Here's Why Paul Rudd and Cole Sprouse Didn't Make Cameos on the 'Friends' Reunion Special

Molly Houghton

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Are you still recovering from the emotional whirlwind that was seeing Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross all back together for the Friends: The Reunion special? Don't worry, so are we. Here are some of the episode's best moments. Plus, why certain familiar faces were missing from the set.

Our sitcom hearts nearly exploded on May 27 with the 1 hour, 45 minute HBO Max special. Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer were all back on our screens, and this time, we weren't just binge-watching old episodes. The six legends told stories and hung out on the iconic set, gave behind-the-scene secrets, and re-created some of our favorite scenes.

Friends Reunion Best Moments
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The cast blessed us with table reads of some of the series' most famous moments, including part of The One Where Everybody Finds Out. AKA, the episode when Phoebe learns Monica and Chandler are way more than just friends. Naturally, one of the night's highlights was watching a present-day Lisa Kudrow sing Smelly Cat. But the scene got a few upgrades since it last aired on our screens: Lady Gaga joined the actress along with a backup choir to perform the hit single.

The Born This Way singer wasn't the episode's only special guest. Celebrities like David Beckham, Justin Bieber, and BTS all made appearances. Plus, former series guest stars, including Reese Witherspoon and Tom Selleck, joined the cast for some reminiscing. But with the return of so many familiar faces, we couldn't help but wonder: where were Paul Rudd, who played Phoebe's husband, and Cole Sprouse, who starred as Ross's TV son Ben?

Cole Sprouse Friends Ross
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Ben Winston, director of the HBO Max special, explained it was challenging to get absolutely everyone in on the action. "Well, we couldn't have everybody on because it's only an hour and 45 minutes. And you've got to pay attention - the main nub of the show has got to be about the six cast members," he said. "So you can't have too many cameos because, of course, there were hundreds of amazing people who were in Friends over the years. Sadly, we couldn't get everybody in."

Friends Reunion Guest Stars
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"You know, we did invite some people who weren't able to make it," Winston added. "It's a complicated time to be making television now because, you know, some people couldn't fly internationally, some people were on other TV or film shoots, some people are in bubbles on stuff." Missed out on the fun? Don't worry - it's not too late to stream the special on HBO Max. Just make sure you have a box of tissues nearby.