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"The One Where Estelle Dies" is the fifteenth episode of the tenth season of Friends, which aired on April 22, 2004.


Too many changes are happening around Joey - his best friends are moving into a new house, Phoebe is now married, Rachel is moving to Paris for her new job, and to make it even worse, his agent, Estelle, dies. He doesn't get to learn about this last piece of news, however, because it's Phoebe who finds out about Estelle after finding her obituary in the paper, and in an attempt to keep him stable, she impersonates her over the phone. Because of her recent silence, however, Joey ends up "firing her". He later feels guilty about it, but Phoebe encourages him to wait for her to call him back so she can learn from her mistakes. Eventually he finds out about her death, only to then get spooked when she (in reality, Phoebe again) seemingly calls him from beyond the grave, and they "make amends". Joey later gives a speech at her memorial service, only for her only other client - a guy who eats paper - to eat his speech.

Monica and Chandler are checking out their new home, but learn the one next door is available and get curious. Unfortunately, they bump into another prospective buyer - Janice. After learning that Chandler and Monica already made an offer on the house next door, she decides to buy the house. It takes a reckless Chandler to fake his never-wavered feelings for her (and a struggled kiss between the two) to make Janice change her mind.

Meanwhile, Ross becomes upset that Rachel is moving to Paris, believing that she is only really going for the money and not any actual passion. He tries everything in his power to make Rachel stay so she doesn't have to move to Paris. This includes talking with Mr. Zelner about it, during which he discovers that Mr. Zelner thinks his name is "Ron", and that his son is also named Ross AND is interested in paleontology. This convinces Ross to bribe Mr. Zelner by giving him and his son a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum. It initially works, but when Rachel discovers the Paris job is offering her more money, Ross has to bribe Mr. Zelner again with a pterodactyl egg to give Rachel her old job with increased salary. In the end, though, Ross sees that Rachel actually wants to go to Paris in order to have momentum in her career, so he decides to drop his efforts and let her leave for Paris, but is upset to do so.  

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Greene
Courteney Cox - Monica Geller
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller

Supporting Cast

E.J. Callahan - Al Zebooker
Steve Ireland - Mr. Zelner
Jane Lynch - Ellen
Cali Sheldon - Emma Geller-Greene
Noelle Sheldon - Emma Geller-Greene
Maggie Wheeler - Janice Litman Goralnik


Directed By:
Gary Halvorson

Written By:
Mark Kunerth, David Crane & Marta Kauffman


  • Joey: Thank you all for coming. We're here today to pay respects to a wonderful agent and a beautiful woman... (Joey looks at the photograph) ..inside. As Estelle's only two clients we would like to say a few words. (Joey looks for his notes. The man next to him is chewing something.) Dude, where's my speech? (the man swallows something and looks at Joey.) That is entertaining. Al Zebooker everybody. (he applauds and Al shows that there's nothing left in his mouth.)


  • Last appearance of Maggie Wheeler as Janice, Steve Ireland as Mr. Zelner and the Sheldon Twins as Emma Geller-Greene.
  • Estelle is one of the few recurring characters, including Joanna, Mr. Heckles and Frances, that dies in the show.
  • Al Zebooker, portrayed by E. J. Callahan, is also seen in "The One With The Ballroom Dancing" as a client as Phoebe's massage parlor.
  • It is revealed in this episode that Janice's full name is "Janice Litman-Goralnik neé Hosenstein".
  • The French title for this episode is "Celui qui faisait tout pour retenir Rachel" (The One Who Didn't Want to Let Rachel Go)
  • This episode was originally titled "The One Where Jetlag Wins". One of the stories was about Ross and Rachel going to Paris and having a romantic time. The story was scrapped, and replaced with the one where Ross tries to get Rachel her old job back. The original script can be seen here.
  • Chandler mentions Beyonce, a pop singer known for performing in the female group, Destiny's Child and then starting out on a solo career.
  • When Phoebe is pretending to be Estelle and talking to Joey, the logo for Verizon communications can be prominently seen on the payphone behind her.
  • Even though Ross reluctantly agrees to support Rachel moving to Paris, he's seen to sneak a replica dinosaur skull into his holdall. This is presumably to offer another bribe to Mr. Zelner, perhaps to get Rachel a suitable position so she'll stay in New York. As Rachel eventually gets off the plane anyway, it's unknown if Ross ever used this bribe.
    • It is implied that the replica skull that Ross puts in his bag is intended as a bribe for Mr. Zelner to rescind the job offer that Rachel had already accepted to return, since Ross had now convinced her to accept the position in Paris.


  • Joey states that Estelle only has two clients but in at least one earlier episode, another client has been heard talking to Estelle on the telephone. But it is possible that the other client may have hired another agent.
  • After Janice leaves and Chandler closes the door to the neighbors house, you can see him about to bang his head on the door, then it jumps to the next shot and his head is nowhere near the door.
  • When Chandler says his boss is getting him a new lamp in his cubicle, his arm is over the back of the chair, in the immediate next shot it is moved and then back again.
  • On the season 10 DVD, when Rachel is carried into Monica and Chandler's apartment on Joey's back, you can see what appears to be her g-string sticking out the top of her skirt.
  • When Chandler and Monica are at the door of the house you can see a crease in the middle of the background showing that it is a fake background behind Chandler.
  • The second time Ross visits Mr. Zelner, he hands him a pterodactyl egg replica. The hole in the egg switches between the top or bottom, depending on the shot.
  • Near the end when Chandler is talking to Janice at one point his hands go from pointing straight ahead to his pockets.
  • When Phoebe pretends to be Estelle, she uses both Estelle's accent and her catch phrase "Joey, it's Estelle!", even though Phoebe has never met her. However as Phoebe spends a lot of time with Joey, it's possible she's heard her voice over the phone, or that she has met Estelle in person, but it just wasn't showcased during the series.
  • As Janice gets reacquainted with Chandler and Monica, Ellen the realtor's hands go from clasped in front of her to hanging by her sides as the scene changes from close-up to wide shot.
  • When Rachel walks in with Emma, Ross is on the laptop. It is straight and on the table, in a later shot, the laptop has moved and is over the edge of the table.
  • Just after the opening titles cut to Central Perk, four people can be seen having a conversation through the window. In the next shot, there is one person sitting next to the window and a waitress has appeared out of nowhere.
  • When Chandler and Monica are talking to Phoebe about the house next door, after she responds: "Well, I think that shirt makes you look like you should work at a Baskin Robbins... ", Lisa Kudrow starts to laugh, but in the next shot she is just reading the newspaper with a serious look.
  • Chandler says, "Unless Snoopy says it to Charlie Brown," but the comic strip, Peanuts, ended its run in 2000, four years before this episode aired. The Peanuts strip however continued for several years in certain newspapers under syndication after the final run and is still as of 2019 printed in The New York Times.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With Princess Consuela"
Series Ten Episodes Followed by
"The One With Rachel's Going Away Party"