- Felicia is Coming For Cirie’s Spot on ‘Big Brother 25’
- ‘Fauda’ Renewed for Season 5
- ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ Season 2: Return Date, Plot, and Everything We Know About the Shibuya Incident
- ‘Love & Hip Hop: Miami’ Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Fight For Your Wife
- Pedro Pascal Preps for That Shocking ‘Last of Us’ Season 2 Twist: ‘It Wouldn’t Make Sense’ to Stray From the Video Game
With 10 Seasons and 236 episodes under its belt, Friends basically ruled television during its run. It was hugely successful, so it’s a no-brainer that there were some super famous guest stars during its run. Actors such as Julia Roberts, Billy Crystal, Robin Williams, and more have all taken a trip to Central Perk, but there was one guest star who ended up providing more than just a funny guest spot. Bruce Willis’ appearance on the show, which earned him an Emmy for his hilarious performance, caused a glaring plot hole in the show due to a silly conversation between Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry).
Does Bruce Willis Have a Doppelganger in the ‘Friends’ Universe?
Season 7, Episode 12 of Friends, aptly titled “The One Where They’re Up All Night,” sees Ross (David Schwimmer) convince the rest of the gang to head to the roof to see a comet. After the rest of the group grows tired of waiting for the comet to appear, each one experiences a series of events that keep them up all night (hence the title). Phoebe (Lisa Kudrow) fights with her smoke detector that just won’t stop beeping, Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Ross get stuck on the roof, and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Tag (Eddie Cahill) head to her office to submit a forgotten work document. Monica and Chandler are who we’re talking about here though. Chandler isn’t able to sleep, and keeps Monica up by repeatedly asking questions and making noise. One of the questions he asks opens up a large plot hole in the Friends universe. “Quick question. Which one was Deep Impact, and which one was Armageddon?”, he asks a half-asleep Monica, who sleepily answers, “Deep Impact was the one with Robert Duvall. Armageddon is what’s going to happen to you if you wake me up.”
Armageddon is a 1998 disaster movie starring Bruce Willis, and the reason this causes such a stir is because just one season before this episode, Willis had a 3-episode arc on the show. Willis played Paul Stevens, the father of Elizabeth, (Alexandra Holden) who is Ross’ college student-turned-girlfriend. Paul looks down upon Ross and Elizabeth’s relationship due to the considerable age gap and the less-than-ethical way they met. He eventually begins dating Rachel, something Ross finds very hypocritical. Seeing as these characters have watched Armageddon, they clearly know who Bruce Willis is, making his appearance on the show a bit of an eyebrow-raiser. Does Bruce Willis just have a doppelganger in the Friends universe? Or was the Armageddon reference just a tongue-in-cheek nod at the audience?
The ‘Armageddon’ Reference Isn’t the Only Plot Hole on ‘Friends’
Interestingly though, Bruce Willis’ guest spot wasn’t the first time the show made a plot hole for itself. All the way back in Season 2, Ross, Rachel, and Chandler all made “freebie lists” which are lists of five celebrities they’re allowed to sleep with if given the chance, even if they’re in a relationship at the time. Many people appear on said lists, such as Uma Thurman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Elizabeth Hurley, and even Dorothy Hamill. Before Ross laminated his list, Isabella Rossellini made the cut, but he decided she was too international, and thus he wouldn’t have a shot with her. This comes to a head at the end of the episode when Rossellini waltzes into Central Perk, and though Ross omitted her from his list, Rachel gives him a free pass to try his luck with her. He of course doesn’t succeed, but the moment is funny anyhow and was a great bookend to the episode.
However, Isabella Rossellini isn’t the only person on the freebie lists who makes an appearance in the show. A handful of the celebrities named actually make an appearance later on in the series. Susan Sarandon played Cecilia Monroe, an actress on Days of Our Lives whose character, unbeknownst to her, is about to be killed off. The character’s death will allow for Joey to come back to the series as the iconic Dr. Drake Ramoray, as he’d be receiving her brain in a transplant. It’s so silly, and that’s why it’s great. Winona Ryder was also on Ross’ laminated list, and guest stars in Season 7. She plays a former sorority sister or Rachel, with whom she once shared a drunken kiss.
Sting landed a spot on Rachel’s list, and though he himself never appeared on the show, there was a storyline that involved him that starred his wife Trudie Styler. Phoebe finds out that Ben (Cole Sprouse) goes to school with Sting’s son — the only problem is that they don’t get along. She pretends to be Ben’s mom and mend the friendship between the boys, but really does so to try and score herself some free tickets — which, as you can imagine, definitely didn’t work. But in perhaps the oddest crossover, Jessica Rabbit was included on Chandler’s list. His reason for the inclusion is that he wants to see if he can “make her eyes pop out.” Why is it weird? Well, Jessica Rabbit was voiced by Kathleen Turner, and as you may know, Turner later guest starred on Friends as Chandler’s father. Sure he didn’t list the actress herself but the knowledge is still there, and it’s such an icky connection when you remember that she eventually plays Chandler’s dad. Yuck!
There are plenty of other plot holes in Friends, something that’s bound to happen for a show that went on for so many years, but most of those are continuity issues such as character ages and when and how each member of the group met each other (seriously, there are some differing stories here.) This sort of plot hole though is quite fun, and feels more like a nod to the audience than an actual oversight. After all, who’s complaining about Bruce Willis being on the show? Certainly not me. I’ll happily take that brief moment of “huh?” upon realizing the mistake, if it means we get that brilliant scene of Paul giving himself a pep talk. He’s just a love machine!