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Friends Central
The One Where Nana Dies Twice
Season 1, episode 8
8th overall episode of Friends
Ross and Monica grieving.
Episode Information

November 10, 1994

Written by

Marta Kauffman & David Crane

Directed by

James Burrows

Alternate titles
Episode Guide

The One With The Blackout


The One Where Underdog Gets Away


"The One Where Nana Dies Twice" is the eighth episode of the first season of Friends. It premiered on November 10, 1994. It was written by Marta Kauffman & David Crane and directed by James Burrows.


Chandler is flattered to be offered to be set up on a date by Shelly, a female work colleague, until he learns that his potential date is with a man. Shocked, he debates with the guys how he could possibly give off a homosexual vibe. He also learns that everyone except Ross thought he was gay when they first met him, which stresses him.

Monica gets a phone call from her father - her and Ross' grandmother Althea is in the last stages of life. The two rush to the hospital, where they wait for the inevitable with their parents and aunt, while they reminisce about Nana's habits, such as that of stealing Sweet 'n' Low packets from everywhere—even the Geller's house.

When the nurse comes over, the siblings go to give Nana a goodbye kiss; when Ross leans in, she moves abruptly and shocks them. Pandemonium ensues as Monica races to get the nurse, while Ross tells his family that she's not dead yet. Jack mentions to Aunt Lillian, who was out of the room, that Nana "may have died" and they're "looking into it". The nurse rushes back in, stating how "this almost never happens", but the flatline beeps, confirming that Nana is now truly gone. Ross emerges, confirming that now Nana is now truly gone and dead.

Monica and Ross help prepare the funeral: the former picks out coffins with her father; while Ross helps his mom Judy and aunt pick out a dress for Nana, even though the funeral is closed-casket, as they want her to look "nice where she's going". The three debate about which shoes to choose, and while Ross reaches for another shoe box he gets showered in Nana's stolen sweeteners. On the way to the funeral, Chandler exclaims how everyone looks nice "all dressed up", and then realizes it's that kind of thing which makes him seem gay.

At the funeral, several incidents happen: Ross falls in an open grave and is given painkillers by his mother Judy; Monica is picked on by her mother at the funeral when Judy advises Monica to start using night cream and leave her hair down as her ears aren't her "best quality"; Joey watches the Giants-Cowboys football game on a portable TV at the reception with the guys, including Jack; Ross gets loopy from all the painkillers at the reception and starts talking loosely to everyone, including Chandler (who's about to hook up with a girl named Andrea) by telling him "if you want to be gay, be gay." The girl turns to her friend and confirms that her suspicions about Chandler being gay were right. Ross confesses his love to Rachel, who thinks he's just blabbing things under the effects of the painkillers, which finally take control over Ross and he ends up unconscious in Rachel's lap.

The guys keep reminiscing about Nana at the coffeehouse by browsing through photos of her, and some other photos, including little naked boy Ross. They also find a photo labelled "Me and the gang at Java Joe's" and remark that Nana must have been around their own age when the photo was taken. The friends remark that the people in the photo look like "a fun gang" and then look around at each other fondly.

Chandler keeps debating his sexual impression with colleagues, until he confides his thoughts with Lowell, who happens to be gay. Lowell assures him that he's not giving the gay vibe, but also tells him how he could have never gotten a Brian from payroll, as he's "out of his league". Chandler leaves the break room stating that he could get a Brian if he wanted to, greeting Brian, who seems to have overheard bits of the conversation, on his way out. It is also mentioned that Chandler had a friend named Bernie Spellman.

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

Christina Pickles - Judy Geller
Elinor Donahue - Aunt Lillian
Nancy Cassaro - Shelly
Stuart Fratkin - Lowell
Elliott Gould - Jack Geller
Carolyn Lowery - Andrea
Marilyn Tokuda - Nana's Nurse
David Sobl - Brian
Fritzi Burr - Guest at wake (uncredited)


Directed By:
James Burrows

Written By:
Marta Kauffman & David Crane



  • This is the first time that Chandler is teased about people assuming that he is gay, a recurring gag in the show.
  • Phoebe had a cold while filming this episode as is evident from her nasal voice.
  • The laugh track is heard after Ross announces Nana's death a second time even though it was supposed to be a serious moment.
  • It is never revealed throughout the episode how Nana dies.
  • The shot of Monica's parents house is later reused in a daytime setting from a different angle when Ross and Rachel stay at her father's house in "The One Where Joey Speaks French".
  • The bottle of water Monica holds when on the phone has "via" on it but the brand design is clearly Evian complete with mountain logo.
  • One of the original names for the coffee house was "Java Joe's". This idea was later reused in this episode, on the picture of Ross and Monica's Nana and her own friends, where Nana wrote, "Me and the gang at Java Joe's."
  • In the uncut DVD version of the episode, there is a scene of Monica picking up a coffin for her Nana with her father, Jack.
  • Joey states that he didn't think Chandler was gay when he first met him, however in "The One With The Flashback" (S3E6), when Joey first moves in, he says "I'm fine with the whole gay thing," although this could be an attempt to protect Chandler's feelings.
    • Similarly, although Monica is stated to have initially thought he was gay, in "The One With All The Thanksgivings" (S5E8), she is shown developing a crush on him regardless.
  • In this episode Joey reveals he doesn't believe in an afterlife. However, in "The One Where Estelle Dies" (S10E15), he believes that Estelle Leonard calls him from beyond the grave. As Joey comes from a traditionally Italian family, it is likely he has always been a Christian (as he was seen invoking God in "The One Where They All Turn Thirty" (S7E14)), but did not believe in the afterlife until later in the series.
  • Although Phoebe's job as a massage therapist still hasn't been mentioned, we see her checking out Ross' back spasms after he falls.
  • Christina Pickles received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her work in this episode.
  • While walking through the cemetery, Chandler mentions that Joey's overcoat sounds like Brent Musburger, a sports anchor on ESPN (and CBS Sports 1973-1990).
  • In the uncut DVD version, Ross confesses his love to Rachel but she thinks it's because of the pills he's taken, but he then says "I really love you." Rachel doesn't find out it's true until the end of this season.
    • Judy also quotes her mother.
    • Joey also says he has a hearing disability before Jack asks him about the game he's listening to.


  • When Nana is supposedly dead, you can see her breathing and her arm moves slightly.
  • Joey says he didn't think Chandler was gay when they first met, however in a later episode with a flashback of Chandler showing the apartment to Joey, Joey tells Chandler he is "totally okay with the gay thing" meaning he did in fact think he was gay.
  • Rachel states that when she first met Chandler, she thought he might be gay until he spent Phoebe's entire birthday party talking to her breasts. However, it is later revealed in "The One With All The Thanksgivings" (S5E8) and "The One Where The Stripper Cries" (S10E11) that Rachel has known Chandler since he was in college and they kissed, and so would not have met him for the first time at Phoebe's birthday party, or have had reasons to think he's gay.
    • Although, it is possible that since they only had a few prior encounters, Rachel didn't really remember him.
    • Or, she may have been messing with him.
    • Additionally, Rachel talks about Chandler talking to her breasts at Phoebe's birthday party, but her next birthday party is in "The One With Two Parts, Part Two" (S1E17), which aired four and a half months after this episode but, more importantly, only two months after the Pilot. Given that this is when Rachel became part of the group, it would be impossible for Phoebe to have had two birthdays in this time span.
  • When Ross falls in the open grave, there is a lot of mud visible on his knees when he rolls over on to his back. When the camera angle changes to the reactions of his friends and then back to him in the grave, there is no mud at all on his knees.
  • When Ross is helping choose a dress and shoes for Nana, he looks in a shoe box and finds lots of pink Sweet 'n Low packets, then pulls down another box and lots of packets fall down on him. However, it is obvious that someone is above him showering the packets down, as they are coming from directly above him, not from on top of the door.
  • When Phoebe says 'what a great day' she starts to put her hand to her face, then in the next shot, her sunglasses have jumped to her hand.
  • When Joey shows Chandler the TV in his pocket, at first he takes it out and is holding it in one hand. In the next shot, he is holding it in both hands.
  • Just before the group of guys at the funeral shout about the football, there is a glass of wine next to Monica's mother which is about 1/3 full. After a brief cut away, the next shot shows the glass is almost empty and then it refills itself and decreases again.
  • When Ross and Monica are visiting their Nana, Ross has his hand on Monica's shoulder. In the next shot it is gone.
  • In the deleted scene included in the uncut DVD version of the episode, when Monica is reading about the cheap casket, in the shot from behind her there is obviously a sticky-note that has been placed in the brochure.
  • Since Ross and Monica are Jewish they would have given Nana a Jewish funeral.
    • It is likely that Nana was not Jewish.
  • When Monica and Ross meet up with their parents at the hospital, a boom mic is visible at the top of the screen.
  • When the scene cuts from Joey and Jack watching the game to several people watching the game, a boom mic is visible at the top of the screen and the camera tilts slightly.
  • When Ross collapses on Rachel's lap, her legs are crossed with his face on the cushion but the next time we see them, Rachel's legs are straight and Ross is lying in a different position. (Presumably this was so that David and Jennifer were in a more comfortable position.
  • At the 19:01 mark Rachel looks directly at the camera and again at the 20:24 mark although she may have been listening to Monica and her mother.
  • When Chandler is talking to Andrea, the extra behind her turns to look at a painting but when the shot changes to face Chandler, the extra is repeating the turn.

Memorable Quotes

  • Monica: Do you think things would have been better if you'd just told her the truth?
    Judy: No. I think some things are better left unsaid.
  • Chandler: I could get a Brian. If I wanted to get a Brian, I could get a Brian. [Brian enters the pantry] Hey, Brian.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With The Blackout"
"The One Where Nana Dies Twice" Followed by
"The One Where Underdog Gets Away"