S02 E20 - TOW Old Yeller Dies
aka TOW Movies and Mustaches
SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: BEN’S FAVORITE
Ross freaks out (we know, shocking) about missing all of Ben’s “firsts” — missing the first time Ben stood up on his own (remember when that was all anyone ever expected of you?) is what set him off. He rants:
I don't believe this. I miss the first time of everything. I missed, what, the first time he rolled over, the first time he crawled. What else did I miss? Has he spoken yet, is he driving, does he have a favorite liqueur?
A-ha! Liqueurs! We knew we wanted to feature that in this episode’s signature cocktail. But would we just sip on it, or combine it with something else? Rachel provided the answer when…
Monica’s got leftover chicken (and what looks like mashed potatoes) and invites Chandler and Joey over to enjoy it. She also brings over an apple pie and some beer, which threw us off — did she intend for them to enjoy the beers with their chicken, then eventually move on to the pie? Some people have successfully paired apple pie and beer, but it’s not usually a typical, everyday beer — it’s more of a malty, caramel-noted ale. What are the odds that that’s what Monica’s serving (remember that it’s 1996, so microbreweries and craft beers aren’t a thing yet.)
We also noticed some MET-Rx on Monica’s counter. Did Eddie get her to try some? Is Richard trying to bulk up to keep up with the whippersnappers he’s now hanging out with?
Finally, in a blink-and-you’ll miss it Props Props, one of the chalkboard signs in Central Perk reads, “Special: Abell Skeever … Roger isn’t Danish, and neither is his coffee! But drink it anyway.” Ebelskivers are a Danish treat, sort of like a stovetop mini-donut. They’re often filled with jam or cream, too!
Rachel’s looking very mod squad in her black and white short sleeved top (paired with her signature black skirt and tights, of course). We found a one-piece bathing suit at Unique Vintage that is very reminiscent of this top! She gets comfy later in the episode in the green blurry plaid jammy pants we’ve seen on her a few times before.
What the heck is Monica wearing? She starts off the episode in a beige and brown outfit that you’re more likely to see on a grandma than a 20-something chef. Her tapered pants and socks-and-Keds are not really flattering, and the striped cardigan she’s wearing is just plain boring. She then gives us not one, but TWO red, collared, v-neck shirts. Wardrobe department, what’s going on?
Phoebe starts off the episode in a cute sage-green top and velvet tie around her neck. Later on she dons what we’re assuming is a vegan leather jacket.
THE GUYS (AND BEN)
We’ve got a lot going on here. Joey’s in a super comfy-looking “southwest snowflake” button down, Chandler’s in a sweater vest that’s precariously bottom-buttoned, there are THREE extras wearing denim shirts in Central Perk (denim convention? the denim lobby cornered the wardrobe department? denim quota?), and Ross is wearing a red and blue plaid shirt that reminds us of the plaid jammy pants Rachel wore in TOW Ross Finds Out.
Everyone’s watching Old Yeller (we haven’t seen this, have you?) and Phoebe walks in, not understanding why everyone is crying. Apparently, her mom would turn off the video before the end. So her world is shattered when Travis grabs a gun and shoots poor Yeller.
Okay, what kind of sick doggy snuff film is this?!
She spends the rest of the episode in an existential crisis, watching sad movie after sad movie, realizing that her mother’s way of “saving” her and her sister from all of the pain and sadness of the world was to not show them any of it (you know, until she killed herself).
Monica recommends It’s a Wonderful Life as an alternative:
See? It’s right there on the box — the wonderfulness is baked right in.
But that backfires, because Phoebe doesn’t watch the end — you know, where everything works out.
They should’ve called it, “It’s a Sucky Life, and Just When You Think It Can’t Suck Any More, It Does”!
She ends the episode watching Sesame Street with Ben, in what we think is our way of both working her way through her crisis while at the same time sparing Ben the torment she had to go through as an adult.
ROSS IS TOXIC (SORT OF)
Surprise! Ross engages in some toxic asshole behavior in this episode — well, maybe we’re being a little harsh. All he’s doing is admitting that when you’re in love and assembling bones, your mind wanders. While watching Ben, Ross starts to wax psychotic about how one day, he and Rachel are going to have two kids — a boy and a girl — and live in Scarsdale so they can be close enough to their parents to get them to babysit, but far enough away that they can have their alone time. Rachel freaks out (rightly so), stops holding Ben like a football (her arms look AMAZING, BTW) and runs away.
He catches up with her and they have a fight about how she likes not knowing how her life is going to turn out, and he needs to be okay with that, and eventually they say “I love you” for the first time. What a sweet way to gloss over the issue that will eventually lead to their undoing. But we digress.
Ross is also mad that he’s missing out on all of Ben’s firsts — the first time he rolled over, the first time he stood up, etc. — so he’s determined to elicit Ben’s first words. Unfortunately, it’s not-so-adept-at-babysitting Rachel who gets Ben to say “Hi” for the first time. Ross is pissed that he missed it (of course).
Note: At the end of the episode, you can catch Ben saying, “Bye, Phoebe!”
RICHARD’S ONE OF THE (OLD) GUYS
At Monica’s suggestion, Chandler and Joey reluctantly start hanging out with Richard. But here’s the thing — they love him (and why wouldn’t they, as he is perfect?). So they start hanging out with him all the time. And imitating him — Chandler tries to grow a mustache, Joey starts chewing on cigars, Chandler starts wearing Richard-esque clothes, and by the end of the episode, Richard looks full-throttle Chandler in a retro shirt and blue jeans.
And Monica’s pissed. She has very little time with Richard as it is, so the fact that he’s now spending all of it with the guys makes her mad. She tries to get advice from Rachel and Phoebe, but they’re going through their own respective crises, so they’re no help.
You know, I think I’m going to go to my room and read Cosmo, maybe there’s something helpful in there. If not, at least maybe I can learn how to do an at home bikini wax with leftover Christmas candles.
Eventually, she gives Richard the classic loaded “Uh-huh” when he asks if everything’s fine, so she shares her frustrations. Then, Chandler and Joey dig themselves into a hole by letting it slip that they see Richard as a father figure. Richard’s depressed for approximately 2.5 seconds, as he soon remembers that he may be old, but he’s dating a hot 20-something.