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

$16

S02 E11 - TOW the Lesbian Wedding

S02 E11 - TOW the Lesbian Wedding

aka TOW Marlo Thomas, an Old Lady Ghost, and Lots of Lesbians

OAD: 01/18/96

SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: THE MRS. ADELMAN

:crinkle, crinkle, crinkle:

“Butterscotch?

No? All right, you’ll be sorry later.”

You won’t be sorry, because you’re going to enjoy this butterscotch old fashioned with us!

We know, it sounds kinda weird, but trust us — it’s good. Even Heather kinda sorta liked it, and she’s not a fan of bourbon!

FOOD

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In a very sweet gesture, everyone takes a long lunch and gathers at Monica and Rachel’s to watch Joey’s debut on Days of Our Lives. There are sandwiches, Snapples galore, and a giant carton of milk!

In our other food-centric plot line, Carol and Susan have hired Monica to cater their wedding. Monica goes into full-blown military mode, deciding on the menu and enlisting the gang to help her prep.

“I can’t decide between lamb or duck…”

“Of course, lambs are scarier. Otherwise it would’ve been called Silence of the Ducks.”

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She’s busting her butt (and everyone else’s butt) right up until ceremony time, apparently. She gangs up on Joey:

“It’s the pigs.. They’re reluctant to get into the blankets.”

Luckily, it all works out in the end. The pigs get into their blankets, all of the lesbians seem to enjoy the food, and Monica gets to bask in the satisfaction that her neurosis once again paid off.

FASHION

RACHEL

Rachel’s in her typical sexy outfits in this episode. She watches Joey’s debut in a too-quick-to-grab-a-screenhot flowered skater skirt with what looks like roses on it. Next up, she’s wearing a cheongsam/qipao shirt of black satin.

When she’s talking to the gang about her mother wanting to divorce her father, she’s wearing a furry leopard-print vest with a black turtleneck underneath. She attends the wedding in a lovely low-back gray silk dress with a black velvet rose detail.

MONICA

Monica kicks things off with a rather subtle nod to her hometown — a graphic tee with “New York City” printed across it. Things quickly go downhill for her, though, and continue in that direction for the duration of the episode.

First she wears a terrible zip-up denim shirt and khaki pants, both pieces being at least two sizes too big for her, then she wears a very unflattering maroon pinstriped suit to Carol and Susan’s wedding. We know she’s working it and all, but does she have to look so businessy?

PHOEBE

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We can’t get enough of this retro black and white polka dot dress that Phoebe wears to Carol and Susan’s wedding. It occurred to us: Did the late Mrs. Adelman inspire the 1950s throwback look?

Pheebs pairs the dress with the retro white booties she wore in the last episode with her Mona Lisa mosaic print dress.

Even her hair has a nostalgic flip to it — Lisa Kudrow sure can pull off some very different looks! We guess that’s one of the perks of being “the quirky one” in the gang!

JOEY

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Joey’s bright orange turtleneck matches his excitement about finally making his debut on Days of Our Lives.

We’ve definitely seen him in this before, in TOW Two Parts. In that episode, he was dating Phoebe’s twin sister, Ursula — a rather soap opera-y plot line, if you ask us. Maybe this it the wardrobe department’s subtle nod to such nonsense?

ROSS

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Oh look.

Ross is in his red cable knit sweater.

Again.

And he’s reading Wired magazine. How very Ross of him!

CAROL AND SUSAN

Susan starts off the episode in some very bad overalls. Heather is not impressed. However, they are both glowing in their rather alternative, very 90s wedding ensembles. Elizabeth’s definitely not a fan of the drab beige colors, but Carol’s gorgeous low-slung sash around her waist almost makes up for it.

Toward the end of the episode, we’ve got a Nubbin Alert — from Susan! We suppose she gets a pass, given that this is likely one of the most exciting days of her life.

FUN

JOEY SMELLS FARTS FOR A LIVING NOW

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Joey’s on Days of Our Lives! His (spoiler alert) short stint on the daytime drama begins with him educating the gang about how one of his co-actors taught him all about “smell the fart” acting.

“For a minute there, I thought you were actually trying to smell something.”

RACHEL’S MOM WANTS TO GET HIGH

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Rachel begins the episode rather flustered, and it only goes downhill from there for her. She’s nervous because her mom’s coming into town to visit her for the first time since she, you know, up and left her entire Long Island existence.

Enter Marlo Thomas, of That Girl and Free to Be You and Me fame! Oh, and those St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital commercials. Which, ironically, now also star Jennifer Aniston!

She’s quite impressed with the layout of Central Perk:

“Is it a living room? Is it a restaurant?”

She and Rachel hang out later at the apartment. Mrs. Green notices Ugly Naked Guy through the window.

“Oh my God, there’s an Unattractive Nude Man playing the cello!”

Soon enough, the fun is over — she tells Rachel that she’s thinking of leaving Mr. Green. Rachel’s shocked, and later tells the gang that she had no idea they were on the rocks:

“They didn’t even talk to each other! How was I supposed to know they were having problems?”

She makes a reference to the Rachel (“Couldn’t she just copy my haircut?”) — a great way for the writers to poke fun about the fact that everyone in the real world was doing their darndest to copy Rachel’s iconic layered ‘do.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Mrs. Green annoys the heck out of Rachel by prancing around the apartment saying how much she loves Rachel’s new, free life.

“Does anybody have any… marijuana?”

“No one’s smoking pot around all this food.”

When she then asks the girls, “What’s new in sex?” Rachel’s had it. She reels on her mother, asking her what she wants from her. Then we get one of the saddest revelations in the show:

“You didn’t marry your Barry, honey. But I married mine.”

Poor Mrs. Green! We know how miserable Rachel would’ve been had she married Barry, so we can only imagine what 30 years of that has done to Mrs. Green. No wonder she wants to get high!

PHOEBE’S POSSESSED

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Phoebe comes into the girls’ apartment and tells everyone that she lost a patient on the table that day … the massage table, that is. The thing is, she gets the feeling that elderly Mrs. Adelman’s spirit didn’t go that far when she died.

Yes, friends, Phoebe’s possessed by a little old lady’s ghost.

“That’s a little more relaxed than you want them to get.”

She spends the rest of the episode playing host to the spirit of not-so-departed Mrs. Adelman, who pops up every now and then to say some anachronistic and/or inappropriate things. She mentions Soupy Sales (and no one knows who that is), she tells people to sit up straight, and then she interrupts Carol and Susan’s wedding by unwrapping a very noisy butterscotch candy.

Mr. Adelman stops by the coffee shop so Phoebe can talk to him about why his wife’s spirit chose to stick around. “Well, she always said she wanted to see everything.” That isn’t a tall order or anything.

He then proceeds to hit on Phoebe:

“She also said she wanted to sleep with me one last time.”

“I’m sorry -- there’s laughing in my head.”

Luckily, Phoebe was rid of her unwelcome visitor soon enough, because apparently a lesbian wedding was the only thing left for her to see. So when Carol and Susan walked down the aisle, Mrs. Adelman proceeded to the pearly gates.

“Oh my god! Now I’ve seen everything!”

CAROL AND SUSAN GET HITCHED! (BUT NOT REALLY)

Lesbians?! Getting married?!?! That’s right, Friends was ground-breaking in its day, by showing the first lesbian wedding on prime time TV. It was indeed a big, albeit subdued deal—you don’t see them exchange vows or kiss—especially considering that gay marriage wasn’t even legally recognized in New York until 2011.

Ross, of course, is having issues with it because he’s a toxic asshole who makes everything about him. Okay, okay, we can kinda sympathize — I mean, it’s got to me emasculating enough for your wife to leave you for another woman. We can imagine that it’s that much harder for her to publicly declare her love for that woman in front of a bunch of people — and ask you to come watch it. Chandler, of course, pokes fun at it:

“Who’s the bitterest man in the living room? The bitterest man in the living room … Hi, neighbor!”

Eventually, Ross gets over it, and he even steps up and saves the day when Carol comes in crying because she and Susan had a fight and were about to call the whole thing off. He reasons with her and actually convinces her to go through with it because she and Susan clearly love each other. Then he walks her down the aisle!

Okay, okay, Ross gets a few brownie points in this episode.

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At the wedding, Phoebe misses Rose—apparently that’s Mrs. Adelman’s first name—and Lea Delaria from Orange is the New Black (because apparently the only people allowed to be invited to a lesbian-non wedding in 1996 Manhattan are other lesbians … and the ex-husband and his friends) overhears it:

“I think you need to forget about Rose … move on with your life … how about we get you a drink?”

We guess those pigs in blankets really were just an appetizer…

MONICA’S CORNER

  • Quart of milk disappears, Joey’s glass of milk still there.

  • Chandler’s scarf hanging half-down his back

  • Dead flowers at the wedding

NOT ON NETFLIX

  • Mrs. Green saying they can do whatever she wants -- have lunch, get their nails done, etc. Rachel says she has to work, Mrs. Green says, “What, nobody else can pour coffee?”

  • Entire scene of Rachel and Mrs. Green alone in the apartment. Mrs. Green offers to call up Carmela so she can make the marshmallow treats Rachel likes… “You know how sometimes you’re driving on the highway, and you get home, and you can’t actually remember getting there?” “That’s kind of what my life’s been like.” “I want adventures, I want to hang out. I want a Chandler.” “I’d be doing what you’re doing … but with money. It’s very different.”

Handbag Marinara

Handbag Marinara

The Mrs. Adelman - Butterscotch Old Fashioned

The Mrs. Adelman - Butterscotch Old Fashioned