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Can You Imagine 'Friends' Without Jennifer Aniston? It Almost Happened

Phew, that was close.

There was almost a world in which Jennifer Aniston's infamous Rachel haircut never existed, the actress revealed during a Q&A on Friday at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

"'Friends' came when I was off doing 'Muddling Through'," Aniston said, according to People. "So there was a period where I had to stand out of the photographs for the group shots, and I had phone calls from girlfriends saying, 'I'm auditioning for your part'" in the NBC series.

Lucky for Aniston, her "Friends" producers banked on "Muddling Through" -- a 1994 CBS sitcom about an ex-con attempting to rebuild her life in her small Michigan hometown -- being a flop, and they were right. It was canceled after three months on air, after which Aniston was free to fully commit to the show that would launch her career and earn her an Emmy.

But just in case this close call hasn't left you properly shook, consider another crazy factoid Aniston dropped on the Film Festival audience: "Friends" producers originally wanted her to play Monica.

"They wanted Courteney [Cox] to play Rachel," Aniston said. "And unbeknownst to each other, I wanted to play Rachel and she wanted to play Monica. It worked out perfectly."

Our hearts are still pounding way too hard over all of these horrifying what-if's. Time for a "Friends" binge on Netflix, tout de suite!