The One With The Monkey
Season 1, episode 10
10th overall episode of Friends
Ross introduces his monkey to the group.
Episode Information

December 15, 1994

Written by

Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider

Directed by

Peter Bonerz

Episode Guide

The One Where Underdog Gets Away


The One With Mrs. Bing


"The One With The Monkey" is the tenth episode of the first season of Friends. It premiered on December 15, 1994. It was written by Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider and directed by Peter Bonerz.


The holidays are coming, and Ross introduces the guys to his new roommate, Marcel the monkey. Meanwhile, Chandler proposes a no-date New Year's Eve, about which no one is really enthusiastic. In the middle of her "suicidal" performance (apt enough, as twelve of thirteen songs are about her mother's suicide), Phoebe notices two guys, Max and David, whose talking is disrupting her singing. It turns out they were discussing Phoebe's attractiveness and David thinks she is particularly cute, which is enough for her to start dating him.

Phoebe wants to bring David to the New Year's party at Monica's, but the guys find it annoying, as this will break the no-date promise. Ironically, Chandler is the first to break the pact by inviting Janice. After talking it out with him, Phoebe gets David to kiss her. Eventually, what with Rachel's boyfriend Paolo catching an earlier flight, Monica inviting Fun Bobby, and Joey hooking up with Sandy, Ross is the only one without a date for the Dick Clark festivity. Max interrupts the group with news--he and David have gotten the grant, full expenses paid, for research in Minsk for three years--and the departure date is January 1. However, David is not sure whether to go because of Phoebe, and when he asks her to decide for him, she makes him stay.

At the party, almost everyone is with their dates, but plans are not nearly as good as expected: Joey's date has brought her two children, so that he couldn't kiss her without them watching, and then she ends up with Max; Janice continually exhibits the features that made Chandler dump her in the first place; Paolo misses his flight and Rachel is beaten up by a woman; following his grandfather's very recent death, Fun Bobby is far from fun; and Ross brings Marcel but the monkey ditches him. Just as Phoebe's night promises to be a good one, Max reveals to David how despite David's decision to stay, he's still going to Minsk. Broken-heartedly, Phoebe tells David she believes he belongs in Minsk, and he'll have to go to fulfill his career. David doesn't know how to break up with her, so she has to teach him that, too. David does, however, promise her that he won't forget her, and that he loves her. Phoebe replies that she will miss him.

The friends find themselves keeping the promise they all strove hard to break--each is alone at the start of the new year. Nobody is in the mood to kiss anyone, but Chandler is moaning that he has no one to kiss and Joey kisses him to shut him up.

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

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 Cast

Hank Azaria - David
Vincent Ventresca - Fun Bobby
Wayne Pére - Max
Sarah MacDonnell - Sandy
Maggie Wheeler - Janice Hosenstein
Dick Clark - Himself (uncredited)
Katie - Marcel the Monkey (uncredited)
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)


Directed By:
Peter Bonerz

Written By:
Adam Chase & Ira Ungerleider



  • This is the first appearance of Fun Bobby and David in the series.
  • This is also the first appearance of Ross's monkey, Marcel.
  • This is one of two New Year's Eve parties the gang host; the second takes place during "The One With All The Resolutions" (S5E11)
  • The song that plays during the party is "Shiny Happy People" (1991) by R.E.M.
  • This is the first time in the series that Chandler reunites with Janice. They later briefly reunite in "The One With The Candy Hearts" (S1E14), and start a relationship in "The One With Barry And Mindy's Wedding" (S2E24).
  • This episode is the first to feature a shot of a kiss between two same-sex people (Chandler and Joey).
  • Max says that Minsk is in Russia but is actually in Belarus. However, Minsk only officially became the capital of the Republic of Belarus in 1991, and the episode takes place on December 31, 1994, three years later. So it is possible Max was confused when he said that Minsk is in Russia.
    • However, Phoebe also implied that Minsk was in Russia when she said "I know" in response to Max, and later throughout the series, multiple people say the same thing.
    • When the writers were in school, Minsk was in the Soviet Union, for which Russia was a synonym. Many things changed when the USSR dissolved in December 1991.
  • Chandler mentions getting bitten by a peacock, which was first mentioned by Phoebe in "The One With The Blackout" (S1E7).
  • At the Party Max refers to Phoebe as 'Yoko', this is a reference to John Lennon's wife Yoko Ono who many blame to have come between The Beatles, causing them to break up.
  • In this episode, Phoebe and Chandler are seen decorating Monica's tree, but in "The One With The Routine" (S6E10), Ross suggests that Monica never lets people help decorate her tree when he says "Wow, Monica's letting other people help decorate her tree! Did someone get her drunk again?"
  • Max tells Phoebe that the trip to Minsk is for three years; however David doesn't resurface until Season 7, rather than Season 4. The most likely explanation is that he got another grant to continue his research while his first one was still in progress.
  • In the uncut DVD version of the episode, extra scenes during the party include Monica and Phoebe helping Rachel get ready for the party in her bedroom, Monica telling Fun Bobby she knows how he feels about losing a grandparent but asking him to stop dragging the party down, and Rachel trying to start a conversation with a guy at the party and spitting her wine due to her fat lip.


  • When Ross takes a picture of Chandler after him dumping Janice, and he says "oh, will you give me the thing?!", the frame skips after the flash, placing Chandler in a slightly different position, showing a cut in editing.

Memorable Quotes

  • [Ross enters the room with a monkey on his shoulder]
    Chandler: Look, that monkey's got a Ross on his ass.
  • [Joey enters the room while wearing an elf's costume]
    Chandler: Too many jokes! Must...mock...Joey!
  • Ross: It's hard to accept that something that you love so much doesn't love you back.

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 Where Underdog Gets Away"
"The One With The Monkey"" Followed by
"The One With Mrs. Bing"