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

$16

S02 E12 - TO After the Super Bowl, Part 1

S02 E12 - TO After the Super Bowl, Part 1

aka TOW Brooke Shields and Chris Isaak

OAD: 01/28/96

SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: HANDBAG MARINARA

The Handbag Marinara

The Handbag Marinara

Yes, we put tomato and champagne together. No, we haven’t gone crazy.

But this is a very special episode — it’s the one that inspired the name of our podcast, after all!— so it called for a very special cocktail!

The Handbag Marinara is kind of like a bloody Mary mimosa — don’t knock it ‘til you try it, folks!

It actually grew on us, and the effervescence of the bubbly cut through the acidity of the tomato quite nicely!

FASHION

RACHEL

Rachel’s in the midst of her sexy neutrals phase — lots of dark colors, worn as form-fittingly as possible. She starts off in overalls (with the top undone again, so they’re almost like jeans) and a long-sleeved black top with a bedazzled tribal pattern on the chest.

Next up, we have a repeat of the black leopard turtleneck she’s worn before, then a pleated gray button-up A-line dress with a brown shirt and tights. She finishes up the episode in an iconic gray satin miniskirt.

MONICA

Monica’s in black and red again! Shocker!

We love her first look of the episode — a sort-of color-blocked black sweater with red and white blocks.

At the library to listen to Phoebe’s music, she’s wearing an interestingly textured red sweater.

PHOEBE

For her first round of singing at Central Perk in this episode, Phoebe’s in a crazy floral patterned dress, semi-choker necklace, and ponytail with a large scrunchie. It’s very “Golden Girls meets My So-Called Life.” She repeats her moose sweater for her first singing gig at the library, pairing it with a high ponytail and even stiffer scrunchie action.

For her second round of library tunes, she tones it down a bit — her hair is down and she’s wearing a rather conservative raspberry-colored satin blouse. She closes out the episode in a really interesting button-down graphic top with blue roses and black-and-white pinups.

CHANDLER

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Apparently, Chandler raided Ross’s closet before venturing to the library to hear Phoebe sing. He’s in a denim dress shirt and tie — maybe he came right from work or took a long lunch to support his friend?

If it’s the latter, we’ll give him a pass on this questionable outfit, given that he’s being such a good friend.

ERIKA

If she weren’t a psychopath, we’d likely give Erika the Best Dressed award for the episode. Her wardrobe is lavish, loud, and extravagant — much like the soap opera characters with whom she was so obsessed!

When we meet her, she’s wearing a fantastic purple satin top and carrying a hot pink jacket — we love this color combo! Next up, she wears what nowadays would likely be apropos for a bridesmaid — a maroon chiffon dress with matching scarf. She closes out the episode in a fabulous dress suit with a black-and-white tiger-print belt, leopard-print faux fur cuffs, and a sexy slit in the skirt. Trés elegant!

FUN

“Meet me in the nocturnal HOUSE…”

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We love that the episode starts off with a fake commercial. As we all know, half of the people who watch the Super Bowl watch it for the commercials, so if you were watching the game coverage before this aired, you likely thought you were watching another commercial.

But Monkey Shine Beer is in fact a figment of the FRIENDS writers’ imaginations. We see the gang hanging out, presumably watching the Big Game, and the commercial comes on. Ross comments that he always thinks of Marcel when he sees it, and questions whether giving him up was the right decision. Rachel says it most definitely was:

“I have a Malibu Barbie who will no longer be wearing white to her wedding.”

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Later on, Ross heads to San Diego for a paleontology conference and decides to give Marcel a visit. But when he gets there, Fred Willard tells him that Marcel has passed away. Ross must be crying out of his hair follicles, because he’s looking especially Wet Head-ish. Fred Willard gives his condolences and offers Ross some zoo dollars.

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Dejected, Ross turns away, only to be greeted by a sketchy janitor played by none other than Dan Castellaneta from The Simpsons (what is it with Simpsons actors and Marcel-themed episodes?) Dan Castellaneta creepily tells him, “Meet me in the nocturnal house in 15 minutes…”

“I don’t really enjoy being with other men, that way, but thanks anyway. Zoo dollars?”

Dan Castellaneta tells him that Marcel isn’t dead, and he really is the Monkey Shine monkey! Ross rushes back into town, calls the beer company, and they tell him that he’s in New York right now, filming Outbreak 2: The Virus Takes Manhattan. The episode ends with the gang going to the movie set and serenading Marcel with “In the Jungle” to get his attention.

“IN CRAZY WORLD, THAT MEANS YOU’RE MARRIED!”

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Joey has his very own stalker! That’s right, he’s been on Days of Our Lives for approximately 20 minutes, and he’s already receiving fan mail from a crazy lady — and she delivered it to his building. Props props are in order, by the way, for the accuracy of the address on the envelope!

A little later, Erika (that’s the stalked) comes by for a visit. Hilarity ensues when the guys try to escape before she can make it up the stairs, before they ultimately end up back in the apartment armed with a frying pan and … dish soap.

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Joey opens the door and … it’s Brooke Shields! She looks gorgeous, so obviously Chandler loses his soap and Joey immediately forgets that she’s a CRAZY STALKER and starts dating her instead.

We think that NBC invited her on the show to promote her as a sitcom actress, given that her own sitcom, Suddenly Susan, was set to premiere that fall.

Joey and Erika’s go on a date at Becco, an Italian restaurant. Ironically, becco is derived from the Italian word beccare, which means to peck or nibble — given how Erika starts nibbling on Joey’s fingers, it was quite the apropos place!

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Of course, the nibbling got way out of hand (so to speak) and the PDA level exceeded even Heather’s comfort level. A little later, a restaurant patron started choking, and Erika jumped up and proclaimed that Dr. Drake Ramoray could help him. When he didn’t, she asked him why:

“Because I’m a neurosurgeon, and that was clearly a case of … foodal chokage.”

Even Joey realizes that he has to get out of this “relationship.” Luckily, the gang is ready to help him break up with Erika, in a very soap opera-y way: After Erika throws a glass full of water on Joey, everyone else follows suit. Joey ends up soaked, but single.

“And you left the toilet seat up, you bastard!”

“Oh the cow in the meadow goes moo…”

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Phoebe’s getting ready to play a set at Central Perk when a cute guy she’s had her eye on — who turns out to be Chris Isaak — walks in. He approaches her and says that he doesn’t know anything about music (har har, Chris Isaak), but he wants to know if she’d consider playing music for children down at the local library. Being a librarian must pay more in New York for him to be able to afford the blingy ring he’s wearing.

Cut to the library, where Phoebe launches into her first song, about grandparents!

“Now Grandma’s a person who everyone likes,

She bought you a train and a bright shiny bike.

But lately she hasn’t been coming to dinner

And last time you saw her, she looked so much thinner…

Now your mom and your dad said she moved to Peru,

But the truth is she died and some day you will too!

La la la la-la-la-la-la-la la la-la-la-la la la la….

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So … the parents aren’t so impressed with the first performance, but Phoebe takes constructive criticism well, so when Chris Isaak requests that she sing some songs about farm animals, she obliges:

Oh the cow in the meadow goes moo.

Oh the cow in the meadow goes moo.

Then the farmer hits him on the head and grinds him up

And that’s how we get hamburgers…

Noooooooooooow, CHICKENS!

Despite Phoebe and Chris Isaak sharing some yummy kisses, he kinda sucks in the boyfriend department. He comes by the coffee house to tell her she’s been fired — and when she asks whether he stuck up for her, he says he didn’t.

Goodbye, Chris Isaak!

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Not all is lost, though. The kids really liked hearing Phoebe sing because she tells the truth. So when Phoebe’s about to go on at Central Perk, a teeny tiny Tahj Mowry comes in and asks if this is the place with the singing lady who tells the truth — all the library kids come in and listen to Pheebs sing about sexual orientation.

In the spliced version of the show (which is how it typically airs in syndication and on Netflix), we’re treated to a duet with Phoebe and Chris Isaak singing “Smelly Cat.” He starts singing in falsetto, and she can’t stifle her amusement.

“I think you might want to pick a more masculine note.”

NOT ON NETFLIX

  • Phoebe saying, “So if I can get a library card, can I check you out sometime?” and Monica stealing cookies (iced animal crackers -- one of my faves!)

S02 E13 - TO After the Super Bowl, Part 2

S02 E13 - TO After the Super Bowl, Part 2

Handbag Marinara

Handbag Marinara