S03 E06 - TOW the Flashback
aka TOW Monica Lives in a Jungle, Joey Gets Naked, and Ross’s Balls Get in the Way
OAD: 10/31/96 — spooky!
SIGNATURE BEVERAGE: HERE’S YOUR PENIS! (SPICY LEMONADE)
This week, Janice poses the question, “Did any of you ever … almost?” We flash back to three years in the past, and we see Ross and Phoebe almost get together, Monica and Chandler almost get together, Chandler and Rachel fantasy get together, and — in the scene that provided the inspiration for our signature beverage — Monica offer Joey lemonade. Unfortunately, “lemonade” means something very different in Joey’s world.
May we present: the Here’s Your Penis! (aka Spicy Lemonade).
The concept was simple: make a spiked lemonade with a kick of something spicy (since Joey’s strip tease sure did heat things up!)…
Phoebe eats “Villa” Wafers, thanks to a strategically placed sunflower decal on a Nilla Wafers box. There’s a box of Startoons cereal on the top of Chandler’s fridge, but Elizabeth thought it said “Starboobs” — you can’t really blame her, given the blurrily suggestive artwork on the back! Fun fact: Startoons were made by Barbara’s Bakery, the same company that makes Puffins cereal. And of course, we’ve got two very different interpretations of “lemonade” happening in this episode…
Rachel starts things off in “present day” 1996 with a fantastic Halloween ensemble (this episode aired on Halloween night 1996). She’s got a bright orange shirt on and has paired it with a jack-o-lantern apron! In the flashback scenes, somehow the 1993-era wardrobes are even more 90s than in “present day” 1996. Monica’s doing laundry and wearing pearl earrings and a pearl necklace with … overalls? Phoebe’s wearing a tie-dye robe, and her hair is up in braids with curly wisps and she’s got peace-sign earrings on.
Later on at the bar-soon-to-be-coffee-shop, Monica’s looking VERY sexy and striking in a spaghetti-strap red tank top. Her eyes look amazing! Rachel is full-throttle spoiled-girl Long Island chic in a purple skirt suit and BIG wavy hair.
Back at the apartment, we see Phoebe in full-throttle flower-child, with a fringed vest, flowy white skirt, and curly hair. Monica’s in a boring beige dress (surprise!). A little later, Pheebs dons the white crocheted vest we saw her wear in TOW Five Steaks and an Eggplant, and she even has a nubbin alert a little later when she almost hooks up with Ross!
Chandler’s got a goatee! Joey’s got an Italian horn!
ROSS ALMOST DOES PHOEBE
Ross is in the midst of a very dry spell with Carol (as we later learn, it’s because, well, she’s a lesbian). He thinks she’s depressed because he has lots of friends, but she doesn’t, but he’s optimistic because she’s just met a new friend at the gym — Susan. (Uh-oh.) At the end of the episode, though, he comes into the bar and tells Phoebe that Carol’s a lesbian. Phoebe tries to comfort him, and before you know it, they’re making out on top of the pool table.
Fun fact: We see Lisa Kudrow deftly take two of the billiard balls and tuck them underneath her to prep for the eventual punchline of Ross saying, “Stupid balls are in the way.” Ah, the magic of television!
Once Ross ruins the mood with his “balls in the way” comment, they come to their senses and agree that perhaps sympathy sex isn’t the best route for them. Then the rest of the gang walks in, and Phoebe plays off their being on top of the pool table by saying, “You’re right Ross, I don’t know why I always thought this was real grass!”
CHANDLER ALMOST DOES MONICA
In a little sneak preview of what’s to come for these two, we get a taste of Monica and Chandler’s great chemistry. Monica’s bummed that Phoebe moved out, and that she was the last one to find out, and she starts spiraling: “Is this why I don’t have a boyfriend?” Chandler comforts her by saying that he has no clue as to why she’s still single, and that she’s the hottest woman he knows in real life.
He gives her a hug, and then comments, “This feels really good…” Just when you think they’re about to kiss, he adds, “Is this 100% cotton?” — commenting on the feel of the towel she’s got wrapped around her. They part as good friends — Monica knows he’s in her corner.
JOEY ALMOST DOES MONICA
“You want to come in for some lemonade?”
Joey thinks this means sex (he later confirms this theory when he explains in The One Hundredth when he talks about “Grandma’s chicken salad.”) He’s been moving his stuff in to Chandler’s place, and after some crazy-sexy flirtatious moments with Joey and Monica out in the hallway, she invites him in for lemonade to cool off from the “heat and humidity.”
As she’s prepping the lemonade and explaining that she’s illegally subletting her grandmother’s apartment, we see Joey strip down to nothing. She grabs the two glasses of lemonade, turns around, and says, “Here’s your … penis!” Clearly, she meant actual lemonade. After an embarrassed Joey puts his clothes back on, they agree to part as friends.
RACHEL ALMOST DOES CHANDLER
Rachel and her Long Island girlfriends are gathered at the bar to celebrate her engagement to Barry. She mentions that she feels like she needs to have a meaningless fling with the next guy she sees, in order to get it out of her system. Chandler overhears and “drops his ball” in her direction. She’s a royal biotch to him in response, and he slinks away.
However, he’s clearly on her mind as she drives home, because we see a fantasy she has about going back to the bar, hitting a jukebox in just the right place, and taking him into her arms.
OTHER STUFF WE MENTIONED
There’s a “My goodness, my Guinness poster” at the bar, and we later see it at the guys’ apartment (this shot is from Season 5’s TOW Everyone Finds Out). Did the owner give it to them when the bar shut down to make way for Central Perk?
Do we have Heckles to thank for the entire series? If it weren’t for him, Chandler would’ve been roommates with the boring photographer!
The girls are living in a jungle. I consulted with my resident horticulturist, and he confirms that most of the plants we see would work as indoor plants, as long as they got sufficient sunlight and humidity.