NBC's Friends will forever be one of the funniest and most popular sitcoms of all time. The fact that it ran for a solid ten seasons and that it still has fans hoping for a possible reboot is already proof enough. However, while the producers did a phenomenal job of creating engaging characters and hilarious storylines, they also created some plot holes and slipped up on a few things during the editing process. Most fans might not have caught on to these mistakes because they were way too focused on following each episode's plot. But if you've seen your fair share of reruns over the years, then you've probably spotted at least a few.
To be fair, we understand that it's tough to get everything perfectly right in terms of continuity. After doing several takes of the exact same scene, props are bound to get shifted around and actors are more likely to switch their positions. However, when those inconsistencies are super obvious, like say, completely changing a character's shirt color in a single scene, it's tougher to ignore. See which errors you might have missed while watching Friends:
We've seen Joey use air quotes a few times, like when he once shared that Monica and Chandler were "making love." But then during an episode from season nine, Joey revealed that he had no idea what Ross meant when he repeated that exact same gesture. After Joey looked on cluelessly, Ross was forced to express himself in simpler terms. And when Joey finally got the message, he tried to offer an apology. It didn't exactly come off as genuine, though, since he accidentally put "I'm sorry" in air quotes. LOL!
On season three's "The One With Frank Jr," Phoebe told Frank that her birthday was on February 16th. But on season nine's "The One With Phoebe's Birthday Dinner," she celebrated her birthday with the gang on Halloween night. If you can recall, almost everyone was late, it was super awkward, and Phoebe eventually had a little outburst. It wasn't the most enjoyable dinner celebration, but maybe everyone was so unprepared and distracted because of the sudden birthday switch from February to October?
While Phoebe had two, Ross held the record with three. During season one, when Chandler and Joey went to a hockey game, they gifted him with tickets to join them as a birthday gift. That date was October 20th and then Ross mentioned that his birthday was over seven months ago (March 20). On two other episodes, though ("The One Where Emma Cries" and "The One With Five Steaks and an Eggplant"), we also learned that his birthday was apparently on October 18th. Then, on "The One With Joey's New Girlfriend," where Gunther tried to make a list of everyone's birthdays, Ross claimed that his was in December. So odd...
Remember that one episode on season nine, where Ross got stood up at a restaurant and the waiter kept trying to make him stay to win a bet? Well, one little trick that the waiter tried was treating him to complimentary crab cakes. Ross was all too happy to take him up on that offer, but the only problem was that throughout the show, he'd made it pretty clear that he was allergic to shellfish. So yeah... Something's just not adding up here.
At first, we saw them get introduced in the pilot, but that actually contradicted what we learned about them later on the show. They met for the first time on season three's "The One With the Flashback," and also on season five's "The One With All the Thanksgivings." But then, on season 10, we saw yet another flashback where Chandler and Rachel actually made out at a college party. Either their memory completely sucks or they just really enjoy being introduced multiple times.
Every fan knows that Rachel's last name is supposed to be spelled like the actual color, "Green." So we could imagine everyone's surprise when Ross, aka her on-again, off-again boyfriend, spelled Rachel's surname wrong. Perhaps a small part of him did that misspelling on purpose, but either way, it's just not a good look. We can at least admire the fancy penmanship, though.
On "The One With Rachel's Date," it was suggested that Phoebe didn't know French at all. She couldn't even tell what "sous chef" meant, but on "The One Where Joey Speaks French," she appeared to be perfectly fluent. So fluent, in fact, that she felt comfortable enough to teach Joey how to speak it for his audition. We should mention that these events did happen two seasons apart. But since it typically takes around three years to reach an intermediate level (with consistent independent study), to say that she became fluent within two seasons is a big stretch.
We felt so bad for Joey when his head got stuck in the door on "The One With the Late Thanksgiving." Before the others even tried to free him, his friends started stuffing things in his pants. But when they finally busted that door open, Joey fell into a table of food and completely messed up his blue shirt. It was stained with a lot of food (which, of course, he started to eat). But later in that scene, after Monica found out that she and Chandler were getting a baby, Joey's shirt was noticeably much cleaner than before. Though the sleeves were still a bit messy, we're not so sure how the giant mess in front of his shirt vanished so quickly.
Aside from his ability to make "How you doin'?" sound like an actual pickup line, one of Joey's impressive qualities was his ability to find and attract the prettiest women. On season five, we saw him literally run to find a pretty girl he'd noticed in Ross's building, which was right across from Monica's. When he first saw her, he was wearing a black t-shirt, and when he got to the other building, he was wearing purple. This we can understand since he probably changed shirts. But, what's weird is that when he went to Ross's place (in that same building), his shirt was black again.
On season seven, when Monica found the wedding dress of her dreams, she realized that the price tag was WAY above her budget. So instead, she went for a similar looking dress that was more affordable (though this version had more lace in the design). She even fought another bride-to-be to get it! But then she eventually decided to give up that dress Before she did, she showed it to Chandler. What she wound up showing him, though, was the dress that she couldn't afford, rather than the one she actually bought.
Remember how Monica and Chandler had their wedding announcement printed in the paper during season seven? Well, if you take a closer look at the text beneath that headline, you'll notice a few errors in there. First off, in the ninth line, it's supposed to be Gellers, rather than "Geller's." And where it says "This will be the wedding of a century, quoted a friend," that statement should be framed with quotation marks to make it clear that it's someone's quote. But here's the biggest error: An entire section, from "missed. We wouldn't want anything to ruin the big day" to "quoted a close friend," was copied and pasted, making the bottom half repetitive.
Lots of wedding mistakes! On the episode "The One With the Red Sweater," there was a scene where Monica chatted with Rachel and Phoebe about Rachel's pregnancy. The entire time, Monica had a big wedding gift in front of her that was wrapped, and she was clearly tempted to open it. However, the wrapping paper from the box appeared to be unwrapped and then rewrapped throughout the scene, even though Monica never actually opened it. We saw scenes of Monica about to open the wrapped present, then saw the brown box in plain sight. They got switched back and forth so fast that she couldn't possibly have ripped it open and then rewrapped it so quickly.
On season two, while Ross talked to Rachel about his dating life, Rachel was busy taking up mugs from the tables at Central Perk. However, we suspect that some of those mugs had invisible legs because the red one that was right behind Ross suddenly changed positions. After Rachel started to offer her advice, the red mug was moved behind a black and white mug and a small green one was moved closer to Ross. But then, after Rachel mentioned that Ross should wait to get with Julie, the mugs changed places again.
During the show's first season, Ross repeated quite a few times that Carol, his ex-wife, was the first (and only) woman that he'd ever slept with. But fast forward to season seven and we learn that Ross actually slept with his college cleaning lady (at least according to Chandler). He claimed that he completely forgot about it, but that's kind of hard to believe... How in the world do you forget a detail like that from your own dating history?!
We're seeing an interesting pattern here. Not only did Ross lie about his dating history, but he also lied about his feelings toward ice cream. On season seven, he claimed that he didn't like it because it was too cold. But then we saw him enjoying ice cream with Elizabeth, and with his monkey Marcel, proving that there was nothing wrong with his taste buds after all. (Who doesn't love ice cream??)
Rachel was wearing this necklace while she worked one of her shifts at Central Perk on season two. Though she kept it on during her conversation with Joey, Chandler, and Monica, it suddenly disappeared after Ross and Julie joined them. When the couple said they'd be adopting a new cat, Rachel's necklace was gone. Then, when she started to question the two about their decision, it reappeared. When the pair then mentioned that they'd be splitting custody of their pet, the necklace noticeably went missing again. So weird!
We can understand a stain getting bigger, but having it shrink down in size and then grow back for no apparent reason is just... odd. During season three, when Phoebe got hummus on her yellow dress, we saw that she attempted to get most of it out, and from the looks of it, she'd partly succeeded. However, in a later scene, we saw the original stain appear again. Rather than trying to clean it off, she kept that huge stain as it was and settled with covering it up with a big ribbon. Talk about a creative solution.
On "The One Where Chandler Crosses the Line," we got a taste of what Phoebe would call Ross's unique musical "talent." So naturally, she thought it would be fitting to go to him for musical advice, even despite the fact that everyone else wasn't a fan. In one scene, while he opened up about figuring out his sound, Phoebe was holding on to her guitar. But when she offered to let him play it, it was no longer in her hands. Ross initially refused, but when he agreed to do it, the guitar appeared in her arms again.
During an episode from season four, there was a scene where Monica poured herself a glass of orange juice. The glass was about half full when she first set it down to get to Phoebe. But only moments later, when Monica asked Rachel about her date, the glass was suddenly more than half full. Then when it was seen again, the glass of juice was less than half full, even though Monica never took a single sip or attempted to get refills... Perhaps it was magic?
It seemed like someone was messing around with that doodle board when no one was looking. On "The One With the Wedding Dresses," there was a scene where Joey stood by that doodle board and complained about not getting any sleep. We saw that "get out!" was written on it, and when Rachel mentioned Ross's wedding, it remained the same. But when Chandler appeared near it, the writing got changed to "poop." When Ross walked in shortly afterward to talk about the wedding, the doodle said "get out" again.
On "The One With the Male Nanny," Ross and Rachel hired a fun babysitter named Sandy to look after Emma. When he first took out his puppets, he had the green character on his left hand and the purple character on his right. But right after Ross asked him something about the puppets, they'd switched places. If the scene hadn't gone by so quickly, we'd have assumed that he simply switched them around. But the fact that he got them on opposite hands in seconds (and with no help) makes zero sense.
On "The One With the Mugging," there was a scene where Joey visited Monica and Chandler's place and took drinks out of their fridge. At first, he was holding cans in his right hand and bottles in his left. But after telling everyone what he planned on doing with them, he was holding more cans in his left hand, rather than the bottles. If you paid really close attention, you may have also noticed that an additional can was added to his right hand.
The series finale was full of so many memorable moments, and one of them was when Monica and Chandler got to meet their newly adopted twins. When they held the babies, Chandler was wearing two hospital bracelets. But when Monica asked if the twins could recognize one another and Chandler responded, those wristbands vanished. They were only gone in the time that he answered Monica's question, because in the following scene when the twins' birth mother was getting moved out of the room, the bracelets were back on his wrist.
During the episode where Rachel accidentally lets Ross's monkey run away, viewers could see that there was a small table in her apartment located near her front door and underneath a hanging picture. It remained there as she tried to explain everything to Ross. But when animal control got there, both the table and the picture that was above it were gone... Even if they had a legitimate reason for moving those things (which we highly doubt), they couldn't have had enough time to move them.
The show dedicated an entire episode to Chandler's apparent inability to cry (called "The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry"). So throughout that entire episode, the gang tried to get him to shed at least a single tear, but they didn't succeed, suggesting that he was simply emotionless. However, on season three, there was an episode that mentioned a time when Phoebe made Chandler "cry like a baby." So... what was even the point of that entire "Chandler-can't-cry" episode?
All the way back on season one episode 12, when Phoebe had to break it to Rachel that Paolo hit on her, there was a continuity error with the set of Monica's apartment. Rachel was upset when Phoebe broke the news, so she reached around to the paper towel holder and pulled one off to blow her nose. While doing so, the pulled the roll with her and it stretched across the kitchen. When the camera flipped to Phoebe and back to Rachel as they made up, viewers could see that the paper towels were rolled up neatly again.
On episode 19 of season one, Rachel was babysitting Marcel when he went missing. When she was telling Ross what happened, the camera showed the two talking from outside the balcony window. From that angle, we could also see a brown table under one of the paintings in Monica's apartment. In the next scene, when animal control arrived at the apartment, the camera showed the painting on the wall, but this time there was no table under it. We don't know what could have happened during those few seconds that made Ross and Rachel want to disassemble a table, but our bet is that it was a mistake.
On the episode that Rachel ran out on her wedding from Barry, Friends made one of the worst continuity error ever. A scene shows Rachel in her wedding dress talking to Phoebe in the kitchen, before the camera turns to Paul (Monica's date) sitting on his couch. However, in the shot of Paul, viewers can get a glimpse of a second Phoebe sitting in the chair behind him drinking coffee. Phoebe is amazing in her own way, but not amazing enough to move at the speed of light. Here's the clip.
Back when Monica and Richard were pretending that they could just be friends, the two decided to cook dinner together on episode 13 of season 3. The pair squished up tomatoes in a bowl at the table, and in the background, viewers could see the bedroom doors were wide open. When Richard got tomato juice on his shirt, the doors were still open, but as soon as Monica started helping him clean it off, the doors in the background were suddenly shut. They remained closed as Monica backed away when she saw the juice on Richard's pants.
On season five episode two, Rachel asked Monica to make all of her important decisions for her. Rachel decided she wanted to tell Ross how she felt about him, and when Monica tried to stop her, she locked her out of the apartment with a basket of laundry in her hands. The first scene showed Monica banging on the door with her bare left hand, however, when Ross opened the door to his sister, she was mid-knock with her right hand, and suddenly holding a sock. How did she switch hands, the basket, AND put a sock on in that amount of time?
The pilot had a few continuity errors, but that's okay, it was the pilot! Fans of the show know that the stairs to exit the Friends apartment building is to the left when leaving Chandler and Joey's apartment, and to the right when leaving Monica's. Looks like the producers hadn't figured that out yet, because, on the pilot, we see Monica's date Paul leave her apartment and walk to the left. Okay, so there could have been more than one exit in the building, but why would he take another one when the main exit was right there?
Ross and Rachel brought little Emma home from the hospital on episode two of season nine and viewers got a glimpse of the little bundle of joy on screen. When the baby was lying in her crib, Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe went to watch her sleep in her cute pink hat. Rachel reached into the crib to pick Emma up, but once she was out of the crib and in Rachel's arms, her hat had changed from pink to white with flecks of pink. Look at Emma, barely a week old and she already had multiple outfit changes a day.
On season day episode five, Rachel's sister was visiting. As the two were having a conversation in Ross's apartment, Emma was sitting in her bed and playing with her toys. Rachel reached into the crib to pick Emma up, and both of them had nothing in their hands. However, once the camera showed Emma out of the bed and in her mom's arms, she was holding a toy. Our guess is that the child actor playing Emma got a bit restless (as they do), and the producers gave her a toy between scenes to keep her quiet.
Fans of the show will know that neither Chandler, Monica, or Erica knew she was having twins when she went into labor. However, when the couple first met Erica, she showed them a sonogram from the baby scan. We get that Erica was written to be a little bit on the dim side, but surely Monica or Chandler would have noticed that there were two babies in the sonogram. Also, how did Erica's doctor not notice that she was carrying two babies until she was actually in labor? We want to know the name of that doctor ASAP.
Even though Friends was probably the biggest show of the '90s and early 2000s, they still had to cut corners somewhere! Die hard fans of the show might have noticed a familiar face crop up on the episode where Ross's ex-wife Carol gives birth to their son Ben. The nurse who delivered Ben was played by the same actress who played Joey's crazy agent Estelle. We don't know Estelle personally, but from seeing how she interacted with Joey, we can assume she wasn't a full-time agent, part-time midwife.
Monica's apartment wasn't the only set with some continuity errors — Chandler and Joey's apartment was constantly changing its layout throughout the show, too. One thing the producers clearly couldn't decide on was toilet position. In the first photo, you can see Joey is sitting on the toilet that is directly in front of the door and beside the bath, however, in the second photo, an exercise ball appears to be where the toilet once was, meaning the toilet must have been moved to the other side of the room.
We found out that Rachel was pregnant on the day of Chandler and Monica's wedding, which took place in May. At that stage, Rachel was already six weeks pregnant at that stage, meaning she probably got knocked up in March at some stage. Later in the season, Valentine's Day rolls around and Rachel is STILL PREGNANT, like, 11 months later? Nobody ever mentioned that Rachel super late giving birth to Emma, so this was definitely a mistake. If not, god love poor Rachel and her year-long pregnancy.
At the beginning of the series, Joey and Chandler's apartment was number four and Monica's was number five. As the show went on, however, producers began to notice that the apartment numbers should have been a lot higher considering how high up the apartments were in the building. They began changing the numbers a couple of times throughout the show, and ultimately stuck with apartments 19 and 20.
We're just going to assume that by the time Friends was wrapping up, the stars were getting a hell of a lot of money per episode. Obviously, it would be silly to pay one of the actors to be in a scene when they didn't have any lines, so a lot of the time producers will bring in body doubles to lurk around in the background of a scene. In this scene, however, the casting team didn't do a great job in picking a body double who looked like Rachel. They got the hair right, but other than that, who is this imposter?
In this scene, Phoebe is looking right at this "Monica" impersonator and doesn't even realize it's not her life long friend. This still is taken from the season eight episode titled "The One With Rachel's Date". Like we said, we know the cast probably didn't get paid enough or were tired of sitting in scenes for no reason by the eighth season, but the editors at least could have attempted to edit this Monica look alike out a little better?