Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Daydream Fan Theory That Changes Everything On Friends

Fans of the NBC sitcom "Friends" have a penchant for ruminating about theories connected to the legendary, long-lived sitcom. Remember that time everyone wondered if "Friends" took place solely in an addicted Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow)'s mind? That was a fan theory that circulated so widely series co-creator Marta Kauffman shot it down on an episode of "Entertainment Tonight." Viewers have since wondered if "Friends" was an elaborate set-up for America's Starbucks-laden future, If Phoebe is a hidden genius, if Monica is a byproduct of her mother's extramarital affair, and many other whimsical notions.

This "Friends" theory is another one of those puzzlers that throws the rest of the series into question, but it's got a nifty twist to it. It involves Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), the show's first episode, and her propensity for day dreams. Could it actually be true? If it is, it changes the entire "Friends" story in a pretty fundamental way.

Did Rachel daydream the whole show?

The theory originated in a response to a Tweet by user @thetedfox. While they have since deleted their Tweet, per Glamour Magazine, @thetedfox noted that Rachel is the only friend awake in a publicity photo that appears on the cover of the Friends: the Complete Season 4 DVD box cover. 

Fans piled in with theories and jokes, both morbid and ribald. But @lovetherobot had the most interesting theory: "Rachel Green had a dream on the eve of her wedding day, she didn't want to marry Barry so she had a major anxiety dream. She created a fantasy in her mind and the five other Friends characters as a way to escape her spoilt, trapped future life. And also the trauma of getting married the next day. The cover is her partially waking up from that dream at 5am on the morning of her wedding day. The whole entire series was her anxiety dream."

It's quite a wild theory — and would cast a bittersweet pall over the series if it turned out to be true — but since the show establishes that Rachel knew Monica (Courteney Cox), Ross (David Schwimmer), and most of the other Friends before the series began, the notion of her making up her friends' existence after dreaming of fleeing her wedding is, well, unlikely. Still, it's a lot of fun to think about.