TOW the Blackout

This is one of my favorite episodes in the first season. It’s not heavy on plot, but it’s just a good episode. To be specific, it’s a good Chandler episode.

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The premise is that they’re all stuck in a city-wide blackout. Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey, and Phoebe are together at Central Perk and then Monica’s apartment. Chandler is trapped in an ATM vestibule with a Victoria’s Secret model.

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We hear his inner dialogue most of the time while’s he’s there.  He wants to flirt with her but is really nervous and keeps doing and saying stupid things. After he chokes on a piece of gum and she does the heimlich maneuver, he relaxes and they hangout. When the lights return, she kisses him on the cheek as she leaves, and he asks the security camera to give him the video footage.

Chandler door gif

The best part of the whole vestibule thing is when Chandler calls the Friends to tell them. He can’t just outright say it, because Jill (the model…and Harry Connick Jr’s wife) is standing right there. He tries to tell Monica without opening his mouth, but she can’t understand him. He snaps out her, “Put Joey on the phone,” and Joey understands him immediately. Nothing about that is funny in print. But I regularly say, “I’m trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre” regularly. At no point has that been contextually appropriate for me.

Meanwhile, back at the apartment, the other five are just hanging out with candles. They go around the room and talk about the craziest places they’ve ever had sex. Monica – a pool table. Joey – the women’s room in the New York Public Library. Phoebe – Milwaukee. Ross – It’s a Small World at Disneyland (which seems the opposite of sexy). Rachel – the foot of the bed.  This leads to Rachel lamenting that she’s never really had passion in a relationship.

Joey tells Ross that if he’s going to ask Rachel out, he better do it quickly because he’s about to be permanently planted in the friend zone. Ross and Rachel go out to the balcony alone, but Ross gets attacked by a cat before he can truly make his move.

Cat attack gif

Rachel and Phoebe go looking for the cat’s owner, and Rachel bumps into Paolo.  Hello, Passion.

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Random thoughts from the episode…

This episode starts in Central Perk but not with a random conversation.

It actually starts with Rachel introducing Phoebe as a performer at Central Perk. The blackout starts when she plays her first note. Don’t you wonder what her first song would have been?  She does sing a song about the blackout later at the apartment.

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Apparently, Chandler’s old roommate (who we know is Kip) was Jewish.  This isn’t odd, but what is odd is that there’s no mention of Ross and Monica being Jewish. Joey brings over a menorah and everyone is surprised. I’m surprised there wasn’t already a menorah in Monica’s apartment.

Ugly Naked Guy lights candles.  Ow.

We find out that Chandler was once bitten by a peacock at the zoo.

We also find out that Monica had a crush on Joey when he first moved in.  We’ll get to see that later!

Rachel and Phoebe meet Mr. Heckles, but he’s not complaining about volume control or stomping.

No denim shirt for Rachel today!

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Favorite Quotes

(All of these are courtesy of Chandler)

I am trapped in an ATM vestibule with Jill Goodacre.

On second thought gum would be perfection.

Jill: Would you like to call somebody                                                                                                                                  Chandler’s Inner Dialogue: Yeah. About 300 guys I went to high school with

TOW the Butt

This is a very important episode for tons of lame reasons I just now made up.  First of all, it’s the first episode that doesn’t start with them chatting about random stuff at Central Perk. Second of all, Rachel doesn’t wear a single denim vest.  Third, I THINK it’s the first time Chandler delivers a line with his classic emphasis on “be.” Big things are happening here, folks.

The title of the episode comes from Joey’s plot. He’s in a play at the beginning. Here’s everyone’s reaction to his play.

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And before I go any further, Matt LeBlanc recently recreated Joey’s big musical number from this episode, and it’s incredibly important that we all watch it.

I’m impressed that he remembered it. I mean, I’m sure he’s seen it since then, but it’s from the first season. Twenty-one years ago. And while it’s a really funny song, it’s not one of the most memorable moments of the series.

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Anyway, there’s apparently an agent in the audience who wants to take on Joey. This is our first mention of Estelle. We don’t actually see or hear her, though. Estelle gets Joey a part on a movie…as Al Pacino’s butt double. In case you were curious, I’ve decided based on imdb, that the movie must have been either Heat or Two Bits. I’ve seen neither, so I don’t know if Al Pacino needed a butt in either. He’s a little embarrassed by the whole thing, but excited for the opportunity. Unfortunately, he’s a little too enthusiastic, and the director thinks his butt is acting too much.  He loses the job. Here he is acting for his butt role.

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Chandler meets a girl at Joey’s play. She’s way out of his league. You can tell this because her name is Aurora. They go out, and he finds out that she’s actually married.

Ooooh gif

And she also has a boyfriend.

WHAT gif

Chandler decides to go out with her anyway. Apparently all three men know about each other, and they’re all fine with it. Chandler is fine with it, too, until a fourth man is added.

Finally, Rachel cleans the apartment and moves “the green ottoman.” Monica freaks out a little which leads the rest of them to make fun of her OCDness. She tries to deny it, but ends up realizing she is a little anal.

Why would someone do that GIF

Funny story.  I had a friend who was telling us once about how she had to clean up her classroom for some kind of official visitors. She said, and I quote…”I was sweeping anally.”  It’s still the funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. I’m sitting here laughing about it again. Anyway, Monica tries to relax a little, but she is not successful.

Random comments from the episode…

Joey mentions that his current play is better than the thing he did with the trolls. I was going to make a snarky comment about that being a dig at Jennifer Aniston in the movie Troll, but that was Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Jennifer Aniston did Leprechaun. Aren’t you glad I shared that even though it doesn’t work at all?

Aurora mentions that she and her husband ended up in Yemen. The only thing I know about Yemen is that Chandler pretends to move there in a few seasons.  I did a report on Yemen in the 7th grade. Chandler is still the only thing I know about Yemen.

When Chandler explains his dating situation to the Friends, Monica is by far the most appalled. This stands out to me because of the eventual Monica/Chandler relationship.

Phoebe mentions having once lived with Monica. I believe that’s the first time it’s mentioned. She also does this:

Phoebe Slasher Gif

Ross bores everyone.

Snore

Chandler walks in on Joey in Monica’s bathroom doing something to make his butt ready for the movie.  He yells, “My eyes! My eyes!” I hope I remember that when Phoebe does it in Season 5.

My eyes gif

Chandler has Howdy Doody in his bedroom.

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Phoebe gives Joey a great pep talk at the end. She’s so the best at that

At the very beginning, this is how they clap for Joey’s play. This is how I feel every time I have to clap for something.

Applause

Chandler does this at one point. This will be important in several seasons if I still remember it.

Chandler's face gif

Favorite Quotes

You always see these really beautiful women with these really nothing guys. You could be one of those guys!”

“Based on this play?  …  Based on this play!” (this one totally doesn’t work out of context, so you’ll have to trust me)

“Could she BE any more out of my league?”

TOW the East German Laundry Detergent

This is the weirdest episode. Everyone actually has a purpose, so that’s good. But it’s not quotable at all.  What’s the point in being an episode of Friends if you’re not even quotable?

The episode once again starts with all six in Central Perk having a random conversation. I really can’t wait to figure out when they dumped that premise.  Also, another day, another denim vest for Rachel.

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Remember on Seinfeld when Elaine dated that guy that she just called “Denim Vest.”  That could have been Rachel.

There are three main plots again, and they are split into slightly different pairs than normal. The main story is about Ross/Rachel and laundry. Rachel is going to be doing her laundry for the first time, and Ross claims to need to do laundry, too. In his head, this is a date. He shows her the ropes (she’s never done laundry in her life) and empowers her to stand up for herself against this piece of work:

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When she does stand her ground with this hat woman, they have their first kiss.

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It’s not a real kiss, but Ross is so overcome with absolute joy, that he does this:

Ross Hit

I could watch that forever.

Elsewhere, Chandler and Phoebe have decided to break up with their significant others at the same time. This stands out because until they decided to break up with them, we didn’t actually know they existed. Nothing has been said at any point to imply these two people were in relationships. Oh well.  It’s our first introduction to Janice. Wave to Janice!

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Her voice isn’t anywhere near what it will be later, but her laugh is still classic. But she says “Oh my God” at one point, and she just says it like a normal human.  Anyway, Phoebe breaks up with her guy fairly quickly, but Chandler is having a hard time with Janice. He even accidentally hits her in the face.

Hit Janice

I’m not condoning violence against anyone, but I may treasure this moment by her later season appearances. Eventuall Chandler ends up like this:

Chandler Couch

So Phoebe ends up ending things with Janice for him.

Finally, Joey’s ex-girlfriend Angela comes into Central Perk and apparently looks better than she did when they were dating.

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Joey wants to try things again, but she tells him she’s seeing someone. Joey then claims he is, too, so they plan to double date. Joey talks Monica into coming by telling her that Angela is bringing her brother for Monica. They get to the restaurant, and Monica eventually figures out that they are actually siblings. She really likes the guy, and Joey really wants Angela back so they decide to work together to break them up. Apparently, they are successful.

We see Ross’s bedroom in this episode. It shouldn’t be surprising that he has multiple plastic dinosaur figurines placed all around the room, but it’s a little disconcerting. See how many you can spot.

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Monica tells Angela at one point (when she still thinks the other man is Angela’s brother) that her own brother (Ross) didn’t tell her when he lost his virginity. Uh..I’m going to call Shenanigans, because we covered that literally one episode ago.

Rachel turns most of her clothes pink and comments that she’s going to look like a big marshmallow peep. Foreshadowing…

Ugly Naked Guy lays floor tiles.

There is no Geller family cuddling in this episode!

I’m so disappointed that I don’t have  single quote to share for this episode. But don’t worry. I’ll more than make up for it eventually.

The

TOW George Stephanopoulos

The fourth episode has always been one that kind of stands out to me. Maybe it’s because the guys spend most of their time together, and the girls spend most of their time together. No Geller family cuddling!  And I don’t think Rachel wears any denim vests. How strange!

The episode once again starts with all 6 at Central Perk having a random conversation. We’re to the point that I’m starting to wonder if I missed this theme in every episode for the last 20 years. Time will tell. The random conversation leads to one of the most Joey things that’s ever been Joeyd.

Monica: Joey, what would you do if you were omnipotent.

Joey: Probably kill myself.

Monica: Really?

Joey: Hey. If little Joey is dead then I’ve got no reason to live.

Ross: Joey, OMnipotent.
Joey: You are?

I’m sorry, but that is funny.

As I mentioned earlier, the guys stick with the guys, and the girls stick with the girls. This means there’s basically two main plots. The first one is Ross’s. Because Joey can’t have anything. Chandler and Joey invite Ross to a hockey game which they probably immediately regret when Ross realizes it’s the anniversary of the time first time he slept with Carol. He proceeds to spend the rest of the day/night talking about every detail from that night. Ross is a girl, you see. Except I’m a girl, and please.

One of the hockey players does the world a favor and makes this happen.

Ross Puck

I’m convinced Chandler paid off that hockey player. He wanted to do it himself earlier. See?

Chandler hit

The hockey puck leads to him later looking like this.

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Anyway, Joey and Chandler give him a pep talk, and then they accidentally knock out the nurse in the ER. This makes Ross feel better about being dumped for another woman.

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This is the nurse they accidentally assault and leave for dead.  Maybe I’m being dramatic. At one point Chandler calls her Dora, but I can never tell if he’s kidding there or not. I could have watched the credits to find out her name, but don’t you just want to call her Helga? Also, Joey does this:

Joey Puck

Meanwhile, Rachel is frustrated because she’s been working hard, but her pay checks are small. Her friends from Long Island stop by for a visit, and she starts to doubt her new lifestyle. These are her old friends.

Other friends

And here are her new (Monica isn’t really new, but whatever) friends making fun of her old friends.

Ahhhhh

Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe have a slumber party, but they all get bummed when they realize they don’t have life plans. Here’s Monica’s “I don’t have a plan” position. It looks a lot like mine.

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Luckily, the pizza guy brings them George Stephanopoulos’s pizza, and this changes everything. They bond while they spy on him across the street. Apparently George lives near Ugly Naked Guy. Here they are ogling him in a towel.

Balcony

We learn in this episode that Phoebe lives with her grandmother. So. Does anyone else wonder where her grandmother was while Phoebe was living on the streets? Get it together, Grandma! Phoebe also has a onesie.

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And if you look closely in this picture, I think it might have a drop seat.  Maybe we should ask Joey if he knows.

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Here’s an important question. Why didn’t Chandler know that Carol was Ross’s first? (well…let’s be honest here. Probably because we’ll find out later that she wasn’t. So Ross is a whining liar). And an even more important question, why did Monica know the exact date Carol and Ross first slept together? That might be worse than Geller Family Canoodling. But it’s easy to say that since they didn’t canoodle in this episode.

Rachel accidentally drops a pillow from the balcony while the girls are outside. At the end of the episode, a random guy returns it. It’s kind of funny, but the whole gag is so random.

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Isn’t Chandler cool in his backwards hat?

And finally, look!  It’s the fourth wall!

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Favorite Quotes

“Who’s FICA? Why’s he getting all my money?”

“The FICA guys took all my money. Everyone I know is either getting married, getting pregnant, or getting promoted, and I’m getting coffee. And it’s not even for me!”

“Phoebe, do you have a plan?”
“I don’t even have a pla.”

“That’s Big Bird’s friend.”

TOW the Thumb

The first season is weird. The third episode opens similarly to the other two. They’re all in Central Perk having a random conversation. Clearly, this was supposed to be a thing.  Can’t wait to see when it stops. Nothing particularly important happens except that it’s made relatively clear that Rachel isn’t familiar with dating lingo.

This particular episode has three main plots. And lo and behold, one is Chandler’s and one if Phoebe’s! So now it’s just poor Joey that has no substance. However, we do see him running lines for an audition.  So it’s something.

The title of the episode comes from Phoebe’s story. Extra money randomly mistakingly showed up in her bank account, and she’s upset about it. You know, as much as I love this show, there are a lot of things in these people’s lives that I just can’t identify with…but quite frankly, this takes the prize. Extra money in my account? Thank you, Wells Fargo. You’ll be seeing that agani

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Look at that antenna!

Anyway, Phoebe gives the money to a homeless woman she knows. The woman insists on giving her something, so she gives Phoebe a soda. The soda has a thumb in it. Therefore, the soda company gives Phoebe $7,000. She is irate. Seriously. Cannot relate with this story at all. Please put a thumb in my soda so that I can get $7,000.

Meanwhile, Chandler runs lines with Joey for an acting part. For the role, Joey has to smoke. We find out Chandler was a smoker. In showing Joey how to smoke, he becomes a smoker again.

Chandler Smoking GIF

Everyone is disgusted. While they’re expressing their disgust, he points out some of their flaws that we’ll never hear mentioned again (except for Ross and Rachel’s). Joey cracks his knuckles, Phoebe chews her hair, Monica snorts, and Ross over pronounces words. Phoebe points out Rachel’s flaw which is that she never gets anyone’s coffee order right. I assume Joey, Phoebe, and Monica have a period of self-reflection after this episode, because their annoying habits disappear.

Anyway, Chandler tries to quit smoking, but doesn’t give it up completely until Phoebe offers to give him $7,000 to never smoke again.  I also don’t smoke. So if someone would like to give me $7,000 for that, I would like to let them.

Finally, the other story is that Monica is dating a new guy and all the friends love him. Apparently, this is quite unusual. They like him so much that they all talk about him like their the ones dating him. When Monica decides to break up with him, she tells them first. They react like she’s breaking up with them, so Monica makes this face:

Monica's face

Amazing.

Also in this episode, Rachel wears an obscene amount of denim vests. I’ve already shown one of them, but lucky you, you get to see it again.

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That’s three different vests. And here’s a fourth in GIF form, because how weird is her laugh here?

Rachel Laughing GIF 1

If you think that laugh is weird, check out this one:

Rachel Laughing 2 GIF

What in the world?

Also, it wouldn’t be an episode of Friends without some weird Geller family touching.

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What is wrong with these two? Honestly, most of this wouldn’t seem that weird if they hadn’t already creeped me out in the last two episodes.

Early in the episode there’s a bit about how the other five always make fun of Monica’s boyfriends. It leads to Chandler doing this:

Steve is Sexy GIF

Even Rachel is in on this little joke which seems weird. They didn’t make fun of Paul the wine guy. What kind of time lapse happened between episodes 2 and 3?

Also, at one point four of them come into Central Perk having just played some sort of competitive baseball with Monica’s boyfriend…but Monica wasn’t with them. Rachel is one of the ones who was playing. This just can’t be right.

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Also, Ross has a pom pom. And what’s on the couch? And why wasn’t Phoebe invited?

All in all, this is a weird episode. It has some funny moments, but most are only funny in context. Honestly, that may be true for most things on Friends, but I only really care about it in this episode.

Favorite Quotes (I was pushing it to find two)

“The hair comes out and the gloves come off.”

“Don’t think of it as a cigarette. Think of it as the thing that has been missing from your hand.”

TOW the Sonogram at the End

Spoiler alert!  Here’s the sonogram.

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The second episode in is similar to the first one in that it’s a little light on plot. However, I think the characters are much more in line with who they’d all eventually be.

The episode starts with all six of them at Central Perk. I wonder if this was going to be a recurring thing. In the first episode, four of them sit around and have a random conversation. In this episode, all six of them are sitting around having a random conversation. They obviously do this throughout the series, but these particular scenes are just set up a little differently from their conversations in future episodes. None of it really has anything to do with anything that will happen later.

And let’s just take a moment to welcome the real Joey.

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Doesn’t he just look more like Joey?  I guess it was the hair and the leather. I don’t even know. But 1st episode Joey just wasn’t Joey. In this episode, he even has a food gag at one point. Definitely Joey Tribiani.

The credits are also now the standard that they’d follow for the rest of the series. It’s some of the dancing in front of the fountain mixed in with some season one clips.  As a side note, I always thought it was kind of funny (I’m really using that word loosely) that all the girls’ names come first alphabetically.

There are two main plots in this episode and a subplot connected to one of them.  Once again, there’s really not much for Chandler, Phoebe, or Joey. Chandler makes some jokes, Joey says some dumb stuff, and Phoebe is flighty. We do find out, though, that Phoebe has a twin, Chandler’s parents liked his imaginary friend better than him, and that Joey likes lasagna even if everyone has dug through it with their bare hands looking for an engagement ring.

The main plot of the episode is that Ross finds out his ex-wife is pregnant.  Meet Fake Carol.

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I’m going to call her Farol. But don’t worry. We’ll never see her again, so this will only last through today. Farol lets Ross know that she’s pregnant and that he can be a part of the baby’s life or not. She leaves it up to him. But she lets him know that her partner Susan is going to raise the baby with her. When she tells him she’s pregnant, this is his reaction:

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His hand just naturally went to that position. Not contrived at all.  Ross spends most of the episode conflicted over what role he wants to play. This is of course made all the worse by Susan. Susan is literally the most awful human being on the planet.

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Ugh. I could just slap her. She and Carol have already picked out names, and they’re planning to give the baby a hyphenated last name, excluding Ross, but including both of them. Look. This is problematic even for Carol to be going  along with it, but Susan is just such a jerk about it. I don’t even really like Ross, and I’m totally #TeamRoss on this one. Who does she think she is? Ross just about decides to wash his hands of the whole situation, but then he hears the heartbeat. And as much as I loathe, despise, and abominate (name that movie) Susan, and as much as I’m annoyed by Ross, and as insignificant as Farol really is, I’ve gotta admit – this is kind of sweet.

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Monica’s subplot ties into this a little bit. Monica and Ross’s parents are coming over for dinner. Monica is cleaning like crazy, fluffing and refluffing the pillows, and worried over her cooking because their mother is super critical of her.

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At the dinner, we see that yes, their mother is pretty horrible to her, and while their dad is loving, he’s not particularly aware of how hurtful some of the things he says to her are. But he calls her “our little Harmonica” so I can forgive him.

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Monica is hoping that Ross’s news that Farol is a lesbian who is also pregnant with his baby will be able to take some of the heat off her. Instead, Ross tells his stunned parents the news, and their mother turns to Monica and says, “And you knew about this?”

The worst thing about this whole scenario is that I totally relate. Meanwhile, we find out Monica used to be fat. That little revelation will be lots of fun later on.

And of course, what’s a set of Geller scenes without some shots of the Geller siblings canoodling?

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These may not be the greatest examples, but WHY ARE THEY SO PHYSICALLY CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER? I don’t understand.

The other plot in this episode revolves around Rachel having to return her engagement ring to Barry. She’s nervous because she hasn’t seen him since before the wedding. She makes things even worse by losing her engagement ring in the lasagna Monica has made for her dinner with her parents.

Phoebe finds the ring, and Rachel goes to deliver it to Barry. She’s expecting him to be mad or devastated or both, but she finds him tan and in good spirits. Turns out he went on their honeymoon with her maid of honor. He’s even grateful that she stopped things before he made a huge mistake.

Um. Okay. Yeah. Rachel Green was going to marry this man.

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Totally believable. And apparently when they were engaged, he didn’t have most of that hair, and he wore glasses. Okie doke. I really want to make fun of Rachel’s outfit (more denim!), but I just can’t. It’s kind of cute.

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I mean…I wouldn’t wear it now, but I’m pretty sure I had that exact outfit in the 8th grade. The episode ends with Rachel calling Mindy (the maid of honor now sleeping with Barry) and telling her that she hopes their kids have his old hair and her old nose.

So let’s discuss some details. At the beginning of the episode, Rachel is wearing a denim vest. She’s going to wear a lot of denim over the next few years.

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Just before Farol shows up at the museum, Ross does this:

Ross Museum Gif

Isn’t that enjoyable?

During the first episode I mentioned that not  much about Monica was really the Monica we’d eventually get to know. But she shows up in this episode! We see her cleaning and cooking and stressing about her parents. Welcome to the show, Monica Geller!

The first mention of Ugly Naked Guy across the street is in this episode! This particular time, it’s Ugly Naked Guy with a thigh master.

When Ross shows up at the apartment after finding out about Farol and the fetus, he says “hi.” It’s a very loaded “hi.” He does the same thing in the first episode. I don’t remember that being a thing after these two episodes, but I wonder if it was supposed to be. We all know, though, that “hi” became Olitz’s thing. 😉

While Jack is going on and on about how much he loves that Monica is mediocre, he mentions how when she was younger she had her puzzles. That’s going to become a Ross thing later. They also mention all the girls loving Ross. It’s not clear in this episode if that was their delusion or not. It’s clear in later seasons that Ross was not a hit with the ladies when he was younger.

If you’ve forgotten who the couple is eventually going to be, here’s a picture of Rachel leaning on Ross’s hand.

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Favorite Quotes

“I think this is the episode of Three’s Company where there’s some kind of misunderstanding.”

“When did you have it on last?”                                                                                                                  “Doi. Probably right before she lost it.”                                                                                                         “You don’t get a lot of dois these days.”

“I know I had it when I was in the kitchen with…”                                                                                “Dinah?”

TOW Monica Gets a Roommate

So before we get started with the Pilot, here’s something you should know. I made all the screen shots and GIFs myself.  Doing this is not my strength. Maybe I’ll improve if I stick with it!

One of the most notable things about the Pilot is that the opening credits is all the six friends dancing in front of and inside the fountain. Every other episode has a mixture of them dancing and clips from previous episodes. My personal favorite shot from the opening theme song is this one:

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Just Rachel sitting on a fountain with a bunch of rubber duckies. Okie dokie.

The episode starts off with four of the Friends sitting around in Central Perk. The thing about this that stands out the most is that there is a time lapse. They’re basically just talking about random things, most notably Chandler’s dream that his penis is a phone.

Ross comes in, and we find out he’s getting divorced after finding out his wife is a lesbian. Despite the fact that the first few minutes is the other four sitting around talking, we really don’t learn much about any of them. I mean, you can tell by appearances that Phoebe is a hippy dippy type. Chandler is sarcastic and has mommy issues. And Joey is Italian.  Monica is just kind of there.  But we learn a lot about Ross pretty quickly. He sits down and laments that he just wants to be married again, and lo and behold! Here comes Rachel in a wedding dress.

Here’s the first shot of all six friends together.

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If you’re having trouble finding all six, that’s Joey’s head in the bottom right corner. Monica introduces Rachel to everyone as a friend from high school, and they all find out together that she has just left her fiancé at the altar.

They go back to Monica’s  apartment, and we find out through a one way phone conversation with her dad, that Rachel was feeling pressured to be someone she wasn’t, and that she wants to find herself. I mean, that’s my summary. She doesn’t word it that way at all. Meanwhile, the other five friends are watching a Latin soap opera. Rachel declares that she’ll be staying with Monica.

While this is going on, four of them decided to drink some Mellow Yellow. Do you remember when Mellow Yellow look like this? I do not.

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The friends find out that Monica has a date with “Paul the wine guy” and excitement ensues. Apparently, this has been building for quite a while. She goes out with the guy, and he tells her that he hasn’t been able to perform sexually since his divorce two years prior. This really turns Monica on. This seems a little weird if you don’t know Monica (and since this is the pilot, we technically don’t), but I can totally see later seasons Monica seeing it as something to fix and have control over. So whatevs.

Meanwhile, Joey and Chandler have been helping Ross move into his new apartment. He expresses concerns about dating again, and Joey encourages him to “grab a spoon.” Listen. That’s not the greatest line ever or anything, but for the last 15 years of my life, any time someone has told me to “grab a spoon out of the drawer” or something, I always follow it up with Ross’s retort, “Grab a spoon? Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve grabbed a spoon.”  Also, during some of the conversation, Ross sits like this:

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Do people sit under their blinds this way? Is this a thing?  And after her date leaves her bedroom the next morning, Monica goes to work like this:

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Okay, this isn’t a great demonstration. But she’s wearing this dress over a t-shirt (hello, Duggars), and has a sweatshirt tied around her waist. She leaves just like that. No purse. Where does she keep her keys?

Monica finds out that Paul the wine guy is a lying jerkface. Rachel tries to get a job but discovers she has no skills. She ends up taking a job at the coffee shop. Ross works up the nerve to ask Rachel if he can ask her on a date one day. Don’t misunderstand. He doesn’t ask her on a date. He asks her if he can ask her out on a date…some time.  Chandler is sarcastic. Joey is Italian. Phoebe is a hippie who we do find out lived on the streets as a teenager.

This particular episode is pretty light on plot and progression overall, in my opinion.

I listened to a commentary once for an early episode of Seinfeld. Michael Richard, Jason Alexander, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus actually spend a fair amount of time talking about how the characters developed over time. They comment at one point that Elaine is already Elaine despite how early in the series it was. While this first episode of Friends isn’t the best example of character development, I do think it’s interesting how in character some of them are. Phoebe doesn’t get to do much, but she’s totally Phoebe. She sings and does kind of loopy things. What little bit she has to do is totally Phoebe. Rachel is pretty solidly Rachel, too. She’s spoiled and a little unaware of just how spoiled she is. She trying to be independent but kind of failing at it. Ross is also pretty Ross-like. To be fair, Ross is my least favorite of the friends, but all the whining and neediness  and awkwardness is classic Ross.  Chandler’s jokes are on point with the jokes he’d be making for the next several years. That’s only a small part of Chandler, though, but it’s a good introduction. Also, he does this:

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Monica and Joey are the two who I don’t think are quite developed. Monica is a clear leader of the group, but her OCD tendencies aren’t on display, and she’s not bossy yet. I have no idea who this Joey is. I mean, look at him.

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The hair. That vest. What?

I’ve read on that one of those lists of the 8 billion things you never knew about Friends, that the original couple plan for Friends was Monica/Joey and that Ross/Rachel was never supposed to be as big as it was. I’m not sure when that plan got scrapped, but there are no hints of it in the pilot. Meanwhile, from the moment Ross sees Rachel in the first few minutes of the episode to the end when he asks her if she can ask her out, there’s basically a flashing billboard above their heads saying, “WE ARE THE COUPLE THAT WILL BE HAPPENING ONE DAY.” They’re pretty cute, though. Even if Ross is annoying.

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Also, let’s pay attention to the creepiness that is Monica/Ross. Because this is how you watch TV with your brother.

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They sit like this (without the cheek kiss) through out the episode. Ew.

Other random thoughts:
Rachel is a little squeaky in this episode.

Joey tells Rachel she can stay at his place if she needs to because Chandler is away a lot.  REALLY?  Lots of transponsting conventions I assume?

Monica introduces Rachel to Chandler. That’s going to be problematic in later seasons. Per Season 2, she almost slept with him just before this season anyway. And per Season 5, she met him when she was in high school and he was in college.

At the very end of the episode, the friends are having trouble talking because Phoebe keeps repeating what they say as a song. A) That’s the start of Phoebe singing, so that’s fun, but B) It reminds me of when Phoebe tries to make the series finale a musical. On the commentary for that episode (I know…I need to stop it with the commentaries. It’s embarrassing) the creators mention that once she did that, they wished they’d had her doing it all along, Well, hello dummies! You even had her do it in the first episode! It was staring you in the face from the beginning.

Favorite Quotes: 

Rachel: And that’s when it hit me: how much Barry looks like Mr. Potato Head. I mean, I always knew he looked familiar…

Joey: Hey Pheebs, you wanna help?                                                                                                Phoebe: Oh I wish I could, but I don’t want to.

Chandler: Alright kids, I’ve gotta get to work. If I don’t input those numbers…it doesn’t make much of a difference.

And the line that I think could sum up this series and every series like it…

Monica: Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You’re gonna love it.