Our Ten Favourite Book-Related Moments with ‘Friends’

It’s hard to believe it’s been 13 years since the last episode aired. The Friends were all avid readers—after all, the first piece of furniture Chandler and Joey put together in Ross’s new apartment is a bookcase—so here are a few of our favourite booky moments in Friends.

Episode: The One with Rachel's Book

Poor Rachel, if only she’d had a Kindle! You must remember the episode where the duck eats Rachel’s face cream and is sick all over Joey’s bed and the couch, so Joey finds Rachel’s bed a bit too tempting. Only as he snuggles under the covers he meets Zelda and the chimney sweep . . . her father, the vicar, wouldn’t be home for hours. Her loins were burning. She threw caution to the wind and reached and grabbed his . . . Strangely, this is the last episode where the duck is mentioned until the final episode.

Fun fact: The Magna-Doodle in Joey and Rachel's apartment has a drawing of a Claddagh ring.

Our favourite bit is obviously when Rachel calls him on it!

Joey: Hello, Zelda.

Rachel: Who are you supposed to be?

Joey: The vicar!

Rachel: Do you even know what a vicar is?

Joey: Like a goalie, right?

Rachel: (sarcastically) Yeah. Look Joey, it’s enough alright?! You keep making these stupid jokes and these sleazy innuendoes and it’s—I’m not—it’s just not funny anymore!

Joey: All right, I’m sorry. Rach I—Rach I’m sorry. Okay? I’m sorry! Maybe I can make up for it by, taking you roughly in the barn. (Giggles.)

Rachel: All right! Y’know what? That’s it! You wanna do it?! Let’s do it!

Joey: Huh?

Rachel: (starting to move closer to him) That’s right, I wanna do it with you! I’ve been trying to fight it, but you just said all the right things.

Joey: (nervously backing away) I-I-I-I did? (He puts a stool in front of her.)

Rachel: (moves the stool out of the way) Yeah! Oh, I’ve been waiting so long to get on that body!

Joey: This body? (He backs into the kitchen.)

Rachel: Yeah that’s right! Come on Joey; sex me up!

Joey: Hey-hey, you’re starting to sound like the butcher’s wife there in-in chapter seven.

Rachel: Oh, come on now, don’t keep me waiting. Get those clothes off! But, I would keep that helmet on because you’re in for a rough ride! (He backs into the door.)

Joey: I don’t want to, I’m scared.


Episode: The One Where Chandler Can’t Cry


So what? Chandler can’t cry and tries to read Chicken Soup for the Soul—did anyone else notice that he cries more than Ross and Joey in earlier episodes? Anyway, our real favourite part about this episode has to be that Phoebe is a porn star! Or rather her sister Ursula uses her name in cult classics, such as Buffay: The Vampire Layer: ‘Ah, I thought I’d find you here, Nasforatool.’  It also features an amazing cameo from Reese Witherspoon. 

Blooper: When Chandler throws his copy of the aforementioned book under the sofa and it goes across the floor to Monica's feet, she kneels down to pick it up by the counter next to the door, but when she rises, she's next to a chair that's under the table.

Episode: The One Where Eddie Won't Go


Rachel: How do you expect me to grow if you won't let me blow?

Ross: You - You know I don't ha - have a problem with that.

In this episode, it all got a little much for the girls as they were brainwashed by Be Your Own Windkeeper. The ‘wind goddesses’ they refer to are supposed to be a parody of mystical self-help books like Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ Women who Run with the Wolves. More importantly, despite being a good part into the second season, this is the second that Gunther has lines.

Blooper: Rachel says that Phoebe slept with Jason Hurley one hour after they broke up. Monica seems surprised by this even though she already found out that Phoebe slept with him right after he and Monica broke up in 'The One with George Stephanopalous'.


Episode: The One with the 'Cuffs


In the days where print Encyclopedias were still a thing—only joking!

Joey finds he can only afford the volume ‘V’. Did anyone notice that Penn Jillette (who plays the salesman) has his left hand ring finger painted red throughout the episode?

Fun fact: the exterior of Monica's parent's home is the same one used for the home of Tony Sopranos' mother in The Sopranos.


Episode: The One with the Butt


Despite his doctorate, Ross wasn't quite bright enough to see what everyone else could when the gang checked out this optical illusion book: Magic Eye 3D. Our favourite bit about the episode is obviously all the references to Joey’s butt, although we all see Joey’s baggy trunks when he’s supposed to be naked in the shower. Also, the Al Pacino film closest to the timeline that Joey could be bottom doubling for is Two Bits in which Al Pacino plays a senile old man.


Episode: The One After the Superbowl

While Phoebe plays her guitar for a group of school kids, Chandler reconnects with the childhood classic The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piperbut when Pheebs is about to play guitar (in front of love interest Chris Isaak).

Fun fact: Joey’s crazy, hot stalker Brooke Shields won the lead in her own sitcom Suddenly Susan based on her performance in this role.


Episode: The One Where Monica and Richard are Just Friends


In no way are these ranked in order, and this is by far the best literary episode. Rachel decides she will read Joey’s favourite book The Shining, if he reads hers, Little Women. But when Joey starts accidentally revealing spoilers, things get pretty nasty. However, when Joey reveals the spoilers the things he refers to don’t actually happen in the book, but are exclusive to the 1980 movie adaptation. Also, Joey mentions that Josephine March has a crush on her friend Laurie—did anyone else remember that she sadly doesn’t?

Note that in this episode, Ross is also seen reading the book Race: How Blacks & Whites Think & Feel About the American Obsession.

Bloopers: At the Central Perk while Robert makes a phone call, the coffee cups Phoebe's holding are clearly empty even when she just got them. Also, when Monica goes into her room to find Richard in his tux on the bed, backstage areas are clearly visible through the bedroom door behind Monica. Oops.


Episode: The One with the Dirty Girl

Tragically in love with Joey's girlfriend, Chandler finds her the perfect birthday gift: Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit. Although it’s Kathy’s favourite book, there’s no mention that it’s Chandler so it’s odd that Monica rents him the pink bunny costume because of it in season 8.

Fun fact: This was the acting debut of gorgeous Rebecca Romijn who went on to star in Ugly Betty and the X-Men.


Episode: The One with Ross' Sandwich

First off, we all felt awful for Ross in this episode, but the sadness doesn’t last long when we see Rachel and Phoebe at night school in a literature class. In search of a new hobby, Phoebe decides to take up a literature class. Unfortunately, Rachel tags along as a classmate and is more interested in reading Vogue and stealing Phoebe's answers than truly participating. We laugh, but I bet you there will be a book about Jane Eyre as a cyborg soon. There is an Eyre Cyborg Gallery after all.

Blooper: In the scene where Joey has just brought home his date, he jiggles the door handle, which makes Monica and Chandler run off into Chandler's room. Chandler kicks a circle cushion off the mat, but when the camera cuts back, it's on the mat again, and then off the mat again when Rachel walks in. A red cushion also moves.


Episode: The One with the Rumor


Joey helps Rachel prep for pregnancy by reading Heidi Murkoff’s What to Expect When You're Expecting by telling her’ that during pregnancy your fingers swell up to twice their size and never go back.’ Ach, we all know that we’re only casting back to this tenuous link to books so we can include a pic of Brad Pitt!

Bloopers: Towards the end of the episode when Joey comes in wearing the maternity pants, he pulls out the chair from the table twice. Also, when Ross reminisces about his relationship with the elderly librarian in his youth, the mirror behind him changes angles every time the camera cuts between Ross and the rest of the gang.


Episode: ‘The One with the Cake’

After forgetting to buy a present for Emma's first birthday, Joey improvises a touching reading of Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.

Blooper: In the panning shot of Ross and Rachel in Monica's Porsche, Ross is wearing a white shirt and he is wearing a seat belt. In the interior shot, Ross is wearing a black jacket and gray shirt and he doesn't put his seat belt on until after Rachel swerves while she is putting her phone on the back seat.

Thanks for stopping by! Have we forgotten any other moments? Let us know by commenting below.

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