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"The One With Chandler In A Box" is the eighth episode of the fourth season of Friends, which aired on NBC November 20, 1997. It serves as the annual Thanksgiving episode of the season.


This episode is the Thanksgiving episode of season 4.

Joey refuses to forgive Chandler for kissing Kathy, despite all of Chandler's pleas for forgiveness. Joey tells Ross he has sentenced Chandler to five years silent treatment, but Ross talks him into hearing Chandler out. However, just as Joey is about to talk to Chandler, he sees Kathy and Chandler kissing, and he decides to go looking for another apartment. Chandler is willing to do anything to get Joey to stay, so Joey decides that Chandler has to spend six hours in a box, the equivalent amount of time Joey spent locked in the entertainment center when the robber locked him in. Chandler doesn't take the punishment seriously, though, and makes a number of jokes while locked in the box. Joey is upset by Chandler's attitude and tells him this, resulting in Chandler changing. Kathy shows up at the apartment and breaks up with Chandler while he is still locked in the box, not wanting to be the woman who comes between two best friends. This time, though, Chandler holds his silence thus proving to Joey how much he means to him and that he is very sorry. Joey is touched by Chandler's effort and forgives him and tells him to go get Kathy. The friends watch as Chandler succeeds in winning Kathy back, but not before seeing another woman getting her purse stolen.

Monica is getting virtually no help with the Thanksgiving dinner preparation. When she goes into the freezer, she chips at some ice that unfortunately hits her in the eye. However, she is reluctant to go to her ophthalmologist due to the fact he is her ex-boyfriend Richard. When she finds out Richard is out of town and there is an on-call doctor taking his place, she becomes willing to go. It turns out the on-call doctor is Richard's son Timothy, who happens to be very handsome and has just broken up with his girlfriend. Monica, now wearing an eye-patch, invites Timothy for Thanksgiving. The others try to tell Monica how weird it is that she's trying to date her ex-boyfriend's son, but she refuses to listen. At dinner the two of them get along great, until they kiss and it reminds her too much of Richard, disgusting both of them.

Rachel's habit of exchanging gifts arises again when Ross asks Rachel about the gold necklace he got but she shows him a silver one instead. Ross makes a fuss about it at dinner, causing Rachel to leave the table. She later returns to show Ross a box of random things she saved when they were dating. Ross is touched by this, but points out that one of the things is a million-years-old antique from the museum she wasn't supposed to take.

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

Michael Vartan - Timothy Burke
Paget Brewster - Kathy
James Michael Tyler - Gunther
Marcy Goldman - Nurse


Directed By:
Peter Bonerz

Written By:
Michael Borkow


Ross: Hey you know Mon, if things work out between you and Richard's son, you'll be able to tell your kids that you slept with their grandfather.
Monica: Fine, judge all you want to, but [to Ross] married a lesbian, [to Rachel] left a man at the altar, [to Phoebe] fell in love with a gay ice dancer, [to Joey] threw a girl's wooden leg in the fire, [to Chandler] live in a box!

Phoebe: Yeah, but Monica, do you actually want to be in a relationship where you can actually use the phrase, "That's not how your dad used to do it"?



  • In the uncut DVD version of the episode, Ross also calls Joey in the opening scene. He tells Joey that he has Chandler on the line, and Joey immediately hangs up.
  • The Magna-Doodle in this episode shows "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" written over and over, showing just how sorry Chandler feels for breaking his friendship with Joey.
  • Joey uses the Tuscan insult: "Va fa Napoli!", the Tuscan equivalent of "Go to Hell!" which literally translates as: "Go to Naples!". However in "The One with Ross and Monica's Cousin" (S7E19), Joey reveals his whole family is from Naples so it is unlikely he would use a Tuscan insult that mocks his city of origin. That, or Joey's naivete is so great that he would not realize or become aware of the literal translation. Rachel uses the same insult towards Ross when he refers to her having exchanged the necklace he got her. When Joey says that his family is from Naples, he says it to a casting director because the character he's auditioning for is from Naples, so it's possible he was lying to make himself seem more fit for the role.
  • Ross says in reference to Timothy, "He's coming here?" and Rachel adds "I know. It's like a Greek tragedy." This is a reference to the Greek play Oedipus Rex in which Oedipus unwittingly marries his own mother, Jacanta. The reference plays on Monica inviting Timothy Burke to Thanksgiving, having previously dated his father. Incidentally it's fitting that Rachel should have the line as Jennifer Aniston's family originate from Greece.
  • When Joey is in Central Perk asking Gunther if he's seen Chandler, the pastry display has a potato in it.
  • When Monica, Richard and Ross attended Jack Geller's birthday party around two years previous, Judy Geller suggested to Richard that he give Timothy's telephone number to Monica.
  • After Monica tells Timothy their kiss reminds her of his father, Timothy says she reminds him of his mother. The idea for this line may have originated in an episode of The Golden Girls in which Blanche, thinking he wants to date her, goes to dinner with her much younger yoga instructor who ruins the evening when he tells her she reminds him of his mother.
  • In the commentary for the episode, it was stated that the Friends cast and crew would do Secret Santa every year.
  • Rachel's habit of exchanging gifts is explained to Ross, although her habit was already seen when she told Monica that she'd exchanged the blouse she'd given her in "The One Where Rachel Finds Out".
  • This episode was referenced in the Parks and Recreation episode "Telethon", where Leslie Knope, in an attempt to draw out time in a telethon, begins describing the episode's plot while talking about her favorite Friends episodes;
  • In the tag scene, Phoebe comments "get a room" when the gang see Kathy and Chandler kissing. She uses this phrase again when Monica and Chandler make up in Las Vegas.
  • On the WGN Chicago version, there is no opening scene.


  • When Monica opens the door for Tim, Richard's son, she leaves the door open and never closes it and she calls him Dan. However a few seconds later the sound of the door closing is heard.
  • When Rachel is showing Ross the box of things from their date time, she pick up a bone that is light color in the end and dark in the base. When the camera angle changes from behind to the front of Rachel, she is holding the bone from different sides - light and dark points.
  • Chandler says that Joey only knows the bad Italian words, but later in "The One Where Ross Can't Flirt", Joey speaks Italian with his grandmother.  
  • In the widescreen/HD version, stage lights are visible inside the apartment on the left of the frame after Monica and Timothy kiss on the balcony.
  • Rachel says she wants to stab herself in the eye with the pen she's holding but in a later episode she shows a distinct dislike of anything coming near her eyes although given Rachel's attraction to doctors (e.g. Barry) added to the cuteness of the doctor, this explains her statement.


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 Chandler Crosses The Line"
Series Four Episodes Followed by
"The One Where They're Going To Party"