S02 E14 - TOW the Prom Video
aka TOW Lobsters and Goodfellas
SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: BLINGY BEST BUDTINI
Joey gives Chandler the “eyesore from the Liberace house of crap” — a very gaudy gold bracelet. We came up with a martini inspired by the bracelet, and it even features a sparkly, golden rim!
The Blingy Best Budtini features:
And, most importantly:
monica’s creepy interview
Monica, desperate for a chef job, interviews with Noel from Frasier (Patrick Kerr). He asks her to make a salad. She thinks this is awfully easy, but she goes with it. He also asks her to tell him what she’s doing as she’s doing it. Again, kinda weird, but whatever — she’s desperate.
Very quickly, it takes a really creepy turn.
“I’m tearing the lettuce.”
“Is it … dirty?”
“Oh, don’t worry, I’m gonna wash it.”
“Don’t. I like it … dirty.”
Hi, Monica. This is your queue to get TF out. Instead, she moves on to the tomatoes.
“You sure they haven't gone bad? You're sure they're not very, very bad?”
“No really, they’re all right.”
“You gonna slice ‘em up real nice?”
“Actually, I was gonna do them julienne.”
Then he starts moaning, and Monica hauls ass. Luckily, it only took five showers to wash the interview of of her.
Oh, and did you notice the “FOOD FRIGHT” and “Chicken Addresses” pinned to the cork board? That was another creep-tastic clue, Mon.
Luckily, Monica recovered enough to invite her parents over and make bruschetta for them. But apparently she was still too shook up to choose a good outfit for herself (more on that in a minute).
Rachel’s doing laundry at the beginning of the episode, so she’s keeping it casual in her ‘Girls Boxing’ t-shirt and blurry green plaid pants. Fun fact: She also wears a green version of this t-shirt in TOW All the Football.
She goes back to her signature sexy yet monochromatic look the next day when she’s working at Central Perk, wearing a gray mesh long-sleeved collared shirt and tank top.
What was Monica thinking with this brown shirt?
The color is terrible, the buttons are terrible, the collar is terrible (though we can’t fault her too much for that, given that is was the fashion in 1996).
We guess she was just really distracted by the stress of inviting her parents over to ask for money. At least it’s not black. Or white. Or gray. Or red.
Congratulations, everyone, we’ve reached peak Phoebe Quirkiness! She just rides the wave for the remainder of the series.
Phoebe wins the fashion award for the episode with a single outfit: a retro cardigan with poodles on it, a denim skirt with a patchwork detail in the center, purple tights, a pink shirt, and funky white boots.
Ross is in his green plaid again. Surprise!
Chandler is in a sweater vest again. Surprise!
Joey is wearing his only nice jacket again. Surprise!
Joey wants to repay Chandler for all of the rent, bills, and slices of pizza Chandler’s bought him over the years, so he hands him a check for $812 and … a gold bracelet. A gaudy, ostentatious bracelet reminiscent of Goodfellas.
Chandler really doesn’t like it — he even tries to claim he’ll save it for special occasions and put it into a drawer and then keep it from jumping out by putting a chair in front of the desk — but Joey tells him the beauty of it is that it goes with everything (just like Monica’s boots!)
He wears the bracelet. He repels a woman with the bracelet. He mocks the bracelet (not realizing that Joey’s standing behind him):
“The Woman Repeller”
“Eyesore from the Liberace House of Crap”
“Reject from the Mr. T Collection” “I pity the fool who puts on my jewelry!”
Joey’s pissed and is giving Chandler the cold shoulder. When he comes back to the apartment, he blows Chandler off, and at that point Chandler realizes he’s lost the damn bracelet. He starts searching on the floor and rips the cushions off of the sofa:
“I am holding up these couch cushions as a symbol of my regret… much like they did in biblical times. Though you may haveth anger now…”
Ironically, this is the moment of the episode that Netflix chose as the screen shot...
The next day in Central Perk, we learn that Chandler’s bought a replacement bracelet (it took him about 40 takes to get the line right, BTW.) Then Rachel shows him the original bracelet — Gunther had found it. Now he has two!
Joey comes in, wants to know why Chandler has two bracelets, and Chandler (very quickly) recovers by saying that he bought the second one for Joey.
“We’re bracelet buddies!”
“That’s what they’ll call us…”
LOBSTERS AND A PROM VIDEO
When Ross (shockingly) whines about Rachel again, Phoebe tells him not to worry:
“It’s going to happen.”
“How do you know that?”
“She’s your lobster.”
The Pheebs tells us that lobsters mate for life (sorry, friends — they don’t) and you can see evidence of this in the old lobster couples walking around their tanks, holding claws. Maybe it’s a falsehood, but hey — it makes a really cute image!
However, when Ross attends the apparent plaid convention at Central Perk and (toxic asshole that he is) breaks up Rachel’s pleasant conversation with a nice man and relays to her that he’s her lobster, she’s not convinced (even after Phoebe tells him to do the claws again). Rachel tells him he needs to accept that they’ll never be together.
Monica’s parents come over so she can ask them for money, and they bring some boxes of her stuff (presumably, not the same stuff that gets trashed when the garage floods in a few years). In one of the boxes, we find Monica’s old bathing suit and — their prom video!
They pop the tape in, Ross freaks out (because he knows what’s coming), and we’re treated to a delightful look back at half of the gang in high school. Before we launch into that, though, let’s talk about something very important: Fat Monica.
Fat Monica is a terrible character arc. It promotes fat-shaming (Joey and Chandler both get digs in within seconds of seeing her bathing suit and her image in the video).
It also promulgates the myth that you’re worthless unless you’re thin, and that life starts after you lose weight. When she’s fat, Monica is meek, klutzy (example: mayo on Rachel’s shoulder) and ditzy.
One more stereotype Fat Monica promotes: Fat people are out of control and eat all the time. Every time we see Monica in the prom video, she’s got food in her hand. This stereotype can be seen throughout the series, whenever Fat Monica shows up.
Okay, now on to the fun of the prom video. Ross looks like Gabe Kaplan (“Lookin’ good, Mr. Kotter!”), Rachel’s got her original nose, and (as we previously mentioned) Monica’s fat. The 80s fashion is AMAZINGLY RETRO — including Jack wearing double Polo shirts and Chuck Taylors!
Rachel’s date hasn’t shown up yet, she’s upset, Jack encourages Ross to take her to the prom, he gets up the courage to do it, we pan down to the base of the stairs, and it turns out that Chip did eventually show up and we’re treated to this heartbreaking face:
Poor Ross! Even Elizabeth feels bad for him in this moment.
We’re back to the present-day girls’ apartment now, and one of the most iconic moments takes place: Rachel slowly walks over to Ross, and:
“See? He’s her lobster!”
NOT ON NETFLIX
Judy asking Monica, “What’s new, how’s your job?” Monica wants to avoid the topic so she says, “Did I mention that I still don’t have a boyfriend?” and Judy replies, “Well, I just assumed…”
After Chandler says “I was hoping we wouldn’t focus on that” (the fact that he was a wank) and Joey says, “Oh yeah, well focus on THIS!” He has his back to the camera, but you can tell he’s making a … rude gesture toward his groin. (You can hear the audience react.) And Chandler says, “Hard to argue with that.”