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"The One Where Joey Dates Rachel" is the twelfth episode of the eighth season of Friends, which aired on January 10, 2002. This is one of the 10 episodes directed by actor David Schwimmer.


Phoebe gives Chandler and Monica a late wedding present: the game Ms. Pac-Man. Phoebe ends up hogging the game and Monica gets frustrated. She asks Chandler for help to get Phoebe away from the game, but he won't because he's mad that he sucks at the game. Chandler plays it all day long to be better than Monica and Phoebe. He plays it so much that his hand freezes in a claw shape. When Monica gets home she sees that all the initials Chandler has entered in the high scores are dirty words. Ben is coming over soon to play the game, so Monica and Phoebe have to play and beat all of the high scores to erase the inappropriate initials. Phoebe ends up losing right as Ben walks through the door, yelling and swearing as Ross covers Ben's ears to avoid him from hearing.

When Joey mentions an upcoming date he's excited for, Rachel muses that she misses dressing up for romantic dates so Joey promises to take her out. He picks her up and brings her flowers, says no roommate talk, and they share what their secret moves are when they go on dates. They end up having a great time together and Joey starts to feel like he is developing a crush on her. This freaks Joey out to the point where he feels no connection on the date he was excited for, especially as she proves herself to be much more shallow than Rachel. Rachel seems to have no clue, as she absolutely does not feel the same at all. But Joey is visibly disturbed by these new feelings, which intensify when Rachel asks him to sit with her and hold her while watching the horror movie Cujo.

Ross is excited to begin teaching an advanced paleontology class alongside his regular one, however he learns just as his first class is ending that the advanced class is taught in a building across town. With the class just ten minutes away, Ross runs to make it but barely gets there before it finishes. Next time, he wears sneakers to work, bolts from his first class early and tries out a new route (one that apparently carries the risk of being hit by cars) and makes it, but is so exhausted he quickly collapses. Eventually, Ross finds a way to make it to the advanced class easily and in plenty of time; by wearing roller blades.

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

Krista Allen - Mabel
Cole Sprouse - Ben Geller
Caryn Ward - Waitress
Matthew Yang King - Student
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)


Directed By:
David Schwimmer

Written By:
Sherry Bilsing-Grahem



  • This is the last appearance of Ben Geller in the series, but he is later mentioned.
  • In "The One With Ross' Denial", Chandler wanted to turn Rachel's old room into a game room with vintage arcade games, but Monica was against it and turned it into a guest bedroom. Ironically, in this episode, Monica wants to put Ms. Pac-Man, a vintage arcade game, in the guest bedroom.
  • Chandler's red shirt is an indirect tribute for the attacks of September 11, with the words "United we Stand" emblazoned on it.
  • The "Fit Pregnancy" magazine Rachel reads at the beginning of the episode features Alex Kingston on the cover, best known for her work on "E.R." and "Doctor Who".
  • When Rachel goes to up the door for her date the Magna Doodle shows a drawing of the famous sun and moon colliding art.
  • The scene in the restaurant when Joey starts laughing and says "I couldn't even get through that" was an adlib left in.
  • Rachel asks Ross if "he got head of department" and Ross says "no" and then asks himself out loud "why didn't I get head of department?" Part of the reason might be his previous relationship with Elizabeth, the student he dated in season 6.
  • The scene when Ross covers Ben's ears with his hands is a callback to when Ross covered Rachel's ears in the uncut version of "The One With The Chicken Pox". In both cases it was Phoebe who screamed the inappropriate word.
  • Rachel and Joey actually start dating at the end of next season but break-up after one week after being unable to progress beyond the kissing stage.
  • Rachel feels upset after eating lobster. Ross is allergic to lobster. 
  • Joey's date mentions the actor Stephen Baldwin. His older brother Alec Baldwin appears as Parker, Phoebe's over-enthusiastic boyfriend, in "The One With The Tea Leaves" and "The One In Massapequa".


  • In the first two scenes where Ross enters the advanced class, you can see the microphone at the top of the screen.
  • Ross leaves his first class without his coat but is wearing it when he arrives at the next class.
  • When Ross enters the advanced course class he throws his coat at the coat stand but it falls down. In the following shot the coat is on the coat stand.
  • In reality, Ross' graduate seminar would only involve a few students, not a packed classroom. There is no such thing in graduate school as a bell ringing at the beginning and end of a class. Also there is a 15-minute grace period which means if Ross was "a lot late" for the class, his students would have gone home a while ago.
  • In this episode, Chandler plays the Ms. Pac-Man game for so long that it causes his hand to become misshapen. Before he reveals that his hand is distorted, he points to the screen and his hand is just fine. However, after he shows Monica his hand, it won't move no matter what.
  • On her date with Joey, Rachel turns to the left to go to the bathroom. When Joey returns to the same restaurant with another date, his date goes to the right when she gets up use the bathroom.
  • After Joey and Rachel have returned to the apartment, the amount eaten out of the cookie Rachel holds changes between shots even though she's not eating it.
  • Towards the end of the episode when Phoebe is playing Ms. Pac-Man to try and erase the dirty top score names, you can see that the door behind her, Chandler, and Monica is wide open. Once she loses you can hear the door open and then Ross and Ben walk in.
  • When they play the Ms. Pac-Man game and they show the screen the game in play is not shown but you can hear the music although it may be that the game screen is too small to see.
  • When Chandler is watching Monica arguing with Phoebe, he has a red apple with no bite marks but in the wider shot it has a bite taken out.

External links

Episode Navigation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Preceded by
"The One With Ross' Step Forward"
Series Eight Episodes Followed by
"The One Where Chandler Takes A Bath"