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Friends Central
The One With Joey's New Brain
Season 7, episode 15
161st overall episode of Friends
Ross plays the bagpipes.
Episode Information

February 15, 2001

Written by

Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen (teleplay)
Sherry Bilsing & Ellen Plummer (story)

Directed by

Kevin S. Bright

Alternate titles
Episode Guide

The One Where They All Turn Thirty


The One With The Truth About London


"The One With Joey's New Brain" is the fifteenth episode of the seventh season of Friends, which aired on NBC on February 15, 2001.


Dr. Ramoray receives a brain transplant.

Joey's character on Days of our Lives will finally come out of the coma after they transplant a woman's brain. When Joey consults the woman about how to best play her character once he is supposed to "become" her, she did not know she was being killed off and flips out. She then agrees to help him because she owes it to her character, leading the two to eventually hook up. Ross says that he has a surprise for Monica and Chandler's wedding, and when they hear someone playing the bagpipes extremely badly across the street they realize that Ross intends to play them at the wedding. Chandler and Monica convince Ross that he cannot do this, but he insists on performing the song "Celebration" to convince them. Rachel and Phoebe notice a cute guy has left his cell phone at the coffee house, and compete over who will get to return it to him. When the owner of the phone shows up, it turns out the cute guy was an older man's assistant and the 60-something year-old is the real owner of the phone. Rachel thinks it's funny but Phoebe still wants to go out with him, so Rachel pretends she is doing Phoebe a huge favor by letting her date him.

Cast and Crew

Main Cast

Jennifer Aniston - Rachel Greene
Courteney Cox Arquette - Monica Geller
Lisa Kudrow - Phoebe Buffay
Matt LeBlanc - Joey Tribbiani
Matthew Perry - Chandler Bing
David Schwimmer - Ross Geller

Supporting Cast

Susan Sarandon - Cecilia Monroe / Jessica Lockhart
Eva Amurri - Dina
Jack Betts - Tom
George Stults - Fredrick
Jeffrey Asch - Writer (uncredited)
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)


Directed By:
Kevin S. Bright

Written By:
Sherry Bilsing, Ellen Plummer, Andrew Reich & Ted Cohen


  • This was the third of the 4 "super-sized" episodes (40 minutes long with ads) this season that was longer than usual as a promotional stunt by NBC in order to counter-program against Survivor: The Australian Outback.
    • The commentary explains that unlike previous super-sized episodes, this episode was written specifically for the format.
    • The DVDs present these episodes as first aired, however, the Blu-ray presents them in their edited syndicated cuts (though the original super-sized versions are available as a special feature).
  • In "The One With Frank Jr." Susan Sarandon is referenced as a possible choice on Ross' "freebie" list. Chandler convinces Ross to swap her out because she is "too political".
  • In the original aired version of the episode, Rachel didn't say to Jessica You seem really, really nice, followed by Joey saying Ok, Bye-bye and Rachel finishing and you aren't fake at all, like some famous people. Instead, after Monica was trying to get slapped by Jessica, Joey takes the girls out of the apartment, while Rachel screams You're So Beautiful! and Monica says It was so nice meeting you.
  • Matt LeBlanc was nervous at performing with Susan Sarandon. Similarly, Kevin Bright was cautious about directing, as Tim Robbins attended the studio recording.
  • Eva Amurri, who portrays Jessica's daughter in the Friends version of Days of our Lives is the real life daughter of Susan Sarandon, who plays the actress that portrays Jessica.
  • Susan Sarandon co-starred in Thelma and Louise (1991) in which Brad Pitt, who was married to Jennifer Aniston at this time, also starred.
  • In the uncut version, there is no final scene in this episode, just footage of the cast dancing around the fountain is played over the theme music instead. However, the TV version dispenses with the end credits all together with the episode ending immediately after Ross throws the bagpipes onto the chair.
    • This is one of the few episodes where the final plotline shown differs from the uncut version and the cut version. The uncut version ends with Joey and Cecilia kissing whereas the cut version ends with Ross playing the bagpipes.
  • During Ross' performance with the bagpipe near the end of the episode it's clear that Jennifer Aniston cannot contain her laughter over the bagpipe and Lisa Kudrow's imitation of it. However, it isn't entirely unreasonable that Rachel would find this amusing and laugh as well, and she looks straight at the camera while laughing.
  • David Schwimmer actually played the bagpipes in all the scenes, having taken lessons from a professional player during the week before and days leading up to filming.
  • When Monica and Chandler hear Ross playing from his apartment, David Schwimmer is actually off-set at the far side of the stage.
  • Despite numerous takes, Courteney found it impossible to say "bamitza" so the decision was taken to leave the line as "It's like when he performed at my batmitza". This line is omitted from TV broadcasts.
  • When Ross says he has a surprise for Chandler and Monica, he winks at them and Rachel. Joey lets slip that Ross hasn't had sex in 3 and a half months and then in the uncut version Rachel winks back at Ross. From the look on their faces it's clear they're enjoying flirting with each other. This ultimately leads them to sleeping together two and a half months later.
  • The cellphone Rachel uses was actually Jennifer Aniston's real phone and in a blooper for the first scene in Phoebe's apartment, it rang through to a real person as she'd forgot to turn it off.
  • When Phoebe and Rachel are discussing dates and sex, Phoebe said her date three days ago was "just friends getting together for sex". This may have put the idea into Rachel's head about sleeping with Ross which occurs two and a half months later.
  • In the uncut DVD episode, when Joey is talking to Cecilia on the Days of Our Lives set, he mentions Angelina Jolie. In a strange twist of fate, Jennifer Aniston's then husband Brad Pitt would leave her for Angelina Jolie around 4 years after this episode. (Brad Pitt guest stars in "The One With The Rumor" as Will Colbert next season.)
  • In the uncut DVD episode, when Ross asks the gang to imagine him in a kilt, Rachel says flirtatiously to him that she can "picture him in a pleat skirt and knee socks". Ross replies with "do you want to start telling secrets?"
  • It was explained in the commentary for the episode that to create the drawing room set for Days of Our Lives, the normal Friends set walls were turned around. Also the area where Joey talks to Cecelia after she's shot her scene is right on the front of the Friends stage, indeed the stairs over Joey's shoulder lead up to the audience seating area.
  • The magna-doodle has a drawing of a Merlin-like magician. This maybe because in an earlier episode Joey said only his character Dr. Drake Romoray could perform a brain transplant yet as if by magic Drake has one carried out by someone else.


  • When Rachel is pretending to answer a call from cute guy's phone, she asks "can I speak to Rachel" using her own phone rather than his phone and then answers "hello" on the cute guy's phone.
  • Phoebe tells Rachel "shhh I'm on the phone" and Rachel turns to her left but in the longer next shot Rachel's turning again.
  • If you look closely right when Rachel enters her apartment where Joey is talking to Cecelia, Rachel closes the door but when she runs to get Monica the door is semi-open.
  • The amount that Joey's apartment door is open after Rachel and Monica enter changes slightly between shots.
  • When Joey is talking to Cecilia Monroe, as the shot changes she is holding a glass, then a cigarette then a glass again, with no time to change objects, let alone anywhere to put the other. Prior to this, after asking if he is the fan that's dying, she take a drag from her cigarette almost immediately after the previous one.
  • When Joey is getting a glass in the face by Cecilia Monroe, you can see her laugh as she is getting away from Joey.
  • Phoebe's address is given as 5 Morton Street, apartment 14. However, this puts her on Morton Street between 7th Avenue South and Bleeker Street, which is about five blocks from the apartment on Grove and Bedford. In previous episodes, Rachel has said that Phoebe doesn't live close to them, and in "The One On The Last Night", Monica said that Phoebe's apartment is twenty blocks away.
    • Also, whenever Phoebe's apartment door is shown from the outside in later episodes, one can clearly see that she lives in Apartment 16.
  • If Cecilia Monroe has been playing Jessica Lockhart for 20 years, it seems as though she would have remembered Joey who was a regular member of the cast as Dr. Drake Ramoray. While it is certainly conceivable that she would not remember his name (noting that she refers to the writers as "Bald" and "Tall"), she should at least recognize his face.
  • When Phoebe sings along with Ross' bagpipes, Jennifer Aniston can be seen trying not to laugh.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One Where They All Turn Thirty"
Season Seven Episodes Followed by
"The One With The Truth About London"