Elizabeth’s “I Swear to Do Better” Jar for Season 3 (through Episode 13):


S02 E09 - TOW Phoebe's Dad

S02 E09 - TOW Phoebe's Dad

aka TOW a Tropical Christmas Party

OAD: 12/14/95



Monica and Rachel end up hosting a very hot Christmas party, so we decided to put a tropical spin on eggnog (especially since Monica made a batch for their party).

A quick Google search returned hits for the coquito, a eggnog’s coconut milk-based cousin. It features a bunch of condensed and/or sweetened and/or evaporated milks, along with cinnamon and nutmeg.

It’s sort of like eggnog went on vacation to a tropical island and came back all relaxed and chill.

We put our respective spins on it for you to enjoy.



The girls are decorating Christmas cookies! Since they’re both broke, they’re giving out cookies instead of gifts this year. The one Phoebe’s holding looks soooooo good. We love us an iced holiday cookie!

Phoebe tells the gang about a brownie that told her a limerick once. Chandler asks if they were “funny” brownies…

“Not particularly … but I think they had pot in them.”


Good one, Pheebs.

Both the apartment and Central Perk are decked out for the holidays. We noticed a festive-looking cake in the cake display, too!

And last, but not least, we have eggnog fixins! Since her party is later that night, it’s obvious that Monica’s not making Alton Brown’s aged eggnog recipe, but all the ingredients for a good eggnog are there: milk, cream, sugar, eggs, rum, vanilla, and nutmeg!




Rachel looks unbelievably cute and cozy in her fuzzy white midriff-bearing sweater. She pairs it with a super-cute gingham holiday apron while she’s waitressing at Central Perk. Later on, while they’re decorating Monica’s Christmas tree, she’s super-casual in overalls with the bib undone and a belt holding up her pants. Her midriff’s on display again in a red sweatshirt.

For the party, she starts off in a green crushed-velvet, short-sleeved squirtleneck. Once the heat kicks in, though, she’s got a Nubbin Alert happening in her white tank top.



Monica’s monochromatic, even during the holidays! Maybe she’s doing it to offset all of the festive decor?

For the party, she wears a long-sleeved black shirt underneath her black-and-white sheath dress.

Even after the heat’s kicked up, she keeps the dress and her black tights on. Why didn’t she just go into her room and change? Maybe her uber-hostess took over and she didn’t want to leave her guests…

This rather blah, very understated look is actually reminiscent of the young nun in Sister Act. And you’ll recall that this isn’t the first time we’ve noticed that Monica looked rather nun-like…



We love Phoebe’s sweater at the beginning of the episode, though we’re not quite sure what that pattern is … it looks kind of like a fern. Either way, she pulls it off.

It’s a cool velvety fabric, and the embroidery is a nice touch. Her funky, chunky updo offsets the shirt nicely — otherwise it might look oddly formal or matronly for a casual get-together at the girls’ apartment,

And now we want that cookie she’s eating…



It’s Christmas and Hanukkah! There are fun decorations all over the girls’ apartment AND Central Perk! We see Ross tightening a menorah — he must realize that he’s Jewish! Finally! Mazel tov, Ross!

“Ugly Naked Guy is decorating his tree and you should see the size of his Christmas balls!”


Not everyone is happy about receiving cookies from Monica and Rachel instead of “real” presents — or, in the case of service workers, cash. The mailman stomped on a package of ornaments Monica’s mom sent, and he smashed a cookie into the sports section. Oh, and he did her crossword puzzle (at least that’s what we’re assuming, unless there is indeed a Gershwin musical called, “Bite Me! Bite Me! Bite Me! Bite Me!”

Side note: Jeff’s fridge-decorating skills are improving! We can see several pictures on the fridge, including one of Monica and Ross.


Later on at Central Perk, we get a sneak peek of future Mondler in the form of Chandler lounging on top of Monica as they all discuss the upcoming holidays.

“One day you’re eating turkey and the next your lords are a-leaping and your geese are a-laying.”

“Which is why geese are so relaxed this time of year.”


After a futile attempt at getting Rachel to talk to him, Ross pretends to not want to show off his presents when he really does. Among other things, he shows everyone the “Hers and hers” towels he got for Carol and Susan, as well as a horrid top he got for his mom.

Mom’s going to be voted best dressed and the make-believe military academy!

It’s reminiscent of Janet Jackson in her Rhythm Nation days. Very militaristic and — at least in the case of Ross’s shirt — gaudy as hell. We can picture someone wearing it to a holiday-themed Trump rally.


Speaking of gaudy — apparently a prop from Game of Thrones hopped a plane and flew to Los Angeles to guest star on this episode as a lamp.

It’s got a fabric-like lamp shade reminiscent of something you’d get at IKEA, but the base — that’s the piece we’re talking about. You could definitely use it as a weapon.

Is this perhaps a replacement for the lamp that Monica “accidentally” broke?

“Hi! Welcome to our tropical Christmas party! You can put your coats and sweaters, and pants and shirts in the bedroom.”

Ross broke the radiator, so the girls are now having a tropical-themed Christmas party. We can’t imagine what the eggnog must be like, sitting there stewing on the kitchen table.


Monica’s handing out ice cubes as appetizers. Treeger insists that he’s always the right temperature, theorizing that it’s probably because he has so much skin.

After the party, Joey, Chandler, and Phoebe finally arrive. As they come into the apartment, you can see a creepy stuffed reindeer head on the guys’ apartment door. It looks like something a furry would wear to a convention.

In a bit of props props, the Christmas tree behind Ross is brown! It must’ve been really hot in there!


Joey saves the day by turning off the radiator from underneath. Chandler realizes it’s after midnight and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, only to be left alone while everyone else hugs each other in celebration.

At the very end of the episode, Joey and Chandler get to handing out their Christmas presents — more props props here, as their gas-station gifts are housed in an old motor oil box.

“Toilet seat covers!”



Poor Phoebe. She sees that Ross’s picture frame gift has a picture of her “dad” in it — only to discover that he’s not her dad at all, and she needs to go talk to her grandmother.

We get our first glimpse of Phoebe’s apartment, and it’s decked out exactly how you’d imagine Phoebe’s grandmother’s apartment to be decked out for Christmas. It’s chintzy and vintage holiday decorations galore, including a white tree with classic bubble lights!

We can also see a pre-Gladys "artwork above the couch. Interestingly, it looks almost exactly like the Gladys we all know and cringe about later in the series, except here, she’s got a red dress on — later-series Gladys dons a blue dress. Everything else appears to be the same, though.


Grandma’s sitting there updating the phone book by crossing out names she sees in the newspaper obituaries, and Phoebe calls her on her lifelong deception.

“I smell smoke. Maybe that’s because someone’s pants are on fire.”

Grandma confesses that Phoebe’s mother started the lie, and then after she died, Grandma kept it going because it was harder to argue with her about it — not impossible, but harder.

After some runaround, Grandma admits that Phoebe’s dad lives in Middletown, New York. She hands Phoebe the keys to her taxi and tells her to go. We’ve got a Continuity Kudos here — Middletown is only about 1.5 hours from Manhattan, according to Google Maps. Chandler later estimates 2 hours — not bad, and probably more accurate, given typical Manhattan traffic!


Phoebe leaves, telling a picture on the table as she walks out the door, “Wish me luck Grandpa!” One truth at a time, we guess.



Ross can’t get Rachel to talk to him, so he thinks buying her a Slinky will do the trick. When it doesn’t, he continues to harangue her about making her own list of things that she doesn’t like about him. At first she tells him no, but he eventually wears her down and she basically lists everything all of us hate about Ross:

  • He’s whiny.

  • He’s obsessive.

  • He’s insecure

  • He’s gutless.

  • He never seizes the day.

  • He liked her for a year and didn’t do anything about it.

  • He uses way too much gel.

“For the 16th time, you are not obsessive.”


  • Grandma says, “Esther Livingston,” but that name isn’t listed in the paper she’s holding

Irish Coffee Martini

Irish Coffee Martini

Tropical Eggnog

Tropical Eggnog