S01 E15 - TOW the Stoned Guy
TOW Whipped Fish and a Dirty (Talk) Moo-Tini
SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: GUMMY BEAR MARTINI
Given that one of our favorite scenes from this episode is when Steve the Restaurant Guy (brilliantly portrayed by Jon Lovitz) gets high then raids Monica's pantry (and tries to save drowning gummy bears with some Sugar-O's), Heather found us a gummy bear martini recipe!
Elizabeth stuck to the recipe (and decided it would be more humane to drown her gummy bears, as opposed to skewer them), which includes raspberry vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice.
Heather ended up having to come up with her recipe on the fly when she ran out of time to make a liquor-store run. She concocted a similarly juicy martini featuring pomegranate juice, Maraschino liqueur, and some Smirnoff Sorbet vodka -- and she had no problem driving wooden stakes through the hearts of her gummies. However, her gummies were cows, not bears, so...
Heather made a moo-tini.
Food features prominently in this episode, since Monica's auditioning to become head chef at a new restaurant. She painstakingly creates a menu that showcases her culinary talents, only to have the restaurant owner ruin the evening by blazing up a doobie in the cab on the way to Monica's apartment, then proceeding to come down with a raging case of the munchies while Monica desperately tries to salvage the interview.
CIDER AND A QUESTIONABLE CINNAMON STICK
In the episode opener in Central Perk, Rachel delivers Monica's hot cider ... with a miniature pencil instead of a cinnamon stick. But fear not, Monica: Rachel has your cinnamon stick -- it's just behind her ear where that pencil's supposed to be. An easy switch-out, right? Not so appetizing for Monica, though.
"THAT THING WITH THE STUFF"
Excited to help Monica plan her restaurant-audition menu, Phoebe runs over to Monica and encourages her to make "that thing with the stuff." We never find out what it was, but it's not like Steve would've appreciated it, anyway.
SALMON MOUSSE AMUSE BOUCHE
Joey's such a good friend; he samples not just one, but TWO different versions of Monica's salmon mousse. When she presses him for his opinion as to which is better, he says, "We're talkin' about whipped fish, Monica. I'm just happy I'm keepin' it down."
We think Monica then takes the mousse and pipes it onto tiny crostini, then tops it with dill (at least that's what we can gather based on our limited viewing of the plate of amuse bouches that Monica passes Chandler. Lucky for Monica, Chandler finds them ... amusing. And Monica will have no problem whipping up enough for a crowd, given that she's got a stovetop burner that's almost as flame-obsessed as Joey's from TOW the Boobies!
After Elizabeth recounted seeing a sticker with "mouth-blown" in English and "soufflé bouche" in French (it was mouth-blown glass, you dirty-talkers), we wondered -- what does "souffle" actually mean? So we asked Google:
Mystery solved! Now every time you order a cheese soufflé, you'll know that you're literally ordering the cheese breath it's going to give you after you eat it.
BAGELS AND CREAM CHEESE
What could be more classic "New York breakfast" than bagels and cream cheese? (Well, at least how the general population thinks a New York breakfast would look...) Joey and Ross indulge in some simple carbohydrates while they're in the guys' apartment discussing Ross's dirty-talking shortcomings.
If you look closely, however, Joey's bagel is mysteriously ... oblong. And tear-apartable. And doesn't appear to have a hole in the center. We're thinking that Jeff the Crew Member was under the wire for shooting this scene and had to grab whatever baked goods he could find that even remotely resembled a bagel. It's okay, Jeff: We still love you.
MONICA'S RESTAURANT-AUDITION SPREAD ... SORT OF
After referencing Cheech & Chong, Rachel tries to ply Steve with some red wine, but he isn't having any of it -- he's too busy perusing Monica's shelves for something to munch on. Monica tries to distract him with the first course: a rock shrimp ravioli with a cilantro-ponzu sauce and minced ginger. Back in 1995, we were culinary newbies (you remember us talking about drinking Fresca and Cherry Coke, right?) and didn't have a full appreciation for this dish. Nowadays, we'd love to try to recreate it ourselves! They have to be good, given that Steve's reaction is, "Well smack my ass and call me Judy!"
Next up we have onion tartlets -- well, at least we think we do. We never actually see these tartlets. After Monica realizes that Steve is wasted, things escalate pretty quickly and before you know it, he's eating kitchen magnets (but you only know that if you've seen the DVD version). We both also noticed how quickly time moved in Monica's kitchen -- one second she had eight minutes to go before they were ready, and next thing you know, DING! they're done. Is this perhaps the same rift in the space-time continuum that allowed Joey's chocolate mousses to be ready less than 10 seconds after he ordered them?
Let's start going though Steve's cannabis-fueled munchies spree. First he rips into some taco shells (which we're pretty sure would've been really stale, given that the box was open). Then he taps into the Sugar-O's, and when Monica takes those away, he grabs a box of mac and cheese and proclaims, "We gotta make this!" Monica's so busy losing it that she doesn't catch right away that he's snatched her bag of gummy bears from the shelf.
Now let's talk about the punch bowl on the kitchen table. Heather thinks it might be soup, given that there were smaller bowls set around the table -- perhaps Monica had made a cold soup? We're not sure, but it was enough to drown those poor gummy bears!
Monica had a terrible evening, but Ross made her feel a little better by telling her she's an amazing chef. Which is nice for us to hear, because up until this point, we've only seen her make about three things: lasagna, cookie dough, and popcorn.
Rachel starts things off in a plaid cardigan and what upon first glance looks like a brown tank top, but Heather's eagle eye caught that it's actually a long-sleeved brown top -- and we think it might be the same one she's wearing in the next scene, with a spaghetti-strapped, long black dress with buttons down the front. When she's pissed at Monica for not asking her to play waitress at her restaurant audition, she's got on a black dress with a white dress shirt underneath. She appears to keep the dress shirt on and go full-on Macaroni Grill waitress for the restaurant audition, complete with a necktie, black pants, and apron. Her har is clipped and tied back with a GIANT scrunchie. She throws on a business-y brown blazer later on when they're all comforting Monica at Central Perk.
Back in black! She's wearing a black blazer in the opening scene (with a blink-and-you'll-miss-it red tank top), a dark grey suit on her interview, a black dress shirt while she’s cooking, and another black top and dark blue dress over it when she’s still cooking in the next scene.
We have a theory about all of these dark colors. Wearing black in the 90s was a very angsty, gen-X thing to do if you were the kind of person who took everything a little too seriously. As we know, Monica is the no-fuss matriarch of the gang -- she and her nitpicky, over-the-top control-freakedness is what keeps things running smoothly (after all, where else is the gang going to get their pre-packaged beverages and cancer popcorn?). Perhaps the dark wardrobe is a nod to her serious personality?
Pheebs, why are you still raiding your grandmother's closet? We're getting a little tired of the old-lady look on her. Her first sweater looks like it has poinsettias on it -- a little too Christmasy for February. At Chandler's office, she's gone a little more bohemian, much of the credit for that vibe going to her jacket with funky flowered trim.
Ross is pretty typically ... well, Ross in this episode. We've got a sweater, a button-up, and (well, at least this is different) a sweatshirt. He kicks things off with a red cable-knit sweater at the apartment, then he dresses more casually for his dirt-talk breakfast with Joey, wearing a forest green button-up and salmon undershirt. His last outfit of the episode is very casual indeed -- a Nike Tennis sweatshirt. Not that we've ever seen him playing tennis, mind you...
If this episode were named after Chandler, it would be called, "The One With All the Suits and One T-Shirt." Chandler's concerned about his career path in this episode, so we see him in three different suits throughout the show. The first offering is an oversized brown dress shirt with (later on) a dark tweed coat. For career aptitude test day, he's wearing a terrible tie that's reminiscent of couch upholstery. For the day or two that he's unemployed, he wears a 90s pop-art t-shirt and blue sweatpants. We actually tracked down the art print that the t-shirt was based off of, in case you're curious. The last suit is after he gets his promotion -- a grey number with another very 90s graphic tie.
Once again, Joseph Francis is all but willing to show us his neck. First we've got a quasi-squirtleneck in a lovely shade of blue, then a full-throttle squirtleneck -- this time a deep, chocolatey-brown, ribbed one to go along with what we're pretty sure is his dark dyed hair. He keeps things casual for his dirty-talk talk with Ross, in a maroon button-up and striped undershirt.
Elizabeth is still very much in love with Work Chandler. The antics, the sarcasm, the poofy huggable shirts... Too bad his WENUS is all out of whack. And how about that classic slapstick humor that is the WENUS, anyway? Ah, FRIENDS. One of the many reasons we love you as much as we do.
And who hasn't had that moment at work -- at a job they swore they'd never take too seriously, or let get under their skin -- when they look down and realize that they've spent way too much precious time and energy on something that wasn't supposed to be that important in the first place? We've all been there, Chandler. Don't worry. It'll get better.
JAN? IS THAT YOU?
Yes! Melora Hardin, of The Office fame, guest starred on FRIENDS nearly 10 years to the day before overseeing the gang at Dunder Mifflin Scranton. Elizabeth only recognized the actress upon a somewhat recent rewatching -- it was the voice that did it. She's definitely used that voice on Michael Scott!
CAREER APTITUDE TESTS
Ah, aptitude tests -- the Buzzfeed quiz of the 90s. We fondly recall the many tests we've taken and how accurate (or not) they were at pinpointing what we should be doing with our lives. We both tend to rank high on the "creative" and "entrepreneur" scales. (Pretty apropos that we've started a podcast, eh?)
ROSS'S INTERESTING CHOICE OF WORDS
Vulva? Vulva, Ross? Really? We don't mean to sound harsh -- we know it's been a while -- but really? Vulva? No wonder all you did was cuddle. We're very glad that Joey's tutoring helped him score ... more cuddle time. Elizabeth would also like to offer up watching Harry Potter and falling asleep as an effective back-up plan, too.
OUTDATED TECHNOLOGY ... AND SPORTING EQUIPMENT
Check out the huge boom box on top of the guys' TV, and then Chandler's work computer -- complete with a disc drive! Do you remember floppy discs? They held approximately 2 bytes of information. Buying a program meant buying dozens of those discs, and constantly having to change them in and out. Ah, memories (or lack thereof, depending on the size of the disc).
And if that weren't funny enough, what's with all the random sporting equipment hanging around the guys' apartment? It's like they sent Jeff the Crew Member to a flea market and said, "Buy all the sports." From skis in the bathroom, to hockey sticks in the living room, to a bike outside of Chandler's room, they covered pretty much everything.
SNL-alum Jon Lovitz and his overly hammy style ("Acting!") were absolutely perfect for this guest role. From the over-the-top munchies to the not-so-sly opening of the gummy-bear packet, to the dramatic gummy-bear rescue mission, he absolutely nails it.
We'd like to say that Steve managed to get over his munchies, open his restaurant (albeit without Monica), and live happily ever after, but we all know that didn't happen. What we really want to know is: How did Rachel not recognize him?
Say no to drugs, kids.
We only spotted one inconsistency in this episode, and that's the guys' bathroom -- it's changed back to the wrong way. Geometry clearly isn't Elizabeth's strong suit, since she kept mixing up the terms "perpendicular" and "parallel," but no matter how you say it, it's just plain wrong. There shouldn't be a sink across from the doorway! Jeff!
NOT ON NETFLIX
In the scene of Chandler in his cubicle, he yells over the side that those types of shenanigans have no place in an office -- and then childishly twists on his chair
Joey asks if Chandler quitting means they have to buy their own toilet paper. Ross pretends to be a news correspondent and says “And that was Joey Tribbiani with the big picture.”
In a longer version of a scene opener, Ross is watching cable-tossing on TV, then mentions that seeing something like this, you understand why some people say evolution is just a theory.
In an extension of Rachel saying sarcastically that she is maintaining her amateur waitress status so that she can compete at the Olympics, Chandler says he took home bronze waiting tables at Innsbruck in '76.
In the dirty talk scene at the guys’ apartment, Chandler shushes the guys (before he said he always hoped the two of them would get together), and Joey tells Ross that the trembling thing was nice.
In Chandler's new office "cube," Chandler and Phoebe talk about his assistant behind her back, then realize that the intercom is still on.
Steve tells them to call 911 to save the gummy bears.
Monica yells at Steve about ruining their evening, and says, “What if I came into your office and started … I can’t think of an example.”
They really cut out a lot from the beginning of the final scene at Central Perk, when Monica is rehashing the night (so to speak) -- everything before Joey says “What a tool” is cut out!
"He told me I harshed his buzz. Then I said don’t eat that, it’s a kitchen magnet. And he didn’t listen, so we left him in the emergency room."
Rachel asks if she’s going to get paid for the full three hours that she waitressed. Not pivotal, so it's okay that they took it out, but it would've done well to reinforce Rachel's selfish streak.