S03 E08 - TOW the Giant Poking Device
aka TOW Monica Bangs, Joey Pokes, and Chandler Steals a Shoe
This week, we find out when Phoebe tries to eat one of Rachel’s homemade brownies that Phoebe needs to go to the dentist — but she’s afraid to because she’s convinced that every time she's in the dentist’s chair, someone dies.
Just when Phoebe thinks the curse might be broken, Joey notices that Ugly Naked Guy looks … awfully still. So Joey suggests poking him!
They fashion a large poking device out of chopsticks they’ve collected over their myriad nights of Chinese takeout. They poke Ugly Naked Guy with it, and hooray — he’s alive!
So this week, in lieu of a signature cocktail, we’ve got a signature dessert: Poke Brownies! After pulling the brownies out of the oven, we used a chopstick (naturally) to poke holes in the brownies, then doused it with…
Rachel’s made brownies! According to what the props department has set up for us, her recipe includes Crisco. We know some people swear by it, but we’re not really fans. A bit later, the gang is at Monica and Rachel’s eating bagels with red onion, tomato, and lettuce. Is that all these people eat? Brunch food and Chinese takeout? Anyway, Monica later tries to bribe Ben with Ben & Jerry’s. Actually, En & Jer, because the rest of it is blacked out. Joey joins in with his own pint of fat-free frozen yogurt!
THE GIRLS (AND JANICE)
Rachel kicks things off in a cocoa-coated apron, and Phoebe’s looking extra glamorous with big hair and heavier makeup. Later on at Central Perk, Rachel’s wearing a boldly-colored apron with a long-sleeved dark blue squirtleneck and her signature black miniskirt and black tights.
Once she’s relaxing at home, Rachel wears black pants with a long-sleeved baby tee with an orange cross graphic on it. Monica’s similarly casual in a sage green-and-brown sweater and brown slacks. Phoebe’s a bit dressed up for the dentist in a purple velvet top and flowy skirt. She’s accessorized with a cute hair clip and her green courduroy pea coat.
Now let’s talk Janice. Holy leopard print! At least four different instances/patterns of leopard print are happening here, and one of them (her blouse) doesn’t quite match. But we love Janice, so we’ll let her get away with it! Plus, that phenomenal floor-length red coat with leopard-print trip is AMAZING and wins her all the points!
THE GUYS (AND GUNTHER)
Once again, the guys aren’t really wearing anything that remarkable. Ross looks like a somewhat hip dad, Chandler’s way too skinny, and Joey’s still pretty “grungy out-of-work actor.” Gunther steals the show, as far as the men are concerned, with his ties! He starts off in a hunting-dog tie, then hits a grand slam with his baseball tie!
MONICA WRECKS ROSS’S BABY
Ross has a museum emergency and has to leave Ben with Monica and Rachel. Rachel’s offended that Ross didn’t think of her first when it came to watching Ben, so Ross tries to recover by throwing Monica under the bus and saying he thought of Monica first because he knows how empty her life is.
Once they’re alone with Ben, Rachel’s convinced Ben is bored, so Monica shows her how to play the airplane game and whisks Ben up into the air. Unfortunately, on one of those spins, she bonks his head into the wooden beam on her ceiling.
At first they think they’re in the clear, but then they notice that he has a bump on his head.
Rachel: I’ll get Rainy Day Bear!
Monica: Because he’ll know what to do?
They dress Ben up in Rainy Day Bear’s ensemble (because it makes more sense as an ensemble), and then … Ben starts talkin’.
Ben: Mon-ca… Mon-ca BANG.
Monica: Oh my God, he’s gonna rat me out!
Monica tries bribing Ben with ice cream, and when he says “Mon-ca bang” in front of Ross, Monica tries to play it off as, “That’s what I would sound like if I exploded.” Ross later discovers the bump and thinks it’s Rachel’s fault, but Rachel quickly sets him straight and reveals that Monica caused it. So, Ross decides to have a little fun.
Ross: Umm, did you notice anything wierd about Ben today?
Monica: No. Why?
Ross: Well, I was just playing with him, and y'know we were doing the alphabet song, which he used to be really good at, but suddenly he’s leaving out ‘e’ and ‘f.’ It’s like they just ah, I don’t know, fell out of his head.
Ross: Oh, and also, he’s, he’s walkin’ kind of funny, his left leg is moving a lot faster than his right leg, and he’s in there just sort of y'know... (walks around in a circle)
Monica: Oh my God, I wrecked your baby!!
Monica comes out and yells at Ross for tricking her, and chases him around the apartment. Then HE bangs his head into the wooden pole. (Is this when they finally get rid of it, we wonder?)
JOEY POKES THE BARE
Phoebe’s convinced that every time she goes to the dentist, someone dies. But she’s got a toothache, so she’s got to go. She bids the gang a tearful goodbye:
Phoebe: Well, I’m going to the dentist, so listen, okay, just be on the look out for anything that, that, that you can fall into, or, or that can fall on you, or... All right, just look out!
When she comes back, she’s thrilled that Monica and Rachel are still alive, and uses their phone to call everyone she knows. Just when she does her happy dance that the curse appears to be broken, Joey notices that Ugly Naked Guy looks … awfully still.
They decide to take Joey’s suggestion of poking Ugly Naked Guy to see if he’s still alive. They fashion a giant poking device out of wooden chopsticks, “thread the needle,” and poke away. He’s alive! Phoebe’s thrilled! Then, Ugly Naked Guy (rightfully annoyed) shows them his poking device…
Oh, dear. Chandler’s in love, but Joey has to tell him that Janice is fooling around with her ex, the Mattress King.
He avoids it as long as he can, but tells Chandler when Chandler’s about to drop some big money on a gift got Janice. Chandler goes into denial about it:
Chandler: Well she, she wouldn’t do that, she’s with, she’s with me.
Joey: I’m telling you man, I saw it.
Chandler: Yeah, well, you’re wrong! Okay, you’re wrong.
Joey: I’m not wrong! I wish I was. I’m sorry.
Chandler confronts Janice about it, and she confesses that it’s true. Then she puts the HAAAAAAAAAAH in hyperventilate.
Janice: Oh, I’m sorry honey, I’m so, so, (nasally) haaaaa! I’m so, so sorry, I just (nasally) haaaaaa! But I, oh what happened was, I-I-I can’t breathe. Can you get me a bag, or something?
Chandler gives her a paper bag to HAAAAAAAAAAH into. She spits out what turns out to be the receipt for the 12-pack of condoms that Chandler’d bought.
She says she doesn’t know what she wants to do. She loves them both. But she’s also not done with either of them. Later on, Joey comes into the apartment to find Chandler depressedly playing darts. Joey advises Chandler that, if it were him, he’d let Janice go back to her husband (and then we get a nice bit of physical comedy thanks to Matt LeBlanc’s fully-healed shoulder!).
Chandler meets up with Janice later and tells her to go back to her husband. Their exchange is bittersweet!
Chandler: I think you should go back with Gary. I don’t wanna be the guy that breaks up a family, y'know when my parents split up, it was because of that guy. Whenever I would see him I was always think y'know ‘You’re the reason, you are the reason why their not together.’ and I hated that guy. And it didn’t matter how nice he was, or how happy he made my Dad.
Janice: Oh! You’re right. Oh God. But, before I can say ‘good-bye’, there’s something I really need you to know, Chandler. The way I feel about you, it’s like, I finally understand what Lionel Richie’s been singing about. Y'know, I mean what we have, it’s like movie love, you’re my soulmate, and I can’t believe we’re not going to be spending the rest of our lives together.
But then Chandler second-guesses himself and tries to drag Janice back and eventually steals her shoe in desperation. She hobbles out, saying, “Goodbye, Chandler Bing.”
Chandler comforts himself with her shoe and his Lionel Richie record, singing “Endless Love.” Phoebe comes in and joins in on the duet. Poor Chandler!
OTHER STUFF WE TALKED ABOUT ON THE PODCAST
The gorilla-human family tree (have you donated to The Ellen Fund yet?):
“Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross: