S02 E08 - TOW the List
aka, TOW Mockolate, Mallomars, and Chubby Ankles
Michael McKean guest stars as an unscrupulous peddler of “a completely synthetic chocolate substitute” — Mockolate.
“Chocolate already dominates most of your food preparation holidays: Easter, Christmas, what have you. Given the right marketing, we think we can make Thanksgiving the Mockolate holiday.”
He charges Monica, who’s desperate for work, with crafting Thanksgiving-themed recipes using Mockolate. Interesting tidbit: The creators threw in the Thanksgiving theme when NBC told them they wanted to do an all Thanksgiving-episode lineup that night. We’re not sure why he needed more recipes given that the props department (props to props!) lined the shelves behind Leon with binders labeled “Mockolate recipes”…
As it turns out, Mockolate tastes horrible.
“Just waiting for it to stop bubbling.”
“Especially that aftertaste — that’ll last you til Christmas!”
This reminded us of the “fake food” crazes of the 90s: SnackWell’s cookies, Olestra-laden potato chips. Our philosophy: Just eat the real stuff in moderation, for crying out loud. Life is short and you don’t need to worry about eating too much Olestra while wearing white pants.
Monica does her best to come up with some palatable recipes, like Mockolate mousse, pumpkin pie with a Mockolate cookie crumb crust, etc. Rachel and Phoebe try the Mockolate chip cookies, but they were less than impressed.
“Sweet Lord, this is what evil must taste like.”
One thing we can’t get over: that weird-ass poster in the Mockolate office.
Monica returns at the end of the episode. They didn’t get their FDA approval for Mockolate, but they’ve moved on—to Fishtaschios.
“They taste exactly like pistachios but made up mostly of reconstituted fish bits.”
PUFFINS AND MALLOMARS
Somehow, some way, the guys have Puffins cereal in their apartment. The same guys who eat spaghetti off of the floor and clean a spoon by licking it and putting it away.
Okay, both of those were Joey, but still. Puffins cereal? Especially in 1995, before organic was cool?
After she learns about Ross’s stupid list of reasons not to date her, Rachel drowns her sorrows in a box of Mallomar cookies. Elizabeth’s never had them, but Heather used to indulge in them before her “little to no HFCS” rule set in. More props props to give out: This episode aired in November, and Mallomars are only available from September to March.
Don’t worry, Rach. You’ve still got four months to stock up on those marshmallowy treats. We promise Ross is going to do plenty of stupid stuff between now and then, so you’re gonna need them.
We love the puffy quilted green jacket Rachel wears at the beginning of the episode — and that Ross fetches for her during the 30 seconds that they’re happy.
We do NOT love the beige short-sleeved turtleneck that Rachel wears throughout the latter half of the episode. If Jennifer Aniston can’t even pull off this look, it just shouldn’t exist.
Monica’s in red again — SHOCKER! We can’t really blame the wardrobe department though — she does look amazing in red! At the Mockolate Meeting, she looks striking yet professional — and she’s sporting a bold red lip! At the next meeting, where she’s pitching her Mockolate recipe ideas, she’s similarly understated in a little black dress and a gray blazer. We can’t quite figure out what’s going on with her lapel pin, though — is it a cape pin?
She rounds out the episode in a super-cute dark trench coat. A classic look on someone who’s inclined toward classic looks!
What is Phoebe wearing in the Central Perk scene? The flower pin is kinda cute, but she needs to cool it a bit on the patchy/mosaic shirts. The color isn’t doing her any favors, either! However, her cranberry and holly necklace she wears the next time we see her is awesome! Perfect for the holidays! We also can’t get enough of her butterfly raincoat! We tried to find this in adult sizes, but alas — it appears that we have to adult a bit more than circa-1995 Phoebe Buffay!
ROSS & JULIE
Despite the fact that he’s being a Class A idiot in this episode, Ross manages to look rather fashionable.
He’s rocking some nice V-neck/blazer action! We have a white t-shirt, black (likely long-sleeved) V-neck sweater, and one of his classic “I work in a museum and this is what I think people who work in a museum should wear” blazers.
We must admit, we could do without the white t-shirt under the v-neck. Kinda defeats the purpose of the neckline.
Now if only we could wipe that sad-sack frown off of his face…
Moving on to Julie, she’s apparently wearing a vest made from a glitzy Muppet.
Is it brocade? Is it furry? Is it a repurposed bathroom rug? We’ll never know, because Julie and Ross are no more.
We like the coral color, though.
HE MUST DECIDE … HE MUST DECIDE!
This plot line basically encompasses the entire episode, in one way or another (other than the Mockolate sub-plot, of course). In last week’s episode, Ross and Rachel finally kissed. Which would be awesome, except that Ross is very much going out with Julie (not to mention that Julie is super-cool).
Each party’s reaction to the kiss highlights the difference between men and women — Monica and Phoebe want all the details, whereas the guys exchange single-word information.
“Monica - get the wine, and unplug the phone. Rachel - does this end well or do we need to get tissues?”
“Do not start without me, do NOT START WITHOUT ME!”
“Then I kissed her.”
The next day at Central Perk, Ross is stressing over which girl to pick — just seeing Julie’s saline solution on his nightstand was enough to send Ross into a downward spiral. Rachel comes out of the storage closet carrying a couple of boxes of coffee (props props here for the stickers on said boxes) just as Julie walks in the door. Awkward asshole that he is, Ross puts Phoebe on the spot and demands she sing a song.
“Will Betty be the one who he loves truly, or will it be the one who we’ll call … Lulie?”
“He must decide! He must decide! Even though I made him up he must decide...”
Chandler makes a terrible, terrible suggestion when he tells Ross that he should make a list of pros and cons about Julie and Rachel to help him decide which to choose. Joey suggests doing the cons first, because that’s more fun. He points out that Rachel’s got chubby ankles which is stupid because SHE IS PERFECT. Ross decides to break things off with Julie.
“It’s always been you, Rach.”
Rachel sees her name on Chandler’s laptop screen. She demands to know what it is. The list prints! They try to pass off the list as a very poor short story. Props props here — the list that Rachel grabs out of their hands and reads is an actual list with her name on it! Although it’s not columns … but we’ll give them a pass.
Rachel’s certifiably (and justifiably) pissed and storms out. Phoebe and Monica give Chandler a good talking to at Central Perk. Phoebe informs Chandler he’ll be returning to earth in his next life as a dung beetle.
Ross tries to regain ground by making Rachel a “pros” list. She doesn’t want to hear it, but Ross has no sense of boundaries because he’s a toxic asshole, so he climbs up the fire escape like a stalker and forces her to listen to him. She’s not having it.
“Imagine... the worst things you think about yourself. Now how would you feel if the one person you trusted most in the world, not only thinks them too, but actually uses them as the reasons not to be with you.”
We’re not sure why Ross is the one person you trust most in the world, though, Rachel.
Not one to respect someone’s wishes, Ross keeps trying to get Rachel to talk to him, instead of giving her time and space to figure things out for herself. He requests “With or Without You” on the radio (classic 90s move, the radio request). We see Rachel pick up the phone, and we think it’s because she’s caved and is calling Ross. Nope, she called the radio station to tell the DJ how much of a toxic asshole Ross is.
Good for you, Rachel.
Heather revealed that in the commentary, the producers noted that they’d originally wanted to get a different U2 song for the kiss scene in the previous episode, but they couldn’t get the rights in time. We have a hunch it was the intro to “Where the Streets Have No Name.” We’ll let you decide.
CHANDLER’S ANCIENT LAPTOP
We know, this is basically the same plot line as the List, but we think this deserves a special shout-out, given how unbelievably outdated this technology is now.
"12 megabytes of RAM, 500 megabyte hard drive, built-in spreadsheet capabilities, and a modem that transmits at over 28,000 BPS."
And oh, the outdated technology in this photo alone: the laptop, the cordless phone, and a printer that’s roughly the size of a St. Bernard.
NOT ON NETFLIX
Chandler (in response to Ross’s woes brought about by seeing Julie’s saline solution): “Show me a bottle of Visine and I’m like, ‘Who am I?’”
Chandler (in response to Joey suggesting a threesome as a two-word answer to Ross’s problem): “You still have one more word if you want to use it.” Ross: “I know what it is: help!”