Rachel explaining why she ran out on her wedding.
|Alternate Names|| "The One Where It All Began"|
"The One Where Monica Gets A Roommate"
|Written by||Marta Kauffman & David Crane|
|Directed by||James Burrows|
|Guest stars|| John Allen Nelson - Paul the Wine Guy |
Clea Lewis - Franny
Cynthia Mann - The Waitress
Barry Hines as Guy in the Coffee House
|Original airdate||September 22, 1994|
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"The Pilot" (also known as "The One Where It All Began" or "The One Where Monica Gets A Roomate") is the first episode of Friends. It premiered on NBC on September 22, 1994. This first episode focuses on Rachel Green running out on her wedding, Ross Geller's wife moving out and Monica Geller's date with Paul the Wine Guy. The first episode was written by Marta Kauffman & David Crane and was directed by James Burrows.
Monica, Joey, Chandler and Phoebe are hanging out at the coffee house, talking about Monica's date for the evening. With a breathy, melancholy "Hi", Ross joins the group. Carol, his lesbian ex-wife, has finally moved her stuff out of his apartment. The discussion changes to this, and Ross, irritated by Joey's suggestion that he take advantage of the fact that he's now single by going to strip joints, tells him "I don't want to be single! I just want to be married again." Just then, Rachel enters the coffee house wearing a wedding dress, causing Chandler to remark on the irony of that happening by saying "And I just want a million dollars!" Rachel, as it turns out, is looking for Monica to ask her for a place to stay, as she has just ran out on her wedding after realizing she wasn't actually in love with the groom after all.
At Monica's apartment, the gang are watching a Spanish soap opera and trying to translate the lines. Rachel, on the phone with her father, is justifying her drastic actions, declaring that she doesn't love Barry. She also tells him that she'll be staying with Monica. Ross asks the guys to help him set up the new furniture, and he asks Rachel for help too, but she wants to stay by herself that night. This she does, as Phoebe plays the guitar in the subway and Monica goes out with her date, Paul.
Meanwhile, Ross and the guys set up the apartment, which is practically empty, as Carol has taken all of the stuff. Ross confides in Joey and Chandler how upset he is at being divorced at 26. The guys try to comfort him; Joey, in particular, tells him to get a grip on himself and go out with some women to get over his ex-wife. He reminds Ross that there are many different women in the world just like there are many different flavours of ice cream in the world, and advises Ross to metaphorically "grab a spoon." At Monica's apartment, Rachel attempts to leave a number of messages to Barry in order to apoligize to him, and watches Joanie loves Chachi in the living-room. On her date, Monica is getting to know Paul, who confides in her how it's been 2 years since he last performed during sex. Monica spits soup on him out of shock and quickly apoligizes, and they make up and end up having sex that night. After watching Joey leave to go out on on a date with a woman whose name he has trouble remembering at first, Ross asks Chandler "Even if I could get it together enough to ask a woman out...who am I gonna ask?" He then gazes out of the window, and in the next clip, we see Rachel sitting next to the window at Monica's apartment with a saddened, lonely expression.
The next day, Rachel, determined to turn over a new leaf, makes coffee for the first time in her life, which she thinks is great. Chandler and Joey, who get to taste it, think differently and end up watering the plant on the table with the coffee. Monica talks to Paul and kisses him goodbye at the door, a conversation which Rachel, Joey and Chandler eavesdrop upon. Chandler and Joey leave the apartment, and the girls talk about Monica's night. Monica then goes to work, where she meets her colleague Franny again. Franny knows Paul, and when he becomes the subject of their talk, Monica finds out that Paul uses the 2-year line to hook up with girls. When she admits this to the group, the guys are in disbelief how she did not see it coming. Rachel joins the group with her new shopping stuff, which she had used credits cards paid for by her father to buy. Back at the apartment, the group, feeling it would be best for her to live independently with no financial support from her parents whatsoever, persuade her to cut her credit cards in half.
Later that night, Monica, Rachel and Ross are watching TV. Monica leaves for bed, smashing Paul's watch to the floor on her way to the bedroom. Ross informs Rachel that when they went to high school together, he had developed a crush on her, and she responds by telling him she had known this. A surprised Ross states that he believed she had always just thought of him as "Monica's geeky older brother," only for her to tell him she actually had. Ross takes the opportunity to hypothesize a date with her, which she does not object to. Rachel leaves the room as Monica enters from hers, and when she notices, with approval, her brother's suddenly cheerful demeanour and asks what has happened to him that has cheered him up, he replies, just before leaving the apartment, seemingly with newfound hope at one day finding love after all, "I just grabbed a spoon".
During the closing credits, Rachel pours coffee to her new five friends at the coffee house, where she now works as a waitress. They ask if Rachel made the coffee, but when Rachel tells them she is only serving it, they feel safe to drink it.
Cast and CrewEdit
David Schwimmer was the first to be cast. Having already auditioned for a different pilot for Kauffman and Crane in 1993, the part of Ross was written with him in mind. Lisa Kudrow's role as Ursula on Mad About You attracted the producers to her (later episodes would establish Ursula as Phoebe's twin sister). Courteney Cox was considered for the role of Rachel, but after reading the script, she read for Monica. Matt LeBlanc was cast as Joey because the producers wanted "a guy's guy". LeBlanc auditioned over eight times, and his final one was a reading with Jennifer Aniston and Cox. Matthew Perry had previously worked with Kauffman and Crane in an episode of Dream On, and requested an audition after identifying with Chandler. He was denied the audition because he was "off the market" after appearing in a pilot called LAX 2194. Jon Cryer auditioned for Chandler while appearing on stage in London. He read for a British casting director who sent a video tape of his audition to the casting executives in Los Angeles, though the tape did not arrive in time. Perry was eventually cast when the network and producers decided his other pilot would not be commissioned for a full series. Jennifer Aniston was cast last, having originally been eyed for Monica.
Once the six had been cast, James Burrows, the director of the pilot episode, decided to take the cast to Las Vegas for dinner. "It's really important for me that the cast bond," he explained. "You knew from the instant we shot the pilot how electrifying the six of them were together. So we got on a plane to Vegas and we had dinner at Wolfgang Puck's restaurant there. And I remember telling the cast, 'This is your last shot at anonymity.' And it was true. I also remember they all needed money to gamble. So a couple of them wrote me checks, because I had some cash. The biggest check I got was $200. So times have changed."
Writing and FilmingEdit
When the pilot was first pitched the producers intended Phoebe and Chandler to be secondary characters who provided humor around the other four main characters, though by the time filming began they were a part of the core six. Joey and Chandler were originally written similarly but at the request of Burrows, Joey was "dumbed up a bit". NBC Entertainment president Don Ohlmeyer was worried that the audience would see Monica as "a slut" because she slept with Paul on the first date, but the producers did not share the concern. A questionnaire was issued to the audience after the taping and the results sided with the producers. The same questionnaire was issued to focus groups, whose response was the same as Ohlmeyer's, but the episode went out unaltered. The series was known as Friends Like Us during casting and Six of One at the time of the pilot, but was retitled Friends before broadcast. Several scenes that were cut from the episode were restored when the series went into syndication, bringing the running time to 37 minutes.
- According to the producers, a questionnaire regarding Monica's promiscuity was passed out at the taping of "The Pilot" at the request of NBC. Apparently NBC considered Monica a slut for sleeping with Paul the Wine Guy on their first date.
- The Spanish-language soap opera that the Friends watch at Monica's apartment is the very successful "Tres Destinos (1993)". The lady that doesn't seem to be too happy about the pipe organ is Puerto Rican actress Angela Meyer.
- In The One With The Flashback, Monica, Ross, Phoebe and Chandler say they do not know where they would hang out as Central Perk was once a bar and would later become a coffee house.
- Shortly after Rachel storms in, Jasmine asks Rachel "Can I get you some coffee?". Later Jasmine works with Phoebe at a massage Parlor.
- This is the only episode with the intro right at the start.
- Joey's wristwatch appears and disappears during the whole episode.
- Barry's surname is Finkle during this episode. In later episodes, his last name has been changed to Farber.
- It can be clearly seen that the apartment numbers are 4 (Joey and Chandler's) and 5 (Monica and Rachel's). Being situated too high to have such low numbers, they have been re-numbered to 19 and 20 respectively.
- After Rachel runs into the café, Monica introduces her to Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe and says "Remember my brother Ross?". In The One With The Thanksgiving Flashbacks, Chandler met Rachel at Monica's house at least twice in two years during Thanksgiving; another time at college during a party, where he also kisses her for about 5 seconds; and once when she was engaged to Barry (not much before the pilot of the series), when he tries to hit on her with little success. It should be natural that Rachel should have remembered Chandler when she got to the café instead of being introduced for the first time there; however, she shows no sign of previous acquaintance with him.
- Similar to her younger sister Amy after meeting Ross after several occasions in Season 9, Rachel acts as if she does not know Chandler when they first meet at Central Perk. However, they have met in 1987 and 1988 according to Monica's account of the events that occurred in The One With The Thanksgiving Flashbacks. Rachel describes herself being a lot like Amy when she moved to the city in 1994 and continually throughout the series, she has a habit of forgetting who people are, especially considering the close relationships she has with these people at work and in her apartment building.
- When Monica ask Ross if it was ok for her to go on a date with Paul the Wine Guy, the door closed by itself.
- The instructions in moves between shots when the guys where building Ross's new apartment.
- At the end of the episode when Ross picks up his jacket, there is a blue bowl on the small table by the pillar and nothing on the main kitchen table. In the next shot, the blue bowl has moved to the large table.
- When Phoebe is touching Ross's hair, his hand moves position at another scene, instantly.
Rachel:I know that you and I kinda drifted apart, but you're the only person I knew who lived here in the city. Monica: Who wasn't invited to the wedding...?
Rachel: Oh, I was kinda hoping that wouldn't be an issue
[Rachel is supposed to be cutting up her credit cards]
Everybody: Cut, cut, cut, cut.
Rachel: [cuts a card] You know what? I think we can leave it at that. It was kind of a symbolic gesture...
Monica: Rachel, that was a library card.
[Everybody cheers her on, and she reluctantly cuts a credit card] Chandler: You know, if you listen closely, you can hear a thousand retailers scream.
Monica: [to Rachel] Welcome to the real world. It sucks. You're gonna love it.
Joey:Ok Ross, you're gettin a divorce... you're angry, you're hurtin... can I tell you what the answer is?... STRIP JOINTS! Come on! You're single! Have some hormones!
Ross: But I don't want to be single... I just want to be married again
[Rachel walks in wearing wedding dress] Chandler: And I just want a million dollars!
Joey: Hey, Phoebs, do you wanna help? Phoebe: Oh, I wish I could, but I don't want to.
Chandler: All right, kids, I've got to get to work. If I don't input those numbers-... Doesn't make much of a difference.
Ross: [after he's broken up with Carol] Hi... Joey: This guy says hello, I wanna kill myself.
Phoebe: Ooh, ugh.
[as Ross sits down on the sofa, Phoebe begins "cleansing his aura"] Ross:Oh, no, no. Stop cleansing my aura. Phoebe: But...
[she continues to "cleanse his aura"]
Ross:No, just leave my aura alone, okay?
Phoebe:Fine. Be murky.
Ross:I'll be fine, really, you guys. I hope she'll be very happy.
Monica:No, you don't.
Ross:No, I don't! To hell with her! She left me!
Joey:You never knew she was a lesbian?
Ross: [stares at Joey] No! Okay? Why does everyone keep fixating on that? She didn't know. How should I know? Chandler: Sometimes I wish I was a lesbian.
[everyone stares at Chandler]
Chandler: Did I say that out loud?
Ross: Grab a spoon. Do you know how long it's been since I grabbed a spoon? Do the words "Billy, don't be a hero" mean anything to you?
Joey:Great story, but I gotta go. I got a date with Angela... Andrea... Oh, man! Chandler:Andrea's the screamer, Angela has cats. Joey: Right, thanks. It's Julie. I'm outta here!
Rachel:Guess what? Ross:You got a job? Rachel:Are you kidding? I'm trained for nothing! I was laughed at in 12 interviews today. Chandler:And yet you're surprisingly upbeat. Rachel:Well, you would be too if you got new boots with 50% off! Chandler: Oh, how well you know me.
Rachel: It's like all my life everybody keeps telling that I'm a shoe. You're a shoe, you're a shoe, you're a shoe! But what if I don't want to be a shoe anymore? Maybe I'm a purse, or a hat... I don't want you to buy me a hat, I'm saying I am a hat! It's a metaphor, daddy!
| Preceded by|
|"The Pilot"|| Followed by |
"The One With The Sonogram At The End"