Throwback Thursday

A Look Back at Reese Witherspoon's Other Great TV Role (on Friends)

Reese Witherspoon Friends Guest Star Rachel Sister Jill Green

She’s getting a ton of Emmy buzz for Big Little Lies — which wraps up this Sunday — but don’t forget: Reese Witherspoon has charmed us on the small screen before. Ever hear of a little show called Friends?

For this week’s #TBT, we’re throwing it back to February 2000 (hey, we survived Y2K!), when Witherspoon guest-starred as Rachel’s spoiled kid sister Jill in Season 6’s “The One With Rachel’s Sister.” Jill shows up at Monica and Chandler’s apartment — and gets a warm “How you doin’?” from Joey — before complaining to Rachel that she’s been cut off by their dad. Rachel sets off to teach Jill how to support herself, but it backfires on her when Jill sets her sights on Rachel’s ex Ross. (To be fair, they were on a break at the time.)

Rachel ends up spying on Ross and Jill’s date in the following episode, “The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry,” and then confesses to Jill how uncomfortable it makes her to see them dating. But that just makes Jill more determined to seduce Ross, leading to this classic moment of sibling rivalry:

Reese Witherspoon Friends

Ross eventually breaks things off with Jill, though… and Jill breaks his slide projector in response. She abruptly leaves town, capping Reese’s Friends run at a mere two episodes, which is a shame. (We didn’t even see her again when Rachel’s baby Emma was born. Wouldn’t an aunt want to meet her niece?) But even in just those two episodes, she was funny and adorable, proving that any sitcom would be lucky to have her.

The year after she did Friends, Witherspoon starred in Legally Blonde, and her rapidly ascending star in Hollywood ensured that her only subsequent TV work would be guest voices (The Simpsons) and cameos as herself (The Muppets). Until Big Little Lies, that is. And it’s great to see her sly comic timing back on TV again, this time as BLL‘s overprotective Monterey mom Madeline Mackenzie. Maybe if there’s a Season 2, we might meet Madeline’s long-lost sister… Rachel?

Press PLAY on the video below to relive Reese’s Friends debut, then hit the comments to explain to us why we never saw Jill again. 

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