The One With Ross' Step Forward
Season 8, episode 11
181st overall episode of Friends
Ross and Mona talking about the holiday card.
Episode Information

December 13, 2001

Written by

Robert Carlock

Directed by

Gary Halvorson

Alternate titles

The One With The Creepy Holiday Card

Episode Guide

The One With Monica's Boots


The One Where Joey Dates Rachel


"The One With Ross' Step Forward" (also known as "The One With The Creepy Holiday Card") is the eleventh episode of the eighth season, which aired on December 13, 2001.


Ross and Mona took pictures of themselves at Rockefeller Center and now Mona wants to send the picture as a holiday card to friends. Ross panics at the thought of them sending out holiday cards together because they've only been dating a couple of months. He tries to avoid having "the conversation" about where the relationship is going, so he wants to make a gesture instead, resulting in him giving Mona a key to his apartment even though he doesn't want to and it is the only key. Ross then has the locks changed and Mona is confused. He then tells Mona he loves her (he doesn't mean it though) and she replies that she loves spending time with him too, letting Ross know that she isn't in love with him either. 

Chandler's boss, Doug, has divorced his wife and invites Chandler and Monica to dinner, but Monica strongly dislikes him for drunkenly urinating on their ice sculpture at their engagement party, so Chandler decides to tell Doug that Monica and him split up so that she won't have to come. Doug, who is clearly depressed after divorcing his wife, takes Chandler to a series of bars and strip clubs to help him forget Monica, and Chandler has a miserable time with his drunk, crude boss, but later tells Monica that the worst thing of all about that night was seeing a glimpse of how he would end up if he ever lost her, and asks her to promise him she will never leave and grow old with him, and she does.  

Rachel's pregnancy hormones cause her to lust after any and every guy she sees, and she finds herself wanting to sleep with Joey and Ross. To satisfy her craving, Phoebe brings a random guy called Roger to the apartment who says he'll have sex with her, but Rachel refuses the offer. 

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

Shawn Christian - Dr. Schiff
Ashley Clark - Roger
Sam McMurray - Doug
Evie Peck - The nurse
Bonnie Somerville - Mona
Wesley Thompson - Locksmith
James Michael Tyler - Gunther (uncredited)


Directed By:
Gary Halvorson

Written By:
Robert Carlock


  • The alternate title for this episode is "The One with the Creepy Holiday Card", This can be found on both Netflix and the DVD menu of Season 8, Disc 2, though it goes by it's original title on the DVD cover and in syndicated reruns.
  • At the end of the episode Rachel is wearing an FDNY shirt, as a tribute to the Fire Department of New York and their efforts during the September 11 attacks.
  • The picture Mona shows Ross saying it's a good one is of Ross and Mona in front of a tree holding hands as if they were to be married.
  • This episode makes the final appearance of Doug. It's also revealed he and his wife, Karen, have divorced.
  • It's revealed that Ross and Mona haven't said "I love you" after two months of dating. (In fact only Ross says it but he doesn't mean it.) By contrast when Ross and Rachel were dating, they said "I love you" after six weeks. Further Mona says "I love spending time with you" revealing she's not in love with him either.
  • Ross gives Mona his apartment key so that Mona will move in with him (and then changes the locks). Rachel will actually move in with Ross on Valentine's Day.
  • Rachel and Joey toy with the idea of sleeping together but say it's too weird. When they do try to have sex in "The One With Ross' Tan", they find it impossible and break up instead.
  • In this episode, Chandler's hair is longer, and remains this way until "The One With The Baby Shower", where it is shorter.


  • Ross insists to Monica and Phoebe that he gave Mona "the only key" to his apartment. However, in previous episodes Monica and Rachel would routinely go over to Ross' place in his absence to borrow cooking ingredients (that is also how they accidentally deleted a phone message from his ex-wife Emily). Phoebe also massaged her clients at Ross' place while he was at work during the brief time she lived there (although Ross did take his key back) and Chandler once let himself in to try to bring back Clunkers the dog. Also Rachel made a copy of Ross' key when she moved in with him briefly after their Vegas wedding.
  • Rachel is said to be 1 month pregnant at Monica and Chandler's wedding, which was stated to be in May. In this episode however, Phoebe mentions that Rachel is in her fourth month of pregnancy (which would set the date sometime in August), yet Rachel states she went from store to store sitting on Santa Claus' laps.
  • Phoebe's friend Roger is played by the same actor as the man who Chandler mocks when he calls Monica "Candy Lady" in "The One With All The Candy", but it's probably not the same character because Monica doesn't recognize him.


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 Monica's Boots"
Series Eight Episodes Followed by
"The One Where Joey Dates Rachel"
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