The highly anticipated Friends Reunion dropped on HBO Max last week, marking only the second time that Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer all managed to be in the same place at the same time since Friends went off the air way back in 2004. The cast was paid handsomely to reunite — some reports suggest each cast member took home at least $2.5 million for participating — and the reunion, while busy and arguably a bit overproduced, delivered on just about every level. We got to see Chandler and Joey return to their familiar recliner seats, we got to see Lisa Kudrow and Lady Gaga sing “Smelly Cat,” and we were all treated to a special appearance from two of the show’s most prominent, memorable, and notorious props: Jennifer Aniston’s nipples.
It might not necessarily be something that would come up in what my grandmother would have described as “polite company,” but everyone who has ever spent any length of time bingewatching Friends has (of course!) noticed this particular phenomenon. How could they not? So it came as no surprise that eagle-eyed and perpetually horny Twitter users were quick to spot the return of Aniston’s notable nips in Friends: The Reunion, during an intimate table-read of the famous scene from Friends in which Ross and Rachel finally smooched (“The One Where Ross Finds Out,” Season 2, Episode 70):
So what’s the deal? Rumors that the show’s producers ordered the wardrobe team to cut holes in Aniston’s brassieres to drive buzz for the show have circulated for decades at this point, and this urban legend grew to such proportions that an enterprising reporter at the fashion bible Vogue (!!) even asked Aniston about the prominence of her nipples in an interview conducted back in 2017:
VOGUE:Someone recently called you the OG of #FreeTheNipple because of how often Rachel’s nipples showed through her outfits.
ANISTON: “Yeah, I don’t know what to say about that! It’s just one of those things, I guess. I wear a bra, I don’t know what to tell ya! And I don’t know why we’re supposed to be ashamed of them—it’s just the way my breasts are! But hey, OG, I’m not going to complain.”
From the looks of things, viewers aren’t complaining, either.
Watch Friends: The Reunion on HBO Max