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The One With The Tea Leaves

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The One With The Tea Leaves
Friends episode
Ross behind Mona's couch
Season 8x17
Episode no. 187
Written by R. Sandy Leir Jr.
Ivana Party
Directed by Barb E. Que
Guest stars Alec Baldwin - Parker
Steve Ireland - Mr. Zelner
James LeGros - Jim
Mark Lutz - Mona's boyfriend
Bonnie Somerville - Mona
Danielle Stratton - Waitress
Original airdate March 7, 2002
Episode List
← Previous Next →
"The One Where Joey Tells Rachel"
"The One In Massapequa"

"The One With The Tea Leaves" is the seventeenth episode of the eighth season of Friends, which aired on March 7, 2002.


Things have gone awkward between Joey and Rachel after their date the previous night. Rachel is desperate to get back on good terms with Joey, so she takes Monica's advice to change the subject to something work-related and ask his advice on a problem. However, she can't think of anything and ends up blurting out that her boss wants to buy her baby. Joey then goes to Rachel's work and yells at her boss. Rachel panics upon hearing this for the first time, but cheers up when she learns her boss is so afraid that she will sue that he gives her an extra month of maternity leave. When Phoebe reads her own tea leaves, she sees that she'll meet the man of her dreams soon. She assumes it isa guy she has been seeing practically every day on her errands, and finally talks to him. He asks her out despite being slightly bemused when she misunderstands the pretty obvious meaning of a remark he makes but when they go on the date, he intimidates her with a number of highly inappropiate and rude vile comments, seemingly just to amuse himself. He also claims, most likely lying in yet another attempt to intimidate her, to be a writer of "erotic novels for children" which are "wildly unpopular." Phoebe then has to find a new dry cleaning facility to avoid encountering her bullying date again, and meets a cheerful gentleman named Parker, who she finds more to her taste.

Cast and CrewEdit

Main CastEdit

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 CastEdit

Alec Baldwin - Parker
Steve Ireland - Mr. Zelner
James LeGros - Jim 

Bonnie Somerville - Mona
Danielle Stratton - Waitress


Directed By:
Gary Halvorson

Written By:
R. Lee Fleming Jr. & Steven Rosenhaus


  • Phoebe's date is based off a real boyfriend of one of the creators.
  • This is the final appearance of Bonnie Somerville as Mona in the series.
  • The magazine Ross is reading on his couch before Mona comes by is the magazine he was reading behind the couch in her apartment. In the uncut version, Ross leaves the apartment, but not before taking the magazine from a little table and stalking out the door.
  • The restaurant outside Phoebe's new laundry place was Dot's Spot, the same place Monica went on a date with Chip Matthews in "The One With The Cat" (S4E2).


  • Although Phoebe's tea leaf predictions for her and Monica do not come true immediately, it can be argued that they were each fulfilled in "The One With The Pediatrician", where Phoebe meets future husband Mike Hannigan and Monica gets a new job at a higher-class restaurant.


  • Phoebe dates Jim after seeing him everywhere while out on her errands, but finds him so intimidating due to his creepy, perverted, bullying comments that she tells Monica she will never return to any of the places she encountered him. However, he was also a regular customer in the coffee shop, and was seen in there at the beginning of the episode, so logic would suggest that she would avoid going to the coffee shop as well, yet she seemed comfortable going there without having to worry about him in later episodes, but the reason for this is never revealed. It is however possible that he may have been scared away by her friends.

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 Where Joey Tells Rachel"
Season Eight Episodes Followed by
"The One In Massapequa"

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