Friends Central

"The One Where Rachel Goes Back To Work" is the eleventh episode of the ninth season of Friends, which aired on January 9, 2003.


Monica is desperate for a baby and wants to have sex with Chandler no matter what will make it happen. Chandler is now looking for a new job, and decides to pursue a career in advertising. Monica manages to get him an interview thanks to a friend, however Chandler learns that the only position available is an unpaid internship. Realizing that it could take him a while to start making decent money again as he begins his new career, Chandler suggests to Monica that they hold off on trying to have a child for while. Monica understands, but tells Chandler that they'll always be reasons why they shouldn't have a baby and she's sure that things will work out for them no matter what happens. Chandler changes his mind, and the two get back to work.

Rachel goes back to work to find out that she's been temporarily replaced by a man called Gavin who is arrogant towards her but is apparently according to Mr. Zelner, very good at the job. Adamant she's going to lose her job to him, she goes back to work the same day, instead of originally going back two weeks later. She even brings Emma into work the following day to do a presentation but learns it is in ten minutes, and Ross won't be there in time to pick up Emma. Gavin however, takes care of Emma and allows Rachel to do the presentation.

Phoebe is short for cash, so Joey gets her on Days of our Lives as an extra. However, in the first take in the hospital, she's so nervous she messes up her very short scene of carrying a tray over to the operating table. In the next scene, she's a waitress and tells Joey she needs an explanation to not disappoint 'her fans'. Joey says she's a single mother doing two jobs and that he slept with her and didn't call her back (answering Phoebe's question to why she wouldn't talk to Dr. Drake Ramoray). She however, takes it too seriously and slaps Joey in the scene. Joey allows his boss to fire her when she is arrogant towards him, saying he's threatened by her acting. She doesn't go out without a fight however, ruining the scene one last time while being chased by a security guard.

Cast & 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

Dermot Mulroney - Gavin Mitchell
Steve Ireland - Mr. Zelner
Evan Handler - The Director
Phill Lewis - Steve
Alexandra Marguiles - Female Extra #1
Paul Logan - The Soap Actor


Teleplay By:
Peter Tibbals

Story By:
Judd Rubin

Directed By:
Gary Halvorson



  • The security guard who throws Phoebe out of the set is the same one who threw her out of the casino in "The One In Vegas, Part 2" (S5E24).
  • This is the second episode where Ross isn't directly involved in a storyline; the first was "The One With The Cuffs" (S4E3).
  • It's ironic that Phoebe keeps getting her scene wrong as Lisa Kudrow couldn't keep a straight face during the scene.
  • The final DOOL scene when Phoebe's playing a waitress is a tribute to her twin sister Ursula who appeared in early episodes as a waitress at Riffs.
  • Gavin Mitchell makes his first appearance in this episode.
  • Rachel refers to the 1979 film Norma Rae which was based on the true story of Crystal Lee Sutton who was fired from her job for posting an union notice on the wall.
  • It's revealed that Rachel hasn't changed one of Emma's diapers yet.
  • This is the episode that finally reveals Chandler's profession before he quit: statistical analysis and data reconfiguration.


  • Joey actually allows Phoebe to "have a sip of (Joey's) coffee and a bite of (Joey's) muffin" in this episode, however, in "The One With The Birth Mother" (S10E9), he has no tolerance of anyone trying to touch his food (including Emma).
    • It's possible that Phoebe was an exception as she asked first.
  • The big white dog which Joey gave to Chandler had drawn-up black eyes and a red mouth (since The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister). However, in the scene where Chandler tells Monica he wants to wait to have a baby, when Monica sits down, the dog is completely white and bears no evidence of ever being drawn upon.
  • After Gavin tells Rachel it will take too long to catch her up on the presentation, he turns and looks down at her desk. The shot changes to Rachel who is arguing with him, and Gavin is immediately facing her again with no time to have been able to turn around.
  • When Joey is talking to Phoebe about "hitting on the extras", a man behind him[presumably a Days of our Lives crew worker] puts his headphones on twice though it's possible he's taking them off than back on.

Memorable Quotes

Monica: You call eight hours alone with my label maker wasted time? [beat] Oh! Now I get to use my shredder!

Rachel: Oh, that went well! Almost everybody knew she was a girl.
Ross: Yeah, after you punched that one guy who got it wrong, word spread.

Rachel: Listen, sudden change of plans. My maternity leave just ended. They told me that if I didn't come back today, they were gonna fire me!
Ross: What?! No, that's illegal. I'm gonna have the Labor Department down here so fast, they...
Rachel: Alright, alright, calm down Norma Rae.

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 Christmas In Tulsa"
Season Nine Episodes Followed by
"The One With Phoebe's Rats"