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"The One Where Paul's The Man" is the twenty-second episode of the sixth season of Friends, which aired on May 4, 2000.


Elizabeth's dad, Paul, calls at Central Perk to lay down the law to Ross; he does not approve of their relationship and will call the university and have Ross fired if they try and continue it as it is illegal at the university.

Joey visits a dry cleaners to get his photo put back up on the 'wall of fame' with other celebrity customers (despite the fact he doesn't use it), complaining to Phoebe that he was taken down when fired from Days of our Lives. The owner refuses not only because Joey isn't a customer but Mac and C.H.E.E.S.E. has yet to appear in the TV guide. Joey hands over a tape of the show for him to watch but this makes things worse as the owner, who is Russian, is offended at seeing the stereotype of Russian terrorists in the show.

Monica, Phoebe and Rachel go to a museum and learn that the beautiful gallery space can be hired for weddings. There is a 2-year waiting list and they all make a reservation, reasoning that they can cancel the booking if they're not engaged by then. However when there is a cancellation someone from the museum leaves a message on Monica's answering machine telling her she can bring her wedding forward. Unfortunately, Chandler hears it and runs off in a panic.

"Just thinking about your father." "Well, whatever works for ya."

Elizabeth and Ross decide to ignore Paul's ultimatum and continue seeing each other in secret. They go to her grandma's cottage for the weekend but when Elizabeth leaves to buy some condoms, Rachel and Paul suddenly turn up too forcing Ross to hide, however he accidentally hides in Paul's bedroom. While there, he witnesses Paul doing an embarrassing dance in the mirror to gear himself up for his passionate weekend. Despite his best efforts to escape, Ross is caught by Paul who is ready to get him fired there and then. However Ross slyly lets Paul know he saw him doing his dance and Paul, desperate not to let anyone else know about it, is forced to allow the relationship to continue.

Joey takes a load of clothes to the dry cleaners in his latest attempt to get his picture up on the wall. The owner isn't there, but the attractive clerk offers to get his picture up if he takes her out. This backfires massively, as it turns out the clerk is the owner's wife. Joey's picture does end up on the wall, but with 'Son of a Bitch' written across it. Joey's attempt to explain himself just has him chased out of the shop by the furious owner.

Monica learns about Chandler's freak out when she hears the message from the museum. When he comes home, she assures him that her putting their names down doesn't mean anything and she isn't expecting them to get engaged any time soon. However when she leaves Phoebe emerges and asks if Monica believed him; it turns out the whole things was a plan between the two, and Chandler is actually planning to propose to Monica.

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

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

Supporting Cast

Bruce Willis - Paul Stevens
Alexandra Holden - Elizabeth Stevens
Merrin Dungey - The Museum Official
Ilia Volok - The Dry Cleaner
James Michael Tyler - Gunther
Susie Park - The Dry Cleaner's Wife


Directed By:
Gary Halvorson

Written By:
Brian Caldirola, Sherry Bilsing & Ellen Plummer



  • Ilia Volok, who plays the owner of the laundromat, also played one of the main Russian terrorists in Air Force One.
  • The TV guide magazine that the laundromat owner holds up to Joey to "show him in the TV book" features the ABC show Sports Night on the cover, a show that ended its run two weeks after this episode aired. (The magazine was released the week of March 11-17, 2000.)
  • Ross' dialogue 'a man with a plan' is a reference to Willis' film Die Hard.
  • Ultimately, Chandler and Monica's wedding is held in an event space at a hotel rather than the museum shown in this episode.
  • Monica says she's not even engaged yet when Rachel says you've got to put your name down as there's a two year waiting list. In fact she'll be married to Chandler in two year's time, getting engaged at the end of this season.

Continuity/ Goofs

  • When Ross is jumping out the window Elizabeth's fly is closed, then open in the next scene.
  • There are two mistakes in the scene where Phoebe spots Joey's picture in the laundromat. For one thing, when Phoebe says "Oh, here it is", she is looking in the opposite direction of the picture. Also, when she says this, her mouth doesn't move at all.

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 25
Preceded by
"The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth's Dad"
Series Six Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Ring"