.

Monica puts it on the table, and doesn’t appear to touch it for the rest of the scene. But when Joey arrives later, the pie has gone – and, when the camera zooms out to reveal a group of pies on the kitchen table, Will’s pie is still noticeably absent.

We guess the pie wasn’t just non-fat, non-dairy, and non-gluten – it was also non-existent. 

The one with the Fake Rachel

You’d think there’d have been an outcry over Aniston being replaced mid-show, but (as ever) nobody noticed a thing.

In The One with the Mugging, we watch as Rachel excitedly bursts into Monica’s apartment to tell Joey (Matt le Blanc) that he’s scored an audition with Leonard Hayes (aka Jeff Goldblum).

Joey joins her in the doorway to talk about the news, before turning to face the rest of the gang – and, bam! Over his shoulder, a woman who is patently not Aniston stands there grinning happily (no doubt glad to have infiltrated the Central Perk gang).

The stand-in is even wearing a different outfit. Madness.

The one where New York shifted position

Ever noticed anything weird about the view from Monica’s window? Like, say, the fact that her apartment keeps moving, a la Inception?

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It makes sense, we guess; after all, door numbers have no meaning in the Friends world – why should space and time?

The one where Monica’s evil boots magically respawn in her apartment

We all remember the evil high-heeled boots that sought to destroy Monica’s feet back in the eight season, don’t we?

After walking in them for hours, she was forced to admit that buying the expensive footwear had been a massive mistake. Cue Chandler gallantly piggy-backing his wife across NYC, to give her bare and bleeding feet a break.

Disaster struck when Monica realised that she’d left her boots lying in the street miles away – and that they were lost forever.

She never got a chance to say goodbye, you guys.

Not that it mattered because, come the ninth season, the boots had mysteriously reappeared in her apartment. And, weirder still, Monica was wearing them. On her feet. Without crying, or limping, or begging for mercy.

We’d always suspected that the devil himself was to blame for those boots – and now, after learning that they are imbued with magical powers, we know for sure that they were crafted in Satan’s workshop.

The one where Chandler and Rachel meet for the first time ever – on three separate occasions

In the very first Friends episode, Monica introduces Rachel to all of the gang – including Chandler (Matthew Perry). Who has never ever met the runaway bride before, apparently – save for the fact he has. Twice.

There’s the time they met – again, for the first time ever, according to the characters - in The One with the Flashback.

And they met way back in their high school days, too, as seen in The One with all the Thanksgivings.

Are Rachel and Chandler really so forgetful?

We’re starting to worry that they’ve all been exposed to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide in Monica’s constantly shifting apartment…

The one where Ross forgets literally everything about himself

Ross is, without a doubt, the most confused Friends character of them all.

Firstly, there’s the fact that he has no idea when his birthday is; in one episode, he celebrate his big day in March. In another, he tells Joey that it’s in December. And, later, he claims it’s on 18 October.

Ross also remains 29-years-old for three whole seasons (3, 4, and 5) – which we guess could be explained away by the simple fact that he’s a big fat liar.

But what about the fact that he happily chows down on crab cakes after being stood up on a date in Season 9? Not so unusual, we suppose, save for the fact that Ross has always professed to be allergic to shellfish. 

Ross, you OK hun?

The one where Chandler tells Monica he loves for the first time ever (twice)

There’s nothing more memorable than someone saying ‘I love you’ for the first time – or is there?

We all remember the moment that Chandler declares his love for Monica - in front of Rachel, Joey, and Phoebe, no less. His grand speech went something along the lines of: “I’m in love with Monica. Yes, I love her. I love her. I love you Monica.”

Cue Monica’s shocked but delighted face (it’s the first time he’s ever said the ‘L word’, you guys), and an impassioned kiss for the audience to scream about.

Too bad he’d already bloody said he loves her, as is made clear in a flashback from The One with all the Thanksgivings.

It’s a wonder they ever made it up the aisle really.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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