|"The One With The Prom Video"|
Ross in the prom video
|Written by||Alexa Junge|
|Directed by||James Burrows|
|Guest stars|| Elliott Gould as Jack Geller |
Patrick Kerr as The Restaurant Manager
Christina Pickles as Judy Geller
Michael Bower as Roy Gublik (as Michael Ray Bower)
Lou Thornton as Gail
Tim Bohn as Jonathan
|Original airdate||February 1, 1996|
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"The One With The Prom Video" is the fourteenth episode of the second season of Friends, which aired on NBC on February 1, 1996. The episode focuses on the main characters watching Monica and Rachel getting ready for their high school prom in the titular video. A subplot sees a now-wealthy Joey buying roommate Chandler an unusual gift.
The episode was directed by James Burrows, written by Alexa Junge and guest-stars Elliott Gould and Christina Pickles as Jack and Judy Geller, and Patrick Kerr as the restaurant manager. It frequently ranks amongst the series' best episodes in polls.
After he starts making more money playing Drake Ramoray on Days of Our Lives, Joey gives Chandler an extremely tacky gold, engraved bracelet as thanks for paying for head shots and food. Chandler mocks it when it costs him a date, greatly upsetting Joey when he overhears. Chandler apologizes to Joey and promises to never take it off again, though later loses it. He reluctantly buys a replacement, but the original is found shortly afterwards. When Joey sees Chandler holding two bracelets, he gives one to Joey, repairing their friendship.
Ross continues to seek forgiveness from Rachel after inadvertently insulting her in a previous episode, but she tells him that they as a couple will never happen. Phoebe thinks otherwise, however, calling Ross and Rachel lobsters. When she receives blank looks, she explains: "It's a known fact that lobsters fall in love and mate for life. You can actually see old lobster couples walking around their tank, holding claws." Jack and Judy Geller bring boxes of Monica's possessions to her apartment because they are turning her room into a gym. While looking through it, Monica finds a video of her and Rachel getting ready for their senior prom.
The friends decide to watch the video from the prom although Ross objects to everyone seeing the tape. The video reveals that Monica was previously obese, and that Rachel had a large nose. Rachel seems to be stood up by her prom date, Chip Matthews, so after some persuading from Judy, Ross plans to take her to prom instead. He dresses up in a suit and finds a makeshift flower bouquet, but Rachel's date shows up before she learns of Ross' plans. The video ends with Ross looking disappointed and rejected. Rachel, touched by Ross's gesture, gets up and passionately kisses Ross, forgiving him for what happened between them. The episode ends with Phoebe exclaiming "See, he's her lobster!".
Cast and CrewEdit
The producers had kept Ross and Rachel from being together throughout the first season, eventually bringing them together in the second season episode "The One Where Ross Finds Out", only to split them up in the following episode. Writer Alexa Junge incorporated many of her own experiences into the script, in particular Phoebe's line about Ross and Rachel being "lobsters", something Junge's husband once said. Aniston wore a false nose for the scenes in the video while Cox wore a "fat suit". While a previous episode had already established Monica as being overweight as a child, this was the first on-screen appearance of "Fat Monica" (the fat suit made frequent return appearances). Rachel's large nose was added because Junge believed that the characters "were so good-looking, you wanted to feel they had some realness in their past".
At first, Schwimmer did not want to wear the afro wig and mustache because he thought he would look like Gabe Kaplan in Welcome Back, Kotter (a similarity referenced in the episode). He relented because it enabled him to "tap into a part of himself that was very vulnerable and shy" and incorporate it into his performance. An early script draft featured a scene in the prom video in which an episode of All My Children is on in the background. The scene was intended to feature the character "Bryce", played by Gunther (as it was revealed that Gunther had once had a role as this character in this sitcom in "The One Where Eddie Won't Go").
Entertainment Weekly rates the episode "A", welcoming the return of Burrows as director and calling the prom video "witty character development disguised as a standard flashback." The authors of Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to Friends write that it is "a watershed in the history of the show" and "It's the sign of a good show that they can switch so effortlessly from comedy to pathos to romance in one short scene." Robert Bianco wrote in USA Today in 2004, "If any one outing can take credit for moving Friends from good to great, it's Prom Video" and describes the resolution as an "ingenious, unexpected twist."
The episode is popular among fans of the series. It appeared on one of the first region 1 "Best Of" DVD releases and is one of the two episodes to feature an audio commentary on the region 1 DVD release of the complete second season. In a poll conducted shortly before the series finale, "The One with the Prom Video" was voted the best episode of Friends, with 1.6 million people polling on the Internet. The episode is the favorite of Schwimmer, who liked the comedic and emotional origins of the Ross/Rachel relationship, as well as the exchange between Monica and Chandler as she defends her weight on the video.
- According to Matthew Perry, Courtney Cox was so well characterized in the fat suit that he passed right through her without recognizing her.
- Ironically, Ross is allergic to lobsters, according to Monica in The One Where Ross Finds Out.
- During the prom video, Monica, Rachel, and Monica's date Roy are standing in the living room. When Roy leaves the room saying, "I'm gonna kick Chip's ass," the camera follows him out, but as it's turning the boom mic operator is visible. He's kneeling on the floor sliding the mic toward the girls.
- Patrick Kerr, the actor who portrays the perverted restaurant manager with a salad fetish who interviews Monica, later appeared in an episode of Joey as a film producer. Whether or not the two characters portrayed by Kerr are the same person is unknown, but a possibility given the number of years that took place between the episodes. Since they are portrayed by the same actor, it is safe to assume that they are.
- Although it's not clear if he paid her, Monica refers to the training program she made Chandler stick with as her last job. It's also possible that Monica lied and claimed she worked under Chandler at his corporate job.
- Monica's old room, the new Geller gym, can be seen in The One With The Cuffs.
- In the same Season 4 episode, Monica tells Phoebe that her parents transformed her room into a gym "20 minutes after I [she] moved out". Actually, if this were true, she would have known about this as early as from The One With The Sonogram At The End, when her parents first visited her.
- The only thing which makes Jack and Judy empty Ross' room is when they decide to sell the house in The One Where Rosita Dies.
- Ross re-discovers the passion for playing his keyboard in The One Where Chandler Crosses The Line.
| Preceded by|
"The One After the Superbowl, Part 2"
|"The One With The Prom Video"|| Followed by |
"The One Where Ross and Rachel...You Know"