Even “Friends” star David Schwimmer felt the need to provide an alibi, after British police released a CCTV image of a robbery suspect bearing a striking resemblance to the U.S. sitcom’s character Ross Geller.
After thousands of the show’s fans flooded Blackpool Police with jokes, the actor posted a spoof video re-enacting the alleged crime.
“Officers, I swear it wasn’t me. As you can see, I was in New York,” Schwimmer posted, along with footage of him appearing to make a getaway with a crate of beer. “To the hardworking Blackpool Police, good luck with the investigation #itwasntme,” he added.
“It’s not been his day, his month or even his year,” one user joked on Blackpool Police’s original Facebook post, which quickly went viral once people realized the suspect was a doppelganger for the American star.
“I heard his getaway driver was stuck in 2nd gear,” wrote another.
Blackpool Police had previously confirmed that the actor was not in fact under suspicion.
“Thank you to everyone for your speedy responses. We have investigated this matter thoroughly and have confirmed that David Schwimmer was in America on this date,” They wrote. “We’re so sorry it has to be this way.”
Officers want to speak to the suspect in relation to a theft at a restaurant in the English seaside town last month.
“There are rumors he had some accomplices,” a user warned. “Miss Chenandler Bong, Regina Phalange and Ken Adams were all seen in the area,” referring to pseudonyms the characters Chandler, Phoebe and Joey use in the show.
And the episode, which one user dubbed “The One Where Ross Became a Thief,” took another twist when a police force in Scotland joined in on the joke.
“If you see him keep away,” Dumfries Police wrote on Facebook. “He is known to have studied Karate and we believe he has mastered the art of Unagi, the state of total awareness,” they added, nodding to an episode in which Ross claims to be a self-defense expert.
The original post generated more than 100,000 comments and has been shared more than 65,000 times.
Some users tried to pivot the discussion away from the jokes, urging people to take the case more seriously and noting that a real crime may have been committed.
But Ross remained the person of interest for most commenters, who were eager to assist the police with “clues” from several episodes of “Friends.”
Some suggested they would find evidence by watching an episode in which Ross justifies stealing amenities from a hotel. “The batteries from the remote, no no no. A crate of cans from the shop yes yes yes,” one person wrote, paraphrasing the character.
Other believed the suspect could in fact be one of Ross’s various guises in the show, including Russ, Vikram or the Holiday Armadillo.
But many disagreed with that theory. “Could he BE any more like Ross?” a user asked, mimicking fellow character Chandler Bing’s catchphrase.
“Friends” ran for 10 seasons between 1994 and 2004, and has remained popular in part because of its availability on streaming services such as Netflix.
People with genuine information on the alleged crime have been encouraged to contact Blackpool Police.