The One With The Lesbian Wedding
Season 2, episode 11
35th overall episode of Friends
Susan and Carol get married.
Episode Information

January 18, 1996

Written by

Doty Abrams

Directed by

Thomas Schlamme

Episode Guide

The One With Russ


The One After The Superbowl, Part 1


"The One With the Lesbian Wedding" is the eleventh episode of the second season of Friends, which aired on January 18, 1996. It attracted mild controversy and censorship as a result of its portrayal of same-sex marriage.


Carol and Susan announce their wedding plans to Ross. Monica caters the wedding after the original caterer is in an accident. Monica plans the food preparation badly, with very little time for everything to be ready on schedule, so she has everyone helping. Reflecting the larger controversy surrounding gay marriage, Carol's parents refuse to attend the wedding, causing Carol to have second thoughts about her decision, which almost leads to calling the wedding off. Unexpectedly, Ross finds himself encouraging her to go ahead with the ceremony despite their opposition if she really loves Susan. Carol knows he's right, so the preparations resume.

Joey makes his first appearance on the soap opera Days Of Our Lives as Dr. Drake Ramoray. Meanwhile, Phoebe is going through a work problem when the old lady she was massaging died on her massaging table and she fears that her soul is stuck with her. This is featured in the episode by Phoebe occasionally blurting out old-lady-sounding phrases. Following a meeting with her late client's husband, Phoebe learns that Mrs Adelman always stated to want to see everything before she "goes". Rachel's mother, Sandra Green, visits, and has news for Rachel - she's divorcing her father. Rachel is devastated to say the least, but her mother confides in her that she married her Barry (the latter being the guy Rachel dumped on the altar because she didn't love him).

Sandra stays for the lesbian wedding, where Phoebe loudly exclaims: "Now I've seen everything!" Mrs Adelman's spirit is finally out of her. The wedding ceremony takes place, and at the reception, Ross can't help looking over at Carol and Susan on the happiest day of their lives. Phoebe is asked for drinks by a woman.

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

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

Supporting Cast

Marlo Thomas - Sandra Green
Jane Sibbett - Carol Willick
Jessica Hecht - Susan Bunch
Phil Leeds - Mr. Adelman
Candace Gingrich - Minister
Symba Smith - Chrissy
Lea DeLaria - Woman


Directed By:
Thomas Schlamme

Written By:
Doty Abrams


As a result of its portrayal of a lesbian couple marrying, the episode attracted some controversy across the United States. Two network affiliates refused to air the episode - KJAC-TV in Port Arthur, Texas and WLIO in Lima, Ohio - citing objectionable content, although the decision drew little press attention, partly due to the small size of the markets in question. Gay and lesbian groups - notably GLAAD - decried the censorship of the episode.

While the episode was one of the first mainstream portrayals of gay marriage on US television, it was the second gay marriage on a sitcom that season; the show Roseanne had aired an episode just five weeks before in which the title character coordinated a wedding for her co-worker Leon and his lover Scott. The New York Times claimed "The biggest news about the wedding on Friends was that it was almost no news at all." However, the fact that Carol and Susan's ceremony was officiated by Candace Gingrich, a gay-rights activist and sister to conservative Congressman Newt Gingrich did draw some media attention, as the casting was perceived as a comment on the Republican Party's anti-gay rights stance and the "Contract with America" platform.

A writer with the Associated Press noted in an article that week that the ceremony would not include a kiss by the newlyweds, including the episode as part of an observed trend of portrayals of gay characters while skirting controversy by avoiding or minimizing physical contact.

The episode was the highest rated television program for the week, with 31.6 million viewers.



  • This is the first appearance of Marlo Thomas as Sandra Green in the series.
  • In the final scene, the friends discuss who is likely to be married first and last. Despite everyone thinking it will be Chandler to marry last, Chandler (along with Monica) is actually the first of the group to enter a marriage that doesn't end just a few episodes later. Joey is actually the last to marry, being the only cast member to not have a wedding during the series.


  • When the ceremony begins and Phoebe (as the deceased woman) says "Oh, my god!" her arms are loose. In the next shot, as she says "Now I've seen everything!" her arms are together. Rachel's face also changes in these shots.
  • At the beginning of the episode when Ross, Carol and Susan are talking, the toddler playing Ben changes mid-way through their conversation.
  • During the scene where the group is watching Joey's part on Days of Our Lives, Joey gets excited and turns apparently knocking Chandler's glass of milk with his knee. You can see Ross look down and reach for the glass. In the next shot, you can see where the milk spilled on the coffee table and Monica doesn't seem to mind at all.
  • Days of Our Lives is shot in Burbank, CA. (however, one could argue that the "real world" Days of Our Lives doesn't feature Dr. Drake Remoray either - this is clearly a different DOOL that is filmed in New York)

Episode Navigation

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 Russ"
"The One With The Lesbian Wedding" Followed by
"The One After the Superbowl, Part 1"

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