The One With The Butt (Season 1, Episode 6)
(Original Airdate: October 27, 1994)
The Opening: The gang are assembled in….. a theatre!? We are out of Central Perk people! I repeat, we are out of Central Perk! They are at the theatre to watch Joey in a play. Rachel is very excited that Joey’s picture is the programme.
Chandler: You can always spot someone who’s never seen one of his plays before. No fear, no sense of impending doom.
Joey’s play is Freud! The exclamation point scares Phoebe.
The gang get uncomfortable as the lights dim, not quite knowing what to expect. They get Joey with a bead, glasses, and drastic Austrian accent. He is with a patient and is telling her that her problem is quite clear. Que the music and Joey bursting into a song about her wanting a “dinkle”.
It’s all very horrible, but at least it’s supposed to be.
This is the first episode intro away from Central Perk and it does make me miss the discussions in the coffee house which were, for the most part, all extremely entertaining, well written and performed.
Episode Summary: It’s the end of Joey’s play and the friends give him a standing ovation before slumping to their seats in defeat after he has left the stage. Rachel feels violated while Monica wonders if anyone else wanted to peel their skin off just for something else to do. These seem like extreme reactions.
Chandler doesn’t hear any of this as he has spotted a beautiful woman across the room. She makes the women Chandler dream about look like short, fat, bald men. I know the feeling. The girls try to convince him to go talk to her while Chandler thinks she is out of his league. Ross backs up his self-esteem on that theory. Phoebe assists his self-esteem: “You know how you see these beautiful woman with these really nothing guys? You could be one of those guys”. Chandler goes for it and attempts to ask her by awkward staring at her for a while and mumbling some lines. The kind of thing you get arrested for in real life. Her name is Aurora and she is very European.
Joey joins the rest and they attempt to give him any praise they can for the play. Chandler excitedly re-joins them proclaiming that Aurora agreed to go out on a date with him, then tells Joey his play was awful. Looks like Chandler is passing on the self-esteem boosting. However, the usher gave Chandler a card to give to Joey from the Estelle Leonard Talent Agency.
Joey, Phoebe, Ross, and Monica are in Central Perk, Chandler arrives and can’t believe that he’s been there almost seven seconds and no one has asked how his date with Aurora went. He affirms it was amazing and we have a flashback to his date, which took place in Central Perk. Seriously, Chandler gets a date with a potential most beautiful woman in the world and takes her to Central Perk. This coffee shop better have some kind of incredible loyalty reward programme. Anyway, Aurora has had an amazing life and has a load of stories, compared to Chandler’s none. As her stories continue she mentions a “we”. Chandler asked who “we” is. “We” is Aurora and Rick, her husband. She’s not divorced or (hopefully) widowed. Chandler asks how Rick would feel about seeing her there with him, sliding her foot so far up his leg she can count the change in his pocket. Aurora says Rick will be fine with Chandler as he is okay with Ethan, her boyfriend. Chandler asks what kind of relationship she imagines them having if she already has a husband and a boyfriend. She imagines it would be mainly sexual. This doesn’t sound entirely negative for Chandler. He’s seeing her again on Thursday. Looks like Central Perk worked out ok for him. Monica is horrified that Chandler would want to get involved in this. Chandler explains that this is every guys’ fantasy. Ross denies that it’s his, before crushingly accepting that it is.
The guys arrive back at Monica’s apartment to find that Rachel has cleaned the place for the first time, and gone as far as moving the green ottoman. The gang are now worried. Monica is worked up that it’s out of place and then moves it back. The gang then pick apart Monica’s idiosyncrasies, with Phoebe saying how she used to live with her and then doing the Psycho stabbing motion. This is the first reference to Phoebe having lived with Monica previously. Monica defends herself by saying that she is organised and responsible but she can be a kook. The guys then give her various scenarios, such as not paying the phone bill on time, or using coasters, to prove she is not a kook. Rachel suggests she goes grocery shopping and buys the laundry detergent without the easy pour spout. Because apparently Rachel has come a long way from being a laundry virgin last week. Ross points out that she has become “mum”.
Joey comes in the apartment on the phone, excited. It was his agent, and she has just got him a job in the new Al Pacino movie. Joey avoids the questions of what part he is playing by doing Al Pacino impressions. He caves and tells them that he is Al Pacino’s butt double. Al Pacino goes into the shower and then it’s all Joey. Cue many butt jokes:
Chandler: After all your years of struggling you’ve finally been able to crack your way into show business.
Ross: So, are you going to invite us all to the big opening?
The puns are pretty poor in all honesty.
Later, Joey is onset for his big scene. There’s a couple of great goofs in this scene. First of all, the movie director is sitting in from of a box that seems to be labelled “Monica’s apartment”, while Joey’s shadow is wearing a big glaring pair of swim shorts. Anyway Joey’s scene gets going and he’s not looking too comfortable: “Hey butt guy, what the hell you doin’?” Joey says he was showering. The director says he was clenching. Joey says that Al Pacino is upset as his wife is dead and his brother is missing, therefore his butt would be angry. They attempt another scene with Joey going for “quiet desperation”.
We’re in Chandler’s bedroom (which is really huge! What are they paying for rent for the size of these rooms?). He’s in bed with Aurora which is going swimmingly until she realises she is late and “he’ll be waiting for me”. Chandler says he thought she talked to Rick. It’s not Rick. Then he’s angry as she spent the whole day with Ethan yesterday. It’s not Ethan. It’s Andrew. Andrew is… new. Chandler wants her to lose the other guys. Aurora just wants them to stay the way they are and not feel obligated to one another and just do the fun stuff. Part of Chandler wants that but it feels like he is two guys, one guy telling him this is great and shut up, and the other guy who heart wells up every time the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes and breaks the measuring device and is telling him to get out. He has to listen to the second guy.
In Monica’s apartment, Ross is trying to reassure Chandler by saying that he dumped her.
Ross: This woman was unbelievably sexy, and beautiful, intelligent, unattainable… Tell me why you did this again?
Joey arrives and tells them he got fired because he acted too much with his butt. He’s devastated as he had told everyone about this. Rachel tells him that no one will realise it’s not him. His mum will apparently. He feels like this was his shot and he blew it. The guys don’t think it was his shot.
Phoebe: You know, I don’t think this was your shot. I don’t even think you get just one shot. I really believe bit things are going to happen for you. I do. You’ve just got to keep thinking about the day that some kid will run up to his friends and go “I got the part! I’m gonna be Joey Tribbiani’s ass!”
Phoebe just won the episode with that little speech.
Monica’s heading to bed. Rachel questions that she’s going to bed and leaving her shoes strewn on the floor. Ross sarcastically proclaims that she is a kook.
Final Scene: Monica is lying awake in bed, driven crazy that her shoes are still lying in the living room. We hear her thoughts as she argues with herself about getting the shoes. If it bothers her that much just go and get them. She could maybe get them and get up really early in the morning and put them back so no one will know. She needs help.
They’ll Be There For You (Best Friend): Phoebe gets it this week. She gets the best line in this week’s episode, and although she inadvertently made fun of Joey’s play, her speech at the end ends Joey’s storyline on a positive note, and proves that she might be a bit of an annoyance at times but at least she’s a nice person and has been genuinely funny this week.
With Friends Like These (Worst Friend): It came close this week. Rachel could have got it by having little to do except wind Monica up to the point she can’t sleep about her shoes. At least she did clean the apartment. Chandler could have come close for dumping two woman two weeks in a row but he actually has some nice character moments this week.
But this week it goes to Ross who has precious little to do, makes fun of Joey’s butt double role with a poor pun, and makes fun of his sister for her inability to be a kook and tells her she is turning into her mother. I’m sorry Ross and I love you but poor show this week.
Best Line: Phoebe’s reaction to Joey receiving a card from a talent agency:
Joey: “Wow, an agency left me its card. Maybe they want to sign me!”
Phoebe: “Based on this play? (Everyone stares at Phoebe) Based on this play!
How You Doin? (Love Interest of the Week): Aurora. Chandler bounced back from dumping girlfriend Janice last week by working up the nerve to ask out Aurora, a woman with a husband, boyfriend, and then finally an Andrew. It’s an altogether a pretty disastrous relationship for Chandler but one that highlights his insecurities in relationships that will plague him throughout the show and also that he is looking for a serious relationship. Maybe just try and find one with a woman that doesn’t have a husband and two other boyfriends Chandler.
Google It Kids (Dated Reference of the Week): Not too many overly dated references this week.
Joey gets the part in the new Al Pacino. Hey, I can’t make fun of Al Pacino but there’s not been too many new Al Pacino movies recently. He probably still needs younger butt doubles though.
Chandler: “It’s they guy who’s heart wells up every time the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes and breaks the measuring device.” Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a book originally published in 1957 and has been adapted into an animated movie in 1966 and a Jim Carey movie in 2000. I’m not too sure if I can really say this is a dated reference though as I love Dr. Seuss and his stories are timeless! I realise that I am basically Chandler.
Is Joey’s play on Sigmund Freud a dated reference? Is Dr. Freud as timeless as Dr. Seuss?
Phoebe does the Psycho (1960) slashing noise.
Actually, let’s just say all these references are pretty timeless. Good job Friends.
Visits to Central Perk: Only the two this week, both condensed into one scene. Chandler arrives to find Joey, Phoebe, Monica, and Ross in the coffee house and tells them about his date the previous night, also in the coffee house. Seriously, he took this beautiful Italian adventurer to Central Perk. Chandler knows how to treat the ladies. It did get him a couple of days of sex though, so what do I know?
Ross and Ra