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The Huge Prank That Was Played On Jennifer Aniston On The Set Of Friends

When you get to work with your friends every day, it might be easy to get distracted from work as you play around with one another. This also opens the doors for pranks, something that often happens between actors on sets of television shows and movies. "Friends" was no exception. The hit NBC sitcom ran for 10 seasons from 1994 to 2004, and the six stars of the series had an incredible bond. Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry were thicker than thieves while filming the hit NBC series, which resulted in many character breaks during filming.

But it wasn't just joking in between takes — the "Friends" stars often played pranks on each other now and again. Many of these made it into the gag reels and can be found across numerous YouTube videos online, but perhaps the biggest one ever played actually made it into an episode. In Season 7, Schwimmer, the writers, and producers played an epic prank on Aniston that was one for the books.

Jennifer Aniston was pranked hard in Season 7

In Season 7, Episode 16 ("The One With the Truth About London"), Ross (David Schwimmer) enlists Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) to babysit Ben (Cole Sprouse), while he deals with some work matters. Not knowing how to interact one-on-one with Ben, Rachel breaks the ice by teaching him some fun pranks, which he later plays on his dad. Ross is not happy with Rachel over these tricks she's taught his son, and he ends up getting his revenge at the end of the episode when he plays a prank on her.

When Ross chases Ben out of Rachel's apartment after finding out he has a "poop" sign on his back, the pair runs upstairs to the next floor. Rachel follows them out, only to hear Ross yell and subsequently watches him land on the floor as he's just fallen down the stairs. She screams and spins in circles, looking absolutely horrified, and then goes to check on Ross, who she finds out is just a dummy. Ross and Ben then come downstairs laughing hysterically, while Rachel is noticeably perturbed. 

It turns out: This was all real. According to "Friends Forever: The One About The Episodes" (per The Things), Aniston really believed her co-star had fallen down the stairs, and her reaction was 100% genuine. During the table read for the episode — for which Schwimmer served as the director — she was kept in the dark about what was going to play out, a tactic producers often use to garner a more authentic reaction from their actors. Schwimmer and Sprouse's responses to Aniston screaming are also pure, as the former couldn't stop himself from bending over in laughter, while the latter smiled and gave his work-dad a high-five.