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"The One With Phoebe's Husband" is the fourth episode of the second season of Friends, which aired on October 12, 1995.


Rachel is on the phone with her mother, arguing over the safety of living in the city, when a pigeon flies into the apartment. She panics, hangs up the phone, grabs a large pot, and catches the pigeon inside. While still holding the trapped bird inside the pot, she receives a visit from a handsome blond man looking for Phoebe. Rachel informs him that she no longer lives at the apartment, but that she could get a message to her if he would like. He seems happy to hear this, and tells Rachel to inform Phoebe that her "husband dropped by." The pigeon then flies away and he asks Rachel how she could do that.

Later on, Phoebe explains the story; the man's name is Duncan, and he was a gay ice-dancer from Canada whom she agreed to marry so that he could obtain a green card to live in the United States. Monica then reveals to everyone that Phoebe did in fact have feelings for Duncan and that, when Duncan left, Phoebe was crushed to the point when she ate a cheeseburger. In retaliation, Phoebe reveals to the guys that the underwear on the telephone pole is Monica's from having sex with Fun Bobby on the terrace, which spirals into the whole group spilling each other's secrets; Monica reveals that Chandler has a third nipple, and Chandler then reveals the fact that Joey was in a pornographic film.

Phoebe dresses up to meet Duncan at Madison Square Garden, while the others go to Ross'. She's thrilled to see him. When she asks him what he wants, he requests a divorce from her. When asked why, he reveals the "shocking" news to Phoebe that he is actually straight. The truth freaks Phoebe out, and she finds it hard to accept his sexuality, especially when he reveals that after college parties, he would often wake in bed next to girls. She gets over the shock pretty quickly when he tells her that his brother is straight.

Ross seeks sexual advice from Rachel, as he and Julie are not having sex. Rachel takes the opportunity to make him put sex off by making him believe that girls find it sexy to be with a guy who doesn't want to have sex. Later Ross thanks Rachel for the advice, and also lets her know that he talked to Joey for the same advice he asked from her, and following this conversation, he plans to have sex with Julie that night. Chandler happens to have the pornographic movie Joey was in. Everyone watches the movie, but Rachel doesn't want to call it a night, so she engages Julie in a long conversation in the hope of putting her off sex with Ross. Eventually, everyone leaves, leaving Ross in the hall with Rachel. In a last, desperate move, she freaks him out about his first time with Julie and how a lack in performance can mar the whole experience, and she starts to describe to him the situation she would like to be surprised with. The heat is apparently coming up to Ross and Rachel, but he thanks her and leaves her in the hall to have sex with Julie - twice.

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

Lauren Tom - Julie
Steve Zahn - Duncan
Janice Davies - Woman on Bench
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)


Directed By:
Gail Mancuso

Written By:
Alexa Junge


  • It is revealed that Chandler has a third nipple in this episode. Ross seems somewhat surprised by this fact, even though he probably has seen it before since they were roommates in college. Chandler has his third nipple removed in "The One With Phoebe's Ex-Partner" after his date Ginger (Joey's ex-girlfriend with the wooden leg) freaks out.
  • This is the first divorce to feature in the series as Ross' divorce occurred before "The Pilot".
  • Duncan's revelation that he is straight walks through every cliche about discovering you are gay, but for being straight. He was married to Phoebe for 6 years meaning they married in 1989 and they were already married when she moved in with Monica.
  • This is the first time one of the friends explicitly asks for sexual advice from another friend.
    • In "The One With Phoebe's Uterus", Chandler asks for advice from Monica, who gives him a down-to-earth, visual demonstration.
    • In "The One With Ross' Tan", Joey reveals to Chandler how he can seduce a girl to sleep with him in six moves.
    • In a flashback to six weeks earlier, Joey teaches Ross the 'Europe Story' in The One With The Videotape, which eventually led to Ross and Rachel sleeping together when Emma is conceived.
  • Julie's first grade teacher was Mrs. Cobb, like the salad. Aniston, Cox and Kudrow revealed on a special Oprah interview to the Friends main cast before "The Last One" that for the ten years the show was running, the three of them would have a Cobb salad every day for lunch.
  • The music playing when Ross is dancing in the street is the title song from the musical Singing in the Rain sung by Gene Kelly. Ross even does the lamp post swing featured in the musical number.
  • In the DVD version, the friends and Julie watch Joey's porn video. However, in the cut version, it omits the mention of Joey's porn video altogether. However this scene is featured in the clip sequence during the episode "The One With Joey's Interview" (S8E19).
  • Despite having had sex with Fun Bobby on the terrace, Monica would later refuse doing the same with Chandler when they are married. However this probably is because Ross lives opposite and Rachel is frequently there too.
  • A similar look of being turned on appears on the faces of Ross and Rachel after they return from the hospital in "The One With A Chick And A Duck" and when they have their first passionate kiss in "The One Where Ross Finds Out". Furthermore, in "The One With Rachel's Phone Number", Rachel tells Ross to stop looking at her that way as last time they ended up sleeping together.
  • The unnamed actress sitting next to Janice Davies, the woman on the bench, had previously been seen in Central Perk during a number of episodes in Season One. She was also at the airport in this seasons opening when Rachel almost ran into her as she tried to flee.
  • If you listen carefully, just after Rachel captures the pigeon the noise of a cockerel can be heard in the background.
  • Chandler's third nipple is alluded to in a blooper for later New York set sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond when Raymond's mother says "There's something you should know about your father" and Raymond says "Oh, is this the three nipples story?"


  • In the wide-screen version of the episode it is clear that the pigeon doesn't fly through the window but drops down from inside the apartment near the window. (The apartment set is built without a ceiling to place lights and microphones above the action.)
  • When the pigeon is on the table, he has a green ring on his right leg. In the next shots the ring disappears.
  • When Rachel releases the pigeon she steps back in alarm, then the shot changes and we see her step back again.
  • Both Ross and Rachel stand on the furniture but Monica doesn't say anything, or even realize that they are potentially making "the table dirty".
  • When Ross is talking to Rachel, Ross comments that he's only been with one woman (Carol) but it's later learned that he made out with the school librarian and the cleaner in the college dorm.
  • When Rachel is talking to Ross in the coffeehouse, she wraps the tea towel around her hand, then the angle changes to a close-up shot and Rachel can be seen wrapping the tea towel around her hand again. During the same scene, the color of the mug on the tray behind Ross changes from red to green and back again during their chat.
  • When the gang are watching the porn movie, Rachel's position jumps a few times showing a cut in editing.
  • When Ross leaves his apartment to say bye to Rachel, the sound of the door closing is heard but it remains open. The second time, after Rachel says "good luck", he initially leaves the door half open but a couple of shots later it's almost closed.
  • When Ross swings on the light pole, it shakes.

External links

Episode Navigation

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Preceded by
"The One Where Heckles Dies"
"The One With Phoebe's Husband" Followed by
"The One With Five Steaks And An Eggplant"