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"The One With Chandler's Work Laugh" is the twelfth episode of the fifth season of Friends, which aired on January 21, 1999. Monica uncovers the fake laugh Chandler reserves for his boss' bad jokes. Rachel is upset that Monica hasn't 'fessed up about her affair.' Word comes of Emily's remarriage plans.


Rachel wants to know all details about Chandler and Monica, and since Joey paid attention to none of it, she's all over Monica at Central Perk and at home, but nothing makes her spill any beans. Ross' ex Emily is going to marry; so he smashes a scone in a moment of anger while ranting about this, to the bewilderment of everyone who sees him do it at the coffee shop.  

Chandler and Monica enjoy being a couple at his office party; as his boss Doug and Doug's wife, Kara, love her, they are invited to play tennis at Doug's place, where Chandler goes to great lengths to let Doug win, despite Monica's overly-competitive attitude, which both irritates and bemuses Doug and Kara. Monica is furious that Chandler's such a suck-up at work; they get a dinner invitation, and Monica angrily tells Chandler not to suck up to Doug anymore. But as a consequence of everything he'd already done, he inadvertently comes across as being rude and offensive to Doug when he stops, and he is forced to quickly start sucking up to him again.  

With Joey not being a useful font of knowledge about the subject, Rachel tries to get Monica to open up about her secret relationship with Chandler. When Monica still acts like nothing is going on, even when confronted with her earlier phone conversation, Rachel begins feeling hurt that her best friend has chosen not to trust her. Rachel later goes to confront them while they're together, but then overhears Monica stating how much she hates lying to her roommate and decides to allow them to keep their relationship secret.  

Ross is so frustrated he goes out with Janice, who still thinks Chandler is in Yemen. Everyone is stunned at this sight, while Ross claims to be amazed at how well she listens to him, but all his whining is too much even for her. Ross is speechless his whining annoys her, so stunned that he goes back to his old self. Before leaving, Janice makes a flirty notion to Joey who is left scared. When Ross apologizes to Chandler for having gone out with his ex, Chandler assures Ross that he doesn't have a problem with that and laughs, until Ross brings up "the rules" where you shouldn't date ex-girlfriends or relatives of your friends, at which point Chandler realizes he is doing the same thing but with Monica, and panics as he realizes that Ross will be angry when he discovers this. He does some quick thinking however and pretends that he actually is angry with Ross for going out with Janice before stating he forgives him, while giving him money and reminding him he's letting him live in his apartment rent-free. 

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

Maggie Wheeler - Janice
James Michael Tyler - Gunther
Sam McMurray - Doug
Lise Simms - Kara


Directed By:
Kevin S. Bright

Written By:
Alicia Sky Varinaitis


  • When Joey tries to convince Ross to come to the movie with him and Phoebe, he says "Sure you don't want to come? It's Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, they get mail and stuff!". He's referring to the movie "You've Got Mail" starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
  • In this episode, Janice doesn't say her catchphrase: "Oh my God!"
    • Ross, however, does say Janice's catchphrase "Oh my God!" in an impersonating voice.
  • When Chandler refers the damage done by Joey, he means the mess Joey did in the office in "The One With The Chicken Pox" where Joey almost cost Chandler his job.
  • When they are playing tennis, after Monica hits the ball into Kara, Chandler tells Monica "easy Martina". This is a reference either to former world tennis champion Martina Navratilova, or Martina Hingis, an active champion at the time of the episode.
  • In the first scene in Joey and Chandler's apartment, the Magna-Doodle says "Joey, Call Kim." The next time we see the Magna-Doodle it says "J - Kim called Again!"
  • When Doug tells a joke about "President Clinton and her husband Bill", the joke implies that the First Lady during the time the episode was made, Hillary Clinton, was actually making the presidential decisions. Hillary Clinton would later attend the Presidential Elections of 2008 and 2016. However, she lost both of them to the candidates who ultimately became elected in the general elections, namely Barack Obama in 2008 and Donald Trump in 2016.


  • When Monica and Rachel are in the coffee house, Monica's muffin falls over even though Monica hasn't touched it.
  • After folding his letter to Emily, he puts it in an envelope but after he's licked the envelope, the letter is no longer in the envelope but between the flap and main part of the envelope.
  • When Chandler says "Are you sure you never played pro?" in this shot, he holds the racket with his left hand, but in the next shot, he holds it with his right hand.
  • When Monica is seen serving for the second time, she is at foot fault when her foot crosses into the field before the ball is struck. The play should have stopped immediately.
  • When Rachel says to Ross "you walked around the city all night by yourself?" her arms are folded but in the next shot as Joey says "tell us about her", Rachel's arms are at her side.
  • When Ross is in the apartment Rachel is standing in line with Phoebe. Joey says "tell us about her" and Rachel turns back to face Ross. Janice enters the apartment and Rachel steps forward. Janice says "hey you guys" and Rachel is still forward of Phoebe. We get a quick shot of the gang, back to Janice and straight back to the gang and Rachel is in line again; there wasn't time for Rachel to move that quick.
  • The apartment door behind Janice keeps changing how far open it is even though nobody's moved.
  • When Janice is dumping Ross in the coffeehouse and Ross says "I annoy you? JANICE?," he is holding a coffee cup with his left hand and gesturing towards Janice with his right hand. When the camera angle changes, he is gesturing with his left hand, and holding the cup with his right hand.
  • In this episode, Joey apologizes to Rachel for his crassness when describing Monica and Chandler's relationship and corrects himself, correctly using air quotes as he says the two are "making love". However, a few years later, in "The One Where Emma Cries", he tells Ross that he's never known what people mean when they use air quotes, and proceeds with a running joke in which he uses them incorrectly.
  • In the scene where everyone (minus Chandler) is waiting for Ross to come home, there is a visible silver strip running across the crack in Chandler's bedroom door (possibly masking tape). Once Ross has entered, the strip is not visible and the door appears undamaged.
  • When Rachel is telling Monica she knows about her and Chandler, Monica can be seen putting things into a black canvas bag and then zipping it closed. However in the next shot showing a close-up of Monica, she zips up the bag again.
  • In the same scene, the position of the bag changes between when Monica says "Mr. Bigot" and then says "Mr. Bigot" again in response to Rachel's "what?".


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 All The Resolutions"
"The One With Chandler's Work Laugh" Followed by
"The One With Joey's Bag"