The One With The Videotape
This episode focused on one major plot. Many episodes of Friends usually have two or three different stories going on, but this particular one mainly revolved around Ross and Rachel. There was a minor subplot going on with Monica and Chandler, but it wasn’t too critical or dramatic. Basically, Monica and Chandler had met a couple while they were on their honeymoon named Greg and Jenny, who also lived in New York. Monica and Chandler absolutely love them and are excitedly trying to call them up to set a date to meet, but realize they had received a fake number. They try to figure out why Greg and Jenny would do such a thing, and Monica blames it on Chandler and his bad jokes while Chandler thinks it’s because of Monica’s annoying questions. Once again, this is character emphasis. Monica is obsessive and often wants to know everything about everyone, and Chandler always makes bad jokes that aren’t funny to others. It’s interesting to note, however, that Chandler’s bad jokes and other characters’ negative reactions toward them is what actually makes it really funny and a comedy for the viewers.
So now that everyone knows about Ross and Rachel and the pregnancy, they want to know how it came to happen. Ross and Rachel disagree over “who came on to who first”, each insisting it was the other person. All the other friends believe Rachel over Ross.
It turns out Ross has the whole thing on videotape, and the story goes back to six weeks earlier, when Ross went to Joey for a problem: that he hasn’t had sex in six months.
Joey tells Ross of a story to use that he made up himself. It’s supposed to be so romantic that it’ll get any woman to sleep with him. The story begins with “Years ago, when I was backpacking across Western Europe..” and it’s so general and plain, but the way Joey recites it is hilarious. Ross decides to tell this story to his date that night, with hopes that it’ll work, but it ends up failing completely because the the woman keeps interrupting Ross.
Watch these hilarious scenes on video:
Joey tells Ross that he must not be delivering the story correctly, and tells him to record himself on videotape to try to see what he’s doing wrong. When Ross begins recording, Rachel comes in the room all of a sudden, and that happened to be the night they had sex, which is how Ross had it on tape.
Ross gives the tape to Rachel for her to destroy, but when she’s about to do it, all the friends stop her because they want to know the truth about “who came on to who”. This is a great moment because of the perfect timing when all of them jump up at the same time to protest. It shows how the ensemble works so well together.
So they watch the tape, just the beginning part, to see who really initiated it. Ross and Rachel are both confident that they will prove the other wrong. Then in the videotape, Rachel starts saying, “Did I ever tell you about the time that I went backpacking across Western Europe?” and this is huge twist and also the big moment of the episode. All the other characters and the viewers now know that it was Rachel who came on to Ross first, since she tried to use the Europe story. The question that was introduced in the beginning is finally answered at the end.
Rachel is totally shocked because she didn’t think everyone else would know about the Europe story, since she heard it from her friend Irene, who heard it from some guy named Ken Adams. Turns out, Ken Adams was actually Joey. This is another great twist to surprise the viewers and make the storyline so clever.
This was an especially awesome episode of Friends. All the events and details managed to merge together and all went back to the videotape. The script and lines were fantastically written.
Something else that I really enjoyed about this episode was that Rachel was finally proved wrong. Most of the time in Ross and Rachel’s relationship, Rachel is always portrayed as being better than Ross, and it always seems like she thinks she’s superior over him. It adds to her spoiled and sometimes selfish character. Rachel gets her way all the time, and it was nice to finally see Ross be the correct one.