Ahem! ‘Friends’ fans defend Jennifer Aniston’s ‘vocal tic’


Unlike Rachel’s ever-changing hairstyles and long-winded voicemails, Jennifer Aniston’s Rachel Green will never go out of style for long.

In fact, the actress and her iconic “Friends” character went viral this week after a TikTok user pointed out her ubiquitous character trait that might have gone unnoticed by casual fans.

Aniston, who won a Primetime Emmy Award for the role in 2002, frequently, if not always — ahem — cleared her throat before reciting Rachel’s lines in an awkward situation. TikTok user @cts.trphe pointed that out back in January and insisted it would “ruin” the lives of “Friends” fans forever.

“Jennifer Aniston has this sort of vocal tic that she does at the beginning of every single sentence that she starts on any [episode] that she’s in,” @cts.trphe said in the viral clip, displaying a few examples. “It’s very specific, and it’s very hard to unsee once you notice it.”

But the callout isn’t new and was confirmed long ago. Eagle-eyed fans of the classic sitcom have been aware of her throat-clearing for years. In 2019, the year the Emmy-winning NBC comedy celebrated its 25th anniversary, one viewer even made a supercut featuring 200 such examples of Rachel’s quirk and posted it on YouTube.

After the viral TikTok took off, diehard “Friends” fans took to social media to declare @cts.trphe’s epiphany about Aniston “fake news.”

“That ‘verbal tic’ that Jennifer Aniston has in Friends? Yeah, no, that’s called acting,” tweeted one fan. “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.”

“Omg anyone at all who knows friends knows the now so called tic,” tweeted another. “This is click bait. TikTok user uncovers Jennifer Aniston’s verbal tic in ‘Friends’ – fans think it’s part of her acting!”

Perhaps it’s something that could be addressed — or relived — in HBO Max’s long-awaited “Friends” reunion special set to be filmed this fall. Whether her vocal tic was a conscious creative decision or not, a rep for Aniston did not respond to The Times request for comment Wednesday.

Here’s a look at fan reactions to the so-called Rachel revelation.

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