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A Friends Question About Die Hard Is Taking The Internet By Storm

One particularly observant Friends fan noticed a continuity issue with the classic sitcom, and now social media users have been racking their brains attempting to reconcile the situation.

For the avid Friends fans, you may remember that Bruce Willis appeared in three episodes of the show as Ross's girlfriend's father, Paul Stevens. In the show, Willis' character also becomes romantically involved with Rachel (Jennifer Aniston), and the two have quite an interesting relationship. The Armageddon actor even won a Comedy Emmy Award for Best Guest Actor for the role as Paul Stevens.

However, you may not remember that the three main male characters of the series (Chandler, Joey, and Ross) were all huge fans of the movie Die Hard.

Twitter user Joe Baiamonte made the connection, and posed a question to his followers on Twitter.

Baiamonte tweeted: "In Friends, if Joey, Ross and Chandler love Die Hard so much, how do none of them recognise Bruce Willis when he starts dating Rachel?"

Do you think the showrunners for Friends accidentally overlooked this significant detail?

In order to offer an explanation, and to set everyone's minds at ease, Quora user named Geoffrey explained the continuity issue.

"What you're describing is an example of the Celebrity Paradox. The issue here is that popular culture and celebrities are a pretty big part of our world. In the world portrayed in these shows, do they have the same popular culture? You might assume that they don't, and their popular culture is completely different from ours, but that breaks down the first time they mention a TV show, movie, actor or anything else that we recognize.

Now we have a problem. Within the universe of Friends, the show Friends obviously doesn't exist. But other shows and movies do, and the existence of Friends can't be the only thing missing, because popular culture is all interconnected. Even if Bruce Willis hadn't guest-starred, you'd still have a problem. If Die Hard exists in this universe, then Bruce Willis exists. And Bruce Willis was in The Whole Nine Yards with Matthew Perry. Why doesn't anyone mention how much Chandler looks like Matthew Perry? And if Bruce Willis exists, he was in the movie The Player, which Patrick Swayze was also in. If Patrick Swayze exists in this universe, then he was in Abby Singer with Jennifer Aniston. Amazing how much that famous actress looks like Rachel, right?

You can link celebrities up like that all day, but I think the point is clear. There are two ways to deal with this paradox. You can just ignore it, which is what most studios do, or you can assume that the pop culture of this universe is just different enough from ours to make it work. For example, we assume that in the Friends-verse, there's an actor named Bruce Willis who was in a movie called Die Hard, but he happens to look completely different from the Bruce Willis we all know. And he was never in a movie with Matthew Perry, or else this universe's Matthew Perry looks different from Chandler, and was never in a show called Friends. Unsatisfying, perhaps, but if you must examine the logic of fictional worlds, you have to make that type of assumption."

Got all that?

While there may be plenty of different theories to explain Bruce Willis' appearance in Friends, everyone can agree on at least one thing: the Friends episodes with Bruce Willis are hilarious.

How would you explain Bruce Willis' character being in Friends without the gang noticing that he was the star of Die Hard?

[H/T The Lad Bible]