Friends may have ended its 10-season run in 2004, but an eagle-eyed fan on TikTok only now caught an editing mistake you'll have to see to believe.
TikTok user @bronniiieee shared a video clip from the Friends episode "The One in Massapequa," in which Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) pretend to be a married couple at an anniversary party for Ross' parents, played by Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles. In the scene @bronniieee shared, Ross and Rachel are speaking to Ross' dad, when suddenly the scene cuts and someone else is standing in Gould's place.
Likely, this person is a stand in, aka a person who literally "stands in" for an actor on set, usually for rehearsals, lighting set ups or when that performer simply can't film at that particular moment. An example on Friends is when Lisa Kudrow is playing both Phoebe and Ursula in a scene: A stand in is used to play the back of the opposite twin's head. However, the point of a stand in is that they aren't able to be identified as a different actor, thus ruining the illusion.
It's a split-second editing error, but as the TikToker pointed out, "In all my Friends fan years, how have I never noticed this guy before?"
The comments section has some answers. As @clelieon noted, "It's because episodes were originally shot to be displayed with a different format. So that side of the screen wouldn't show before being adapted."
Yet it's not the only mistake obvious in this moment. A blown-up photo can be shown behind Pickles and Gould as a party decoration—which shows them wearing the exact same clothes they are wearing in the scene.
Pointed out @itscucialtaunt, "let me ruin this even more - the picture behind them for the anniversary is of them that day. they are also in Monica's apartment."
With a show that ran as long as Friends, some errors are bound to happen. Whether the cast will discuss this viral mistake in their upcoming reunion special on HBO Max remains to be seen!