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"The One Where Ross And Rachel Take A Break" is the fifteenth episode of the third season of Friends, which aired on February 13, 1997. It marks the start of the 'We were on a break' era that carries on for a long time afterwards.


When Chloe, "the hot girl from the Xerox place", asks Joey and Chandler what they're doing that night, they think she's offering a threesome, but Chloe just invites them to a club instead.

Phoebe is going out with Sergei, a diplomat from a foreign country, who can't string two words in English together. Although Phoebe doesn't mind this, she's a little annoyed by Mischa, his translator, who follows them on dates and keeps interrupting with out-of-place translations. Phoebe invites Monica to date the translator, and Monica accepts. However, Mischa and Monica hit it off and spend the whole date talking, leaving Sergei and Phoebe unable to communicate. After getting into an argument with Sergei, Mischa resigns his post and leaves the restaurant, taking Monica with him. Phoebe and Sergei remain alone at the restaurant, with nothing to say to each other because of language barriers.

Ross is at Monica's, waiting for Rachel to come from work and celebrate their anniversary. However, when he calls her at work, Rachel tells him that it's unlikely that she will make it for the night. Ross decides to go to Rachel's workplace with a picnic basket. Rachel doesn't have the time nor the mind to hang out with Ross, but he continues to get in her way until she tells him to leave. Later that night, she returns home expecting an apology from Ross. They argue, and when Ross brings up Mark's name, Rachel is exasperated and can't handle it anymore, stating that what they need is to "take a break ... a break from us". Ross leaves without another word.

Rachel waits by the phone for Ross to call, but when the phone rings, it's Mark. When he hears Rachel's sad tone, he offers to come over. Meanwhile, at the pub, Joey and Chandler are bored to death with Chloe's talk about copying machines, when Ross enters. Chloe knows him well, since he visits her shop often with stuff for her to copy. He tells Joey and Chandler that he and Rachel are breaking up, and they tell him to call her. When he does, he hears Mark's voice in the background, assumes the worst, and hangs up.

Rachel tries calling Ross again, but he's not home. At the bar, Chloe tries to cheer him up by drinking with him. When Ross' favorite song, U2's With Or Without You, comes up, she drags him to the dance-floor. He starts finding solace in Chloe and doesn't object when she makes a move on him. A few seconds later, they start kissing...

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

Steven Eckholdt - Mark Robinson
Stephen Kearney - Mischa
Jim Pirri - Sergei
Angela Featherstone - Chloe
Laura Dean - Sophie
Maury Ginsberg - Isaac
James Michael Tyler - Gunther


Directed By:
James Burrows

Written By:
Michael Borkow


  • This is the first appearance of Laura Dean as Sophie.
  • This is the first appearance of Chloe, often mentioned by the guys as "the hot girl from the Xerox place with the belly button ring" in previous episodes this is the first time she is referred to by name. Ironically, the one to end up sleeping with her, Ross, is the one shown to have fantasized about her the least.
  • Rachel tells Mark she doesn't want a break but later tells Monica they've broken up, the same thing Ross tells Chandler and Joey.
  • Chandler tells Ross he can work it out with Rachel. Later in the series in "The One Where Chandler Can't Cry" (S6E14), he tells Monica he "wishes they could work it out" prompting him to cry.
  • This is the first appearance of Isaac, who is the brother of Phoebe's massage co-worker Jasmine.
  • The scene where the song "With or Without You" by U2 plays with an upset Ross and Rachel in separate places thinking about each other is a reference to "The One With The List" (S2E08). Rachel also mentions the song when she tells Ross she still loves him in the uncut version of "The One With All The Kissing" (S5E02).
  • Chandler and Joey are embarrassed thinking about participating together in a threesome. In "The One With The Ick Factor" (S1E22), Rachel had an erotic dream for a bisexual threesome with her, Chandler and Joey, and they were shocked, while Phoebe approved.


  • When Chandler asks Joey for the time, Joey says it is 4:30pm. However, it is dark outside.
    • However, this is probably not a goof since during certain times of the year in New York, it gets dark that early and since this episode was set in February, it makes this statement more plausible.
      • More than likely a goof on this occasion, though, as sunset in New York on February 13, 1997 was around 5:30pm. Barring overcast skies, it's not likely to have been very dark an hour before sunset time was due to occur.
  • When Joey and Chandler are talking to Chloe, the blue ruler in front of Chloe moves between shots.
  • When Phoebe and and Monica are talking at the kitchen table, the notepad in front of Monica moves between shots.
  • In Rachel's office, when the fire starts, you can clearly see that the candle is about a foot away and could not have ignited the plants.
  • Phoebe asks Monica is she has an atlas who says she has a small globe. However there's a large globe in Chandler and Joey's apartment, which may have been the one from Monica's apartment in which case she'd remember it. There's also one seen in the closet when Chandler opens Monica's closet later in the series.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One With Phoebe's Ex-Partner"
Series Three Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Morning After"