‘Friends’: How Directors Tricked Jennifer Aniston Into Screaming for Real When Ross Fell Down the Stairs During a Prank
Actors get paid to portray strong emotions and make them look real. However, nothing beats catching a real reaction on film. That’s exactly what happened when the directors on Friends played a trick on Jennifer Aniston (Rachel Green) so they could capture the true face of her fear.
The best part? It totally worked. You can see Aniston freaking out over her co-star David Schwimmer (Ross Geller) falling down in Friends Season 7 Episode 16, “The One with the Truth About London.”
Rachel begins the fun by playing pranks on Ross
The episode in question is during the seventh season of Friends. There are several simultaneous plots going on, including Chandler and Monica trying to choose a minister for their wedding and eventually allowing Joey to have the honor. But Chandler changes his mind when he finds out that depressed Monica in London never meant to knock on Chandler’s door to proposition him for sex — she was actually looking for Joey.
Meanwhile, Rachel deals with her apprehension for babysitting Ross’s son Ben by teaching him practical jokes. She instructs Ben how to pull off a few simple pranks, including a quarter trick that leaves marks on people’s faces and plastic wrap on a toilet seat.
Ross becomes upset over the pranks and tries to make Rachel talk Ben out of doing them. But she remains insistent that she likes being “Fun Aunt Rachel.”
Ross pulls the ultimate prank on Rachel — and on Jennifer Aniston
The last prank of the episode comes courtesy of Ross and Ben. Ross chases Ben out of the apartment and up the stairs of the apartment building. Rachel follows and witnesses what she thinks is Ross’s real body falling down the stairs. She screams in horror only to find it was a dummy wearing similar clothing.
Aniston pulls off a convincing scream when the dummy gets thrown down the stairs. That’s because she never knew about the prank in the first place and thought Schwimmer truly did fall. According to Wiki Fandom, this is a common tactic that directors use to capture true emotions from the actors. And in Aniston’s case, it worked like a charm.
Joey kisses Monica on the same episode during a ‘what-if’ scene
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Matt LeBlanc (Joey Tribbiani) kisses all 5 of his Friends castmates at various points in the series. He kisses the fifth and final one during “The One with the Truth About London” when he locks lips with Monica in a “what-if” scene.
During the conversation about how Monica almost had sex with Joey instead of Chandler, Phoebe starts to imagine what Monica’s life would be like if she had a relationship with Joey instead. Her imaginings include Joey looking much heavier thanks to his love of food and Monica’s exceptional cooking.
These hypothetical lovers share a kiss and it’s significant. Joey had previously smooched Chandler, Rachel, Ross, and Phoebe throughout the series. Finally, the kiss with Monica — even as part of a what-if — makes Joey the only character to kiss all his friends.