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Friends Central
The One Where Ross Can't Flirt
Season 5, episode 19
116th overall episode of Friends
Ross trying to flirt with Caitlin.
Episode Information

April 22, 1999

Written by

Doty Abrams

Directed by

Gail Mancuso

Alternate titles
Episode Guide

The One Where Rachel Smokes


The One With The Ride-Along


"The One Where Ross Can't Flirt" is the nineteenth episode of the fifth season of Friends, which aired on April 22, 1999.


Chandler, dressed up for his and Monica's ten-month anniversary, picks up the pizzas that hot delivery girl Caitlin has brought for the group, but Ross mistakes his friend's natural jokes for flirting. Chandler denies this. Ross ends up telling the friends what Chandler did. Phoebe points out that the real reason Ross is mad is because he finds Caitlin attractive, and Ross takes the opportunity to flirt with her when he finds a missing vegetarian pizza that wasn't delivered for Phoebe. Unfortunately, flirting is not his best quality, and this he shows with inappropriate comments he makes to Caitlin and embarrasses himself. Saddened by this, Ross orders yet another pizza, practicing flirting on Phoebe as the pizza is on its way (Phoebe doesn't get that Ross is flirting). Caitlin arrives with the pizza, but Ross screws up the flirting again and ends up talking to her about gas and methane and embarrasses himself again. He scares her so much that she pays for the pizza herself and flees the apartment. Out of pity for Ross, Rachel catches up with her and tries to talk her into going out with Ross. Rachel returns to the apartment and gives Ross Caitlin's phone number.

Rachel tells Caitlin that Ross was trying to flirt with her.

Meanwhile, Joey introduces everyone to his Italian grandmother, who is deeply intent on seeing her grandson debut on Law & Order. As she doesn't speak a word of English, they find it difficult to communicate with her, except for Phoebe, who manages to offer her a glass of water in Italian. The TV show starts, but Joey finds out that he's cut out of it. Desperate not to kill his grandmother of shock, he records himself on tape at his apartment in a crime scene where he holds his duck hostage. The clip is pretty crude, as he doesn't even change the sweater he's wearing. But the clip is good enough for Nonnie - that is, until the video tape continues rolling, showing Chandler sing Space Oddity in front of the camera.

Monica, who is getting dressed for the big anniversary date, asks Phoebe to return her the earrings Chandler bought her, which Phoebe borrowed some time ago. It turns out, however, that Phoebe lent the same earrings to Rachel, who has lost one of them. Phoebe tells her how the earring are Monica's, which makes Rachel flip out because she's not allowed to borrow Monica's stuff as she ends up losing it. Fearing that Monica will kill her if she finds out, Phoebe takes the blame instead of Rachel, but Monica is understanding with her. Rachel steps in and explains everything to Monica, who immediately loses it with Rachel. Monica ends up wearing another pair of different earrings, which luckily for her, Chandler doesn't notice. Monica and Chandler leave for dinner, and Chandler thanks Ross for the earrings he picked up for Monica. 

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

Kristin Dattilo - Caitlin
Lilyan Chauvin - Nonnie


Directed By:
Gail Mancuso

Written By:
Doty Abrams


  • The drawing on the Magna-Doodle is of the New York skyline.
  • The movie Joey's grandma mentions, "Capricorn One", which stars Elliot Gould, who plays Jack Geller on Friends.
  • During Ross' disastrous flirting, Chandler exclaims "Oh the humanity;" a reference to the famous news commentary of the Hindenburg disaster.
  • Caitlin is seen only in this episode and is not mentioned again for the rest of the series.
  • Chandler is seen singing the David Bowie song Space Oddity in this episode. While travelling back from Las Vegas with Phoebe, Joey starts to sing the same song in "The One After Vegas".


  • Chandler mistakes Joey's grandmother for the one who speaks English, but he has met the other grandmother before in "The One Where Chandler Can't Remember Which Sister". Although they only met once and for a brief time, so it's possible he doesn't remember her.
  • In this episode, Phoebe can speak fluent Italian. However, in "The One with The Blackout" she can't understand what Paolo is saying. However, when Joey remarks, "Pheebs, you speak Italian?" she responds with "I guess so" as though she is also surprised.
  • When Rachel says "We don't need her measurements." in this shot, Ross' hands are up, but in the next shot, his right hand is on the chair.
  • When Rachel is talking to Caitlin on the street, at the top right corner of the widescreen version of the show, two background actors can be seen holding their positions until they are allowed to walk.
  • Chandler is known for not being able to talk to women in past episodes but he easily "flirts" and makes small talk with the pizza girl in this episode. Later, in "The One with the Cheap Wedding Dress", Ross and Chandler meet a girl, Kristen, and Chandler comments on how he's not scared to talk to pretty girls anymore as he's in a relationship with Monica (as he was in this episode too), but moments later, bashfully giggles and looks down at the ground when being introduced to Kristen.
  • In the first scene when the duck walks around the quack sounds are not synchronized with it opening its beak.
  • Ross is both right and wrong. Natural gas is indeed odorless and an additive is added for people to be able to detect leeks. However Ross later says "methane smells" and this is incorrect -- pure methane is an odorless gas -- the main constituent of gas used in homes and businesses. This is exactly the gas that he is referring to when he tells Caitlin that "they put the smell in".


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 Where Rachel Smokes"
The One Where Ross Can't Flirt Followed by
"The One With The Ride-Along"