Evil twins have been a part of human culture for thousands of years. The trope first shows up in ancient religions like Zoroastrianism. It’s since been used in numerous movies and TV shows, from the 1940 Charlie Chaplin comedy The Great Dictator to soap operas like All My Children, which used this device at least eight times! Evil twins have always understood to be fictional. Nobody really has a malicious doppelganger wreaking havoc somewhere…
Unless you’re David Schwimmer, that is!
This week, police in the British seaside town of Blackpool, Lancashire asked the public to help identify a man who shoplifted some beer from a restaurant. It was a run-of-the-mill request, except for one thing: the shoplifter looks a LOT like Friends star David Schwimmer.
The police department made no mention of the shoplifter’s resemblance, probably because they had to be all professional about it, but the public noticed it within minutes. It’s not surprising that so many Brits would know who David Schwimmer is–as of 2018, Friends is the most popular streaming show in the UK.
Fans began sharing the story and it inevitably went viral. It got so big that eventually David Schwimmer himself heard about it, and he offered the following response in the way of an alibi.
— schwim (@DavidSchwimmer) October 24, 2018
Well played, sir!
Of course, nobody seriously considered Schwimmer as a suspect. Most Friends fans took the opportunity to post some jokes about their favorite show.
If you’ve never seen Friends, you probably won’t get these references. You should rectify that!
You knew someone was gonna make this joke!
I’ll be there for you.
Lots of fans pointed out how there was a whole episode where Rachel dated a guy named Russ, who looked exactly like Ross. Life really does imitate art!
The Lancashire police were surprised their post went viral, but it might have helped their investigation. In a follow-up Tweet, the Lancashire PD said they were able to ID the man in the surveillance video because it got so much attention.
It’s official: memes are a force for good!
Now that Schwimmer has been exonerated and the culprit has been ID-ed, we can all move on with our lives. But we’ll be sure to let you know if and when Jennifer Anniston’s evil twin burns down a hospital.