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The One With The East German Laundry Detergent

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"The One With The East German Laundry Detergent"
Friends episode
Ross and Rachel wash their dirty laundry together.
Season 1x05
Episode no. 5
Written by Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss
Directed by Pamela Fryman
Guest stars Camille Saviola as The Horrible Woman
Kim Gillingham as Angela
Jack Armstrong as Bob
Maggie Wheeler as Janice
Original airdate October 20, 1994
Episode List
← Previous Next →
"The One With George Stephanopoulos"
"The One With The Butt"

"The One With The East German Laundry Detergent" is the fifth episode of the first season of Friends, which aired on October 20, 1994.


Eager to spend time with Rachel, Ross pretends his building's washroom is rat-infested so he can join her at the laundromat. Chandler points out this could be a 'date' and the first time she'll see his underwear so it shouldn't be dirty. Rachel, the spoiled 'laundry virgin' feels managing this domestic chore is a real step to independence, but despite Ross's good advice a woman who has been bullying Rachel all night puts a red sock in with her white clothes, turning all her white clother pink. The real accomplishment comes where she has to stand up as no-nonsense-New Yorker against a rude, aggressive woman who invents rules to pretend it's not Rachel's turn to do her laundry. Joey realizes he regrets dumping foxy Angela when he learns she is dating Bob. He proposes a double-date, then needs a girl stat. Monica agrees to be Joey's date but when she sees hunky Bob and realizes he's not Angela's brother she starts to enjoy the evening. Chandler drinks too much espresso while desperately trying to break up with Janice. Phoebe seems to have a gift for breaking up with people, as hers is quick, painless, and ends with a hug. Chandler's attempts, by contrast, become increasingly awkward to the point where he pokes Janice in the eye. He finally asks Phoebe for help. Phoebe says a few words to Janice, the two hug, and Janice leaves. Chandler says "We should always break up together." Phoebe agrees. The episode ends with Phoebe liking Rachel's "idea" of dying all her clothes pink because all her clothes match. Monica and Joey return, triumphant because they successfully broke up Bob and Angela. Somebody asks where Chandler is. Phoebe says "He needed time to grieve." Chandler then runs past outside yelling "I'm free!"

Cast and CrewEdit

Main CastEdit

Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Green
Courteney Cox - Monica Geller
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller

Supporting CastEdit

Camille Saviola - The Horrible Woman
Kim Gillingham - Angela
Jack Armstrong - Bob
Maggie Wheeler - Janice


Directed By:
Pamela Fryman

Written By:
Jeff Greenstein & Jeff Strauss



  • This is the first on-screen kiss of Ross and Rachel in the series.
  • This is the first appearance of Janice in the show.
  • Ross's detergent Überweiss is German for "Super White."
  • The executive producer credits are moved to the end of the opening sequence, with the creator credits preceding them.


  • While on the date, Monica says that Ross never told her when he lost his virginity, but in the "The One With George Stephanopoulos" (S1E4), Monica states that Ross told everyone, including her, that he had lost his virginity to Carol.
    • Although, Ross may have told everyone he slept with Carol for the first time a long time after he had first slept with her.
  • A sign in the laundromat reads "lost cloths" not "lost clothes", though a surprising number of laundromats have the same spelling error.
    • Although it's possible that they actually do mean cloths and it is not a spelling error, assuming that people wash more than just their clothes.
  • Rachel tells Ross that she can't even send back soup, but she sends back a drink in "The One With The Flashback" (S3E6), which chronologically was a year earlier.
  • In this episode, Monica says she sees Ugly Naked Guy laying kitchen tile. However, it is impossible for Monica to see into his kitchen. As we see in Season 5 when Ross gets that apartment, the kitchen is in the upper right of the screen with a door, and in "The One Where Everybody Finds Out " (S5E14), when Phoebe finds out about Chandler and Monica, a straight on shot of the window in that apartment shows it is impossible to see the kitchen.
  • When Rachel yells to the horrible woman and says "You're gonna have to take me with it", Ross is mouthing the line.

Episode NavigationEdit

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Preceded by
"The One With George Stephanopoulos"
"The One With The East German Laundry Detergent" Followed by
"The One With The Butt"
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