Friends is iconic for many different reasons; the massive New York apartments nobody could actually afford, newly chic nineties clothing, seemingly endless amounts of quotable lines, Chandler, just…being Chandler, and, of course, the will-they-or-won’t-they of Ross and Rachel. But the show’s undeniable rewatchability, which causes nationwide freak-outs whenever it’s taken off Netflix, also works against Friends in certain ways. After all, watch anything enough times and you will inevitably start to see flaws.
Remember the uproar that ensued when fans spotted stand in actors in certain scenes? As Insider noted at the time, stand-ins are nothing new, in fact they’re frequently used for setups and to hold an actor’s place if he or she isn’t fully in the shot. The most recent issue with the popular sitcom has nothing to do with plot holes, inconsistencies, or even a fake Elliott Gould, however. Instead, it’s an interesting vocal tic that Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston, likely either couldn’t help or chose to do as part of her character.
Jennifer Aniston used the throat clearing as part of her portrayal of Rachel
Thanks to an intrepid TikTok user, we can all now obsess over Jennifer Aniston’s throat clearing. The vocal tic features many times while the actress is playing Rachel, and as the user warns, “It’s very hard to un-see once you notice it.” Although the claims indicate the tic happens at the beginning of “every single sentence,” that’s not quite accurate. But there are way more than a few instances, as evidenced by this compilation, which includes a whopping 200 examples of the phenomenon (via YouTube). It’s worth noting, however, Aniston’s throat clearing is nothing new in the Friends fandom, where it’s considered a boon, rather than an irritant. One Twitter user sarcastically pointed out, “Jenifer Aniston’s throat clearing tic is so bad it took people 25+ years to notice. People suck.” So, clearly, the tic can’t be that bad.
Several fans also suggested it was a choice on Aniston’s part since the actress doesn’t do it in other projects, or even while she’s being interviewed. “It’s not a Jennifer Aniston Vocal Tic it’s a Rachel tic,” wrote one succinctly. Likewise, another argued, “She clears her throat when her character is uncomfortable with what she is saying (because it’s a lie, or awkward, etc). This is what acting is about.” The user added, “The vast majority of lines are delivered without that little cough, precisely because most of the time Rachel is happy with what she is saying.” It’s worth noting this is happening the same week Twitter seemingly realized Elizabeth Olsen is related to Mary Kate and Ashley.
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